tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 24, 2012 1:00am-6:00am EDT
their first day on the job, their orientation, we talk about our codes of conduct. that is reinforced when they go through the federal law enforcement training center. it is reinforced again and again to our training facility. about one week or two before the agent or officer's graduation, i, myself, and the deputy director meet with each class for one hour and a half. the first thing we talk about his character. we tell these individuals that the thing that separated them from the others was their character and their integrity. when they go back into their field office, they have to annually certify that they have read our code of conduct, that they understand our code of conduct, and that is done with a supervisor.
when they go to the organization through our various training classes, or when they get into upper management, we continue to talk about code of conduct. as our as the security clearances, we have adjudicated guidelines. we have guidelines were this is all spelled out. as a matter of fact, it is on the passport travel log. it is indicated on the passport that you will abide by the rules and regulation -- and the regulations by the united states. so, senator, i do believe is is pretty clear. i think anybody in our organization -- it is a common- sense thing, to me. and a moral thing to me that people understand with the expectation is. >> i thank you for that answer. i think -- i hope you'll take a fresh look to make sure you are drilling all of these values that are important to the
secret service. that you have updated since cartagena. so, that the next time a secret service agents decides to think about doing something like they did, a light will go off in their heads and they will conclude the risk is too high. probably in the short run, the memory and the dishonor brought on the agency will be so fresh that hopefully this won't happen. but human nature being what it is over a period of time, we need to have rules and procedures and drilling those rules into personnel that goes on for a much longer period of time to re -- to re -- to a time that meant the as fresh. >> initially, it you did not
have information about these women. initially, you did not know whether there were prostitutes, foreign agents, or members of a terrorist group. is that correct? >> that is correct senator. >> was there a sweet done to see whether the women involved have planted any electronic surveillance equipment? >> senator, one of the things we always tell our agents, there could be some type -- never trust that it is safe. we did not do any sweep on these rooms that were used by these
agents. >> there was no sweep? i am to understand that there is -- i would understand that there was no sleep before the incident, but when you first learned of the incident, when you were doing -- >> there was no type of electronic sweep. there was a visual sweep. as far as an electronic sweep, senator, there was none. >> have you now been able to definitively conclude that the women were not associated -- that there were not foreign agents? that they were not involved in human trafficking? that they were not working, for example, other terrorist groups? >> the first thing we do, senator, is get the names of all the women. we have their country
identification number. we provided those names and identifiers to some of the various partners out there who could verify for us if there was any connection with any type of criminal activity or criminal organization. all of the information -- all but two women -- we interviewed again, from the appearance of those interviews, that is the information we have been able to derive. >> it is ironic that we can be relieved that these women were only prostitutes. that is a rather strange thing
for us to take comfort in in this case, but, obviously, it would have been more troubling if they were a foreign agents associated with drug cartels or other criminal activity. >> our investigation is pretty much confirm that these women did not know who these individuals were. >> i want to refer to an exchange that you had with senator johnson. i believe during that exchange, you referred to a government- wide survey. you asked federal employees whether they would report on conduct. i understand correctly that you said that 60% of the secret
service personnel who were interviewed in this survey said that they would report on ethical this cop -- misconduct and 40% said they would not? >> i think it was something like 58% or 60% said they would. i think there is about 18% or 19% said they wouldn't. and then the remaining percentage just for indifferent who towards it. >> doesn't that suggest a broader problem? >> it is something we need to work on. i do not know that it presents ai have talked to director, barry, and we would like to see that number increase. >> from my perspective, when you combine the facts of this case -- of this case, the fact that the agents made no attempt to conceal their identity, or
the fact that they were bringing these women back to their hotel rooms, a survey in which fewer than 60% of the secret service personnel said they would report ethical misconduct, the fact that this wasn't, as i said in my opening statement, a group of individuals who just got swept up into a situation, but rather a smaller group who engaged in the same kind of misconduct, to me, that spells a broader problem with culture in the agency. and i say that with the greatest of people working for the secret service. but that does not mean that there isn't a problem. so, my final question to you
today is, if i finally become successful in convincing you that there is a broader problem here, with culture, or with unacceptable behavior being condoned when agents are on the road, what actions would you that you are not taking now? how would you change the culture of an agency? >> you know senator, i hope i can convince you that it is not culturally an issue. >> i know. >> i look at the number of cases. one of the things i know as the director is i am going to have, on any given day, i and potentially going to have an employee who get into some type of incident.
it might be a serious one, it might not be a big one at all. i just keep going back to the under 1% of our investigations have some type of misconduct. that is what i do feel very optimistic about this professionalism reinforcement. working group. executives from the military, from other law enforcement, who i really do want to be very open with them and transparent. i want them to take a hard look at us. again, it is my opinion that the overwhelming majority of men and women in this organization -- i think what makes this organization what it is is ouri think we have a culture of hard- working people who are committed every single day. when i was at the nato summit in chicago, i walked around and talked to a couple hundred agents out there. nobody who is more disappointed by this behavior, who is more upset, then the men
and women. i think this is just something that is systemic within this organization. >> are there any additional actions that you would be taking if you felt that there was a systemic problem? >> well, again, training. i think training is a big test. you can never do enough training. it is something we have to be proactive with. where does have to continually drill it into our people. decision. frankly, senator, i do think the action was taken for these bad decisions. i think that sends a pretty strong message to the men and
women of this organization that it will not be tolerated. >> i know i promised you that was my last question, but i do have just one final question. you stated earlier that you feel that this incident in colombia would have become public even if there had not been the dispute over money. what is your basis for feeling that the incident would become public? particularly, in light of this survey? >> we had almost 200 people there. confidence in in the men and women in our organization. we're talking about an event here. we are talking about 11 individuals, not 12 individuals -- now 12 individuals, who took part in misconduct. i believe and have a lot of faith in our men and women that this misconduct because this just goes beyond the pale. i truly believe it would have a
complaint to our office. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator. both your own faith in the secret service, which is the result of your own experience, you have been an extraordinary secret service agent and leader. but, to some extent, i want to suggest -- you know that what happened happened. you cannot have to believe the suspicions that most others have. the only case. to some extent, i think what you maintain your faith in the secret service, going forward you have to assume this is not
the only case. i believe you're trying to do. rules and procedures to make sure, to the best of our human again. i was thinking about a slogan that we talk about a lot in the field of domestic counter-this is not easy. those numbers that you mentioned point to about a little less than 60% saying they would definitely report misconduct of a secret service employe. organizations to not want to get your colleagues in trouble or, in a sense, to not want to get controversy.
organization. i just hope all the personnel of the secret service have learned that and that you will try to put in place rules and procedures debt will continue to and years. the senator mentioned i was a protect the during the 2000 -- a protectee during the 2000 national campaign. i had nothing but the highest regard for the secret service details that were with me and my family. there were people honor, great discipline. so, obviously, committed to protecting our safety and security. so, like you, i think, when the
story came out, i was justand then i was angry at thei think we have got to preserve those feelings. and not be at all defensive here. because this is like a wound. we have to get in it. find out what happens. clean it out. and let it heal. and then make sure, you put in that's, this great body, if i can continue the metaphor, will way. i appreciate very much the presence and the testimony of both of you. i appreciate what you both have done, both of you, since this incident became public. the committee is going to investigation and work with both of you to make sure that we
achieve total trust and confidence in the secret service agency. history. we want it to be the norm. in the years ahead. senator, would you like to add anything? >> thank you, mr. chairman. director sullivan, in reflecting on the many conversations that we've had, and listening to you today, i cannot help but think that because you personally are such an outstanding individual, completely ethical, dedicated, courageous, everything we want the head of the secret service to be, and because in your career, you did not happen to
see this kind of happened. i urge you to try to put that aside because if there is a problem, if the story to date is correct, you cannot be confident that this has not happened before and it will not happen again unless a very clear message is sent that the rules are not different when agents are on the road. they have the same rules that apply in their home town. i just want to close my remarks
today by thinking deeper -- by thanking the brave men and women of the secret service. of law enforcement and of the military, dangerous jobs. but if we ignore or downplay what happens here, it can be like a cancer. it could be tarnished, if you will. i hope you have the disciplinary actions that are so clearly
warranted in this case, but that you also take a really hard look at what procedural changes and because i continue to believe that the problem is broader than you believe it to be. i thank you for your leadership and your cooperation. >> thank you, senator collins. did you want to add something? >> thank you very much for your time. i just want to make sure, and i do not want to give you the impression that this is not something that we have not taken seriously or that i am going to ignore. this cannot be ignored. hopefully, everyone has seen with the action debt taken -- with the action we have taken.
i know this is something that, internally, we may not be the best individuals to do and we do need to bring in outside people to take a look at our organization. as i said before, we aren't looking to be the best. i do believe that they too not only want to make us better, but the best. i do appreciate your support. i look forward to continuing to work with you on this. i value the opportunity to talk about this. i will tell you that this is a people. >> thank you. commitment that we're going to do a comprehensive review.
the findings and recommendations as soon as possible. earlier, i did not give you the right website for our hot line. we also have an 800 number. it is 800-323-6033. -- 8603. both anonymous and people with their names can submit their allegations on any issue, andwe will respond accordingly. >> thank you. the record of this hearing will remain open for 15 days with -- for any additional questions or the hearing is adjourned. >> thank you, chairman. national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
>> it came with the hotline, and there was his recollection. but they were apparently all separated. >> falstaff. the secret service? >> pardon me? >> again, i was not distressed that these were anonymous, but, the problem is that the story in "the post" today encourages the belief that a lot of people, including us, it was not just an isolated incident. not all of a sudden, one day in cartagena, colombia, decided
to go to different places, not the same one. this kind of story requires the response that director sullivan gave. in fact, he was interviewing some of this afternoon, and there is the investigation. and in the end, we have got to get the truth out about what happened in cartagena, and the ultimate want to benefit will be the secret service. >> i think that the director is a very fine individual who is very proud of his own career, understandably so, and to help the agency. therefore, i think he has a difficult time coming to grips
with the fact that he has a broader problem than just this one incident. >> given the disconnect? >> i have seen no evidence to see that he is not pursuing any allegation that comes to his attention, but i am going to keep pressuring him to take a look at this from a broader perspective. the only answer of he is that disturbed me today was that he kept saying over and over again that he basically does think this is an isolated incident, and i do not think he has any basis for that conclusion. >> i agree. as i said at one point towards the end, i know that is what he believes, but for the good of the secret service, deciding to
change the rules and procedures of the secret service, you have got to understand -- assumed that what happened in cartagena -- i see no reason at this point to ask director of façade -- directors sullivan to leave. >> what about the investigation? >> we are going to stay on it, and i think something really significant happens, when the inspector general said he is not going to review the secret service investigation of cartagena, he is going to investigate his own, doing to a hundred interviews. that is a big change. that is significant. >> that is significant. when i asked the i.g., it was because there was a concern that all he was going to do was review what was done by the director.
but in talking to other i.g.'s, they were telling me there should be an independent investigation by the i.g., not just a ratification or a review of what the director found. >> i do not know. a matter of priority and personnel. before we ask the question, senator collins did, whether he was going to interview any of the 13 agents, because they were clearly a big source of the story. and they were interviewing two of them today. it became a very public commitment. when you think about it, i know that director sullivan has every interest, probably as much as
anyone in the world and cleaning this up and moving forward, but ultimately, there is nothing better than an independent investigation by the inspector general in this case, as opposed to a self investigation by the agency, the secret service that has been involved. we are going to stay on it. with the inspector general and his investigation, that is where they are submitted. >> thank you. ethel -- >> you can learn more
about the members of the senate homeland security panel in the directory. it includes their community assignments. pick up a copy for $12.95 plus shipping and handling at c- span.org/chop. in a few moments, president obama's speech at the air force academy. and then, the economic summit. and later, a hearing on an incident involving secret surrogate -- secret service agents in colombia.
>> welcome to the museum in wichita, kansas. >> we are here in the city of wichita. we think we have got a heck of a start. today, he is going to be talking for these taxicabs. hang out for that, if you will. >> june 2 and 3, we exported heritage of literary culture of wichita, kansas. >> what this contains is an alphabetical list of the house of representatives, done in 1831. i believe this was issued only as it says here, for the members' immediate use. not that they had xerox machines, but they were not supposed to loan this out. this would tell you exactly, so
-- >> watch for this on which a talk on c-span2 and c-span3. -- on wichita. >> now, president obama's speech at the air force academy. this is about one-half hour. >> thank you so much. [applause] please be seated. good morning, everybody! it is wonderful to be at the united states air force academy on such a spectacular day. and it is a privilege to join 2012. [applause] i want to thank secretary donley for his introduction, but more importantly, for his leadership.
generals gould, clark and born; academy faculty and staff; governor hickenlooper; members of congress; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. a graduate of this academy who has kept our air force strong challenge, a leader i've relied on and for whom today is his final commencement as chief of staff -- general norton schwartz. norty, suzie, we could not be extraordinary service to our nation. [applause] and although he is not with us
nominated another academy graduate, general mark welsh, as[applause] this is my second visit to thei was here in the summer of 2008, and you were getting ready to head out to jacks valley. so i was proud to be here when you began this journey, and i thought i'd come back and help you celebrate at the end. [laughter] a's great to be back at school that has produced so many of the airmen i've known as president. every day, i rely on outstanding academy graduates who serve at the white house. some of you know that photo from the situation room on the day we delivered justice to bin laden -- you can see right next to me a great leader of our
special operations forces, general brad webb. last month, i was able to present the commander-in-chief trophy to coach calhoun and the fighting falcons - [applause] -- for the second straight year, a record 18th time. and of course, every time i step on air force one, i count on academy graduates like my pilot today -- colonel scott turner. [laughter] so i'm going to have to keep it to myself. cadets, you distinguished yourselves as leaders before you ever stepped foot on the terrazzo. and when you arrived, i know your upper classmen gave you quite a welcome. they let you experience the joy of the beast.
the pleasure of recognition. out forms. i only ask that you resist the temptation to rate my speech -- "fast-neat-average-friendly- good-good." [laughter] [applause] but you survived. in you we see the values of excellence that will define your lives. and i know you couldn't have made it without the love and support of your moms and dads and brothers and sisters and grandmas, grandpas, aunts, applause. [applause] this academy is one of the most demanding academic institutions in america.
and you have excelled. i'm told you have set at least largest number of graduates ever to go directly on to graduate school; the largest number of female graduates in academy history - [applause] [cheers and applause] you will follow in the footsteps of general janet wolfenbarger, who i was proud to nominate as the first female four-star general in air force history. [applause] and of course, your final and game of dodgeball - [applause] - 3,000 participants, 30 hours. i didn't know that was possible.
