tv Washington This Week CSPAN August 28, 2011 2:00pm-4:10pm EDT
second, if the gang of 12 does not come to an agreement, there will be cuts on medicaid doctors'. it is tough enough now to get doctors to take medicaid patients. if there is another cut, you will not be defied a doctor who will take them. that is why i voted no. >> we simply did not have the votes. and the country was at a place where we do not have a debt ceiling, we are already not able to pay obligations that are our responsibility. even if we did pass the bill, standard and poor's passed -- lower the credit rating. many people did not understand the impact of having the rating lowered. fortunately, it was only one of the rating agencies that did that. that would affect all of the
retirement pensions invested. it would affect all of the local communities, how they can borrow money to build the infrastructure that we are talking about building to put people to work. it means that you will not be able to create those jobs because the cost of doing it would be prohibitive. and it means that those people from whom our government borrows money and the people to whom we sell bonds would not be interested in investing. >> i see you are getting ready to grab the microphone, and i would like you to make the comment, but i'm concerned about something. as we travel to detroit for cleveland for here, but it is talking of the congressional black caucus were the president, people in the committee in particular want to feel that someone is fighting for them. whether you are voting yes or no, do you believe the congressional black caucus was vocal enough in how they were
voting so that the people at home knew who was fighting for them and was not? i know you can only speak for yourself. how can the congressional black caucus on these and other issues be even more vocal? even when you have to play politics, this -- so that even when you have to play politics, people at home know who was fighting for them. >> i have been in the congress for a while. never before in all of my years have we ever had this amount of discussion, this amount of debate and division about the debt ceiling. the debt ceiling used to pass the house in maybe five minutes, maybe 10 minutes in the senate. sometimes it is one line, maybe one paragraph, one piece
of paper. but it was the tea party and the people who hijack it in the republican party, they wanted to destroy this president. they made a decision to make him a one-termer. and that is what it was all about, politics. i voted against it. i could not vote for it because in the end i felt it would destroy the safety net, medicare, medicaid, social security, and all of these things that our people depend on. my sister from california is right. we have been fighting in afghanistan for 10 years, right? >> yes. >> none of these wars -- not one of these wars were paid for. they're not even budgeted. i am going to write a letter to
the president about what dr. king would say. it will take a few days, but it will be published. and i'm going to say, mr. president, the thing you need to do, and the war. [applause] bring our young men and women home and stop robbing our children and our seniors, those that have been left out and left behind. it is not right. it is not fair. and it is not just. and the same thing we are doing abroad, it will come back to haunt us in days and years to come. if we fail to be faithful to our own beliefs, to our own principles, history will not be kind to us. and i do not think god almighty will be kind. you have to take a stand sometimes, and that is what the majority of the black caucus
did. >> first of all, as i move forward from this question, one- third of the cbc voted for it. two-thirds did not vote for it. many of us felt that the president should have used the 14th amendment and use that position to stand firm against the tea party republicans and make a decision to just raise the debt ceiling. some of us went down and demonstrated constitution for that. but going forward, as congresswoman richardson said, this committee is not going to come up with any agreement and if they were, it is not going to be one that the cbc is going to support. we have already started talking among the men -- the executive leadership about having our own proposal for where the $1.5 trillion will come from. and we have had a cbc budget
every year. this year, it would have cut more than $1.5 trillion over 10 years and still invested in education, still invest in job creation and, still invested in health care. we know we can do it and we're working hard to get that message got through any means possible. birther blogging enter facebook and we team and all of those things -- through blogging and through facebook and tweeting and all of those things because we are not going to take a mandatory cuts across the board. [applause] >> to the question, what can we do to make it known that we are truly fighting for people, we
can do exactly what we are doing right now. we have come to atlanta so that you are not -- so that you will not only here, but you can see that we will stand up. there are some fights that you must lose and that is where we are here, too sure you. and we are here to -- to show you. and we are here to say that if we can bail out aig, if we can be allowed to the auto industry, if we can be a lot of big banks, we can bail out the people of america. that is why we are in atlanta. [applause] but we're also here to tell you something else. it is about jobs, but a lot more. it is about people who do not believe in the safety net that you have paid into.
there are people that want to privatize social security, -- we stand in their way. we believe these safety net programs are not entitlements. they are investments. you pay 6.2% of your income. that is an investment for people who cannot invest on wall street. that is for social security. .45% for medicaid. that is an investment. we want them to continue to be there. that is why we are here and we stand for you. but there is another question. the question is, where will you stand? this is a tough question for
you. because we now have a group of folks that call themselves by many names, but they have hijacked the principles of the civil rights movement. and they do not just go into their neighborhoods and protest, but they come into the hood and protest. the question is, what will we do? will we allow the minority forces to speak for the majority? are we going to stand up for the things that we believe in and are we willing to go across town, are we willing to go into other places beyond our comfort zone and stand up for the cbc, stand with the cbc, and held the cbc -- help the cbc make a difference? will we work together? that is what is going to take. [applause] >> one of the things this group of people, the tea party, is not
too keen on its unions. we senate in wisconsin and ohio, florida and in michigan, and going -- we have seen it in wisconsin and ohio, florida and michigan, going after union benefits. with your strength and the numbers that you have, what can the cbc do to support unions across the country? and there is a report that specifically wants to know what the cbc will do for the postal service. i want to direct the one to congressman richardson because you served on several committees that deal with that business. >> looking at the continuing resolution as we finish the
budget year, there were numerous unions to go after. the we were able to defeat most of those. if you look at even what is going on with the faa and a number of pieces of legislation coming through, there is a movement directed at labor unions. part of it is a commitment from them to big business. part of it is their systematic war on the working class. what the caucus does and what the caucus will continue to do is advocate for brothers and sisters that are part of the labor movement. the labor organizations represent working americans. as much as we talk about labour and about unions, we are talking about people who have to come
together in order to get their fair share. those are the principles that we stand for and that is what we fight for. let me just build this in because i do not have many chances where i get to disagree with a guy whose shoulders i stand on, which is congressman john lewis when he says we are fighting three wars. we are fighting for wars. -- four wars. we are fighting the tea party, and they are willing to have as casualties, the 14th or 1 million americans who do not have a job. -- the 14.1 million americans who do not have jobs. a part of the other question of what we talked about is what can we do? and what can you do? we can help to change the conversation. and congress -- congressman
lewis is right, the discussion over the debt ceiling went on far too long. instead of talking about the debt ceiling we should have been talking about jobs. but we did not have the chance to. now we have to be sure that we are talking about jobs what we o make sure we understand what is really going on. and there is a republican majority that is sinful, and they are talking about our financial bankruptcy, and we are talking about moral bankruptcy, because we are supposed to help those who need help. we are supposed to love our brothers and sisters, and they are forgetting that so they can win the white house. we have to make sure we do not let other people tell us what the issue is. we know what issue is. this is jobs. if anyone talks to you about anything else, you should ignore
them. that is why congress man hank johnson brought us here. we need to get them back to work. that was a long answer to a short question, but all of that is what we are fighting right now, and that is a targeted war on an 98% of the american spirit -- of the targeted were 98% of americans. >> this question spoke to why, when the democrats had control of the house and the senate, where jobs not first on the priority now there was an
opportunity for democrats to push jobs then. >> i was not a member of the 111th congress. more important, the 111th congress will go down as one of the best ever. they pass health care reform. >> i want to make sure we get to as many questions as possible. hold tight for me for a second. let me make sure i am directly getting to this question, and let me get it to someone on the congress, because i think you made a great point that you were not there, so i want to make sure this question is answered by somebody who was on that congress. >> when we were dealing with the
stimulus package, the biggest question we had was whether it was going to be a jobs package with infrastructure that would create jobs and pump revenue into the you see economy or whether it was going to be -- into the economy or whether it was going to be a bailout. we have that struggle. in the house and we passed a good bill, but the senate has some strange rules. any require 60 votes in order to end debate, and the republicans have that number of votes to block the bill from coming to the floor. they use that leverage to prevent us. the congressman was one of our key spokesman.
