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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  March 17, 2011 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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remember when you were up for confirmation and i told you among other things right here in this committee that i hope that you would do something very good for the american people, that you would stand up for the american people and you have. i'm glad that you are employable. my reference then was probably that you wouldn't, didn't need to be employed by some of the people that you were going after and they wouldn't hire you anyway, thank god. you leave that post with a lot of help, a lot of thanks from the american people for the job you have done. you'll always do well. i know that. .
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the united states government will step in and save the too big to fail institutions. >> republicans voted to eliminate federal funding for national public radio programming. more on that debate in a few
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minutes. ireland's newly elected prime minister is in washington today for st. patrick's date. earlier, president obama spoke at the white house about recent events in japan. he said u.s. officials do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the u.s. the president visited the japanese embassy to sign a condolence book for victims of last week's earthquake and tsunami. >> i will be making a statement later this afternoon. my main purpose for being here is to communicate how heartbroken the american people are over this tragedy.
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we are doing everything we can to stand by our great friend and ally, japan. our deepest sympathies, or thoughts and prayers are with the families. we feel a great urgency to provide assistance to those who have been displaced from their homes, who are suffering enormously at this moment. as i said on the first day of the tragedy, i am confident that japan will rebuild. it has people who are strong and resilient, who are dedicated to their country, who are brilliant. as difficult as this time is up, i am confident that japan will emerge even stronger than before. >> [unintelligible] >> i am will discuss that this
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afternoon. >> thank you very much. >> after visiting the japanese embassy in washington, president obama spoke more about the events in japan. he defended the u.s. government's recommendation that u.s. citizens living within a 50 mile radius of the disabled nuclear power plant should evacuate. his remarks in the rose garden or eight minutes. -- are eight minutes. >> good afternoon, everyone. for the last couple of days, the american people have been but
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heartbroken and deeply concerned about the developments in japan. we have seen an earthquake and tsunami render the unimaginable toll of death and destruction among one of our closest friends and allies in the world. we have seen this powerful natural disaster impact nuclear reactors that bring peaceful energy to the people of japan. i want to update the american people on what we know about the situation in japan, what we are doing to help american citizens, and now we are helping the japanese people contain the damage, recover, and rebuild. first, we are bringing all available resources to bear to protect american citizens who may be in harmer's way. even as the japanese responders continue to do heroic work, we note the damage to the nuclear
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reactor poses a substantial risk to those who lived nearby. that is why yesterday we call for an evacuation of american citizens within 50 miles of the plant. this decision was made on a careful scientific evaluation. the guidelines used to keep our citizens safe in the united states or anywhere in the world. beyond this 50 mile radius, risk do not currently call for an evacuation, but we do have a responsibility to take precautionary measures to educate those americans who may be endangered by exposure to radiation if the situation deteriorates. that is why last night i authorized the voluntary departure of family members and dependents of u.s. officials working in northeast japan. all u.s. citizens in japan
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should monitor the situation carefully and follow the guidelines of the u.s. and japanese governments. those who are seeking assistance should contact our embassy and consulates which continue to be open and operational. second, i know many americans are worried about the potential risk to the united states. i want to be very clear. we do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the united states, whether it is the west coast, hawaii, alaska, or u.s. territories in the pacific. let me repeat that -- we do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the west coast, hawaii, alaska, where u.s. territories in the pacific. that is the judgment of bar nuclear regulatory commission and many other experts. furthermore, the centers for disease control and prevention and public-health experts do not recommend people in the united
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states take precautionary measures beyond staying informed. we will continue to keep the american people fully updated. i believe that you must know what i know as president. if you are at home, nuclear power is also an important part of our own energy in future along with the wind, solar, natural gas, and clean coal. our nuclear power plants have undergone studies and been declared safe. when we see a crisis like the one in japan, we had a responsibility to learn from this event and to draw from those lessons to ensure the safety and security of our people. that is why i have asked the nuclear regulatory commission to do a comprehensive review of our nuclear power plants in light of the situation in japan. finally, we are working aggressively to support our japanese ally at this time of
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challenge. search and rescue teams are there to help the recovery effort. disaster assistance and response teams are confronting the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami. the u.s. military, which has helped secure the security for japan for decades, is working around the clock. we have flown hundreds of missions to support the recovery effort and distributed food and water to the japanese people. we also deployed leading experts to contain the damage at japan bought three nuclear reactors. we are sharing expertise, equipment, and technology so the courageous responders on the scene had the benefit of american teamwork. the american people have also opened up their hearts and given generously to support the relief efforts. the red cross is providing assistance to those who had been displaced.
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i encourage anyone who wants to lend a hand to go to to find out how you can be helpful. the japanese people are not alone in this time of great trials and strife. across the pacific, they will find a hand of support extended from the united states as they get back on their feet. after all, we have an alliance that was forced more than half a century ago and strengthened by a shared interest and democratic values. we share ties of family, ties of culture, and our troops have served to protect japan's shores. our citizens have found friendship in japan but the cities and towns. i am confident that japan will recover and rebuild because the
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strength and spirit of the japanese people. over the last few days, they have opened up their homes and shared scarce resources. the organized shelters, provided free medical care, and put out for their most of vulnerable citizens. one man put it simply -- it is a japanese bank. when hard times hit, we have to help each other. in these hard times, there remains, nevertheless, paul -- polk for the future. one small town has been flattened by the tsunami. rescuers rescued 84-month old baby who stranded for days. no one can say for certain how she survived the water in the wreckage around her. it was a mystery in the course of human events. but in the midst of economic recovery and global of people, disasters like this remind us of
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the common humanity that we share. we see it in the responders to our rescue -- who are risking their lives. we see it from the help passport into japan. we hear it from the cries of a child miraculously pulled from the rubble. we will continue to do everything we can to ensure the safety of american citizens and the security of our sources of energy. we will stand with the people of japan as they retain this crisis, recover from this hardship, and rebuild their great nation. >> we have to be looking very closely at the events in japan.
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we ought to apply whatever license can be and will be learned. >> steven chu testified on the energy department's fiscal year 2012 budget following the earthquake and tsunami in japan. what's the complete hearing now online at the c-span video library. search, watch, clip, and share. it is washington your way. >> the house voted to ban federal funds for npr programming. the vote would prevent public radio stations from spending federal funds on programming. the measure, which no house democrats voted in favor of, is opposed by the white house and is unlikely to be brought up by the senate. here is a portion of the house debate. recognition? mrs. blackburn: mr. speaker,
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pursuant to house resolution 1764 -- 174, i call up h.r. 1076, a bill to prohibit federal funding of nation public radio and the use of federal funds to acquire radio content. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1076, a bill hibthibt -- a bill to prohibit federal funding of nation public radio and the use of federal funds to acquire radio content. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 174, the bill is considered as read. the gentlelady from tennessee, mrs. blackburn, the gentleman from california, mr. waxman, will each control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. and mr. speaker, i ask that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on the legislation and to insert
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extraneous material on the bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentlelady from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of h.r. 1076, a bill to get the federal government and federal taxpayers out of the business of buying radio program they do not agree with. this is a bill that is long overdue. regardless of what you think of n.p.r., its programming or statements by its management, the time has come to cut the umbilical chord from the taxpayer support that has become as predictable as an entitlement program. much has changed, mr. speaker, in the media landscape since the corporation for public broadcasting was first created in 1967. followed by its creation of national public radio in 1970. today, we have multiple listening choices. there's analogue radio, digital
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radio, satellite radio, streaming radio over the internet and podcasts, both commercial and the self-published variety. choice and available content is not the problem. if you want to find some content, the only question is where you will find it. in these challenging economic times, committing the taxpayer to fund and support particular content, including content he or she may never listen to, highlights this absurd thing of the past. it's time to move forward and let national public radio spread its wings and support itself. this legislation does several important things. it prohibits direct federal funding of n.p.r., national public radio, and more
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importantly it ensures the american taxpayer will not be funding through their tax dollars radio program from n.p.r. or other outlets with which they may not agree. it is also important to recognize that this bill does not do a few things. it does not defund public radio stations. and i want to repeat that, mr. speaker, because i think it's such an important point. it does not defund public radio stations. they still may use federal funding to operate their station or to produce their own programming. public radio stations may also continue to purchase programming from n.p.r. or other sources, just not with federal taxpayer dollars. and this bill has no impact. i want to repeat that. this bill has no impact on
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public television. the added benefit of this legislation is that it ensures that if taxpayer dollars are necessary and given to local stations, it will not be used to purchase generic national programming but instead it can be used to produce local content that actually will meet the needs of the community where these are located. mr. speaker, at this time i want to reserve the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: i yield myself three minutes. i rise in strong opposition to h.r. 1076. this bill will cripple national public radio, public radio stations and programming that is vital to over 27 million
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americans. we are now voting to deny the public access to one of our nation's most credible source of news coverage. c.b.o. has scored this bill. it does not save a penny. this means that this legislation does not serve any fiscal purpose. but it does serve an ideological one. this legislation is not about reforming n.p.r., it is about punishing n.p.r. we held no hearings on this bill. it didn't get referred to the committee for consideration. it's being handled as if it were an emergency. we don't even know all the facts . but that's apparently no impediment. for decades decisions on federal support for public broadcasting have been made two years in advance to insulate public
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broadcasting from politically motivated interference. this bill removes that buffer. n.p.r. is now exposed to the full force of the political winds that blow through the house of representatives. that means the independents and -- independence and objectivity that public broadcasting has tried to uphold is now subject clearly to political interference. for those who complained that they don't want content to be one way or the other on the political spectrum, but to be honest and fair, the right wing republicans are trying to impose in their view of what n.p.r. should be saying in the content of their programming. they'll say that's not the case. but, mr. speaker, that is the case. there is no reason for this bill.
