tv Washingep ge t Qek CSPAN December 28, 2013 2:00pm-4:01pm EST
donors. from everything that i know it has been very much and on- , off, the tap is on, the tap is off. the private donors have not stopped, and when you are building a military board you need consistency. these guys have been elemental in building these groups. >> so your paper that you wrote is very much about the sunni fundraisers in kuwait in sending money, primarily because they are the most public about it. but the shia private citizens in the gulf are also raising money, too, and i know it was not the subject of your paper, but i wonder if you caught a glance of any of it and what your thoughts are about it. >> this is something that really needs to be further investigated, and i would like to in the future -- i kept hearing when i went to kuwait, it is not just the sunnis, it is also the shias that are raising money, and i could not find any
evidence of it. on the last trip i found evidence, a number of videos that i do believe it is going on, and i believe it could be a significant amount of money. basically, the shia community in kuwait is very small and i do not want to say it is particularly insular, but it is an extremely strong community. i believe the way the fundraising is happening is much more private, gatherings in homes, personal connections. one businessman will call his friend and say, we need to do this to support our brothers in syria. much more quieter. it is notable that a number of the most prominent businessmen in kuwait who are shia also have very significant foreign investment in syria. they have both a personal stake and a business date and the maintenance of the status quo.
this goes a long way to explaining at least some of the cash flows that i believe are moving. this funding, at least what i have so far sort of tapped into, like the sunni side, and i want to stress this, is equally sectarian in nature in its rhetoric. i do not see an angel here. both sides are employing rhetoric that is truly despicable and it is demeaning to other people who live in their own countries. >> right, and that is the final question i want as before i turn to kristin. what risk is there to gulf societies and particularly to kuwait of allowing this kind of sectarian activism -- even though it is being aimed abroad what risk is there? >> i think it is a great risk. it would be naïve to think that people are so actively involved in can really be kept out of
kuwait's borders. and i do not think it will come in ways that we would recognize as armed conflicts, but i think there is a growing tension between the communities in kuwait, and people i speak from the shia community say they are scared what is going to happen to us, we are scared from retribution. on the sunni side was a similar thing -- the shia are going to attack us -- and this kind of rhetoric is very strange to hear in kuwait and it is extremely diverse. it is a messy society, as every society is, but you did not hear these direct topics in the past, -- conflicts in the past, and they have been exacerbated by people's involvement. >> kristin, can you give us a sense of the political and the
social context for this kind of fundraising? why is it happening now? is it different than the kind of sectarian activism you might have seen in the 1990's or 2000's? >> i enjoy reading all of her work. it was exceptional, and a lot of things i will be getting to is covering ground in her report. one thing i think is worth amplifying is that kuwaitis are -- kuwait has historically served as a center for fundraising. that has been there for a long time. the reason is kuwait is pretty -- really rich. not only that it is rich, but it has been rich for a long time. kuwaitis have a lot of wealth, and the personal fundraising, you go where the money is.
the first rule of fundraising is you go where the money is. in addition to being wealthy, kuwait has a long history of civic activism. the political space to do that goes way back to the 1930's when kuwait was the first government in the gulf to have an elected parliament. later they were able to work with creating a constitution that allowed a strong parliament, a parliament that, i think, has an impact. it is not a fake parliament. it can affect things. all that means is there is a lot of space for organization. you have had islamic organizations organizing in kuwait a long time. you had people in the 1950's creating social reform societies.
salfi movements came early to kuwait. extensive networks of charities. i was impressed when i was in kuwait in the late 1990's just a pervasiveness of collecting money at that time. any store you went into would be collecting money. there were kiosks in the streets collecting money for different causes. i will never forget this one important society having this huge sign written in blood across the top of it saying "chechnya." it was this impressive, bloody sign. not only do they have these charities, but they have networks. they have been collecting money for charitable purposes, and have experience both in afghanistan, chechnya, and in bosnia in collecting money as well for more militant causes. i think what struck me when i
read over this report is that when you look at who is giving money, and the ones that are funding the jihadists, it is not so much the main presence, the one you would think of initially. i know the names of all the muslim brotherhood charities in kuwait. they are not the ones giving money. they are giving humanitarian aid. they are not the ones doing this thing. even some of the main selafi ones are not showing up as much. one of the changes we are seeing is the changes across the reason that comes from the media and the empowerment that individuals get from things like twitter so you have individuals that are able -- well-respected sheiks that have been talking about international causes.
especially the sectarian issue this goes back to iraq as well. , and a lot of that came in with what was happening in the iraq in the security community, to reach out and collect money their way. that is really different. it is not coming from the state institutions so much, but from individuals that have been able to find support through these mechanisms. >> elizabeth mentioned in her report that a lot of the fundraising right now is taking place among the selafi community. would you talk about the selafi community in kuwait, and a number of its members are in parliament and have a strong voice in opposition to the royal family and how that might complicate the government efforts to rein in the sort of fundraising. >> the selafi movement is very strong, deep, and internationally connected.
there's always been a connection between that in kuwait and in saudi arabia, so that you had at certain times very influential sheiks that were in saudi arabia that had trouble with the saudi arabian government, you had this long flow of both people and of ideas floating across the globe, particularly kuwait being strong as a center for that, because it was open and provided a place of refuge who are having trouble elsewhere. what this means is kuwait has all the different versions of selafism you would find anywhere. you have selafi movements that would be pro-monarchy, pro-saudi monarchy, and related to movements like that. you have oppositional movements. you have new movements that are trying to infuse selafism with
ideas of democracy. all these elements are present. at the same time, because of the presence of the parliament, you have selafi people who have been able to get into parliament. they have been able to get a strong presence there. you have sympathy for selafi movements for the tribal areas of kuwait who have been growing in influence. they are able to use their presence in the parliament for putting pressure on the ruling family. what i thought was interesting is if you look at the names of the people that have been most significant in the fundraising for syria, these are not people that have run across in kuwait, in the kuwaiti parliament, and they are not showing up in the kuwaiti parliament, and are even speaking about domestic kuwaiti politics. i have been watching the oppositional politics, and this is not people who have come up. there is a difference between
some of the selafi movements that are engaged in international issues, independent sheiks, and those that are working on the sectarian issues and looking at iran and these kinds of things among those sorts of issues, rather than playing the domestic kuwaiti politics. >> can you talk about beth's point, the reason she titled it "playing with fire," that this risks stirring up sectarian tension at home? do you think that is true, and do you think it is happening, or will it happen soon as a result of it? >> it is certainly happening, and i think it started before it started happening. a lot of that language coming after the iraq war. you had a lot of sunnis they came to qatar and kuwait at the
time that were displaced in the sectarian conflicts that had happened in iraq, and i think they had a lot of influence in importing this more sectarian view. kuwait has open politics. there is a little competition among the communities. at the same time you had political blocs in the parliament that were made of sunnis and shia and one example, this bloc broke down in the middle of this issue over the rules of the escalation of what was happening in iraq and hezbollah when some of them parliamentarians showed their support for them, and the bloc could not hold together anymore, which tells you how the sectarian politics of the region are becoming much more prominent in kuwait. syria takes that to a much
higher level because now you have a conflict, with has -- especially with hezbollah entering into the conflict, where everyone has their players, and a lot of the views -- fears that were built up from the iraq war about shia looking at the rise of selafis, selafi rhetoric, and from the sunni side, looking at iran, the power, the goals, they have their own actors. look at hezbollah. they were able to act into another foreign setting. it is just as these peers on -- these fears both sides are coming together. i think the problem in kuwait is it is one thing that i love about kuwait is the politics are , much more open, but it also allows the space for that much more sectarian rhetoric and competitive politics to come out in the open. >> thank you.
