tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN October 8, 2015 6:00pm-8:01pm EDT
to fill the leadership vacuums in places like syria, a very important player 42, 43 years ago. so there's a lot adding up to this being a very, very important vote tomorrow on lifting the export ban on h.r. 702. there are things adding up that we didn't even contemplate at the time the bill was introduced, but it's a grand opportunity to secure america's economy, secure america's national security while at the same time spreading our influence of freedom and free enterprise around the world, so i'm looking forward to -- hopefully a lot of bipartisan votes tomorrow, a big vote so we can send that over to the united states senate who i know has a different standard than we have but hopefully we can show them the way and i thank you for the -- yielding so much time to me, mr. chairman.
mr. conaway: i thank the gentleman. i'd also like to point out that the oil and gas business per se is an incredibly fertile ground for small business development. my dad, i mentioned earlier, was a great example of this. there are a lots of narrow focused access -- aspects of the service side of the business. we think of the drilling rigs, but there are aspects, hauling things, mud, whatever is the deal, where entrepreneurs, men and women who want to take a little risk, can put a little capital together, put some tools together and begin servicing an aspect of the business that is theirs. so it is incredible -- incredibly fertile in terms of setting up new businesses. i've got one group in eastland, texas, that just as the renaissance was beginning to start, they thought it was a
good idea to get into some aspect of the fracking business. and over a very short period of time built that business into a multibillion dollar deal and sold it. so incredible wealth created as a result of small businesses turns into -- turning into medium sized businesses, turning it into -- turning into bigger businesses, then ultimately sold to another business for an awful lot of money. every time that happens, there are jobs created, wealth created with that. benefits not only those community bus all of us that are involved. i want to also, we failed to mention that there is no ban on exporting product. crude oil that turns in -- that is refined, turned into gasoline or diesel system of refiner can -- refiners can take the heavy crude they use or the little bit of light sweet crude they use and sell it into the world market and sell it back into our
communities for taos use in our cars and trucks. main, gasoline in the particularly by individuals, is bowlingt after tax dollars. they've had to earn a buck, pay the taxes on it and take what's left to buy the gasoline. as we've seen over the last several months, lower gasoline prices have been a big boon to folks in our country that have to drive a car to get to work or take the kids to school, whatever it might be. if you're -- if you've got $1 or $2 drop in the price of gasoline and you're buying $15 a week or $15 every so often, that's a $15 or $30 after tax dollars you can spend somewhere else to benefit you and your family. another aspect of what's happening, it's not related to the bill tomorrow, but it's something we've talked about on this floor add nauseam, and that's the x.h. -- x.l.
pipeline. it's designed to haul canadian oil sand oil that is in effect heavy crude south to the united states. this is the kind of crude that could run our refineries and our refiners would desperately like to have, rather than buying heavy crude from venezuela and other places where the recipients of our checks, when we buy our crude oil, aren't necessarily friends of ours. aren't necessarily on the same geopolitical page we are on. so having that pipeline would be another aspect of freeing up this market. the more efficient you can make markets, the less artificial restraint the less goofy things you've got in threrk better pricing mechanisms you get, and the more efficient those markets are. then everybody up and down the chain benefits from that. as i mentioned earlier, we've got this odd serk where you -- the producers in the united states sell on the west texas interneed -- intermediate number
to a refinery, that refinery turns it into gasoline. so there's a differential being made by somebody and shrinking that differential is what will keep the price of gasoline and diesel from increasing. one of the biggest arguments for folks who don't represent producing products is why would i be in favor of something that would increase the folks i represent gasoline and diesel prices? every study has shown that won't happen. it will go up and down but as a result of lifting this export ban, it will in fact not increase the price of gasoline as we produce it. this is a win on every level. it's a when for consumers, as i mentioned, and it's a win for taxpayers. it is a win for taxing entities. my colleague from north dakota mentioned that, and from arkansas mentioned that reserves in the ground are valued for property tax purposes. those property taxes that are generated from that then support our schools and other county,
city, and state functions. as that developed crude oil is explored and those producing wells come online, that produces a property tax base that benefits those taxpayers. so it's a win, it's a win for our allies in the political -- in the geopolitical issues we've talked about, it's good for this country, it's good for jobs and it's something i hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle can thoroughly look at. they've had plenty of time to do it. it went through regular order, several hearings on the issue. it went through the subcommittee and the committee, normal regular order as we like to say around here and then everyone has had a chance to weigh in. tomorrow there will be amendments made in order under the rule. folks will be able to weigh in, some of those i'll support, some i'll be against. but they'll -- they're all presented as a way to get someone else's idea about this issue to the floor to have us debate it. i think that's a healthy thing.
that we're able to do that tomorrow and some of those will perhaps pass and some of them won't. whatever happens, i've got great confidence that the bill that we'll pass tomorrow with a big bipartisan vote can go to the senate and move the ball, move the initiative over there. so mr. speaker, i appreciate the gentleman from texas whose work on this issue started his career in this business, has just joined us and is the lead sponsor on the bill that we'll be voting on tomorrow. we've got probably four or five minutes left, i yield whatever i've got left to the chairman emeritus of the committee, joe barton, for whatever thought he is might care to share with us. mr. barton: i thank the gentleman from midland, texas, chairman of the agricultural committee, and a stalwart original sponsor of the bill, appreciate your leadership and i appreciate you doing this special order. mr. speaker, tomorrow we're going to have a debate on h.r.
702, it's a bill to repeal the ban on crude oil exports. this is the last remnant of the 1970's era energy policy for america that said we were running out of energy and that the only way to use energy we did have was to keep it in the united states. we had as a consequence of the arab oil embargo, we had price controls on oil, we had price controls on natural gas, we had limits on what natural gas could be used for, we had a very restrictive, defeatist, in my opinion, energy policy. all that's been repealed. except for one thing and that's this ban on crude oil exports. there are a number of opinions about why that's not been repealed but i think the primary reason is that until the last five years, mr. speaker, we really didn't have a significant amount of oil that could be xported.
