Skip to main content

tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  October 23, 2013 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT

8:00 pm
hours on to end go through the whole circus. this obamacare exchange has been a complete and total failure and it's unacceptable. the american people deserve >> i'm congressman tim murphy of pennsylvania. chairman of the house energy and commerce subcommittee. tomorrow, we are going to have a hearing about the exchange website and it will be about the facts. we are approaching this investigation in a thoughtful and deliver it way. here is what we know so far. $55 million for just one company to build the website. less than a year in, the agency it hasnt $93 million since frittered away $300 million. other companies were hired to work on this website. half $1, more than billion was spent on a website that doesn't work.
8:01 pm
the energy and commerce committee's will be continuing our ongoing investigation into what went wrong and getting answers on the record with the contractors and secretary sibelius. repeatedly over the last year, our subcommittee was told by numerous officials, don't worry. everything is fine. we have this under control. we know that it was not the case. either they didn't know what was going on or they were deliberately misleading us and the american people with the hope of avoiding us knowing what was really happening. given all these questions, we should press pause on this tax surge where he wants to spend untold more amounts of money. to throw that after a bad website when we don't really know if this one is salvageable. surge is comparable to trying to fix a car by overhauling it while it is still rolling down the highway. at some point, you have to decide if they can be fixed.
8:02 pm
if 55 different contractors could not successfully build, test and run a website in three years at a total cost of over half $1 billion, why should we believe the administration is capable of fixing it in two weeks -- weeks? we are going to find out. did the breakdowns occur with the contractors or were they told to do it this way by hhs? did the contractors notify hhs when there were problems? how many people have been able to sign up using the website? are they even capable of knowing how it is working? was the site design poorly because the white house sought to hide it from the public and hide the premium increases families are seeing? why we work to get the answers, we are deeply concerned about the number of americans who are being told they will no longer have insurance. they are looking to this as an answer. throughout the initial rollout of this when congress was voting
8:03 pm
and we were pushed away from being able to work on this, we were told repeatedly that this website would be a wonder. people would look at it, compare policies and make thoughtful and informed decisions. we still wonder what is going on. they're quite frightened. thank you. >> you have done many efforts in the house to repeal obamacare. we know what happened to the efforts to defund obamacare. now that americans are waking up to the issues, do you think you have a better environment to do something? what is the legislative strategy at this point? >> i think the congress's job is to provide proper oversight of the executive branch of government. whether it is obamacare or issues at the department of defense, it is our job to hold them accountable. when it comes to obamacare,
8:04 pm
there is an awful lot that needs to be held accountable. >> speaker boehner, your friend said this morning that paul ryan would unveil the house gop plan for health care reform sometime in january. is it your understanding that is going to happen? >> i will let you talk to paul about that. said the defund was a tactical error. do you agree with that? >> we went through a tough period. we fought the fight. we didn't win. we live to fight another day. , we are going to have that debt ceiling to deal with again. the looming problems that are affecting our country are still there. we are spending more than what we bring in. to the tune of $700 billion this year alone. the problems are looming.
8:05 pm
it is time for washington to deal with serious problems affecting our country. a couple of legislative weeks left in the year. do you plan to bring up immigration? >> i think immigration reform is important. i am hopeful. know, your party took quite a beating after the shutdown. you just came from a meeting with your members. how concerned are they and how concerned are you about losing the house? >> as long as we stay focused on the priorities of the american people, i think we are going to be fine. they are concerned about their jobs. they are concerned about their income. they are concerned about their own health insurance and how they're going to afford it. and how they are going to navigate through this bizarre plan that they have to deal with. our job is to stay focused on the issues the american people are most concerned about.
8:06 pm
thanks, everybody. >> speaker boehner and republican leaders after the conference meeting this morning on capitol hill. he was asked about immigration. president obama will be talking about immigration reform tomorrow morning at 10:35 eastern. majority leader eric cantor calling for a delay in the implementation of the individual mandate. there is news about a delay in the enrollment period. here is the headline from "the washington wire."