i want to turn to you now and talk about kuwait's counter- threat financing laws. one of the points that it makes up and points out in her paper is that kuwait became attractive as a hub for this kind of private fundraising because its laws are particularly lax. can you talk about that? can you put kuwait's laws into context? are they particularly lax? add myuld like to congratulations to beth on the paper. i think to answer that question you need to go back to 1989. it won't take long to get to the present day. in 1989, the financial action task force was set up and it was set up to counter money laundering as a function from -- of the narcotics trade from latin america. fast-forward to 9/11, and one of the things that is often
overlooked is the first shot in the global war on terror was fired by the administration was a financial shot, an executive order, 13224, which put in place the option for the u.s. to sanction organizations that were deemed to be financing terrorist organizations. at the same time, atf was told they need to come up with an addition to your money laundering regulations and guidelines that addresses terror financing. from that moment on, the countries around the world were monitored by atf and imf to determine the extent of their implementation of these recommendations where appropriate, and they were doing their utmost to counterterrorist financing. and these mutual evaluations are conducted on a regular basis. the most recent evaluation of kuwait was done in 2010.
it is sad to say kuwait was not -- it is fair to say kuwait was not doing a good job, and if you look at the wikileaks cables from around that time, you can see the u.s. administration was frustrated by the lack of progress kuwait was making. the report at that time highlighted many shortcomings with the legal and the law enforcement framework for capturing terrorist finance, -- countering terrorist finance poor level of preventative , measures, etc., etc., etc., and from another perspective, there were at that time 49 different elements that the atf review, and they fall into four categories. 37 of the 49 categories were rated noncompliant or only partially applied by atf. -- partially compliant. that is a 75% failure rate. >> how does that compare with other gulf countries? >> during the time between 9/11
and 2010, other countries made terrific efforts on the ground -- to make up the ground that was felt should be made up, and if you look at the noncompliance and high-risk jurisdiction risk, kuwait is notable for still being on the list and is in the company of countries it would not like to be with. in 2012, kuwait made a concerted effort to try to make up for these deficiencies, and there is now the law that beth referred to, setting up a financial intelligence unit, but this is stuff other countries did many years ago, and i think there is still some frustration that these issues have not yet been addressed. even if laws are put in place and it is announced that things will happen, whether the there is enforcement on whether the rules are used dealing with illicit finance, and whether you
can even use them -- is what is being conducted in kuwait actually terrorist finance? whether those are actually used or not is an entirely different matter, and we have also talked about the way in which politics works in kuwait, which may not favor implementing and enforcing those relations. >> that was my question, is that it seems to me a lot of the fundraising that beth talks about in her paper -- you cannot properly construe it as financing for terrorist organizations, because a lot of the groups in syria have not been designated. most of this money is not going to save a front, for example. what tools then does the international community and kuwait have for curbing some of this funding if they feel that it needs to be curbed for one reason or another?
is it possible to curb it under the rubric of countering threat financing, and that is so focused on terrorist organizations? >> i think it is difficult. there is a hard way and then a soft way. the hard way clearly, if one can prove that money is going to organizations that are designated, then the steps can be taken which, as most recently yesterday, suffer taken by the -- steps were taken by the treasury by designating individuals not from kuwait, but who were providing financing to designated organizations. there is an alternative way, and that is that financial institutions are very concerned about their reputation and about being tainted by anything which would damage their reputation. so whilst you may not be able to directly target individuals transferring money and you would rather they did not, you can let it be know that these individuals are perhaps not
doing what you would like to be done, and you will very quickly find the services they receive from banks, etc., will start to be withdrawn. that will not cut the funds per se, but will potentially inject a fear factor which might make them think twice before continuing to do what they are doing. >> has that ever worked anywhere? >> it has. if you look in the time after 9/11, saudi arabia effectively curtailed the donations that were going on, combined with the fact that a lot of those kinds of donors felt that the cause in which they were donating money was not going so well in afghanistan. but then something might happen which turns the tide of sympathy or puts forward a cause celeb to donate money to, so you saw a situation in iraq where the documents were found where core
al qaeda writing to a colleague, we're having trouble with money, would you mind sending us a hundred grand? he was effectively raising money for his cause in iraq at that time. it is possible to use soft pressure, but it will require the kuwaitis to perhaps be more aggressive than they might want to be with these individuals. >> thank you very much. we will open it up for questions that. we have mikes around the room. if you would just wait for the microphone to come to you. over there. >> thank you. good afternoon. i'm with the european council on foreign relations. thank you very much for the paper.
it is very interesting, and i'm curious as to whether you or any of the panelists have looked at how the creation of the islamic fronts and the attempt to kind of bring these groups under one operating banner, even that the military councils have -- they basically do not work anymore -- but do you think this is going to in some way extend this -- stem this competing competition from competing donors? there is an open question of governments in the gulf about the behavior of their citizens. i am wondering what your thoughts are on that. i know it is not at the top of your core focus of research, but is there any refection on how this kind of proliferation of arms and militias in a country like syria ultimately affects what happens there in the long term? we have seen the world has seen what kind of an impact it has had, but is there consideration that this might come to more harm than good? there's no clear way of understanding where the money flow is going. the most destructive groups certainly are not getting tons
of gulf money. they can still do a lot of damage. if you could reflect on some of those points. >> on the islamic front, i was looking at this the last few days. a lot of kuwaiti backers have come out in support of the islamic front, but i suspect what we will see is everyone is equal, but some rebel grades are more equal than others situations. for example, i think all they are under the same umbrella, but some groups will receive better funding, particularly, for some of these individuals in other brigades. i would not expect -- i do not know, i cannot predict the future -- i would expect these donors to change their financing in any way. i would not expect the donors to change their financing in any way. i expect them to continue to continue in the networks they have established and work, and those groups will it didn't work
-- will continue to work together. >> have they reacted to the formation of the -- >> yes, they have. one of the most prominent donors has come out in support publicly of the islamic front. we have seen these alliances in the past. this seems to be different because it is weaker and it -- it is bigger and seems has a bit more coherence. for example, there is no evidence he was involved in brokering arrangements between individual donor groups at different points in time. the big question is whether this alliance is different from other alliances and has any holding pattern. yeah, i would not expect the funding pattern to change. in terms of your credit about -- regret about what this candidates are in the future, -- what this could do to syria in the future this is one of the
, reasons broad-scale funding in kuwait has dropped off. if you look, those of you who have the report, there is a quotation on the first page from someone who raised money for the moderate brigade, and he was lamenting the fact that basically his another support has gone in so many different directions that it has destroyed the opposition by making them totally incoherent and unable to work together. >> a question in the back? >> i am a syrian journalist. i just recently came back from the hamah area. most of this funding is not for weapons, because i see the kuwaiti and saudi things arrive in syria, mostly clothes, not weapons.
