tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 12, 2013 11:00pm-1:01am EST
and giving health care back to the american people. women ceased to spend money we do not have. our growing national debt is a threat to the economy. >> yet this president dismiss it is threat at every opportunity and i fear leads a parade of washington debt deniers. under the current policies we have it is not a question of whether a debt crisis will come, it is a matter of when. for the sake of our economy, our children, our freedom i call on
the president to work with our congress now. our nation decuves better. >> i now yield six minutes to the ranking member for her opening statement. >> i want to thank the chairman for holding this hearing and i'm delighted to welcome you secretary to our committee to testify today. i would like to discuss what i believe to be one of the biggest social economic and political challenges we face today both domestically and internationally and that is the problem of growing inquality. over the past 30 years income and equality in the united states has been steadily increasing. this was the case even during periods of growth. before the financial crisis levels of inequality in the united states reached peeks not seen since the late 1920's. while other committees have also experienced rising income
inequality, the most shocking shortcomings are right here in the united states which has the highest level of inequality of any advanced industrial nation. in fact today 20% of the income in our country goes to the top 1% of americans. if you look at inequality of wealth, it's even worse. the top 2% holds about 40% of the country's wealth. the gap between the rich and poor in america has grown. the gains from growth during the recent recovery have acude to the wealthiest people in society. almost 95% of the income gains since the recovery began have been captured by the top 1%. this means that the most une equal advanced industrial economy in the world is becoming even more so. i recognize that in a capitalist system some degree of inequality
is necessary for the function of a market economy since it creates incentives to work hard and take risks. but left entirely to its own the market system will produce more inequality that is economically necessary. here in our country we have much more unequality than is necessary for efficiency. i believe this is a moral problem from the standpoint of equity. but it undermines social and political cohesion. it has also recently been shown to have negative effects on growth and stability as well. recent research at the i.m.f. has shown that excessive inequality slows growth because depressed earnings lead to weaker demand and lower consumption. reducing inequality is increasingly understood to contribute to economic growth. inequality is also a political problem. we now have an increasing degree of resistance on the part of
many americans to new trade agreements because they see themselves as victims of globalization rather than as participants in its benefits. i believe our international economy policy has in fact been too one sided, too focused on elevating the interest of capital over all other considerations. this was based on the misguided believe that unfettered markets would create wealth and stability and trickle benefits down to others in society. this isn't what has happened. in fact, one of the most important lessons we learned from the recent financial crisis is markets must be deeply embeded in systems of governance. markets are efficient and self-correcting has received a modern blow. i believe in cap lism and i believe the markets are the main engines of wealth creation in our country and elsewhere. but in order to be truly supportive of the free market i believe you must also be
supportive of government. we need to have an appropriate set of public policies in place to reign in the excesses of the market to help maintain stability and to ensure cap lism and growth are shared. we need to do a better jop of dealing with equity questions at home. we should be increasing the minimum wage, extending unemployment insurance and other assistance for those in the u.s. clustered in the low skilled end who are disadvantaged by globalization. until we do that and people begin to feel secure at home we will not have the political support we need for more active engagement by the united states with the international economy. mr. chairman, i thank you for holding this hearing today. some of what i have eluded to in my statement are issues that are consider t with as we
the budget today. and these issues i have eluded to include the unemployment benefits that i understand may not be until the budget agreement -- in the doesn't agreement. also i believe providing adjustment and other assistance for those i pointed to in the low skill end are issues that we have not sufficiently dealt with and i am looking forward to engage you and others on these issues so that we can get at how we will deal with this income is a central theme of my testimony today. i yield back the balance of my time. >> the chair now recognize it is gentleman from mccallum theme of my testimony today. i yield back the balance of my time.
>> the chair now recognize it is gentleman from mccallum mr. campbell for three minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. and welcome secretary lieu. your testimony is required by the international institutions act. there is no shortage of issues we can discuss. islet my written statement stand for itself. one of the things i believe you will discuss is the i.m.f. as a remind ner 2009 congress authorized $100 billion commitment to the i.m.f. in an account called new arguments to borrow. now there is discussion of transferring $63 billion of that into a permanent paid in capital. there is a lot of concern about lew about this. we don't believe this is just a bookkeeping entry this. puts this significantly at risk where currently it is not. secondly there is a lot of
concerns when we are cutting domestic issues is this a time we should be increasing funding to first world countries around the world and there is some concern of whether a lot of this money could go to european countries and yes they have crisis and problems but can't they deal with those within europe without the u.s. taxpayer being involved. there is concern about moral has sard. would the i.m.f. by making more loans to countries that are deeply in debt be encouraging that kind of indebtness rather than trying to encourage these countries to get out of their debt and not to spend so much and borrow so much. and finally there are reforms involved with the i.m.f. and this addition contribution and concern about whether those are really enough, whether they go far enough to change the governance of the i.m.f. if the administration f you, if
the president are complitted to and want this $63 billion ransfer, we need a couple of things. we need three things actually. we need first of all, you to make a formal request which has not yet been received by this committee for this money for this transfer. secondly we need you to address these issues. and we need you and we need the president, if this is a priority for $63 billion of u.s. taxpayer ney, we need you and the president to volley art late why this is a priority in this era of limited budgets and why these concerns that people have on this committee are not well founded. >> thank you. i look forward to your testimony. i yield back mr. chairman. >> the chair now recognize it is gentleman from illinois, mr. foster for one minute. >> thank you mr. chairman.
thank you for joining us today. mr. secretary, when you left your first tour of duty in the white house in 2001, we were paying down our debt to the tune of a couple hundred billion dollars a year and down to zero by 2008. in the next eight years we saw the surplus reversed and the deficit exceeding $1 trillion a year in the next eight years. we're also sitting on eight straight years of uninterrupted job growth and we saw in the eight years following your first depart you're zero net job growth. 20 million people entered the job market with zero jobs produced for them. we've made significant progress since entering the worst recession since the great depression. we've seen private sector job growth and there is much work left to be done and i thank you for appearing today.
>> the chair recognize it is gentleman from washington for one minute. >> thank you mr. chair. secretary, thank you for your service to country and for appearing at this hearing today. but the hearing i am most interested in is taking place at your treasury department as we speak. the bank sec resi act advisory group is meeting right now and confronting the question of how to allow legal marijuana businesses to access the banking system. as you know, the voters in my state and col last year approved initiatives to make marijuana legal for adults. these policies go into effect in the new year but we need cooperation from the federal government to make it work. if federal banking regulations continue to prohibit marijuana businesses from using the banking systems, these all cash businesses will be a manage net
for robberies and organized crime. have you the power to prevent that secretary. i hope the advisory group agrees on a new workable guidance today and i hope you swiftly approve it. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the chair recognize it is gentle lady from new york for 30 seconds. >> it's my pleasure to welcome the secretary from the great state of new york and new yorkers are proud of your public service. my question concerns g.s.c. reform. you mentioned our growing economy and your main job is to create jobs. many economist versus testified one of the most important things we could do is bring certainty to housing finances. i hope you'll comment on the efforts of the administration to upport housing finances reform uncertainty in that area. welcome. i look forward to your testimony. >> today we welcome the testimony of the honorable jack
lew of the united states. secretary lew appeared before our committee earlier this year so i believe he needs no further introduction. the secretary's written statement will be made part of the record. welcome to the committee. you are now recognized for your oral testimony. >> thank you mr. chairman, members of the committee, i appreciate the opportunity to testify today and thank you for the flexibility of rescheduling so a number of us could attend the memorial services for nelson mandela. there are sign it is economic crns improving in advance countries led by the united states. despite political head winds our economy has been growing. our business versus created more than 8 million jobs. we have more to do to create jobs, accelerate growth and put
our economy on a firmer foundation. economic progress depends in part on the global economy and the global economy faces many challenges. the long recession in the euro area seems to be ending. europe is in a position to reduce unemployment which remains high in many countries. in japan the authorities have taken forceful action to begin ending deflation. japan needs to undertake structural reforms to strengthen demand growth. some emerging market versus slowed. emerging markets need to make reforms that increase their resilience and address growth. china's announced bold commitments to reform. the character of these reforms will shape their transition to con sums led growth and away from export growth.