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it is vindictive. it is mean-spirited. it will hit the smallest stations in rure areas hard. public radio is indispensable for access to news that's hard to get, especially with broadband service is limited. i urge my colleagues to vote against this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. i ask unanimous consent that the gentlelady from the state of california, ms. eshoo, the ranking member of the subcommittee on telecommunication, control the rest of our time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i would like to recognize the author of the legislation, mr. lamborn, he is recognized for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. lamborn: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, madam blackburn, for your great work you do on the committee. i introduced h.r. 1076 because the federal government can no longer afford to fund programs that are fully capable of standing on their own. this is not about the ideology
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of n.p.r. executives or the content that n.p.r. produces. but whether in this age of trillion dollar annual deficits taxpayers should subsidize a nonessential entity. plain and simple, this bill accomplishes three things. first, it prohibits public radio stations from using federal funds to purchase programming. current federal law requires that about 26% of federal grants to public radio stations be used for the production or acquisition of programming. many stations use these restricted grants to purchase programming from n.p.r. these programming fees are the largest single source of n.p.r. revenue at $56 million in fiscal year 2010. second, h.r. 1076 prohibits station from using federal funds to pay n.p.r. dues. over 00 member stations paid a total of $2.8 million in dues to n.p.r. third, my bill prohibits direct federal funding of national
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public radio. for fiscal year 2010, n.p.r. received over $5 million in direct funding from the corporation for public broadcasting, departments of education and commerce, and the national endowment for the arts. these three sources of revenues i just described totaled about $64 million in fiscal year 2010. local public radio stations would not be able to use federal tax dollars under this bill to purchase content whether it's from n.p.r. or any other vendor. however under this bill a station could use other dollars for the payment of n.p.r. dues or the acquisition of programming. should this bill become law, the prohibition of funds would take effect immediately. but the real issue today is the proper role of the federal government with national public radio and whether government programs and services that can be funded privately should receive taxpayer dollars. we live in an age of digital radio, computerized digital streaming, commercial all news radio, and radio talk shows, many of which are also streamed
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on the internet or over satellite radio. these provide sources of news and opinion without federal taxpayer dollars. n.p.r. should do the same. with the national debt over $13 trillion, the government should simply not continue to fund nonessential services. and this bill is just one step. long before any firings, videos, and executive comments at n.p.r., i sponsored legislation in congress to pull the plug on taxpayer funding for the corporation for public broadcasting, n.p.r.'s parent company, as well as n.p.r. last year many of you will remember this issue came up as a youcut item and we voted in support of defunding. last month this house passed h.r. 1, within that bill the corporation for public broadcasting's unobligated funds for fiscal year 2011 would be rescinded. when you cupple h.r. 1 with this bill, h.r. 1076, we end
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taxpayers having to subsidize national public radio. i'm a strong believer in the free market. i would like to see n.p.r. rework its business model and compete for all its income. n.p.r. already receives a huge amount of funding from private individuals and organizations through donations and sponsorships. n.p.r. can and should be entirely supported with private sources. in my own state of colorado, colorado public radio received in fiscal year 2010 only 6% of its funding from the corporation for public broadcasting. now, according to this bill colorado public radio is still permitted to apply for and receive federal grants through the corporation for public broadcasting, but they cannot use federal money for the n.p.r. dues or purchasing of content. they could use the other 94% of their money to purchase program content. will this potentially require
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them to review and reprioritize where money is spent? i'm sure it will. but will it kill its programming? no way. according to n.p.r., federal funding to supplement operations amounts to less than 2% of its annual budget. some have said this congress should not bother with such a small amount of money. only in washington could anyone say $64 million is not worth saving. you have to start somewhere if you're truly serious about getting our fiscal house in order. if congress cannot make difficult decisions in the small areas, how can we even begin to tackle entitlements or other major programs? if we look at the video that has received so much attention, ron shuler amids n.p.r. would be better off without federal funding. there is no need for further debate. n.p.r. does not need taxpayer dollars. we can save a program or we can save our country. americans want washington to get serious about ending our
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overspending. if we can do that, the economy will get better and we'll have less unemployment and more jobs. mrs. blackburn: i yield an additional 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lamborn: to wrap up, like many americans i enjoy much of n.p.r.'s programming, but let it live on its own. it can do that simply by changing its business model. just take the taxpayer out of the equation. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from tennessee reserves the balance of her time. the gentlelady from california. ms. eshoo: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in fierce opposition to this bill which is going to adversely affect more than 34 million national public radio listeners through 900 local stations across our entire country. my republican colleagues have declared an emergency to rush
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this bill to the floor without any hearings whatsoever to examine the proposal. i think that's a bad way to do business. we have many emergencies to deal with in our country, but attacking and crippling n.p.r. is hardly an emergency. what the bill does, and it does it in a very sneaky backdoor way, what the bill does is it cuts off the use of all federal funding to n.p.r. by preventing any grants to it. it prevents any support to n.p.r. by the corporation for public broadcasting. and it prevents support to n.p.r. programming from public radio stations across the country. in other words, it cripples it, it hobbles it. which is really what the majority is seeking to do. this proposal is not going to do anything about reducing the
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deficit. the c.b.o. has weighed in. it doesn't cut any federal spending. in fact, the bill doesn't produce one penny in savings. what's very clear is what it does do. and it's really purposeful. and that is to hobble n.p.r., threatening 9,000 jobs at stations across the country. why? i think the motivations behind this effort are quite clear. they are rooted in an ideological view about what n.p.r. broadcasts. and it capitalizes on recent headlines involving ron shuler and ron williams. this attack on n.p.r. strikes at the core of a wide array of n.p.r. programming. that americans enjoy every single day all week long across the country. from the morning edition and to two of my favorites, "car talk"
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and "the world of agra." i acknowledge that our nation faces threats, but "car talk" is hardly one ever them. and neither is diane reams. silencing what some disagree with, make no mistake about it, is a threat to our democracy. a great democracy does not silence voices. we want many voices to the many. n.p.r. programming reaches more than 900 independently owned and operated stations across the country. from san francisco kqed, the most listened to public radio station in the country, with who are than 740,000 listeners iche week, to small rural stations -- listeners each week, to small rural stations, like the chairman of the subcommittee, in pendleton, oregon. these stations provide an important public service to the local community and people trust it and they enjoy it. they want it.
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they like it. this is national programming with local listenership. and n.p.r.'s listenership has increased unlike other stations by 72% over the last 10 years. in a recently national survey found, that's why i think this is an ill begotten proposal by the majority, you say you listen to the american people, i think you have to take the plugs out of your ears, a recent survey found almost 70% of all voters across the entire political spectrum oppose terminating the funding for public broadcasting, including 56% of republicans in the country. so i think it's time to stand up for n.p.r. i think that this is a phony emergency measure and i don't think n.p.r. deserves to be treated this way. i urge my colleagues to vote to preserve really what i think is
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a national treasure. that it provides in very tough times very clear and important news and information to instruct our country and listeners in local communities around our nation. and with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the gentlelady from tennessee. mrs. black blurn: -- mrs. blackburn: thank you, i yield one minute to the majority leader, the gentleman from virginia, mr. cantor. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cantor: i thank the speaker. i thank the gentlelady. mr. speaker, let as -- let's be honest and talk about what this bill is about. this bill is about making sure that we are spending taxpayer dollars the way that the people that earn them would spend it. and we saw as the gentlelady from california indicated, on
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video, executives at n.p.r. saying, that they don't need taxpayer dollars. so that's number one. that's out there. that was demonstrated for all of america to see. we are also in the process of making sure that washington begins to do what every american family and small businessperson is having to do right now. it's called tightening the belt. it's called trying to learn how to do more with less. . and inherently what that means is we got to start prioritizing the things that are important to the american people. the problem is we've seen n.p.r. and its programming often veer far from what most americans would like to see as far as the expenditure of their taxpayer dollars. that's the bottom line. nobody's on a rampage.
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nobody is trying to say that we don't like n.p.r. for n.p.r.'s sake. we've seen how they spend their money. it's time to prioritize. it's time to reflect the common sense of the american people, and that's why the bill takes the form that it does. it says that we've got to go, number one, listen to the executives at n.p.r. that says they don't need taxpayer funding. well, listen, we are all about looking for ways to cut right now and save on both sides of the aisle. we ought to take that advice for what it is. but we also know that n.p.r. takes its funding and benefits from taxpayer dollars through the payments of local stations across the country. so what we're saying by this bill, those stations are not going to be starved from corporation for public broadcasting grants, unlike the lady indicated. what they are going to be told
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is you are not going to be using those taxpayer dollars for programming because we've seen how n.p.r. has used that funding and the kind of funding that's been involved. we are trying to find commonality. our country is made up of much diversity with people of a lot of differing opinions. why should we allow taxpayer dollars to be used to advocate one ideology? why should we? we shouldn't. we should insist that our taxpayer dollars are prioritized and the people's interest of this country are honored. that's why i urge my colleagues to support this bill, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the gentlelady from california. ms. eshoo: mr. speaker, i'm
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pleased to yield to congresswoman doris matsui. the speaker pro tempore: for how long? ms. eshoo: for two minutes, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. matsui: thank you. i thank the gentlelady for yielding me time. mr. speaker, i rise in strong opposition to h.r. 1076. i can't believe what i'm hearing from the other side of the aisle. it's not a lefty hyped organization. this bill would prevent public radio stations from using -- from purchasing programs. mr. speaker, this would be a huge disruption to our national public radio system economy and most importantly the intellectual content and news that so many americans rely upon. according to a recent study, n.p.r.'s overall audience grew last year to over 27 million weekly listeners.
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that's over 60% overall since 2000. and this is when most other media markets or outlets are struggling. i was a former board chair of sacramento's local pbs tv station, and i was chairman of a tv station. however, i can attest to the value the national public broadcasting programming offers to my constituents. mr. speaker, thousands of my constituents rely on local n.p.r. stations to get their news, and this is a very diverse group. in fact, since this bill was introduced, i've received a significant number of calls from them voicing very strong support for our n.p.r. and very, very strong opposition to this legislation. one of my constituents told me that listening to n.p.r. makes him a more informed -- certainly more engaged citizen.
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moreover, this bill will not produce any savings for the taxpayer and will not reduce the deficit. to my constituents, it's a simple equation of value for money. and also, this is about jobs. we need to talk about jobs. public radio stations employ over 9,000 workers across the country, including 40 from sacramento. mr. speaker, these are jobs we cannot lose. i urge my colleagues to vote against this harmful legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentlelady from california reserves the balance of her time. the gentlelady from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. speaker. at this point i'd like to yield two minutes to one of our new freshman members, mr. crawford from arkansas, who is a broadcaster and brings that expertise to this chamber. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. crawford: thank you, mr.
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speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 1076. as a broadcaster shes i understand the -- i understand the freedom to express yourself but to do it on your own merit. i brought an idea to the marketplace to develop a radio news network. started with four stations and within four years was able to grow that with 50 stations serving five states. i did not ask for one single dime from the federal government. i think the freedom to succeed in this country needs to exist also with the freedom to fail. we have an open marketplace. we have an opportunity to sell advertising around the ideas that which express on the radio. i'm a success story in using the open marketplace with freedom to succeed. it also comes with the freedom to fail. earlier in the year or last year, rather, i started a radio station. a small venture. i populated that to staff with folks that were on unemployment. so i know what it means to create jobs. and certainly this is not about further burdening our taxpayer
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with support of an industry that is perfectly capable of supporting itself. and with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from tennessee reserves the balance of her time. the gentlelady from california. ms. eshoo: mr. speaker, i'd like to now call on mr. weiner from new york and also inquire how much time we have on this side, how much time is left. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california has 21 minutes remaining. the gentleman from new york is recognized for -- ms. eshoo: he's recognized for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: two minutes. mr. weiner: crisis averted, ladies and gentlemen. what a relief. what a relief. i'm glad we got the economy back going. i'm so glad we secured our nuclear power plants. so glad americans are back to work. we discovered a target we can all agree upon. it's these guys. this is a problem. it's clicking cadillac. -- it's click and clack.