but a funny thing happened, some engineers in texas, i have to give my state credit, developed two technologies, one called hydraulic fracturing, where you pressurize a formation, and another where you can turn the drill bit and drill horizontally. the combination of hydraulic fracturing, horizontal trilling has transformed what were considered to be uneconomic reserves, i.e. these tight shale formations, in south texas in the eagle forde and north dakota in the balkan and louisiana, up through pennsylvania, ohio and new york into economically producible oil and gas formations. and the consequence is, in the last five years, u.s. oil
production has doubled, it got as high as almost $10 million a barrel, about a year ago, because of the collapse in oil prices, that production level has declined some. but the capacity is still there. so we created a surplus in the domestic market of this light sweet shale oil. but we can't export it. so what's zwopped a two-tiered price market, off domestic -- so what's developed is a two-tiered price market. you have a domestic price that's $2 to $4 below the world price which is set by north sea oil. that price differential is causing wells in the united states to shut in, preventing new wells from being driven. if we can pass our bill tomorrow and the senate pass it and the president sign it, that price differential, mr. speaker, will go away and we will be
competitive to export oil into the world market. if we're able to do that, good things happen. united jobs in the states, we put pressure on opec and russia in the world market, we probably bring that world price down slightly which will result in lower gasoline prices for united states consumers, and we'll be competitive in the energy markets everywhere in this world. in asia, in south america, in western europe, central europe, u.s. oil will be used as an economic product but also as a strategic asset for the security of our country. so mr. speaker, we hope to have a big vote on that tomorrow. somewhere between noon and 1:00. we have 10 amendments the rules committee made in order. some of those we'll accept, some we'll oppose. but it's been an open process,
hearings in a number of committees, including your committee, mr. chairman, the ag committee. open markup in subcommittee of energy and commerce. full committee, and amendments accepted from both sides of the aisle that will be on the floor tomorrow. h.r. 72 is good for america, good for the country, it's a job creation bill and we hope that we'll get a big vote tomorrow often and with that i yield back mr. conaway. mr. mr. conaway: thank you, it's h.r. 702. mr. barton: did i say the wrong number? mr. mr. conaway: that's ok, we'll know which one to vote on tomorrow. i want to brag on the house for conducting this business the way it has. if you go back to your grade school, junior high civics classes, i'm a bill on capitol hill trying to become a law, this is exactly what happened with this bill. it went through the process the way it's supposed to, and we hope to see tomorrow a big bipartisan vote so the american people can at least in this one
glimmer look and say, hey, the house of representatives functioned the way the founding fathers intended it to and moved an important piece of legislation forward. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back and look forward to a big vote tomorrow. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, the chair rk nices the gentleman from michigan, mr. kildee, for 30 minutes. mr. kildee: thank you, mr. speaker. i seek unanimous consent that i have five legislative days and any other speaker who may arrive, to revise and extend remarks and include extraneous material on the subject of my special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. kildee: thank you, mr. speaker. i come to the floor today just to take a few minutes to call attention to a problem that i've been trying to raise in this body and in my work before i came to congress for some time,
specifically, to describe the conditions in my own hometown of flint, michigan. the subject that i'm addressing is the unique and really difficult challenges facing america's older industrial cities. cities like my hometown of flint, michigan. a city that is the birth place of general motors, or the first -- where the first u.a.w. contract was created, was signed. but it's acy city -- but it's a city that has struggled as it has made the transition from the old to the new economy. it's a city that had 200,000 people just a couple of decades ago and now hovers around 100,000 citizens. a poorer city than it once was. a city that's lost 90% of its manufacturing jobs. i raise this because i believe that this congress and this government, the federal government, has an obligation to reinvest in these communities. communities that help build this country and that can have a
significant effect on our future. these are the cities where innovation took place and where it can take place again. my own hometown right now is struggling. struggling with a problem, unfrnled, that is not entirely of its own making. my my home of flint, a city that was once the center of the automotive uniform, can't even guarantee to its citizens the most essential function of government. can't guarantee to citizens that it can deliver clean drinkable water to their households. we have elevated led levels in the city of flint, in their water system. it's been known for some time, for about a year, that there have been significant problems with water quality in flint,
and despite protests really at the state and federal level, public officials saying that there's no problem with the water, that it's completely safe to drink, in fact, one state official told city of flint residents that it just needed to simply relax. it's been revealed recently, through independent studies now confirm by state government, that we have lead levels far in excess of what is allowed under the federal lead and copper rules. this is completely unacceptable. in fact, what makes this even more troubling is that this is a tragic set of circumstances that has public health implications for the citizens of my community, that was completely avoidable, that is the result of decisions that were made by the state of michigan when it took over
control of this fiscally stressed city. this is a city that is struggling in a lot of different ways. twice in the last decade has been under the control of a receiver, of a state-appointed emergency manager, that takes away the authority of local government officials to make decisions for themselves, takes away the authority of the flint citizens to elect their own representatives to govern themselves, and places authority to control the city in the hands of a single master, an emergency manager. well, it was during the period of time that one of those emergency managers was in control that the state decided for the city of flint that for a temporary period of time, simply to save money, it would begin to draw water, rather than from the city of detroit water system, which had a water source from lake hereon, but
would begin to draw water -- heron, but would begin to draw water from the flint river, a small river that passes through our hometown, a river that is the name of our own community. the sad thing is, and this tells you a little bit about how some folks in different levels of government, the federal and state level, think about these older cities, there was no robust review, no testing, no examination as to whether or not this river water would result in clean water being delivered to homes, drinkable water delivered to citizens. and as a result this water drawn from the flint river is substantially more corrosive and has led to lead leeching from the pipes in the delivery system into the drinking water in president clinton homes. indiana fact, there was a -- in flint homes. study fact there was a
done in just the last day or two that shows that in flint school district buildings, water being delivered to flint school children, has lead levels far above the actionable level under the e.p.a. lead and copper rule. think about this. this is in the 21st century in the united states of america. we have a city, a great old city that was a part of the industrial revolution, can't even deliver clean and safe drinking water to its citizens. not only because of our failure to invest in infrastructure in this country, which is a big part of the problem, but largely because officials at the state government simply decided, well, that flint river water, that will be good enough. no real scientific research to determine whether or not that water would be safe. it will be fine. and even when evidence was presented indicating that that water might be unsafe, flint
citizens were told by the state government to just relax. don't worry about it. well, that's a complete failure of government. it's a failure of government, frankly at the federal level, because for almost a year now i have been asking the e.p.a. to intervene, to, first of all, help this old city of flint rebuild itself and rebuild its water system by providing some relief through the clean drinking water revolving loan fund, some degree of loan forgiveness, which is allowable under federal law, but in this case a technicality has prevented the e.p.a. from allowing the state of michigan to grant that kind of a relief. that could make a huge difference for this city and its ability to rebuild its own infrastructure. but so far all we get from the e.p.a. is, no, and we ask for technical assistance from the e.p.a. now, recently we've had more attention, but frankly it's not enough. where's the urgency? if the role of the u.s. e.p.a.
is to ensure adherence to this rule, this law, that requires clean and safe drinking water to be available to its citizens, they ought to do more than sit back and offer opinion. they need to be engaged. so i call on the e.p.a. to take a much more focused role in making sure that the citizens of flint have clean drinking water. now, i mentioned that this was not an accident. this was done during a time, this decision to use this questionable water source, was done when the city was under financial receivership. when an appointed emergency manager was making the decisions for the city of flint. so here we had a situation where this emergency manager, this outside new management, is appointed to come in and deal with the issue of fiscal insolvency. and by only looking at the
short term balance sheet, made a decision to get cheaper water that turned out to be dangerous for the residents of the city. and actually potentially has nded the city a huge cost to fix what could be hundreds of millions of dollars of permanent damage to the water system as a result of that decision. so an emergency manager comes in with the idea that somehow outside management is the only roblem that this city faces. makes decisions that not only ruins the reputation of the city, but also causes significant health risk, and then hands the city a bill, potentially, to the tunes of hundreds of millions of dollars and at the same time, over the last decade, has continued to cut direct support to that very city. this just doesn't make sense. the citizens of the city are
not responsible for the fact that its infrastructure has been allowed to deteriorate. they're not responsible for the fact that at the federal level and at the state level we not -- we have not supported redevelopment in these places, and in fact through transportation policy, housing policy, tax policy, land use policy at the federal and state level, we've actually, unfortunately, contributed to the hollowing out of these older cities. and now the citizens of this place have to pay the price. the failure to reinvest in these older cities is not without victims. right now it's the people of the city of flint that are the victims of a failure at the federal, frankly, and at the state level. and it's something that just cannot be tolerated. so, when we think about this question, we think about this particular case of the city, my
hometown of flint, the fact that these decisions have been at the them by people state capitol, they are paying the price. and almost inexplicably, even though today in a complete reversal, an admission of failure by the state, the state has come in and said now they are going to help facilitate the reconnection temporarily to the detroit water system until a permanent lake heron line can be established. inexplicably they're actually asking the city government to empty out its remaining resources, financial resources, and put millions of dollars up to help contribute, to pay for fixing a problem that the state of government, the state government is actually responsible for making.
