tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 20, 2011 1:00am-6:00am EDT
priorities we have set. and these are priorities that are consistent with prior administrations and, indeed, with what i testified to this committee my first months in office. that this is what -- >> i am told that ice carried over from last year 19,000 removals and counting them this year and is sort of a gimmick for making their removal look higher than they are. are you aware of that? and i think what you are refering to, senator, is in the movement from fy 09 to fy 10, we made the decision we would not count it removal until there was an actual verify departure from the country. that had the affect of moving some removals from 2009 into 2010 because there was a calendar -- there was a removal order but we did not actually verify the departure into fy 10. we continue that practice into fy 11 so the comparison between the 10 and the 11 numbers are exactly the same.
>> what i am hearing is, is while claiming to arrest more criminal aliens, internal ice documents show that dhs leadership ordered field officers not to arrest fugitives in reentry and leadership efforts to conceal this from the public has led to confusion in the field. officers are afraid to arrest and suspected illegals have been aggressively pushing back, even showing agents the memo that you have when they stopped them, they showed the memo and says president obama says you can't arrest me. >> if they say that, they are not reading it correctly because that is exactly not the case. they can be arrested. but at some point and the process there need to be decisions made about who is to be removed -- at some point in the process. we talked about how much it cost to detain somebody. it costs in the neighborhood of
$23,000 to $30,000 to actually remove somebody. that is our cost. it does not include the justice department costs. congress gives us the ability to finance removal of 400,000 people year. we can just removed anybody without any priorities, and that would be one way to do it. or the other way, the better way, and probably the way you ran your office when you were a prosecutor is to say we want to focus on expediting the removal of those who are criminals, those who are fugitives, of those who are repeat violators, of those who are recent entrants, meaning within five years, into the united states. what you are now seeing is that of the numbers reflect those priorities. >> well, you have a problem with more rale and i am confident -- i think the officers feel like you spend more time talking with the activist groups then the officers themselves and
drafting guidelines to help them do their job. thank you, mr. chairman. sorry to run over. >> senator coons? >> thank you, madame secretary, for your testimony in front of this committee, for your discipline and determined leadership of this remarkably far-flung and brought agency. in difficult times it is a source of pleasure to see a fellow german scholar to do well. as other members of the committee have commented, you face enormous challenges and i want to commend you for the work you're doing given the limited resources and given the great pressures to keep america safe and to secure the borders and respect our constitution and advance our national interest. of the six prairie missionaries, there is one that has not been touched on a dog -- priority areas, there is one that has not been touched on at all today. cyberspace.
i was at a secure briefing that was hair raising -- probably not in my case -- about cyber attacks and the coordination between the intelligence community and dhs. recently a university of delaware instructor, actually the man who wrote "black hawk down" wrote a book that lays out a fairly disconcerting picture of a connection between the private sector and government and how we are cold war in meeting our defenses. -- coordinating our defenses. how you see your department coordinating with dob and the private sector to make sure we are sufficiently prepared for the assaults coming at us on a regular basis. >> i was just in new jersey yesterday meeting with a number
of individuals in the private sector, financial institutions sector, and the fbi on how we are, or needing -- coordinating. we really view ourselves, and i think the analysis is coming out, and i think legislation will come out, is that dhs will have the primary responsibility with the protection of dot-gov networks and the intersection with the private sector. and also through the sears service, crimes committed on the net. and also through ice. with respect to the protection of critical infrastructure networks, that is in our nppd division, we have a memorandum of agreement with the department of defense on this and we also have a memorandum with them as to how we can both utilize technological resources of the nsa.
this is an area where, in my judgment, we need to grow. i think we will have a continuing and expanding threat. there is not get any kind of international framework on which to hang our hats. and so, there are a lot of challenges. but it is definitely an area that we are moving forward on. >> thank you. two things, if i might. in your written testimony you referenced in number of very successful partnerships with local law enforcement, local communities, the nationwide suspicious activity reporting initiative. what do you see as the future role for local law enforcement, for local first responder communities, and frankly, for the national guard and reserve in providing some of the first points of contact and a trained work force to help provide the source of security for infrastructure, local
communities, and local government, as we build out toward the future or you are literally policing and online border? >> we are still discussing this and discussing it with our local and private sector partners. but i think this will be a unique area for the fusions centers to help. they are designed as an all- hazards colocation center. i think all of them now have access to real-time classified information. i think through the fusion sensors we can expand our local and private sector reach into this cyber arena. >> one of my larger concerns about cybersecurity long-term is the protection of american intellectual property. and number of more egregious intrusions, not just to access banking or financial data or steel identities for financial gain but also download and a very large quantities of american innovation and invention. i just wanted to point out to
you and number of initiatives folks on this committee are taking and hope to work with you and your department in making sure the legal infrastructure be put together that makes sense and is responsible. i am also particularly concerned about infringing shipments. my aunt -- my impression is there is ongoing challenges with customs and border controls that intercepts shipments it believes contains thomas of goods and whether they shared the affirmation probably what the rights holders to allow them to see whether it is counterfeit. some questions have been raised about whether it has the necessary authority to share information about suspected infringing shipments with the rights holders and whether they can successfully protect shipments in a timely way.
i would be happy to follow up further with your office. >> let's do that. >> last question, if i might. the immigrant investor visa program can be a real opportunity to attract to this country foreign nationals with significant resources who want to invest them in american companies or american communities. our state director of international trade has been trying to be successful. but the area's most successful has been through regional centers where they could aggregate significant numbers of applicants. it is hard to get clear information on which regional center models have had the greatest success. i wanted to leave with you a question about whether dhs might release more information about which regional centers and models have been more successful. >> yes, senator, i think we would be happy to have someone meet with the individual you referred to it and look across
the country and see what is going on. >> i look forward to questions from my colleagues about the visa programs and how we can help advance tourism in the united states. i think they're good opportunities as well as challenges. >> your colleague from minnesota, senator klobuchar. >> thank you, madame secretary, for the work you are doing every day. i want to mention two things i did not know have been discussed. first, the good work you have done in our area on flooding issues, that fema has done in the red river valley and the administrator's assistance with the floods was very much appreciated. the second piece of this is the work that i don't think many people focused on that you do, adoption. when things come up in helping parents adopt children from other countries and some of the issues. i wanted to know, the last hearing i ask you about a family from the philippines, senator sessions and senator inhofe and i worked to pass a bill to allow older siblings if they turn 16
or 17 to still be adopted if they have a younger sibling adopted. this literally allowed 10,000 kids retroactively to come into loving homes in our country. one of them was a family that i brought up. thanks to the help of your agency -- they were going to have to leave the older kids that held this family together when the mother died and thanks to the help of your agency the two older kids were able to get on the plain what a family. i met all nine children and a celebration in the community and it would not have happened without the work of your agency. i wanted thank you for that. i am also on the commerce committee -- the first issue, aviation security. it has been my concern as a person with a hip replacement deals a lot with your tsa people, and there has been a great improvement in morrell the past few years. they appreciate the local defense that you and the
director had given when questions are raised. and obviously questions should be raised, but overall they are protecting the security of the people in this country doing incredibly difficult jobs. the issue i wanted to raise, the new stick image body scanner. that has been a concern of some people, with the new security that is there. i have not had a problem with it at all. i think it is great because it goes faster. but can you discuss this new software and get your assessment about how it has been working? >> we began installing software that rather than the smudge it photo-like image, it is just a stick figure, and it identifies where there may be an anomaly that requires deep they forgot to take something out of their pocket or something needs to be checked. initially, when this was being
deployed, i think in amsterdam, there were a lot of false positives. but those problems have been rectified so we are now in the process of installing that type of software throughout the country. >> what is happening with the pre-check pilot -- again, some pilots to speed things along? >> it is the name for the program that is a domestic version of global entry. it is the process by which people can voluntarily provide information and biometrics and that will help speed them through the security lines. obviously, one of the issues with the pilot is the scale ability -- scalability. but my initial impression is it is popular in people like it.
>> senator coons mentioned the tourism work. i chaired the subcommittee on commerce along with rory blunt and we introduce the tourism facilitation act, which we worked with the state department on these issues to make sure we were doing something that had a chance of passing. we have also seen some improvement. we are waiting to get the exact numbers from the consulate officers on the state department side. since 9/11 we lost 16% of the international tourism market, which is about 467,000 jobs. we want to keep all of the security measures in place. we also want to see if there are ways, while keeping them in place, to make them more efficient. even if we add one more point, that is 160,000 jobs in the country. they are gone nowhere else. they are in the country. the background checks for tourist visas, they are performed by the state
department but dhs does play a role when a tourist b-1 or b-2 visa holder applies for an extension. are you familiar with that and how can we make this run more smoothly? >> let me, if i might, look into that and perhaps have someone meet with you. it suggests there are some problems. let us figure that out. >> we don't want to change your security, but we really believe -- it is mostly consulate officers on the state department side, that you could process things faster and this is one thing that came up with the dhs side. >> as a former governor of a state heavily dependent on tourism, i appreciate the fact that this is a jobs issue. >> it is a really -- it is really a jobs issue. we have had no change in the last two years and there seems to be a lot of interest and making changes, so we are excited.
