tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN May 23, 2012 1:00pm-5:00pm EDT
at this time -- i am sorry. it will be general pass our class of 2012, distinguished graduates, please stand and be recognized. [applause] >> thank you. congratulations. please be seated. those identified in the program are cadets graduating with the distinction of the academy scholar. they have successfully completed a voluntary academic path through the curriculum. the class of 2012 is only the sixth class to progress through this demanding program. we would like to recognize
cadets who have placed in the top 10% in academic, military and athletic programs. identified are the cadets graduated with academic distinction. those graduating with military distinction, those identified with a lightning bolt our cadets graduating with athletic distinction. those exceptional 18 cadets with all three distinctions are identified in your program with a star resting on two lightning bolts. please stand as i call your names. boston, casey, nathan, brian patrick mccarthy, brian ashton.
the class 14 international students representing the nation's of el salvador, honduras, madagascar, peru, poland, republic of korea, said the gulf, serbia, singapore, tunisia and taiwan. well our international students please stand and be recognized. -- will our international students please stand and be recognized. [applause] >> thank you, please be seated. in conclusion, a total of 1073 air force academy cadets in this year's class have completed all graduation requirements. [applause] >> it gives me great pleasure to
present to you, president obama, the class of 2012. i recommend each as worthy of the bachelor of science degree. congratulations. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the director of admissions, and the associate dean for student academic affairs will now present the diploma us to the graduating class of 2012. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
graduates of the class of 2012 please rise and come forward by a squadron. >> cadet squadron one. >> robert frances. >> bethany page blackburn. >> michael j. tom brown. -- michael brown. >> spencer buck. >> alan. >> christopher. >> david kostin. -- austin. >> michael david cousins. >> james matthew dunlap.
>> benjamin gary. >> stephanie ann. >> christopher david more house. >> christine l. elisabeth sally. >> wisely dakota. >> tyler charles. >> joshua white. >> cadet squadron 12. >> amy michelle abraham. >> michael. >> jonathan. >> ryan david brady. >> nicholas gregory hernandez >> james david evans jr..
>> grant tyler swanson. >> aaron david. >> jonathan fill up. -- still up. >> take lead morgan williams. -- a: morgan williams. >> richard paul yielding iii. >> eric david. >> cadet squadron 19. anthony joseph. >> jonathan alexander davis. >> megan elizabeth i's week. >> -- i is lead. >> amanda michele lse. >> colton james floyd.
cadet squadron 23. [reading graduates' names] >> concluding our coverage of president obama at the commencement of the air force academy, live now to the pentagon for the defense department briefing. >> good to see you again in washington after the nato chicago summit. i would like to have a brief statement before hand, and i will tell you that i left the summit heartened by the overwhelming international commitment to afghanistan
through 2014 and beyond, and in particular, the afghan national security forces. the nato summit in chicago said the three unmistakable messages to the world. to the afghan people, we are committed to your future. to the region, the international community will not abandon afghanistan. to that taliban, you cannot wait us out. among the important outcomes of the event was the resounding commitment by isaf partner nations for the long-term support of the afghan national security forces. it is a sufficient force that is capable in the post-2014 period. further, it was noted in the summit that the isaf commander assess thee c forces periodically and we are planning every six months so that we can adapt our plan for the final size and structure of ansf in the post-2014.
. the afghan security forces have expanded from 276,000 to 340,000, and they will reach their full search string ahead of the deadline in october. additionally, afghan forces are increasingly in the lead throughout, and the afghans are 's the lead for this year i campaign. president karzai's recent announcement of a tranche 3 transition is a significant milestone. afghan security forces providing this to the need for 3/4 of the population marks in ever -- providing the security leak 43/fourth of the population, we are increasingly able to praepostor our own forces from conventional forces
to advisory teams. the transition is the linchpin of our strategy, not just the way out. isaf advisers will be alongside our afghan partners, still combat-ready, but increasingly there to enable the afghan lead. this summit was un as this ambiguous -- unambiguous in its long-term support for afghanistan. the afghan national security forces, with the unwavering support and tangible commands of the 50-nation coalition, grows stronger every day. the summit was a powerful signal of international support during the afghan-lead process of reconciliation. in the wake of this historic nato summit, the taliban see
that their time grows short and they can choose to be part of the afghanistan -- the prosperous future of afghanistan, but they can never prevail through violence and intimidation. i believe that isaf's campaign is on track. i see it every day, tangible evidence of progress. we are fulfilling the lisbon road netbook transition, and the international community is standing with the noble people of afghanistan now and into the decade of transformation. lastly, i would like to take a brief moment to comment on the announcement yesterday by the state department that ambassador ryan crocker is retiring. again, ryan has been like a brother to me. we first served together when i was in al-anbar in iraq in 2007 and 2008.
in all the countries, ryan has served so ably as a diplomat, have been altered forever because of his skills as a diplomat and a patriot. i'm a better man and better officer for having served with him both in iraq and now again in afghanistan. with that, i am pleased to take your questions. >> ap. you talked about the last weekend, but over the last few weeks, some of the news about pakistan, including the doctor who helped the osama bin laden raid, the stalemate, and the senate passed action to cut funding for pakistan -- at this
point, do you see the relationship deteriorating? do you think pakistan is indicating it is not willing to be the partner that the u.s. needs in that region? how critical, at this point, is that, considering that a lot of the progress from the war may well depend on pakistan's efforts on the border? think it is is a deterioration. the fact that we're talking about reopening the line of communications is a positive step in that regard. it is negotiation, and negotiations take time, so i cannot predict what the outcome will be and how soon that will be. but i have recently led a team to islamabad to renew our conversation with the pakistani military in the context of the tripartite commission, first time in a year. it was a positive conversation
about taking steps and measures necessary to prevent a recurrence of the events of 25 and 26 number. -- november. it is important to remember that pakistan has its own challenges. it is engaged in a significant insurgency, a counterinsurgency campaign. it has been engaged anin that fr some period of time. the effects of the operations have been helpful to us on the other side of the border. we have not had a conversation with them in almost a year on that level. with the reopening of the conversation about the ground line communications, with the, i think, positive outcomes of the compositions over two days in islamabad, i don't see that there is a decrease in the relationship or a decline, necessarily, in the
relationship. i think we are poised to approve where we were, frankly, and i look forward to continuing to construct a series of engagements general kayyani and the pakistani military over time. >> call for they can go -- how far they can go -- >> i am not engaged in the negotiations for the crown line of premeditation, nor am i engaged in the policy level conversations with the government. as the military commander of isaf, i was attended by the chief of defence of afghanistan. we committed ourselves to recurring meetings, ensuring that we are properly organized and take maximum advantage of time on the ground, with the idea of creating a constructive relationship between
pakistan and afghanistan. i was encouraged in that regard. >> general, from my perspective -- you sit down with kayani, and the relationship between the u.s. and pakistan now appears to be as bad as it has been since the start of the war in afghanistan. you see a chance to improve it. where do you see a chance for improvements? there appears to be a stalemate -- pakistanis demand to stop noe drone attacks, agreement on the ground lines of communication. is there a danger here? we have heard for years that pakistan was of much larger strategic importance that afghanistan could ever be. is there a real danger that that could deteriorate to the point
where the region, the entire region could be in trouble? >> well, let me hit your last point first. i think that pakistan and the region are extraordinarily important to our policy outcomes. we cannot -- i think we need to be careful not overstating the progress we are making, but i think we have major progress. we should build on those, we should seek opportunities for common ground for yet again, i am not in the policy world . but we had a very important conversation with the pakistanis about seeking strategic conference -- congruence in what our long term outcomes would be with pakistan, the destabilizing influences in
the region. we talked about an operational relationship that could leverage our respective militaries on both sides of the border with talk about -- we talked about tactical measures to prevent a recurrence of what happened on the 26 and 27th of november of last year. all that is positive, from my perspective. anytime you can talk, anytime you can create opportunities for discussion, any time the objectives of all parties is some form of strategic outcomes that could benefit the region, that is a positive thing. we are not there yet. we have more composition that needs to be had at. there is a real opportunity and we should be seizing that, if we can. with regard to the fata, the pakistanis are engaged in a significant insurgency themselves. they suffered more casualties the last two years in fata that
we have during the 10-year war with been engaged in. they are paying the price of the insurgency on their side of the border just as we're seeking to modulate the insurgency on our side of the border, and where we can find an intersection of interests, we should leverage that. we have not even talked for a year. the fact that we're talking now, walked out of those conversations committed to having frequent and regular conversations about all three of those levels -- strategic, operational, tactical opportunity -- is positive. if some aspect of the relationship is tracking positively, it can have a knock- on effect in other areas as well. >> what has been the impact of the closing of the supply lines , and now that we are in the sprint fighting season, is that closure going to have a greater
impact? >> closure of the ground line of communication has had no impact on the campaign. in the many different measures of levels of some of the key supplies that we measured -- fuels, food, ammunition -- they are higher today that they were on the 25th of november. it is an example, i think, of the great strategic logistics' capabilities of the united states and our allies that we were able to both sustained campaign without the ground line of communication and sustain the future with respect to our military operations. >> it will have no impact on the spring campaign -- >> no, it will not. >> officials from the department testified at the beginning of the shutdown that there were six to eight weeks of
supplies on hand. >> in afghanistan? >> was that accurate? >> yes, it was. >> how close did you get before the no. supply lines kicked in? >> one of the great resources of the united states is the united states air force. the airline communications, the no. distribution network, provide a tremendous compensation for what was lost during the gramling to medication. -- during the ground line communication. the closest we came was in simple gasoline. we never came closer than the 30-day supply. all of them are hard. escalade might still be a bit lower -- gasoline might be a bit lower. we are in no strategic need right now, and that is because the ground and communication and a terrific work by the u.s. air
force and the transportation command has given a tremendous operational flexibility. >> at what cost -- >> it is more expensive. >> can you tell us how much more expensive? >> we can get to those figures to come out of the northern distribution network, about twice as expensive. >> because you -- [unintelligible] , most trusted allies, but can you trust them in the future? we have been waiting so long because of their parliament, their decisions, and they have demands that the u.s. must meet before they can open the doors.