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now, let's look at the record here. for one, they talk in that boston accent. "car talk." it's a car, congressmen. second, they talk about master cylinders. it's kinky. i am glad my republican friends are finally getting to the bottom of this. and then with all the giggling and snorting they do every weekend on their show, it's got to be some kind of a code. they're clearly talking to the russians or chinese with all that giggling and snorting. i am so relieved we had this emergency session that we waived the rules of the house that requires 72 hours so we can finally get these guys off my radio. click and clack. i know it. these guys are political. they make no sense about most of what they say. you know what, i'm glad we are not going to have to listen to them.
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i'm said the republicans said enough of click and clack. that's what they said in campaign 2010. it's a contract with america, get rid of click and clack. it's about time. the last thing we want is informative solutions to how we talk about cars and think about all the people they are going to put out of work. you know, your customer service. and the director of ethics. all of these guys that finally are going to be taken off the public peril, the republican party, no one can say they are not in touch. they get it. they understand where the american people are. the american people are not concerned about the economy around the world. they're staring at their radio station saying, get rid of click and clack. finally my republican friends are getting rid of them. kudos to you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time.
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the gentlelady from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentlelady from california. the chair will remind all persons in the gallery that they're here as guests of the house and that any manifestation of approval or disapproval of the proceedings is in violation of the rules of the house. the gentlelady from california. ms. eshoo: mr. speaker, i'd now like to yield two minutes to a highly respected member of the energy and commerce committee and the telecommunications and internet subcommittee, mr. mike doyle from pennsylvania. mr. doyle: how long are you yielding? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. doyle: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, today the house republicans want to eliminate funding for n.p.r. some because they think the government should not operate a new service and some because they think the reporting is biased. i believe they're wrong on both counts.
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public radio plays an important role in our communities as a source of news and inter-- entertainment. n.p.r. listeners are unaware of indisputable -- are aware of indisputable facts. even glen beck's website, the blaze, explains that the video is neither fair nor balanced, how it's basically a lie. and my colleagues should consider the fact that many n.p.r. programs have nothing to do with news or politics. where's the bias in "car talk"? there might be a bias between pintos or pacers but not a political bias. what about music broadcast? there might be a bias against wachovia but not platecal bias. even so, if this bill were simply to defund n.p.r.'s direct public contribution then at least it would only impact the organization with the alleged political bias which is
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again based on a lie. but this bill goes further. it hurts local public radio stations and tens of millions of listeners from across the country. if this bill is enacted, communities across the country will be denied programming that their residents want. whatever happened to the philosophy that more choice is better? my colleagues, this is bad public policy. this is a terrible bill. this is a terrible waste of our time. and i urge my colleagues to reject it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from california reserves the balance of her time. ms. eshoo: does the gentlewoman have speakers? mrs. blackburn: yes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. speaker. and i want to clear up what i think is probably a couple of misunderstandings that my colleagues have across the aisle. one of the things i think it's important for everyone in this chamber to realize, and i know
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some are -- want to make fun of the fact that we are here talking about $100 million, $92 million, $67 million, different funding that goes in and through n.p.r. mr. speaker, every single penny that comes from the taxpayer is important, and every single penny that we appropriate comes from those taxpayers, and we are charged with being good stewards of that money. changing the structure in which n.p.r. does their business. as mr. lamborn said, looking at this business model this is a step we can take to save those taxpayer dollars. this is a step that is going to change that business model and free n.p.r. now, contrary to what some across the aisle are saying,
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this doesn't take n.p.r. off the air. what this does is to say, n.p.r., you got to get out of the taxpayers' pocket because the taxpayer is not going to allow those taxpayer dollars to be sent to pay those n.p.r. dues and to buy that n.p.r. programming. now, another misconception that seems to be out there is about jobs. and saying that programming is going to be denied because these stations won't be able to use taxpayer money to acquire some of this government n.p.r. programming. let me tell you, what we're doing is empowering these local radio stations, and i hope, mr. speaker, that our colleagues understand this. we are turning to these local affiliates and saying, look, there are still going to be grants out there. you can create your own
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programming. this is a great jobs program for these local radio stations. this is telling them you don't have to buy programming you don't want and that your listeners don't really want to listen to. we are saying, get creative. get that american spirit back to work, just like mr. crawford was talking about, find a niche in your marketplace and create a program. you want to talk about the jobs that are created? every time you create a new radio show you've got a writer, an editor, a producer, a sound engineer, assistant engineer. you have postproduction to take place. you got a host. you got a call screener. you got a board operator. you got a research assistant working with that writer and working with that editor. you've got a sales and marketing teamworking. you've got advertisers that are looking. of course, n.p.r. call them
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sponsors. you have affiliate relation teams working and you have attorneys who are working on the intellectual property to make sure they protect that content. so i would just encourage my colleagues across the aisle to remember this is about freeing up those local radio stations. it is about getting n.p.r. out of the taxpayer pocket. it is making certain that we are good stewards of the taxpayer money, and i reserve the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california. ms. eshoo: i would just like to add something here. that is that one of the mantras of our friends on the other side of the aisle was, read the bill. if the gentlewoman from tennessee would read the bill, she would know that there's not one dime, not one cent that is saved in this bill. what this bill does, you can talk all you want about how much you love n.p.r., what you are
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doing is killing off the local station from being able to have the money to buy n.p.r.'s programming. so you are hurting local broadcastsing. i now would like to call on the distinguished woman from california from the santa barbara area, valued member of the committee, congresswoman lois capps. the speaker pro tempore: for how long? ms. eshoo: two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. mrs. capps: i thank the ranking member of the committee. mr. chairman, i rise in strong opposition to this effort to defund public radio. right now millions of americans tune in to n.p.r. stations across the country for one reason. the consistency of the high quality of its programming. in a world awash by off ill informed and sensationalist cable news and ever louder voices, public broadcasting provides thoughtful, evenhanded analysis of the issues of the day. and they do it every day.
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the bill before us seeks to end that. it is nothing more than an effort to cripple n.p.r. by crippling our local public radio stations. the bill would decimate local n.p.r. stations by restricting their ability to choose programming best suited to their community. in my district n.p.r. stations provide valuable international and domestic news. they bring all things considered, "morning edition" and "car talk" into our cars and living rooms. these stations also cover local news, concerts, and school events. they produce shows like "yours on the arts," "community calendar." the bill throws all that out of the window. n.p.r. reports and media coverage are consistency evenhanded driven by a high standard of journalistic ethics. they are not politically biased. they let the stories do the talking. apparently the public, tax paying public, likes that.
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according for the project in excellence and journalism, in the last year the television network audience slipped 3 1/2 minutes. newspapers down 5%. radio fell 6%. magazines down 9%. n.p.r.? up %. since 000, n.p.r. audience is up 58%. 5.7 million unique monthly visitors to the website, up more than five million. this is a reflection of the quality of its program and dedication to its mission. public broadcasting helps educate our society, celebrates the arts, education, respectful debate, and civil discourse. n.p.r. and the 900-plus local stations are a valuable resource for our country. i urge my colleagues to stand up for public broadcasting and oppose this legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california reserves the balance of her time. the gentlelady from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. speaker. i would like to take just a moment and since the previous
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speaker talked a little bit about n.p.r. and its listening audience. i would like to make certain that the record reflects a little bit about that listening audience. we know that more men than women listen to n.p.r. except for the classical music which is 48% female. baby boomers are a big part of their audience. we also know that n.p.r., according to their website, says that their audience is extraordinarily well educated, nearly 65% of all listeners have a bachelor's degree, compared to only a quarter of the u.s. population. we also know that they are wealthy listeners, mr. speaker. n.p.r. households tend to be more affluent than other households primarily as a result of their educational retainment. the medium household income of an n.p.r. news listener is about 86 -- $86,000, compared to the national average of about
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$55,000. we also know that when it comes to geography, more than 99% of the u.s. population has access to at least one n.p.r. station. when it comes to employment the majority of n.p.r. listeners, 63%, are employed full-time. mr. speaker, again i repeat the point. the object of this today is to get n.p.r. out of the taxpayers' pocket. it is time for us to do this. it is time for this structure to be changed. it is time for us to be good stewards and save the money of the american taxpayer. this is another step toward that goal. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the gentlelady from california. ms. eshoo: mr. speaker, i'd now
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like to recognize for two minutes congresswoman tammy baldwin from wisconsin, a valued member of the committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. baldwin: i thank the gentlelady. mr. speaker, i rise today in strong opposition to this bill which prohibits federal funding of national public radio. and the use of federal funds to acquire radio content. i'm incredibly disappointed in my republican colleagues for this needless attempt to cripple n.p.r. and threaten thousands of jobs in the public broadcasting community. without so much as a single hearing on the subject, this bill dissolves a vital public radio system dependent upon by millions of americans across the country. 27 million americans listen to n.p.r. each week. and back home in wisconsin nearly 450,000 people listen to wisconsin public radio weekly. over a three statewide network.
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in addition, 2.3 million visitors visited the wisconsin public radio website in 2010. those who listen to wisconsin public radio know how much there is to love. wisconsin public radio provides over nine hours each week day of interactive radio programming engaging wisconsin residents and experts from around the world in public policy, culture, arts, and educational discussions. and because wisconsin is largely a rural state, our citizens rely on over-the-air broadcasting more than almost any other state. this means that wisconsin audiences significantly rely on public radio. not only would this horrible bill rushed before us today cripple local radio stations and programming that we enjoy in wisconsin, it severely harms listeners access to national shows like morning edition, all
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things considered, this american life, a prairie home companion, and one of my personal favorites, what do you know, among many others. mr. speaker, the republican majority is clearly not interested in creating jobs or dealing seriously with the deficit. despite all of the talk, we are here today considering legislation that attacks public radio. i strongly oppose this bill and i strongly urge all of my colleagues to do so, too. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california reserves the balance of her time. the gentlelady from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i yield two minutes to the gentleman from iowa, mr. king. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. king: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentlelady from tennessee for yielding time. i come to the floor to rise in support of this bill. in that the -- the federal
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government has a few constitutional duties, and we seem to have taken on a lot of federal responsibilities. and as time goes on, every time we see a need, we think we have to tap into the taxpayers and create another government function. but this is not one of those functions that is an enumerated power of the united states congress. it is not something that we are compelled to do. it is something that we -- it is discretionary. we are in the operations of a time of austerity. a time when we see what's happened as a prelude to the american economy if we just look over to europe and places like, portugal, ireland, italy, greece, spain for example. that's the direction we are heading with our economy. and as we see this discretionary spending grow, along with our entitlements grow, and our economy contract, we also need to look at these items that are -- at our discretion as to whether or not to fund. and i think that the image that we have seen on the videos tells
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us something about the internal culture of n.p.r. and if you haven't seen the videos or if you have just seen a little text in there, that doesn't give you the real sense of what was going on in that conversation with mr. schiller at that table for two hours that day. if you look at the whole video, you'll see the cast and character and the content reflected the culture of n.p.r. in the same way in my view that the videos of acorn reflected accurately the actual internal culture of acorn. we shut off the funding to acorn for that reason. of all the data we put out on acorn, you couldn't be convinced to shut off the funding until you saw the reality of the video, and then we looked into planned parenthood, of all the data that was brought out here to the floor of the house, mr. speaker, and i compliment my friends for doing so, and all those who stood with him, still the american people didn't understand the real culture of planned parenthood until they saw the video.