[laughter] moved all the furniture into your dorm rooms - - which does bring me to some important business. in keeping with longstanding tradition, i hereby grant amnesty to all cadets serving restrictions and confinements for minor offenses. [applause] of course, i leave it up to [laughter] cadets, this is the day you finally become officers in the finest air force in the world. [applause]
like generations before you, responsibility of leading those under your command. like classes over the past 10 war and you may find yourselves in harm's way. test, and that's what i want to talk to you about today. four years ago, you arrived here at a time of extraordinary our forces were engaged in two wars. on 9/11, was entrenched in their safe havens. many of our alliances were strained and our standing in the world had suffered. our economy was in the worst
recession since the great depression. around the world and here at home, there were those that questioned whether the united states still had the capacity for global leadership. today, you step forward into a different world. you are the first class in nine years that will graduate into a world where there are no americans fighting in iraq. [applause] for the first time in your lives -- and thanks to air force personnel who did their part -- osama bin laden is no longer a threat to our country. [applause] we've put al qaeda on the path to defeat. and you are the first graduates since 9/11 who can clearly see how we'll end the war in afghanistan. so what does all this mean?
when you came here four years ago, there were some 180,000 american troops in iraq and afghanistan. we've now cut that number by more than half. and as more afghans step up, more of our troops will come home -- while achieving the objective that led us to war in the first place and that is defeating al qaeda and denying them safe haven. so we aren't just ending these wars, we are doing so in a way that makes us safer and stronger. today we pay tribute to all our extraordinary men and women in uniform for their bravery, for their dedication. those who gave their lives in iraq and afghanistan to make this progress possible -- including 16 graduates of this
academy -- we honor them. we will always honor them. for a decade, we have labored under the dark cloud of war. and now, we can see a light -- the light of a new day on the horizon. so the end of these wars will shape your service and it will make our military stronger. ten years of continuous military operations have stretched our forces and strained their families. going forward, you'll face fewer deployments. you'll have more time to train and stay ready. that means you'll be better prepared for the full range of missions you face. and ending these wars will also ensure that the burden of our security no longer falls so heavily on the shoulders of our men and women in uniform. as good as you are, you can't be expected to do it alone.
there are many sources of american power -- diplomatic, economic and the power of our ideals. and we've got to use them all. and the good news is, today we are. around the world, the united states is leading once more. from europe to asia, our alliances are stronger than ever. our ties with the americas are deeper. we're setting the agenda in the region that will shape our long-term security and prosperity like no other -- the asia pacific. we're leading on global security -- reducing our nuclear arsenal with russia, even as we maintain a strong nuclear deterrent; mobilizing dozens of nations to secure nuclear materials so they never fall into the hands of terrorists; rallying the world to put the
strongest sanctions ever on iran and north korea, which cannot be allowed to threaten the world with nuclear weapons. we are leading economically -- forging trade pacts to create new markets for our goods; boosting our exports, stamped with three proud words -- made in america. [applause] we're expanding exchanges and collaborations in areas that people often admire most about america -- our innovation, our science, our technology. we're leading on behalf of human dignity and on behalf of freedom -- standing with the people of the middle east and north africa as they seek their rights; preventing a massacre in libya with an international mission in which the united states -- and our air force -- led from the front.
[applause] we're leading global efforts against hunger and disease. and we've shown our compassion, as so many airmen did in delivering relief to our neighbors in haiti when they were in need and to our japanese allies after the earthquake and tsunami. because of this progress, around the world there is a new feeling about america. i see it everywhere i go, from london and prague, to tokyo and seoul, to rio and jakarta. there's a new confidence in our leadership. and when people around the world are asked, which country do you most admire, one nation comes out on top -- the united states of america. [applause] of course, the world stage is not a popularity contest. as a nation, we have vital interests, and we will do what is necessary always to defend
this country we love -- even if it's unpopular. but make no mistake, how we're viewed in the world has consequences -- for our national security and for your lives. see, when other countries and people see us as partners, they're more willing to work with us. it's why more countries joined us in afghanistan and libya. it's why nations like australia are welcoming our forces who stand side by side with allies and partners in the south pacific. it's why uganda and its african neighbors have welcomed our trainers to help defeat a brutal army that slaughters its citizens. i think of the japanese man in the disaster zone who, upon seeing our airmen delivering relief, said, "i never imagined they could help us so much."
i think of the libyans who protected our airman when he ejected over their town, because they knew america was there to protect them. and in a region where we've seen burning of american flags, i think of all the libyans who were waving american flags. today, we can say with confidence and pride the united states is stronger and safer and more respected in the world, because even as we've done the work of ending these wars, we've laid the foundation for a new era of american leadership. and now, cadets, we have to build it. we have to build on it. you have to build on it. let's start by putting aside the tired notion that says our influence has waned or that america is in decline. we've heard that talk before. during the great depression, when millions were unemployed and some believed that other economic models offered a better way, there were those who predicted the end of american capitalism. guess what, they were wrong.
we fought our way back. we created the largest middle class in history and the most prosperous economy the world has ever known. after pearl harbor some said, the united states has been reduced to a third-rate power. well, we rallied. we flew over the hump and took island after island. we stormed the beaches and liberated nations. and we emerged from that war as the strongest power on the face of the earth. after vietnam and the energy crisis of the 1970s, some said america had passed its high point. but the very next decade, because of our fidelity to the values we stand for, the berlin wall came tumbling down and liberty prevailed over the tyranny of the cold war. [applause]
as recently as the 1980s with the rise of japan and the asian tigers, there were those who said we had lost our economic edge. but we retooled. we invested in new technologies. we launched an information revolution that changed the world. after all this, you would think folks understand a basic truth -- never bet against the united states of america. [applause] and one of the reasons is that the united states has been, and will always be, the one indispensable nation in world affairs. it's one of the many examples of why america is exceptional. it's why i firmly believe that if we rise to this moment in history, if we meet our responsibilities, then -- just like the 20th century -- the 21st century will be another great american century.
that's the future i see. that's the future you can build. [applause] i see an american century because we have the resilience to make it through these tough economic times. back going to put america to work by investing in the things that keep us competitive -- education and high-tech manufacturing, science and innovation. we'll pay down our deficits, reform our tax code and keep reducing our dependence on foreign oil. we need to get on with nation- building here at home. and i know we can, because we're still the largest, most dynamic, most innovative economy in the world. and no matter what challenges we may face, we wouldn't trade places with any other nation on earth. i see an american century because you are part of the finest, most capable military the world has ever known. no other nation even comes
close. yes, as today's wars end, our military -- and our air force -- will be leaner. but as commander-in-chief, i will not allow us to make the mistakes of the past. we still face very serious threats. as we've seen in recent weeks, with al qaeda in yemen, there are still terrorists who seek to kill our citizens. so we need you to be ready for the full range of threats. from the conventional to the unconventional, from nations seeking weapons of mass destruction to the cell of terrorists planning the next attack, from the old danger of piracy to the new threat of cyber, we must be vigilant. and so, guided by our new defense strategy, we'll keep our military -- and our air force -- fast and flexible and versatile. we will maintain our military superiority in all areas -- air, land, sea, space
and cyber. and we will keep faith with our forces and our military families. and as our newest veterans rejoin civilian life, we will never stop working to give them the benefits and opportunities that they have earned -- because our veterans have the skills to help us rebuild america, and we have to serve them as well as they have served us. [applause] i see an american century because we have the strongest alliances of any nation. from europe to asia, our alliances are the foundation of global security. in libya, all 28 nato allies played a role and we were joined by partners in the air from sweden to the gulf states. in afghanistan, we're in a
coalition of 50 allies and partners. today, air force personnel are serving in 135 nations -- partnering, training, building their capacity. this is how peace and security will be upheld in the 21st century -- more nations bearing the costs and responsibilities of leadership. and that's good for america. it's good for the world. and we're at the hub of it, making it happen. i see an american century because no other nation seeks the role that we play in global affairs, and no other nation can play the role that we play in global affairs. that includes shaping the global institutions of the 20th century to meet the challenges of the 21st. as president, i've made it clear the united states does not fear the rise of peaceful, responsible emerging powers -- we welcome them.
because when more nations step up and contribute to peace and security, that doesn't undermine american power, it enhances it. and when other people in other countries see that we're rooting for their success, it builds trust and partnerships that can advance our interests for generations. it makes it easier to meet common challenges, from preventing the spread of nuclear weapons to combating climate change. and so we seek an international order where the rights and responsibilities of all nations and peoples are upheld, and where counties thrive by meeting their obligations and they face consequences when they don't. i see an american century because more and more people are reaching toward the freedoms and values that we share. no other nation has sacrificed more -- in treasure, in the lives of our sons and daughters -- so that these freedoms could take root and flourish around
the world. and no other nation has made the advancement of human rights and dignity so central to its foreign policy. and that's because it's central to who we are, as americans. interest, in our self- because democracies become our closest allies and partners. sure, there will always be some governments that try to resist the tide of democracy, who claim theirs is a better way. but around the world, people know the difference between us. we welcome freedom -- to speak, to assemble, to worship, to choose your leaders. they don't. we welcome the chance to compete for jobs and markets freely and fairly. they don't. when fundamental human rights
are threatened around the world, we stand up and speak out. and they don't. we know that the sovereignty of nations cannot strangle the liberty of individuals. and so we stand with the student in the street who demands a life of dignity and opportunity. we stand with women everywhere who deserve the same rights as men. we stand with the activists unbowed in their prison cells, and the leaders in parliament who's moving her country towards democracy. we stand with the dissident who seeks the freedom to say what he pleases, and the entrepreneur who wants to start a business without paying a bribe, and all those who strive for justice and dignity. for they know, as we do, that history is on the side of freedom. and finally, i see an american century because of the character of our country -- the spirit that has always made us exceptional. that simple yet revolutionary
idea -- there at our founding and in our hearts ever since -- that we have it in our power to make the world anew, to make the future what we will. it is that fundamental faith -- that american optimism -- which says no challenge is too great, no mission is too hard. it's the spirit that guides your class: "never falter, never fail." [applause] that is the essence of america, and there's nothing else like it anywhere in the world. it's what's inspired the oppressed in every corner of the world to demand the same freedoms for themselves. it's what's inspired generations to come to our shores, renewing us with their energy and their hopes. and that includes a fellow cadet, a cadet graduating today, who grew up in venezuela,
got on a plane with a one-way ticket to america, and today is closer to his dream of becoming an air force pilot -- edward camacho. [applause] edward said what we all know to be true: "i'm convinced that america is the land of opportunity." you are right, edward. that is who we are. that's the america we love. always young, always looking ahead to that light of a new day on the horizon. and, cadets, as i look into your eyes -- as you join that long blue line -- i know you will carry us even farther, and even higher.
and with your proud service, i'm absolutely confident that the united states of america will meet the tests of our time. we will remain the land of opportunity. and we will stay strong as the greatest force for freedom and human dignity that the world has ever known. may god bless you. may god bless the class of 2012. and may god bless the united states of america. [applause] >> in a few moments, and gop presidential candidate mitt romney speaks about the economic summit. in a little more than 40 minutes, the senate hearing on the incident involving secret surgeon -- secret service agents and prostitutes in colombia. and then british prime minister david cameron on the recent g-8 and nato summit.
several lively events to tell you about tomorrow morning. but policy center hosts a discussion on freedom. the event will include the unveiling of the freedom caucuses from the legislatures. that is here on c-span at 10:00 a.m. eastern. also at 10:00 a.m. eastern on our companion network, c-span3, home mortgage refinancing. it includes this national association of realtors this memorial day weekend, three days of american history television on c-span3. actors from "band of brothers join veterans. >> you give them everything. he said we're jumping in now. i said ok.
what does that have to do with me? he said let me tell you something. how much to do away? 138 pounds. how tall are you? 5 4.5" you have to put that have in there. what i said because i am. the reason is because we do not want to go booking for you in spain. >> order wilson -- the legacy of the 1912 presidential election. monday night, december 7 1941, a date which will live in infamy. but toward the pearl harbor -- tour the pearl harbor visitors'
center. three days of american history television this week and on c- span3. >> republican presidential candidates met romney says education is the greatest of all rights issue of our era. he spoke wednesday for the annual economic summit at the u.s. chamber of commerce in washington, d.c. this is about 40 minutes. >> thank you for that warm welcome. thank you. [applause] please. you are very kind. i hate to stand between you and your lunch, but there are a number of topics we need to discuss today. how to replace obamacare, energy policy for the country, how to tackle our budget deficit -- a lot of things i would like to talk about, but i have a topic of significance for the entire nation.
