tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 5, 2011 8:00pm-1:00am EDT
that the american loses the job and somebody in india or china or mexico gets the job, why would we want to do that? well, that's a question we have to ask ourselves. what our -- what our bill does is say to the e.p.a., take another look at this and take into consideration the economic impact on the -- on the -- on our economy, take into consideration the impact on unemployment in our economy and the impact on lost jobs in our economy and the goods you will do for our -- the health care issues that are raised and have been raised all day by the democratic party in this chamber. . >> so does anybody want sick people. and those of us who say these are onerous regulations, that is
rick clause. is what we are doing going to keep them well? let's examine that and see what we think. i have shown this map before, but this is a very, very informative map. it tells you the percentage of mercury disposition that originates outside of the united states and the red is somewhere between 78 and 100. so in the areas that are tipted red there, the mercury that is in those areas, between 100% and 78% comes from outside this
country. the prevailing winds blow the mercury from the area where there is no restrictions and no clean air and that would be communist china and india. they choose to like that. that's their choice. but their pollution blows to our country. the yellow is from 78% to -- looks like 58%. between 58% to 78% in the areas marked in yellow and green is 58% and 19%. that's foreign pollution in that area. and the blue, very little blue, few dots you can see in the east coast, the blue is 19% to 0% is foreign pollution.
so with that much mercury as the example coming from other sources, putting the kind of burden that this thing does on our industry, which has nothing to do with the pollution source from outside our country, and yet, we are going to have our folks meet.01% when e.u. is. 05 %. we don't think we could meet .01%. so, what does this mean? it means that oregon, where they have already cleaned up their plant -- one plant announced if these rules go into effect after they cleeped up their plants to meet the best standards available, being told it's not
good enough and they are saying we may have to close this plant. and people in oregon are going to lose jobs that pay $80,000 to $100,000 a year. what's wrong with this picture? i tell you what's wrong with it. the regulators are not thinking about whose jobs are going to get lost. and meanwhile, if we clean up our 100 plants and this is the pollution that is coming in from foreign sources, then how in the world are we going to say we are protecting our children from disease. are we going to protect our children from disease, what about this pollution? we can't do anything about that. we need to, but can't.
so, sometimes when you get a job and you work for an agency, you become so wrapped up in trying to save the world from your standpoint that you don't think about who gets hurt in the process. but it's pretty clear who gets hurt, and it's those who have pretty darn good jobs. and that 9.1% unemployment could be in this industry, great american labor folks who lose great paying jobs, and who are they losing to? foreign operations. and you ask people, why do foreign jobs keep going overseas, at least in the concrete industry, cement industry, we know. there are also, as mr. obama travels the country, he loves to talk about, we are going to rebuild infrastructure and we talked about that in the
original stimulus bill and have all those $600 billion we spent, $50 billion went to highways and bridges but let's assume they are going to fix the highways and bridges. if the cement industry is in trouble, then the concrete industry is going to be in trouble and had a 62% reduction in both those industries in the last four years because the economy's been bad and they are in the construction business. so how are we going to build a bridge across the mississippi river when we have to ship the products that we need to make our concrete over from china? well, we'll do it and figure out how to transport it across the ocean. it can be done. remember when the president told us he found out that
shovel-ready in jobs in america weren't shovel ready? it's because something stood in between between the shovel and other things that got in the way. and i would argue that many of those things were regulations, environmental regulations, endangered species regulations and now they would be portland cement regulations if this regulation stays in place. now, is this bill unreasonable? we can analyze that for ourselves. it doesn't say we want to clean up the air. it says take another look at this and factor in the economic and labor impacts and then try to come up with a number that we have existing, new ideas to clean up to and that seems to be
.05. and then when you come up with a final rule that is doable in the industry as it exists -- and that's part of the direction that e.p.a. is given. it needs to be doable out in the actual working environment that it's in, not in some laboratory someplace. if you get that -- if you put rules together that will do that, then we'll all start to do it and give us five years -- we may do it quicker, but give us five years to spread out the costs, because we are talking about a lot of costs for an industry -- we will have to give more than half the cost for an industry that has struggled. give them a chance to get this thing done in a reasonable point of time. meanwhile, we aren't making the air any dirt year, but just
maintaining the senate tuesday ", which has been cleaned up in 1999, cleaned up again in 2006. so this is the third new standard. not like we have the dirty plants like the foreign competitors do. no, we don't. we cleaned up our act in 1999 and 2006. and the only thing that kept anything from getting done was lawsuits filed by environmentalists who said it wasn't enough. well, the industry tries its best to meet the standards and change obviously what almost what, every five years. give us a chance, five years to change. it's not unreasonable. it's a reasonable request to save jobs to keep an american industry alive in this country. so that's the example -- that's
what's being discussed today. next week and the week after that, there will be other bills that are out there. and here's one that's probably the next one to come along, the boiler mact rules. what does that mean? well, it means that we are taking a look at industries and entities that use boilers in their operation to heat and cool, whatever, but they use a boiler to do it. and here's -- and this is going to take place i think if not
this week, early next week, maybe tomorrow. here's the statement about it, from hospitals to factories to colleges to industries, thousands of major american employers use boilers that will be impacted by the e.p.a.'s new boiler mact rules. these stringent rules will impose billions of dollars in capital and compliance costs and increase the cost of many goods and services and put over 200,000 people's jobs at risk. american forest and paper industry, for example, will see an additional burden of at least $5 billion to $7 billion. h.r. 250, a bill we will have, e.p.a. regulatory act, sponsored by representative griffin of virginia, will provide a legislative stay of four interrelated rules issued by the
e.p.a. in march of this year. the legislation would also provide the e.p.a. with at least 15 months to repropose and achieve rules that do not destroy rules and provide employers with extended compliance periods. sound familiar? it's basically the same thing. hold up. what you are doing could cost 200,000 jobs and billions of dollars in extra costs. take another look at it. take a look at the jobs in a possibly double-dip recession that is coming up and say is that what we want to do? do we want the potential of losing 200,000 jobs or more because we aren't willing to take another look and see if there is not a better idea to make this thing clean? what's another 15 months when
you are being told these kind of economic ramifications are fair? well -- and, by the way, give us four years to put them in place once you come up with reasonable rules. this is not unreasonable. this is, again, thinking first about the working person and thinking, first, about our economy and what it takes to make our place work, run clean, efficient and manageable. and if we don't get that, we lose jobs. in this environment for the last three years, we have had an interesting concept where we put the stimulus package out there, we were waiting to hear how many
jobs we had created. we heard about a few. some of those jobs cost a lot of money to create them. $40,000 job and spend $1 million of american taxpayers' money to get that job. not economically feasible, but we have some of those jobs. but the other thing we heard from people was oh, it's not just the jobs that we create, it's the jobs we saved. well, that's exactly what we're talking about. we've got evidence that jobs are going down the tubes as a result of the action of a united states government bureau, the environmental protection administration. they are going to cause potentially a loss of 200,000 jobs. pass this, and we just -- just
like the obama administration, we just saved 200,000 jobs. this is good. this is how we do things now. we have been told for the last three years, this is how we estimate we are doing good. now, it didn't turn out exactly that way, but at least you aren't going to make the unemployment numbers go up. and that's one of our goals. it's to stop those things from going up and start them going down. and it's the goal of every american to go to the president and every american who works up here on the hill. we have different concepts of how to go about it and look at the concepts that have been used thus far and see their success. how about looking at some new ideas and see how successful those would be. if we can cut costs to people who create jobs, we will get more jobs. if we keep jobs that pay well
for the american worker, he will be able to buy product and will be in the market and help create demand and we will have more jobs. but if we're going to buy an action of a federal agency and going to cost 200 tchourks jobs and cause industry to go out and spend an inordinate amount in the billions of dollars to make the correction, how many jobs do you think -- when they get it cranked up in the e.p.a. standards, how many jobs are they going to create after that? they have to figure out a way to make up that $5 billion to $7 billion that the printing industry said they are going to lose. how are they going to make that up? they aren't going to hire anybody. if you don't have the money, you can't hire anybody. if you didn't have money to the
tune of $5 billion to $7 billion, it's a tremendous hit. that's just one industry. and we talked about that. that's the paper industry. . you don't have to be a genius to figure that out. it's easy for you to figure that out. and so by the very nature of the regulation we're talking about on boilers, we can be looking at the loss of 200,000 jobs and an extended period that that industry isn't hiring anybody. and if you -- we have -- and just to give you an example of the regulations that are out there, we have -- we've already dealt with a bill by representative scott about the national labor relations board telling boeing that they couldn't build a plant in south carolina when they wanted to because south carolina was not a
-- a closed-shop union state. mr. sullivan today is working on the cement mact bill, mr. griffin is in the -- in line in the queue to come up with solutions for the boiler mact bill. mr. mckinney has a bill that has to do with coal ash rules. mrs. nome has a bill to deal with foreign dust rules. and i have -- i with several of my colleagues have a bill to put a two-year moratorium on regulations. and we will hopefully come with a bill that will be reasonable and accessible and acceptable to the people in the -- that are concerned about this and put a stop to this question mark that industry is asking, what's around the corner? because there's tons of rules
around the corner. in the month of july there was almost 300 new major rules that would affect this country over with $100 million or more. there were almost 300 of them. in august there were almost 400 of them. now, we were just talking about one, two, three, four, five, six, seven right here bills to deal with seven instances. but the person who keeps up looks at these other regulations that are out there and says, holy cow, what's out there? if these things are going to cost, like the example with this e.p.a. regulatory relief act, if the boiling mact rules are to cost one industry $7 million, what about all those other rules? we don't even know what they do. and what are they going to do to us? and once again we have to
convince the people who are standing on the sidelines to get back in the game and hire folks so we'll have jobs in this country. it is unacceptable for us to be -- to look at 9% unemployment as the low figure for this year. it's unacceptable. it's been much higher and we've come down to 9.3%, we seem to have stuck there. but that's unacceptable. for an unemployment number in america. but you can't stop it unless you get real jobs created by real people. and you -- the way you do that is take the unknown out of their lives. at least until we get our feet back on the ground. you know, throwing all the money in the world at our problems, we have some pretty good examples of how that doesn't work. the stimulus bill being the perfect example.
we threw a half a -- a half a billion dollars at that solar company out there in california who under federal -- are under federal investigation by the justice department for what they did with our money. a half a billion dollars was thrown at those people. now what happened? where's our money? where did it go? they shut the doors and they declared bankruptcy. two or three years, that's a lot of money to blow in two or three years. now we're now learning that some of the stuff they have is like the not mercedes-benz but more the lamborghini model of furniture and fixtures and so forth, high-dollar stuff, but the reality is we threw money at a problem and the money didn't solve it. i don't think we should throw
money at a problem -- these problems that we've got right now, i think we should put -- instigate common sense for the problems that we've got right now. i mentioned the -- some of those things that are out there. we've got another bill that's very interesting. it has to do with cross-state air pollution. caspar they call this, for utility plants. this eyes plants that produce electricity. and the truth is that these new -- there was a concept and it was designed for the eastern part of the united states because the states are a lot smaller in the eastern part of the united states, so, you know, if you're living in vermont, new hampshire and i'm not picking on them, they're just side by side, fairly small, if a plant in vermont has a prevailing wind blowing into new hampshire, then, you know, and they've got
some pollutant out there, they want to be able to stop the cross-state -- croth cross-state line expansion of pollution into another state. and that's what these rules are set for. they set out specifically which states would be under these rules. they expanded them some, but it was designed for the midwest, some southern states and the northeast. and it specifically points to the -- said texas is not under these rules. the 19 days, 19 days before they issued the final rule, oh, well we decided even though we didn't test any of the air, didn't test any of the directions of the air or didn't do any -- any monitoring at all in the state of texas, we're putting them under the rule anyway and we just couldn't presume that the prevailing winds blow the way we think they do. i don't think anybody wrote that rule had ever set food in the -- foot in the state of texas, they would have known better than that.
but they presumed we were blowing all of our air -- any pollution we created up to the midwest and the northeast. they presumed that our prevails winds blue from the southwest -- blew from the southwest to the northeast and i think anybody that knows -- that lives in texas know that far from the prevailing winds in texas. if anything we have a prevailing wind, it blows from the gulf of mexico which is the southeast to the northwest of our country and the rest of the west by the way is not under these rules. with exception of oklahoma. so, these rules are going to impose such onerous air standard qualities that at least in the state of texas, with one company, they have 13 power plants, they're saying they're going to close two even before this starts, they're going to
close two. they're going to close one coal mine, they're going to stop shipping western coal to that part of the -- of our state, because these are coal-powered plants. and -- so there's two offline right there, the 13 they've got online. and potentially they could shut down more than that. maybe even half. that's one company's power plants. now what does that do to you as -- to us as american citizens? makes the price of electricity go up. makes the possibility of a brownout and blackout more relevant. if it's too cold or it's too hot and down where we live it's mostly too hot, you might have a power outage. if you take power plants offline because they make e.p.a. standards, because the standards are too onerous and quite honestly a complete surprise in our state because we even know we're supposed to be under this set of rules, we're probably
going to have power shortages in our state. but that's not all. the rest of the country he's got these rules, too. and -- country's got these rules too and they're just as surprising and onerous to them. they knew they were going to be under it. this is the eastern part of the country, we didn't know we were going to be under it. so we got a particularly loud gripe, but other states are saying the same thing. holy cow, what are we going to do? the midwest, almost all their power comes from coal. not in our state. we still have oil and gas. but in the midwest all their power comes from coal. what are they going to do when this he start shutting down plants? how cold is it going to be in chicago this next year, which my dad claims when the wind blows off the lake is the coldest place on earth, how cold is it going to be if they shut down the power plants in the central part of the united states? in the midwest? it's a frightening thought. the impact on humanity ought to
be one of the analysis that's made when you start making an analysis under these e.p.a. regulations. nobody wants to dirt upthe air. but you can do it with a reasonable -- with reasonable assumptions as to how much harm you're going to do when you start doing it. and the harm we're looking at here is a lot of harm. it's down right scary what could happen in a cold winter or a hot summer. you know, we're down in the middle of the drought right now in texas. and where i'm living at it hasn't rained in, gosh, i don't know, a long time. at least four, five months. we had a sprinkle, apparently sprinkle on top of my patio in the backyard, didn't even get my street wet. but they called it a rain. i don't count that. i'm talking about when it rains. now, could we get one? yeah. we're a land of wild weather, we could get one tomorrow that wash us off the face of the earth but
that's fine, we could use it. but the -- the point is that -- that sort of tells you how hot it's been. from starting in may until late in the month of september almost the entire state of texas had over 100-degree weather every single day. from mid may, normally our hot weather starts in late july through august, midseptember -- mid september we're over 100. we had 105 and 106 the whole summer long. you can just imagine how much electricity got cranked out. if we implement the rules that are imposed by the e.p.a. we will double the cost of electricity. i'll use my -- my electricity bill as an example. the entire summer my electricity bill for -- for it was approximately $600-plus a month.
what they're telling me is look for $1,200 a month. the guy that's got a $200 a month which is the average smaller home in our area, he's looking at $400 a month. it's a shocker to have something like that happen to you. and to realize it had to do because people didn't think out regulations they imposed. we can still meet the standards and not put our people at risk. these are the kind of things that we're talking about that so concerns us. and you know the first thing when this all happens and the reason i've been talking about this now for almost a year is because i'm convinced that a lot of americans believe that when this -- this happens to them in their life, they believe this is done because the congress of the united states passed some law
that caused that to happen. they don't know that it's an unelected group of bureaucrats in an agency somewhere that made this decision, not members of this congress. not the people they elect to speak for them in washington, d.c. no, people who have jobs that they can't be fired from and who are entrenched in these agencies around this town, right rules that affect the lives of -- write rules that affect the lives of ordinary americans and they don't know where they came from unless they're in the industry that gets affected. industry know what is bureaucrats do. but -- what bureaucrats do but the average american citizen, he doesn't know. that's why everywhere i go i talk about this because i want everyone to know, but particularly i want my folks back home that i represent to know just what these agencies do on their causes that causes the cost of living to go up. . how much time do i have?
i'm about through. i want to thank the speaker for his patience. i have plenty to talk about. i ask unanimous consent -- i yield back the balance of my two minutes and i ask, mr. speaker, that unanimous consent when the house adjourns today, it adjourns to meet at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. without objection. does the gentleman have a motion to adjourn. the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it.