at least my experience, between aleppo and hamah province, most of these are from the syrian army. most of the sophisticated ones even. really, you cannot talk about favoring this group or that, because one example that, when the headquarter, we need weapons, they refuse to give them. then suddenly they overtook their headquarters. what i am saying is that they refuse to give them, even if they wanted weapons, mostly from qatar, but not saudi arabia publicly and not kuwait. we have so much propaganda from the other side saying the gulf countries are giving, the head of intelligence is giving, and
stories -- all lies. nothing of the weapons is from the syrian army. -- most of the weapons are from the syrian army. >> no, i appreciate you making this point, and i would emphasize again just how much you military and aid the kuwaitis are doing, how much work they are doing, and these charities are doing for -- they are the unsung hero of the humanitarian crisis in syria. over and over again, the kuwaitis are the ones that are the first donor in every case or humanitarian work. i think there is an aspect -- i mentioned one example -- where do you draw the line on this? if you are supporting a hospital that is run by particular brigade, is it humanitarian aid , does it have a lethal component? it is a spectrum, not black and white. you raised a question that makes
this so complicated, and this money does go to things that are very much needed on the ground. these rebel grades -- brigades understand if they are controlling an area, that is the bakery, the hospital, and means providing for the people. these groups are the only people that have access to that area. i appreciate your point. >> i would also add the paper was not about states and the sending of assistance, but private individuals, and a lot of the assistance for weapons comes in the form of money. so the groups on the ground can then buy the weapons they need, whether they do deals with some low-level guy in the syrian army or whether they go across the border to buy the weapons, crates full of weapons are not showing up, the money is. tom? did you have a point? >> i am in touch with a guy who does this kind of fundraising, and clearly people give money for specific kinds of weapons.
in one case in kuwait, where the aim was to raise money for shoulder launched antiaircraft missiles as much as possible, $75,000, they raised enough money for 11 -- and there was a certain amount of bidding going on among the high-profile individuals. that kind of attitude. i do not dispute anything you say, but i think money is given specifically for purchasing weapons and trade where does weapons come from, i do not know. >> ma'am, do you have a question here? >> i am with the wilson center. there was a report this week about 10 kuwaiti shias were killed in syria.
they were working with hezbollah. i was wondering if you can elaborate about that, what the shia community in kuwait is doing for hezbollah and in syria, and what kind of funding fighting with the syrian regime and that? to comment on what the man just said, and i agree with him, there is a fear now when you concentrate on the issue like this, without making a distinction, and i thank you for making the distinction between the organizations that are helping and the ones who are buying weapons and raising money for weapons, you will eventually have a fear that the government of kuwait now will crack down on these people and then the syrian people on the ground are going to suffer. thank you. >> so, on the shiite angle, i do not know much more than i have already said. this is something that i would
like to look into further. it is clear fundraising is happening. i do not know the extent, but it is comparable on what is happening on the sunni side in amounts of money. kristen, maybe you can help, but i believe there is long-standing historical ties between and support for hezbollah in the shiite community that could be tapped into in those networks. i have seen lots of reports of both sunni and shiite kuwaitis going there to fight. but i do not have anything confirmed. >> i do not have any specifics on what is happening now, but this situation in the shia community parallels that in the sunni community. the shia community in kuwait was also a real center for activist shiism, especially across the gulf. you had some very prominent activists that came from iraq
that settled in kuwait and are based there and had influence throughout the entire gulf. some of them were linking into syria as well. those were parlayed into business contacts. you have activist communities. at a higher level, you had businessman working with the government. that is when they had money and were looking to invest abroad. those relationships were established and can be instrumental iced. >> beth, on the second question about good funding versus bad funding -- can you talk to me about what saudia arabia has attempted to do -- there has been a lot of fundraising for humanitarian relief for syria in saudi arabia. but they have also attended to -- attempted to crack down on this other kind. can you talk about that? >> this is a great example, because -- i mean, across the
gulf, the syrian crisis has really struck a chord with people. that is because it is such a terrible conflict humanitarian- wise, and people feel very close to it because of images on youtube and twitter. there are a lot of familial ties so it is a personal conflict for people in the gulf. every gulf country government has realized that their population is deeply motivated to help the syrian people. saudi arabia has taken a very interesting strategy to channel all of that relief into one public campaign. so they have this gigantic telethon. they got religious establishments involved and the charities involved. they got the tv networks. everybody was giving to this one pot. i think this is their way of sort of channeling those emotional responses and a very sincere desire to help.
one way they could use for humanitarian purposes that was a bit more controlled. so anyone who was trying to do fundraising outside of that umbrella was asked to join that umbrella in sort of an inclusive way. then the saudi government through the saudi red cross would use that for humanitarian work. the uae has done something similar with the uae red cross. -- red crescent. gulf countries understand that their citizens want to help, so i think they have taken these strategies as sort of a way to turn that into really active philanthropy. >> there is a sort of bigger picture issue here as well. recommendations from the financial actions task force. one of those is a specific recommendation that indicates that charities, ngo's, are deemed to be a vulnerability.
things like the proceeds you are talking about may be driven by the fact that actually controlling where moneys are going -- not just where they are going but where they are being received from, it is something that the global finance community looks at very closely. there are unintended consequences of that. actually monitoring where charitable donations are going, where they are being transferred to, is viewed by many people as a vulnerability. so trying to control that or corral that to make that go through safe corridors is something countries are heavily incentivized to do if they want a clean bill of health from the fatf. >> another question. >> thank you. i'm with the iraqi embassy. thanks for such a very informative panel.
they really are very informative. before the question, maybe a little bit of personal experience on what an insurgency is. when i was young and crazy, i was part of the 1991 uprising in iraq. we did control 14 out of 18 provinces in iraq. our problems involved more support. so there is more to supporting an insurgency than just buying them weapons. there is much more. so the gentleman does have a point, yes, a lot of the weapons are captured. that we did in 1991. they were from the army. but there is more to supporting an insurgency than that. this money can go to a lot of nonlethal, non-weapon to combat it is certainly in support of the insurgency. it is very hard to draw the line in countries like the gulf
states between what is private and what is public in what state involvement is. you already eluded to the fact that some parliamentarians were supportive, and there are people who either went to syria -- my question to the panel is about the attitude of the kuwaiti government. the kuwaiti government is less sanguine when talking about the saudis or the qataris, but what is happening in kuwait is a natural structural problem, the people who are fundraising using the system against the government and using the marginal freedom that is relatively larger than others. no structure put in place to comply. or is it that there is some complicity at this level by looking the other way?
is it that rather than just structural failure? i would be interested to hear the panel's view. thank you very much again. >> i do think that the kuwaiti government is aware that this is going on. they may not know the extent of it. i do not know how deeply -- it may be a case of not wanting to look at it, but they certainly know that it is going on. i can say that with near certainty. i will give you an example of one of the ways it has been difficult for kuwait to do anything about it. one of the complications is that a lot of people involved are politically important at the moment. one particular individual that you mentioned is the former parliamentarian, and on twitter he said let's get people to the streets. there would be 10,000 people in kuwait city tomorrow. that sort of person for the kuwaiti government is particularly difficult.
