tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 6, 2013 8:00pm-10:01pm EST
recover and function fully in >> he is the director of the national institute of mental health, joining us from bethesda, maryland. thank you for being with us on c-span. the foreign-policy initiative discusses secretary of state john kerry's tenure so far. and the overall foreign-policy challenges the foreign -- obama faces.tration lac and we will talk about supreme court judges. and genetically modified foods with new york university professor marian nussle. we will look for your reaction by phone, e-mail, and twitter. tonight, republican senator rand paul of kentucky speaking at the
detroit economic club about jobs and the economy. former secretaries of state madeleine albright and hillary clinton come a remembering south african president nelson mandela. and a white house briefing with secretary jay carney. >> the book affairs events from washington, putting you in the room at congressional hearings, white house event, briefings, and conferences. and complete gavel-to-gavel coverage of the u.s. house. we are c-span, created by the cable tv industry and funded by your local cable or satellite provider. now you can watch us in hd. >> republican senator rand paul at the detroit economic club. some have considered him as a
presidential candidate although he himself has not made any formal announcement. this event is part of the road to the white house 2016 coverage. [applause] cracks good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. on this nice brisk detroit michigan day, it is my honor to introduce dr. rand paul, the junior senator from kentucky. the united states senator elected in 2010 and has certainly made his mark in just a very short time. he has proven to be an outspoken champion for constitutional liberties and fiscal responsibility. warrior against government overreach. among his first legislative billions, cutting $500
in federal spending and balancing the budget in just five years. he has since introduced similar bills with growing support. he serves on the foreign relations committee, homeland security, and government affairs with the small business committee. a graduate of duke university school of medicine, he was a practicing ophthalmologist in kentucky for 17 years. in 1995, he founded the southern kentucky eye clinic, an organization that provides eye exams and surgeries to needy families and individuals. he still does that work today. has been a vocal advocate for term limits, a balanced budget amendment, a read the bills act, an auditor of the federal
reserve, and has gained prominence for his independent position on many political issues. a devotedul is husband and father, married for 23 years to kelly ashbury and has three sons. cheering on his as who is a soccer player they go to the semifinals. our history here at the detroit economic club is to showcase interesting and diverse ideas and solutions to issues of the day. unveilsenator paul will his legislative proposal to remove bankrupt detroit and other economically blighted areas from poverty and the shackles of big government. please give a warm welcome to senator rand paul. [applause]
>> thank you very much. people ask me how big is deal is it to give a speech to the detroit economic club. i say it's such a big deal that i gave so many speeches and interviews saying i was going to give a speech, then i lost my voice. i'm not kidding you. it is a big deal to be here. i'm really glad to be here. there's a little girl she wanted a $100, she decided she write a note to god. dear god, would you send me a hundred dollars. i'll do good things with it. postmaster got the letter and he didn't know what to do with it. he sent it to the president. the president said that's cute.
why don't you send her $5, she'll think that's a lot of money. she gets the $5 and she's like her parents say send a thank you. she said, dear god, thanks for the money, next time don't send it to washington, they stole 95%. really i can just stop there because that's essentially the plan. it is an honor to be here in detroit. i want to thank bit for making beth for making things work. i like to thank dottie for introducing me and letting us be a part of this. when i started thinking about this, i said we need to find out something great that's going on
in detroit. i was looking for somebody that said something, i heard this great thing by jack white. i did find a young intern at quick-in loans. she wrote in one of their magazines, she said i found out the truth about detroit. it's unstoppable. not because it's wealthy and powerful and growing, detroit is unstoppable because the people here cannot be stopped. the citizens of this city are the light at the end of the tunnel. the underdog who actually wins. there are optimisms, promise and potential and hope. optimism is bringing this city
back. this isn't afraid of opportunity, it's not discouraged by its past, it's excited by its future. i love the way she put that. one thing is certain, detroit's future and lisa's future will not come from washington. the magic of motown is here in the city. what detroit need to thrive is not washington hand but freedom from big government's mastery. to thrive, detroit needs less government and more freedom. less red tape, less taxes, more money left in detroit. the answer to poverty and unemployment is not another government stimulus. it's simply leaving more money in the hands of those who earned it. today i'm here to introduce something i call economic freedom zones. this is a bill that will be introduced next week in washington.
these freedom zones will dramatically reduce tax and red tape so detroit businesses can grow and throb. he called his plan a conservative war on poverty. it's time we revisit some of the ideas of jack kemp and expand upon them. the bill that i will introduce, will introduce power and freedom zone. this political lower personal and corporate income taxes in detroit to 5%. my bill will lower the payroll tax, 2% for the employees, 2% for the employers. economic freedom zones will cut out the red tape that keeps new businesses from starting and old businesses from thriving. inside these ozones will suspend the capital gains tax. we will allow all small businesses to deduct most of what they invest in the first
year of purchase. how will this differ from traditional government stimulus? first these phones don't ask houston or they don't ask atlanta to bail out detroit. these zones free up detroit to bail themselves out. this isn't just about detroit, i'm a politician, so i'm concerned about my home, we're concerned about kentucky or any zip code with unemployment 1.5 times greater than the average. any community in america with 12% approximately or more will be eligible for these freedom zones. it will include many in my home state. there are 20 counties in the eastern part of my state they are in depression now. it's not just detroit struggling, we're struggling in my state too. the freedom zones differ from traditional government stimulus in that no central planner, no politician in washington will decide against the money. the money will simply be left
with its rightful owner. the manner the woman who by sweat equity and earned it. the government stimuluses that we've had, the money gets passed out to special interests and those who give you campaign contributions, they get the money. it's not based on whether they can do anything or run a business. those are the people that gets stimulus money. the money will stay with the people and consumers who voted for. the people in the democratic capitalism has already run through the gauntlet. the people already proven that heck run a business. too often when government picks a winners and losers, we wind up with mostly loser. think solyndra, over 5er hundred $500 million of your money was given to one of the richest men
in the world. it turns out people didn't want the guys product. they didn't want those solar panels. it went out of business and we lost all of the money. we're stuck with the tab. economic freedom zones won't make that mistake. the lower taxes will benefit any business that consumers have already seen fit to endorse. only consumer tested winners will get the money. through their success, create jobs, more jobs for the rest of us. economic freedom zones will over a 10 year period, leave over $1.3 billion in detroit. those who say, it won't work, there won't be enough money. we've calculated it. $1.3 billion stimulus, not from houston, not from atlanta, from you. it's your money. we're not going to take it to washington. we'll leave it with you. how can anybody get on with this?