first i want to thank the chamber of commerce for hosting all of us today. this year marks the 100th anniversary of standing up for american enterprise by the chamber. i do not think many organizations have a record like this. few have fought harder for the principles of economic freedom than the chamber of commerce. your voice is more important than ever. i am grateful to the latino coalition for the invitation. in recent days, we import a lot about business from the president. if you feel like you deserve protection under the endangered
species act, i do not blame you. [laughter] [applause] this is a time when everybody in this administration should be doing everything in their power to support you. if everyone of our small businesses added two employees, americans could pay more mortgages, buy more groceries, and fill their gas tanks. instead, sadly, president obama has decided to attack success. it is no wonder many of his own supporters are calling on him to stop this war on job creators. make no mistake, when i am president, you will not wake up every day and wonder if the president is on your side. [applause] starting from the day one, i will be there to help you make success, to make it, to make ends meet, to be able to hire people, to be able to pay good wages. if by some chance you are successful beyond your wildest dreams, i will be there to
celebrate your success because i know your prosperity means better opportunities for you, for your families, for your employees, for your communities, and for the nation. that is what the american dream is all about -- getting the entire nation the dream of the american people. i have seen a few of my own dreams come true. i have run and started businesses. i helped guide the olympics and had the opportunity to lead a great state. i learned early on the only way to succeed in tough situations is to bring people together in a common purpose. that is how you achieve greatness. that is how you accomplish any bowl. dividing people and putting one side against the other produces nothing but failure and mediocrity.
unfortunately, we have seen way too much of that from this administration. that is in part why we are facing the slowest economic recovery since the great depression. it is widespread that and his party have failed to address the most serious problems facing the country. it is not time to divide. it is time to come together and remain one nation under god. [applause] when the president took office, he faced a jobs crisis. it has barely improved. he faced a spending crisis. he has made that worse. 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. would it not be great if we could look back on the last four
years with confidence that the crisis has been confronted and we have turned the corner toward a brighter future? sadly, that has not happened. the tragedy is not just a matter of test scores and international rankings. is the frustration of a sixth grader who wants to learn more, but is stock 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. in this country, every child has something to contribute no matter what the circumstances they were born into. every child has a dream about where they can go or what they can become whether that dream is to invent something or to start something or to build something or create something, it all starts with basic skills and confidence that comes from a good education. yet 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 behind. among the developed countries of the world, the united states comes in 13 out of 34 in reading. 70 out of 34 in science. 26 out of 34 in math. our public education system is supposed to ensure that every child gets a strong start in life, yet one in four students in this country fails to get a high-school degree. think of that -- one in four. what are they going to do? in our major cities, half of our kids do not graduate. imagine that. imagine if your enterprise had a 25%-50% failure rate. you would make changes fast. if you did not, you would be out of business in a hurry.
but america's public education establishment shows no diversity. they keep 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 and america's minority children suffer the most this is the civil rights issue of our era and it is the greatest challenge of our time. [applause] last week i spoke about the prairie fire of death that is spreading across our country. today i want to talk to you about the crisis in education. with all of our economic troubles, there is a temptation to put off the task of fixing our schools are some other time.
but the jobs and housing failures of the past few years only make the task of education and its promise to improve the future more important. let's not kid ourselves -- we are in the midst of a national education emergency. the only reason we do not hear more about it is because our economic troubles have taken the national attention away from the classroom, but if unemployment was where it should be and home values were going up, there is no question the crisis in american education would be the great cause of this campaign. of course, the jobs and housing failures only make the need for education and 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 education on track for the kids in this great land. [applause] you have business careers. i have found that you cannot expect dramatically different results unless you are open to dramatically different options. as president, i will pursue a very bold policy of a change that will restore the promise of our national education system. let me tell you what i will do. first, i will expand parental choice in an unprecedented way. [applause] to many of our kids are trapped in schools that are failing or simply do not meet their needs. far too long, we have merely talk about the virtues of school choice without doing something about it. as president, i will give the parents of every low-income and special-needs student a 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 that parents can send their child to any public or charter school of their choice. [applause] in addition, i will make that choice meaningful by ensuring there are sufficient options are parents to be able to exercise it. in order to receive the full complement of federal education dollars, states are going to have to provide students with an ample school choice opportunity. in addition, digital learning options must not be prohibited in a state.
charter schools and similar education choices have to be scaled up to meet demand. instead of eliminating the d.c. opportunity at a 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 for school systems across the nation. parental choice will hold schools responsible for results, but parents can only exercise that choice effectively if they have good information about which schools are succeeding and which are failing. no child left behind -- it helped our nation take a big leap towards bridging the information gap, but the law is not without weaknesses. as president, i will break the political logjam that has prevented successful reform of that law. i will redouble efforts to make sure schools are held responsible for their results. for example, parents should not have to navigate a complicated and cryptic evaluation system to find out how well their kid's schools are 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, easy to understand information about student performance and school success. states will continue to design their own standards and test, but this information will be provided so that parents can make an informed choice. we will make bold steps to make sure our system welcomes and rewards the best people into the teaching profession. i will make it my goal to ensure that every classroom has a quality teacher. did you know there are currently 82 federal programs in 10 different federal agencies that spend $4 billion a year on peter quality?
as president, i will consolidate those programs, block-grant them to the states so they can adopt innovative policies, such as states will be rewarded if they regularly evaluate teachers for their effectiveness and if they compensate the best teachers are teaching success in the classroom. [applause] teaching is a highly-valued profession. make schools responsible for results by giving parents access to clear, instructive 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] let me note parenthetically -- we live in a 21st century that increasingly demands a college education. improvements cannot stop at high school.
students have to have access to a wide variety of options that give them the skills they need our successful careers. we have to stop skyrocketing tuition prices that put education out of the reach of so many of our kids and leave others with crushing debt. these are bold initiatives that will produce better outcomes are our parents, teachers, and students. 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 their way. whenever anyone dares to offer new ideas, the union's protest. their attitude was memorably expressed by a longtime president of the american federation of teachers who said, "when schoolchildren start paying union dues, that is when i will start representing the interest of children." the teacher unions do not fight for children. that is our job. annually, many teachers are forced to pay almost $1,000 a year in union dues. the two major teachers' unions take in $600 million a year. that is more revenue than both of the political parties combined. in 2008, the national education association spent more money on campaigns than any other organization in the country. 90% of their money went to the democratic party. education is one issue where it should be easy to find a 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 democrats biggest donors and one of the president's biggest campaign supporters. president obama has been unable to stand up to union bosses and unwilling to stand up for our kids. the most recent example is the opportunity scholarship program. since 2004, it has allowed thousands of children in the district of columbia to escape one of the worst school systems in the nation and get a world- class education scholarships of up to $7,500 each. students are enrolled in private schools. 99% of the students were hispanic or african-american. after only three months, those
students could already read at levels 19 months ahead of their public school peers. parents were happy. for every spot in the program, there were four kids hoping to get in. then senator durbin, democrat from illinois, had certain provisions to end the program. the white house offered no resistance. the president has proposed ending all funding for opportunity scholarships. it must have gone against his better instincts, but the unions wanted it. in the opportunity scholarships, the democrats found the one single 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 oppose even the most common sense reforms. in detroit -- another example -- students in the city's failing public schools or offered a lifeline by a philanthropist.
he opportunity dollars million to create 15 charter schools for the city. the teachers' union fought to get the state legislature to turn that gift down, and they did. can you imagine that? in connecticut, they tried to pass parents trigger legislation so they could take over and transformed failing schools. a national teachers' union effort moved aggressively to stop that. of course, some union leaders will tell you their objectives are misunderstood. they will argue 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 real chance, you are on the choice or children from having a wrong side. you might even be in the wrong vocation because good teachers put the interest of children first. [applause] the same is true of a good
president. in a speech, president obama likes to tell us we cannot wait. if only he would say that and mean that about education reform. millions of kids are waiting for change and so many are missing the chance. the president cannot have it both ways. he cannot talk up reform while indulging the groups that are blocking reform. he cannot be the voice of disadvantaged public school kids and protector of the special interest. president obama has made his choice and 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 interests get in the way. we have to stop putting campaign cash ahead of our kids. [applause]
this is a battle we can win and a battle we 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 ones leading new york city's democracy prep. because of these teachers, kids from the city's pour to community are outperforming children from the wealthiest communities. think of that. 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 refused to give up on our kids or leave our cities without a fight. and leadership -- leadership is making a difference as well. when jeb bush became governor of florida, her reading scores
among hispanic students in that state's school system were awful. some of the worst in the entire nation. he brought focused innovation and passionate leadership and, today, those scores have risen dramatically. but too often, new ideas, good teachers, and dedicated parents do not find a welcoming partner and a true champion like governor bush. instead, they are met with resistance and or resentment from the teachers' union. i know what is it is like to be a government fighting to do things different, by the way. as president, i will stand shoulder to shoulder with the reformers and the innovators, the parents, the teachers, and the kids. when i became governor of my state, we were in the midst of instituting bipartisan education reform.
it included a requirement that to graduate from high school you had to pass a graduation exam. that principle of the exam came under attack from the unions. they spent $600,000 in advertising to stop it from being applied. 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 hugs on 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 the 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 of 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 opportunity. 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.
economy with mark of alaska. the founder and editor of the american spectator will take your questions about the death of liberalism. we will be joined by the author of "10 letters." "washington journal" is live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> they had the secret service has apologized for the incident including agents and prostitutes in colombia. this is more than an isolated incident. it is before the commission on wednesday. this portion is about an hour.
>> the hearing will come to order. good morning. thanks to those who are here, part of the early director mark sullivan and the united states occurs service agency and charles edwards, the acting inspecting general. of the 150 year history, the secret service has built the reputation for selfless and skill devotion to the important and dangerous work. protecting the president of the united states and other high officials of our government, as well as foreign leaders who visit the united states. that reputation, a great reputation, was badly stained last month won 11 secret service employees engaged in at night of heavy drinking in cartagena, colombia, which ended with them taking foreign
nationals, women, back to their hotel rooms. we have called this hearing as part of our committee's responsibility to oversee the functions of the federal government, particularly those within the department of homeland security the united states secret service agents. there are three things we hope to accomplish today, and in our committee's ongoing investigation. first, we want to get the facts about what precisely happened in cartagena, and where the secret service's own investigation of cartagena stands today. as widely reported, the misconduct involved 11 agents and officers who arrived in cartagena the morning of wednesday, april 11, and were off duty the rest of the day. the men went out in groups of 2, 3, and four to four different nightclubs that evening, after considerable drinking, they
returned to their rooms at the hotel with women they met at the clubs, some of whom were prostitutes, and registered women as overnight guests, according to hotel rules. the secret service subsequently learned that another individual engaged in similar conduct in cartagena the night of monday, april 9. all of the agents and officers held security clearances, and two were in supervisory positions. if one of the agents had not argued with one of the women about how much he owed her, the world would never have known in this sordid story. but the world does know this sordid story, and that is why the secret service, the inspector general, and we must do everything we can to learn the truth as best we can. our purpose is not to diminish
the secret service, but quite the contrary, to restore its credibility, which our nation -- indeed, the continuity of our government -- so clearly depend upon. second, as part of that search for truth and lessons to be learned, we need to know if there were warning signs that misconduct had become a pattern among traveling secret service agents in the years before cartagena that should have been seen and stopped. it is hard for many people, including me, i will admit, to believe that on one night in april 2012, in cartagena, colombia, secret service agents and there to protect the president suddenly and spontaneous they did something that our other agents had never done before, gone out in groups of two, three, or four to four to nightclubs or strip clubs, drink to excess, and then bring foreign and national women back to their hotel rooms. that lingering disbelief lead
our committee to send a series of questions to determine if there was any evidence in their records of patterns of previous misconduct. we have begun to review the agency's answers, and have found individual cases of misconduct over the last five years that i would say are troubling. but we do not yet find evidence at all sufficient to justify a conclusion of a pattern of misconduct or culture of misconduct. but the secret service disciplinary records take us so far. they only include cases where misconduct was observed, charge, and/or adjudicated. we can only know what the records of the secret service reveal, and what others, including whistleblowers, come forward to tell us. thus far, the committee has received the relatively small number of calls from people outside whistleblowers, but they, too, have not provided evidence of the pattern of misconduct by secret service agents similar to what happened in cartagena.
however, we've not concluded our oversight of this matter, at nor has the department of homeland security inspector general, and therefore, in this public forum, i would ask anyone who has information about the conduct of the secret service employees over the years that they believed is relevant to our investigation to contact us at the homeland security and government affairs committee at the u.s. capitol. post"s "washington reports that "sexual encounters had been condoned under an unwritten code that allows what happens on the road to stay on the road." the article also contends that this tolerance was part of what was called "the secret circus," a mocking nickname that was apparently used when large
numbers of agents and officers arrived in the city." one of the men implicated in cartagena told associates that a senior supervisor had advised agents to follow loose guidelines when spending time with women they met on the road. one-night stands were permitted as long as the relationship ended when the agent left the country. this "washington post" article, which, again, i say was based on anonymous sources, although the article contends there were multiple sources, obviously encourages people's worst suspicions about a pattern of conduct existing within the secret service, and need a response from the director sullivan, hopefully this morning.