there is one example i thought was very telling. there was a great story about two different fundraising events that were held. one was held with the presence of one of these mp's that was part of the syrian opposition, and there was another one without the mp. they were both in public. the one without the mp was broken up by police easily. the one with the mp was not touched or police came but it was too complicated and they do not break it. the way they look at the mp's sort of as a political cover, a way for them to have more space to operate. even if the mp's themselves are not raising a lot of money, they are providing space for other people to raise money and creating a huge headache for the kuwaiti government. >> particularly in that time of 2012, this was a time of really
brought opposition activity eco- -- brought opposition activity -- very broad opposition activity in kuwait. you had the opposition at the time taking a majority of the parliament in one election and threatening to be able to constrain the ruling family in new ways. some people were calling for a particular parliamentary monarchy and having the parliament be able to choose the prime minister. it was not a completely empty threat at the time. of course, a lot of these parliamentarians and are now former parliamentarians because those mp's are out of politics because they lost the game against the government. in 2012, there was a vulnerability for the government and pushing against the opposition that was very insurgent at the time. -- resurgent at the time. and they particular vulnerability is because you had a lot of youth-let politics coming from the streets. they cannot even negotiate with
the mp's because the mp's themselves were not controlling everything. there was new tribal politics of the government was not controlling well at the time either. and because a lot of these tribal areas that had been very loyal to the government before were turning oppositional, the politics of it meant the government was reliant on the shia political blocs to keep their political position. and everybody knew this. it led for sort of a natural inclination for conspiracy theory, something that this government is too close to the shia. the former prime minister was unpopular and had been ambassador to iran. so there was a perception that they were close to the shia. this made -- even where you see the president of the united states have vulnerabilities. something in kuwait, they did not want to take on some of these groups on what was a popular issue at the time of
syria giving support to syrians. they did not want to look like they were acting as another faction in the community. i do not know anything about this, but there has been a lot of ruling family factionalism in kuwait and competition within the ruling family. i have no idea how this plays out or enters into the syrian issue. at least there is the potential that, again, what has been a popular issue in the past coming out in a position that is unpopular may be plagued against -- played against you within the ruling family. one thing that is interesting to think about though is the height of this is sort of passed now and the ruling family has a lot more influence right now and seems to be able to kind of control this. a lot of the ways they actually got more of the public coming back in sympathy to their position is because how bad things were going in syria and because of the fears that kuwaitis had that this was going to be imported into kuwait.
they started to think that the sectarian rhetoric was getting too hot. so the message became very resonant for a lot of the public. that might give a little bit more space for the kuwaiti government to do a little bit more on these issues now. >> tom? >> obviously, it is not just the donors raising the money, but within the establishment, within the mosques, etc. i would imagine going against the organizations is extremely difficult for the authorities. that is one of the questions that comes up regularly -- how should these pots of money be controlled, distributed, and in different countries? >> thank you. question? >> thanks very much. i write to the mitchell report.
i want to take it back to your title, which i assume was not a casual decision. playing with fire with financing, risks igniting sectarian conflict at home. it is sort of a two-part question. where is home? what is the real danger that you see here? is it -- and i do not mean to underplay this, is it simply about syria and what is going on in kuwait or is it something larger about a trend that perhaps this identifies about the role of big money in big conflicts? as i have listened to the conversation today, have gone
back and forth between sort of this is the way it should be but it does not sound like the world, and then i come back to the title of playing with fire and igniting sectarian conflict at home. and i say, maybe i am not hearing something i should. i would love to get some clarification there. listening to his sort of reminds me of the angst that we express here at home about the role of outside money and big money in our electoral politics. if you could expand on that, that would be helpful. >> yeah, the thing that scares me most thinking about this and the impact that it will have -- by home, i guess i meant kuwait. more broadly, the gulf. that was a geographical reference. the thing that scares me the most is i fear that what is happening with the donor community now is just the beginning of the birth of a new
network of extremist funders that will not disappear easily or willingly. these networks probably existed in the past. i know that they have expanded during the syrian conflict because there are new act ors that are known to be new in the donor community and that have established new networks. these networks extend far into saudi arabia, qatar, bahrain. these are groups in the have access to one another eco-an -- these are groups that have access to one another in an instantaneous and easy to access in an instantaneous and easy to access way. they can talk to each other online. these are not networks that are going to be quashed easily. the longer the syrian conflict goes on, the more entrenched those networks get, the bigger they get, and the more extreme they get. because watching the conflict in syria does not privilege
moderate ideologies. it privileges ideologies that take an extreme interpretation of the events that are happening because they are just so graphic. that is my biggest fear. when i am mapping the social networks of these donors, which thanks to social media we can now sort of instantaneously do, i can map this to bahrain. i can show you how the salafi communities in bahrain are connected to the salafi communities in kuwait. those are connected to communities in qatar. i can show your picture of a qatari and kuwaiti donor that are in syria together having raised money through kuwait. these are networks that are not going to disappear. >> ok, thank you. a question in the back. >> i am from the syrian support group. elizabeth, thank you. my question is about the story during your section. you said there was a public
fight on twitter between two donors. under islamic front, they started consolidating. they took over the warehouses. they started setting their command structure in stone. at the very top, the military head and political head. i wonder if there is an end to that story and eventually they worked it out, and now the two leaders are working closely together -- i just wonder what happened there. >> yeah, i do not know if it was like a meeting and they shook hands and had tea and everything was better. they both came under a lot of flack for that and they sort of backed off from their positions. day, this is the
an opportunistic alliance. hopefully it has more staying power in the sense that it would give a lot more coherence to the very important question -- who is the syrian opposition? because up until now we have not been able to answer that question in a coherent way. this allows us to do that. maybe it is a positive thing. but i hesitate to think that that alliance is, in its current form, anything more than an opportunistic group of brigades that have decided to work together and pool their efforts. >> more questions? >> hi, sally. i have a hypothetical question. a lot of people have become more pessimistic about the possibility for successful geneva convention and seem more -- see a more likely scenario being a fractured syria. i was wondering what you thought
this impact would have on the donors in the gulf, whether they would stop sending as much funds or whether it would increase the divisions among different donors? >> i do not honestly have a lot i can add except to say that all the donors that i am aware of have stressed the need for the structural integrity of syria. that is something the gulf countries have also emphasized. i do not imagine they would take kindly to the fracturing syria. i do not imagine they would stop fighting if that took place. >> a question over here. >> hello, thank you for this. i have a quick question. you touch based on the role of turkey with the money transfers, donors transferring money to syria through turkey.
i know they are two separate issues. legal if money is going andelp the syrian refugees the others to provide weapons. know that these groups are providing shotguns from turkey and funneling these shotguns to syria -- is there any role of this money in this trade? what kind of transactions are, in terms of the money transfers to turkey? >> i do not know of any role of turkey in terms of the money transfers. that is if you are talking about exchange houses. the role in turkey and the financial movement that i am aware of is in terms of cash.
the easiest ways to go in and out of syria is the turkish border with syria, northern syria. it is the cash money that would be moved to turkey and then literally sort of walked over the border by one of these guys. that is the involvement that i am aware of from turkey. i personally do not report on turkey, so i do not know the specifics. from my reporter colleagues, i know that the border has become sort of a wild wild west. there are shops set up with military fatigues, and i think you have a good story. >> yes. two comments on turkey. first, an anecdote. this chap i know works for an ngo and he was telling me how he goes to instanbul to buy suitcases to carry cash down to the border. coming back to turkey, it is in an interesting position because
turkey was another country that was under treasure from fatf to -- under pressure from fatf to upgrade its compliance with that regime. i think turkey demonstrates to some extent how much power these recommendations have. because if you read some of the reports from the credit rating agencies, fitch referred to the fact had turkey not cleared its name, then they may have downgraded its credit rating because being blacklisted or gray listed from the fatf would make it difficult to borrow from foreign markets. this is quite closely linked together. i think what happens in turkey will be interesting to watch, and the authorities there should be aware of the extent to where to which -- to which they are facilitating that money moving.
