tv House Session CSPAN January 15, 2015 10:00am-3:01pm EST
host: mr. bumphus, if you suggestions there appeared guest: yes. by the way, i am from kentucky. you bring up a great point. it is something i hear most often from parents, and many of our students, and that is about the debt they have incurred as a result of their higher education experience. i have heard everything from the extreme of one student -- who own $400,000 to where you have the average student debt of around $30,000 by the time the student graduates. so the concern about indebtedness is a fair one. the immigration question, again, i don't have an answer on that. host: let's see if we can squeeze in shock, calling from michigan. chuck, where did you go and what degree did you get? caller: i got in associates in electrical engineering and
electronics from wayne county community colleges. host: what you make of the president's proposal? caller: i think it is excellent. i cannot understand people who are calling and saying that if i paid 10 years ago or five years ago, what do i get? and can i get my money back echo i am glad that what i paid what i paid -- when i paid. i came from a large family. and all working people, worked hard all her life. and i couldn't really afford college. all the timeouts going to community college, i got some grants, but alice had to work while i was going. you still have to have food and transportation and a place to live. while you are going to community college.
from what i got out of that committee college and what people will get out of that community college, if it is free i have paid a lot of taxes. i contributed a lot of taxes to this society because of that associates degree, and because of the help that i got from the community college that people -- they're coming you had smaller classrooms. i had a lot more personal help that i needed from professors and certain programs they had at the schools that did tutoring and like that. it was just a plus plus, win-win. and another thing that is so important is that when i got
into the community college there was a lot of people who were borderline in and out of school, you know, coming out of high school. i was a person that didn't do that great in high school, but i knew i needed a great education. when i got to the college, the atmosphere that was there, the glow that was on peoples faces the glow on the professors faces just push me forward. i ended up almost with a 4.0. i could have gone to harvard if i wanted to come after going to community college. guest: chuck, thank you so much for your comments. i'm very familiar with wayne county community college in detroit. they do an exceptional job up there. the one thing i would remind our listeners of his that we live in a global society today. and many of the ways many of the jobs are going to be comedic -- computed for globally.
when they come to a point talk about job opportunities, we are going -- not just going to be competing in detroit in kentucky, we are going to be competing with people from around the world so we will need a better trained workforce and in my opinion, that is what this proposal does. host: walter bumphus is the president and ceo of american association of community colleges. we would love to talk to more down the road. caller: john -- guest: john, thank you for having me on this one. guest: we now take you live. have a great thursday.
>> we are live this morning at the new america foundation here in washington, d.c. and we are waiting remarks from health and human services secretary sylvia burwell. she will be speaking about health care policy at this event. set to begin in just a couple minutes. and we will have live coverage here on c-span when she starts. on capitol hill both chambers are off today and the rest of the week for the annual party retreats. democrats are in baltimore and they are expected to meet with the president this afternoon in a closed door meeting. although there are no live remarks currently scheduled, one of the items that could be discussed is the lifting of travel and trade rules that are set to take effect on cuba tomorrow. again no live remarks planned,
if there is reaction available, we'll bring it to you on the c-span networks. also white house press secretary josh earnest will likely touch on that topic of cuba trade and a number of other items when addresses reporters this afternoon starting at 1:00 p.m. eastern. c-span2 will carry that live this afternoon, again starting at 1:00 p.m. house and senate republicans are gathering today in her can shey, pennsylvania, for the first of their two-day retreat. they are scheduled with meetings throughout the day. they plan to hold several press conferences. they'll be speaking with reporters. one of those scheduled for about 11:45 eastern today with the chairs of the house and senate republican conferences. representatives kathy mcmorris rodgers of washington and senator john thune of south dakota. we'll have it live here on c-span at 11:45 eastern. we also plan to bring you live remarks from house speaker john boehner along with senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. that starts at 2:30 eastern. again that will be here on c-span. in between those press
conferences we'll take you live to the national press club here in washington. we'll have remarks from the new chair of the national endowment for the humanities will be speaking at the press club luncheon for plans on the future celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. that will be live starting at 1:00 p.m. eastern, again from the national press club here on c-span. also later this afternan, we'll switch gears up a bit and bring you a discussion on cybersecurity and ways to prevent future attacks in the wake of the sony pictures cyberattack. it will include mike rogers and former head of the n.s.a. and c.i.a. michael haden. it will be live at 3:30 eastern here on c-span. one more thing, looking down the road the president's state of the union speech takes place next week. c-span will have live coverage tuesday night, january 20, starts at 8:00 p.m. eastern. the speech begins at 9:00. they'll also take your calls and comments via facebook and
twitter. it again, we are live here at the new america foundation awaiting remarks from health and human services secretary sylvia burwell. she'll speak about health carepolicy. it is hosted by the new america foundation. live coverage when it starts here on c-span. we understand it will still be a few moments before secretary burwell arrives. we'll have live coverage of all her remarks when she gets here and we'll have it for you here on c-span. a conversation on the obama administration's cybersecurity proposals from today's
"washington journal." executive document that he put out. we are still talking about information sharing. the president put good focus on it, looking to congress to say listen, you give us the tools to do information sharing and we can help get a better handle on this eshoo. host: so what are the tools that we are talking about? what are the tools he wants in
place? guest: well, i think the biggest thing is legislation. there's been a piece of legislation put forth by dutch ruppersberger and former congressman mike rogers that initially when they put it out, and i was on a trip and i got a call from dutch's office saying, listen, we are putting forward this bill. it's effectively giving the intelligence community and the department of defense the opportunity to lead this effort. and we explained to them very, very specifically that this is not going to cut it. this is something that they could -- should be a part of it, but this is a homeland security issue. so that particular piece of legislation -- by the way, this was about 2010, 2011 time frame, has languished. there's been a lot of input from privacy advocates. there's been a lot of input from security experts. there's been a lot of issues in the political side, both sides of lobbyists and we still can't
seem to get it out. senate at the time said they are not going to pick it up. so it just sort of royaled -- roiled around the house for a while f we get that through, we get it finalized to give some liability protection to the companies. we give some direct capability of not classifying everything under the sun. private sector will have better capabilities to see what's coming and hopefully protect themselves. host: what's the biggest obstacle this happening in this congress? guest: well, i think the issue is the liability protection. as you look through the language of the proposed legislation, it talks about protection where information sharing, data breach, for example that the liability has been lifted because of the fact that we need the security more so than the liability protection.
some groups feel that will give private industry particularly large corporations, free rein to start conducting misconduct that we used to deal with a long time ago. i think that's going to be a big debate. but there's two sides to this. when you start looking at the need we have as businesses to be successful, to continue to create jobs, we really need the backing of congress to say, listen, we want to share it, but we want protection in doing so, otherwise particularly our corporate lawyers are going to back off and say we may release a little bit, but we are not going to give you a whole lot of information. host: president obama has been talking about this week in his push for new cybersecurity legislation. here's a bit from his event his appearance at the federal trade commission this week. >> we are introducing new legislation to create a single strong national standard so americans know when their information has been stolen or
misused. right now almost every state has a different law on this. it's confusing for consumers and it's confusing for companies. and it's costly, too, to have to comply to this patchwork of laws. sometimes folks don't even find out the credit card information has been stolen until they see charges on their bill and then it's too late. so under the new standard we are proposing, companies would have to notify consumers of a breach within 30 days. in addition, we are proposing to close loopholes in the law so we can go after more criminals who steal and sell the identities of americans, even when they do it overseas. host: this notification effort, this would be different from the information sharing legislation that you have been talking about, correct? guest: right. that is correct. once again the data breach notification is something we have been going since 2001. basically where we are at, we
have somewhere around 46, maybe including district of columbia, 47 states if you would -- >> before i introduce secretary burwell, who is here to make some remarks about the future of health care on a number of dimensions in the new congress, in the year ahead, i just want to make a few quick comments about new america and why we are so honored that we are able to host her here today for these remarks. among the founding principles of new america, which is reflected in the book, "the radical center" by ted and michael, who are among the founders of this organization 15 years ago, was a commitment to get beyond traditional partisan alignment and specifically to apply that idea to health care, to treat it as a matter of both rights and responsibilities, and something that should be vested in in individuals and people not just some jobs and not others. and to improve care and not just
coverage. over the following years, the middle of the last decade, new america's health program, which was led by lorie, lynn, and shannon worked to put that vision into place particularly in the period 2006, 2008 this organization and lynn nicholls created a space for bipartisan and most importantly cross ideological conversation that ultimately -- it was wonderful to see it happen, ultimately resulted in legislation that by 2008 had 10 co-sponsors from each party. and a piece of legislation that in some ways went further that the affordable care act. but not in others. in my work on political reform, one of the things that we have done is try to look at the kind of situations where government can get things done, even in the situation where people have deep disagreements about values. and in doing that, i still look at that, the work new america did even 10 years ago as a fascinating example because it
reaffirmed for me a very basic truth. when people share a commitment to getting something done, when they agree that the status quo isn't good enough, and they are willing to talk to each other then even if there are very deep differences about what to do and how to do it, but if people are willing to talk to each other, anything's possible. and people can find solutions even without giving up their core beliefs. i think secretary burwell will tell us we are on the verge of an era where we'll have that conversation again. i'm also looking forward to hearing secretary burwell's thoughts about innovation and how the government can do better. last week two long-standing board members of new america published a wonderful article highlighting some of the ways in which the affordable care act was encouraging innovation, reducing costs and improving care. they concluded the article, 25 years from now we hope historians look back on the affordable care act as the start of a new era of public-private collaboration to develop innovative solutions to complex
social problems. and thus to restore trust in government itself. we share that confidence. now, i want to introduce secretary burwell when our staff said you need secretary burwell's biography, i really know her biography because, when i was in government she was a hot shot in government. when i worked in philanthropy later, she was a hot shot there. i'll do the full bio anyway. she was born in sworn in in june as the 22nd secretary of health and human services, a smaller club than i would have thought. before that she served as director of the office of management and budget where she worked closely with congress to restore order to the budget and appropriations proses. before coming -- processes. before coming back to the government and joining this administration, she was president of the wal-mart foundation in arkansas during a period when that foundation surpassed $1 billion in total giving. for 10 years before that, she was president of the global development program at the bill and melinda gates foundation in
seattle, washington. an extremely large foundation. and works on a huge range of issues from vaccinations, children's health agricultural development, and she was the first chief operating officer. during the clinton administration she served as deputy director of o.m.b., chief of staff to the secretary of the treasury, and staff director of the national economic council. she was born and raised in west virginia. received her degree from harvard and degree from oxford. we are pleased to have her here. let me do a quick logistical thing. after remarks we'll have questions and answers. you have cards for questions. please put your question on it and your name. we'll go through it and i'll call on people and you'll say your question but we want to do it efficiently with the cards first. with all that, secretary burwell, we are pleased to have you. >> thank you very much mark.
appreciate it. and it's great to be here at the new america foundation. mark twain once said that you can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. and i think the great thing about the new america foundation is that you work to refocus our collective imagineation on the things that we -- imagination on the things we can do together to renew american prosperity. that's a very important thing and why i think this is the ideal place for me to be to reflect upon the values and interests and priorities that we have in common as americans and in the broader sense as citizens of a shrinking planet. i have long believed that across the globe regardless of your nationality or your financial status, that we all basically have the same desires for our children. and that is, we want them to live healthy and productive lives. and as the mother of a 7 and
5-year-old i share that dream as well. i'm a believer in the notion that people who share common interests and common dreams ought to be able to find common ground. and that's what i want to talk with you about today. i truly believe that there are a number of things where we have an opportunity and in fact a responsibility to get done together in this new year. working acrossle aisle and working across different sectors. this is especially true in health care. where our system is on the threshold of both positive and i believe transformational change. there are also opportunities that flow from the innovations in science and medicine that are being advanced by american scientists. researchers and entrepreneurs. many of these innovations are redefining the boundaries of progress. at the same time, they are opening the promise of a new inknow vation -- innovation,
economy. the opportunities before us are good for families, they are good for business, they are good for the economy, they are good for taxpayers. there are things we can get done if we work together. i believe there is a shared interest on both sides of the aisle and with business and civil society communities in moving them forward. at the same time, the new year did bring in a new round of efforts to repeal the affordable care act. these efforts are happening despite increasing evidence that the law is working. millions more americans have access to quality, affordable care some for the first time. what's more, millions of americans are already -- who are already insured are benefiting from the law as well. as you can immanlin, i will be vigorous in -- imagine, i will be vigorous in making the case this law is working and families businesses, and taxpayers are better off as a result. i believe this firmly and as i have traveled around the country i have been told by people that
i have met they are not concerned about the next headline, what they are concerned about is the next generation. they want us to stop the back and forth, to move forward, and to focus on the substance. and that's really what i want to talk about today. i count myself among those who do not believe that disagreements in some areas even significant disagreements should prevent us from moving forward on others. medicaid expansion is an example. governors from 27 states plus d.c., including those who disagree on elements of the affordable care act, have reached the same conclusion, expansion is good for the people of their -- and the economies of their states. and some who have not yet expanded have expressed interest in moving forward. states like wyoming, indiana, and utah. i want to see all 50 states expand in ways that work for their states. and we will work with governors from both parties to try to make
that happen. there are other critical areas in health care where our common interests give us ample opportunities for common good. improving the quality of care we receive while spending our dollars more wisely. reducing substance abuse disorders and overdose deaths. strengthening global health security reaffirming american leadership in research innovation, and science. and building an innovation economy. let's start with our health care system. for all the differences of opinion about how to move forward, there is one area which we have unanimous agreement and that's that the system that's been in place for a years has underdelivered on access, affordability, and quality. you can also sum it up with the prices we paid far outweighed the progress that we made. health costs grew significantly
faster than things like g.d.p., and middle class family incomes we see the effects of a system that did not spend our health care dollars as wisely as we could have. however, over the last several years we started making significant progress. thanks in large part to the affordable care act. it's now within our common interest to build a health care delivery system that's better, smarter, and healthier. a system that delivers better care a system that spends health care dollars more wisely. a system that keeps us healthy rather than waiting for care when we get sick. a system where medical information and medical bills are easy to understand. a system that puts information in the hands of patients and doctors and empowers them to make better choices. if we do this, we will leave a legacy for our children and our grandchildren. as i met with members of congress from both parties, they
have told me they want a better system too. they want to tackle health care associated -- we keep pasheyernts safer when they are in the hospital and healthier when they are out of it. we are already making progress as a country. we have achieved a 17% reduction in harms nationwide since 2010. and members of congress from both parties also share our interest in payment innovation. we all want to find better ways to reward quality and high value care in the system. there are opportunities to work together on putting better information in the hands of patients and their doctors and building a more transparent system. we have had fruitful discussions with congress about supporting and encouraging the interop prohibit of information -- interoperability of our information and health care system. we also share members' interest in expanding access to medicare claims and clinical data to support innovation and empower
consumers with information. medicare and medicaid are two of the largest health insurance plans in the world. together they cover one in three americans. so one of the things we are going to do is leverage the grant and rule making opportunities to improve the quality of care the beneficiaries receive while spending those dollars more wisely. we understand that's our role and it's our responsibility to lead and we will. but what we won't do and can't do is go it alone. patience government, business, we all have a stake and i believe that this shared purpose calls out for deeper partnerships. some of our most important results driven partners are actually state governments. which are taking creative and innovative steps when it comes to improving the quality and achieving smarter spending on medicaid dollars. i believe we have an opportunity
to strengthen our relationship when it comes to things like modernizing medicaid enrollment systems, improving models for care in payment coordinating and improving the care that's delivered to beneficiaries in managed care. part of building a health care system that keeps us healthy is actually reducing substands abuse disorders and overdose deaths. for millions of americans who rely on prescription painkillers that are prescribed to them by their doctors, these drugs can be the difference between constant chronic pain or welcome relief. however, these drugs can be deadly. in 2009, drug overdoses overtook every other cause of injury death in the united states. outmany numbering fatalities -- outnumbering fatalities in car crashes for the first time. meanwhile, in 2012 alone 219
million opioid prescriptions were written. that's enough for every american adult to have a bottle. rural america, including my home state of west virginia, knows the tragedy of this issue all too well. moving forward we hope to work with members of congress from both parties on the goals we share for driving down opioid dependency and overdose deaths. this is a critical and complex public health challenge and requires a multifaceted approach. we have an opportunity to work together on improving opioid prescribing practices by enhancing prescription monitoring, data sharing, and clinical decisionmaking. we also want to incentivize the development of youth deterrent opioids and expand the utilization of a drug used to reverse overdoses. there's more we can do together
in the realm of medication assisted treatment to help those who are addicted break that cycle. last session congress introduced more than a dozen pieces of legislation -- bipartisan legislation to try and address this problem. many proposing ideas that would help fuel progress in some or even all three of these areas, and we think we should continue to work together. i want to turn for a moment to global health security. the tragic ebola outbreak is a solemn reminder of our common humanitarian and security interests. the most effective way to protect americans here at home from outbreaks and other public health threats abroad is to stop diseases and the threats of them at their source. microbes and diseases are moving faster and further than ever before in human history. and they do not recognize national borders. i want to take this opportunity to thank the congress for
choosing to act and invest in this critically important common ground priority of global health security. recently in a bipartisan fashion members of both parties made a $597 million investment with the c.d.c. to advance the global health security agenda, and its three pillars of prevention detection, and response. we want to work with our global partners to enhance their prevention strategies and tools for both naturally occurring and man-made threats. with only about 30% of countries reporting that they actually adequately can detect, respond, or prevent the health threats proposed by emerging diseases, there is an urgent need for this sort of investment and commitment. and it's important to note that just as congress has stepped up to the plate, so have governments from other countries who are choosing to invest as
well because they recognize that all of us have a stake in stopping outbreaks before they become pandemics. in september, president obama convened the 44 countries that have signed on to be a part of that agenda, covering 4.8 billion people across the world. these countries have the will and the desire to implement the global health security agenda, but many of them require assistance to achieve the full range of its goals. this is an important start from both a national security standpoint and a humanitarian one. our goal must continue to be for every nation on earth to have the ability to prevent detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. our ebola efforts overseas and our preparedness efforts here at home have also shown us where we can improve our abilities to add capacity and flexibility and
wisely deploy resources in times of public health emergencies. we hope to work with the congress -- we hope to work with the congress in the spirit of the emergency funding we received and that includes making sure that we share our approach for spending of this funding. i want to now turn to another area where we as americans both have an opportunity and responsibility to lead. innovation in science and medicine. the investments we have made through our federal government have reshaped our understanding of health and disease advanced lifesaving vaccines, and helped millions of our fellow citizens live longer, healthier lives. but there's more we can do and should do together. and while we can always do better, our goals are bolstered by the f.d.a.'s regulatory review process. in the united states our process is one of the most efficient in the world, but our drug review
times are consistently faster than other advanced authorities around the world. while maintaining the highest safety standards. in the last year alone f.d.a. approved the most new drugs in almost 20 years, including more drugs for rare diseases and more new therapeutic bilogical products than ever before. we want to work with the congress to secure the investments in science, research and innovation that will allow our nation's scientists and researchers to continue the progress they have been making on new and improved vaccines cures therapist, and rapid diagnostics. a few months back when republican representative fred upton and democratic representative degette invited me to attend a panel on 21st century cures, i said where and when? because i firmly believe that we have many common ground opportunities to work together and i look forward to working with chairman upton, ranking member pallone and
representative degette on this bipartisan effort. as we look to move forward, i have told members of congress from both parties that we agree with them on the need to improve innovation collaboration, and data sharing among scientists. to respond to patients' needs and give them a meaningful voice in their own care. to bridge scientific gaps and bring products to market. to attract the best experts to accelerate cures. to reduce the administrative -burdens and duplications and to do all this while maintaining and protecting the public's health safety. i want to give you an example of how by moving innovation forward we have the opportunity to deliver the sort of impact that can touch the lives of so many for the better. and that example is precision medicine. the science of harnessing our understanding of the human genome to customize our medical care to our own personal genetic
makeup. for most of history, medical practitioners have been forced to make recommendations about prevention and treatment based largely on the expected response of an average patient. the ability to assess and use information about important deliverses among individuals has been very limited. the promise precision medicine has is that it gives us the ability to develop medical treatments that are highly tailored to the individual characteristics of patients. i hope we can work with the congress to scale up initial successes we have seen in this promising avenue of scientific endeavor. it's in the interest of our health and our children's future to make these breakthroughs happen. it's in our economic interests to make sure that they happen here. i want to close by the way i opened and that's by talking about the common dreams that we share for our children. if we take action to advance
innovation and if we choose to work together on the other priorities i have outlined this morning, then i believe we will build a stronger, healthier future for the next generation. in doing so, we can create a 21st century innovation economy in which we lead the world in advancing the next generation of scientific and medical innovations. at the same time, we hope american entrepreneurs capitalize these innovations into the merkt for economic growth. the-market for economic growth. the 21st century has been called the century of biology. in this century our common interest in job creation and innovation are mutually reinforcing. steve jobs told his biographer that he saw parallels between the way medical research was capturing his son's imagination and the ways in which computers captured his own. jobs said i think the biggest innovation of the 21st century will be at the intersection of
biology and technology. a new era is beginning, just like the digital one when i was his age. this intersection presents us with some of the most fertile ground for building and innovation economy. as president obama said, when america does better than anyone else is spark the creativity and imagination of its people. we know that when we give american innovators the opportunity to innovate, they accomplish big things. this is especially true when it comes to innovations in medicine. i'm looking forward to working with leaders from both parties, from the private sector, from civil society, and from the scientific and medical communities to deliver impact and drive progress that is worthy of the possibilities of our time. as i mentioned up front, i hope that we can move beyond the back and forth of the affordable care act and focus on the substance of access, affordability, and
quality. working families have come to count on that financial security that comes with having quality affordable health coverage. as secretary i am contractually obligated to mention that open enrollment goes until february 15th. whether we are talking about affordable health coverage, a better, smarter health system a healthier population, or a more secure world, i think it's fair to say that as a country and as a world we are on the threshold of positive and transformational change. it's up to us to build the common ground necessary to reach our common dreams. the world is watching. the next generation is waiting. the work is up to us. thank you very much. we'll take some questions. >> real take some questions.
