tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN August 4, 2011 1:00pm-4:59pm EDT
effect of the economy but it's to indicate that this is a function of the economic pulling of the united states and push-out of mexico coupled with the enforcement posture we have on the border. the second point in terms of this paradox of people who live on the border know that it's more secure than ever can be confirmed by simply talking to every mayor or community leader from the san diego to brownsville, including the mayor of tucson and the mayor of nogales, arizona, and they will confirm what the f.b.i. crime statistics confirm, which is that the crime late is low for the border connies than it's been in the last 30 years and that in fact four of the 10 safest cities in the united states are in border states, including san diego, phoenix, austin, texas, and el paso.
el paso, having very few murders actually sits a river away from juarez. arguably the bloodiest city in the western hemisphere. these are facts that we need to actually make a part of the calculus as we go forward. >> thank you. i'm going to just ask you one more question and then get your questions ready because we'll open it up for you all to present your questions to the panelists. but there's this -- i mentioned it in my opening remarks and you mentioned it, too, that it was something that was unanticipated was the border safety challenge. there have been some unintended consequences of this effort. there's been a lot of unintended consequences as there are with any kind of major transformational effort along these lines, one has been driving migrants into
increasingly dangerous areas and that has led to unfortunately over the last 15 years 5,000 people having died in the desert which we can know because you guys have helped make a deliberate effort to quantify that tragedy. but also it is really increased the costs for people to come, which is one of the goals obviously of making it more challenging to enter the united states. but there is something different because it's not -- now you're not just paying a coyotes -- a coyote the standard smuggling fee to help you kind of find the route that is the safest, many of those smugglers now are under the auspices, albeit maybe loosely or generally, of the drug cartels and the drug cartels are and do have their hand in basically all of the smuggling operations along the southern border. and it seems to me that now
you've got these economic migrants who have been coming, many for generations, coming for a singular purpose of trying to find a job and working and we've deliberately tried to end that practice, understandably and justifiably, but now they have been funneled in to some extent into the orbit of these much more violent, much more nefarious and ruthless, frankly, criminal syndicates and i'm wondering how that affects the -- you know, your mission and the challenges that now everyone is kind of -- there aren't any more kind of separate strains of migration, they're being funneled into one or one superstrain. >> the first response is to continue what was started many years ago with the creation of the safety programs. the loss of 5,000 migrants is a
tragic consequence of this transformation. for every migrant who has died in the desert, the border patrol itself has saved two or three or four, depending on the particular year. most of the operations, for example, we have going on in arizona now, in the height of the desert summer, actually are patrolling for those migrants who have been abandoned by coyotes in the desert. the second point relates to the organized dimensions of the smuggling. in 1993 most of the people being prosecuted for alien smuggling were mom and pop operations. people who were crossing one or two or three people across the border in a loosely, very loosely organized way. as a result of the enforcement effort, you cannot cross into the united states now without
enlisting and paying for smuggler and the fee for smuggling has gone up to no less than $3,000 apiece which has led to the involvement of organized criminal syndicates in mexico in this activity. that requires that we actually attack the organized criminal elements and prosecute the coyotes in very concerted ways and that is a major focus. all of the tragedies that we now read about in which large numbers of migrants, many of them other than mexican, are being killed, extorted on their way north is one of the consequences we address and i think is being addressed in the overall approach to supporting
mecks dough's -- mexico's struggle against organized crime. we need to stand by with that effort, we need to remember that it took us 30 years in the united states to beat the mafia and that it's going to take the confronting and overcoming organized crime in mexico isn't going to happen overnight but it is a -- what's important is the commitment of mexican society to do that, much as it was on the american side. but the involvement of organized crime in migrant smuggling or at least controlling the plazas and the corridors through which they operate is a new feature and a consequence of the heightened enforcement. >> this is what happens in law enforcement. i mean, this is again not anything unique to this area. but it doesn't have to be that
way. it will continue to be this way, the price will be driven up, the more effective the border patrol is, the more there will be criminality, the more -- as long as there is a demand to come to the united states, but if you have a broader policy response to illegal immigration that obviously takes away that incentive if you create legal pathways for people to come here to work. now, you know, that's not an imperative right now with this job market but it is a change that needs to happen. and it seems to me that the really most important lesson out of everything that we've said certainly is a lesson when i left that i had to draw, we were totally swimming upstream against the economy, for all the investments that were made, for all that we had done, for all that the apprehension numbers did what alan said in terms of the peak, etc., etc., the size of the unauthorized population in this country grew by at least a half a million a year because we were living in the longest sustained period of
job growth and productivity in our history since world war ii. so, you have to do border patrol, you must do border enforcement as part of the immigration equation. it is necessary but it is not sufficient. it's got to be part of a broader response. >> brilliantly said, thank you very much. perfect way, i think, for us to conclude our initial discussion here and now i'd like to open it up to questions from the audience. do you want to -- billy's going to bring around -- if you could introduce yourself and tell us where you're from. >> hi, i'm penny star and this is for the commissioner. i want to ask you about -- to expand a little bit on the no more voluntary returns because this has been one of the options for many, many years, could you maybe tell me how many, and also, how does that relate to the attorney generals in different states that seem to, according to congressional testimony from law enforcement, have a lot of leeway on the
decisions they make as far as prosecuting cases after arrests? >> i'll speak first as a former prosecutor. and this is true throughout the criminal justice system. the job of the police is to arrest law violators, it's the job of the prosecutor to determine who should be introduced into the criminal justice system and sanctioned because you cannot accommodate the numbers so that when 565,000 people were being arrested in san diego in 1993 you could not have prosecuted all of those individuals. so what we did once we had the ability to track who it was we were arresting, we prosecuted criminal aliens, those who had committed serious felonies and recrossed into the united states. but for the most of the history of border enforcement, the
pattern has been to voluntarily return people because of the inability to find the appropriate sanction. that's why this is so significant, to be able to identify the history of the crossing and the violator so that you begin to make a judgment about how to deter that person from crossing back. we still use the criminal justice system to streamline prosecutions but the criminal justice system, even in arizona where we are doing 70-plus a day in cooperation with the u.s. attorney, wouldn't account for now we're arresting 200, in the past we were arresting 3,200 a day, you could not prosecute all. so we've developed a whole series of other consequences that involve either a brief detention and then a transporting the person and releasing them at a far different place on the border
or flying them into mexico under a program with the mexican government. the intent in each case is to separate the migrant, create a degree of difficulty but separate the migrant from the smuggler with whom he or she has been working by not simply returning the person over the border so that they can try again the next day. this exercise of discretion becomes a lot more informed when you know the history of the violator you're dealing with. >> [inaudible]. >> we have limited the -- in arizona we have limited voluntary returns to juveniles, unaccompanied minors who were handled in a special way and with humanitarian cases that arise and then there has to be a special reason why that person would not be put in a consequence program. let's say an important new dimension of deterrence and we're beginning to see a
deterrent effect in it terms of who tries to cross again and where they try to cross. >> can we get our next question? billy, right here. >> we don't have an axe to grind in this but we always are confused by the numbers. i'd like to hear if i could of some projections of how many people are crossing legally, so moving beyond the arrests and beyond the apprehensions, and isn't it true that some of the pushback on some of these efforts is that people are coming through legally but using better forms of false identification, etc.? we know that there's a lot of groups now that are putting out some really, really excellent false i.d.'s and how will the u.s.-mexican trucking, you
know, agreement now affect this in terms of trucks passing through the boards? do you expect that to further complicate this? >> so the first point in terms of legal entries into the united states, independent of those who are fraudulently entering, is every day c.b.p. officers process one million people a day at our airports, seaports and landports. this is the large -- the vast, vast overwhelm magazine jort of people entering this country -- majority of people entering this country enter legally. the problem with fraudulent documents is much less serious than it used to be. still serious -- where you have a highly forged document but years ago there were hundreds of documents that people used to get in fraudulently and ever since the western hemisphere
travel cog which limits to a certain approved ways of entering the country from mexico and canada, actually the problem of false documentation is still there, to be sure, but much more manageable than it was in the past. with regard to the trucking, i think the ending over time and the -- i think the careful way in which after the president's decision was made will be a big plus to the economy of north america and the united states in particular. and i don't think we'll contribute -- it will contribute to the illegal migration problem in any significant way because of the checks that are ordinarily in place on all trucks that come into the united states, remembering that again, as a national matter we have 60,000
containers coming into the united states, 20 -- 27,000 trucks a day coming into the united states and we have in place the mechanisms and the protocols to inspect them. >> right behind. >> thank you. my name is jose diaz from mexico. this is a question for commissioner bersin. i would love if you can comment on narcotics slows into the u.s. throughout this buildup. i understand that this is mostly on immigration but it would be helpful to know whether the narcotics issues at the border have grown or have had to increase during this buildup? and specifically i would like to ask you about elite document by c.b.p. regarding the kingpin tragedy followed by president calderon not having any effect
in drug flow into the united states. how do you assess that? >> which particular policy? >> yes, the drug -- the kingpin strategy. >> oh, oh. first, with regard to drug flows, yes, the -- in much the same way the border is a barometer. it is a place in which you measure the effects of phenomenon takes place far from the border and the same way that illegal immigration is a function of economic conditions of mexico and the pushout of mexico and the economic conditions in the united states and the magnet, the job magnet in the united states, so too the flow of drugs, that's something that we control at the border, it's a function of criminal -- organized criminal activities in mexico generating drugs linked to organizations in the united states and the overwhelming unfortunate and
disgraceful consumption level of drugs here in the united states that draws the supply out of mexico through a demand to the united states. but the enforcement effort has led to a much higher level of seizures than we've ever seen in terms of every particularly marijuana, but also methamphetamines, cocaine consumption is down in the united states significantly. so we don't see cocaine seizures being up. but those areas where we see a demand increase, we also see seizures both by the border patrol, between the ports of entry and by customs and border protection officers at the ports of entry. with regard to the kingpin strategy, it is one element in terms of attacking organized crime and it's a very critical one. disrupting leadership patterns and the way that the efforts of
the mexican government supported by the united states have taken place in the last five years, particularly the effects of the dozens of drug leaders -- drug kingpin leaders that have been taken down, has disrupted leadership patterns in organized crime in mexico. but i don't think president calderon would subscribe to the fact that that alone will produce the result that we jointly seek. but it is an important dimension of a takedown of organized crime, much as it was in the united states when the f.b.i. focused on mafia family leaders in a variety of cities. >> i was just wondering, sorry, ralph at congressional quarterly, in terms of that
water balloon effect, is there a plan now for looking at federally protected lands because it seems like that's an area that's seen increased activity and one more quick question, you mentioned that, is there a plan to end it? as i understood it there are legislative roadblocks in the way. >> yeah, the piloting the ways of moving away from it. the department of transportation is working on pilots to gauge the impact. >> the balloon effect. >> federaly protected lands, -- the federally protected lands, actually the border patrol, when they ran the i.n.s. and the border patrol, there was not a good relationship with the department of agriculture and the bureau and the department of the interior. actually there are a range -- arrangements and conventions in
effect all across the border between the department of agriculture and the national forests and the bureau of land management from interior and there is very close collaboration so there is not a place in the united states where border patrol agents cannot go with a whole variety of conventions governing how they go in, but border patrol agents have taken huge strides working with interior so that you go to a place in the big bend area and you find border patrol agents working hand in hand with the park rangers and b.l.m. personnel and this is really not a problem. i know that there have been some congressional proposals that suggest that the border patrol has been barred from certain areas and that's not the case. the water balloon effect, the difference in 2011 is, as the problem moved across the border, eastern san diego and west from el paso and texas, we
were playing catchup because we did not have the personnel, equipment, technology in place so as it moved we were always reacting to where the smugglers were taking the problem. the difference in 2011, 2012 is there is no place on the border that will ever be vulnerable to smugglers coming in, setting up shop and not being challenged from day one. remember, the fact that the smugglers have gone and entrenched themselves in the arizona corridor, moved out of san diego, moved out of el paso , is a reflection of what they've had to react to as opposed to them controlling the agenda and the way that they did for so many years on the u.s.-mexican border. >> thank you. right here in the front. >> i'm brian bennett from the "los angeles times." it's great to have both of you
on one stage and thank you for your 20-year perspective on this, tackling this problem. i wanted to bring up an issue, what impact did the creation of the department of homeland security have on this effort? and could the -- you talked about increasing resources, increasing personnel, could all of that have been done underneath the existing legacy structures? and so, what impact did consolidated commend -- consolidating command have and could it have a detrimental effect where they said, secure the border, hire these people and change your offices and stationary at the same time? >> in 1995 when attorney general reno asked me to become the southwest border representative, the so-called border czar, i was blessed to be working with doris and george, the commissioner of customs. and the collaboration was actually quite good. but i think within the cruise
balance of the aftermath of -- cruise billion of the aftermath of 9/11, the joint border management has had and paid huge dividends. the fact that we have a unified border management and avoid some of the oddities that were caused by history, you go to a port of entry in the past and you would have three separate offices, you'd have an immigration office, you have a customs official office and you have an agriculture inspection office. all of those as a function of history, customs having been created as the first act in the washington administration, i.m.s. being in the labor department first and then in the justice department. so we sort of -- history produced these results which depended on relationship for good coordination. unified command, i believe, has made a big difference. in terms of the resource
enhancement, i think that's an independent variable and that was a function of 9/11 and a bipartisan determination to restore the rule of law to the u.s.-mexico border. >> i think there is -- i think had that's a very interesting question and i think there is a deeper implication to it all. because it certainly is the case that if you had continued giving the resources to the department of justice in the way that it had been in the 19909s, etc., you would have -- 1990's, he is, you would have continued building up -- etc., you would have continued building up and that is as of -- and that was a bipartisan effort at the time and there were some real advantages to having these functions in the justice department, but -- that are a bit of a problem in the department of homeland security, but on the plus side
where the department of homeland security is concerned i think that the really profound thing that happened is that border enforcement became an issue of national security. and that was a perception that people, professionals in that field that worked along the border, had always held prior to 9/11. i mean, if you went and talked to inspectors, if you talked to border patrol agents, if you talked to people in these agencies, they believed that they had a national security mission, they worked hard to try to get other parts of the government that were explicitly charged with national security to recognize the value that they could bring to the table, but that was not institutionally recognized, it was not legally supported in terms of their actual authority to handle particular kinds of information and so forth. that all changed with 9/11.
so what 9/11 did and the creation of the department of homeland security, i mean, that's a means. the real purpose or the real transformation and shift i think that happened is that border enforcement became front and center as a general concern of the country, as an imperative in terms -- a political imperative as far as the congress was concerned for resources and for attention and the people who actually do the work and the agencies that actually do the work are in part of what they do connected to the national security enterprise. now, that's a whole larger debate in terms of what are the advantages and disadvantages of that, where does that take us, etc. but i think it was a major shift. >> i think we have time for two more questions.
