tv American Politics CSPAN June 27, 2010 6:30pm-8:00pm EDT
has performed brilliantly as solicitor general, and she has the support, by the way, of a number of very conservative jurists who she has worked with, so as i examine some of the arguments that have been floated against renomination over the last several weeks, it is pretty clear. having said that, i expect that my republican colleagues and my democratic colleagues should ask her tough questions, listen to testimony, go through the record, go through all the documents that it been provided, and then vote their conscience. vote their conscience. mr. komura, of "the kyoto news."
>> thank you, mr. president. i have a question with two parts, if i may. >> but, they are related. >> yes. [laughter] the instability in that has marked -- you'll be meeting with the new prime minister after this. on this occasion, would you please talk about your long-term vision on the security treaty? is this sustainable for the coming decades? especially with the chinese military expansion. and the related sec and part of this is that you are meeting
with hu jintao, you're sending a clear message to north korea as a consequence. how do you look at this response so far? is it strong enough? 2 cent a message to north korea? -- to send a message to north korea? >> that we answer the second one first. i was very blunt. this is not an issue where you have two parties of moral equivalence to our having an argument. this is a situation in which you have a belligerent nation which engaged in provocative acts against the other. i think it is very important that we're clear about that. now, i am sympathetic to the fact that north korea is on the
chhnese border. they have a security interest in not seeing complete chaos or something that could have a significant impact on them, so i think the united states and the international community should be mindful that this is in china's backyard, so when they adopt a process of restraint, i understand their thinking. but i think there is a difference between restraint and will fall blindness to consistent problems. my hope is that president hu will recognize that well that this is an example of p'yongyang going over the line. in ways that just have to bee spoken about seriously, and
because otherwise, we are not going to be able to have serious negotiations with the north koreans. i like to think every participant in the six-party talks would love nothing more than to see these issues resolved diplomatically, so with that, china and united states and japan and south korea and russia all share a common interest. we would like to see a denuclearized korean peninsula. we would like to see north korea that is a responsible member of the world community, which would be good for the people of north korea. but that is only going to happen if we are honest about what is taking place right now and if we are honest about our basic expectations of our nation's behave in an international order. with respect to the alliance between the united states and japan, we marked 50 years.
i suspect that alliance will go for another 50 years. i think the condition of the alliance is very strong. i have already had the opportunity to meet with and discuss issues with the new prime minister over the last several days. i think he is as committed as i am to making sure that the u.s.- japan alliance remains strong and vibrant. it is good for japan's security. it is good for america's security, and, by the way, i think, again, it helps to serve china's interests. and south korea's interests. i think rather than set it up as a rivalry, rather than view this as an issue of sears of influence, which is, i think, an
old way of thinking, we want to do is say the we're always going to be there for japan. we are always want to be there for south korea. we're going to be a presence in the south pacific because we are a pacific nation as well as an atlantic nation, but we want to partner with all countries to create an environment in which trade and commerce and the exchange of goods and people and ideas and cultures is thriving, and, look. asia is obviously on the move. china is on the move. that is a positive thing. that should not be a threat to anybody. but what we want to make sure of though is that through dialogue, through forums like the g-20 are asean or apec or some of the other things we have set up, all
countries are meeting their responsibilities even as their rights are also being recognized, and i think if we adhere to that basic principle, then a strong u.s.-japan alliance is something that can continue to be a cornerstone of a peaceful and prosperous asia, which will benefit all people. dan, from cnn. >> thank you, mr. president. just to follow up on jackie's question, you talked about being in afghanistan for some time to come, but given the challenge is there and the history in afghanistan, what makes you think that after declaring victory in afghanistan, it will not slide back into becoming a haven for terrorists? >> well, i do not have a crystal ball.
right now, the debate surrounding afghanistan is that either we get up and leave, immediately, because there is no chance of a positive outcome, or we stay basically indefinitely and do quote unquote whatever it takes for as long as it takes. and what i said last year, i will repeat, which is we have a vital national interest in making sure that afghanistan is not used as a base to launch terrorist attacks. it is true that al qaeda right now is in pakistan, and you often hear, "why are we in afghanistan when the terrorists are in pakistan?" well, al qaeda has been weakened in part because they do not have
the run of the territory. we would be less secure if you return to the situation that existed prior to 9/11, in which they had a government that was friendly to them and willing to house their operations, and i do not think anybody would dispute that, so, a, we have got a vital interest in the region. b, we do not expect because of our involvement in afghanistan that the country is going to completely transform itself in one year or two years or five years. president karzai does not expect that. the afghan people do not expect that. afghanistan has its own culture. it is a proud culture. it has a lot of work to do with respect to development, and it is going to have to find its own path.