-- we'll take some questions. the first question is david morgan from reuters. go ahead and ask your question. >> i wanted to ask how confident you are given that 2/3 of the open enrollment period has passed that enrollment will, in fact meet or exceed your target of 9.1 million enrollees? >> i believe that we have made strong progress. you probably saw the numbers we announced yesterday for the federal marketplace. that we are almost at 6.8 million people who have either re-enrolled or newly enrolled. as i said all along and before we even started this open enrollment, it's my job to keep us focused every day. we have a ways to go. it's a short period of time to reach the 9.1 million, and that's an infeck waited number of the goal we set out. so every day we are working hard against that.
you probably know and saw that yesterday this is a week of latino action, firmly focused on that group. we are going to continue to focus across the populations that we are trying to reach. i'm out there traveling quite a bit to different places. and what we are trying to do most to try and get to that goal is meet the consumer where they are. and that's both in terms of the speed and ease with which they can sign up and getting them the information they need to get there. >> mary agnes terry. >> i know you meet with a lot of members of congress. i'm wondering what you're hearing from republicans, especially in the senate, about possible common ground around the affordable care act? >> much of the conversation as is reflected in this speech is, as i focus on the issues where i think there are places for common ground. and we know that the issues that i mentioned, the bipartisan bills, there have been bills on the issues of opioids proposed by senator porter, senator
ayotte has been an important co-sponsor of that legislation. senator wyden has been involved. mr. rogers from neighboring kentucky, west virginia, deeply interested in those issues. that whole list of issues that i mentioned. those are much about what the conversation's about. one of the things i'm trying to do in this speech is focus on the places where we have common ground. there are, as i outlined today, whether that's delivery system reform where people do want to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the dollars at the same time we do the quality. that's the place where i focus mainly. >> that is a key law. they are fighting it. but are there members that maybe have a different message or different agenda than the leadership has? >> we are hopeful and look forward to that opportunity. as we said all along, we want to find the places where the act can be improved.
we did the piece of legislation that came before us we think about it in terms of affordability, access, quality and how things affect the economy. that's how we think about it. we welcome the conversation. look forward to it. at the same time, we want to work to make progress on issues we know there is clearly common ground that we see. >> madam secretary what do you see as the next steps particularly in the direction of affordable care either through legislation on a bipartisan basis or from nonlegislative action? >> i think as we think about the affordable care act and continuing to move forward on the issues of affordability, quality, and access, i think making sure that we have a successful open enrollment and that we continue to serve the consumer. that's the thing that is most in front of us right now. that's both about quality and affordability. second and continuing to work on
that in the marketplace and contributing to a marketplace that works for consumers. second, in terms of continuing to work on that space, i touched upon it in these remarks. medicaid expansion is an important place for focus. and that's a place that has more to do perhaps with governors but in a bipartisan fashion because of the states left and have communicated clearly. we want to work to do plans that work with states. in my conversations it's reflected different governors have different priorities for their people and states. we want to work with them on flexibility. there are certain key elements of the expansion sha were legislated and we believe are important from a policy perspective. we are opened to the innovation of states. that's area two. area three, joe, in terms of the area of focus on those three things and moving that ball forward is to continue the work on delivery system reform. and that comes in a number of different ways. and that's one where it's going
to take the government -- executive branch anti-rule making and grant making that i mentioned as a place that's very important to drive how payment reforms can occur because we are such a large payer. it has to do with what the private sector is doing. that's the next one. the last one is focusing on how we make sure that this access translates to care for individuals. whether it's in those that are newly insured or those of us who had employer-based coverage and that there are additional benefits and whether that's the preventive care you can be doing or the flu shots that you could be getting without co-pays or the child wellness visit. that fourth area of focus in terms of moving those balls forward is about focusing on making sure that it isn't just the access, it is the question of the actual use and benefit that comes from it. >> want to ask a quick question.
crossing over your experience at o.m.b. and h.h.s., do you foresee a future in which the kind of things you propose today, some of the things are beginning to happen with the a.c.a., begin to reduce the growth of health care costs in a way that begin to take. so pressure, maybe change the complex -- complexion of the debate about the long-term federal fiscal situation and potentially create new opportunities for different coalitions and alignments around that set of issues? >> i think we have seen since i came -- arrived in town at o.m.b. in terms of the deficit reduction, the most recent deficit numbers, cut in half from the point at which i arrived. so we continue to see downward pressure. i think always as an o.m.b. director it's important we always keep our eye on the long term, which is one of the issues that people have their eye on. health care costs are an important part of that. what we have seen is the changes in terms of when you start to see that 2011 2012, 2013 those
numbers in terms of the lowest per capita health care costs growth that we have seen on record when you see that downward pressure on medicare in terms of the per capita growth being nearly flat over an extevended period of time, i think we are--extended period of time, i think we are starting to see that. are those structural changes that will last for an extended period of time? how that incorporates with more people getting care? we need to keep our eye on. that's why i was emphasizing so much delivery system reform because while that's an issue that's about quality it is about changing the way we do things so we get some of that long term cost savings we are talking about. >> ricardo. >> thank you for taking my question. in your speech you didn't mention s.g.r. and chip.
and could we get what your outlook is for those two programs and what has to happen on the hill this year? and does the fact that you didn't mention these two programs mean that you think it's going to be contentious? >> so glad you raised them. probably the reason i didn't mention is because at this speech lasted much longer i'm not sure how long all of you would be here. the issue -- those are both important issues. they do fit into the frame of the conversation and what the speech was about, which is general bipartisan support, both for s.g.r. as well as the issue of chip. so i think those fall into the category of things where i think there will be bipartisan support. i think those are very clearly legislative issues that the congress will take the lead in terms of the timetable and focus they will do. not mentioned because i thought that they were very contentious.
on the ledger of putting things in columns of more contentious or greater possibility for working together, i see both of those in that category of greater possibility for working together. i think the question will come back to a point that was just raised in terms of deficits and that sort of thing. as one looks at cost. the administration has expressed support for both of them. so the question is a legislative approach to achieve them. >> weigh want to thank you for coming and thank secretary burwell for joining us at new america. we hope you'll come to future events here. not always as high profile as this one we are really glad we could host you today. thank you very much. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> if you missed any of what secretary burwell had to say here at the new america foundation, it will be available to see again in the c-span video library. go to c-span.org. congress wrapped up business for the week of the both chambers are attending annual party retreats. senate democrats are in baltimore and will meet with president obama later today behind closed doors. one identify the agenda is the lifting of travel and trade rules to cuba. those are set to take effect tomorrow.
no live remarks expected. if there is reaction available, we'll bring it to you on the c-span networks. we'll get an administration update this afternoon from white house press secretary josh ernest he's sed to answer questions this afternoon. c-span2 will carry that live. house and senate republicans also gathering today in herbie -- hershey, pennsylvania. for their retreat. congressman jeff duncan tweeted out this photo. both great americans. and comedian jay leno is entertaining their retreat attendees. wisconsin congressman sean duffy tweeted this. no jock, ran into legendary funny man jay leno. we are expecting several press conversations today. one coming up at about 11:45 eastern with the shares of the house and senate republican conferences. representative kathy madam speaker -- kathy mcmorris
rodgers and senator john thune. that will start at about 55 minutes. 11:45 eastern on c-span. house speaker john boehner and senate majority leader mitch mcconnell will address the media at 2:30 eastern. live here on c-span. live coverage continues tonight. we'll bring you more state of the state speeches starting with kansas governor sam brownback at 7:30. and nevada at the:00 p.m. eastern with governor brian sandoval. >> here are some of the featured programs on this c-span networks. on c-span2 on book tv's afterwards bret stephens argues our encommees and competitors are taking advantage of the situation abroad created by the u.s. as it focuses on its domestic concerns. sunday night at 10:00 democratic representative from new york, steve israel, on his recent novel about a salesman and top secret government
surveillance. on american history tv on c-span3, saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, on lectures and history, george mason university professor, john turner on the early mormons and their attempt to create a new zion in the american west during the 1830's. and sunday afternoon at 4:00 on real america nine from little rock, the 1964 academy award winning film about the forced desegregation of little rock, arkansas' all white central high school. find our complete schedule at c-span.org and let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. call us at 202-626-3400. email us at comments at c-span.org or a tweet at c-span #comments. join the conversation, like us on facebook. follow us on twitter. >> housing secretary told an audience access to credit and affordability are two biggest challenges facing homeownership
in the u.s. following his remarks answered a range of questions including the rise of condo sales. the future of fannie mae and freddie mac and whether he'll consider running for vice president in the election. this is about an hour. >> good afternoon. welcome. before we begin our formal program, i would like to ask all of you to stand and observe a minute silence in memory of the terrorist attack on charlie habdo the french satirical publication whose editor a and four leading cartoonists were among the four killed in the newspaper last wednesday. we honor their memories and contributions to our profession and to freedom of the press. as a park of special respect to those who died, we at the national press club will observe a minute silence in their memory at the start of every event at the club this week, concluding
with our annual general membership meeting this friday, january 16. >> thank you. please be seated. good afternoon welcome. my name is myron, add juppingt professor at the george washington university school and media public affairs, a former international bureau chief with the associated press. and the 107th president of the national press club. the national press club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists, committed to our profession's future through our programming with events such as this while fostering a free press worldwide. for more information about the national press club, please
visit our website at press.org. on behalf of our members worldwide, i'd like to welcome our speaker and those of you attending today's event. i'd also like to welcome our c-span and public radio audiences. you can follow the action on twitter, using the #npclunch. after our guess speech concludes, we'll have a question and answer period. i will ask as many as time permits. now it's time to introduce our head table. i'd like to each of you to stand briefly as your name is announced. from our audience's right, chief of staff of the u.s. department of housing and urban development. ed golding, senior advisor to the secretary of the u.s. department of housing and urban development. jerry, the washington bureau chief for buffalo news of past n.p.c. president and chair of the speaker's committee.
skipping over our speaker for a moment bob carter carter communications, and the speaker's committee member who organized today's event. thank you very much. a former three-term mayor of san antonio julio castro stepped into the national spotlight when he delivered the keynote address at the 2012 democratic national convention. he was the first hispanic to deliver a keynote address at a national political convention. after that speech pundits being pundits speculated that that mayor castro would make an attractive vice president shans -- vice-presidential president. but president obama chose castro to be secretary of the department of houfings and urban affairs, a post he assumed six months ago. castro was born into politics. both his parents were political activists, his mother helped found the chicano political
party, la raza. his twin brother, joaquin, was elected in 2012 to represent the san antonio region in the u.s. house of representatives. as mayor castro pushed initiatives such as expanding preschool education and establishing a citywide college guidance effort. he also launched a decade of downtown programs meant to attract investment and spark a revival of san antonio city center. that effort has attracted more $300 million in private sector investment. at h.u.d., he oversees 8,000 employees and a budget of $46 billion. castro has a b.a. from stanford university and a j.d. from harvard law school. he and his wife have two young children. please give a warm national press club welcome to h.u.d.
secretary castro. >> thank you very much, myron for your kind introduction. more importantly thank you for the service that you do as president of the national press club. i understand that this is your last event at the helm and i know i speak for everyone in this room in expressing my gratitude for your leadership. i would also like to recognize your incoming president, john hughs, i know from personal experience how effective he's been as an editor of the bloomberg news -- breaking newsdesk. last week just a few hours before we were going to make an announcement, we learned that john and his colleagues already had the story. while i hope that never happens again, i do wish him well and all the best for a very successful term as well.
let me also thank the press club's officers and board of governors for their great contributions. finally, i want to thank the entire national press club. this is the first time that i have addressed this prestigious organization. it's an honor because one of my degrees in college was in communication. there was a time when i thought that i would go into journalism. obviously i chose a different path. but i have a tremendous amount of respect for the work that you-all do. in fact, the events of last week in france remind all of us in the united states and throughout the world of the value of freedom of expression and the importance of journalism. for more than a century the members of this organization have shined a light on important issues and enhanced our
democracy here at home and abroad. it's truly a pleasure to be with you this afternoon. we gather today at the beginning of a new year, a time to take stock of where we are as individuals, as communities, and as a nation, and in this moment that reflection tells us one thing most clearly america's got momentum. 2014 saw great progress for our economy, the strongest year for job growth since the tech boom of the 1990's, the unemployment rate has dropped below 6%, the fastest decline in the unemployment rate since 1984. growth has been highest in sectors that pay good wages such as technology and manufacturing. . and most significantly for those of us at h.u.d., the housing market is coming back as an engine of economic prosperity.
today more americans are feeling confident because year over year, home prices have risen for 32 straight months. more americans are financially secure because homeowners equity is up $4 trillion since 2009. more construction workers are back on the job because housing has doubled during that time. the phones in the inboxes of realtors are ringing and pinging with potential buyers. and families are looking to the future with renewed optimism. simply put we're seeing gains across the board and h.u.d. stands ready to take this momentum and make 2015 a year of housing opportunity. for as many things that have changed over the years, our nation's fundamental challenge remains the same. to be the strongest smartest and safest nation in the world. the totality of that challenge is broader than the scope of
that conversation today but i'm convinced that the central principle boils down to one word, opportunity. opportunity is not an abstract concept. it is a path to more prosperous life. housing often serves as its foundation. t.s. elliott once said that home is where one starts from. we call h.u.d. the department of opportunity because whether you're rich or poor, young or old, a republican or democrat, black or white, housing shapes the quality of your life. good housing and strong communities are a source of hope for individuals and for families. h.u.d. was created to -- in president johnson's words -- build a new word that's "better, more beautiful, more liberating of life and more inspiring of the spirit."
the dedicated folks i serve with worked from sunrise to sunset to fulfill this mission. they don't it for the money. trust me. i've seen their salaries. and i know they don't it for the amenities. in fact, not too long alone buzzfeed ranked our h.u.d. building the second ugliest in washington, d.c. not quite sure who is first. glad we are only second. h.u.d. does this because they care. they are committed to tackling the great challenges of our day. from poverty to homelessness to climate change, to discrimination. in 2015 we're also paving a path to help people get access to the affordable housing that they need. for many americans, that means homeownership. homeownership is still the cornerstone of the american dream. a fact that you can see in the
lives of everyday folks. one of them is kim hartman from des moines, iowa. kim grew up as a foster child and was forced to change homes and change schools on a regular basis. because of that experience she always dreamed to give her kids better. a dream that came true this past september when she became a homeowner. kim wasn't an overnight success story. took numerous financial education classes. spent hundreds of hours helping build homes with a local h.u.d. partner, the greater des moines habitat for humanity. her dream and now she takes pride in the fact that she has a permanent address, that her kids can board the same bus for school each day and that her girls know that she'll be there
when they arrive home. that's why the opportunity of homeownership is so powerful. it's a source of pride. it's a source of wealth. providing both a nest and a nest egg. and it strengthens communities and fuels growth in the overall national economy. that's also why it's time to remove the stigma from promoting homeownership. some have been surprised by this focus. a few have even suggested that this is a return to the mania that fueled the crisis. it's not. our nation is smart enough to heed the lessons of the past without fore saking our future. the answer -- for saking our future. the answer is not to deny responsible americans homeownership. it's to do it right. since 2009 the obama administration has enacted historic safeguards to prevent our nation from revisiting the
wild, wild west lending environment that we saw last decade. for example, the consumer financial protection bureau now requires lenders to evaluate a borrower's ability to repay a loan and prohibits them from receiving bonuses for more expensive loans. in addition, h.u.d. has launched an office of housing counseling that serve nine million folks, helping them buy a home when they're ready and postponing when they're not. this helps folks to obtain a place they call their own. now the challenge is to expand that opportunity. i also want to be clear that there is nothing wrong with being a renter. as a matter of fact, my family and i rent here in washington, d.c. but for most americans who struggle with stagnant wages, a
homeownership is a better deal. zillow says renters are spending twice as much of the -- their income on housing as homeowners. costs aren't just going up in new york and san francisco they're also going up significantly in places like portland and denver and baltimore. some folks feel as if they are almost misspending money by paying their landlord instead of themselves. we need to provide them with more housing options. and that's where the federal housing administration comes in. as many of you know, f.h.a. has long been a beacon of hope for underserved borrowers. in fact, f.h.a. has ensured 1.6 million homebuyers in the last three years alone and we want more folks to be able to access our services. first, this means expanding access to credit. some believe that a few years
ago it was too easy to get a home loan. the fact is in 2015, it is too hard. in fact, according to the urban institute, the housing market is missing out on 1.2 million loans every year because credit is so tight. and just a couple months ago, even ben bernanke, the former fed chair, remarked that he'd been having trouble refinancing his mortgage. so we've undergone a year-long effort to clarify our policies so lenders could feel more confident in working with a wide range of credit worthy borrowers. there has helped increase the flow of credit and we're going to keep building on this progress. secondly, we want to make homeownership more affordable for those who already qualify for a loan. last week president obama announced that f.h.a. will reduce its annual mortgage
insurance premiums by half a percentage point by the end of this month. right now f.h.a. premiums are at a historically high level. and the cost of obtaining the american dream is too great for a lot of working folks. folks in the middle class. i'm talking about people like brittany kaufman from maryland a dental hygienist, she told blurring news, she found her dream home after looking for two months. she planned to use a f.h.a. loan to make that dream real. they she found out that f.h.a. raised its fees and instead of paying $125 a month for it she'd have to pay $340 a month. that's just something she hadn't budgeted for and so brittany postponed her search. and the thing is, brittany's not alone. the national association of realtors estimates the nearly
400,000 credit-worthy borrowers were priced out of the housing market in 2013 because of high premiums. we expect our premium reduction to help more than two million borrowers save more than $900 annually over the next three years. it will also encourage nearly a quarter million new borrowers to purchase their first home. this is a commonsense step. f.h.a.'s premiums will still be, even after this reduction 50% greater than they were at the beginning of the crisis. this premium change only makes an f.h.a. loan more affordable for qualified borrowers as well as. all over f.h.a. requirements will remain the same, including verification of a borrower's ability to pay. families still have to qualify for an f.h.a. loan, but when they do, they'll find a more
affordable path to homeownership waiting for them. both main street and wall street believe this reduction is a win. the center for american progress the national community reinvestment coalition and the mortgage bankers association all agree on this point. by bringing these costs down, we're hoping and have confidence that we'll help lift folks up and that we'll expand opportunity for generations of americans to come. when i reflect on the work that we do every day at h.u.d., i think about folks like myra wooder from just outside louisville, kentucky. myra's a person whose determination and talent, coupled with support from h.u.d. helped her transition from public housing resident to homeowner last year. in looking back at her journey, she said that it wasn't the
services alone that made such an impact on her life. she said that it was, "the torch of support compassion, understanding and encouragement that was passed through each individual in service." this is what we're about. we're about people. we're about making their lives a bit better and giving them a chance to thrive and that's why we're so focused in 2015 on homeownership. it represents family and community. it leads to stability and to security, and it is the cornerstone of the american dream. over the years, through decades of economic downturns and wars, the american people have always held on to this dream and i'm confident that they always will
. it's part of the fabric of our nation. it's what we do and who we are. we try we seek, we aspire. and for many folks who are working hard and saving that aspiration leads them to their own home. for them the time is now to buy. the time is now to invest in their future. the time is now to make their dreams of homeownership a reality. every day at h.u.d., we report to the robert weaver building and put in the hours to help match their aspirations and dreams with hard work on our end to make those dreams a reality. in my five months on the job, the biggest transition that i have made is going from city government to the federal government. i'd be lying to you at the
beginning of that transition i said there weren't a bit of growing pains and it took a little bit of getting used to. but five months later i'm convinced of this much. that at h.u.d. and throughout our federal system, we have a core of folks who are passionate and committed, ready, willing and able through their efforts to help ensure that those dreams of homeownership become a reality. h.u.d. stands ready to help and to make 2015 a year of housing opportunity. we're confident that families will seize that opportunity and we believe that in so doing that we will help make that american dream more real for millions of americans and help make this 21st century another american century. thank you very much.