he was in negotiations and with the president, with the senate leaders, with all of the parties putting that packaged together, and it was everything we could do to get the number of jobs earmarked based upon the need for us and our communities like , for them to be able to get the money from the stimulus for infrastructure projects they deserve. >> can i follow up as well? the stimulus passed by one vote. it was close in the senate, but some of the obstruction did not come from republicans. you had democrats. you had a former democrat but stood in the way not just of the stimulus bill, but also in terms of the health care reform bill.
that is why there is no public option, because the democrat joe lieberman blocked it. how has the caucus worked to try to influence democrats in the senate suzanne with the agenda that the president needs to be -- present on. h >> joe lieberman is no democrat. [applause] some of us worked to make sure he did not get back in the u.s. senate. he did, and he is there as an independent, and he is able to use his power in whatever fashion he deems is in his interest, voting sometimes with republicans and sometimes with
democrats. the question is why didn't we do more. we really did do a lot. if we made any mistakes, it was not be enough. -- big enough. if you are going to have a stimulus package, it cannot be the kind that goes through the regular process with response to proposals. it will never get to the communities, because the big boys, the contractors who have all of this monday, and not rip off all of that, and they do not hire into our communities. we have to do away with the way money is disbursed. we cannot put it in the hands of some of these governors or mayors who rip it off and never give it to the community, so those are some things we have learned. meanwhile, we are always working
four jobs and not -- for jobs and the creation of jobs. there were 10 of us. we literally held up the dodd- frank bill and the recovery bill in order to create some jobs. one thing we did is we created the neighborhood stimulus program. that is a program that puts money into the cities to rehab these houses that are boarded up that are creating so much strain on police and fire and messing neighborhood and all that. we discovered much of that money did not get where it was supposed to go. you have the realtors, the contractors, painters, everybody who gets a piece of the action,
and we have some cities who have not spent the money, and some of its is going to the same old bunch and never got to our people. when we created the office of women and minority inclusion in all of the offices. the occ, the treasurer-we are not even in the table -- at the table in these agencies. we have never had agencies were african americans have played a real hard. they really do not include us, so we created these opposite, and because some of us have seniority, we were able to get on the conference committee of the dodd-frank bill, and we worked it so it is in theire. today when you went downstairs, you saw something that said the
offices of women and minority inclusion. we created that. they had to have directors. we gave them six months to put that into play. they have to have staffing. they have to look at all contracts coming through so they can make a decision whether or not those contracts include diversity and turn them back, so we were constantly in many ways for job creation -- we work constantly in many ways for job creation, but we need to do a lot more because of what happened with this economy, and we have to focus on the financial institutions, on the gangsters of wall street, on the folks who ripped us off, on the folks who came into our communities and got us to sign on the dotted line for mortgages they knew you could
not afford, on exotic products. do not worry about it. this comes do with the interest rates have been quadrupled. i wanted to get them in the white house around the table and say, we are going to make it very tough on you unless you put some of the people's money back in the economy and help us create jobs, so we are always working in many ways to create jobs. many people do not have access to opportunities. why am i talking about this political moment of maturity? first, we have to understand our power. we have to understand there is
power in organizing. there is power in numbers. anyone who would suggest the civil rights days are gone, let me have you rethink that. if you show up at any day in america at noon and throw a ring around -- at any bank in america at noon and through a ring around its and say there is going to be a run, they will fix it. we are not doing our jobs to exercise our power. the tea party discovered something. they discovered if they organize, if they talk loud enough, if they threaten, is a registered to vote and a lack a few people -- if they register to vote and elect a few people, they could take over the congress of the united states. they called our bluff, and we
blinked. we should have said, you got this country to close down, and if it had closed down in one day, the reversal would have taken place just as it did when bill clinton challenged them, and they close down the country, and the people rose up and were glad to get in and get it going again, and that is what we should have done, but you cannot be intimidated. you have got to look the tea party and i and take them on. the people want us to fight. they want us to be strong, and they want us to not only create these jobs. they want something massive, something that is going to make a tremendous difference, and i think we are at that point where we have learned, we have worked, we have taken a enough where we are going to be insistent that what comes out in september is going to reflect the experiences
we have had. >> you are talking about jobs in general and the african american community, but what about -- in the african-american community, but what about specialized areas? we have people who deal with specialized segments of the community who are having a hard time finding jobs. one is people over 55. i know this job fair dealt with giving advice to people over 55. the second is people who have been out of work a long time. there are studies showing people who are jobless are less likely to get a job, and the third would be people with felonies on their record. what is the cost to specifically include items that deal with those specific items in any job?
i am going to go back to senator richmond furs. >> the thing i was going to say on the last one is congress did pass the small business jobs bill last year, which yesterday i had the chance to announce $37 million going to small banks to lend to small businesses, because they employ 60% of new jobs in this country. there is 100 million jobs hitting the streets, but when you talk about specific segments, that is something the caucus would like to talk about. we have to make sure we identify and we push to help very fragile communities, communities of color. when you talk about second chance, the congress started the second chance program, and we have to make sure when we talk
about a second offenders, there are two things we have to do. one, we have to change the community mindset about when they come home. if you continue to isolate them, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy, so we have to make sure we bring them home to a nurturing environment that will give them a second chance, so that is why the second chance act was important, and if you are talking about seniors and communities of color, that is the conversation we are pushing to have. we want to make sure if we are going to have targets and special cases for the gay community, the hispanic community, but we also talk about ex-offenders. we are also talking about african american males dropping out of high school almost at 50%.
we want to make sure we have targeted conversation. that is what we are pushing for, and that is the passion you are getting from us, because we know there are certain issues that are so important it is going to take a singular focus on that issue to fix, so i hope that answers your question about ex- offenders and second chance act. maybe somebody else can talk more about targeting our seniors, but we would like to target special populations. >> there is another segment many of you have forgotten about, and that is the hundreds of thousands of veterans coming back from iraq and afghanistan. if you go down to a downtown atlanta writes now on piedmont, you will see people on the streets homeless. statistics show as 9% or 10% of
those are veterans. it could be higher, so we have an obligation to those veterans who have come back with ptsd, who come back with behavioral problems, who end up homeless and jobless, and of course one of those efforts that millions of members of the congressional black caucus also congress has embraced is the hiring heroes act, which was sponsored by the -- in the senate by senator murray and me in the house, which really gives new meaning to rehab and job training and job opportunities for veterans, a special effort to give extended transitional assistance to our veterans so they will not
end up homeless and jobless, and it provides incentives for employers, extra training for veterans. it provides extended unemployment for their veterans, but it gives more and brings together all of the existing training programs under one bill with an additional resources. i think that bill will probably become law, but that is a targeted population that has suffered tremendously because of the unfunded wars, but who have paid the price that was necessary for our freedom and security in this country, and we owe them that, and that segment i believe will be addressed in the hiring humans act. >> -- hiring heroes act.