$1.3 billion will be left and it will help to create, help detroit to drive again and it will create jobs here. the money went go to my friends or president obama friends, it will go back to the people who earned it. regulatory relief will also help create opportunity. it will lower the opportunity cost that hold new and old businesses back and cost detroit millions of dollars a year. it happened in maryland. i estimate that repealing some of the storm water craziness they're forcing every city to do that will save detroit $16.5 million a year. i'm guessing that will pay for police protection, some fire protection and all the basic things you want in your city. we want to encourageentrepreneurs in detroit but we want people to move to detroit.
we want to allow immigration to our country with people have capital. right now we're losing people. people going to canada because income tax is 15%. canada is getting ought of these great entrepreneurs. economic enterprise zones would expedite these visas for people who have $50,000. detroit doesn't need a handout. look at the proud history of detroit. we were the industrial giant of the world, detroit was the greatness of america. government didn't do this. you did this. government didn't discover, create, motown greats like smokey robinson or diana ross.
we need to look at ourselves. we need to look in the mirror and we need to allow ourselves the freedom to create and innovate. you have leaders. think of dan gilbert of quick and loans they are pouring their hearts and souls and money into detroit. quick and loans have spent more than a billion dollars in detroit and moved 3600 employees into the city, creating thousands of jobs. quick and loans and center companies have 12,000 employees working in detroit. quick and loans is proving all the nay sayers wrong. go to quick and loans and you'll get a glimpse of detroit's future. detroit situation is a result of a corrupt marriage, a big government and big labor and big business that has worked against the city of detroit for decades. the result has been a defective government, declining business sector and failing schools. i don't say this to make a partisan point. the fact is both parties are to blame.
there's enough blame to go around. both parties, democrat and republican, they must admit we haven't done all we could do for the people who live in the city. many have said the problem we see in detroit, it's just means it's the end of times. let's give up. they say we can't create enough jobs. i disagree. they say the schools here will just keep getting worse. i disagree. they say the divide rich and poor, black and white will grow, i disagree. i don't believe it. anywhere else detroit or anywhere else in the country, this is the end of times. we are the greatest country on earth and developed so much capital because we believed in freedom and we believed in ourselves.
for this to come true again, for us to revive our cities and economy, we have to try to do something we haven't been trying. we can't just keep doing the same thing over and over again. we need a new vision and prosperity. one that won't leave hope and communities behind. politicians have thrown our money at problems before. this current president gave you a trillion dollars in stimulus. you divide it up and it was $400,000 per child. it doesn't work. let's try something different. we spent unbelievable sums in money on education and other schools are falling apart. throwing money is not the answer. we have to allow them to north innovate.
we must end corporate welfare and crony capitalism. we must encourage policies that will lift up the individual. allow creation for new jobs and improve the schools. can't be a bailout though. it won't work. it would lead us further down a path of dependency. more jobs are only one part of the solution though. i believe we must also show that we can build on a government that values our god given rights of all americans. in addition economic freedom, we have to have a 21st century civil rights agenda with education, choice, voting rights and prison reform. no one life should be ruined because of a youthful mistake. no one should be thrown in prison for years and decades when they haven't hurt anyone but themselves. no one should lose their voting rights because they spent time in prison. it does us no good to create jobs for young people in detroit if they can't later get such
jobs because of out of control war on drugs. they should be able to vote and have a life and build a family. their children should look at what comes from happiness and hard work. we talk about the family unit owing down the drain, and we are preventing families from going back. we must address the federal mindset that values arrest rates. >> if it were your could, would there be a chance to be rehabilitating them. it is a health problem and will not get better in prison. would you want to know that there might be other solutions? they should get back into society. they should be able to get a job. they should be able to vote and have a life and build a family. their children should look at
what comes from happiness and hard work. we talk about the family unit owing down the drain, and we are preventing families from going back. we must address the federal mindset that values arrest rates. it is not because white kids in affluent suburbs are not also smoking pot, it is they tend to be arrested and do not have as good representation and the police gravitate there because it is easier. it has been going on for a long time. it is not a purposeful racism, but we have a racial return on the war on drugs that is not fair. minority communities are easy targets. some say that is good politics. maybe it is bad policy, and good
people suffer every day as a result. it is a policy that tears apart families and hollows out communities, yet every day there are more victims of this war on drugs. it is not point of pride in this country that we now have the highest incarceration rate in the world. incarceration rates have skyrocketed 800% since 1980. the growth of the prisoner population is unsustainable. we are spending your money every year to keep people locked up, many of whom who are not a threat to others. is a terrible fact that the war on drugs that black and latinos are disproportionately incarcerated. the number one impediment of voting in our country comes from the war on drugs. in my state you never get the right to vote back. i have a friend whose brother grew marijuana plants in college, got convicted of a felony, he still cannot vote 30 years later. when he tries to get a job, he checks out a box to say he is a felon.
we are destroying people's lives from the beginning. we need new voices that will talk about this. policies that brought up this injustice should be repealed. the best way to help young people i think keep them happy, prosperous, and out of jail is education. it is a tricky business. what we have is not working. it may not be a magic list that will make our schools the best, but what we can do and what we need to do is expand the options, more choices for people, have to be better. the best way to provide education is through competition and school choice, just vouchers, charter schools. we need and all the above strategy, less mandates from washington, more local control. we need to give people flexibility when it comes to
where they send their kids to school. a pastor says school choice is a civil rights issue. he might be right. we are part of the country that tries school choice as benefits, especially minorities. too much the government says here is a school in your district, it is failing, tough luck. people in detroit have had enough of this. a percent of the parents in detroit would have enough choice would take another choice. families want the screen to choose to send their kids were they would like to send them. i want them to have as many choices as possible. i live where public schools are good. my kids are sent to the public high school in kentucky. in my county, my kids can choose from five different schools. they have to compete with each other. i cannot understand how anyone could be against competition, empowering parents with choice. the freedom to innovate is
important. charter schools get rid of this top-down approach, one-size- fits-all. study showed charter kids learn more material than their counterparts. opponents of school choice complained and say that his government money. you sent government the money to private or religious schools? absolutely, but it is not government money. is there some kind of mythological government that it belongs to? [applause] it is your money, taken out of your paycheck. if you want to use your money to send your kid to a private school, i all means let's do it. the president does. [applause] the president is rich enough to do it. he does not have a voucher, but the rest of us, we may not have enough left to set our kids to
private schools. so we get our money back and send our kids where we want them to go. the bill will give education money to the students right now or is money that comes back that goes to poor schools. we attach it to the kids. do not send it to the schools. they take it to whichever school they want to. the good schools will rise up and succeed and the bad schools will fade away. we have tax credits for education. $5,000 tax credit. this is a broad agenda, how we transform communities. it will touch everyone in this city. from the first time they go to school to becoming parents. economic freedom so that will remove government obstacles to success. it will provide a generation of citizens, students, workers with
a new bargain, and the government will get underway. it will treat you like an adult. it will treat everyone equally under the law, it will help parents control their children's future and their education, it will help creators have more jobs for workers. it will treat you the same way everyone else, the matter the color of your skin, what part of town you comfort. we have tried the bailouts, excessive taxation. it has not worked. it does not work. we will try a new approach. you can meet your new challenges as you rebuild your cities, it will endure and prevail. i promise you that i will work you do we do that. thank you very much. [applause]
>> it is my job to sort hundreds of questions and tried to get them into some kind of order. i will start locally with a student question. what made you take interest in detroit's issues? >> they are in the news. i think about it from two different perspectives. i will be honest with you. i am about politician, i'm a republican, i want votes. our party needs or votes and they are not getting more out of detroit. i am a physician and i want to diagnose problems and come up with solutions. in the past, a lot of times republicans have said the free market will float all votes. it is the best humanitarian system.