my question is, if we haeve not trusted for 10 years and they still have the haqqani network, would we go from here? >> which question would you like me to answer? >> can you tell the pakistanis in the future, don't you need it some other alternative now after 10 years? you can rely on the same country or people or persons? >> pakistan isn't going anywhere. pakistan has always going to be a 1500-mile border along the afghan -- on afghanistan. trust has been a problem. in order to overcome many of these issues, we are going to have to build trust again. in the investigation done in the
wake of the 25-26 cross border incident, the trust -- one of the findings was that an absence of trust result in the death of 24 pakistani troops. sooner or later, there is a certain amount of risk that needs to be taken in a relationship in order to build trust. pakistan is not going anywhere. afghanistan is not going anywhere. the region will best be served in terms of long-term stability and security if we can build the kind of trust necessary between all the parties in that region. i am not talking to india, i will be very clear there. i have no involvement with india at all. >> how can we -- the problem is the people of pakistan, because they are not getting what they are supposed to get, and there are so many demonstrations going on because of the high price of oil around the country.
that is the major problem, how can you win the trust of the people in pakistan? >> that seems to be a question to ask the people of islamabad, not the leader of isaf. >> philosophical question -- last number of months or years about whether or not counterinsurgency -- is counterinsurgency i would like -- about whether counterinsurgency is dead g i woul. i would like to hear what you say. >> counterinsurgency is not the answer to all things. as you heard me say before, perhaps, in any counterinsurgency, foreign forces need to do a variety of things, but that things it would typically do is to shape the
insurgency itself, because you are involved because the country that ask you to come is in trouble. depending on where you are, the military may well be either flat on its back or nonexistent. and the foreign forces typically do two things. one, they shape the insurgency, and the other is to build a national forces, which theoretically ought to move to the lead. where we are now in the counterinsurgency campaign is to move the national forces into the lead as quickly as we can. we have about 30 months left on the campaign. ansf has yet to be fully recruited and. it will be done as soon, but the deadline is 1 october. we will train and equip that force over the next year so that it is fully combat-ready and in the field by 2015.
there is significant ansf involvement in the day-to-day operations as we go on. we are putting greater emphasis on dannell and will put greater emphasis in the future on moving ansf into the lead and isaf forces in to support over the next year or so. you have heard the term "milestone 2013." "milestone 2013" means that with the announcement of the third tranche of the lisbon roadmap transition, ansf will move into the lead and isaf will move into support. this does not mean the secession of combat operations. we will still be in combat right until the end of the mission. but the counterinsurgency campaign, counterinsurgency dr., remain operative because some of the key aspects of what
in counterinsurgency are immutable principles that apply wherever you go. successful counterinsurgency will be waged by forces that understand the culture in which you operating, understands the faith that drive the principles of the people you are seeking to halt, understands the language and history, operates in unique terrain. the trend is substantially different from the train -- terrain is substantially different from the terrain of al-anbar province in iraq. you just need to, as the commander, recognize that the operational environment will cause you to have to adapt your strategy, and for me, early along in the period i have been in command -- i am in my 11th month now -- it was clear that we needed to do all we could to move ansf into the lead,
get them comfortable with the taliban, a population-centric, population-based counterinsurgency. that is where you see the adaptation. the no. distribution network takes both longer and it is more expensive in the ground line of communication. we can provide you details associated with lthat. we maintain stockage for some period of time. our goal was 60 days and afghanistan as a matter of course against the possibility that we may have to someday live off what we had inside the country. once the ground light of conditions was closed to us in the immediate period after 26 number cross border incident, -- the 26 november cross border incident, we began to ramp up our capacity to move critical supplies by air at to take advantage of the northern
distribution network. it did in fact, it's it's that which was stuck on the ground line of communication -- it did in fact compensate for that which was stuck on the ground line of communication. i hope that it's a little bit closer to your point. >> [unintelligible] support the afghan forces, to continue in a shortfall of trainers -- the continuing shortfall of trainers -- if this shortfall -- [unintelligible] transition process. >> it is trainers in two contexts -- trainers in the schools, afghan schools, but it's also -- this goes to your point about changing the
counterinsurgency to fit the operational conditions -- we are moving to a security force assistance platform, where as our forces, our numbers began to draw down, we will rely more heavily on advisory teams, as opposed to individual instructors, as opposed to partnerships with units. what you will see is that we will have a continuing need for instructors, but we are also going to have the need for advisor teams. we have expressed their requirements through its fourth generation through nato, the combined joint statement of requirements. you. sometimes called the -- you. sometimes called -- you hear it cjsormes called tehe process. we currently experienced a
shortage in those. because we are only implementing the process now we have some time, and it will be m -- we will emphasize the need for those kinds of advisory teams in the future, because those four nations, those advisory teams inside the formations, a continuing upward spiral of capabilities, and sustain them and help them and advise them in combat. i am going to continue to make that a major point of emphasis. >> [unintelligible] >> this is a conversation i typically have for the chiefs of defense and with ministers of defense. but the actual expression of the requirement comes up the nato chain through the joint forces command and specifically through headquarters, they will be convening another force generation conference shortly, where we will once again
emphasize the need for both. >> general allen, bloomberg news. thanks for taking my question. >> my pleasure. >> you said it would continue until forces leave in 2014, and safe havens for groups in pakistan would continue to operate beyond 2014 as well. all you concerned about the safe withdrawal, orderly withdrawal of forces? could it got a little bit about this idea of layered defense and how this would work in getting troops out of afghanistan? >> first, protection is always an important dimension of all our planning. i will give you a general explanation -- i will not go into specifics, because we are moving into execution now on the drawdown of u.s. troops. but we will be posturing forces to ensure that we're protecting the force as a it is moving out of the theater.
we will also be reposturing forces against the next phase of the campaign to make sure we are properly sighted to continue the process of pressuring the enemy. layered defense is a variety of layers, and able -- it will vary based on the location on the ground. what is important to understand is that it is not just about american forces. very importantly, i guess about the not-u.s. isaf forces -- it is about the non-u.s. isaf forces. when we had done recovering the 23,000 u.s. with the phase two drawdown and recover, there will still be 42,000. we find ourselves on 30 september or so with about 68,000 u.s. and 40,000 non-u.s. isaf forces.
there is another critical component, and that is the afghans themselves. they will be reposturing their formations also in a coherent campaign. it is a campaign in which they had the lead, we work closely with them, but they have the lead in the planning. and ultimately, the movement of forces in the theater will be reposturing of u.s. forces, non- u.s. isaf forces, or reposturing of the entire formation, and we posturing of -- and reposturing of ansf specifically. layered defense is a combination of isaf forces and ansf. it is layered defense in the deployment of special operations as well. there is a significant and
really very important growing capability in the afghan forces of special operators. nine battalion-sized for missions -- formations of commandos, 72 special forces, within the general directorate of units, an moi unit. we have some very height-end, high-quality, and n -- commando swat-type units. we use them with increasing capability and interoperability with the afghan national army, not just to create a defense in depth in a linear sense, but defense in depth in keeping the enemy on the move, by attacking networks and support the sounds and safe havens got that combination of the afghan national army, isaf, general purpose forces, and the special operation forces of all three
-- isaf, special operations, u.s.-only special operations, and afghan -- gives us a layered defense and laminated defense. >> what will your criteria before a post-surge drawdown? can you explain whether or not you are prepared to accept ceding some territory or areas during the transition from 2013 to 2014 or beyond? >> when use 8 "criteria," beginning it? ending it? >> how do you determine? >> ok, we will see the drawdown very shortly. the intent is not, as i explained a moment ago, to deal solely with u.s. forces.
it is very much an muchand ansf -- complementary -- very much an isaf and ansf complementary effort. the afghan forces would have advisers, for example. they would be tied to the remaining marine units so that there is still a synergy that can be accomplished. while an absolute terms, and eventuall -- eventually our numbers come down, it is not our intention to cede the ground to the taliban. we are going to watch that very closely. our intent is, of course, to use the ansf forces in the east and southwest to fill in behind forces that will be drawing down in the regular course of recovering the 23,000, but at
the same time, you are seeing now the introduction of our advisory teams into the afghan formations, which gives them the capacity to operate right alongside powers in this continue to counterinsurgency. >> tunnel, do you believe that all 50,000 -- general, do you believe that all 58,000 u.s. troops should remain in afghanistan through the end of 2013? >> as i have explained, i owe the president some real analysis on this. we need real combat power, and i know that anyone questions that. it is not just u.s. it is non-u.s. isaf forces. significant dynamics will be occurring this summer -- withdrawing 23,000 troops,
reposturing the battle is, moving ansf increasingly into the lead. also, ramadan will be occurring in the middle of the fighting season. there will be real dynamics there, and the aftermath of the recovery of phase 2, i intended to take a very hard look at the state of the insurgency, a very hard look at the ansf at how they did in terms of moving into combat, moving into the lead. i will take a look at the operational environment that i anticipate and 2013. and the combination, or aggregation, of those factors will generate an assessment of what u.s. and non-u.s. combat power i will need to continue the process of moving ansf into the lead and giving the support they need so they will be successful.
there is no number out there right now. your question is extraordinarily important. i owe that analysis to the chain of command and to the white house. we will make that analysis in the aftermath and the recovery of the troops. thank you, ladies and gentlemen. good to see you again. my pleasure. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> secret service director mark sullivan testified before congress today about the investigation of secret service agents accused of hiring prostitutes during a presidential trip to colombia. he was before the senate homeland security committee. the chair of that committee, joe lieberman, said a review by his office found the problem of sexual misconduct by the secret service may be more widespread than previously thought. wisconsin voters head to the polls early next month to decide
whether to recall gov. scott walker less than two years after he was elected on friday, he debates his democratic opponent. you can see that debate live from milwaukee friday at 9:00 eastern on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. >> right now i want you to take a look around you and not think about where everybody has been, but where they are going. the guy in front of you could win an academy award some day. in front of you could become a future president or, better than that, mayor of new york city. the guy sitting to your right to be featured nobel laureate ok, maybe not a guide to your right, but certainly the one to your left. >> memorial day weekend, watched commencement speeches. saturday through tuesday at noon and 10:00 p.m. eastern.