>> one is infringements -- of movement that says to employers, and when someone comes in for a job, do not start out with, have you ever -- you have been convicted, but rather, let's take a look of this person. who is this person? what experience do they have? to get a chance to see the whole person before you get to the question of whether or not you have been convicted, and we believe that gives you a better chance of getting that job. this is a difficult question for african americans in america because of the huge numbers of formerly convicted and so-called fallen as we have, and we really do have to make sure we provide some tax incentives, and there are some where they do some tax
incentives for employers to hire people, and i understand some states are doing bonding where you take a chance on the former elaine incarcerated, you can get of bonds to protect you -- on the formerly incarcerated, you can get a bond to protect you. for women over 50, the justice department needs to enforce discrimination laws. they need to make sure they know what is going on in society and that women and men have a place to go and that there is an effort of forward to learn what is happening in this workplace, why women over 50 are losing their jobs and being replaced with younger people they pay less money to and they do not have to pay benefits for, and why even for those who have been on the job until the point where the pension is due, they are
getting fired. we need the justice department to weigh in on this. >> i just want to say since we are in hank johnson cost district, part of the question is about the unemployed being discriminated against. hank did not file a bill that would amend title 7 when -- did file a bill that would amend title seven that already prevents discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation, and it would adnah status to that. that is something that is long overdue, and it will fight discriminatory practice. >> one other segments we should not lose sight of is young adults, and we have heard a lot about the unemployment rate being 9% in the nation and 15% with african-americans. with our young adults, like
unemployment is 23%. black and african-american is 39.2%. hispanic and latinos is 32%. now after our young people have gone to school, gotten their degree, they cannot get a job. they are competing with people already in the workforce, and what happens when they find themselves unemployed for five years? it may be impossible for them to ever catch up, so that is another thing we should keep in mind. >> thank you all for those recommendations, but i think another sector as we go to the next question is young people, whether we are talking about a summer jobs funding being cut all over the country and juxtapose that to pour education systems that are not preparing young people to go into opportunities. there has been so much discussion of young people being
connected to a lack of opportunity, so with that, there have been several questions asked about training, preparation, and opportunity, and those are different areas. what is congress doing, and where are the opportunities? as we are shifting in the economy, those who may have been part of the skilled labour force partars ago are no longer of the emerging labour force. as what to do whether it is young people or in the general marketplace. >> i will start and yield to my colleagues. we are and have been for some time advocating job training for young people, job training for
those who have been displaced, and also job training for persons who find themselves without a job because they have worked hard, done a good job, but they find themselves seeing their jobs go overseas to other places. a lot of jobs we used to have in manufacturing we do not have any more, and we have to find a way to make sure we do not continue to incentivize relocating jobs from this country to other places. i want to take a moment and go back to something that was said earlier, and i want to say this to you. notwithstanding anything that has been said, president obama
has been not just a good president -- he really has been a great president. he has been a great president. [applause] what we called a stimulus was not really a stimulus. it was a stabilization. this economy was losing 600 plus -- 600,000 jobs a month. this president turned that around, and we have been creating jobs, more than 2 million. maybe not enough. we would like to do more, but thank god he did what he did to save this country. he has not save the world, but he did save the auto industry. he did not save the world, but he did save the financial structure of the country we all depend on. he has not save the world, but
he has made it possible for those who do not have jobs to have unemployment insurance, and he has been fighting to keep that unemployment insurance in the pockets of people, so we all understand we have jobs to do, and we have to be vocal about things that impact our communities, but make no mistake about it. this president has done a great job, and this president, when you look at what we are confronting, and we must reelect president rob obama. -- president barack obama. [applause] here is something to consider. if we do not reelect him, there are people who have already said in written as well as spoken words that they will do away with the department of
education. they are going to eliminate it. they have said they will do away with minimum wage laws. there will be no minimum wage laws. they have said they will do away with early childhood development programs. they have said they will privatize social security. they have said they will voucher medicare, so we have a challenge that goes beyond jobs. we have got to put this president back in the white house to protect the gains we have made. >> thank you very much. do you have a comment spam of >> i just want to say to you and to the audience that are raising questions. it is not just the president. it is not just members of the congressional black caucus. one of our problems in america
right now, and we are too quiet. we have to make some noise. during another time in our history, we did not wait for the president to act, and the power of some movement is to get people to say, yes, and they may have a desire to say no. we have to create a power. lyndon johnson said in 1960, the first time after martin luther king, jr., received a peace prize, dr. king went with a group of us, and we met with
president lyndon johnson, and he said common-law -- and he says, you need to sign it. he said, make me. that is what we did. you need to get out there and push and pull. as in the congress, we have three major trade bills that are pending, and people want it. they call every single day trying to get the votes from the ways and means committee. i say, no way. it means the transfer of jobs here, and the other side of congress, they do not have the
will to vote for the trade adjustment act, and it is ok. if you lose your job, we are not going to help you. we are not going to make money available for training. we cannot stand for that. you need to help us fight. we never had a web site. we never heard of the internet. we did not have a facebook. we did not have done ipad. we did not even have a fax machine, but we use what we had, and you have got to use what you have. do not be quiet. stand up. speak out. do it. >> we are coming very close to the and spirit of we are in our last 15 minutes, so we are going
-- we are coming very close to the end. we are in our last 15 minutes, so we are going to have questions. i think the big issue is with companies emerging and becoming global, the skill set within a lot of african american communities is not adequate to meet the challenges of finding jobs, when you are competing with people in india and china who are going to school year round and getting the education which in some black communities they are not. given the fact you have high dropout rates in many communities, low graduation rates, and a lot of america and -- a lot of african-americans are not prepared. what marching orders are they giving to protect and restore education funding, because even before you can get a job, you have to be qualified? what marching orders are they
giving to protect education? what advice is he being given? what do you want to see out of that committee, if you think anything can? >> how do we answer this question? the education question is a bit complicated. you are absolutely right. the dropout rates are too high, and the investment in education in this country is not substantial for a country of this size and these resources. we have got to make up our minds about whether we want public education and whether we are going to support it, or we are going to keep giving away our schools and these so-called charter schools into different interests, and we are all over the place on this. some directions are coming from washington, starting with leave no child behind. it is a mess of policy, -- a
messed up policy, and what bothers me is a lack of involvement on local level where communities do not involve themselves in education. that is what bothers me. that is where the education policy is set. from the federal government level, we do title one and subsidize education, but we should not end cannot be making the rules for how all of these communities operate. that is what the boards of education are about, but you do not see us at the board meetings anymore. they do not even ask parents. there is no parent involvement, and they did not want parent involvement, and if you come from a city like los angeles, they are giving away the schools to corporations and all these different people, and there is
no indication or substantiation of the fact that they are doing better than public schools are doing. we need to pay the teachers. we need to put money in training and development of our teachers. we need to give support to foster parents sending these kids to school and managing large numbers of kids in one setting. there is a lot we need to do. am i giving any direction to education? i am not. not because i do not want to solve the problems of education. the problems in education are huge, and when parents and communities decide that they really want to educate the kids, that they really want to stop the drop out, that they really want to have strong education systems, that is what is going to change this mess around.
i fight against post-secondary schools who try to rip us off, the schools for computer learning that have no computers. i fight against those who track our people and tell them they can get a diploma and two and a half days. i fight against secondary schools and that a rip-off all of this government's pell grants money, and people come out of the training program with nothing, so i have center in my action on trying to get croakoks out of education. i hope somebody on our panel is dealing with k through 12 -- k- 12. i am trying to get an office in the president's office for the
excellence in education for african americans. there is one for latinos. we do not have one for african- americans. i am fighting for it. i always do something people do not want me to do. >> i want to make sure we get at least two more questions in before we have to close, and we have only 10 minutes. this question is from bill. he said earlier this year president obama talk about the importance of wireless networks to our country, particularly because of the ability to create a new electronic development an entrepreneurial opportunities. how can we ensure this technology gets out to americans and talk to them about how it affects and jobs? anyone? congressman bishop? >> that was a substantial portion of the stimulus and will let was dedicated to -- stimulus
bill that was dedicated to creating the infrastructure for technology networks, particularly for underserved areas-urban areas that were under served as well as rural areas. it was a tough fight, because the department of commerce wanted to control the whole thing, but we have at least 40% of this country that israel, and it is not economically rewarding -- that is cruel -- rural, and it is not economically rewarding to invest in internet in those areas, so the stimulus and was designed, and thanks to the efforts of the congressman who was our person on the inside, he made sure that at least a substantial portion was allocated to us for rural
communities and underserved areas. both contracts are in the process of being implemented not so that, for example, here in the state of georgia, and an 98% by the end of this year should be covered by internet access. that will help our young people who are in rural areas who need to have advanced placement courses in their local school boards and cannot afford it, to be able to get distance learning through the internet. those communities that have underserved health-care facilities, to be able to get the internet so they can be connected to the hospital so that all of this, as well as small businesses.