[applause] >> mr. secretary, what is the biggest problem in helping people secure homeownership? >> thank you very much for the question. i think one of the biggest charles and one that i address in my remarks these days is access to credit. another is affordability. the goal behind the f.h.a. premium reduction that president obama announced a few days ago was to principally address affordability. and the national association of realtors has estimated that there are about 400,000 potential borrowers that were priced out of the market because of high mortgage insurance premiums. the other end of it is access to credit. this is something that f.h.a. is -- faha is working on, that
f.h.a. is working on, to try to create the business certainty that is good for fannie and freddie, good for f.h.a., also good for the lending community, also good for the american consumer. and so the biggest challenges, i would say, are this issue of access to credit and affordability. both of those are challenges we are prepared to meet head-on with sensible policies that are prudent but have the effect of expanding opportunity. >> you are generating a lot of questions, mr. secretary. are there any steps you have not taken yet in your first five months on the job that you would like to take to increase homeownership? >> we're taking a number of
steps at f.h.a. last may, we announced a blueprint for access to credit. we are looking at ways to make that more robust in the future. those are not fully cooked. they're still being worked on and so i'll reserve for a later date, if we do expand that blueprint for access to credit, the details of that. but homeownership very much is on our radar screen. let me also just address this point, because i feel like every time we throw out the word homeownership, the first response is, well, aren't you turning back the clock of what we went through? and the straightforward answer is no. in my remarks, i mentioned several of the checks and balances that have been put into the system so that we do -- don't go back to where we were before. from the work that the cfpb is
doing to new policies at f.h.a. at h.f.a. as well, the landscape of lending has completely changed since that time. and you can see that most clearly in the credit scores of borrowers today versus the credit scores of borrowers from a few years ago. the case is that the pendulum has swung from one extreme where it was too easy to get a home loan to the other extreme where it's too difficult. and what what we need to achieve is a sensible and strong middle where we had the right safeguards in place. those remain in place, but we also have good opportunity for hardworking americans to be able to own a home. >> how did you reach the decision to cut f.h.a. premiums, and will you consider cuts to upfront fees and/or
dropping the requirement that premiums must be paid for the life of the loan? >> thank you very much. it's a very good question. on the annual fees, these annual fees have escalated significantly. fees overall have gone up about 145% at f.h.a. since the crisis began. we made a decision about reducing the insurance premiums based on the latest actuarial report, the annual review we got on mutual mortgage insurance funds. y'all may know, those who write about housing, that we said at that time that we were back in the black and that we would take a step back and analyze whether or not it made sense to reduce these mortgage insurance premiums.
after that sober analysis and really understanding the numbers, listening to those numbers, we made a decision to go ahead and lower it by 50 basis points. .5 points. as to the question of further reductions, right now, there are no further reductions on the table. >> somewhat related question. f.h.a. is the starting gate for most first-time homebuyers. is there any concern that f.h.a. homebuyers are already upside down the first day they move in? >> well, we want -- we're always generally of course, concerned about ensuring that folks who take out a loan are able to replay that and that homeownership is a positive experience and not a negative one. the goal is to help build wealth out there, not to detract from it.
so we believe that some of the policies that have been put in place, the checks and balances during the housing crisis, have helped to ensure that borrowers that qualify and get an f.h.a. loan are in a better position to actually pay off that loan and to benefit from homeownership in general. we also, as i mentioned in my remarks, have embraced housing counseling as an effective way, both prepurchase and postpurchase, to help ensure that borrowers fully understand the responsibility and how to budget out for instance, in their monthly household budget that house payment and what the true cost of owning a home is. that it's not just about the mortgage payment. it's also about the upkeep and maintenance and so forth. so through some of the sensible policies that have been put in place at f.h.a. and also through things like housing
counseling we're confident that that borrowers will have a positive experience. >> in the context of a new condo building, there are there is holds for sales that need to be met before any one new loan may be closed, in other words, the holding has to be 50% sold out before f.h.a. will lend in there. it stops projects from moving forward, according to the questioners. are there any plans to review some of those rules in order to help facilitate the orderly selling of new urban dwellings? >> i want to thank you all for the question. this is a question that comes up from time to time. i know i have been to a number of cities where the condo market is very much an important part of the real estate market, a growing part of it. i think of places like miami for instance. this is an issue that's on the radar screen.
we have heard a variety of per expectives from different -- perspectives, from different groups, business groups, other interest groups. so it is on the radar screen and we are looking at what's possible there. but have not come to any conclusion as to whether there are going to be significant changes. >> the f.h.a. waiver of its regulation prohibiting home flipping expired on december 31, 2014, two weeks ago. is there really any benefit to the market to restrict f.h.a. home loans to borrowers from accessing these newly ren jated homes? would it be better to impose guidelines to help ensure quality work? >> thank you very much for the question. let me put this in a bit of a broader context. one of the concerns that we
hear out there is that to the extend that f.h.a. has a hold of properties in communities folks out there are concerned that we ensure that we have an eye toward not just what's right for the f.h.a. and the fund but also how do we help keep the character of that neighborhood in good stead. and so with regard to the rule that you cited, i have not looked into that in the last 11 days, but when we think through how we approach these questions, we want to ensure that we strike a balance between the health of the f.h.a. and its business needs as well as the character of the communities that we're serving that we do right by those local communities and their neighborhoods. and so that's how we'll evaluate those types of rules.
>> peter wallace said of the policy institute writes in his new book that the affordable housing goals of the administration are leading underwriting. this will lead to an economic downturn. your thoughts, please. >> in that question, he said -- the questioner is suggesting it is leading to underwriting that is too lax? i felt there was something missing in the question. i think that's the question. and the answer to that is -- first of all the proof is in the pudding that that is not the case today. if anything, the underwriting standards are too strict. as i mentioned before, we went from one extreme, where it was too easy to get a home loan, to another extreme today where it is too difficult to get a home
loan. and what we want to be able to achieve is a strong sensible middle ground where we have good safeguards in place so we don't slide back to the past but at the same time folks who are ready and responsible to own a home can get access to credit and the housing goals that the administration has set i don't believe those are playing the kind of role that questioner suggests. >> i do not know if you can quantify this, but the questioner asks, how many homeowners were needlessly foreclosed? did you see it happening in san antonio? did the feds do enough to help? >> i do believe that communities across the united states saw the impact of foreclosures. san antonio was no different from that. it was not as pronounced in
some markets like san antonio as it was in others. i'm thinking of places like phoenix and las vegas at the depth of the housing crisis, places in florida who were very strongly impacted. from day one the administration took very aggressive action to help folks stay in their homes, make it more affordable for folks to hang on to those mortgages and to be able to actually pay them. the now juns the other day in phoenix was -- the announcement the other day in phoenix was significant because we went back to a housing market that had been very hard hit with the housing crisis but has seen significant uptick. i believe that the obama administration took very strong important measures to blunt the force of that foreclosure crisis. and because of that, millions of americans have been able to stay in their home and the administration continues to be
committed to helping people stay in their home. at h.u.d. we embraced grants like the neighborhood stabilization program grants n.s.p. 2, as well as partnerships with local communities and the usage of home funds cbdg funds to make homeownership possible in communities throughout the united states. >> will congress pass housing reform in this new congress coming -- taking office this week? >> the straightforward answer to that is, i don't think anybody can tell right now. the administration's position has not changed on housing finance reform. the administration supports
housing finance reform that gets the taxpayers off the hook were we ever to experience the kind of housing crisis we experienced a few years ago. we believe there is a sensible way to accomplish that. we are pleased to see johnson crapo make it through the senate banking committee. that did not get broader senate approval and did not get approval in the house of representatives. but we remain committed to the principles underlying the legislation and we look forward to seeing what comes forward in this new congress. my hope is that we can find a good, sensible way to address this in 2015. >> will fannie and freddie survive? >> that is a great question. and the fact is that depends on what happens in any potential
legislation. i think that folks along the ideological spectrum and partisan spectrum believe there is a better way out there. there's a way that we can accomplish having a government backstop, but do it in a matter that does not leave taxpayers on the hook the way they were a few years ago. and i know that director watt is doing fantastic work at fhfa and they are very much part of this conversation, but i believe that we can accomplish this balance between getting the taxpayers off the hook getting good sensible housing finance reform, and also creating more opportunity for homeownership. the fact is right now congress has just begun its work in earnest and i have not seen anything that's been put out there yet, so nothing is swimming through the process
that i know of. we'll address it as it comes along. >> redlining is racism in the housing market. is redlining more prevalent than it was 10 years ago, and do you have any plans to crack down on this practice? >> the department is committed to ensuring that everyone in the united states has an opportunity to have a good quality of life and where they live and opportunity for homeownership. and we have a robust fheoo a federal housing equal opportunity office, that is committed to enforcement as well, to ensure that no matter the color of somebody's skin, or if they have a disability, their
religion, national origin, they are able to live where they want. and where they're able to afford, and that includes looking at situations where folks engage in discriminatory lending practices. of course, this issue of redlining is one that has had, over the generations, a profound impact on urban growth patterns. and the location of different communities within cities. and it's one that we continue to be attentive to, and fheoo and h.u.d. is committed to doing what they can to eliminate that discrimination. so every year they take on cases that impinge upon those obstacles and seek to make the united states a place where homeownership and freedom to live where you want is possible regardless of the color of your skin. >> how does the credit quality
of f.h.a. loans made in fiscal year freen and early 2015 -- 2014 and early 2015 compare with f.h.a.'s historical norms? >> thank you for the question. of course this is january 13 so we're only 13 days into 2015. i don't know if we have any analysis for this new year. in 2014, the credit quality was still one of the strongest for f.h.a.'s history. i mentioned this earlier that what we see today is that the credit score of borrowers that are getting a loan whether it's from f.h.a. or from the g.s.e.'s is traditionally much higher than it was. certainly in the time period where it was too easy to get a loan, but even higher than what it was -- let's say we go back
15 years ago to 2000 or 20 years ago, the credit of these borrowers are very very strong. at f.h.a., for instance, we've done things like put in a credit score floor of 500 and have required that if you have a credit score 580 or underneath that you need to put 10% down, not the traditional amount. so all of those things and i think credit overlays that private sector, the banks have put on have created borrower credit quality for the g.s.e.'s and for f.h.a. that are very strong compared to the norm. >> as senior population grows does h.u.d. have plans to expand the 202 rental
demonstrations and add more affordable housing for seniors? >> that is something on our radar screen. i know that aarp and joint center for housing studies at harvard have done fascinating work on this issue. if you just look at the demographics and what is happening in the united states when we talk about cities, we often talk about millennials. this young generation. how important they are to enlivening up local communities. but the fact is the fastest-growing population is people over the age of 65. that is something very much on our radar screen, and we're looking at how to be robust in the support we provide out there for those kinds of housing opportunities, including section 202. >> your focus seems to be on housing. do you plan any changes in the urban development side of h.u.d.?
>> as a former mayor, a recovering politician, one of the things i have enjoyed most about h.u.d. and certainly when i was mayor are programs like cdbg and home. a 40-year legacy that they have had in helping to rebuild communities and investments in infrastructure. we like to think of h.u.d. as fully as the department of housing and urban development. as a former mayor, i am very focused on the urban development component of that. under the leadership of former secretary donovan, we did great things like the choice neighborhood grants and promise zone along with other departments. we've lookt -- we've invested in -- we've looked -- we've invested in these place-based strategies for rebuilding communities. what i see is that we need to continue that trend.
at h.u.d. right now we're looking at for the long term, how do we orient the department in a way that is aimed at serving individual communities better? with more agility? in more of a place-based way? how do we make place-based not just a name of a policy, but truly something that is embedded in the organization? and these place-based strategies really are about urban redevelopment. i would be remiss if i didn't say as well that it is not just about cities. because h.u.d. also serves tribal communities, it serves smaller towns and some rural settings as well, even though we are called housing and urban development. as a matter of fact, housing and community development would be more accurate. my first love is cities as a former mayor but i recognize
the work is more diverse than that. >> two questions related to renting, and then we'll go to some more general questions. multifamily lenders say h.u.d. needs to expand its rental housing construction lending and ease underwriting standards on apartment loans. do you have any plans to do that? >> we're not announcing anything on that in the near future. the multifamily market has been a relatively strong market in the united states compared to the single-family market over the last several years. there are reports that may be cooling going forward in 2015. however, there is a strong commitment on h.u.d.'s part two -- to making investments in
multifamily housing, so we're not ready to announce anything new in that regard, but we do have a very full commitment to the investments we made in multifamily housing. one of the ones we are excited about is something called the rental assistance development or r.a.d. it was started a couple years ago. it is about taking private sector investment into public housing and making renovation of public housing units more possible. so i will give you an example. one of the -- there was a gentleman from housing authority, i believe in the midwest, a couple months ago that i spoke to that said that in their community they had been able to make renovations, improvements in public housing units in two years that would have taken 18 years just through traditional funding.
we had our first peek at what at what this rental assistance demonstration project r.a.d., has meant for multifamily housing in different localities. we had third party look at, study the first 57 rental assistance demonstration dreams deals deals and it found that for over one dollar of public money invested, there was $19 of it sector investment. over $400 million of private sector investment. so this is making possible the renovation and renewal of units, public housing units that otherwise would not happen or happened over a decade or more. that's important because we're losing as a nation 10,000 public housing units to disrepair every year. r.a.d. is one way that we can enhance our multifamily housing stock, and the fact is oftentimes -- oftentimes now
there are mixed finance deals. and this has been the case for quite sometime that include different types of financing and r.a.d. introduces one more element into that with the overall goal being to address rental affordability out there and the fact that today a greater number of families are paying more than 50% of their household income toward rent and we want to change that. >> will h.u.d. establish a renter's bill of rights or set -- to set national standards for what renters should expect to be entitled to? i'm all ears on that. it is -- i grew up in my own life in the household of a mother a single mother who was renting and, you know my
bought my first house at the age of 25, 26, something like that. but today i'm a renter here in d.c. and i know that that is for many folks the predominant experience of their lives, and they see costs going up. in some situations, i know as a mayor, in local government, i remember many cases on the nightly news of landlords that were not as responsive as they should have been. and that that's fairly common out there. so when you talk about a renter's bill of rights, that's intriguing. i'm all ears. >> mr. secretary although you said you are a recovering politics, i have to have a -- politician, i have to have a few questions in the political area. when you accepted the
appointment at h.u.d., there was speculation about what it would mean for your long-term political future. to get to the point, do you think serving as h.u.d. secretary offers the kind of experience necessary for one to serve as a vice-presidential nominee? >> i'm trying to do a great job at h.u.d. so i think it's great experience for being h.u.d. secretary and that's really what i'm focused on. i believe that anything you do in life, as y'all have seen from your own profession, the number one way to be satisfied personally and also to have a great future whatever that future is, is just to do a fantastic job with what's in front of you, because if you don't do that, you can kiss any of that future goodbye and so i'm just trying to do a great job with what's in front of me right now. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015]
[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> is governor of his own state. any chance of your following a similar career path? >> thank you for the question. maybe we have some texans in the audience. that was a tough cowboys loss, i know. i do not know what my future is going to hold after these two years when i sign off in 2017. i'm very, very mindful that when january 20 comes around in a couple of days that there are two years left. i want to do an excellent job as h.u.d. secretary during those two years. and make a difference and i believe that we can for many of the reasons that i stated in my remarks. and then we'll see what happens. there's no -- there's no grand plan after that. >> as you say, with two years to go until the next presidential inauguration, do you endorse hillary clinton for
president in 2016? [laughter] >> i have no doubt that i will get asked that question again in november of 2016. secretary of state clinton is obviously an extremely talented person who has made fantastic contributions to our national progress over the last couple of decades. and i am staying out of those politics in this role. but i know that she did a great job as secretary of state, and i am confident, that if she is elected president, she will do enormous good for the country as well. >> on the other side of the political spectrum, former texas governor rick perry is believed to be preparing for a run for president.
how were your dealings with him when you were mayor of san antonio? >> governor perry served, as folks may remember, from 2001 until just recently. and i served on the city council in san antonio from 2001 to 2005. mayor from 2009 until just a few months ago. most of the time i interacted with governor perry was around economic development projects. and oftentimes when mayors and governors interact on economic development, everyone is on the same page. you want to see investment in your local community. there are usually incentives that are involved in sparking that investment. i have said publicly and privately that with regard to economic development that former governor perry, you know, did make that a priority. and so my relationship with him on those issues was cordial and
good. when he supported san antonio. obviously, i have much different views from him on a whole host of issues. and i believe in general that texas is getting it half right right now for the 21st century. but i wish him well in the future. >> in the same vein, how were and are your dealings with senator ted cruz? >> we had a good meeting when i was going through my confirmation process. sat down in his office, talked about where a good spot to get texas barbecue is in d.c. [laughter] >> a place called hill country, he said. he and i have different views as well. but what i am looking for as a
newcomer to washington, d.c., is where we can work together on policies. whether it is on premium reduction or the work we do in public housing or any number of policies. i am here to get a job done, to create more opportunity for folks out there. and so if senator cruz that we can work with or senator cornyn, who was kind enough to introduce me at my confirmation hearing, i'm eager to do it. i am eager to work with people across the ideological spectrum in the service of creating opportunity for everyday americans, whether they come from texas or somewhere else. >> could you comment on the president's outreach to cuba? >> as the president has said the policy we had in place with regard to cuba was in place for five decades and did not work.