you will see specific problems. that want a specific solution. detroit is the culmination of the problems of a lot of big cities. chicago has the same problems. 20 rural counties in my state have these problems as well. we are talking about detroit. everything i'm saying that apply to other parts of the country who are suffering. there's a history when big cities were the great engine. now with the government drag, we got to get active where the big cities are an engine for improvement. >> the next question, how do you plan on getting african- americans to embrace your detroit plant and the gop in general, and could you sign my pocket constitution? [laughter] [applause] >> we republicans got about 5%
of the african-american vote. that is not very good. it used to be better. at one point in time it was completely the opposite. in 1920 we got nearly 99% of the african-american vote. 1928, we were up over 2/3 of the way. a dramatic switch from 1928 to 1932. it is not that the issues, we have to change our opinions and attitudes on issues, but it is true that if you do not have money or you do not have a business, you are not concerned about regulation and taxes. if i talk to people trying to get ahead in life and are not yet successful, that could be young people, it could be certain ethnic groups on occasion, there is a side about regulation and taxes, about the idea that everybody should be
treated fairly under the law, that the justice system should not unfairly imprisoned people of some races, and your individual liberty should be protected. one thing is we do not think any individual should be incarcerated without a trial. that sounds like a new in america does not believe that? you would be surprised. we passed two years ago a law that allows for the indefinite detention of an american citizen. i had a debate with another senator, and i said this means you could send an american citizen guantanamo bay without a trial? he said, yes, if they are dangerous. that begs the question, who gets to decide who is dangerous or not? i think back to richard jewell. everybody said he was a bomber. everybody in the media said he was guilty. if he had been a black man in the south, he would have been strung up from the closest tree. that is why you have to believe in you process.
we once did it to african americans, because what we did to japanese-americans, and now what we threaten to do the people we accuse of crimes without a trial. with the ideas of justice, believing everybody has a right to a lawyer and to a trial by jury, not everybody believes that anymore, and if we can talk about these issues of justice, fairness, and so continue to believe in low taxes and less regulation, talk about privacy, how your cell phone is your business, your e-mail is her business, all of a sudden there will be a new group of people who will listen to us. >> thank you. [applause] >> this question is around the federal auto rescue. the question says, the federal auto rescue worked. thousands of jobs were saved here and across america. much as been repaid. isn't this a success story?
>> i think there are two different ways to skin a cat as far as trying to get something to work. for me, for example, it is the difference between government stimulus to everybody versus front to give targeted tax breaks to people who need to get ahead. what i would've probably done, and you could argue whether it would work or how much has been payback back and how much the stock is worth, and there are debatable point of both sides, but i would say is there are ways to do this where we would look at the car industry and say what is government doing to make the car industry less profitable? are the ways we could get government out of the way? i prefer those over a direct bailout of any industry. i may not be popular in detroit, but i think it is better to look
at an industry, when an industry is suffering, to say what are the obstacles that government is placing in its way, taking those obstacles out of the way, rather than have a specific government payment. [applause] >> there's a couple of questions, this again is a student question. for this new bill, how do you plan to receive a partisan support? >> we have already started. i had dinner with your senior senator, senator levin, about a month ago, and discussed superficially some aspects of this. we sent this bill to all your michigan legislators. it will go out to all of them. there will be some obstacles, because what i am talking about is maybe in some ways philosophically effort than what many in the democratic party believe. many on the democrat side only believe in the government stimulus, that the government must pass the money out to everyone and give everybody in detroit a check, or $50,000 to a
startup. the reason it does not work is nine out of 10 is going to fail, so how do you know the right person? we opened the republican office in northwest detroit earlier today, and a gentleman came over who owns his own business and has a restaurant. his question was, do you have anything in your bill for tax breaks for small businesses? if he is succeeding, made it a year or two in business, that is the person where the customers have chosen him. that is who gets the money. all of us together when we buy stuff become smart enough to decide who the businesses are. i think that is how the money ought to be distributed. [applause] >> this question, moving from detroit more toward washington, and larger issues. how can you assist speaker boehner to unite groups in the
republican party, chairman, unite behind the budget and control spending caps, to ensure 218 votes to pass legislation in 2014? someone is really counting. >> i thought we said no hard questions. [laughter] it may be impossible. it is the thing you always try, historically, to square the circle. it may be impossible. the reason is we have to pass budgets. the house passed a budget and so did the senate. the house budget did not raise taxes, and the senate budget raised taxes. we do not want to split the difference on that, but i will not compromise on raising taxes and $500 billion. it would be a disaster. i'm trying to lower taxes for
detroit. i do not want to raise taxes. it is hard to come to an agreement. we have divided government. the most likely thing that happens in january is another c.r. a crummy way to run your government. but when we are so far apart of the subway, our country is almost evenly split. half republicans and have the guts. but we believe in is very far apart, and it is hard to find agreement. the debate is good and we should not say because they are debating him because we have the discussion that is bad. the have been debating since the beginning of the republic. >> there are several questions around this question of the polarization and the disgust that americans have for gridlock in washington. what do you propose to help heal some of that? >> i think we can agree to
disagree and not necessarily always be disagreeable. some of that is personalities and how we work things out. the president and i -- i think we get along fine. i have ridden on air force one when he talked about infrastructure. i have tried to be supportive. there have been various foreign- policy initiatives that i have not attacked him and tried to be supportive of him on. on the drug issues, it has taken him a while, but he is now doing something about some of the mandatory minimums. on infrastructure, there is a way that we could have more infrastructure money -- it is all the money earned overseas by american corporations, nearly $2 trillion from them, could be brought home. tax it at 5%, and probably hundreds of billions of dollars in money comes home, but just in
tax revenue, at 5%, you would doubled the money we have available for infrastructure and if we could just tax it at 5%. it is a win-win solution. we lower the tax rate. we get more revenue and we built some roads. and i talked to the president about that, and the president said this cbo score is a loss of revenue because it is not coming in at 35%. 0% is coming home. we have to overcome the cbo score on this. i said, we vote to overturn all the other rules, let's vote to overturn this one. there is a chance we could past that. there's more of a chance that we could pass that than overall tax reform, which we do not agree on. >> why are you such a proponent of congressional term limits?