in addition, as i mentioned, our initial review of the secret service agency's disciplinary records from the last five years shows individual cases of misconduct which are troubling but not evidence yet of a pattern of misconduct. these records reveal 64 incidents, over five years, were allegations or complaints of sexual misconduct were made by employees of the secret service. most of these complaints involve sending sexually explicit e-mails or material on a government computer. although three of the complaints involve charges of an inappropriate relationship with a foreign national, and one was a complaint of non- consensual sexual intercourse. we would like the secret service response to those and needed to know more about. other cases over five years and of alcohol, almost all related to driving under the influence. these complaints involve a very small percentage of the thousands of people who have
worked at the u.s. secret service during the last five years. i also want to say that discipline was imposed in most of the cases. nonetheless, it is important to know how most of those complaints were handled and whether looking back, there should have been warnings. we want to know what reforms the secret service is implementing to make sure that what happened in cartagena never happens again. i know that secret service director sullivan has made changes, such as increasing the
no alcohol before reporting for duty grow from 6 to 10 hours and banning foreign nationals explicitly from hotel rooms. but i also want to hear what the secret service is doing to encourage people to report egregious behavior when they see it. let me finally put this in the larger context. in the last several days, the secret service has been called on to provide protection for a large number of world leaders who were attending the g8 and nato summits in the united states. the presidential campaign of 2012 on going, and the secret
service needs to protect the candidates and secure two large national conventions. ultimately, most important, the president and vice president of the united states and their families need protection every day. the credibility of the secret service is too important and its mission to critical to our country to leave any questions about cartagena and what preceded it unanswered. i want to personally thank the secret service director mark sullivan for his cooperation with our investigation, and also to thank him because he has worked very hard and fast since he learned of the crisis to investigate it and try to restore the credibility of the secret service.
at the g8 we reached important conclusions on dealing with our debt, growing our economies and dealing with the risk in the eurozone. i want to take each in turn. mr. speaker, deficit reduction and growth are not alternatives. you need the first indoor to deliver the second. there was no debate about this. and it was, indeed, france will balance its budget as a faster rate than britain. britain in two years would've cut the deficit we inherited from the last government by more than a quarter. and our approach ha been endorsed again by the imf this week and also by the oecd. at a time of tight budgets, a proper growth plan requires not just a credible fiscal policy which secures the low-interest rate of speaking about just a moment ago, but also stuctural reforms to make our economies more competitive, active monetary policy and -- our hard-won credibility ensure investment and long-term infrastructure. we're taking all of the steps in the uk and we are promoting them across europe as well. and in every area we need to do more.
prime minister monty and i have gathered 10 other e.u. leaders to call for the completion of the single market in digital and services. classic structural reform to our economies, presidents, ford create a proposal such as prect bonds and as the house knows in recent months the ecb is help supply liquidity to european
lift themselves out of poverty over the next 10 years. for country to receive help they need to show a real commitment to transparency and good governance. and in return they get substantial support to generate private sector investment in food production. this is i believe a great combination of proting good governance and helping africa to feed s people. will be building on this with major event on hunger during the olympic games in the uk. encouraging the private sector to great jobs is one of the best routes to sustainable growth in poor countries. but aid it does other vital role to play. for the first time the about of a ven by the world's richest countries to the workforce countries has fallen back. promises are being broken and this is wrong. britain continue to honor its commitments. other nations should do likewise and in the g8 which we'll be cheering next your we will reducethe report which shows who has and has not kept their promises. the g8 also reached important conclusions on libya, iran and syria. specifically on syria it was
backing for the unmanned plane ever for the u.n. measures if it doesn't change course but it was significant the russians agreed to the stacks. i raise burma and the need to support foundations of a reversible transition to democracy and i want to make this a feature of our g8 next year. i'm sure the whole house will afford to welcoming when she addresses parliament next moth. let me turn briefly to the nato summit. some people write off near as a relic of the best. i think it is vital to our future security. the threats nato countries face largely come from beyond our borders. failed states, terrorism, nuclear proliferation. because of this it makes sense for nato to be prepared, to link up with partners around the world, to act out of area nd to spend less on weapons 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 defen 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 and in particular the 50 countries that make up the nato-led alliance in afghanistan. nato military commander said on a process in the campaign. attacks by the insurgents are down, transition to afghan control is on track. over the nexfew weeks we will reach the point where 75% of the population will be living in areas where afghan forces are in the lead for security. the vital next steps are to deliver the final stages of transition, to continue to build up of the afghan national city to forces, and to ensure they are properly funded for the future. britain is pledging 79 pounds, $109 a year but it is right out of the country should step up and contrite to the future of afghanistan irrespective of the role they have played so far. this summer i lieve was a turning point with almost a billion dollars been pledged to support the afghan national security forces.
mr. speaker, britain has played a leading role inthis alliance for reasons of her own national security. three years ago some three quarters of the most serious terror plots aganst britain had links to afghanistan and pakistan. i'm advised it is down to a happy our aim is an afghanistan there's able to take care of its own security without the need for foreign troops. and afghanistan that can prevent al qaeda returning and posing a threat to us and to our alli around the world. the tremendous hard work of our courageous servicemen and women is making this possible. after 10 long years our servicemen and women will finally be coming home. i pay tribute to them, their service and their sacrifice is beyond measure and we remember in particular all those who have given their lives in this vital task to keep our country safe. and i commend this statement to the house. >> mr. ed miliband. >> i'm graful to the prime minister for statement and let me start with the nato summit. on afghanistan we welcome the summit's confirmation that the
transition of full security responsibility reminds us to afghan national security forces is set for completion by mid-2013 and the in the british combat operations by the end of 2014. let me echo the words about how our troops, then served heroical in afghanistan for over a decade now. we owe them enormous gratitude. and a joystick for the whole house the prime minister when i say we want to see them home with their families and home in the right way, the professionalism they've shown and the sacrifices they have me. to that income the prime minister give a clear indication for thedrawdown on bridge combat troops between now and 2014? can he tell us how many british service personnel he expects to remain in afghanistan after 2014? which services they're likely to be drawn from, and can you confirm this warning under nato command and control structure? can you also tell the house when he had discussions on the poor nation of land access across pakistan that is so vital for
british military and isaf supplies? turning to political situation in afghanistan, does the prime minister agree to honor the sacrifices and bravery of our troops means taking the political challenge their answers as we take a military challenge? given the final stages and that her campaign is now underway, what concrete steps will not be taken thatwere in place before the chicago summon to secure a political settlement within afghanistan and between afghanistan's regional partners? does he agree with me that the international committee has been talk for long time about talks about talks relationship of clinical settlement we need, and we do need far greater urgency in seeking this settlement to be therefore when our troops come home. let me turn to the g8, mr. speaker, on syria and, indeed, burn. on syria we join with the government and calling for an end to violence to stop into budget and i join with remarks he made about burma. mr. speaker, on the issue of the global economywhat we
desperately need was a plan for growth. a plan for growth for europe and the plan for growth for the international community. i have to say he did anything this side of the house with his description of the presence new best buddy. given that -- [laughter] given he endorsed his opponent in the most fulsome term, he told him, nicholas arcos has my support. i secluded. now, mr. speaker, and the foreign office were a bit perturbed about this so they started briefing about and he said, we put all the chips on one card and it turned out not to be the ace. it was an error of judgment and not what was advised. can he tell us hen he was advised to see, refuses in place within a said this, i think we concur after today, mr. speaker, the prime minister has a habit of shooting from the hip.
i think that's certainly true. the reality is that the reason why we didn't get the conclusions of the summit on the action we need is the international community is divided, it's divided between those who believe we must have a decisive step towards growth the president obama now joined with others believe the answer lies in more of the same. the german chancellor and the prime minister. for two years he has been the high prit of austerity. he's been telling the world that austerity alone isn't the answer. but now, of couse, but now, of course the recognition has dawned that it isn't working. he finds himself on the wrong side of the argument. that's what he is desperate to scram it around. recovery turned to recession, no growth for 18 months, 1 million young people out of work. i do say, i'm quoting the imf report from yesterday, the thing he didn't quote is what this
team the guard said, growth is too slow, unemployment, youth unemployment is too high. policies -- [inaudible] spent hold on a second. before low growth becomes entrenched are needed. those are not is positions but his position imore of the same. so we have the ultimate irony of the prime minister who has a double dip recession lecturing other peop and how to get growth. what does he achieve at the summit? we do know some the things he did. he watched the football. a nice pictures, nice pictures. he went to the gym. he even squeezed in some sightseeing. but mr. speaker, the only thing there isn't a photo of of him making a difference to the world economy. [shouting] in other words, in other words, during his job, now look, at the
gateway last november the prime minister signed a communiqué that said this, if global conditions materially worsen, countries will take action to support domestic demand. well, global conditions have worsened. where is the action for growth? where is the decisive ship when it across the global economy? what has he delivered a? because he doesn't believe in it. he is making things worse, not better. last sunday the chancellor went on television and said the speculation about the breakup of the euro was damaging britain's economy. he said this, it's the open speculation about the future of some countries in the euro zone which is doing real damage. so can the prime minister when he replies explain why he decided to do just that last wednesday and say, makeup o break a? mr. speaker, it may have rhymed but doesn't he understand it did nothing to help our economy or anyone else's? and mr. speaker, given the seriousness of the position in greece, does he really believe that for him to give an
ultimatum to greek voters over the weekend about the elections was really such a go idea? i would've thought after his experience of the french election he might've realized it wasn't such a good idea. finally, on the european summit tonight, eurobonds are important to a stronger firewall would make a difference. but the crucial, but the crucial thing is demand. doesn't he accept that without a plan for growth and a plan for japan and europe, we can get a solution on deficits across europe which is sustainable? the problem with this prime minister is he can only offer more of the same. he can't be part of the solution because he is part of problem. all he offers is more austerity. it's not working in britain. it's not working in yur. it's a failed plan from a failing prime minister. [shouting] >> five minutes, and absolutely no plan. nothing positive to say.