and so, the question now is, how do we go forward with a sensible policy of engagement that requires cuba to begin making a change of course? and i am satisfied the president has taken a sensible prudent step in that direction. and that that is very meaningful for many americans. i know in the cuban american community, this is a source of a lot of thought and different views, but i believe that folks on different sides of that, both sides of that recognize that the goal is to ensure we continue to promote freedom and democracy. and the president has said he believes this is the best way and most effective way to do it. and many folks of different
ideological backgrounds have said that they agree with that, this is a sensible policy. and so i look forward to progress on that. >> the penultimate question, before we have the last question, do you think republicans will get on board with immigration reform, and did the president go far enough in his immigration proposals? >> the president made a prudent decision to take action. a first step to fix our broken immigration system. there are folks who have suggested that he did not go far enough. i disagree on that. the president has done what is within his authority. >> welcome to hershey everyone. we hope you enjoy the chocolate. it's really been a great venue for us as we've come together as house and senate republicans. it's the first time in 10 years
that we have held a joint retreat and here at the beginning of the 114th congress it's really -- i think the members have responded very positively for the opportunity to come together, focus on the vision, the goals that we have as we head into the 21st century. we believe this is america's new congress, where we can focus on policies that are going to help renew america. applying conservative principles to the solutions of today and really presenting an agenda that's focused on growing our economy building a healthy economy from the bottom up and unleashing america's entrepreneurial spirit. we want more opportunities for people. we're having a lot of policy discussions. the afternoon is focused on breakout policy sessions, focused on budget and recognize sillation. another one on health care and -- reconciliation, another one
on health care and border security where the chairman and -- the chairman will be presenting and we'll have a discussion of what's the path forward. it's really productive and important that we are starting out the new congress together. >> thanks, cathy. well, i'll also echo that and say welcome to hershey. the first time we did that was my first year in the senate, i think it was back in 2005, and there are a lot of new members then. a lot of new senators and house members. in many respect this is is the first opportunity to interact in a way i any is really good and productive, builds relationships. obviously creates, i think, a better understanding between the house and the senate and how the two institutions work. and it's been really good. it's been terrific interaction. some great presentations. a lot of things to think about. but as cathy mentioned, our goal here really is to set the stage to do some good things for the american people, that
will create jobs, will grow the economy and will strengthen the middle class in this country. so, you know as i said, having done this about 10 years ago, thinking we would get 47 senators to an event like this i think the high water mark in the past was about 32. so there's great interest, great level of participation and in a really good robust, frank discussion of the issues. so thank you for joining us here. with that brief introduction, we try and answer a couple of questions, if you have them. >> so i know the -- [inaudible] based on what's transpired so far, do you think that tax reform is something your conference wants -- is actually going to actually push? >> i think the answer to that depends entirely on how willing the president is to expend
political capital on it. there's great interest among our members in tax reform. we think it would unleash a tremendous amount of economic growth and economic activity in this country would be very good for jobs. so we have a high level of interest in that subject. would really like to be able to mark bills up, but i think it's going to depend entirely on whether the white house wants to engage and really lean into it and put their shoulder into it. so far what we've seen is the white house and the president have expressed an interest rhetorically in the issue of tax reform but when push comes to shove really engaging with the congress we've not seen that. i compare it back to -- i was a young staffer back in 1985 and 1986 the last time we did this in the reagan -- and the reagan administration was incredibly engaged. they had teams up on capitol hill. they were submitting proposals. it was a very, very different time and a very, very different level of intensity if you
really are serious about getting an accomplishment. so, yes, we're very interested in it. our members are interested in it, but it's going to be very difficult, i think, to spend a lot of time and energy with all the things we have to do if the white house isn't going to -- isn't going to be willing to do their side of it. >> and i would just add people in america recognize that the tax code is too complicated, it's too costly. republicans in the house too are anxious to move forward on simplifying a tax code and agree that it would be one of the best things that we could do to get our economy really growing and create those jobs, create those opportunities for people and so we're going to be looking for that opportunity, hoping that working with the senate as well as the white house that we could start actually taking some steps. >> i was wondering if you had any reaction or what is your reaction to the president's proposal today to expand sick leave for american workers and
his proposal to give sick leave or give the pregnancy six months to federal workers, is that something that republicans can support? >> we're going to look at what the president proposes. we are and i am committed to policies that are going to empower families and women and give more opportunities. we've been focusing on some solutions that i think would really be up for consideration, too, and hope that the white house and the senate will look at like martha roby's workplace flexibility act, rather than more mandates and requirements from washington, d.c., really giving flexibility in the work force to allow families to make those decisions as to how best to schedule their time and make those kind of decisions. so, you know, we're going to be working through all these issues together. >> it's a mandate you would
support? >> we want to work with the white house and the senate on really empowering those families and we'll look at -- we'll see what we'd like to do too. >> we welcome them to the debate. one of your own state of nebraska, deb fisher, has a great workplace flexibility bill that we tried to get considered in the last congress. >> senator thune, you talked about trying to build relationships between the house and senate. one issue that's coming up is how to fund the department of homeland security, expires february 28. there are a lot of statements, republicans that might be leery of supporting the bill the house passed out yesterday. how has the discussions been going and what does the future of that bill look like, senator? >> well, the magic number in the senate is 60. and when we have these discussions, as we have today and yesterday with our colleagues in the house, obviously we share the same
goals. we think that president overstepped his authority, acted in an unlawful way, a way which he said 22 times on his own he didn't have authority to act. notwithstanding that he went forward. we intend to challenge that. the house has done that with an appropriations bill in the rider that's attached to it. the outlook in the senate will depend on what we can get 60 votes for. this is the start of a process, and that discussion, conversation continues and will as we got now, i think until february 27 when that legislation or funding expires. >> [inaudible] >> i don't want to at this point say what leader mcconnell might ultimately decide to do, but that's a discussion we're having as a conference and, you know, obviously we want to give our members an opportunity to vote to express their opposition to the president's
action, but we also realize at the end of the day in the senate it's going to take 60 votes. >> [inaudible] can you speak to the gentleman who was arrested yesterday, who had the plot to go ahead -- use a pipe bomb as well as members of congress, he was arrested but also expressed sympathy to isis how and when did you learn about this and is there any concern about the safety of lawmakers in light of the fact that he did empathize with isis ? >> it reminds me that we are grateful fought capitol police and to those who protect us and the fact that they were able to expose this plot before anything happened is very important. i learned about it yesterday yesterday afternoon after we were already on the road here but it also highlights and i think impresses upon all of us the threats that face america
and going back to the importance of getting the homeland security bill funded. we take that very seriously. it is on all of our hearts and minds what we've seen around the world and what it means potentially to threats that face, not just members of congress here on capitol hill, we need to be very serious, we need to take the appropriate steps and make sure that our agencies and our officials have the resources that they need to do the job to protect the american people. it really is the number one responsibility of the federal government to keep the country safe and we need to take this seriously and this is an area where we will be working very closely with the president. >> taxes are expected to be the worst in more than a tech cade
what do you guys make of that? >> i don't think based on the i.r.s.'s record over the last kipple of years, there's a whole lot of sympathy for the complaints that they're now making about not having enough funding. obviously they have a job to do. it's an important job. we want to make sure they have the resources to do that job, to collect the taxes. you know. but waste regular sources targeting conservative groups and things like that, is something we take great issue with. i expect when we go through the budget process this year and the appropriations process, like every agency, we'll look very carefully at their mission and making sure they're resourced to do the job we asked them to do on behalf of the american people but you know, like i said, in the last couple of years, the i.r.s., in term os they have way they're perceived by the public probably not in the best place. but that doesn't mean they don't have an important job to do an we aren't supportive of ensuring
they do it well. >> thank you. >> department of -- clean department of homeland security funding bill at the end of the day? >> i can't -- i don't want -- like i said earlier, the discussions about how to process that particular bill discussions continue. and you know, clearly we want to be able to give our members in the senate an opportunity to vote as the house members did on that issue but ultimately, again, it's -- we recognize the important role the department of homeland security plays in this country and the fact that it needs to be resourced in order to do that. but there may be different ways and approaches to this issue that, you know, we can get the point across. we'll see. >> will the house bill pass the senate as it is? >> good question. >> why would the house pass the bill a senate -- a bill the
senate can't agree to? >> that's the process. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> wrapping up with house and senate republican leaders live from their retreat in hershey pennsylvania. the next update set for 2:30 p.m. ian with house speaker john boehner, senate majority leader mcconnel will join him. senate democrats at a gathering in baltimore prepping for a closed session this afternoon with president obama. we're not expecting remarks to the media, but reaction, it becomes available, we'll have it for you. also today, white house press secretary josh ernest -- earnest will answer questions. also we'll take you to the national press club here in washington to bring you remarks from the new cheer of the national endowment for the humanities who will be speaking
at a press club lun john on -- luncheon on plans for the endowment's future which is 150 years old this year. later today, discussion on cybersecurity and ways to prevent future attacks in the wake of the sony pictures cyberhack. speakers will include former house intelligence committee mike rogers and former head of the n.s.a. and c.i.a. also live coverage will continue tonight, we'll bring you more state of the state speeches, beginning with kansas governor sam brownback at 7:30, then governor brian sandoval of nevada at 9:00. the c-span cities tour takes book tv and american history tv on the road, traveling to u.s. cities to learn about their history and literary life this weekend we partnered with comcast for a visit to wheeling, werge. >> i wrote these book the wheeling family, they're two
volumes. the reason i thought it was important to collect these histories is that wheeling transformed into an industrial city in the latter part of the 19th century and early part of the 20th century and it's kind of uncommon in west virginia in that it drew a lot of immigrants from various parts of europe here in search of jobs and opportunity. so that generation, that immigrant generation is pretty much gone. i thought it was important to record their story to get the memories of the immigrant generation and the ethnic neighborhoods they formed. it's an important part of our history most people tend to focus on the frontier history, the civil war history, those periods are important, but of equal importance, in my mind, is this industrial period and the immigration that wheeling had. >> wheeling starts as an outpost
on the frontier. that river was the western extent of the united states in the 1770's. the first project funded by the federal government for reproduction was the national road that extended from cumberland maryland, to wheeling, virginia. and when it comes here to wheeling that will give this community, which about that time is about 50 years old, the real spurt that it needs for growth. and over the next 20 to 25 year, the pop leags of wheeling will almost triple. >> watch all all of our events from wheeling, saturday at noon eastern on c-span2's book tv and sunday afternoon at 2:00 on american history tv on c-span3.
the head of the consumer financial protection bureau spoke about the home mortgage market and the state of the lending industry. richard cordray describes several initiatives by his agency to inform and prepare consumers for the responsibility of home ownership. this is about 50 minutes. >> good afternoon, everyone. i'm norm eisen, today i have the pleasure of welcoming my friend richard cordray to the government studies program here at brookings. i also want to welcome the many dignitaries and colleagues here in our capacity audience as well as those of you who are watching on our brookings government studies live stream, on c-span, and those following the event on
twitter, #cfpb. one of toughest challenges we research in government studies is setting up a new federal agency. director cordray has led his great team in mastering that challenge in the three years since he took the helm of the cfpb as its first director. for those of us who knew him before he took on this monumental task, that success is no surprise because of his previous experience dealing with consumer finance issues in an exceptionally diverse government career. director cordray served ohio as a state representative. a county treasurer, as ohio's first ever solicitor general a state treasurer and finally as
ohio attorney general before becoming enforcement director of the cfpb in january 2011, and its first head in january 2012. myself having work in the white house on the administration proposal for dodd-frank, including the cfpb, i can say that the new agency has dope all we hoped for and then some. perhaps that is because the agency is being led by a five-time jeopardy champion. when they asked rich how he would use his jeopardy winnings, he said among other things he would pay off his student loans and other obligations. he has firsthand experiences with the consumer finance issues that his agency addresses. i'm pleased to welcome director cordray today for the announcement of a new cfpb initiative concerning perhaps the most important consumer
finance issue, home mortgages. as you will hear, the work that he and the cfpb are doing is an example of how government can do more to help the middle class and all americans. i give you director richard cordray. [ applause ] >> thank you, mr. ambassador. as norm said, he's a friend and i've also had deep admiration for his public service, not only his innovative diplomatic efforts on behalf of our country but his previous work with ethics, ethics foundational work for this administration which has been effective and lasting. and before that, as he indicated and noted, he is himself an expert in consumer finance.
he also has keen insight -- there was a point at which my family visited him at the u.s. embassy in prague, czech republic, and after a few days he summed up the visity telling me that i was now his least favorite cordray. took me a while to reconcile myself to that comment. thank you for having me today. and i bring you best wishes for the new year. i can also offer what i regard as sage counsel from ogden nash who once jat vise about the new year, ring out the old ring in the new, but don't get caught in between. for myself every january marked a significant personal development at the bureau. four years ago was when i joined the bureau. three years ago president obama named my as the first director by means of a recess appointment. two years ago we finalized our first set of important new rules to improve the mortgage
market. last year after i'd been confirmed as a director, thanks to the u.s. senate those rules went into effect across the country. and this year we are continuing that ongoing work by helping consumers gain greater control over the mortgage process. the american mortgage market remains the single largest consumer market in the world. and as we know all too well, in the runup to the financial crisis, it was the mortgage market that was deeply damaged by reckless lending. the damage caused the economy to crash. while the housing market has been gradually recovering, it has lagged the pace of recovery in many other sectors over the last six years. our ability to repay rule that took effect last year is to ensure that the lenders will offer mortgages that consumers can afford. they put in place new protections for consumer to strengthen the market while enabling and protecting responsible lending that is sounder and more
sustainable. since the time our mortgage rules were implemented almost one year ago today we have not seen dramatic changes as some had feared. i recall seeing rash predictions such as that the price of mortgages would double and the volume of mortgages could be halved. but by the time these rules went into effect, mortgage lenders had already backed away from the worst kinds of loans. if you remember the ninja loans, loans so called because they could be made to people with no income, no jobs and no assets. loans with negative amortization made to borrows who couldn't afford the interest accruing on the mortgage. so they owed more over time. those also dried up. aour rules put further measures in place to make sure that irresponsible lending would never be allowed to reappear. at the same time however we did not anticipate that our rules would affect a broader market in an intention or abrupt fashion.
instead we included provisions so that loans backed by fannie mae and freddie mac would be protected under the new rules. another special provision ensures that thousands of small creditors can continue to do the kind of responsible lending they've always done to serve their markets across this country. in these ways we protected key elements of the current mortgage market even as we installed new guardrails to prevent irresponsible lending long after the crisis had faded. the mortgage market continues to heal from the great damage done by the financial crisis with foreclosure rates continuing to fall. home values continue to improve and the number of homes that are under water remain on a downward trajectory. there are also growing signs of
pinup demand among first i'm home buyers which could be a key point. this has been a slow segment of the market for several years. so a core purpose of the rule was to help restore reliability to the mortgage market. when people take out a loan to buy a home, they deserve confidence that they're not being set up to fail. with such confidence they can be more actively engaged in the process of seeking a good outcome. they can choose the lender an product with the terms best suited to their budget and the terms best suited to their families. making choices effectively will depend on people weighing their options and understanding how to shop around. we know it can be difficult to shop for a mortgage. it's hard to understand how to shop and the process can be intimidating, to say the least. that's why we're releasing our know before you go initiative called owns a home.
it's designed to empower home owners to gain greater control over the process and maximize the benefits of the major transaction. the report we're issuing today on the shopping experience is based on new results in the national survey of mortgage borrowers, a joint initiative. when we say that almost half of consumers who take out a mortgage to buy a home fail to shop before applying for a mortgage, this means they seriously considered only a single lender or broker before making their decision. by contrast, most consumers put substantial effort into considering their different housing needs. they routinely weigh the most basic questions about which house to buy, such as where they want to live and how many bedrooms or bathrooms they think they'll need. but they are not as careful of confident in weigh the economic aspects of the mortgage. such as the terms or fitting their financial needs. given the importance of this
major purchase, almost nobody look at just one house and decides to stop there. they spend time looking at different neighborhoods and different homes for sale. the same should be true when looking at loans. when you're spending a lot of money, you're literally betting the house on the choices you're making and it can be highly beneficial to shop around. our study also found that consumers are getting much of their information about mortgages from sources that have a vested interest in the outcome. 70% report relying on their lender or broker a lot to get information about mortgages, while only 20% rely heavily on websites and only % rely heavily on housing counselors. certainly lenders can be valuable resources but they also have an important personal stake in selling the mortgage. what is best for them is not always going to be best for the consumer. because lenders and brokers have different business models they may make money in different ways to stay competitive. it's in the consumer's best interest to ask questions and get as much information as
possible from several lenders and brokers before making a decision. people may well put more time and effort into shopping for the house and also for things like smaller products, such as appliances and televisions than they do in shopping for the right mortgage. the failure to look around can mean real money lost for consumers. for example, on a conventional mortgage with for borrows with a good credit rating and 20% down payment, the range of interest rates can span a half a percent or more. for a borrower taking out a 30-year fixed rate loan for $235,000 getting an interest rate of 4% instead of 4.5% translates into $60 a month. over the first five years the borrower would save $3500. the lower interest rate means the borrower would pay off an additional $1,400 in principal over the first five years even not making additional payments. by not shopping around consumers are often throwing good money
down the drain. an important and interesting finding from our survey -- i want to emphasize this -- was that consumers with more confidence in their knowledge about the mortgage process were more likely to shop. this was especially true for those who said they were familiar with the available interest rates. they were almost twice as likely to shop as those unfamiliar. we need to try to instill more confidence in consumers and help -- and by empowering them we can help them make the most of this process. at the consumer bureau we're working to reduce the information gap between lenders who understand mortgage pricing inside out, to consumers, to whom the process can feel like a mystery. it's time to start changing the culture of how people obtain their mortgage. we need to change the process of getting a mortgage a pass i activity, to shopping for a mortgage, an active activity. consumers have more power than they realize and can use that power to take control of the outcome.
to help consumers, we are improving mortgage disclosures. our know before you know forms will become the new reality in the market. the forms are consumer tested to be more readily accepted and user friendly to help consumers. we'll also be bringing out a new consumer friendly booklet that people receive when they apply for a mortgage. although they limit risky product features, mortgages can have different features for the consumer to understand. key components of the loan including the loan term, type and interest rate. loan terms vary between 15 to 30 years, loan types are conventional loans as well as those offered by f.h.a. or v.a. among others. interest rates can be fixed and adjustable for the upfront cost for mortgage vary across lenders even for the same consumer on
loans with otherwise identical mortgage features. shopping for mortgage can occur at different noint the process but the consumers are well advised to cast a wide net early on. the consumer may begin by researching different options. once the consumer knows more, she may be ready to meet with lenders and ask about the products they offer and the application process. once the consumer made an offer on the home, she's ready to apply for a loan from different lenders. finding the best deal depends on comparing available offer which is may vary based not only on interest rate bus also other costs or terms. owning a home has great new tools to help consumers throughout the home buying experience from the very start of the process all the way to the closing table. these tools can be found on our website at consumerfinance.gov owning a home. if consumers need hetch understanding the difference between fixed rate and
adjustable rate mortgage our tools will help. if they need help deciding how much to borrow, our tools will help. if they need help understanding the new mortgage disclosure forms, owning a home will be able to explain all that. we're hoping to add these tools over the course of this year to give people a comprehensive, comprehensible feature across the year. one too many is the rate checker that helps consumers understand what interest ratings may be available to them. it incorporates information from lenders' internal rate sheets, information they use to calculate what interest rate is available for a particular consumer. we're giving consumers direct access to the same type of information that the lenders themselves have. borrowers looking to buy a single family home can use the rate checker to input their own information and find out what interest rates they're likely to be offered from lenders in their area. by plugging in their credit score, their location and information about the loan
they're seeking, they can see the rates lenders are offering to borrowers like them. this is different from other websites that usually quote potential rates based on averages for borrowers with great credit and a large down payment. those idealized versions of what you may be offered can be misleading because of course, not all consumers have high credit scores or can afford a large down payment. the result is that many consumers go to lenders and are quoted surprisingly different rate which is can leave them confused and uncertain about whether the quoted rates make sense. and of course many of those websites focus primarily on solicitting customers, thus requiring people to surrender their personal information, perhaps an email address, often much more, information that may be used for marketing or sales purposes. by contrast, owning a home has no hidden agendas and the bureau does not retain personal identifying information. it enables consumers to have more of the information they need to be savvy shoppers and
get the best deals they can. our new set of tools also offers an understanding of how lowered rates translate into dollars saved. it can be hard to understand what an extra quarter or half percent of interest amounts to. so our tool makes it easy to compare different interest rates and see how much they'll cost. consumers will be able to go to our website and plug in information as often as they like to become more familiar with their options. understanding what rates they can expect to be quoted in a market will help them see the value of shopping and gain more confidence about the crucial decisions they need to make about which mortgage to choose. it is worth noting again from our survey findings that if consumers gain more confidence about the process, they become more likely to shop for a mortgage in the first place. when consumers actively shop for a mortgage, they will be in a better position to make the best decision they can about what is possibly, and in many cases probably, the single largest financial transaction of their lives. the set of tools contained in
owning a home, complete with a critical rate checker feature, will help consumers do that more effectively. let me take a second to debunk a popular myth. you can shop around for a mortgage and it will not hurt your credit score. within a certain window of time, generally between 14 and 45 days, it's increasing over time, multiple credit checks from mortgage lenders or brokers are treated as a single inquiry. this is because other creditors realize you're only going to buy one home at a time new york all likelihood. you can shop around and submit multiple applications to obtain multiple initial estimates. the effect on your credit will be the same no matter how many lenders you consult. for these reasons it's vital that consumers meet with several lenders early on but wait until they receive official loan offers to make their final selection. starting this summer, these official loan offers will be communicated on our know before you owe form which will
summarize key terms as well as closing cost. by demystifying the jargon, we're making it possible for consumers to have conversations with lenders that are better informed. consumers will have a reliable estimate that can change only in limited whies between the application stage and the closing. this will build their confidence and empower them to make the right decisions for themselves and their families. the central purpose of the consumer bureau, we said many times, is to ensure that empowered consumers have access to markets that are fair, transparent and competitive. that is god for consumers, for the honest businesses that seek to serve them, and for the american economy as a whole. our important new set of mortgage rules is creating a cleaner mortgage market. consumers are better protected from the pitfalls and booby traps that hurt so many people and led to the financial crisis. but when people fail to shop it's because they're intimidated by the process, they're putting themselves in harm's way. one of our duties as a consumer
bureau is to educate and empower them as much as we can. we're seeking to change the culture of how consumers get mortgages in this country by making it more possible and more truthful for them to shop around. people should walk away from the mortgage process feeling secure they made a sound and sustainable decision about their future and they should be right to feel that way. we've seen all too clearly that when consumer financial products are misunt or misused, they can do real damage to people's lives. consumers need to make the best choices to fit their circumstances. nobody can do that for them. they need to be responsible for the choices they make. at the consumer bureau we're seeking and finding ways to help them get exactly where they want to go. please join us in supporting this important and exciting work. thank you.