>> send the bums home. they need to get a job. [laughter] >> we should have people come in. i asked if i could practice medicine, and they said no. you actually would want people up there to maintain their job so they would not be afraid of losing their job in washington. we have term limits for the president. after fdr, that is too much for the presidency. i think 12 years in the house, 12 years in the senate. if you want a lifetime up there, 24 years is a long time. you could do 12 years in the house, 12 years in the senate. i think 12 is better than six, because six might not be -- you have this debate. they may be too short. i think at the same time they can also -- we can have people there too long. it would beat you down.
i've been there three years, and i get beaten down every day. it is how long you can maintain your inspiration and try to change something. i think fresh blood is good. [applause] >> the next question, how do you think the republican party or the conservative movement can convince their own members that broadening our party through minority outreach is actually possible? >> i think they just have to look at the facts. i have been pretty harsh about our prospects for winning the presidency as the republican party. we either adapt, we evolve, or we die. that is a pretty harsh assessment. if you look at things in demographic terms, and i hate to categorize things by risk, but if you look at by race john mccain got more of that caucasian vote than bush did and lost. romney got more of it than mccain did and lost. we need to be a more diverse
party. i tell people we need people in our party that do not all have ties on. we need people with tattoos, without tattoos, people with pony tails, hearing some from all different walks of life, all different colors, creeds, and the democratic party is more diverse than we are. it is why they're winning more elections. some of the diversity is also we need to appeal to people in cities. some of that is ethnically related. we need to use all the big cities. we have to change. we will not be able to win nationally again, and some people are stuck in a rut on this. a lot of people are waking up. the michigan gop knows we have to do better if we're going to win. >> i am bringing it on home with the last two questions. what are your thoughts on obamacare? [laughter] too many questions. i had to ask you three. >> i may need a couple hours. it is unraveling on its own effects.
i was telling jonathan that i think it is not that government is inherently stupid, although that is a debatable point. [laughter] it is that they do not get the right incentives. the business would be run this way because you would be run out of business immediately. we have put into law perverse incentives. people who had cheap insurance no longer can buy that. it is what they could afford and that is the only way they had it. i was one of them. i used to have family coverage for five people, for $5,000. a $5,000 deductible. in obamacare, you can have a higher detectable and still pay $20,000 because there is a mandate built into it. the problem is the insurance company is never going to offer those policies again because they are told within a year, if you delay it for year, then in a year everyone will be forced to buy the new policies,
which are more expensive. let's say you sell bread and you sell for a dollar a loaf, and they say, we're going to force everybody to buy for two dollars a loaf, but you have to continue selling it for dollar. the problem is the young healthy people were already not buying insurance because it was too expensive under the old system. now we have made it more expensive. you think we have more or less people buying it? within a year it may spiral out of control or premiums come back before the next election and the premiums go up to such a deep degree that this thing collapses. it may come down to democrats beg us to fix it. [laughter] the only reason they may not is the president seems to think he is a monarch and that he can fix it on his own with no vote. >> the final question -- [applause] and this is from a student and what everyone in the audience
wants to know -- what are your plans for running for president in 2016? [applause] >> where is my cell phone. can i call my wife? i tell her there are two votes in my family. my wife has both of them. both of them are no votes. right now i do not know yet, but i thank you for your interest. thank you very much. [applause] >> senator paul, thank you so very, very much. what a privilege it has been to be your host today, and what a
privilege it has been for you to lay out your plans at the detroit economic club. we so appreciate it. dottie, thank you so much. ladies and gentlemen, we know you're busy. thank you for investing time with us today, and with that, this meeting is adjourned. statisticsau of released the jobs report, unemployment dropping to seven percent, a five-year low. long-term unemployment benefits are set to expire at the end of december for more than one million people currently receiving government assistance. the white house released a report urging congress to extend benefits to next year. the chair of the white house council of economic advisers said the jobs numbers show too many americans have been underemployed for 27 weeks or longer are struggling to find jobs.
that is why the president is calling on congress to pass emergency unemployment insurance before it expires at the end of the year. coming up next, former secretary of state madeleine albright and hillary clinton, remembering former south african president nelson mandela. and the white house briefing with press secretary jay carney. this is followed by jon huntsman and the state of bipartisanship in today's politics. at the u.s. capitol, the flag at half staff in honor of former south african president nelson mandela that died thursday at the age of 95. it is rare to be honored -- for the flight to be lowered in honor of a foreign leader's death. the last time was for pope john paul ii in 2005.
earlier this evening at the white house christmas tree lighting, president obama had a few words to say about the former south african leader. >> this year, we give a special measure of gratitude firm nelson mandela, a man that championed that generosity of spirit. in his life, he left us with tremendous grace and unbelievable courage. we are all privileged to live in a world touched by his goodness. >> former secretary of state every clinton receiving the 2013 human rights award at an event on capitol hill. also speaking at the event, madeleine albright who served under bill clinton. they talked about the recent passing of former south african president nelson mandela. this is 25 minutes.
[applause] >> thank you very much. please. thank you. thank you for your kind words and thank you to all of you. i am thrilled to be here. here to celebrate those that dedicated their lives to the human rights movement and we would be remiss if we did not toak as a little while ago honor the passing of one of the movement's greatest heroes. ansident mandela was activist, a prisoner of conscience and a political leader. he was, above all, a teacher. he taught us that the power of forgiveness is greater than the power and differences of race
and nationality. his presence on this earth will be sorely missed, but his lessons will endure in the hearts of millions. this has become a very special event. part of what tom talked about, and it is with sadness that he has passed from this world. we have come together because of this extraordinary trailblazer, from san mateo to washington, to budapest. tom was in all of his family. and what a wonderful family it is. if you spend more than five minutes talking to him, you knew about his 17 grandchildren and he would even include his dogs.
and the headcount from benji to gigi to moscow. when asked how he defined himself, he said first and foremost, i think of myself as the husband of a remarkable woman. [applause] it was so clear how much he loved it at more than anything and the nearly six years they spent married together only brightened that twinkle in his eye. thank you for having me at this special event and for our friendship we have maintained through the years. and for everything that you do to make sure that the human rights torch stays lit. humble said he was a worker in the vineyard of the enterprise to make this world a saner place. we all know the truth that he had a unique call to conscience
and a permanent vigilance against discrimination, genocide, oppression, and anti- semitism. he was democracy's staunchest defender, and those the core value of his existence. you may not know that he was also a staunch defender of the rights of women. he led the charge to expand access to health care for women in africa and promoted reproductive health in the united states, asking tough questions of those that obstructed women's progress and rights, even when it did not make news. thatespecially delighted we honor a dear friend of mine with this award that bears his name. it has been nearly 20 years since i joined secretary clinton at the world conference on women. and her simple universal message, human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights, it became mantra for so many women
denied the opportunity to live with freedom and dignity. that rainy day in beijing is a watershed moment in the history of the women's rights movement. but even before that defining speech, she has been expanding the frontiers of human rights and pushing back against worldlity both around the and here it home. she understands women's rights are human rights and women's progress is human progress. because we all benefit when women have the chance to participate in every aspect of life. the world needs the wisdom and strength and vision of all its people, not half. people say democracy is the greatest force for peace and prosperity. truly believes that. she knows denying women their rights is one of the greatest forces against peace and prosperity.