the plan has things need. roads, bridges, dams, water systems, sewer systems, to put construction crews back to work. it would give tax cuts to middle-class families and businesses. it would extend unemployment benefits to people who are unemployed and have been for some time. this is an important part of what we are doing. this is not some left-wing blog thing saying that we should do this. for example, the chief economic advisor for john mccain in his presidential election, mr. sandy, he says that there is no better way to stimulate business in america then giving the unemployed a check. told by the president's
inner circle, the office of willgement and budget, this i trade 2 million jobs. -- this will create 2 million jobs. independents and even the tea party agree that it is time. more than 50% of the tea party, about 75% of the other people in america believe that we need to do something about this. so we will propose to pay for this important jobs legislation by asking people who make more than $1 million to pick up% more. -- to pay 5% more. it is time for republicans to stop their partisan games. republican leader of the floor is disingenuous.
the day that the president announced his plan, he gives no one could he said then and people said last night -- he gave us an outline. he said then and people said last night. this has always been the plan. my friend the republican leader knew that. there is an effort to stop the chinese currency bill. i hope that is not the case, which is an effort to try to embarrass the president. the fact is that we will try to move this, to have the richest of the rich pay a little bit more. we will do what we can to have americans get back to work. even if that means having the richest americans pay a little bit more tomorrow than they do today. >> when we opened the session yesterday, we heard him call on
us to work on a bipartisan fashion. there are things that we agree on. unfortunate, we have a bill on the floor that 79 senators agree on to bring this bill up for consideration. many republicans and many democrats. .o let's pass it and then we can move on to the jobs bill. this was an effort to put a political consideration on the floor for a bill that will be offered directly on the floor, the president's original proposal. as the majority leader said, there will be variations. senator mcconnell knows that. we know that. we want to move very quickly. but let's not slow down the task at hand. china's currency bill is a critical part of america's economic recovery to have fairness when it comes to dealing with that country which is our largest competitor and our largest creditor. i hope we can get this done this
week, the sooner the better, and move immediately to a jobs bill. i just came back from a week in illinois, traveling across the state. there are pockets where employment is not as high as other places. by and large, the american people are frustrated that we have not come together, both sides, in a bipartisan basis to propose jobs. the president has shown real leadership. now it is up to us, democrats and republicans, to do the same in the united states senate. so i urge my colleagues in the senate to pass this bill. let's get this done and move immediately to a jobs bill that can help america get back to work. >> thank you. i first want to iterate the call made by my friend and colleague that we pass the china currency bill. it was kept religiously bipartisan, co-sponsored by five democrats and five republicans. it is a bill that has broad, broad support.
it will send an important signal to china that they cannot keep getting away with economic murder. it is as important to the future of america as just about anything else. as american companies -- we're not talking about lowland companies, but high-end companies, they cannot compete because the currency being number one. we lose our wealth, our jobs, and our future. i would plead with senator mcconnell to not block the bill because he can i get an extraneous amendment on this bill. there will be plenty of time to debate the jobs bill next week. it looks almost like subterfuge to block a china bill which is very hard to oppose directly because it is so needed substantively and popularly and politically. the president's joint address to congress last month was a
turning point. it moved the debate aggressively into the issue of jobs. it was one of the president's finest moments. rather than settling for a proposal that represented the lowest common deny matter, the president went big and he went bald. his proposal was large enough to tackle the problem. the republicans have been on their heels ever since. the polling data shows it. by more than double digits, the americans have more faith in the president. leader mcconnell has repeatedly signaled that he does not support the president's bill as a whole, but you will love say which party is against. it is no wonder since the president's package is an assortment of measures that republicans have supported in the past. will republicans suddenly turn against payroll tax breaks? will they oppose tax credits for
the hiring of veterans? will they turn their back on infrastructure investments, to repair roads and bridges? these are needed proposals and there's no reason other than politics that they cannot pass it altogether. urging the package to be broken up is a cynical strategy to slow it down. within the democratic caucus, there has been broad support for this jobs proposal and we believe it is a full package. so we have spent the last several weeks planning how it can win the most votes on the senate floor as one package. we believe we have found the best answer available. these tough economic times call for sacrifice. shared sacrifice. so we believe that the best way to ensure this were the package does not add to the deficit is to get rid of unneeded tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires this is a change from the original proposal. but we consulted the white house with this and they are fine with the idea. in fact, the president, from the
beginning, said that he welcomed alternative ways to pay for it. we think we have found the best way to pay for it. we believe this package reflects their parties and the president's priorities, particularly in light of what he said in terms of millionaires and the buffet rule. drawing the line at $1 million is the right thing to do. in the eyes of many, it is hard to as more households that make two hundred $50,000 or $300,000 a year. many of they are not rich and, in large parts of the country, that amount of income does not give you a big home or great vacations or association with wealth in america. there are small businesses who struggle at that level. we believe that $1 million is the right line. in many parts of the country,
there are two income households that earn that much. it does not make them rich. they are firmly in the middle class. the same for business owners in that level. it is perfectly fair to ask those making $1 million a year or more, many of which are billion years who have done very well over the last decade, the top 1%, the only group that has really done well in america in the past decade, to give back their tax breaks so that we can invest in our country's future. i believe that the addition of this proposal makes it very tough for republicans to oppose the president's jobs package. republicans will be hard-pressed to explain why they have allowed teachers and firefighters to be laid off rather than have millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. republicans will struggle to defend putting off for paris to crumbling schools in order to protect -- putting off repairs to crumbling schools in order to
protect tax breaks. we hope republicans will approve this package to put americans back to work. if they do not, the public will see that they're putting tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires ahead of our economic recovery. >> yes. >> you very well know that republicans are absolutely against tax increase. is this -- if this jobs bill is so important, why include something so politically radioactive? >> excuse me. 75% of republicans support this tax. the problem of -- the problem is that none of them are in the senate. they will have to listen to their constituents. democrats, republicans, independents, and even the tea party believe that taxes should be assessed on a fair basis. senator schumer mentioned the
1%, if it is much smaller than that. they should pay their fair share. they can hang on to their mantra -- no new taxes -- but i would suggest that they are not keeping in touch with their constituents. >> how much is the millionaire tax break? >> exactly how much of the bill costs. >> with the congressional approval rating at an all-time low and most people saying that is about jobs -- and a lot of people say that the parties are differing on almost every issue in this will place in america. how can you change that and what would you do to help turn those both perceptions around? >> we have done what we can as the democratic caucus to
changes. the first part of the year, we spent months on matters that had taken place in a matter of a few minutes, like increasing -- like allowing the country to continue running without the resolution. hundreds of times, we have done that, but not now. we wasted months on this. we had short term, one-week cr, until we were able to fund the government until the end of september. then we thought we would be fine. we have a budget deficit reduction act that we are working on to raise the debt ceiling. that has happened in the past -- all of you have heard me say this before. during the reagan years, it was raised 18 times. but we spent months on this. and then we finally got the
budget deficit reduction act passed. and immediately, we are back in the same fix we were in before. they would not allow us to have a short-term cr. they were locked in. it took weeks to get that done because they were trying to place a burden on the backs of people who have suffered even more in these storms. so we have really tried to change the tone. i admire senator mcconnell. he set out with clearly announcing what he wanted to do, which is to do everything he could to defeat president obama. and that is what this is all about. it is terribly disappointing. but as senator schumer mention, we know that congress is at a low point. but any pull you see, democrats are doing better than the republicans. >> now that you have chosen your
words, do you think that you have democratic unanimity? >> i know you have better things to do, but, in my speech this morning in opening the senate, i said i look forward to amendments. i am confident that -- for example, mary lander, i have not talked with her person, but i know that the small business committee has done a lot. for just a few dollars, but she would like to offer an amendment adding more money to bring about small business community in america to have a few extra incentives. as i said this morning, i hope we have some amendments. i think it would be good. we're willing to do that, just like we are willing to do it on this bill, the china currency.
but they will allow us to do that either. >> -- >> i am sorry, let me answer that. i do not know what unanimity means, but -- [laughter] but as i was told, if i asked to vote to the bathroom, i will be told in no. -- if i ask to go to the bathroom, i will be told in no. >> will be surtax come in addition to allow the bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire? >> pardon me. >> will the millionaire surtax come in addition to allowing the bush era tax cuts for wealthy americans to expire? >> is a 5% surtax. whatever the rate is today, it
would be 5%. whatever the taxes, it is 5% i know this is only in washington that anyone would care because of cbo. that is why we have done it this way to make sure we have a good score on the bill. " you know what you said earlier? -- >> you know what you said earlier? would you support families taking a tax -- >> $1 million is where we think it is the better way to go. as i said, there people making two hundred $50,000 or $300 -- $300,000 who are not rich. we prefer $1 million. >> thank you. >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> tonight, interviews with
treasury secretary timothy geithner, bank of america ceo brian moynihan, and former treasury secretary robin rügen could later, republican presidential candidate ron paul at the national press club. on tomorrow's "washington journal," we will discuss jobs. on the program, kevin brady and barbara lee. "washington journal" begins live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> before the presidential election of 1916, charles evans hughes was a lawyer and professor, a two-term governor of new york. even though he lost his bid for the presidency, his impact on political analyshistory remaine. he is one of the 14 men featured in c-span's new weekly series "the contenders," live from the
supreme court building in washington, d.c. for a preview, watch a number of videos about him at our wish -- our special website at c-span span.org/thecontenders. >> in this part of the event, treasury secretary timothy geithner discusses the it ministrations economic policy. we will also hear from bank of america president brian moynihan, former treasury secretary robert rubin, white house chief of staff william daley, and marco review. this is two hours. [applause] -- marco rubio. this is two hours. [applause] >> i should be able to say something witty about the culture of self-effacing it, but
it escapes me. >> i set it for you. >> thank you. we have about 15 minutes together and then we will take a couple of questions from the audience. the other official who has been grappling with this crisis since it began, ben bernanke, said yesterday that the recovery is close to faltering. is he right or wrong? >> growth is slower, weaker here and around the world than we all hoped. why is that happening? it is self-evident now. it happened because we had a very substantial oil shock. we had a dramatic disaster in japan and the global effects in manufacturing. we had severe choices in europe. we had divisive debate in the united states about what our obligations should be as a country that made people wonder if our political system is up to dealing with the challenges we
have. the economy is still healing from the crisis of the recession. the question now is what should we do? what could we do? in addition to trying to get your to act more forcefully in containing the damage there, there are things we can do here to make growth strong red heel this recovery more quickly. we have a very substantial package of things before the congress, tax cuts for every working american, for every business, a larger tax cut if you hire a veteran, you hire somebody new to your payroll. and a very smart package of reforms and investment to help rebuild the country. if congress would act on that package, it would make a major difference to a recovery that it needs to be. if we tie that to the types of long-term fiscal reforms, we
would also make a greater contribution to confidence that this political system is up to the challenges we face. but if -- >> but if congress does not act, will the economy falter? >> if congress does not act, we will be weaker and more vulnerable to other things happen. you can think about this as protection from the challenges we are facing. it is good insurance against that, but it is worth doing. >> let's talk about europe for a minute. a report today is that there will be another stress test. do you feel that europe is moving quickly enough to inoculate its banks? >> just to use the words of european leaders, they recognize that they have been behind the
curve of this. they're moving too slowly. they are moving not as fast as markets are moving in today's environment and the need to do more to build more confidence that they will act to hold this thing together. they decided that they will escalate substantially and they are not try to negotiate the details of the doctor -- details of the returns. they have financial resources as a continent that are very large relative to this crisis. it is just a question of moving more quickly, more forcefully. i expect you'll see them do that because the consequences of the alternative are more expensive to contemplate. >> have we lost any of our ability to influence the policy direction they take as a consequence of the fact that this contagion began here in the states? >> i think that any american has to realize that we caused
enormous damage in allowing a financial system to get to the point where it did, causing a crisis that is damaging to both us and around the world. look at our politics today. people look at us, not just americans, and say -- they wonder whether they will see washington demonstrate that they can do things on a scale commensurate with our challenges. you have to come to these discussions around the world, recognizing the extraordinary humility in the face of our challenges. but europe matters a lot to us. we do not want to see europe weakened by protective crisis. they have invited us into the imf and directly through the substantial swap. and having invited us in, we will have some views about what makes sense in that context and
we have been very forceful and aggressive in communicating those views. but my experience has been that they welcome both the support we're giving them and they welcome the vice. although, -- the advice. although, they like to remind people that the u.s. has challenges, too, and nobody feels that more than we do. >> is it vulnerable to know the degree of vulnerablowner billets that hon. to know the degree of vulnerability our banks have? >> they have a very good feel for the direct financial exposure of american financial institutions to the countries that are under the most pressure in europe. europe is a large part of the global economy. a severe crisis in europe would be very damaging to growth
around the world. that is why it makes a lot of sense to be investing in the effort in getting them to move more forcefully in trying to get congress to move to strengthen our economy. but our financial system, because we move more -- you lost a question about a third possible around the stress test. our financial system is much stronger today than it was before the crisis because we forced our banks at a very early stage to raise substantial amounts of equity to so people n decisions, to find themselves more conservatively. we crossed the weakest part so they no longer exist, and the most vulnerable parts no longer operates within the shadows of regulation with no oversight and are allowed to take on huge amounts of leverage, so we are in a much better position, but
this economy is still facing enormous challenge. we want to make growth stronger, and as we do that, we have a huge stake in europe . >> i would like to take a step back from the news and ask you a couple questions. given the impact on america's standing in the world, do you think is going to look in retrospect like something we moved on from, or do you think this represents a real inflection point in the way the
u.s. does business? >> it depends on which choice congress makes now. let me take optimistic side. it is hard to be an optimist, but in the debt limit debate, we achieved three important things, a substantial down payment of spending over the next decade that saw about a quarter of our problem. we took the threat of default off the table. very important to do that, given what people were trying to achieve, and we set in place a mechanism, also a trigger that gives us an -- that puts a lot of pressure on congress to take
another large step to restoring fiscal responsibility. those are pretty big outcomes, and we did a lot of foundation- laying for the types of long- term reforms to mandatary programs and elsewhere, and even though we were not able to bridge those differences, the discussions we had, i am very confident we will end up being the foundation for what we do we may not get that done in the next three months, but there is no other place to go, so i would like to take the optimistic side of that. i will give you one more piece of optimism, which is the great strength of our economy is it is a much more diversified, much
more resilient, much more innovative, and more productive economy compared to more mature major companies, and we have always had a political system that does the right thing in the end, and we are testing by a basic confidence today, but if you look at the way the world looks at us, how they view us in relative terms, there is still a lot of confidence around the world of those tenants will be justified again, but i think you cannot answer that question without looking to what actions, and it would be a terrible thing for people to sit here and decide because we are in the political season and we have 13 or 14 months left, but we are going to put policy actions on hold but
traditionally had a lot of bipartisan support, and at a time when there is so much damage leftover from the .risis >> here is a more retrospectives question. you moved quickly as a group to apply lessons the world learned to our detriment during the great depression, lessons you learned during the last american debt crisis and in asia. you talked about the need to move decisively with overwhelming force in a situation like this. does that turn now to be announced? have you learned new lessons that we should keep in mind if we ever find ourselves in this situation again? >> good question. i want to think about that.
we learned a huge amount about how to do things better than they have seen done in the past, and people are going to be pouring over those judgments for a long time, and it is unfair to reduce them to a simple thing common and but the more forceful you are in the beginning, the quicker you get growth track, the quicker you are able to dial a those things back, and how you do that is important. if you use a strategy that puts enormous burden or pressure on private capital to come in, you take more of the burden off the tax payer. remember that people were confident across the political spectrum that this was going to cost us trillions of dollars from taxpayer money to resolve,
and if you look at the fed to the fdic, what the treasury did, what happened in new york over that time, because of the strategy we adopted, and we have a long way to go. we have a very good chance of having to put out the financial fire at a very low cost to the taxpayer. >> is there anything you would have done differently? >> i spend all my time thinking about it would this be possible had we made that possible. would you are seeing in europe and the united states eliminates what you can do to a function of what the political system provides authority to do, and if you cannot relax those constraints, you are left with much greater risk. what matters most apart from
policy instruments is how you relax those constraints so you can do the unpopular things you have to do to make the damage less to the innocent, and that is the hardest challenge. the reason why government make these things harder over time is what happens is the political cost of the initial response is so devastating that people tend to pull back early, and if you leave the job and finished, that is not a mistake if we plan on making. >> here is a question about wall street. did you never worked on wall street. there is some confusion on that , but you know that world well, and you worked very hard. >> not as well as people think.