the state broke the system. and now yet again it's the city residents who are being asked to contribute to pay for a problem that they did not create in the first place. sadly, while this may seem like an extreme case, it's a pretty consistent tale. all across this country, but especially in the northeast and midwestern united states, but in the south and west as well, there are older cities that have in the past contributed greatly to economic growth in this country, and have been allowed, in some ways encouraged, to wither. to be hollowed out. and we can't let this continue. so here, when we see, before our very eyes, 30, 40, 50 american cities, as i said, including my own hometown, continue to fall farther and , have its nd
infrastructure continue to deteriorate, what do we spend our time talking about here in the united states congress? petty fights between democrats and republicans and, frankly, more recently, petty fights between republicans and other republicans. we haven't even touched the idea of a big infrastructure bill that could help places, not just like my hometown of flint, but other places across the midwest and across the country that could be much more roductive if we simply had 21st century infrastructure. a water system that can deliver clean water to its residents. there's no excuse. there's no excuse at the federal level for us not providing the kind of help that would make a place like flint a far more productive place, with decent roads, good schools and
a water system that delivers clean water. i mean, that seems pretty fundamental. and it is. but without that, these older communities, these older cities, have no chance of connecting to the new economy, no chance of contributing the way they're capable of, to the next economy of this country. and it's shameless that we haven't seen the urgency that i think is required in order to deal with this enormous problem. there are victims to this failure. there are victims, individuals who have been really left behind because of the failure at the federal and at the state level. so, mr. speaker, i know i've take an few moments, i don't need to take the full half hour that has been allotted to me, because we will continue this discussion, we will continue this conversation. i just want to make sure that the folks who are listening, people in this body, people
across the country, understand that unless we take time, unless we take the effort in this body to address the problems of these older cities, we will not have done our job. and it's important that the american people know that this congress is willing to stand up for them and stand up for america's cities. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. the chair would entertain a motion to adjourn. mr. kildee: i move that the house do now adjourn, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly,
>> wait a minute, wait a minute. mr. mccarthy: all right. i think i shocked some of you, huh? listen, we've been going through this campaign and talking to a lot of members, but the one thing i've said, in this majority, we're servants. there's something to be said to unite, we need a fresh face. i'll stay on as majority leader. but the one thing i found
talking to everybody, if we are going to unite and be strong, we need a new face to help do that. nothing more than that. i feel good about the decision. i feel great to have my family here mitigating circumstance colleagues. i think we're only going to be stronger. we fought hard to win this majority and turn this country around. nd this will be -- >> this morning you said you were going to run for the peakership, you changed at noon, what happened in those four hours? mr. mccarthy: we had our conference, there were calls to the district. i don't want to make voting for speaker a tough one. i don't want to go to the floor and win with 220 votes. i think the best thing for our party right now is to have 227 votes. i think if we're going to be strong, we need to be united. et's put the conference first.
i have been talking with a number of members, we've been thinking about this throughout the week, trying to see if we can get there. i just think it's best to have a new face. >> how much did your comments out benghazi last week contribute? mr. mccarthy: that wasn't helpful. i could have said it much better. but this ben fwawsee committee was only created for one purpose. to find the truth on behalf of the families for the four dead americans. i should not be a distraction from that. and that's part of the decision as well. >> a letter was put out by congressman jones saying that members -- [inaudible] can you put a rest to that? mr. mccarthy: no. i think the conference should
decide. thank you all very much. >> i don't know if i'm going to put my name in the hat. i want to take that fight to the president and i want to make sure we can keep on winning and fighting for the american eople. we've got a lot of people -- i love kevin mccarthy, he's a good man. that was a tough thing to do. but god bless him. he wants to share the same goals
absolutely stunned. did not see that coming. kevin mccarthy is a very good man. he's always been one that puts his country before everything else. so he and i stand shoulder to shoulder with the same goal and desire and that is to unite this party and take the fight to the president, to the senate, and to the american people. i really do believe it is time for a fresh start. that was the whole genesis of my campaign. but we need to have a lot more family discussion because we need to find somebody that our whole body can unite behind and do what we were elected to do. so i was absolutely stunned, surprised, and shocked that this happened but our conference is going to have to do a lot of deep soul searching and we'll see what happens. i said that i would support the nominee on the floor but we don't yet have a nominee. so the fact that it's delayed, i
will continue to campaign. absolutely. i think we have a lot of internal fracture -- fracturing that's happened and we need to figure out a way to unite the party. that's what kevin mccarthy wants us to do. that's what i want to do. i think that's what john boehner wants to co-. >> there's a lot of talk coming out of the conference about temporary care takers, able to take the reigns for two months. -- reins for two months. why is that not a good idea? mr. chaffetz: i think the conference has to unite behind a plan. we'll have those discussions in the coming weeks. but ultimately we're trying to build consensus here that can get us to the numbers and get us back to the work we were all elected to do. so we'll continue along those lines. so thank you. appreciate it. thank you.
candidate, then there's three, that changes the dynamics and now they're two again. i want to have a good process, i think ng on that that's an issue we started working on when we had our conference the other day. , started with some speeches those are key things. a lot of members would like to see us modify the rules and use them. mr. webster: right now we don't use the rules. e circumvent them every day. [inaudible]
>> if you were elected speaker, would you -- [inaudible] mr. webster: may have misunderstood my picture of the speaker. speaker empowers the members to be successful. what i want to do is make members successful. when we do, we'll get to an nswer on that. >> if the majority of the conference is -- mr. webster: it's not my job to block it. it's the vote of the people for the conference. that's what we are. if we go with a principal based system, you'll see a lot of people coalesce together to at least have an opportunity oto
speak. in many cases there are mendments offered, bills offered, and so forth that all the other side would like to do in some cases is just, it doesn't matter which side, several group, they would just like to affect a change. if they lose, they're happy and they go, ok. but if they don't get a chance at all, that's what -- then they go off and form a group. >> how many votes do you think you have? >> i don't know. >> do you feel like you're the favorite right now? mr. webster: i don't. because i just think there are other factors here and it will be hard to determine how that's all going to play out. >> do you like being the underdog? mr. webster: no, i'd like to be favorite. >> [inaudible]
mr. webster: he knows about it. he's a friend. he leads on principles and the grees. no matter who got elected we have moved the debate toward a member-driven process. -- 't think it's going to new candidates will have to say, yes, we've got to change. some great things have happened. they happened in florida when i was speaker. our numbers, we were able to get the jump on the senate. we were able to not allow the governor at that time to have the upper hand. to have a lot of leverage. all those things can happen. all we have to do is take things
on principle, including the membership, take up the most important issues first. when you roll out 12 appropriation bills, that's a lot of pressure. , the on't get that done closer we get to the deadline, the less authority. >> why do you think he so abruptly dropped out? and do you think it makes the republican conference look chaotic? mr. webster: i don't know why he dropped out. i don't. we were together in a session we had with the conference this morning and he was running. he answered questions like he was running. >> do you think this will lead to a more unified party? mr. webster: well, it's hard to unify without a leader.
but i think also it will be easier because all of the leadership will stay intact, no matter who is elected speaker, you'll have the underleadership help guide over the next few onths. a couple of things he said efore -- [inaudible] >> this morning he talked like e was running for speaker. mr. webster: similar things, just the same position. - passion.