in my rural district, there is of great manufacturer who has been able to quadruple his business once he was able to get on the internet, so instead of selling his fish bait just in the counties around his southwest georgia location, he is now selling across the world to all of the bait shops where they have the fishing as a vocation. >> speaking of internet, i neglected to give a shout out to those of you watching this. this is being streams, so we want to give a shout out to those watching via the internet. this is going to be our final question. martin would like to know what can be done by congress about companies that intentionally drive down wages, including nine
by not buying american made products, -- including by not buying american-made products. outsourcing is a big problem. of what can be done if anything? >> we can remove the tax incentives they are currently using. if they are not going to bring jobs to the united states and they want to continue to ship jobs overseas, they should not have the tax incentives. the last thing i would like to say, the president's initial plan for his jobs bill is infrastructure investments, patent reform, free trade agreements. i would suggest he started to do companies mondey things and incentivize them to do things for people who are on the employed. >> i need your assistance. there are seven more of you, and
i am probably insane for asking this. if you can do this within one minute each as your colleague has set a precedent for, we can allow recommendations. i think there were two questions. one that said you are officially unleashed for atlanta, but what she followed up to say was how do we support you and the president in what it is to be done, so i would like you to enter one of two things how can people in this room become advocates and be engaged in actions to be a will to support the congressional black caucus of local -- to be able to support congressional black caucus and local officials
beyond voting? or no. 2, what are things get local community members can do to help better prepare people in their family to be ready for a job? one of two recommendations. what do you recommend folks do to help support you and the president? no. 2, on what can they do to assist you or a family member be better prepared for a job? >> aside from being a legislator, i am an organizer. i believe in organizing. our communities need to be organized. start something, get people together. gets smart. educate yourself about how to challenge the elected officials, how to make things happen. the prepared -- be prepared.
show up. you will get things done if you do that. >> less than a minute. why don't we start with congressman louis and work our way down? >> thank you very much. i want to use part of my minutes to recognize a young lady i have started working with as an organizer many years ago when she was only a teenybopper. she was born and bred in virginia, and she came into the deep south and organized and got arrested and went to jail and did a lot of other things, and now she is a state senator here in georgia. i would say, and what you can do
is stay engaged. get organized. help mobilize those that need to be mobilized. stay in contact with local, state, and federal officials. do not close go out and elect someone. when we have no telephone and electronic town hall meetings, you can use the new with -- when we have telephone and electronic town hall meetings, you can use technology. he is in power. use it for good. thank you very much. >> we need to utilize every network we have. all of us have multiple networks. we got family. we have churches. we have fraternities, sororities.
we need to utilize all of that. we need to tweet. we need to facebook. when we were dealing with the debt ceiling, the switchboard, and the service at the united states capitol was shut down. two or three days a crash because so many people were sending e-mail messages expressing themselves on the issues. we do not want our social security checks cut off. we do not want our medicare cuts. we do not want our medicaid stopped. it was an amazing demonstration of the power of what people do when they are on message and on point and they are engaged. let's be engaged. >> we need to support teachers.
we need to stand up for teachers. teachers did not create credit default swaps. they did not create derivatives. they did not create the reason we are in this condition, and we ought not to be cutting teachers' to save someone else. finally, there are 12 people who are going to make a decision concerning your lives. hayes street is about to spend $100 million lobbying 12 people. where will you be? make sure they know where you stand on social security, medicare, medicaid, and jobs. >> the cbc members are only a part of your representation. you have got to senators, republicans, and other republicans we have to deal with every day. make sure when you organize you let them know what you stand for and what he wants them to vote for on your behalf.
-- and you want them to vote for on your behalf. i am assuming georgia has a voter i.d. requirement. make sure you start to make sure everyone in this country, in the states that has a valid id so they can vote. 18% of seniors do not have of votes -- and do not have an id that qualifies them to vote, and 11% of african-americans and hispanics, but seniors. please start today to make sure everyone in our communities has an adequate id for voting. >> thank you very much. >> i am going to move down my list in order, but i will tell you-- get engaged.
you have to bring friends and family to vote. you have to bring information where you can get it, and the last thing is something we do not talk about much. we have to raise the level of expectations on our children. we have to do a better job of holding family members accountable, and i will tell you what an old lady said to me. she said, i am not worried about osama bin laden terrorizing our neighborhood. it has been us terrorizing our neighborhoods. we need to hold our friends and brothers accountable. we have to say enough is enough and set high expectations so we can make sure this generation coming up now has the opportunities i had when i was coming up. >> the second part of your question is what specifically would we recommend they do in terms of getting a job. do not think you are above in a job.
i worked at mcdonald's. i worked at ups, a 24-hour shifts. i worked two jobs for 10 years to get where i am today. do what you need to do to get your foot in the door, and then you will have the experience. >> she is the round of applause going for the members who came out today and -- give a round of applause for the members who came out today. this is there a -- this is very important. thank you all for coming out tonight, and i think that was an important point. be sure >> from today's "washington journal," a discussion on the future of nato and its role in libya. this is about 40 minutes. wilson. a former deputy direct tor the
secretary general of nato. good morning. guest: good morning. host: thanks for coming. we're here to talk about the future of nato after libya the mission is still going on but wanted to start the conversati with a recent high pressure. could nato's libya mission be its last hura? for all this talk about the strength of nato, whether it's necessary or not. could this be its last hura? guest: i think that's a premature headline. the impetus is right that there's some real lessons learned from this operation that the alliance needs to draw. the christian science monitor hits at the point that these european allies that led the bulk of the fighting in libya, while they were launching in operation thewere also drastically spending their defense budgets such that if you project out, two, five years from now, it's very unlikely that the same allies that fought this war in libya
now would be able to repeat that. so there's some reason to talk about a last rura for the alliance. i'm hoping that rather than being, this is a bit more of a wakeup cl for many of our european allies realizing they need many of the assets invested in and to reconsider some of their decisions. >> we'll put the phone numbers on the bottom of our screen. our guest will be with us for about 40 minutes or so to talk about the future of nato. republicans, democrats, independents all have separate lines. an imperfect triumph in libya. read just a passage of this for you.
guest: i think that's exactly right. this is a success for the alliance. if you step back and think about what nato jist accomplished in libya, first avoided an imminent humanitarian catass if he as gaddafi forces were rolling into ben gazzie. his regime has collapsed. he's on the run. not yet captured but he certainlywill be. third, it's really put lyans in control of their nest destiny. as you saw, this is not u.s. marines or british or french forces. these were libyans moving into lib tripoli to reclaim their country. that's an astounding success. it took six months yes. but that said, this type of
victory and in the midst ofan arab awakening is significant for if alliance. so they do have important lessons to draw from it because one hand was tied behind their back. there is no denying that was a success story. >> host: again we're talking about the future of nato following the libya operation. our guest, executive vp of the atlantic council, former deputy director to the nato secretary general from 2001-2004. host: what was that experience like for you? guest: he was a fantastic leader. he was a scottish politician that took over and had a view about not just helping to manage where the consensus was
but trying to lead the alliance and push it forward so played a very strong role in kosovo and pushing the alliance into its first military alliance but led into afghanistan where it assumed a much more important role so i think he's one of the great secretary generals. host: back to libya for a second. from libya, colonel gaddafi is offering talks on a power transfer this according to his spokesman. he told a news agency that the discussions would be led by his son and wanted to get your take on this headline and where you think it's coming from. >> guest: this is classic gaddafi as we've seen throughout this crisis. but now that he has been driven from power to offer talks about transferring power there's a bit of irony there. so i think that the situation has changed dramatically since the rebels took hold of tripoli and most of his forces have crumbled. there's still scope and sce
for getting figuring out to move forward whether it's going to be capturing and going through judicial process, whether he still flees, whether he's killed in combat. but the time to negotiate with gaddafi on a transfer of power is gone. host: plus back who has done most of the front work on this? give us a sense of the whole operation. guest: this happened because of the french and the brits. this was intervention in libya was not something that washington was particularly keen on at the beginning of this crisis. similarly many of the other allies weren't quite poised or in that position to really push forward. this is president sarcoseie of france, prime minister cameron said they weren't going to stand by during this cat taff if i that brought the u.n. on board to push forhis resolution and the french and british carrying the bulk of the fighting.