an important part of my job is to create the most favorable environment for jobs and businesses. the financial institution and monetary fund and banks are indispensable in this effort. we must preserve our leadership in these institutions. that's why it's so important congress approve the governance reform. t the g-20 summit in 2010 we preserved the veto without increasing the u.s. financial commitment to the i.m.f. right now u.s. approval is the only remaining step needed for these important reforms to go into effect. if we fail to act we risk a loss of influence at the i.m.f. to implement the quatta reforms the administration provided draft legislation to reduce u.s. participation and increase the size of the u.s. quota in the i.m.f. by an equal amount.
our investment is safe and sound. when the i.m.f. lends it does so to portfolio conditions and with safeguards it's repaid and it's repayment record is outstanding. investments also provide substantial returns. these institutions leverage our limited contributions and attract contribution frs other nations. they also effectively promote our national security and economic priorities including opening up markets for u.s. businesses abroad. it's important to note that the u.s. will be making new commitments to the international development association of the world bank in the african development fund this year. these are the two largest sources of finances for the world's poorest country and their impact is enormous. as we maintain our commitments to the financial institutions, it's crucial we continue to streppingten the world's financial system. the united states has led the global effort on regulatory
reform with dodd-frank largely completed at home. on tuesday the centerpiece of these reforms was time liesed. this rule is strong and comprehensive. it will change behavior and practice across our financial system. it also full fills the president's vision and statute's intent by setting tough but workable restrictions while continuing banks to perform necessary functions. in 2014 we'll work with the g-20 and financial stability board to promote high quality rellinglations. we'll focus on advancing mplementation of bozzle three. and the high quality capital standard is met. we'll also focus on strengthening arrangements for
cross border resolution of large financial institution, promote swift implementation for over the counter derivatives markets and develop a roadmap to address risks posed by shadow banking. we've been at the forefront of efforts to advance key national security and foreign policy goals. nowhere have our efforts been more concentrated than using sanctions to advance our policy and prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. together with our international partners and with congress we have built the most effective sanctions regime in history. even as we explore the possibility of a long term agreement with iran that would provide assurance that iran cannot obtain a nuclear weapon, we will continue to enforce our sanctions vigorously as our action this morning imposing sanctions on more than a dozen
entities dem straits. across the global landscape there is much work ahead. with your support i am confident we will continue to protect america's interest abroad and at home. thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you mr. secretary. the chair yields himself five minutes for the purposes of questioning. as o.m.b. director in february of 2011. you were quoted at saying it's an accurate statement that our current spending will not be increasing the debt. we've stopped spending money we don't have. you said that while introducing the president's 2012 budget which add $12.5 trillion to the national debt over a ten year budget window and under your watch 1.4 was added to the gross national debt. i'm trying to get some insight into the administration's view of our national debt.
do you still stapped by those comments? is there some context for those comments? >> at the time i was trying to explain the difference between a primary balance, primary surplus and spending, new spending, new commitments that are being made. the definition of primary balance is when the only deficits are related to paying interest on the national debt. and other than that we are covering all of our expenses. >> let me then move on to a statement the president made fairly recently about six weeks ago. don't pretend as if america is going bankrupt at a time when deficits have been cut in half. isn't it true mr. secretary these deficits have only been cut relative to the largest deficits in our nation's history save world war ii? >> if you look at the deficit since 2009, we've seen the most
rapidryduction in the deficit -- >> weren't these the largest in our nation's history save world war ii? >> we inherited a very large deficit and out of control. >> if you are onwear. i would have your aids take a look into it and i think you will find it is true. c.b.o. released their latest long term out look. have you had a chance to look at it? came out about six weeks ago. >> i'm aware of it, yes. >> thaund outlook under current law or current policy, these deficits come down temporarily until 2015 and rise there after with no end in sight, isn't that true mr. secretary? >> mr. chairman i came here prepared to discuss a wide range of issues. i haven't reviewed the report in detail. i can speak generally about this
issue and i'd be happy to. >> isn't it true the administration has never submitted a budget that balances in ten years, 50 years or anytime. >> they took a fiscal situation out of control and brought it in control. we've reduced the deficit. . >> has the administration ever submitted a budget that balances over any time snan >> i don't believe that balances -- >> i get the ask the questions here. so if you don't know or you -- >> there is a point when it balances in the far distant future but it's not in the ten year -- >> not according to the budget office. so according to whose analysis? is this treasury's analysis, whose analysis in >> mr. chairman i'm happy to look at the projections of the budget. i did come to testify on a wide range of --
>> let me move on to the debt zealing. i think you know every package has been attached to a debt ceiling. even today's budget control act, every president in your lifetime and my lifetime has negotiated on a debt ceiling. i've had our capable staff resterge issue. the debt ceiling tends to be the early warning system that spending is out of control yet on september 15 of this year the president took the unprecedented and radical action of stating i will not negotiate on the debt ceiling. so is it the position of this administration that if congress does not functionally repeal the debt ceiling and allow the president to spend what he wishes that he is threatening default on our sovereign debt?
>> mr. chairman, i would disagree with the characterization of the debt ceiling as an early warning. the debt ceiling is at the very end. all the decisions congress makes on entitlement programs that determines -- >> are you aware of any other president in our lifetime who has taken the radical position of stating he will not negotiate deficit reduction on the debt sealing? >> mr. chairman i think we learned in 2011 we learned again just this past october that treating the debt limit the way congress did put our economy in grave danger. every president in my lifetime has said the same thing. it is imperative to raise the debt ceiling and congress' responsibility to take that action. >> the time of the chairman has expired. >> and i would say every president in your lifetime has negotiated on the debt ceiling.
>> thank you mr. chairman. i would like to see if i can get about er understanding ere we are in relationship finances discussions and trade talks with europe. to you and the president basically stating my we tion on whether or not would be including provisions in a trade agreement and it would be undermining to address oaf sight. nd i notice in a wall street journal report a push by the
european unit market regulator to include negotiations of a financial services regulation in e.u. u.s. trade talks but then i also note that there is another article that talks about the possibility that we are softening our position. so i would like some clarification from you today about where we are in those discussions. >> congresswoman waters, i think the issues of working on an international base stoice make sure we have a race to the top to the highest standards possible in terms of financial stability is very important. we work actively through the g-20 and financial stability board to try and drive that process. i'm actually of the belief and proud that the united states is a leader. that we've taken decisive action, the most decisive action of any country in the world after the deep recession and and mic crisis of 2008
2009. i've said i do not believe trade agreements are an appropriate place for to us dilute the impact of the steps that we've take on the safe guard the u.s. economy. and i think that we should make a call to the world community in the appropriate form like the g-20 and f.s.b. to try and drive that race to the top. i've said that in public and private conversations with the europeans. obviously a trade agreement is very important. i think it would open up opportunities for u.s. economic growth and european economic growth. i'd point out europe is 20% of the u.s. export market so their core economy is important to us and keeping that line of trade open is important to us. i look forward to making progress in the trade negotiations and i look forward to having progress in terms of opening up access to financial markets for even more u.s. competition and more u.s.