>> thank you, rich. one of the hottest topics in governance is how government can do more to help the middle class and all consumers. in recent days, leaders of both parties here in d.c. have come out with proposals dueling proposals in some cases in that regard. you and the cfpb team have been doing that every day since you took the help three years ook -- took the helm three years ago new york ways large and small. it seems to me that the owning
the home initiative is a large way that you're doing that. i thought we'd start by my asking you a couple of questions about that and other subjects and then we'll open things up for questions from the floor. so tell us how you hope these new online and other tools are going to change the home buying process for consumers in practice. what does it mean to the real lives of these folks? and what else can the bureau do, if i can push you a little, to encourage informed shopping by consumers. >> the mortgage transaction is for most people, the most important transaction of their lives. it's the most money they will ever spend. it has to do with achieving what we all consider to be a fundamental part of the american dream. home ownership. and studies have shown, even through this crisis and even
through the extreme variations in house prices around the country that sustainable home ownership remains the single most important and effective way that middle class families can save money and build wealth for their futures. partly that's because of the forced savings component of making regular monthly mortgage payments. but it's a very important part of developing and maintaining and improving a future for yourself and those who depend on you. that's quite important. what we found in our report, as i said, was consumers are very intimidated by this process. and when they're intimidated they start to not engage. and when they fail to engage they do not get the best outcomes for themselves. and by making tools available that people can use that are fairly straightforward understandable and accessible -- and again a lot of this is very complex and often deliberately so because it makes it difficult for consumers to find their way -- we can make it possible for
consumers to understand their choices better, weigh those choices more effectively, and come to the best outcomes for themselves. that's what we all should want and that's part of the work that we're doing at the bureau, not only in the mortgage market but in all the markets. >> so understand, weigh and then engage as consumers. what about the other part of the question? what else can the bureau do along these lines to encourage even more informed shopping by consumers? what else can we look forward to? >> so there's, i should say, numerous things we're actively engaged in on this front. one of the first set of tools that we put together was called paying for college. that's another one of the transactions that comes along
for families typically once, maybe twice, maybe once in a generation, i guess is fair to say. and it has become an expensive proposition for many families. to be in a better position to understand their choices and in weighing them not in the same way you like a school you like a house, but being able to make good comparisons and know what the choices mean in the long run, how much you're going to owe when you come out of school what your repayment rights may be, how you're going to manage that. for people to think about that upfront and not fail to think about it and redwret later they didn't think about it more, as many people have told us they do, is another way this occurs. we are also doing consumer education and engagement in many ways across the spectrum of the bureau. ask cfpb is one of the sets of information we have developed and continue to develop on our website so that consumers who now have a new situation or something they don't understand, it may be a debt collector is
pursuing them and they don't know what their rights are, or they're trying to understand their credit rating, credit report, credit score better and don't know how to improve that, all that kind of information is available at consumerfinance.gov. people can get it in realtime when they need it. we think that's helping people gain more confidence about making good choices for themselves. >> one of those web tools, the consumer complaint aspect of cfpb.gov stirred up a little bit of a flap recently because of the determination to include the so-called consumer narrative in those web forms. can you reflect for us a little bit about the brouhaha and the outcome? >> god forbid that people should know what other people are actually saying and complaints about these companies.
and they, by the way, say those things on many websites having nothing to do with the consumer bureau. but one of the things i want to go back, let me just say, the consumer complaint function, building an agency from scratch has been an enormous challenge. we haven't always gotten everything right and it takes real time and effort to do that as well as do our work. but it's been a great challenge for us and a great opportunity. one of the pieces of that was that congress said that we had to have a consumer complaint a consumer response function. we had to build it from scratch. we built it not having any sense of what the actual volume of complaints would be from the american public. that volume is enormous and growing. we've had over half a million complaints so far. across the range of products. we had more than 250,000 last year alone. so the volume is increasing. and every one of those is a voice of the consumer that tells us about a problem that they're seeing in their lives in real time. each one of those is an
anecdote. everybody derives anecdotes as not being true statistics and data, but when you have hundreds of thousands of individual instances it becomes in the aggregate real, meaningful data. we continue to push on industry and they're beginning to get it and stepping up to the plate and recognizing that they should look at the patterns of what their customers tell them about themselves and respond accordingly. that's changing the culture at these institutions and it's changing life on the ground for whether consumers are being treated fairly. i'm proud of the people at the bureau who have been doing that work day in and day out from the beginning. >> before we turn it over to the audience for questions, when we announced that we were going to host you, we heard, i heard personally from many of the
folks that i had worked with when we were doing our listening about the cfpb in the white house, putting together the dodd-frank plan. i heard both from folks i talked to in the business sector and the consumer sector, so i'm just going to ask you a follow-up representing both of those points of view. first on the consumer complaints, business as they have on a number of things you have done. really on everything you have done. had strong feels about that. what steps did you take to make sure that the complaint process was also fair to the financial industry and to business? >> so that is very important to me personally. i think it is very important to the bureau. we are doing some things that create change in the industry. the change was needed. consumers need to be treated fairly. and it is sometimes difficult to know the exact parameters of what that means. so we have made efforts from the beginning. and i think everybody would credit this, that we have
consistently been very accessible and transparent about people being able to come and speak to us and express their concerns. and we get it from across the spectrum here. and we think hard about that and take that into account in order to formulate any kind of proposal or policy or response to concerns. on the consumer complaints in particular, there was a lot of concern initially that we said we were going to have a public database. that it wasn't enough to have complaints and work them and resolve them and think about what that means as a pattern in prioritizing our own work. but we thought that the public ought to have access to that information and be able to think about it in terms of what it might mean about choices they would make. and notably, we thought it was important for industry to be able to see not only what they now see which is what customers tell them about their own product but what kind of problems might exist in the industry at other providers and that's something they can learn from and avoid problem, or see
if they're doing better or worse and respond accordingly. that's important information, they didn't have access to that before. but i will say, there's various sensitivities around changes and changes that can be pressing on people and we want to be thoughtful and responsive to that. on our mortgage rules, we have several times gone back in and adjusted and rerevised various things in response to feedback we hear and monitoring the market and seing what change is occurring. i believe that's been a hallmark of the bureau and will continue to be over time. >> now turning to the emails that i received from the consumer activists they requested -- some are here but requested that i ask you, first of all they're complimentary of the work you're doing and you mention the word transparency, the cfpb has really been seen as a model agency on its
transpatientcy. >> not by everyone. >> that is somewhat of a hobby of mine and i give you high marks on that. in the world of transparency advocates and experts that you have done a good job on that. no one agrees on everything here but, there would be no need for brookings if we agreed on everything. a question that i did get was under the dodd-frank arbitration study provision it's taken you a while to do the preliminary study, we're waiting on the final study, and folks were curious. to the extent you can talk about it, i know you are in midstream. but folks ask me to inquire about the reason for the timetable and when we can expect the final study and some rules >> ok. i want to be a little careful
about what i would say because as you say it is midstream. it is notable. the dodd-frank act had provisions in it about arbitration in various contracts and it's been the law of the land going back to the 1920s the federal arbitration act, that arbitration has become seen as an forum for resolving disputes to our courts and attitudes on that have e -- have evolved over time. in the dodd-frack act it said specifically that there would be no arbitration in mortgage contracts, that that's in there and that is the law of the land. it also went on to say that as for other types of consumer finance contracts arbitration was put on the plate as a live issue. and it said specificry that the consumer bureau should conduct a study, and issue a report to congress on various aspects of arbitration, what it means, how it works, what the consequences are, and then based on what that
report contains, consider policy judgments about what to do or not to do about arbitration clauses in contracts -- contracts. it's taken time for us to do a thorough job of work on that. but it is progressing. when it is complete, we'll issue that report to congress be in the fairly near future. and at that opponent we'll be in a position to make judgments. i would not want to prejudge any of those steps until the report is complete and issued and that's something we've tried to be very careful about. so i'll continue to try to be careful about it today. >> i think you've succeeded. all right. with that i'm going to open the floor to questions. let's see. i'll start by calling on dan berger. >> how are you?
good to see you. >> good to see you too. >> just wondering whether the cfpb has any initiatives concerning abusive mortgage servicing practices including abuse of foreclosures and whether or not it has nichetives concerning abuse of worst place insurance practices, and then i'd like to ask whether or not you have a view on whether the federal government could stimulate refinancing of the millions of mortgages that are under water by making changes or instituting policy initiatives in that respect which would produce tremendous benefits to consumers and a tremendous stimulus to the economy? >> let me try to deal with both pieces of that. the first piece, mortgage
servicing. this is an issue that has aggravated me going all the way back to my days as a state and even local official in ohio. i served as our state treasurer at the time the foreclosure crisis was just beginning to break across the midwest indiana, ohio were the leading states at the time and of course it became a national the nonnon-- phenomenon. it continues to be the case that mortgage servicing particularly in a challenging environment is a difficult undertaking and i have not been satisfied with the performance of the mortgage servicers, although it has been improving in some respects, it is not problem free. we now have new measures in place. the bureau, the consumer bureau, has adopted new mortgage servicing rules that are fairly comp reshensive they build on a lot of work that's been done by other policymakers. they are now understood through the industry, they are uniform. they apply to all mortgage
services whether banks chartered institutions and others. we now back those through an effort which is very meaningful. we have rules in place that are uniform and real teeth behind those rules. we've had enforcement activity around the new rules, we have supervisor activity that is ongoing and we'll continue to police this market. because many people have been badly hurt by some of the problems in that area. and i have seen in it my community and across the country. as for refinancing of under water mortgages you are really more into the realm of programs that the treasury department has worked on and has been developing and states have been working on programs and developing them and to some extent we can jawbone the preist sector to do more refinancing, we've dobe some of that on mortgages and also on student loans. the nature of a student loan is you take out a loan at a time in your life when you are trying to get through school and you are more of a risk. you get through school, you're
in a different place, should you have the ability to refinance that loan at that point going forward? i think you should, a lot of people think you should, some of the industry is starting to step up and respond to this. the overhang of student loan debt right now, on our society, among young people who also happen to overlap the class of first-time home buyers, prospective first-time home buyers, is significant and the domino effects on our economy are large and a meaningful negative factor we need to think more about, the high cost of higher education and what it means for the student loan burdens and how we handle those burdens and how we service those, student loan servicing is also a problematic area that we are focusing on. these are issues that matter a lot to the future of this country and they're important for us to consider how to do bet for the terms of public policy and execution. >> question? yes, sir.
>> hi, director cordray dan wagner for the center for public integrity. you have spoken at length about the importance of mortgage choice this morning. given those issues, those benefits, that you see to people being able to shop around, do you have any particular concerns about the one-third to one-half of mortgage borrowers buying manufactured homes who have no choice and are forced to finance with a single lender? >> i've been before congress. and we've had a lot of discussion around manufactured housing. it led us to put time and effort into understanding this market better. and we issued a white paper last year, as you no doubt will recall that kind of surveyed how the manufacturing housing industry has evolved and how the market has evolved especially over the last decade or two. there are parts of this country where manufactured housing looms very large as a portion of housing stock, particularly rural areas and some of the more
difficult terrain, i think of appalachian segments of southeastern ohio, for example, but there's many around the country. and making sure that people are treated fairly in terms of being able to buy and finance manufactured housing is an important part of this spectrum system of it's something we're going to continue to pay attention to. the white paper was represented as a pretty serious effort to lay some groundwork for people thinking about policy measures, whether it's us or the congress or others, and so it will continue to be a focus of intention for us because of the fact that it is such a meaningful alternative for a number of folks, especially on the lower to moderate income and housing spectrum. >> ok. we have time for one more audience question. >> thank you. my name is taylor with the new england council.
thanks for taking the time to speak with us. i was hoping you can speak more about the first time home buyers and as the market recovers how confident are you with that aspect and whether you think the growth is coming and whether you are satisfied with that growth. thank you. >> we have to go back to the back drop of this. everybody agrees, although they have different accounts sometimes as the causation here, that it was the housing and mortgage market that broke an caused the financial crisis. and when there is an element of the economy that causes such severe dislocation generally throughout the economy, it is almost inevitable that that area of the economy will be the slowest to recover and repair itself. the damage was so deep in the mortgage and housing market that it just takes longer to recover. that has been our experience. since the crisis going back to 2008, 2009. so, you know, we're talking five, six, almost seven years now. the housing market has lagged the recovery in the economy.
now, that also means that over time we may have pent up demand and we're seeing signs of that, especially among first-time home buyers. but what we don't know -- and the federal reserve had a great very succinct summary of eight or ten things weighing on the housing market that as they change we're going to see how the housing market may change. when they talk about this in their open market committee minutes from juvene last year. with first time home buyers, what we don't know is whether there's been a temporary lull that will now lead to increased demand, or whether there is some sort of more permanent change going on here. the student loan overhang, if it is not alleviated could be a somewhat more permanent change or at least temporary over a longer period of time. if attitudes towards credit and borrowing and home buying have changed among young people because they now view itni as a -- view it as a riskier market,
that could be a dynamic that could extend for some time. and people are speculating about this now. we don't yet know. i think that would be a mistake because as i said earlier home ownership continues for the middle class in this country to be the single greatest engine of building wealth. most of their wealth is tied up in their homes and other time they tend to build wealth most effectively by being a homeowner. so the notion that you have a significant sector of our young people who would miss that opportunity and miss the savings that could come with that would be you know, i think a negative for the economy and a negative for our society. so i'm concerned about that and i think people need to make good judgments about the possibility of home ownership and not shy away from it simply because they tend to be most focused on most immediate results they saw in the recent past. so it's a market that is
recovering and i believe that first-time home owners will begin to recover at greater pace but we don't know that for sure and we'll all be interested to see how it develops. >> i had hoped to do more from the audience but i promised the staff. >> my answers were too long? >> well, i think the questions were too hard. but i've promised your staff that i would get you out of here timely. i had one more question that i wanted to pose to you. i'll ask you to answer for us. you gave your maiden speech as cfpb director here at brookings, i think it was on your first day, or thereabouts, 2012. we sit here now three years later. can you quickly tell us looking back now over that three year period what the biggest surprise has been both pleasant and otherwise, of those three years
as you thought it might have unfolded when you sat here three years ago? >> well, there was a pleasant surprise i hoped would occur when i was confirmed in the senate by a pretty resounding vote in july of 2013. that was meaningful. what i would say about sort of the processes i have encountered at the bureau, there's two things i didn't quite appreciate before i came. one is we operate in a space that's fairly crowded with other policymakers as well. obviously congress is always the primary policymaker in our country and that's appropriate, but there are a number of agencies who have different rules. we overlap to some degree. we have to work together effectively if we're going to do our jobs appropriately and that takes some realtime and effort we have to put in together. we've been in a landscape where we have received that time and effort from our colleagues and i think they've received it from us. whether that's always and inevitably the case, that's not
a given. the second thing i would say is i came to this job from the attorney general position in ohio, which is an enforcement position. i was not that familiar with the regulatory side of things. it takes longer than i would have wanted or expected to work through the for row processes of you know, these are complicated issues. there were some tough questions today but these are the kind of questions we are dealing with all day long every day. how to do enough, but not too much how to balance competing principles that are basic, fundamental, like consumer protection on the one hand, access to credit on the other. these are things that take a lot of time and effort require a lot of analysis of data and the like. things move more slowly than i would like but hopefully they come out better at the other end. >> as you noted, it's very, very tough to set up a new agency. not every new agency that's been set up has as happy a story to tell as the extremely successful
three years that you've enjoyed. and we're very pleased to have you here today. i can tell from the many hands that were raised that we easily could have gone longer. so i would like to invite you back to come and talk to us again and share your reflections. >> and let me just go back, i want to thank you again and all those who worked on dodd-frank and continue to work on it and think about it. the fact that an agency like this was created and established to look after the middle class in this country, the average consumer, and to recognize that they make choices every day that affect their lives, some of them are difficult choices that they don't fully understand, some of them are choices that they make all the time. to the extent we can help them be in a position to do that better and improve their lives financially that's significant across the whole country. we recognize that as our mission and it's what motivates us and makes it a pleasure to go to work every day. >> thank you. thank you for the work that you and all your colleagues do.
[applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> shortly we'll go live to the national press club here in washington to bring you remarks from the new chair of the national endowment for the humanities who will talk about the endowment's future. that's about five minutes from now on c-span. also today, white house press secretary josh earnest will talk about u.s.-cuba relations. house and senate republicans are holding a two-day policy retreat at this resort, the hershey lodge in hershey, pennsylvania. there have been agenda discussions throughout the day focus option sharpening their
strategy. politico headlines a story about it "g.o.p. retreat: let's pace ourselves." their strategy, divide democrats early and often and build up to the larger legislation later on. steve scalise talked about the 1996 reform of the welfare system which passed when republicans controlled capitol hill and bill clinton was president. congressman scalise reminded them that clinton vetoed the legislation twice before signing it into law. that story from politico. house speaker john boehner and senate majority leader mitch mcconnel will hold a joint news briefing here at 2:30 eastern again about the republican retreat. live coverage will continue tonight as we bring you more state of the state speeches starting with kansas governor sam brownback at 7:30 eastern, then we switch to nevada, nevada
governor brian sandoval will give his state's state of the state at 9:00 eastern. dr. anthony falchi, our guest this sunday on "q&a" is on the front line battling against infectious diseases. >> we have drugs right now that when given to people who are h.i.v. effect infected, in the early 1980's if someone came to my clinic with aids, the median survival would be six to eight month which is means they would be -- half of them would be dead in eight months. now, if tomorrow, when i go back to rounds on friday, and someone comes in to our clinic who is 20-plus years old who is relatively recently infected and i put them on the combination of three drugs, a cocktail of anti-retro ro viral therapy, i can accurately repredict, look them in the eye and say if you take your medicine regular he
you could live an additional 50 5-06rbings -- 5-0 years, to know that -- to go from knowing you could go from six to eight months to living just a few years less than a normal life span, that's a huge advance. >> director of the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases sunday night on "q&a." the c-span cities tour takes book tv and mesh history tv on the road traveling to u.s. cities to learn about their history and literary life this weekend we partnered with comcast for a visit to wheeling, virginia. >> i wrote these books, "the wheeling family," they're two volumes. the reason i thought it was important to collect these histories is that wheeling transformed into an industrial city in the latter part of the
19th century and early part of the 20th century and it's kind of uncommon in west virginia in that it drew a lot of immigrants from various parts of europe here in search of jobs and opportunity. so that generation, that immigrant generation is pretty much gone. i thought it was important to record their stories, to get the memories of the immigrant generation and the ethnic neighborhoods they formed. it's an important part of our history most people tend to focus on the frontier history, civil war history, those periods are important, but of equal importance in my mind is this industrial period and the immigration that wheeling had. >> wheeling starts as a -- an outpost on the frontier. that river was the western extent of the united states in
the 1770's. the first project funded by the federal government for road production was the national road that extended from cumberland, maryland, to wheeling, virginia. and when it comes here, it will give this community the real spurt that it needs to grow. and over the next 20-25 years the population of wheeling will almost triple. >> watch all of our events from wheeling saturday at noon eastern on c-span2's book tv. and live to the national press club where the luncheon speaker is the new chair of the national endowment of the humanities. >> we are oak a minute of
silence in their memory at the start of every event at the club this week including with our annual membership meeting tomorrow. [moment of silence] >> thank you very much. please be seated. welcome again. my i'm a professor at the george washington university school of media and public affairs former international bureau chief with the associated press and 107th president of the national press club. the national press club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists committed to our profession's
future with events such as this while fostering a free press. for more information about the national press club, please visit our web site at press.org. i would like to welcome our speaker and those of you attending today's event. our head table includes guests of our speakers and working journalists who are club members. i note that members of the general public are attending, so it's not necessarily evidence of a lack of journalistic objectivity. i would like to welcome c-span and public radio audiences and follow the #npclunch. i will allow questions as time permits.
it's time to introduce our head table guests. i would like you to stand briefly. from the audience's right, a hubert humphrey fellow and fulbright scholars program. freelance journalist. washington correspondent for "the arkansas democrat gazette." president of the association of american colleges and universities and guest of our speaker. deputy c.e.o. of the united states capitol visitors center and co-organizer of this luncheon. director of the smithsonian american art museum and guest of our speaker. washington bureau chief for the
"buffalo news" chair of the speaker's committee and former national press club president. historian america of the national portrait gallery and co-organizer of this luncheon. vice president of the andrew mellon foundation. director for president information at the austrian embassy. president of thompson and associates. [applause] >> this year marks the 50th
birthday of the national endowment for the humanities, an independent federal agency that is funded by taxpayers. our speaker today has chaired the organization since mid-2014 and we hope to hear the plans for marking that anniversary. like its sister organization, national endowment of the arts, it has has had shared controversy over the years. cultural gates have been eclipsed in recent years in the $146 million budget grants go to state councils museums, research and educational institutions. a native of michigan, adams has degrees from colorado college and university of california at saventa cruz. his formal education was
interrupted by three years of service in the army, including one year in vietnam. it was partly that experience, he says, that motivated him to study and teach in the humanities. he has said, quote, if they be serious in a certain way, and as a 20-year-old combat infantry adviser, i came face to face with questions that writers artists, philosophers and musicians examine in their work starting with what does it mean to be human, unquote. later he coordinated the great works in western culture program at stanford university and served as vice president and secretary of wesleyan university and president of bucknell university in 1995 and president of colby college. last spring, president obama nominated adams to serve as the
10th chairman of the national endowment for the humanities. ladies and gentlemen please give a warm national press club welcome to our guest speaker. [applause] >> thank, for those nice words. welcome. thank you so much for coming. it's great to be here at the national press club and i want to thank its organizers for giving me a chance to talk about n.e.h. and the work we are doing. i'm grateful for the inspiration of the cupcakes. we have been talking a lot about the 50th at n.e.h. and haven't talked about cupcakes, but i know now that's what we are going to do. and that's all i'm going to say on planning the 50th. but there will be cupcakes.
some additional expressions of thanks to those who are here today. i thank my colleagues from n.e.h. and members of our national council and national trust being with us today and i thank judy for helping make these arrangements. my guests at the head table, you have heard them announced. they are passionate advocates for the humanities and i'm honored by their presence and grateful to friends and colleagues from other organizations and many friends here today from colby college where i had the honor to serve as president for 14 years. thank you all for coming. i have come today particularly to announce an important new initiative at n.e.h., one i think will bring n.e.h. scholars to the forefront of discussions of american life. first by way of important context, i want to talk about n.e.h. its history and role in
our cultural life in the united states. as my ron said op september 29, 1965, nearly 50 years ago president johnson signed the national foundation of the arts and humanities act. the act created the national endowment for the arts and the national endowment for the humanities and it was part of a truly remarkable legislative agenda. consider this in a brief four-year span. the congress passed in addition to this act the civil rights act of 1964, the voting rights act of 1964, the wilderness act of 1964. the social security amendments of 1965 which created medicare and medicaid, the national preservation act of 1966 and civil rights act of 1968 known as the fair housing act. wow!
that's an amazing legacy. and the legacy of these pieces of legislation are still being debated here in washington and elsewhere around the country but there's no question at all that they changed this country profoundly and changed it forever. in the intervening 50 years, n.e.h. has changed some things. since its founding, the agency has made roughly 71,000 grants to individuals and organizations totalling approximately $5 billion and leveraging $2.4 billion in private philanthropy. they have supported scholars and teachers colleges and universities museums libraries, history associations in every state and territory. funded documentaries, museum createors, librarians and helped many large and small organizations, preserved
documents and collections that serve as the building blocks of cultural memory and history. they have enabled scholars and organizations to exploit digital technology for research and presentation and the dissemination of humanities materials and resources. the most significant result of all this work and there have been many, but the most important is the steady growth of what i call the cultural capital of the united states. we have had a lot of partners in this work, including humanities councils state and local governments, private foundations and generous individuals. but without the endowments, leadership and without its symbolic authority and without its singular commitment to the entire nation's cultural legacy and capacity, our cultural foundations which we all benefit
today would be far less impressive and less appreciated by the american people and by many others around the world. the importance can be assessed and measured in a number of ways beginning with the depth of public engagement that it creates and sustains. and two programs i want to mention. in the early 1970's under the leadership of the chairman n.e.h. made the decision to address aggressively in museums and documentary film making and television productions. the results were felt almost immediately. on the museum side, very important part of what we do, n.e.h. grants supported large and successful art exhibits in major museums including the exhibit in 1976 which was seen by nearly eight million people here in washington, new york,
new orleans, san francisco seattle and chicago. in new york alone, nearly 30% of the visitors were first time museum goers. this exhibit and several others like it and i'm sure betsy knows about this, changed the way museums think about their public and the way the public thinks about museums and led to a steve martin song which you can still access on youtube. i did it the other day. n.e.h.'s investment in documentary film making has had extraordinary impact in ken burns' work stands out from all of the work we have done. the brooklyn bridge came out in 1982. followed by "life and times of howy long" and "civil war" and in the first viewing had 12 million viewers. ken's most recent film which
many people have seen, "the roosevelts" was seen by 33 million people on public television stations across the station. these productions are very impressive and important to us but they represent only the tip of the iceberg of n.e.h.'s impact. many more have been touched by the state humanities councils museums, historical associations by the work of n.e.h. funded scholars which include 18 pullitzer prize winners. and by the courses these educators offered in the wake of their n.e.h. experience and there is also our web site, which offers humanities resources to primary and secondary school teachers and draws three million visitors every year. public engagement really
matters. it's very important to us, but cultural capital matters in other ways. two i want to mention briefly. the cultural economy is hugely important to the economic health of thousands of communities around the country. i came from one recently, waterville, maine and likely to matter more as the economy of the united states shifts from being a manufacturing economy to one based on financial services health care, retail, education and so forth. more important still our democracy relies on the knowledge that citizens have of our political history and the principles and values that history was built upon in ensuring that this story is told broadly and powerfully is among n.e.h.'s most important responsibilities and its accomplishments. the legislation creating n.e.h. was inspired by the report of the national commission on the humanities which was formed in
1963 through the combined energies of the american council of learned societies the council of graduate schools and united chappers of phibeta kappa and the leaders of these organizations are here today. the commission was chaired by bobby keeny, the president of brown university and n.e.h.'s first chairman and included an array of university administrators scholars, lie rarians and museum directors. it included tom watson junior, the second president of i.b.m. and ambassador to the soviet union who knew a thing or two about cultural imagination and technological innovation. the commission had several basic arguments for the establishment of these agencies devoted to arts and how mapts that were
later used in the founding legislation. i want to mention them briefly. they embraced the human values of justice freedom, equality virtue beauty and truth. without the deliberate cultivation of these virtues in the public's atmosphere, we risk losing sight of them. citizens understand its history and fundamental principles and values. the humanities promote the kind of cross cultural and multi cultural understanding that is required in an increasingly interconnected world. given its economic and military power in the world, the united states must be a leader in the realm of the spirit and ideas and therefore has a compelling state interest in developing human knowledge and institutions. shaping all of these arguments with the conviction that n.e.h. would have to be focused at once
on two related but slightly activities. on the one hand, the agency would have to invest in fundamental research in the various fields composting the humanities philosophy, literary study, history language, political theory and forth. at the same time the founders and particularly i found early supporters in congress were also determined that humanitiesry search have public meaning, influence and impact. the legislation declared, quote the humanities belong to all the people of the united states and accordingly n.e.h. had to be committed not only to the coltiveation but the best what has been thought and known and to the public and where the public actually lives. the current conditions of national life. that's also from the legislation.
an early member of our national council and was an official in the atlanta public school system press expressed this impulse in a wonderful way, which i love. when he called for the n.e.h. to broaden the general area of the humanities as the equipment of all the citizens. and so for nearly 50 years n.e.h.'s carried on its work with these twin purposes in mind to ensure leadership in the realm of ideas and in the spirit while engaging with the public and with the circumstances of contemporary life. this marriage of what we think of or what might think of as the classical and pragmatic or the scholarly and the popular has not always been easy quite frankly. like many marriages, my wife discouraged me from saying most marriages -- like many marriages, it has experienced
misunderstanding and even jealousy. but it's also been enormously creative and vital to the success in building the cultural capital of the country. with that achievement in mind and with an eye to the celebration of our 50th anniversary that the agency is officially announcing a new initiative to the common good in the public square. the purpose of this initiative is to engage humanities scholars with complex issues playing out in our public lives and to demonstrate the relevance and the power of the humanities in addressing those issues. the notion of the common good itself should be familiar to us. it central to political theory and practice and expresses both the right and the obligation of citizens to debate the general welfare. it is the as pierational goal
and guiding ambition that anchors citizenship in democratic politics. i found this passage recently, ben franklin said it well, to pour forth benefits of the common good is divine. so our hope at n.e.h. is to encourage scholars and organizations to turn their attention toward public life. more specifically the initiative invites them to engage in illuminating the grand challenges that we now face as a nation. no list of such challenges is definitive, but here are a few that many have a lot to say. how can the humanities i will ume ate the positive ways in which the remarkable advances in information technology are affecting individuals and communities in contemporary human life. how can it enrich the debate over the appropriate balance of security and privacy or security
and liberty that technological advances have placed before us. i dare say that in the wake of the events in france, these questions will become urgent. the understanding of the meaning of democratic citizenship. how can the humanities contribute to the understanding of the relationships between humans and the natural world another very urgent matter. how can the humanities illuminate the recent wars and conflicts and contribute to a deeper understanding of the experience of war. how can the humanities contribute to the full incorporation of veterans into civilian life and help all of us appreciate their unique perspectives. how can the humanities assist the country in addressing the challenges and opportunities created by the changing demographics in many american communities. how can the humanities
illuminate the promise of biomedical technologies and procedures and deepen our understanding of the complex ethical questions that they raise. beginning this month n.e.h. will welcome proposals in all of our appropriate grant programs on projects that draw on the resources and methods of the humanities to engage public understanding -- in public understanding of these and other important dimensions of our lives. several specific areas are worth mentioning. a few weeks ago in anticipation of today's a announcement we launched the public scholars program which which provide support to reach a broad public audience. it aims scholarship that will be of interest broadly to the public and will have lasting impact. under the common good the endowment intends to expand its
standing together initiative which supports projects and grants connecting humanities to the experience of veterans and war. this initiative has supported work in 50 states and all the territories through a special grant we made last spring and we hope it will provide even more support in the next budget year. as part of the common good initiative we are very pleased to announce today a new collaboration with the andrew w. mellon foundation. the open book project is designed to give second life to outstanding out of print books in the humanities by making them freely accessible to the public as ebooks. freely accessible as ebooks. this is our first collaboration of this kind with mellon, who has been a leading funder of the humanities. and the museum, libraries and
cultural programs at n.e.h. will encourage programs that reach new underserved or underrepresented audiences. in this regard we announced a major partnership with the american library association supporting community programs nationwide on the theme of latino americans 500 years of history. we believe that the common good is important and timely for several reasons. first, we are convinced that the common good will be good for the humanities and humanity scholarship. we are aware of recent criticism that humanists have been too focused. this will encourage the scholars who wish to demonstrate their professional abilities and interests to american life. my recent experience in talking about this with people suggests that encouragement will be welcomed.
within the academy there is growing concern about the confines that the system places on what is and is not regarded as legitimate scholarship. and beyond the academy, i think there is a hunger for the particular angle and vision that humanists can bring. the "new york times," a piece you might have seen, quote, for me, the humanities are not only relevant, but also give us a toolbox to think seriously about ourselves and about the world. the prospect of thinking seriously about ourselves in the world is what drew me and most humanists i know into the profession. we were convinced that ideas matter in the every day world. we believe that the humanities are valuable because their study deepens our capacity to sort out the meaning of our experience. i know this in a very particular
way, returning from the vietnam war and the turbulence in the 1960's the humanities offered me a way of thinking about what i witnessed. i found in them perspective and meaning and since coming to n.e.h., i have been very pleased to note that other more recent combat veterans have been affected in a similar way by some of the programs we have offered to veterans. a more engaged and public facing humanities profession will be good for the country as well for most of the great challenges we face as a nation. the challenges that define our times and that will increasingly determine our future are not essentially problems of a technical or scientific nature. they are almost exclusively about our values about our fundamental beliefs and ideas and assumptions, about our histories and about our
cultures. these are the proper domains of the humanities and its learning and its thinking. the public face of humanities can help us understand where we have been, what we value and believe and where we're headed. by way of example and at the risk of being a little too topical, consider the scorching experience we have been through in the last few months in this country regarding the issue of race. this is hardly a new topic in american history and life. but it's one that appeared to some for a brief period of time to have become less pressing. it's hard to believe now, but remember that in the wake of the re-election in 2008, some people even spoke of a post-racial society. and then came ferguson and staten island. it's not clear how this difficult passage we're in now
and the broader conditions from which it comes will be resolved and what exactly resolution means, but i think most people would agree that there can be no adequate understanding of our current situation without a better appreciation of the history of race relations in the united states, of our cultural assumptions and divisions and the ways in which we actually live in and perceive the world. plenty of work there for historians and social philosophers, among others. plenty of ground for reflection and questioning for all of us. i could use other examples, but i think you see my point. we need the forms of understanding and knowledge embodied in the humanities, historical knowledge cultural knowledge, emotional and psychological knowledge because they i will ume ate our lives. the result is not the sudden
disappearance of the things that vex us but a deeper understanding of who we are, how we got here and how we might lead better lives. words like insight, understanding and i will lume nation -- illumination make people short thirst. they never get to the bottom of things. and of course, that's true. if by the bottom of things we mean, the end, as in a cure for disease. but if we're honest with ourselves about how we live and our personal lives and in our lives with others, we know that we never get to the bottom of things in this particular sense but sometimes we get wiser. i do not mean by this to undervalue other forms of knowledge, stem, the science and technology is important to us and the country and we have
invested time, energy and resources in the advancement of stem in the government education and in the private sector, but as we do, we must keep other important investments in mind, especially our investments in the humanities. not just because they are the source of great beauty and pleasure, which of course they are, but because we depend upon these forms of knowledge just as surely as we depend on scientific knowledge. the national endowment for the humanities will certainly continue its investments in research, in education, in public programs of all kinds and the preservation of cultural and historical materials, in the digital humanities, in institution building and state and local humanities organizations and the cultural capital of this country will continue to expand as a result. major cultural institutions in libraries, museums, historical sites and colleges universities
and high schools and in the work of humanities scholars. we will make a difference by encouraging humanities scholars to think and speak about things that matter in the public world. we all can make a difference in this sense. if i'm right that the humanities are central to the preservation of our cultural legacy and history and capacity to address the challenges we face as a nation, then they are everyone's business, everyone's responsibility. we need to defend them. we need to promote them, and we need to support the institutions in which they live and flourish. n.e.h. will celebrate its 100 birthday in 2065 to learn how the next 50 years have gone and additional $5 billion will have contributed to our country's cultural resources. but some future chair will be
maybe here speaking to the humanities community and its friends about the impact of 50 more years in leadership and grant making and i'm certain the report will be worth hearing. in the meantime, thank you for coming today and for your interests and support of the national endowment for the humanities. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you chairman adams, for a very insightful speech and as a journalist thank you for making news with the announcement about the common good initiative. first question, at the n.e.h., you are championed a new public scholar program to in your words to inspire humanities scholars
to do a different kind of work to make sure it enters into the public realm, where it can matter and have impact. what kind of impact do you feel public scholarship can and should have in our society today? >> thank you for the question. well, as i was just saying, i think that kind of work can enter into this broad realm of public discussion of these matters that are so important to us and that they will in that way provide greater insight into where we go with those issues. we all live and we are always engaged in our history our culture, ideas and values. and to the degree that humanists can contribute to that, it will do a lot of public good.
humanists don't agree about these things, so there will be discussion and debate. but by attaching themselves to those problems and to those challenges that humanities scholars can make a great difference in our public discourse. >> the new initiative is called the common good. what is the 21st century's public square? >> complicated. the public square has sort of a ress nance of different times when we can all gather around a town square and debate the public good. of course, we are a very far flung country now. we are big in numbers, big intertower and have this new and revolutionary thing called information technology and the internet to deal with.
so the public square looks and feels quite different from what it used to be and indeed i think there are interesting questions about exactly what information technology has done to the public square and how it's changed it. that means that we are going to have to speak in many different kinds of ways to these things, including waist that are more congenial to the information technology. who knows, we might be supporting scholarship soon that is no longer expressed in a scholarly -- beyond the book we may be going beyond the book with that kind of humanities work. if we didn't we probably would be losing ground. so that's part of the meditation on the public scholar program is how those thoughts and contributions will be expressed.