>> to what extent, even though there's a rationale for border security, for controlling immigration, was the whole question of turning it into a national issue of national security a republican red herring? >> you want to follow up on what you were just saying? >> i wouldn't subscribe to that issue. remember, when you come up to a port of entry in prehomeland security, you are basically faced with immigration inspectors who were focused on immigration admissibility issues although also responsible for checking baggage and customs dutyies, although not terribly well quipped -- equipped to do that, and you had customs officers who manned half of the booths
who were basically looking at stopping contraband and were making immigration admissibility issues. when 9/11 actually introduced the notion that keeping dangerous people and dangerous things away from the homeland became the overarching -- the umbrella in which immigration and customs functions were sub sued and -- subsued and each officer became responsible for customs immigration and security, i think that's produced a more professional approach to border security. the fact of the matter is that keeping dangerous people and dangerous things from the terrorists to the drug courier to the alien smuggler and human trafficker out is a very important national security
function. i think that we're now better equipped to handle that and i think in an instantaneous communication world in which things move very quickly toward the border that that's not a bad perspective to bring to the enterprise. >> last question. >> thank you. i would like to go back to the issue of apprehensions, and i wonder if you can elaborate about the projections, just say that you expect for this year, about 120,000 apprehensions, and i -- just in arizona. you can give us an estimate about, you know, how many apprehensions do you expect for this year across the whole border and what have you been
seeing the most high numbers of , less activity in crossing across the border? >> so in 2010 we saw 400,000-plus cross the border compared to 1.6 million in 2000. and i would -- i focused on the arizona numbers because i focus on that sector. i suspect we're going to be in the 250,000, 260,000 thereabouts, say between 250,000 and 320,000. as a result of the whole border . down significantly from last year, but the still 40% will be in the arizona corridor. >> thank you all so much for coming. thank you, commissioner, thank you, doris. this was a fascinating
conversation. i think it gives us something to think about and hopefully we'll be able to overcome some of the congressional grizzlock that has prevented us from kind of taking some of the next steps that we've alluded to here. thank you all for coming and that concludes our program. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> leaving the center for american progress now and going live to the capitol. ohio congressman steve la tret holding a press brief -- latourette holding a press briefing.
>> and one that occurred down in the white house press briefing room yesterday. with the secretary of transportation. and i asked because i'm not important enough to get all of you to come to a press conference and i asked the speaker if he would be kind enough to invite some of you so i can share a perspective on this f.a.a. crisis that is ongoing. first and foremost i want to say that i don't believe that any member of the united states house of representatives or the united states senate thinks that it's ok for the f.a.a. to not be extended while the differences between the two bodies worked out in a long-term f.a.a. extension bill. however, i would also add that i was still a member of the house transportation and infrastructure committee when the last extension was passed or the last bill was passed and we now have had 20 extensions. and to be completely frank about it, the last serious attempt to come up with a long-term bill was in the last
congress. ms. pelosi was the speaker, the chairman of the aviation subcommittee was a great friend of mine, jerry costello from illinois, and they couldn't get it done. and one of the sticking points quite frankly as to why they couldn't get it done didn't have anything to do with labor issues, didn't have anything to do with essential air services, there was a fight over something known as slots at reagan national. those of you that cover aviation news know that reagan national has a perimeter rule and only a certain number of flights per day are permitted to go greater than 1,600 miles from reagan national. there were some folks in the united states senate at the time that wanted to expand the number of slots to permit them to go to their homes, i would assume, outside the 1,600-mile radius and take nonstop planes to their districts rather than having to stop. and i will avoid the minnesota
airport joke when i tell you that that was a nonstarter in the house of representatives because that proposal favored one airline, u.s. airways, and they would have been awarded 48% of the slots that were under discussion at that time. no one disagrees with the effects of the shutdown and although i was told on the way over i may have screwed up this first chart, but i think we're all agreed that there are 4,000 furloughed f.a.a. workers, a number of them came to visit me yesterday. idle construction workers are about 70,000, about $2.5 billion in projects that should be under way at airports across the country, including mine, cleveland hopkins airport, are now idles. there is a ticket tax that is going uncollected at the rate of $0 million a day that is not going into the -- $30 million a day that is not going into the aviation trust fund to pay for these projects and what's at dispute here, the essential air
services, their whole budget and what they told me i might have screwed up is i had $300 million a year. they say it might be $200 million a year but for the purposes of this discussion we'll say it's no more than $300 million a year. so already as we enter our 13th or 14th day of the f.a.a. shutdown the ticket tax lost to the aviation program has exceeded the entire cost of the essential air service's budget for an entire year. now, why i wanted to give you what i think is a unique perspective on this is that i was offended by the way that the secretary of transportation and the senate majority leadership yesterday attempted to message this discussion. this is my 17th year in the house of representatives and to show you how geeky i am, some people look forward to what the new fall lineup is going to be
on television, i look forward to how the democrats and republicans are going to go home for the august recess and what the message is going to be. our friends, the democrats, have settled on hostage taking and i doubt that you'll conduct an interview over the last couple of days or over the next few days where the words hostage taking is not mentioned. they got into a little bit of trouble with the media when they attempted to call some of our colleagues terrorists and so they have pick of oted in a classic message -- pivoted in a classic message shift and hope that if they call us hostage takers, the public may connect the fact that terrorists sometimes take hostages so we're really terrorists at the same time. what i have to bring to this discussion is that last week the secretary of transportation, ray lahood, called me and he called frank lobiondo, a republican of new jersey, and asked us in separate telephone calls if we would help with the republican leadership in unraveling this mess. now, i suspect he called us
because we're classmates from the class of 1994 and just as a sideline, that was a class of 73 republicans, the newt gingrich revolutionaries and i can remember that they thought we were wild and crazy and we had nothing on the current crop of 87 freshmen. i also suspect he called us because frank and i are the co-chairs of the republican labor caucus. and so on the labor issue which is in the big bill frank and i differ with chairman mica on the national mediation board legislation. frank and i, when president bush suspended the prevailing wage laws down in the gulf coast after hurricanes rita and katrina, we worked with andy card to have those reinstated. when president bush had his dustup with the air traffic controllers, i led the fight to get the air traffic controllers a good and decent contract and i can go on and on about the number of labor issues on which we have differed from nam of our republican colleagues.
i also carried the national mediation board amendment on the house floor with jerry costello and again not to get too into the weeds but basically frank and i and a number of other house members wrote to the m.m.b. after president obama became the president in support of a petition by the afl-cio to change the way that unions can be certified under the national rail labor act. it was, back since the 1930's that if you had 1,000 people in the union the rule was that a majority of those 1,000 had to vote yes in favor of certification. that seemed a little odd to us and the n.m.b. changed the rule that it's now 50-plus-one of the people who show up and vote kind of like the elections that we all run in every two years. chairman mica's bill in the house revoked or attempted to put it back to the old rule. i sponsored the amendment and
argued on the floor that i didn't think that that change was appropriate. frank and i immediately in response to our friend's call went to work and we went to the majority leader and we went to the speaker of the house and even though speaker boehner was busy last week with some things that you might have read about he tasked his chief of staff, barry jackson, to negotiate with the folks in the senate, to see if we couldn't figure out a way to make sure that this problem went away before the august recess. a number of offers went back and forth without result, we weren't able to work it out last week and on monday, the date the house of representatives voted on the debt ceiling bill, we went to the speaker and barry again and said, listen, even though we're going to be in pro forma session and there are ways to do this, we only have about three hours where the house is going to be conducting special orders to get this done. mr. jackson empowered me to go
over to the senate and indicated that, haye, listen, -- hey, listen, we can't leave town with the f.a.a. closed down and the speaker is willing to agree to a kleenex tension and shake hands -- clean extension and shake hands on the issues and indicate that we would move forward without prejudice on these issues. and without prejudice meant that we would continue to discuss them when everybody got back in the fall. i was advised and now i'm going to be a bipartisan smacker-arounder by mr. jackson that i was going to have problems with senator coburn of oklahoma, a republican of oklahoma. frank and i immediately ran over to the cloakroom on the senate side and i talked to senator coburn by telephone and i'll describe that conversation in just a second. but i think it's important to talk about who the hostages are and who is holding them. the house of representatives passed an extension of the federal aviation administration on july 20 of this year. it has been sitting without
action by the united states senate since that moment in time. now, what there is, and let me say this, there is no labor provision in it, there is no antilabor provision in it, there's no poison pill in it, it's six pages long and i invite you, unlike some others who want to talk about it but apparently haven't read the six pages, now what it does have is the coburn essential air services language, an amendment. now, essential air services, again, not to be too mundane, but there was a recognition by the federal government a number of years ago that in order to provide air service to people who live in outlying regions that the federal government would subsidize and pay money to the airlines if they would offer flights from some of these more remote airports. go to the next slide. now, a couple of things about
poison pills and what the coburn language is and what the coburn language isn't. the coburn language on e.a.s., you know, someone might say, ok, it was coburn and so there must have been this really spirited debate over in the senate and broke down by party lines and everybody was yelling. the coburn language on essential air services passed the united states senate by voice vote. then you can flip forward and say, well, if this was such a big deal then surely the democrats in the senate would have opposed final passage of the senate f.a.a. bill because it contained the coburn e.s.a. language. 87 senators -- e.a.s. language. 87 senators, and when you get 87 senators in this town to do anything, it's an accomplishment, and i would assume that in that 87 number, a number of members of the democratic party. and the coburn language, to be clear, indicates that for those airports that are on the e.a.s.
program, that are within 90 miles of a hub airport, rather than the american taxpayer subsidizing the cost of the ticket and paying the airlines to transport those people, we're going to ask those folks to get in their car and drive the less than 90 miles to a hub airport. that's what this flight is -- fight is about. next one, please. now, there have been a lot of allegations that this is somehow a mean republican trick to target airports in democratic districts. the coburn language that's in the senate bill passed by 87 votes deals with these 10 and only these 10 airports. and just to walk you through them. here's where the community is, next to it are the remember mebs of congress, the members of the house of representatives who represent the location, where the airport is located.
next to that is the nearest large to medium hub airport, next to that is the number of miles that you would have to drive if you, for instance, the top one, lived in athens, georgia, would you have to go to heartfield jackson international and it would be 72 miles. now, until the coburn language was adopted -- let me just continue on. the next line is how much the federal government has subsidized those airports in fiscal year 2011, the next one is how many people have used those airports in fiscal year 2011, so, again, picking on poor paul broun down in georgia , 6,715 passengers have gotten on a plane rather than getting in their car and going to the atlanta airport and the american taxpayers paid $175 per passenger so they could do that. that's what the coburn language is. if you study the charts there are only two airports that are
in districts that are currently occupied by democratic members of the house and that's mr. higgins and mr. critz and of course mr. critz is the successor to the late john murtha and that's the johnstown , pennsylvania, airport. now, to be perfectly fair, the mica proposal not only has word for word in this six-page bill the coburn language, you put that one dawn -- down, it added another requirement and it said, you know, we're going to deal with those airports that are within 90 miles but we're also going to look at airports wherein the american taxpayer is paying more than $1,000 per person to subsidize the airports and so you'll see when we get to the mileage these three airports are in fact the greater distance from a hub airport but the mica language
in the extension doesn't say we're not going to subsidize these trips anymore, it's says, we're not going to subsidize them above $1,000. so, not to pick on anybody in particular, but the first one happens to be in north dakota, it's in eli,, nevada, it's currently vacant, it was dean heller's seat and dean heller of course now is in the united states senate. and if you wanted to go to the nearest hub you would have to drive 234 miles to the salt lake city international airport. but how many people have taken advantage of that? this year? 471. and the price that the american taxpayer is paying per person that chooses to get on the airplane in eli, nevada, rather than driving or finding another way to get there is $3,720. the mica language for these three airports said in addition
to these 10 that we weren't going to pay more than $1,000 per passenger anymore in the extension. so that brings us to 13 and as you can see even though there are democratic senators who represent the states and the districts that are represented here, all three of these airports are in districts -- are occupied by republican members of the house. now, we spend a lot of time here attempting not to be implight and that's why we say things like -- impolite and that's why we say things like my distinguished colleague from across the aisle is surely confused on the subject matter at hand. but it's time to not be impolite as we deal with this crisis. i'm a proud graduate of the university of michigan, even though i went to ohio and it's a longstanding tradition if you
go to watch a football game in the big house when the referee makes a call that is questionable, 105,000 people go bullshit. it is time to declare b.s. on the messaging that is occurring on the aviation bill and strip away what's going on. now, the hostage takers here are not the tea party, thes who tack takers here are not the house republicans -- thes who tack takers here are not the house republicans, thes who take take -- hostage takers here aren't even anybody in the house, republican or democrat. here are the two people for reasons of their own who have the ability and have had the ability since july the 20th to make this problem go away.
now, i left you with frank lobiondo and i running to the senate cloakroom to talk with senator coburn on monday and i asked the senator if he would drop his hold on the bill and permit the house to remove the coburn language from the extension. so we would have what everybody in town is calling a kleenex tension -- clean extension. he said he would not. he said, it's the first piece of cutting legislation that the senate has adopted in whatever year, 2011, answered wasn't going to yield. now, i could tell you that that argument, although it's a problem, i have some sympathy for that argument. if you study charts three and four and what we are talking about and that is the fact that -- this one, for just a second. and we'll just take another
airport, i don't know, let's just pick morgantown, west virginia, as an example. now, morgantown, west virginia, you can go, if you don't want to fly out of morgantown, west virginia, you would have to drive 75 miles to the pittsburgh international airport. 20,000 people have chosen not to drive to pittsburgh and instead want to get on the plane in morgantown and the american taxpayer has paid $73 for every one of those 20,000 people and asked you and i to pay for it rather than requiring those folks to get in the car and drive to pittsburgh. so, to be clear, this crisis could go away if senator coburn relented and 'greed to have his language taken out. i happen to be in favor of what senator coburn is doing and it's not just me, again, the coburn language was adopted by voice vote in the senate, it's
in the senate f.a.a. bill and 87 senators voted for it. and so for people to stand up and wave a their arms and talk about the fact that this is some kind of poison pill is not accurate. senator rockefeller, when the proposal was made that we pass the house bill, which is pending and has been pending since july 20 and the senate has always had the power to not only have averted the shutdown at all but could have opened it any day it chose to, has declined to do that. now, i'm not going to ascribe motive or anything else to the senator, i don't think 73 -- $73 a passenger is a lot of money in the scheme of things, but he also has had the ability to drop his objection to the house version and pass the house version and these people would all be back to work, the
construction would go on and america's infrastructure could be improved. now, the last thing that i want to mention, i mentioned congressman frank lobiondo a number of times and he is my partner in all of these endeavors. he isn't here today because he's in new jersey burying his mother. but for our friend and classmate, the secretary of transportation, to stand behind a podium in the white house press briefing room and wave his arms and say things like, you just need to come back from vacation, just come back for a couple of hours and fix this, the house republicans are taking this matter hostage, is vulgar. and i think that the secretary owes frank an apology. and the last thing that has not been reported to my knowledge that people need to understand,
i don't have the secretary's picture up there, but if people take the time to actually read the bill, the extension that was sent over to the senate on july 20, on page six, line 20 there's a provision that says waivers and it says, the secretary may waive subsection a-1-b which is eliminating these 13 airports, with respect to a location, any location if the secretary determines that the geographic characteristics of the location result in undue difficulty in accessing the nearest medium or large hub airport. so in concert with the senate leadership if senator reid and senator rockefeller indicated, called up the secretary and said, hey, there's a waiver provision and i would like to
make the case that it's too difficult for my people in morgantown, west virginia, to drive to pittsburgh, will you grant me a waiver? the secretary in the extension has the unbridled authority to grant a waiver for one of these airports or all 13 of them. and so for the administration through the secretary to dig into its heels and somehow make fun of the united states congress and its offensive in -- it's offensive in ray's case because he served with us for 14 years, this matter could go away by passing the house extension. so, that's where we are. i appreciate -- or let me just say one nice thing about senator reid, however. senator reid has publicly indicated that it's embarrassing that the american taxpayers paying $3,500 per ticket to support people flying out of eli, nevada, and he has been willing to work with the
speaker throughout this process and senator reid, to be clear, i don't believe is the problem. yes, sir. >> can you just he elaborate a little bit on -- elaborate a little bit, you said you carried to the senate the speaker's office for a clean extension. >> i carried -- mr. jackson on monday last indicated that the speaker, because this was something that nobody wanted to see, would be willing to do the handshake on the no prejudice on these issues and do a clean extension but he indicated that the problem was going to be senator coburn and so the offer was never extended because we had to get by the hurdle of senator coburn. senator coburn would not remove himself as a problem. >> congressman, what are the chances of thank this issue will be resolved before the recess is up? are you hearing of anything happening towards that direction behind the scenes?