a lasting one to follow up on is cybersecurity. ice -- i shares senator coons' viewed that this is a public and private partnership. what more do you think we can do to encourage businesses and institutions to work with the government on cybersecurity challenges? >> i think this is one of the key issues congress will have to take up when it takes up hopefully cybersecurity legislation. but the extent to which particularly private business, that is, control a critical infrastructure of the country, should give notice if there has been an intrusion or attack, what kind of notice, how is it shared, what is the government's role, is it an incentive or mandate -- these are all things that are appropriate for congressional resolution. >> i think people were kind of shocked a few weeks ago or months ago when the one worker working in a power grid --
>> southwest arizona. >> the power grid had gone down, affecting the power in people -- for people in southern california and other places. more has to be done to vertex the power grid. what should our priorities be? i am looking at this as a cybersecurity issue, but it was an accident. >> that was a situation where i think 6 million people were without power -- excuse me, 2 million people out of power for six hours because of an accident of one worker. i asked my staff to look at what happened and why there were not redundant or fail-safe systems in place. >> i also have a note that senator schumer -- discussing his buffalo bridge. i have a few questions that i did not know of other senators want to hear about concerning northern minnesota but i will put them in the record and ask that she answered them at a
later time. thank you. >> noting that the distinguished senator from minnesota -- it is not without precedent that sometimes questions that may appear to be parochial have actually been asked. [laughter] >> i think -- i appreciate their earlier answers and i know my colleague senator whitehouse is here. >> and i should know there has not been a single time where i called the secretary and have not been able to get a response. this is not a department we have a difficult time getting answers from. she is always available. senator whitehouse? >> your remarks about the cybersecurity legislation, that we ought to be and shall be undertaking fairly soon makes a
good segue into my questioning. let me first ask you, what level of urgency and dispatch would you advise that we proceed to this legislation with? >> i would hope that you would proceed as quickly. this is an area involving rapidly. i think having a basis in statued, of jurisdiction, authorization, and a light, is very important. work has been done on the senate side, work has been done on the house side. i would hope that congress could move very quickly to resolve this and give us a bill. >> do you hope that we can do it quickly because it -- what? >> this is an area that
deserves foundation in statute. right now we are moving administratively, and things are moving and moving expeditiously. but it does seem to me there is a lot happening here which ultimately needs to be established, not just jurisdictionally but fiscally as well so it is something congress has to take up. >> do you think that of the legislation that has been proposed, the idea proposed for allowing more protection, more government support, more protection of our critical infrastructure can be implemented quickly and will make a real difference in terms of the safety and security of the american people? >> i believe so. but i want to be frank with you,
senator. one of the areas where the department of homeland security needs to keep expanding its capacity and capability is in cyber. it is very difficult to hire professionals and this area. there is a lot of competition for these individuals. it is one of the reasons we initially made a decision that we would not tried to replicate a civilian nsa with a military nsa, that there will be arrangements to share some of the technological expertise. this is an area, even in a period of restraint fiscal resources, that needs focus. >> at the moment, if our nsa folks were aware of an attack targeting, say, an american bank, financial processing center, electric utility network, would they need, would you need the kind of the
authorities that this legislation can provide in order to be able to intervene and protect that civilian infrastructure? >> senator, it is hard for me to answer that hypothetical. what i can say is right now, particularly with the financial institution sector, we have a lot of cooperation. whether we have the authority of command and control ultimately in the event of attack, no, that would be something that needs to be looked at legislatively picket so hypothetically the government could be aware of an attack that was taking place but be unable to do anything and ask the government to respond and head off that? >> again, i am reluctant to enter the hypothetical as opposed, because in those
extreme events, my experience over the last years as secretary, the world would definitely be a better, more clear and focused place if we had a basic cyber statute to work from. >> i will leave it at that. >> thank you, chairman. >> senator whitehouse has worked a great deal on this. there is a meeting this afternoon with some of us on cybersecurity and we passed a bill out of this committee. there are other committees, intelligence, commerce, and others that have evolved. i am not as concerned -- obviously i am concerned, we have to be, but i am not concerned now that somebody is going to try to hijack a
passenger plane as much as i am what happens when it it is the middle of the winter, it ranges from 10 above to 30 below zero in the northeast and all the power grids are shut off. you are talking about hundreds of thousands of people who could die at any time. what happens if air traffic control is turned off? not only the images given to the rest of the world but the huge, huge commercial disruption, plus the very real possibility of loss of life, depending on where the planes are and where the weather is. these are things we have to look at, communications, the phones all go dead. we move trillions of dollars worth of commercial activities a
day in this country and overseas. it closes down here, it's closed down overseas. these are things we have to worry about. in the old days, you worry about someone going and being a bank robber. now they rob the bank from 10,000 miles away and get a lot more money. >> if i could add, it is not only the risk of cyber sabotages to our critical infrastructure and finance and the electronic grid and communications, the places that you mentioned, it is also the question of the private sector's intellectual property being stolen and that siphoned out through the internet by some of our major international competitors in order to avoid either having to pay licensing
fees or to do their own research and development, how much more easy it is to pack into an american corporation's database and siphoned out their trade secrets and rebuild a factory of your own. it is being done by the terbyte. we are on the losing end of the single greatest transfer of wealth through piracy and illicit behavior in the history of humankind, and we are doing awfully little about it. i hope to hear a stronger clarion call from the secretary about the urgency of passing this legislation and the kind of change it can make it could get it passed. >> remember, a lot of this -- a lot of these attacks are state- sponsored. everybody wants to dance around that, but some of it is state- sponsored. that is a form of warfare.
>> i just wanted to clarify, senator, i hope my answer did not suggest to you at all that we don't do this as urgent legislation. we do. the department has participated in 80 someone briefings about the need for legislation. we have testified 20 different times about the need for the legislation. we have participated heavily in the drafting of the legislation. we obviously believe there is an urgent need for the legislation. i was interpreting your question as what are you doing now and how are you getting pie? the plain fact of the matter is that our authorities, our jurisdiction and moving forward, the path will be much more clear, and there is an urgent need for legislation in this regard. i am hopeful now that both chambers have been addressing this that this is one area where the congress is able to move.
>> it did sound a bit tepid, so i am glad to clarify remarks, and i appreciated. -- i appreciate it. i understand that we are going to have the votes here so i will wrap this up. i will have questions for you about the security community's task force. i want to have a written response about how dhs handles cases of u.s. citizens arrested and detained by ice. i would like statistics on all u.s. citizens arrested under secure communities, the duration of their custody, and the resolution of these cases. i thank you very much. do you want to add anything else? >> no, mr. chairman, i have enjoyed being the witness here today.
>> that would fall under an understatement. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> coming up, the president and first lady visit a military base in hampton, virginia. then dr. carlson discusses the republican presidential race. and the senate environment committee evaluates the government's response to this year's floods.
>> tomorrow on "washington journal," senator chuck grassley talks about the economy and deficit reduction. congresswoman donna edwards on the democratic agenda, and norman:will discuss how the u.s. would provide medical care to victims of radiation based terrorist attack. washington journal" begins live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> it is very obvious with all the priorities we have, until further notice, every decision the national government makes, every close call should be made in favor of economic growth. everything should be in favor of growth of private sector. >> he worked as an adviser in the reagan white house and as governor of indiana, he implemented spending cuts that produced a billion dollar budget surplus.
sunday night, mitch daniels on his new book, the economy, and his decision to not run for president in 2012. at 8 eastern on c-span. >> it is time to get those cameras rolling for this year's studentcam video competition. make a be on that theme, the constitution and you, and get it to c-span by the deadline of january 20 and you could win the grand prize of $5,000. >> on last day of his bus tour, president obama visited a military base in hampton, virginia, to talk about employment for veterans. he is joined by first lady michelle obama, who announced the american logistics association has committed to hiring 25,000 military veterans and spouses by the end of 2013. this is 40 minutes.
>> that morning, everyone. >> i would like to say good morning to all you all and the fellow service members and guests. my name is melissa and it is my pleasure to be here. i have been in the army for 26 years. i am presently an army colonel in the reserve. i am also an officer. i have had 10 years on active duty and i have about 16 years in the army reserve. for the last 10 years, i have worked as an attorney for tyson's food. i am also the chair of the veterans reforest krupa to promote veterans leadership values and highlight the ways that we can use those values to benefit our company. there's no pressure for me today.
i have my ceo somewhere around here and my commander in chief and the wing. it is a big day. i am here to share my experiences as a corporate lawyer but mostly as an army officer. in 2008, i deployed to iraq and afghanistan. i've led to several management teams. over that year, we were responsible for $220 million worth of communications and commercialization projects throughout iraq and afghanistan. i led my team and pushed our contractors to ensure projects were completed on time and under budget. art projects included a cabling building and installing communications infrastructure white fiber optic cables and satellite systems and even
managing the construction building. we worked with, -- contractors, sister services, active duty units and anyone else that we needed to in order to get the job done. project management can be a challenge. but it in a war zone the steps it up a few notches. my team's military experience straightest to -- trained us to be flexible and determined. men and women can get a multimillion dollar projects done in time in war zones. these are the kind of people you need to hire to get the job done in your companies. as a soldier, i want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who represent companies who supply products to our commissaries around the world. to people like me, my soldiers,
all of these airmen and their families. i cannot tell you what a treat it is to have access. i am very proud to say that i am one of 3000 veterans who work for one of those companies, tyson's food. as a member of corporate america, i am proud that those same companies to supply our military are stepping up to the plate once again to hire thousands of veterans and military. while these veterans will be thankful for the opportunity to have a good job when they get off active duty or when the national guardsmen returns from deployment, i guarantee it will be your companies that benefit the most from their professional skills sets, positive attitude, a work ethic and unequal leadership abilities. i am appreciative for the emphasis that this administration has placed on
hiring our veterans. i am also thankful that michelle obama has chosen to support family members and their well-being as one of the pillars of her service. [applause] they joined the forces to mobilize all sectors of society to give our service members and their family the opportunity and support they have burned. for this, i personally thank michelle obama. all of you air force, all you army, it is my pleasure to introduce, and i ask that you join me in giving a warm welcome, to the commander in chief of the united states of america. president barack obama and his wife, the first lady of the united states of america, michelle obama.
and you all are looking good as well. we are just proud to be here -- proud of you all. first of all, let me thank melissa for her service and for that wonderful introduction and for everything that she has done, along with her family, for this country. truly one of my greatest pleasures as first lady has been meeting folks like melissa and all of you here today, hearing your stories, truly seeing your strength. and i can't tell you how much you inspire me, and all of us. it's just something to watch. you've inspired me not just to sit back in awe but to move forward in action. and all of you are the reason why dr. jill biden and i started our joining forces initiative. we want to rally this entire nation around our veterans and military families because we
know just how incredible all of you are. truly. yes. [applause] we want america to know that your veterans who have completed missions with enough variables involved to make most people's head spin -- that you're trained in state-of-the-art technologies, that you've managed dozens -- if not hundreds -- of your peers. and when the stakes are the highest, that's when you're at your best. and your spouses, your families, are just as amazing. and i have met them -- [applause] -- yes, for the military spouses. [applause] military spouses pack in a full day of work, many of them then get back to get the kids to piano lessons, they volunteer at fundraisers, skyping with loved ones who are deployed overseas, whip up dinner, put
the kids into bed, and then crack open the textbooks to study at night. that's an average day. to a military spouse, that's just wednesday. [laughter] so i'm just exhausted thinking about them. but so very proud, so very proud. for most folks, that's the kind of day that leaves us sprawled out on the couch, too exhausted to move. but that's not a big thing for our military spouses. so, for all of you troops, veterans, and military spouses here today, we're proud of you, and we want people to know that you have so many skills that are just second nature to all of you -- things like time management, organization, people skills, complex decision-making, and so many other incredible skills. and that is really the reason why we're here today -- because those are precisely the skills
that we need in workplaces across america. but the truth is that sometimes employers may not always know about all that you have to offer. they might have trouble understanding a military resume. or they might see a spouse who's lived in five cities in seven years as a red flag rather than a reality of military life. but today, i am proud to announce that the american logistics association has said they're going to step up and do something about that. so today they're committing to hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses in the next two years. [applause] they do not want to miss out on your potential. they want america's businesses to have the best, most talented, most hardworking employees around.