>> well enough to participate in rescuing the financial system, and i think it is fair to say no one has been a greater direct beneficiary than the financial community of the policies. you save their jobs. you saved zero bonuses -- you save their bonuses, and they cannot stand this president. why? what explains that? >> i think it is inexplicable. people resent the huge amount of public anger they have been subjected to because the cause
of the crisis. they sometimes claim that was created by us, which i think is a deeply unfair judgment, and they react to what was modest common-sense observations about the system as if they are deep affront to the dignity of their profession, and i do not understand why they are so sensitive, but they are very wounded, and they have seen a huge amount of damage to people's confidence, and they would like us to feel love for them, and they ask me all the time, -- to heal that for them, and they ask all the time, why can you do that, and we say, that is something you have to do yourself. >> you feel sympathy for the occupy wall street movement? >> i feel a lot of sympathy for
the general sense among americans, whether we have lost a sense of possibility and after a pretty bad loss decade, followed by a devastating crisis, a huge loss of public institutions, people wonder if we have the ability to do things that can help the average sense of opportunity in the country, and i sympathize with that. we are not just trying to clean up a terrible mess, but we have to figure out how to do that the same time we are trying to restore faith in institutions, and we are having an important debate about what a role of the government is in society as well, and we need to restore
basic confidence the market cannot provide on its own. >> this is from audience. the you have any key differences with larry summers, or are you in the same person operating in three bodies with rubin? >> i am sure there would be offended by the comparison. i have a huge admiration for them. we are very different people, and anyone who has worked with us knows that we debated and battled over many issues and rarely came to any debates. we all came from different backgrounds and rarely came to a debate with the same basic
framework, but we usually came to the same basic places, and i am very pleased to be able to be part of so many things we have done together. >> i have seen you in the same room together, so we assume you are not the same person. >> have they met? they have met me, but have they met them? >> your shirt is tucked in. your tie is clean. >> they would be so offended by the comparison with me. >> i think larry would be flattered. >> i was in government before them. i was a public servant sitting in the treasury a long time before the privilege of working
with them. >> how did that theory that you were with goldman sachs episode -- get into the consciousness? >> i met someone, and this is a person of some stature and knowledge, and he said, i heard that, too. >> they also say you were born in kenya. [laughter] >> you will be holding up your birth certificate before you leave? >> i was a little busy in the beginning of the administration, but when i read that i said, that is ridiculous. no one is going to believe it, but they did believe it. >> that is the world we live in, and now we are out of time. thank you. [applause]
please have a seat. welcome. >> i am getting some weird thing in my year. it does not sound good. y ear.e weird thing in mightie it does not sound good. for some reason i am getting static. how is yours? >> i do not have one. [laughter] >> thank you. you are a famous guy, and your bank has become incredibly famous because of $5. i have never seen anything like that. adding $5 a month to a debit card account has caused the most massive political backlash i have ever seen.
first, why did you do it endowments greeted why did you do it? >> we started with a basic vision of a company that would be transparent with customers, because as you watch practices over the last 10 or 15 years, there were things people did not like -- overdraft fees, so we started with mortgage and then credit card, and then we went to checking accounts, and then we took the old penalty fees, and we got rid of that, so in doing all of that, and we are building a transparent, a clear view. when you think about this see, if anyone has a mortgage or a car andd, we will probably get them to see. if i understand the transparency, and i appreciate that. isn't this a function under been
tax, because that was the price control on the debit transactions, because wal- mart's outlined it. you have it cut back to 20 cents. tell me if i am wrong. this is my narrative i read about, and i am going to get to profits in a minute. on this narrow point, durbin, who is saying to get away from the bank of america, didn't he causes in the first place? >> i am glad i gave you something to ask about. >> now it is the most famous $5 in the history of this country. >> taking it out of politics, we provide 5700 branches. people can access to their money for no charge.
i would stay away from the politics and say, we know our customers. >> it was part of the dodd- frank. >> it has changed. how do we rebuild profitability because we have a need to provide services of the same time as being clear that it is about choice. you choose to use the service this way, electronic verses' branch banking. >> the president is not happy with you either. he said, banks do not have an inherent right to get a certain amount of profit. that is a very heavy duty statement for president of the united states to make. to you, and what does that mean? >> i have an inherent duty to get a return for my shareholders. of the same time, i have an
inherent duties to do a great job for my customers. we know our customers. we listen to them all the time, so what i focus on is providing a great service and getting a fair return for my shareholders. >> you believe in the profit motive, and you believe that is your highest calling as a banker. you are operating in a free market economy, so what do you make of obama's statements? is he threatening you know? is he saying they are going to send in a new consumer protection branch to roll back your fee increases? why is he saying there is no inherent right to get a certain amount of profit. i do not think i have ever heard of you as president directly attack profits in this manner. -- heard the u.s. president directly attack profits in this
manner. >> we have been working with it since it was an idea, and we believe the transparency is an important thing. our customers will see this. this fee does not start until next year for new customers. it will apply to those customers that do not have a relationship with us. it is consistent with the motives of consumer relations. >> one of your colleagues blasted administrative regulatory policy. you have no right to make a profit i think has gone into overkill. will you write an op-ed piece protesting that profit is a good
thing and not a bad thing? >> we will talk to our teammates, and they understand we have a right to make a profit with our shareholders. i do not think engaging in the discussion when you are leading to it is important. what is important is making a profit we can return to our shareholders. >> after this pleasant experience, will you be raising other fees? >> we will make sure we balance everything we do with how we listen to our customers common and and we listen to our customers on a daily basis. we know what they spent last month. they spent more than they did last year in september. we use panels of customers. we talked to external constituencies, and thanks have a special relationship. they have been through that
process. >> taking this anti-profit -- it is an old soviet style, and that is how i heard it. is the government still waging war against thanks? you have to the sea with harsh language from the president. many bankers believe dodd-frank with thousands of pages of regulations -- you mentioned the consumer finance and bureau. stanley and freddie are taking you to court for mortgage-backed bonds. state's attorney general are taking you to court for mortgage-backed bonds. do you feel under siege?
does the bank feel under siege, and is the government waging war against the banks in the midst of the sluggish economy? >> i heard timothy gardner say before that we have a strong banking system. we have raised tremendous liquidity. we have a narrow franchise we continue to get out of things. we are in a much stronger place. we have a strong banking system. we do not see the direct impact. we need to focus on moving forward. let's focus on creating jobs, of we are a much stronger financial system.
>> it seems like there is so much political and governmental hostility towards thanks. some of it may be justified. some of it is not justified. i think you paid heart attack, so you are to be able to recover, but a lot of people do not -- you paid tarp back, so you end should be able to recover, but a lot of people do not think that. you have branches in illinois. you have a lot of branches. is it odd for a senator to tell people to get away the you feel under attack? >> no, we have the best stay in the world. and we do a great job for our customers. if you think about what is going on, they allow us to support our customers.
we need to focus on making sure we move forward, and when people talk about dodd-frank, the worry that it will impact our ability to employ more people, when people talk about the capital rules, it is trying to balance safety and soundness with the reality that we had a set of issues three or four years ago. in america we have got to grow. >> how much is dodd-frank costing the bank of america? you look at proprietary trading, the various fees that are causing you to switch around. losing?h are you i
>> it would be billions of dollars in revenue. >> can you overcome that? how does the bank remained as profitable? you are new to the job. you inherited this thing. the stock does not do well. you are the first stop to go down. why is that? why is your stock more vulnerable? >> i think we represent many views throughout america. european exposure would not be something people would expose on. the amount of our exposure is very small. we have $32 billion in capital. we continue to make money, but i think people are worried about growth. projections have deteriorated
over the course of this year in terms of what people think rest of 2012 and 2013 look like. >> the recovery is close to faltering. you are saying the same thing, and your stock reflects that, because you are every man spraying. you are the largest mortgage- lending thank -- you are every man's bank. you are the largest mortgage- lending bank. >> it does not correlate with the economy as we see a flattening out, because we are in much better shape as the economy softens in terms of growth. the economy is still growing, and ben bernanke expressed the fear that not -- the feeling
that should keep going. he is trying to make sure the momentum stays forward. >> a question on housing. it puts you in stronger shape. is there any sign of recovery in in housing at all -- sales, foreclosure, activity, pricing? it seems that is pulling down the economy. >> the first thing about housing is the service 20% of mortgage loans in america, so we see what goes on. our first job is as we deal with our rowers who cannot make the payment to do everything in -- with our worst -- with borrowers who cannot make the payment, we do everything possible to help them.
otherwise, it is a horrible outcome for the family. when you see the system move forward, if you are seeing the pricing firm up. you are seeing the pricing flattened out. >> not falling anymore? >> you see the markets with the activity. if you look at it, what is happening is we are getting through the problem. the way to think about housing is prolonging the problem is not going to solve it. we have to get through it, and that means we have to get through the transition problem. >> isn't it fair to say the faster the better? young families are going to get great homes at low prices, but the faster we clear out the
unsold inventory, the sooner this country might be able to create jobs. is that wrong? >> where they have had inventory clear, you are seeing its stabilize. >> there were a few bad letters. they are keeping the economy on its back, and they are all over bank of america. you are the favorite dive. -- guy. >> we are seeing them try to move forward, but the principles behind it with homes trying to be absolutely fair, that is what we are doing. we are getting through the peak of it, and it will take us a couple more years to get through it, but i am confident weekend get through it. -- i am confident we can get
through it. >> the obvious question is not whether europe will survive but whether the bank of america will survive. you do not have a big exposure, which puts you in the same camp as morgan stanley. now you are not worried about what could happen in europe if it blows up? >> people heard secretary geithner talk about it. there is a lot of activity going on with the new facility being approved over the next week. i think that is going to help. it would not be good for the american economy to have an economy that represents one- third of the world stay in the condition it is in, and i think the contagion is real. the reality is the way we are
situated is far different, so you save the world is going to end tomorrow. that would be difficult. >> you have a better capital situation. >> everyone analyzes about every day. >> do you feel confident you can withstand a european contagion? >> we do. let me ask you a generic question. i saw them saying they might go back to 2008 operations to rescue the bank. that would include other things, and tim geithner was talking about the possibility of guaranteeing all bank liabilities. do that, let greece the fault,
and raise capital in the markets. is that going on? that got my antenna up. >> policy makers are working to try to fix the system. i think stopping liquidity runs is one of the key principles, and if you look at money market funds to guarantees on banks, it was a huge benefit, and i think the lesson would serve in europe, and i think that kick back, all the choices they have they are well aware also. >> i give tim geithner credit. he gave them a kick. you were at the imf. do you think they are energized
to do something, or are they going to let the bond market in europe now run the thing? >> if you think about the amount of activity taking place, i think they are more energized. >> you are more confident about this? >> i think a reasonable pace. >> what do we got, a couple minutes left, ? are you prepared to pay a 5% serv plus as a millionaire. that was a democratic proposal -- of 5% surplus as a billionaire. that was a democratic proposal -- as a millionaire. that was a democratic proposal. what you think about that? >> i think when we talked to our
clients, we have more wealthy clients than anyone in the world. the real question they ask is what for, and if we put our fiscal house in order, they say that is a great motive. they want to see the discipline, because a strong u.s. fiscal house is critical, so most people would say, fine, but what for? >> do you think using a millionaire's tax or any other generic increase to finance a temporary stimulus package -- does that work? haven't we tried that? didn't obama try that and it did not work? now we are going after rich people another time. does that work for you? >> people would like the commission bring down the spending levels. i think there is a broad
consensus we have to get back to fiscal health. there is a consensus we need to jobs in this country. >> i appreciate it. [applause] >> thanks for coming, brian. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] next, we have former secretary of the treasury bob rubin, and end to be interviewed by the chief economics reporter for " the economist." welcome. >> as we see, you are not the same person. you need no introduction, one of
the most thoughtful and important voices in washington puree go -- voices in washington. >> i will not say anything about myself. >> i want to start with short- term outlook in the economy. chairman bernanke said the economy is close to faltering. many people are worried about a double-dip recession. how worried are you? >> we are in a difficult situation. if you go back to the beginning of this year when there are a lot of analysts that got more optimistic, i did not share that feeling, because it seemed to me it was enormously strong, and my view was that recovery and would remain slow. if anything, those headwinds have stayed the same work gotten more serious in --in the same or
gotten more serious, so i think recovery is likely to be slower. i think the probability of a double dip is not that great, but i think nasa hasn't increased, and i think it goes back to the importance of public policy. -- i think that hasn't increase, and i think it goes back to the importance of public policy. >> if we do go back to recession or the economy falters, they will bear a lot of the blame. the u.s. is heading to a fiscal tightening. >> there are differing views to that. you have this debate between the question of should we focus on
jobs orange deficit reduction, i think it is a false economy. if you look at it from a jobs perspective, we are in bad need of fiscal stimulus. in the amount proposed, it is just a smidgen. the amount if implemented in two or three years could contribute enormously now, because i think our current fiscal trajectory is having an undermining of effect on confidence, and it creates a lot of uncertainty, and another important affect president clinton notice and talked about in 1992, which is that when you have sustained fiscal deficit,
it can begin to create concern about our ability to manage our affairs and govern ourselves, and there is tremendous concern about government processes, so i think with the two together, although fiscal stimulus is imperative, it is the two together that could have a positive affect, so i think policy is very important short- term. >> it looks like we may get neither of those. we get neither the jobs agenda for very little in the medium- term. if you cannot get any agreement in the medium term, do you think he should do more stimulus in the way? >> has conditions have gotten more difficult, even if we cannot get it, i think it is
really important to put in serious deficit reduction, but even if we cannot get that, i think it has become comparatively important to get short-term stimulus, and the reason is we face two problems. if we do nothing, it would have a negative affect in the short term, and more broadly, we are in a time where growth is going to be very slow, so you have a slow recovery, and with the enormous uncertainty is coming from all directions, i think it is imperative need we do stimulus in any case, but what our political system should do is put in effect a deficit reduction and of the program. -- a deficit reduction program.
>> most major economists would say something relatively similar. you want short-term stimulus and medium term tightening. they have been incapable of delivering on any of this, so why is that common and what can you do about that? >> i think the ultimate question with respect to our economy is as follows, which is most mainstream economists would say the core of economic strategy ought to be a serious deficit reduction program that goes into affect two or three years from now and has fiscal stimulus as part of it, and you are going to have to add a public investment, and then to find all that, what you would need is a significant increase in revenues and constraints on all accesses -- all aspects of
spending. all of this is very difficult politically difficult. i think we can reach common ground. by cynthia ultimate -- i think the ultimate challenge is going to be political will, and i think there are basically three components. i think there has to be a willingness to base decisions on politics. i think there has to be a common ground, and there has to be a willingness to make a difficult political decisions, and there are all kinds of reasons and why we are in the state we are in, but i think in the short term, of public policy is important for the reasons i have said, and long term, it is critical.