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. of all the data we have seen, we still have not absorbed the real culture of n.p.r. until we saw the video of those two hours that day. and so i stand in support of this act and this resolution and i believe it's time for us to draw a line in our budget and cut this funding. i'll be voting to adopt the cutting of the funding as will my colleagues. i thank you very much. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from tennessee reserves the balance of her time of the the gentlelady from california. ms. eshoo: may i inquire how much time we have left on our side? the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california has 13 minutes remaining. the gentlelady from tennessee has 11 minutes. ms. eshoo: thank you. i now would like to call upon congressman ed markey. who i think possesses the broadest and deepest knowledge of telecommunications in the
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congress. the speaker pro tempore: how much time? ms. eshoo: two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. markey: i thank the gentlelady. in an era when edwardian drama is the only way to characterize the way in which cable news deals with the public affairs of our country, there is an owe kaycies of real news that begins with "morning edition" goes right through the day to "all things considered" which focuses on that most unusual of all subjects, hard news. that the american people can use to make judgments about the affairs of our country and the affairs of the world. it's an owe kaycies of information -- owe waycies -- oasis of information. "on point," other programs that
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raise the cultural level but serve as a place where people, 170 million americans, can go to get real information. now, what is this debate all about? it's really about an ancient an mossity which the republican -- animosity which the republican party has had to the very creation of n.p.r., through newt gingrich, through the early years of the 21st century, right up to today, where it's on a list of grievances which they have about this ability of n.p.r. to provide this news and information. that's what the debate's about. it's not -- you don't have to be dick tracy to figure out what this debate is all about. they have right from the very beginning of the creation of this network wanted to destroy it. and i think that they are going
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to run into a razor blade sharp edge reaction from the american public as they find that in place of "morning edition" and "car talk" and "all things considered" they want to move to radio silence. when the american people find out about that, they are going to be outraged. i would vote no and urge strongly a no vote for all members of this body. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california reserves the balance of her time. the gentlelady from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. speaker. i want address one thing. if this is not an ancient animosity -- i don't think i'm quite that old and i don't think you have to be dick tracy to figure out what this debate is about. it's about saving taxpayer money. we do not have a revenue problem in this town.
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we have a spending problem in this town. the federal government does not have the money to fund these programs. we are borrowing 42 cents out of every single dollar that we spend. we have to get the spending under control. we have to create an environment where the american people can get back to work, and we're talking about funding for n.p.r. i just gave the demographic. it is a wealthy, educated listening audience. if people want this programming, mr. speaker, they are going to be willing to pay for it. but the american taxpayer has said get n.p.r. out of our pocket. now, i pulled the sponsors for n.p.r., and i think my colleagues would be interested in this. when you go to the n.p.r. website and you start pulling the sponsors -- they don't sell advertising but they do have many sponsors. they have some sponsors that
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land in the $1 million-plus category. $1 million-plus. and then they list sponsors all the way down to $5,999. this is how wealthy the sponsorship base and the subscribership base is for them. it is time for us to remove the federal support system that they have relied on. they have told us they do not need the money. we need to cut the umbilical chord. we need to see what n.p.r. can do on their own and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the gentlelady from california. ms. eshoo: i yield two minutes to the dean of the house, mr. dingell from michigan.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. dingell: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. dingell: i thank the gentlelady from california for yielding me this time and i commend her for opposing this legislation. i rise in strenuous opposition to h.r. 1076. hastened to the floor in defiance of the commitments of the speaker and without any hearings or consideration by the committee on energy and commerce. no opportunity for the public to speak or be heard on what we're doing. the majority continues to force members of this body to waste time and energy of the house, a critical asset of this nation, on political witch-hunts with respect to health care and the environment. now we're adding public broadcasting to this list. public broadcasting is a national treasure. it provides us impartial, honest coverage of facts and news. it provides information not
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available elsewhere and, yes, it sheds a little bit of culture on our people, something that my republican colleagues find offensive. it has done so at very low cost to the public. with huge contributions from the people for the support of -- in support of this. this legislation is going to prohibit local stations like michigan radio in ann arbor and in your own districts and in your states from using public -- from using money from corporation of public broadcasting from producing any public radio programs. as regards to process, we are completely evading the processes and the commitments that are -- can be found in the rules and pronouncements of the leadership on the other side. and we are finally -- finding that the history of this, which goes back to the 1934
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communications act in the commerce committee has been grossly disregarded. some for regular order and so much for transparency that the majority made such a big fuss about at the beginning of this year. what's next? are we going to amend the endangered species act on the floor to declare an open season on the big bird or upon programs which educate our kids or which contribute to the advancement of our society? i urge my colleagues to oppose h.r. 1076. it's a bad bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the gentlelady from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california. ms. eshoo: i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, who is the chairman of the house caucus on public broadcasting. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. blumenauer: i thank the gentlelady.
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i want to make five basic points. number one, there are no savings to the taxpayer in this bill. it simply passes on higher costs and fewer choices to local stations. second, it's not going to stop n.p.r., which will go on in new york and los angeles and even portland, oregon. what it will cripple is what happens in smaller local stations around the country who rely on n.p.r. and other public broadcasting entities for their content. my good friend from tennessee just went through all the steps that are necessary to produce local content. that's complex and it's expensive. that's why they voluntarily buy "morning edition" or "prairie home companion" or "car talk." n.p.r. never said it didn't need the money. they're relying on a discredited video that was exposed by glen beck's website
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of all places. our friends should talk to the thousands of volunteers at home who rely upon public broadcasting resources to provide the content that americans love. reject this travesty. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentlelady from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. speaker. in response to this there are no savings, and may i point my colleague to a report on the corporation for public broadcasting, federal funding and issues. and i will be happy to submit this for the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. speaker. and reading from that n.p.r., incorporated which oversees the n.p.r. systems states that n.p.r. receives direct funding in the range of $1.5 million to $3 million from three federal agencies and the corporation for public broadcastinging. those are the national
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endoufment for the arts, department of commerce's -- endowment for the arts, department of commerce's department of public education. now, mr. speaker, what we're saying is you can't do that anymore. this is one of the steps that we have to take in order to straighten out this budgeting process. our country does not have the money to spend on this. n.p.r. does not need the money. they will not be able to get these grants. we will save those dollars. the american taxpayer has said, get your fiscal house in order. this is a step in that process. i know they don't like it, but you know what, this is something we can do. this is something we will do. this is something the american people want to make certain that we do so that we get this nation back on a firm, fiscal and sound fiscal policy.
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the day has come that the out-of-control federal spending has to stop. a good place to start is by taking n.p.r. out of the taxpayer pocket, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentlelady from california. ms. eshoo: mr. speaker, i'd like to yield one minute to the gentleman from rhode island, mr. cicilline. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cicilline: i thank the gentlelady from california. i rise in strong opposition to h.r. 1076, to defund national public radio. overwhelming rhode island constituents agree this legislation is no more than an ideological attack on public broadcasting. mass can raiding as a fiscal issue. -- masquerading as a fiscal issue. it is .003% of the national budget. this legislation will not reduce the deficit by a single penny.
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without as much of a hearing, this legislation undermines public broadcasting, assisting 3,400 americans turn to weekly and americans across the mittcal spectrum place high trust. these funding restrictions will devastate public radio, the economy of the public radio, it will harm local stations, it will inhibit their ability to get audiences, most importantly, their ability to continue to produce local programming. national public radio gives voice to the smallest communities in our country. i know the high quality that n.p.r. provides in rhode island and all across this country. it would also endanger 9,000 jobs at local public radio stations in communities across the country. i urge my colleagues to vote against this assault on the free exchange of ideas and instead support a democracy that continues to listen carefully to its people. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the gentlelady from tennessee.
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mrs. blackburn: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california. the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. eshoo: mr. speaker, i'm very pleased to yield a minute to the gentlewoman from new york, congresswoman nita lowey, who is one of the great advocates of public broadcasting in the congress. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. mrs. lowey: i thank the gentlelady. and, mr. speaker, i rise in strong opposition. 170 million americans use public media for vital news. 61% of voters who support deficit reduction also support funding for public broadcasting. yet, the assault on public broadcasting continues. when jobs and the economy should be our top priority. this outrageous bill would prohibit public radio stations from using funds from using any
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radio programming from any outside source. that means that your local radio stations may not be able to air quality programming. we were not sent here to silence "prairie home companion," "car talk." let's try to stop putting diane ream out of work and try to focus putting more americans back to work. reject this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentlelady from california reserves. the gentlelady from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from tennessee reserves. the gentlelady from california. ms. eshoo: mr. speaker, i'd like to yield a minute to the distinguished gentleman from connecticut, mr. larson, the chairman of the house democratic caucus. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. larson: i thank the gentlewoman and wish her a happy st. patrick's day. mr. speaker, there's a pattern what it amounts to an ideological purge. in wisconsin, under the guise
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of dealing with the deficit, they're taking away collective bargaining rights. in washington under the guise of dealing with the deficit they are cutting planned parenthood and taking away women's rights. under the guise of dealing with the deficit, they are planning to privatize social security and voucher medicare as if they had anything to do with causing the deficit and the problem we're in. and under the guise of saving taxpayers dollars, what they're doing is silencing n.p.r., not because it saves money but because it is not on the same ideological freak wednesdayy of the extreme -- free against -- frequency of the extreme right. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentlelady from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california. ms. eshoo: i yield to ms. woolsey. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. woolsey: the reaction to the plan is so be it. the reaction to an immoral afghanistan withdrawal is a shrug. but defunding national free programming, now, that's a national crisis. i figure they think if they can't catch bin laden then they ought to go after "prairie home companion." n.p.r. provides a vital function in a democracy. it's also twice as popular as the afghanistan war. and it supports 21,000 jobs. that's 21,000 jobs more than the republican agenda would create. vote against h.r. 1076.