she knows this because she has seen it firsthand. recent incarnation of secretary of state, she carries the american flag to over 100 countries and delivered a message directly to its women even if it rattled the government. she said i stand with you to shatter your glass ceilings, the united states stands with you. she believed her because has shattered almost every glass ceiling in her way. withhe is pushing forward the no ceilings initiative at the clinton foundation which looks back at how far we have come since beijing and forward to the progress that we still have the make. if we can give women the power to make choices, the cycle of poverty can be broken and health education improved with societies better off. that live ins
places to help other women. as much as the world needs good leaders, it needs vision. hillary is such a visionary. so much so, she even channeled eleanor roosevelt. she really does take after our mutual hero. those that have seen her abroad know that she does not just make appearances for the sake of women, she really connects. sometimes, they asked if they can get a picture with her. know that a picture with hillary clinton means that they will not get harassed. the rights that she has changed and the right she has defended, the most powerful illustration of for example is the fact that
a simple picture with her can save a life. it should come as a surprise to no one that this woman who has qualified for everything has proven to be an outstanding mother, wife, daughter, advocate, lawyer, first lady, shetor, secretary of state. has the ability to look past the every day to help expand women's rights and human rights and people's rights, to speak out on behalf of the voiceless. i have said there is a special place in hell for women that don't help each other. -- [applause] is 100 years away, i
extraordinary lot just family, this is indeed a great honor. pleasuremense personal to have tom around my neck. office or onin my the phone. asking me what i was going to do about something or offering to partner with me on an issue of human rights. and as all of you who are here now, you recognize the significance of the work that he did during his public career. courage man of great and he had a fabulous support system with his daughters and
their families. i think we should give a round of applause for the entire family here today. as he said when he began the proceedings, we meet on the day of a giant among us. someone who, by the power of his example, demonstrated unequivocally how each of us can choose how we will respond to grievances,ices and the sorrows and tragedies that afflict all of humankind. nelson mandela will be remembered for many things. he will certainly be remembered
for the way that he led. dignity and his extraordinary understanding, not just of how to bring democracy and freedom to his beloved south africa, but how important it was that he first brought freedom to himself. as i spent time with him, starting in 1992, i was always by the extraordinary of his self-knowledge. of his awareness of how hard it is to live a life of integrity.
a lawyer and a freedom fighter, a prisoner and a leader, a man of anger and of forgiveness -- has so captured the hearts of people, not only in his own country, but as we are seeing with the outpouring of response to his death people around the world. i only hope that as we both mourn and celebrate the passing of this universally recognized and beloved figure that we remember he became that through an enormous amount of hard work on himself.
the story has been told several times now in the coverage that i have watched of his passing about how he invited three of his prison guards to his inaugural festivities. i was there is a part of the american delegation for the inauguration, and i was there at the luncheon that was held back on the grounds of the president's house that had transitioned from the morning where i had breakfast with president de klerk to lunch that i had with president mandela. as he looked out, to the large gathering filled with dignitaries from everywhere, including people who had been part of the struggle itself against apartheid and who had supported that struggle, he made the point of thanking his jailers and pointing out of all the distinguished vip's who were
there, he was most grateful that these men with whom he had exchanged words of recognition and acknowledgment of the other humanity over the course of that long imprisonment could be there as well. as we think about nelson mandela, it brings to mind very much to me tom lantos, because here were two men who had seen the worst that humanity can offer. those who had been objectively denied their right to be a jew
in hungary during the holocaust or a black man in south africa during the apartheid, they had every reason to come out, if not embittered, cynical, believing that for the rest of their lives the only thing that would matter was acquiring power, being able to demonstrate their influence, especially as against those who had denied them the right to be who they were. what always struck me about lantosmandela and tom was the joy, the curiosity, the enthusiasm for life. they brought it with them out of the depths of such suffering.
people that heny had to learn to forgive and he had to learn to leave his anger behind when he walked out of prison on february 11, 1990. or he would have remained a prisoner. of his own feelings, of his own resent men's. -- resentments. tom lantos, who escaped the worst example of inhumanity, advocateo become an for anyone anywhere who was fear that kind of
comes to standing up for yourself and your fellow men and women. men by being here today. comparable --un- incomparable souls. we acknowledge other human rights activists who oversee this rise and who stand -- received this prize and who stand before us. each of them has also known what it is like to come up against forces whos powerful are determined to squeeze the hope from your heart. to imprison your mind and break your spirit.
another man stood up to that kind of oppression, escaped from it as tom escaped from the holocaust. he ran toward freedom. proud that the united states is the place that he ran toward. it was our country, thanks to tom lantos and others in this audience, who have held high the banner of human rights as not being something that is given to you, but something that you are endowed with. thank you, you have stood your ground. you stood in the face of another horror that was almost unimaginable, the horror of genocide in our time. others.d and protected
example not only encouraged, but of compassion. here, we are reminded of those who have given hopech to ensure that the that is represented in tom's legacy lives on. embodiesdation really tom's spirit. it is quite humbling for people like madeline albright, my dear friend, and i, to know that secretaries of state, go, but what remains is that profound commitment to making a
difference in whatever position we find ourselves in standing up and speaking out for those who might otherwise never have a voice. be givenly honored to this award, particularly on behalf of two causes that are near and dear to my heart, women's rights and internet freedom. i want to acknowledge publicly tom'seat work that grandson done for me in the state department and continues to do at the intersection of civil siding government. we can help people help themselves. they can make sure that their voices continue to be heard. critical thatt is globally, about
why this mission that many of us for the full participation of women and girls in society is so important. it is not just the right thing to do. it is not just the recognition that women and girls, just like men and boys, deserve the opportunity to live up to their own god-given potential. it is because we know that when women and girls participate in isnomy, economic growth greater than it would be without them. where women and girls are given a chance to be educated and to get the health care that they deserve to have, we know that society benefits. where women and girls can participate in peacemaking and peace building as full members trying to resolve
conflicts, we know that resolution is more likely to be sustained. it is a great honor for me to have this award, but it is just a reminder of how much more we have yet ahead of us to accomplish. that tom'smake sure dreams, tom's life, the examples of the award recipients with us and those unable to come like the dalai lama and ellie we sell wiesel bring out each of us our own commitments to what we will do to further the cause of human rights, universal human rights, for every man woman by .- boy and girl in the world it is what tom would expect us to do to hold high his ideals.
secretary of state john kerry will give the keynote address tomorrow at an event hosted by the brookings institution's center for middle east policy. in 2003.d this form it includes american and israeli leaders. you can watch secretary kerry's remarks live here on c-span. >> i was tremendously grateful that god was going to give me another chance. i had breast cancer and i have survived the. now i was confronted with mindtion, and i made up my that i was going to survive that too. >> watcher program on first lady betty ford on saturday. on monday night, our series continues.