now, this announcement is a huge deal -- which is why the president is here. it's huge enough for you to even be involved. [laughter] this commitment includes 270 companies of all shapes and sizes, which makes this the largest coordinated effort by the private sector to hire veterans that we've seen in years. [applause] and this commitment puts us a quarter of the way toward reaching the president's challenge to the private sector to hire or train 100,000 vets and military spouses by the end of 2013. [applause] the businesses making this pledge include name brands like proctor and gamble, tyson foods, hewlett-packard -- but also smaller companies like
prime team services, which is planning to hire hundreds of military spouses and veterans next year alone. and today's announcement really builds on the efforts of businesses and organizations already underway all across this country. siemens has hired hundreds of veterans already this year. sears is increasing the number of veterans and military spouses in their workforce by 10 percent. we just made that announcement this week. the chamber of commerce has hosted job fairs for veterans in cities across the country. and then companies like kmart and sam's club have promised us that if a military spouse who works at their stores has to move to a new duty station, they will do their very best to have a job waiting for them when they arrive. [applause] so these are bold commitments.
and these are companies that are making these pledges not just because it's the right thing to do or because it feels patriotic. they're also doing it because it's good for their bottom line. it's good for business. because they know that veterans and military spouses, like all of you here today, represent the best our country has to offer, and they want you on their team. and really that's what joining forces is all about. it's really about tapping into all of that goodwill that's already out there all across this country in every sector of society. and it's important for you all to know that, because i know sometimes it feels like a struggle, like sometimes we don't know as a nation what you sacrifice, what your families have sacrificed. but know that people are stepping up. they're doing it every day, and they're doing it with pride and with pleasure. and channeling all of that energy into making a real
difference in the lives of our veterans and military families is really what we want to do for you. and truly, it is a win-win for everyone. the motto of joining forces is very simple -- everyone can do something -- everyone can do something -- to honor and support the brave men and women who have served us all so well. in fact, that's what the man i'm about to introduce -- this guy here [laughter] -- that's really what he does every day. during his presidency, he's directed the federal government to help with childcare in military families, to address veterans' homelessness, to step up on mental health issues, and to provide unprecedented support to our military families. so now, it is my pleasure to
introduce a man who is fighting for you every single day -- yes, get the cameras ready. [laughter and applause] it is your commander-in-chief -- and my husband -- the president of the united states, barack obama. [applause] >> hello joint base langley- eustis! [applause] thank you very much. i hate following michelle. [laughter] she's so good. how lucky am i to be married to michelle obama? [applause] see, for you men out there who are not yet married, let me explain. the whole goal is to marry up -- (laughter) -- to try to improve your gene pool.
[laughter] and we're lucky to have her as first lady of the united states of america, i think. [applause] i am thrilled to be here. i want to thank the outstanding leaders who welcomed us here today -- secretary of the air force michael donley is here. [applause] general mike hostage is here. [applause] colonels kory auch and kevin robbins and reggie austin are here. [applause] i want to give a shout-out to your outstanding senior enlisted leaders, including chief master sergeants kevin howell and marty klukas. [applause] i want you to give a big round of applause to the air combat
command heritage of america band. [applause] we've got a lot of folks in the house today. we've got air combat command. [applause] we've got the 633rd air base wing. [applause] we've got the 1st fighter wing [applause] - with our amazing f-22 raptors. [applause] i want to ride in one of those some day. [laughter] we're going to have to set that up. we've got the 480th intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance wing. [applause] they can cheer, but they can't talk about what they do. [laughter] they'd have to kill you.
and i see we've got some army, too. [applause] i want to salute melissa lee. thank you so much. i want to salute kathy hostage. i want to salute kristin auch and the extraordinary military spouses who are here as well. [applause] we are inspired by them. michelle is an honorary military spouse because she has to put up with me. [laughter] but she and i both share such incredible admiration for the families of those who are serving in uniform. we are grateful for our veterans who are here, including some very special airmen who taught the nation the true meaning of service and honor and equality. we are honored to be joined by several of the legendary tuskegee airmen in the house. [applause]
that's what heroes look like right there. finally, i want to acknowledge your governor, bob mcdonnell, and his lovely wife, maureen, for joining us here today [applause] -- as well as congressman bobby scott, who's in the house. [applause] and i want to thank all the business leaders who have committed to hiring our nation's heroes. those of you here today who have worn the uniform of these united states have done so with honor and have done so with distinction. in some of the most dangerous places on the planet, you have heroically performed and done everything that's been asked of you.
already, your generation has earned a special place in america's history. for that, you've got a grateful nation. as michelle said, don't forget how everybody understands what you've done for this country. over the past decade, nearly 3 million service members, like many of you -- our 9/11 generation of veterans - have made the transition back to civilian life. they've taken their leadership experience, their mastery of cutting-edge technologies, their ability to adapt to changing circumstances, and they've become leaders here at home. they've become leaders in businesses all across the country. just think about how many veterans have led their comrades on life-and-death missions by the time they were 25.
that's the kind of responsibility every business in america should want to take advantage of. those are the americans every company should want to hire. now, of course, as michelle mentioned, there are far too many veterans who are coming home and having to struggle to find a job worthy of their talents. there are too many military spouses who have a hard time finding work after moving from base to base and city to city. that's not right. it doesn't make any sense. it doesn't make sense for our veterans. it doesn't make sense for our businesses. it doesn't make sense for our families. and it doesn't make sense for america. [applause] if you can save a life in afghanistan, you can save a life in a local hospital or in a local ambulance.
[applause] if you can oversee millions of dollars of assets in iraq, you can help a business balance its books here at home. [applause] if you can juggle the demands of raising a family while a husband or wife are at war, you can juggle any demands of any job in the united states of america. [applause] we ask our men and women in uniform to leave their families -- our guardsmen and reservists to leave their jobs. we ask you to fight, to sacrifice, to risk your lives for our country. the last thing you should have to do is fight for a job when you come home. not here. not in the united states of america.
[applause] so this has been one of my top priorities as your commander- in-chief. that's why we are fully funding the post-g.i. -- 9/11 g.i. bill, which is helping more than 600,000 veterans and their family members pursue a college education. [applause] it's why we fought to make sure the bill included non-college degrees and on-the-job training. it's why i directed the federal government to lead by example and hire more veterans - including 100,000 as of this summer. [applause] and it's also why we're here today. as michelle mentioned, back in august i challenged american businesses -- i challenged them to hire or train 100,000 post-
9/11 veterans or their spouses by the end of 2013. [applause] and now, just a few months later, thanks to the many extraordinary companies who are here today, we're already a quarter of the way there. already, they've committed to train or hire 25,000 veterans and spouses in the next two years. [applause] and this is incredible. it's a testament to their good business sense. it's a testament to their sense of patriotism. it's a testament to the fact that these veterans and military families are some of the most talented, trained, and experienced citizens that we have. it's a testament to these businesses' commitment to this country. we're still living through an economic crisis that partly
came about because too many individuals and institutions were only thinking about their own interests -- because they embraced an ethic that said, what's good for me is good enough. well, the men and women of the united states armed forces, they've got a different ethic. you believe, your families believe, in something greater than your own ambitions. you've embraced an ethic that says the only thing that's good enough is what's best for the united states of america. [applause] and by making a commitment to these brave men and women, the companies who are represented here today have shown that they've got that same ethic. they share in that belief that we're all in this together. those companies who are represented here today are
showing that they care about this country and those who serve it -- not just with words, not with just with slogans, not just with tv ads, but with the choices that you're making. as president and commander-in- chief, i thank you for that. and i also want to thank my extraordinary wife and dr. jill biden, our second lady, for leading the effort to support and honor our military families, and making today possible. give them a big round of applause. [applause] she does all this and she looks cute. [laughter] that's right. [laughter] but considering how many veterans are out there looking
for work, we can't stop with today's announcement. we've got more work to do. some of you probably know that last month, i sent congress a piece of legislation called the american jobs act. now, this is a bill that's fully paid for, and it's filled with the kind of proposals that traditionally democrats and republicans have supported in the past -- tax cuts for every small worker -- every worker and small business in america, funding to rebuild our schools and put our teachers back in the classroom so our children can get the education they deserve -- a tax credit for small businesses that hire america's veterans. the idea here is even though so many companies who are here today have committed to hiring our nation's heroes, we want to make it even easier for the businesses that haven't made that commitment yet. it's the right thing to do for our veterans and it's the right thing to do for america. you give smaller companies who may be interested in hiring but are having a tough time -- give
them a tax break if they hire a veteran. give them an even bigger tax break if they hire a disabled veteran. now, so far congress hasn't acted on this proposal. but i want you to know that i'm pushing them a little bit. [applause] i'm going to keep pushing them a little bit. in the coming weeks, we're going to hold a series of votes in the senate on individual pieces of my jobs bill. and one of the votes i'm going to urge members of congress to take is on whether or not they think it's a good idea to give companies an incentive to hire the men and women who have risked their lives for our country. and i'm hopeful we can get riskr lives for our country. i am hopeful we can get both parties on board for this idea. when i first proposed this idea in a joint session of congress, people stood up and applauded on
both sides of the aisle. when it comes for a vote in the senate, i expect to get votes from both sides of the aisle. do not just a plot about it, vote for it. [applause] vote for it. standing up for our veterans is not a democratic responsibility or a republican responsibility, it is abraham -- is a american responsibility. [applause] it is an obligation for every citizen. every citizen who enjoys the freedom that our heroes defend. it is time for us to meet those obligations here today. this generation of veterans has learned that the challenges, they continue right here at home. today we are saying, to those
veterans who fought for us, now we are fighting for you, for more jobs, more security, the ability to keep your family strong, the chance to keep america competitive economically in the 21st century. these are tough times for americans. we have faced tougher times before. nobody is tougher than the men and women of america's armed forces. [applause] you all don't quit. whenever we faced a challenge in this country, whether it was a depression or civil war when our union was at stake, our harbor was bombed, our country was attacked on that september day, we did not falter, we did not turn back, we pick ourselves up, we pushed ourselves forward. we got on with the task of fulfilling the ideas that so
many americans have struggled and sacrificed and given their lives for. that is the spirit that all of you represent. that is the spirit that our whole nation needs right now. you remind us, as a nation, that no problem is too hard and no challenge is too great and no destiny is beyond our reach. let's get together and show the world just why it is that the united states of america is the greatest nation on earth. god bless you. god bless our veterans. god bless the men and women in uniform. and god bless the united states of america. [applause] ♪ ♪ [applause]
mortgage. to look at reforms to help home purchases are financed. that is at 10:00 a.m. eastern. a banking subcommittee looks at the global financial system and the financial crisis affecting eurozone countries. you can watch both live on c- span and c-span or. -- c-span.org. what our live coverage of herman cain, newt gingrich, rick santorum, rick perry, ron paul, and michele bachmann, starting at 7:00 a.m. eastern on saturday. >> bay the color editor in chief tucker carlson -- daily caller editor and chief tucker carlson was our guest. this is 40 minutes. host: joining us now, tucker
carlson. thank you for coming in. if you were watching the debate last night, what was the biggest surprise that guest: -- surprise? guest: all the drama. rick carey's performance was a surprise. i think he is a -- rick carey's performance was a surprise. i think he is a cop did guy. i do not think he performed well last night. i keep waiting for him to dazzle us. there were things he said last night that i could not understand. i was totally sober. his explanation for why he did not agree with the preacher who attacked morgan is a much-mormon some as a cult. he went off on -- who attacked mormonism as a cold.