>>: the second. wait for the microphone. inin the latest meeting october, they refuse to deal with turkey on these concerns. was syria part of the decision? >> i have no idea how they make their decisions. >> 36 members -- there are 11 countries including yemen, kuwait, etc. the u.s. administration objected and the other 36 members rejected the request. i'm wondering if syria was not a factor in this decision. >> i do not know. >> we are getting near the end. i would like to ask you last question, mainly to beth and tom. kristin, if you have an opinion,
feel free to jump in. i am sure those on the panel now and many in the room know that the general mood in d.c. is that this is not a conflict that we should be involved in. there is nothing we can do to really affect the course of it. i want to talk about that move specifically with reference to this foreign funding issue. i think a number of people will read your report, beth, and say, well, look, the united states could have done everything to fill this vacuum and provide assistance in syria and these folks in kuwait would have still raised the same amount of money and would still be sending it there. and even if we wanted to do something about it, there not really anything you can do. if you talk to u.s. officials, and i have in the past, although i understand there has been a
change of attitude, but in the past officials would say -- what can you do? it is just such a messy problem. we do not really have the leverage to do anything. i wonder if you can address that? >> [laughs] >> let me give you the european perspective. there is a very significant concern in europe about the blowback effect of the conflict in syria. as people do more and more research, it is becoming clear that a number of people choosing to travel from european countries to syria is quite considerable. money is clearly involved. who is paying them to travel to syria and who is financing once they get there -- i personally think that money, like many things, is at the center of this. i think trying to address the
financing, and this is not all through kuwait, but trying to deal with the finance issue is important. the numbers are increasing dramatically. if you look at a small country like belgium, the number of people from belgium going to syria, there is a big problem brewing. as there is in the u.k. i think it is important. it is difficult to get your arms around it. but without money, i think the general view is perhaps there would be less willingness for that travel. from the european perspective, that is probably the most interesting thing. >> i guess i would go back to a conversation i had at the end of 2012 during a conference in doha meant to try to unify the fractioned syrian opposition. i remember specifically talking to one of the local military guys that had been brought into the conference.
i remember talking to him and he was basically sort of making his case, pleading -- please, the fighters on the ground are living such a hand to mouth existence at this point that any funding will sway them this way or that way. i do think that there was something to that. the amount of money that we are estimating being talked about, hundreds of millions of dollars, that would be very easily outweighed by any sort of one major donation from be at the west or if the gulf decided to actually get their act together and really sort of, in a clear way, help the opposition rather than just individual parts of it. i think there was a moment perhaps when unified support could have brought the opposition together, but i now think that moment has passed.
i am not convinced anymore that western support would be able to unify the opposition given how fractious it has become. it basically leaves us in a position where i do not know what can undo the damage that has been done up to this point in terms of creating a coherent syrian opposition. i do think that getting the gulf countries on board the project of unifying some sort of syrian opposition would be a positive thing. i think the gulf countries are extremely important in getting any successful geneva discussion moving forward. we talk a lot -- is the regime going to attend geneva? are the rebels going to attend? how about saudi arabia? is saudi arabia going to attend geneva? to me, that seems like an equally important question and maybe one where we can have a little bit more influence.
yeah, i think the u.s. missed its moment. >> tom? >> one follow-on. you have to ask yourself the question -- where would the money come from if it did not come from where it is coming from? if you look at north africa, the answer is probably kidnap for ransom. even if we address the flows of money that are traveling at the moment, maybe we open a separate can of worms. >> i am somebody who thinks there has been too much involvement in the region. i can understand the desire to >> i can understand the desire to pull back. it is easy to revisit this and see it as an indictment of u.s. policy. if the u.s. were playing a much stronger leadership role -- this
result we get is what you get from the u.s. not being very strongly a presence in organizing and taking a leadership role in syria, not leather we should've taken that leadership -- whether we should've taken that leadership role or not, i'm not sure yet. i hope policymakers are thinking about this. the gulf states have shown they're going to step up. in the case and point, it's not even a state we are talking about. surprising actors can have a really big effect. regardless of what our policy on syria is going to be, this is a good case study for thinking about how the u.s. is going to play this role, what role we can play in between not doing much of anything and not playing and all in role, but how can we start to manage and work through
some of these real outcomes that come when we are not playing that strong role. i hope we don't sort of leave everything to chance. >> thank you all very much for excellent panel. i hope you will join me in thanking them. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> we will continue the discussion on syria and other potential military hotspots like afghanistan and iran tomorrow on "washington journal." our guest will be carlo munoz. by author andned george mason university presidential historian richard norton smith. "washington journal geek alive every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span --
atrnal," alive every morning 7:00 a.m. eastern here at c- span. >> putting you in the room at weiss have have -- white house e vents. a public service of private industry. c-span, created by the cable tv industry and funded by her local cable or satellite provider. and now you can watch us in hd. next on c-span, our year in review looks at the federal budget and government shutdown, followed by a senate congress committee hearing on marketing consumer information. talk, members of congress about the need for more women in congress. >> the beginning of october 2013 was a perfect storm of politics and policy with implementation of many elements of the health care law and the beginning of
the new fiscal year. there was a 16 day government shutdown as a result. on the next hour of c-span's year in review, we bring you some floor debates. we show you senator ted cruz of texas and his filibuster in the u.s. senate. we will begin with a conversation with a woman who covers issues on political hill. how did the health-care lobby, become this linchpin for -- at least on the house side -- for the shutdown in october? >> that was a big part of this year. republicans have tried multiple times to stop delay, or defund president obama's health care law. with the website was coming online, the health care exchange coming online. it was there last best effort to try to prevent the affordable
care act from coming to fruition. they saw the government spending bill as the best vehicle as her -- vehicle, the last best chance to make a stand. they did. >> this is a continuing resolution to keep the government funded until the new fiscal year. >> exactly. there have been some of the disagreements over how to fund the government. this has been a long-running difference of opinion over what level to fund government at and how far to cut back in different programs. they're unable to resolve that. they decided to punt. this is a fairly routine bill. >> and that political stand was
to delay the implementation of part of the health care law. when october 1 came around, republicans kept trying different tactics to change the health care law. is that correct? any traction in the senate? >> that is a good question. in the senate, it was interesting. you saw senator ted cruz from texas make a stand. he engaged in this long filibuster campaign. that strategy was something that house republicans latched onto. speaker john boehner and others thought that it was not going to be a winning strategy. you have divided government right now. even if it could pass out of congress, which seemed unlikely, the law would be defunded or delayed, president obama would probably never signed that kind of a bill.
it was a strategy without a complete end to accomplish the goal. >> you mentioned house and republicans couldn't agree on spending. you mentioned the two parties. they started introducing many appropriations bills. funding veterans programs and the national parks. why did they try to go that route? >> as much as people love or hate the government, shutting down national parks and routine government services was not popular. workers are getting furloughed. it is having an economic hit. people can't come to the national mall to see the museums or go to the national parks or have family vacations. what the house decided to start
doing was pass as many appropriations bills. let's fund the part of the government that provides money for veterans national park service. -- affairs or the national park service. small, individual bills that would be difficult for democrats to vote against. it was difficult for them to vote against it. many voted for them. you see these bipartisan votes coming over. it was one after the other everyday during the shutdown. harry reid let them sit because democrats were not willing to play that sort of strategy. they thought it would be better to let the shutdown work its course -- they thought he would be better to let the shutdown work its course. >> some of the house floor debate and comments from the
president ahead of the shutdown. this is late in september. [video clip] >> millions of americans across the country are struggling to find good paying jobs and their struggling to pay their bills. their frustration with government continues to grow. these hard-working middle-class americans are counting on their elected representatives to show leadership. this continuing resolution will keep the government funded at it current level without increasing spending while congress finishes working on a real budget. americans are tired of seeing the government continue to spend more and more of the hard-earned tax dollars. for the first time since the korean war, it will be possible to have two consecutive years of discretionary spending cuts.