>> i think this is one of those markets that i think people vote for -- don't vote for the party. this is a city that votes for the candidate. you see a lot more than th -- more of that. even though there is a heavily republican dynamic, which is great, you are seeing more of that in recent years in the midwest, voting more for what a person stands for. >> june 2 and third, booktv and american history to be explored the heritage and literate culture of wichita, kansas. >> this is the only remaining of original structure from the 1865-1870 time. it was a very important buildings in our history in that it is of residents, but it is also the headquarters of the company that came down here to create, shall we say, the city of wichita. >> watch for booktv and american
history tv in wichita on june 2 and three on c-span2. british prime minister david cameron attended the g8 summit in camp david and the nato summit in chicago over the weekend. he is back in london, and today he briefed members of parliament on those meetings. this is about an hour and 10 minutes. >> we reached important conclusions about dealing with our debt, growing the economy, and dealing with the risks in the eurozone. mr. speaker, deficit reduction and growth are not alternatives. you need the first in order to deliver the second. there was no debate about this. it was my view, it was chancellor merkel's view, president obama's view, and president hollande's view. in britain in two years, we have cut the deficit we inherited from the last government by more than a quarter, and our approach has been endorsed by the imf
this week and also by the oecd. at that time of tight budgets, a proper growth plan requires not just a credible fiscal policy, which secures the low interest rates i was speaking not just a moment ago, but also structural reforms to make our economies more competitive, active monetary policy, an innovative use of our hard-won credibility to ensure investments in long- term infrastructure. we're taking all of these steps in the u.k., and we're promoting them across europe as well. in every area, we need to do more to prime minister monti and i have gathered 10 other leaders to promote digital services and structural reform to our economies. president hollande is coming forward with creative proposals to the ec has helped to supply liquidity to european banks. pursuing all of these elements at the informal european council
tonight and be a formal council in june, after i will, of course, be making a statement to the house. growing our economy also means doing everything we can to get trade moving. at the end of the g8 meeting, there was a substantive discussion about an eu-u.s. trade deal. the eu and the u.s. together make up half of the world's gdp. a further report will be made at the g-20 next month but this could have a positive impact on both sides of the atlantic. the greatest risk of facing the eurozone and the world economy is clearly the situation in greece. the future of the greece is for the greek people to determine. it is for them to decide what is best for their country. but i don't think we can afford to allow this issue to be endlessly fuged or part of -- fudged or put off. the eurozone and europe as a whole needs to have contingency plans in place for both events
qualities but this should involve strengthening banks, protecting financial systems, ensuring action by european institutions to prevent contagion. i can tell the house that whatever the outcome, this government will do whatever is necessary to protect this country, to secure our economy and our financial system. alongside the discussion on the economy, had two for the priorities at this g8, to continue the good work on the development, and to support the arab spring and the promotion of democracy and reform. on the development, at the new alliance for security and attrition is an important initiative that aims to help 50 million people left themselves out of poverty. if a country wants to receive top, they need a commitment to transparency and good governance, and in return, they get substantial support in food production. this is a great combination of a promoting good governance and helping out of feed its people. i will be building on this with a major event on hundred during the olympic games in the u.k.
and encouraging the private sector to create jobs is one of the best routes to growth in countries pay aid is still does have a vital role to play. for the first time i'm addicted, the amount of aid given by the world's richest countries to the will -- for the first time in a decade, the amount of aid given by the world's richest countries to the poorest countries as follows back. bridge and continues to honor its commitments and other nations should do likewise. we will produce a report showing who has and was not kept their promises. the g8 reached important conclusion that iran, libya, and syria. on syria, there was backing for the annan plan and further measures if assad does not change course. i raised burma and the need for a lasting transition to democracy. i am sure that all house will look forward to welcoming aung san suu kyi when she visits prominen -- parliament next
month to some people write off nato as a relic of the past. i believe it is a vital to the future of our security. the threats are countries face it come from beyond our borders ons of past conflicts like battle tanks and more the technology needed for tomorrow's conflict. all of these were agreed at "the sun." that's not to say nato should take steps to defend europe and north america. it should. we declared at a summit with the inter- ballistic missile capability is now operational but it was particularly could have a special session with partners who work with nato around the world an spend less on the weapons of past conflicts and more technology need for tomorrow's conflicts. all these things were agreed on at the summit but that is not to say that nato should not take steps to defend it north america and europe. it should it was particularly good to have a special session with the partners who worked with nato around the world, and in particular, 50 countries that make up the middle-led alliance and afghanistan. attacks by insurgents are down,
transition to afghan control is on track, and over the next few weeks, we will reach the point where 75% of the population will be living in areas where afghan forces in the lead for security bit about next steps are to deliver the final stages of transition and continue to build up of the afghan security forces and to ensure they are properly funded for the future. britain is pledging to 70 million pounds, but it is right that other countries should step up and contradicted the future of afghanistan. the summit, i believe, marks a turning point in the contributions, with almost $1 billion pledged to support the afghan national security forces. britain has played a leading role in this alliance for reasons of our own national security. three years ago, 3/4 of the most serious terrorist plots against britain had links to afghanistan and pakistan. i am advised that that figure has fallen to around after -- around 1/. afghanistan that can prevent al
qaeda returning and posing a threat to us and our allies around the will to the tremendous work of our courageous service men and women is making this possible. after 10 long years of the servicemen and women will finally be coming home. i'd hate to be to their service and sacrifice -- i pay tribute. their service and their sacrifice is beyond measure. >> eed miliband. >> i am grateful to the prime minister for his statement. on afghanistan, we welcome the thatt's confirmation transition to the afghan nationals a dirty forces is set for mid-2013 and the end of british commitments in 2014. troops served heroically in afghanistan for over a decade now and we owe them enormous gratitude bit i speak for the whole house and the prime minister it that we hope to see
them all with their families in the professions at the sacrifices they have made. can he tell us how many british personal he expects to remain in afghanistan after 2014, which services they are likely to be drawn from, and can he confirm that this will remain under the nato command and control structure? can he tell the house whether he had discussions with president zardari on the important issue of land access that is so vital for british military and isaf supplies? on the political situation, it does the prime minister believe that honoring the sacrifices of our troops means taking the political challenges as seriously as the military challenge? what concrete steps will now be taken that were not already in place before the chicago summit and to secure an exclusive the
settlement with an afghanistan and between afghanistan's regional partners? does he agree with me that the international community has been talking for a long time about talks about talks in relation to the political settlement we need, and we need far greater urgency in seeking the settlement to be there from when our troops come home? let me turn to the g8, mr. speaker. on syria and indeed on burma -- on syria, we join in calling for an immediate end to violence. on the issue of the global economy, what we desperately need is a plan for growth, a plan for growth for europe and for the international community. i have to say, he did entertain this side of the house with his description of president hollande as his new best buddy. [laughter] given that he endorsed his opponent in the most fulsome
terms. "mr. sarkozy has my support." they were perturbed about this, so they said that we put all the chips on one card and it turned out not to be the ace. it was an error in judgment, not to be advised. then they said this -- after today, the prime minister has a habit of shooting from the hip. [laughter] certainly true. the reality is that the reason we did not get the conclusion of this summit and the action we need it is that the international community is divided, not united as the prime minister says. i.t. is divided between those who believe we should have a decisive approach towards growth, president obama, president hollande, and those
who believe in more the same, the german chancellor and his prime minister. for two years, he has been the high priest of austerity. but now, of course, the recognition is that it is not working, and he finds himself on the wrong side of the argument. that is why he is scrambling right to say that president hollande is his great friend. no growth for 18 months, 1 million young people out of work. the things qu notote -- what is the -- the thing he did not quote is what christie lagarde said -- "growth is too slow, unemployment is too high." i am getting there. this is not his position but his position is more of the same. we have the ultimate irony of a prime minister presiding over a
double-dip recession electorate other people about how to get -- lecturing other people about how to get growth. [laughter] what did he achieve at this summit? we know some of the things he did. he watched the football. he went to the gym. he even squeeze in some sightseeing. the only thing that is not a photo op is making a difference to the economy. [laughter] in other words, doing his job. the prime minister signed a communique that said this -- "difficult conditions significantly worsen, countries will take action to spur demand. conditions have worsened. why hasn't he delivered? because he does not believe in it. he has made things worse, not
better. last week, the chancellor went on television and said that the speculation about the breakup of the euro was damaging and burton's economy. "the open speculation is doing real damage." can the prime minister explain why he decided to do just that on wednesday and state make up or break up? it may have rhymed, but does he understand that it did nothing to help our economy or anybody else's? does he really believe that issuing an ultimatum for greek voters over the weekend about their election was really such a good idea? i would have thought after the expense of the french election that he would have realized it was not such a good idea to get involved. [laughter] finally, on the european summit tonight, eurobonds are important, a stronger firewall would make a difference. but the crucial thing is in demand.