>> is it time for the conference haveve a longer term -- to a temporary speaker and just have a longer term election later. do you think that's a good idea? that's -- well, that's for the conference to decide. > we need to get by. mr. webster: i think he made a decision and we have to respond to that. >> when would you like the election to be held? >> some of the scene in the minutes after john boehner
postponed the vote for the next speaker of the house. some reaction to those events also from 1600 pennsylvania avenue, white house press secretary josh ernest asked for his -- jorn earnest asked for his thoughts on the difficulty of finding new house leadership. josh: good afternoon, everybody. anybody have any news they'd like to discuss? well, you can tivo it and -- i'll be honest. i did have a topper but in light of breaking news, we'll save it for tuesday so you can eagerly anticipate that over your columbus day weekend. so let's go straight to the questions. >> i guess we'll start with the obvious. the republicans are looking for a speaker. do you have any -- is there anyone you think the white house
would want? josh: my guess is an endorsement from me, from here, would, well, not be viewed as an endorsement. so i -- look. republicans have to make some decisions about how to lead their conference and it certainly is easy to poke fun at the chaos but the fact is, the challenge that is facing the next republican speaker of the house regardless of who it is is the same challenge that john boehner faced. it's the same challenge that kevin mccarthy would have faced. and that is simply to unite a divided republican caucus. there is a minority group of conservative republican politicians that places their own extreme ideology ahead of
everything else. and certainly ahead of effective governance of the country but also as of today ahead of the effective governance of the house republican caucus. and somebody within the -- among the house republicans, will have to step forward and demonstrate tame the to either forces of that, again, small but vocal group of extreme deologues or buck up the mainstream, or at least more mainstream majority within the house republican conference. that will also include a willingness to work in bipartisan fashion to do what's
right for the country, to not insist on receiving 100% of everything that they asked for. that's not how our democracy works. it's certainly not how our democracy works, when you have one party in congress and another in charge of the white house. there's a path to solving these problems. there's a path to including a conservative imprint on those solutions. but there will not be a path to addressing these significant challenges. if republicans choose to confront them in a way that satisfies the most extreme ideologues in their party. >> do you see a real practical ? pact josh: at this point i think it's hard to say. i do think that if the challenge wasn't previously clear, it is
today. the next leader of the republican party in the house of representatives and the majority of house republicans will have to decide if they are more terested in insulating themselves from criticism that's vocalized by extreme ideologues in their party or are they more interested in advancing the interests of the american people? we saw this, we saw this kind of division rear its ugly head in the context of the debate about funding the department of homeland security. this debate continued. most -- continued most recently in the decision about whether or not to shut down the government. and unfortunately, it's not trending in the right direction. a majority of republicans in the house of representatives voted to shut down the government
other ideology. a majority of them voted to shut down the government. that's an indication that republicans are going to be struggling to address this problem. i don't think that most of those members of congress believe that shutting down the government is in the best interests of the country but yet that's what they voted to do. as long as they continue to be worried about the criticism from the far right, they're going to struggle to demonstrate to the american people that they actually suited to govern and to lead the country. and when you have the majority in both the house and the senate, you have a responsibility and it doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice your principles. but it does mean that at some point you're going to have to seek common ground with the other side. that's what our democracy demands. that is what is functionally required in an era of divided government. it's also what the vast majority of the american people expect from their government. they expect their government and
elected leaders in congress to do their job. and republicans need to learn that doing their job doesn't mean catering to the extreme right wing in the hopes that they'll win the next primary. it means actually working with the best interests of the american people at the top of their agenda. >> if i could just switch topics then, yesterday, after the brief when hillary clinton announced her opposition, she cited concerns about the numb of jobs t would create, currency manipulation, pharmaceuticals, i'm just wondering if when she was secretary of state and beginning to work on those agreements she said those things? josh: i don't have -- i'm not going to be in a position to discuss any private advice that then-secretary clinton may have provided to president obama as they were working on this policy issue. i think, you know, her campaign
and she herself has acknowledged that this is an issue she worked on in the administration. i think that's about what they expect that the secretary of state would have an item of this significant on their agenda. the fact is, we continue to believe that there is a very theng case to be made about benefits of the transpacific partnership agreement. this is an agreement that will allow american goods to be sold in some of the fastest growing markets in the world. and it will slash the taxes that other countries have imposed on -- on american goods that are being shipped to those countries. that is an important benefit for our economy. it's an important benefit for american businesses and it's important to american workers. and that's, you know, an important part of why the president believes so strongly in this. the second thing is that this
really is a choice for america to make between engagement in he world and raising standards or accepting the status quo. and it's many of the advocates on the democratic side of the aisle who express significant concerns about the way that the global economy is currently having an impact on workers in the united states. and the president has often said he shares those concerns. that's why the president believes strongly in investing in job training, investing in -- and in opening access to education to every middle class family and every student that's willing to work for it. but at the same time there's something we can do on the other end of that equation. which is engage with the most dynamic countries in the world, the t.p.p. covers about 40% of
the global economy, and reach agreements with those countries that actually raise standards that raise labor standards that raise environmental standards and in fact, the labor and environmental standards included in this trade agreement are the highest that have been included in any trade agreement and they're enforceable. we've got a strong case we'll be able to make to democrats an republicans in congress who ultimately will be responsible for determining whether or not this agreement will move forward. what nt to go back to happened today and we have this deadline coming up, november 5, right. how concerned should people be, americans, markets, about the chaos we saw today? josh: well, the observation that i have, roberta, is that there have been several instances, since 2011, two or three instances since 2011, where
house -- where a house republican -- let me say it this way that a house comprised mostly of republicans voted without drama and without brinksmanship to raise the debt limit. and those were specific instances where members of the house of representatives in both parties put the interests of the country and our economy and middle class families ahead of their concerns about any political attacks that they may get from the right wing. at's what -- that is the responsibility of members of congress. and we're hopeful that in spite chaos, that republicans and democrats in the house will do the same thing again. >> you're hopeful, but how
confident are you that that will happen without any drama? josh: there's no denying that there has been some irresponsible rhetoric on the part of republicans in congress and even some republican presidential candidates. we continue to be hopeful that cooler heads will prevail in precisely the same way they have in the past. >> has the president spoke within leader pelosi yet? or does he plan to? josh: i don't believe the president has had an opportunity to make calls to congressional leaders since mr. mccarthy's recent announcement. >> did the president speak with hillary clinton after she made her announcement? josh: i don't think so. >> how did he feel when she announced she was opposing a dole that was important to him? was he surprised? angry? josh: not either of those things, particularly because the president remembers she did not
support the t.p.a. legislation he sought in the congress. over the summer we had a rank rouse debate here in washington with a lot of twist and turns, a couple of snafus popped up, but we were able to successfully navigate those problems and build a durable, bipartisan majority in both the house and senate to pass trade promotion authority legislation even though it wasn't supported by any of the democratic presidential candidates. we continue to have confidence that we'll be able to build a similar bipartisan majority in the congress to pass this, to ratify the t.p.p. agreement. april. >> how did the president find out about mccarthy and what did he say? josh: the white house did not get a heads up on this nnouncement. about mr. mccarthy's announcement today. i do think the president, like
most people in washington, was surprised. but you know, ultimately, there are some serious responsibilities that members of congress have and you know, what the president is looking for is somebody who understands that in an era of divided government and in a representative democracy that compromise and a willingness to work across the aisle and acknowledgment that you're not going to get 100% of what you demand will be necessary to get anything done. and that recognition is critical to advancing the interests of the american people. and that's going to require some leadership and we'll see if the successor to john boehner is up to the task. >> next question on a different topic. this weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the march on
washington. the million man march. and it's the 20th anniversary. no requests were permitted to any counterrally. the organizer said that this event has -- the first anniversary no requests for permitted to any counterer rally. the organizer said there are numerous permits for counter rallies, we're still having oblems like police shootings and other issues. what do you think about the million man march and the counter rallies. josh: people often refer to the national mall as america's front yard. it's the place where american people choose to assemble to make their views known.