this resolution will also protect the working middle class from the devastating effects of obamacare. each week, we hear stories of how both major employers and small businesses are cutting back benefits and hours. the president's health care law is turning our economy to a part-time economy. even the heads of major unions that were once so supportive of obamacare want to see this log drastically changed to avoid further "nightmare scenarios." let's protect the american people from the economic calamity that we know obamacare will create. americans are fighting for their families.
we were sent by our constituents to fight for them. they have put faith in their leaders to do what is right. for this entire congress, the house has led on restoring faith in our economy and trust in our government. we should pass this continuing resolution so the senate and -- can finally begin to do the same. thank you to the gentleman from kentucky for his work on this measure, along with the help of the gentleman from louisiana, for their hard work on the issue. i urge my colleagues to support this resolution. >> the gentlelady is recognized. >> i'm pleased to yield to mr. steny hoyer. >> he is recognized for three minutes. >> thank you for yielding.
madame speaker, today we are considering measure to fund government only that will help millions of americans access affordable care. that isn't going to happen. it's a blatant act of hostagetaking. the republican cr lays the groundwork for a default on our debt. an unthinkable act, instituting a pay china first provision. it fully embraces the dangerous and irrational policy. sequester. this confirms the descent into an economy destroying, national security undermining, and ineffective rendering of our
government that the country and our people needs. majority party with its destructive obsession with the repeal of the affordable care act and its unrestrained hostility toward government has -- has offered this bill notwithstanding hollow claims. the majority does so notwithstanding the chairman. accurate description of sequester policy -- "unrealistic and ill-conceived." his words, not mine. a policy that chairman rogers said, "must be brought to an end." his words, not mine. chairman rogers' vote will do just the opposite. they will vote to continue a policy that will lead to
american decline in retreat. -- and retreat. i will not be party to disinvestment in america's greatness. today's bill undermines the education of our children, the security of seniors, and the present and future health of our people and the strength and readiness of our forces and the growth of our economy and the creation of jobs. the quality and viability of our infrastructure, and health of our environment and respect for those who labor in the public sector and most certainly the honoring of america's debt and obligations. today's bill undermines all of those priorities and more. i will not support it. i urge my colleagues to oppose it. it continues us on the path so aptly described again as chairman rogers as "this
lurching path from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis." i urge my colleagues with wisdom and courage on your side of the aisle to oppose this bill. >> madam speaker, the american people are counting on us to do our jobs, to work together, to create jobs, to keep the government open and to keep the economy running. this is not the time or the bill for relitigating health reform or for holding up the administration's ability to protect the full faith and credit of the united states of america. with the great suffering in the wake of a natural disaster in colorado -- my heart goes out to all of those families who lost lives and loved ones and
property -- this is not the time to limit the ability of the united states of america to give relief to those losing loved ones, homes, and livelihoods. republicans refuse to work together with the senate and the white house to bring a constructive piece of legislation to this floor today. instead we consider a bill that we know is destined for failure in the senate and would be vetoed by the white house. for months, the majority has failed to lead. they refuse to appoint members to work with the senate on a top line spending number. they cannot even pass their own spending bills in this chamber. we remember how the important transportation bill had to be pulled off of the floor because they could not find the vote.
today they risk halting government services and functions vital to the american people and our economy. even when their own appropriations chairman, mr. rogers said that we should end the sequester and find a balanced plan forward. they are still playing political games. i urge my colleagues to oppose this bill and support the responsible replacement of the sequester with a balanced plan to create jobs and keep our economy moving. i know we can do it. i would be pleased to to be part of that partnership with the chair, mr. rogers. >> the gentleman from kentucky is recognized for two remaining minutes.
>> thank you. madam speaker, we are doing a cr even though the appropriations committee on the house side past 11 of the 12 bills through the committee. four of them across the floor in the house. the remaining ones for aforetime as we run out of time. consequently, this continuing resolution will continue the government passed the september 30 and of the fiscal year. we were unable to pass the appropriations bills singly on the floor because of a lack of floor time, but also because the house and senate never agreed to an overall number of which we could mark.
consequently, we were not able to bring those bills out because of that limitation. with this cr until december 15, if we were given a number with the senate in which we need to mark the individual 12 bills. we will do so. this is a hard-working committee. we are pragmatists. we know that we have to pass the bills to fund the government. if we were intending to close down the government and shut it down, we would not be here with this bill. we would sit here. this is an effort by the majority party in the house to
continue the government and avoid a shutdown while we work out differences on these funding bills for fiscal 2014. madam speaker, this resolution is straightforward, clean, short term, continues reduction and federal discretionary spending. we have cut discretionary spending the last two years by $120 billion, the first one that has occurred since world war ii. we are trying to be responsible. this bill is responsible and i urge a yes vote. >> unfortunately there is a faction on the far right of the republican party. they convinced the leadership to threaten a government shutdown and potentially threaten not raise the debt ceiling if they cannot shut off the affordable
care act also known as obamacare. think about this. they're not talking about spending cuts. they're not talking about entitlement reform. they are talking about something that has nothing to do with the budget. right? they are willing to plunge america into default if we cannot defund the affordable care act. let's put this into perspective. the affordable care act passed both houses of congress and was an issue in last your posse election. -- last year's election. the guy running against me said he would reform it. we won. [applause] the voters were pretty clear on it.
republicans in congress try to repeal or sabotage this more than 40 times. every time they failed. this law that is in place is providing people benefits. it is helping millions of americans, including some of you or your family members that you may not be aware of. do your job. don't be the other guy. be the guy who is doing your job. no obstruction, no games, no holding the economy hostage if you do not get 100% of what you want. i do not know how may people are married, but you know not to
expect when hundred percent of what you want. otherwise you will be divorced really quick. especially you men, i'm telling you. [laughter] you should expect some compassion and compromise. you should expect the condition -- conviction of leadres who -- leaders who wake up and go to work everyday and not to tear something down, but to build something better. that is my conviction and commitment to you. >> at this point we have seen small businesses all around this country who are losing their ability to compete, who are not expanding and staying under 50 employees, who are not hiring or who are forcing employees to move to part-time work.
in a survey of small businesses, half of small businesses eligible for the employee mandate are either moving to part-time workers or forcing full-time workers to go part time. this is not a small problem. it is not a marginal problem. it is a problem all over the country. you are talking millions of small businesses. they are not growing. that means they are not hiring people. anywhere in america where they are struggling to find a job, small businesses are trying out -- crying out that obamacare is killing them. unfortunately, the u.s. senate is not hearing their cries. the millions of americans being forced into part-time work. the u.s. senate is not hearing
their cries. millions of americans are facing skyrocketing health care premiums and facing the reality or risk of losing their health insurance. the u.s. senate is not hearing their cry. the people who are facing this are not wealthy or powerful or the millionaires and billionaires. there are young people who are being absolutely decimated by obamacare. they are single moms working in diners and finding their work hours been reduced to 29 hours a week. single moms are crying out to the senate to fix this trainer. -- train wreck. fix this disaster.