>> there's conversations that continue to go on a regular basis and i would be shocked if this week turns into next week without something happening and there are two things basically that can happen. one is senate can take the bill that they've had since july 20 and pass it or they can work out something else which would require -- but unlike what people are saying, it doesn't require 535 people to get off their lounge chairs on beaches all across the world and come back to washington, d.c. it can be accomplished through unanimous consent. pro forma session that we're currently operating under permits the speaker of the house on every tuesday and friday to indicate that we're not just spending legislative business -- that we're not suspending legislative business on that day and we will proceed. you have to get everybody to agree. but those are the two things that exist and i'm an optimist. i really thought this thing was going to be worked out before monday and then i thought it was going to be worked out on monday and it's not for the
speaker's lack of trying and it's not for senator reid's lack of trying. >> theses who tack tagers, who -- these hostage takers, who do you think will fold first? >> i don't serve in the senate and i don't understand their rules. this whole business of one senator can stop the whole country has always baffled me but there you go. >> when you talked about the airport and johnstown, pennsylvania -- [inaudible] we know how much criticism -- we heard about that airport. to a degree, though, is that some in your party, is that not emblem attic of what this issue is? we heard some that said, this is the problem that government shouldn't be involved in spending that type of money on a facility of that size. >> i know of no motive on senator coburn's part or chairman mica's part that we would somehow ding nine republican airports just to get
at the murtha airport. this was an objective-based standard and they indicated that it's not unreasonable to ask an american with today's highway structure to get in their car and drive 90 miles or less to a major airport and not have the american taxpayer pay a portion of their ticket. now, the fact that the murtha airport is in fact caught up i think is a coincidence but there are, as i indicated, only that and mr. higgins up in buffalo are the only two democratic members of the house who are impacted at all by this language and to suggest that we went after all of these other guys just to get the murtha airport i think is a stretch. >> you can talk a little bit about the labor position and specifically are there members on both sides -- [inaudible] and obviously -- [inaudible]
>> i think there are a number of issues that are there. and quite frankly on this issue i don't support chairman mica's position. >> but is it actually holding up the -- >> i think it's one of the major issues that's holding it up but i understand slots are still being discussed, the. a money is still being discussed, there's a disagreement on the level of spending that should occur in the bill. , so you know, if the labor issue went away would we have a deal? i don't know. >> and just one other quick question. do you think there's a possible compromise as mr. mica had suggested? >> on the labor issue? >> yeah. >> there are a couple of things that could be done in the labor issue. what i heard as i carried the amendment on the national mediation board from some of my republican colleagues, i only got 16 republican votes on the amendment, and a number of them said, well, you know, if the dessertfication rules were changed to mirror the
certification rules and that is 50-plus one, he can go go for that. and i have to tell you, i ran the traps with my friends in labor as this thing was being discussed, they don't seem to be jumping up and down at that as a solution. but that's a compromise is a compromise. that maybe one path forward be . again, i don't know. >> did you call [inaudible] >> no. likewise, the secretary did not call me and indicated that he would go -- and he continues to go on television. i will tell you, throughout this entire process last week, i called him more then i called my wife. we talk on a regular basis about where it was and what we were doing. he was very helpful in those
things. to then turn on a dime when the democratic party here in washington has decided that hostage takers is the new situation, it is appalling to me and. >> [inaudible] >> the easiest path forward is that the senate passes what they have had four close to two weeks. i believe that is what will happen at the end of the day. it is important to know that we stand ready, willing, and able to engage, and find a way forward. >> to the democrats have the right to be concerned, that it takes -- they attempted this extension bill, there's something they have not negotiated, the next bill, it
will come with something on it, democrats in the senate like it even less, and they will be up against a deadline all over again? >> that is a great question. the next thing that comes up is the highway program. i will tell you that i don't happen to think that putting poison pills on extensions is a good idea. i have attempted -- for instance, if they had chosen to put different language on this extension, we would not be having this conversation. what i think it's disingenuous for the democrats who take that view is that this language, 87 senators voted for it, and some senators may not like it because it impacts and -- airports, but this is not a poison pill. i know poisoned pills.
this is not. >> you said the speaker stands ready. in your recent conversations, did he give you indications that he is willing to move and get this done in the next 24 hours or so? >> that is what he did last monday. we were there. in that scenario, again, the house is just a house. i was tasked to talk to senator cockburn, who made it clear that he will object -- senator coburn, who made it clear that he will object. i do not disagree with him in terms of philosophy when you look at airports and what people are paying in exchange for asking somebody to get in their car. i think hopkins airport for me is 40 miles. if you said that the choice was somebody should pay $500, if i
live another 35 miles to the east, that is ridiculous. the senator is ready to solve this problem, and the speaker is. these gentlemen are -- i think it is horrible that people inside and outside the congress are somehow -- congress is at 6% approval rating. we don't need any more bad publicity. this is not a house of representatives problem. we have done our job. two more. >> could you give us more specifics? >> it is above my pay grade. i am not involved in those discussions. if the speaker or senator arrest
me to engage, i would be happy to do it. this is fueled by rumors. this matter will be resolved this week. last question. >> if the speaker is willing to accept [inaudible] >> the senator has already objected to it. listen. let me say this about that. the house -- and i grow weary. we produce all kinds of legislation in the senate and they don't produce their own legislation, and they just say no, and attempt to call us hostage takers. it happened during the crisis. they should either put it on the floor and vote it down, which would indicate that we need to do something else in the house, or not. the notion that we have to continue bickering among star selves is ridiculous.
get your take on what is happening between republicans and democrats. numbers are on the screen. we will get right to the phones. the first call is robert in miami on the democrats' line. >> how is it going? first off, i am a lifelong democrat, but i am a person -- i crossed party lines to vote, depending on what the candidates are. i have been following this faa battle or debate for quite some time on c-span and the internet. i believe represents -- the representative is being very disingenuous when he describes what the nature of the impasses. there is an issue with the
airports that are closing. i'm sure that can be resolved. the main sticking point is the rider the republicans have attached to the bill that is anti-union. as a union member myself, this is something that gets me upset. what they want to do is overrule the ruling from the national labor relations board that says in order for airlines to organize, they need to have employees that a vote to organize. if they don't vote, it is considered a vote against the union as opposed to not voting, not counting, like in every other election in the united states. this is something that has us all bent out of shape. that is what it boils down to. republicans are trying to attack delta airlines and federal express. >> thanks, robert.
on to michael in los angeles. >> hello. >> go ahead, michael. >> yes, sir. i wanted to say that this whole faa thing boils back to one symptom and one system only. that is leadership and the lack of it. since i was 18 years old, i have voted democrat. i am now 56, and six months ago, i changed. i'm the newest american registered independent. the reason i did that, and i voted for obama, i live in south l.a., african-american neighborhood, he has not led. i will give you one example. everytime i see president obama running up and down the stairs of air force one, i have to ask myself, why would you cost the taxpayers to go to our wallets to catch air force one to a
bordering state for a backyard rally? in this age, you can set up a big screen in a backyard, he can stay in the white house, and he does not have to leave the white house. air force one does not have to leave the hangar. most important, our wallets don't leave our pockets. number two, real quick, is that he did not keep his troops from the campaign. he lied. when a person lies and does not keep their word, you can no longer trust that person because you will never know when you are hearing the truth anymore. >> leaving it there. on to steven in indiana, democrat line. >> the whole thing comes down to this. the federal government should get out of the faa and the business of running businesses. period.
if you look at canada, canada got out of the business of running their airports thing. if the airlines are not collecting the tax to give back to the government, first of all, you take that tax they're collecting and put that for the infrastructure of taking care of the airport. ok? secondly, if you get rid of the federal government come out of the picture -- government, out of the picture, everything will take care of itself. you do not need all those people sitting on a committee getting paid to do that. what really needs to be taken care of, getting jobs back in this country. >> congressman latourette sticking around to answer questions. we're taking our phone calls. barry is in iowa on the
independent line. >> how are you? >> great. >> i just started following the situation with the faa, and being a resident of a rural community, i can tell you that the potential impact for funding for these rural airports is considerable. the closest airport that i live to is in sioux city, about an hour away. i constantly have to ask whether or not i should drive to a major metropolitan airport like one in minneapolis, for example. it would be almost the closest airport, or driving to omaha's airport. my feelings is that if the government subsidies for rural airports is either eliminated or significantly decrease, what role will that decrease provide
for the other major metropolitan airports? will it increase prices? it is one of the internal conversations that the united states senate and the house of representatives need to have, what are the potential benefits for shifting funds to rural airports in order for us in rural communities to have access to flights, as well as whether or not there will be an increase in rates at the metropolitan airports. keep in mind, i do understand that the same time that these rural airports, they do charge more, believe it or not, compared to these metropolitan airports. plus, a significant portion of this funding is locked into construction projects. i do hope that that conversation is being had as to whether or not this shift of funds for us to go into our car and drive, for me, would be a minimum of
three hours to drive toward moscow, whether that risk and that balance is going to be there to continue the appropriation. >> thanks, barry. on the surface, the partial shutdown of the federal aviation administration, it is about whether to cut $16 million in subsidies underneath layers upon layers of political gamesmanship which is about whether democrats or republicans can get to call the shots. the media prices high. 4000 employees have been furloughed. more than 200 construction projects have been halted and an estimated 70,000 other private- sector workers have been affected. we are taking your calls this afternoon on the faa impasse. gene in texas on the republican line. >> hello. my question is, why in the world do i have to pay my tax dollars
for somebody to fly out of their local airport instead of driving an hour or so? that is their problem. it is not the government's problem. it is not my problem. the last thing on this deal is the unions. unions have absolutely no place in public service. they wield too much control over their congressmen and senators. we need to get rid of that, for sure. >> we will take a call from washington on the independent line. mike. >> i agree with the comments that they had a bill that has been sent up. if they don't like it, the union issue, let's debate it and talk about it. don't be cowardly and not bring it up for a vote. as far as unions go, i agree with the last caller.
unions have no place in public service. i agree. it is not like we are in the 1930's or the turn-of-the- century when workers are being exploited. they are not. they now have an actual surplus in the state budget. people are being hired to show that unions can put businesses out of business and really hurt them. >> thanks for your call. congressman latourette serves as the vice chair of the subcommittee on transportation. during his briefing a short time ago on the faa reauthorization. back to the phones and to webber in virginia, independent line. >> yes, sir. thank you. in life, you have to be careful who you vote for. what i'm trying to say is, all of the republicans that work for the faa, you are getting exactly
what you deserve. they're mean-spirited republicans across the country, talking about god. i want to say told republicans that work for the faa, if you get laid off, you get exactly what you deserve. thank you. >> to the republican line. dale from georgia. >> hello. the faa. are you kidding me? there is a bill setting -- sitting on a desk being ignored. they blame congress for everything. ridiculous, this little deal they just did. sick of republicans and democrats walking up to the podium and saying, this is a bad deal. this is a bad deal. when will they say, you know
what? we did something good for you. we are the ones living the good life. we finally did something good for you. when is that going to happen? as far as harry reid goes, they have not passed a budget in over two years. why isn't someone at the podium not sing the senate needs to come back and pass a budget? there is a bill sitting on a desk for this little faa deal they have got going, which is a joke. if this a dead deal is not taken care of by december, they have these triggers. they will cut the military funding and social security. out of all the things they could quit spending money on, those are the things they came up with? they could not stop sending $3,700 for each passenger that
comes into a small airport? they sent $90 million to china so they could stop air pollution. >> according to the faa, -- according to the ap, the government has been losing $30 million a day in uncollected airline ticket passes since the shutdown started on july 23. if it is not resolved until after congress gets back from its recess in september, the lost revenue will come to about $1.2 billion. up next, mike in texas on the democrat line. >> i am a democrat. i'm a union member. i have been a pilot for 48 years. i want to remind the hate- filled republicans that this country began in a union hall. unions are older than the republican party in these united states. you can verify by going into history and looking up
carpenters' hall. used to live in philadelphia across the river. two blocks east of independence hall is union hall. that was a hearing place for many constitutional conventions. it was the founding place, carpenters' hall, still a functioning union hall in the united states. it was the center of the united bank of the colonies in a union hall. we have got to stop this hatred, this and related -- unrelated retaliation on the faa based on labor issues. we need it the faa. i would call on president obama to shut down air traffic control. let some of these people like mitch o'connell hitchhike from kentucky for his next meeting somewhere and not fly. then we will see how quick this
thing cuts to a resolution. that is all i have to say. >> thanks for your call. appreciate your call. if you missed any of congressman latourette's briefing this afternoon, we will be airing it later on the c-span network. we have been showing briefings all week on the impasse. secretary look good -- lahood discussed it yesterday. it is available at c-span.org. we do have more live events coming up for you. we have a briefing with leon panetta and also the chair of the joint chiefs, admiral mike mullen. that is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. eastern. we will have live coverage of that hear on c-span. also today, a congressional hearing on federal real -- federally leased properties.
it is approximately 635 sq 4 -- 635,000 square feet of leased space. that is on our companion network, c-span2. now a discussion on the debt ceiling from this morning's "washington journal." from of bloomberg "business week," the economics editor, joins us. all of the economics news in this morning's paper is not positive. is the u.s. poised to go back into a recession in your view? guest: i would say there is a good chance -- i do not want to
put a percentage on it. president reagan's chief economic adviser told bloomberg television yesterday that he sees about a 50/50 chance of a recession. most of the economists put the number slightly lower, but if you look at the numbers lately, most of them are pretty bearish. look at the gdp growth over the last two quarters. look at the factory index, dipping almost into confectionery range. consumer confidence being at recession levels. the bloomberg consumer comfort index is at a level that is normally associated with recessions.