investment. >> i would like to try and understand how much pressure are you receiving to introduce financial regulatory issues into these negotiations? >> the issue has come up really for the entire time that i've been secretary since february, march. it has been an issue that europeans have raised. i responded as i just did in response to your question. i made some pretty public remarks last week where i called on our international partners to work through the g-20 and f.s.b. to tighten standards. i've tried to be clear on what our policy is. >> of course you are aware, you understand that efforts are already under way to deal with cross water financial regular laces including the g-0 and financial stability board. so our concerns and some of the criticisms from other law makers
are that other administration trade initiatives would effectively side track domestic regulation. and some of our members are saying they fear the ambitious partner had ship could create rules affecting technology development. >> congress p woman on the financial issues i'm quite familiar wit, on the technology issues that's an issue that the u.s. trade representative would be more appropriate to address. on the financial issues, i've been clear in every conversation that i've had that we are going to in the text of agreements promote opening markets for u.s. access, having standards consistent our own, and i have been very clear that watering down in any way u.s. regulatory standards is not appropriate in
trade agreements in terms of protecting our financial markets, our financial system and our economy. i do think separately we have to discuss what does it mean to harmonize across international boundaries and we've seen very constructive developments where we took an initial action and the international community responded and there is a reconciliation so we can have the world community reach the u.s. standard. we may have to make some conforming changes for that to work -- >> the time has expired. he chair now recognize it is gentleman from mccallum for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. let me go back for one minute. one thing i know an e-mail from a staff member with language does not constitute a formal request. if congress is to consider the money we need a formal request
from you according to the law. i don't want to get into too much on that. but one thing is what this thing costs and would you agree that if you move this $63 billion into paid and capital it is not without risk? >> congressman, i think if you look at the history of the i.m.f. it supports the statement i made there is very little risk. >> but it's not zero? >> i believe it's awfulfully close to zero. >> shouldn't we have cbo tell us what they think? >> they have looked at this. if i could go back because i think the question of request is tied to the fact we've been trying to be flexible. we proposed this to be done as an authorization as a man tori provision. we heard back they froferede deal with it as an appropriations matter. at the time cbo decpwhrsh
authorizing committees like this don't like things that go directly through appropriations without the people looking at the issues. so we would i think on a bipartisan basis prefer it be done that way. we think cbo should score this at risk. is the president supportive of this transfer? >> yes the president is very much supportive of it. he's told me it's a very high priority in terms of our staying at the strong point we're at. on the cost side c.b.o. scored it. c.b.o. score was in the neighborhood of $300 million. it was not in the neighborhood of $63 billion. >> there are different ways they score things and if they score it on a risk base si we have to look at that. let me get into the issue of trade. i hear you say that you think e g-20 is a better venue for
gotiating financial services harmization than with the european tread agreement. twont europeans make the same argument at the g-20 they will here. why is that any better than trying to harmonize as best we can through a trade agreement given how the financial matters have dropped so much in >> i think if you look at the progress we've made internationally since 2009, the g-20 and f.s.b. have been effective places to work through complex financial regulatory matters. i don't think the trade context is the ideal place for that to be done. the people at the table are not necessarily the right people and the mechanisms already exist in the g-20 and the real point
regardless of where we do it is the core issue. >> you had a meeting in bruss sells on november 27. >> i don't remember the date but yeah. >> what was the outcome of that meeting with the europeans? >> hi think as i acknowledged in my response to congresswoman waters i've discussed this a number of times with the europeans. had they do make the argument it should be in the trade agreement. we make the argument it should be in the g-20 and f.s.b. wherever we do it they elude. our protection of the u.s. economy is the core principle that applies wherever we are doing business. >> is our position that we have the perfect financial regulation worldwide and everybody else in the world should caller: us? i fail to understand why talking with the europeans about this understanding better what they want to do why that's a problem. what is the risk to the u.s. financial system to do that in >> none at all.
we talk to the europeans and to the asian partners in the g-20 and f.s.b. we learn from each other and take best practices from each other. we are very open. the question is in trade agreement whether it's a question of financial regulation or environmental regulation is a trade agreement the appropriate place to do it? normally the pressure is to lower standards on things like that and that is something we think is not acceptable. >> if i can stop you. the chairman and i have written several letters to you about this. we think and urge you to try at the european level because the purpose of a trade agreement is to facilitate trade that benefits both committees. we can do that in the financial services area and we should do it. i yield back. >> our core goal is consistent. we think we can achieve an agreement that opens up markets
for trade and relations and that's our goal. our issue is not that we don't want to coordinate we do. it is critically important and one of the biggest priorities we have. >> the time has expired. the chair recognize it is entleman from missouri >> thank you mr. chairman. s you know an earthquake devastated haiti in 2010. a rally to provide relief to the hation people. as the center for economic policy and research points out in a recent report, despite billions of dollars pledged to build back better haiti more remain ,000 hations internally displaced and it is unclear what impact our funds
have had. secretary, can you give members of this committee a progress report post earthquake humanitarian reconstruction development efforts in haiti? >> i would have to get back to you on an update. i was deeply involved in putting together the relief package when i was deputy secretary of state. and i have not had the opportunity in the last few months to become familiar with the detailed up to date assessment. but i'm happy to do so and get back to you. >> this is the second time i've quird about this and one of your deputy secretaries was supposed to get back to me a couple of months ago and i haven't heard anything. >> we'll be happy to get back to you. i was not aware of that. if you look at the relief response in haiti, we responded quickly with the emergency assistance. we responded generously with economic assistance. i know the question you are
asking is the efficacy of that effort. i share the concern when we go in we have to be successful and i'll look at it and get back to you. i was personally very committed to putting that package together and i'll get back to you on that. > i look forward to your response. on the euro zone economic growth is a continue challenge with the 0.1 in rowth at minus the eu for 2014. european commission president stated that the economic austerity policies in europe have reached their limits and they should receive minimum political and social support. he also pointed out that e.u. should focus on growth measures
in the shorter term as reforms in the public finances sector should take time to have any effect. additionly a recent report by the i.m.f. states that too much austerity is self-defeating that. means that the continuous fiscal austerity for some countries in the eurozone especially in the south leads to a deeper recession, in most cases deeper than projected. in this vain how do you think the u.s. more particularly through it's participation in the i.m.f. could channel its efforts in alleviating the harsh consequences of this crisis that has brought traumas to these countries? >> we have been deeply involved in discussions on the response to europe's economic challenges. i know in my own conversations with finances ministers around
europe i've made the case very strongly that europe needs to worry about growth, that it looks at the weakest economies in europe, it needs to stay focused ohen the reforms. but they also have to look at the enormous unemployment and the economic effect and the social effect that that has. i think we've made some progress in these conversations and i don't want to exaggerate how much progress we've made. i think you see more flexibility in terms of timetables for fiscal consolidation. you're seeing recognition that structural changes are hard and as countries make them they need to have breathing room. but you are seeing pressure to stay on the sustained path. it is not sustainable for europes economies or their national finances to be in a place that is unsustainable. but i think when you look at 20
and 30 plus% unemployment rates that has a serious impact on domestic demand and potential for growth and instability. i believe we are making progress. i think the i.m. sffment sensitive to the tradeoff. if you look at the g-20 communication over the last years they express recognize the view i'm expressing. >> thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you mr. secretary for joining us today. the treasury released guidelines on financing coal fired power plants in emerging markets. i represent a state that exports 30% of the total coal exports because we can't burn them at home and are having difficulty with the president's war on coal and now seems like it's an
international war on coal. explain to me this policy and are you really part of your stated goals were supposed to be fast growing african countries represent new opportunities for u.s. businesses. what kind of energy development is going on if we can't help them with the cheapest most affordable and reliable base load energy production that we have around the world? >> our policy on coal and on the climate impact is one i know we have some differences on. we believe very strongly that we need to drive towards developing technology that is have a less adverse impact on the climate situation. so we have taken the view that we need to at home use fuel more efficiently and develop energy technologies. we believe we have potential to