i don't think it would be the first time that there might be people gathered on the national mall who might have some different -- differing views on some important issues. but in general, this event is organized to promote social justice and advancement on a range of issues that are in the best interests of -- that are priorities of middle class families. and the president certainly has made the interests of middle class families a priority in his presidency. that's everything from reforming our health care system to expanding access to job training to expanding access to college education. the president has also prioritized issues like criminal justice reform, something we continue to hope will be -- will attract bipartisan support in the congress. and even outside of the legislative path the president has used the bully pulpit of the
presidency to advance other initiatives, including the my brother's keeper initiative. these are -- these represent significant presidential priorities and the president is committed to using the 15 month he is has remaining in office to continue to make progress on them and he certainly welcomes support from all across the country for these priorities hat he's identified. josh: i think there are lots of different views that will be represented on the national mall. all of those are advocating for progress on a range of social and economic issues will be arctic you lating values that the president supports. reporter: inaudible]
do you think secretary clinton's proach is the best one josh: i haven't looked carefully or anyone who has done a careful analysis of her proposal. based on the news coverage, it sounds like she is seeking to build on the important progress that was made in this administration. when it comes to high frequency trading, what we have tried to acknowledge to enact wall street reform, technology has had a significant impact on the financial markets, everything
from communications and the media to even politics. but that's also true in the financial world. and it means that our regulatory system needs to be flexible and anymoreble enough to keep up with a -- innovative, technological environment. the treasury department is currently taking a look at the way that technology has affected financial markets and the way that the financial markets function and we continue to be vigilant about monitoring the risks in the markets, but also ensuring that we're not putting in place regulations that are going to overly constrain innovations. there is a lot to balance here. we are mindful of the risks of
high frequency trading. reporter: report planners are alling for additional -- inaudible] force companies to admit guilt even if they are paying penalties. josh: the kinds of decisions are made by independent prosecutors at the department of justice and there are other enforcement decisions that are made at the s.e.c. that are independent of any political influence.
if you look at the the kind of enforcement measures that have been taken during this administration, you'll see that the president's tough words have een backed by forceful action. the cfpb, an agency that was created, to protect the interests of consumers, has successfully recovered $10 billion in relief for 17 million consumers based on actions they have taken. they have only been in existence for a few years and created by this administration. the department of justice has carried out a range of enforcement actions more than 60 since 2009 and recovered $85 billion for taxpayers from financial institutions that were accused of wrongdoing and other actions that the administration has taken with regulators and law enforcement officials to
recover additional funds, so whether it's the assessment with the five major banks on the national servicing mortgage sltment, that was $50 billion for homeowners. there are a range of actions that this administration has taken and we are quite proud of that record. but again, this is a dynamic environment in which we are operating and it is important for regulators to be aware of the flexibility that's required o incorporate the kinds of changes that can result from innovation, to guard against those risks but not overly inhibit regulations that would be good for our economy. eporter: [inaudible]
does it increase pressure on that deal to have a longer span? trying to get a deal that would last until the end of the presidency. that the kind of time frame? josh: it is too early to assess e fallouts of representative mccarthy's withdrawal today. we continue that our budget priorities and to fund our economic and national security priorities is reflected in any bipartisan agreement. the administration is prepared to not get 100% of what we're asking for. and whatever results from -- reporter: i know that you said before that you want something based on the budget, but we haven't heard much in terms of time frame, how long, how much
you want to add back in. josh: the budget we put forward earlier this year, there are a lot of numbers and details included in there. we acknowledge that's not something we are going to get out of a republican majority in congress. but, look, that is our starting point and likely as it is you and i could sit down to resolve all of these budgetary challenges and there is a process we have to work through and has to work through the house and the senate. but because it's going to be something that requires bipartisanship, it has to incorporate the views of democrats in the house and the senate. that's why all those parties are engaged in conversations that we are hopeful will yield the kind
of bipartisan agreement that will prevent a government shutdown and ensure that our national security and economic policies are adequately funded and what's important to the american people. reporter: would the white house prefer that speaker boehner change his mind? would that make things easier? josh: the house has to determine for themselves who is well suited. and whoever that person is will face the exactly the same challenge that john boehner has faced. they'll have to face the same challenge that leader mccarthy would have faced had he successfully been elected speaker and that is simply is managing the stark divide in the publican between the extreme idealogs and refuse to put the best interests of the country
ahead of their extreme ideology the majority of house republicans who i think are quite concerned being vulnerable from attacks from that extreme i'd loling and let that fear influence their ability to put the interests of the country first. and that hasn't happened. we have seen areas where those republicans have stood up and done the right thing. support for t.p.a. earlier. obviously there was a vote to keep the government open that took place last week. again, we are disappointed that a majority of republicans voted to shut down the government, but some republicans put the interests of the economy and our middle-class families ahead first and we hope to see a leader in the house republican caucus that is willing to ensure that the country's priorities
are at the top of the agenda. the president in reacting to mr. boehner's surprising news from a few weeks ago, noted that despite the stark differences of opinion that those two men have on a range of important issues, that speaker boehner who has acknowledged that in a divided government and in a democracy, you aren't going to get 100% of what you demand. that speaks well of speaker boehner. but republicans will have to decide who to next take the range over there. >> the cruise missile launch by the russians is it the white use's sense they are backing unilaterally. anything that the white house will do to get putin to change his strategy? osh: russia has been proposing
up a state that was on the verge of falling apart. reporter: from the white house perspective? josh: we have seen russia for years now take action, financial assad ers to prop up the regime. they resorted to military action. they are being backed by the iranians as well and that serves to illustrate the sectarian war that are russia is involving themselves in. and that has consequences for russia and illustrates how despite their tough talk and their actions that are characterized as muscular, that the russians are responding and reacting from a position of weakness to a situation that is
spiraling further and further out of control. reporter: they going to fight isil? josh: the strategy is not likely to be particularly successful because most of their military actions are targeted in areas where there are few if any isil forces. i don't know if it calls into question their correct but calls into question their strategic thinking. hillary clinton's accomplishments while secretary of state. we have been goiting the agreements and bringing that to fruition and obtaining trade promotion authority. that is another significant accomplishment speaking of a few accomplishments of secretary clinton. is that an accomplishment now, seeing how she opposes on something they worked with this
administration on? josh: i noted earlier, the expectation we all had and while she was serving as secretary of state, she was involved in helping this administration negotiate the strongest possible deal for u.s. businesses and american workers. when it comes to reconciling her actions in government and the current position go, i would refer you to the clinton campaign. we believe we have a strong agreement and the kind of agreement that is in the best interests of american businesses and workers. it will cut taxes on goods shipped overseas and the question that members of congress will face, are they going to vote to keep those 18,000 taxes in place or vote to cut taxes that will unleash opportunities for businesses large and small and american workers. reporter: that's all fair, i'm trying to understand from the
administration's perspective they view secretary clinton. this is yet another example where our leanings have shifted. some would say she is working out against things she was for earlier. even as it relates to the wars in iraq and afghanistan. she was working actively and voted for the war in iraq and working actively to help the administration draw down troops in iraq and afghanistan and now she seems again that was an accomplishment. doesn't it frustrate the administration to have her out there now, all the things i worked with them on? i know you have friends in the administration, but i'm trying to understand. josh: the way i have friends working on the campaign doesn't prevent me from speaking
candidly. here's my shot. as the winner of the last two presidential elections have been held in this country, the president understands presidential elections are tough and he understands it is the responsibility to give voters a reason to support them. that means distinctishing them from their competitors and sometimes the current occupant of the office. that is part of the business. and nobody is going to succeed in running for somebody else's third term. so the president does understand that there are going to be differences and he is not particularly concerned about that, because his principal concern when it comes to politics is making sure that he is succeeded by a president that shares his values and is committed to building on the important success that was made
so far. the president has made the observation in recent months that the united states is positioned as well as we have ever been to capitalize on our influence around the globe and our economic strength right here at home. and the president has invested a lot in this both personally and in temperatures of his passion for this country and for public service. a he is rooting for candidate who shares that vision and who will build on that progress to succeed him.