>> they covered my mental health in the first few meetings. they never showed up anymore. woman who was one of said,ess people and i nobody ever covers my mental health. she said, meant the health is not a fashion mental health is not a sexy issue. but we traveled the country and pass reforms. one monthcongress before the incoming president arrived. it was never implemented and it was one of the greatest difficulties of my life.
rosalynn carter, live on c-span. >> nelson mandela's death was one of the topics discussed today at the white house briefing. jay carney also took questions about the health care law and the november unemployment numbers. this is a little over an hour. >> i am four minutes late i want to apologize for that. [laughter] you know, even in middle age, you can turn over a new leaf. i know that it is in frequent that we are this close to on time and i want to say i owe you a standing apology on that.
we are just having fun here. with that, i will wish you all a happy friday even though it is raining. today, as part of the daily messaging effort to highlight specific benefits of the health care law that are already making a big difference, the white house and supporters of reform are focused on how growth and health care costs are at historically low levels along multiple dimensions.
according to the most recent projections, health care spending grew at the slowest rate on record over the last three years. real per-person spending grew at a 1.3% rate. this was seen in medicare, medicaid, and private insurance. health care price inflation is at its lowest level in 50 years. provisions to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse in medicare also produces cost and improving quality through a variety of innovative reforms including by providing incentives to hospitals to reduce the re- admissions rate. hhs is announcing new data showing that these incentives have avoided 130,000 readmissions for people following a hospital stay over the last few years. high readmission rates, patients having to be rehospitalized is costing patients and insurance companies. and if the patient is on medicare, taxpayers.
it can be a sign of low quality care. overall, these trends are encouraging news for families and our economy. they feel more secure in their own budgets. as you know, businesses in the united states have created more than 8 million new jobs. which is a perfect segue to something i just wanted to note. today, information that was released earlier this morning is jobs data and figures on job creation in november. i think it is worth noting when you look at this graph, not only was the economy in freefall, job
loss was terrible at the end of 2008 and early 2009 when president obama took office, and not only has the trajectory been consistently in the right direction, if you will note when we first began positive job creation in the wake of the great recession, it was right around when the affordable care act past. this is obviously not a direct correlation. but we are moving the right direction. the information i cited in the beginning about the positive effects of the affordable care act for reduce in growth in health-care costs combined with the steady job creation we have
seen for so many months reinforces a number of things. continuing to focus on those trends, making them move in the right direction, and increasing job growth even further. with that, i will take questions. >> on the president's travels to africa for the nelson mandela services, could you give us specific details of what the timing might be? there is a memorial service close to the funeral. and will the president invite former u.s. presidents to accompany him? >> thank you for those questions. i should have noted that for those of you that did not hear the president speak in the wake of the news of president mandela's death, i will point you to those remarks.
all i can say is that president obama and the first lady will go to south africa next week to pay their respects to the memory of nelson mandela and participate in memorial events. at this point, i don't have more information on logistics. that is all being worked out. in terms of others, i refer you to them at this time. we hope to have it fairly quickly. >> will the president invite them to travel? >> i don't want to get ahead of the process being worked on as far as the timing and logistics. when we have that information,
we will get it for you right away. >> jobs numbers, white house officials have told us that the sequester would have dire consequences. those numbers are a welcome surprise for you guys. is some of the austerity not having the effect that you predicted? >> i would not look to what we said and predicted, but what i've it economists have said about the effect of the sequester on job creation and the shutdown on jobs and economic growth. talk about trying to prove a negative or a counterfactual, but the economists say that absent those impacts, the picture would be even better than it is. no one in this building or who works on these issues in the administration is satisfied even with the steady progress we have
been making. it is nowhere near enough for the president. we need to keep working on this problem. 7% unemployment is far too high 7.3% unemployment is far too high. we need to be doing everything we can in washington -- not setting it back, like is what happened with the shutdown, but investing in it. making the right choices about it so we can build a foundation necessary for further economic growth and further private sector job creation. that is what the president is focused on. these numbers don't address what the president talked about the other day of a continuing concern to him and others around
the country. the growing inequality and the diminishing ability for americans who are born in the lowest 20% to move up the economic ladder. that upward mobility has been something elemental to america's economic experience and americans identity that merits a great detail and attention and focus. >> in terms of long-term unemployment, [inaudible] should that be paid for? or is it an emergency issue? >> we have a plan put forward on this and the president made it
clear the other day. congress has, in the past, i noted the seven percent unemployment rate. it is still significantly higher than the 5.6% unemployment rate which compelled president george w. bush to sign an extension of unemployment benefits when he was in office. i think that the news we have today reinforces that we need to address this problem and extend those unemployment insurance benefits to those individuals. because this is a persistent problem. when president bush signed the law, the average person was unemployed for i believe 17 weeks. for that portion of the unemployed, they fell in november.
the number of long-term unemployed stayed pretty steady. that is more evidence we need to address this problem and it would be terrible to tell more than one million families across the country just a few days after christmas that they are out of benefits. we hope that congress will address this challenge. fax we are one week away from the deadline for lawmakers to get to a budget deal. how close -- is the white house insisting that it is extending that? >> we believe that congress should extend unemployment insurance. the vehicle that they used to do that is less important than the fact that they do it.
i will not negotiate from the podium about how that gets done. and how the ongoing discussions and negotiations on the issue of a budget agreement, i would say that we hope and expect that they can reach one. i don't want to characterize the progress in any way except to say that any sense there is a return to an ability to each side to come together and it would be welcome. it is what we have talked a lot about. i don't want to make any predictions about how successful it will be.
we have regularly involved with discussions that are engaged in this process. it needs to be worked out in those chambers that need to reach a compromise so that we can move forward and avoid another government shutdown. address the self-inflicted wounds that have occurred over the past. we are engaged, we provide information, we consult regularly with those working on this process. it is something that congress needs to achieve. >> and the anniversary of the shooting at newtown, i was
wondering if the president will be doing anything. >> that day for him and for all of us will stick in our memories forever. in terms of what we will be doing around that anniversary, i don't have any information to provide today. it will certainly be a somber occasion. we are going on three years now and i have been getting a little late to the right. >> a couple things, to go through the busy work. can you tell us the last time the president had contact with
nelson mandela? >> i don't have a specific date, but it might've been 2010 or 2011 by phone. i know that nelson mandela called the president when he won the presidency in 2008 and they spoke by phone on several occasions after that. i am sure we have the last occasion on which they spoke. you probably also know that the first lady, and obama's daughters met with nelson mandela. on the president's last conversation, we will have to get that to you. >> any plans to go to south africa?