does he accept that without plan for growth and demand in europe, we cannot get a solution on deficits across europe, which is either politically or economically sustainable? the problem with this prime minister is that he can only offer more at the same. he cannot be part of the solution, but he is part of the problem. all he offers is more austerity. it is not working in britain, it is not working in europe, it is a failed plan from of killing prime minister di -- from a failing prime minister toured five minutes and absolutely no plans to b. >> it is a good joke about sarkozy. the hon. gentleman started with nato, asked serious questions. let me give him some serious
answers did he ask for a clear indication of the drawdown. we are going down to 9000 troops by the end of this year. clearly it we need to set out a pathway between now and the end of 2014. i wanted to be based on the conditions on the ground and how well the transition is going in the three provinces we are responsible for, and i will keep us updated. we don't want a great cliff edge at the end. i will keep has updated will be left at the end of 2014. president karzai asked us to provide an officer training college and afghanistan, and we will be doing that. they have the assistance of the australians and new zealanders and others i hope will join in. that is the baseline of our commitment, but we will listen to other requests. he asks if it will be in doubt- led operation in terms of training. yes, it will, but it will not be nato-led, operation after 2014. he asked about pakistan and the vital issue of the ground lines
of control. it is essential that they are reopened. i spoke to prime minister gilani when he visited the u.k., i spoke to president zardari at the conference. he asked about the political challenge. he is right about this. i said all along that alongside the military surge, you need a political surgery will working hard with the afghan and pakistanis to deliver this. we made an offer to it taliban that if a bank laid down weapons and joined the political process, that would be open to them. but we have to be prepared that the political process won't advance as far as we would like. that is why we must make sure that the build up afghan national security forces goes to plan said that we can hand it over in good order, and i believe we will. i welcome what he says on syria and a burma. on president hollande, he said something that i think he should
adapt slightly but repeats -- "the national debt is the enemy of the left and enemy of france ." if you look at what president hollande is doing, he was asked how he would stimulate growth, and he said, "the means cannot be extra public spending, because we want to rein it in." we agree with the italian prime minister that we need structural reform in europe, we agree with the french president that we need a more active monetary policy in europe, we agree with the german chancellor that deficit reduction is vital. europe has at all three, but we support all three of those things. -- europe has not at all for it, will we support all three of those things. nobody in europe backs his idea of an extra 200 billion pounds of borrowing in the british
economy. that is the labor policy, it would wreck our economy, it would wreck our prospects, which is what they did i office. >> did anyone at the summit, g8 summit, emphasize that the basic cause of the economic and political crisis in europe is not the greek debt? it is the single european currency, and its lack of a lender of last resort, which is now a threat to the global stability of the banks? may i put it to the prime minister that until the leaders of the great nations act upon it, the turmoil in europe will continue? >> i think my friend makes an
incredibly important one, which is that a single currency requires an active interventionist central bank behind it. what we have been saying for a long time is one of the reasons i have been skeptical about the single currency. there's a growing realization that the plan to deal with deficits, you need a moremore a. that is what we have in the u.k. it you are going to have a working single currency, you need that monetary policy, too. >> mr. speaker, i welcomed the change in rhetoric over the weekend from the prime minister. could he tell us whether or not the german position has changed at all because it does not seem like a. until it changes, i find it hard
to believe that the eurozone is going to come up with anything that is convincing or credible. >> i have great respect for the gentlemen. i would say that the german approach is changing to an extent because the germans know alongside deficit-reduction plans, you do need to have greater coordination of that single currency. the concern is they do not want to take the foot off of deficit- reduction until they have more of a political system of around a single currency. it is one of the reasons why i did not want to join a single currency because i think it would involve a single economic government. i think the struggle is to try to convince countries in europe that alongside them as a reduction in a more active monetary policy. and of course the structural
reforms that we have always argued for. >> i welcome the and this is. does the prime minister agree that the bank of england and the regulators need to change their method of operation in order to ensure sufficient money and credit available to the private sector and not just more cheap money to the states? they could avoid the problems by doing its part less than we are doing it. >> i think my friend makes a very important point. i do not simply mean a central bank that in cages in quantitative easing. you need to make sure that all of the monetary institutions are properly capitalized and working. around europe, a lot of work needs to be done. >> with regard to the prime
minister's discussion with the president of pakistan, will he deplore barack obama's offensive courtesy toward the president of pakistan whose country the united states has violated the sovereignty of with deadly effects? when he say that britain stands shoulder to shoulder with our commonwealth partners in the fighting american colonialism? >> i would not put it like that. [laughter] the point is we need to do with our american allies work very closely with them to try and deal with the terrorism that has come out of afghanistan and still coming out of parts of pakistan. i always urged international friends and partners to show patience and understanding with pakistan because they are the biggest victims of terrorism.
they have complex politics and they need to be given the space to resolve some of these issues. they need to know friends like britain will not leave them after the conflict is over, but is there for long term support. >> i associate myself to the attributes of our serving forces in afghanistan and those who have given their lives. will the prime minister continue to make clear that it is in our interest that we support the other countries in europe in the eurozone including by supporting the structural reforms and an increase in the internal market across the whole of europe is in their interest and ours? and construction at home is the best way of getting us into growth that we need in this
country? >> i think my friend is right. it is in britain's interest that the problems of the eurozone are dealt with. we have made a whole series of suggestions about firewalls, strengthening banks, and a strong contingency plans. it has become ever more urgent to make those plans because it is not in our power whether greece will decide to stay in the eurozone. we have to prepare for every eventuality however difficult that maybe. >> this morning, the european parliament by a very large majority passed a financial tax. what will the prime minister's stance be at the meeting this evening? >> i am against the financial transaction tax. the european commission did a piece of research and found it would cost hundreds of thousands
of jobs. it sounds like it is taxing the bankers. you end up putting up the cost of people for insurance policies and pension policies and driving that activity offshore. they see it as a good way of taking a lot of tax out of the u.k. and europe. i am not fallen for it. >> there is increasing pressure for a european union among european states. does my friend accept that the respective of the european union act passed last year, that such a fundamental change in the relationship between such member states would necessitate a referendum? >> i do not agree with that position. i think the right position is if
we were to pass power to brussels, if we were to join some new treaty for political construction, we should hold a referendum aimed bank where i do agree with the gentle man it is the single currency has within it the seeds of greater political union. we have to work out in this country how to respond to that and how to get the best deal for britain as that situation develops. >> you talked about the continued importance of nato and some of the things that they do. the changes are largely peripheral and the need for reform is pretty profound. is there not a danger that the understandable focus of the economic crisis is sucking the life out of the need for reform in nato?
will he focus on that? notwithstanding the understandable need to the economy and make sure the program so badly needed to get interoperability with nato does not lose its momentum. >> the gentle man speaks with a great knowledge to this subject. there has been one reform which is trying to cut down on the bureaucratic headquarters around europe i think he has done an excellent job in delivering that. where i am perhaps more optimistic than ham is i think the reality of the situation is going to drive us to reform. the fact that america is providing three-quarters of nato's funding and assets is
unsustainable. other countries will have to step up to the plate. >> may i endorse the view that nato is a vital to our security and i congratulate him on the positive role he played at the summit. will he agree with me that the secretary general's program for smart defense is key to the future of the reform of nato? >> i thank my friend for his remarks. the truth is there is duplicated capacity all over europe and much of it is not deployable. we need all countries to undergo the painful things we have done in terms of review to work out what are the weapons that you need for the
future? -- for the future. more likely dealing with failed states. we need more cooperation between the leading members of nato and that is what we are working so closely with the french so we can deliver complementary capabilities and get more done. >> in the name of achieving growth, the imf yesterday made a recommendation that the u.k. banks slow up their acquisition of buffers. thereby producing more money available to british businesses and small businesses. does the government agree with that recommendation? well they work with the bank of england to implement it as soon as possible? >> this is a very difficult issue to get right. we are discussing two problems.
one is the need for growth. the other is the need for financial stability and making sure you are safe with the head winds of a eurozone storm approaching. the best approach is to work hand in glove to get that balance right. >> i congratulate the prime minister on his stamina. 3 summit in five days on three continents. but can i reiterate the points that were made? we have to impress on nato members that the conclusion of the campaign in afghanistan is no justification for cutting the defense budget. it is absolutely essential that we have a review of nato's strategy with a full blooded commitment by all its members. >> i want to thank my honorable friend for his remarks.
by the end of tonight, that will be enough summits for quite some time. what he says about nato is right. we need reviews by all nato countries to go through their budget and work out why it is necessary for national defense and what we can do to make sure it nato has capacity for the future. >> the importance to spend more on the technology of tomorrow. on the issue of cyber terrorism which is posing a greater threat, can the prime minister assure us that there will be a focus on the resources given to that very, very big and growing problem across the world? >> for the u.k., one of the things we did it is from some of the savings we have made i think 900 million pounds into a cyber defense program. that is being coordinated and
involving the private sector. it is a capability that we hope to work with other members to make sure we are sharing best experiences. >> mr. speaker, the euro is as dead as monty python. elite continueo to claim that it is alive and well? isn't it importan-- before the o force an economic tsunami? >> what i would say to my friend is i am always a genuine euro skeptic. we have to recognize that it is in this country's interest, for the eurozone to sort out its issues and differences. i think that must involve overtime eurobonds.
it involves a more active monetary policy. we should be encouraging european partners to go down this road to make sure the system worked properly. we have to be clear that although there are real dangers in terms of disorganized exit from the euro, you have to think about the impact on financial institutions and banks around europe including british banks. it is important that the eurozone put in place the plant to keep them safe. >> now that he is lecturing greece about the need for growth and we need a little bit in spain, and also in the eurozone, for the sake of clarity, can we get to the bottom of this growth here? repeat these words after meet.
ibm going to drop the austerity plan and go for growth in britain. -- i am going to drop the austerity plan and go for growth in britain. >> i do not agree with the gentleman. i hope you accept my apology for that. he is a tremendous tournament to this house and always remains the case. i do not agree with him because i think a deficit reduction plan is necessary to deliver the low interest rates we need. our interest rates were the same as spain. today hours are less than 2%. we have a credible fiscal policy -- today, ours are less than 2%. >> while he is prime minister, can he give the assurance that this country will never joined the euro?
>> i am very happy to give that pledge. it depends on how long he will be prime minister. i am not sure which prospect is more terrifying. >> some people see their friends from a lack of opportunities at. they feel distressed when they see huge unemployment rates in spain. will the prime minister say which positions he has with colleagues about infrastructure development for a global plan for growth? >> we did discuss the issue for infrastructure development. the rise of unemployment is tragic in and the country but when you look at the figures in greece and spain, they are eye- watering figures. i think the elements of the plan we need are the fiscal
credibility to give you a low interest rate and the monetary policy that supports the economy. that needs to be combined with structural reforms. there is a need for proper reforms so they have competitive economies. the extra element is using the strength of the government's balance sheet to deliver finance into things like infrastructure and credits which is an option open in europe as well. those are the elements of a growth plan. we have them in the uk we need them in europe as well. >> while my friend agree that when we look at the scale and timescale in west germany in the reunification, we get a sense of the awesome challenge that would face any chancellor in trying to achieve this goal of union in europe? >> i think my friend is right.
