tv Newsmakers CSPAN May 22, 2016 10:00am-10:31am EDT
i never told anyone this, but you know the presidency? i really, really want it. [laughter] host: from last night's season premiere of "saturday night live." 7:00e back tomorrow at eastern time. the house picks up the consideration of impeaching the irs commissioner. ta mitchell will be joining us at the table, former senator carl levin on efforts to moderator: and bill klein. a senior fellow. u.s. $6ations owing the billion. newsmakers is next. thanks for joining us on the sunday. enjoy the rest of your weekend. ♪
>> here on c-span this morning. newsmakers is next with republican congressman mac thornberry of texas. after that, we'll show you a house oversight hearing. and later, a look at how the iran nuclear agreement is being portrayed are the obama administration. on newsmakers this week we are joined by congressman mac thornberry of texas. wednesday, $6 billion policy bill was passed in the house. by the kurt -- joined washington post.
says, to don just build custom was denied. but now you had toward the next stages were there will be several points of disagreements on what is coming out of the house and senate. the big thing -- this should be several policy points that we don't agree, but the money we can agree with. bill mccain maybe putting annexed to measure on the floor. you been saying that your approach is next asserted for readiness. if it doesn't match for the senate, what you foresee is going forward. reckon you stand to make a compromise without losing your position question isirst what the bill looks like when it comes off the senate floor. we passed a bill pretty overwhelmingly in the house. as you mentioned, senator mccain has talked about adding some money on the senate floor.
generally, for me, i wait until the no caps off the senate floor and then i have a better feel for what we are dealing with. the other thing that will have the coming week is hopefully the defense appropriation bill. generally i believe, will follow the path that we have taken. you're right. at some point, everyone will have to get together and figure out how to have a common position to get bills into the president. we will take it a step at a time. this was a pretty good step. moderator: is it worth pushing this bill after you have had that agreement for the last year. if the senate will not follow suit, as it were the check on guest: two things. one is the way we approach this is the way -- is consistent with how we approach it lasted. far as the agreement is, there be a minimum level to meet his requirements for the military.
things like pay, training, maintenance, and procurement. then there be additional bonds for overseas deployments, depending on what obviously -- overseas deployments the president wants to pursue. pursuent obama wants to a lot more overseas deployments. and yet he did not ask for the as waso pay for those envisioned in the agreement. we have tried to stay with the base requirement. principle, i'll say, that it is wrong to send men and women out on deployment, or omissions, without making sure they are fully supported and fully trained to carry out those missions. i do think it is essential that we turn around these trends that show increase in aircraft accidents, how is not getting the training they need, cannibalizing aircraft, every service, we are seen examples of readiness, which basically means
our men and women are not being supported the way they should be. again, i just think that is wrong. we've got the two not around. moderator: can you explain something quick. on the funding strategy. -- building you past $18 billion, spring. the overseas deployments for six months into the new fiscal year. part of the reason we do it is that is exactly what was done between bush and obama and 2008. and june of 2008, on a democrat majority, congress passed the full year's requirements for the military and then several months for the overseas deployments to give the new president a chance to take a fresh look at it and make adjustments. maybe he or she does not want to have all of those deployments. make a justice to funding and then the new -- and present that
to the new congress and then you finish out the fiscal year. that's exactly what happened between bush and obama, and we are following the check paint -- the same effort fisher. moderator: the democratic argument is that the springtime when we are sure by that amount of money, you are gambling with the war fighter funding at that point. guest: i take two things. come toif we could all an agreement to fully fund everything, i think it would be better. of course. the same approach that was done before, the other thing is in the obama years, we have had continuing resolutions 23 times that have not lasted the whole fiscal year. that's the same thing. your funding part of the year, not the whole year. way not the most desirable to do it, but it is not a catastrophe when it happens. and in this case, it enables us gives theound, and it
new president, whoever he or she may be, an opportunity to take a fresh look at these deployments and make adjustments accordingly. is a second counter argument that has been waged against that. sure that happened in 2008, but there were no budget cuts in 2008. when you're talking about are the same thing now, and be back and forth you wanted to switch -- because of budget cuts exist, your funding programs with no guarantee you can exit put more money where you put more money for a few months down the line. is there canponse be any guarantees about any of these things. particular he about budgeting. it's a last four years, we have made adjustments to the budget caps for defense. we've been adjusting it. i don't know any reason to think adjustment in of the future is not possible. in the meantime, this allows us to turn that readiness around,