i thought, it is a good joke about suckers but let me say this. we all have our faults but i would rather have a reputation for being loyal to my friends an knifing my brother. now, the honorable gentleman, the right honorable gentleman started with nato, he started with nato, he asked some serious questions. let me give you some serious answers. he asked why clear indication of the drawdown. we're going down to 9000 troops by the end of this year. clearly we need to set out a pathway between now and the end of 2014. i want it to be based on the conditions on the ground and how will the transition is going into three provinc where responsible for. and i will keep the house updated on how those but we don't want to cliff edge at the in. he asked what would be left at the end of 2014. what we made a clear decision about is president karzai asked us to provide an officer training college in afghanistan
and we will be doing that and have the assistance of the australians and new zealanders for the. i hope others will join. that is the baseline of our commitment but clearly we listen to any other ruests. he asked whether there will be a nato-led operation in terms of training. yes, it will but there won't be nato combat operations after 2014. he asked about the relationship with pakistan and this vital issue of the ground lines of control, so-called -- is essential that they are real been. i spoke to prime minister gilani when he visited the uk about a week or so ago. i spoke to president zardari after the conference. i'confident progress will be made. he askedbout the political challenge. is right about this. i've said all along alongside the military surge you need a political search. we are working hard with the afghans and pakistanis to try to deliver this. we have made it clear offer to the taliban if they lay down weapons, join a political process than the process will be
open to them. but i would say we have to be prepared that the political process won't advance as far as we would like. that's what we must make sure the build up of the afghan national security forces goes to plan so we can hand over in good order and i believe we will. on president along, let me make this point for the president said something which i think he should adapt he said the national debt is the in the of the left. and the enemy of france but we've not heard them say anything clear like that. if you look at what come if you look at what the president is doing, he was asked how his statement growth. he said this, that means cannot be extra public spitting since weant to bring again. so he asks -- asks about our approach on growth. we agree with the italian prime minister, we need structural reform in your. we agree with the french president we need a more active
monetary policy in your. we agree with the german ancellor that deficit reduction is vital in getting interest rates do. the properties europe hasn't had all three but we support all three of those things. finally, i would just say to him, that nobody i can find in europe, not even i think probably the last wing -- left-winger increase backs his idea of an extra 200 billion pounds of borrowing into the british economy. that is the labour policy. it would put up interest rates, rec our economy can record prospect which is exactly what they did in office. >> sir peter tapsell. >> 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 banks. and may i put it to the prime minister that until the leaders of the great nations grasp that fact and act upon it, that the turmoil ineurope will continue? >> i think my right honorable friend makes an ago the important point which is tt a single currency requires an active interventionist bank, central bank behind. and i think this realization is something we've been saying for a very long time as one of the reasons, frankly, why i've always been skeptical about the single currency but i think there is a growing realization that alongside plans to deal with deficits so your fiscal credibility you need a more active monetary policy. that is what we have in the uk. just as the uk has a single currency between our nations, if you're going to have a working
single currency in europe unique that monetary policy, too. >> mr. speaker, whilst i welcome the change of rhetoric over the weekend, particularly from the prime minister recognizing that austerity a little won't work, at least from his point of view in europe, might apply that here, too. could he tell us whether not the gean position has changed at all? because it doe't seem like it and until the german position does change i find it very hard to believe the euro zone is going to come up with anything that is convincing incredible before the greek elections of the 17th of june. >> i have great respect for the right honorable gentleman. i would say that the german approach is changing to an extent because the germans know that alongside deficit reduction plans in a single currency you do need to have greater coordination on that single currency. their concern is they don't want to take the foot off deficit reduction until they have more of a political system around a
single currency. i understand their concerns. it's one of the reasons why i never want to join a single currency because i've always believed a single currency and balls a sort of single economic government. so i think that is the struggle is to try and convince countries in europe thatalongside deficit reduction you need a more active monetary policy. european central bank stands behind the currency, and, of course, the structure from such as completing a single market that we've always argued for. >> i welcome the emphasis. does the prime minister agreed the bank of england and the banking regulators in the uk need to amend the method of operation in order to ensure sufficient money and credit available to fuel the private sector recover and not just more cheap money to stay? can they not learn from america which is doing this very well, and avoid the problems which europe is plunged into by doing it far given that we are doing a? >> i think my right honorable
the have complex politics and they need to be given the space to resolve some of these issues and the need to know that their friends like britain will not leave them after the afghan conflict is over but are there for long-term partnerships, friendships and support. >> mr. speaker, of course i associate myself with colleagues with attributes to our serving forces, particularly in afghanistan, and those have given their lives. but on the global economy, with the prime minister continue to make clear we are not in the eurozone and shouldn't wish to join the euro zone. it is in our interest that we
support the other countries in europe that are in the euro zone including as the father of the house indicated, by supporting their structural reform. and an increase in the internal market across the whole of europe is in their interest an ours, and construction at home is the best way of getting us into the growth that we need in this country. >> i think my honorable friend is entirely right that it's in britain's interest that the problems of the euro zone are dealt with. we have made consistently a whole series of suggestions about firewalls, about strengthening banks, about consistent and strong contingency plan. the point of is making in the weekend was it's become urgent to make this contingency plans because, frankly, it's not in our power about whether greece will decide to stay in the euro zone or out of the eurozone. we have to prepare for every eventuality, however difficult that might be. >> house william. >> this morning the european
parliaments by a very lare majority passed the call for financial action taxpayer can the prime minister foresee what the substantial be under the leaders meeting this evening? >> my view is very sober against the financial transaction tax for every simple reason which is the up and commission a piece of research into the financial transaction tax and found it would cost hundreds of thousands of jobs. lot else like it is taxing the bankers and the rest of it, actually you end up going up the cost of people insurance policies, the casa peoples pension policies and actually driving all the activity offshore. i'm not surprised some of the europeans country support because they see as a good way taking a lot of tax out of the uk and spin it in your. i'm not falling for it. mr. william cash. >> there was increasing pressure for political union between certain member states. whether this is by corporations or as separate treaty or by
other stealth measures, does my right honorable friend except that a respected of the european union act passed last yea that such a fundamental change and the relationsh between such member states of the european union anthe united kingdom would necessitate a referendum? >> i don't agree with that position. i think the right position for the uk is that if we were to pass power from westminster to brothels, if we were to join some new treaty or political construction that involve the passage of the power that, of course, we should hold a referendum. but where i disage with the honorable gentleman exclude the single currency has within it the seeds of greater political -- political unity. went to work out in the coalition in our political party, how to respond to the and of to get the best deal for britain as that situation developments -- develop. >> you talk like continued importance of nato and some of the things that have been
agreed. the changes that have been agreed 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, and not withstanding the understandable needs of the economy, make sure that the change program that is so badly needed to get decent and proper ability within nato doesn't lose its momentum? >> well, the right honorable friend speaks with great knowledge of the subject i would be more optimistic in that there has been one nato reform which i know which is try to cut down on the bureaucratic and headquarters boasts around europe. and to be fair to
secretary-general rasmussen, i think is that an excellent job in delivering that. we've also delivers the ballistic missile defense capability but i think that is an important step forward for nato. were i'm perhaps more optimistic than and as i think the reality of the situation is going to drive us towards reform. everyone faces tough budget. the fact that america is now providing almost three quarters of nato's funding and assets is unsustainable. so frankly other countries are going to have to step up to the plate, look at the arrangement, cooperate more, deliver more of the teeth and less of the tail. >> may i warmly endorse prime minister's view that nato is vital to our security. and i congratulate him on a very positive role he played at the summit as a leader of one of his most imptant countries. would he agree with me that they secrety-general's program for smart defense is key to the future of reform of nato, and the right honorable gentleman
spent a great deal of time. >> i think my right honorable friend for his remarks. th truth is that there is duplicated capacity l over europe in terms of defense, and much of itis not deployable. and what we need is for all countries to undergo the quite difficult, painful things we've done in terms of strategic defense review is to work out what are the weapons of assistance you need for the future. recognizing that we're less likely to fight land invasion and data but much more likely to begin with filed states with terrorism and so the capacity you need is different. but even tat won't be enough. we need more cooperation i think particularly between the leading members of nato and that's what we're working so close with the french. so that we can deliver complementary capabilities, and as result get more done. [inaudible] specifically made a recommendation that the uk banks float up their acquisition of
buffers, thereby producing more money available to british businesses and small businesses. does the government agreed with that recommendation and will they work with the bank of england to implement as soon as possible? >> i think the honorable gentleman raises an important one. this is a difficult issue to get right because here we are rightly discussing to problems. one, the need for growth, the other the need for financial stability and making sure you are safe with the headlines of the potential eurozone storm approaching but i think the best approach is to work absolutely hand in glove with the bank of england bank of england and the financiaservices authority to get that balance right. that's what the government will do. >> i congratulate the prime minister on his stamina. i would hope by the evening he would've done three summit in five days and two continents. >> here, here. >> but can i reiterate the point made by the member of the
coventry? if we have to press on nato members the conclusion of the campaign in afghanistan is no justification for cutting defense budgets. what we need, and it's essential we have a review of nato strategy with a full-blooded commitment that all these members. >> i first of all thank but ought right honorable friend for his remarks about my symmetry. i thinby the end of tonight that will be enough summits for quite some time. e.g. 20 will soon catch up with his big what he says about nato is riht. we need is refused by all nato countries to go through their budgets, to work out what is actually necessary for national defense, but what more we can all do to make sure na has capacity for the future. >> our national spirit and the need neatest demo and the technology of tomorrow. on the issue of cyber terrorism, which is posing an ever greater threat and can the prime minister assure us that there
will be the intense focu and resources giving in nato to that very, very big and growing problem across the world? >> icann certain essay for the uk's part one of the things we did in the strategic defense review was some of the savings we may, i remember, i think 900 million pounds into a cyber defense program. that has been corny with others but also involving the private sector but it's a capability we hope to work with other to members to make sure we are sharing best expect annett davis but that should lead to savings for us and to others. >> mr. peter bone. >> mr. speaker, monti python's parent, it's no more to seize. it has expired. so why does the euro elite continue to claim that it is alive and well? isn't it essential that europe -- breakup of a eurozone before the markets forces economic
tsunami? >> what i would say to my honorable friend, i've always been a genuine eurosceptic am skeptical about the your that's why didn't want to join a. but we have to recognize what is now in this country's interest which is for the eurozone to sort out its issues and difficulties. i believe that would involve greater fiscal transfers but i think must involve overtime eurobonds. i thin it involves a more active monetary policy in europe and we should be encouraging european partners to go down this road to make sure the system works properly. we do have to be clear that although, there are real dangers in terms of this organize exits from the euro, because it's not just that countries would devalue and that would've an impact on his commute to think about the impact of financial institutions and banks around eupe, including british banks but it's very important that the eurozone takes steps to put in
place the contingency plans to keep them safe. >> mr. dennis skinner. >> now that his dash to his election greece for the need of grow and we need a little bit in spain, so he says, and also in the eurozone for the sake of clarity, c we get to the bottom of this growth here? repeat these words after me. i'm going to drop the austerity plan and go for growth in britain. >> i'm afraid i don't agree. i don't agree with the honorable gentleman. i deeply regret, as well as individual with them, was a bit more sharp than it should've been and i accept my dash the i hope he accepts my apology for that. is a tremendous gentleman to the south and always remains. i don't agree with him because i think is deficit reduction plan is desert to deliver the low interest rates we need that is essential for growth. i to makthis point again.
when this government can't about our industry is witnessing a spin. todaours is less than 2% of those are over 6% to one reason is because we have a credible fiscal policy. >> could my right honorable friend give the house and assurance that while he is prime minier, this country will never ever join the euro? >> i'm very happy to give that pledge and i know that the leader of the opposition said it depends on how long he will be prime ministers ether or not 'll join the euro. >> some people see their -- [inaudible] they feel distress when thy see huge unemployment rates for young people increase in spain. will the prime minister say specifically what discussions he had with the g8 colleagues about infrastructure development as
part of the global plan or growth? >> we did discuss the issue of infrastructure development. it can be part of what needs to be done. the rise of unemployment is tragic in any country but when you look at the figures increase and in spain and elsewhere in southe europe, they are high water figure. 80% of young people unable to find work. as i said i think the eloquence of the plan we needed on the fiscal credibility issue the low interest rates. the active monetary policy that supports demand in the economy as it has done in the uk. by the need to be combined for reform and its -- there is a need for proper structure form so they have competitive economies. and then i think the extra element is using the credibility we've earned, the strength of the government's balance sheet to try to deliver finance into things like infrastructure and into credit. and that it's an option to open in europe as well and i think that's what president hollande is talk about. we have gotten in the uk. we need them in erope as well.
>> with my right honorable friend and agree that when we look at the scale and timescale of the burma of that fell on west germany, and german reunification, we get a sense of the awesome challenge we could face any german chancellor in trying to achieve fiscal union in europe? >> yes, i think my honorable friend is entire right. this is what i think when some people, and was employed in the question from the former chancellor, implied that german stubbornness is unreasonable. it's understandable. obvious the acting for the success of the eurozone we need everyone to adopt the sorts of approaches i've been talking about in terms of monetary policy, and the rest of the. but it is important to understand people's motivation is difficult as it is because that's what lies behind the current impasse. >> it is good the russians shared in the motion subsidy but
even aside the rig elections there are major human rights abuses in russia. [inaudible] and, indeed, by many organizations in russia. he tried to get an appeal for the. it was turned down not only last week by judge alexander, who is not an ordinary judge but a military judge. he is in the military chain of the supreme court and when the decision was handed down to be no appeal, it was done on the russian armed forces website. doesn't this just shows that russia has a great distance to go yet before it can really embrace being a part of this humanitarian of nation's? >> obviously we discuss rightly with russian coats the importance of freedom and human rights, democracy. when i visited russia i've met with suicide or decisions to discuss these issues. i think it is very worthwhile having russia in the g8 because when we're discussing issues
like iran and syria where russia has an interest and, frankly, we want them to join in the efforts we're pursuing, i think it's helpful to have them there. >> thank you, mr. speaker. in the absence of progress towards a global trade deal, and a useu u.s. deal could be a decent second that, to limit tariffs today. can the prime minister give a timeframe for the club kashmir for the conclusion of such a deal and perhaps how much the k economy in particular might benefit from a? >> i thank the honorable friend for his question. i think there's something salvageable still from the doha round which is all the omens of trade facilitation. helping reduce customs, times, charges and the rest of it, rather than the bigger doha package but i think we should precipitate in terms of the e.u.-u.s. potential deal, we have a conversation at the end of the g8 what we agreed to go
and look at sort of issues paper for the g20 about whether there wasmall enough distance between the e.u. and the u.s. to close that would make a deal worthwhile. britain is one of the most open trading nations. they are our real concern to both sides. you have a french position on agriculture and an american position on many services and other issues. but i think with a good look at apogee 20 and see if we can then fast-track it. >> is the prime minister aware that greece spends 50% more on defense than ourselves and friends or turkey, the biggest ms importer in europe? that you anticipate any in tax, the greek -- [inaudible] so when he talks to greek prime minister kan he asked to scale defense spending? the churches pay a little bit to solve the great crisis because i
think the honorable gentleman makes a good point. which is common how ever much one can look at the greek situation and feel for the suffering people have in terms of unemplment and living standards, but is this crying need for genuine reform increase and for a more straightforward and, frankly, honest politics and keeping with these problems co making sure people to pay the tax, making sure industries are competitive. the asia about defense spending is more complex because of the relationship between greece and turkey. but as we are now both nato members, there should be an opportunity to decrease greek spending on national defense in that way, but, of course, encouraging it to be a good nato member at the same time. >> at the g8 summit, did any of the leaders make the argument that keeping with the deficit and supportingrowth are alternatives, or did they argue thatou need to support growth
through monetary budget supportinghe banks, getting trade going? and was there anybody who made the argument that you need to borrow your way out of debt? >> my honorable friend makes importantly. there. there was no one suggesting somehow dealing with deficits in getting groh are alternatives to the are complementary. you need both. that is the view of everybody around the g8 table. there's only one group of people that got their head in the sand our complete deficit denies them and that's the people who gave us the deficit in the first place. >> the prime minister quite rightly joins -- over 50%. and the economy -- [inaudible] he has preached austerity in this country and all around the world. that is exactly what has been done increase and that is exactly what the result is big is he prepared to put pressure on the european central bank as
far as he can to stop the austerity of oppression on greece and start supportin the need for very ordinary people to work ver hard and don't deserve this misery? >> where i part company with the honorable gentleman is in this kind we very consistently said you need to deficit reduction. that delivers you the low interest rates. it also enables your central bank to pursue an active and expansionary monetary policy which is what we've had in this country. and at the same time you need the structural reforms to make sure your businesses are competitive and they can take a more people and grow. at is what e're seeing in britain with 600,000 more private sector jobs. that is a world away from what is happening in greece or in many other parts of the eurozone waited of monetary policy accompanying the fiscal policy and having undertaken the structural reforms we are in this country. >> mr. speaker, i'm sure my right honorable friend will agree with me that it is indeed the crisis in eurozone.