this is why i think some people and it was implied from the former chancellor that germany could go stubbornness is unreasonable. -- that germany's stubbornness is unreasonable. it is important to understand people's motivations and difficulties because that is what lies behind the impasse. >> it is good that the russians shared on the motion in syria. there are major human rights abuses still in russia. -- he tried to get an appeal for that. it was turned down last week by
a not an ordinary judge but a military judge. when the decision was handed down, it was done on the russian armed forces web site. doesn't this show that russia has a great distance to go before it can embrace being a part of the humanitarian nations? >> we discussed the importance of freedom, human rights, and democracy. i think it is very worthwhile having russia in the g-8 because when we are discussing issues like iran and syria where russia has an interest, and frankly we want them to join in the efforts we are pursuing, i think it is helpful to have them there. >> in the absence of progress toward their global trade deal, an eu-u.s. deal could be a second best if it reduces
barriers to trade. could the prime minister give an indication of the conclusion of such a deal? how much will the u.k. economy benefit? >> i thank my friend for his question. i think there is something salvageable from the doha round. helping to reduce customs, time, charges, and the rest of that. i think we should pursue the. in terms of the deal, we had a conversation at the end of the g 81 we agreed to look at the issues for the g-20 about whether there was small enough distance between the eu and u.s. to close that would make a deal worth while. i am very hopeful. britain is one of the most open trading nations. you have real concerns on both sides. i think we have a good look at
the g-20 to see if we can fast- track 8. >> is the prime minister aware that greece spends 50 percent and more -- 50% more? 70% of their gdp, not paying a penny in tax. the oligarchs and the orthodox church, pay a little bit to solve the greek crisis. >> i think he makes a good point. however one can look at the greek situation and feel for their suffering in terms of unemployment, there is this need for genuine reform and for a more straightforward and honest politics of dealing with these problems and making sure people pay their taxes and making sure
industries are competitive. as we are now both nato members, turkey and eu, there should be an opportunity to decrease greek spending on national defense and encouraging it to be a good nato member at the same time. >> at the g-8 summit, did any other leaders make the argument that dealing with the deficit and forcing growth alternatives? did they argue that you need to support growth through monetary policy, supporting the banks, getting the trade going? was there anybody who made the argument that you need to borrow your way out of debt? >> my friend makes an important point. there was no one's suggesting that dealing with deficit and getting growth are alternatives. the hour complementary. you need both. that is the view of everybody
around the g-8 table. >> -- over 50% and the economy is set to detract by 6%. he has preached austerity in this country and around the world bank that is exactly what has been done in greece. and around the world. that is exactly what has been done in greece. can he start supporting the needs of ordinary people who worked very hard and do not deserve this misery? >> in this country, we consistently said you need to have deficit reduction to deliver lower interest rates and enable your central bank to
pursue an expansive monetary policy which is what we have had in this country. you need the structural reforms to make sure your businesses are competitive to take on more people and grow. that is what we are seeing in britain with more private sector jobs. that is a world away from what is happening in greece where they do not have the monetary policy or undertaken the structural reforms in this country. >> mr. speaker, the biggest threat to our country at the moment is the eurozone. parallel to that is the impossible crisis in the middle east. did my friend managed to find time to speak to the russian and chinese leaders to emphasize the importance of their role in making sure we have a peaceful outcome to the iranian situation? >> a good portion of the g-8 was
spent discussing the situation in iran and talking about the talks that are underway in baghdad. it was heartening that the russians signed up for a pretty tough task in terms of iran. europe has rightly adopted these oil sanctions. this is the moment to maximize the pressure to encourage other countries around the world to join in with these sanctions and say to the iranians that you can have seven nuclear power and a more decent relationship with other countries in the world, but you have to give up the ambition of enriching uranium to the extent that it could deliver a nuclear weapon. >> whatever the deficiencies that greece has, the problem was caused by the economic crisis in the world under way. the suffering and the austerity taking place in greece is on a
completely different scale than what we are seeing in this country. will the prime minister go back and speak with the eurozone partners about what we can do to bring about -- i remind the prime minister that greece is a very powerful nation. they stood by us alone in 1941. we should do what we can to help them. >> of course i agree that greece is a very important ally. we have very strong relations. i do not agree with him that the problems in greece are only caused by the euro or the banking crisis. there are deep and profound problems in the economy that need to be dealt with. the right combination is you need to have the deficit reduction plans, an act of monetary policy, reforms in the eurozone, and structural reforms.
clearly, a disorderly exit would be very bad for britain and we should do everything we can to avoid a. we need to have proper contingencies in place. >> i suggest a day of reckoning is fast approaching. given that there have been more than 80 cases since the second world war of countries leaving a currency, and that those countries have benefited in the vast majority of cases, does the prime minister think we should stop talking about the need to save the euro and get confidence and investment in this country? >> my friend makes an important point. you have examples of countries that have left currencies and suffered in the short term but then recovered. also you have had the country's
like czechoslovakia which split its country into two and managed well. i think there is a substantial difference when you have a single currency and a potential break away from that single currency. that is a different situation because the banks are so intertwined which is why we have to think carefully about the contingency plans. >> the prime minister recently came home from afghanistan. very recently, my wife and i welcomed -- can the prime minister assure me personnel levels, my family, and my constituents that there will always be [unintelligible] >> i very much want us to keep
the structures that we have. at the same time, we need to deliver a big change in our armed forces which is delivering a larger army but a better balance between a professional army and a territorial army. we are looking at how that can be done. >> after a the g-8 summit, my friend discuss development of lifting 50 million people out of poverty and the next 10 years. could i urge the prime minister to do even more as a way of creating long-term sustainable economy and using charities? getting a 99% return on the money it gives to women. >> i think the lady makes an important point. we have -- we are committed to
this program that president barack obama launched for food security. i think the point about micro financing is important. it also means empowering within which can make an enormous difference to the success of development. >> of the discussant about the situation -- the discussion about the situation in yemen. aid agencies have said that half of the population is going to -- eight agencies have said that half of the population is going to starve to death. i acknowledge your role in championing in burma. can he not find a little space for yemen? a stable yemen is in our interest. al qaeda will take it over and it will bleed to death. >> the gentleman knows i agree
with this. my contribution to the g-8 -- i said it was very important that we look to the security and development of the future. i think yemen and somalia are squarely in that bracket. in yemen, it was distressing what happened with the bombing attack and a loss of life. there is also an enormous amount of national security assistance that we need to give that country. >> can i echo what the prime minister said about our brave servicemen and women to bring stability to afghanistan? an agreement was not reached on reopening the supply routes to afghanistan, so i am wondering if the prime minister can comment on this.
>> i think this is a key point. we need to make sure that we have northern routes as well. i had a good meeting to discuss that issue them think in terms of pakistan, of course all members are entitled to feel frustrated. it is frustrating that the lines of control are still closed. i think ongoing discussions are under way and i am confident that they will be reopened. we have to show an understanding of how this country suffered from terrorism and the need to show real respect for its sovereignty and its democracy. the message we have to give to pakistan and afghanistan is long after this war is over, we will be there supporting both of these strong, independent countries through all of the
means that we have and we will preserve them. >> -- real opportunity for investment in that country. the group i chaired talked to british businesses about the security concerns about investing in nigeria. well security is a good step, what support will the prime minister pledged to companies looking to invest so we get food and jobs for nigerians? >> when i went to nigeria, i met the uk team and was hugely and pressed by their dedication and the lynx there are between nigerians and the british, working between the two countries. we work closely with the government because there are real challenges particularly in the north of the country.
cooperation agreement our country and nigeria can help make your dividend for the country and investment as well. >> given the increase in exports of the american economy, it needs to be a key part of growth strategy. can the prime minister and update us on the discussions he had with other leaders of the free-trade agreement between the u.s. and india? >> we had a number of discussions about these free trade agreements. there is a series of agreements. a chance of getting one going in japan. in my view all of these are good news. we need to drive them all forward. we are in the vanguard of doing that. >> can i join with those colleagues who have expressed concern of the scale of the cuts and the austerity being forced upon the people of
greece? can i suggest to the prime minister why i agree with him? wouldn't it be better to have a bit more flexibility, a bit more solidarity rather than ending up forcing greece into immense consequences for the eurozone and the economy? >> obviously, we are not a participant in the eurozone of greece, but we are supporting breeze through the imf. i think the point he has to consider is other european countries are not particularly rich themselves and have had a series of agreements with greece of what needs to be done. he is asking them to go back repeatedly to their own parliaments. it is very, very challenging for them. in the end, it is going to be a matter for the greek people to
decide whether they want to stay in the euro or whether they want to choose a different path. we must be clear that we should support any contingency plans to make sure either scenario can be safely delivered. >> the prime minister in his statement -- the eu and u.s. together make up more than half of the gdp. it is more vital than ever that we reach out further and faster in developing markets to support our exporters. >> i think my friend is right. the share of the world economy taken by the u.s. and america together are likely to decline as china and india climb. going back to your best and biggest customer to get that extra deal is often a very good strategy. we should think about that in terms of the u-u.s. trade.
-- of eu-u.s. trade. >> it is not important for nato itself to demonstrate that every pound they spend is well spent -- is it not important for nato itself to demonstrate that every pound they spend is well spent? that accounts are published in a fashionable manner, and they are available to be scrutinized in the same way our own defense expenditures are scrutinized. >> i think my friend makes a series of sensible suggestion. let me commend the secretary general for what he has done in terms of reforming the huge number of command posts and headquarters of nato.
i expect there will be more to be done on that front as well. >> could the prime minister confirm how important completing these service markets is? >> in each of them can add i believe over a percentage point on european gdp. the services market is important because it is an area that britain exiles at in terms of everything from construction and architecture and what have you. there is a number of other countries that are in breach. countries like germany should be very great. >> on greece, -- "give a man a fish, he can eat for a day. n eata man a road, he cat ea
for life." -- universal broadband so we can connect across the world so we can have economically sustainable solutions? instead of putting have a fish on the table so they are hungry and angry by lunchtime. >> first of all, the greeks have had a very special deal in terms of an enormous private sector hair cut on their debt that has asked creditors to take a share of the bergen. if you take the last decade and look at the money that greece has received, that is money that could have gone into several projects pointed out. part of the problem is the early years of the euro were used to see wage rates and units cost in labor rise rather than making
fundamental changes to make these countries more competitive. >> it seems, mr. speaker, there is a strong possibility that greece may be forced out of the eurozone. we are concerned about the impact on the mcconaughey. does my friend agree that we need to discuss with our european partners and develop plans to ensure that this impact is minimal as possible on the united kingdom? >> i think my friend is right. is in our interest that the eurozone deals with its issues -- it is in our interest that the eurozone deals with its issues. 8 would be irresponsible not to prepare -- it would be irresponsible not to prepare
proper contingency plans. we must prepare for all the eventualities. they would be real difficulties if it was and in organized exit. >> our country has invested a lot in afghanistan, a lot of sacrifice and resources. so many others are concerned about the lack of progress with critical issues in afghanistan which by all accounts are getting worse and not better. will the prime minister pledged to reenergize this process to give afghanistan to the best chance of surviving post 2014 customer and insuring our efforts are not wasted? >> i respect the gentlemen's use. -- i respect the gentleman's views. if you take helmund province,
you have seen an excellent governor in terms of governance. you have district governors in all of the provinces now and you have seen a huge amount of erogress in terms of weed sea d distribution and providing basic levels of service. clearly we need to do more. reconciliation will determine the outcome we have in afghanistan. >> i welcomed the declaration of the nato summit. russia remains hostile in this field. -- protect europe from rogue nations and not russia. >> i think there is a level of understanding that the point is
to protect europe from potential threats including iran. that is the point of having a ballistic missile shield. it is important that this is alongside nuclear deterrence which remains a key part of our posture. >> in the report published yesterday, plan a is not developing gros. and number of recommendations were talked about around the chamber today and some will be implemented over the coming months. the report then goes on to suggest and recommend a plan b to boost growth and temporarily cut taxes. is the prime minister listening? >> i listened very carefully to what the imf says.
they save reducing the structural deficit over the medium term remains essential, and the u.k. has made substantial progress in terms better financial position. their forecast for growth is the u.k. will grow faster this year then france, germany, where the eurozone. they are actually predicting things will improve. >> as troops come home from afghanistan, one of the issues is the long-term sustainability of the afghan economy. their biggest export in the past has been the poppy crop. what consideration is being given to purchasing the crop so we can use it for beneficial medical aims and sustain the afghan economy as well?