8:07 pm
of the hearings about implementation of the law coming up tomorrow morning at 9:00 eastern. the house energy and commerce committee will be hearing from government contractors. that gets underway at 9:00 eastern. it is expected to go as long as five hours. we will have it all for you beginning live at 9:00 eastern on c-span. tomorrow except for pro forma session at noon. many house members are attending the funeral of the late bill young who died last week in florida at the age of 82. he had been the longest-serving republican member of the u.s. house. his funeral is tomorrow in florida. the house is back next week. so is the senate. next week, the senate will swear in their newest senator, cory booker. hubley sworn in on october 31. his office announcing that today.
8:08 pm
it will be a busy week in the house as well. the farm conference committee will meet next week. the budget conference committee -- the house and senate conferencing on those two vital issues next week. both of those are set for next wednesday. we will let you know about our coverage plans as those events get closer. house democrats, the democratic caucus also met today at the capitol. afterwards, leaders of the caucus came out to speak to reporters for about half an hour. >> are we ready?
8:09 pm
good morning. i am xavier becerra, the chairman of the democratic caucus. i am pleased to be joined by joseph crowley of new york. we're also joined by two of our colleagues, congresswoman dena titus of nevada and congressman marc veasey of texas. we are here to talk about health care and the fact that so many americans will now have access to it. we have had a good caucus meeting today where we discussed a number of issues including moving forward with our economic challenges and making sure we don't go through the same and you factored crisis of watching our government shut down and the potential of america defaulting for the first time in its history. after last can build week's agreement on the types of measures that are necessary to get americans back to work. we heard that 150,000 americans got jobs in the last month.
8:10 pm
that is good. not good enough. we want to continue to see that improve. we have to wake up from the bush era recession where we saw 8- 9,000,000 americans lose their jobs. a lot of progress has been made. more than 3.5 million jobs created. i'm sorry, 7.5 million jobs created in the last report five years. haveis good, but we still more to do. americans want to know that there was a good job waiting for them. act, aaffordable care lot of us want to see this move forward. well asly and as possible. for many of us, the issue is real about making sure americans have access to quality affordable health care. it is time for americans, all americans to have the security they need in knowing that a health-care bill will not push
8:11 pm
them into bankruptcy. that is the beauty of the affordable care act. the new law makes sure that americans can finally rest assured that they will have access to a decent doctor and a good hospital should they need either of those for their kids, for their family. we are here to push as hard as we can to make sure that all in these get to enroll new affordable plans that are being made available throughout the country. we are concerned about the process. we are not happy if the process doesn't work well. we are not interested in hearing about glitches. we are interested in moving forward. process shouldhe not be a problem, our biggest concern is with the product. we want the product to be there for americans. actuallybefore you -- in this case, three of the four of us happen to know what we
8:12 pm
mean when it comes to trying to get americans affordable health care insurance. veasey,missed -- mr,.. ms. titus and i represent the most needy district in the nation. while the glitches are upsetting , it would be a travesty if we on january 1 didn't see that americans got to start using their health care insurance that was made available. we want the process to improve. we are not interested in trying to torpedo the process. we want to improve the process as quickly as we can. a lot of the folks need a good process to gain quality health insurance fans for their families. they live in our district. i know that mr. croley's district has a lot of americans
8:13 pm
who are interested in accessing affordable health care. we are here ready to work. we have individuals from the administration, from health and human services telling us what the latest is. they told us of all the work that is being done as a result of the president has emerging to the errors inth the website. they are moving forward with more access to phone coverage to give people access to that information. of course, person to person communication as well with those who are interested in applying for the health care plans. 1,believe that come january a lot of our constituents are going to have access to a quality affordable health plan. we are going to do everything we can to make sure that is exactly what happens. at the end of the day, no process should bog down people
8:14 pm
getting a good product. we are going to make sure they have good quality coverage health insurance for their families. let me yield to our vice- chairman. >> thank you. is one club i guess i am glad i am not in. i am not in the top three. that as no question well as new york is doing in this process, there are still 155,000 constituents in my district who are currently uninsured. they look forward to the opportunity, many of them for the first time in their lives, to afford health insurance. it is not just about a website. health insurance is about security. millions have not had the ability to afford health insurance. under the affordable care act, that is about to change. thatcan't get lost here is
8:15 pm
this will give millions of americans access to quality affordable health care. survivorsand cancer will no longer be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions. what can't get lost here is that medical decisions will be made by the patients and their doctors. not insurance companies. what can't get lost here is that for the first time, millions of americans will be able to get insurance. many -- how much my constituents need this law is that more new yorkers have completed applications and received an eligibility determination more than any other state. new york is doing quite well. something needs to be done to fix the technical issues. but you can lose sight of the fact that this is giving millions of americans options for quality affordable health insurance for the first time in their lives. republicans are looking for problems to exploit. we democrats are looking for
8:16 pm
problems to fix. shutdown of the united states government in an effort to undermine the affordable care act. they used the threat of defaulting on our debt to undermine implementation of this law. one has to question the motivation behind much of the angst we are seeing out there with the republican party. yield to, i will now dena titus from nevada's first district. >> thank you. i represent the las vegas valley. as you have heard, nevada is always one of the top states for the percentage of people who are uninsured. some 200,000 people in that area don't have insurance. nevada is also one of the states that has its own exchange, the silver state exchange.