export technology overseas. you look at the developing countries, in some cases hydro electric power is abun dant power in many cases highly distributed renewable energy. >> are you talking like wind and solar? >> wind and solar. >> and argue wear how much we have to subsidize it here to make any benefit? >> it is something we have dedicated a lot of energy tofment we believe we are get thrg and we believe to meet our objectives on climate we th it's important we have a consistent approach internationally. >> i don't disagree on the ultimate goal to make it cleaner, more efficient and less emissions. i'm all for that. but i feel like if you are cutting off the emerging markets which are the fastest growing markets from being able to finances these kinds of
facilities, you're going to stifle invasion in this country because universities and such rant going to devote the resources to it when they think they are looking at a deadend here. not only from the human element of these folks in africa who can't even access just baseline power generation. i'm very concerned about it. and another thing is i represent a lot of natural gas. we have a lot of natural gas in this country. it's wonderful. it creates jobs all down spectrum and you know this in your position. we are embarking on should we be exporting our natural gas. is part of that next s that the next thing that won't have any kind of financing opportunities through the m.l.b.'s? >> we've been developing natural gas resources in this country
aggressively and other less emitting fossil fuels. we have been encouraging the development. i think the export question is a different one. the department of energy has responsibility for reviewing natural gas export license proposals. obviously it's been a source of enormous strength in our economy we've had an energy revolution, where the cost of energy into production has made the united states a much more attractive place to invest and we are anxious to continue that. i would defer to the department of energy to review these export licenses and would be happy to follow up with you on that. on the question of the need for power in the third world. we totally agree. one of the president's initiatives is power africa which is we need to make sure that the african continent has access to electricity to fuel economic growth. we are working side by side in the international community to
be strong partners in that. >> and many of these countries that you are working with, germany for instance is building themselves more coal fire power plants in their own country because they had to shut down their nuclears because of the potential negatives there. i am very concerned about this because it hurts the american innovator and american jobs and picks winners and losers in this country. i love living in west virginia but this administration has picked us as one of the ones to lose and i resent that. >> thank you mr. chairman. secretary, thank you for your testimony. thank you for being here was today. i'm going to ask a question outside the realm of international finances. i would like to first ask you about an issue i have great interest in. as co-chair of the financial and
economic literacy caucus i am interested in the progress of the financial literacy and education commission which you are chair and also the upcoming president's advisory council on the financial capability for youth which the treasury will coordinate. it was coordinated by congress. what is your personal philosophy on financial literacy and what do you hope to achieve in 2014? >> i am a strong believer in financial literacy and have been for a long time. i think that people have to make informed decisions when they make financial decisions in their life and all too many americans it's a mystery when they make those decisions. i've taken it very seriously. i've gone to several meetings. i've worked with the director on these issues. we have made it clear that it's
a matter of importance to us personally that we continue to make progress in this area. i actually think if you look at the work that the cfpb has done, they've made a lot of progress creating the tools for financial literacy. part of the challenge that is people have to understand the documents that they end up ooking at when they enter into tractions. part of the is making sure the documents are understandable. if you look at the disclosure forms that they recently issued, it is approached a level where people who are not professionals in finances understand the documents they are about to sipe. have you to work in both directions. you have to increase the awareness and education of the people in the economy. but you also have to make sure that the transactions are not so masked in language that is not comprehensible understand pages
and pages of detail that hide the key points. and i think they've made significant progress in that area. >> i look forward to working with you this next two years and try to take it to a much higher level. i'm going to move into international situation that we're discussing. in your testimony that i read you state europe has made great gains toward financial stability. like you, i am cautiously optimistic about the improving economies of the united states and europe. secretary, how confident are you in the health of the economies of the eurozone and what are the indicators that you are watching the closest? >> i look at the progress of the eurozone and think about watching on a daily basis in the spring and summer of 2012 when there was the real fear that any day could bring a crisis. and we've made a lot of progress from there. there are still a lot of
problems, difficult situations that need to be worked through, tough structural decision that is have to be implemented and risks that are still there. but it's not in the same place of fear that there is going to be an meet crisis it was a year ago. i think they've made a lot of progress and have a lot more to make. i this the g.d.p. measures are significant. they were negative broadly and now they are positive broadly. it's not equally distributed. some of the committees particular pli in northern europe are doing much better. if you look at the economies of europe there is a correlation between how well they are recovering and how much they embraced the need to make tough changes. one of the things we continue to do is try to be very understanding of how hard that is and the impact it has on the short term but to keep the pressure on because that's the path they need to follow. >> i've read some of the
countries like grease and spain and portugal have very high unemployment rate from the group of 18 to 25 years of aim, very similar to the problems we have in the united states. how are they addressing that? >> they do have very high unemployment rates and the youth unemployment rate is very high. i think one of the reasons i mentioned earlier that we're seeing some additional flexibility on timetables is recognition of that. excuse me congressman, i'm getting over a cold. this has been a challenge all
week. >> take your time mr. secretary. coming back. not sorry congressman, i've been losing my voice all week. if you'll just bear with me. the economy in europe is i think moving in the right direction. some of the structural changes are significant in terms of opening opportunity to young workers. one of the keys is opening up the channels of credit so that small and medium enterprise
ersus access to capital. >> the time has expired. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> today i wanted to focus my time on two important issues, that's accountability and transparency to the american people. i've been quite disturbed at this administration's clear pattern of stone walling anyone who dare shines the light of day into the inner workings of this administration whether it's benghazi to eric holder's refuse toll turn over key documents to a lack of cooperation with obama care failed implementation. requests have been met with silence or refusal by this administration. this pattern has continued at the department of treasury under
your leadership. mr. clay had a simple question and your answer was don't blame me, i didn't know it was my staff. in my case i sent a letter to you asking three simple questions regarding the i.r.s. scandal. i asked when it was first time you became aware of the i.r.s. targeting groups independent on the i.g.'s investigation. curiously the answer came not from you but from some assistant secretary a month and a half later basically refusing to answer the questions. the second question i asked was whether you attended any meetings with then commissioner and whether there was any decision discussions at the concerning the i.r.s. targeting any organizations and a couple of other simple yes or no questions. again, a refusal from you to
answer yes or no questions. so then after several months more passed i called your office and said would you give me five minute tons phone and your answer was no, i cannot talk to you, too busy. so i tuferede have a meeting with you, not in my office. i agreed to go to your office at your convenience anytime to discuss this and your answer was no you were too busy for the last six months to meet with a member of congress s. it preerpt for you or your staff to deny even a five minute phone call or a discussion with a member of congress on important issues relevant to them? >> that's a yes or no question. >> i answered congressman clay's question directly. >> can you answer mine now? >> i will follow up on it and get back to him. you and i went back and forth at the hearing. i appeared before. i gave you all the information i had and that remains the case now. >> you never answered the three
questions in the letter so to this day have you not. do you think it's appropriate you would not pick up the phone and talk to a member of congress? >> i have responded to your question on multiple occasions. >> you did not. in six months i have not gotten an answer from you. i still am not getting an answer from you. i think it's deplorable you won't answer a member of congress. >> on the letter it is for generations traditional for the assist tonight respond. >> your assist didn't not answer the question. when i followed up and asked to speak to you you would not answer it. let's move on because obviously you are continuing in the pattern of this administration of not answering simple yes or no questions. i'm wasting my time because you are wasting the american
public's time. that's a simple yes or no question. let's look at the vocker situation and the rules that have just come out on this. do you believe there is any negative impact on the corporate bond market? >> i think the rules reflect an important balance between maintaining the market and protecting the economy from the risk science. ? will there be any negative impact? >> i believe the financial sector will be able to manage -- >> will there be any negative impact upon the corporate bond market? >> i think -- >> yes or no? >> it's not a yes or no. it's a complicated issue. i'm happy to respond to you but it's not a yes or no question. make sure they -- >> let's stop there. let's stop there mr. secretary.