make sure that we are able to maintenancech up on , facilities, replace 1970's helicopters with 2016 helicopters, and stop the cuts and the number of people in the military. one of the things i realize is that when i can fix this readiness problem just by putting more money into operations and maintenance. point, foring to the example for aircraft mechanics, were we don't have enough. the ones we have were working harder and harder, seven days a week, and some are leaving to go to the airlines. we got to stuff the personnel cuts as well as the other items in order to really fix this. >> speaking of readiness, has a got the point where service members lives are at risk because of a budget cuts? guest: i don't know, but maybe. the alarm bell that went off for me was when i saw the class a .ishap rate
that means you lose the aircraft or somebody dies, or up drastically for the marines and also for the army. as we dig deeper, and we are still digging, by the way, into what is happening out there, it looks like the air force has real problems, the navy has real problems, as allies are exactly what is -- lives are exactly what our state. it's not just budget, numbers, or political leverage. when they don't get the training, when the aircraft on may 10, it is lives. that's why feel strongly about it. moderator: my readers would say that congress created this prom with the budget cap. it's been five years. why can congress fix this? i'm for that. i think the right. congress contributed to the prom. the president continued to the prom. -- contributed to the problem. they can eliminate these caps which have not worked out the
way they intended. capswas intended was these would be so drastic that it would force mandatory spending cuts. that didn't happen. instead, as i mentioned, for the last four years we found ways to go around the caps and adjust them. it's time to be realistic. his one fact. since 2010, we have cut the defense budget 22%. in real terms. the world is not 23% safer than it was then. yet, we have not fixed the problem. we've got to. moderator: you have the only one that is wondering if the rising cost a mishaps can be attributed to the budget cuts. cognizant senate have been thinking the same. they are looking into it. when you look at the generate crash that killed 212 marines, can you draw a direct line between budget cuts in that bill
crash. guest: i haven't been briefed. if they finished the investigation on the exact causes of the crash. the list to say, there been a number of mishaps, crashes, some of which have been fatal. they cause enormous concern. certainly, i think it is important to say that military training is inherently dangerous to some extent. but what is disturbing is, i look at the 10 year trends, with a tenure averages plus the more recent trends, and something is drastically going wrong. i do think that it is up to the leadership in the pentagon and the military and to us to find out what it is an to take action today to fix it. we can't wait on a new president or congress to fix the budget control act.
will go ahead with these lives at risk until we get a budget act together. i don't think that is a good option. moderator: i know we will go into a lot of detail about where the rubber hits the road. there's one policy related problem i want to ask you about that stemmed from the policy bill. you have had arguments happened about the draft and more emotionally in the last 24 hours arguments about lgbt writes with federal contractors that stems from a provision that began in your committee. congress russell decided to introduce that amendment. to give religious organizations exemptions from certain parts of the civil rights law. it seems at this point that democrats and not being able to get a say in a vote on that on the floor, they will be raising this. it's an issue with various abortions bills as we saw today.
getting the money seem to matter. express howhat you it was handled in the committee. it, theu have handled lgb question -- guest: just to clarify. but i think we could have done better in the armed services committee on women participating in selective service was to understand better the scoring ramifications of it. to get technical in the weeds, i understand. my understanding that a memo is going to be john, it was not, and that led to convocations procedurally on how we could deal with that issue going forward. on the russell amendment they refer to, i read it on the floor last night.
have to say i'm confused at the argument that is made. or the the amendment provision says that the federal government shall not do anything that violates this provision of the civil rights act of 1964 or this provision of the americans with disability act of 1990. that's all it says. as maybe 10 at 12 lines. somehow that has mushroomed, as you describe, into some terrible discrimination. i'm a recovering lawyer, i haven't practiced lawyer and -- law in a long time. i don't understand the argument. i think it is possible that you may have some outside groups stirring the pot -- for their own purposes. possible a number of members have not actually read the language or don't want to. -- is not in anyone's
best interest to reverse or go backwards on discrimination. the concern was that these things that are law are what is overe what takes priority the president's executive orders. it is a conflict there. i don't know that there is. the provision that has become controversial stands 1964 civil rights act, nothing contradict that. that is the law anyway. a much or why all this has blown up. i'm struck however by the degree to which extraneous issues come out in our defense authorization bill. this is about the troops. about to pay. about weapons residents -- readiness that we're talking about. we spend the time talking about other things. moderator: one other issue that has come up in the guantanamo issue.