the united states played an important role but even after that nerms of the facilitating, the unique capability that is we could contribute. if you look beyond the french and the brits, this is a success story for many of our allies. it's easy to scoff at the contribution of some of the smaller allies. but 25% of combat sortees were beinrun by the norweigians and the dains. if you look at belgium, norway, denmark what they contributed to this alliance, it's a good news story for some of these smaller allies of ours as well. host: the first call for our guest regarding nato, arizona, robert republican. good morning. caller: good morning. i was just wondering why the concentration was on libya and most of the rest of the -- most ofhe rest of the jasmine spring as you might call it has
gone off the radar scope. the people in syria, the people in bahrain. and who know what is countries we haven't been hearing about unless we happen to be watching al-jazra news. and i'm just curious why was it libya and none of the other countries that nato became involved with? host: damon. guest: that's an excellent question. that's t right question. because if youtep back strategically and you look at what's unfolding in the middle eastern north africa how the transitions played out in egypt and what happened in syria, that really is at the top of the agenda in terms of the impact on u.s. national security interests, the way it's going to reverberate throughout the region. so why libya. libya i think was a pretty unique circumstance. if you think about why the alliance took up arms in libya, first there was this particularly imminent humanitarian catastrophe focused on benghazi as gaddafi's forces were moving into the second largest city in
libya. his rhetoric and actions made it quite likely that we were about to witness a very significant humanitarian catastrophe. second, we had extraordinary leadership on this issue in that the french president and itish prime minister stepped up and exerted a political leadership that galvanized people in europe and washington to act. what distinguishes libya is the scale of international leagetssy for nato's intervention. much to everyone's surpre the arab legal stepped forward and backed -- put forward a request for international support to enforce the no fly zone over libya, something that you would not expect the arab league to do. but remember gaddafi had tried to assis nat the king of saudi arabia. so when push came to sho they
we have this call from washington d.c. on the line for democrats. caller: i am just curious, i kind of feel like the caller before me. i don't care whether you are republican, democrat, or independent. i think we are all puzzled as to why -- six months ago no one was even talking about libya. talking about it, and this geleman is talking as if gaddafi was murdering people right and left. there are many more regimes worse than this man, gaddafi. as i recall earlier, after the start of this conflict, gaddafi asked to talk, to concede, and they still refused, as if they wanted to physicly destroy this country. now look at all the people who
are dead. host: the earlier part of her comment is the same as an earlier caller. anything you want to add? guest: there was a debate here. was the intervention in libya really in u.s. national interests given the priority we pout egypt? i think there are really divided opinions here. you just watch how the congressional debate played out. the re is the is this action was led by our european allies, and the united states played a supporting role. this was president obama's first choice in terms of an intervention. he stood by and backed up our european allies as they decided it was important for them. but i understand the question, terry. guest: it's from 48 different countries. 10,000 troops in the balkans, 150 advisors from the war in iraq, dating back to 2003. they also have at-sea counter
piracy patrols hpening off the horn of africa. 22% of the budget comes from the u.s. i mean, not a surprise there. 60% from germany, 12% from france, 2% from the u.k., 9% from italy. moving forward, damon wilson, the percentages, do you see those anging much? >> the nato budget, the 22% figure that you cite, it's actually not a huge centralized budget for the alliance, the core structure for nato is pretty small. what has changed and what's become problem is that in terms of defense spending, the united states' share has gone, within the alliance, from about 50% of the overall defense spending, to about 75%. that's a worrying trend. i'm less concerned about how much we pay into the direct nato budget, because it's a pretty small, centralized budget. what's more disconcerting is the amount americans spend viss
asuccess european allies. guest: steve in hartford, connecticut, good morning. caller: good morning. wouldn't it be true that the best use of resources for nato's military spendingould be to get us off the use of oil , because every dollar we spend on oil eventually gets recycled to midst countries and used for weapons and terrorism. guest: that's a sail weren't int. part -- that's a sail can't point. if you think about this from a european perspective, the natural gas, the oil that comes from libya, it doesn't come to u.s. markets. itomes to european markets so. this was a more significant factor if you are a european thinking about the future of your economy and your ergy needs. efforts to push greater energy diversity, energy efficiency,
there are certain ways to decrease dependency on the region, and i think that's a critical part of the sategy going forward. >> robert gates, in one of his last speeches, made news talking in brussels about coerns over europe's defense capabilities. here's a short piece from that, and then we'll be back with our guest. >> if current trends in the decline of european defense capabilities are not halted and reversed, future u.s. political leaders, the cold war was not the formative experience it was for me, may not consider the return on america's investment in nato worth the cost. at i've sketched out is the al possibility for a dim, if not dismal future for the transaantic alliance. such a future is possible, but it is not inevitable. the good news is members of nato, individually and collectively, have it well within their means to halt and reverse these trends, and
instead, produce a very different future. guest: damon wilson, any guests? guest: that was his farewell speech, his last speech in europe, was a very significant speech, one from the heart that he's wanted to deliver for a long time. it delivered a tough message to our european allies, that not giving up on nato now -- he wasn't saying nature 10 broken today. he was saying that, left unchecked, nato has a dim and dismal future. trying to underscore the importance of europeans recommitting to investment, this is a tough conversation to have in the midst of a euro zone crisis, a sovereign debt crisis, but he was right to force the conversation. that said, those who have been following the alliance throughout its history, the alliance has always been faced with a storyline of whether it's broken, whether it's divided, the end of nato. i think each time the alliance has demonstrated its resilience, to adapt and rise to the challenge, d while it has problems, it's been the
best tool, the best vehicle we've had to address a lot of security challenges, and i think that's going to remain. host: our guest has worked with the state department, also at the u.s. embassy in baghdad, has always been with the national security council in a couple of different stints there. he is currently executive v.p. at the council and at the nato secretary general, 2001 to 2004. the next call is from maryland. caller: hi there. it just seems a little silly to me that we should even be involved with libya and feel that we're responsible every time human rights are affront upon. if that is the concern, how come we didn't step in in iran when they wanted freedom and they were beating their people in the streets? there's problems with these aggressive nations like north korea and iran that are
blatantly aggressive towards us and our allies that need to be dealt with, i believe personally. host: thanks for calling. guest: you couldn't be more right in what's happening in iran has a longer term strategic impact on american interests. again, to be crass, one of the things about libya was that we could. the alliance could intervene and do so in a way that enjoyed international legitimacy and support, particularly in the arab world, and had the capability to be effective in this situation. neither of those conditions exist in a country like syria, particularly a country like iran. we wouldn't enjoy and have international cking or support and the capability to support and the capability to affect an outcome is far from the question. guest: cary, north carolina, democrat. caller: i love c-span, and i would cast no aspersions on your guest.
however, we never get the real ba story behind these kind of conflicts. i think the story has to do with what relationship great britain and france had with libya prior to this outbreak. now, we know that there's oil in libya and i know that france was involved in cutting all kinds of new deals, so if we can get some money on c-span that will actually talk to those issues that would be displayed or exposed by wikileaks, then we'd be gting information that's available to the american public. this kind of a discussion doesn't tell us really what's going on. thank you very much. bye. host: any insight? guest: i think our caller sixage rating, the commercial interests that drove the conflict there. it is very much true that the french in particular will be focused on commercial contracts in a post-gaddafi libya. there's no doubt about that. to say that was the driving
factor, i don't think that stands up to scrutiny. host: samuel, new jersey. hello. go ahead, sir. caller: hi. hi, mr. wilson. hell snow host: you're on the air. caller: thank you very much for you info. i think this was really history repeated again and again and again. that will never change. they never change t respect of a human being. they just want people to live away, and it's just no fair. i'm from africa, there's a bunch of people that live in africa from west to east and people living every day, and nobody -- if you look at somalia, it is unbelievabl unbelievable, nobody -- we
don't see every day. if you look from nigeria, it's a very democratic country. but besides, there is no change in different countries. i think we just create always, i don't know, too mu mes based on more than, money, money. don't even tally up humanity. we should change that area. that is honest to you. we just benefit something. host: samuel, you said you're from africa. which country? caller: ethiopia, east africa. i love america so much, you understand? but don't tell people the whole history, like how can i
explain? this mucpain in africa, you understand. host: thank you, samuel. damon wilson? guest: first of all, i think it's a misnomer. the europeans didn't choose libya. in many resist, it was libyans and the rebel council, the arab league that requested international support to back -- it was a u.n. security council resolution passed against a no-fly zone and a right to protect civilians in libya. so the europeans didn't go looking for libya, and i think important to point that out in this circumstance. also, i think it's a mishomer to say the french, british, eye tailenians destroyed this country. if you look at what just happened, the destruction came from gaddafi and the forces in terms o their attack on attack centers, on civilians themselves. the nato air campaign, which was coordinated with the rebels, was probably one othe most targeted, precise bombing campaigns in military history designed to minimize civilian
casualties and destruction of civilian assets. i think that's a pretty remarkable feat. but again, the impetus came all the all the sudden this country is taking orders or requests om the arab league, which is not -- since when are they our allies? since when are we doing their business? and to speak to the last caller, i totally agree. the christians in sudan, the christians in ethiopia, the christians in somalia are being massacred a tortured by muslims and the arab league.