>> do you think is being fulfilled in? >> it is very easy to be deeply concerned. i think that is also worth reflecting on the history of our political system, and we have had times when our system has been relatively dysfunctional, and it has turned out to be a resilience system. we have a dynamic society. weathercast -- whether the past is harry lewd or not, i did not know, but historically it -- is 3 lewd -- is prelude, i do not know. a lot of officials like to get reelected, and that pressure may have some affect.
second, we really do have conditions. as for many americans this is a terrible hardship. finally, we do have a critically important time coming out. in december of 2012, the tax hikes expire. then you hit the debt ceiling somewhere around there. second, i think it is very hard to think about the impacts. it is going to result in consequences that are unacceptable across party lines, so i think a lot is going on that could create a different political dynamic than we have now, and it could create enough pressure to bring the political system who together and catalyze it going forward. >> the consequences are so awful. >> the result is something like
$600 billion defense cuts, i think that it's probably unacceptable. if both tax cuts expire, i think that is probably unacceptable, so we have unacceptable consequences of those events if we do not act, and i think the complication has potential of creating a different dynamic, plus we have no way of knowing what is going to create control and what the majority will be. >> that sounds extremely logical. before august 1, i would not have accepted that, but having seen this in debt ceiling caboclo, there seems to be a willingness to go right to the wire in a way that you could have terrible consequences. >> i share your concerns, and there is nobody i know who does
not share your concern, and i think given the nature of short- term political conditions, i think it is imperative we act on the stimulus. it would be far more powerful to do that together with the deficit reduction program i described, but the public reaction to what happened around the debt ceiling has been so negative, that it gives me a little bit of hope. every time it gets a little bit of hope, it gets crushed, but a little bit of hope now that the elected officials to begin to feel they are going to be held more accountable for actually governing, so i get a little bit of hope, but i agree with you that the evidence leads one to a concerned direction. >> let's talk about the long term, because it is depressing to dwell on the short term. if you looked at the u.s.,
people who have said is not resilient have been wrong. you have faith about what will happen again? five, six, seven years from now, when will this country look like? will it bounced back to the trajectory we saw before the crisis? >> i think that is an important question. there is this feeling that china is going to be goliath and we are going to be and languishing. i do not share that view. i think we have tremendous strength. we have an entrepreneurialism culture. we have rule of law. we have an enormous natural resources. i think even in a global
economy undergoing a change, a truly historic transformation, i think we are well-positioned to succeed, but to realize the potential, we have to meet three huge challenges. we have got to get back on a sound fiscal path. we have to have strong investment in many areas, and there is a whole array of areas -- health care, education, energy, bringing the four into the economic mainstream, where we need reform. if we meet those challenges, i believe we will be a robust part of the hugely transformed global economy of the 21st century. it is all doable. it does get you back to the question of political will, and that is the question of the we have the effectiveness to meet those challenges, or will we not bowman region will we not?
i think that is the ultimate question. >> how radical those the overhaul have to be? one argument is we have made huge progress, but for the u.s. to succeed going forward, there has to be a radical rethinking as to what the states can do. this is a relatively low tax country. how big does it have to be? >> i do not agree with either of those positions. i think we are going to have to have significantly increase revenues. i think it is imperative that we maintain an effective social net, but there is no question there is going to have to be
reform, and absolutely critically, what i just described over the next 10 years would be a good framework. in the long run, health care entitlements are driven largely by the rate of increase in our health-care system overall, and so for now if we do some variants of the framework, the specifics could be very different -- that gets you 10 years. somewhere, we have to make substantial changes in our health-care system, because it is that rate in increase in overall health care costs that drives entitlement, but it is going to take significantly increase its revenues, and people who say it will not simply do not know. >> where is this going to come
from? is it going to be enough, or does it have to be older tax increases or a consumption tax to? where is that revenue going to come from? >> that is not a bad question. i actually do think we need to increase our tax code, and i think there are a number of ways to go about doing. when we did it in 1993, one of our opponents went on the sunday show and said it was going to lead to recession, and every job loss was going to be president clinton's response ability. i think we need to have a more aggressive tax system. how much total need of revenues that can accomplish, but we can
also deal with tax expenditures, and i think it falls predominantly on the most affluent, but whether that can be done entirely by dealing with the most affluent, or whether it can be broad-based, i think it depends on the measures you have adopted. i actually think the more you think about it, the more complicated the question becomes. that this an interesting comment. he said he thinks what would happen is the exchange rate would get.
particularly, if you think it is aggressive, which i think it would have to. >> there is a sense that once the economy recovers, it would have to come down. you have an unemployment this country will not have to deal wesith. >> there has not been a lot of research done, and i think when you talk about public investment and reform and
trading programs, i think we need to have programs that are directed to long-term unemployed, and i think there are things in the areas that are growing and that need employment. i think if we have the kind of policy in which described before, i think if we meet our challenges with sound fiscal policy and given our natural advantage, we get to the point where we are back in the 5% area where or something like that. that seems to be a reasonable judgment. >> we are going to wrap up with one thing which have not
measured, which is europe's. how worried are you about europe, and how confident are you that they can actually work this out? >> i think the eurozone has been when behind the curve. it seems greek can be dealt with in the murrah the nine -- in environment. i think there is a scenario when it involves the ecb.
and get some insight on you and your position and start by asking, how do you start your day, and what you read first? >> i read the post and "the new york times"i begin to read the d the financial times and journal and the "chicago tribune." just to make sure i can watch what my predecessor is doing. what did he say? i am usually in by 7:00.
out and hair cut. it is much more reflective than we would like to see. we have been a divided nation for a very long time. it is a relatively close election. 2000 was 500 votes in florida. in 1996, bill clinton got 500 of the votes. for the last number of years, america was divided again. the american people who are stressed out. it is extremely volatile right now. >> there's no doubt there has been the history of polarization.
what would you say about the white house and republicans on capitol hill? >> the republican mantra was that we will take a position of "no." that has been its. when the minority leader says my number one goal is to defeat the president, that is an amazing statement. we all believe in. that is his goal. that is his objective. it permits a different twist on trying to get the combination. the president tried to get a different voice. someone who who was in previous positions in illinois and was to bring people together. it is much more difficult than
he or anyone else thought. >> i was in the briefing room with you this summer when the president can hang a is a five minute notice. he announced he had just received a call from speaker don banner and that -- john boehner and that they're breaking off talks. to the question i asked was it seems like there has been an extraordinary breakdown of trust. are you even talking any more? do you top? >> sure. it i talk to the president. the presence speaks to the leadership. there's no question that you got this. it happens every cycle. to the presidential elections begins earlier than anyone likes. we all complain about about we all participate in it. you have that going even earlier. that impacts the hill and the politics. we do not have a primary going on. it is different.
there is a struggle within the republican party as this to what is the heart and soul. you had an election in the fall but was very much driven by a party that became much more aggressive. the leadership that a man was not part of that way. that presents a struggle. we have watched that play out. that continues to play out. >> the president has been out on the road. they are now naming names specifically. they talked about him yesterday. isn't there an issue with the democrats on the hill? there are no co-sponsors of the jobs bill. san richard durbin said democrats do not have the boat.
harry reid has been reluctant. >> the president has said that the boat will be very short. we did not think it would be before the middle or end of october. it is going to happen. we're dealing with trade agreements. congress has a rather light schedule lately. they have a lot of things on their play. trying to get issues through is very difficult. i think the house takes a we got and go back into the district. they take about every third week off. >> what do you think has happened in? the center said that they spoke more in one day then gainer -- john boehner and pelosi speak in
year. >> i believe a lot of people say it is not as civil as it used to be and if only the politicians can get together. our overall society has gotten less civil. what is popular on reality tv shows. it is someone doing something outrages or obnoxious. we can not think that politics is separate than that. i often think about the instability. politics is reflective of the general society. it is not a positive thing to say. there is not the engagement any more that there used to be. we have heard this story. sisters go home much more now than they used to. not many live here.
the fear of being out of a job as opposed to if you lose your job you'll get another one. this has created a very different climate that even 10 years ago under president clinton you could just feel. it is very different. >> just one more. do you take some responsibility for their relations with capitol hill and speaker john boehner? >> there is no question. i would take some responsibility for their relationship as part of my job. i think everybody in this room and media has to take responsibility for some of the way our political system has gone. it is unfortunate. it has not only gotten less
civil but there is a whole bunch of changes that have occurred. some very recently. have people get their news. what is news any more is debatable. is it john stuart news or is it entertainment? a lot of people will watch it and think it is news. is close to faltering. how do you respond to that? >> it is obvious that the expectations of the first half of this year for a stronger second half and a stronger 12th are not going to be filled. and that is one of the reasons the president put together the american jobs that in order to create economic growth.
i think the predictions, if they have been filled, you and not have the pressure are the impetus for us to feel so strongly that we got to do something to create jobs in some economic growth. the president is fighting to get a vote in the senate's next week or the week after. hopefully the house will deal with a job creating bill in order to put some buffer so that the expectation that the economy flow backward we have some effort to try to stop that. most annalists and analyze the president's jobs package said it would add a point to gdp growth. for >> there is no expectation
that the full bill will be passed? >> to say it is dead on arrival, my answer is that maybe someone's total judgment. if it is, what is the plan of other people? no elsas put a package forward that can be independently analyzed. he has put something on the table. don't just say no. something -- have something that is a role. there are think tanks better in there with whatever site. there are plenty of them in this town. ever else runs this. what he going to do for the economy as opposed to just talking about it?
they say it will be positive. let's get it out. let's have the vote. if it does not pass, there is irresponsibility of those that voted against it to have a plan. they can say we do not need something. >> given the comments yesterday, how worried are you about another recession? >> the general consensus is that you will not have a recession. i take what is going on in europe that causes great concern. the president speaks to the european leaders quite often. the expectation is that they will take action to prevent serious negative results that would cause the world to so that even further. we follow it.
we're concerned about it. the expectation as of right now is that we will not see a double dip. >> >> the white house press corps is hanging on to every word you say. >> that is why did not say i would do it. >> it is a real treat. >> we're just getting started. >> as many people know, the super committee has to come up with those cuts that are mandated by the debt ceiling. they have to do by thanksgiving. how likely do you think it is that they will get there were done? do you think it is 5050? >> i have not gone through the debt ceiling negotiations with the speaker. i know how hard it is to come up with a balanced package.
if it is not a balanced package, you will not get a decision. our whole -- our hope is to put a three trillion dollar package forward and people can say it is real are not really whatever. more entitlement cuts and we have seen in a very long time if ever in actual dollars. if that is not going to be acted on in the committee will come up with 1.2 trillion, that is the minimum they should come up with. i think it is well intended. the membership is truly the leaders of congress. if they cannot do something. -- if they cannot to do something bold, that will be another sort of damnation of the system. that would be unfortunate.
my expectation is that i do not want to give%. they are sincere. they're finding out how difficult it is. then to build the coalition. i do not think this is a one member of the republican party jumps over i think there has to be a broader consensus in order for this. let's all hold hands and jump off the edge not knowing. >> i'm willing to ask about 2012. i want to ask you about al qaeda following the killing on friday of all morality. to -- of an walkie. how close do you believe they
are to that goal? you're there for them lavin. >> i think the friday action was a very substantial -- has a very substantial impact on al qaeda and those who want to do harm to the homeland. there are lots of people around the world to are terrorists. there are a few >> how close you should he defeat? >> we're very close. this is the sort of organization that we will be vigilant for as long as we're all a lie. they can rear their heads and ways that we historically have not been used to. the aggressiveness of the last three years by this president which by -- let's be honest, i
would say this president has proven a sturgeon -- a certain steel without using techniques that made america less popular in world in a way that has been aggressive far beyond any administration. >> cheney sitting over there. >> 2012, which republican are the most worried by running against? >> chris christie. [applause] [laughter] in?he not bee >> what do you think a mitt romney? >> i've never met him. >> whoever the republican party nominee is will be a formidable
candidates because this nation is very divided. we're in a very difficult time. people are nervous about the future. we have seen these enormous swings. we have seen them all over. this is a difficult time for america. if you are the ceo of a company or the anger on a network, a better the word about your job every day. >> it is going to be a tough and close election. that is how we approach it. that is how the president approaches it. prima donna. >> >> margot had questions. you played golf.
your part of that. qe1? >> >> you do not keep score when you're playing with bill clinton. he is a friend. we had a lot of fun. it was a friend day. president clinton looked great. president obama had as much time as they've been able to spend together. all of us literally hacked around the course for four hours. billions were there? >> i do not play for money. i do not really care. >> i have some audience questions. how big of a hole in my in with you already? thank you for coming.
what has been your best and worst days so far? >> i think is in the white house the you could do your whole life. >> the best day was the sunday laden.a bin lot ibin the first day i got here i got the job. and in aetna -- anyway, it was mentioned. there's this compound. the thought that was interesting. seen the thing progressed over the months and the dedication and focus of the intelligence agencies in the military and the
way they worked together and to pull them off, there are people in that room who have for 10 years been trying to find this. that would be the highlights. that probably would have been the best day i have been there. onebably the worst day was th we thought we were so close on a deal that i believed we really had an impact on our country and our economy and the debt ceiling. that was probably the worst day of the nine months. >> the only have a minute left. when the questions was how do women get along in the white house? how is it in the white house for women? >> i read reports because from
my german predecessor. >> i have not since any problems. they can probably answer that. we have a great relationship in senior staff. that comes from the top down. the president's there his campaigns and the issues have fought and then on the edge of women's issues. i do not see its -- i did not read the book. i did hear that there were some issues early on with a predecessor of mine. >> >> use probably watching this.
please thing the chief of staff for being here. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> thank you. the irish farmer is next up. we have the national journal interview center marco rubio rarely does interviews. we're delighted to have him. , up. thank you. >> i know you have an appointment on the hill. let's get to it. in your speech at the reagan
library you said the entitlement programs had weakened us as a nation. that prompted some to say you are a phony and a coward and they ought to apologize. do you want to respond? >> i did not say that. i said the role of america has had a dramatic impact on our country. i speak in very strong defense of the government. i said the government had an important role to pay for those to cannot pay for themselves. i have dual aspirations. i want to be processed in compassionate. we're not willing to leave people behind. no -- nor should we. there are people that are retiring into poverty that cannot take care of themselves. what we have a place is not enough. will created -- we created it.
this is intended to supplement the things that are needed as a people and not replace them. in many communities the mindset has set in that because we pay our taxes and excuses' us from our individual responsibilities as a nation and a friend to help those who are less fortunate. these programs were created without any thought as to how we would of for them. a startling fact is that this is the most prosperous economy in history of the world. we have a government that not even we can afford. there's not been a society that can afford the double government we have today. my point was is that we need to get back to figuring out a proper role of government that allows us to accomplish these dual purposes.
at the same time being able to afford it and create the conditions that can continue to fund them. >> is incumbent upon me to inform your constituents that they have to expect less as far as their benefits are concerned? the cannot retire with the same expectations. >> my mom hates when i tell her age. what am i going to ask her to do? get another job so that she can supplement the stacks i think this is been a real progress for folks such honest progress to have built their lives on these assumptions no one is expecting them to make changes. here is what i think one of the great changes will be.
people that are decades away for retirement are willing to accept that the contribution will be asked to make is to except a role of government like social security and medicare that exists above a different from us. >> it will be more functional. life has to be a choice between options. here is not an option. there's no one in the world with a simple calculator that can determine the what we have in place today is sustainable. we know there will have to be changes. we need these programs. the sooner we adopted the more options we will have available. it is very powerful politics. maybe that has changed little bit.
it is very powerful politics to accuse people of wanting to destroy medicare and social security. this is the sign of a prosperous nation. it has to be constructed in a way that is sustainable or will not have them are anything else. >> this is the most serious budget out there. i was disappointed that there is an aversion to discuss other options that may be on the table. if someone does not like the right and budget, they should propose an alternative. we're running out of time to show this. i would hope that we come around to doing this. >> medicare has to change. you are ok with the right and budget. >> i am open to somebody else's
ideas and they are better. i've talked to people about what alternatives they are -- there are. the only serious one has an offer by person in a position to pass something if you do not like his ideas, offer an alternative. but offer one that allows you to solve the problem. that is my biggest concern. >> houle comfortable are you with the immigration debate as it relates to in state tuition for undocumented workers in texas. are you troubled about the report out of alabama about immigrant workers who are fleeing homes and communities in reaction tax cuts -- in reaction? >> i do not think that is the best way to do it. i believe immigration has to be addressed at the federal level.
let me take a step back and you the whole immigration debate. i think america is the most compassionate people in in world. that includes immigration. we are a nation with a strong nation of -- legacy. we want a system that is true to our own nation as a legacy. as the years have gone on and the issues have gone unaddressed, it has become harder to address these issues. here is the pervasive feeling i get. it ranges from these feelings that we're being taken advantage of two new system is being ignored.
i think the existing system have has to be reformed. we ask about the republican party. we cannot be the anti-illegal immigration partners. we have to be one that is good for americans and honors our tradition as a nation of immigrants and malls. it is essential for our future. it is a very powerful political weapon. the temptation to use it overcomes the opportunity to solve it. >> your support of along the lines of what rick perry put together. do you think met romney is using an issue that we do and others who may be inclined to look at it uncomfortable? >> it is a lesson for all of us
cared what i was elected in to thousand three or four, the immigration issue is not a big issue. very few people would talk about it. as the years went on, and these issues have remained unresolved and the number of people without documents grew to 9 million it has become harder and harder to find some of these solutions. as a general rule, people not the united states without docking mission not benefit from programs like in-state tuition. but me give you a real world situation. on the one hand, americans think we are the nation of laws and the are here with a violation nation not benefit. here's where it is tricky. here's a kid who is 18. they're right in their two.