but almost parallel to that is the possible pending crisis in the middle east. with the darkest days in baghdad. did my right honorable friend manage to find time for the we can to speak to the russian and chinese is to emphasize the importance of their employment of try to make sure of a peaceful outcome? >> my friend is right to raise this and a good portion of the g8 was spent discussing the situation in iran. and specifically talking about the talks arenderway in baghdad today. it was heartening that the russians signed up to a pretty tough texan terms of iran, and i think that the path is very clear. that europe has rightly adopted these oil sanctions but the pressure is beginning to tell the iranian economy this is the moment to maximize the pressure to encourage other countries around the world to join in with the sanctions and to say to the iranians, there is a different pathway. you can't have passionate you can have a better relationship which had to give up the
ambition of enriching uranium to such an extent it could deliver you a nuclear weapon. >> mr. speaker, whatever the structural deficiencies, the problem is not caused by that pic is caused by banking and economic crisis. the suffering and austerity that is taking place increases on a scale of a complete different scale than what was in this country. [inaudible] was the prime minister not go back and speak to the euro partners and say look again about what we can do to bring about a different path and remind the traffic of greece is a very proud nation. at the very important ally. they stood by us alone in 1941. we should do what we can to help them. >> of course i agree that greece is important ally. we have very strong relations between britain and greece and the historical analogy maes, he's right. i don't agree with into that the problems increased are only
caused by the euro or by the banking crisis. they are deep and profound problems in the greek economy that do need to be dealt with. so i think of as i said, the recommendation is you need to have the deficit reduction plan speak you need to have an active osha policy. you need reforms to the eurozone and unique structural reform. in the end it will be for the greek people to decide whether they want to do these things inside the euro or outside the euro. clearly a disorderly exit would be bad for britain but we should do everything we can to avoid that but we need to plan for every eventuality and have proper contingencies in place. >> in the absence of much-needed supply side in the eurozone, just as they are wrestling -- [inaudible] countries leaving current block and the vast majority of those cases, those countries have benefited. does the prime minister think it is the time we should stop
talking that needs to stay in the euro because this can be disconcerting? >> no my honorable friend makes an important point. i'm not entirely sure i agree. you have examples of course of countries that have left the currency pegs and suffered in the short-term but then recovered. i think there is, and also get countries like czechoslovakia which split its currency into, actually manage that process will. i think there is a substantial difference when you i should have a currency zone, and should have a break, a potential break way from the single currency. i think this is a different situation because the baks are so intertwined and that's why we have to think very carefully about it in terms of the contingency plan. >> jim mcgovern. >> i thank you, mr. speaker. the prime minister pay tribute to the troops who come home from afghanistan.
[inaudible] to the prime minister assure me -- [inaudible] my family and my constituents that there'll always be a watch? >> i very much one is to keep the regimental structure that we had. i think it is very important. at the same time we need to deliver this big change in our armed forces which is going to deliver actually a larger army, but a better balance between a professional army at a territorial army. and we are looking at exactly how that can be done while saving the important regiment that people rightly and need to feel so strongly about. >> at the g8 summit, they discuss development. [inaudible] could i urge the prime minister
to do more on microfinance in, the way of creating long-term and sustainable economies? [inaudible] they get in 99% return on them if they give to women. >> i think the honorable lady makes an important what the of course we are committed to aid in development. we're committed to expanding this program that barack obama launched in terms of the new lines for food security. but i think the point about microfinance is important because this not only helps to grow small businesses. it also means empowering women which would make an enormous difference to the success of development. >> was there any discussion about the situation in yemen? the prime minister will note on monday bomb exploded in the middle of a celebration killing 96. half of the population are going to starve to death. i appreciate what the prime minister and british government has done.
however, acknowledging your role in shaping the cause in burma, can you not find it in space for yemen? because a stable human is in our interest. if we don't support this country, al qaeda will take it over and would lead to death. >> the right honorable gentleman knows i agree with this. my contribution in the g8 talking about the next g8, i said it's very important we look for the security and development priority of the future. and i think yemen and somalia are both squarely in that bracket. in yemen, he was extremely distressing what happened in terms of that absolutely hideous bomb attack and the loss of life. i think we have to focus a huge amount of effort. there's alsoan enormous amount of national security assistance that we need to give that
country and i discussed the and my bilateral with president obama as well. >> mr. andrew stevenson spent cannot at the with the primacy said about our brave servicemen and women who continue to strive to bring piece and stability to afghanistan? and a great it wasn't -- the supply was to pakistan someone is the prime minister can comment more on this and the role of pakistan is a key ally in leaving afghanistan on a stable footing at the end of 2014? >> i think this is a key point. we need to make sure we ignore the returns will and a good meeting with the president to discuss that issue. in terms of pakistan, of course honorable members are a fully entitled feel frustrated. we are not aid dollars to pakistan the graphic strong relationship with that country and it is frustrating that the lives of controllers still ose but i thnk we are ongoing discussions are underway. i'm confident they will be reopened and we do have to show
an understanding about how this country suffered from terrorism, about the complexity of his politics and the need to show real respect for its sovereignty and its democracy. and really the message with to give to both afghanistan and pakistan is long after this war is over we are there supporting both of you asked strong independent countries, diplomatically, polically, through trade, aid, through all the means we have and we will not desert them. [inaudible] inhat amazing country. but the all party group which i chaired have a lot of british businesses abo logistical challenges and security concerns. [inaudible] so while it is a good step was support with the prime minister pledged to british companies looking to invest so we get a win-win for both growth and british business and food and jobs for nigerian? >> first of all when i went to
nigeria, i met the uk team in legos. ch usually impressed by work, dedication and also the incredible links there are between british nigerians and nigerians british as a were working between the two countries. we work very closely with the, in terms of security because there are real challenges, particularly in the north of the country. and i think it's one of those areas were security training and counterterrorism cooperation between our country and nigeria can realy help major dividends for the country but also for trade investment as well. >> thank you, mr. peaker. given the increasing exports, the urging economy is a key part of the growth strategy of many of the g8 nations, can the prime minister update thousand any discussions he may have had with other european leaders on progress on the pending trade agreement, free trade agreement between the e.u. and india? >> we had a number of discussions about the free trade agreement because there's a series of ones from the indian one, the canadian one, the
chance of getting one going to japan. my view is all ofthese are good news. the korean won has been a success and we need to drive them all forward. and we're certainly in the vanguard of doing that. >> can i join with those colleagues who express concern that the scale of the cuts and the entrenchment forced upon greece, the ordinary people of greece. can i suggest to the prime minister, while agree with him we need structural reform as indicated, wouldn't it be better have a bit more flexibility, a bit more european solidarity to end up forcing greece in a situatiowhich leads not just to the collapse of the country but indeed to ms consequences for the euro zone and the entire world economy? >> we are not a participant in the euro zone of greece. we are supporting greece through the imf. i think the point that he has to consider is that other european
countries and euro zone countries, some of them are not particularly rich themselves. have had a series of agreements with greece about what needs to be done, what money will be put in. and effectively he is asking you to go back repeatedly to their own parliaments and say what i said i wouldn't ask for anymore from greece but here i am again asking for me. so it is very, very challenging for them. this as i sit in the end will be a matter for the greek people to decide about whether they want to stay in the euro and keep the undertakings that they are given or whether they want to choose a different path. is for them to decide. we must be clear in bigotry we would support all and any contingency plans to make sure that either scenario can be safely delivered. >> prime minister in a statement, e.u. and u.s. together make up more than half the world gdp. would he accept this may not be the while -- the last generation for this is the case and, therefore, is more important than ever we reach out further and faster into developing markets to support our
exporters, build on our strength as a country? >> i think my honorable friend is right. the share of world trade commissioner of the world economy taken by the e.u. and america together as china and india rise but i was always taught in business, going back to your best and biggest customer to get that extra deal is often a very good strategy, and so we should be thinking exactly about that in terms of e.u.-u.s. trade. ..
to scrutinize in the same way spend ages. >> i think it makes a series of sensible suggestion and i think we should look carefully at them. again commend for what he has done in terms of reforming the huge number of command postsand headquarters post in nato. i expect more to be done on the in front as well. [inaudible] 3% on the european market could the prime minister confirm how completing the service market is for british services. >> i think the point of it is completing the single market in digital services and energy. each of them, can add, i believe over a percentage point on european gdp. it is a area britain excels at not terms of financial service but everything from construction and what have you.
from other countries and there are a a a number of countries that are currently in breech of the undertaking. the pressure for a country like germany should be great. [inaudible] >> mr. speaker, on greece we the expression give a man and he can eat for the day. give him a rod he can eat for life. why in greece, is the money used to pay down te debt intest of invests so they request bring energy [inaudible] and universal broadband it can greece to the world. we have the politically acceptable and economically accident sustainable solution instead of putting one fish on the table so they are angry and hungry by lunchtime. >> the point i make is first of all, the greeks had a special deal in terms of an enormous private sector haircut on the debt. that has actually asked creditors to take a share of the
burden. also, if you take the last decade and look that the money greece has received from the european natational bank european natational european unit you union the prlem in the parts of the eurozone. the early parts of the euro was used to see ladies and gentlemen -- wage made the countries more competitive. >> glen david. >> it seems that the speaker has a possibility a strong possibility that greece may be forced after the eurozone we obviously concerned about the imaibt on impact on the economy. as i friend prime minister agreed we need to discussion with our european partners and discuss plans to assure the imaibt has minimum impact possible on the united kingdom. >> i think my friend is right.
it's not something we want to see happen. it's in our interest that the eurozone deals with the issues, strengthenings the banks a seen high interest rates in europe co down. it could be irresponsible not to prepare for the contingency plan. that's what treasury and others have been. whether greece stays within the euro is not within our power. that would be difficult it was a disorganized exit. >> [inaudible conversations] >> thank you, our country has invested a lot in afghanistan, a lot of fake sacrifice and a lot of resource. along with many other are now increases the concerns of progress with the critical issues of politics in governments in afghanistan. which nearly alln'ts accounts are getting worse not better. will he reenergize the process and entity post 2014? and ensuring that our efforts
are not sacrifices are not wasted. >> i respect the gentleman views. he served in the military and knows about what he speaks inspect in terms was political surge in afghanistan. i think he's being a little too pessimistic. if you take the province, we've been responsible. you he seen a excellent government and made real steps forward. you have district governments in all of the providences now. you have see a huge amount of progress in wheat seed distribution in terms of building school, hospitals, and providing basic levels of [inaudible conversations] we need to do more. it is clearly what is going to be happening politically and reconciliation that will term the nature of what we achieve in united afghanistan. >> i welcome the declaration of the nato summit about th stilities about the defense.
russia, however, remains hostile to escape. anhas the progress been made in persuading the points in the scheme is to prect europe from the right nations -- rogue nations and not from russia. >> t been a difficult discussion between nato and russia. but i think there is a level of understanding that the point of the -- it to protect europe from potential threating iran. that's point of having a missile shield. it is important to remember this is not nuclear deturns. it sits along nuclear deterrence which remain ascii event. >> it is optical for a report published yesterday the imf corn firms that if we needed it confirms they are not delivering growth eventually the number of recommendations many of which have been talked about around
the chamber today. some will be implemented ercoming months. the report then goes on to suggest recommend even, a plan b to growth, to cut taxes. is the prime minister listening? >> i listen very carefully to what the ims says. two me two things stand out. -- over the medium terms remain essential. they said the u.k. has made substantial progress toward achieving financial. say long side the situation we inherpted made thing shiver. the second thick is the u.k. will grow faster this year than france, germany ow the eurozone. they're not predicting things will get worst. they're predicting things will improve. [inaudible] >> come home from afghanistan one of the key issues i th sustainability long-term of the afghan economy.
i think has been in the past has been the poppy crop which fueled the illegal drugs trade. however, the same product could be used tolleviate medical suffering. what consideration has been purchasing the poppy crop so we can use it for the medical and advance the state of the economy. >> i have lookedded at issue in some detail. i think the key thing is if you can deliver in a contry proper government, proper rule of law, proper transport networks then you can consider what you might do with a country's ability to grow poppy. that's what happened in turkey. i think if you suddenly introduce ad poppy purchasing prompt now. you buy one, produce another one. i don't think it would work. i believe the afghan economy can work. that's one of the reasons why we're spending amounts of money
on the economic development in afghanistan and clearly that is going to be key to the future. [inaudible] >> thank you mr. speaker. recent i met with afghan seats in any constituency. on the taliban forced to wear yellow ribbons and wer prohibited from cree mating their loved one. theywomen's freedom in afghanistan. could the prime minister update the on the house on any discussions taking place in chicago on minority rights and women's rights so we don't see the -- progress. >> i think she raises an important point. i had a meeting in president char sky in chicago. one of the things i made with him the quality of afghan democracy, rights, and justice will be key in delivering success. the afghan constitution guarantees basic rites. it. the taliban put down the arms
and stop fighting they can discuss a political role. but they have to accept the baiivelgt ten nets of the afghan constitution. >> i'm proud of the international commitment to international aid made by this country. the concern about the levels of on the oth meths of the g7. can i ask the prime minister to use remind the government any commitment. >> bide delighted to do at. one of the strengths of the g7 it produces the accountability report and iill ake sure copies is put in the library. because it is very excelling. it really hold the countries the promises may made about aid, spending and different bits. you can see it in black and white who met he promises. we'll continue to do it next year. >> nearly 25 million beam unemployed across the e.u. at the moment. economic demands is continuing to fall on the eurozone.
it's rising this year in america. the prime minister told the leader of the u.n. and japanese governments and the advice of the ims yesterday and bring forward spending to boost infrastructure and get instructions. >> we said we want to use the hard won credibility we have. the low interest rates we have and the balance sheet we have to encourager the private sector investment. we made a series of i not functionen. i would say with reference to america. if you look at the deficit reduction plan. they have plan to reduce the deficit. >> mr. speaker, does my friend agree that g8 -- will help arab spring countries cap into the international markets bringing them stanlt and prosperity?