i don't understand. why are we setting a precedent that the arab league asked america to go in and do its bloody war and all the sudden we're saying yes to a group that is against israel, which is our strongest ally, and this is the reason i left the democrat party, this anti-israeli rhetoric sentiment action from it the obama administration is absolutely unprecedented,nd it's wrong. host: mr. wilson? guest: i can't characterize it the united states doing the biddinof the arab league at all. if you talk many in the arab league right now, they're quite upset believing the nato operation has gone too far, has extended it beyond t mandate. what therab league did is it paved the way for u.n. security council resolutiothat provided sort of international backing to this operation.
so it wasn't our european allies. remember, the united states wasn't pushing to go into this conflict at the beginning t. meant that our european allies weren't going into a conflict against the will of the neighbors, the international community t. provided a degree of legitimacy and support to the military operation. i don't think anything played out in the libya policy that can be construed as anti-israel. if there had not been an intervention, gaddafi would have crushed the uprising, and i think it would have brought into a lot of questioning whether this arab awakening would have even continued. just as gaddafi's demise is a shot in the arm to the protesters in syria and yemen, gaddafi's ability to crush the rebels would have produced the reverse and really provided a bit of a boost to the president. host: here is a question via twitter.
when our the arabs overrunning them? we don't know who these people ar yet we reward them with funds. guest: that was one of the key questions at the beginning of this conflict. who are the rebels in libya? because we hadn't had an active presence in libya, we had limited knowledge about who these actors were. i think what's played out over time is we've been able to have quite a few dim macts and special forces interact with this transitional national council in libya. it's gained a fair degree of credibility. it's adopted principles to outline a constitution which guarantee individual liberties, which have adopted the sack lawyerists tone to it, rather than islamist militant tones. we've gotten to know and see these folks in action governing eastern lib, been ghazi. and frankly, they've done a respectable job in a society where there haven't the civil society. they've managed to create the
new state. so i think they've earned some trust, earned some respect t. doesn't mean that we don't know all the actors and we still have more to learn. but i think in libya, there's a particular case to be made that we're dealing with some responsible actors on the rebel side. host: from libya to syria, wanted to get your take. in the "new york times," it says that iran calls on syria to meet "legitimate demands." a story out of beirut, it says that iran, syria's closest ally, called on the government in damascus to recognize its people's legitimate demands on saturday in the first such remarks to come from the persian country since the five already month-old uprising against present assad started. what do you make of that? guest: i can't help but take away a little bit of irony from the headlines of tehran and the iranian leadership calling on syria to meet the legitimate demands of its people. this is clearly not the approach that the ayatollah and
leadership in iran tookuring the green revolution which protesters were on the streets of tehran. so it's with irony that iran is syria's biggest backer. iran has suppoed assad in syria with funds, with weapons. so i think this is probably a little bit more of political and p.r. work rher than a change in iranian policy. host: have about 10 minutes left with our guest. bolling brook, illinois, is up. good morning. caller: good morning. mr. wilson, with all due respect, you're spewing propaganda just like the rest of the u.s. media. it has to do with oil, but more so with currency. it's the same reason that the u.s. avoided iraq. the u.s. has colonialism.
the british and the americans have a history of clonism and taking what doesn't belong to them. this is mo of the same. you look at what's happening in somalia. the arabs are starving africans there. no one is doing anything about it, but you're going invade libya? it's about oil. if it has nothing to do with oil, the u.s. is not interested. and as far as israel is concerned, israel has been oppressing the palestinians. it's time for them to share that land. that land does not only belong to them. this has nothing to do with biblic. this has everything to do with money and power. host: all about oil in libya, she says. guest: with all due respect, i disagree. i think that the situation in libya, for the united states, is not about oil. the united states actually is not a great importer of libyan oil whatsoever. libya has a relatively small share of global oil production.
it exists. it contributes to that. but most of libyan oil and gas goes to europe. almost none tv comes to e united states. i just don't think that was a compelling rationale behind any u.s. decision making in this front. and again, i snt some time thiseek with libyans who was not part of the leble group, not part of the regime. but basically, who said that, at the end of the day, most libyans recognize that this was their revolution, their their protest, their uprising against gaddafi, yet they know they would have failed, it would have been crushed. and many of them would be dead today if it hadn't been for the willingness of nato allies to intervene, not for themselves, but nato allies to intervene on behalf of the rebels. and knowing by doing so, we actually see a lib today that has a chance to have a dramatically different future, that may become a real partner of the united states down the
road, because it may actually become a functioning, free arkt democracy. we still have to see. there's still a long road to haul. but i don't think the u.s. engagement was driven by this to start. host: back to nato itself. what's your sense of the future of it? will they reflect on what they've done together? pretty significant action when you take everybody at the same time. guest: i think so. when alliance leaders last me in november 2010 in portugal when president barack obama was there with other leaders, they were struggling with the mission in afghanistan no. one could quite imagine that they'd be involved in another military operation so soon thereafter. to have it come out successfully is a key boost to the alliance. but that said, i think what matters now is that alliance leaders go away and they think about the lessons that they can draw from the libya operation.
they couldn't sustain this operation. one, it underscores, you've got to be prepared for strategic surprises. no one anticipated this. i think it also says something about how the alliance can operate with the united states. is it playing the leading role or not? there are implications to that. nato doesn't really work historically with the united states is engaged in a leadership role, yet libya did demonstrate the europeans can carry a heavy burden. if they don't begin to really reconcile sort of their political aims with their budget, they won't have these options in the future. host: 28 countries total in nato right now? guest: that's right. host: will that continue to grow? guest: i think it will, but very slowly. i think with the collapse of the soviet union, we've now had three rounds o enlargement, the first in poland, hungary, czech repuic, then the rest of central and etern europe.
so there's still a process underway of integrating some of the new democracies into nato, whole and free. montenegro is next. georgia is knocking at the door. i think it's a much slower process. host: what do you see as a mission, a purpose? we knew what the purpose was during the gulf war. what about moving forward? guest: that's one of the key issues that alliance leaders are struggling with, how to define the alliance today. they've gone back and tried to say article five, an attack on one is an attack on all, it remains the bedrock of the alliance. that means collective defense. that means nato's first priority is protecting its members' defense. i think it's only secondary with the alliance willing to consider does it want to become engaged outside of europe, and that will continue to be a case-by-case discussion. host: alexandria, virginia, zeek, democrat. thank you for waiting.