8:17 pm
what has been overlooked in some of this criticism of the system is that those states are working well. our exchange is up and running. we have had about 1500 applications come -- completed. have gone000 people to the website, looked at it, gotten more information. we are moving forward. i held a roundtable this past weekend with different organizations that are also helping us on the ground. that is something else we shouldn't forget. our congressional offices are navigators toemi- bring people into the system. you have aarp going after that group between 50 and 65 to be sure they have information. you have campus organizations going after young people. planned parenthood is reaching out to women and navigators in the hispanic areas are going after hispanic women. las vegas has an unusual
8:18 pm
population that is working but not insured. a lot of those people are women. a lot of them are dancers. a lot of them are in salons. they do nails, they do hair. they would like to have insurance. we are not waiting for them to come to the website. we are going out there after them. it is making a difference. it is very important that they are insured, that they have coverage. pre-existing conditions will no longer mean they can't get insurance. that is the work that we are spreading. it is being very effective. i would urge you as we look at what has happened with a website and we are trying to fix it, don't fall prey to the ecological fallacy. you can see the forest, just don't get bogged down in the trees. thank you very much. i will turn it over to marc veasey. >> thank you murray much. i represent the 33rd congressional district in arlington and dallas. i have the highest uninsured rates in the entire country. about 40% of the constituents i
8:19 pm
represent, about 265,000 don't have insurance. the dallas ande fort worth metroplex together, you were talking about over a million uninsured. contrary to what you're hearing from republican leaders, i can assure you that texans particularly in the district i represent once the affordable care act. they want to enroll. they want insurance. thathappy to report someone i am very well acquainted with -- i read a paper today, she was having trouble on the computer but she went on the phone and was able to enroll in 15 minutes. towant people to continue try to enroll. it is very very important that the people get insured. texasy of you know, decided not to opt for medicaid expansion. many consider that to be a huge mistake by the governor and the
8:20 pm
republican-controlled legislature. because of that particular decision, we are still going to have a huge gap that is going to occur in the state of over one million people. even with the affordable care act, texas is going to have these problems. it is very important that people continue to try to enroll. we feel like the bugs in the system will be worked out. we feel like we're making headway and i know that the people in my district are truly anxious for this to work. i am going to do everything i can. i have already been a part of two different programs with the congressional black caucus to inform people about this. i have been a part of town hall meetings in the district. like tina said, going into the aboutity to inform people the affordable care act. that is going to be very
8:21 pm
important. i am doing my part and i will continue to do so. there have been problems but i believe that they can be worked out and i believe that people would continue to enroll, particularly texans. >> as we get ready to take questions, in california we have our own exchange. in california, it is called california covered. i wanted to mention that in california, we have seen over 95,000 people apply for health insurance coverage in the first two weeks. in the first two weeks, over 95,000 californians apply for health insurance in the exchange. million unique visits the website in california. the 100,000 people called service center as well during the first two weeks. people are interested. people are anxious. we want it to work well for everyone. we would hope that some of the states where you have the
8:22 pm
federal exchange would actually stop hindering the process. in places like texas, we know there is hostility on the part of state authorities when it comes to people finding out information about the insurance coverage that they will get. that is probably one of the reasons some people haven't had the best experience. it would help with local and state officials wouldn't get in the way and would try to help americans gain access to what they now have as a right. it is very disturbing to see that the website hasn't performed as well as we would like. i think it is even more disturbing when individuals intentionally work against the american people and the rights that they have now secured to access quality affordable health care. we would urge all of our colleagues in state and local government who may not have agreed with the affordable care act completely, to please at least let their constituents back home understand what the
8:23 pm
