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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  December 1, 2016 1:58am-3:01am EST

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it is almost always a partisan document, but it is a message as to our values. leader pelosi just talked about our values of ensuring that medicare and social security are held harmless and insured for every american that is going forward. john yarmouth will address the priorities of education, health care, global warming, and other issues of extraordinary importance. let me say something to all of us. not just to you, but to us. millions more people voted for the agenda that this leadership group represents. millions. we have a responsibility to those millions who did not vote for the agenda that was put forth by donald trump. who were more than those who voted for the donald trump agenda, whatever that might be.
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we have a responsibility. and we will meet that responsibility, we will raise our voices. as a leader has said, in opposition. if there are times when we will cooperate, we can cooperate and our values will allow us to do that, we will do that. but we will not shrink from making sure the majority voice of the american people will be heard on the floor the house and in every other forum in this country. we owe that to them and to our children and grandchildren. and, to future generations. now i am pleased to yield to a great friend of mine for over half a century, who has done just that, from the state of
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south carolina. a great leader in our country, a great leader in the civil rights movement in the 1960's, and continues to be a strong voice for working americans, a strong voice for making it in america, and a strong voice for equality and opportunity for every american. jim clyburn of south carolina. mr. clyburn: thank you very much mr. whip. thank you so much. madame vice chair, congratulations to you as well. linda is one of the stars our baseball team. she really came through today. [laughter] mr. clyburn: my longtime friend john yarmouth, thank you. i learned early in my life what is expected from those who serve in public office. our government must pay special attention to those who are in the dawn of their lives, our
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children. we do so with medicaid and many other programs. and that must be protected. we are also judged by how well we take care of those who are in the sunset, the dusk, if you please, of their lives. we do that through medicare and other programs to make sure they live out their golden years with dignity and respect. our government has a responsibility to take care of all the rest of those who fall in between through a very progressive program that our whip has just mentioned. over 2 million more voters voted for her than those who do not. -- those who did not. however, there are pockets, segments in our population, who sent us a message on election day.
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and i want to say it to them. message received, and we will reply to all. with that, i am pleased to yield to the new vice chair of house democrats, linda sanchez. [applause] ms. sanchez: it has been a long day, but i am proud to stand with my colleagues here, this is your leadership team for the incoming congress. we have a lot of work to do. we are ready to pick up the tools, roll up our sleeves, and get to work. our primary focus, america's working families. as a working mother i understand how difficult it is to balance family life with work, and we hope to make that a little is here for america's working america's easier for
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working families moving forward. i am really honored and emotional to be standing here among a group of great leaders and hoping to add my talents to theirs as we try to move the country in the right direction in the next congress. thank you. it is my privilege to introduce a very good friend of mine on -- friend of mine from the great state of kentucky come of kentucky, the new ranking member on the budget committee, john yarmouth. mr. yarmouth: thank you, linda. it is a great honor for me to be standing here is part of the leadership team for the 115th congress. i have sat on the budget committee for the last six years and watched as republicans have proposed budgets that reduce investment in the human capital in this country as proposed -- and propose budgets that do nothing but accentuate the differences between the wealthiest americans and everyone else. fortunately, those budgets have not gone anywhere. one of them was so heinous, paul ryan's budget, that mitt romney had to disavow it in 2012. i do not expect we will see anything different in the forthcoming congress.
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but we stand united in standing up for the values democrats have always stood for, and that is to invest in the american people and not in the wealthiest americans in the corporate world. our pledge to continue to do that as ranking member on the budget committee, we will be very aggressive in our communication strategy to make sure the american people know the stark contrast between republican budget and democratic values. thank you very much for this great honor, madam leader. i look forward to the next congress. >> john is one of the most quietly appreciated members of our caucus. i have profound respect for him as a legislator. we really could not be more proud to see him in this capacity. we will open it up to a few questions.
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>> when you ran against heath shuler, he picked up 43 votes. this time there was a three votes for tim ryan. what accounts in your view for the loss of support within the caucus of one third of voters voting for tim ryan? ms. pelosi: i have only said that that i would have to -- i would have two thirds. with all due respect to previous opponents that i have had, none of them -- had an aggressive campaign in the public arena, as you have seen. i feel very confident that the vote that i have received and i feel more liberated than i ever have after such a hard campaign.
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you cannot campaign someone filing and running against u-verse versus the very aggressive campaign. having said that, i commend tim ryan for working with all of our members as we go forward. i could not be prouder. -- i cannot be prouder about the responsibility my colleagues have given me. >> [indiscernible] people did not expect a challenge. [indiscernible] at the end of the day, does that make you manage this office harder? ms. pelosi: i think i answer that question and i want to go on to the fact that the republicans are trying to end the guaranty of medicare. and that is what is important. how many votes i get in the caucus is about the least
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important item that we could be discussing when we have so much at risk in this election. i have respect for regional support that members have, friendships people have. that is how people make their vote. i do not take much of that is personal offense to me. we are a kaleidoscope. one day some of us are in support of a bill or idea, and another day, we turn that we'll just turn that we'll -- turn that we'll and there are different participants in that kaleidoscope. but i am exhilarated by the support that i have received after such a hardcharging campaign. now it is time for us to go forward. the fact is, i will just tell you as friends, the fate of our nation, the greatness of america, the character of our country, has been under assault.