he went off on this ranch. it did not add up as a narrative. >> herman cain? guest: he is a compelling figure. i like him. he deserves credit from my point of view for saying things that are specific. on the other hand, in one sentence, in the space of one sentence he explained that yes he would be willing to negotiate with al qaeda if they were holding a u.s. hostage, but no he would never negotiate with terrorists. the problem with not having run for high office before it is you are not prepared for every question. host: one of the things that was talking about was the exchange between governor romney and rick perry. how governor romney responded to that. let's show it and get your take on it as well. >> those people that hire
illegals ought to be penalized. mitt, you lose all of your standing, from my perspective, because you hired illegals in your homes and you knew about it for a year. the idea that you stand here and talk about the fat you are strong on immigration is the height of hypocrisy. >> governor romney? >> i do not think i have ever hired an illegal in my life. i am looking forward to fighting your facts on that. rick, i am speaking. [crosstalk] i get 60 seconds and then you get 30 seconds to respond. >> you say you knew. >> would you please wait? are you going to keep talking?
i thought republicans followed rules. this has been a tough couple of debate for rick. i understand that. >> when you were governor, you put in place a magnet to draw a legal and to the state which was giving $100,000 of tuition credit to the illegals to come into this country. the big states of illegal immigrants are california and florida. they have no increase in illegal immigration. texas has had a 60% increase in taxes. if there is someone who has a record with regard to illegal immigration, it is you, not me. host: governor romney's response and performance there? guest: on his last point, there is a war going on in mexico. texas shares a border with mexico. that is driving some of the immigration. what a dumb exchange.
here perry says, i got you, you hired an illegal. who cares? our ideals are not that impressive. that has nothing to do with his policy or his ideas. he has found that he moment. romney respond by wining about how perry is breaking the rules of the debate. you don't know the rules. and then the audience, which was loaded. they paid a bunch of crummy people. they jumped in. -- they paid a bunch of romney people. they jumped in. it was unimpressive. these are impressive guys. i am not saying they are unimpressive. it was not an exchange that made you want to vote for either one of them. host: he is with us and if you
want to ask him questions you can call. @cspan.org. we have gone through a series of the spirit going forward, what did the candidates have to do to solidify the appeal to their bases? guest: i think the way the system works, and by the way, i support this completely. there are a lot of republicans betting that this is going to damage it. the truth is, these guys have to jump through a bunch of different hoops before they are taking on barack obama. the truth is, the party being the way it is, it is mitt romney's nomination to lose. that is the way it is. the money is behind him. all the people who run the party behind the scenes have decided.
the job of everett -- every other candidate is to be the guy who could challenge romney. newt gingrich, written off by all the smart people, has a shot of being the anti-romney for the next month or so. it is hard for caine and perry to credibly make the case they could be elected for president. gingrich, he is smarter than everyone else in the room. smarter than me, for sure. he should step up and be that bad. -- be that guy. he has not been taken seriously at all because of embarrassing stories about his personal life. his whole staff quit. he is a prickly character. he is an interesting person who has ideas with listening to. he is not going to turn and say, you hired an illegal immigrant. that is like saying, if i were giving a lecture to school
children about why they should not smoke cigarettes, and you said, in 1986, you smoked a cigarette. would that be a positive case against my argument? of course it would not. my larger view is different. anybody who makes so-called arguments like that is discrediting themselves. host: lakewood of florida, you are up first. democrats line, good morning. caller: i agree with mr. carlson, i do agree with what he said about mr. perry. he did not make any sense last night. i could not fathom anything of what he said. the other gentleman, for being
mormon, the other people were right, religion does not have anything to do with being president. we should all be included in this discussion. it is an important election we have coming up. what the debate proved is that none of these candidates -- it was like a circus. it was more like a circus than a debate. thank you very much. guest: i thought a couple of the other candidates made a pretty compelling case for not judging mitt romney's religion. now these are important -- values are important. if your values are inconsistent with american bellies, you should not be president. your theology on a granular level, that is out of bounds.
at least for the purposes of the presidential race. i thought they did a pretty good job, especially rick santorum, explain the role of faith in public life. host: they ask people to connect words with candidates. war and came up several times. -- mormon came up several times with romney. >> people are skeptical about mormonism. it is not a popular religion with a lot of people. will people hold it against mitt romney? no. i have never seen a poll that suggests that his personal faith will be the deciding factor in a large number of a poker's mind. by the way, i am an episcopalian, do you ever deal with mormons? they are really nice. i have never been mugged by a morgan. i suspect i never will be.
they are nice people. why would i hold that against him? host: republican plan. virginia. i punched a button. caller: good morning. on rick perry, i have never -- never heard him say anything about the mormon faith. the other thing i would like to say is, obama was a good speaker. that is what got everyone attached to him. mitt romney is a very good speaker. fox news has got to get critical. i wish you would go back -- mitt romney greeted health-care -- created health care.
mitt romney is for the seventh increase in jobs. rick perry was first. if you want jobs, you better vote for rick perry. anybody that is supporting mitt romney i think is very wrong. guest: it is hard to argue with the facts e laid out. everything you said is factually true. perry has been consistently conservative, romney as to not at all and. you are right, because you are eloquent does not mean you are going to be in good at running the country. obama has proved that conclusively. you still have to be able to articulate what he believed and why. that is the nature of the presidency.
the president is the president. people listen to him. the ability to win people over to your side is central to being president. i would say, on the question of romney's liberalism, the editorial comment, very distressing to watch him and other candidates last night attack herman cain's 9-9-9 plan. it is flawed in many ways. it is it more flawed than the current tax system? probably not. they kept making the same case that his plan is bad because it would increase the burden on the middle class. ruth is, nobody is willing to say this, -- the truth is, nobody is willing to say this, the middle class pays a small share of the tax burden. i know we are not allowed to say that because we all hit rich people. that is mathematically true. we never say that.
politicians never say that. the bulk of the vote is middle- class. host: here is exchange a but the9-9-9 plan last night? >> argues thing the state sales tax is going to go away? quote that is an apple. we are replacing oranges. >> will people in of that not have to say pay nevada sales tax and in addition pay the other tax. >> you are mixing apples and oranges. you are going to pay the state sales tax no matter what. would you throw out the existing code and point out doc put in our plan, you are still glenn -- put in our plan, you are still going to pay that. >> i am going to pay both taxes. host: talk about mr. king's ability to articulate on his plan.
guest: he was overwhelmed in that exchange. the folks in nevada are going to have to pay both taxes. they already do pay both taxes. every person pays federal and state taxes. about half the country does not pay federal income taxes because this is such a graduated system that people in the top 20% paid the overwhelming majority of all the taxes. the money is spent, where does it go? why are we in that? it is middle-class entitlements. medicare and social security. anybody who stands up with a straight face and says the middle class, your tax burden is too high, that person is lying. i think it is fine to lie to people in good times because he can afford to lie to ourselves. we are getting to the point where we cannot afford to lie --
to not tell the truth. host: our next call, maryland. the democrat line. caller: good morning. i have been listening to your show. i must admit i did not catch all of the debate last night. listening to a lot of reports this morning. i got to tell you, the democrats, i am laughing at all of these guys. none of them will hold a candle to obama in the election. it is like the president said, you are hearing the same old talking points over and over. what all of these candidates are missing, as well as the republican machine at large, is that they are the large majority of the country that feel like whatever side you fall on, you
have to run this country by compromise. i do not think the media is getting that point reported well. i do not think congress is getting it. i do not think any candidate who is running on a ticket of, let me follow every extreme opinion of the far right, is going to win in the general election. regardless of your opinion of president obama's policies, i do not agree with him on everything. i voted for him the first time. i will vote for him again because he makes an effort to draw things towards the center. i think the center is where the future of this voting bloc of the nation is. i think that is where people want to see our leaders, in the center. guest: i do not think there is any evidence that the president has worked to bring the debate to the center. the next year you will see the
president demonize his opponent personally. he will implied that the republican is a racist. you will see him continue to play culture war. he does not have anything to run on. i find it distressing that the republicans do not seem capable of producing a candidate who can articulate a clear, a conservative case against president obama. he is beatable. a lot of republicans beat that. they are looking on at this summit in process in grief and say, holy smokes, bring us some great. in the absence of a good candidate, the implication of the collar's statement is correct. the incumbent gets reelected. host: who is the closest of bringing that? guest: i do not know. i have mixed feelings. i am pretty conservative. i am always sympathetic to the candidates who are less
mainstream. i do not think i have ever voted for a winner. i think the republican party is still an institutional party. it respects its elders. it is going to be hard to unseat mitt romney. if there was any year in which that was possible, this is the year. here i am pretending i know what i am talking about. there is so much volatility just beneath the surface, in american life, not just the party. if there was ever a year where something truly weird happens, where obama stepped down and donald trump became the republican nominee. if there was ever a year, this was it. host: there was a column about jon huntsman. the column says it is too late. he is getting 2 percent of the
national poll. and at new hampshire, huntsman has founded a compelling message. guest: the need for stability. he is one of the few candidates i do not know personally. he hired one of the dumbest campaign managers in the history of american politics. he had him sending tweets such as, call me crazy, but i believe in science. you may agree with that, but if you do, you are a liberal. the republican primary electorate is offended by things like that. he is running a campaign designed to make right thing as bad. -- right-wingers mad. i tend to think it is too late. host: patrick on our republican line. caller: i have to agree with you about newt gingrich. is this guy impressive?
not only does he have the background, but this guy is articulate. he has ideas. he did a good job last night. i want to get your take, first of all, i do think herman cain's plan is uniform and that what the constitution hoped for. article one, section eight. all taxes shall be uniform. i think his plan does meet that criteria. what i wanted to talk about is what about a reflective of trade pacts -- trade tax where imports and exports equal themselves? where we tax their imports as they attacked our exports?
-- tax our exports? guest: a lot of people would be for a system like that. it is a complicated question. whereas they undermine american manufacturing, it may be too late to revive that, that has been the said downside of our trade imbalance. they also provide a lot of inexpensive goods to people who would not be able to afford them otherwise. while there its income disparity, you often hear middle class which have been stagnant, the buying power of the average family has increased because goods are cheaper. if you remember, 30 years ago, people did -- they made orange juice from concentrate. they did not have a five tvs in their house. things are good when they are cheaper. i do not know.
it is a mixed blessing. host: the financial times has a piece looking at the top financial -- candidates and showing where they are getting their money. this is money from the real estate sector. romney at $7.5 million. barack obama at $3.8 million. herman cain at $100,000. what do you think? guest: i cannot believe anybody from the entrenched business give money to barack obama. never underestimate people's capacity for masochism. if you force people to sell their product to people they did not want to sell it to at writ you prescribe, how can you forward that debt with campaign donations? he beat the dog and he still comes and lit she.