supports investments in innovation and advocacy for raising the minimum wage and dvocacy for defending workers' rights and believes in the president's vision for modernizing job training in this country. there is a stark difference on this particular issue, but when it comes to the values and priorities that secretary clinton is arctic lating in the context of her campaign, this president advocated for when he campaigned for this office as well and the priorities that he set for this administration. we made important progress in each of those areas and the president is hopeful whoever the next president is, someone will
recognize that progress and seek to build on it. reporter: on the secretary clinton issue, she specifically mentioned currency manipulation as something she doesn't think was addressed. how is it addressed? josh: there is a technical answer to that question but i can give you the broad answer to that question. for the first time in history in the context of a trade agreement, the 12 countries who are part of the t.p.p. address unfair currency practices. and the concern that has been raised by many people is that there is a temptation on the part of some countries to manipulate their currency for an unfair trading advantage. and the currency provisions that are included in this agreement set a high standard for currency practices. they promote transparency and accountability, while at the
same time, fulfilling an important priority of this president which is protecting of the united states to make independent decisions at the fed that are in the best interests of our economy. balancinging those priorities is what makes this complicated but also why the president believes why something was achieved. reporter: is there an enforcement mechanism of some sort on this issue? josh: i could give you someone who is up on the technical aspects. congress had the opportunity in the context of the trade promotion authority to set some principal negotiating objectives. congress made clear their views about what sort of currency provisions should be included in a final agreement that would eventually get the support of the majority members of congress. and we can conclude that the
currency agreement that is currently part of the transpacific partnership agreement does satisfy those principal negotiating objectives. reporter: and this will protect american jobs. his will be a net -- josh: this is the net positive for the u.s. economy. it sets a high currency standard while at the same time protecting the ability of policy makers at the fed who act independently, to make decisions they believe that are clearly in the best interests of the u.s. economy. i'm certainly no financial analyst, but there has been a lot of reporting done about the impact the decisions at the fed -- decisions that were made at the fed were critically important to the economic recovery that this country has
enjoyed since the depths of the great recession in 2008 and 2009. we want toll protect independent policy makers at the fed to make decisions like that that are in the best economic interest of the country. we want to protect their he ability to make those decisions while at the same time setting the high standards that will prevent other regulators from engaging in the behavior that puts american businesses and the american economy at a great disadvantage. reporter: in afghanistan, there were reports of 30 americans still missing as a result of the air strike. josh: i refer you to the department of defense of what activities that are going on in the ground there. t continues to be a volatile environment. and that certainly as i
acknowledged yesterday is having an impact on the pace of the ongoing investigation. but for ongoing efforts to do additional rescue and recovery at that site, i refer you to the department of defense. reporter: you don't know if there are any discussions about this issue or not? josh: i'm not able to give you any discussions. reporter: the discussion about an independent international -- are you relying on as you did yesterday the three other investigations you think will suffice or still some possibility that the united states might consider this demand by doctors without borders? josh: the full accounting that the president has insisted upon is something that will be delivered in the context of a thorough investigation that is being conducted by the
department of defense. the er: the president in rose garden said john boehner is a patriot. at this point, would he be the best of the options of running now? josh: this is a decision for house republicans to make and even as i alluded to in response to kathleen's question, even if that were the view of the administration, it would probably not be helpful for me to articulate it. i will defer to the responsibility of house republicans to decide who they believe would be the most effective leader of their conference. now that's not to say we don't have any stake in this, because the president is interested in having somebody who recognizes what john boehner did, that for all of his conservative beliefs and differences of opinion with
the president, john boehner recognized in an era of divided government, you can't get 100% of everything you demand. and that served him well and certainly served the country well, but it angered some extremist eyed logs in the house republican conference. and navigating that will be a challenge that wasn't john boehner's to deal with. reporter: following up on that. for the good of the country, why is it so unthinkable to endorse a candidate for the speaker of the house to lead from the middle of the house including republicans and democrats and rolling conservatives. with all the things that are coming up with so important?
josh: this is a decision that house republicans has to make. if the president had a vote in the house republican conference in terms of who they were going to be speaker of the house, i would suspect announce an endorsement, since he doesn't, we are going to respect the right that house republicans have to choose the next speaker of the house. look, this is part of being in the majority. when you are elected, you are going to determine the outcome of the speaker's race and that's not something that anybody in the senate can influence and not something the president can influence or the members of the minority party of the house can influence as a practical matter. this is a decision that is left to house republicans. and as i mentioned earlier, the willingness of idealogs in the house republican caucus to put
their views ahead of the functioning of the u.s. to put t has led them their own i'd loling to the effective governing of the house republican caucus and makes the next job of the speaker a tough one. reporter: what is the nature of the support that the united states gives to those elements in the opposition militarily? josh: i don't have that list in front of my. the department of defense has a way to describe the kind of support that has been provided to some elements of the syrian moderate opposition. it's not a list, at least a description. reporter: they are targeting the united states and backed by the united states and under attack by russia cruise missiles. what does the white house want to do to protect those allies that are being attacked by russia on the ground?