>> when you became n.e.h. chair you spoke about the two strains of public humanities, matthew arnold's idea and how humanities enrich us because it is what has been thought and said and william james' idea that humanities have a pragmatic purpose to shape quote, the conduct of life, unquote. in today's diverse and global universe are there still timeless questions and conducts? >> i think there are such questions and for example, in some of the veteran programming we have done we have supported a very unique entity at n.y.u. and they have been using greek
tragedy in and with the production, support provided by and for veterans. and it's been very interesting for me to see how timeless those texts are with respect to the issues that veterans are facing. i attended a reading group in maine, funded by n.e.h. through our state group in maine, the maine humanities council in which veterans of three wars were reading "the odyessy." the book is about coming home from war. and i was again quite struck and pleased by how passionate these participants were about that texan how revealing they felt it was. so there are some dimensions of these timeless attributes of the humanities. but we need to be attentive to
the ways in which our current cultural circumstances has shaped all of these questions. and i think combining the best of what has been said with our current dilemmas, challenges, opportunities, that's where the real power of this material comes out. >> is there such a thing as, quote, cultural literacy, unquote, that underlies civic engagement and ideas about the public good? >> absolutely. and the reason i mentioned more than once in my talk, this tra american political tradition historical and philosophical theoretical, literacy involves a deep acquaintance with those things. i'm worried about the level and intensity of political participation.
a lot of people worrying about this. it's not going to get better certainly without a real national commitment to those cultural and historical legacies and to the revisiting of what that original material means in the contemporary, political and social context. so re-engaging civic engage innocent in that sense is a big thing for n.e.h. and democratic politics in the united states. >> the follow-on question, is political partisanship eroding the common good? and if so, what can be done about that? [laughter] >> that's an easy question. is it eroding it? absolutely. and the sense of national community that's necessary to democratic politics has i think been bad little affected by that
kind of oppositional politics. i suggested in my remarks when i mentioned the challenges that we face, that this challenge, the intensity of these political and almost always cultural divisions as being important material for humanists to take up. so without having an answer, i would say that as a field for discussion for discussion, writing, communication and expression, it's a largely important question. and we ought to be letting ourselves loose as humanists on that question in trying to understand those divisions better, what drives them, and how we might find our way to other forms of community. so i don't have an answer. i do have some medicine. [laughter] >> how can the humanities help i will ume ate the debate between
security and privacy in our digital world? >> well, as i said, this is a very urgent question and has become urgent because of our own recent history with what some people regard to be overly invasive forms of technological intrusion, so it has been a big issue here. the snowden controversy raised it in another way and now been raised another way in france. and how we balance these things, how we provide room for both sides of this value proposition in our lives and in the work of our government and official and unofficial organizations i think is hugely important. i think again here, this is an area where people a lot smarter than i am and with a lot more specific knowledge have a lot to
say. i was talking with one of our grantees, jeff rosen, at the national constitution center, and we hope to have some kind of discussion there at the center on the constitutional issues that are present here. but to get beyond the material into a more deliberate and well-paced reflection, for example, in the context of our constitutional past and guarantees of liberty and so forth i think would be very helpful. we are going to be tested seriously on this. france, a place i know something about, is really going to be tested in the next few weeks and months and years, i dare say. so it's going to be a more important conversation and i think whether it's from a constitutional point of view or other kinds of philosophical points of view, i think again
it's something that humanists can ventilate and help us think through. >> speaking of the digital world, it seems that the internet is designed to shorten attention spans. that being the case, do you have any concerns that young people who live through their phones and communicate primarily through text will never develop an appreciation for the humanities? >> yes, i do. lots. suggests two things to me. we've got to be more creatively engaged, all of us, and other organizations that support educational institutions in the implication of that technology in school settings for the way in which the humanities curriculum is advanced and talked about and presented and taught. we haven't done much in that area, and i think we have to approach it.
i think we also have to find and we're doing this, i think much more at n.e.h. than the first, is we need to find ways of making humanities material -- what's the right way to put this? presentable understandable and engagingly available in all kinds of technological settings. we have started working -- i hope this doesn't surprise people in this room, we have worked on things like games and apps and other things that make this technology connect to some of the humanities work that people are doing. so we need to do much more of that too. but i think all of us in the ways we are involved with secondary education have to also be involved with this in schools and curriculum, decisions
school planning. i'm not a secondary school teacher. i have a daughter who is just graduating from high school. i know what her attention span is like. and i don't think it's just that she doesn't like talking to me. i think there's a lot of work to be done there. >> today's headlines show the polarizing and political and cultural issues that permeate american life. how can the humanities enrich public understanding about the meaning and opportunities of democratic citizenship today? can the humanities enable people to connect to our founding principles and values in 21st century terms? >> yes. absolutely. i was reading an interesting piece by robert bella and he talked about a philosopher in
the american setting and talking about important moments in civic humanism. and he said the most important moment in civic humanism in american history was the founding or the constitutional founding. here you have a bunch of very smart people, madison jefferson, hamilton and others writing pieces, i think the contemporary thing would be blogs, writing things in newspapers, now collected in the federalist papers and arguing about the constitution. of course, there was another side to this, which we don't remember the anti-federalists. they were smart people too. they lost the argument, but it was an argument and it was one that took place in a very public space. the space of newspapers as they then were understood. and these authors brilliant
amazing people, who by the way, were deeply versed in the humanities tradition, going all the way back to the roman and greek republics or democracies. they were making these arguments in a very public way to the people who were going to decide this. there are other moments of great civic humanism in american history, but we need to gen up another one now and connect it to the past and connect it to the public institutions and all of that. but it's very lively. it's very important. we don't do it very well, i don't think. we talk in ways about the constitution and the declaration. we don't often read it and talk about it. we also don't bring it forward and play it out in our contemporary circumstances and we need to do much more of that.
>> in 1965, president johnson signed legislation establishing the national endowment for the arts and the national endowment for the humanities. and in 1996, the institute of library services was created. these three federal grant-making organizations constitute our country's arts and culture policy makers. isn't it time to consolidate these functions and have a secretary of the arts? >> secretary of the arts and humanities. >> i'm sure the white house would like editing in that suggestion. >> that question has been asked by my wife. it is a fair and interesting question. i have been reading a lot in the history of our agency and sort of just next door to it
n.e.a.'s history, and you know, we have had 50 years now of this separation not in spirit of course but in working fact. and for a lot of reasons, i think personally, it would be very hard to consolidate these organizations and include the ilns ap and in the resource of building capital in the united states. i think it would be difficult. it's not inconceivable. so i don't want to say it's inconceivable. but it would be hard. i do think there are ways in which we could enjoy many more collaborative efficiencies. by the way, the o.m.b. agrees with me on this, because they talk to us a lot about it, and that's a good thing. they should.
so i see there could be a lot more integrated, probably on the administrative side. on the programming side, 50 years is a long time, so it will need to be chairs of those organizations and leaders of those organizations including ilns who have a lot of courage and patience. >> what is the funding outlook for the n.e.h. under the new republican congress? do you anticipate budget cuts? and if so how will your agency cope with them? >> it's a question on everyone's lips obviously in these agencies and beyond. and the simple answer is i don't know. and i don't think anybody knows frankly yet. i will say this that as i have visited with members of our appropriations committees in both the senate and the house i have been impressed by how well
the members are able to grab on to and connect to what we do in ways that are important to them. this question about democracy history, political fundamentals resonates virtually with everybody. but there are many other ways in which i think members are interested in what we do, and they understand what we do. so naturally we'll be talking a lot about what we actually do and these grants are so important, 71,000 over 50 years, because they touch local communities. every one of them almost is about a local community in some way. so we got to keep making that pitch. we also need to make this argument about the public relevance of the humanities and how not only much poorer we would be without them and without the work we do, but how
much -- how incapacitated we would become if we didn't have the leadership of these entities doing what they do. >> with only two years left of the obama administration, how do you approach making priorities to get as much done as you can? >> i was just talking about this with a few people this morning. i think we have to -- we have to think about the most important things, first of all, and decide what those are and attack those. and also sort them out. are they things that reasonably can be pursued within that timetable. there is a way in which -- and i hope it's true -- that i and my administration at n.e.h. might
have a longer life than that, and i hope that is the case. but we do understand that there's this big moment coming. so we are trying to be careful in the way we think about priorities and the scope of the work that we agree to take on. we don't want to take on things that couldn't reasonably be done say for eight years. well, that's too far. so we are trying as best we can to sort these out and be prudent about them. >> some questioners have a concern about the election two years from now or rather next year. would you be open to staying on to serve in the next administration regardless of the political party of the [laughter] >> i think so.
you know i'm not a deeply experienced person in washington. n.e.h. and n.e.a. and others are independent agencies. the work that we do do not carry out or execute in any simple sense an administration's policy in most of the ways we understand that, because we give grants and we are giving grants according to the excellence and impressiveness and per sways i haveness of the dr per swafeness of the grantees. i could imagine in a new administration with a different party, that work could be done by me and my colleagues in a way that has integrity and meaning. so it is conceivable that that could happen, but i don't know what's going to happen. so we'll see. >> thank you for responding to
the question. [laughter] >> this is the question before we have what is known as the last question. 2015 marks the beginning of the 50th anniversary commemorations of the vietnam war. you served in that war. 50 years on, do you see a lasting effect of that war on our nation's collective sense of its own identity? >> wow! that's a humanities question if i ever heard one. yes, in some ways i do. i do. i mentioned this amazing legislative agenda that the johnson administration had coming out of the kennedy administration. and what's so impressive to me about that time and that achievement is that it was achieved in circumstances that were extraordinarily difficult.
now just remember, there are a lot of people in this room who do remember how tough those times were and that all of this happened in the midst of those circumstances is really quite amazing to me. i think there are ways in which that turbulence has affected me and others of my generation. and so in many ways that are cultural and many ways that are political, i think we are a very different place because of that. however, at the same time, we find ourselves coming out of now what, more than 15 years of almost continuous conflict in circumstances and in sort of political frameworks that are not hugely different. we're still talking about
counterinsurgency and counterinsurgency theory. and so -- one of the reasons why i'm so interested in the question of the legacy of war is how we as a people think about what we have been through. and keeping the memory of what we have been through alive. and that's difficult. that's a difficult thing to do. but it's very important that we do it. when we go into these situations , we're not thinking very much about what life is like when we come out of them. and now that we're coming out of them we are confronted with these very complicated questions about veterans about their lives, how they get re-engaged in civilian life. and those kind of questions need to be on our minds at the beginning as well as at the end. >> we are almost out of time.
but before asking the last question, we have a couple of housekeeping matters to take care of. first of all i would like to remind you about our upcoming luncheon. on january 27, chairman of the federal energy regulatory commission will speak about the challenges her agency faces to maintain the reliability of the nation's electricity grid and reasonable prices for consumers. next i would like to present our guest with the traditional national press club mug. and the last question, on a lighter note, you and your wife were known to have taken to the stage while you served as president of colby college literally. you both appeared on stage in a scene in a musical "annie." do you have a special love for broadway's musicals and can we
see you on washington d.c. stages? >> as to whether i will appear on stage, i know my wife is hoping very much not, that we will not be appearingon this stage. she was a performer in her earlier life, and she put up with me as we did "annie" and "guys and dolls." we did a great jazz song "feve r." [laughter] >> my love for musical theat er came from lauren, and so
ndheim, particularly. it was a gift that was given to me by my wife. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. thank you, chairman adams. i have to say, thank you all for coming today. we are adjourned hearing. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> house and senate republicans are meeting for a retreat in
hershey, pennsylvania. this is a picture of senator bob corker, who chairs the senate foreign relations committee. this is what he said about the gathering. we want to show weekend show the american -- we can show the american people. that we have the foresight to do with these issues and lay out an agenda that is good for the american people. later today that group will hear from tony player. before that, boehner and mcconnell will hold a news briefing. live at c-span at two: 30 eastern. until then, a discussion on the obama's administration's cyber security proposals. host: howard schmidt served a cyber security coordinator from 2009 to 2012 and continues to work in the private sector.
what is the most important action you think the president put forward this week? guest: i think the biggest thing is trying to get some clarity around information sharing. it has been one of the biggest issues we have dealt with going back to 1998 with president clinton and the executive document he put out. we are still talking about information sharing. the president put some good focus on it and looking to congress to say, listen, you give us the tools to do information sharing and we can help get a better handle on this issue. host: what are the tools that we are talking about? what are the tools that he wants in place? guest: i think the biggest thing is legislation. there has been piece of legislation put forth by dutch ruppersberger and former congressman mike rogers that
initially when they put it out -- and i was on a trip when i got a call from dutch's office saying, look, we are putting forward this bill. it is effectively giving the intelligence community and the department of defense the opportunity to lead this effort. and we explained to them very, very specifically that this is not going to cut it. this is something they should be a part of it, but this is a homeland security issue. that particular piece of legislation -- and by the way, this was about 2010, 2011 -- has languished. there is been a lot of push by privacy advocates. there is been a lot of -- there has been a lot of push by security experts, both sides are lobbying, and we still can't seem to get it out. the senate at the time said they are not going to pick it up.
so it just sort of roiled around through the house for a while. if we give some protection to the companies, if we give some direct capability of not classifying everything under the sun, the private sector will have better capabilities to see what is coming and, hopefully, protect themselves. >> what is the biggest obstacle to this happening in this congress? host: what is the biggest guest: i think the liability protection. as you look through the language of the proposal, it talks about protection, information sharing, if it is a data breach, for example, that the liability has been lifted, because of the fact that we need the security more so than the liability protection. and some groups feel that will give private industry, particularly large corporations, free rein to start with this misconduct that we used to deal with a long time ago. i think that will be the big debate. but there are two sides to this.
when you start looking at the needs that we have as businesses to be successful, to continue to create jobs, we really need the backing of congress to say listen, we want to share it, but we want protection in doing so. otherwise, particularly our lawyers will back off and say, we will release a little bit but we will not release a lot of information. host: president obama has been talking about this week in his push for new cyber security legislation. here is a bit from his event his appearance at the federal trade commission this week. [video clip] >> we are introducing legislation to create a single strong national standard, so americans know when their information has been stolen or misused. right now almost every state has a different law on this, and it is confusing for consumers and for companies. and it is costly, too, to have to comply with this patchwork of laws. sometimes folks don't even find out their credit card
information has been stolen until they see charges on their bill and then it is too late. under the new standard we are proposing, companies would have to notify consumers of a breach within 30 days. in addition, we are proposing to close loopholes in the law so we can go after more criminals who steal and sell the identities of americans, even when they do it overseas. host: and this notification of -- efforts, this would be different from the information sharing legislation that you have been talking about, correct, mr. schmidt? guest: that is correct. and once again, the data breach notification is something that we have been tailing, again, since the 2001 timeframe. basically, we have somewhere around 46, maybe including district of columbia, 47 states, if you would, that have different data breach notification laws. california has one of the best. they have had it the longest. it is the most responsive to the consumer load.
but there are a lot of other states that have a hodgepodge of these things. and as the president said, and the words that we used many times when i was there, it is making it very difficult for a consumer like us to understand what are our rights are under these things? what are the data breaches we have to be notified of, or the ability for us to protect ourselves? but on the flipside, you look at multinational, or even just national businesses, how do you build a privacy protection scheme in there, how do you build notification where you have all of these different states requiring different requirements? as a consequence, where you have federal preemption, and most of us don't like federal preemption. we want states rights to prevail. but in this case it is probably
primed for it, because the business community and the individuals, the ability to understand -- because we give both sides, the business and unity individuals, the ability to understand what is required. if this moves forward, and i hope it does, then it should not undercut some of the existing strong data breach notification laws because that would just undermine some of the work that has been done in the states. host: we are with howard schmidt, the former white house cyber security coordinator. he still works on cyber security issues, about the proposals the president has been put forward this week. if you have questions, comments for howard schmidt, the phone lines are open. mr. schmidt, we were talking about online privacy and the threats, specifically national
security threats, in our first 45 minutes of the show today. several comments from viewers saying there is no such thing as privacy online. in your experience, would you agree with that? guest: i would. going back to the early days when we started to pay attention to privacy, and bear in mind, we were our own self-victims, because we would put all kinds of information out there to get a free gallon of milk or a dozen eggs, and that is just perpetuating it. it is a great marketplace, and still is. many of us do things like that. i'm member probably in the late -- i remember probably in the late 1990's for companies started to be chastised. what are you doing with the
data? suddenly, i'm getting all of these e-mails, all of these things in snail mail, and i want protection from it. and then on top of that we had data breaches where people were saying, why were you keeping this information on me? all i wanted was a catalog once a year. that was the beginning of it. the problem is, you cannot unring that bell. there is a tremendous amount of information that has been stolen over and over that has social security numbers, dates of birth, pin numbers, mother's maiden name, all of those things we thought were there to protect us. that has been out there for years. pretty much anything anyone wants to find on somebody, you are capable of doing it now. and one of the things we need to start looking at, and i will speak to this throughout the entire segment, that we need to look at different ways moving forward. we cannot recapture what we have lost, but we can better protect it in the future. host: jerry is up first, calling in from new orleans, louisiana as we are talking to howard schmidt, the former white house cyber security coordinator. good morning.
caller: good morning. i just called in to say i think it should be obvious to people in this country that we have inside people giving out inside information. that is helping these hackers, and i think they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, whether they work for the government or a hired private company for the government. i think they should be severely prosecuted when it comes to giving out information that is helping hackers. thank you. host: mr. schmidt, can you expand on that, and how prevalent that is, of insiders giving out information to hackers? guest: i sure can, and thanks for that question, jerry because that is core to one of
the things we talk about, when you have an insider, a disgruntled employee, someone looking for financial gain that has access to all of this information. i mentioned before the social security numbers, date of birth, mother's maiden name, etc., and i could not agree more. there has to be a special category that people that do things when you are in a trusted position. there is a whole myriad of things that take place that, one, we cannot attribute it to where it came from, and that becomes difficult. we look at a lot of the recent hacks. there is a lot of discussion of information came from an insider that gave an outsider the ability to break into the system. that is one piece of it, but we really need to hold people accountable for using the trusted position they are in to do bad things. host: you bring up the issue of trust. this information sharing between companies and the government that you are talking about, the effort that has been going on for years, can you talk about whether the government can trust
the companies? it is a two-way street when it comes to trust, correct? guest: that is correct. i think back to the earlier world, the sort of a paper world. you needed physical access to something. you needed to go through safes and locks and stuff to get to places. but from a business perspective, doing network connections and remote access and giving people access to systems is now a way of doing business. as a consequence, how do you wind up creating a mechanism -- and we should know how to do it by now -- where you and i have access to only this small amount of information -- we cannot move it, print it -- we refer to that as digital rights management --
that gives us the ability to focus on it. right now, when e-mail goes out, stock reports go out, government data goes out, it is generally accessible to people that get a credential in there to pick it up. as a consequence, we do not have the ability to coalesce the data that would be public versus the data that should be monitored and sensitive. so that is the way we really need to start rethinking this to make sure we have a better data classification scheme. the government has a good one in the classified world, but a lot of the unclassified -- sensitive, but unclassified data -- is accessible through normal networks and people it should not be. host: can is up next. == host: ken is up next. lancaster, south carolina. our line for independents. caller: can i make two statements -- one on obama, and the second on cyber security.
do not call me off, please. the first statement is obama. every time a black caller calls in and says something negative about obama, they always claim it is racism. i disagree with immigration. i am a black man. black and employment is higher than illegal immigration. cyber security -- there has no been security since the days j. edgar hoover who had a file on the congressmen. i heard cyber experts say snowden is the hero. [no audio] host: ken, you are going in and out. another caller that says there is no such thing as privacy online brings up the actions of nsa leaker edward snowden. what are your thoughts on what edward snowden did?
guest: it is interesting. history will set a point somewhere and say whether he was a hero or a traitor, but the bottom line was even when i was at the white house with president bush and president obama, there was this increasing desire to get more information. think back to 2001. we had nowhere near the number of smartphones that we have today -- the tablets, all of the access that we have had. as we have been doing more online, intelligence organizations have said there is more data out there to collect let's collect it. the question is just because you can, it does not mean you should.
the revelations snowden came out with surprise some people. others said what is the big deal, that is what our job is in the intelligence community? the interesting thing, i was in europe when the second round of snowden discussions came out and the president made a comment that we do not spy on u.s. citizens. i was with some major ceo's in europe who do a lot of business in the united states, and one of them came up to me and pointedly asked, i am not a u.s. citizen. i do business in the u.s. do they spy on me? my answer was i do not know, but anybody that goes from one country to another that has something that is valuable, the intelligence agencies are going to try to pick it up. that is a difficult thing that we wind up dealing with. but when it comes to snowden the revelations that he did, it put a higher level of awareness not only the united states, but
around the world, but what is possible with intelligence agencies. host: bring it to the president this week pushing for information sharing. what role will the nsa play in that effort versus the department of homeland security? guest: well, i do not know, and i do not think it is finalized because it is part of proposed legislation. what we had worked on was nsa would be a contributor because they had the biggest collection engine, but they would pass it on to civil agencies specifically, homeland security, which has the responsibility to work with the private sector, to give them what they need so they can be more successful. but it is a two-way street. when we talk about information sharing, back in 1999, on president clinton's presidential order, the first information sharing and analysis center was formed by the financial services.