-- licks you. obama its going to get less support from wall street. obama 1 voters making over two hundred thousand dollars. he won rich people. will that happen again? there are a lot of guilty rick people. fewer than there were. host: joe, a democrat plan. -- democrat line. caller: i remember you from the crossfire days. in detaining and a great blood pressure booster. i have two quick winters. -- pointers. use a poor people do not pay any taxes. -- you say poor people do not pay any taxes. hundreds of americans pay gas taxes, tolls, property taxes,
state taxes, you add all that up, how much do rich people pay? where is the study that says how much rich people pay? you are complaining that if you take all of rich people's money, it does not cover the tap? where do you think all that money is coming from? it is coming from the hundred million people that really pay taxes. it is not the top 1%. you do not understand how science works. you come to a conclusion based on evidence. i will see what you have to say. guest: i am not sure i address -- can address the point about assigned. i do not understand your point about it. i was pointing to federal income taxes.
half the country does not pay. the government, at all levels, hit you in a million different ways with user fees and all kinds of payroll taxes, all kinds of taxes you cannot get out of. there are a lot of benefits. i think half the country, about 50% above -- of all right now receives more in federal money than it lays out in federal money. about half the country is not dependent on the government. that is a striking statistic to me. when you received more than you put in, you do not have skin in the game. that has implications for how we elect people and who we elect. it is ominous. my point is, look, i am against the graduated income tax. it is not because i am defending rich people, i am not. i always get e-mails about that. you are just a rich guy.
that is not true. i have a moral problem with it. we are all citizens. we all ought to pay the same rate. they are so unpopular nobody wants to defend them, rich people. why should one unpopular minority group shoulder a disproportionate burden. i think it is wrong. host: the wall street journal highlight the campaign of the center of west virginia. they write he is one of the most outspoken of senators that is facing reelection and keeping his distance from the president. guest: it is a great piece. there are a number of other suddenly pretty moderate democrat in the senate who do not want obama to visit their district. he is about as conservative as you can be as a democrat. i think he seems like a good guy. i am not attacking him these
mike overdraw with a little bit. he does criticize -- attacking him. that peace might over brought it a little bit. he does criticize obama. his last ad, shooting a gun i think, which i love. on the first vote to appeal obamacare, he was on obama side. if you look at the voting records you will see that these democrats are still democrat. host: it highlights ben nelson and clear mccaskill as well. guest: ben nelson would have been reelected up to and after his death if he had not got in foul up with this obamacare nonsense. that vote and that controversy
about the payoff that he expected for a time from the white house -- he accepted for a time from the white house makes it unlikely he will get reelected. ben nelson is a good guy. he is a smart person. you want, i want moderate democrat. you do not want every democrat -- you have to have some compromise. not everyone can be a hard core ideologue. it is good to have people who meet in the middle. host: going back to our potential talk about moderate conservatives. my plan conservatives. -- right-line conservatives. guest: whoever is going to challenge barack obama needs to win the vote of republican primary voters. they do not like obama. they are pretty conservative. it does not make any sense to
give them the finger. john weaver, who is running this campaign that huntsman has got does not get that. host: what you think about the condition of the senate? guest: all of my prognostication is for naught. i thought hillary was going to get the nomination. i lose money every year. i am a very optimistic person. i do think the democrats are going to lose control of the senate. i would say a margin of threeto 5. it is hard for them to hang on. the nature of their state. the states have moved a lot since 2008. host: on the republican line, thank you for waiting. caller: glad to see you on here, tucker. i hear anyone say herman cain is not electable. i like the plan because the 9%
sales tax will bring in all the drug dealers, all the pigs, all the hookers. number two, bush was a moderate. the things bush did was the drug prescriptions for the elderly and tarp. republicans cannot afford to stand another mitt romney moderate. moderates have got us where we are at. guest: strictly speaking, moderate, i think the program was radical. it was a huge expansion of a federal entitlement. that is not moderate, that is radical. you may be for it or against it. it is not a baby step, it is a leap to the left. he never got the credit he deserved for that. the white house hammer lock all
these republicans into voting for it. it is a stain on the record. it makes it hard for republicans to look into the camera and say we are the party of fiscal responsibility. it is a major block on his record. record.on his caller: i am on? it seems to me the problem with these debates is you have a lot of politicians they get together and all they want to do is pop their chests out. they do not want to find solutions. if they wanted to do that, -- you were talking about social security, i agree with you. i do not think the government should have an entitlement like that. my only problem with that is that is my money. guest: a lot of people feel that
way. that is the central problem with the program. the country is so delighted that they have already paid for social security and medicare -- so blied that they have already paid for social security. you can eat that money. if it was a case of, you put money into an account to draw against when you are old, the system would be solvent. that is not the case at all. one bad illness and you have eaten up many times what you put in. they are welfare programs. they are popular and they benefit the middle class. that is exactly what they are. if you say that out what people forget. they will not vote for you. elderly haiti. these are highly popular programs. that is why they are so expensive. welfare reform is really easy. reducing payments to poor people, what are they going to do about it?
they do not vote consistently. they are not a powerful bloc in american life. eliminating or paring down or controlled in middle-class entitlement programs which are driving us to insolvency, and strengthening china, that is what they are doing, that is beyond the power of any politician. it is pathetic. host: how can you be serious about balancing the budget if you refuse to raise revenue? guest: such an awesome talking point. i do not know if that is a bumper sticker, it ought to be. look at the last 10 years? what do you notice? i am including the temporary tax cut. do you notice a massive drop in tax revenue or a radical increase in government spending? it is the letter. i do not think anybody argues that tax increases are
stigmatist if people are out of work, suffering. they make the case against raising taxes at a moment like this. it is a math question. we raised a lot of money. we just spend more. host: kevin, republican line. caller: i appreciate your show and i like when you have tucker carlson on. i think a problem the republican party has had is they are not able to design conservatism and show why it works better in a political system. we keep putting moderate up who have the tendency to adopt liberal ideas. green energy is one. college for illegal aliens is another. we put these candidates up who
are trying to create a hybrid of ideas. people are not comfortable voting with them. i think it is the beauty of ronald reagan was that he was able to define what conservatism was and how it worked and why it was a better system. i think if we get a candidate who can do that we are going to win the next election. guest: i agree. thank you. conservatism is a tougher sell than liberalism. the essence of liberalism is you need help, we are going to give it to you. who does not want to accept free help that it is built in. it is human nature. conservatism is an intellectual case that is much harder to sell. the proposition is, slow down, do not do that, do not consume that, wait till tomorrow, output of instant gratification. -- put off instant
gratification. you have to explain it to people. it does not come into to the. you need someone articulate who is capable of doing that. host: a few more minutes with our guest. democrats line. caller: please let me make my point. the disrespect that you have or poor people, it reeks of sarcasm. have you seen people on poverty in america. it is so sad how many people are living in poverty. it is not because of barack obama. it is because this has been coming for a long time. this has been a long time coming. i do not like the fact that he dismissed poor people do not vote. let me tell you something. that breaks my heart. african americans had to go through so much to even be able to vote. guest: i am familiar with the of
lines of this lecture. i was not attacking poor people. i was defending the. it is easy to strip poor people of the benefits because they are not a powerful voice. i was on your side. as to barack obama can be held responsible for anything because he is jesus, that is between you and your castor. i would say, fundamentally, i agree with you. the fiscal problems we have are a result of pandering to the middle class. me, you, to the middle class. the bulk of americans who have been told again and again and again, you are under assault. we are going to protect they have raised the expectations of the average middle-class booker to heights that are unsustainable. that is the problem. host: the president said there are similar themes between occupy wall street and the tea
party. he said there are similarities. when you look at what is going on, what the think about the argument? guest: there is a lot of women in america. the main reason i am not liberal is i hate -- a lot of wining in america. the main reason i am not liberal is i hate wining. that is one theme. i am sympathetic to the aims of the two parties. i do not think they are the same ideologically. the impulse to get out there and instead of just going to work and live your life and improve your own family, to get out in the street and wait your,. i reject that. i have covered hundreds of protest. the first thought i had was, don't these people have jobs? how can you complain that you are poor if you are not working? that does not prosperity make on
either side. i am against wining. host: last call is from georgia. caller: i would like to say i am on disability medicare and i would like to know the jobs bill -- host: cholera, she was trying to address the jobs bill. -- caller, she was trying to address the jobs bill. guest: it has no support. they knew it never had a possibility of some -- passing. there was not one democratic co- sponsor of the house version. not one. this is fantasy land. this is nothing to do with passing laws on the hill. it is everything to do with the president making a rhetorical case for his reelection.
it is that the republicans are mean and racist and against me for their own irrational reason. you have to vote for me. no one takes it seriously. no one i have ever talked to bar. you can find the daily caller at dailycaller.com. i want to think in microsoft corp. for making spelling easy for me to read -- me. we have dozens of reporters updating the site. there is new content every seven minutes. it is one of the largest new sites on the web. host: your front page dealing with last night's debate. guest: we had a couple of reporters thank you. what tomorrow, talk about the economy and deficit reduction
donna edwards on the democratic agenda. and norman coleman will discuss how the u.s. would provide medical care to a terrorist attack -- to victims of a radiation based terrorist attack. >> up next, the senate environment committee of delhi with the government response to this year's floods. vice president biden called on congress to pass a bill to hire teachers, firefighters, and police. and later, today's "washington journal." >> i am a businessman of which i am very proud. i was formerly connected with a large company. the opposition has attempted to picture me as an opponent of liberalism. i was a little before many of those men heard the word.
i work for the reforms of theodore roosevelt and woodrow wilson before another roosevelt adopted and distorted the word liberal. >> he was a member of the democratic party for over 20 years, switching in 1940. he saw and won the republican nomination for president. although he lost the election, he left his mark in political history, speaking up for civil rights and becoming the fourth ambassador -- for an ambassador. he is featured in the new weekly system -- series "the contenders." >> it is very obvious that with all the priorities we have, and they are all worth it, until further notice, every decision the national government makes, every close call should be made in favor of economic growth.
every time should be broken in favor of growth of the private sector. >> he worked as an advisor in the reagan white house. a director and george of the bush's administration. as governor of indiana, he implemented spending cut. sunday night, mitch daniels on his new book and his decision to not run for president. 8:00 eastern. >> the senate environment and public works committee reviewed the government response to this year's floods in an effort to mitigate flood damage. they heard from lawmakers return to the states affected by flood damage as well as the officials from the army corps of engineers.