you are saying that it is okay for them to take on risk such as the unsovereign debt but not corporate dealt? you created exceptions so they could invest in detroit which is a failed bankrupt city, they could invest in foreign banks? that's a yes or no question. >> they protect our markets and protect taxpayers from being exposed to inappropriate risk. i think the agency did an excellent job striking that balance to keep growth going and protect the taxpayer. >> the time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman -- >> thank you. >> i have a couple of questions. we learned early on there is and song in every space,
this is a question squg just for your opinion, who do you think or what would happen if there is a void left as a result of the united states non-leadership in i.m.f.? >> congressman, i think u.s. leadership in the world is important to the united states and it's important for the world. as i talk with my counter arts in asia and europe, i hear over and over again we need the united states to be the strong lead they're you are. so in the i.m.f. what we see is with our contribution which is less than 20% of the entirety of the i.m.f., we have enormous influence. we have veto over important decisions and the influence that goes with that to help drive decision making to serve u.s. industry and a sounder global commitment i think that's important for the united states
and it's important for the world. we are already seeing if the united states in any way steps back, there is a rush to come in and kind of starts to fraction, think we should let thatofi d't happen. it is too important. >> i think in some ways we are lists --o become issa havests in the world and i problems with expansions, things we do but i am concerned about the imf and our leadership. question -- i represent kansas city, missouri, not kansas. that is important. i am just getting the amen from
my colleagues. >> i started out working here with somebody who said all politics is local. i get it. city used to be the second-largest manufacturer of automobiles in the world behind detroit. -- in recente times we have been building up again. when i speak with the automobile manufacturers and the workers, the unions, their biggest concern is currency manipulation . i was part of a group that sent a letter to the president asking for currency manipulation .iscipline in the tpp is that possible? that oryour position on what is the administration's position on that? >> we have worked hard on currency issues for a long time.
from the moment i stepped in the treasury it is an issue that has been very much on my agenda. if you look at the progress we have made working in the g 20 and the g7, we have gotten the leading economies of the world to agree to principles that reflect our own which is that currencies should be market determined and the tools governments use should be domestic tools for domestic purposes. we have maintained our focus on that in bilateral conversations. we have seen progress in the conversations. any trade agreement that we reach has to be built on the principles that we have worked to reach in places like the g 20. the principles that undergird everything we do. without addressing the specifics of any of the negotiations, there is a core underlying bedrock principle that we are going to be driving for market determined exchange rates. we believe the g 20 is an appropriate place to do that and
we have made great progress there. >> thank you for that. it will be difficult for a lot of people to support it. in light of the currency manipulation that is going on with china. , that creates an imbalance in the sale of automobiles. >> i have engaged directly with the chinese on a regular basis on this and we have seen real progress in terms of the exchange rate approaching, not reaching that approaching the point that we are pressing them to get to. i think they understand they have to get to a market determined exchange rate. we try to focus a great detail on progress and where there are still concerns. we have to keep pressing on it and that is what we are doing. >> the time of the gentleman is expired. the chairman recognizes the
gentleman from texas five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i do, secretary for being here. to the federalr insurance office inquiring about free reports that are required by law to be submitted to this committee. one of those reports on insurance moderation is nearly three years overdue. not surprisingly i have not received any response to my letter. do you find it acceptable that these reports have not been submitted to this committee and in some cases are over three years past to do? >> congressman, i know that there is a report that is virtually complete and will be here very shortly. i hope even before you leave for your break. >> mr. secretary, i appreciate that but on a number of occasions that is the same story that i have gotten.
we are going to have that shortly. that dialogue began last year. it is not like these are a little bit late. some of these reports are three years late. we -- this administration talks a lot about transportation -- transparency. you have heard some of my colleagues say we are concerned that it is hard to have transparency when you're not hearing from the administration. >> the report is a very important piece of work. they have virtually completed it. it is in the stages of final production which is why i can say with some confidence that it will be here very shortly. >> is that shortly next year or the year after? >> i am hoping, as i say, before you leave. i am hoping it is days, not weeks. the work they have done is very important. they have brought a knowledge of
insurance into treasury at a time when we know that the insurance industry is highly interconnected with other aspects of the financial system. it is a complicated system where we have a lot of respect for state regulation but there are issues of national importance as well. i think this report when it is issued, won't resolve these issues, but will queue up serious discussion. i look forward to engaging with you on those. the report will not be the final word. it is going to be opening the conversation so that we can work together on this. >> actually that segues into my next question. leaders' declaration that coming out of the same perjurers berg -- st. petersburg they look forward to the international association of insurance supervisors further work to develop a conference -- comprehensive framework for
internationally active insurance groups including capital standards. were you personally consulted about that statement? did you have input into that statement? >> i am aware of it. ofis something that was part the discussions. >> did you support the inclusion of that language in the report? >> i very much support them being part of the international conversation and asking these questions so that as we inquire domestically as to what the right steps to take, we do it in concert with our international partners. the statement doesn't prescribe the end result. it is a process that i think we should be engaged in. >> your model is more bank-like in the way they regulate their insurance industry over there. do you support that same kind of u.s.atory framework for domestic companies that have a much different regulatory structure? >> i think that raises some very
important and complicated issues. i think that where there is an appropriate need for regulation, we ought to be sensitive to the differences between insurance companies and other financial institutions. i know the regulators have looked at this and they are looking at being flexible as they use the tools they have. if they don't have all the tools they need, it is something we should talk about. to the extent that there is a need for regulation of insurance companies, it ought to reflect the characteristics of insurance companies. on,s this dialogue is going there is not a lot of transparency again in this process. the industry, particularly the u.s. the mystic insurance industry, feels like they are being left out of this debate and discussion. thatnk they are concerned there is some movement within treasury and others to move to a
european model for regulating u.s. insurance companies that many people feel like, when you go back and look at the crisis, the insurance industry fared very favorably. >> the inquiries that have taken place with regard to the financials oversight council have been questions of the storming -- determining whether there is systemic risk. the question of how to regulate is a totally different question. the standard make the determination on risk. we are very much interested as the regulators follow through that they think this through very carefully and we not jump the conclusion that says next insurance companies are exactly the same. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to switch for a moment to the question of the
sanctions. first off, congratulations on the recent designation of the initial batch of these. however it seems to me that the rate at which these have been coming out is sort of erratic. six weeks prior to the iranian elections in june, the treasury department issued seven notices of designations of sanction violators that include more than since june 14ies when rouhani was elected. the treasury department issued only to designation notices that identified only six people and for companies as violating the sanctions. now we have a new batch. my question is, to what do you attribute this erratic batch by batch nature of the designations? the work ofen, enforcing sanctions is painstaking work that we have an extra ordinary talented team and treasury working on.
there are dedicated, committed to it. they make progress at the pace that they make progress. the designations today reflect the fine work they have done and the determination we have that is true to what i said in my opening remarks. we will continue to investigate for violations of sanctions and take action where we find them. to the important sanctions being effective. >> in light of the six-month window,nd negotiating many people including myself have a concern that companies will say, oh boy, the sanctions are going to go away in six months and you will see massive cheating on the sanctions. companies are trying to gain a commercial advantage with anticipating the easing of the sanctions. i was wondering, do you feel like you have all the authority you need to make sure that any company that is caught cheating on the sanctions gains no commercial advantage from that? >> enforcement is the answer.
i have said in every meeting i have had with ceos since the agreement that there should be no uncertainty. we are continuing to enforce sanctions. no one should think that having iran on financial record is going to go unnoticed. we are going to stay on this. this is not an opening up of any door to relaxing our core financial banking and oil sanctions. i said it in a public speech again last night. i have probably talked to several hundred ceos and deliver the message personally. i don't know how to be more clear than that. it is not like we have some other mechanism other than enforcement. we are very clear that any ceo, any business that steps into a space that violates sanctions is doing it at the risk of having an enforcement action. >> do you anticipate that companies caught cheating on this will have sanctions that extend past the time that normal sanctions would be released?