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i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the gentlelady from california reserves. mrs. blackburn: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from tennessee reserves. the gentlelady from california. ms. eshoo: mr. speaker, i'd like to yield one minute to the gentleman from texas, mr. doggett. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. doggett: while republicans insist today that n.p.r. is a four-letter word, the real attack is on k.u.t. and similar public radio. texans rely on kut. the only biased on those who begin with "morning edition" is a biased for truth. my constituents turn to kut because they want fact-based, not fox-based coverage. like their continued assault on pbs, these republicans just can't tell the difference between big government and big bird.
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while they pander to wall street, they continue to want to terminate support on "sesame street." all things considered, their attack really has nothing to do with balancing the budget it is an ideological crusade against balanced news and educational programs. cutting access to public knowledge decreases our ability to hold our government accountable. don't weaken our democracy by weakening this vital source of reality-based journalism. don't cut kut, public radio serves the public's interest. i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: at this time i yield one minute to one of our freshmen members from the florida pan handle, mr. southerland. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. southerland: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. susterland: -- mr. susterland: we talk about big bird and that sounds
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wonderful. we had a couple of big bird in my family. we have four small children and they love big bird. i'll tell you this when the c.e.o. of "sesame street" is compensated, $956,000 in 2008 compensation, that's over double what the leader of the free world makes. think about that. $46,000 -- $956,000, when in the same year "sesame street" received $211 million in toy and consumer product sails. so -- sales. to stand here and say we have the luxury at this incredibly critical crisis moment in our deficit struggles that we have the luxury, the luxury of making sure that pbs can pay $632,000 in salary and the corporation for public broadcasting can pay its president and c.e.o.,
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$300,000 a piece, i mean, really. are we serious? are we serious? we can do better. we must do better. madam chair, i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from tennessee reserves the balance of her time. the gentlelady from california has three minutes remaining. the gentlelady from tennessee has six minutes remaining. ms. eshoo: did you say three minutes? the speaker pro tempore: correct. the gentlelady from california. ms. eshoo: at this time i'd like to yield one minute to the gentleman, great irishman, from virginia, mr. moran. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. moran: mr. speaker, national public radio has the strongest intellectual artistic and informational in-depth content of any radio network in this country. because its content is not compromised by corporate ownership. i love it, but i won't lose it. it's the rural stations that depend on n.p.r. for half their budget. they can't afford to lose this national asset, nor can the 36 million people who rely on
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emergency alerts from n.p.r. in times of crisis. the commercial market won't do that because there's no profit in it. nor can the visually and hearing impaired afford to lose the technology n.p.r. developed. this has nothing to do with the deficit. it's a fraction of our national debt. it jeopardizes 9,000 jobs and distracts us from solving the real problems that this nation faces by trying to destroy one of the primary sources of an entight lened -- enlightened electorate. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california reserves the balance of her time. the gentlelady from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. speaker. you know i think that this is one of those things that's what did he -- that's kind of what's wrong around here. don't do this, that's not much money. that's not much money. you know what, mr. speaker? it all adds up. and the american people have had it with the federal government spending money they do not have. with that i want to yield one
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minute to a wonderful new member who has joined us from dunn, north carolina, miss ehlers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. mrs. ellmers: this legislation would simply prohibit direct federal funds, taxpayer money, from being made available to the national public radio, or as we know it, n.p.r. and would prohibit public radio stations from using federal funds to pay for their n.p.r. dues. the bill would also prohibit public radio stations from using federal funds for the production or acquisition of programming. i want to be very clear. i am in support of the arts. however i do not believe that n.p.r. has the right to public funds from our hard-earned taxpayer dollars. when they receive plenty of funding from private sources. these prohibitions would not affect a local radio station's
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ability to use the federal funding for their operations or for the production of their own programming. n.p.r. already receives direct federal funding through the corporation of public broadcasting. the department of education, department of commerce, and the national endowment for the arts. they also get a considerable amount of money from local radio stations. why do they need more? thank you. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from tennessee reserves the balance of her time. the gentlelady from california. ms. eshoo: i would like to inquire how much time we have left. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california has two minutes remaining. the gentlelady from tennessee has 4 1/2 minutes remaining. ms. eshoo: how many speakers does the gentlelady from tennessee still have? mrs. blackburn: mr. speaker, once they finish their speakers, then i will close for our side. ms. eshoo: how many speakers do you have? mrs. blackburn: once they finish
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with their speakers ail -- i'll be ready to close. ms. eshoo: i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: i believe the gentlelady from tennessee is prepared to close. so the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. eshoo: i yield one minute to the gentleman, the brilliant, brilliant gentleman from new jersey, mr. holt. the speaker pro tempore: for how long? ms. eshoo: one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. holt: i thank the gentlelady. n.p.r. provides news and cultural enrichment. yes, enrichment that adds value to the lives of millions of americans. and it reaches into all parts of our country. even into that fact-free universe where the other side seems to be living saying that factual information is somehow a liberal thai ass. you know -- bias. we talk about the need for a well-informed public. just this morning we had a
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reminder of the benefits that n.p.r. brings to america. today there was a news report on the slow progress the u.s. army is making towards seeing that wounded soldiers get the purple hearts they deserve. the army's second in command remarked in this story that it was previous reporting by n.p.r. that was removing the confusion and misunderstanding that had prevented the serving soldiers from getting the purple heart recognition. this is good reporting. the other side seems to think that this is -- wait, wait, don't tell me. biased reporting. we need n.p.r. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california. has one minute remaining. ms. eshoo: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: is the gentlelady from tennessee prepared to close? mrs. blackburn: mr. speaker, once they have finished with all of their speakers, i will have the right to close on the bill. i continue to reserve our time
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until such time as they have exhausted their speakers. the speaker pro tempore: that is correct. the gentlelady from california has one minute remaining. ms. eshoo: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield one minute to the the gentlewoman from new york, mrs. maloney. mrs. maloney: mr. speaker, a study conducted by the center for international and security studies found that those who said they received most of their news from n.p.r. were only about 1/4 as likely to hold a demonstrably false belief about important issues relating to the iraq war, as those who primarily consume news from our colleagues' favorite news channels. a similar study conducted last year on mainly economic issues produced similar results. those who primarily listened to
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n.p.r. were considerably less likely to hold demonstrably false beliefs. so now our colleagues across the aisle want to pull the plug on n.p.r. one of the most accurate sources of demonstrably true news and information. our colleagues want to fire the messenger. this is not a move to create jobs or save money. this is a move to save face. at the expense of truth. and i believe that such a move comes at a price that we simply cannot afford to pay. this country needs n.p.r. vote against the republican bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlelady from tennessee is recognized. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself the balance of our time. i do think that our colleagues across the aisle are missing the points on this.
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we are responsible for making certain that this fiscal house gets in order. this is just another of those attempts. this is not about taking n.p.r. off the air. there's nothing here that says you will take n.p.r. off the air. what it simply says is if you are an affiliate station and you want to pay n.p.r. dues, you can't use taxpayer dollars. if you want to buy n.p.r. programming, you cannot use taxpayer dollars for that. the taxpayers want n.p.r. out of their pocket. now, there is plenty of popular programming out there, and if the listeners want to hear that, we are not trying to disenfranchise those listeners. indeed if listeners like the n.p.r., they can have -- that they have, they can keep it. but what we are saying is they need to raise the money for this. we went through the demographics for n.p.r. college educated 63% have
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full-time jobs. their average household income is upwards of $86,000 a year. they have a list of sponsors that give over $1 million a year to n.p.r. n.p.r. itself has said they do not need our taxpayer funding. so this is a place that we can go and save some money. to those that say it is a job killing program, may i remind you indeed to develop local programming, i articulated 17 different positions attached to creating even one radio show. and unlike some of my colleagues, mr. speaker, i fully believe there are talented people, talented writers an editors and programmers all across this great nation who would love to have a platform for the great ideas and the content that they would like to create. i want to encourage all of my colleagues to take a step in the
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right direction in getting our fiscal house in order. the time has come for us to claw back this money. the time has come for us to send a message. we need to get n.p.r. out of the taxpayers' pocket. i encourage a yes vote on h.r. later, remarks by president obama on japan. >> on tomorrows "road to the white house -- "washington
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journal" republican on the latest republican pending resolution. after that, the u.s. geological survey will talk about the earthquakes and other to lead hazards. it is like each morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern. general david petraeus and get connected on the war in afghanistan. he testified the capitol hill. live coverage at 9:80 a.m. eastern. >> this weekend on "road to the white house" on the economy, the downward of america and whether to run for the the public can -- for the republican nomination. >> tens of thousands are here.
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>> this sunday at 6:30 p.m. and 930 p m. >> president obama but with the irish prime minister today and did you traveled to ireland in may. their party won the parliamentary election in january. they emphasize cooperation between the u.s. and ireland. >> it is my great pleasure to welcome you. we are thrilled to have you
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here. we want to congratulate them on this. we obviously have the strongest possible relationship with ireland's. if the warrant in the affections -- the warmth and the affections, at the contacts between our two countries extends far beyond any policy issues. there is an incredible bond between our countries. there is something we want to affirm today. ireland will be bouncing back he shared with me his plans and his efforts to make sure that people are put back to work and
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ireland. he exudes confidence. i am sure we will be cooperating closely. in addition, island plays an important role. what to think him for the operations of for moving our troops into afghanistan. it is a testimony to ireland but it to us. ireland is more than afghanistan. it has great assistance. the cooperation. will continue to work on issues. remark of the fact that our the situation has proven to be
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stable. we are going to continue to pursue all the progress that has been made there. the state of the relationship is strong. this is a wonderful tradition. finally, i wanted to say that i expect to come to ireland in may. i am expecting to go not only to the famous sites but also go to marty carell or my great- grandfather hails from. joe biden wants to go first. my expectation is that i will be
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laying the groundwork for what i am sure will be more beneficial. thank you so much. >> it is a privilege to meet with you here. >> our message to the american people is that the new government is the strongest mandate in the history of the state. ireland is open for business. we continue to be open with the united states ga. we come bearing gifts as well.
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i will continue to be a very strong one. we will work with the authorities and political process. i have explained that this is for our new government. we are accepted in terms of the element. we were in dublin recently. we will work with our european colleagues. the union is still involved. i am thrilled to say that president obama has confirmed that he is coming to ireland. he follows a long line of those
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who have visited ireland. that the visit will be well received by the people of ireland. i hope you will enjoy the full experience. we appreciate the yet taken the time to do this. i can testify that this is another great day in our countries during a.
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presence will come in may. we will make sure that it is well received. if you want, i'll be very happy to participate. thank you so much. >> thank you. i will be making a statement later about japan. and not one to answer questions later. i will make a statement later. thank you very much. i will give you all the details. i do not have an exact date. thank you everyone. >> the treasury department
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inspector general for the troubled as a rebate program testified earlier about the tarp program. the government's financial assistance for banks, automakers, and in shares helped prevent the downturn. it may have cost them to believe that the government will offer more assistance in the future. this committee hearing is an hour 40 minutes. >> i would like to call to order this hearing. it is hard not to think that to the intensity.