in this year's bill, you don't let the funding be used for the transfer to the u.s.. this past week, the senate the army secretary, and there was a whole and his nomination along the lines of the same issue. senator roberts says he feels that republicans have successfully run out the clock on guantanamo. -- do youcheck online agree? that it is a done deal and it is too late to do anything. have the republicans want? guest: i don't know about one. we had a direct vote on this. votedelmingly the house on leaving the restrictions in place. the house has voted that way ever since president obama has been in office. under democratic and republican majorities, that has been -- those restrictions have been in play. i think that's where congress and the american people are. moderator: are you concerned
about this big something that republicans have to protect against for the duration of obama's term? guest: current restrictions, which say you can't bring guantanamo detainees to the u.s. , and you can't alter it in the u.s. to house them, i think they are going to stay in place. under both parties, that has been the restriction. i don't foresee that changing. moderator: if i could go back to readiness. when you talk to service members about how legit cuts affect their lives, with italian? guest: sunk -- what do they tell you? guest: some get emotional. they say this is what i'm dealing with now. don'ted to pilots who have the aircraft that they need when they are about to deploy. who talkto mechanics ,bout working seven days a week
long hours, never seeing their kids, and they feel like they are deployed overseas when they are right here at home. a top pilot for one of the services who is leaving the service, he loves what he does, but he didn't think the aircraft he flies are safe anymore. he's got two young kids at home. the feelings of frustration, of not being able to do what they signed up to do, is certainly closer to the surface than i've ever seen in talking with the military. i think it is a q-tip effect. not only budget cuts, but also of the pace of deployments over the past number of years. we've been asking more and more of these folks. i think we're reaching the
breaking point. moderator: why did the president and congress are unable to texas? it's been five years. you are now worried that budget cuts may have led to aviation crashes, perhaps fatal one. a it a fact that -- is there general apathy in washington about defense of? guest: i would say apathy. i'll take this example. last year, the house and senate passed the defense bill and the president vetoed it. he was not going to approve a defense funding unless and until there was more money spent on domestic programs. several the first time ever, was heldour military hostage by the president trying to leverage it for more domestic funding. there may be good reasons to spend more money on domestic funding. one answer to your question is,
it is a political football. don'tten, republicans want to increase spending at all for anything. democrats only want to increase the fence if you can increase an equal amount on the domestic side. who is caught in the middle? the men and women who serve. we have six or seven minutes left before we say goodbye. you mentioned your surprised the provisions get added to this and the debates in the, have nothing to do with defense policy. you think a debate over whether congress should authorize the fight against isis is a debate that should happen to the defense policy process? is that something that should come up and that it from bodog? congress has watched as the president has bombed iraq since august of 2014 now. guest: absolutely. it should come up. we should vote on it.
i think this is of such import that it should stand on its own and not be part of the bill that we are talking about. we had a debate in a boat -- and a vote on the appealing of the 2000 and one ua m&f. that needs to be updated. the house in 2011 in 2012 past to affect that amf the way terrorists are spreading out. we should have that debate as well as try to update that given the way terrorism has changed. the speaker has asked us to have listening sessions to try to find some way that we can get to to 18, a majority vote, to do that. there been several meetings about it. the challenge is lots of people have ideas, and so far, i don't think there is one approach that has gotten a majority. that is our job.