affordable care act will provide them. let them decide. let every one of us decide as americans what we want to do. don't hinder the process and complain that a website isn't working. let's all work together to improve the website and make sure people have all the information they need so they can make their own informed decision. heard from the other side of the aisle, they have railed against this law. you have had problems with the rollout. they're saying, we told you. did you get from officials that things are getting better? as you mentioned, your uninsured constituents, that this will work for them come january? >> we have heard assurances not simply from officials here from cms. we heard them from the president yesterday. he said that he is probably the most unhappy american when it
8:24 pm
comes to the fact that the website didn't work as well as we had hoped. i don't believe that the president is going to allow days and weeks to go by without marked improvement in the website of some capability. and in the ability of americans to gain the information they need. they are working hard and we are told that they are working hard within the administration to make sure that they have the resources in the right places. remember, part of this is congress's responsibility. we have to make sure that the administration has the resources it needs to make sure that the people and the infrastructure is there on a continuing basis to have millions of people transition over to getting quality affordable health care. we will see what happens with that. >> should somebody be held accountable for the missteps that have resulted in this website not performing the way that it has? >> i will let my colleagues answer. i believe that somebody should be held accountable. we should find out and if
8:25 pm
possible, find out what we should do. when you hold a position, you should be held accountable. just like those folks who were responsible for the government shutdown should be held responsible for having cost us some $24 billion in economic capacity and generation. just as we saw 800,000 plus americans not being able to go to work as a result of the government shutdown. those folks that were responsible for the government shutdown should be held responsible. those who might be responsible for the website not working should be held responsible as well. >> let me just add to that. yes, one of the responsibilities of congress is to hold people accountable. let's not lose focus. what is more important than anything else is to get the system working properly. not to be diverted. no divergence here. get the system up and running. there will be ample opportunity
8:26 pm
to look back and see how it could have been done better. and to hold accountable those who were not up to par. is to make sure that every american who wants to be covered is covered. that is the primary responsibility. it ought to be the prime responsibility of members of congress as well. >> i want to add -- qu├ębec to medicare -- go back to medicare. there was some incorrect information given to the public concerning medicare part d. it had a very unfavorable rating amongst seniors. the kinks have been worked out of that. seniors love that program. it has a 91% rating compared to the 21% rating that it had. i would say the biggest difference -- it has been pointed out before -- republicans have done absolutely nothing to try to help out. have demeaned the program.
8:27 pm
democrats on the other hand, democrats went into the district and talked to senior citizens. they had community meetings and showed them how to get enrolled. i think that is what america is looking for. though sort of sensible solutions on how we can make this program work better for people and not try to tear it down. say there is a silver lining to the fact that there was a problem with the website -- so many people went to it. they want this insurance. they want information. they want to sign up for it. they need the service. that allies all the argument you hear on the other side that people think this is a terrible way to go. this is the perfect way to get. it is the way to provide insurance disseminate people who are obviously very hungry for it. or you wouldn't have had such a crash at the very beginning from people rushing to sign up. republicans said they would
8:28 pm
like to see the individual mandate penalty either delayed or a raised. we heard this morning from a democratic senator who says that at the least, the deadline should be extended. do you think the deadline should be extended for the mandate? should there be a fine? >> i am not surprised that my republican colleagues would once repeal allr try to or part of the affordable care act. as the bloomberg editorial said not long ago, our republican colleagues continue to call for the elimination of all these rights and protections that americans have secured through the health security law. they have never offered a real replacement for it. every time they talk about either eliminating all or part of the affordable care act, they should be prepared to tell us what they would put in its place. americans today no longer have