josh: i would acknowledge that there are syrian opposition groups that have received support and assistance from the united states. that support and assistance has not included things like directing their actions on the ground. these are -- reporter: they are allies. josh: they are independent groups that have received the support of the united states. and it includes taking air strikes in support of their missions on the ground. and the concern that we have raised is that russia has failed to distinguish between those groups that are supported by the united states and our coalition partners and the extremists in isil and the case that we have made is that russia's efforts to
counter the moderate syria opposition only make it harder for members of the moderate syrian opposition to state in a political transition that russia acknowledges that will be needed. that's why we have raised fundamental questions about the strategy that russia is ursuing. josh: look, i think it is too early to assess the full impact of the surprising decision today. and so i will -- i think the
days ahead will tell us more. reporter: are there plans. the trade deal you just got. you are going to need to fight for that? josh: we will. and what we are hopeful of that the next leader of the republican party in the house of representatives will be someone who acknowledges that the country will be very well served not been think sacrificing their conservative principles but to work with the other party, whether that is funding for national security a or rat filing a trade agreement that would be good for middle-class families. there will be plenty of opportunities for republicans to do that. ut ultimately. we'll have a little fun. but i don't mean to diminish the significance of the challenge
that the next speaker will face. it's going to be difficult to bridge this gap. there's been a rupture in the republican party and it's on display in town hall meetings in iowa and new hampshire and also on display in private meetings with the house republican conference on capitol hill. this is a real challenge for the republican party. and it does threaten their ability to win national elections and make a strong case to the american people, it dose raise significant questions about the moral conviction and the priorities that are held by a lot of republican politicians who aren't willing to stand up to extreme eyed logs, who serve in their own conference. that is the fundamental challenge. and it is a big challenge for the republican party and big challenge for the next republican speaker of the house
whoever he or she may be and it has significant consequences for the country. reporter: it does or could. does it directly impact or heighten the chance of a government shutdown? say. it's too early to it's not too far away. josh: there is a lot of important work for the house of representatives to get done. i would like to say there are ambitious goals. we are talking about the basic fundamentals that any congress has to deal with. this isn't a visionary that they are hoping to advance. they don't t hoping do something that would significantly damage the u.s. economy. this isn't about -- unfortunately, this isn't about advancing some conservative aagenda ave for the country,
this is about not ruining the country's opportunity. reporter: an idea being floated bout an interim speaker. josh: these are the kinds of things that republicans will have to work out for themselves. even if it is a so-called caretaker speaker, that person will have a very difficult challenge ahead of them. reporter: on syria, you don't want syria to be with russia. does this mean the united states has to ack wees to russia? josh: it's not an escalation against isil. and our operations against isil have continued unabated. the u.s. and coalition partners
have taken strikes against syria and that should be an indication to you that our efforts continue unabated and while we welcome russian contribution against isil, even if we don't get it, our coalition is going to go forward. reporter: you have drawn a direct line to lng then the direct line of the war. what are you doing to stop russia from making your goal even harder to achieve? josh: the risks facing russia as a result of their military action inside of syria are significant. they risk further isolation and risk further involvement in a sectarian conflict, civil war inside of syria.
reporter: that's hypothetical? josh: the iranians and proxies in the region when you gauge the reaction of those on the other side of that sectarian divide. i think that's on display. nd i think the other reason -- it's not a hypothetical is these are hard lessons that the soviet union had to learn in afghanistan, a few decades ago. this is a hard lesson that we had to learn in iraq. you don't have to dig back into history to see how it's going to play out for the russians and it's not good. reporter: is that code for sanctions? josh: i don't mean tore signal.
i know we used that word. in that case i'm oak that the united states has built a coalition of 65 nations to implement a coalition to destroy ice ill. and had you been invited to join their efforts. the fact that that hasn't happened and if anything, you have seen a long list of world leaders step forward who are criticizings russia's actions inside of syria and what had previously been -- well, that is how i would illustrate when it comes to the 65 members who are pursuing the goal that russia shares are unhappy or unwilling misguidedate with the
strategy. eporter: [inaudible [ josh: i don't know if the president is aware of this particular incident. i know it is something that the department of defense is tracking. eporter: real black president, does the president take offense. josh: i don't know if the president is aware of this. i know mr. murdock are tweeted an apology this morning. nd i also noted that a fox spokesperson said i'm not going to quote on mr. murdock's tweets and i'm not going to either. reporter: going back to hoint
that she could deter congressional democrats from supporting her? josh: i don't know what it will have on individual members of congress. you can ask them what impact it has on their votes. i would just note that secretary clinton did not support trade promotion authority in congress. yet, we did succeed in building a large bipartisan majority for trade promotion authority and seeing that legislation passed. that's why we continue to be optimistic. reporter: the hispanic caucus is going to talk to the president on this issue? josh: i don't know if the president will talk about trade at the congressional hispanic caucus gala tonight. i don't know if he will mention
secretary clinton. reporter: is there any conversation between the two. josh: i'm sure they will stop and talk. [laughter] josh: there have been -- i can't comment on these reports because i'm aware of them but i don't know, but i don't have anything to say on future policy decisions in this regard. but it should not provoke significant reaction from the chinese for a couple of reasons.
the first is, this is something the united states has done on several other occasions because the president is committed to the principle of the freedom of navigation in the south china sea. and we make no claim on any territory in that region of the world but we are encouraging all sides who have a difference of opinion about those territorial claims, to ensure the free flow of commerce continues uninhibitted and that is consistent with the principle that the president identified in the rose garden standing next to the chinese president when he reiterated that the united states will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows. and that applies to the south china sea region. reporter: that would be the first time, correct?
josh: we can give you the details. i don't have the dates in front of me. i think there have been five or six occasions that has occurred since 2011. i don't know if it has been done since 2012. reporter: possible sanctions on government officials snr allenging time to -- [inaudible] josh: by completing a t.p.p. agreement, that the actions of the administration are certainly having an impact in protecting our interests around the world particularly in the asia-pacific region. the instinct of china is to feel that way. our policy continues to be -- and this is something that the president believes in. and there are responsibilities
associated with countries looking to expand their influence around the world. one example of that would be not bullying your neighbors just because you happen to be more stronger and influential but you seek to resolve dispute diplomatically even when they are relevant to territorial claims. we have encouraged china and everyone else in the region to do. ok? chip? [laughter] reporter: getting back to the drama in the house, house speaker john boehner released a statement that he is planning on staying on until a new speaker is chosen. is that the preferred feeling of the white house? josh: i'm not going to express a particular view about who should
leave the house republican caucus. that's something that house republican members of congress will have to determine and yes i would acknowledge any expression of support for any individual would lead to the opposite of the intended effect. so that's why i'm going to respectfully and appropriately defer to the views of the house republican members to determine who their leader should be. reporter: you said about hillary clinton's reversal on the t.p.p., that the president understands the rigors of presidential politics. to what dry to you think it played in? she did speak out in favor of t.p.p. a number of times. josh: her statements, i would refer you to the campaign. we continue to feel quite
confident about the strength of the case that we can make about why both democrats and republicans should support an agreement that cuts imports on america can goods and makes it easier to sell american goods in the fastest growing economies in the world. this agreement includes enforceable labor and environmental standards. we know something that are democrats are concerned about. something that the oval office is concerned about. and he is pleased -- that is part of the case he will make to members of congress who will have to ratify. reporter: is it because she is seeing bernie sanders in her rearview mirror? josh: i'll let them speculate. reporter: or syria and russia
how concerned is the administration about where these missiles are going? there are hostages still being ld in syria by iceis presumably. do you believe that russia knows what it's shooting at? josh: let me say, jim, that the case of any individual hostages is not something we would talk about publicly. most cases, it is our assessment talking about them publicly doesn't advance our efforts to rescue them. reporter: there are hostages still being held. josh: that acknowledgement is counterproductive. you raise a legitimate question about the impact of this russian military activity. nd we have noted -- either