they came in legally. their visas expired. they have grown up here their entire lives. they're a team. the cannot protocol that. if that kid can dunk a basketball we're going to find a way to keep them. if the kid has a four. of epo are we going to support him tax -- if the kid has a 4.0 it gpa, are we going to support him? as the years go on and the immigration issues are unresolved and people feel like we're not addressing this, the ability to carve out exceptions has gotten harder and harder. we try to find a way to accommodate that without rewarding lawbreaking.
it has become impossible to advocate it. this will remain the case until the federal government and federal policymakers get people the actions. they bring it under control of the immigration problems. >> let me give you some statements. gov. chris trustees said the answer is always know until it is yes. when you're asked, you say yes. they said you would accept a spot on the presidential ticket. if you did it to guarantee a victory for the republican nominee. how much do you crave it? >> i did not crave it. i wanted to be a senate. and in a run to be a launching pad for another job. people come to the conclusion that a united states senator is
not enough. it is important. if you dedicate the time and you're serious about learning the way this process works, you can accomplish some of again public policy. the united states senate has provided some of the greatest things this country has done. i dedicate the time and seriousness to it, i have a chance to be a part. you'll never get to that if you're focused on some sort of launch pad for something else. >> i will not be there vice- president nominee. i'm not focused on that. i am focused on my job. the answer will probably be no. involved with a dispute. it is a dispute only between you. now it has become a larger issue. they said they will not
participate in day univision debate. is that the right decision that still you have any comment? >> it is unfortunate. it is of a really do not want to comment on. i think people have read the articles and they speak for themselves. i know you have to ask. and i want to address the whole issue. i do not want to give it any oxygen. >> is it a missed opportunity for republicans not to participate? >> i think will find alternative forms. >> are you optimistic or pessimistic about the super committee? should have been treated in first place? >> the congress is a super committee. few americans have the privilege to do what i do. i understand the reasoning. i wish to begin to solve some of
these issues. what people are looking for more than anything else is that the answer is yes. we have problems after moving very fast. one of the great questions is whether we're still able to move fast enough. the answer has to be yes. i believe we will solve many of these issues. i think there will be bumps along the road. i ultimately believe that this republic, as difficult as it may be will solve this. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> coming up, an appearance by ron paul at the national press club. the house ways and means
committee considers a free-trade agreement with columbia. harry reid urges the passage of president obama's jobs bill. >> robert mueller will discuss the terrorist threats against the united states. live coverage begins a 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 3. during deliberations, the only people allowed in the supreme court conference room are the nine justices. who gets the door? >> i was paying very close attention to discussions with members. i felt to knock back on the door. they both got up. they answer the door. it made me feel like i was about
2 feet high. i learned that one of the most important jobs is remember that you are a doorman. >> john paul stevens on his new memoir sunday night on c-span. >> ron paul announced today that his campaign had raised $8 million in third quarter. the funds came from over 100,000 donors. it came at the national press club for he also talked about economic policy in u.s. form policy. in july he said he would not seek reelection in order to focus on his presidential campaign. this is one hour. cru[gavel]
>> good afternoon. i am i broadcast and on-line video journalist with the press. i'm the 104th president. we are the leading professional organization for the journalists committed there are programming events. we're working to foster a free press. for more information, i invite you to visit our website at www.press.org.
the combined of information on our website. on behalf of members worldwide, of like to welcome our speaker. our head table includes guess of our speakers and working journalist. if you hear applause, member of the general public are attending so it is not a lack of a journalistic objectivity. i would welcome our c-span audience. we have weekly pa casts available for free download. we can also follow this on twitter. after this you have a q and 8. it is time to introduce our head guest. i would ask each of you to please stand briefly as surname is announced.
sam is the communications director. johnson is a scheduler. todd is the washington bureau chief. jeff is the chief of staff's. let's get over the podium for just a moment. she is the fabulous chair of our committee. without her, we would have no program. we're in your debt. and danny is the vice president for the public policy wire. he is the member who organize today's event so well. gary is the press secretary for the presidential campaign.
mike gonzalez is the vice president of communications for the heritage foundation. we have a new member. she is the communications director. welcome. thank you. at the end of the table, mark tax-cut is an editor of the examiner. give them a warm round of applause. our guest speaker is a member of the u.s. house of representatives. he announced his run to become a gop nomination. he was known as the intellectual godfather. he wants to abolish most federal agencies.
he has proposed a constitutional amendment. he has prevented the government from engaging in business and competition. he is able to military force in iraq barney frank campaign for bud is to trim the deficit. he opposes support on the u.s. might carry a fund. the believes make him an erratic out light of other causes.
give these marriage is the union of one man and one woman. everyone is an individual. he also bacteria kill in late 2010 on a statutory ban on gays and lesbians. our guests also run for president, could 2008. he decided the all of his energies in the race. he said he would not seek a 12th term in congress. he graduated from gettysburg college. he moved to texas in 1968 and began his medical practice and gynecology. he relinquished his seat in return to the medical practice. returning to congress, he served
on the foreign affairs committee. the our speaker is the other of several books including the revolution manifesto. i will say that we're grateful that he accepted our invitation to speak. he contributed to a civil discussion with the election process among them. please welcome ron paul. [applause] >> thank you very much for that nice introduction and that nice reception. i am honored that i received an invitation to speak here today. i look forward to visiting with you.
before i get into my remarks, i wanted to make one announcement. i'm not bitter remembering the details of a campaign. i get very involved in form policy. i do not talk about the income of trustees -- the intricacies of the campaign. the reports will be out on the 15th. we do have sounds numbers. i have been told by the staff that we have collected over $8 million. we are very pleased with that. we have a lot of energy
associated with our young people. i do want to spend some time to discuss a lot economic policy. economic policy is the big issue. it is why we're in a recession and what is going on. four years ago this subject came up. was talking about being in a recession. things have changed a whole lot. my concerns of the unemployment rate in the financial bubbles by things we are experiencing early on. the average person on the street were wrong. we had 17 setbacks.
his press the the major participants. the evidence is out there. prices are not going up that much. we only have two% inflation. this is a fiction. most people know it. you will find the prices going up. the inflation rate is not all the same. wealthy persony coming to my care of the price of gasoline.
they claim that there is no price inflation to worry about. the challenger the many years had to do with economic policy. if someone asked me what my main goal as, that is to restore individual liberty to everybody in country equally. then you have a special way of looking at all civil liberties. you have an idea about what policy would have. i believe in free market. i believe it is the only humane system that can provide the maximum benefits.
my whole problem is that we are now witnessing the failure of economic system appear we have been tight keynesian economics. the federal reserve has become the big planner. the demonstrations and now dennis shea there are a lot of people who are upset. they know something is wrong. we have to define how we got in this mess and what we have to do to get out of it. the theory is that the federal reserve is the key instrument for the business cycle. their job is to monkey around an
interest rates. most are no longer pushing wage and price control. that does not mean they will not try later on. this is one of the problems we have already. nobody is out there saying it is something that is beneficial. when it comes to fixing the price of money, nobody asked any questions. they just assume the federal reserve knows how much money there should be. and free-market economics, we have come to understand that prices are key. it tells us this. it was destined to fail.
it was the default of this care he was at the best level. they have seen the fare of it. the question is whether interventionism and how long it will last. money is one half of every transaction. a couple of individuals secretly get together and say i wonder what the money supply should be. there is a crisis going on. that is double the supply. who is the bailout of? p letter to big to fail they lose their houses. this is all done behind the
scenes. the federal reserve spend more money than the congress. there is no oversight. back in the '70s it was henry royce. he tried to get it done. it has not been there. there is a pre audit we have last summer. we're getting some information. the fed was involved. a third was there to search foreign banks. they know the system is biased against the average person. this really questions the whole idea of the system.
what i said was that the free market is the humane system here it is us that argued. they said you do not care. the not given anything for free. the system have today, just think of the housing programs. everybody was to have a house, but only did they make the money available, there is the infirmity -- affirmative action one. it seemed to work. i do not know how anybody could miss it. they continue to do that. it comes.
they have to do something. prior to the 1930's there were recessions. the correction had to come. at that time, there is not as keynesian obsession with bailing out people. the recession lasted for a year. that is when the keynesian interventionist cayman vote. a game as a depression that did not come until 19 it was one. it gets rid of unemployment.
people were mistreated because they belong to certain groups. it was very evil. now we still see people trying to gain advantage. a person that understands personal liberty things everybody has an individual. it does nothing to do with the group you belong to. it is a system of thought that is very tolerant. we are very tolerant about over first amendment in many ways, because what we do is, we say you can say things, and the first amendment is there to protect you in saying controversial things, and we don't question the fact that you can study very vicious philosophies. think of how many hundreds of billions of people were killed by communists in the 20th century, but we don't out all that.
often people are annoyed when i talk about personal liberty. they say someone might use their personal liberty to practice a habit i cannot endorse. as long as it does not hurt other people, it is not an endorsement. if we could allow individuals to pick and choose their intellectual lives and their spiritual lives, why is it we got to this point where we are obsessed with regulating people's personal habits, and depending on the government that we tend to complain about so much, we now have accepted the notion that government can protect us from ourselves, and it is very dangerous. it is look careless attitude about civil liberties. we need to look at other policies. i talked about the importance of sound money, but a couple of reasons why you need sound money.
if you or a boat -- opposed to a massive expansion of the government, it cannot be for a gold standard limitation, because that is the way you finance it. they have not about -- today is not just about printing money, we just use a computer. if they cannot be financed, these wars never would have started if we had to tax the american people. the founders did their very best to try to put the control of us going to war in the hands of the people, never in the hands of the executive branch or in the hands of the king or the president. yet today the congress has graciously given up that prodded and they don't seem to care. they listen to the war propaganda. listen to the war propaganda going on currently. we are on the verge of going to war against iranians and pakistanis.
we have 7000 missiles stationed around the world, and we assume we can drop those any place we want, anytime we want. guess what? sometimes innocent people die, and sometimes those people have families and they get very annoyed by that. the real irony of this station in bases with drones around the world, both the cia as well as the 9/11 commission acknowledge the fact that a significant event that helped prompt the 9/11 attack was the fact we had military bases on what was considered holy land in saudi arabia. immediately after 9/11, we took that military base out. we are loading up the peninsula with these drones and cruise missiles. the thing that will go unnoticed? there are more so-so attacks and one month against american
interests and americans around the world -- suicide attacks around the world and one month than they incurred in the entire time prior to 9/11. we are under direct threat. it is going to get worse, and accepting the fact that the president needs more authority to pursue this for that is an undeclared -- a president needs more authority. he can now fascinate people without due process, american citizens, and people share it. what is going on with this country? if it would make as perfectly safe and ridge, and we have to sacrifice our liberties, it would be pretty tough, but exactly the opposite is happening. we are less free and certainly broke. these wars have cost us $4 trillion, and that is a major factor to our national debt.
this is what has happened throughout history. empire's get too big and spread themselves too thinly around the world and they self-destruct. the soviet system did. there is no more chance of us having what people think could be a victory in afghanistan and the band in the moon. there is no chance in the world. all we do is train our resources. we had a significant group of veterans, many of them came back from iraq and afghanistan supporting my candidacy. it is one area while at -- where i am very pleased to announce that if you add up all the donations to the other republican candidates, i get twice as much from military and active duty citizens. they are sick and tired of these wars and they know they are not working out. one young man was practically in tears, talking about all his buddies that he lost in afghanistan.
his concern is that so many of his buddies now are committing suicide because of the long-term consequences. what about the 8500 who died, 40,000 with severe injuries, hundreds of thousands begging and pleading for help at the veterans administration, and we want to go and start more wars? what did robert gates say? he said anybody wants to start another war under these conditions needs their head examined. we need our brains opened up. we need to pay attention to what is going on. that is what we really need. it is going to happen. that is what the demonstrations are all about on the streets. one of these days the people are going to wake up and connected the excess of spending we do in these wars overseas and our economic decline here in this country. i believe very sincerely that we
are in a crisis time right now, that it is going to be a do-or- die situation. we are at a point where i think we have essentially -- hopefully i am wrong, essentially have crossed the rubicon. we have crossed that barrier from republic to dictatorship, to tierney, to empire. we have over empire. we are in 150 countries. we have 900 bases around the world, and people are aiding for more war. we do have the empire. but what about the financing? what happens in a dictatorship? it is the loss of civil liberties with our war on drugs or the irs or the war on terror.
what promise to do we have? today they are talking about the institutionalizing -- the government can call up all cell phones because there is a trillion dollars worth of loans for students who are not ever going to be able to pay them. what we are going to do is deliver all the telephone numbers to the government so they can but all these kids who have been abused and say when are you going to pay your bills? we have announced program of assassinating american citizens. we are in perpetual war. we have essentially lost our republic. this has to be reversed rather quickly. without a strict adherence to the rule of law, let me tell you, things go downhill, and i believe that is the case. my advocacy is for the cause of liberty, the cause for which america stood one time, the
cause of sound money and free markets, and trying to get people to get their courage back again and say if the government doesn't do it, it is going to be destroyed. the government gave houses and free education to everybody. now they are in a dilemma and have to follow up on the consequences of this. there is a better understanding now than ever before. the evidence is quite clear about what the founders were talking about, we cannot solve the problems of the world. it cannot go into nation- building. these fights have been going on for hundreds if not thousands of years. we will be forced to make changes, and there is no reason we cannot make positive changes. we can get out of this, but we have to change policy. we cannot do it with the same monetary policy, the same economic policy and the same foreign-policy.
that is just a figment of the imagination if you think you can do this. we don't have a budgetary crisis. we have a crisis in our understanding of what the role of government ought to be. the budget and taxes are the symptoms. we have to ask, what should the role of government be? is it to take care of us from cradle to grave and police us and tell us what to do with our personal lives? or is it to enforce contracts and protect property rights? there is a big difference. it is that part that made our country great and prosperous that we are giving up. we are seeing it does appear before our eyes. the young people know it. the young people are awakening. they know they need something new and different and they are coming and listening and studying about the foreign policy, and they are sick and tired -- sick and tired of what they are inheriting. there is every reason for me personally to be very optimistic for the changes that have come
about in the last several years. i feel pretty optimistic about how the campaign is going. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, congressman. we have a number of questions that were sent and over the internet as well as some members of the audience here. what i would like to do first of all is try to translate what you are talking about in your speech to what you might do as president of the united states. it is certainly one thing to be campaigning for the office, and as president obama himself has found, it is another one to occupy the white house and try to work with the congress. the american people seem to be somewhat dissatisfied with the lack of power to enact policy.
you are president of the united states. you don't know what the complexion of congress will be, but what are the several steps you would take that parallel the campaign speech that you just gave which would work to attack some of these larger problems you are talking about? next in order to get the economy growing again, you have to liquidate the debt. you do that by not bailing out these agencies. vetoed the bills when the congress tries to bail out the special interests, and curtail what the fed can do in the best and most rapid manner possible. they have to get out of the business of taking care of their cronies. this would be a very strong message, but there has to be a lot of spending cuts as well. i am going to be proposing in detail a cut in spending a trillion dollars. all this talk about cutting in
the future and tinkering on the edges and cutting future increases means nothing, and the american people know it. i would promise the cuts that we need to do. i would guarantee we would not be abusing the civil liberties of individuals. i would bring the troops home and let them come back and start spending their money right here at home, which would be an economic stimulus. there is a lot the president can do. working with the congress is key. this is where i think the philosophy i am talking about brings people together, not by victim excise sacrificing their beliefs, but i work well with progressives -- not by people sacrificing their beliefs. progressive and liberal democrats are more attuned to protecting civil liberties. at the same time, bringing people together and realizing we
do have to cut spending. it is major task, there is no doubt about it, but i believe we have a better chance of solving our problems and continuing with the status quo. >> would like to keep our reputation at the national press club. can you outline what the spending cuts are today? if you are going to bring all the soldiers home, we have 14 million unemployed people in the united states right now. we would like for them to be great consumers, but where are they going to find jobs? >> when you bring them home, you do it -- you do not put them out on the street. if you want to look at a good example, look and what we did after world war ii. there were about 5 million or 6 million people who just got out of the military and came home. they slashed the military, they did not stimulate the economy.