many arrows are pointing downward. host: we have been talking about this new super committee that will be making supposedly $1.20 trillion in spending cuts by november-december. what is going to be the effect of that type of spending? is it going to be a good effect or not? guest: in the long term, it is essential to shrink the budget deficit. that is the topic of my cover story. i was talking about that long run projection. if you trace out spending and revenue over the rest of this century and into the next, you see that the numbers of diverge unhealthy way.h
an economist from boston university estimates that the long-term fiscal gap is $211 trillion, just staggering. in the long term, it is essential to shrink the deficit. the problem is that if you aggressively shrink it in the short term, you could actually throttled the economic recovery which would leave us in a japan-like situation in which we cannot get the growth that is needed to shrink the ratio of debt to gdp. what matters is not just a level of debt by the ability of the economy to support that debt. if the economy is shrinking, even if the debt does not go up, it becomes more and more burdensome. it is essential to get growth
going again. these latest numbers point in the wrong direction. it is exactly what nobody wants. so what we want to do is find a way to get growth going, at least staving off another recession. that might require holding off on the immediate deficit reduction, postponing it a year or so until the economy can get back on its feet. host: i want to go through to article in little bit. "it gets worse" is the title. you write --
guest: yeah. so, the fiscal gap is a concept that the congressional budget office uses as a supplement. what that does is look forward, not only what obligations we have already incurred as a nation, but what obligations we are on track to incur if we continue on the path that we are on. for example, current law says the bush tax cuts will expire. if it does an alternative fiscal scenario which is probably more realistic.
in the alternative fiscal scenario, you see that the gap between debt and gdp -- between revenue and spending is a little bit over 8% of gdp in newly. over the next 75 years. that means that are spending will exceed revenues by 8% of gdp. over the next decade, that is in the range of $15 trillion. much bigger than that over a 75- year period. it shows you the magnitude of the problem that we face and of the bargain that was tried to be struck a few weeks ago. host: you write that that is why --
mr. coy, we just got the monthly unemployment figures. i went to get your reaction to this. of the number of people seeking unemployment benefits dipped last week, a sign that the job market may be improving slowly. the labor department says applications for unemployment benefits edged down 1000 to 400,000, the lowest level in four months. the previous week's figure was revised upward to 401,000. what is your reaction to those numbers? guest: of course, those are the weekly claims numbers. the important number will be the one coming out tomorrow. that is more reliable. we will be watching it more closely. the weekly claims numbers are
host: why not? guest: do you want me to answer the question? i will try to answer it. remember, there are two debt numbers. the one i quoted in that article includes the social security trust fund and other government obligations. the debt held by the public is a $10 trillion number and in some ways is the one with the rubber meets the road because that is money that is legally binding on the government to pay back to creditors whether they are americans, chinese, or saudis.
that number does not include our future obligations to social security retirees, medicare, and so on. the $14 trillion includes the trust fund, so it starts to incorporate a view of what obligations we are incurring toward the long-term future. host: peter coy is our guest, the economics editor of bloomberg "businessweek. the first call comes from punta gorda, fla.. caller: i would like to know why businesses are not hiring and why like this grover norquist can have such a hold on the republican party for not raising taxes on the wealthy and
stuff like that. i think that -- why are they not checking out some of this? i know that schools down here are holding back their money from spending it. i would like to know why businesses are not hiring. guest: well, i have another article in the forthcoming issue of "business week," that will be out tonight. the article i wrote is already available on the web site. host: we have a copy of it right here and we are showing it. guest: there you go. that article talks about -- it tries to answer the woman's question. when the economy slows down to the point it has -- we had only 4% growth in the first quarter and 1.3% annual growth in the
second quarter. businesses start to say to themselves i was investing in some new equipment and hiring people on the expectation that demand was coming back, but maybe i should put a hold on that and we did little bit before i add some staff that i might need to lay off in a few months if things turned down again. that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. that person is not hired an cannot spend. some other business does not get the money. you can see how these things feed on themselves. economies are unstable that way. now, my article likens it to a rocket. it can either have enough thrust to escaped eath's gravitational
pull, or if it does not have enough thrust, it can slow down, slow down, and then tumble back to earth. the question now for the economy, which is a concern to every one of us, ordinary americans, is whether we have enough thrust in the economy to escape the gravitational tug or whether we are headed for another recession. host: you write in your new article -- in other words, some economists say if the economy grows too weakly, the slowdown could lead to a recession. maybe investors lose faith in the recovery so stock prices are already down 9%.
any such reaction could cause the very downturn that is feared. north carolina, marsha, you are on the air with peter coy. caller: yes, i would like to ask -- host: we are listening. caller: i would like to ask why is it that businesses here in the united states have not learned from the old adage-you have to spend money to make money. we all grew up in an era that in order to make money, you had to invest. if you do not invest in yourself, you are not going to make a lot of money.
i do not understand. host: mr. coy? guest: put yourself in the position of the business owner. you grow by sacrifice, hard work, investing for the future. on the other hand, maybe not is now the ideal time to take out a loan. what happens if you cannot pay back that loan? you may want to hold your cash a little bit and wait for the storm to blow over. you want to time it. the most important priority for any business is survival. they are going to put that ahead of making extra profit. so i think that is what is going on in a lot of the heads of business people right now.
when everybody does that, it creates what john maynard keynes said it was the paradox of thrift. one person spending is another person's receipt. you cannot save out of that in become so things cannot appeared magically out of nowhere. we are in danger of toppling into that paradox. host: i want to get your reaction on what president obama said yesterday. >> the american people have been continuing to worry about the underlying state of the economy, about jobs, about their wages, reduced hours, about fewer customers. of the economy is still in weekend -- the economy is still weakened, partly because of
things that we could not control. unfortunately, the debt ceiling crisis over the last month i think has had the necessary- impact on the economy here as well. i am meeting with my cabinet to make sure even as they have been thrown out these weeks are redoubling their efforts to focus on what matters to the american people which is how we are going to put people back to work, increased security, how we can make sure they will recover fully from the worst recession we have had since the great depression. guest: yes, i think that democrats and republicans alike can agree that getting people back to work should be the top priority right now. the problem is how to get their.
the parties are deeply split over that. obama did not say it, but the democratic line has been that we need more stimulus, more priming of the pump to get things going again. the republican line, especially from the tea party, is that all kinds of people, households, businesses, creditors are mostly concerned about the fiscal well- being of the country over the long term, and the way to get confidence back it is to show that we can bring deficits under control. you can see how those two alternate series lead us in the alternate directions. obama can not put through and find the political support for any new kind of stimulus. so when people look around -- going back to businesses again,
things are not great now, so what is going to change? it is hard to latch onto anything and say here is the new thing that is going to make us all feel better and get in the mood for spending, investing, and expanding. " larry is a republican in virginia -- host: larry is a republican in virginia. caller: thank you very much. of the cold war ended years ago. instead of investing in other nations, would it is not be a better thing to bring those troops home and reinvest that money back into this nation? i think it would help businesses and housing industry. guest: yeah, there is no question at all that the deployment of troops abroad and a massive spending in the military on iraq and afghanistan
and our ongoing military procurement budget is a big drag on the economy. if we did not have that, we would have more money available for other purchases. the roman empire can tell you all about that. even though there is a consensus between the parties that some of the savings, a big portion, is going to have to come out of the military -- i was amazed that half of the cuts under the $1.20 trillion trigger plan that is being discussed are from defense. the pentagon is coming back and saying these are too draconian for us. the caller is definitely in tune with the latest thinking in washington about what to do with
defense. host: you write in your cover article -- host: do you want to expand on what you wrote? guest: i can imagine that the lightning rod in the whole paragraph is the last phrase about applying in part to current beneficiaries. sold the lights are probably lighting up with retirees -- so, the lights are probably lighting
up with retirees who want my head. the reaction i got on that from pittingple is that i'm the generations against each other. i do not want to do that. when you look at the size of the problem, you have to think that a lot of money going to not just future beneficiaries but to current beneficiaries -- if we hold that generation harmless, that increases the burden on the younger people, the working people, and people who are not even working like children. we have a big problem with youth poverty in this country. in an ideal world, nobody wants to shrink the benefits of
medicare and social security, but nobody wants to cut the >> live to the pentagon now, leon panetta and admiral mullin are entering the briefing room. >> good afternoon. this is my first press briefing here at the pentagon as secretary of defense. let me begin by saying how important i think these briefings are in regular engagement with all of you. i intend to continue this on a regular basis, as did my predecessor, bob gates. as you know, i have just completed my first month as secretary. during that time, i have had a chance to travel to the war zones, to meet with the the troops and the commanders there.
i have had a chance to consult with a number of ministers of defense. i hosted four of my counterparts here at the pentagon. i also began visiting some of the key commands out there. comm lastsited north friday. i will be traveling to two additional places monday and friday. i have also had the privilege of visiting walter reed and meeting with our wounded warriors. finally, i have established, i think, a regular dialogue with congressional leaders up on the hill and have built a very close working relationship with the service chiefs and secretaries. i meet with them on a regular basis. i have been truly impressed with the expertise and the professionalism of the department of senior leaders. i am proud that we are going to build on this terrific team in the work -- in the weeks ahead.
just yesterday, the president announced that he will nominate ash carter to be my deputy secretary of defense. the senate confirmed the next chairman and vice-chairman of the joint chiefs along with some other folks that were approved, and i am very pleased that the senate was able to rapidly approve those nominations. i have had the honest -- the honor of administering the oath of office to several people this morning. these people give me a sense of confidence that we will continue to have a great team as we confront a lot of the challenges that will face this department and the nation as we leave it our efforts -- as we lead our efforts to try to meet both our fiscal and national security responsibilities.
that brings me to the debt ceiling agreement that was enacted this week. and its impact on our national defense. as i said in a message to department of defense personnel that i issued yesterday, the reductions in the defense budget that were enacted as part of the debt ceiling agreement are largely in line with the civilian and military leaders of this department, what we were anticipating and preparing to implement. make no mistake about it, we will face some very tough challenges here as we try to meet those numbers, but those numbers are within the ballpark that we were discussing with both the president as well as with omb. and we have the opportunity to
make those decisions based on sound and balanced strategy and policy. and with the best advice that we can get from our service chiefs and from the service secretaries on how to proceed to build a strong defense not only now, but in the future. thankfully, so far, this is a very different process than has so often been used in the past when there have been defense drawdowns. where defense cuts were applied across the board and the force as a result was hollowed out. it was left undersized. it was underfunded relative to the missions and responsibilities that this
country must fulfill. that approach would be particularly harmful because we are a nation at war. we face a broad and growing range of security threats and challenges that our military must be prepared to confront from terrorist networks to rogue nations that are making efforts to obtain a nuclear capability, to dealing with rising powers that always look at us to determine whether or not we will, in fact, maintain a strong defense here and throughout the world. it is that a multitude of security challenges that makes me particularly concerned about the sequestering mechanism that was contained in the debt ceiling agreement.
this mechanism is a kind of domesday mechanism that was built into the agreement. it was designed so that it would only take effect if congress fails to enact further measures to reduce the deficit. if it had spent -- if it happened, and god willing that would not be the case, but if it did happen, it would result in a very dangerous round of further cuts across the board, defense cuts that i believe would do real damage to our security, our troops, our families, and our military's ability to protect the nation. if is an outcome that would be completely unacceptable to me as secretary of defense, to the president, and i believe to our nation's leaders. most importantly, it would be unacceptable for the american
people. the american people expect that our military will still ply their security. -- will provide for their security. rather, they expect we will always protect our core national security interests while meeting reasonable savings targets. as i said before, we do not have to choose between fiscal discipline and national security. i recognize the resource limitations we face as a result of the size of the deficits that confront this country. but i also recognize that the department of defense has a responsibility to do its part in dealing with that, and we will do so. but we always have to remember those who are doing their part in the defense of this nation.
our men and women in uniform and their families. throughout this process, i will be working closely with the leaders of this department, including service chiefs, to ensure that we do not break faith with our troops and with our families. we have a volunteer force that is the heart and soul of our military strength. and we have to do everything possible to protect that volunteer force. i have no higher responsibility as secretary of defense but to do everything i can to protect and support them. every decision i make will be made with them in mind. they put their lives on the line. too many have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of this country.
we owe it to them to do this right and to do this responsibly. >> thank you. i would only add that the chiefs and i fully agree with you. we have no issue with the military budgets being held to account in these challenging times or with the need to make tough program decisions moving forward. in the, we long ago braced ourselves for a decrease in defense spending and worked hard to decrease some of that pressure by finding efficiencies where we can. we are gratified that an agreement was struck to raise the debt ceiling and we believe the terms of the deal are at least in the near term reasonable and fair with respect to future cuts. the cuts required by disagreement over the next 10 years higher certainly in keeping with the president's previous budgetary -- are
certainly in keeping with the president's previous budgetary review process. but we also share your concerns about the devastating impact of further automatic cuts should the congress fail to enact additional deficit reduction measures. the defense department may represent 50% of the discretionary budget in this country, but there is nothing discretionary about the things we do every day for our fellow citizens. from the two wars we are fighting in iraq and afghanistan to the support we provide our nato allies in libya, from disaster relief missions like those in haiti and japan, to the training exercises and joint and combined operations we conduct around the world, the u.s. military remains a linchpin to defending our national interests. to loosen that been unnecessarily -- that cpin
unnecessarily puts a great risk the missions we have already been assigned as well as the ones that have yet to be assigned. i just returned from afghanistan and iraq. i was struck to the degree to which the dead and the state of our economy preoccupied our troops. -- the debt and the state of our economy preoccupied our troops. on the one hand, i found it encouraging that the troops were informed and interested. on the other hand, i found it lamentable that they needed to be. our men and women downrange have enough to worry about just getting the job done. they should not have to also be concerned about whether they will be paid to do that job and whether their families will get the support they need during long absences. we can do better than that as a military and as a nation.
as i have said many times, our growing debt remains the biggest threat to our national security. we will do our part in this regard, but we cannot allow that effort to go so far and to cut so deep that it jeopardize our ability to deal with the other very real and very serious threats we face around the world. we cannot allow it to break the all volunteer force upon which whose backs we place the burden of national defence. a balanced approach is what the chiefs and i see, and sensible cuts are what we expect. i look forward to working with you mr. secretary as to lead the effort to make these difficult, decisions.onsist >> the defense department budget has doubled over the past 10 years. where would you see the best opportunities for savings?
mr. chairman, do you think that these cuts will affect the pace and drawdown in afghanistan as well as the number of troops and equipment and other resources that the u.s. can leave in iraq beyond the end of the year. >> with regards to the first part of your question, we have -- and it is ongoing -- a comprehensive free view -- review to look at all areas of the defense budget. the service chiefs are looking at all of those areas and will ultimately make the recommendations as part of this comprehensive review, which, my goal is to be able to use that comprehensive review to inform
the decisions and strategies that we have to make, said that is going to be key to what decisions we make and what areas we look to for savings. >> from the standpoint of the troop presence, if you will, in iraq, afghanistan, and other places around the world, i do not think there is a decision now that is going to take cost into consideration. we have to do that. our budget has doubled. a significant part of that, and rightfully so, has been the investment in our people and our families over the course of the last 10 years because of who they are and what we have asked them to do in fighting these two wars and the stress that they are under. i would argue with the strategic comprehensive umbrella that the secretary described, that a balanced approach, looking at obviously our operational costs,
looking at the investment in our people as well as in programs, and where the service chiefs are is recommending very strongly that we look at all of these, and given the strategic approach, but just accordingly. -- adjust accordingly. all of that said, i have no expectation that we will send people in harm's way without the resources they need. i expect that willi expect thate somewhere else. >> how can you make any of the client you said today or yesterday about wanting $400 billion and the $500 billion could cause great damage and
cataclysmic consequences if you do not have the backdrop complete degette? >> we are not sitting in the office is doing nothing. what i am doing is having a number of discussions about the service chiefs, with our budget people, without our policy people to talk about all of the areas that need to be considered. we are waiting for the review itself as it goes through. that is not stopping us from sitting down and having discussions about how we would have to implement the savings requirement we are facing. >> secretary gates implied there was a risk and different approaches to cutting $400 billion. >> the most important
responsibility we have this to make public the recommendations we have with regard to our budget. that will reflect some of the decisions and recommendations under review. the american people are entitled to and the congress and the president -- a presentation on what our defense system will look like, not just today, but in the next five and 10 years. that will affect a lot of the decisions that went into making the final recommendations to the country. >> mr. secretary, is it fair to say you are drawing up contingency plans in case the request for cuts are triggered? >> no, i am not. we are focused on the number that was part of the debt ceiling agreement, which was in the ballpark that we had worked out with president obama and omb.