>> the duration of sanctions is something that depending on the violation and the provision. rather than give you an off-the- cuff answer i would rather follow up and do it on a more detailed basis based on which provision you are referring to. >> i would like to change the things that relate to your position on some important issues. application of banking capital standards to insurance companies. i wonder if you have any reaction to the appropriateness of that. >> to be clear, the only actions taken regarding insurance companies were to designate the institutions that met the --ndard of financial presenting that degree of financial risk. the question of how they are regulated is something that each of the regulators will be dealing with. they are looking at how to do this in a way that works. implement.is not to
it is to make the determination as to whether or not there is that kind of systemic risk. the tools of each of the regulators will be used as appropriate. as i tried to indicate in my response, we understand that banks and insurance companies are not identical. thisother issue related to is the issue of collateralized loan obligations and risk retention. clo's were not involved in our financial collapse and the specter of risk retention is something that is -- makes a lot of people uncomfortable. i was wondering if you had a reaction to that. >> in general, the idea that firms should internalize their risks is a very important principle. there are many ways to achieve that. we have tried as we laid out our actions in response to financial reform to make it clear.
our firms putting themselves at risk rather than taxpayers at risk for business decisions they are making? capital is part of it. restrictions like the vocal rule are part of it and leverage as well. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina for five minutes. >> i request unanimous consent to submit for the record five letters from the leadership of this committee to the treasury secretary and two responses run treasury to those letters. , thank you for being here. one of record, article the u.s. constitution establishes and makes my dopey oversight and authority of the congress vis-à-vis the executive branch and i am sure you agree with that notion. your treasury department has
stiff armed this committee and its oversight capacity in its refusal to provide complete answers to this committee. chairman garrett covered his concern. i sent you a letter in august requesting documents that were the subject of a request made by public interest groups. wouldeasury post position provide only redacted documents. this implies that it is applicable to congress. i hope that you would understand that it does not apply to congress. and that you will direct your affairs staff, that they will provide those documents promptly. for the more, on november 6, 2013, the chairman sent a letter to the new york fed requesting information regarding contingency planning related to u.s. debt limit. wanted thek fed finger at treasury department
claiming they needed treasury's permission. although we have rejected the fed's claim that it needs treasury permission, i ask that you commit to resolving this issue and insuring that the committee receives the requested ofuments by the date december 18. you can respond in writing. we will move forward. additionally, this question of prioritization of debt. pastave mentioned in the that you are unsure of your department, whether or not it has the legal authority to prioritize debt payments in the event of a failure to raise the debt ceiling. i voted to raise the debt ceiling. i think we have an obligation to pay our obligations. from therequested office of legal counsel of the department of justice, an answer to this question? on the question
of responsiveness to oversight i very much except -- >> i just asked for you to respond in writing to that. have you asked or your department asked whether or not you can prioritize debt? the question of prioritization is fundamentally a policy question. as your comments reflected, i do not believe nor does any president nor treasury secretary -- to answer my you question. i have one minute 54 seconds left. have you asked the department of justice's office of legal counsel whether or not you have the authority in the event of not raising the debt ceiling to prioritize debt payments? >> the issue of whether or not that decision is made is fundamentally a presidential decision. >> have you as treasury secretary, your department,
requested from the office of legal counsel? >> it would fundamentally be a question between the white house and the justice department. >> ok, let me point you to the fact that a huffington post article from last week says the obama administration took the platinum coin option more seriously than a lead on. this idea that you have a $1 trillion coin minted and deposited at the fed and draw upon that, it is according to the huffington post, the administration did ask the office of legal counsel for this absurd idea to actually be judged whether or not it is legal. at the same time, you will not say that you have asked whether or not you can prioritize payments. that is deeply concerning. >> i am prepared to discuss the policy on both of those issues. i don't disagree with you that the platinum coin is not an option. >> at me ask one final question
on volcker. who is the primary enforcer of the rule? >> if i could just go back, on the question of the debt limit, the real issue is we must keep all of our obligations -- >> i agree. who is the primary enforcer of volcker? >> the volcker rule came out of five different agencies. there are different aspects depending on what kind of a financial institution you are. >> can you submit in writing your view of this as chairman? >> i am happy to respond to your question. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. as previously announced, the chair now declare the committee in a brief recess. asef is going to be defined approximately less than five minutes. coming up on c-span, defense
secretary chuck hagel talks about the effect of the budget agreement on military preparedness. three doctors testify about the impact of the health care law on their patients. later, treasury secretary jack lew on international finance issues. >> on the next washington journal, a look at the two-year $85 billion budget agreement and the 2014 republican agenda. our guest will be texas congressman kevin brady. more about the budget agreement with representative glenmore of wisconsin, a member of the budget and financial services committees. washington journal is live every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. washe federal reserve established by an act of congress in 1913. friday, george washington university hosts an all-day conference on the federal reserve system.
you can see it live starting at 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 3. franz ferdinand and his wife were in the capital of bosnia which at that point was part of austria-hungary on a tour. it was a very bad day for them to come because it was a big serbian national holiday. serbia, the neighboring country was absolutely furious that austria-hungary has taken over bosnia. it was seen as a provocation. there were young plotters who had been plotting to build a greater serbia. one of the symbols of the oppression of the people within austria-hungary -- they decided to kill him. it was very sloppy police work. there been warnings that something was a foot. one of the conspirators shot the archduke and his wife point- blank. >> the assassination of archduke ferdinand and his wife and the
events leading up to world war i. margaret macmillan sunday night at 8:00 on c-span's "q&a." >> defense secretary chuck hagel spoke about the budget agreement and the impact it will have on military readiness. secretary hagel held a joint pre-k's conference with his singapore counterpart. this is 25 minutes. >> good morning. by now you have, i think, all seen a statement that i released earlier this morning on the budget deal. and i know the house is scheduled for a vote later this afternoon around 6:00, and i want to just briefly mention that before i address minister
ng and my conversation this morning. this agreement does not solve all of dod's budget problems, but it helps us address our readiness, especially in 2014, with putting more money back into training, in particular, and procurement. it also gives us some new certainty and predictability for our planning, for our budgeting over the next two years, which is particularly important. and i think with minister ng standing here, this is an important signal to our partners and our allies around the world that we are going to come together as a country, as a congress, and make some tough choices and decisions and commit resources where we have to commit them.
and it gives, i hope, some assurance to our allies and friends like singapore that we're going to do this. and it clearly, in that process, reassures those around the world that we will stay committed to our allies and our interests around the world. and as many of you know, because some of you were on the trip with me last week, that was much of the message that i wanted to bring to our partners in particular in -- in the middle east and south asia, as well. so let me get to minister ng and our conversation this morning. we just completed a good and positive and warm and productive
meeting, which i have appreciated over the years our relationship with singapore. i appreciate it on a personal level, as well as our countries doing so much together over the years. and i think, too, it's a particularly important relationship as we rebalance, the united states rebalances to the asia pacific. many of you know that yesterday i had an opportunity to host ambassadors from the asean countries for lunch, and we talked about many things, but in particular i wanted to get a sense from them and from their ministers of defense, minister ng and my counterparts, what they wanted to talk about and what they wanted to put -- be put on the agenda for the asean defense ministers ministerial
that i will be hosting earlier next year in hawaii. that was a very productive meeting, and it flows right into minister ng in my meeting today. because singapore is an important leader in asean, in the asia pacific region, it is even more important that we had this meeting, really, back -- back to back. i also want to thank singapore for its continued important contributions to our efforts in afghanistan, which we talked a little bit about, and our counterpiracy operations in the gulf of aden. singapore has been a very important partner, and i -- we all appreciate what you continue to do. i thank minister ng for logistical support that singapore has provided the united states military aircraft and ships operating in the pacific. this, as you know, enables our
forces to maintain a strong forward presence in that part of the world. and we had an opportunity earlier this year to spend some time together in singapore, in brunei, and i had an opportunity during those visits, especially to singapore, to visit our littoral combat ship, the uss freedom. as you know, it's completed a successful inaugural deployment, and we look forward to the deployment of the next littorals to singapore next year and a third in 2015. the deployment of these ships is part of our commitment to a deepening military engagement in asia pacific, which we discussed, as well. we also talked about new ways to increase the bilateral collaboration between our militaries in such areas as cyber, which we have put a lot of attention to and focus on,
and in particular maritime security, where we're doing more joint ventures, while expanding our multilateral engagement by increasing exchanges and conducting more of these exercises, but also more complex elements of these exercises with more nations, and singapore has led on a number of these with other asean partners. i think, in particular, one of the areas we discussed and we both believe, that finding solutions to the asia pacific is most pressing because it -- it really focuses on the security issues and the challenges and taking the pressure and the tension off of some of the big issues that we're going to need
to manage through to -- and it's going to require platforms of cooperation, and asean is -- is such an institution and a platform to get us through and into more dialogue, cooperation, collaboration, so we've put -- we've put a particular emphasis and priority on that relationship. we discussed china's troubling announcement of the establishment of an east china sea defense identification zone. and we talked about the implications this has -- has created for freedom of maritime and airspace navigation. i shared with the minister our deep concern about the chinese announcement. i have addressed that before. and i think all the nations of southeast asia also are concerned.