we in the i.t. business -- i presided over the first i.t. isac, and the issue i have is to make sure we leverage these. do not create something new. we have these bodies that do technical sharing, geopolitical sharing, and they share with the government from time to time. i think it is a great idea. we need to bring it to bear and execute on a number of the promises we have put out since 1999. host: some skepticism from viewers. don writes in on twitter -- cyber security is code for the nsa and amazon sharing data so they can sell me stuff better. we are talking to howard schmidt, the former white house security coordinator.
ed is next in bedford, massachusetts, our line for democrats. good morning. caller: good morning. a basic problem with cyber security is that our software technology is overly complicated, and i have found that the government is very insensitive to the fact that it is overly complicated, and i was wondering if you know of anyone who is sensitive to the fact that we can signify a great -- can simplify a great deal? host: mr. schmidt? guest: the vulnerabilities are in the software. we have seen that in the national strategy to secure cyberspace. we called it out, and president
bush had signed it, that we have to reduce vulnerabilities. part of that is doing a better job to make sure the developers have the tools necessary to reduce the number of vulnerabilities. there is organizations -- safe code, which i am the executive director of -- a nonprofit together by microsoft, siemens sap, intel, adobe -- large companies working together sharing information, even competitors, saying if you write code this way or a program this way, it is liable to have a vulnerabilities under these sets of circumstances. so pulling that together, and sharing that information, we see a reduction in vulnerability. one of the problems is we have a lot of legacy software. a lot is being used in the government, for budget reasons if nothing else. they are not able to replace that.
when i was at the white house with president obama this was 2010, we were still using windows xp in our computers and did not update until a couple years later to windows 7. there are a lot of vulnerabilities. we have to reduce them. the government can help to use the power of procurement. come out with specific requirements that say when used -- when yuouou sell me a product, a software product, or a firmware product, that you have done this level of testing. the manufacturers will then be able to deliver that. in the meantime, we're going to continue to find these bugs some of which result in cyber security vulnerabilities. host: didi wants to know if there is a site that shows the relative security of various retail where your info might be stored? guest: there is not. the closest they have got to it
is privacyrights.org with a list of data breaches that have been taking place, companies involved, small and large. there are other companies out there that might purport to give information, but oftentimes it is based on facts that are not indeed relevant to cyber security. privacyrights.org is the one i look to that says how are we doing as a country on protecting people's data and reducing the number of breaches out there. host: it might be a good time to explain what you do at ridge-schmidt cyber. guest: yeah, and it is one of the things we do and it relates to this discussion, is this is not just an i.t. issue. there is an i.t. component technology that goes to it, but it has to be viewed as a business from the ceo, the board
of directors. that is what we are working towards. tom ridge and myself, we worked together at the white house during the bush administration after september 11. we wrote the national strategy to secure cyberspace. we are reaching out to boards and ceo's to say you have to understand this has to be on your agenda every day just like stock prices, business risks would be. this has to be part of it as well. one of the things we are seeing through this, there is a real wakeup in the sea suite saying you are right -- let's bounce this off, have the cio go fix it. now we are recognizing the responsibility is ours and the -- in the front office and we need to make the changes. one of the things we see with
that is you do not replace everything a cost you billions of dollars to build up. it has got to be incremental. we're helping them work for the future and recognize the threats exist today. host: vincent, syracuse. good morning. guest: i agree with the gentleman that there is no such thing as cybersercurity, because the gentleman from no walkie -- -- from milwaukee -- i totally agree with what he is saying because there is no security. there are people on the inside selling our personal data, and that is their job. we had some petitions online at change.org, and it is for congress, and illegal
surveillance. also -- excuse me -- we have another petition at change, and it is to tell senators and congressmen to investigate harassment being used to silence whistleblowers and activists. we have another one at change.org and that is to stop new york state and new york wireless smart meter program. host: all right. that is vincent in syracuse. mr. schmidt, i do not know if you have seen any of those petitions or want to comment on any of those? guest: no, i have not seen them, but i understand the basis behind them. we call it the internet of things, and we have names for everything, of course. when we talk about the internet
of things, the concept is everything we have will have an ip address, a wi-fi address, and the ability to communicate wirelessly, which is wonderful from a technology perspective. but we have to build the security. we have to make sure when you are sitting there at a parking spot on a wi-fi, you take your phone and make a payment that someone is not intercepting that, getting your credit card information. we have to understand the concept. it has to be a core business process to have security built into everything we are doing in the future. host: danville, virginia. mary has been waiting on our line for democrats. good morning. caller: good morning, sir, and mr. schmidt. first of all, i would like to reflect that opening up security in an effort to intercept terrorists is probably largely
moot because we are seeing the family model. we see the same family model in the paris terrorists. i am not that concerned about my personal security. i do not think it exists. i want to always give us the mechanism to pick up the next little snot nose that is going on inspired -- if there were ever a misnomer -- the disconted kid who is going to be the next school shooter logging on to neo-nazi sites or klan sites. i want to pick these guys up. i will tell you personally, i am an open book, i use my own name, but i see a return to avatars rather than personal pictures
and screen names rather than people using their real names because it is so easy to go on any number of websites and pay $19.95, and it is using your real name and your picture -- for someone dangerous to find out your address, home number, where you work, and everything else. host: mary, we will let mr. schmidt jump in. several topics that mary brings up there. guest: one of the first things the security versus privacy is a longtime debate. the bottom line is we should be able to focus on those that are liable to do us harm. we have a tremendous ability particularly the fbi in this country, and counterparts in other nations, that really know who the bad guys are, but it is a matter of resources. you look at the paris event. there was some surveillance of the one brother. boston, we had the russian federation notify us that there were issues.
so there there are things we know we can focus on from electronics, from physical surveillance, and everything else. mary brought up a really good point. when i was working in organized crime as a police officer, as a detective, we would see that sort of thing. they would shut down information that we would have access to. they would meet at bars and restaurants and have personal communication. they would go to pay phones. it was the early days of pagers. what we will be seeing today is people out there recognize we have surveillance capabilities more than just the day to day, following someone around they will look for other ways, family communication, if you want. prime minister cameron is coming
here, and talked about one of the things about making it illegal -- encrypted personal communications, using some of the peer to peer things. that is a good idea, but the bottom line is it is not effective. anyone can write one of these programs. there are thousands of them out there. to chase someone down around the world -- and on top of it, these people are acquiring the technology to do it on their own. they are doing all kinds of criminal things. to say you cannot use an encrypted message technology -- they are not going to care. host: if you were still in the white house, would you advise president obama to support that effort that david cameron has been talking about, possibly banning some of these online messaging apps in britain if they are not open to intelligence gatherers? guest: i would not. we have been through this before. there has been a lot of
discussion about the fbi's project going dark where because of technology outstripping the ability of law enforcement to deal with some of the things putting backdoors into it. number one, installing a back doors leaves hackers and other criminals access, and for us to be thinking no one else can do this as well as we can, i think we are just flat wrong. second, when you look at the fundamental rights we have in this country under the constitution. when we look at these things, it does not say you can't -- you can communicate, but you have to make a copy for us. the third thing -- allies, including great britain, we have discussed why don't we shut down websites that have terrorist
activity or recruitment activity? and there is a fine line between a criminal act and freedom of speech. in many cases, and appropriately so, i believe, the department of justice says unless they do something more, it is part of freedom of speech. it is very difficult, it is heartbreaking for some of us to see this stuff go online, but we have got to preserve these things. otherwise, we become like the terrorists. host: an a.p. story this morning in terms of the cyberattacks that hit other countries -- in france -- the head of the cyber defense in france it they were carried out more or less by structured groups. primarily relative denial of
service attacks, representing sectors from military regiments to pizza shops in france. that out this morning from the a.p. owen is next. caller: good morning. i see the internet was intended to be like a library of worldly knowledge, and now it is being used for financial gain with cable companies. can we have a licensing program so if you need information that cannot be readily obtained, you can go to an authorized search and that would prevent people from printing up plans on how to make bombs and drugs, no? guest: there are a number of companies you can go to and find everything under the sun about a
particular person. one of the problems we have is we cannot pull everything off of the internet that has been accumulated for the past 20-plus years. i say 20 years, even though the internet has been around longer, the development of web browsers is when it really became used for commercial purposes. we, as consumers, started to use it, and it has obviously grown significantly since then. i am talking about that 20-year period we have been collecting. we are just not going to get it back. >> good afternoon. republicans continue to make the american people's priorities our priority spirit we have had a great opportunity this year to make progress for families and
small businesses, and we look forward to continuing to make progress. we have gotten off to a great start by passing a number of common sense jobs bills to help grow our economy. the president's focus is on the past. on the old politics of getting one set of americans against the other. on the ways of top-down washington solutions. what has that produced? record debt and a shaky economy. the country is ready to move on. we need to start growing american economy, not washington's. our opportunity is to pass comments and solutions that will help expand opportunities for middle-class families and opportuni businesses. solutions that address the true drivers of our debt and begin to
balance the budget. solutions that repeal obamacare and replace it patient-centered reform that will help constituents have better access to high-quality health care in america. our job is to push for conservative reforms show the people we can make progress, and show the people our vision for the future that will help improve their lives. that is exactly what we plan to do, and i am particularly happy that the light went out. very happy today to have the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, my friend with us here. >> thank you. we are pleased to be here today. the announcement i want to make is senator ernst will be delivering the response to the state of the union for our site this year. she is a perfect choice. americans voted for change and the senator will explain what the new congress plans to do.
and what it is already doing to return focus to the concerns of the middle class and away from demands the political class. ernst has dedicated her life to iowa in the country, serving in the military, the national heart, for more than 20 years and has deployed overseas. she is focused on growing an economy and expanding the middle class. >> thank you. thank you so much. thank you, speaker, and leader, also. i am truly humbled and honored to have this opportunity to deliver the republican address. and it is a long way from red oak to washington d.c. and grown up on a southwest iowa
farm years ago, i never, never would have imagined that i would have this opportunity. so thank you. like so many of my colleagues, our folks back home sent us to washington d.c., with a clear mission, and that mission is to get to work. that mission is to craft and implement good policies, good solutions, which will enable us to get america on a better path. and we are anxious to do that. we are very anxious to get to work and implement these good policies. so i look forward to that very much because we want to ensure that the america we are building leaves a stronger economy and more opportunity for our children and our grandchildren.
again, i want to thank you very much, and i look forward to sharing more about our collective agenda this next tuesday evening. thank you, all, so much. >> we will take a couple of questions. >> you start the year saying tax reform was something you could work with the president to use that to boost the economy. what is the process and what kind of time on are you looking at? >> there are things we need to find out if we agree on if we go forward. divided government is a perfect time to do tax reform. they had an understanding that it was to be revenue neutral to the government. it was about making america more competitive and growing the economy, not making the government larger. the president at least that this court has said he is willing to
do corporate tax reform only revenue neutral. the problem with that is you leave out most of american is this, -- business, which taste taxes -- which pays taxes. if we can agree why we are doing this than it would be the perfect time to tackle it, and those discussions are underway between the speaker and the present myself to see if we can come to a common agreement about what we're doing this. if we can do that, it is written pursuing. >> what does your senate intend to do with it them and are the 60 votes there?if not, do you have another plan ? >> we are going to try to pass it will be our first choice. and if we are unable to do it, we will see what happens. we will let you know what comes next. >> w everybody knows what the
rules arehoa, whoa. >> boehner, the restrictive on your life. how are you feeling about that number one, and in light of the foiled attack on the capital how do you feel about your personal security and the security of the building itself? >> we live in a dangerous country and we get reminded of the dangers that are out there. we saw what happened in paris a week ago. my personal situation, i will not get into it, but it is one thing to get a threat from far away. it is another when it is three doors away from where you live. obviously, this young man has some health issues, mental health issues, that he to be addressed, and i hope you get the help he needs to but i want to thank the fbi and capitol police and west chester police
resolve this issue. with regard to the threat to the capitol, coming not far from where i live, the first thing that strikes me is we would have never known about this had it not been for the fisa program and our ability to collect information on people who post and imminent threat. i'm going to see this one more time because you will hear about it as we attempt to reauthorize the fisa program. our government does not spy on americans unless they are americans who are doing things that frankly tipped off our law enforcement officials to an imminent threat. it was our law enforcement officials and those programs that helped us stop this person before he committed a heinous crime in our nation's capital. >> do you know something we do
not, because he was on social media talking about this? is there more that we do not know? >> we will let us story roll out
there, but it is far more than just. >> back in 2011, in new york you told someone that you do not think that americans should help subsidize wealthy persons such as yourself. looking at the medicare premium structure, it came up in discussion in the reconciliation process. >> the process is underway. as you are well aware, senator mcconnell and i were in on conversations with the president about addressing our long-term spending problems which are centered around entitlement programs. clearly, when it comes to strengthening medicare, it was one of the issues that was discussed.
but i think -- i will speak for myself -- the president was never serious about doing the kind of reforms that would put america's physical health in proper shape. -- fiscal health in proper shape. i am a hopeful person, but i have my doubts about the president will be seriously given to this. >> can i just add -- >> [indiscernible] >> the only way to do entitlement eligibility changes is on a bipartisan basis. in terms of the senate, we do not intend to be offering unilateral one party only entitlement eligibility changes. we know the entire organs are in serious trouble some sooner than others, but it is a perfect candidate for agreement when you
have divided government, but once again, like on tax reform, the only one of us of the 330 million you can sign into law needs to be part of the discussion. >> will you point to one specific positive thing that has come out of your day and a half here in hershey? >> most positive thing is you have a group of new republican everest in the senate, a group of new republican members in the house, and we have had an opportunity to get to know each other. we want house and senate republicans working together that democrats colleagues to advance good solutions, and is hard to do that when you do not have a good feel for who these people are. it is been the best parts of our. >> thank you. senator mcconnell, early today you can speaker were addressing members, reminding them to be realistic --
[indiscernible] have the two of you figured out how to address issues like of dhs funding bills where there is disagreement between the chambers and what can actually happen? how are you going to do that -- >> i will just go first. the house will work its will. the senate will work its will. then we will get in conference he will find some way to resolve the differences. that is what we call regular order. that is the legislative process. there are 535 of us on capitol hill, and to try to get all this to agree is not an easy job. the founders never envisioned it to be easy, and it is certainly anything but. each of the chambers has do what they are capable of doing and then we resolve the differences. >> [indiscernible] vito much of the legislation in the past, what do you think
could be the first piece of legislation you pass that the president will sign, and do you believe that climate change is real? >> well on the areas of potential agreement, cyber security, trade promotion authority are two things that i think you are likely to end up in the same place. the president does not set the agenda in the senate, but we are anxious to make progress for the american areas we can find agreement. we earlier discussed the potential for tax reform. there is a potential for infrastructure, and i think a high likelihood we will get there on trade promotion and cyber security. >> and climate change? >> we have had changes in our climate. i will let the scientists debate the sources in their opinion of that change. but i think the real question is
that every proposal we see out of the administration's regard to climate change means killing american jobs. the american still asking the question, where are the jobs? the jobs and the economy are still the number one issue in the country, and i do not understand why every proposal that comes of the administration is just going to kill thousands and thousands of more american jobs. >> do you see the president more of a willing participant? does he show signs to you that things have changed? >> we had a nice conversation very polite, clear but i do not know if we learned a whole. >> you talked about the stalled negotiations over a big deal -- >> i think it is too early to
tell. only see the glass as half-full and i believe hope springs eternal. the american people want us to find a way to address their concerns. that was the big message out of the election. you hear from our members on both sides of the capitol. i hope the president heard the same message. thanks. >> [indiscernible] >> no. >> [indiscernible] have you had any? >> wrapping up here in hershey with house and senate republicans and their second briefing today from their policy retreat. we will cover the retreat with updates as they happen. senate democrats are having a retreat in baltimore, and despite his injuries, harry reid is still in control. he is taking phone calls and keeping in touch with operatives as he remains at home recovering
from injuries he suffered in a fall at home a couple of days ago. president obama is addressing the group this afternoon. earlier today he left from the white house on the way to that retreat. the will be no coverage of that retreat senate democrats. if there is reaction, we will get it to you. next tuesday night president obama will address the nation in the annual state of the union. he will cover the -- we will cover the state of the union at 8:00. we will open our phone lines to take your calls and welcome your
reaction by way of social media, and we learned senator joni ernst will be giving the republican response. next tuesday night january 20, at 8:00 eastern on c-span. earlier today republican leaders held a press conference. john thune and others answered reporters' questions for about 15 minutes. >> welcome to hershey, everyone. we are pleased that you made the trip and you are here and we hope you enjoy lots of the chocolate. it has been a great venue for us as we have come together as house and senate republicans. the first time in 10 years that we have held a joint retreat and here at the beginning of the 114th congress, it think the numbers have responded positively to the opportunity to
focus on the vision and goals as we head into the 21st century. we believe this is america's new congressmen we can focus on policies that will help renew america, applying conservative fizzles focused on -- conservative principles and unleashing america's entrepreneurial spirit. we want more opportunity for people. we are having a lot of policy discussions. yesterday is focused on policy sessions focused on the budget and reconciliation. another one on health care, and the final one on immigration and border security or the chairman and members will be presenting and he will have a discussion about what is the path forward. it is productive and importantly
are starting out the new congress together. >> thank you. welcome to hershey. the last time we did this was my first year in the senate, back in 2005, and there are a lot of new members, a lot of new senators, house members, so this is the first opportunity to get together at an event like this and interact in a way that is really good and productive, builds relationships creates a better understanding between the house and the senate of how the two institutions work. there has been terrific interaction, some great presentations, a lot of things to think about but our goal is to set the stage to do some good things for the american people that will create jobs, growth economy, and strengthen the middle class in this country. as i said, having done this about 10 years ago thinking we would get 47 senators to an
event like this, the high water mark in the past was about 32, so there is great interest of great level of participation and a really good, robust, frank discussion of the issues. thank you for joining us here, and with that, a brief we will try to enter a couple questions. >> based on what has happened so far, do you think tax reform is something that the conference will want, and it is of the that your conference will -- andn push? >> the answer depends on how willing the president is willing to extend capital on it. it will unleash a tremendous amount of growth and activity in this country, very good for jobs. we have a high level of interest
in that subject. would really like to be able to mark bills up, but i think it is going to depend on whether the white house wants to engaged and lean into it and put their shoulder to its them because so far what we have seen is the white house and the president have expressed an interest, rhetorically, in the issue of tax reform, but when push comes to shove engaging with congress we have not seen. i compare it -- i was a young staffer in 1985 and 1986, the last time we did this. the reagan administration was committed to this. was a different time and different level of intensity if you are really serious about getting an accomplishment. yes, we are interested in it, our members are interested in it, but it is going to be very difficult to spend a lot of time and energy with all the things we have to do if the white house
is not going to be willing to either side of it. >> i would just add, people in america recognize that the tax code is too complicated, too costly. republicans in the house are anxious to move forward on supplying a tax code and agreed that it would be one of the best things that we could do to get our economy really growing and create those jobs, those opportunities for people. we will look for that opportunity, hoping that working with the senate as well as the white house that we can start taking some steps. >> i was wondering if you have any reaction or what is your reaction to the president's proposal today to expand -- for american workers and the proposal to give [indiscernible] for up to six months for federal workers? >> we are going to look at what the president proposes.
i am committed to policies that are going to empower families and women and give more opportunities, and we have been focusing on some solutions that i think would really be up for consideration and help with the white house, and the senate will look at it, like the flexibility act, rather than more mandates and requirements from washington, d.c., giving flexibility in the workforce to allow families to make those decisions as to how bes to schedule their time and make those kinds of decisions. t we are going to be working through all of these issues together. >> [indiscernible] >> we want to work with the white house and the senate on the power reading those families and people that on and powering those families, and we will look at that. >> we welcome them to the debate.
the state of nebraska, deb fischer, as a great workplace flexibility bill that we try to get considered in the last congress. >> you talked about forging relationships with the house and senate. one issue that is coming up is up -- that is coming up expires february 28. how is it going and what does it look like, the future of that bill? >> well, the magic number in the senate is 60. and when we have these discussions, as we have today and yesterday, with our colleagues in the house obviously we share the same goals. we think the president overstepped his authority, acted in an unlawful way, way in which he said 22 times on his