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as they put it yesterday, it is now clear that although american has in toward the recession, it has a second great depression. they do not deserve all credit. it provided political support.
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he made another point in the report. t.a.r.p become one of the must scrutinize programs in u.s. history. every possible action carries regrettable consequences and even the best decisions. that said, the outcome of t.a.r.p. was much more successful than many anticipated. 8.5 million jobs. i believe the oversight was final. early estimates show that it cost taxpayers over $350 billion.
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thanks to the affected oversight, the price tag has plummeted as estimated by the congressional budget office. that is across the savings and loan crisis. taxpayers clearly when. today some still criticize them for the inability to help more home owners. though i work on how to improve the program, it will not make the program -- the problem go away. it has been helped. it is not a significant number.
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they have also paved the way. the american people deserve better. >> i am applying to many more. they improve the importance of tough oversight. i also believe they can be constructive as be worked through the foreclosure crisis.
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we consider performs to the system. before i recognize them for the statement, i want to know that his request will make it part of the record. i would also ask this. i will remind them that we will keep it open. with that, i will turn to the ranking member for his opening statement. >> thank you. in late 2008, paulson and bernanke came to congress
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demanding 700 billion. they insisted that they were on the verge of a worldwide financial meltdown. the scare tactics worked. congress passed legislation creating the troubled asset relief funds -- program, t.a.r.p.. i voted against t.a.r.p. i believed it was a serious policy mistake. it tells a very different story. the design was so flawed that it passed. the parishes and asset -- the purchase an asset that is difficult to plan.
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it is stabilize the financial system. the treasury purchase assets set to low a price. it could have threatened the solvency of institutions by forcing them to mark down the value of their assets to reflect the prices. it was a vote for a flawed plan. our equity markets failed as they sell our leaders panicky and recognize that tarp would not starve -- recognize that t.a.r.p. would not solve our problems. it is important what the chairman justed. testimony by the distinguished economist john taylor lays
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detail on how the process worsened our economic downturn. i appreciate your putting that into record. i feel the long term damage will be more damaging. t.a.r.p. turned are too big to fail problem and to official policy. they said that perhaps "tar t.a.r.p.'s legacy is associated with the continued existence of financial institutions that are too big to fail. this concerning was the fact that regulators accused its to keep insolvent banks afloat. after investors have every reason to expect that the u.s. government will not allow it to fail. even worse, the guarantee will
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make them careless about the risks they take. estimate the crisis more likely and severe. t.a.r.p. has created a moral hazard. by using it to bail out banks, our financial regulators were able to hide the regulatory failures. there were many leading up. going forward, they refuse instances. the work has little bearing and whether it fails. it is used to balop automakers.
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some say it is excess because they may yield the same. first claims of the flexibility are here. the taxpayer will feel estate losses on housing problems and financial institutions have yet to fully repay it. t.a.r.p. use taxpayer dollars for risky investments. returns us to properly object. the taxpayers for not adequately compensating the large risks. it has a long-term impact on the overall economy. on that basis, it has not been good for american families. the unemployment rate has reached record levels.
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lending remained stagnant. many are facing foreclosure. in light of the vast authority granted to the treasury, i believe this committee had a responsibility to conduct oversight of the program. the majority decided to outsource it. we will hear from three bodies charged by congress overseeing t.a.r.p. we hope to learn how treasury has measured t.a.r.p. and how successful they were in supervising treasury. what problems did they identify? how receptive was treasury to the recommendations? hopefully, today's hearing will
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help us better understand what actually happened in this controversial program. thank you. >> thank you. >> tell me about this. >> he heads the office of financial stability. he joined treasury in may 2009. he became the chief officer.
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it spread to the treasury. it is by a legal adviser. it was appointed by senate majority leader harry reid. he served decent until 2010.
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they were confirmed by the senate in december 8, 2008. they came into office. he was the federal prosecutor. he was a senior trout can sell -- counsel to headed the group. he has the applied research.
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it is stretched on university from 1977 to 1987. before we start, i want to note that the issue this yesterday. he announced the resignation. what to say a special word of thanks. >> thank you. >> thank you.
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i'm response will for overseeing the thing. it is two years since it has been created. it is clear that has been affected. we faced the very real risk of a second great depression. now we are on the road to recovery. we no longer feel it will fail. it is not a solution to all our problems. the worst of the storm has
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passed. the accomplices using much less money. congress authorized $700 billion. we will spend no more than 475 billion. the total cost was initially projected to be approximately $350 billion. according to latest estimates, the overall cost of tarp will be between 25 and $50 billion and most of that will represent the money we spent to help responsible american families keep their homes. based on current market prices, we expect that all the other tarp will result in very little cost to the american taxpayers.
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it is likely to be less than 1% of gdp. finally, our financial system is in much better shape today than before the crisis. banks are better capitalized and congress has adopted the most sweeping overhaul of a regulatory structure in generations. it will give us tools we did not have in the fall of 2008. this work has not been completed either, but great progress has been made. we have moved quickly to reduce the dependence of the financial system and emergency support. we've already recovered from banks an amount equal to 99% of the funds invested in the banking system. or this administration provided funds to particular companies, we did so with tough conditions.
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the companies are stronger today. we provided assistance to the automotive industry on the condition the fundamental changes occur correct our actions helped prevent the loss of as many 1 million jobs and helped restored the industry to profitability. we completed the public offering of general motors last november and we're working to accept our investment in chrysler as well. i want to address our efforts to help responsible homeowners. by reducing mortgage rates, our policies developed hundreds of thousands of families stay in their homes and it helped change the mortgage servicing industry. we've also done so any manner that uses taxpayer resources prudently. there is much more work to be done. programs we have can continue to ease the pain of this terrible crisis. that is why we oppose the efforts to terminate them. tarpons been suggested -- tarp
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has been subjected to unprecedented oversight. three representatives of three of those -- representatives of three of those entities hat -- are sitting with me today. we have adopted more than 120 of the recommendations great tarp has been subject to a vigorous congressional oversight. we welcome this oversight. it has helped us to develop, implement, and improve our tarp programs. mr. chairman, tarp succeeded in what it was designed to do. it helps stabilize the financial system. it did sell at a fraction of the expected costs. both political parties deserve credit for these achievements. congress enacted the program a time when the financial system was falling apart. leaders from both parties stood up and sit together and did what was best for this country.
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thank you for the opportunity to testify. i welcome your questions. >> thank you. >> thank you common chairman johnson. it is truly -- thank you, chairman johnson. is a privilege to offer my perspective on the tarp program. the congressional oversight panel is charged by lot of overseeing tarp. since our former chair testified before this committee in september to cut the nine, the panel has issued nearly 20 -- september 2009. executive compensation restrictions as well as reports on treasuries foreclosure prevention efforts. in total, the panel has offered 30 reports.
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the cattle will end on april 3, 2011. as we conclude our work, we should recall where america stood with the tarp was enacted. stock market in toward triple digit swings. the economy was hemorrhaging jobs. foreclosures were escalating with no end in sight. america was on course for a cataclysm that could have rivaled or surpassed the debt -- the great depression. america did not suffer another depression. tarp does not deserve full credit. it provided critical support in a time of great uncertainty. the projected costs have fallen sharply. the office now projects taxpayers will lose $25 million. it seems like a lot of money. down from the initial estimate of three did $56 billion. that is mindboggling.
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will there is no question that the tarp prescott wall street, its programs for main street have been far less effective. the foreclosure prevention program is now on track to help the were the 900,000. the failure to address foreclosures is one of the reasons why the costs are coming in so low. tarp will cost less than expected because of accomplished far less than envisioned for american homeowners. the tarp also distorted market, created a profound moral hazard and led to a deep stigma. policy-makers cares more about bailing out wall street than helping ordinary families. some degree of moral hazard was unavoidable. the treasury could have done more to rein in these problems. many senior managers of tarp was a big banks maintained their jobs and their high salaries and shareholders maintained significant ownership stakes.
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it looks as though wall street banks and bankers can retain their profits, but shift their losses to taxpayers during a bus. an arrangement that cannot help but undermine our free-market system. to very large financial institutions without to reveal how the money was being used. the transparency has improved dramatically and has improved dramatically since then. the public will never know to what purpose its money was put. i would like to say a few words about the importance of the oversight. the tarp has been pat one of the most thoroughly scrutinized
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government programs in history. oversight has improved the program and increased taxpayer'' returns. in july 2009, the panel reported the treasury's method for selling the rights purchased from park appeared to be recovering 66 cents -- 66% overestimated growth. the treasury changed its approach and recovered 103 cents on the dollar. all the substantial improvements, increased transparency of contacting, they're all parts of results by the panel and the oversight bodies. careful scrutiny is an indispensable step to preserving the public trust and insuring the effective use of taxpayers' money. thank you again the opportunity testify. i would be happy to answer any questions that you have.
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thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. barofsky? >> it is a privilege to appear in front of you once again. it is also a pleasure for me to be testifying alongside my oversight colleague. tarp has been an historic program in many respects one has been the unprecedented oversight assigned to this program by congress as embodied by the three representatives present here today. by working together closely and coordinating our activities, i believe that we have well served the american people. by making sure that we could cover the broadest coverage possible and insuring unprecedented transparency and
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accountability in the 13 programs that make up tarp. part of our focus has been on policing and investigating tarp related criminal activity. we have had a major impact. 52 different individuals and 18 different entities have been the subject of civil or criminal action. 18 defendants have already been convicted of tarp related fraud, including just yesterday a senior official from colonial bank. colonial had a received conditional approval for tarp funds. investigators stopped a massive ongoing accounting fraud dead in its tracks. all told, investigations have led to the recovery of funds and avoid a loss of fraud of more than $700 million. making sure that tarp will pay
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for itself. another example of the collected benefits. the tangible results in one of the pieces of good news from tarp below expectations of the financial costs of the program. my oversight colleague deserves credit for those lowering numbers, as does treasury for its efficient management. our approach to live and in losses has been focusing on lamenting the amount of losses from fraud. working the treasury to develop strong anti-fraud provisions within the program. the neighborhood of $50 billion. i am very proud to say today that we will come there -- no more close to that number.
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in no small part, thanks to the willingness of treasury and the federal reserve to work with sigtarp. i recall a conversation i had with secretary nightmare. after a somewhat heated discussion on another topic, he told me that he believed that sigtarp had scared away people from participating in the tarp program. strong and better program design has been instrumental. on a final note, today is likely my last time testifying before the u.s. senate as special inspector general. one of the initial times i was here before this committee, it
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was my confirmation hearing. ranking member shall be you gave me some advice. he told me this was a great opportunity and if i did my job well, i would never be able to work again. he thought it was a good thing. my wife disagrees. i am very happy to say that in this limited circumstance, senator, circumstances have proven you are wrong. i have been able to get a job. i'll be joining in new york university's school law as an adjunct professor and senior fellow. i think you -- i thank you all of the members of the committee for your strong unwavering continuous bipartisan support. we would not have been able to be close to achieve the successes we have had on behalf of the american taxpayer without support. i thank you. i thank you for the opportunity to testify. >> thank you, mr. barofsky.