>> i have looked at this issue in some detail. if you can deliver proper governance and proper role of law and proper transport networks, then you can consider what you might do with the ability to grow poppy. that is what happened in turkey. if you suddenly introduced a project -- i do not think it would work. i do believe the afghan economy can make it work which is why we are spending a serious amount of money on the economic development in afghanistan. that is going to be a key to its future. >> recently, i met with afghan constituency. they were prohibited from seeing their loved ones and have raised
concerns to me about their future. could the prime minister update the house on any discussions that took place in chicago on minority and women's rights? >> i think the lady raises an important point. i had a good meeting with president karzai in chicago. the quality of afghan democracy and rights and justice will be absolute key in delivering success. the afghan constitution does guarantee some basic rights. if the taliban put down their arms and stopped fighting, they could discuss a future political as has been done in northern ireland. >> i am proud of the commitment of international aid made by this country. could i ask the prime minister
to remind some of the other members of an equal commitment? >> i would be delighted to do that. the g-8 does produce this accountability report. it is very compelling and really hold countries to the promises they made about spending and about the different bits of that spending. you can see it in black-and- white of who has made their promises. >> nearly 25 million people unemployed across the eu at the moment. will the prime minister follow the u.s. and japanese governments and the advice of the imf yesterday and bring forward capital spending to boost infrastructure? >> we have said that we want to use the credibility that we have come at the low interest rate, the strong national
balance sheet to encourage that invest in. we have made a series of important announcement about housing to try to get the housing market working again because it is not functioning. with reference to america, if you look at the deficit reduction plan, they have planned to reduce their deficit faster than we do. >> does my friend agree that g-8 decision to create the capital market access initiative will help arab spring countries tap into market bringing them both stability and prosperity? >> i think my friend makes an important point. it is a net bonus to the world that we have the arab spring, and we need them to get behind a. -- it. those countries were told in the past -- they have been having a
crony capitalism economy. we need to encourage them to make sure their economies grow for the future. >> in following through on the commitment to sustainable homegrown production, will he promote more support for small farmers? so they and their families can grow and eat more and better food and employ others to help communities to thrive? >> this was part of the presentation that was given to the g-8 by the new alliance for global food security. through the proper use of fertilizers and exchanges, you can make sure that smaller farmers but, more sustainable and can feed not just their families but can build a more sustainable business. >> i am so pleased to hear the
prime minister announce a day for discussing global honker during the olympics. does he agree that the agenda should not just cover food security and production but also the hitting crisis of malnutrition of children around the world? >> i think the lady is right. while we have the eyes of the world on britain during the olympics and many african leaders will comment support their teams, it is a good opportunity to bring people together to say here we have a great initiative for food security. let's take it to the next level and encourage more countries to join to make sure we lived more people out of hunger and poverty and the points she makes is crucial for the future of the planet. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> joe lieberman said today that
the problem of sexual misconduct in the secret service was more widespread than previously thought. mark sullivan was before the committee testifying about the investigation into prostitution in colombia. you can see the hearing tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. wisconsin voters had to the polls next month to decide whether to recall gov. scott walker. on friday, he debates his democratic opponent. you can see the debate from milwaukee friday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. >> there are people who look at what happened with jpmorgan, and here is a company that did something stupid, lost money, fired people responsible.
this is the market at work. why does the government need to play a role? >> to some extent, it is true. i take some credit for it. if jpmorgan lost more than $2 billion, i think he would have seen more panic in the economy and more concern. what we did in the legislation we passed was to require the financial institutions to be much better capitalized. one of the things as a result of the government telling them that you need more capital, that helps give people reassurance. >> congressman barney frank spoke about the over $2 billion loss by j.p. morgan chase. the dodd-frank law and gay marriage. watch his comment on line at the c-span video library. republican presidential
candidate mitt romney addressed the latino coalition economic summit earlier today about his policies to improve the u.s. education system. it is the second time in two weeks that he has reached out to hispanic voters. this is 45 minutes. >> thank you for that warm welcome. thank you. [applause] please. very kind. [applause] i hate to stand between you and your lunch. but i have a topic of importance today. there are a number of topics we could discuss. i would like to lay out my whole policy as it relates to small businesses and getting them successful again, how to replace obamacare, energy policy, how to tackle the budget deficit. i have a topic of significance
for the entire nation i am going to spend some time talking about. i want to thank the chamber of commerce for hosting us today. this year marks the 100th anniversary of standing up for enterprise. these days, your voice is more important than ever abandoi am . i am grateful to be a part of the latino coalition economic summit. in recent days, we have heard a lot about business from the president. this is a time when everybody in this administration should be doing everything in their power to support you. if every one of our small
businesses added two employees, americans could pay more mortgages, buy more groceries, and fill their gas tanks. president obama has decided to attacks success. it is no wonder so many of us are calling on him to stop this war on job creators. when ibm president, he will not wake up every day and wonder -- when i am president, you will not wake up every day and wonder if the president is on your side. [applause] starting from day one, i will be there to help you make success, to make it, to make ends meet, to hire people and pay good wages. if you are successful, i will be there to celebrate your success. i know your prosperity means
greater opportunity for you, your families, your employees, your communities, and for the nation. that is what the american dream is all about. it is about lifting the entire nation with the dreams of the american people. i have run and started businesses. i have helped guide the olympics and had the opportunity to lead a great state. i learned that the only way to succeed in tough situations is to bring people together in a common purpose. that is how you achieve greatness or accomplish any goal and then dividing people and pitting one side against the other produces nothing but failure and mediocrity. unfortunately, we have seen way to much of that from this administration which is why we are facing the slowest economic recovery since the great
depression. it is why this president has failed to address the most serious problems facing the country. it is not time to divide. it is time to come to get there and remained one nation under god. [applause] when the president took office, he faced a jobs crisis. it has barely improved. he faced a spending crisis and then he has made that wears. and he faced an education crisis. i would love to be able to stand here and tell you we are celebrating the end of our education crisis. be able it be great to to say we turned the corner? that has not happened. the tragedy is not just a matter of test scores and rankings. it is the frustration of a sixth
grader who wants to learn more but is stuck in a class that is hardly moving at all. it is the embarrassment of a 10th grader who knows he cannot read the books he has been assigned. it is the shame of a 12th grader who is supposed to be ready to graduate but he has not mastered the skills he or she needs to succeed for the jobs of today. in this country, every child has something to contribute no matter the circumstances that they were born into. every child has a dream about where they can go or what they can become. whether it is to invent something or start something or build something or create something, it all starts with basic skills and confidence that come from a good education. today, way too many dreams are never realized because of our failing education system.
more than 150 years ago, our nation pioneered public education. now we have fallen way behind. you probably know this already. united states comes in 14th in reading, 17th in science, and 25th out of 34 in math. our public education system is supposed to ensure that every child gets a strong start in their life. yet one in every four students in this country fails to get a high school degree. think about that. what are they going to do? in our major cities, half of our kids do not graduate. imagine that. imagine if you had a 25% or 50% failure rate. he would make changes fast.
if you did not, you would be out of business in a hurry. instead, there is a fierce determination to keep the things just the way they are. here we are in the most prosperous nation on earth, but millions of our kids are getting a third world education. minority children suffer the most. this is the civil rights issue of our era [applause] last week i talked about the perry fire of debt that is spreading across our country. -- prairie fire of death that is spreading across our country. but the jobs and housing taylors
of the past few years old and make the task of education and its promise to improve the future more important. let's not kid ourselves. we are in the middle of a national education emergency. the only reason we do not hear more about it is because our net takenic troubles have attention away from the conscience. classrooms. the jobs and housing failures of these past years only meet the need for education improvement that much more critical. i will be blunt. i do not like the direction of american education. as president, i will do everything in my power to get an education on track for the kids of this great land. [applause]
now you have business careers. you have learned from them. you cannot expect dramatic results unless you are open to dramatic different options. as president, i will pursue a very bold policy of change that will restore the promise of our national education system. let me tell you some of the things i will do. first, i will expand parental choice in an unprecedented way. [applause] too many of our kids are taught in schools that are failing or simply do not meet their needs. for too long, we have only talked about the virtues of school choice without really doing something. as president, i will give the parents of every low income and special needs students the chance to choose where their child goes to school.
for the first time in history, federal education funds will be linked to the student so the parents can send their child to any public or charter school of their choice. [cheers and applause] in addition, i will make that choice meaningful by insuring that there are sufficient options for parents to be able to exercise. in order to receive the full compliment of federal education dollars, states will have to provide students with an ample school choice opportunity. in addition, digital learning options must not be prohibited in the states. charter schools and similar education choices have to be scaled up to meet student demand. instead of eliminating the d.c. opportunity scholarship program
as president obama has proposed, i will expand it to offer more students a chance. [applause] it will become a model for parental choice and for school systems across the nation. read the choice will hold schools responsible for results, but parents can only exercise that choice effectively if they have the proper information about which schools are succeeding or failing. no child left behind helped our nation and urged the information gap, but the law is not without weaknesses. as president, i will break the logjam and i will reduce federal micromanagement, but i will redouble efforts to make sure that schools are held responsible for their results. parents should not have to navigate a complicated and cryptic evaluation system to figure out how well their kids' school is doing. states will have to provide a simple to read and widely
available public report card that evaluates each and every school. these report cards will provide accurate and easy to understand info about student performance in school success. states will continue to design their own standards of tests, but this info will be provided so parents can make an informed choice. we will take bold steps to make sure that our system welcomes and rewards the best people into the teaching profession. as president, i will make it my goal to make sure that every caution has a quality teacher. -- classroom has a quality teacher. as president, i will consolidate those programs so that they can adopt innovative policies. state to be rewarded if they
regularly a value teachers for their effectiveness and if they compensate the best teachers in the classroom. [applause] teaching is a highly valued profession. has to attract the best and brightest around the country. these things together dramatically expanding school choice, making schools responsible for results by giving parents access to clear and instructed information, and attracting and rewarding our best teachers, these changes can help ensure that every parent has a choice and every child has a chance. [applause] as you know, we live in 21st century that increasingly demands a college education.