thattill confident that number is manageable and we can the with-i feel confident that that number is manageable -- i feel confident that that number is manageable. all i know is that from the review we have been doing of what we have to deal with with these numbers that anything that doubles that would be disastrous to the defense budget. >> will you be caught flatfooted? >> i will give congress the opportunity to have this committee work. that is what they are looking toward. i think the president and everyone who was part of the debt ceiling agreement believes and hopes that this committee will exercise their responsibility to look at other areas of the budget other than just discretionary to come up with the kind of numbers that
have to be part of a deficit reduction agreement. >> i understand the review itself is ongoing. you have inherited a military that has grown in size significantly in terms of manpower since the start of two wars. do you think you need a military that big? can you shed personnel? since the wars are winding down? >> i will not get into the particulars about what we will or will not decide. the goal is to designed a defense system that will meet these steps -- the threats of the future. we have to protect our core national security interests. we have to provide the best military in the world.
we cannot break faith with the troops and their families. those are the key elements that have to be part of what we decide. >> can i just add to that? the question presumes we have dramatically increased our end straight. the question on end strain has been on our armed forces. if you -- end straight -- end strength has been on our armed forces. the marine program has come down 16,000. in that same time, the navy ength about end strai 20,000. given the challenges we have had, it has not been that
significant relatively speaking. >> on your recent trip to iraq, you were emphatic in urging the iraqis that if they decided they wanted american troops to stay beyond the deadline for withdrawal, they needed to make that request soon. this week, vice president joe biden is quoted as saying that deadline has already passed. it is too lake and all american troops will be out by the end of the year. -- too late and all american troops will be out by the end of the year. is there a dispute within the administration about whether or not to keep troops in iraq after the deadline? >> there were comments made yesterday after the meeting with the taliban. those comments and decisions are
being reviewed to determine what the next steps should be. one thing i can assure you. we will always maintain a broad and long-term relationship with the iraqi people. whatever decision we make with regard to our military presence will be done in that contest. -- that context. >> what sort of numbers are you thinking about in terms of how many american troops need to stay in iraq beyond that deadline? >> that has to be part of that process of discussing exactly where we need to go between now and the end of the year. we appreciate the fact that they have made the decision to engage. now the question is for us to engage and decide what that will look like.
>> yesterday, senior defense officials said there should be no more cuts from the super committee. they should look to taxes and entitlements. do you think that is a realistic position? >> let me put my old budget had on. -- hat on. you cannot deal with the size deficits this country is confronting by cutting the discretionary side of the budget. that represents less than 1/3 of the overall budget. as the president has made clear, if you are going to deal with those size deficits, you have to look at the mandatory side of the budget. you also have to look and revenues as part of that answer. while i am commenting on that,
let me make a point on the discretionary budget. the discretionary budget has taken some serious cuts. both as a result the the continuing resolutions from last year as well as the decision just made in the debt agreement. when you look at national security, i think you have to look at the broader context. national security is not just dependent on the defense budget. it is also dependent on the quality of life in this country, which involves the domestic side. it is dependent on the federal government and its ability to conduct diplomacy. all those elements are contained on the discretionary part of the
budget. they represent in a very real way, the security of this country. i hope the leadership in the congress will take the time to look at the areas they should be looking at it they are serious about dealing with the deficit. >> so the answer is there should be no cuts? >> we are already taking our share of the discretionary cuts as part of the debt ceiling deal. anything beyond that would damage our national defense. >> a recent analysis from the pentagon says over the past 10 years, the bill -- of the past 10 years says the d.o.d. is spending more. it says that will continue. how will you be able to deal with that in your budget review going forward? >> in the course of the last
couple of years, we have focused heavily on the deficiencies aspect of who we are. -- the deficiencies -- effici iencies of who we are. we will look at the overhead. we recognize that resources going there are not going to those that are out on point. there is a trade. we also fully recognize that, at some level depending on where we take the cuts, pir fore -- our forestructure takes a hit.
there are cost and schedule requirements that are in jeopardy and will be under scrutiny as we go forward. i am confident we can meet the target we have been given bus bar -- thus far. we understand that if those cuts were to double, we have looked into that abyss. 's view ise chief that that is dangerous for the country. we will continue to focus on these national security requirements, the demands of which are still out there and will be in the future. >> you said you hope dequestion -- sequestion will not happen.
the defense department says hope is not a strategy. mr. chairman, you said you could not allow the cuts to go so far and so deep as to risk national security. with respect, the question is, if dequestio -- sequestion happens, how strongly do you feel -- sequestration happens, you feel you could remain in office? >> i did not come into this office to quit. i came into this job to fight. buy a ticket is to fight to make sure some common sense prevails here.
the committee that is established does it work in looking at these areas of the budget. i have to emphasize with them the dangers of sequestration and the impact it would have on our national defense. mike mullen and i have a responsibility to educate the leadership on the hill of the dangers if they allow sequestration to take place. for part of the record, i was involved in a conference on gramm rutgers. i know what sequestration is all about. at that time, the decision was to use this tool to force the right decisions. i do not think it will work. it was the approach that was taken in the past. congress made the decision not
to proceed with gramm-rudman because the results would be so damaging. every time the trigger was to take effect, it was postponed. >> twice now within a number of months, you have had to say to the troops, you did not know if they would get paid. i do not know if any of us recall that happening. how do you command in a war when the troops come to your time after time and they wonder if they are getting a paycheck? >> i tried to address that in some of my comments today. putting them in a position where they have to worry about this and their families is something we have to make sure in the future -- in future debates -- does not occur. we have a significant number of our younger force -- be on our
part of our force -- who are married and who are living paycheck to paycheck. that was the source of the question the other day when i was in afghanistan. all of that said, throughout my career, when pay starts being discussed, it comes to the top of the list for our troops. i do not think we should put them in a position to have to ask that question. >> as you are doing this review, tell us a little bit about it threats as you perceive them to the country. in your last job, you worried about that a lot every day. when you were in afghanistan, you said you saw al qaeda, which has been a big focus, almost
defeated. obviously, there are offshoots. what do you tell the american people about the real threat out there and how do you match that to what the defense budget should look like? >> that is one of the fundamental issues we have to deal with, to identify what those threats are and make sure we are prepared to confront those threats. that is what national defence is all about. terrorism, and the terrorism network still remain a threat even though we have badly damaged al qaeda and their ability to conduct attacks in this country. they still remain a threat, a threat coming out of yemen. a threat coming out of somalia and elsewhere. that means we have to continue the pressure to deal with the threat of al qaeda. in addition to back, we have two
wars that we are still dealing with in afghanistan and iraq. we have a responsibility to try to bring those wars to a stable conclusion. that is what we are trying to do. in addition to that, we have the threats that come from iran and north korea. and the need to continue to watch them closely. the danger being they could achieve some kind of nuclear capability. in addition to that, the responsibility is obviously to be able to project our power in the world in order to make sure rising powers understand the united states still has a strong defense. on of those areas are important national defense areas that we have to pay attention to. mike? >> in terms of security, what is
your level of concern for north korea and the chinese military extension? >> having just visited china recently, we are all concerned with sustaining continued stability in the region. north korea has historically generated provocations, which included last year when they killed 46 south korean sailors. they killed three south korean marines. the south korean have taken a strong position. they are not going to tolerate that anymore. south korea is a tremendously strong, a longstanding ally that we are supportive of. we continue to work with them to try to insure the stability. it is a lengthy discussion i had in china with my counterpart. there are concerns throughout the region with the growth of
china, the case they are growing their defense, the capabilities, which in many cases are anti-access. they would like to see the united states stay out. we are addressing those issues. i am delighted that my counterpart came here and i was able to go there. we started a military relationship so that we could have been discussions. there are going to be rough times. i hope we can sustain that relationship and build on it over time. it is an area of great concern, certainly growing concern as china builds. what we speak up when it comes to china's transparency, what is it that you are building? the unity of the country in -- countries in the region is important. we need those disputes to be settled peacefully and to
support stability in the region. that is what we are focused on. >> could you give us more details about who will be in charge of negotiations with the iraqi government? do you think the mission can last for more than two years? are there factors without u.s. troops? >> general austin, who is heading our forces there, and the ambassador, will be the primary and a lot of tears -- interlocutors. >> some members of the picture at factor -- pure terror meant -- procurement believe he lacked
some experience. >> having worked with him in the time i have been here in the past capacities, i find him to be someone who is serious minded and capable and a good manager. that is the primary interest i have, to make sure the deputy understands this department can help me manage this department. he is doing an outstanding job at that. with regard to his successor, i have asked for a list of individuals that we think can be placed them and have an industry knowledge that i think is important to that job. >> i have been in and out of acquisition for a long time. i have watched carter worked inside acquisitions for the last
couple of years. i have been incredibly impressed on how he focuses on programs. he is a bright, capable guy. he is interacting exceptionally well with industry. his focus has been on those things we need in the fight. he has made a huge difference. i think he will continue to do that should he be confirmed. >> two questions on what has not been mentioned, libya. mr. secretary, you warned about allies becoming exhausted in libya. do you think there are more steps the u.s. should take to break the stalemate? and there was a request for additional you less -- u.s. isr. i was wondering if there was a decision on that.
>> with regard to working with our allies, i believe nato has done a good job at conducting the operations in libya. we have been working in the nato context. they have made good progress. the key is for the opposition to continue to exert itself to bring pressure on the regime. the combination of nato and the opposition has weakened the regime and given us a better opportunity to put diplomatic pressure on gaddafi to step down. >> on the isr, i would not comment on what commanders are asking for or not an operational requirements. with respect to isr, there is a commander i know who would like more.
it is something we look to to adjudicate in proportion of the time. >> about the alliance, especially nato, ours is not the only country facing serious budget problems. many of our european allies are facing them. can you talk about what you see the future of nato been and what the future challenges are for nato -- being and what the future challenges of nato are? >> bob gates made some excellent comments about nato. i am a believer in those partnerships. it is not enough for the united states to make -- to have a
strong national defense. it is important for other countries to work with us and to assume responsibilities that are increasingly resented by difficult wars. i go -roby- increasing -- increasingly represented by difficult wars. we have to work on an approach that tries to develop some kind of resources for nato so that it can be strong for the future. i think it is important. i think it plays an important role in terms of world security. much more needs to be done to strengthen the partnership. >> welcome and congratulations. you have met all of the
officials in afghanistan. they are targeting high level officials. what role do you think india will play? >> this is just coming out of afghanistan a couple of days ago. with respect to the threats growing in afghanistan, we had some expectation that they would move to these spectacular assassinations. we do not dismiss them. they are serious threats in that regard. the taliban suffered significantly last year. they no longer owned the battle space. we expect this will continue. we are working hard to protect our forces and also provide
enhanced security for the senior afghan officials, which are targeted here. the second part of the question was -- >> the role of india? >> i have felt for a long time that is a south asian and regional challenge that all countries have. the united states has vital interests in the region. we need to address these challenges or they will get worse. i encourage the discussions between pakistan and india in recent weeks and months. if i understand both governments, those will continue. i hope they do. i consider those -- consider
that to be a positive step. >> thank you, mr. secretary. [laughter] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> we heard secretary panetta sang a defense cuts in state in the defense that it would damage national defense. congressional quarterly writing that the chairman of the house armed services committee has put together a group of 39 lawmakers to influence the deficit- reduction committee against making further defense cuts. the committee will make recommendations in late november. >> every weekend, american
history television on c-span 3 highlights the civil war. a law school professor on abraham lincoln and the emancipation proclamation. the civil war, every weekend on american history television on c-span 3. following a serious t of tweets, gabrielle giffords returned to the house to pass one of the last votes to raise the nation's debt ceiling. >> throughout america, there is not a name that there's more love, more admiration, or respect, war wishing for our daughters to be like her, then the of congresswoman gabrielle giffords. >> watched her return to the house online.
is washington, your way. you are watching c-span. bring new politics and public affairs. every morning, "washington journal," our live public affairs program. weekdays, watch live coverage of the u.s. house. also, supreme court oral arguments. on the weekend, our interview programs. on saturdays, open with the communicators." -- "the communicators." you can also watch all our programming at any time at c- span.org, and it is searchable. a public service created by america's cable companies. >> the american geophysical
union and the american meteorological society had a meeting including advancements in satellites and the impact of budget cuts. this is an hour and a half. >> good afternoon, everyone. thank you for being with us this afternoon in washington, d.c. is great to have you with us. i am the executive director of the american geophysical union, and i would like to think the american meteorological society. we never really, really distinguished panel and important information to convey. here. even though it's typically out of sight and out of mind, americans across the country rely on polar orbiting satellite
systems more than menino. in addition to the impact on everything from agriculture to aviati safety to the oil and gas industry, the satellites facilitate our ability to issue timely and accurate warnings during other events like tornadoes and hurricanes. and this certainly has been a really interesting weather year for the united states. the three to five dss warnings we are able to give when severe weather strikes depends on the data from the polar orbiting satellites and other things at which are used to interpret this data which you will hear about from our panel. we saw how beneficial as a country these advanced warnings can be earlier this year when tornadoes swept through the southern u.s. and in joplin misery. all weather forecasting systems rely on the data provided by noaa and the national weather service and the polar satellite provide 90 present of the data that is used in weather service forecast models.