their -- china's actions raise regional tensions and increases the risk of miscalculation, confrontation, and accidents, and restraint is critically important on these issues, especially at this time. the united states does not recognize the newly announced air defense identification zone, which i have noted before, and we urge china not to -- not to implement the adiz decision and to refrain from taking similar actions elsewhere in the region. and as we have said many times, and as our actions have clearly demonstrated, china's announcement of the adiz will not change how we conduct u.s. military operations in the region. the united states will continue to stand by our allies and partners in the asia pacific.
the united states remains committed to the rebalance to the asia pacific in every way and to our important partnership with singapore. i look forward to continuing to work with minister ng to advance our friendship, our common interests, and ensure a more secure and prosperous future for both of our nations and for the nations of the asia pacific. with that, let me ask minister ng for his comments, and then we'll -- we'll take a couple of questions. minister, thank you, and welcome. >> thank you, secretary hagel. first, let me thank secretary hagel for his very warm reception, add to some of the comments he has made. we had frank and broad discussions about stability in the asia pacific region. i welcome secretary hagel's reassurance and reaffirmation of america's commitment to the
pacific region. i reminded secretary hagel that singapore has been explicit in our position that america's presence in the asia pacific in the last 50 years has been a critical force of stability and progress for many of the emerging economies. in 1990, we signed an mou that allowed the american ships and planes to transit our naval base and air bases when the u.s. military lost its access to clark and subic. and in 2005, prime minister lee, the current prime minister, and then-president bush signed a strategic framework agreement. and it was arising from this strategic framework agreement that the uss freedom deployed recently. so i welcome this reassurance, because we believe that the u.s.
presence in our region is a force for stability. we talked about how we can continue to use the platforms that are existing to improve collaboration, cooperation and dialogue, platforms such as the asean defense ministers' meeting plus, platforms such as the shangri-la dialogue, which every secretary of defense has not failed to attend since its inception, and you -- i remind members that it was secretary hagel that had a birthing hand in the shangri-la dialogue. and we talked about deepening, as secretary hagel said, bilateral defense relationships. i thank him very much for our training opportunities here. we have -- yesterday, i was at a 20th anniversary celebration in luke air base, where our f-16s are based. our f-15s are based in idaho, in mountain home. apaches are based here, as well as chinooks.
and we've conducted an integrated live-firing exercise in the barry goldwater range. so we want to thank you for all the opportunities, and we want to continue to look forward to a very forward-looking relationship with u.s., together with our asean partners in forging another period of stability and growth for the asia pacific region. thank you. >> lita. >> mr. secretary, i was wondering if i could get your assessment of the latest news coming out of syria, including the flight of general idris. what do you think that says about the situation on the ground in syria? are the -- particularly the moderate rebels. are they no longer a force that the u.s. can rely on? and do you think that this will have an impact on the destruction of the chemical weapons? >> first, i think what has occurred here in the last couple
of days is a clear reflection on how complicated and dangerous this situation is and how unpredictable it is. we continue to support general idris and the moderate opposition. and we're going to continue to help in the humanitarian area, which we have been doing consistently. but this is a problem, i mean, what has occurred here, a big problem. and we're going to have to work through it and manage through it with general idris and the moderate opposition. as to the effect that it might have on the disposition of chemical weapons, we continue to make progress on, as you know,
gone beyond now the part of identifying most of these precursors and the chemical weapons themselves positions and are now in the process of implementing getting it out, and, as you also know, then the destruction, which you all know we're talking about most likely the technology that we do possess now of destroying it at sea. still issues, still things that we still have to work out. this is a warzone. it's a country torn in every region by war, unpredictability. so, yes, everything every day is affected by war. but where we are now on the continuing progress that we're making with the destruction of chemical weapons is on track.
>> jeremy? >> hi, minister ng, secretary hagel, i was wondering, given the changing stance of china in east china sea and south china sea, i was wondering if you all see the role of the u.s. in those regions changing? and how does the u.s.singapore relationship fit into the broader strategy of preserving peace and lowering tensions in the region? >> i'll begin, and minister ng i'm sure will have a comment. well, as i've said in my remarks, and what we talked about today and yesterday with the asean ambassadors, this -- this country, the united states of america, is committed -- will continue to stay committed to our allies and our partners and our friends in the asia pacific. and these issues of the adiz and
the dispute in the south china sea, east china sea, are realities that we're going to have to work through. but i've also made very clear, the president had made clear, secretary kerry, that our commitment to our allies in this area remains strong. we will honor those commitments. we will honor them in every way. our force protection, the commitment of our forces, that's not going to change. we've made that very -- very clear. we have to work within the framework of especially the institutions that are there to try to resolve these issues, but these issues have to be resolved carefully, diplomatically, peacefully. and when we run into dangers -- and this is why this unilateral decision by china to impose adiz was done just exactly that way, unilaterally trying to influence the status quo without any consultation, without any
collaboration or cooperation, that's what makes all of this so dangerous, when that happens. so we're continuing to stay committed. we are committed. we will be committed, as i've made very clear in my comments and in our meeting today. minister? >> well, i said that the u.s. presence in -- from singapore's point of view is critical for stability in the asia pacific region. we've also said that the china- u.s. relationship is the relationship that will impact all countries, as well as the stability. we are very cheered by comments from president obama and xi jinping, president xi, that the pacific region is big enough to accommodate both a resident power and a rising power. there will be strategic competition, but secretary hagel and i discussed at length how we need to use the platforms to make sure that -- reduce the
risk of miscalculation, that we don't precipitate tensions, and we talked about how we can take this forward using various platforms, whether it's the asean defense ministers' meeting plus or the shangri-la dialogue, so that we avoid conflicts and precipitating tensions. so i think we have our work cut out for us. and we are very happy that secretary hagel invited the asean ministers to hawaii, and we're looking forward to that meeting. >> i might just add, jeremy, that much of vice president biden's agenda in that part of the world, in japan, china, south korea, was focused on this overall issue. and he during those visits made very clear the u.s. continued commitment to asia pacific. phil. >> well, just following up there, you say that the issue
with syria was a -- that idris' departure was a big problem. is it a problem that you think has a solution? and if so, what is that solution? and for you, mr. minister, could you please tell us about singapore's interest in the f- 35b? i know that some of you were watching that in demonstrations this week in arizona. thanks. >> well, as i said, there's a war going on in syria and it's devastating to the people, having effects that hurt the people, destabilize the region. and when the moderate opposition is set back, that's not good. but that's what we deal with. so we have to deal with it. we will deal with it. and it is difficult. but we take it straight up, work with the moderate opposition, with our allies in the area, and we'll continue to do that.