inability or unwillingness on the part of russia to distinguish between the kinds of opposition targets this that they are targeting. and the concern that we have about that is that it only serves to alienate and in some casees degrade hit the target that was intended. degrading the moderate syrian opposition makes it more for them to be part of the transition that russia acknowledges is necessary. some of that moderate sirenian opposition has been under fire from the assad regime. only exacerbating the problem inside of syria, a place where the russians are expanding their footprint. reporter: have the russians
reached out in any way to try to obtain intelligence or information that would help them take out targets? any kind of discussion like that going on? know it has been a challenge. that worry lead one to believe there is nt much of a conversation going on. josh: jim, we made clear if russia is willing to make a addition, we would welcome such a decision. we have seen russia resist doing that. and we have said if they are going to resist doing that, at a minimum, we would like to see russia engage in low-level, tactical discussions about deflicting our involvement in syria in a way that makes it safer for our pilots and that
includes a discussion about like establishing communication commanls, following safety regulations, those kinds of things. but it has not risen to the level of coordination or cooperation when it comes to military operations in syria. reporter: what do you make of -- there is a report by reuters hat suggests that the u.s. was caught off guard by russia's moves and some blame the intelligence community for not realizing or recognizing what russia was about to be up to? what do you make of that? it does seem -- the public has the impression that the president and the white house is surprised by all of this? josh: i don't put stock into the report because all of you were asking me about the russian
build-up in syria a couple of weeks ago. this is a well known fact. i'm not going to talk about our intelligence analysis, but i think you can be assured if all of you knew and were reporting it that the administration and the decision makers were certainly aware of it. and i don't think there is anybody who had the expectation in the administration that russia wasn't prepared to use that equipment to advance their interests inside of syria. again, their interests inside of syria, they want to bulk up the assad regime and that's what they have been doing for years. and they have succeeded in keeping him in power but not strengthening his grip in power. russia has had to resort in using increasingly more
significant military operations to try to protect assad. and they are doing that because things weren't working anymore. and again, i don't think that's a surprise. that's something we have been saying for quite some time. the president, before russia commenced their military activities, they said a decision by russia would be a losing bet. the president said that before and we continue to believe that that's true. reporter: just to clarify, the ite house indicated that the former secretary had talked about her decision. it's not clear to me whether the former secretary of state was very interested in this trade pact and asked for a more
complete briefing about the conclusion of the pact that was described because it has not been publicly put in the public domain yet. did she ask for the full facts or a briefing so she would understand all of the implications of what was negotiated? josh: let me account for all of the conversations or every conversation that may have taken place between the white house and the clinton campaign. i know that the head's up on this was communicated to more than one channel. i'm not aware that secretary clinton had access to any non-public information about the agreement. there is a substantial amount of information that is available about what was negotiated. but the administration has made a commitment to making the documents publicly available,
even before the president signed it and even before congress has to consider it. and that's something we are working to do. it's a really long document and translation issues and concerns about making sure that the final text reflebts tinal agreement. that work is ongoing. and as soon as it's done. we will make that information public. reporter: if the former secretary of state lacked the substantive information to make a complete appraisal of the negotiation in the past, is it the president's hope she will change her mind again when it becomes public? josh: you have to ask the clinton campaign if they are open to revisiting the situation. what we are going to be focused on is persuading people who have a vote and rat filing the vote and we are going to be focused
on making the case to members of congress. we have a strong case to democrats and republicans to support this agreement and we ask support from people who don't serve this congress. there wasn't a sing the democratic presidential candidate but yet we built a majority in congress for that bill and we continue to be confident that we will build a similar bipartisan majority. reporter: fast track vote was separate and disstimping from ratification on a complete ratification. josh scrosh there were two separate votes. now we can get some details about what is included in the agreement. i made reference at the beginning of this briefing, there are a lot of details that you can delve into about the impact across this country and a
presentation we will make on tuesday that i think will help you. the reason i mention it, it will give you a good flavor of the kind of case it will make tore members of congress across the country. i hope i didn't oversell. reporter: because the president with secretary kerry and the vice president to talk about a range of issues, can you tell the president's decision on the afghanistan --? josh: i don't have any updates on that process. we have acknowledged there is a policy decision to be made and general campbell testified earlier this week that he made recommendations to the week. while the president highly values the recommendations he gets from general campbell, there are other voices that will have an impact on decision.
reporter: time line? josh: i don't have one to share ith you at this point. reporter: that strategy is in opardy and can't succeed and the u.s. not committed to the region. and entire strategy not feasible ny longer and number two the next president would have difficulty. josh: fl is no denying that the t.p.p. agreement is the core of our asia policy. not the only element, but it is the core. and our ability and our success now in organizing the interests of 11 other countries in the
asia-pacific region is a testament to the amount of influence that the united states wields and and to use that influence in a way that opens up opportunities for american businesses and workers is representative of substantial success in using that influence to benefit the american people. this is an important agreement when it comes to the u.s. economy. but this also is important in terms of the kinds of relationships we want to build with countries around the world including countries that are home to some of the most dynamic countries of the world. and we know that china is seeking to expand their influence in that region of the world. and the ability of the united states to cement our economic relationships with those countries and do so that raises standards, raising standards
protecting intellectual property, raising labor standards, will be in the best interests of the united states, because it will create a more level playing field on which american businesses and workers can compete. the president is confident that american businesses and american workers can win. reporter: for the next president to not have a t.p.p. -- josh: you have been covering this for most of the negotiations and i admire your stamina in doing so, but this is something we have been negotiating for more than five years now. and this is an agreement that was hard won. and the likelihood that the united states could unilaterally back out of that agreement and try to bring all those countries together to renegotiate it and convince them that that will negotiation could take place both in good faith and with the
confidence that congress would approve it, i think is quite farfetched. and you know, we are fast forwarding to the kind of case we will be making to members of congress, because it is unlikely that a group like this could be reconvened if the united states were to unilaterally withdraw from it. at the same time, there is an opportunity to seize here. there is a real question, are we going to cut import taxes on 18,000 american goods or leave it in place. are we going to raise labor standards in southeast asia that don't have a sterling record of protecting workers' rights or allow them to race to the bottom. are we going to raise environmental standards and do something about the illegal wildlife trade or allow them to
operate unabated. there is a real question, a real choice between making progress and advancing our interests or allowing the status quo to muddle along. and that is -- that will be a choice that members of congress will have to make and an argument that i suspect we will be making quite a bit next year. bill, last one. reporter: we really have to wait until tuesday -- snl josh: unfortunately, yes. and i hope i haven't oversold it. reporter: yesterday, when the estion was raised about then speaker-to-be speaker mccarthy's comments about benghazi. you are letting him off the hook on his comments about obama not
being a real black president. osh: i'm going to follow the lead and not comment on his tweets. reporter: you can understand why he isn't saying anything negative? josh: the fact that he apologized is significant. mr. mccarthy tried to make the case that somehow what he said was something that he didn't actually believe and the reason that frankly we all didn't believe him when he said it, what he said the first time is true. . murdock's reaction has apologized for his initial comment. reporter: he was talking about his meeting with ben carson and his life and ben carson ask
whether president owe baum ave is a christian and he said i'll take his word for it. and continue the question being an american, being a christian and now josh: i think it is a strategy that is utterly failed. the president has one to national elections, and has advanced an agenda that is made a real difference for the country the short term. historians will have the opportunity to evaluate that. i felt confident that that evaluation be quite favorable because it holds up well against the record of other presidents in modern american history. so, i do not know that the strategy. but if it is, you think it is one they would have dispensed with. thanks, everybody. go, royals!