efforts in improvement cannot stop a high school and. kids need to options that will give them the skills they need for successful careers. we have skyrocketing tuition prices that put a higher education out of the reach of too many kids and leave others with a crushing debt. accomplishing real change is not going to be easy. efforts to truly reform our schools always meet with strong resistance and entrenched interest. the teachers' unions are the clearest example of a group that has lost its way. whenever anyone offers a new idea, the union's protest the loudest. the attitude was memorably expressed by longtime president of the american federation of teachers. he said, "when schoolchildren
start paying union dues, that is when i will start for presenting the interest of children." the teachers unions do not fight for our children. that is our job. our job keeps getting harder because the unions wield outside influence in elections and campaigns. annually, many teachers are forced to pay almost $1,000 per year in union dues. the two major teacher unions take in $600 million per year. that is more revenue than both of the political parties combined. in 2008, the national education association spend more money on campaigns than any other organization in the country. 90% of the money went to the democratic party. education is one issue where it should be easy to find common purpose and common solutions. i believe the president must be
troubled by the lack of progress since he took office. most likely, he would have liked to do more, but the teachers' unions are one of the democrat'' biggest donors. they are also one of the president's biggest campaign supporters. he has been on able to stand up for our kids. the most recently is the opportunity scholarship program. since 2004, it has allowed thousands of children in d.c. to escape one of the worst school systems in the nation and get a world-class education. was scholarships of up to $17,000, students are enrolled in private schools. 99% of the students were hispanic or african-american. after only three months, the students could already be at levels 19 months ahead of the public school peers and parents
were happy. for every spot in the program, there were four kids are hoping to get in. then a democrat from illinois, he inserted a provision to end the program. can you imagine? the white house offered no resistance. in fact, president obama has proposed ending all funding for opportunity scholarships. he must've gone against his better instincts, but the unions wanted it. in the opportunity scholarships, the democrats from the from the one federal program they are willing to cut. why? because success anywhere in our public schools is a rebuke to failure everywhere else. that is why the unions refuse even as common-sense reforms. in detroit, another example. students in the failing public schools were offered a lifeline by a philanthropist. he offered a $200 million to
great charter schools in this city. the teachers' union fought to get state legislation to turn that get down and they did. can you imagine? in connecticut, parents groups tried to pass a legislation so they could take over and transform failing schools. in national teachers' union efforts moved aggressively to stop that. some union leaders will tell you that their objectives are misunderstood. they will argue that the issues are very complicated, but they are really simple. it comes down to this -- when your cause in life is preventing parents from having a meaningful choice or children from having a real chance, then you are on the wrong side. you might even be in the wrong location because good teachers put the interests of children first. [applause]
the same is true of a good president. in the speeches that president obama likes to tell us, we cannot wait. if he would only say that ending the about education reform. millions of kids are waiting for change and many of them are missing their chance. the president cannot have it both ways. he cannot talk of reform while indulging the groups that are blocking reform. he cannot be the voice of the disadvantage public school kids and the protector of the special interests. president obama has made his choice. i have made mine. as president, i will be a champion of real education reform in this country and i will not let any special interest get in the way. we have to stop putting campaign cash ahead of our kids. [applause]
this is a battle we can win and must win. while a lot of this needs fixing, we are getting some of the most important things right. we have good teachers, like the one to four leading new york city's democracy prep. kids from the poorest communities are outperforming children from the wealthiest communities. think of that. last summer, these teachers took over the worst elementary school in harlem rather than let it shut down. democracy pratt is a testament to good people who refuse to give up on our kids -- demo cracy prep is a testament to good people who refuse to give of on our kids.
one man brought focused innovation and passionate leadership and today test scores have risen up dramatically. but too often, good ideas and dedicated teachers and parents do not find a true champion in elected officials. instead they are met with resistance from the unions. i know what it is like to do things differently. as president, i will stand shoulder to shoulder with the reformers and the innovators -- the parents, teachers, and kids. when i became governor of my state, we were in the middle of education reforms. they included a requirement that to graduate from high school, you have to pass a graduation exam. that principle and that exam came under attack from the
unions. they spent $600,000 on advertising and try to stop the test, but we stood our ground. we also decided to offer our best students a four year-year scholarship to the state college of their choice. think of that. the top quarter of children who took the exam got a scholarship. i called the john and abigail adams scholarship. every year, i would ask a school principal to invite the students who had scored in the top corner on that exam to come to a special assembly. the kids did not know why and they were coming together. they did not know they were in the top quarter. i began speaking to them and ask them to reach under the chair and remove an envelope that we had taped there. i would watch as each of them would open the letter. every year of the stand in front of the room and the same scene
would unfold. at first, you could hear a pin drop. and each student's eyes would get big and broad smiles would creep across the faces as they found they were in the top quarter of those who had taken the exam. then they would be the part in the letter were they learned that they have in adams scholarship. their smiles turned to cheers and the sound was often deafening. i got more hogs on items adams scholarship day that on christmas. kids would give me their cell phones to tell the parents the news. the prince would tell me that the scholarship has made the difference -- parents would tell me that the scholarship has made such a difference.
we must transform how we teach and train and educate. we already have good teachers and engage parents and big ideas, but what we need now is strong political leadership and political will. it was for every parent needs a chance for every child. that can be more than our who, it can be our future. it can begin this year in the choice that you may. [cheers and applause] let me say that again. you guys are great.
let me say that again. this can be more than our hope, it can be our future. it can begin this november in the choice that you make. i am asking for your help. i need you to go out and get people across the community to tell them how important this issue is. i care about a lot of things. i will get the economy going. i will make sure that we help people in need. i will open up new markets for american goods and products. i will also the education working for the good people of america to ensure that our kids have an even better future than we have enjoyed. i need your help. together we will take back america and keep it hope of the earth. thank you very much. thank you. god bless america. [cheers and applause]
>> thank you, governor. thank you for sharing such an important message for our community. please be seated. the governor has agreed to take a few questions from our members. we have already received these questions. i really appreciate taking a few extra minutes to do this. governor, we are addressing an economic crisis in our country. how do you see education tying into these broader concerns? >> education is obviously an investment that has a dramatic impact over time in our future. one of the things that troubles american families today is that they think of the country and there is the sense of foreboding that the future will not be as good for the kids as the life we have enjoyed.
people who came here at the recently for a long time ago came here to this country for opportunities. if they are concerned that opportunity is being snuffed out by special interests are politicians who will not lead, then they wonder about the future of america and their decision to invest in america and to stay here and to bring family members here is called into question. when you think about where you will buy a home, what are the questions that you ask? how are the schools? that is what you always want to know. how are the schools? that is the question that to ask because if you have good schools, that means it you have good people and the values will go up. it and we have schools that are failing, the people of the will not want to come here with the best and brightest. and we will not have the kids
who have the skills to fill in the jobs of tomorrow. education is one of the founding blocks of what makes our economy work. it goes on with principles and values taught by our communities and churches and our culture. . our schools are failing. we have known it year after year. they are feeling the minority communities who need it the most. we keep talking about this year after year and doing nothing about it, yet there are places where we see success. let's take that success and apply it nationally so we can help our kids and get our economy going again. [cheers and applause] >> thank you, governor. one of our latino coalition members asked this -- governor,
we hear all the time that small businesses do not have an environment to start and grow their businesses. they do not have an opportunity for long-term success. as president faugh and as a former successful business leader and governor, -- as president, and as a former successful business leader and governor, what would you do to remedy this? >> big topic. there is not one little switch the u-turn and somehow everything is great for business again. my objective is very different than the current administration. the objective is to make america the best place in the world for small business, middle-sized business, and big business. i want more jobs here. i want people to find good work and have rising incomes. if i do that, i will make this a good place for business.
my liberal friends want to have a strong economy, but they do not let business. [laughter] -- do not like business. [laughter] but an economy is made up of businesses. i do not know how many of you have businesses that are taxed at the corporate tax rate. my guess is, not a lot. most smaller businesses are taxed at the end of the rate. president obama has suggested raising the individual tax rate, the marginal rate from 35% to 40%, he will kill jobs. you will be able to keep less capital in your business and that means less investment and less people. i want to lower the marginal tax rate across the board. i will pay for that by reducing
some of the reductions and exemptions. i want to make it easier for small businesses to grow and expand. i want more jobs and rising incomes. for me, this all comes back to helping the great majority of americans that depend on small enterprises to have a good job. that is one piece. the second piece, i will take away the specter of obamacare. it is during a lot of businesses. we do not want it and we do not need it. [applause] let me mention another. president obama's energy policy is to drive up the costs of oil so it is closer price to wind and solar. i let wind and solar, but i like to keep the costs of our
energy down to the businesses that use energy find this the most attractive place to invest and grow. we need an energy policy that helps business. that is good for the american people. i will go on. regulation, you need to have regulation. you cannot have a free economy work if there is no regulation to make sure that people are not cheating. that is the key. regulators and regulations have to see their jobs as not solely stopping the bad guys. it is important, but they need to see their job as encouraging the good guys as well. the epa is making it difficult to add on 4000 square feet to a shopping facility and it is taking years and years to get approval. this is not good. it is owned and construction jobs. it is slowing down jobs.
he need to have regulators have an entirely different mindset. sometimes i think the guys in washington do not like you very much. i love you. i love your effort. [applause] i love your effort to create enterprises that not only reward you and your families, but there were the peoples that you are able to hire and your customers and suppliers. that is how america works. whether it is regulation, trade, our energy -- let me mention trade. agreed and productive nation benefits by trading with other nations. we have a huge trading partner right next door in latin america. we are all interested in what is happening in china and that is important, but right next door, we have massive opportunity.
we should be aggressively pursuing bilateral trade agreements and opening avenues for free trade with latin american countries. it is good for us and for them. an agreement that was made between president bush and columbia, that agreement was stalled for three years because organize unions did not want it. we had to have an entirely different mindset. we had to have government see part of their job of encouraging enterprise. how can have people in this room scared to death that the government might impose unions on your employees' if those employees do not want them? those kinds of policies kill jobs. everything i will do is designed to make america more attractive place for job creators and small businesses and big businesses and employees and rising wages. i will get the job done.