unfortunately, the u.s. senate is closed for business. >> the shutdown is about rolling back our efforts to provide health insurance to folks who don't have it. it is all about rolling back the affordable care act. this seems to be what the republican party stands for these days. it is strange that one party would make keeping people uninsured the centerpiece of their agenda. that is apparently what it is. where it's strange is shutting down our government doesn't accomplish their stated goal. the affordable care act passed. it was a central issue in my election. it is settled and here to stay.
it is not impacted by government shutdown. americans are with me today because a big part of the affordable care act is now open for business. it has been a long time coming. americans who have been forced to go without insurance can visit healthcare.gov admin role -- and enroll in affordable coverage. people have six months to sign up. they can get coverage they desperately need. >> as reckless as a government
shutdown is, and economic shutdown that results from default would be dramatically worse. social security checks go out on time. in an economic shutdown, they do not go out on time. in the government shutdown, millions of americans -- -- just federal workers everyone faces real, economic hardship. in economic shutdown, pensions and home values and rising interest rates on student loans, all of those things could send us into a bad recession.
it would affect all of you. that is not my analysis. it is every economist out there saying that. we have never done it before. the u.s. is the center of the world economy. if we screw up, everyone gets screwed up. the whole world has problems. it would be the height of irresponsibility. i will repeat -- there will be no negotiations over this. >> i did not come here to shut down the government or to fall on our debt. when it comes to the debt limit, 27 times the debt limit has been used to carry significant policy
changes that would reduce spending and put us on a saner fiscal path. reagan sat down with o'neal in the 1980s. clinton went through the three times in the 1990s. obama and i sat down in 2011 and had a serious negotiation. while he suggested i walked away from the deal, i have to remind him that i was in the oval office along with the majority leader eric cantor when we had an agreement that two days later the president walked away from it. it was another negotiation that resulted in the largest deficit bill we have seen in 30 years.
in 2010, what happened was a group of moderate democrats would not agree to raise the debt limit without a negotiation. there was a negotiation amongst democrats. there is going to be a negotiation here. we cannot raise the debt ceiling without doing something about what is driving us to borrow more money and to live beyond our means. >> i would rather be 4000 miles away from here. this is the first time in 28 years i have not been in the bering state. i'm here today on behalf a fisherman.
i am here to talk specifically about the impacts to my fisheries. there's a lack of personnel to perform routine, administrative functions. it will result in millions of lost revenue. the federal reserve program will be impacted the longer the shutdown continues. many fishermen in coastal communities are facing tough times. this situation may be the tipping point if the situation is not resolved soon. the alaska king crab stock is healthy.
fishery results in hundreds of millions economic activity that provides thousands of jobs for fishermen, processors, and support businesses such as welders, shippers, distributors, retailers. i want to be clear . they fund the costs through government programs. we are taxed to cover management costs. no one has left over money that could be used to pay for the personnel we need to issue permits. despite this fact -- we asked the secretary of commerce to find the authority and direct employees to do the task we have paid for. do themployees to
task we have paid for. a delay in the opening of the fishery would have significant impacts on alaskan coastal communities. each day tied to the docks costs thousands more. the short-term impacts are relatively easy to measure. the longer-term impact of the scary part. the majority of our crab, we rely in the holiday market, both in the u.s. and japan. if the crab is not caught and processed and shipped out by the second week of november, we stand to lose access to that market. we cannot afford to lose anymore days if we want to meet that deadline. in the case of the japanese markets, we stand to lose market share. if the japanese buyers do not have alaskan product on hand for the new year holiday, they will
get their crabs from russia. market watchers are noticing uncertainty in the japanese. it is unsustainably managed and subject to pirate fishing. pirate fishing is costing the alaskan crab fleet an estimated 500 million. if the shutdown continues, that amount will only increase. time is critical. there are many small family run businesses that make up the alaskan crab fleet. my brother is on the boat with me. my crew depends on me to be their families. we have a racking up bills to get ready to go fishing. if we are tied to the docks and waiting for the government, we cannot pay those bills. on behalf of all fishermen, i'm asking congress to end the shutdown now. i need to go fishing.
>> the shutdown of the government for the last 16 days or so, a deal has evolved. what are some key details of the deal? >> congress did what they often do when they can't agree. they sort of punted. because there were such a difference between the spending level that republicans wanted, they agreed to temporarily fund the government for another short while until january 15 at current operating levels. it was not as high as democrats sought and not as low as republicans sought. in the interim, they decided to have the house budget committee and the senate budget committee put the two budget plans together in a conference committee and try to negotiate
an agreement. that group headed by republican paul ryan and convery -- vice presidential candidate -- they had six weeks until today. december 13 was very deadline cut off for a deal. as you can imagine, expert -- expectations were low that they could come up with something. >> they came up with a deal a couple of days ago. that has since passed the u.s. house. in the senate, it is to be determined if it gets past. >> absolutely.
it looks like it probably will pass in the senate in the coming days. some have called them very modest deals. very different from the big bargains that president obama and other people had tried to negotiate over the years. to bring the nation's fiscal picture in a better place. they came up with a plan. it passed the house. there's a strong, robust majority. it is heading to the senate. conservative republicans are not on board with this. the most conservative, hardliners are not on board. there are some who gave their vote to this. some democrats gave their vote.
filibuster. democrats, they will still need republican support to get to that 60 votes threshold to overcome a possible filibuster. >> that is one third. they made the deadline on the conference report. january 15 is the date by which the current temporary spending ends. in early february, the debt ceiling. >> right. they got the package through the senate. they have to pass this one more time in january when congress comes back. they need to keep funding for the government or it would shut down again.
both parties say they don't want to do that. they have got to take this agreement and put it into the spending bills. looking ahead, is this a new era in congress? has a cycle of lurching from crisis to crisis come to a close? the majority is still out on that. -- jury is still out on that. raising the nation's limit has been a difficult issue. it is uncertain if that will happen again. they have february 7 to raise that limit. more than $17 trillion in debt right now. that is something not a lot of people want to do. they also don't want to default on accrued bills that the nation needs to pay. the treasury department could
probably keep paying the bills and stretch that out a bit. i think that will be the next hurdle and when that arrives -- we will see how they handle that. >> we are bound to see a similar debate we saw from harry lead in -- reid in the senate and mitch mcconnell from earlier this fall. >> the eyes of the world has been on washington. that is a gross understatement. they witness great discord. they will also see congress reach a historic bipartisan agreement. it is never easy for two sides to reach consensus. it is really hard. this time it is really hard. after weeks spent facing off a
partisan divide that seems too wide to cross, our country came to the brink of disaster. in the end, we prevented that disaster. i thank the republican leader for his effort to reach this agreement. the cooperation was essential to pass both chambers of congress and also be signed by president obama. this legislation says there'll be a conference committee that will set our country on a long- term, fiscal sustainability. some say that will be hard. what we do is hard, but we can get it done. the committee members selected
must be willing to exert every option serve no matter how painful. this conference committee led by chairman murray and chairman ryan, is an appropriate place to chart a course for economic growth. it averts default through february 7. congress can work toward a long- term agreement to fix this crisis and perhaps most importantly, this is not a time for pointing fingers or blamed. this is a time of reconciliation. i look forward to working with my colleagues of both parties of
-- sides of this great capital and -- avert a default on our nation's debt. what we have done is send a message to americans from every one of our 50 states that the u.s. lives up to its obligations. now we must return to the most important job -- fostering economic growth and protecting middle-class families. i do know this -- senator mcconnell and i have sat in serious discussions the last few days. we will do everything we can to change the atmosphere in the senate and accomplish things
that need to be done for our country. >> madam president. >> republican leader. >> this has been a long challenging week. it is my hope we can put some of those issues behind us. after yesterday's advance, the -- events, the majority leader and i began a series of conversations about the way to get the government reopened and to prevent default. i'm confident we will be able to do both of those things later today. crucially, i'm confident we will be able to announce we are protecting the government spending reductions that both parties agreed to. it has been a top priority for me and for my colleagues on the republican side of the aisle throughout this debate.