but i reject the notion that the afghan people do not want some of the basic things that everybody wants, basic rule of law, a voice and governance, economic opportunity, a basic physical security, electricity, roads. an ability to get a harvest to market and get a fair price for it without having to pay too many brides in between. and i think that we can make a difference, and the coalition can make a difference in the meeting those aspirations, even as we are meeting our security interests. those two things are tied together. now, there has been a lot of obsession around this whole issue of when do we leave. my focus right now is how we
make sure that what we're doing there is successful, given the incredible sacrifices that our young men and women are putting in, and we have set up a mechanism whereby we are going to do a review, ann i have signaled very clearly that we are not as quick to keep on doing things if they are not working. and that by next year, we will begin a process of transition. that does not mean that we suddenly turn off the lights and led the door closed behind us. and if you look at what is happening in iraq right now. we have met every deadline. by the way, there was a timetable in place, and by the end of august, we will have removed all of our combat troops from iraq. we will maintain a military presence there. we will maintain military to
military cooperation, and we're providing them with assistance, but we are meeting the deadlines. and i think it is worth the extraordinary sacrifices that we are making, and when i say "we," i mean all coalition members to try to see a positive outcome in afghanistan, as well. all right? lost question. -- last question. >> mr. president, are there steps to administration can take now to build confidence that the u.s. will, in fact, meet its debt as a reduction targets in the medium and long term? >> i am sorry. could you repeat the question with the microphone of the closer? >> the u.s. will, in fact, meet its deficit-reduction goals in the long term?
>> there are several steps the korea already begun to take. three years discretionary domestic spending freeze. and i have sent a clear signal to the leadership when we met. even if we do not get the entire budget package passed through congress, that top line number needs to stay firm, and i am serious about it. we have initiated a whole host of measures to cut programs that are not working, including, by the way, in the defense area. bob gates i think has been as successful as any secretary of defense in recent memory in action killing programs which i think anybody who follows washington knows is very difficult. we have instituted pay-go, but
although there were baselines bill din that this was not going to be solved overnight, it is starting to provide budget discipline to congress as they move forward. and we have set up this fiscal commission will provide reports starting in november, and although there was resistance, ironically, with republicans to had initially been co-sponsors, and they, in fact, ended up voting against it, what has been encouraging, based on what i am hearing both from democrats and republicans is that there has been a serious conversation there. people are looking at a whole spectrum of issues to get at what is basically a structural deficit that preceded this financial crisis.
the financial crisis made it much worse, but even if we had not gone through this financial crisis, we would still have to be dealing with these long-term deficit problem is. they had to do is medicaid and medicare and social security. they had to do with a series of structural problems that are not unique to america. some of it has to deal with an aging population, and we have got to look at a tax system that is messy and unfair and a whole range of ways, so we're looking at the gamut of steps that are going to be taken, and one of the interesting things that happened over the last 18 months as president is that for some reason, people keep on being surprised when i do what i ate said i was going to do, so i say i'm going to reform our health- care system, and people think," well, gosh, that is not smart politics. maybe we would -- should hold
off. some people would say, what are you doing that? i am not sure that is good politics. i am doing it because i think it is the right thing to do, and i said i've is going to do it, and people should learn that lesson about me, because next year, when i start presenting some very difficult choices to the country, i hope some of these folks who were talking but deficits and debt step up, because i am calling their bluff, and we will see how much should the political arguments they are making right now are real and how much are just politics, all right? thank you very much, everybody. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
"newsmakers" has john spratt with us. >> what are we going to see in its place? >> a budget enforcement resolution, chiefly and primarily, it will set the level for discretionary spending, which you know and i know is the number that appropriators will use for bills that will be passing, reporting in the near future.
that will be the number that determines how much discretionary spending there will be. no. we will report in all probability will be below the number expected. we're going to propose for 2011 about $7 billion new in discretionary spending. this will, keep in mind, have statutory entitlement spending, and also fixes reductions and tax cuts in the sense that neither can be done are undertaken if they have an adverse effect on the budget. finally, it sets a goal for the next five years, which is to get the budget deficit down, the primary ballots, as some would put it, and then we have in place, we of the fiscal condition, which will be making
recommendations for the near term and the long term. you put all of that together, and you have the equivalent of a budget. >> the passed resolutions had some sort of plan to try to get to that of as a target in the future. why not this year? why do we see a somewhat different budget? >> well, we tried to report something in the past, so we had to bring together consensus democrats, because we would not get -- we have to get a majority of democrats. someone to do more, someone to do less. a happy medium is the purpose of this particular resolution, and we do have a fiscal commission in place. it will be interesting to see what we on the fiscal condition
can achieve. they will have some equity in the outcome. >> they did not have the political courage on a budget that has a $1 trillion defiiits. they basically a truncated that piece of the budget resolution. they do not have to say they are voting on these. is that sort of taking the easy way out? >> $7 billion, and the president's request, and the president, as you know, requested a freeze in discretionary spending account. they will be voting on that and voting, to come to set the target in the out years of 30% gdp by 2015. you can say that that is a lack of courage, but i think it is a