>> committee shall come to order. we are pleased to have colleagues from off the committee. it shows how important our work is the ranking member and i are doing some work on an important issue. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] we decided we would make brief opening statement. just three minutes each. then we would start with the members in order of seniority. senator conrad, senator robert, if he is here, senator johnson, senator nelson then we have senator sue. that is the plan. very quickly, today's hearing will examine how are nations systems responded to the flooding of tens of we take a
hard look at that response -- flooding event of 2011. it will take a hard look at that response. the witnesses will help get our commit the a picture of what happened. i appreciate -- give up a committee a picture of what happened. i appreciate the commanders of the three core division. major general michael walsh, brigadier-general john mann, and colonel christopher larsen with the north atlantic division. i also welcome all of the local witnesses who made the trip to d.c. who bring an important perspective. i welcome heller senate colleagues. it is unprecedented how many colleagues are here today. that is going to move us forward as we look at how to write a new water resources act. a new water bill. as you know, because of the
controversy, we have to change the way we do this bill. i want to give good news to those who are here. we are working with our staff and figuring out how to move forward. we will work with all of you senators so that you feel comfortable that we can meet the needs of your state and still managed to avoid the pitfalls of the dreaded word earmark. just for t recd, speaking for myself, my own view is, i believe we know what is best for our state. i am a person who believes we can continue doing those legislative priorities that have been given the name earmark. we are not going to get into that today. we are going to figure out a way to meet the requirements of the senate. we will be moving forward. our nation systems required continued investment and improvement. today will help us understand how we can be better prepared for future flood event. again, i want to thank all the
witnesses. this is a bipartisan moment for this committee as is the highway bill. i know we can work together and no one makes that happen better than my very good friend. i am happy to call on him. >> i do agree with that. oklahoma has not experienced the same footing impact the ripple effect of the mississippi river flood has impacted my constituents back home. one of the best kept secret is that we in oklahoma -- my father-in-law, was a strong democrat, was the author of the bill that established that. we have always been involved in that. anything that affects the navigation system affects us. the core is still preparing
assessment of some of the damage as well as for milliken estimates that people talk to to repair our flood control infrastructure. i do have a lengthy statement which i want to have as part of the record. we are both anxious to attack two major event, the transportation authorization bill and the other. i have to say this, i was the only conservative who voted against the mark and. -- the earmark thing. when you do not do the earmarks of article one, section 9 tells us to do, automatically, the president does that. the president does not know what our needs are in oklahoma. i am not sure he has ever been to oklahoma. thank you for having this committee. >> i will let that one go. if members will make three minute opening and then that is
what we are going to ask all of our senators to do. >> we have one member who wanted to be here and he could not. >> we will put it in the record at the appropriate place. at some point i am going to have to hand you the devil did to bicycle. -- gavel due to my schedule. >> thank you for calling this hearing. i want to hear from our colleagues who have experienced the challenge we have had on flooding this year. i am interested on hearing from our panel. my entire statement will be made part of the record. i wanted to share the effectiveness of the flood control erosion issues on the coast of maryland that worked very well during these two storms. we have invested a lot of resources into protecting the
oceanfront in ocean city, maryland. we have invested money, but it has paid off big time. we saw that during these past two storm. we had record levels of rainfall and risk. we had to evacuate ocean city. the amount of damage was kept to a minimum because of the investment we made on the sand replenishment and on the dunes. i might also say the susquehanna river was in danger of severe flooding. we had to evacuate two about town. the management system worked well. i look forward to our witnesses. we have the engineer for the town of ocean city, he will testify on a liquor panel as to the value we received -- on a la carte panel as to the value we received on the work that was
cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] our current systems and programs and policies and practices are inadequate. we need to recognize that. i think this year, we really had a pogo event. 2011 was a pogo event. let me mention four things quickly. first the comprehensive review of where we are with our policies in 50 years from now and assessing the nation's infrastructure and how many people are at risk and finishing up the p & g as you skt the administration to do. and a report for flood risk
management. how we manage dams and levees can happen under this route. it is not flood control. it is from risk management. we need to think about how we can do that. we need to work with the committee to help make the nation more sustainable. >> thank you, mr. larson. >> thank you for this opportunity. i'm a third generation montana farmer. i grow barley and sugar beats. -- beats. my family has been working on the first dam of the missouri river system. that was difficult summer dealing with the floods and
watching floodwaters drown my crops. my heart goes out to those who suffered flood damage and especially those with damage to their homes. fall rains resulted in wet soils prior to freezes. frozen soil causes the water to roll off. snow fall melted and ran off filling every prairie pothole and wetland. when the record rain came in may, it fell on saturated soil and all ran off. the combination of these conditions resulted in the record flooding of 2011. what could have been improved flood response?
i understand what it is like to be at the mercy of nature. the court could not have forseen the rainfall. it is easy to judge with the benefit of hindsight. it is easy to work backwards when you know the runoff totals. the sooner a significant flood event can be recognizes, an improvement in overall flood control can be achieved. early errek in addition may have allow some management flexibility. average runoff was 24.8 million acre feet and by sent, 61 million acre feet. the two flood tunnels at fort peck were not available for use because of severe vibration at the gates.
some of the other dams were shut down for inspection and repair. this wasn't an option at fort peck. what works well? the mainstream dam structures performing as designed in accordance with the manuals and existing laws. the system lessened the severity of the flood. the national weather service forecast was helpful. it predicts five days forward. let's not overreact with abrupt changes to the manual. it doesn't make sense for an event that occurs once every 500 years. with the well-vetted provision completed in 2003.
the master manual provides management of the system for flood control hydropower navigation, water fly 1/2 gation. i can think of two ways to provide flood control. it is at a detriment to other authorized purposes. my choice is to improve recognition of significant events. the annual operating plan begins each new year at a normal or average starting point where we rarely have an average year. they have done a good job predicting snow pack and precipitation but fail to use soil moisture and climb athackic trends. we should also look at el nino and la nina events.
p.d.o.'s and other phenomenal. -- phenomenon. we need to ensure adequate funding for u.s. stream gauges. the u.s. gauges are a critical rink in flood control and can't be depended on as sources of funding. i close by something a farmer friend said to me as he was dealing with a flood. he said this year belongs to the river. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> the town of ocean city is about a three-hour drive east of here on a barrier island off the coast of maryland. tool census lists its population of 8,000, we host over a million visitors each year.
this makes ocean city the second largest city in maryland in the summertime. it is 10 miles long and encompasses an area of three square miles. as a barrier island community, our greatest risk is ocean flooding from tropical and extratropical storm events. in 2005, tropical storm gloria destroyed the ocean city boardwalk and damaged or undermines the foundations of numerous buildings. with no beach, ocean city was at a crossroads. it was around this time the miami beach project was completed and proven to be successful. studies showed if a beach platform itself can be stabilized then a cost/benefit ratio for the project could
occur. the local and state governments completed what is known as phase one using 100% local funds. the ocean city beach project was widened to create a suitable foundation for the project. in 1990, the project began construction. the project built 8.3 miles of new sand dunes. a 1.5 mile seawall protecting the boardwalk. the project cost $48 million and was cost shared between federal and local governments. it was nearly complete in 1991 when a series of northeast storms including the infamous perfect storm that in previous years would have severely damaged ocean city struck. ocean city suffered no damage except for some lost sand, we were open for business and didn't miss a beat.
the success of the project continues to this day. total damage is $330 million. total project cost, phase one of 100% local money total just over $100 million with a federal share just over $50 million. although the prevented damage numbers are impressive, they don't tell the whole story. we contributed $35 million in annual and federal tax revenue. today the base is over $10 million and over $75 million in tax revenue comes from the city annually. on saturday august 28, ocean city was literally in the eye of the hurricane. you can see us there and you can see hurricane irene. expecting the worst, we successfully evacuated the town.
when the sun came up, i sent out our damage team but instead of toppled buildings and loose infrastructure, we found a pothole in a city parking lot. businesses were streaming back into tuned we had one of the busiest labor day weekends we had in years. in some ways we got lucky. the storm came through quickly and at low tide. this photograph was taken 25 years ago just after glory, a storm very similar to irene. imagine we never had this. we would start from this point and would have 25 years of erosion at two feet a year plus additional damage from nor'easters and hurricanes. that would have been what is left of us as irene struck. look at ocean city today. this is the exact same areaen
last week. these projects work. the damages from the hurricane are not limited to the coast. by recognizing the risk associated with strong storms and adopting strict building codes and investing in effective flood prks measures, the impact from these storms can be significantly reduced. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> good evening. before i touch on some of my concerns with the 2011 high water situation on the mississippi system, i would like to thank the core for doing a great job, not only this year, but in past years as well. when the core district is funded adequately, and equipped adequately, they do a fantastic job. mr. chairman, this brings me to our primary issue. how can we adequately fund the core's budget to properly
maintain the mississippi river system? i can assure this committee, it is well within all of our best interests to collaborate and so this problem. -- solve this problem. combined the five ports on the mississippi system make up the largest port system in the u.s. the second largest in the world. more than 10,300 vessels go either in or out of our river system in 2010. each of those vessels were safely navigated through one of the most treacherous and demanding river systems in the world. failure in maintaining the path is a safety issue for all of us who live and work on the river system. but just as importantly, it is a substantial economic threat to our nation. we handle, mr. chairman, 30% of the nation's oil and 60% to 70% of the nation's grain exports.
those numbers can be reduced drastically without proper maintenance of the shipping channel. the issue is complex, but the bottom line is simple. without adequate funding for drudging and maintainians, you cannot get american made and groomed good on ships for export with high river conditions. the demand of these exist. if shipping companies cannot access american good, they will go elsewhere. i don't have to tell you what that would mean for our farmers. billions of individual jobs and our nation's economic bottom line. the problem we see today somes from two sources. constant underfunding of the budget and the misuse of the harbor maintenance trust fund from which it was instituted to provide necessary funding for our ports and har boris. for the past 12 years, the new orleans district has been underfunded.
next year they will be underfunded by at least $20 million once again, and that is if nothing goes wrong such as another high river, for example. to their credit, for the past 12 years, the mississippi valley division is understood how critical the mississippi river system is. they have reprogrammed funds from other projects to accommodate necessary drudging. we programming those funds will no longer occur. the court now operates under a -- that restricted funding usage and it eliminated the possibility of drudging enough to maintain project dimensions at a particular time. in one of the meetings i had with the core on this issue, i discussed the economic impact with respect to cargo laws. the response was it will ship from other ports in the u.s.
that is not correct. when i further state we could have a grounding or even on oil spill, i was told maybe something has to bring this issue to light. this brings me to serious concerns that the change in the core's policy regarding funding does not reflect sufficient priority to the mississippi river system. it appears to be more about political posturing. we are being used as a nun a very dangerous game. mr. chairman, this is not an acceptable way to manage the busiest and most complex waterway system in the u.s. and possibly the world. please refer to the slide presentations that we have. i would like to review the day grams that demonstrate the impact of laws, of project dimension depetcht and width.