they cut taxes 30%. the nation polly went back to work again. i would not be frightened by that, if you understand market. you don't have to be concerned about it. i can talk in broad categories, but i want to design a program where you can even see it on the line item. this is not a criticism, but it frequently happens when we talk about the defense budget. i don't want to cut defense. i want to cut the military. eisenhower tried to teach us something about the military industrial complex, fighting wars we don't have any business being in. we have less defense because of that. our coast guard is over in the persian gulf. where do you think the national guard is when we want to use them to help rescue operations
in national disasters? they are over in afghanistan. you can cut hundreds of billions of dollars out of the military budget. you can cut programs that have no constitutional authority. where is this authority to have a department of energy or department of education, department of commerce, department to pass out subsidies to farmers? will they not exist if we have free markets and sound money? we have to understand how the markets work and have confidence in how the market works and have freedom works. but the cuts can be there, and hopefully in do times, the specifics can be there. it could slash the budget by 70% if you said anything that is not authorized directly by the constitution no longer can be paid for. it is this total lack of respect for the constitution, whether going to war or a real
institutionalizing prohibition without a constitutional amendment. we have gone so far from what was originally intended by the founders of this country. >> oh to follow up, when we do have specific ideas about where to cut? when we do have those specifics? >> a couple of weeks, i believe. probably more specifically than others, i want to get rid of the department of education, department energy, the part of commerce, the part of agriculture, and cut the military budget in half. that is a pretty good start, and that is pretty specific. [applause] >> you can stay up here if you want. otherwise we will not get any more questions in. you talk about the protest now occurring on wall street. what do you see as your areas of agreement with those people, and
this president? -- as president, what would you do to ameliorate their concerns, because they seem to be primarily upset with big business and the banks. >> i cannot speak for the people out there because i don't know who they are and exactly what they are demonstrating against. i can argue the case for their right to express their outright frustration with what is going on. some are liberals and some are conservatives and some are strict constitutionalist. a lot of what i have written on economic policy, i talk a lot about this. eventually we will go bankrupt. eventually we will undermine our productivity. we have had no new jobs in the past 10 years. we had a 30% increase in our population. eventually the jobs would go overseas and the pie would shrink and never be an aggressive attitude to get a piece of the pie that is no longer there. this is what we are seeing.
as far as the federal government involved in the practice of civil disobedience, it is up to the states to deal with it. i think civil disobedience is a -- if everybody knows exactly what they are doing, it is a legitimate effort. it has been done in this country for many grievances, and some people in that going to jail for this. but to speak for a special group and say i like what they are doing are not doing, but what i want to do is sort it out and tell people why they are struggling. the solution is really getting help the economy back. he cannot get a healthy economy until you deal with the many things i have just got done saying. >> you have retained a solid block of the republican vote into the polls. what do you do to push into the top tier? >> i plan to do exactly what i
have been doing for 35 years. that is talking about the philosophy of liberty. now is more appropriate because people need something and they don't like what they have. we are going to continue to run a very well-run campaign. we are raising enough money and not competing with people who can waive all want -- wave a wand and get money from big donors. the litmus test is the primaries. that is where we are very encouraged. >> are you focusing attention on the early part of the process? >> i spend more time in iowa and new hampshire, no doubt. >> one interesting dynamic of this campaign that seemed unique is not only the shift in leadership in the polls for the process so far in the sense that one person leads one month and then may fall to the middle part of the pack after that. the other part is the seeming
yearning for someone else to jump into the campaign. the headlines over the past 24 hours focusing on chris christie. how are you explain this yearning some voters are engaged in to see someone else jump then? does that say anything about the quality of people who are currently running? >> i think it represents the failure of the system and what is offered up as the status quo. the candidates i am up against represent a very much the status quo, and it does not answer the questions. it does not even ask the right questions about what liberty is all about. what about the reserve and changes in foreign policy? those questions are not being asked. and they keep looking for others. our friendly, i have an uphill
battle. for instance, i imagine everybody in this room i would bet knows who won the straw vote in florida. i want to see a hand up if you don't know who won the straw vote in florida. does anybody know who won the straw vote in california? one person. it just happens that yours truly won the straw vote in california. [applause] but it was a non-event. so i have an uphill battle. it was well documented. the documentation of the total ignoring of meat coming in tied for first place -- of me coming in in the ames straw vote, we were able to turn around at the conclusion of me being tied for first place. i think we did quite well. i do not lie awake at night worrying about this, because
that is part of the way the system works. it also explains why if there is somebody out there offering something different, something the american people like, we have to compensate for our ability to get the message got. i feel good if i go to the university campus and get 1500 young people out. they have gotten the message, because they don't depend on the conventional method of getting their news, and use the internet. they know what is going on, and they are giving me a lot of encouragement. >> is that to say you have a problem with the way the news media is treating your campaign? >> no, i just accepted because that is the way it has been. all politicians have a problem to a degree. if you want to see an explanation, look at jon stewart. a demonstrated rather dramatically what was going on. it makes a big difference.
but i think that if we are worth our salt and we can raise the money and we can communicate, i would say for the most part, i really did a pretty fair shake, but sometimes -- i am not the right person to ask why these things happen, because i do not have any idea. i think people should be asking why some things are news and other things are not. it is fact of life. >> the questioner says if you have raised more money than many other republican presidential candidates. you have legions of small donors and passionate supporters. why has that not translated into a better booth at the polls restore >> it is a different world compared to four years ago, so we can hardly even talk about it. the fund raising is easier, the support is that much greater, the organization is much more
professional. our polls do not discourage us both in new hampshire and iowa. that will be the litmus test. you have to finally do well in the polls and overcome all the obstacles of getting the message out, raising the money, but as far as progress is concerned, i am pretty satisfied with the way we have made progress. >> you brought up the issue of fund-raising in your speech and that you are feeling good about that. what kind of boost the think governor perry will get from his announcement he raise $70 million for his campaign, and will he be regarded as the front runner? >> if you get half as much from small individual donors who are currently engaged in campaigning for you, that is a lot different than getting the money that more
likely might have come to the other candidates from the special interest. i don't get that type of money. i have been on financial- services for all these years, but bankers don't give me any money. i wonder why, because they know where i stand. all dollars are not equal. i will take my smaller donation with the enthusiasm of the people who send me the money. >> since you raised the issue of raising money and obviously you rely on that in the system in which you toys all, how you feel about the way the system now works in the sense that fund raising is such an important part of it? you have the supreme court giving a certain amount of power to corporations that was not given to them in the past. does that make it more difficult for a candidate like you that is not working through the system the same way other candidates might? but probably, but i don't know
how important it is. the president says he will raise a billion dollars. but there is a limit. i look at it on the more positive side. there have been some wealthy individuals who self financed, and they might win, but they might not get reelected. money is not the only issue. the funds are obviously very important, but i don't think this is an invitation to say that we have to limit this. i believe in freedom of people to spend their money. a lot of people say it is the money that is driving you. it is the power of the government to control our lives and the economy and pass out favors. et have individuals that might resist the temptation to accept
this, come to see me. that is quite a bit different. money is pretty darn important, but i don't think it is the final answer. of course, we have to prove ourselves. >> we have a student from the university of tampa to ask the question, why is it that you receive more donations from military members than any other candidate. is that true, first of all? >> that is absolutely true. i did mention it at the top. i think i did. know about this quarter, but so far, i have gone twice as much, more than twice as much from mick -- active military duty than all the other republican candidates put together. that should be a message. also more than obama got, and he is the commander in chief. it tells me one thing.
the military people, the young people are sick and tired of the war. that is the message i am getting every single day. those numbers are growing, of the fruitless as of this war and it is up to the people to look at this as a moral and constitutional issue. we would not have lost one soldier over there. it is just in less, on and on, because we break the rules. if we were more restrained -- before we went into iraq, i made them vote on a declaration of war. i said i am not voting for this, but if you want to go to war, you go to war and vote for it. just give the president the authority to make up his own mind. that is an example of a loss of the republic. one of the reasons we fought our revolution and why the founders
specifically said the president cannot go to war this way, and look at where we have been. i was in the military for five years during the 1960's. that war was not declared. korea was not declared. we don't even care about national sovereignty. now the president does not even tell us. he goes and start another war in libya and he does not even mention it to us. what is so discouraging is the lackadaisical attitude about the people, but that is what i am hoping to change. are frankly, i think we are changing that. some polls show a majority of the american people are saying enough is enough. it is time to come home. >> you recently suggested that the killing of the suspected terrorist in yemen could be an impeachable offense, after you seem to agree earlier that u.s. military involvement in libya
was along those lines. you are saying the american people should have the courage of their convictions. why not go ahead and draw that argument? >> i would have to do it for every president i have ever seen, because they have not follow the constitution. his car practical matter. if there is not going to be an endorsement, nothing is going to happen. they were asking me if that was an impeachable offense, and it is. just ignoring the fifth amendment and assassinating american citizens without due process? they will not even tell us what the rules are. oh, but he is a threat. can you imagine being put on a list because you are a threat? what of the media becomes a threat, or a professor becomes a threat? it is slipping and sliding, let
me tell you. i would say that we should not do this was totally ignoring this. >> i am not sure you enter the question. he said he would have to do it for every president. >> i don't think it accomplishes anything, because the senate is not there. i don't think that would be achievable. it is more important that we educate the people to understand how offensive is, and if there is a consensus, that will come along. i would have a coalition of people that agree with that. a lot of people are having second thoughts about that assassination, but this was an announced policy in february 2010 by dennis blair, and he used the word assassination.
that word came from dennis blair. he said that is now our policy. you are a potential terrorist by going to the airport because they can violate all your civil liberties. they can put you on these lists. how do you get your name of a listed you are a threat? thousands and thousands of people are on these lists. like i tried to demonstrate in my top, we are not saber for it. we are broke and we are in greater danger. robert pace is someone i have read and studied along with a cia agent whose main job was to trail and deal with osama bin laden. he says the number one reason on every suicide terrorist attack he has ever studied, the number- one reason someone would do if it is occupation.
we go into various countries, we invade a country, people get killed, and then they should back and they are all terrorists. therefore we have to expand our war to go after those who are trying to kill us because we are occupying their land. i don't know why we can think about a foreign policy of good will, of treating people how you would want to be treated. the golden rule could apply. just think of anything we have ever done in any country of the world over the last 10 or 15 years, if any country would have done it to us. in the next 10 years, what if we get a lot poorer and china gets a lot richer, and they start their own attacks against us. we cannot allow that to happen. this is what is going on today.
there is a transition away from protecting personal liberties. i want to protect these liberties. i don't want prior restraint on the media, certainly, but i don't want private -- prior restraints on you as an individual. why can we not apply this whole prior restraint? we should do it for all individuals rather than saying he is a terrorist, but we don't have to tell you why we put him on the terrorist list. have a trial. the israelis tried eichmann. all the nazi criminals were tried. they were taken to court and then executed. there have been quite a few examples like that. mcveigh is another one.
everybody knew he did it. the reason we did this is because we want to protect the rule of law for ourselves. we protect first amendment rights to protect the right to say controversial thing is, not to talk about the weather. that is why you have to protect the courts, not because they are the bad people. we are not protecting it for them. we are protecting it so that it does not get out of hand, and it is a crucial matter. >> when you talk about the cause of terrorism being the occupation of other lands, how did that fit into 9/11? >> it is the fact that the explain reason for hitting us on 9/11 or military bases in saudi arabia. the 911 commission and the cia
conceded that. also the constant bombing and killing of many innocent people in iraq for over 10 years, which was challenged on national tv to madeleine albright, and she acknowledged that that is the price you have to pay. those are the reasons they gave for doing it, and his co very real. another good example of this is when the occupation stops, the terrorist attacks stop. lebanon is a perfect example. we went into lebanon in the early 1980's and we were seen as occupiers. we were attacked and 241 of our brains were killed by suicide terrorist. we left soon after that, the french and the israelis left. there was no more suicide terrorism. it just popped like that. the interesting thing is, when
reagan wrote his memoirs, he said that he would never turn tail and run, but he did because he had not realized the irrationality of the politics in that region. he said if he had followed a policy of neutrality, those marines would still be alive. that took a lot of courage for reagan to write that and in mid the shortcomings in his foreign policy at that time. >> a couple of housekeeping matters would like to take care of. a reminder about upcoming luncheons. secretary relevant with the u.s. to permit a transportation on october 13. on october 19, natalie cole will talk about the national liver foundation's proposal. harvey levin will be here to talk about the changing landscape and entertainment coverage, and herman cain, a candidate for the republican nomination will join us.
he will be followed by tom brokaw and william shatner. we would like to present you with our small thank-you gift, and that is the traditional npc coffee mug. thank you for being here today. [applause] your son is a u.s. senator, and since the senate is considered the upper chamber, how is his world on the hill different and perhaps even better than yours? >> it reminds me of a little story. the first day we were sworn in together, we were on the same tv program, and they were poking a little fun at me. how do you feel that your son is in the senate and you are in the house? i said i have already told him that if he does a real good job as a senator, he eventually might be able to get a seat in the house of representatives. >> how about a round of applause for our guest speaker today? [applause]
thank you all for coming here today. i would like to thank our national press club staff for helping organize today's event. you can find more information about the national press club on our website. thank you, and we are adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
exports more video of the candidates. see what political reporters are saying, and track the latest political contributions with c- span's website for campaign 2012. candidate bios and the latest polling data, plus links to c- span media partners in the early primary and caucus states, all at c-span.org. >> up next, the house ways and means committee considers a free-trade agreement with columbia. senate majority leader harry reid talks about obama's jobs bill, and later, an interview with treasury secretary tim director -- tim geithner. >> on tomorrow's "washington journal," we will discuss the economy and jobs with two members of congress. texas republican kevin brady and
barley of california. 7:00 a.m. eastern, on c-span. >> congress is back in session this week and the house passed a spending bill that will keep the government funded through mid- november and now takes up an epa bill on hazardous emissions. watch live gavel-to-gavel house coverage on c-span and the senate on c-span2, and use our comprehensive resource on congress to get more information about your elected officials, but c-span "congressional chronicle." it is washington your way, the c-span networks, created by cable, provided as a public service. >> the house ways and means committee today approved free trade deals with colombia, panama, and sell korea.
only two committee democrats voted in favor of the columbia agreement. sander levin says the deal should have included a reference to a separate deal between the u.s. and colombia on the rights of unionized workers. house debate on all three trade deals is expected next week as well as debate on job retraining legislation. this is 2 hours 20 minutes. i want to say it is good to be in the ways and means committee. for the past five years, we have been working towards this day. these agreements in drawn-out -- enjoy broad bipartisan,
bicameral support and are the product of a lot of hard work from both sides. i would like to extend my appreciation to the president for sending these agreements to congress. today's market could not have come at a better time, with zero jobs created last month and the unemployment rate hovering above 9%. we must look at all opportunities to create american jobs, and these agreements do just that. these agreements not only level the playing field for american workers, they also allow american companies to get off the sidelines and capture market share so they can sell more american goods around the world. that is great news for american
workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses who have long waited for these agreements. currently america is at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to trade due to terra and non-tariff barriers which face when trying to export goods. the additional taxes americans are forced to pay allow our competitors to sell their goods and services at a lower cost than american products. these agreements change that. the south korea agreement would eliminate many of the tariffs we face in the lee and allowed opening new markets to u.s. goods and services. the current tariff on u.s. exports to panama goes as high as 90%. the average tariff on panamanian exports to the united states is less than one-tenth of 1%. in colombia, our export base and 11% tax, while imports from colombia face a terrible of less
than 1%. our agreement would immediately reduce the average tariff are exported more than 68%. these agreements make trade more fair for america, not just by reducing tariffs but by removing non-tariff barriers, improving intellectual property and increasing transparency. over the last five years, our inaction has allowed merkt to fall behind. our global competitors have filled that void. winning contracts and jobs that could have gone to american companies and american workers. these agreements create sustainable and well paying jobs and it is my expectation that when we finish our work here today, the house will vote on the agreements and on the package as soon as possible so that america can start to reap the benefits. i will yield the remainder of my time to my colleague, the chairman of the joint economic committee and chairman of the trade subcommittee, chairman
rate from texas. >> next month will mark five years since the u.s. and colombia signed a trade agreement. though we were forced to wait too long, i am very pleased that president obama submitted these agreements to congress on monday. i look forward to congress approving them promptly so we can begin benefiting from the jobs that will create. we know from experience that these three agreements will yield benefits. between 2000 and 2010, our sales to countries with which we have trade agreements and increased it to his son more rapidly than our total exports. sales grew more than -- more than double. the clock has been taking while other major economies compete with our and have moved aggressively to sign and implement trade agreements with colombia, panama, and south
korea. these agreements have undermined our competitive edge. we will continue to fall behind, losing export market share that took years to build. the u.s. has been sitting on the sidelines for too long and our workers and job creators have been paying a steep price. now the president has sent us the pending trade agreement. we have the opportunity to get back in the game of passing these agreements now. on a personal note, thank you for your leadership on these trade agreements and thank you to the members of these -- this committee who are strong supporters of these agreements. we look forward to moving these swiftly through the house of representatives. >> before i yield to the ranking member for any statement he wishes to make, ask that all member opening statements be included in the record, and after discussion with mr. levin, we have agreed mutually that all votes on these agreements will be rolled until
the very end of the proceedings today. republicans were willing to support our agreements, democrats used the intervening time to attempt to fix them so they work for u.s. businesses and workers and spread the benefits of trade more broadly. there was no delay. they are active efforts to hammer out a good trade policy. if the south korea agreement was originally negotiated by the bush administration had been approved, the fda would not have broken down the iron deck barrier in the automotive sector which represent 75% of the large u.s. trade deficit in south korea. the korean sga, very different
as has been done by the obama administration, open south korea's market to u.s. automotive -- to automotive products and sets a precedent for insuring trade agreements, replaced one-way trade with two- way trade for american progress. with those changes, i support the agreement. if the animal sga hasn't negotiated by the bush and lustration -- pamela sga had been negotiated and approved, it culminated with panama bringing its labor laws into compliance with international labor standards. also missing would have been the successful efforts to address our concerns about panama's status as a tax haven, now rectified by panama signing a tax information exchange agreement. that trade agreement now deserves our support. colombian workers have long been without their basic rights due to a combination of inadequate
laws, labor related violence, and impunity. workers need basic labor rights to improve their financial standing and climb the economic ladder. this is critical to increasing u.s. exports and jobs. the development of a middle- class that creates consumers and robust market for our products and services is also vital to u.s. workers who are correct in asserting they should not unfairly compete with workers whose rights are suppressed. unfortunately, the bush administration believed trade was an end in and of itself and rejected meaningful rise for workers and environmental standards and trade agreements. the u.s.-colombia relationship is important but economic and security terms. the agreement does provide new market opportunities. but predict what prevented action was despite the fact the sga open up some important markets, it failed to address the fundamental shortcoming in terms of u.s. trade policy.