8:29 pm
to worry about pre-existing conditions. what will republicans do to replace those rights and protections that americans have? a child born in this country today with asthma will get coverage whether through parents or otherwise. what will republicans do to make sure that doesn't change if they try to repeal or replace all or part of the affordable care act? most of us understand that the main goal here -- for those of us who represent the district with the largest number of americans who have to fear what most of you don't have to fear -- that is, a child getting to sick to be able to afford the care. we should be worried about making sure they find out everything they need to make an informed decision about their health care. we believe that if we work towards making information available, that what we will do is have americans making the right decision. whether or not they decide to get the insurance coverage, it will be up to them. most of us believe that they
8:30 pm
will make the decision to get the coverage. what we should be doing is working to try to improve the process. it is not the process people are concerned about. it is making sure they have access to the care. they are willing to pay for it. they just want it to be affordable. there have been incorrect pricing estimates. do you have any comment on that? >> it is a pricing estimate. feature is for the purpose of giving people estimates. it is something that a lot of americans wanted -- they are not sure what they're going to do. especially those who have insurance and they are trying to see if it might be worthwhile for them to get insurance through the exchange. they are interested in comparing. they are shopping and comparing. that browsing feature was for
8:31 pm
the purpose of giving people a general idea, an estimate of what they might pay. it is not to say that that is the final price they will pay. government has all the information on that individual, you can't give a precise dollar amount for the coverage that that person selects. these are estimates. it shouldn't surprise anyone that there is some variation from the estimate in terms of what an individual i will -- an individual will actually pay. it is an estimate for those who are shopping. if they like the estimate, they can find out what the final price will be. >> what did you mean by being held accountable? do you think someone should be fired? >> we should find out what happened. why the websites weren't as prepared as we would all like them to have been. like anything else, you are accountable for your reports, making sure you meet your deadline to issue your article
8:32 pm
on time. we all have responsibilities. we have to figure out, how can we continue to improve it to make sure that everyone is getting the information they need? hold everyone accountable for what they did or didn't do. >> what went wrong? did they tell you how they want to go forward and improve this? >> they did explain part of the process. one of the things that everyone was surprised by buzz -- was the number of people who went on to the website. back home, i have done a few sessions. i am doing a couple more still for folks in my district to get the information they need about the affordable care act and the plans they can purchase through the exchange. what we are finding is, it is human nature. there is a curiosity on the part of a lot of people. looking to get quality
8:33 pm
affordable health care. also, a lot of curiosity on the part of those who have health insurance who are checking to see, might i get a better deal through the exchange? some folks were just interested. the volume of people, the millions of people on the website included those who probably don't need insurance or won't get the insurance through the website. that volume created a bottleneck. >> so they knew ahead of time that it would crash? >> they also explained that because it is such detailed information and it has to go through various agencies, you are talking about homeland security, irs, hhs, so many different departments, you now have to cap a lot of different sites. it is unlike shopping at a department store where they don't have to check with homeland security do find information about you and go to the irs to find more information.
8:34 pm
because so many people were doing the inquiry, it did really bottleneck the process. ist they are trying to do expand the capacity. also, because so many people first, theyoking at expect that the volume will reduce. those who are serious about moving forward will be able to access the information far quicker. they have also beefed up their phone service. people forget you can do this in person as well. they are trying to make sure they're expanding capacity in all the relevant rounds. when you are talking about tens of millions of people, they are going to have to turn to the best minds and have the resources to make sure they can go through that. i would just like to remind everybody to keep in mind these families.