maintaining reliable data mandates is that we maintain our polar orbiting satellite system including the next jpss -- excuse me for a minute. the next generation system which as many of you was the joint polar satellite system or jpss. each year as weather is the direct cause of thousands of deaths of injuries and billions of dollars in damage today we are going to discuss how these satellites protect not only public safety but they also protect national security and our economy. i'm going to introduce the panel and then turn it over to dr. berrien moore who's the director as well as the chesapeake energy corporation chair and climate study for the university of oklahoma school of meteorology and the dean of the denver city collge fought mustered in the geographic study and vice president of the schools weather and climate programs, and he will begin to
moderate the panel as soon as i introduce them to u. with us today in addition to dr. moore, we have dr. 9-1-1 sullivan as you know the assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and production and deputy head minister of the national oceanic and atmospheric administration. jim stefkoch, as a meteorologist in charge ofthe national weather service in birmingham alabama, blah, blah and, a wjla meteorologist. the climate communications person who's getting his doctorate at george mason university,orking on his doctorate -- at george mason university here in the washington, d.c. area, and edward eddie hicks was the emergency management director in morgan county alabama and president of the u.s. council of
the international association of emergency managers. and with that i am going to turn it over to berien. >> thank you. appreciate that. >> i >> thankou. appreciate that. >> i am delighted to be here. as you can tell from the introduction of the panel we are going to range from noaa's role on the observation that forecast to the role of the forecaster and then to the role of what do people do with the information. so having eddie hicks here to be able to tell us what it's like to be at ground zero is a particular important part of this panel. i had some experience with that
this past year in norman oklahoma. as the director of the national weather center this was my first year and my irst day on the job if you will in tornado season. in fact that almost indicates my east coast bias that i had never really been in a tornado alley, and so the white had joined the university in june in 2010 my first spring in normandy and on may 24 for kavanagh and others from the production center and the national laboratory called me at 8:30 and said the models are converging and we need to brief the vice president that
between 5:30 and 6:30 on the i35 corridor 20 miles south to 20 miles north of oklahoma city we are going to have severe tornado conditions. this is 8:30 morning. spinning there wasn't a cloud in the sky. the golf course was crowded the students left for the summer, people were taking picnics, it was a beautiful springtime day and norman oklahoma. the governor was called we waited for the mid morning past of the polar satellite, the models continue to converge and the data was bei integrated but there was no need at this stage to bring in the radar data because it is a crystal clear day and the pooler afternoon platform led by regading the
data the network started to kick in. so these models are now beginning to assimilate different datasets. at 3:00 the government sets the state down. there wasn't a cloud in the sky. on i called over to the golf course to brief the professor and said yes we already know about that but we feel like we can gt people off the course in the next hour. 4 o'clock in the afternoon a few clouds began to appear in the sky. at 5:15, we began to ve to evacuate the second floor into safe areas leaving open only the forecast office bause by this time we were now eginning to see the radar take in. at :48 tornadoes touches down north of oklahoma city and the corridor. another tornado touch is done between oklahoma city and
normandy and the third tornado 2 miles suth of campus touches down abot 6:45. 7:00 we get the all clear. i walk out side and not a cloud in the sky. i thought i had never seen science quite like this, to see the observation of computing scientific systemssay something at 9:00 in the morning, 5:30 and six time kofi that we were going to have severe conditions. the bp for the research and meteorologist was a little disappointed that the third would kicking in at 6:45 and we would miss the forecast. now this is extraordinary for the country to have this kind of capability to actually go through that sequence and what are the elements of that sequence and hen how do we communicate the information is something we need to do not only today but a number of times this
next year. so, my first question is to dr. sullivan, and that is tell us what noaa does in all of this and tell us what is the state of the system right now in all of this. >> thanks. who can say it better tan that first-person account. and by the way, i'd like to say for the members of all th stuff here i can't tell you how fun it is to be in the chamber and speaking to people without a five minute timer in front of me. laughter could it's absolutely extraordinary.w we are facing a differentwwww direction. thatoesn't hrt. so i was in kansas city arriving in kansas city on the day berrien just told you about. i was on route to a couple places on was to kansas city to visit our central region forecast office which is the central control and coorinating
authority for all of the weather forecast offices that had just been experiencing and pparing people for what berrien described and about ten days earlier had been serving in a similar role as tornadoes last for joplin missouri, quite a devastating in that community 115i believe the final count was lives lost, thousands of structures at 1800-acre fields that is to be people's homes and hospitals. it was quite an experience and in fact the day that we were driving from kansas city down to springfield a the joplin area tornadoes were running through the sutheastern part of kansas city and we were relying on the same forecast skills, the san chain berrien described to the models, the expert forecasters to provide the guidance and in the media from the apple on our iphone to the radio and television to get the word out that last mile so that we all know not just with the models say because we on't care what
the models say. what we care about is what is about to happen in your neighborhood. and how can i explain that to you in a way that says you know henry lee right where you are, not in the county geerally, but along the ice 35 corridor plus or minus a few miles. so you can ahat into yur sense of where you are very readily and determine what actions to take. we got off the highway. we were looking at all the information to the radiologists and the lot better geologists in the car looking at all the data looking at all the sources, the highway is the worst place to be we got off the highway. we said let's at least start with a large structure like a restaurant. we've walked in and it was an apple these -- applebees. he says we are serving, we have the freezers, we are not seeing anybody by the window, we know
the drill and we are paying attention, too. the restaurant is relying on the same information to be sure they make the right decision can we continue to serve customers or not. when we have to take the business loss and do the right thing and in that window because we do have large firms structures like freezers, how can we help stucture people, they, are there, they are already at that point. people survived in joplin taking refuge in freezers and large food freezers and restaurants and stores. i'm sure the same is true of alabama. so, you know, i would like to amplify again that chain and may be introduced a metaphor that is anchored on when end and absolutely remarkable and berrien user right adjectives the concrete salles whitcomb blight fndation of expertise come observational to the the the the advanced modeling
capability that the united states owns and operates as a federal public good platform. this is not what the weather channel does, this is not what kgla does, this is what we, as a nation, do, to ensure that for all citizens with the technical and expertise foundation that lets this sort of observation transform to knowledge, transform to information that matters and move in a timely fashion in a channel that clicks with who ou are and where you are so that you can take the right action to protect yourself, your business, your home, your family and connects the folks like eddie hicks here so that they can help put the word out and prepare first responders and that's the one of thelink to this change that i would alert you to. berrien told a story putting people out of harm's way in the precautionary sense, get people out of the way in advance. at the same time that that word was reaching him, because he happens to live in a very -- one
of the nation's best meteorology departments, our central region and local forecast offices are activating circuits and relationships they work on an everyday basis to keep in good touch. they are calling emergency managers, they are tied into fema and red cross. bigger telling those first respoers the same thing, too, so they can run through the prepared this checklist and think where the command post structures are and the stocks and stores. the probability of the hits are going and what supply chains, retailers fromwal-mart and other vendors can the alert we may need your help in this corridor over the next couple of days if they really hit, so thinabout being on the ground after the storm winds through and in a footprint where it did touch ground. the place i don't want to be. think about being that person coming out of that restaurant freezer or out of your cellar to the blue sky and the fix that
used to be your home. thanks again to the chance to believe and communication, the people who are losing out to respond to you knew in advance, was staged in advance has been on their tiptoes ready to advance. we can't make what has happened to those decisions go away, but we certainly can bring the response in to play hours if not days faster. we can think of other natural disasters sometimes in this country, sometis overseas, in that window of time from eight hits and has passed from finally someone is here to help me and it has been measured in days if not weeks, he potential for disease goes up, casualty numbers go up as people suffer more severe consequences of early injuries. we have some remarkable ability in this country to confine and lesson that cascade with further caading consequences. so what does noaa do? noaa is the agency that has been
charged with that federal foundation responsibility. we are charged with operating satellites and polar orbits that deutsch scans are around the planet and the planet rotates underneath. we work in partnership with the defense department and the egg european meteorological. he mentioned the pass and the impleader satellite path. there was a european satellite and in the morning it was the noaa and in the afternoon that is the kind of international collaboration on the observations characterized in the enterprise if i may use that term for more than a century. the united states makes myriad measurements from satellites and other systems every day multiple times a day. characterizes the atmosphere and weather patterns over our country. satellites of course are indispensable for many reasons including the upstream areas over the pacific ocean that are going to become the united states three, four, five days on the road. they make vertical profiles of the key atmospheric constituents
that are the essential ingredients in the models. we share that data freely and with the media of local services of every other country on the plan that really a simple reason. we absolutely also have to have their data to feed our models and the cost of trying to inspire the to implement the world to the scale that we need to do with your forecasting has prohibited. it is a remarkable partnership that the data exchanges have endured through times of hostility, for times of open warfare where the data has still been exchange. as we operate the satellites. i will come back to the constellation and the moment and the stationary tellite as well. we installed and operate the fundamental backbone radar network of about 88 sites across the united states and for the trust territories. we are on certain other targeted more local scale instrument
networks partly for smaller scale measurements to help characterize how the pattern is scaled down to regions and partly for the research to improve operations. we also around the national centers for the environmental protection and the storm prediction center which is located with the weather center is one of those centers. the tropical prediction center whichyou know was the national hurricane center is another one. so some focus centers the work of developing the expertise and the modeling capability to get comfortable lead potent forecasts for different weather phenomena. out of all of that infrastrucre the super computers that run the models and the forecasters at process and produce the outlook guidance, that outlook guidance produce the certified if you will national forecast data that is put out n abundance of the information products. we have called them the family
of services. anybody coming you can come to the web site and find and pick up any of those products yourself if you would like. but what we all do more commonly is that an application on our iphone or have favored meteorologist or some other source that fills the gap for us and those the extra translation. noaa doesn't try to transmit the products all the way into the kind of format you get them for your personal use we turn to our partners in the private-sector to do that and rely on them tremendously to make sure the ground is saturated and covered and a free betty, every one possible has heard about it. i would say to other things on that point and then i am sure my five minutes are up. [laughr] one if you ever hear -- if you ever hear these phrases, they have absolutely positively by mutual agreement with our private sector partners as well as national mandates the have come only from noaa. if you ever hear special with her statements that is a sort of
good housekeeping seal of approval that tells you national forecasters looking at the public safety and economic benefit has escalated tension around the other circumstances. if you ever hear watch or warning, those are only -- that is only your country warning you and alerting you heads up something might be in your area or something is in your area and you need to be acting now to protect your business and your life and your home and our partners in the private sector lped pass that on to all of you. >> one other small question and then i want to go to the other part of the panel. we all have just come through another severe weather event, úd and that's the budget, and i wsú wondering in this severe weather have we come out of the storm ú shelter yet, and what we look@ around when we see what the@@ ptatus of your system in terms0@
of both the geostationarydú satellite and the low earthp orbit satellite as well as the other observation systems, howñ are we in that situation? >> i am in peeking out from the storm shelter but not entirely convinced yet to leave. so, with respect to the satellite constellations as happens with both the polar and the jeal satllite series at points in a milestone where there are new satellites in the design of the pertinent process to get up on the order in the 2015 from 16 come 17 timeframe the target always has been to be to have the satellite ready on statioto take over from the one that has been in place to not have a feel we're on the order that leaves you with a gap in the data streams that we have been talking about, so for the polar satellites, we have a satellite that is built close to ready to go in colorado at the
air base by the name of npp and our target is to get off the ground in october of this year for the five-year life of a ticket for016. the joint polar satellite that was mentioned has been queued up to be the successor and takes the baton from npp in the 2016 timeframe. the current year fiscally 11 funding challenges with budgets that didn't reach federal agencies until the fourth quarter shorted the budget required to the procurement with gps s by a very substantial amount that was requested was just over a billion dollars, 1.07 billion, the satellite happens to be that point you have to step up into actually building hings. the number refers, it came out on the appropriation was 382 million, quite the gap. the administration and others realize andhe severity of the gawe worked together over a number of months and managed to move that north to 471 million.
nonetheless, that our best estimates now say that has moved the on or bet rate in the state buy something on the order of a year and raises a very real risk almost a certainty that there will be a gap in the data for the afternoon or bit. the european union, a unit that has continuing to work to sustain thearning orbit we might have a gap, we might not get that second look at berrien mentioned for a period of about a year. we don't know the budg for the next fiscal year fy 12 yet. our proposals have been marked up by the house. we again came asking for the amount we need, 1,000,000,000.6. the house market was close to that in the 900 million range. we don't know yet what the final outcome will be in the senate awaiting their number and of course, the outlook for 13 is certainly as we are hearing at
any rate the outlook is nobody's budget is likely to go up but staying flat will be some degree of a victory. as of the challenge here is for noaa although this is not the noaa alone problem how we deal with being at a critical juncture for these absolute critical satellite observing systems the jeal system is coming along as well. how to be a comedy that, how do we get that done? within the constraints that the agencies are looking at? onthe radar site i will quickly add the next system is in pretty good shape. our scientific cadre that keeps improving our ability to extract information from it is pressured by these budgets and really spectacular advances, technical advances n the radar system that are just at hand, the ability to step into those and go to the dual polarization and stolid radars i think those prospective advances, which others at this table can tell
you really would revolutionize the short term accuracy with things like tornadoes. that is certainly threatened by these budget pressures. >> okay. let me shift now to three of our forecasters, and i would like them to just take the general topic of a forecast, and in particular dhaka brian and jim and joe it's been my experience and maybe this is a game, the fact that i have not been in the area necessary lee sevier whether, i don't remember as often where the forecast was that one day in and today's out, but i guess that in the area where these are real issues, the one and today out forecast is a reality. i would like to talk about that as well as the in how do you shift over to when it becomes
now we are in the warning phase, out of the watch phase. at the 30 minutes and the 45 minute stages. talk to us a little about your role and what your response of the czar and when you are looking at. maybe start with bob. >> on the chain and the continuity, and it gives me an opportunity not to necessarily do it myself, but to give a little bit of a history, my synoptic professor and the synoptics are the basis of the forecasting, was one of the great pioneers from the school of meteorology that ben with rossby, and before i got into this side of the business from the opportunity to be in the research for a while i met a man who was one of the great hour original fundamental driving forces behind the miracle of
weather forecasting, rather than using analytical techniques and with the art form is, and i'v been fortunate to know people like that who re one of the great pioneers in the radar meteorology. and course byrne who was one of the great pioneers between satellite meteorology. so what has been for me exciting to start looking at years ago the beer truck mdelthat jardine was used as the first model process, and to see the evolution and to see the tremendous advance and application of the science that i started laughing as a ten year old boy that loves snowstorms, and here we are today. so, i think the application and the utility across the science itself from everything from the short term life critical
decision making to the longer term planning economically and for two to three to four it is out and to see that being accepted across every sector of the united states and worldwide and what wedo has a surface and as perhaps a fundamental service of government, that is the protection of life and property, that is the weather community has been so satisfying to me to see coming and as i have grown into this and then to be able to now be a part of that community that we all share, tha is how do we help people one, understand what will be happening and then how do we help them make the best decision. whether it is the one hour with a two hour and ten minute decision or the decision for three or four weeks ahead of time, as now people in oklahoma are having to deal with ever more economically and personally
challenging things from heat waves. so by that as a little background, what we have seen is the fundamentalapplication of so many parts of the science. that is the data which is so critical, and rick anthony used the analogy of what we do as a three leggitt school. the data from their remote sensing, the satellites that are now all 51-years-old when we first began to where we are now, those data, the fundamental understanding of the meteorology what is going on, and the us of the computer systems such as the great pioneers of snider and cno chare had so that the medical forecasting has indeed now advanced to the way we do business. it is no longer an art form, it is a science that benefits everybody in every sector and in every part of the country, and
the service that we render as the nation to the world for that matter with cooperation and the sharing of data. so it has been a continuity if you will, and the continuity that must continue. sometimes i think we lose sight of how rapidly we have arrived athe point we are now in the application of the science and where we have yet to go. the forecasting problem is not solved, and we cannot lose sight that we need to maintain and devotee of its those critical, critical elements, be they ever more powerful computers, be they the continuity and the maintenance of the critical satellite data, be they the education of all of us or be faith in the use of all of the new communication tools that we now have at our disposal from
our public and private partnerships to the emergency managers so thatndeed people can make the right decisions. so, seeing that and then maintaining it and continuing at is at the core of the government should do. so i don't think we can lose sight of the risk that there is this perception. we have solved the forecasting problem. let's move on to the next. the forecasting problem is not solved. we can only have a chance, and as we can see to get that tornado warning 30 minutes out, one hour o down to specific neighborhoods have people make again the right decision. advance so that we can,en days ahead of time, begin to have some planning for a hurricane or for an economically devastating and changing what people do for winter storms. and this is the economic payoff,
and the economic benefit to the country to the individual is huge in terms of cost benefit, and again, this gvernment, and we are all part of that, then the citizens i never heard someone come up to me and say you know what, we are paying too much for our weather services. i don't think i'm getting my money's worth as a tax payer. they have never said that. so, it's been a very exciting career that life had come and gratifying to see one, cooperation that exists across all sectors. but importantly, the afghans and where we've come from from those early beginnings and the advance and acceptance of our science by so many decision makers in the public that the then take what we say and believe it and take the action. but the job is not over. we have to as a community make sure that we maintain this and don't have any gaps that are --
the public if they hear that there is a gap coming up that's going too deteriorated and have a regression, they would say what the heck is going on? that something that's important to me. so we are all in the same boat together. >>ick up on that a little bit from us and then i would like to go to jim to tell us from the alabama perspective and particularly the relationship that you and eddie have had but i would like to go to joe first. from your experience, but things stand out in your mind as a forecaster and the role of the forecaster >> - cui are all on the steamboat. in fact i can remember back in seattle, 1970i just started out in tv. we would go down the ational???? weather service office and take? a four by five polaroid????????