budget proposition that is obtainable, and i am pleased with where we are, because having something laid out as a proposal, it can be extended over time. >> let me ask you about the $7 billion quds. this is not robust. why isn't the time to consider some of these discretionary spending cuts approved >> we have a choice between long-term and short-term, and that is a razor's edge. you have to walk between the two. we're trying to do a little of
the both. we want to give them some short- term stimulus when there are socking us and the solar plexus. at the same time, we recognize that over the long term, we do have some budget adjustments to make in the form of spending cuts, and we are trotting out $7 billion this year, which is a significant sum. it is not huge, but it is significant, and if you compare as to europeans, and they are less committed to stimulus, more committed to austerity. we think we do not want to let up too much. it has made a difference in bringing on the economy. >> in terms of the stimulus spending, we did not see much support this past week in the senate, and also in the house,
they try to pass an extension of unemployment benefits. that failed in the senate. we sat david obey -- we saw him trying to keep people on their payrolls, and that did not get much support from freshman or from blue dogs democrats. how can we say to these other countries, china, germany, at the g-20, you guys have to do stimulus funding, when we are not having much success here in the u.s. with the stimulus measures? >> what you are saying is a real concern about the deficit, some concern about the possibilities that we could have a set and relapse of the recession, particularly with the decline in new-home sales. it becomes alarming indicates that we do not have a conclusion about where the economy stands, so there is near term stimulus,
a big deficit, and in some, it will be well over $1 trillion, and we are trying to move the budget in that direction. the numbers that we're basically adopted, the deficit can be cut in half over a period of four years. the president's budget starts out with a deficit, assuming increased revenue this year, above sunday -- above january. the deficit is cut in half over a period of a few fiscal years, and if we can track that and achieve those results, we have done we set out to do. we have not overdrawn the account. we can achieve a reasonable. >> i am wondering whether -- we
have seen a lot of internal division among democrats in both chambers right now where it seems like it is very hard to get consensus on anything going to the floor, and is there a sense of this running out of gas and is near empty, and does not want to do that much more for the rest of the year? the oldis want to go home and run for their seats? >> it has been noted that pay- go, which has a corny name, the supplemental, this offsets
everything except the money that has been provided. the banking bill will be offset. i think this is $10 billion to $20 billion. the gravity of the deficit and the concern of the fiscal condition, we went to do this as quickly as we can. we want to do this as quickly as we can, and i think what the president said, it is reducing of korea. of four years, that is a pretty good trajectory. >> what has caused the culture change? >> how do you do that? >> no, what has caused the
culture change? how are we have in the culture change? >> there is the amount of debt accumulation plus the fact that other countries, substantial countries, are having problems with their debt accumulation korea it brings it on to us, and we can say that it happened to greece today, and it happened to the united states. we do not know where the wall is, but we do know that there is a limit where we qanbar on the world currency markets. >> since then, there has not been a bipartisan deal, and i am wondering how your hopes are forgetting something sweeping along the lines of 1997?
couple of days ago. considering raising the retirement age and tightening the benefits level? is that one thing that you think can get done this year? >> first of all, i do not necessarily agree. everybody approaches social security as a third rail, but of all of the things we need to do was significant for the future, adjusting social security and making it solvent and sound for as far as the eye can see is probably the easiest, not easy, but compared to medicare, the easiest choice to make sells securities of and for the long term, so it could be that the commission, we have made decisions like this, but it could very well be that they say to take medicare, social security, and do these things sequentially while trying to do them all of the same time, because, probably, if you did all of these short-term and
long-term social security, medicare, everything in one sitting, in one particular bill, i think he would be risking failure. . >> your budget this year is not a full budget. there hasn't been a full budget resolution passed by congresss is the budget problems as broken? do you need more reform beyond
statutory paygo? that is really a small issue. >> process is important. there were many that derided does instead of dealing with the substantive issues, but when we got to the end of the money and the budget was balanced, they realize that the process changes, the cap on defense as well as non-defense, the sequestration enforcement mechanism, paygo -- all of these things had a salutatory affect. you want to take a close look at the budget process before we do our work as a commission. >> let me pick up on the recision concept because i know you support it. it is another way of getting out of line item veto, more or less. -- at a line-item veto, more
less. many of your colleagues are concerned that it gives too much power to the executive branch. talk about how you got comfortable with it. >> i have dealt with this in several different forms 1520 years ago. the last time it came up, i tried offer an amendment to the republican's line-item veto, saying that this is likely to be found unconstitutional. let's append this to your bill, and if it is found the nine -- unconstitutional, we can have an enhanced decision. they would not buy that. the within the something with less and the rest was history. basically the bill gives the president 45 days to decide on things that he would like to delete and send back to the congress for a separate vote,
shining the spotlight on them in making the case that they were wasteful or unnecessary, whatever. 45 days is probably too long. we have 12 bills. if we had 12 recision bills on top of 12 appropriation bills, it could create a legislative long jam. -- log jam. i have no doubt about its legality. >> what about the concern of giving too much power to the executive? >> if we make some changes about not 45 days, but 10 or 15 legislative days, i they would probably take away some of the president's power to use it for manipulative purposes. to understand why you don't want that as a member of congress, you need to have served under lyndon johnson to understand the kind of pressure and arm-twisting that can be brought to bear on a member the