caller: no problem. now, i agree with the last coupler. i hear nothing but propaganda and hypocrisy. let me explain why. nato is quick to claim victory in libya. but to hide its failures elsewhere, it wouldn't interfere in yemen, andhen it would steal the revolution from the true heroes and libyan fighters who died and claimed credit for the revolution and overthrow of gaddafi. i think c-span should have true rebel leaders being interviewed, not a playstation warrior, thank you. host: want to respond to that? guest: nato is not trying to claim credit here or victory here. nato went out of its way to ensure each step of the way, those forces that moved into another libyan town, they were libyans, and in fact, they
wanted to make sure they had fighters to underscore this is local libyans determining their own future, grabbing their own destiny. so i don't think this is an evident of the alliance to try to steal t victory away from the libyans. not at all. i think the alliance has actually been willing to stay in the background as this has unfolded. host: i wanted to get your reaction, mr. wilson, to this headline, news breaking yesterday, this is "the washington post", al qaeda's number t apparently killed in pakistan as a u.s. drone strike. they call it another pivotal blow against the terrorist group. guest: this is a big deal. i think leon panetta, both when he was at the c.i.a., now secretary of defense, has been out front saying that the squeeze has been on for al qaeda in the wake of osama bin laden's demise. i think that's right. i think this air strike, what it demonstrates is that the
u.s. government hasn't let up on the war on terror, hasn't let up the pressure on al qaeda, is keeping it on the run, keeping it under pressure. and despite all the tensions we've had with pakistan in the wake of the u.s. effort to move into pakistan and capture bin laden, we haven't backed away. the u.s. is still continuing strikes in pakistan. host: independent, greensboro, go ahead, please. caller: i keep listening to these americans calling in, especially those that are black americans, no revolution is ever won unless the people, which are the people that are being oppressed, are willing to get up and fight their leaders, that is what the libyans have done. and i wanted to thank the u.n. and all the other people who came in to help the people who asked forhe help.
black americans and white americans, they were all part of the united states civil rights movement. remember the history, know the history, and say hurrah to the libyans for wanting to not be believe -- -- for not wanting to be oppressed. guest: i think this is about human dignity. this isn't about the west or nato or the united states going in and trying to provoke regime change in egypt or tunisia or syria. not at all. our country hasn't been in that posture whatsoever. this has been about an upricer that began, setting himself ablaze because he was frustrated and angry at the lack of responsiveness of a government bureaucracy. and it's triggered protests across the region that first and foremost are being human dignity, about arabing saying
enough is engh. we're sick and tired of having corrupt leadership that denies us our rights. with the internet, international media, many populations, even if they're not sort of uneducated or poor classes in cair they still have a sense behalf the rest of the world is like. and they're saying, we want to shape and determine our future. that's what began in libya. that's exactly how this started as an uprising of students and intellectuals spreading throughout the country. the west didn't pick libya, the libyan people picked the fact they a going to move forward on trying to get rid of gaddafi. st: eden prairie, minnesota, go ahead. caller: thank you for ting my call. i am an arab american. as an a arab, iave my deepest
thanks for the government. but some of the history does not -- we want to set the record straight. they did not do it for the love of the libyans or for any other reason. the only reason was that we were taking leadership. it's not because of the oil. we benefited from some of the oil, that's for sure. that's my first note. second note is i wish the nato would wisen up and know that there e far more countries than libya that are more powerful, more aggressive toward the united states, like saudi arabia, for instance. it's the mother of all evils,
it they areilling american soldiers. i think the nato know that, but we have politics. we don't want to risk relationship with them. but it would be benefit in the long run. i remember a caller from -- i forgot which state, but saying, why didn't the nato go to iran or to other cntries you mentioned because they are aggressive toward the united states? theverage naivete, it's what they hear from the media. film that region. everybody the region knows for sure it is saudi arabia the ones that have killed soldiers
in iraq and afghanistan. everybody from the politicians at least know that. host: thanks, khalid. that was our final call. guest: the caller is right in france played a pivotal role here. but i don't think the united states became involved out of jealousy. we were somewhat reluctant to get involved. it was french leadership that encouraged us to play a supporting role in this. france was outside of the alliance until recently. it kept its military outside of the nat military structure. president sarkozy brought france back into the fold, back into nato on military's command, and this is the first time we've seen france pursue its own national objective working through the alliance in partnership with the united states. i think that's significant in terms of our alliance. and on the second part, this is, again, -- nato is not looking for intervention. it's not looking to take military action. what's unfolding across the region is happening because of
people in individual cities and towns, and that's a powerful thing. the question is, what type of supporting role can the atlantic community, can the united states and europe play? we aren't looking to drive that agenda. we aren't looking -- we aren't trying to look for other places to use military forces, that' for sure. host: damon wilso >> we will talk with missouri congressman emanuel cleaver about the black cause with the black caucus's you of forever spending and the debt. newsmakers today at 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> now, a town hall meeting with republican representative kevin
brady. he talked about the economy, the budget deficit, and the congressional agenda. this event took place at a veterans conference center in huntsville, texas. it is a little over an hour. >> let's give all these folks around of applause. [applause] >> it is my pleasure to introduce my friend and our representative, kevin brady. kevin considers it an honor to represent the eighth district of the great state of texas in washington d.c. a leader in congress, kevin is the senior member of the house ways and means committee, chairman of the trade subcommittee, and vice chairman and top republican of the joint economic committee.
as the deputy whip for the gop and a board member of the conservative republican study committee, kevin is actively involved in the new conservative house majority's effort to protect the unborn, in bad luck regis let reject legislation and regulation, and cut federal spending. he has been named a hero of the taxpayers, a defender of liberty, a small business champion, and a super friend of the seniors. above all, kevin never moved to washington. he commutes to his job at the capitol and he and his wife kathy are able to raise their sons in montgomery county. ladies and gentlemen, i give you our friend and our u.s. congressman, kevin brady. [applause] >> carol, thank you very much for the introduction and for that chamber commerce leadership in the region.
i want to thank dr. jones, an old friend, for leading us in prayer today picket i was a scout and my wife was a girl scout. my 12-year-old is in scouts, and my theory is, any meeting that is open by a boy scout troop is going to be a pretty good meeting. so join with me in thanking our scouts again for all that they do. [applause] thanks for being at this town hall meeting. during the health-care debate, we held 54, the most of any member of congress in washington. that is one of the reasons we live back home here, not in washington, to make sure we stay close with the neighborhoods and counties that i it represent. we did three town halls yesterday's and we will continue
to do it. the reason is, you need to hold lawmakers accountable. it is critical for lawmakers to be at all to explain an update you on what some of the key issues are in washington. more importantly, these town halls are very important to me. i have learned through the years that you cannot be an expert on all issues, so you depend upon people in your communities, small business people, and those involved in the veterans' issues, and others who are teachers. that will tell you about what is going on and how the government is helping or holding them back. today i would like to go through a few slides about the financial crisis and talk about how this new bill on cutting debt will work, and talk about an upcoming vote but i think is very important, dealing with the balanced budget amendment to
the constitution. i will share with you what i think is the real solution to our spending problem in america. as i do that, i want to thank the veterans museum, all the leaders and volunteers. i always tell people, i don't think any county loves their veterans and does quite as much as walker county. you look at the museum next door, it is full of heroes. my son is reading colonel etherege'buts right now as we speak. they love coming to this museum. this is one of the things, never forgetting those who sacrificed to keep us free says a lot about this community and this area. let me see here, if we can make this work.
larry, we appreciate all the you have done on behalf of the museum here and the county. john, thank you for your leadership, too. we have had the pleasure of working together on tax issues and others, property rights. thank you for the work you do in austin as well. i want to talk about the financial crisis and where we are at. one of the three great lies in america now include that the video is ready to go, i am convinced. by the way, if you get a chance, we are serious about staying in contact with our employers.
come to our website, we have a blog on facebook and twitter. we do a lot of work on the joint economic committee on what it takes to get the economy going, but we want feedback from you, too, on these issues. this chart shows america's future if we don't change our ways. the green line is revenue in america. as you can tell, over time, revenue goes up and down some, but for the most part, it shows about 19% of our economy comes into the federal government. we are in a recession, coming out of one, or trying to. revenue is going to come up some. that is the green line. the red line is america's spending. this is the problem facing our nation. there is a sea of debt and deficits continuing to grow.