8:35 pm
when we talk about the process and trying to get the system to work better, keep in mind the families. over 265 thousand people in the district that i represent are uninsured. iny of those families downtown dallas or fort worth, they wait in line. often times by the time they go through the county hospital, they already have an ailment that could have been prevented and cost taxpayers less money had they been provided affordable health care insurance. that is what we need to be working towards. i want to remind everyone that regardless of what you're hearing, texans want the affordable care act to work. they wanted to succeed. the calls i have been getting in my district, people are telling me, what do we need to do next? we want to enroll. that is what i would like to leave you with today. >> i would just say that the
8:36 pm
hispanic population, that 40% of my district is very interested in this. we have special navigators or going out into the community. we heard assurances that the website and the information at the national level will be up in spanish in a couple of weeks. that will also be an improvement that they assured us. questions -- we can take questions later on. in my state, since the affordable care act became law, seniors in california through medicare has saved roughly $450 million on prescription drugs. simply since 2010 when the law passed. we have 95,000 americans today in our state of california who have now applied for and will secure insurance for their
8:37 pm
family that they didn't have a four. -- have before. if we are focused on the prize -- the prizes to make sure that never again to american families have to worry about whether they can pay the bill or pay the rent. or whether or not the child will get the kind of care that the family needs for their children. ishink what we are doing giving people in america the peace of mind so that they know if they work hard, play by the , they will have a chance to make sure their kids do better than them. that is the american dream. that is why we passed the affordable care act. we want to make sure that it works well including with the website. if we remember what the goal is. if we keep our eye on the prize to make sure no american has to go into bankruptcy because he or
8:38 pm
she has to use healthcare services, then we will succeed. we thank you for being here with us this morning. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] span, former- defense officials discuss how budget cuts are affecting the u.s. military's role in the world. a house hearing on the defense budget and military readiness. later, members of congress on the implementation of the affordable care act. problems with the federal health care website. tomorrow, a house hearing looks into the rollout of the affordable care act. we will have live coverage of the house energy and commerce committee beginning at 9:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span.
8:39 pm
>> just hours after the japanese attack on pearl harbor and before her husband addressed to the nation, first lady eleanor roosevelt was on the radio talking with america. >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen. i am speaking to you tonight at a very serious moment in our history. andcabinet is convening leaders in congress are meeting with the president. the state department and officials have been with the president all afternoon. the japanese ambassador was talking to the president at the very time that japan's airships were bombing our citizens in hawaii and the philippines and sinking one of our transports loaded with lumber on its way to hawaii. members of congress will have a full report and be ready for action. in the meantime, we the people are already prepared for action.
8:40 pm
for months, the knowledge that something of this kind might happen has been hanging over our heads. yet, it seemed impossible to believe, impossible to drop the everyday -- and feel there was only one thing which was important. preparation to meet an enemy no matter where he struck. that is all over now. there is no more uncertainty. we know what we have to face and we now that we are ready to face it. >> watch our program on eleanor roosevelt on our website, c- span.org/firstladies. we continue our series live monday as we lurk -- look at first lady bess truman. >> on tuesday, a panel of former pentagon officials discuss how budget cuts are affecting the defense department. the group foreign policy initiative hosted this hour-long discussion.
8:41 pm
there should be a natural continuation of the themes that were highlighted in the last conversation. people whoed by serve on the board of directors. a conversation about how to sustain and strengthen america's defense capabilities. who willhe gentleman introduce and moderate our speakers. brad is the editor of armed forces journal. it has been published since 1863. congratulations to them. he has written extensively about the u.s. navy. bradley if you will? >> well, we live in interesting times. we have left iraq. we are drawing down in
8:42 pm
afghanistan. we are still pursuing al qaeda and similar groups. syria is burning. china is rising. ishas not settled whether it rival or partner. climate change is altering the world. has entwined as productively and made us more brittle. web allowscations the spread of violent ideas and unimaginable speed. who runs the development center put it this way. the momentum of human interaction is increasing exponentially. the security environment is changing. our military services which have spent much of the past decade relearning the lessons of counterinsurgency and expanding upon them are trying to figure out what they should be 5, 10, 20 years from now. the strategy side is just half of it. after a decade in which military
8:43 pm