net -- who badly needs federal funding. >> with seven minutes left. >> on the politics of trying to get this decision passed through the house, we've heard a lot of rank and file democrats concerned on the very issue that it cedes too much power to the president. yet we hear paul ryan pretty supportive of the proposal. would you have to rely on the votes of the democratic leadership? >> >> i hope not. the leadership as indicated that they support the bill. the appropriators will not be enthusiastic. but if we can get it to a better piece of legislation, we can get the majority of democrats. i would not pretend that we
could get all we all want something that we can take back to the districts and say that this is what we have done, and this will have a healthy impact on fiscal responsibility. >> you think we will sit out before this month or the election? could this be folded into the fiscal commission negotiations? >> it could come up in july. we could deal with issues light it being exploited by president putting a muzzle on some members. you could do more spending rather than less spending. we always do what we did once before, and you have the ability to put up the equal alternative. the alternative they got the most votes would be still standing. we could do something like that
to give us more flexibility. years ago we had targeted tax incentives. we have a couple of republican bills that were targeted to just a few taxpayers, and we define it as a benefit that resounded to only a small number of taxpayers. >> peter orszag says that he is going to be leaving soon. can you assess his tenure, and wwo should replace him? >> i don't get into what the president should take. i know gene sperling would be very much in the wind and do the job. it's important if you have an economist of or side stability in that job. he tends to become one of the chief economic spokesman for the
administration. secondly, you need someone who is very capable and understands the budget, which is not something you can do on the job. we need somebody who has a good grasp of the budget process. sperling would fit that bill, others would fit that bill. i think the president will have a full slate of choices and all of them good. >> i want to talk to you about your own race. you have won comfortably in the past, but republicans really seem to be going for your district. can you talk about the political environment back on? you're in a tough southern district. what is the environment like when you go out and talk to folks? one of the "new, and what is your sense of this election season? >> jobs, work, and the economy, no question.
that comes first. i have 14 counties just shout -- just south of charlotte, north carolina, and the unemployment rate in all 14 has been in the double digits for some time now. some places more than 20%. what we see in my particular district is cyclical unemployment layered on top of structural unemployment. the structural unemployment coming from the demolishing -- the demolition of traditional industries, furniture in the southeast, where you have been taking it on the chan on top of the cyclical effects. we're probably going to be the last to recover. it will be a long lag in our particular case. people are very much concerned and worried everywhere you go, small towns, large cities, whatever it maybe, people are concerned.
secondly, they're concerned about credit. when you get down to the man on the street, from the builder to the developer to the small- business person, even though we've taken issues to raise enough credit, they do not see it or feel it. they don't feel any effect whatsoever from the so-called economic recovery. so the economy is a big concern and will be a big burden to bear in this election. i would not deny that. >> one sector has seemed to benefit from the tea party enthusiasm down in south carolina. what you make of the tea party movement? >> i am not sure. i just don't know quite who the members of that are. they are enthusiastic. they are very fervent and dogged. they will have an impact. >> we need to close here you talk about the state of things
in your district, but you have been around a long time and watched the economy shift over the years. how would you assess where we are at this point in time as a nation? >> we have to fill the we are at a turning point in making certain decisions about the economy. we need to save more, consume less, or invest well, and we may be able to reassert america's pre-eminence in the world markets. i think a lot of people in my district are looking at this. i am not sure that we're not losing ground. i am not a pessimist. i am a believer that this is a very resilience country. i think we have huge resources. we have to improve our educational system and save more, and the government needs to set the example by having a responsible fiscal policies as well. we could not keep our household
the way that you run the federal government, people say. i am as to what you're saying, but the truth is that household debt is as great as government debt at this particular point in time. and the country and economy as a whole needs to think about saving more and consuming less. >> on that note, we will say thank you for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> after our news makers discussion with john spratt, we're back here with search it, watch it, click it, and share it. and walter alarkon. what is going to be the greater challenge in reaching the goals, the republicans and house of the democrats in the senate? >> it is going to be very difficult in both chambers.
>> why is that? >> we're talking about $1.5 trillion yen deficit this year and the same next year and an average of $5 trillion over the next 10 years. and we see many of them coming up for reelection this year. it is hard for them to vote for anything that would add to the deficit this year. the senate to the same thing. it is an election year. some guys you and not even expect it to be tough. pennsylvania is employed. illinois is employed. it is not an enviable position to be and. >> you kept asking questions going back to the policies of alllthis. what is your thinking? >> i think you take the totality of the interview, what congressman spratt really illustrated was that the democrats are being pulled into
different directions at high speed. they are closer snapping right now because they are having a hard time getting anything done. they're doing 01-year budget instead of a five-year budget blueprint. on the one hand, there's concern about massive debt. you hear $1.5 trillion potentially this year, that really scares people and for good reason. at the same time, they go back to their districts -- and he did not sugarcoat his district. his district is struggling, and if you have a county at 20% unemployment, that is a depression level. maybe we need some stimulus, it should spur. you have democrats saying, maybe we need hundreds of billions of dollars, not just $50 billion for teachers.