mr. chairman, the first one is if you would look there and see where the red meets the yellow, that is the entrance to american heartlands. if that area is closed, everything shuts off. everything. nothing moves in and out of the river system. next one. that is two ships that are passing in a normal channel. you have 300 feet between those two ships. 300 feet between two ships that are about 1,000 feet long and 350-feet wide. when you reduce the channel interest 750-650, you can see it goes down to 195-feet wide. very narrow. number five, 600 to 500. we now have 100 feet to pass those two ships, as was done
last year. when you get down to 400 feet, mr. chairman, it is not a safe situation at all. but it has been done because we have to keep our river system open, but the fact that just because we -- and dimension is a safe issue, it is really not. it is something that has to be stress and maintained at all times. both project width and dimension. >> i would like to ask you to finish your statement. >> i would be happy to answer any questions. >> we thank you very much for your testimony. >> good afternoon, members of the senate committee on environment and public works. i will be brief. i would like to begin by reporting that the governors or their representatives from eight missouri river basin states met with the core yesterday to
coordinate their efforts and address matters needed to address missouri river flooding. the governors also attended an august 19 meeting in omaha to discuss things pertaining to the flood. they inside a letter indicating a clear consensus that flood control must be the highest priority in the operation of the missouri river main stem system. it requested that the core examine future management of the river and report to them on future actions. it was requested that the core provide recommendations for specific -- to provide greater future flood protection. in yesterday's follow-up meeting, the governors discussed opportunities to discuss recovery priority and
coordinations. one point that can be taken from these meetings is that the basin governors are serious about taking action to reduce the risk of future flooding and the level of future flood damages as well as recovery priorities. we don't have a full reliable tally of damages at this time, but we have received data on public infrastructure damages eligible for assistance. we had disaster declarations for 13 counties along the river. overall our experience with the core activities during the flood was positive. we received invaluable assistance from the core personnel and are appreciative on its assistance on levees and merge litigation. one outcome i hope to see is improved communication in the spring rise situation where flooding becomes a possibility and during the emergency flood situation itself. flooding involves a wide
spectrum of state and local government responses where having the best possible information as soon as possible can help result in better and more cost-effective decision making. while a thorough exppings of the 2011 missouri basin flood will likely identify some areas where different actions could have been taken, the most controllable outcome is how we incorporate new data and perspectives in decision making in mainstream operations and how those of us in the basin prepare a response. in nebraska, it is a focus on flood control as a priority. we look forward to working with the core. thank you. >> thank you very much. mayor, thank you for being here. >> thank you. i would like to thank you for inviting us up.
i would likewise be brief. i'm from memphis, tennessee. the tip of the delta. i join the other witnesses in underscoring the fact that for the most part, our systems, as age as they may be, did indeed work. we want to thank the core of engineers for working with us as we installed some of the flood wall which is have never been used quate frankly. are quite up in age. in spite of working so well, the flood did impact our community. fortunately the impact was not as severe as it could have been. st. jude hospital, located a few blocks from the river, was spared some massive flooding because the system did work. i might add that the pumping station that kept st. jude from out of the floods is 95 years old. and the key point i would like to leave is that while the system works this time, it has aged so that we're not confident
that in future floods of this magnitude that these aging structures will be able to withstand the pressure placed upon them by floods of this magnitude. so i would hope we would take away from these hearings some estimate and some timetable for beginning while we have the time to reinforce aid and infrastructure. as senator alexandria pointed out, -- alexandria point leading us out of the economic slump, it is almost a perfect slump as someone indicated. we have high unemployment but over the last 18 months, we have been able to place about 2,000 jobs with elect lucks, mitsubishi and others coming in there. we want to make sure those investments are indeed safe. as we look at the initial estimates, we're looking at 20 million to 30 million dollars. you saw the channel that was
threatened across the island. $2.5 million drudging work. shoreline work of another $5 million. again, very costly occurrence. we wish to thank the core again for working with us and helping to maintain and install the structure and we have sk that they contain their diligence in forecasting into the future the life of these structures and what it is going to take to make sure that they are able to this decades to come to withstand future floods of this and perhaps greater magnitude. thank you so much for holding the hearing. >> thank you for your testimony. we thank all of you for your testimony and thank you for condensing the presentation. we assure you your entire remarks will be made part of the record and used by the
committee. >> let me say to each of you that i appreciate each of you being here. brian, a special thanks coming down from nebraska. we hasn't met before but i think you and i are working on a trail in your community. i have been working with some business people there. >> omaha. earlier this year. >> it is funny that a nebraska guy would work on a trail, but i happen to know some people there. without digging into questions, because i think we have had great testimony and all of your the sames will be a part of the record, mr. chairman, if i might just offer a thought, as we think about the next year coming up, i have to imagine everybody on this panel is nervous, because many of the things that
built up to create the problem this year are not only there now, but they are not likely to improve any between now and next spring. when we start to deal with runoff and those issues. the second thing that i think we have all learned from this hearing is that we got about a $2 billion issue hang out there that quite honestly, my concern is that we just didn't get good -- a good sense of how that problem is going to be solved. there currently is no -- coming our way. i appreciate that it is very difficult economic times and budget times and somehow, some way, we have to figure out how to fund these things, but the reality is that i'm a little bit worried that we're going to hit a drop dedicate here where in the midwest, there is no construction.
if we appropriate the none december, it is not going to help much because you can't do construction during the winter months that needs to be done. so at the conclusion of this hearing, i am hoping that we feel a sense of urgency to try to solve this problem. i did not hear today any good way of solving it, but somehow, some way, mr. chairman, i'm hoping that republicans and democrats in a very bipartisan way can sit down and through this and figure out how to get the funding and get it quickly so we can take advantage of the limited days that are left in this construction season and try to repair some of the damage that is out there. then the final thing i would say to all of you who have worked on these issues longer than i have, obviously, i just want to encourage you, continue to work
with core, continue to work with us. we have a whole host of problems out there. mayor, when you say st. jude's hospital, which is world renowned, i grew up by knowing about this hospital, was saved by a pumping system that is nearly a century old, that has got to be a concern to everybody because i'm -- i guarantee, we have those problems throughout the system. i had a choice of asking questions or saying a few words. thank you mr. chairman for your patience. i decided it would be best to use my time to say a few words. >> i think you really summarized the circumstances extremely well and i fully concur with your comments. there is a sense of urgency here. it is interesting at this hearing, we had 20 witnesses at the witness table showing the interest including nine members of congress. during the course of this hearing, nine members of the committee participated which is a large number considering there are this is a day which a lot of
crest meeting. i think there is a great deal of interest. this is an area where we have bipartisan agreement that we need to do what is necessary to protect the people of this country. so i agree with senator johanns. i think this is a matter of urgency. i think your challenge to us was absolutely right. we do need to develop a national plan for flood risk management. i like that term. flood risk management. use traditional structures such as dams and levees and the green infrastructure that we have been talking about and it is the management issues. you can't prevent in these extreme conditions but you can manage them in a much more effective way so the public knows the risk and you take appropriate action to minimize it. we don't have as much damage to repair after the fact. i thought that was well done and
to mr. i just want you to know your numbers and our numbers, 6-1 for the federal government's investment. your last number was the most telling. that's that is the work that we have done on green infrastructure has brought in more money to the federal treasury. more noun the federal treasury. if you took a look at coalition ocean city and realized what the revenues and tourism would have been if the renourishment programs had not been done and what it is today, to get back into business quickly after irene, hurricane irene struck, then you know that the federal government as recipients of tax dollars got more money in as a result of this relatively modest investment over a time of $50
million. i think these projects enjoy bipartisan support for good reason. they make good economic sense as well as providing the services that are important to the people of this country. i have one question for you because your numbers really worried me when you got to that 400-foot level. was that a temporary problem of obstruction or was that the failure to maintain channels at the appropriate width when you got to 400 feet? we don't want you at 400 feet? >> well, mr. chairman, we're talking about 2011. i have been a pilot on the river for 33 years. every year, you have high river. even year, you encounter the same type of situation that we had. it is only a different degree. but the answer to your question, sir, yes, it was 400. it went down as low as 185 feet to be quite honest with you during a certain part of time. then we had to lower the draft from 47 feet to 45 to 43.
when we say that, it is easy to say, each foot represents a million dollars of cargo, either in or out of the united states so when i'm asking for $20 million to maintain that channel and we lose a few ships, that's nothing. you know? so the answer, sir, is it is very narrow. we try to do the best we can and the core does a fantastic job when they have funding. >> we agree with you. our challenges on the east coast are a little bit different. maintaining our channels is critically important. trying to get rid of those areas that represent huge rescues. it is a funding issue and we need to make sure that that is done. i'm going to keep the record of the committee open for questions that may be asked by members of the committee to you all because of the lateness of this panel, i
would just ask your cooperation that if questions are proposed in writing, that you would respond promptly to the committee, not quite as bad as secretary darcy did. if you could respondent quick, quicker, we would appreciate it to make our committee record complete. thank you for your patience and testimony and thank you for what you have done to build this great nation and keep our nation safe. with that, this meeting will stand adjourned. >> on today's "washington journal" senator chuck grassly talks about the economy and deficit reduction. donna edwards on the democratic
agenda and norman coleman on preparedness and discuss how the u.s. would provide medical care to victims of a radiation-based terrorism attack. 7:00al eastern on c-span. >> this weekend, six republican presidential candidates traveled to des moines. watch our live coverage of herman cain, newt gingrich, rick santorum, rick perry, michele bachmann. >> it is time to get those cameras rolling for this year's c-span student cam competition. "the constitution and you." get it to c-span by january 20 and you could win the grand prize of $5,000. for details go to
studentcam.org. >> surrounded by firefighters and teachers, vice president joe biden yesterday called on senate republicans to allow an up or down vote on part of the president's jobs plan aimed at preventing layoffs to state workers. at the same event, harry reid vowed to have votes on the measure this week. from capitol hill, this is an hour and 25 mince. >> if i may, i'm the president of the international association of firefighters. and on behalf of the iaff, f.o.p., american federation of teach rs, national education association, sciu, all of our brothers and sisters from the labor movement and the millions of teachers, firefighters, police officers and paramedics
who are rank and file members, thank you for joining us here today. [applause] >> i want to first thank president obama for making job creation a top priority for our country. [applause] i also -- -- and i also want to personally thank the vice president of the united states, joe biden, who is scheduled to join us here shortly as well as all of the senate and congressional leaders who are going to be standing with us here today and who i will have the privilege to introduce individually during this event. we are all here to make sure that we demonstrate support for a critical piece of legislation for our nation's economic future. the teachers and first responders back to work act that will soon be voted on in the
united states senate. [applause] now let me just say that -- right off the bat, i want to address the critics of this jobs proposal. those who show no meaningful regard for actually creating jobs are assuring the education of our children as well as maintaining the safety of our communities at home. those who attack are called for the elimination of government at all costs. fail to recognize this nation was built on providing essential goves services to its people. core government services to educate our children, keep our streets and community safe from crime and respond to emergencies both natural and man made that can devastate our society. the president's plan and those who may choose to vote against this proposal, hundreds of --
that would put hundreds of thousands back to work, too many times government workers are the problem. that we need more entrepreneurial job creators so create jobs and get our economy back on its feet, but who is going to teach the advanced skills our children need to perform the jobs that make our country strong and prepare the nextgen ration of entrepreneurs, engineers and doctors. those are the workers that we need. [applause] to those who say that firefighters and police officers support of this measure is simply a self-serving exercise, we need to ask the questions, when you walk home alone at night or when your local businesses stay open late, you want to feel safe because there are enough police officers on
the streets to protect you. when your elderly parents call for help because they fell or went into cardiac arrest or whether there is an auto accident or a flood and people trapped in rushing waters, shouldn't there be enough trained firefighters and paramedics responding to save those lives? [applause] in the past three years, -- over the past three years since this economic recession has taken hold and seems not to want to let go, state and local government tax revenues have dropped and budget cuts at all levels of government have made protecting our communities and ebting our children harder and harder. 300,000 teaching jobs lost since 2008. our ability to educate our children suffers.