the action plan related to labor rights announced by president obama in april was a step towards addressing these basic problems. as i will women get to the columbia fta, their -- as i will spell out, there remain problems related to the action plan. the flaws are magnified by the failure to incorporate the action plan in the implementation bill as a result of adamant refusal of republicans and at the obama administration's acquiescence to their refusal. as a result, the u.s.-colombia fga remains fundamentally flawed, and i oppose it. >> thank you, mr. chairman. while i opposed the columbia fga for the same reasons as congressman levin, i fully support the caribbean and had
mom fta's. i can understand why we have waited so long to consider the korean and colombian fta. this is the week was dry on the automobile, the programs which should never have been allowed to expire to begin with. the korean fta language, the eu fta with korea has gone into force, hurting u.s. workers, farmers, and businesses because they could not compete. as the result of the decision to let taa labs, as a result of the beverage to expand gsp and atpa, workers in the u.s. and
developing countries have struggled. now those hostage agreements being released, i hope we can turn our attention to dressing china's currency, which is costing the united states 1 million jobs. currency reform for a fair trade act deserves our immediate focus. we need to tackle rare earth export restraints, subsidies, like a i t enforcement, and state owned enterprises. it is time to move the miscellaneous terror bill and customs reauthorization. i look forward to working with my colleagues on all of these issues. it is nice to finally get started. i yield back the balance of my time. >> the committee will now proceed to consideration of h.r.3078, at the united states columbia trade promotion agreement act which was distributed in advance along
with a section by section summary. the will -- the bill will be considered read an open for amendment at any point. i would ask that members holder questions until after the presentation. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this section by section summary has been circulated in advance as well as the bill text which was sent to congress on monday. the legislation is virtually identical to the legislation that was considered by this committee back in july, with a few technical changes. in addition, the offsets have been adjusted and the generalized system of extension is no longer in this legislation. title 1 contains the approval and general provisions.
particular, i would highlight a section 101 that states that congress approves the agreement and the statement of administrative action and provides that the agreement enters into force when the president determines that colombia is in compliance with all provisions and that would take effect on the date of entry into force. the rest of title 1 contains general provisions. title to contains the customs provisions, in particular the terror of modification specifications, giving the president's proclamation authority to proclaim the duty reductions for the u.s. to be in compliance with the agreement. section 202 contains the agriculture said guard. sec 2 sent03 the rules of origin, and the remaining provisions or identical to what was in the non mark up. section 208 contains provisions,
strict enforcement provisions relating to trade in textiles or apparel. title 3 contains the safeguard provision, subtitle a contains the general said cards that allow the united states to impose duties for a limited time if imports coming into the united states in such increased quantities and under such conditions as to be a substantial cause for serious injury or threat. subtitle b contains the textile and apparel safeguard measures, and subtitle see the global safeguards. title for contains the procurement provisions. title 5 d extension of the andean trade preferences act through july 21, 2013. title 6 contains the onset. section 601 eliminate certain user fee exemptions. section 6 of 2 extends custom user fees and section 6 03 adjust the time for payment of
corporate estimated taxes. time for payment of corporate estimated taxes. >> thank you. i want to note and welcome to the room three ambassadors. ambassador han from south korea, the ambassador from colombia, and the investor from panama. welcome. thank you. the general counsel with the office of u.s. trade representative is here to answer any questions members may have. now we will move into question. are there any questions? mr. brady is recognized for five minutes. >> first, thank you for being with us today. thank you for that summary. i appreciate president obama and the ambassadors of leadership -- the ambassador's leadership to bring this to us. much hard work was done by the administration to work with both parties to approve these
agreements, to broaden bipartisan support along with passage. we had the opportunity to pass a major, bipartisan jobs bill package in america. that is encouraging. i want to ask you about colombia. in april, president obama announced agreement on the action plan. i understand, from our visit, the president of one of colombia's three major labor confederation described the plan as the greatest social achievement of the last 50 years. there is why the labor union support in the colombia for the plant. this plan, which is separate from the trade agreement, established laborites, a commitment that colombia agreed to -- labor rights, a commitment that colombia agreed to meet. they have met every deadline and thus far. i have a copy of the action plan
in my hand. every action that colombia has completed is marked in green. almost the entire document is marked in green. in fact, there are only a few action items left for colombia to complete. these are due in december of this year or by the end of next year. could you list for as the labor rights improvements that colombia has already made under the plan and to describe what remains for colombia to complete? >> yes, sir. thank you. good morning, mr. chairman. good morning, mr. brady. since the market in july, columbia has taken a number of important additional steps under the action plan. it has requested the international labor organization, the ilo, to strengthen its presence in colombia, to implement the
measures outlined in the action plan. it has made that request. the ilo has received it favorably colombia. has issued a decree about the interagency committee that reviews risk assessment for the government protection program. colombia has also completed an analysis by the prosecutor general's office of closed union homicide cases in order to extract lessons and improve the investigation process for future cases. this is a 60-page, in depth analysis of the work of that office over the last decade or so by the current director of that office. it is an in depth, critical book -- look that is very notable in its brett -- breadth and transparency. colombia has gotten rid of the
backlog of risk assessment. it has completed the reassignment of new police officer investigators to criminal cases. has posted a dozen additional documents on its web site. there are some other things that columbia has done to implement, including setting up a web approach for compliance. those are the keys colombia steps that has taken in the last two or so months since the committee conducted its first markup. >> thank you. the key point you are making is that colombia, one of our strongest allies, has made remarkable progress in labor rights. for their engagement in trade has developed even more -- higher standard on labor rights. a greater number of prosecutions, more investigators, strong labor laws enacted colombia in the in
a dramatic -- inactive in the colombia. i appreciate the work done by the administration in a bipartisan way to move these efforts forward. i yield back. >> thank you. >> mr. brady, i am glad you brought up this issue. i want to say based on my trips there, i welcomed the santos administration to work on an action plan. it was worked on with the government. some steps were taken. it became an agreement between the two parties. an agreement between the two parties. it related to the issues it held up the work in this house on the
free-trade agreement. this was the gist of the problem. the fact that workers did not have their basic rights, not even a figment of them, and there was a mutual, a unique violence and impunity. so, i think it is inaccurate to say that this has resulted in stronger bipartisan support in a house. because of the failure to link the action plan, an agreement between the two parties, in any way to the implementation of bill. and because of conditions that remain. i want to clarify that and give you my analysis.
heldasic issue that has up is the columbia workers have long been without basically they're right. this is a function of a number of factors. -- without basic labor rights. this is a function of a number of factors. near universal lack of accountability for a pilot. and extensive deficiencies in a labor laws. the new administration provided an opportunity to address these very issues. their discussions between the two governments and the resulted signed agreement on the issues on laborites, a violent, and impunity. regretfully, today, colombia has not met some obligations. these difficulties have been amplified by the lack of an explicit link between the action plan and the fta.
the action plan is what happens after the original negotiation fta of the -- of the fta. one of the biggest problems was the use of jim cooperatives that camouflaged through employment relationships and worker effort to organize. they have long identified use of such relationships as one of the most serious problems facing columbian workers. in colombia, only workers directly employed can form a union and bargain. colombia committed to stop such abuses, passing legislation and opposing -- enforcing regulations. then they backed away, greeting the new law and regulations as applying to one of these forms. this created a massive loopholes.
i immediately, columbian employers, including a major beverage company, and palm oil producers began converting quarters to other contract forms. -- converging workers to other contract forms. we pushed the colombians for months to clarify that law to try and stem this problematic shift. it was not until last night, apparently, on the eve of this markup, after public pressure has been brought to bear on this issue, that colombia finally issued a clarification. that is my understanding. while we are reviewing the clarification to see if it answers the question, i note that this situation exemplifies exactly the point about the need to link the action plan in the
implementation bill to the implementation of fta. to date, congressional consideration the fta of the has kept the spotlight on the issues. explicit linkage would maintain that spot like for an additional. from the date of passage -- for an additional period to roughly six months from now. the remaining obligations that have not been met. colombia also failed to stop employers from using other tactics aimed at stopping workers from organizing, such as direct the positions with workers support for unions. the ilo called on the colombia p to banacts in workplaces. they did not adopt the legislation. they required columbia to make
it illegal to offer better terms -- legal to offer better terms. that is not being implemented. columbian employers, including a major aviation company, are being allowed to circumvent the law by renaming the pacts as voluntary benefits agreement. to implement the fta obligations, panama and collective tax. a third example relates, this is my last one, to the key problem of violence and impunity as recognized by the administration itself. in november, 2002, the vice president of knowledge, "the immense majority of crimes remain in impunity, there are thousands of workers and union leaders killing and -- killed
and it is appearing." the human rights watch has just issued a study that indicates there continues to be little progress in investigating and prosecuting union murders, even those it has designated as party cases. according to human rights watch, colombian authorities have obtained it just six convictions from 195 at union murders that occurred between january, 2007, and may, 2011. notwithstanding clear commitments under the action plan, to improve the situation, colombia did not take the first step to do this, namely, the publication of an analysis of closed union murder cases, until october, 2003. on the eve of this market, even though the action plan called
for its completion on july 15. even with this, it is clear that additional leverage is necessary. interviews by human rights watch of colombian prosecutors repeal -- reveal there have been no efforts to introduce the new policies and measures under the action plan. it is not referred to in the bill. explicitly linking entry into force of the columbian fta was necessary to ensure effective application. it would apply an unequivocal signal to the vested interest long resisting reform and colombia that the suppression of worker rights have to stop. i emphasize this, its inclusion in the implementation bill is necessary to provide context and meaning for the enforcement of the fta worker rights
standard in the future. the republicans were adamant in their refusal to include any reference to the action plan in the implementation bill. the administration was wrong to acquiesce. violence against workers impunity and inadequately pilaus -- inadequate labor laws are considerations of the fta. implementations of the other provisions of the fta are one in the same. the labor action plan should be included in the legislation we are voting on today. thank you, mr. chairman. >> time has expired. would you be so kind as to comment on the cooperative issued? >> thank you. just a couple of brief comments. first, the action plan, which as you know, the president insisted upon before sending the
columbian fta to the congress, is a far reaching set of commitments and colombia that has undertaken. -- commitments that colombia chas undertaken. there are a number of instances where it appears in the collective area, collectives are being converted and workers are being hired directly. examples are in supermarket chains and the country posey largest textile manufacturer. these are important steps in the right direction. in other instances, implementation has just begun. i understand, in the case you mentioned, there was a visit and an administrative investigation has been opened this week by the authorities. it is, as you would expect, it is an ongoing work.
this administration is committed to working with the government of colombia to ensure it is strongly and fully implemented going forward. the president has stated twice, first at the time the action plan was agreed upon, and then in the transmission letter fta of the that was sent over on monday -- letter of the fta that was sent over on monday, the full completion of all the elements of the action plan was necessary. the administration is firmly committed and will work with the government of colombia. we expect to remain in consultation with you and others to ensure this goes forward in a successful and far-reaching manner. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to congratulate you and the chairman brady with a
tremendous work that has been done to get us to this point. i want to commend the administration for the work that has been done. after five years, this committee now has an opportunity to move these important agreements forward. this is going to be a signature jobs package, not only this year, but perhaps, a signature jobs package for the past four years or five years. some think this country needs. over these past few years, we have seen an erosion in american credibility and the loss of leverage in asia and latin america. the loss of market share alone in the agriculture sector in the colombia has been astounding. a drop of 71% down to 27% for a key commodities. i have rice farmers in louisiana who are begging for open market. these agreements will offer
tremendous opportunities for our farmers. i want to -- section 101 specifies the conditions for entry into force of the trade promotion agreement. the president is authorized to exchange notes with the government of colombia providing entry of force on or after january 1, 2012. provided we move forward, this goes through the legislative process, described for us those steps that need to be taken at that point in time, once it gets back to the president, for entry into force. the you anticipate any delays beyond that january 1 tie line? >> -- timeline? >> each of the ftas provided that the agreement can come into force on or after january 1, 2012. what happens once the congress
has passed it, we work with the government of colombia and the other two countries to inshore the president may determine under the law, as you describe it, that there has been full and effective implementation. we intend to do that as fast as we can. the administration is as eager as you are to see these benefits begin to flow. we intend to do it the really so we can ensure the benefits and all the different areas can flow to our businesses and our working people. >> would you agree the trade promotion agreement has been one of the most vetted agreements in recent times? >> in terms of looking at all aspects of this, working closely with the government, saying the
unprecedented cooperation on the part of both presidents. we have worked closely with the governor of columbia and the other two government. -- governments. what happens is our offices rick out to the governments and works with them in an intensive way to ensure the obligations are being met and that each of the governments have taken the steps necessary so that all of the obligations are fulfilled. we are ready to do that. we are looking forward to doing that as soon as we can. >> i thank you. i yield back. >> mr. lewis is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. early this year we had individuals come before this committee that said that they do not believe that laborites and
human rights and environmental issues are the rule of law -- should be part of a trade discussion. for them, it is about the bottom line, money, money, money, and commerce. that is what they said. that is what they told us. some tell us, let us stop muddying the waters. let us not get distracted. these things will work themselves out, it is not our problem. i ask the two of you, if not us, then who? if not now, then when? colombia and the united states are intertwined, interlocked, it is a humanitarian crisis like no other in our hemisphere. almost in the world. almost on this little planet. this little space ship.
this little piece of real estate we call the earth. i am saddened we are considering this agreement now without human rights, labor rights, in the text of the agreement. i am sick and tired of letters and vague plans and diplomatic talks. consideration of the fta now without making an effort to support change and improvement in the lives of thousands is inexcusable. this represents a dark hair and in our path. we could have done it right. the laborites, the inequality -- the labor rights, the inequality of columbia. we could have worked to end 840
year failed war on drugs. instead, it is a rush, rush, rush, race, race, race, just to get it done. just to finish it. we will send someone else to address human rights. someone else forced from their home, their land. someone else, not us, but someone else in another. and another time. -- in another period and another time will address this. are we saying that someone else will answer our calls and hope they do not fall on deaf ears? do not tell me that this committee, this congress, this
administration abandoned our responsibility. the people who elected us and the people who reach out and beg us to help, it is a sad day. it is the race to the bottom and 100 steps backward. as a committee, as a congress, and as an administration, as a nation, we can do better. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you and the administration for the work you have done for sending the trade legislation to us that is critical to our economy and our nation. section 2 of the implementing bill notes that a purpose of the
act is "to establish free trade between the united states and colombia through the reduction and elimination of barriers to trade in goods and services and investment." based on the reduction and elimination of tariffs that colombia imposes on u.s. exports, the independent u.s. international trade commission estimate that annual u.s. exports to colombia will increase by $1.1 billion under the agreement, adding two $0.50 billion per year to u.s. gdp. the average tariff paid by u.s. manufacturing exports in 2009 was 11.2% and will fall to 3.6% a immediately upon implementation with the remaining tariffs phased out
over 10 years. u.s. agricultural exports currently face even higher tariffs, averaging 20%. and immediately upon application of the trade agreement, 77.5% of the tariffs would become a duty free. almost 93% would become duty- free within 10 years, including the alban's grown in my northern california congressional district. -- almonds grown in my northern california congressional district. given the benefit we will receive from the elimination of tariffs, how does this implementing bill inshore that colombia's tariff reductions will occur? >> thank you. the agreement provides for specific reductions as you described them of more than 70%. our exports to colombia will be
duty-free on day one. all of that is backed up by a dispute settlement. we can be certain that once the agreement enters into force, the obligations we have negotiated with colombia will be lived up to as we fully expect colombia will live up to the. there are enormous benefits for the united states, for our businesses and our working people, for the agreement to enter into force. >> thank you. part of the importance of this agreement is the agreement that countries like colombia are making with other countries, like canada, chile and other countries. the world is not standing still. we are in danger of losing market if we do not move forward. is that correct?