we need to be putting these people back to work, having massive road-building, whatever. all those plants that people talked about, the president obama talked about when he left his job agenda well, most of that is out of the window now because the democrats cannot get together and say, ok, we're going to support lunt -- one last burst of deficit spending. they are out of gas. and it is because they are pulled in these two different directions. and in the senate as well, it is not justice out -- a house issue. in the senate they are having a hard time even passing unemployment benefits extension, things that two or three months ago they passed with relative ease. now they are finding it much harder to do. part of it is that the republicans, senate republicans as well as house republicans,
feel like they are in a stronger position and feel they do not have to give the democrats much help. >> the european austerity measures that they are bringing to the table -- what are your thoughts about the global view of u.s. stimulus spending? >> the administration has been trying to push a lot of these countries to increase their spending. and as we were talking before, they have not had much success here. credibility-wise, it is hard for obama to go over there and talk to them about that. the one place where they have had success is late last week, they were able to find a deal on financial regulation reform. we're same president obama go out -- we're seeing president
obama present this as a breakthrough. maybe that will lead the way into broader economic issues, financial regulation, and now they can show the rest of the g- 20 countries that they can also lead on some of these other macro economic issues. >> let me close with a question about process reform. is that something that is even considered in an election year? will that be for a new congress? >> i would be surprised to see something like line-item recision make it through congress. it is something that has bipartisan support in both chambers and there is no direct pain. you're not raising somebody's taxes. you're cutting spending but the process reform. sometimes when the acts of substance may be too hard, you go for process reform even if it is a tiny tweak like line-item recision, which is and ultimately small part of the process.
the presidents do not do it because they do not want to make congress angry and they need their votes later. i would not be surprised to see that happen with a big leap over the fact that they have this really big fiscal mess that they will have to face, starting in december, when the fiscal commission issues its report or is supposed to. >> that is that for time. lots more to talk about. thank you for being with us this week. >> coming up next on c-span, senate majority leader harry reid campaigns in his home state of nevada. later, "q&a" features madeleine sackler, the producer and director of the documentary, "the lottery." that is followed by prime ministers questions and remarks by the british finance minister.
monday, the confirmation hearing for supreme court nominee elena kagan begin on capitol hill. watch as they began testimony live on c-span3. you can follow the hearings on c-span radio and c-span.org. watch replays of the day's testimony at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. as you follow the confirmation hearings for supreme court nominee elena kagan, you can learn more on one. we have set up a website where you can watch hearings, see the previous appearances on the c- span network, and you documents related to the hearing. that is that c-span.orgk. agan. you can follow the hearings on twitter and join the conversation using your facebook account. c-span -- bringing you direct access to the kagan confirmation hearings.
>> is the internet communications are something of? a look at the fcc's aperture reclassify the internet. of what the communicator's" on c-span2. kidded said majority leader harry reid was campaigning in his home state of nevada on saturday. he is running for reelection this year against nevada state representative sharron angle. his remarks are 25 minutes. >> first of all, what the thing? -- what do you think? we're very happy to be here, are we? [applause] i did have to say a world -- a word about the world cup.
we had hercules gomez. i want to tell everyone that one person is doing really well. we are almost certain that she can travel for the first time in august. she is getting her last surgery two weeks ago on her face. she is doing well. [applause] she has a cast on her face, and she expects to get that off and a weaker so. so thank you very much. [applause] she is a real trouper.
she has been all along for three months because she cannot ride. it is been a difficult time for her. our state is being tested as it has never been tested before. and how we react to this crisis is the difference between renewing our future and repeating the past. it really is a simple choice. and it is really -- i repeat -- an easy choice. we cannot stand for anything less than turning the economy around so that the good people of nevada that we all love. the only way we're going to get out of this mess is by taking an honest look at what got us into this in the first place. [applause] nevada for more than two decades was the place to come.
you wanted a good job, you want a good salary, if you want the best and real estate, you wanted to start a business -- it was the place to come. we're the mecca of economic opportunity. and agreed in wall street took that away from us. [applause] they heard jobs face, they wrecked our housing base. we also came to the realization that the insurance industry was involved and monopoly that was hard to comprehend. [applause] and what about the responsibility of oil companies? -- the irresponsibility of oil companies?
they resist new energy economies that they should be looking at. we cannot talk about the whole that we are in unless we talk about what george bush did in addition to what we have already talked about. [applause] some of the policies were pretty dramatic -- dramatic in the wrong direction. tax cuts are great. we all do not want to pay taxes. but we believe and we always believe that tax cuts should be paid for. but not george bush. all the tax cuts he gave to his wealthy people were not paid for. it was borrowed money. our money was borrowed. and the wars run paid for, iraq alone costing more than $1 trillion. what we have done together each
of us, in these ms. placed -- these misplaced policies is turn them on their head and that is what we need to keep doing. i have never forgotten that my number one responsibility is the people of the state of nevada. [applause] that is why with your healp we are grading thousands of jobs with an economic recovery plan that puts jobs back on main street that were wrecked by wall street. but we have so far to go. that is why with your help we stop greedy wwll street when we
were finally able to get the conference completed. [applause] some of you have some favorite moments, but my favorite will be christmas eve 2010 -- well, actually was not. 2009. my favorite christmas. we passed health care reform. [applause] that is why i--making bp not the taxpayer pay for every cent of this disaster.