black-and-white image of what??? was happening from clouds and??? looking down on the clouds over? the pacific. we have little data???? coming ? the pacific a few ships here and there and so for us it was pretty fuzzy at the same time and our technology has grown so quickly and so fast things to the wonderful scientific world we have in this country. remember when we thoughtgetting a better forecast by telephone was so cool like it filed a number to get weather forecast try that with and a tornado approaching it just wouldn't work and then we had a mile phones come along and could get the weather on the mobile phones and now where are we? we are now with the iphone and the technology of the iphone you can go to bob's website and i
can see the every are right here and i can see the satellite technology and the doppler radar technology so if we come this far in that short period of time what can science do for us in the short term near future it's been to the explosion of techlogy, knowledge in the computer power that we will be able to do much better when it comes to warnings ahead of time, specifically for tornadoe we show the doppler radar without the doppler radar us tv folks would be much in the dark. doppler radar has done so much for us we still have a challenge trying to figure out what is snow and rain and where is that line that is always a challenge but with the new sensors in the near future with many more channels f information coming and we will be able to decipher much better what are those particles or those water droplets are they high clouds or low clouds or mid-level clouds?
and so the expansion of the capability that we have and that is one thing that i have learned being around the scientists at the campus was that knowledge base that is building and especially with the younger people coming out and it's in a way the way i look at it as a television person that was like a thousand words to me that in 1970 and there is an old chinese saying that modified says tell me and i probably willforget, but show me and i might remember and that is the role that we play sort of feeling that link of the chain of using the wonderful signings the national weatr service of noaa provides and then linking the that information with the graphic power that we have from the satellites from the radar to including the viewers, the visitors' understanding that and
one of the things i do is understanding the strands of informal the education how people learn about science, the first strand is give them the moment and that is exactly what the atellite imagery does in their radar imagery does to look at some of those things, some of those images and we get the tool radar lenni you see the vertical profiles that is really and i know there's a tornado or severe storm there and then the of the third strand is if people can learn how to use scientific reasoning, then they are a part of the science and that is what this technology is doing we are able to show the people and they can lo at some of these images now and understand what he is showing that when he talks about this is a major severe storm, and this is the one we really have to watch so it is that
visualization that every door and the satellite give and have given in the past and have the capability in the near future to give us much, much more. >> tying together what actually happens because of the observation systems that are in place in the satellites, a full six days in advance we started talking about the potential for severe weather. this started coming out of the noaa center as dr. sullivan said the national center. the information that gets passed on to us and what is called the weather forecasting office. we are one of 122 offices inthe nation. we have ur offices that serve the state ofalabama, and speed is in thestate served by a huntsville office and so we are just in the south of birmingham. from there if we started talking about the possibility and the likelihood of a strong to the long trek tornadoes three days in advance.
that is unheard of starting out in my career years ago, a long timeago. that information then gets really to the managers, to our television partners come to the public through our web sites through social media come through our forecasts and other services. we also have an 800 megartz system we can talk directly to the emergency management with. from then a, when we have to we started getting into the sand, people took notice. the night before the event actually on folded we have schools that closed across the state of alabama in anticipation. the morning of the event, we had the state emergency management office at the feet like a land fall hurricane was about to occur. the governor for the state of alabama actually signed an emergency declaration or proclamation about the oncoming weather. so, what happened when it got down to the field level is
because of our relationship that we have with our media emergency management and our oher partners, they believed us and they started taking action of what was about to occur. we don't have slides or video that i wish i could show you. but for alama, it truly was a terrific event. we had for the state actually came in three waves of severe weather. it started in the early morning about 3:00 or 4 o'clock in the morning. we had another waiver around noon. and then the final wave a lot of people saw in tuscaloosa and birmingham occurred in the late afternoon and into the evening hours we had a 24-hour period of severe weather. most -- about the southern half of the state of alabama was affected. between the two offic we issued about 200 mornings. that is tornado warnings combined and hundreds of fallout as dr. sullivan mentioned a follow-up to let folks know the progress of each ndividual storm. and so that information got
conveyed with an average lead time for all of the tornadoes about 24 minutes to read it is almost double the national average that we have for the tornado warnings nationwide. so, people knew that it was coming. people prepared. we had people off the roads, and then when we got to the eve and we were working closely with emergency management during the yvette relating information. and then finally, we talked about the actual warning process itself. but it oesn't end there at the weather service because we spent the early weeks doing damage surveys because we actually go on the field and damage all of the surveys, damage, excuse me, survey of all the damage out there at the beginning points and endpoints wth intensity, dr. hayes was out visiting our offices in alabama and that took weeks and to put this in perspective if we took all 62 tornado tracks that occurred in the state of alabama in the end
was put in perspective, that is going from birmingham to boston on the road, and that is just all in the state of alabama so that is a horrific even. we have about 10 billion cubic yards of damage since in alabama we are big on football that is a football field of damage a mile high and that is all the damage so for weeks afterrds where again working with emergency management and first responders, thousands of first responders local, state, federal partners we are helping first responders minute by minute forecasts using again all the systems because we have severe weather after the 27th of april. sowe have to really minute by minute information to keep these people say if only the folks that lost their homes, approximately 13,000 homes and alabama were completely destroyed or major damage uninhabitable. but also to protect fit responders out there.
so literally for those of us of the field level, the severe weather ease and began in mid to latapril and it didn't wrap up until just recently with all of the surveys, all of the information provided to the first responders and i will go to eddie on that. >> i can tell you that what we have is true of the partnership between the media and the weather service offices and the local offices. there are a couple of things we do pain events. we work with the wt storms potterass's and hat isn't really to e theksout thereo geall ite about chasing storms, but its practical training where we have our police officers, fire folks, ems people, school representatives that are going to have to be around any way,
and we train them, we all train them, not me, we just provide the room, and they would actually train them where to look in the system and what to look for and how to report what they are seeing. so the radar image is good, but we are able to tell, to take that radar image and what is happening on the ground with the radar image. so it is ground prove reporting. the other thing that we do in preparation for this is our county will go out and actually do severe weather surveys in the different facilities. some of my counterparts won't do that because of the liability, and i can tell you my response back to that. if i'm going to get food i'm going to get it for doing something inste of nothing. so, just to a number of you are going to sue me for that. [laughter] we are not professionals and that we tell them up front that
the best thing to do is get an engineer to come in but from our perspective, these rooms are what we feel like are the safest areas, and there has been places some of these buildings we just say we a sorry, we can't find a place that we consider safe at all and what we tell those if you were going to do any additional construction, tt is the time to provide shelter at that time because it is a mere fraction of the cost if you do it passed a part of the building construction. and so, it is a process that we go through there. now, what happens with our weather service partners is we start regular briefings from officials and it's not just the emergency management offices. we bring our superintendent of education, we bring our law enforcement fire and so it is nothing to have0 or 40 people in the operations center just before the briefing, and it
really all depends on how serious, how much you scared us as to what is going on, but you kno it really depends on that. but they aren't getting a firsthand from the weath service what to expect, and i ca tell you that just like you were talking about the details that they had when this system started, we knew that it was going to start sometime after midnight. it started about 3:00 was the first warning that started. that was absolutely not a surprise for us. we had already etermined about what time we were going to activate our emergency operations center. based n what we were told by the weather service, we didn't bring all hands in the cooking to every emergency operations center. we brought 86 - in there because based on what we were told by the professionals, they would be in three ways, and it was.
we knew that the third wave was the one that we really had to gear up for, so each wave that came through we added a few additional people, and the rationale behind that is we don't want to wear everybody ought because you are talking out 18 hours is what this day -- i don't want to live through it again that it was 18 hours a lot of times the intent response. when we talk about activating our emergency operations centers we bring representatives from law enforcent to fight your ems, red cross, salvation army, our volunteer organizations active in disaster and an hour county we bring industrial representatives rescue squad volunteer fire reps and of education. those are just the ones the we will bring in and then the reason we do that i because we know that if we get hit like we are anticipating that we need to start an immediate response.
and so, we don't want to lose the two hours that would take to assemble levity that are already there and ready to respond. i can tell you that the huntsville weather service office issued 20 separate tornado warnings just from my county, 20 separate tornado warnings, and the favorite thing that they told me was they would get on and say morgan county we are issuing another tornado warning for your county. and one thing we do, we don't want to crywolf, with the warnings of the weather service has done that is something that you are not warning for the entire county any longer it is just a section of the county the storm is and will be affecting. we are one of the ones in the state that only try to send our
sirens in that warning area and so what happens withhe big storms that came through, we are big on redundancy of our systems. if one system goes down, we have a backup system in its place. so, what we have in place for four different tv stations that we could monitor the radar. we got access to two different feeds on the over the internet from the weher service and a commercial service that we depend on. well, the cable went out, so that took out four of the systems there. in the internet went out. so, we could not take that box as the weather service issued for th western portion of the county that didn't mean anything to me what part of the western part of the county because i need to sound of those sirens. so i would have to go in and get
them to verbally tell me over the radio what communities were affected, then i was able to go back and and sound of sirens just in that area. but i can tell you when your power goes out because we were fortunate with morgan county the five contiguous counties around my county had anywhere frm ten to 20 times damage that we had. we were forcing it in that we were put in the southwestern corner about 3 miles across their to a 60-mile track a clip from one county, 3 miles in my county and then into another county, and then in fun north western corner they got a 3-mile track there, samething from one county to the other. 100 houses were affected in my county. the other counties were anywhere from, you know, 300 or 0 to 0,00 or whtever. so we were so fortunate tat all
of our -- we were so fortunae compared with any of y neighbors there and so we were able to help and offer response to the other counties. one of the things that happene we have another little s the zeros we had three tornadoes that hit the county. that was what, 75 miles per hour? it took out five of the major transmission's coming into the county. it took out all of the power to the county and they said it would be at least two weeks before we got power back, it was five days but they made us feel better, a whole lot better. but you know, with our response, it was definitely there were no real surprises other than the one numbers that were dealt with, t the timing was right on target. we had the stuffing committee and the public knew what was
going on because for days the untold what to expect from that and unfornately we have loss of life and that is one of the things we need to take from this what is the next step because we had adequate warnings but we still have a loss of life, so we've got to take that and learn from this. >> i think that polygon points out what you have been talking been able to narrow things down from a timing standpoint maybe you could expand on that. >> shortridge for those who don't know how polygon is a multi cited of warning and we have all seen these hurrices about to make land fall it shows the cone of where we expect the track to be. we do that with individual stores. so we only worn a certain sections of the county or a number of counties based on where we expect that severe weather to be and that is why because it polygon warnings, so we are getting down to the fine scale of exactly where we think
the severe weather is going to be so we are reducing, greatly reducing our false alarm rate area of all of our individual warnings. >> i want to ask you to do one other thing. it's a great description of these amazing defense. one might have listened to that and got the sense of the forecast office does is just received satellite imagery in the model law output and pick up the phone and talk to the emergency folks. would you unpacked a little more? what is the actual process of your experts, professional experts of the weather service and to take that communications step. >> the data was wonderful but conveying that through the customers is vital to get the information that the public. for this event, we have never seen the parameters. i personally have never seen in my 30 year career the parameters leading to this event for an outbreak of this magnitude. i used words like armageddon,
death and destruction. i heard from emergency management as we gave statewide briefings of how the tone of my voice i never heard that type of tone before. we also talked about it with the media as well. ouredia in alabama, you were not there, goes wall-to-wall with ll of the tornado warnings. so whether they were on a wall to wall without the interruption from 3 a.m. in the morning until almost midnight, we were using things like the national weather service chad, instant messaging deutsch and emergency managers and media partners, storm spotters, the web information. seóul this is being conveyed to the boots on the ground type of concept is this information was great, but those of us on the field who were working with the folks are really into that and developing the trust relationships so people, when they hear it, listen to us. >> but how do you convert the central guidance you get from the national center for environmental protection and the satellite? what are the technical steps as
converting that into the knowledge that starts you down that through the public on and talk to people pass? what is the part in between? >> we will take the signs being written in the center of the information and start putting em into our own what is called a reena forecast discussion's coming year of a logical discussions but we expect the event to be and we will then art talking about the placement of what type of severe weather we expect, where we expected and as mentioned, time frame to actually honed in where folks can understand what we are expecting. once the warnings become issued, thene are starting to talk about the polygons and in describing in the term that goes on the radio and that goes out as a tone alert for those and i of the congressman bacchus couldn't make it but he has the legislation to put the manufactured homes, so that information goes out in the multiple means to basically tell people exactly where the storm is and where it's going and we will update the warnings frequntly every several minutes to give updates of where the storm is and also talk about the
intensity. we will also be gathering information from emergency management media in real time instant messaging. it's among the things we used was the television cameras out on the field and some of our folks to solve that. it was emotional. some of our staff members beca very emotionally overcome in this event. they have never been in something like this and its something we didn't anticipate coming and i will see first hand that we expected strong tornadoes. we never expected the magnitude. we never expected a total of 11 violent trade was across the state in that day. it was just a horrific event. ..