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we will miss you. >> thank you, the chairman johnson. i am pleased to be here to do that. under a tarp, a broad range of activities have been initiated. providing assistance to the automobile at agency and aig and offering incentives to residential mortgages. as tarp passes its 30-month mark, markets appear to be less volatile than they were into a dozen 8 -- 2008. while many programs have ended, some institutions have been paid, the prospect of repayment
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of other institutions remain somewhat uncertain. some top programs have been terminated. others have closed and are winding down operations. several programs have focused on preserving homeownership and provide assistance to auto companies and aig remain active. the capital purchase program, a lot of that has been repaid. a $30.8 billion remain outstanding. one of the issues that we try to focus the treasury's attention on is that there are a number of institutions that are still in the capital purchase program to allow potential issues. almost 200 of them have mr. least 1 dividend payment. there are issues with some other give it -- other institutions that may not be as sound as they were thought to be. this means that they require
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continued monitoring. the program had a slow start, so far, it has not been some money. that is not necessarily a sign of success. there are issues going forward grade -- a report today that will look at the programs that go beyond the modification program. the foreclosure alternative program and the principal reduction program. there have been some movement and the right direction, but we still have some areas were treasury can improve those programs. the auto industry financing
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program has a balance of $44 billion. $29 billion has been repaid. the auto industry are doing much better than they were back in 2008. whether they will be able to repay the treasury investment, that is still up in the air. it will depend a lot on what share prices do. the ipo, the fact that they sold below their breakeven price means that the remaining shares will have to bring the a higher price to actually make the program break-even. the treasury has gone from 60% owner to a 33% owner. that is a good thing. it needs to make a lot of money in future sales to be able to make the program of break-even. aig has continued to receive assistance over the last year from an equity capital line.
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it has are paid $6.9 billion. this has reduced the treasury's balance to about $58.7 billion trade treasury bonds money to% of aig. -- the elegant. the treasury cones 92% of aig. a lot of uncertainty to that. let me point out that one of the recommendations we made in our most recent report issued in january is to try to focus treasury's attention on staffing going forward. it has been in very good shape in charge -- as far as stopping. are concerned that if the programs wind down, it may be harder and harder to retain staff. we think there is the need for them to update their workforce plan and take into account all the active -- alternative scenarios for retaining staff.
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i appreciate the opportunity to testify. i'm happy to answer any questions that you have. >> thank you. thank you for your testimony. as we begin questioning, we will have declared -- the clerk puts five minutes on the clock for each member's questions preyed he recently testified -- questions. if we should not repeal the program, how do we fix it? is one option to have treasury focus on the earlier part of the process? >> it is a fundamentally broken program. if it is going to be permitted
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to continue, the treasury needs to -- let out a plan on how to fix the program. there are a number of good ideas out there. you start with something that secretary geithner has a acknowledged. the very structure of the program is broken. this whole program is a voluntary program. it is designed by encouraging servicers to participate by making incentive payments. it is a carrot program were discipline would be provided, financial penalties. with secretary guide their acknowledging that the incentives are insufficient, not power enough to overcome the conflicts of interest and treasury's refusal to impose a
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single sanction, it is it really all that surprising that the program has been a failure? the place to start is let's address what secretary geithner acknowledged was a problem. the incentive structure, the lack of penalty on servicers who amce has been abysmal under the program paraded as a starting point. for those seeking to defend the existence of the program, one of the most basic pieces of information that you need to have is what is treasuries projection of how many people is going to help? i have been calling for this for more than a year. gao has been calling for this for more than a year. congressional oversight panel went so far as to give its own analysis and its own estimate. cbo has provided an estimate.
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they will not. those who are criticizing the program had every right to conclude is that the reason they will not provide a number, is that their projections may be so terrifying that they will not provide this level of transparency great to have an informed debate, treasury needs to be transparent about its expectations. not a total of offers the engine to make. how many people are going to be in sustained permanent modification. their failure to do so is inexplicable. and indefensible. >> do you agree that servicers should it reach out to homeowners sooner? should treasury explore creating a single point of contact so that borrowers know the to communicate with? >> we have raised
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recommendations and some of them have been implemented or partially implemented. there has been some improvement in that arena, but there is still work to be done. what we have been pushing for from the very beginning is performance standards. the particular performance standards for the services. we think the treasury needs to come up with the service standards and hold the servicers accountable and until they do that, we think some of the problems are going to continue to fester. >> what is your response to these suggestions? >> thank you, mr. chairman. on the issue of performance standards, that is precisely what we have done. let's remember that this is a
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crisis that was a decade in the making. for two years, nothing was done. when we launched this program, no modifications were occurring. we launched the program on a voluntary basis. in terms of performance standards, we have forced the servicers to do a lot of things they were not doing. that includes a whole range of our were protection. -- borrower protection. we stop that. we put in other borrower protection as well. there is a need for national service in standards. this is a servicing model that was set up to collect payments on performing loans. it was not equipped to deal with this crisis. far more is needed to fix that. the regulators are now paying attention to it, the conservative of the gst is
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paying attention to it, i think we will see it. secondly, it is very difficult to make estimates as to how many we will ultimately serve. the cost of this program is directly related to how many we serve. it is not a matter that we will spend the same amount of money regardless. we publish reams of information about this program, including how many people were reaching every month. permanent modifications, trial modifications, how many auletta that, how many read default. everybody can see how this program is doing great -- is doing it. this is a very difficult housing market to fix. this program is the least helping fix it. it is not enough, but it needs to be continued. >> senator shelby?
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>> i want to thank you for a great job that you have done as inspector general. i remember when you were up for confirmation and i told you that i hope that you would do something very good for the american people and that he would stand up for the american people, and you have. i am glad that you are -- my reference was that you did not need to be employed by some of the people you're going after. they would never hire you anyway, thank god. you will leave that post with a lot of thanks from the american people for the job you have done and you will always do well. i know that. i would like to ask you a couple questions. in written testimony, you states, unfortunately, tarps most significant legacy may be
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the exacerbation of the problems posed by too big to fail. you go on to " secretary brightener -- you go onto " secretary dieter and which he states that in the future, the federal government may have to do exceptional things. if we face a large -- in your view, do financial markets still believe that the federal government will not allow big banks to fail? >> thank you for your comments. i really do appreciate them. they mean a lot to me and my family. absolutely, the financial markets believe more than ever that the united states government will step in and save the too big to fail institutions should there be another financial shock. >> isn't that what helped bring about the gse's where they are
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today? >> it is merely the identical toxic cocktail of guarantees and market distortions that too big to fail banks have today. yes. >> i just want to read them into the record. this is on page 6 in your testimony. regardless of whether all the required regulations are properly calibrated and fully implemented, the ultimate success depends on a certain degree on market perception. the act is clearly not -- reflecting on secretary geithner's candid assessment of the likely limits in the events of another full-blown financial crisis. but largest institutions continued to enjoy access to cheaper credit based on the
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existence of this government guarantee against failure. they recently reinforced this a vivid and bandage for those institutions. in january of this year, s&p announced its intention to make permanent the prospect of government support as a factor in determining a bank's credit rating, a radical change from pre-tarp practice. this pattern of the banking to repeat itself in some fashion regardless of the government's recent emergency policy response. moody's stated that it believes that the proposed resolution regime will not work as planned, opposing a contagion risk that most likely will force the government to support -- to supply support.
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i want to quote a former secretary of the treasury, lawrence summers. a healthy financial system cannot be built on expectation of bailouts. do you disagree with that? >> no, i do not. >> thank you for that. in october 2010, in an editorial, secretary geithner stated that tarp is over. the tarp specter -- although no new tarp funds may be obligated, a $59.7 billion remained obligated and available to be spent.
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do you have differences with those figures? >> thank you, senator. with the secretary was referring to was the purchase of 40, the authority to make new commitments under tarp, expired. we do still have about $150 billion in investments outstanding. we do still have commitments with respect to warehousing programs. -- to our housing programs. i would also like to respond to the too big to fail issue if he would let me. would that be all right? >> absolutely. >> i share your concern about the issue. we have to have the financial system where companies fail. >> the two big to fail doctrine is a flawed doctrine from the
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beginning, is it not? >> it is an unfortunate doctrine, that is for sure. create the problem. we needed tarp because we did not have the tools to fix it. i think that dodd-frank has given us tools to fix it. >> to current members and one former member of the congressional oversight panel explained by tarp was not a win for taxpayers. they criticize the it ministrations claim that tarp was successful because the money may be reclaimed. the focus on repayment of tarp is deceptive because it fails to consider the huge taxpayer cost from non start programs that directly and indirectly enable many of the large banks to repay their tarp funds. they led several programs that provide significant aid to
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banks, including the federal reserve's purchase of $1 trillion guaranteed, treasuries, $150 billion, and other fdic programs. do you disagree with that conclusion? >> i think is important to view tarp in the context of the broader scope of the government's response to the financial crisis. it's a lie, we published a comprehensive overview of all those prep -- in july, we published a comprehensive overview of all of those programs. our job here is to focus on the tarp, but it does not exist in isolation. indian count -- any accounting would have to include those other things. we always did try to put it in context. >> thank you.
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>> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i was listening closely to the recollections of those and -- of you and the ranking member. i was also there. what i recall was palpable fear that we run on the cusp of a significant financial collapse, that the tools available had been exhausted and that we needed assistance. in the context of allegis laid -- legislative debate, with cropped something -- we crafted something equity injections which has proven to at least stabilized the situation.
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it has avoided a significant financial deterioration, which would still be putting us. -- plaguing us. you have done a remarkable work. you of in a thoughtful, but your independence and your integrity and commitment has been so clear. it has been inspiring. but aside too big to fail and all those discussions, if we had not acted decisively, where will we be today? but you have a sense of the magnitude of what we were facing? >> i can best reports on the extensive work we have done that in interviewing all of the major participants. we were on the brink of a cataclysmic failure. this was a very significant
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crisis that we had not seen since the great depression. there was a sense of widespread panic among regulators. the reaction was, just not -- the federal reserve's programs, the trillions of dollars door from of the situation. that that really reflects the deep level of panic that was built by the regulators and the market participants. >> having done all this work, that reaction was not a rational given what they were seeing in the marketplace? brenda, -- frankly, the very tentative response in the 1920's and 1930's to an international crisis prompted him and others to say, this is the only way we
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can do it. they were very clear about this fallout. >> there is no doubt that financial crisis are psychological. that fear was universal and widely held. one of the things that the correctional oversight panel really hits the nail right on the head is that to while we do believe that tarp was a very important component of common market, it is impossible to say, which one of the marietta programs was responsible for help, and the market eventually? we believe that the broad statement by secretary paulson and later by secretary geithner air, that they would not let these large financial institutions fail. they have the tarp funds to back it up. it costs a lot of the problems
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that you were discussing about moral hazard, it was instrumental in common the market and avoiding the that cataclysmic potential second great depression. >> i also want to thank senator kaufman. it was one page, an outline. we did some things that gave them the flexibility to respond, but also went after -- we insisted that there be warrant provisions. i knew that if the wall street investment bank was going to do this, they would take preferred stock with a very preferential rate of return, they would also insist on warrants.