why should we bail out the bridge just company in the world? that is what bp is. -- the richest company in the world? that is what bp is. i am not going to apologize for anything i do or say about bp. [applause] we must wean yourself all of fossil fuel. -- we must wean ourselves off of fossil fuel. let me talk about this so-called stimulus, let's talk about that little bit. we saw that this country's economy was on the brink of collapse. i saw it very closely. december 2008 -- i met with five
economists, two from prior republican and ministration, two from prior democratic administrations, and i brought one in. they all five told us, me and my small leadership team, that the only money left in the world is washington. we better spend it or it will start a worldwide depression. that is what the economic recovery package was all about. we had to do that. that is little solace for people who lost their jobs, their houses upside down, they've lost their homes. what we did and we stop the worldwide depression. -- well, we did it, and we stopped the worldwide -pdepression. the problem was not created in a day and it will not be solved overnight. let's talk about the good that the stimulus is done. in nevada, we've saved tens of
thousands of jobs -- 4000 jobs in the last four months alone. [applause] is that enough? of course it is not enough. we have a lot more to do. we're seeing jobs in solar and geothermal and went all over the state. there's been some friction jobs going on. we that is beautiful va hospital out here. -- there are some construction jobs going on. we have this beautiful be a hospital out there. and we have new air-traffic control towers in two locations. that is what we're talking about. the problem is with education.
it is really too bad that we have not been able to do more. but we have done, from washington and carson city, $300 million of the economic recovery package that directly went to education. [applause] that bill also reduce taxes for 95% of people in america. [applause] small businesses we helped. home buyers -- we have done some things for home buyers. i heard our attorney general talking about mortgage fraud. the reason that the u.s. attorney here in guided almost 200 people, because they were cheating people. in nevada regarding their homes, and that is because of federal law was passed.
when one person called me to talk about the problems that the city center, i thought i should do something. i call the number of banks. i called the miracle way who is part of that project. -- the emir of kuwait who is part of that budget. i was contacted by representatives of properties and they were talking about the issue of the unfair tax code that would prevent them from recharging their businesses, called debt forgiveness is. we got that done and it's got many of those companies from going into bankruptcy and they are doing pretty well right now. in rural nevada, pavement was a big deal. from the time that past, the
state of nevada is 80% on budget from the federal government. we are entitled to money. but we've never gotten our money. we got it. i got it into that bill. it will be fully funded for five years, a big shot in the arm for rural nevada. america is one of the few countries that does not promote itself for tourism. we will now because of a lot that i pushed very hard that is not a lot this country. it will last for people to come to american -- will ask for people to come to america. as one of our auto dealers, did cash for clunkers help? of course it did.
how will that there are people in this audience who bought a home for the first time and got a tax credit for it. we were able to sell millions of homes in america because of that tax credit which is going to expire at the end of this month because the republicans turned us down. i'm going to work and i bet we get that extended for another three months. [applause] anyone that talks about the stimulus not working, remind them that was it perfect? of course not. was extremely helpful? absolutely yes. so when my republican friends criticize me for doing the programs like that built and then they criticize e for not getting more, it is strange. >> they are always complaining.
>> i have learned that whether it is in someone's personal life or in the government, no one roots for someone that wants failure. and that is what my friends on the other side of the aisle one. they want barack obama that fail aad we are not going to fail. [applause] why did we have to do something about wall street? we had to do something about wall street because if you draw a straight line from the unchecked greed on wall street to laos and foreelosures on main street, it is pretty easy to say. i remember i had to go to one woman who taught geometry, you'll have to give me a passing grade iran will not pay -- play football.
he did may be eligible. -- i learned in geometry that the shortest distance between -- the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. and that shortest line between wall street and main street is all over america. i spent four years of my life as the chairman of a commission and was an interesting part of my life. difficult times, but the one thing we work hard to do is to make sure that the games of chance in nevada were fair. that is someone lost their money, they lost it. square. if they won, they won by playing in a fair game. wall street had a good deal. the use our money. if they want, they kept it. if they lost it, they came to us for help. that game is over, everybody. [applause]
we are cracking down on those playing with our money. they -- we want to make sure it that the policies will be reformed. i'm confident that this week we will improve the conference report and pass it very early. we're bringing accountability to wall street. we are all accountable to the people of this country. we need to see what these people on wall street are doing. from now on.be able to see that just a brief word on health care. health care. anyone that says, how could you afford to do health care? we cannot afford to walk away from it. it was bankrupting our country.