>> let me point out, and i think a loss of data can lead to a loss of accuracy. if we have a set back in accuracy, we lose, we may lose the confidence of the person making the decision in the forecas and once we lose that confidence in the forecast as with anything, it takes a long time to get that confidence bak. we can want risk a loss, any loss of data. we cannot risk having a set back that then will lead to a greater loss of life, and the thought came to mind there's been a number of studies to try and put
the perspectives of the terrible outbreaks and historical perspectives and what if it happened back in the 20s and 30s with something of this magnitude, the loss of life may have been in the tens of thousands as tragic as it was in the hundreds. all of us involved in the enterprise have never seen anything like that. in a historical perspective before the modern tools, before the data, before the system in place, the loss of life would have been hoer horrendous. >> maybe i can just comment on one experiment that we've done to try to understand rigorously what it would mean if we didn't have that afternoon polar satellite. so we took severe snow event of 2010, and we archive all the data from that event. we can take all theata gathered and processed in the real event and reprocess it.
we did that except we took out the polar afternoon satellite data. in the reel event, in the actual event, it was in the tornado alley, but in the nter time, drenches rains, far enough north dumped 19-22 inches of snow. the forecast, again, five days out, high probability, severe storm. storm tracks like this. the contour lines say heavy rain expected here and heavy snow expected here. three days out, refining the contour lines, numbers on them. the forecast track was on the money for where the storm went. the storm amount range was 18-22 inches. it was 19 inches in the facin the bull's eye where the forecast predicted the most intense snowfall. that's how the real forecast
went in the real event withhe full data set. what happens when you pull the amp polar data out, when you blinded the satellite system by one eye that has a chance of ing blinded in 2016? the track was off tens of miles. the amount of snow forecast was under forecast. the analysis was low by 50 #%. imagine being the eddy hicks here in the metro area, a three-day outlook there could b snow, but in the front range, not a big deal for the city. that's wrong, and it slams the city. imagine there's an outlook that there's eight on nine inches of snow. that's one class response. if you know what the kind of accuracy that we've been talking about here on tornadoes on this d starting at about that time, an intense snowfall event leaving you 22 inches of snow on the ground, you'll behave
differently. if you're the personnel manager, you encourage them to get out of town so there's not thousands of people stranded in cars on the highway in a severe cold event, ect., ect.. thas one example. that illustrates the scale of sensitivity at the forecast can have to this loss of data. we're not talking about slightly wrong. we're talking potentially 50% ss good on where a storm is going or what the consequences it dumps on the ground may be. you know, human beings are pattern response people. one or two times you tell me you can count on this, it's going here, and it comes and hits me here? all of us -- all of us will begin to not respond to warnings. >> following on that theme then
in the context of this pending data gap perhaps, the 2016, this gps system has a pretty long pedigree. colorado rocky road with impose. given that and what you discussed, the vital importance of not losing that afternoon, when is noaa thinking about in terms of a different model for placing a polar orbiting sateite in space in the future so there's not as much of a risk of losing that given budgetary constraints or anything else. what system is out there with a shorter timeline but gives good data or adequate data so you are not facing this 2016 blind spot if you will? >> so, that's a great question. we're looking at all of those questions, and we find that buy a variety of necessities are seeking false into two-time
domains. there is the gps system was for a number of years managed in a different arrangement with what is now jpfs that involved the relationship with the department of defense. that was pved very difficult to make work. there were cost overruns that have been refaced and broken apart so there's a distinct weather and military program. having said that, there's still years of development. we are well down the road towards the specific satellite. as we look at that program in 2011 and how to get to a 2015-16 time frame, anyone who knows complex system engineering and procurement and development, you actually begin to raise the risk dramatically the more you keep churning the program around and shifting courses on it. you have a lot of momentum. contract expertise, spacecraft already under way, so it appears
to us that on the one hand the least risk profile to minimize controlling gaps as much as possible is to stabilize and carry on with the jpfs program. there may need to be takes in the particulars of the program. your question in my view pertains to and what's next after that? are there -- there are emerging and different capabilities in the private sector space community now than before. there's been fascinating experiments. there have been e peermts with constellations and formations of smaller satellites so what instruments could you do, what capability could they have? most of the struments thus far is what people brought to our attention to consider. i would say noaa put out several requests for information. we formally gorp the pro-- begun the process of talking
with industry and academia. it is demanding. you know, the center needs to be starring at the right place and scanning the right things at the right time. that tends to narrow the range of pay lord opportunity you might do. somebody is putting a gps satellite up, and says i can give you acreage, and most of the time your instrument can look here, but i might have to do something else with the satellite. it's a complex picture. we'll continue to work with it, work with partners, and work for pathways and assess their technical and cost capabilities. >> question? >> yes, rick lopez. one thing i wanted to say is that based on your presentation it's obvious what you guys do is
more valuable than all the instruments we bail out on wall street to our congress. [laughter] now, it seems also to me it's apparent that cutting the budget on this technology is outright criminal and murder against our population, so should citizens demand the removal of politicians who impose brutal pos tearty and including president obama who forget to mention he played a role in cutting the satellites. dr. sullivan, do you want to answer that question? [laughter] >> i'll be happy to answer it too. i've been that 10-year-old kid who loved snowstorms. when the president gave the speech on the economy did mention two words "weather satellites" as being important and part of something that should not be cut. in all candorhad not heard
those two words before in a presidential speech and almost fell off my chair. i think he pointed out the vital importance and that as being one of the critical functions of government that should be maintained. >> i guess i would say in my experience as a private citizen for the last 15 years because i only returned from government service 90 days ago. it was remarkable to me -- i guess like any infrastructure, you know, out of sight is a bit out of mind; right? there's a evening forecast on tv, i can count on it. the lights will come on when i flip the switch. i can count on it. what, why, and how that magic actually depends on, we all just put in the background, and we tend not to think about it and take it for granted. there's been a tendency as well, and i say this intending exactly no blame anybody, but there's been a tendency that i've
encounter in my community in ohio to think about if someone thinks about noaa at all, they say, i don't know what you do. i get my weather from the weather channel. [laughter] okay, so i think that general disawareness, if you will, of the reality that the way this enterprise works is it stands on this foundatn, this public service, public good foundation, this tremendously vibrant commercial sector from weather channel to my friend here object left draws on that data. it's a fap by louse -- fabulous market segment and low barriers to entry. i bet there's 13 students at the dp now coming up with the next clever apps for phones. i hope they all succeed and have a new business. that all springs off of this public good, public available
foundation, so we lose the bubble on that. we think fedex delivers the freight and the highway system has nothing to do with it. [laughter] in my experience over the past 90 days, i'd say the rate at which the awareness has been growing as perhaps we have done a better job of making communities an interested stake holder, that has been happening. the president has mentioned it in a couple of spehes. i can tell you it's mentioned in cabinet meetings by other cabinet secretaries, in context of these events, secretary sebelius and we're growing of the awareness. the awareness comes after when you actually needed the awareness, and you have to deal with how do we recover as much
of that lapse in times as we can. we've seen good support within the administration so far and working hard on the problem including support from our fellow cabinet agency and agencies like fema, so i don't have that complaint. >> i wld add also in the question that this is a month of the most bipartisan of areas. senator shelby certainly from alabama, ed hoff from oklahoma. these are staunch republican senators from staunch republican areas, and the satellite weather forecast chain is as strong there as any place in the country, and i think we recognize that. other questions? >> tornadoes don't know which party they are on. [laughter] >> julie campbell, the campbell group. this is for dr. sullivan.
when we're talking about how te uos the programs are and the advanced warnings for preparing for severe weather, what is your wish list or priority for increasing the robustness of the stem and are there any data sets that you would like to increase the capabilities of somewhere down the line? >> julie, are you --ou mean satellites per se with your question or the full infrastructure of the weather foreclosure enterprise? 93% of the data invested by the weather models are satellite data, and the bulk of that by far is something around 85% of that segment comes from the polar satellites. with the responsibility to do all we can to maintain the accuracy of national public forecast, i would have to place the polar satellites highest on
our list. geostationary and the founders and instruments there are not far behind, but there's other elements within the infrastructure that noaa relies on to do its portion of th job. there's other key infrastructure points. we obviously depend critically on a telecommunications backbone and architecture to get the data to the right places, to the prediction, down to the satellites. there are risky points in that system, in keeping that current and robust so there's not multiple embedded single point failures is something we pay close attention to. when you get down to the shorter -- well, let me go the rest the way down the chain. when the weather data, the central guidance model, images arrive at a weather forecast office, jim and his colleagues use a workstation caed the
advanced weather processing system, awps. he's been humble and gracious of dodging the question of how awesome he is towards tipping his hands in the communications challenge, but point of fact the workstation competing power to mesh the models, mesh the data to bring in nets and other local and regional scale data fuse that together, lo atthe calculated vertical index sighs and bring ology of that together -- bring all that together in front of a forecaster focused on a roajal scale to spot where to think about drawing the polygons and why it's drawn here. that's a remarkable fusion of data. it's a fabulous step forward the weather channel achieved in the arly 90s. that's another critical step in the infrastructure, and then
finally the instrumentation that lets the veryhort time frame, smaller scale insight about the dynamics happen, and that's where the radars come into play. someone -- i apologize, i forget who, commented -- joe commented i think, still struggling a bit where the snow line is. you also struggle with which reflection pool is a bird. the current radars send out waves in just one plane like that. there are radars that can send and receive with both the shape of a wave, and that's dual polarization, and that kind of advance lets you discern far more accurately the particular motion of particles and you are sure if it's rain, snow, hail, or birds or even crickets. [laughter] that's one of the advances that's wre on the doorstep of it. it's under test and evaluation. we know a lot about it.
we know about how to bring it into service. it's a capital expense. it's a budget question, and, you know, a migration path to bring it fully up to the service level that the weather forecast office folks would need. i'll touch on another radar advance. it's a little further down the hoer horizon, but it exists and is in test at norman. it's a multifunction phase array. the multifunctions are dishes that spin rapidly, you can move them in elevation, but it tas time to do a circuit and get you a 360 degree picture of the sky. solid state phased arrays, this really is an analo your clunky disk job that was a tape moving in your machine and a flash drive. that technology is on our threshold as well as inconstitution to the forecasting system.
that would take scan times for folks like jim and ed with tornadoes instead of volume measured in minutes, it's in seconds. you would have an ability to hone in on a portion of the storm complex that you knew you needed to see much finer scale on and almost sort of stare at it in fine scale and track areas of concern. i worry mainly about sustaining. i'm obliged to care about sustaining and the capability we provide the nation today and do everything we can to be sure there's not a retreat in that capability, and secondly, i worry about the progressive incremental slow judicious technology refresh, and i worry if there's enough 10-year-old boys and girls fascinated by hurricanes, storms, and tornadoes and can come through a strong science pipeline and continue this enterprise in the future. >> a quick comments on hurricanes in particular rmt one of the things in the future is
we'll have better night vision. sometimes we had what's called morning surprise. oh, what we saw with infrared in the nighttime is different between the upper level of the hurricane and the lower level where the eye is. the event is in the future. it will give night capability and no surprise in the morning. could be 100 miles. >> another question here? [inaudible conversations] >> thanks. i'm julia edwards with national journal, and i was just reminded of all the extreme weather evts we've had in the past decade, year even, and just thinking about how these vests have been archived and with budt cuts, would you see less accuracy -- would you be able to discern withless accuracy weather patterns happening across the world? would there be a loss of data there with cuts?
>> noaa's national climate data is one of the key depositories for all the data and increasingly for the output, the model output because that's our best description of what s the actual weather on a given day often is the model output, so, i mean, yes. no news to anybody who's been breathing in the last few weeks, every piece and corner of the federal budget is under pressure. the non-discretionary budgets are under pressure and have been for a number of years. i would say that has not yet in a draconian way affected our ability to continue the archiving that we've been doing, but when we bring even the npp satellite and jps and the next generation on to line, they do
generate hiher precision, more fine skiled channels, more definition in the spectrum you're lookingt. the data volumes take a step function forward, and we will be having to work hard to have the storage capacity and the access capity to serve the scientific community and our own research base to try to extract value out of that, so the other piece of all of this enterprise that i fret about is, you know, we should be -- and we are doing a good job of this -- but i want us to continually work on this as well and advance it. the nation -- we invest in observations to make measurements to turn into information that matters. it's -- we should continually strive to do the measure once, use many times, and so the archiving, the access for researchers, for private sector partners, for firms, firms that want to mine that data base and
tell an agricultural concern, what's the longer term pattern here? is past still good for you in the next ten year planning horizon? should you base it on the last five year ten year average? anything shifting in the way to adjust accordingly? the data says the answer to that question is yes. it is true that trends are shifting and past is not as good a prologue as it's been in our historical lifetimes, so how do we continue to support the ability to measure once and use many times so that the country gets the maximum possible total value out of investment we make in the observing infrastructure. i'll mention quickly that the national science foundation also in terms of fundamental response supports a number of things. at the university of oklahoma they compile for six weeks in the spring atvery kilometer,
every five minutes forhe 48 states, what the weather is like so you have every kilometer every five minutes including the vertical profile what the weather is like, and as someone said in typical, it is like having all the game fields to go back and study. why do we make the interpretation, the touch down, what did the game films look like? you can imagine for this past year, these films will be viewed many times as we go back to try to understand everything that was happening. it's very good qution. >> reminds me coming here th we had a somewhat similar debate more than 20 years ago with the weather service going through the modernization, and there was a move -- do we need this next red? it's costing too much. what's the application of it? fortunately, the program was
maintained, continued, the funding was continued even though there were some voices were overrun a bit, pull it back, but imagine if more than 20 years ago t nonfunding was undertaken? what would have happened this year? what is it about? if we don't remember history, we're doomed to repeat it. let's hope we don't repeat it and remember what happened more than 22 years ago with the modernization funding that was a very spirited discussion at that time. >> question here and then here. >> martha brad it national association of emergency managers, and we're always concerned about the local weather offices and the staffing of the local weather offices because those are just a matter of li safety to us. in the current budget situation, if it -- what you already know
of your 2012, will you will able to maintain all of the local forecast offices and fully staff them? >> looking for a wiping -- wink and a nod from the national weather service here. [laughter] certainly what we know of fy11 and i think what we can see -- remember, we only have the mark up from theouse of representatives currently for 12, but certainly under the president's budget for fy12, we would not face any forcing functions that require any substantial realignment of any number of offices or staffing, and as you know, we work closely with beth the wfo personnel and the national weather service employees organization on those kinds of questions. >> hi, chris mackente,. dr. sullivan and the panel, you
did a great job talking about why this is a safety issue with dramatic weather events this year and it's not a partisan issue. expand a little bit perhaps on other uses of the data coming from weather satellites that's important to the nation in terms of aviation industry, fishery, agricultures, what the air force does with it. i think it's important for others to hear that this is important public safety isse, but also an important national security and economic engine for us as a country. >> dr. sullivan is excellent, but let me also say for those of us living in the great plains right now, just the day-to-day is severe weather, just the day-to-day that we're having. >> thank you for pointing another dimension of this. it was stated some years ago that one-third of the united
states gdp is weathercepstive. you -- weather sensitive. you touched on sectors that that applies to. there's also economic analysis that qutify the proportion of aviation weather delays that cost hundreds of billions of dlars a year primarily due to weather. i have to confess at the moment that fig escapese, but in the 50% range of aviation delays that are weather related, so if you think about the way we make decisions today not just in the life and safety sector, but in the operating of the major enterprises down to small businesses that are the economic vitality of this country, i can't think of anyone -- thinking of the last 15 years living in the midwest in ohio, i can't think of anybody who i knew in sectors ranging from retail distribution to banking to utility generati who were not paying very close attention
to weather, to weather outlos, weather trend and refining their business operating decisions accordingly. it has become environmental intelligence which is another critical srand of business intelligence is the way i would sum it all up, and i think that statement has something between huge validity and significant validity across almost every sector of our economy if we delve into it. >> just a quick point. we remember the significant delays with volcano activities in iceland and europe. there's volcanos in the western u.s. and alaska and the new satellite will give us a 3-d view, can we fly above or below? is it a narrow band? we'll have benter observatis of aerosols or the particles from the volcanos. >> what i'd like to do now is to draw this phase of the