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those warrants, the right to buy their stock at a fixed price, as they improved, we got a second pay back, which is about $8.6 billion. it might be seen as a pure transfer from the improving banks. can you comment on that? >> thank you, senator. thank you for your push for that provision. it was very important and you are absolutely right on your figures. we have recovered about $9 billion from the warrants because we had a recent repurchase this week. that is from about 15 or 20 auctions as well as 45 repurchases. we stuck more positions that we will sell over time.
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>> a quick comment -- this issue of moral hazard is not unique to this time and this place in financial history. anytime a government provides support, we do it through the deposit insurance fund. it has proven to be very effective. one of the reasons it has been effective is that it has been very well regulated. if we accurately and aggressively and with the resources regulate that, we will do a lot to avoid a potential crisis.
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>> it is really quite extraordinary. there is a consensus. there was a solid consensus that tarp stopped what could've been a very bad situation. moral hazard was one decision -- the moral hazard part and you see it now in terms of the rating agencies, if you're running an organization and you know that this is positive on this is-any of the cut that- section off, there is no price to be paid. the higher the risk, the higher the return. you just go for the moon. if you fail, the taxpayers are
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there to get you out. this is not some theoretical economic business school analysis. the real concern is the rating agencies are saying they believed that there are firms that are too big to fail. a very big firms that are too big to fail. >> the chairman has been very gracious, thank you. >> thank you very much. this is directed to mr. barofsky. i am not certain. i am troubled by the long time assertion that the success of tarp was determined by the return of taxpayer dollars. as if that is the criteria in which we can judge the success or failure. i am troubled by that because i think it fails to take into
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account other consequences, even if all the money is repaid to the treasury, there were consequences of tarp not accounted for. i think of things in your testimony about large institutions continuing to enjoy it access to cheaper credit. there is a consequence to that. my small community bank in kansas has a consequence to that occurrence. when you couple that with dodd- frank and increasing regulation. larger institutions have cheaper access to credit and a better ability to spread the cost of additional regulation among the larger economy to scale. my smaller banks are disadvantaged. congress responded by providing money to large institutions. there is a consequence in places like kansas for community banks.
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if the criteria -- we still to take accounts other consequences of this legislation. it fails to take into account, was there a better way to do it than we did? could there be a greater return? i have heard several talk about -- the savings and loan bail out. that was the criterion which we are judging success today. this is better, we will lose less money than we did them. i wonder about -- was that not a better example where we were able to reap return and prohibit investors from getting a return as well? one of the things that is a consequence of tarp is that those invested in these
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constitute -- institutions, they were held a lot less accountable for their investments than continental? my question is a broad one. i am not satisfied when i hear that just because the money has been repaid, this was a good idea. >> nor should he be. the tunnel vision of mission accomplished ignores the important non-financial costs of tarp. they are just as important and may prove to be more important. of the moral hazard, the legacy of too big to fail that tarp has left. it is done real harm to governments -- it includes the failure of tarp to meet its very important main street goals as well as wall street deals --
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wall street bulls. -- gaols. -- goals. this is not a simple black and white answer. it is a much deeper issue. >> when you originally talked about it, you talked about $356 billion. 80% of the news articles talk about tarp and talk about the $700 billion. i totally agree with what he said. there -- the thing that is amazing is that 60% of americans think we lost it all. 60% think we've lost all $700 billion. spending a little bit of time
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saying, okay, we have a problem here. and this is part of a big thing. all the questions are legitimate concerns. we did not lose $70 billion. 25 to $50 billion is a lot of money. the yacht -- that is an important point to make. >> thank you. is there any analysis by those of you have done oversights in regard to was there a better way to do it? was there a greater opportunity for return? >> we have 30 reports that you can take a look at. we have a final reports and you can look at how to do it. we do not write the rules. we start with the basic premise
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that congress has passed a law and we have oversight. if you go back and read the reports, a rich area to say, without the panic, without the concern, could we have done this a little differently? there is a lot of meat in the study reports. >> only a former senator would attribute the responsibility back to congress. [laughter] >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to welcome all of you here today. thank you for your testimony. senator kaufman, it is certainly a pleasure to see you again. you added some much to the work that has taken place. thank you for your oversights. i am thrilled to hear that you will be back at duke university
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doing your good work. it is great to see you again. one of the things that you talked about in your testimony is the reference to the higher funds for our smaller community banks. the smaller community banks in north carolina consistently are very concerned about their capital requirements, the regulation, their inability to do so much of the lending they have done in the past. it has so adversely affected so many of the smaller communities where these banks have been the mainstay. one of my concerns is what can we be doing in congress to reverse this trend? i am talking primarily about the higher costs of funds that you mentioned. to ensure that we maintain a by its network of community banks in our main street communities.
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>> mixture we do not have too big to fail. it is difficult -- make sure we do not have too big to fail. the key thing is that we have to get away from this too big to fail. it is bad in some many different ways. there is a lot of things and dodd-frank. look at our small banks right now. it is interesting to find out how many small banks are now in commercial real estate. why are small banks in commercial real estate? the big banks, and i can do all the other services that they use to do. they can do it at a much lower price because of the advantages that they have. are really do think -- they hang
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together. you have these major banks that feel like they can -- they are too big to fail. i think it is up to congress and up to the treasury and not to the other regulators to make sure that the dodd-frank provisions are in there. make sure that we do not have too big to fail. how will they survive when they have these giant coming to town with low interest rates? it is very difficult. unless you go into things like commercial real estate. and now you see what happens. it makes them -- it makes it tough for them to make money. >> thank you, senator. we agree very strongly that we
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have to have a thriving community bank industry in this country with the obama administration took office, we did not provide any additional funds to the largest banks in the country. we provided funds to about 400 very small banks. i agree with decisions they made. they were necessary to prevent a collapse of our system. but we have tried to work with the smaller banks. i also point out that while we have had some weakness in that sector, those banks are getting stronger and those banks that took the tarp money overall in a much better place than the industry average. the task now is to implement the tools under dodd-frank. you have to distinguish between what you have to do in a crisis and what you do to look at what were the causes of the fire?
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how do we prevent this from happening again? >> it appears that some of the smaller banks are having trouble paying some of the tarp money back. are we setting them up by continuing to ask them to pay a higher rate? >> that is a very good question. they are not obligated to pay it. they have to have the approval of the regulators in order to pay it. as a result, many of the regulators have said, you should not pay this. you need to conserve your capital. that is fine with us. we do have a number of banks to have not been paying their dividend, but we look at the rate at which banks better in the program are paying dividends on preferred stock versus those outside the program, to the extent there is data, what we found was 11% of the banks in the program were not able to pay the dividend.
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>> i wanted to return to -- i know several of you have talked about how this has not been operating the way you would of liked it too. mr. barofsky, could you speak about the changes going forward to helping homeowners? >> the important thing is there has to be initially and acknowledgement from treasury that this program is failing. the cessation of continuing to defend the status quo -- >> going forward, what can we be doing? >> i would say, you start with the reassessing the incentive structure and the penalty structure. if the current system is not working, revisit that structure.
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we have made other recommendations as well. recommendations regarding principal reduction, which appears to not be working. increasing transparency. there are a number of things. ao, there is a whole list of recommendations. >> senator kaufman, do you have any comments? >> the program is over. the reality of the situation is bad -- is across the table from each other and then modify a lung. that is pretty simple. now they have the servicers in there. there are two really big elephants and the room. -- in the room.
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the servicers are these third parties. they are the big banks. you have a conflict of interest, if you are a first servicer on a bank and you have a second lien on a mortgage, and the first mortgages was someone else, do you want to modify the first mortgage? when he modified that first mortgage, your second lien goes to zero. those aren't too gigantic conflicts. treasury -- those are too gigantic complex. the whole thing was designed for our subprime problems. it became quickly a prime problem. it is trying to catch up with all the different things.
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we've had four reports on it. we have identified with the changes are. it has to be a program that recognizes the realities of what happened. >> thank you, senator. i think we have implemented most of the specific suggestions that have been made by the oversight bodies with respect to the program. as far as the basic structure, that is determined by a lot and the powers that we had. it had to be voluntary program. i do not think it is a matter of acknowledging that is failing. i did not consider the fact we've got 600,000 people and to permit modification or the fact that we have helped another 1.4 million at least get some breathing room to a temporary modification, many of them went on to get other forms of modification outside of our program. or the fact that this program has resulted in significant changes in the industry is a
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failure. we have gotten about another 40,000 families. that is not enough and we need to do more. one of the things we have done in response to the congressional oversight panel's suggestion was that we did implement programs that addressed unemployment and falling house prices, we set up a hardest-hit program. we're sending money to a number of states hardest-hit, including north carolina. those programs take time to ramp up. the important thing is to keep at it. this is a crisis that ticket long time to develop, so it is not going to be fixed overnight. >> mr. barofsky, can you
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elaborate about the program and which you advise us to do what it -- with the penalties? >> the numbers are potentially misleading. there may have been 40,000 initial permit modifications, but is that a next number? how many of those have dropped out? 1.4 million people -- it demeans the real harm that many of those people who got failed trial modifications have suffered. it has been documented time and time again. >> can you come up with some examples of penalties? >> one place where we can start is by treasury living up to its commitment that it made in late 2009 about imposing financial penalties by withholding
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payments to mortgage services under the terms of their agreement. this is what they said. recently, treasury has been saying, we do not have that ability. we did not give ourselves the ability to post financial penalties for failure in conduct. we sent a letter and we asked them to detail to us what the changes in their legal position. so far, they have ignored that. going back to the agreement and trying to withhold payment and impose -- that would be the easiest thing to do with work within the contract if it is as they suggest ambiguous, try it. let's go to court. let's have servicers sued treasury under the idea that they are allowed to willfully and violates the terms of their agreement with the consequences. i think that is a good starting
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point. in congress, as far as financial penalties, is encouraging -- if he believes that he does not have the necessary tools under these agreements, he should tell you what tools he needs in order to compel servicers to abide by the terms of their agreement. tell them what tools they need. >> i am happy to respond. >> there is always more that can be done. this is an industry that was not working. >> we have not changed our legal position. we cannot impose fines and penalties in the manner of a letter later wed


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