50,000 firefighter jobs vacant. public safety is in peril. tens of thousands of police officers have been on the chopping block. our communities are simply less safe. a time for solutions is now. it is time to put people back to work is now and the time to support this piece of legislation is now. [applause] today -- today in this senate caucus rooms, part of the united states capital, we are here to say to members of the united states senate, you must pass the teachers and first responders back to work act that will put 400,000 teachers, cops and firefighters back to work in taking care of their
communities. theeds are real jobs. not only providing the essential services that our government is supposed to provide, but jobs that will be purchasing good and services, paying mortgages, buying automobiles, consuming and helping to get our economy back on its feet. this bill will put people back to work at a time when 14 million are out of work. so many more million are underemployed. and it will increase public safety at a time when cuts or resources have made our communities less safe and will ensure that our schools remain strong. it will provide a critical bridge or resources to our towns and cities all across our great country that are still reeling from this recession so that they can remain strong or become strong again. and it is all paid for with one
-- 1/2 percent surtax on those making more than $1 million. i think they can afford it. [applause] not only do i think they can afford it, i believe if you ask them, they would tell you they can afford it. slashing government to the bone is a popular talking point these days and later this week, members of the united states senate, they have a choice. they can stand with the wealthy and protect the bank accounts of millionaires or they can vote for job creation, educating our children and protecting our community. the choice is theirs. we think it is time to get people back to work and to restore the prosperity of this great nation and we believe the enactment of this legislation is an important step forward for our nation to do just that.
[applause] and now -- >> that's right. [pass the bill] [pass the bill] >> so the members of the united states senate hear you loud and clear, let me have the privilege and pleasure, though, of introducing our first speaker. someone who has taught history as a proud member of both the american federation of teachers and the national education association. on the last day of teacher appreciation week, she was laid off from her job at northeast high school in oak land park, florida.
she is the kind of teacher that we all want. that we want at the front of the classroom teaching our children. so please welcome a sister and our friend, sharee -- [applause] >> thank you. good afternoon. my name is sharee. i'm an unemployed high school history teacher from broward county, florida. i was one of 1,400 teach erds laid off in my distribute. i had just purchased a house and moved in on may 1. on the last day of teacher appreciation week i was handed a nice embroidered just about and a pink slip. i'm worried about losing my home, which i bought thinking i
was going to have a long career in education. of course i have my own concerns. how aim going to pay my bills. pay for my house, see a doctor? but i'm more worried about my students. news of the layoffs spread quickly and several of my students stopped by my room to see if the rumors were true. one student was visibly upset and she told me that i made her want to learn. another burst into tears in front of an entire classroom of students. when i tried to console her, she said to me, you don't understand. you changed my life. i want to major in history in college because of you. i want to become a teacher because of you. i didn't know what to say. it broke my heart. i couldn't help but wonder if she became a teacher, would there even be a job available for her? instead of being in front of students today, i'm here and i'm here to urge congress to pass
the teachers and first responders back to work act. i'm one of hundreds of thousands of teachers in the united states out of work. this bill could provide immediate relief. it would put teachers back in their classrooms where they belong and help reduce class sizes and ensuring our student also learn better and receive more individual attention that they deserve. if we want to compete globally with countries like china and india, we need to put our where our mouth is. i'm asking congress to pass this bill right now. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. thank you so much. thank you so much. our next speaker is a 21-year
veteran of the prince george's county police department in maryland. as a former sheriff, he has been a member of the order of police for more than 30 years and currently served as the maryland state lodge president. please welcome officer rodney bartlett. [applause] >> thank you, mr. president. good afternoon, my name is john riley bartlett. i'm a retired prince george's county police officer and i'm the son of a firefighter, the father of a teacher and police officer. that makes me very proud. today i'm pleased to be representing our national fraternal order of police president canterberry. i snore administration's effort
to ensure that the act will support the local and state agencies, fire departments, have the resources to keep our streets and neighborhoods safe. thank you mr. vice president. thank you for being here today. thank you for standing with the fraternal order of police and our friend at the international association of firefighters. not just your efforts of the last two weeks but years of efforts of supporting public efforts as a u.s. senator and now as our national vice presidents, he has always made public safety job number one. these are tough times. we all know it. budgets are leaner. resources are thinner. but reducing budgets should not mean reducing public safety. cuts in public safety cause crime to rise and neighborhood schools to become less safe. businesses leave the community.
many politicians simply say we have got to do more with less. more with less? they keep saying that and we keep hearing that, but what does that mean? less comes on the street? more crime in your neighborhood? more time to get a fire under control. does it mean crimes will go uninvestigated? less criminals caught and prosecuted? does it mean your family will be at greater risk with less police officers on the street? yes, it does. that's what more with less means. community oriented policing. zero tolerance. broken window policy theory. comes on the street. abandon these approachs is not a public safety strategy. it is a public safety disaster. we cannot let this happen to our american communities. i want to thank all of our
officer, firefighters that came out today. our international fire president. for their commitment to the public safety. especially to our vice president biden. we know his commitment has always been there and always will. thank you very much. [applause] rodney, thank you so much. we have so many teachers, police officers, firefighters and paramedics in this room and many who could not get in the room today. i'm so proud of you today. but i'm particularly honored and proud to have the distinction of making the next introduction. the introduction of a man who has never forgotten his blue collar roots. with a nearly impeccable record
in support of workers doing 40 years in office. on education, he has always supported hiring more teachers. raising teacher pay and investing in public schools to ensure that our children have access to the best possible education they can have. as a long time chairman of the senate judiciary committee, he was mr. law enforcement. monitoring the crime bill to put 100,000 comes on the street. leading the creation of the violent crime control law enforcement act and violence against women act. he has been there for fire fiketters and paramedics every step of the way early in his career fighting to pass public safety officers program, the creation of fema and so many other pieces of critical legislation. as recently as last week, i was honored to travel to michigan and stand with him at a fire station in flint, michigan, where we spoke passionately on
behalf of funding for education, law enforcement and fire. ladies and gentlemen, it is my high honor to introduce to you the vice president of the united states, joseph r. biden. [applause] >> hello, folks, how are you? [applause] >> it is a great honor to be with you here today and i want to on behalf of president obama thank you. thank you for standing up. thank you for coming out. thank you for making the case that is not only about your needs but about the public's needs. public safety. and the public's security in
ebting our children. you know, the only thing i took issue with his introduction, he said an almost impeccable record. my former colleagues in the senate said what do you mean close to perfect? i thought it was perfect. i'm going to be very brief. there are a lot of very important speakers, but i want to make a very straightforward point. this is not very complicated. this is not very complicated. when the senate refused to take up -- and most americans don't know, the vote that was taken, was a vote to determine whether the senators could even debate this issue. of producting our communities and our children. 51 senators voted to do that, 49 senators said we're not even going to allow you to debate
this issue. [booing] look. when that occurred, working with the leadership, the leadership standing next to me and harry reid, the president said, we are going to take up this legislation piece by piece. because when we sat down, in the oval office to sit down and write this, we literally had a discussion, what should we put in this jobs bill? and the president and i literally discussed one-on-one, we should do things that would create jobs and that republicans would support. this wasn't designed to put republicans on the spot. it was literally designed to do something now to help this country without any ideological
or partisan tinge to it. the things we picked are things every republican president that i've served with in my time here, and the vast majority of the republicans i served with in the senate over the years support it. infrastructure, tax cuts to small businesses. tax cuts for middle class people. the ability to provide for the safety and security of our community with our first responders. teaching our kids. we finally reached a consensus in this country. that early education was absolutely critical. no ideological split on that. no disagreement. you cut out kindergarten the chance of kids graduating from high school diminishes.
we finally reached a consensus. these guys won't even allow us to vote on it. and folks, this is not difficult. we deliberately, the administration deliberately did not put a number on how many jobs this creates. majority leader reid knows we did. not democratic outfits, moody's and these other outfits. they said guess what? the fact is now we will create 1.3 to 1.9 million jobs. the economy will grow. about 2%. real people. real people will get real relief right now. [applause]
>> they won't let us vote on it at all. i want and my colleagues want to vote on it piece by piece. explain to the american people. explain why. why? and the first piece is a critical piece. it is about firefighters, law enforcement officers, first responders and teachers. ladies and gentlemen, the people who saved our lives and give our childrens a chance to have good lives. this is an emergency. 300,000 teachers have been laid off. i've been traveling the nation from florida to minnesota and
everyplace in between. the loss of 300,000 teachers in 18 months has a profound impact on our children. yesterday, i was in york, pennsylvania. they had to eliminate the entire kindergarten class. [booing] you know what? the teachers union in that district stood up and said look. we will freeze our wages. we will give up our increase. if you give us back kindergarten. i don't want to hear about how teachers don't care about their students. [applause]
i've been with, as my colleagues have, i've been with all of you in uniform for my entire career. there is no group of people that i have worked closer with than firefighters and law enforcement officers in my entire career. you are the middle class. and you're getting crushed. 10,000 -- 10,000 law enforcement officers have gotten their pink slips in the last 18 months. 30,000 vacancies, allocated spots, senator menendez knows this. i was with the chief of camden. he lost half of his force. half of his force. crime has gone through the roof. i was out in your home state.
you asked me to go out to flint, michigan. they cut their force in half. murder has doubled in the last year. 7,000 of your guys. 7,000 by the end of this year will have been laid off with more layoffs coming. those of you know it is not really the fault of your mayor or your governor. some are more sympathetic than others, but the bottom is they don't have the money for this god awful mess we are in. so folks, class sizes are going up. elimination of vital programs. high schools out in grand rapids are eliminating computer programming and all the things that these kids need and want. that these kids need and want. it is the