>> i think he makes an important point. it is a net bonus to the world. we need the wealthy countries of the world and the european union to get behind it. onof the problems we face the -- set themselves free they were told in the pass free enterprise economy. they have been having a capitalism economy. we need to work hard with them to make sure the economies grow for the future. >> can i welcome te prime minister's alert on ai levels from the richest to the poorest cups. and following through the on the commitment to ustainable hunger. will he promote support for smaller older farmers so they can and their families can grow more and better food, and employ others helping communities to strive. >> i think he makes an important
point. it was part of the presentation given to the g8. through the proper use of fertilizer and things like exchanges, you actually make sure the smaller farmers become more sustainable and can be the families but can also build a small business. >> west must hear from the voice of -- [inaudible] >> i'm pleased to hear the prime minister announce a day for discussing global hunger during the olympicses. does he agree that the agenda should not cover food security and food production but also the hidden crisis of malnutrition which literally stubts the growth of 70 million children around the world. >> it seems to me while the eyes of the world on the bitain and many african leaders will be coming to support their olympics teams, it's a good opportunity to bring people together to say here we have a great inittive
in the near lives for the food security. let's take it to the next level. let's encourager more countries to join. let's make sure we lift more people out of hung and poverty. the point she >> in a few moments, leaders of the national guard and reserve testify on tape -- on capitol hill about their budget. washington journal is live at 7:00 eastern. our guest include senator mark begich about alaska and the founder and editor of the american spectator. several live events to tell you about this morning. the ethics and public policy center holds a discussion on religious freedom. the event will include the unveiling of a plan to launch caucuses in the 50 state legislatures. that is at 10:00 eastern on c- span.
also at 10:00 on c-span3, a banking committee hearing on home mortgage financing. witnesses include the head of the national association of realtors and quick and loans. >> this memorial day weekend, three days of american history tv on c-span3. actors from band of brothers join easy company of veterans. >> you have given me at everything in the platoon. >> he said we are jumping in now are we not? i said, yes. ok. what does that have to do with me? he said let me tell you something. how much do you weigh. i said 138 pounds. >how tall are you? .5"
the reason you got that, we do not want to go looking for you in spain. >> sunday night at 9:30, woodrow wilson, teddy roosevelt, william taft, and eugene debs -- the legacy of the 1912 presidential election agreed monday night at 9:00 -- i >> december 7, 1941, a date that will live in infamy. >> tore the pearl harbor visitor centers with daniel martinez. three days of american history tv at this holiday weekend on c- span3. >> and defense secretary leon panetta last month talk about cuts from the national guard. leaders of the reserve were on
capitol hill yesterday to testify about their budget. this is about two hours. >> all like to welcome the chief of the national guard, general william mckinley, and the director of the air national guard, a general wise. our witnesses from the reserve include the people of the army reserve, general scowcroft, the chief of the naval reserve, admiral devorin, the commander of the marine corps reserve,
daniel harmer, and the chief of the air force reserve. i would like to thank all of you for joining us today. as the committee reviews 2013 budgets for the reserve components. this year's budget proposal has significant changes for the air national guard, reducing street by 5100 billets and aircraft inventory by one of the 34 aircraft. this proposal has come under intense scrutiny from the members of congress, the council of governors, and many of generals. we would like to hear from you on how involved you were in the process that preceded the force structure announcement and what and put you were asked to give. in addition, over the last
several years, the guard and reserve have made important changes as they have changed from a strategic to an operational reserve. this shift required to have deployment ready units available at all time. the department will need to figure out how to best utilize this new operational reserve. many challenges remain for the guard and reserve. reservists and their families support active duty installations. it is important that our reserve of families get the support they need during deployments and as a reservist transition back to civilian life. the guard and reserve still face significant equipment
shortfalls. congress has provided additional equipment funding for the guard and reserve in each of the last 32 years because year after year, the president's budget fails to fund research components. i am certain the witnesses here this morning agree that without additional funding, our reserve components would be woefully under equipped. it is our duty to the men and women of the guard and reserves who are called on to deploy in harmer's way just like their active-duty counterparts to make certain they are adequately trained and adequately equipped. gentlemen, i look forward to hearing your perspective on these issues and working with you this year in support of our guardsmen and reservists. i would like to thank all of you
for your testimony this morning. your false statements will be made part of the record. we will begin our hearing with the panel of national guard. i would like to call upon mr. alexander because our vice- chairman just called to say he would be coming in shortly. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i will condense my remarks. we look forward to your comments. equiping the guard is a big challenge. the chairman has outlined that very adequately. the president of the proposed budget does not adequately support the guard and reserve. each of us in our state are proud of the role that our men and women have played.
i will be asking some questions about a new regimen -- regiment that has been deployed it twice, many serving in afghanistan and iraq, running missions, installing fiber-optic communications, and getting when did out of armagh's the way. we are grateful to them and the efforts made to modernize the guard. we have seen great changes in what men and women who joined the guard are expected to do over the pas 10-15 years. we need to be responsive to the changed conditions and expectations of cards members. i will be listing which guard members. i will be listening closely. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i now call on the vice chairman. >> mr. chairman, thank you for convening the hearing. i am pleased to join you and other centers in welcoming our planner project our panel of distinguished witnesses this morning.
we thank you for your service to our nation, helping protect our citizens and interests around the world. thank you. >> i recognize general mckinley. >> chairman and ranking member and distinguished members of the committee, thank you. it is an honor and privilege to be here today with my two directors. we have a very close affiliation with each other and it is a pleasure and honor to testify before you. i wanted to take this opportunity as i always do to thank you all for your dedication to the soldiers and airmen we represent. bud and bill will make some brief statements after i do. both of them are distinguished former advocate general's. but white from oklahoma, bill ingram from north carolina.
we find ourselves obviously in the midst of constrained budgets and tough decisions. no doubt, we must all curb spending, but should not at the expense of our security. sequestration, wood hollow the force substantially and devastate our national security. it would result in further severe reduction to the national guard, reserve, and the active components. the national guard is already facing difficult budget cuts, as you have alluded to. the impact equipment and personnel. for the reductions would significantly limit our ability to function as an operational force, decrease the total forces overall capability, and reduce department capacity to protect the homeland and respond to emergencies. the national guard is a more ready, more capable, and more deployable forces in our nation's history. we have and will continue to
answer the call for mobilization and volunteer support of our combatant commander's be more than 50% of our guardsmen have combat experience. as a part-time force, the national guard is a proven, affordable defense option. during a time of constrained budgets, we should continue to be used as an operational force to insure the nation is getting the most defense capability at the lowest cost. the national guard is ideally suited to meet the new strategic islands, to meet demands, and to act as a strategic hedge for unforeseen world events. at any time, the national guard can and will augment to active duty to search and regenerate forces. the nation also counts on the national guard to protect the homeland. your home state,, well territories, and the district of columbia. the national guard is the best
and a primary military force to respond to complex catastrophes and protect our airspace and borders. while representing only a small portion of the guard's response capability, last year federal and state authorities called on at one of our 57 civil support teams to use their unique weapons of mass destruction assessment skills twice a day every day in our hometown. the national guard is crucial to our governors. guardsmen and women responded to an unprecedented string of disasters, in the past three years. according to fema administrators, speed is critical to domestic response. he has stated at the national governor's association conference that aviation needs to be organic to the national guard. we are obviously located in over 3000 communities across the country.
our position is to respond quickly, efficiently, and work very closely with our civilian first responders to any domestic emergency. our role requires we continue to improve the quality and quantity of our equipment. the national guard-reserve equipment account will be crucial to that endeavor. after 11 years of war, we continue to work closely with the united states army, air force to reset our force to insure equipment levels make -- meet defense strategy. guardsmen are able to blend their unique combination of military training, civilian- acquired skills to provide innovative approaches. the state's partnership program is the cornerstone of the new strategic guidance and demonstrate the guard's versatility. our partnership with more than
60 foreign countries has strengthened the military capacity and confidence as well as our alliance. most recently demonstrated in chicago with our nato summit. national guard partner nations have reduced the camp -- demand on u.s. forces. 22 partner nations have provided 11,000 troops to afghanistan. this year we will celebrate 20 years of the state-partnership program and we look forward to working with the commonwealth and the district to continue this innovative small footprint approach to security cooperation. each year we adapt our scope -- our skills to better serve the nation's strategy. this year we are instituting a threat based resource in model for our activities. this will direct funding to states.
the breath of our skills all-out the guard to take on new and emerging mission spit our soldiers and airmen are the reason the national guard has been so successful over the last decade. today, the national guard is the most capable and competent in history because we are recruiting the highest quality soldiers and airmen. our enlistment and retention numbers since september 11, 2001, are proof they joined because they want to be used and expect to be used. this dedication would not be possible without the support of our families, communities, and employers. i am dedicated to working with the army and air force to provide them with the most effective of support available. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. i would like to ask blood white to speak. >> thank you very much for your
support for the extraordinary men and women of the air national guard, some 106,000 kong. i would like to open with a brief review of the events of 2011 before looking to the future. herrmann continue to make significant contributions to our nation's defense both here at home and around the globe. last year, chairman filled 64,000 request for manpower. 91% were filled by volunteers. the air national guard responsiveness and adaptability was clearly demonstrated one year ago when on 17 march, 2011 at it -- the united states security council passed a resolution authorizing a no-fly zone over bolivia. the air national guard from tennessee and alaska were
diverted in it -- or diverted to operating basis. they began flying and operational missions in support of operation i see it gone. they demonstrated the air national guard is both accessible and ready to serve. last year, evans spent half a million air days providing support missions, one-third of this on active duty. this include assisting local parties with explosive ordnance disposal and helping with security at annual events, such as the boston marathon. and helping victims of floods and other national disasters by assisting in search and rescue efforts. in addition to supporting civil authorities, chairman spent 1 million air base in homeland defense, including defending u.s. aerospace and aerospace alert missions, assisting u.s. customs and border protection on our southwest border.
your national guard aaron and soldiers have spent countless volunteer hours in their communities. and the volunteer for public service projects such as a youth challenge. congressional funding to the national guard and reserve equipment account has been essential to the air national guard fulfilling both its federal and state missions. air national guard f16 squad and is deployed to afghanistan for the first time as a direct result. fy2011 reduce to allow national guard units to train and develop tactics and procedures for cyber warfare without disrupting networks. while the 2013 budgets as challenges for the air national
guard, it also has opportunity. we will take full advantage of those opportunities. the priorities were aligning composition to be flexible, agile, and already with special attention to new missions, such as remote piloted aircraft. able to quickly search and integrate seamlessly in joint operations. repairing units broken by a previous base closures and realignment processes. in conclusion, thank you. i am grateful to be here and look forward to asking -- answering questions you have for me. >> thank you very much. general ingram? >> chairman, ranking member, members of the subcommittee, it is an honor to be with you today representing 358,000 citizen-
soldiers of the army national guard. the patriotism and sacrifice of these soldiers, their families, and their employees is a source of great pride. we have the best band, best lead, best trained, best equipped, and most experienced of force in our history. it is congressional support for the army national guard that has contributed to our transformation and enhanced our readiness. the army national guard is a ready and reliable force, fully accessible both at home and abroad. we provide equipped, trained soldiers, giving the president and governors maximum flexibility in times of crisis. we are an operational force and a full party with the active army. since september 11, 2001, the army national guard has completed over half a million
soldier mobilizations in support of domestic operations and overseas missions. we currently have a 29,000 army national guard soldiers mobilized. last year, 45,000 army guardsmen were deployed in support of ongoing missions around the world. as an operational force, the army -- army national guard provides a cost-effective solution to meet the new strategic guidelines 12.3% of the army's base budget, the army after guard provides 39% of the army's operational forces. our soldiers operate -- represent nearly every zip code in the nation. they play a vital role as a first responders in natural disasters and terrorist attacks on our shores. they continue the pride tradition of service to their states into our nation. in 2011, it was citizen
soldiers who provided 900,000 duty days of support to communities across our nation. that is the second largest domestic response since 9/11. -- since hurricane katrina. we are attracting future soldiers and future leaders. with the nation at at war as a backdrop, i am -- our retention rate is 130%. we are meeting our authorized in strength. the army national guard is equipping to meet 21st century challenges through your support and the necessary resources are much is it -- modernization. our combat teams include one striker brigade and two special
forces groups who are well equipped. we understand our readiness levels, however, it is dependent on the level of resources. the overall army national guard equipment on hand for our deployable units is currently at 88%, an increase of over a few years ago when we were at 85%. our critical equipment on hand is at 92%, an increase from 86% two years ago, and a significant increase from the 65% it was during hurricane katrina. in december 2011 through june 2013, the army national guard is programmed to receive over 120,000 pieces of equipment from army-procurement funding.