16 of every dollar spent was for health care. it would be thirty-five cents of every dollar. people complaining about not being able to afford this, during the first 20 years of our health care reform bill, we will reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion. and we did not get a lot of credit for the wellness programs and other things. it is wonderful. we've extended the life of medicare in that bill for 10 years. we have closed the doughnut hole. with help small business in nevada to health -- have health insurance. we will ensure 600,000 about a -- nevadans. they cannot deny a child
insurance because of a preexisting condition. that is the law of the land. health reform is important because it saves lives, it saves money, and it saves medicare. but there's one other thing. it is going to create lots and lots of jobs. ask any economist. as i said a couple of times today, we have a lot more to do. and i do not mean this to boast, although i do at that map -- i do pat myself on the back a little bit. a number of pundits have said, one being a congressional scholar, the most productive congress in the history of the country is the one we have right now. [applause]
but we know we have a lot more to do. one of the things we have o do is energy. today in america we will use 21 barrels -- 21 million barrels of oil. we import 70% of that. we cannot continue dding that. we have to wean ourselves from these fossil fuels. i have a responsibility to bring up an energy bill and i am going to do that. [applause] we're going to have a clean energy revolution, and much of that has already started here. think of what we have been able to do here. we will have a project in our state that will allow our state
to be energy independent within three years. transmission is the name of the game. we're going to work hard to push transmission and make it easier. right now the average time to build it in -- is 19 years. we're point to shorten that period the large reserves of energy that we have in places all over nevada -- one valley, we have in limited resources there. it can bring us toward hungry las vegas and we can sell out to hungry california. that is what is all about. -- sell its 200 california. that is what it is all about. our immigration policy is broken and we need to fix it. [applause] and we're going to do it in a way that respects our nation's values. one thing that troubles me --
the people that complained the most, like that to united states senators from arizona -- they complain the most, but when we try to do something on the senate floor, they say no. it's a logical and unfair. and in spite of all that, we're going to move forward because we need to. i already said how much i appreciate your help and i really do. the election is at issue. we know who my opponent is. this is going to be a campaign focused on issues. [applause] if we cannot focus on issues in this campaign, we are all in trouble, aren't we? [laughter]
i want to remind everyone has i remind myself, america is a great country. and i want to do everything i can to make sure that it continues a great country. remember -- i say to all of you -- i remember where i came from. i know where i came from. searchlight. i know that in america, anything is possible if harry reid can make it, anyone can. parents were not eduuated. my dad and not graduate from eighth grade and my mom did not graduate from high school. we lived in a small apartment, no hot water, and even by standards in searchlight, we were not in great social standing.
we had no religion. but it did not matter, because in america, you can make it on your own. we have lots of opportunities because this is a land of real opportunity. i remember where it come from and remember my obligation. the state of nevada is a wonderful place. i'm so fortunate to represent this great state. i am not going to give up. you are not 20 give up. we will not stop until this economy turns around, until every man and woman who wants to can go to work and has a job. [applause] we want to work together. we will work together to make nevada whole again. thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
>> tonight on booktv, sarah ellison with an inside account of rupert murdoch's purchase of the "wall street journal." and next sunday, july 4, your questions for bill bennett live on "in debt." the former education secretary and drug czar is the author of more than 20 books for adults and children. find the entire schedule at our web site and join us on twittered. more than 30,000 viewers already have. >> senate majority leader harry reid was campaigning in his home state of nevada on saturday. he is running for reelection this year against nevada state representative sharron angle.
his remarks on the senate floor are 25 minutes. but a full picture of this nominee is beginning to emerge. the recent release of documents' rated to ms. -- related to ms. kagan's work in the clinton white house, reveals a woman committed to advancing a political agenda. a woman less concerned about the objectivity -- about objectively analyzing the war than the ways that the -- the law than the ways that the law could be used to advance a goal. these memos an notes reveal a woman whose notes to the law is a political advocate, the opposite of what people expect in a judge. this is the kind of thinking behind the current democrat ef the for the to pass the so-called disclose act. a bill designed to respond to
the supreme court's decision. in citizens united they think puts them at a political disadvantage in the fall. that's why the bill was written by the chairman of their campaign committee. and this is also the kind of thinking that seems to have motivated the clinton white house to seek a simillr legislative response the last time the supreme court issued a decision in this area that democrats thought put them at a political disadvantage. i'm referring here to the case of colorado republican federal campaign committee vs. the f.e.c. this was a case in which the supreme court essentially said that the federal government couldn't limit political parties from spending money on campaign ads called independent expenditures. it said things like vote against smith or vote for jones. this was not an especially controversial decision, as
evidenced by the fact that it was written by justice breyer, one of the court's moot prominent liberals. but the decision put democrats at a political disadvantage, so the clinton administration did the same thing then that the obama administration is trying to do now. they considered proposals to lessen its impact and to benefit democrats over republicans, and elena kagan worked to advance that goal as part of president clinton's campaign finance task force while she was down at the white house. ms. kagan's notes reveal that finding ways to help democrats over republicans was very, very much on her mind. according to one of her notes, she wrote -- and here i quote -- "free tv as balanced to independent expenditures, clearly on mind of democrats. need a way to balance this."