>> these three agreements are a clear signal that the united states is in this game. as you point out, colombia recently had an agreement come into effect with canada. >> again, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman, while it has been a long time, five years seems to me like 20 years. we have worked with all of these countries, including peru, to try and protect human rights and american jobs. we had a serious obstacles. in peru we went over there and were able to work those out. we had hoped we could work out the rest. as far as colombia is concerned, it is an agreement that i think favors the next state. -- the united states.
i do not know how much time i have. do you believe human rights should be an issue that the united states should consider in dealing with our trading partners? >i think that could be yes or n. do either one of you believe human rights should be a concern to the united states in any free trade agreement. >> i think the free-trade agreement -- the action plan together with colombia goes further than any we have had before. >> i have not made any allegations. i guess your answer is yes and you think the agreement takes care of it? let us get back to my question. you have worked with us for years and years and years. do you believe the united states
of america should consider human-rights as a part of any trade agreement? >> she is here to address the technical aspects of the legislation. she is here to address the technical aspects of the legislation. that question would be outside of her perfume. mr. rice is here to address that sort of policy question. what do you believe, yes or no -- i have not got into any allegations. if you are referring to a remedy, can i interpret the believe it is the proper subject? -- you believe it is the proper subject? >> the action plan addresses important issues of protecting workers from thailand. >> -- violence. >> you have not answered a serious question. i hope you find no difficulty in
saint united states of america, the leader of the free world, a trading partners -- would not consider a trading partners record in human rights. you can interrupt me if you change your mind about your answer. i want to reaffirm that i think the ambassador has done a great job in changing a lot of the provisions we insisted on. we got everything we asked for in panama and korea. we were able to get automobile provisions changed. i had hoped with colombia and the united states -- it would give us a great of burgundy to take advantage of their needs for all types of -- a great advantage to take care of their needs for all types of equipment.
the devastating results of the lack of protection of labor, it is almost as though if we went into this, we would be conspirators. i know about this agreement. it is my understanding, i do not think it has been challenged, there is lack of improvement and the agreement is not a part of the trade agreement, it is a side agreement, it is not folded in, even if the agreement is violated we do not have any recourse as the congress to do anything because it becomes a diplomatic issue and not a trade issue. i do hope we can find out what america can do for colombia. our ally, surrounding people, there is a possibility that the agreement is good. i find it very, very difficult to believe that people are being
killed and not brought to justice and this has happened four decades and that democrats and republicans can only tell me that conditions are improving, improving, and not as many union activists are being killed as they were years ago. i wanted to congratulate our trade ambassador. he has done a fantastic job with korea, with what he had to work with, with colombia and with panama. if you have anything to say about human rights, you can tell me. do you have a concern about the human rights in colombia? maybe that could be answered. >> if you would answer quickly. >> the administration had a strong concern about violence against trade unionist. that is what drove the action plan. the president was prepared to
send this to congress only after that plan was completed to his satisfaction. >> thank you. >> thank you. i understand chapter 17 addresses the issue of enforceable standards encore fundamental labor rights, is that correct? >> that is correct. chapter 17 has the strongest provisions in the world. the four trade agreements, peru, colombia, panama, and south have the strongest labor provisions in the world belated to the ilo fundamental rights set forth in the declaration. >> it is important to document the progress columbia has made. since 2002, their homicide rate has declined by 85%. is that accurate? that is lower than the general population in colombia.
>> that is true. >> through this action plan, we have seen colombia make tremendous progress. i heard from their government officials when i was there. they dramatically increased their budget for protection of union members at risk. do you have that information available? >> they increased the budget by, it is now at $82 million in 2011. >> they have assigned a new prosecutors, new investigators, they have new rules for prioritizing of labor violence. they have improved their labor laws and enforcement it is my understanding that colombia has not implemented all of the ilo convention. is that your understanding? >> i think that is correct.
>> that is more than the united states has adopted. >> we have adopted and ratified two. >> they have changed their constitution. they have changed the portion of their government that is able to declare the legality of strikes. it is now in the judiciary. they have at constitutional reform that has shortened the time. it takes to prosecute a homicide case. i think it is important for the record to look at the progress that has been made there. the ilo removed colombia from its labor watch list in 2010. >> that is accurate. but i also understand that there are 14 -- >> i also understand there are 14 columbian -- that have endorsed the trade agreement, recognizing the
progress made in combat in a labor violence. -- combating labor violence. the president of one of colombia's labor confederations -- it is important to recognize the progress that has been made on this issue. is there a more steadfast ally and colombia when you look at the last five years in terms of all that has been asked and required and accomplish? >> our bilateral relationship with colombia is closed with the prior administration and the santos administration. the administration has made a clear commitment. both the innovations from the may, 2007 agreement that are built into the text, that are fully enforceable, together with the action plan that the
president insisted upon -- we feel we are moving forward in the right direction. as with other commitments, we expect to continue to work with the government of colombia to ensure implementation. these are not simple matters. they will require hard work by the government of colombia and ourselves. >> thank you. mr. buchanan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank chairman of brady and all the staff for their hard work. i am very excited for the american people. it has been since 2007, we have been talking about the trade agreements. to me, it is all about jobs, not just in america. the administration has mentioned two hundred 50,000 jobs. we need those jobs. i have looked through these agreements. negotiations should not be win-
lose. we have had a lot of this in the past. i think these are when-when agreements for america, colombia, korea, and panama. 80% of the exports to these countries are small and medium sized businesses. i think it is very exciting for the country as well. florida has 14 deepwater wells. $65 billion in economic activity. we have a real opportunity with panama and a close proximity to panama and colombia to drive that. i have a port in my area that does to $0.3 million. we are the closest port to panama. -- $2.3 miollion. we are the closest part to panama. these agreements will be great for ford and the country.
the florida chamber represents one of 37,000 businesses. -- 137,000 businesses. this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for florida to to a global hubble. i could not agree more. my question, to both of you, could you give me your thoughts on the benefits to florida as it relates to these free trade agreements? any thoughts that either of you might have. >> there are a number of different areas that i think would be important to florida. first, the agricultural sector. the agreement contains far reaching productions and other incentives for export. in the intellectual property rights area, as was pointed out earlier, it is a strong, a ground-breaking agreement in the
area of criminal protection. and other areas would be important for businesses in florida. this would insure not as mature reaction. -- ensure non-discriminatory action. i think contains strong benefits. >> anything you want to add? the benefits to florida ideally, but to the country. i know you have touched on that. because of our location, especially to colombia and panama. >> certainly, thank you. i think a lot of times people focus on the tariff benefits. they see the tears coming down. there is so much more in these agreements. the focus on service barriers as well, on technical barriers to trade, regulatory barriers that have existed, increasing trend
parents to come and intellectual property, electronic commerce, all of these -- increasing trade, intellectual property, electronic commerce, all of these are benefits. because of florida's location, those countries being hubs to the rest of latin america, and florida a hub to the rest of the united states, there is a synergy that would exist as well. >> i want to thank both of the witnesses and what to yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think the question here is whether or not we should approve a free trade agreement with the trade capital of the world. those are what the facts are. there are people of good faith who are working hard in the colombia to remedy these problems. 49 trade union members were
murdered in the colombia. this year, the number is up to 20. the report from human rights watch this past week analyzing what is happening in the progress, butow some it is a little progress compared to nothing having been done in years. the report indicates there have been six convictions above 195 union murders. in 9 of 10 cases they have never identified a suspect. the overall impact of this agreement on our economy is a very modest one. the question is, do we want to approve of an agreement with a country that has acted in this way? i find it particularly troubling that when we had our hearing on this, the current
administration opposed the inclusion of the amendment that would have incorporated that the action plan into the agreement. there is one big problem about the action plan. it contains some good provisions, but it is not actionable under this agreement, it is not enforceable. i feel about the action plan just as i do about many of the speeches that my fellow texan, the ambassador and the president have given. i like the speeches, i like what they are saying. i cannot tell whether after the speeches, given these agreements, we have gotten anything different than what we had under the bush administration. these would appear to be a continuation of the same
policies that existed under the bush administration that do not recognize the importance of enforceable labor provision. i am not talking about something on the books and agreeing to an important principle under the ilo's basic articles, i am talking about what is happening on the ground where people are being murdered because they provide leadership for workers. i think we see there has not been significant change on the ground in terms of this labor union violence. this will not bring great benefits to our economy. it will put in place the principle that even when people are being regularly murdered, we are more concerned about how many widgets move than what is happening to the peopl producing the widgets.
i think we need a trade policy that is concerned about commerce and what is happening to the basic living standards of the workers. otherwise, we continue to trade down and export jobs at the same time we are importing more goods from abroad unless we set and encourage a reasonable level of worker protection. i believe that this agreement is a step in the wrong direction. i applauded the repeated trips made to colombia, the attempts to address this problem, the attempts to develop a meaningful action plan. had it been incorporated into this agreement, we would have addressed many of these problems. the administration chose to oppose that, which would have been an important part of a realistic trade policy. without that action plan here, i do not believe that this agreement merits being approved.
i certainly plan to vote against it. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. listening to some of this discussion, from the perspective of a human being, i am a little frustrated. it sounds like we expect people to be perfect in order to enter into a friendship, a partnership, or an agreement. we are expecting a country to be perfect to enter into an agreement. it seems to me we have neighbors that are having problems, we build a wall and do not talk to them? i do not think so. i think the same applies to the large-scale when we interact with other countries. i want to thank all those who have traveled to colombia, korea, panama. i have been to colombia and korea. i have not made it to panama. we need to look at ourselves
too. the united states is not a perfect country. colombia is not a perfect country. as we build up relationships and we partner together, we change ideas and learn from each other. we become better. we do not become perfect, but we become better. as we work with others and reach out across this great land we can approve -- improved the rights of workers. we can improve the environmental situations across this world. in my visit to colombia, i had an opportunity to meet with two factions, two different unions. more than one at union, two factions representing different unions. one union group was in favor of the trade agreement. all of their argument for the agreement were based on the economy. on their jobs, on their
families, and on their relationship. on the other side, the argument was all political. i asked the question of the union leaders who were against this agreement with colombia, what can we do to improve this agreement? their answer was, you can do two things. one, removed the president. and two, remove president bush. both of those things have happened. what is holding us up? we need to get this done. i agree with president obama when he says past these trade agreement now. i agree, more accurately, with president obama when he says, pass this jobs bill now. if there ever was a jobs bill, the three of them sitting in front of us today are jobs bills. we all know that. both sides understand that. 2000 jobs to 3000 jobs are the
estimates right now. you want to make the world a safer place? you want to improve our national security and world security? you want to create excitement and education for young people by building partnerships and friendships across this globe? you want to improve working conditions for our hard working people across the globe? you want to improve and influence the environment? all of those things can be accomplished through these trade agreements. and especially, you want to create jobs? these bills do that. these bills do that. once again, i agree with president obama when he says, pass this jobs bill now. that goes for colombia. that goes for panama.
that goes for korea. past these jobs bills now. i yield back. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to clarify something that we went over and brushed by. we did not stop to think about it. that is the question of, why do we want to have the language linking the free-trade agreement to the action plan? what difference does it make in reality? it wasn't just that that it means what we sign off on this, -- it was suggested that once we sign off on this, we have no way to reach back in and have any control. it seems like that is the essence. i say that question because,
sitting on this committee, you see a lot of stuff happened. i have a memory, i remember sitting right over there when we passed nafta. we had the side agreements. everyone was going to clean up, we were going to make sure the workers were taken care of. it was all written in a nice letter and put in an envelope next to the agreement. we were also going to clean up the rio grande. i assume all the mexicans living along the border are living in nice lifestyle before a beautiful river that is filled with fish and that they have a wonderful time because we had those side altars. the reality is, we -- those side letters. the reality is we never did one thing about those.
by signing off on this agreement, without having a link to the action plan, we are signing off on our ability to come back in and force the administration to change their policy towards colombia. this is not to say anybody is not going to do it. it is going to say, as a part of our legislative responsibility, we have given it up. we have handed it to the administration and said, do whatever you want, you are on your own. it is in the face of the fact that the international trade union confederation reported in 2010, colombia had more worker as a smash hit -- assassinations than the rest of the world combined. if this action plan is working so well, i hope so. i am a hoper. i am a believer.
ronald reagan, my idol, always said you should trust, but verify. if we do not have it written into the law, how do we verify it? i would like to hear your response about what mechanisms there are to come back and it dragged the administration in here and talk about this thing. >> i would say two main things that i think distinguish both the fta and the action plan from the nafta agreement. all of the action plan will lead to be implemented before a january 1. when the president considers whether colombia has taken this
into effect, he will know whether they have implemented the action plan. secondly, this administration has an unprecedented track record of not just signing the , reement, which is important but also falling through. >> my time is just about up. i want to add one thing. in february, 2011, the international labor organization reported, "the majority of the cases of violence against workers have not yet been investigated nor have perpetrators including intellectual authors of these crimes been brought to justice." you are saying all of that will be done between now and january 1 if this bill passes? is that correct? before the trade agreement will go in place? >> what the action plan does is put into place the mechanisms colombia is using to address
these problems. it is beginning to apply to people it will apply to. it has already applied. new investigations that have been started and new prosecutions under the current plan. >> the administration's message is, trust me. >> no, it will require hard work. >> thank you, very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you for your leadership. this is a good day. monday was a good day with the credit limits were formally submitted. this is a good day today. -- when the trade limits were formally submitted. this is a good day today. i am not going to ask any question. there are benefits to my home state of minnesota. a couple of hours ago i ran into representatives from a health- care company. since we are on the colombia agreement i thought i would
mention this. they do $30 million of exports a year. they have five facilities in the med states dependent on exports. they mentioned -- in the united states dependent on exports. they mentioned the products coming from columbia have a zero tariff. this is going to even the playing field and allow them to sell more products in colombia. it is a great opportunity for job expansion. another example of a great american company that is not headquartered in my district is caterpillar. i want to mention, this is a country that 20 years ago had u.s. employment of 29,000 people. today they employ over 47,000 people, including paging facilities -- paving facilities in my home state. without the ability to export jobs, many of these jobs will
not exist. this is a company that exports 36% of their products. colombia is one of caterpillar's biggest mining opportunities. they are forced to pay bigger terrorist. these are significant and a large terrace. these bulldozers, they face a 5% tariff in columbia, it is $100,000 of additional price tag. other large trucks based 15%. it can add three the thousand dollars to the price -- can at $300,000 to the price of a truck. the korean agreement is just as important. we will talk about those in a bit. i want to thank you for your leadership. i am looking forward to bipartisan support in this agreement. i yield back.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. while i was looking forward to this meeting, have been for three years, since i arrived in congress, and was looking forward to a positive meeting, for our first-time listeners, the discussion here today could be rather depressing. all of the talk about murders, violence, you think you would be entering into a trade agreement with st. louis. you'd think we would be entering into a trade agreement with baltimore or perhaps detroit. ladies and gentlemen, these cities in the united states have a higher murder rate and higher violence per capita than the country of colombia. am i proud of that?