it has been worth the effort. some have suggested that we break that promise as part of this agreement. some have said washington needs to spend more and that we need to raise taxes and tax our way to prosperity. what this showed is that washington can cut spending. that is just what we have done. for the first time since the korean war, the first time since the korean war, government spending has declined for two years in a row. the first time in 50 years. we are not going back on this agreement. there is a lot more we need to do to get our fiscal house in order. once we have gotten over the drama the moment, we can get to work on it.
let's not understate the importance of the budget control or the importance of the fight. this is the largest spending reduction bill of the last quarter-century. preserving this law is critically important to the future of our. -- our country. throughout this debate, republicans focused on obamacare for good reason. this law is ravaging our economy and killing jobs and driving opinions and driving people off -- up premiums and driving people off of the health care plans they had and like in droves. it is a disastrous rollout. their refusal to delay it will do untold damage to our country. republicans remain determined to repeal this terrible law.
for today, the relief we hope for is to reopen government, avoid default, and protect the historic cuts we have achieved under the budget control act. this is far less than many of us have hoped for, frankly. it is far better than what some had sought. it is time for republicans to unite behind other crucial goals. i yield the floor. >> i rise tonight in support of the senate compromise legislation being considered to end this unnecessary government shut down. this legislation reopens the government and prevent a catastrophic default and credit downgrade that would spur another recession. i'm pleased that cooler heads have finally prevailed. it is disappointing we are in
the situation. -- this situation. after more than two weeks of the government shutdown and on the eve of default, we have reached an agreement. this legislation must be supported. it should not be celebrated. no high fives or spiking of the football. it is a temporary bill. it is not a win for anyone. the bill represents the conclusion of a difficult period of which many can draw important lessons. -- from whihc many -- which many can draw important lessons. we must keep the government functioning and address the out- of-control debt and the many challenges resented by the health care law, obamacare.
-- presented by the health care law, obamacare. i work tirelessly with colleagues to find an agreement. thank you to the senators and many others in this conversation. i hope this lays down a foundation to reach an agreement on issues that need to be addressed. i urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this legislation and to join with those of us who share an obligation to govern and seek bipartisan solutions. >> the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. >> i'm very pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman from pennsylvania, a member of the appropriations committee. >> the gentleman is recognized
for one minute. >> thank you, madam speaker. i rise to urge an expedited path. this is critically important. i was in israel and met with the president and with the whole group of brain researchers from around the world. i am happy that the senate has acted in such an overwhelming way. i urge the house to restore our
government to pay our bills and to get on with our responsibilities as the most powerful nation in the world and the wealthiest country in the world. we can conduct the affairs of government in a way that gains us respect around the world rather than befuddlement. thank you. >> there has been a lot of discussion lately of the politics of the shutdown. let's be clear -- there are no winners here. these last few weeks have inflicted completely unnecessary damage on our economy. we do not know yet the full scope of the damage, but every analyst out there believes that families have gone without paychecks or services they depend upon. we know that potential home buyers have gotten fewer
mortgages and business loans have been put on hold. we know that consumers have cut back on spending and that half of all ceo's say that the shutdown and the threat of shutdown has set back their plans to hire over the next few months. we know that the threat of default of americans not paying all the bills that we owe on time increases borrowing costs that adds to our deficit. we know that the american people's frustration is what goes on has never been higher. -- with what goes on in this town has never been higher. that is not a surprise. the american people are completely fed up with washington. a moment when our economic recovery demands more jobs, more momentum, we have got yet another self-inflicted crisis to set our economy back. for what?
there was no economic rationale for all of this. >> as we wrap up our year in review series, a reminder that all of the programs we showed you and all of the video is available on our website at c- span.org. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> if you were in congress today, would you be a member of the tea party caucus? >> probably not. i am someone who can very easily and itical about that, have been.
is it good news that finally and pattye paul ryan murray can get together in a room and work something out, even though it is 20% of the budget in its entirety, and even for a short term? of course it is good news. it's a starting point. neither side got exactly what they wanted, or even got everything they wanted. ashink what we have got constituents is that we got them talking, and whether you believe in a smaller government or just a government that is working, that is a step forward. host: what do you think about the extra congressional process? guest: i don't like the ordinary process of the budget is going through right now.
it is good news it is going through any process. before capitol hill or members of congress consider reforming the budget process, they ought to try to use the one that is there. if they were elected in the last two terms, they have not even seen it. they have never seen what we call regular order on capitol hill. they are already to reform the process. hammer is saying the broken, i'm going to throw it out and get a new hammer. why don't you try it? jim nussle served in congress for how many years?
16 years, chair of the house budget committee from 2001 to 2007, then white house budget director 2007 to 2009. he is from iowa. a law degree at lake university in des moines. for the next 40 minutes or so. numbers are on the screen. david is the first caller from mississippi. please go ahead with your comments. i want to know why we said so much money overseas -- sent so much by overseas, and we cannot protect people's lives in america. we can send so much money overseas for people that we don't know, and things we have no idea about. guest: that's a great question.
it's always a balancing act when you're trying to determine the priorities in the budgets, and how much goes to programs that help people who cannot help themselves or people who are and are between jobs, balancing the priorities of our foreign policy is an example. arerying to ensure that we safe and our interests around the world are protected, and we have influence in those areas that are important to us as a nation -- the one misnomer i would say to you or suggest to you is that we don't spend that much when compared to the overall budget of foreign-policy types of programs. more in thee much programs that do help, or try and help the poor, people between jobs, people unemployed, people who can't help themselves . people with disabilities.
i'm not suggesting there perfect by any means, but i think the congress is looking and the president has brought this up, to try and look at programs that help people who are disadvantaged and have income inequalities as well as from the republicans on capitol hill wanting to look at welfare programs. seeing if there is not a better way to make sure those dollars are directed to people who need them. that debate will rage. that is not even close to the amount of money that is spent on foreign programs. you could argue there are too much, but they are still nothing compared to what we spend for those in the safety net. >> congress passed the budget agreement before they return to their districts for the holiday recess. extension include an of long-term unemployment benefits. the benefits expired today for those who have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks.
president obama has expressed his support for a plan that would extend unemployment insurance for three months. costl-year extension would roughly 20 $5 billion according to the congressional budget office. members are set to return in early january in both chambers of congress. think radio is the longest and best form of media left. we're doing our long conversations. are able tolie rose read books the way i do to talk to the audience seriously. it is revealing when an author has had their book read these days because they do not get many people who have read their books and know what they are talking about with page notes. it is rewarding to them. i get great satisfaction when an author says that is the best interview i have had on this book tour. just got it from trolls krauthammer -- charles krauthamme