moderator: with the amount of resources and money allocated, is our strategy to win or to contain the islamic state checker say it is just to avoid disaster. the president is slowly dying out the pressure. a few hundred more people. a slight relaxation on the rules when they can drop bombs. it's not to win. there has been success on the ground. in iraq and syria, but isis is spreading up to more countries than before. is not successful in containing them geographically. i think in some ways they are more dangerous to the u.s.. moderator: so the u.s. is not tragedy isis right now? someone'smight be intention, but that's not what the facts on the ground which are. moderator: one of the things you
added to the defense policy bill was to be able to shrink the national security council from approximately 400 to 100. that's grown over several administrations. it is therent of -- concern of a politics that we should do something about isis, is that too much of a shock to the system check on just to be clear, i did not say how any people should be on the national security staff of stop if it goes above 100, then it has to be confirmed by the senate. the national security advisor would be available to testify in front of congress. size, it inevitably is more involved and operational decisions. that's exactly what we're saying. some of the folks who have been most concerned about the growth of national security council
make exactly this point. when it gets too big, it's involved in all these operational directives and it's not doing the coronation function, the strategic planning it was designed to do. that's exactly what we have seen in recent years. moderator: 100 is the benchmark. is there a immediate drop you like to see second what other repercussions? guest: is completely up to the next president. if the next president wants to have 99 people, he or she may. if they have 400 like this one the national security advisor has to be confirmed by the senate. it's completely up to the next president. if they want a thousand people, fine. it has to be confirmed by the senate. moderator: you talked about budgeting priorities. related out a minute ago about what democrats versus republicans want.
if her at a point where we will probably have to have an emergency supplemental to keep the war funds in the spring, would you support a supplemental that has domestic spending in it to check defense only justification. i've supported them for disaster relief, the zika bill that we passed the house, i'm not for throwing money at things. am not saying you can't spend dollar on defense unless you spend another dollar on domestic stop but if there is a justification for it, of course. moderator: you have to leave it right there. chairman macklemore, we want to thank you for being a newsmaker this week. guest: thank you. moderator: now we turn to our roundtable. jeff shall, we spent a lot of discussion about that $610 billion defense policy bill. what's the road ahead for this
bill? guest: difficult. the senate will take up the debate next week. the two sides have to go to a conference committee. there are radical differences between the two sides of this. the senate calls for women to have to sign up for the draft. the house version does not. the house version uses wartime funding in a way the senate version does not. there has to be a real meeting of the minds. these are substantial differences. moderator: there's a veto threat from the white house. it somehow spill. guest: correct. moderator: how will that be dealt with going forward? are they willing to try that veto threat. >> that called on the obama administration to drop the veto. they are not made any moves that suggests they will be amending -- or hinting to give up certain parts of the bill. that deal threat came days
before -- monday. >> democrats are expecting a lot of concerns about this bill. you bring up one of these amendments. let's go back to the controversy its part. amendment was short. it was brought up during the committee process late at night. steve russell from oklahoma said he did it in order to clarify the executive order from 2014 which talks about nondiscrimination for contractors or federal contractors. the latest organizations that have federal contracts would be exempt from certain parts of the civil rights law. he was saying that this is necessary to clarify that there is still religious freedom under these nondiscriminating executive orders. democrats saw that as a threat
to lgbt writes for employees. was not very closely defined. there is a push back. it was won by republicans. it was a republican true the try to bring up an amendment to the defense policy bill to get this part on. is alles committee powerful in many ways. they did not let the memo come to the floor. we saw happen was an amendment coming from sean maloney. is not tied to the exact same language, but it is born of that. moment just had in the -- head amendment on the floor of the appropriations bill. this happened thursday. guest: it said you cannot use federal --
contractors are discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender gendertion or general -- identity. they shouldn't get money from federal contract. it's part of the same place. it came out as a latebreaking thing on thursday morning. those after there was a very emotional debate about it a few days before. republicansd is untilfor the amendment the time for the amendment vote was stretched out. you sully it yes folks at taking down until he lost by one. this has become a thing where people on both sides are saying there other things we have to do. there are democrats saying we need to bring this up again. we need to shame on the republicans upset now. they on the wrong side of history. are saying there
are other places with the president has overstepped his authority having to do with nondiscrimination issues of that infringe on the -- religious liberties. moderator: do you sense frustration from the chairman as we are talking to him about issues sidetracking the military debate, the readiness debate jacada guest: it's not this the chairman. its people on all sides of the issue that i getting frustrated. they think this has come down to -- you're talking about the old fashion bills that will fund the pentagon. not failing,ey are the bills are passing. the appropriations bill, the defense policy bill on wednesday night. their passing under the cloud of real frustration and real anger. veto threats and sometimes. i don't think anyone likes it. i have heard republicans tha