funds were all but limitless, budgets are down again. there has been a buildup in which we did not recapitalize our arsenal. the u.s. has emerged from a decade of war with fewer aircraft, fewer ships, thousands of combat vehicles now abandoned in foreign lands. , ourad of getting larger military has become smaller, older and more expensive. no longer can the military do it all. advancing our national ambitions with our defense budget requires serious prioritization or perhaps innovation. do we sacrifice near-term capacity to build long-term capability? do we rely on allies and partners to integrate once thought -- to a degree once thought unimaginable? during his last few months in who led thert gates way in making the first round of cuts was known to say, tell me
8:44 pm
what we are not going to do anymore. what defense do we need? what defense can we afford? we won a strategy-driven, resource-informed solution. there is another twist to this. a budget process has gone from cumbersome to counterproductive to slightly insane. we will talk about that a little bit later on. you could not ask for a better panel to help us figure this all out. the gentleman to my right needs no introduction and yet i am a slave to orthodoxy so i will offer one. his term as deputy secretary of defense under bill clinton cap a quarter-century of government suchce that included posts as under secretary of the air force. before that he was on congressional staff holding various positions including staff director for the house
8:45 pm
armed services committee. after leaving government service, he ran boeing's office for several years. currently he is senior vice president for national security at the center for american progress here in washington. he was big for five minutes. speak for five minutes. >> thank you for the invitation. i thank the sponsors for the chance to come here and participate. this is a very important discussion in terms of how to be thinking about the defense budget, how to look ahead. we are in one of those times where we need to recalibrate. dominated by iraq and afghanistan is coming to an end. we still have combat troops in afghanistan. their exit in 2014 is something that we have to have a focus on. moving beyond that, we have got
8:46 pm
the asia-pacific at the center of global commerce, the center of the recovery from the economic slowdown. unusual economic alliances. military alliances and strategically, the security of asia still revolve around the united states. we have a middle east that is as complicated as ever. including a civil war in syria. preliminary diplomacy in dealing with iran but unease among gulf neighbors. question of the west bank and the palestinians and their status. all of those issues, as critical as they are were in the middle of the most complicated and that i budget process
8:47 pm
think our national security has seen since the end of world war ii. that is a huge period with lots most dod is the sophisticated of the government agencies. it works also something called the future years defense budget. 5, 6 years in the making long- range decisions that the secretaries look at. they were able to do it in a strategic environment and set the direction for budget alterations and execute them across a decade. now, we have gone from the period of the five-year defense plan to continuing resolutions which were for a while six months. now there are four months in duration. sequester which is the product of the debt ceiling compromise two years
8:48 pm
ago. as he waseon panetta the parting as secretary of we can noe said longer go from budget crisis to budget crisis. he said this is not a game. that coming from a secretary of ,efense who had unique skills but perhaps our shrewdest budget expert in the government. figuring out a path forward in terms of how to create budget stability -- one last comment, if we look at the sequester, that is $1 trillion worth of cuts off of 10 years. the president has put an alternative number down that is a little bit more than $500 billion over 10 years. between howuge gap congress sees the future defense budget and how the president does. .n terms of the magnitude
8:49 pm
a very dynamic and challenging time. the rest of the world will not stop. another man who needs no introduction but i will deliver one anyway. he is a former pentagon comptroller. among his other posts have been deputy undersecretary of planning and resources. -- 2002 to 2004, he worked in afghanistan. earlier, he was a defense and foreign policy analyst. after leaving government service, he became senior vice president of booz allen hamilton holding he is a senior fellow, senior adviser. he chairs the national intelligence council. he is a member of the commission on wartime contracting afghanistan. i think you get the idea.
8:50 pm
without further ado. >> thanks for a much, brad. full disclosure, eric edelman and i co-authored an op-ed not long ago. rudy and i have been on radio a while back. ,hat you're going to hear you're going to hear shades of difference, but for the last 60 years there has been a fundamental consensus about the united states strategy which is forward. involves across the board determines. -- deterrence. it involves relatively stable budget. there is so much uncertainty now. tend to bere is, we overly as a mystic. -- overly pessimistic. there is always going to be
8:51 pm
uncertainty about where we fight. other than world war ii, korea was unpredictable, one could argue about vietnam. we got into it far more than we thought. just about every war we have , they were not things we expected to fight. about what certain kinds of tools we are going to use. you have to be very careful about what you fill out of the toolbox. -- throw out of the toolbox. we have become certain in a different way about what some people call multipolarity. they keep talking about the brics, the chinese, the russians, the indians, the brazilians and maybe the south africans. every one of those countries is having economic problems now. there is no indication that there are going to get out of those problems anytime soon. gdp's have leveled off.