>> i don't have any scheduling updates involving the president of that nature to provide and i will forewarn you that because of the logistics, i will not have a way to get one to you yet but we will when it is all prepared. the number of people had obviously already gathered in the media. it is pretty great to have them here in washington. >> the government accountability institute, they announced between july of 2010 and november of this year, the public schedule was released showing that there were no one- on-one meetings with health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius. there were 277 other one-on-one meetings. it draws questions about the leadership skills and the chief executive.
>> call me beforehand because i am in a very charitable mood today so i won't go too strong on this. that report, the published report that was written by an advocate is based on a ridiculously false premise. those that remember stories about records that indicated that hillary clinton met surprisingly infrequently with the president showed that with a little digging, cabinet secretaries don't normally get entered into the visitors logs because they come frequently. kathleen sebelius comes frequently and meets frequently with the president. i will refer you to the department for more information and more detail. but she is here a lot. she meets with the president with regularity.
with the exception of public calendars, there are standing meetings for the secretary of defense, state, and the treasury this president has, but he meets with other secretaries in one on ones and small groups all the time. i would note that those calendars may never show a meeting i have with the president. i had to yesterday. that is how it works. >> a final question on nelson mandela. what people will be thinking about, when we consider the life of nelson mandela and the challenges that exist in our own country, what lessons can washington learn? i know you had conversations in the white house and what you think the message we can learn is.
>> i think the president put it very well yesterday in the remarks he made when he was in south africa earlier this year about the remarkable example that nelson mandela set when he was released from prison and made clear that he would embrace those the jail him, and he would seek those to help build a south africa that judged every person by his or her character and not by his or her skin color. i think that spirit of reconciliation that the president said yesterday is one that should imbue the work that all of us do here. at a professional level and as the president said, on a
personal level. i cite the president here because he said it best. >> the question on nelson mandela, it struck me that the president talked about this great impact that he had on his life but only met with him one time face-to-face. i'm just curious, for people wondering if you could provide more details about nelson mandela's influence on the president and if he had a chance to talk about this. they only met one time. >> i think nelson mandela had a profound impact on millions of people around the world, beginning with the citizens of south africa. millions of people who never met him. the president, as a senator, had the good fortune to meet him,
that i don't think that is why he had an influence on barack obama. that influence extends, as he said yesterday, well back in time. those of us in college in the 80s remember the debates and protests happening on college campuses over divestment in south africa because of apartheid. that is probably what the president was referencing in his own experience. it was a profoundly important issue, internationally. the amazing transformation that happened from there to his release, and not much time later
to his election as president, it was part of an era of historic change around the world that i think will be remembered as such for a long time. the president has spoken a lot about this, not just last night, so i will point you to what he said in the past. it is a remarkable thing. in broadcast and in print, you guys have been doing a terrific job of celebrating his life and noting how unique he is. there is no debate around the world about the fundamental goodness of this man. rex we're getting really close, but december 23 when people have to sign-up for insurance, on the first of the year, january 1 is a date were a lot of people will
be focused on if the system is actually working the way it should be working. any concerns at all about these dates coming up? >> we are extremely focused on it, especially the teams and the tech teams. as i noted earlier, we met the goal that we set in november. we are still engaged in a lot of work and we have a lot of work to do to make sure that we continue to address whatever problems remain with the website so it is functioning as effectively as a can for the millions of americans that want to use it. and we're doing other things that we talked about to improve this time of implementation and enrollment. making sure that they are
communicating with their issuer and let them know that if they need, they have to meet whatever deadline is set by the issuer and make sure that everyone that enrolled is enrolled and addressing challenges that are particularly keen at the beginning of this process. this process is still going on and we are obviously encouraged by the progress. it continues to be a lot of work to do and it is not about corners being turned and things, or what that means for the president. it is what it means for the people that are trying to get insurance. i feel like we're making
progress. but we are not there yet. i will not suggest we are there yet. because this is about making sure the millions of americans that have persistently showed what the exchanges offer are rewarded with the experience that allows them to shop for coverage they think suits their lives best. that is what the president is focused on and everyone else. >> the president was asked by chris matthews, choosing between the vice president and former secretary of state hillary clinton, is the president going to stay out of it? >> it is 2013.
i couldn't either when i was a reporter. i am echoing the president here, he is enormously grateful for the service of hillary clinton as his exceptional secretary of state. and is ever grateful for the service joe biden provides as vice president. the president feels lucky to have had hillary clinton on his team and joe biden, and that is what he is focused on. >> it was a very heartfelt statement about nelson mandela. she also had this address of
human rights the other day. how closely did she consult with the president? >> i know he was aware of it but i don't know how much they talked about it. i know that she felt strongly about the speech and i encourage everyone here who has not seen it to read it. as you expect, because she is the national security advisor of the president, they spend a lot of time together. >> as we test the potential for a diplomatic resolution, another test is if we begin to see progress on human rights. will that be a separate track completely as the human rights issues are raised at all? >> i think we raised the issue of human rights with regards to iran and other countries where we have profound issues with their track record on human
rights. we will always and consistently do that. what the ambassador was referencing is that the progress we have seen out of tehran and burn -- in terms of their willingness to proceed with negotiations and engage with the b5 plus one is important. it is all based on actions as far as we are concerned. it is important that compliance is upheld and it will be true all the way through to the completion of a comprehensive agreement. if that is achieved, it will be a good thing for the world.
but there are obviously other issues. the people of iran very much demonstrated in the election and cents that they want improved relations with the world, that the isolation that there nuclear weapons pursuit has been unwelcome. but there is more to it than that. >> on the meeting with nelson mandela, did you ever talk to him about it? i would let him discuss it though. if you look at the occasions that he spoke about nelson mandela when we were in south africa, i think it reflects his feelings about the example nelson mandela set and how remarkable his life is and how unique he was.
i would just point to what the president said because it is a pretty long public record of comments about it. >> will hhs be able to tell us how many times -- will they refer us back to you? >> they will have information for you. the point i am trying to make is that there are a lot of folks out there who have been rightly critical of the website and about the care in general. the whole effort to have made arguments, that is fine. this one is just based on bad information.
i don't have all the figures in front of me, but if you figure out the cabinet and the importance of health care matters in this presidency, it is safe to say kathleen sebelius has been one of the more frequent visitors and attendance of meetings with the president. there are the secretaries of defense, state, treasury, as well as department of homeland security. they have all spent a significant amount of time with the president on issues that they oversee. the first term and second, it is safe to say that secretary sibelius has spent a lot of time here.