>> well, i've said in parliament during the last budget that singapore is seriously looking at the f-35s to replace our f- 16s. we're in no particular hurry, because our f-16s are still very operational, and they're due for upgrades. but it is a serious consideration. and during my visit here to luke air base, the u.s. marines were kind enough to have a demonstration of the f-35bs, and it's quite an engineering marvel. we recognize that there are aspects to consider, and we will make our deliberate decision, because as i said, we're in no particular hurry, but we are seriously considering it. >> time for one more. >> thanks. just back to syria, do you -- has it gotten to the point now where some of these rebel groups are so extreme that they represent a greater threat even
than the assad regime? and then, also, can you confirm, too, that some of these depots that the free syrian army had control of, they've lost control of some of the depots? is that -- is that your understanding? >> well, we're evaluating right now. we're assessing what has happened, where we are. so i would leave it at that. as to the other issues, as you know and we've said and i said here, this continues to be a very difficult problem. it is putting increased pressure on the people of syria, tension in the region. and we will continue, have to work with the moderate opposition and the governments in the area, and i think this also points to the potential of geneva ii, because, yes, there
are dangerous -- very dangerous elements in part of that opposition, which, again, complicates our support and i think our decision to withhold any further assistance in the area that we've been helping in particular the non-lethal assistance and these warehouses and so on until, first of all, we can get a clear assessment of what has happened. but, again, it reflects on the complexity of this problem. there are many dangerous elements. we know al-nusra, we know al qaeda, we know hezbollah, extremist groups, terrorist groups are involved in this. so it's not a matter of just an easy choice between the good guys and the bad guys here. but, again, we look to -- as we have said -- a diplomatic resolution, solution, settlement. we continue to pursue that effort. as we organize toward geneva ii
next month, i think the efforts, getting the international community involved with us on the chemical weapons issue, through a u.n. security council resolution. the russians have been helpful. you got the international community working with us. that could be some help toward building a bridge to get us to a diplomatic settlement. >> mr. secretary, will you take one on -- >> did you -- did you have >> one on the bsa? >> just looking for a little clarity. on your recent trip, you suggested a new deadline could be in february. but -- >> no, i didn't say that. >> well, you suggested it. >> no, let -- if you go back and read the transcript, what i -- >> so it's not february? it's the end of this year?
>> no, what -- let me tell you what i said. i said we have a nato defense ministerial at the end of february, and i said at that nato defense ministerial, which will also be attended by isaf partners who are there -- and, remember, we have 50 partners in afghanistan, and we appreciate singapore's efforts, they, too, have to plan, they, too, have to budget, they, too, have political constituencies, they, too, have parliaments they have to work through. and what i said was, our partners are going to want some clarity, some signal from the united states as to where we are. if we don't have a bilateral security agreement, that means there is no status-of-forces agreement that nato must have to stay in afghanistan post-2014, our isaf partners are -- some are going to require some form of bilateral security agreement. so just the events and the
timing will force a number of questions and significant issues because of the complications of planning. this is not an easy or uncomplicated process. if you just look at our military and what we have to do in order to plan and prepare for a post- 2014 mission train, assist, advise, counterterrorism , numbers of troops, where would they be -- budgets, the congress, this is complicated. then you factor in all of our partners, that adds further complications. and the bsa is just the beginning of that, as i've already gone through the inventory of just some of the things that have to be required. so that's what i've said. i wasn't setting a deadline for anything. i was just giving a fact of life that, when we all meet, our isaf
partners, the defense ministers meet at that nato defense ministerial at the end of february, we're going to have to have some clarity, and not just for us, but our partners are going to expect that. okay? thank you. thanks. >> thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> coming up, doctors testify about the affect of the health care act on their patients. jack lew on international finance issues. later, financial leaders meet about cybersecurity and financial markets. >> the federal reserve was established by an act of congress in 1913. friday, george washington university hosts an all-day conference on the federal reserve system. you can see it live starting at 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 3.
>> friday, a look at long-term health care spending. to lower on ways spending for public programs like medicare. you can see it live starting at 12:15 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> this is georgia, the oldest building here. if you can imagine, 1976, the hustle and bustle of all the activity here in the campaign, you have tables and desks and phones going off and letters coming in and out of the area. she was here helping run the campaign from this little small building. this is where rosalynn carter helped organize the peanut brigade. it was used to ring his run for governor. it was basically a way to get the word out about jimmy carter using volunteers owing door to door, giving out literature and spreading the word. it was a message so effective
that it helped him get elected to the president. >> watch our program on first lady rosalynn carter at our website, c-span.org/fi rstladies. monday, we start our encore presentation of first ladies, season two. howhree physicians outlined the health care care law is adversely affecting their patients. the testimony came before the house oversight and investigations committee as members examined access to health care and drug cost for those who have chronic conditions. this hearing is to an half hours.
>> [indiscernible] come to the deus. the committee will come to order. the oversight committee exists to secure two fundamental principles. first, americans have a right to know that the money washington takes from them is well spent. second, americans deserve an efficient and effective government that works for them. our duty is to protect these rights. our solemn responsibility is to hold government accountable to taxpayers because taxpayers have a right to know what they get from their government.
it is our job to work tirelessly in partnership with citizen watchdogs to deliver the facts to the american people and bring genuine reform to the federal bureaucracy. continuedwe view a rollout of the affordable care act, we deal with the administration's selling sold the health law to the american people with a simple promise. if you like your plan, you can keep your plan. if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. after millions of americans received notices that their plans were being canceled, the president was forced to it knowledge just how misleading he had been. apologized for his misled -- sorry, the president apologized for people who he misled by his claim and found themselves in difficult circumstances.
the quote is, "i am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me ." we have got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them. we are going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in tough positions as a consequence of this. is mounting evidence that the president our second promise is also untrue. americans cannot keep the plan they like, they cannot keep the doctor they like and it is increasingly clear that more needs to be done to keep the president's assurance that we will do for folks everything we can.
americans deserve to hear the truth. the administration has been stringing them along with promises that every day are being broken. any of these promises were predictable. many of these occurrences cannot be reversed. to the extent that we can bring the american people the truth of what is happening and reverse in any case we can the lowering of access to care, we must do it. initially, in minnesota for example, the mayo clinic was only going to be open for people virtually within walking distance. now it is open because of the backlash to at least people in minnesota. as a californian, the ability to get reimbursed on the california exchange for the mayo clinic does not exist. this is true throughout the country. just last month, thousands of doctors were terminated from
medicare advantage plan networks 2250 in connecticut alone. thousands of seniors are facing the loss of physicians they relied and trusted. in florida, there are areas in forh no oncologist exists patients who currently have life-threatening cancer. many americans who were shopping for plans on the obamacare or affordable care exchanges have found that they offer extremely limited provider networks that exclude their preferred physicians. physicians who they have built relationships with. many parents are finding out that their child, their child's pediatrician is no longer covered by their insurance plan. we now know that exchange plans exclude our nation's best hospitals, hospitals like
seattle's children's sloan- kettering, the anderson cancer center and the like. millions of americans are likely to find out early next year that their new health insurance plan doesn't cover the doctors who they most value and trust. demand that plans we ask the question, what quality of care will obamacare actually provide? has promptedock many americans to ask, didn't the president promised me that i could keep my doctor? on november 19, the white house press secretary explained that the president meant by that, you can keep your doctor, was that if you want coverage from your doctor, you can look and see if they are on your plan -- excuse in see if there is a plan
which your doctor participates. of federal the case and state exchanges, it is unlikely that the best and perhaps most expensive physicians will ever be available. sunday, a key architect of the law explained, if you like your doctor, you can pay more for that dr.. before the affordable care act was passed, you had that right and you have the right to pick a plan that suited you and paid for that dr.. essence, the public is now being told, if you like your doctor, then you can try to find a plan that carries them and then you can pay more for that plan but you are already paying more for plans that include items you don't want, items you
didn't need and likely will not need. this is so unacceptable to the american people that there is no question both through public polls and, if you will even by democrats no longer counting the main benefit of the affordable care act being the improvement of affordability of health care, there is no doubt that if you pass this bill again, you couldn't pass it in this congress. even if you had not read it and you knew what was going to happen, you would not vote for it. when our government including congress passed this law, we have a solemn duty to honestly inform the american people of what is going to happen. in this case, clearly the american people were misled. this duty is no more solemn when it affects americans' relationships with their physicians. that is a sacred trust.
it is the most important thing in the life or death situation to many americans. it is a trust that has been broken. today we will hear testimony from experts at think tanks and institutions. they will be on our second panel. we have concluded that the first panel should include three doctors who have actual life experience practicing with patients and realizing what can or cannot be done, what should or should not be done and direct experience of what is happening under the affordable care act -- not just to their practices which are businesses, but to their patients who are human beings in need of their care. testimony from these physicians will describe the most candid and personal terms exactly how the affordable care act, or obamacare, has effected the patients and the practices. i'm sure they