8:52 pm
their populations arrested. prediction, that somehow the united states will be less powerful because others are becoming more powerful, i am not sure it holds water. to the contrary, this goes to some of the budget concerns we have got. i don't believe the issue is dealing with a ten-year sequester. i don't think anybody believes that. one of the reasons that i don't is because within five years, we are supposedly going to have a different energy profile. that means there is going to be a lot more in the way of taxes coming into the government. a lot more revenue. therefore, when we think about defense, we have to be careful not to cut those things that will be impossible to replenish was the money starts coming in
8:53 pm
again. focusot sure we sufficiently on that. right now, all the talk is about , we don't want to fight another man were. guess what, mcarthur said that. we said that after vietnam. bob gates has said it. we don't know if we are not going to fight another man were. nobody knows. we don't know where we are going to fight next. is far you cut back on that a very open question in my mind. we say, we can rely on special operations and ciber. -- cyber, and space. that is all true. to what extent do we rely? do we need other things? whether we worry about china or iran or any other places, we seem to constantly call upon the carriers and the carrier task forces to do the job for us. is this the right time to be cutting carriers are cutting the navy or cutting the air force
8:54 pm
which is trying to some extent to work with the navy on these things? differentlyto think about what we plan to do today and what we are planning for. i believe what we ought to be doing is thinking about how to get from here to there over the next you years -- few years until the money starts to come in again. not because there will be another war but because there will simply be more money there. careful note very to cut our noses off to spite our faces. that means thinking about efficiencies but not necessarily about things we want to cut. i will give you one final example. say weseen many analysts ought to stop spending money on what we used to call national
8:55 pm
missile defense. we should stop -- it hasn't done anything for us. yet this very administration which is full of people who have written and said that for decades, as soon as north korea threatened to hit the united states, whether they could do it or not, they decided they wanted to buy more of these missiles. that is my point. once you get rid of something, it is very hard to get it back. let's be awfully cautious. >> for this to my right, ambassador eric edelman. his wide range of jobs has taken him from the ambassadorship of finland and turkey all the way back to the wild of the pentagon and white house. he was undersecretary of defense for the bush administration.
8:56 pm
eric retired from foreign service in 2009. he is a distinguished fellow at the center for strategic and budgetary assessment. you get the idea. eric, please. >> thank you very much. as a member of the board, let me say how pleased i am to be on a panel with two great public servants, rudy deleon and dov zakheim, both of whom i have had the pleasure of working with in the past. the title of our panel -- i agree of course with most of what has been said before may. i certainly hope dov is right that we are not we -- the dealing with a 10 year sequester. i don't think we should necessarily plan on that. saying, the by
8:57 pm
title of the panel was, what kind of defense does the united states need? brad added, what kind of defense can we afford? let me make a couple of comments about both. three years ago served together, the congressionally created independent panel to review the department of defense's 2010 defense review. the panel we served on was made up of 20 members. it was bipartisan. it was cochaired by bill perry and steve hadley. articulated their set of thought the united states had done and continued to do. among those were defending the maintaining the
8:58 pm
freedom of the seas, freedom of transit in air, outer space, freedom to use cyberspace. powerining a balance of in europe and in asia through our alliances as rudy mentioned in his comments and dov did as well. and being able to provide international humanitarian aid when disaster strikes as we have done repeatedly. i would say those are still things that the united states needs to be able to do. it is something that we have done for the last 60 years. we have provided global public goods. events of thehe last month and a half -- i would conclude that include both the
8:59 pm
budgetary issues and the debate tor syria, they have begun call that into question. they call into question whether the united states is willing to continue to provide these global public funds. president kennedy gave an interview to bill lawrence on abc news after the cuban missile crisis. in that interview, he talked about the fatigue after 17 years of national exertion since the end of world war ii that toricans felt at having had provide global leadership. now we are 60 years on. are going to have to have that national debate now. the traditional coalition on the was that existed when rudy the staff director working for -- it doesn't exist
9:00 pm
anymore. most of the blue dogs have been defeated. the republican congress is deeply divided between those who continue to bleed in the strong international role for the u.s. and those who believe that defense spending is no different than any other category in the budget and it is useful for negotiations over cutting discretionary spending or entitlement spending. i think we really need to have a debate. period where in a we take it for granted that the u.s. will play this role, that it will have these kinds of treaty alliances. when you look back at our hist

49 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on