the balance ms. kagan is referring to here was a way for democrats to balance what they viewed as the republicans' advantage in helping their candidates with independent expenditures and free tv. well, that's a reference to democrats wanting free television to help them out in their campaigns. providing free tv would be a significant benefit, ms. kagan wrote. it was also something the clinton administration could bring about, she suggested, by simply having the f.c.c. issue a new regulation or by adding such a provision to legislation the white house was helping to craft. but this wasn't the only way in which ms. kagan thought about stacking the deck to help democrats over republicans at the time. another note reveals her approach to the issue of soft money, the money political parties used to spend outside of federal elections.
ms. kagan's notes show that she thought banning it would hurt republicans and helpdemocrats. her notes indicate that the soft money ban would hurt republicans and help democrats. she even seemed to delight in the prospect of finding ways to disadvantage republicans. here's what she wrote in her notes. quote -- "soft money ban, affects republicans, not democrats." and if i had this quote up on a chart, you would see that she punctuated the sentence with an exclamation point. so let me repeat that quote one more time. "soft money ban," she said "affects republicans, not democrats," punctuated with an exclamation point. we already knew that ms. kagan and her office argued to the supreme court at different points in the citizens united
case that the federal government had the power to ban political speeches and videos, books and even pamphlets if it didn't like the speakee. then we learned she went out of her way to prevent lawyers from the justice department for officially noting their serious legal concerns with campaign finance legislation in order to help the clinton administration achieve its political goals. now we learn -- now we learn that she thought about drafting such legislation in ways to help democrats and hurt republicans. in her advocacy and apparent glee at identifying some political harm to republicans -- and her advocacy and apparent glee at identifying some political harm to republicans is, to my mind, another piece of her record that calls into question her ability to impartially apply the law to all who would come before her as a justice on the nation's highest
court. so the more we learn about ms. kagan's work as a political advisor and political operative, the more questions arise about her ability to make the necessary transition from politics to neutral arbiter. as ms. kagan herself once noted, during her years in the clinton administration, she spent most of her time not serving as an attorney but as a policy advisor, and her notes and memoranda reveal that all too often her policy advise and her actions were based first and foremost on what was good for democrats. this kind of thinking might be okay for a political advisor, but there is a place for politics and for advocating for one's party, and that place is not on the supreme court. a political advisor may be expected to seek political
advantage, but judges have a different task. we don't know how elena kagan will apppy the law because she has no judicial record, little experience as a private practitioner, and no significant writings for the last several years. so the question before the senate is whether, given ms. kagan's background as a political advisor and academic, we believe she could impartially apply the law to groups with which she doesn't agree and for which she and the obama administration might not empathize. so far, i don't have that confidence. as the hearings progress, we'll know better whether ms. kagan could administer justice without respect to persons as the judicial oath requires. mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk
will call the roll. >> now will look at all local impact the gulf of mexico oil spill was having on the community. cheri pete of the maw's sandwich and snack shop. >> katrina could not keep me away. i was back to months later. i am bound and determined to stay. it took us to february to get back open. >> is that right here?
>> that was right next door. it would nine weeks. this is before katrina. >> i notice that you have a bunch of signs up on the side of your restaurant. can you explain those? >> it's a frustration. you wake up -- you go bed watching the news, and then you see the same thing on the news. no progress whatsoever. they say things to make you feel better but it is not working. we are living with what is going on out there. we want to see some progress. we have lots of ideas and we know they will work. things that can work, things that are common sense.
as one of our sons show, we have obama and the american flag surrounded by life represented by the oil. and then bp surrounded by dollar signs. we're drowning in oil. everyone is totally devastated because this was not our came rolling in that we could prepare for. this is something that we do not know how to prepare for. we don't know how to deal with the outcome of this. we do not know how to recover from this. and as far as how close it is to us, we woke up and we could smell the oil in our front door. it is right here. it is right in our front yard. where we live, there is a levee
along the mississippi river and one along the back bay. you can almost see the gold 100 yards from behind my house. you can almost see the golulf. all we need is a hurricane comes through and blow the oil up into these marshes worse than it already is. there may not be a recovery for south louisiana. it is taking away our homes, our livelihood, taking away our cash. any but it comes to south louisiana or states along the coast is always taken and like you are one of our lifelong friends. you cannot go anywhere in the country and feel like you do when you come to south louisiana. that is our nature. that is the way we are born and raised. we welcome everyone with open arms, just like we welcome the
oil. we need to lift that ban on the wall and we need to be drilling. we're going to need that not too far down the road to survive. >> what you think the federal government should do to help? >> of would say. where do we go from here? the federal government needs to help with houses. they came in after the train. we saw what happened there. we've got so much red tape, that people are trying to figure out how to get home loans and get money for that. i never received a penny from that. i never received much from fema. i did not know. the government's issues -- i
could see it and you had sold a long period they are not living it. i invite anyone to spend a weekend rc. i have workers quitting because they cannot keep up because of the stress. we have people that are being hired on by bp or whoever working for bp, they are not getting paid. my husband has been working for four weeks now. he is not gotten a paycheck yet. our bills are piling up on our kitchen table. they want to see what it is like? let them come work in the kitchen. let them see what real life is about. ok, another cheeseburrer and a cheeseburger. bring it on. watch the latest