to put this in real terms, because we have two young boys, if you look at that debt, a child born today in the brazos valley, a baby born today, their share of the federal debt for uncle sam is $46,000. it is as if they owe already a new lexus to of sam. if we don't change our ways, by the time they are 17, they will owe a second lexus to of all sam. as we know, young people don't actually buy luxury sedans for washington. that pay the price in other ways. the pay the price through higher taxes to pay for all the spending. the pay for it in a higher interest rate, which makes it more expensive to live, and they pay for it in a sluggish
economy. just like in your business, just like in your family, if you are loaded up with that much debt, it is going to slow you down. for young people, this chart means that at the most important time of their life, when they start to launch their lives, their families, all that goes with it, that will have fewer job opportunities and less money in their pocketbook when they do get a job. by the way, i see it mayor turner here. thank you for being here. i hope your wife is doing ok. i've understand she was in a car accident this afternoon, and our prayers are with her. go back one, if you would. the point of this chart is, we don't have a revenue problem in washington. we have a spending problem in washington, a major spending problem. you look at our revenues, the green their, you could literally double everyone's taxes in
america and we would still be running a deficit as a nation. you cannot tax your way back to a balanced budget. the only solution is to put discipline and control on spending. i would like to put this then as a reminder. this is the federal budget today. the yellow pie chart here is defense. it is a big part of our budget, but it should be. i believe my number-one constitutional responsibility to each of you is to keep this nation safe and to keep you safe in it. i am strongly pro-defense. we are going to spend the money it takes to make sure our troops are safe, they have the most up- to-date equipment, they finished their mission, and they can return home to their families as soon as humanly possible. the green part of the pie chart is what a lot of people think is the rest of government.
that is non-defense spending. that would include highway transportation, air traffic controllers, border security, veterans' care, education issues. they are all in that green chart. those two or what congress, through their appropriations, the fund each year. we have great control over those two pieces of the pie. but if you look at the rest, social security, medicare, interest on our debt, and other mandatory programs like food stamps, for example, that is really the bulk of our spending as a nation. those are often called entitlements. that just means they are basically on autopilot. if you are eligible for social security, you get it. if you are eligible for medicaid, food stamps, and
regardless of how many people needed, that money is spent. we will have a big challenge going forward. one of the reasons i and other republicans believe we cannot balance our budget unless we get a better handle on those entitlements. you will see why in a minute. what drives our debt going forward? we have three very important programs, social security, medicare, and medicaid. medicaid is very important to a work for, but they are growing. the reason is, we are signing up 10,000 seniors each and every day into social security, because those baby boomers are starting to retire. it will drive those costs ford and a major way. medicare especially, because it is tied to health care, which is expensive. in not too many years, those three programs will literally
eat up every dollar that is sent to washington. they are literally will not be another dollar less for any other part of the government. today, if we added interest on the federal debt to that, we are almost there. that is why you will see, we talk about the need to be able to figure out a way to preserve social security for every generation, to make sure medicare is there for every generation. the longer we put off the solution, the harder it is going to get. i had the joint economic committee put this chart together, because i wanted to know if we could live on cash flow alone. if we did not raise the debt at all, if we just lived on what is coming in each month, what would that mean to us? i will explain this chart you, but at the end of the day, it tells us how far spending is out of control from what comes in. the bottom line here, the dark
blue is the interest on our debt. we are never going to default on our debt as a country. we pay our debt. social security is the next line. medicare is the light blue. then we get into defense of our nation, medicaid, veterans' care, income security, which is housing and welfare. the rest of government, air traffic control, highways. the yellow lines or how much cash is coming in each month into this government. as you can tell, it falls short of paying for what we need. in seven months, we don't even have enough money to pay all our military. in fact, and only one month, we have enough to pay for all of government. the only way you could balance
the budget in america is to make every day april 15, and that is the last thing and -- anyone in this room wants to see. it tells you just how far short we are and how big we are in spending going forward. the budget control act was the debt ceiling bill that was just passed. i think everyone knows what the battle lines were. the president bought for $2.50 trillion in new borrowing authority without any cuts at all. the house rejected that. he then asked for a $2.50 trillion of new borrowing authority with tax increases. we turned him down. then he asked for the whole amount for the next election, and we said no, this is too important to hand any president a blank check. our positions were pretty clear as well in the house among
republicans. if you want a dollar of new borrowing authority, you have to cut at least a dollar out of the federal budget. secondly, there would be no tax increases. we are an overtaxed nation. this is exactly the wrong thing to do. it is wrong for our economy as well pre pilot, we said no blank check for the next election. what the bill does is cut the second month coming up this fall, $1.50 trillion, is about this size of obamacare.
it is not enough. those cuts come in my view, are not enough. the deficits we are running up need to go much steeper than this. we passed a cap and balance that would cut significantly more than this and put significant controls on government. we did not get a single democratic vote in the senate on that bill. the president rejected it outright. cuts come first and require the president to sign this after all. no tax increases or controls were up. this would cut discretionary spending two years in a row. but it achieves about two-thirds
of the rhine and budget. the path to prosperity, we believe, is a game changer and it achieves a two-thirds of the budget cuts that paul ryan laid out in discretionary spending. it forces a vote this fall. the reason i think of this is important is because every lawmaker needs to be accountable to getting us to a balanced budget. we have too many people who talk about the need for a balanced budget amendment four years. the have always ducked a vote on it. the new law changes that. it requires an up or down vote with every lawmaker in washington standing up and declaring whether they will stand up and support the constitutional amendment for a balanced budget. i am a supporter of this bill.
for families to live within their means, businesses have to live within their means, the local government has to live within their means in washington. we will see people stand up and take a vote. the president does not get a blank check so this will be done in the two phases. one reason i supported this bill is because it changed the director ray of the government and shrinks the size of the federal government. where does our government grow without this bill? where does it grow if we pass it? as you're figuring this out, take out all the tricks that they play to make it sure they are cutting spending.
if we did not pass the bill, the government intends to grow to 23% which is how you measure the size of your government. with it, it shrinks. is that enough? absolutely not. i believe it needs to go further. those of you who know me in her district, you know every chance i get to cut taxes or spending, my vote is yes. and i reserve the right to come right back and fight for more tax cuts and more spending cuts which is exactly what we will do with this bill. the next step, passing a balanced budget amendment, starts just briefly with what i believe the real solution is. the balanced budget amendment
takes two-thirds vote in the house and senate and then a 3/5 -- three-fourths vote at the state. here is where we are at. it takes 270 house members, 67 senators. we have 240 republicans that had committed to vote for the balanced budget amendment and we will need 30 democrats to send it to the senate and the state. we need 67 votes in the senate to pass this amendment. 47 republicans have committed. to need that fight -- beat the fight, we need 20 democratic senators to step up. it will be a fight and we need everyone weighing in on their
support. the next step is to send it to the states. we need 38 state legistlatures to approve it. 38 states. this map shows, the red part, are legislatures controlled by republicans, blue by democrats, purple split, and nebraska is non-partisan. this will require all 26 republicna controlled, all 8 split, and at least one more if not 2 democrat states. it will be a battle this fall in
congress. if we prevail, their elected state representatives will have a chance to weight in. how much time will lapse between the tieme it gets to austin and you approve? >> not very long. >> we believe strongly in this in texas. here is what i think is the solutino ton to getting spending under control. right now, it seems to me that this country has added $5.5 trillion over the last 4 years. never,bt that we have ever imagined.
people are angry or they are dispaired. there are solutions but we have to take lessons learned. >> earlier this year, some of you may remember that i asked my committee to look across the globe. i wanted to look at every country that has gotten themselves in deep financial trouble and what they did to get out of debt and what they did to get their economy going at the same time. we studied our global competitors and what we learned that 26 times, of our key competitors, when they got themselves into trouble and, when they lowered their spending and lowered what they owed as a nation, guess what happened?
the economy took off. it did not take off a little but dramatically, time and time again. we know what the model is to get the economy moving as well to get our house in order. i asked them to go look at the states that i think to a better job of controlling spending than washington. we looked at sunset laws, line- item vetoes, balanced budget amendment, and we took what we learned from our competitors and what we learned from our state's and put them in a bill to control spending in washington. we just introduced it and it is maximizing american profits. it puts guardrails and discipline around the federal government were you shrink the size of government and create guard rails in such a grave that neither party can jump or burrow
under, which is what they do today. it shrinks the size of federal government now. it of such programs and agencies because literally, as a government, as a nation, we do not know all the programs and agencies that exist today, unless the ones that duplicate time and time again. the latest report from the gao was 84 programs