>> has the president been we endeavor to put as much as we know in advance on the public schedule that we released the day before. we talked often about meetings that have happened. i mentioned that i was in to see the president. not know i was going to see him the day before. it is like your lives. even know he is president, it is fluid. >> a little different. >> obviously there are some meetings that he has that are private. we don't put them on the public debt tool for a variety of reasons.
i think those numbers that peter was citing, a lot of them are based on those standing weekly like the vice president posten weekly lunch. that is printed on there. >> has the president been invited to deliver remarks for nelson mandela? >> i do not have an answer about the logistics around the visit the president and the first lady will be making. i am not trying to imply anything. honestly, because for obvious reasons, this is still being worked on, and i promise you we will get that information for a lot of you and your organizations when it comes to coverage. the sooner the better in terms of the information. we will get it as soon as we can. >> in "the new republic" this
morning, it said the error rate for 834 processing is down to 10%, i wonder if you can tell me if that is a verifiable or verifiable internal statistics that you are wanting to talk about, and if that is the beginning of a greater, at least larger data set on this 834 question that we can expect -- >> that would be coming from cms, and they are working on this issue. all i can say, what i know with confidence, and i try to deliver this information from here, only that information i know with confidence and that i have checked out myself, we are confident that the error rate which is a complicated thing, but that the overall number of errors and problems with the back end of the system and the a 34 forms has been decreasing
significantly since the october 1 launch date. significantly, over the course of november, as i mentioned earlier this week among one of the major fixes that went in over the weekend prior to the change of the calendar to december was one that addressed some of these back end issues. the only thing from that report that i can confirm is that we do know that it is better now than it was. we know there are issues we need to work on, which is why cms has stood up a regular meeting of experts with issuers to address these specific problems on the back end, because it is very important that we make sure that every 834 is accurate, past and present, and we will do that. >> i want to follow-up on a question from yesterday.
you mentioned the vice president's trip to asia. in his words and secretary hagel's words, that the united states rejected it, there's nothing you can do about it but it may be accommodating itself to its reality. is that a fair characterization? >> i try to be as clear as i could and i would put you to the vice president's remarks today, about this matter. we, the united states, do not recognize and do not accept the newly announced east china sea air defense identification zone. and it will not change, will not change how the united states conducts military operations in the region. it does not have any tactical effect on u.s. government
operations. we have been very clear about our view on this and have been clear not just in our public pronouncements, but in the, as the vice president said, in his meetings with chinese leaders. it may be accommodating itself to its reality. >> the broader point we are trying to make to the chinese is that this is not how major powers connect themselves -- conduct themselves. >> picking up on that, it sounds as if the u.s. posture is to say, don't do anything like this again. it will create confusion, misunderstanding, and it will lead to confusion. >> i am not sure where seeing that. china made the pronouncement. it is for china not to implement it.
we don't recognize it. we don't accept it. the fact of the matter is that we have been very clear about our view of it and how we will react to it, and our broader concern about the tension in the region, and how these types of provocative actions can lead to missed regulation and to further tension in the region, which is not in the interest of any of the nations involved. >> you said yesterday, and again today, that in order to make sure the people who have signed up get there started january 1, the administration is endeavoring to contact these people. would men suggest that you have enrollment figures? if you are contacting people, you must know the enrollment. so what are the enrollment
figures? >> my understanding is that those numbers are being verified, scrubbed, and checked. there is a lot to come in from states. they will provide those figures in the middle of the month, which i think is next week, consistent with the need to make sure that those numbers are tight. obviously, we know october. they can see who has pressed some buttons and reach out to them. maybe they find out this is part of the process. you find out that there was an error or some duplication. we are going to be very consistent to make sure they are as accurate as possible. never acquire some time, especially in a circumstance like this, where you have been administering in a number of states. then you have states running their own marketplaces.
that is all being kept in mind, and we will get it to you when it is ready. the broader thing that we've been talking about -- i mean, i have not disputed or confirmed any numbers out there. we are waiting for hard, verify data. i think that the reports that we have seen reflect what we have. that is based on the early information that we have. the system is working much more effectively. many more people have been successful at in rolling and getting from beginning to end of the process. the number of problems with the site has been reduced significantly. that includes the front end and the back end. but we still have some things to work on. these teams are working hard. they are working as hard this week as they worked in the previous weeks. >> we all more details today that he says suggest that the small business exchange would
not be ready by october 1. he was indicating there may be problems with it. you said we're going to have to delay that small business exchange. they said that you knew in august that there were problems. >> i am confident that there are pieces of information that come out the partially reflect what is happening at cms. i don't have any specific information on this. anything that reinforces the fact that the site had problems in october is probably something we will agree with. >> the president was asked about holding the cabinet secretary and the cabinet accountable. and he was asked if it was a
reflection of his personal management style. he said the big government agencies need to be fixed. >> he was talking about i.t. issues. >> he said that these agencies are not designed properly. is he passing the buck? >> no. no. no. there are people think -- are you asking me -- i have no personnel announcements to make. >> well -- >> here's what i can sell you. -- tell you the president believes very strongly that we need to be functioning effectively at all levels for the taxpayers. we've afford forward the significant streamlining of some of our government agencies in a sensible proposal that he hopes congress will act on.
it has agencies not related to the affordable care act imitation, but i think the -- implementation, but i think the broader view that it reflects is that the president thinks that we should bring up- to-date to date the functionality of all of our activities here. we should make it better, faster, more efficient, and more responsive to the consumer. in this case, the consumer is the taxpayer. >> harvard university put out a poll about young people being disillusioned with the health care law. they might be disillusioned with the president's leadership. my question is that, is he concerned about engaging the students? i know he has done it before. how concerned it is -- is this white house that the people who
supported him, especially the young people, are abandoning him on health care? >> the questions regarding enrollment and implementation of obamacare has to do with a long- standing observation and a plan around it that we need young people to enroll. that is true regardless of polling data on the affordable care act. it was always going to be true. it was always going to be important. it was always the case, as i think we have discussed here in this room. younger people are more likely to wait to later stages of the enrollment process to enroll. this is part of a broader effort that we will be undertaking to make sure that americans around the country understand the advantages of having insurance and the need to have it and all
of the options available to them. i will leave it to folks on the political side who have looked at that. we are in pretty stark disagreement with some of the polls, particularly on youth and the affordable care act. polls and bad polls. there's no question that the issues we have had have created obstacles in the way of our efforts here. basically, the percentage of americans who want to repeal the affordable care act has not changed at all. i think that speaks to the kind of entrenched political nature of this debate over the past several weeks.
-- years. it is always been in our view the case that we have to set aside those issues, those political issues, and focus on the advantages of the law. we've been talking about that. i talked about the improvements in health care costs, the reduction in the growth health care cost that we've seen since the pass of the affordable care the affordable care act ensures no one with the pre-existing condition can be denied insurance. already a long time now for the children with pre-existing conditions have not been denied, have not been able to be denied coverage. we're focused on delivering the