army national guard armories are the foundation of our readiness. we have facilities in 2899 communities across the 50 states, the territories, and the district's providing quality facilities. more than 46% of our armory's are over 50 years old. many are unable to meet the needs of the 21st century's operational force while failing to meet modern building standards, especially in terms of energy efficiency. the army national guard continues to make suicide prevention a top priority. our soldiers are our most precious resource. we are addressing high risk behavior and suicidal tendencies through preventive measures, training, and a range of intervention programs. in addition, we are addressing sexual harassment through an
aggressive training program executed at the state level. it is crucial these behavioral health programs receive pro -- receive funding. in closing, in knowledge the continued support you have demonstrated through the budget process and program planning for an operational national guard through 2015. i want to express our sincere appreciation for the critical role your committee place in resource in and sustaining the most capable national guard our nation has ever had. i appreciate the privilege of being here and invite your questions. >> thank you very much, general ingram. general mckinley and general white, as i indicated in my opening remarks, this past march the air force went through the force structure changes and reductions. the greatest reductions were in
the air guard. 5100 billets lost. my question is were you involved in reaching this final decision? what was your involvement? >> senator, i think i will let blood talked to the tactical for self -- a process by which the air force work its process. the two directors have been totally involved with the services, how the budgets are built. i will tell you that as chief i was involved in the final deliberations in the december timeframe at which time i expressed our corporate view on behalf of the advocate general on the outcome that the air force was pursuing. following the holidays, a number of meetings with both secretary
panetta, chairman dempsey, general shorts, and secretary donnelly to continue to work at the end game strategy. i think we had general shorts and secretary donnelly here to talk about their overall views of the size of the air force -- the smallest air force in history. recapitalization is a major issue for our airports. as a general why it would tell you, our air force and its st. cascades through its reserve component. i will let general why let go over the corporate process you are in alluding to and take any follow-up questions you may have about our budget. >> mr. chairman, the air force's decision making process as we put together budgets is commonly referred to as the airport -- air force corporate
process. the council level is 3 star. recommendations are presented to the chief and the secretary at the four-star level. my staff was able to participate all along the way. we were encouraged to make our input, and we did so. we exercise that encourages very vociferously. we did present alternatives to the air force, alternatives to the -- gerald schwartz actively described -- accurately describe the at forecast -- process. we encouraged open debate. i engaged openly in that debate and made my input. in the end, the final decision is left to the chief and the secretary. many of the recommendations and
alternatives we proposed are not adopted. we respect the difficult decisions that the cheap and secretary had to make. once those decisions are made, we need to recognize that and salute them. >> you were able to make input? >> we made several inputs. several alternatives, different ways of meeting the budget and the operational demands of the air force. some of which were accepted. a lot of which were not. >> gracias a very much, general. during the year 2011. we were advised that 98 s and took their own lives. can you tell us what happened? >> chairman, any person that
takes their own life is a tragic experience. in the case of the army national guard, we are citizen-soldiers. i do not have the exact statistics of how many of the soldiers in the army national guard that committed suicide had never deployed, but there were quite a few. i am not sure whether the citizen or the soldier committed suicide. in some cases -- and we do a very thorough after-action -- in those cases, we take steps to prevent that from happening again. we use that in our training. we increased the level of
training in suicide prevention, but it is an american problem as well as an army problem as well as an army national guard program -- problem brigid we are going to great lengths to -- national bar problem. we are going to great lengths to keep them from preventing the act. >> mr. chairman, thank you. the air force restructuring plan suggest that reductions in personnel and aircraft ought to be undertaken. you described in your testimony the enhanced use of guard forces that would provide capability to overseas missions. looking at recent -- our recent experience in libya, there were
air force personnel and aircraft involved in the no-fly zone strategy. tell me what your impressions were of those engaged in that operation, what changes, if any, need to be made in terms of support for funding -- for funding different activities or equipment acquisitions in light of those experiences. >> if you rightly point out, senator, that the airports is uniquely positioned to utilize its reserve component effectively and efficiently. party time i have been in the national guard, there has always been a close personal relationship between our active force, the guard, and the reserve. that led to the capability general why it may want to discuss about libya. to rapidly get volunteers in our
committee associated with the requirements out of their civilian jobs to their units in a voluntary status that we did need to mobilize and we got them overseas in record time and they participated in the fall unified protector mission, as you allude to. that shows the tradition and competency of our air force, and its relationship with regard to reserves. i am very proud of that. i do not think our air force can survive without the close cooperation and collaboration of the reserve component. i heard secretary donnelly and general shorts make that statement in public. i will let general knockaboutwya equipmenttt and the deployments. -- general wyatt talk about the
equipment and the deployments. >> especially in the refueling awn, it of odyssey d was an active component. the expeditionary wing was commanded by an air guardsmen out of pennsylvania. the three components are a model primarily because we are trained to the same standards. we use the same equipment. that is the way we fight. that the way we train to fight. as we go forward in the future, i think the key for the air force to maintain the capacity and capability and continued reliance on the reserve component, guard and reserve, is a couple of things.
the guard and reserve at to be filled it with new equipment. at the same time, concurrently with the active component, so we can continue to be an operational force that can be called upon in a moment's notice. there was no mobilization of party available for odyssey dawn. one letter% of the guardsmen and reservists who showed up for the engagement were volunteers. the key is new equipment, fielded concurrently and a balanced, proportional fashion across the reserve components. in the baseline budget of the air force, there has to be sufficient days to allow the operational use of the guard and reserve. in the the general would back me up -- the air force adequately funds us to organize, train, and equip. but to use us in operational
missions around the world, the air force used -- needs a baseline budget so we can continue to be the operational force available on a moment's call. >> does the dollar amount requested far this committee's approval meet those requirements? >> yes, sir. i think it does. i am a little bit concerned when i take a look at some of the domestic requirements for the air national guard. there are some pressures. the air force is -- i think the key is, as we go forward and look at the number of required days that would allow the air guard and reserves, it would take a look at what are the requirements, what are the demands moving forward, and then adequately budget for that rather than pick an arbitrary
number. >> general ingram, camp shelby mississippi, has bird, has been a site for army guardsmen, reservists, and others to mobilize and be deployed in areas needed. what is your impression of funding request for that facility, if there is money in ere, and what needs should be brought to our attention? >> there been some improvements made at camp shelby. the army fund made improvements out of the base budget.
as we continue down the road, i think the a. needs will be met by the army budget for camp shelby and several other predominantly army-national guard camps and stations used as a projection platforms. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. center alexander? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being here. i want to ask about the announcement in february about a with c17.55
i want to try to understand what the consequences of that are, specifically -- the idea as you went through these difficult budget decisions were to replace the c5a, which is expensive and not mission ready all the time, which -- with c17s. what does this delay do in terms of the cost of maintenance, for example, that you know you are going to get rid of? what does it do to schedule retraining for personnel?
what does it do to the guard's mission? >> of those are great questions. "we are wrestling with right now, the transition was icily a 2012 action that was supposed to begin, but it continues into fy2013. you are correct. it does bring international guard more into the relevant aircraft of the future. it is something we have been pushing for for quite a long time. >> we are going to get rid of the c5. why would we delay a year?
>> i hope we do not. and it was one of the things it in the best interest of the country. if the prohibition is to spend any 2013 funds on 2012 actions that need to be completed, the dilemma is exactly as expressed. that would cause us to go back and look at what is the cost to maintain them and are there appropriations to do so if that is where we are going. if it doesn't cause us some uncertainty as the -- as we go forward. >> at a time when dollars are short and tight, and many of your recommendations were not able to be accepted, maybe we need a title run 10 solution in the united states senate. you are going to have to spend money maintaining planes that
you know you are going to get rid of. when you could be spending it on a training guard personnel and other aspects of mission readiness. is that not correct? >> yes. the situation at memphis is exactly how you describe it. it made a whole lot of sense. the dilemma we are in right now is how do you make that transition as restore this year in 2012 with a prohibition on spending money to complete this actions. >> i hope as we move to the process and we are trying to respect -- the delay would waste money or take money for planes we know we are going to get rid of to maintain them and money
that could be used in other places. in the same light, in asheville, the guard is preparing for a new unmanned aerial vehicle mission, which i understand the air force needs for that facility. how will this delay effect our military capabilities in the time line for moving into a national? >> a very similar situation. this was a 2012 action that is beginning. part of it involves the movement of c-130s to puerto rico. i have to applaud general hastings. he is very forward looking. the volunteered early on to transition into the mission, which we see as a sunrise
mission in the air national guard, one that will be around and keep the tennessee air guard role but will add to the future. we face the same challenge is there. we need to continue on down that path. transition delays make transition a little bit more difficult and costly. >> and costly. >> and costly. the cost of maintaining those aircraft would be moved to pr, but if we are required to hold the pr divestiture, we could have that expense that we would not normally have. >> i do not have much time left, but at the end of president bush's administration, guardsmen were deployed along the border with immigration issues. you made a slight reference to that.
i wonder if you could tell me how successful that was, whether at some of that is still going on or not in terms of border activity. i think it was a support of those whose job is to secure the border. >> senator, you are correct. it was in support of customs and border patrol. that mission has changed slightly this year. that mission changed from 1200 people to 300 people. it moved from a grind mission to -- ground mission to an aerial mission. we have 300 soldiers of flying and 19 helicopters and one aircraft along with and a glut -- analysts on the ground. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. chairman, thank you. i want to follow up on center
alexander's question. question. alexander's the decision has been made to retire a certain model of aircraft and replace it with others. i know there have been negotiations going on in the guard and the air force and then referencing -- the house delayed all of this for one year. what is the status of those negotiations? is it a done deal? as a final decision been made? are there more considerations to be undertaken? >> of a very similar situation to tennessee. a little bit -- significantly different from the air national
guard. our input in the corporate process was to suggest alternative ways to meet the emerging strategy with the a10, which play a crucial role in theater. some of those suggestions were not accepted by the air force as we went forward. alternative admissions were proposed for the unit at fort wayne, indiana. those are included in pb13. the status of negotiations between the council of governors and secretary panetta, i believe, have concluded.
i think a counter proposal was made that did not include anything related to the indiana air guard. my understanding is the council of governors have respectively declined the order to reach a compromise. we are waiting to see what happens. in the meantime, as i indicated, we need to start moving towards, at least taking a look at implementing of the pb as it has been proposed. >> when the house passed the current law, what do you anticipate is the status? are they going to be hanker queens and just sit there? just waiting out the year?
what is your take on that. >> my take is that if that happens we would also reduce funds to continue operating. they are a great unit in fort wayne. they have rendered great support to operations in iraq and afghanistan. we would keep that unit operational for as long as possible. we may have to dial down the level of continuation training, which would be very difficult to do and maintain our combat status. it would be a difficult thing to do, but we would give it our best shot depending on the level of funding that came along. >> again, it is something that will have to be decided by the secretary and the chief of the air force, so i guess there is a possibility it would not be operational.
that would be my concern. >> it is a possibility. >> i wonder what effect that might have on the plan for the isr aircraft. >> it would obviously be delayed. i am worried about the people. the thing i am hearing is concerned about an indefinite future, about what is the future of my unit or my job. will it be the same or different? will it be here at all? i mentioned a little bit about the volunteerism in the air national guard. our recruiting and retention continues to be strong, even in spite of pb13 and the operations tempo. i am starting to see distress in
our retention numbers. they are beginning to drop. i attribute that to the air 13pb. it has had a detrimental effect on our retention numbers. do we have time to invest in a unit that may not be here next year or maybe changing their mission? >> if i could shift -- it was mentioned by general mckinley, 50% 20-years old or more. what is the take on what you need? i think you mentioned modernization. some have mentioned upgrading the existing fleet.
i am not sure if general a. ingram wants to answer this, but what is the story? >> first of all, thanks for the question, senator. i am in receipt of letters from 17 advocate general's in support of purchasing new humvees. we afforded those letters of support. the general ingram can talk about the percentages. i would say strategically across the air and army guard, this generation of soldiers and airmen have joined our services, have joined the guard specifically to be used, to operate first-line equipment, to be part of the team that goes forward, either here at home for domestic emergencies or to support our army and our air force. recapitalization across our fleet to include ground at the
nichols has got to be factored in and we have to fight hard for our services to make sure the proportions are right or some of these eight young men and women who of joined us since september 11, 2001 will not be as excited about their role in the national guard. i will let bill comment specifically on your question. >> on the humvee fleet, we have some of the oldest humvees in the inventory for the army. i guess the question at this moment is do we recapitalize the ones that we have or as the army buys the next generation, we should get a proportional share of those vehicles. the question is do we keep a number of humvees and recapitalized to trade in or to turn in as we -- it is a
balance. obviously, we would like to upgrade the fleet but we want to be frugal with our resources and do the right thing. at the moment, there is a bit of a trade off. the law longer we wait, the older the vehicles become. >> one last quick question my preference has always been that we direct money for recruiting to you and you decide how best to utilize that money. i know you are sponsoring in the cars and nascar's. you tune in and you see the national guard on the side of the car. you do that in areas where the potential for recruiting is very high, i think. i do not like to micromanage things, but is this still of value to you in terms of
recruiting and whatever of the gains you might get from it, or is this something whose time has come and gone? >> senator, it is a matter of branding and being associated with a national brand. we do get recruits and we do run recruiting booths at sporting events, both motor sports and other sports. people do not necessarily by tide laundry detergent because of the race car that sports is the tide hood, but they do associate that product at a national local and the army national guard, because of the target audience we are looking at for our band of recruits, that is of interest to those people.
when they watch sports on television, they see army national guard -- it is a national branding opportunity that is of great value. the fact that the teams at the army national guard sponsors do some very good things for the nation and are held in high esteem by the group of people, it does lead to recruits from the army national guard. >> i suggest we let the national guard -- put it on this car or not on the dark -- the car -- it ought to be left up to the people involved in the process. thank you, mr. chairman. >> now i would like to recognize
the chairman of the senate national guard caucus, senator leahy. >> thank you. yesterday we saw on the news or a commercial jet had to land in bangor. prior jets were deployed. was it -- were those guard jet? >> yes, they were. >> that leads into a question i have. there are a couple of lesser known cuts proposed to the air national guard this year that are concerning, specifically the air control alert location,