[applause] >> excellent, governor. i had to tell you, you hit on one of the most important and popular subjects for a lot of people in this room. i have to tell you, we have a delegation here from colombia and bolivia. we have senators from there. you already answered this, but does ththe idea behind this question is that we often do ignore our neighbor to the south, latin america. is there anything else you want to add to that on what we can do? it seems like every time there is a major disaster around the world, we take our attention off latin america and we think it is important to have a central relationship with mexico and central america and latin america. >> it is natural that when there
is a threat, you focus on the threat and try to do with it. there have been various things over the last decade that have frightened us and threatened us and we focused on those areas. but we ought to focus on our opportunities as well and opportunities in latin america are really quite extraordinary. not that just because of our proximity and approximate time zones, but because of the shared cultures and values that we have in the u.s. with these other nations of latin america and north america and south america. we have extraordinary economic fraternopportunity. what castro is doing, we should be actively involved in communicating and promoting our values.
we should be advocating human rights throughout latin america. i am concerned about what is happening in the middle east and china, but i care about what is happening in latin america. we need a president who is focused on opportunities and the needs in our neighborhood as to do in the rest of the world. i am increasingly optimistic about the future of this country and our economic future and prosperity for our kids. one, an enormous market in latin america that we have an advantage in being able to access. two, innovative and creative people. 3, massive energy resources that are suddenly becoming available at very low costs. natural gas, for instance.
it will be manufacturing back to this country. the opportunity for a leader who understands what it takes to get this economy going. you will see it completes re- direction in america posted economy. people will be shocked buat how much we have increased in america. thank you. [applause] ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
>> tonight, a secret service director an homeland security inspector general testified on the recent secret service prostitution incident in colombia which resulted in disciplinary action against three. you can see it at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. on c-span2 secretaries' day hillary clinton and secretary panetta testified before a committee on how ratifying a treaty regarding ocean rights
could strengthen national security in the egypt/pacific region. even hear more about it tonight at 8 eastern on c-span2. >> right now, take a look around you and think about where people are going. the guy in front of you could win an academy award sunday. the girl behind you could be a future president of the united states or even better than that, the mayor of new york city. [laughter] the guy sitting to your right could be a future nobel winner. >> memorial day weekend, what commitments speakers -- watch commencement speakers. saturday at noon and 10:00 p.m. eastern. >> the house is out for a
congressional recess this week, but the senate added this morning to continue work on a user fees bill.da senators have agreed on a amendments and will vote tomorrow. earlier today, barbara boxer updated reporters on the surface transportation bill. from capitol hill, this is 25 minutes. >> ok. just let me catch my breath. we ran here because there was a hearing going on. at the opening meeting of the
surface transportation bill conference on the 8th, i said i would give regular updates on the bill. today i will talk about developments since the last talk to you. i will not address the specific issues in negotiation. i will tell you that we are making very good progress. i would say great progress. we are working on various outstanding issues. approximately 80% of our bill is non-controversial. epw title makes up for 80% of the bill. i intend to complete the conference report by our deadline in june. we cannot afford any more delays and extension. the uncertainty of these delays
and extensions means that business and workers are already suffering. make no mistake about it. these delays which are unfunded delays, these are absolutely making it difficult for our people. when i say unfunded extensions, and no money was ever put into the house every time they made an extension. the fund is running dry and will be tried by the end of this year the staff has been meeting every day on all the major issues. they are working together across party lines and across senate house lines. they are addressing every item. according to my staff, 17 meetings of the working group were held last week. 10 meetings will have been held for a total of 27 working groups. in addition to the were group
meetings, i have had one on one meetings or discussions with many of them. the process has been extremely inclusive. my individual conversations have been very useful in identifying their priorities and their concerns. we have been able to make congress because of the commitment shown to get the report signed into law by the june 30 deadline when the current transportation bill extension expires. we are working together in the best of ways. we just talked last night. he is also pleased at the way things are going. he is also reaching out individually to colleagues. i am particularly pleased and i will tell you now.
by the willingness of john boehner to speak with us and accomplished this mutual goal, i have a very good conversation with him yesterday. he told me that he met with leaders on his side and he told them to get the conference report done. i told the speaker that i was reaching out to all of the people he put on that conference. he said he was pleased with the progress. i asked the speaker if i could report on our conversation at a press conference. he said, absolutely. he is working to make sure that we get this done. that is the best news that i have heard in a long time. i have told leader reid about my conversations with the speaker. he is very pleased. as he told me, the help of our businesses and communities depend on it. we clearly have a broad
coalition in supporting our effort. i believe that we will reach an agreement on this. i think the reason is that we have brought to the table and bipartisan bill. what we brought to the table was a very fair bill. it was not a democratic or republican bill. it was a bipartisan bill. it has many proposals in it that republicans supported. for example, a congressman and i sat next to each other. we heard about the notion about boosting up the program. it is the transformation bill
act. it would help communities and they would come in and the federal government finds the money to do these projects quickly. we have the whole section on the bill. it has been very popular. we have so much support. i also wanted to mention in my update that yesterday i spoke to several other groups on a conference call. i continue to do this every few days. they are continuing to work together -- labor, the chamber, manufacturing, you have heard me listed these names over and over again. they are very involved in speaking and writing to members and speaking one on one and so on. they are fully engaged. we will have a conference report ready to circulate among the
varying colleagues by early june. we intend to have this bill on the desk of the president's by june 30. i think you all know what is at stake. 3 million jobs. we know that we already have 2 million currently protected in our bill. an additional 1 million would be created because of the program. we have thousands of businesses that care about this. i thought it would also be interesting for you to hear from someone who is very close to his state at to knows exactly what these delays and extensions have made. he is a very important man to us. i am delighted he could be with us today. >> thank you, chairman. i am sure to provide just a moment context for the urgency
that chairman boxer has demonstrated in trying to move this bill forward through conference. many states like mine have a summer construction season. our winters are inhospitable to a construction. as we all know, anyone who has been outdoors in snows and knows that the summer construction has begun. the time is ticking away. every day that the conference goes forward, every day we do not have a bill on the peasant's desk, it becomes harder for our tate -- president's desk, it becomes harder for our state. the director of transportation
from rhode island is michael lewis. we work very closely together. just the existing delay and until the end of june, remember that we passed our bill on time and march 31 when the original deadline was. we have been working on house extension to meet that deadline with the house bill. we are ready in an extension mode. just that, he says that there are 96 projects in rhode island that he had scheduled for this summer and if we do not get this done before june 30, up 40 of those projects will fall off his schedule. there has been a real costs to the delay the house in force for not being prepared with a bill by march 31. if it should not come to pass,
that we do not meet the schedule, obviously the job loss is worse. i come from a small stake. losing those 40 projects will result in the losing many jobs taken out of the economy in the summer at a time when ryland is over 11% in unemployment. island is over 11% in unemployment. boxer thought this bill through her committee had the time. she guided through her committee unanimously. that is impressive. she got this to the floor and we accepted some other amendments.
there could be no complaint about in and getting jammed. it is a wide open process of the very thoughtful results. it was an exemplary piece of chairman boxer. there is a real context in jobs for why she is pushing hard to get this done. as the summer ticks away, jobs are literally disappearing. so, thank you very much. thank you, chairman boxer. >> we show that togetherness. >> [inaudible] >> i think we have a chance. the attitude is a good one. as the bill is currently -- >> will go through the end of
2013? >> i feel that it is possible. the reason why did i say that is because a fellow chairmen is working very cooperative i. i think we have a chance. this is one of his biggest issues. he wants a longer bill. i am absolutely in agreement that if we could figure out to make this bill revenue neutral, we are fine. >> where are we on that? >> i will not get into the details, but from what i know, i think they found a very sweet spot and a good way to pay for this that will gain very broad support among republicans and democrats. >> [inaudible]
>> i think as you know, in the senate we have tremendously long negotiations over this whole piece. with the addition of the language, we are in good shape. as i said, i will not get into the details. i feel that there is so much give-and-take in the senate side between democrats and republicans. i felt comfortable where we are at this point. tell me where you are from? >> [inaudible] >> i do not have any sticky points to share with you today. people are coming to the table and wanting to get a bill. i think we will work out all of our issues. i have said from the start, i'm
not clear to produce a bill that will be a controversy because it will not go through. we need to get 60 votes in the senate and the majority in the house. when members sit around the table, they understand this. i believe speaker boehner understands that we need a bill that can pass and get the president's signature. at this point, i honestly do not see any sticking points. are the areas that we need to talk about? of course. is there more work to do? absolutely. but i cannot say that i see a sticking point yet. tell me where you are from. >> [inaudible] last time we met, and you told us that you try to cover all of the easy points but did not move to the hard stuff gets.
have you moved on to this more difficult areas yet? >> there are lots of areas in the bill that there are questions about. that has to do performance standards and have to move forward. there is a lot more issues. there are a bunch of them. we are having conversations on these. people are laying down what they like. we know that we have to work them out. i've had individual conversations with members and we will sit down and figure this out. we have a bill that can pass without controversy. we want to get it signed into law. yes, sir. >> you said you have reached an agreement on thewhich bill? >> epw bill. >> can you give us a summary?
>> the fact is that we have reform this bill in a major way. these are reforms that everyone wants. from a small amount to $1 billion, we want to stimulate economic growth. this is a great way to help our states and local communities and cities and so on. the fact that we have eliminated earmarks has been broadly accepted. i could go through it all, but the fact that we have a formula that we are not messing with our changing -- a couple of people wanted to open that up, but we have talked about the formula. with the time that we have, a long term to pay for this is absolutely right for discussion. right now, there is no donor states.
there is not one. those are examples of where there is a consensus emerging. >> you mentioned you had a meeting with speaker boehner. >> i said i had a conversation. it was a phone conversation. >> excuse me. phone conversation. how does complicate the picture? >> it lets people say what they want. if he noted that particular vote, it was not vetoed. we can see and that there was not enough to override the veto. i like that. these motions, they can go on every day. they are opinions of the people voting that way.
it is all fine and good. it was a solid vote for america. i spoke to him yesterday. however conversation was really good. no one brought up any sticking points. i do not think that there are any sticking points. there are issues that we will meet to work on. but after speaking with spoke boehner and leader reid, there is the sense of urgency. he has spoken in a caucus bradley and told people and talked to your people back, that things are tough out there. this was a