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and we have to act to allay the fears that some people have. we have to communicate more firmly with those, economic stability is important and essential to our nation 's stability and important to us as a priority. not spend our time figuring out whether you go on tv and get more votes or do not go on tv and how you feel about that. i feel great, thank you. >> one of the things people were discussing after day is not about your position but other positions under you, positions where members are not appointed. i understand the discussion is happening tomorrow, but can you speak to why the system is the way it is and are you open to
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making it more unelected than appointed and confirmed? ms. pelosi: that is lovely. tomorrow we are going to have a caucus. our new chairman manages all of the business of the caucus very well. and we will be dealing with that tomorrow. we have called for an expansion of those participating in the leadership. the caucus is the ruling body of the house democrats. we will be working out how we go forward. this is not about division, this is about bringing people together. >> thank you all very much. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
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>> the trump transition team announced steve mnuchin as treasury secretary and wilbur ross as commerce secretary. mr. mnuchin spoke to reporters at trump towers, and then we heard from anthony scaramucci, a member of the transition team. here is a look. >> can you go over some of those points. how you will work on the economy, middle-class versus rich?
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>> i could not be more honored to serve the president-elect. i have had the opportunity to work with them through the campaign. i cannot be more excited about the opportunity to work with him and the administration. our number one priority is going to be the economy, get back to 3% to 4% growth, we believe that is very sustainable, and focus on things for the american worker, that is absolutely our priority. >> how do you get corporations like apple [indiscernible] mr. mnuchin: our tax plan is to lowering corporate taxes, to make u.s. companies the most competitive in the world, making sure we repatriate trillions of dollars back to the united states. and the personal income taxes, where we are going to have the most significant middle income tax cuts since reagan. this will be a tremendous boost guest tremendous boon to the economy -- tremendous boon to the economy. >> explain how your experience with hollywood and wall street
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will help? many people say you do not have the government experience. mr. mnuchin: let me first say, what i have been focused on is a regional banker for the last eight years. i know what it takes to make sure we can have loans to small and midmarket companies, and that will be our focus. making sure we scale back regulation to make sure the banks are lending. >> we talked about infrastructure. you are also charged with building roads, bridges. how would you go about doing that? a lot of republicans are not ready to spend that kind of money. mr. mnuchin: it is a priority of the administration. we need to make sure our infrastructure is built for the 21st century. that we have roads, bridges, power grids and infrastructure that supports this country. that is going to be a big focus. we will work with congress and the different parts of administration to make that happen in the most effective way. we are going to look at some public and private partnerships,
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different types of things. thank you very much. i think it is terrific, the president-elect and vice president elect told carrier technologies you want to keep jobs here. i cannot remember the last time a president did that. this is going to be a terrific opportunity for myself, wilbur ross, in commerce working with the president, making sure we do the right thing for the american workers. thank you, everybody. >> i was with secretary designees over at fox, wilbur ross and steve mnuchin. i think these guys will be the cornerstone of the trade and economic team, the secretary of labor. we are super excited about it. i cannot think of two better
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people to not only prosecute the trade plan for the president, but also his future tax plan, which will be first-order business for the secretary of treasury. >> [indiscernible] mr. scaramucci: i know stephen will come down and talk to at some point. we will try to design the plan to make it as revenue-neutral as possible. one of the big things with these tax studies, they are not dynamically scoring them. so when you get tax cuts to filter down into the population, you pick it up on income taxes . as an example, if you keep 1000 jobs for the carrier corporation and leave them in indiana, that is an increase, at least not a decrease in your tax state. the idea is to use the tax policy to create more middle-class jobs and wage growth for the working class. the combination of those two things, i think you will see with dynamic scoring, we should
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have a revenue -- a deficit-neutral issue. another thing about our tax policy, we will repatriate money offshore, bring it back here to help our manufacturing base. and with an extreme focus on the middle class and working class families. >> in terms of this arrangement, will people be completely confident? mr. scaramucci: 1000%. you should also focus on don mccann, he is a phenomenal lawyer, working alongside the president-elect. i think the tweets this morning are indicating the president-elect has the confidence about that policy put in place. i do not want to steal mr. trump's or the children's thunder on that.
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let's wait until december 15. i want to assure all of you, we are getting this right to the american people. at age 70, after the phenomenal life in building this phenomenal business and this great tower, he is going to be 100% focused on working for the american people and for the united states. >> [indiscernible] mr. scaramucci: companies should expect the tax break. the whole purpose of what we're doing here is, we have the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. we have to get those corporate tax rates down to a competitive position so that if you are a cfo or coo of an american corporation and looking at how to allocate your capital, you will allocate the capital into the united states. i am hoping they are getting that beacon signal from the jump -- from the trump
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administration that we have to get american people back working in american jobs. i hope that that is the case, that that is the signal. >> [indiscernible] mr. scaramucci: we have not seen the schedule, so i do not know. >> [indiscernible] mr. scaramucci: the vice president elect is still the current governor of indiana. as president-elect, he does not have federal powers at this point. he was the using his persuasion with carrier. but i think the governor was heavily involved, and making sure that was a package of proposals put forward for carrier. they will lose about $65 million by keeping those jobs in the united states, but they see a lot of public relations benefits and they send a message to people that we are all going to work together on behalf of the american middle class. >> what is your sense of how many people that are still in the running? are you advising him?
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mr. scaramucci: that is outside of my purview, i am on the executive transition team. i am more focused on the economy. i am good friends with several the candidates including mitt romney. i just want to say about all these people, they are consistent with what mr. trump on the executive committee. he said he wants "a++" players. their transcripts are "a++," let's put it that way. >> [indiscernible] mr. scaramucci: you have to remember, they do fit the outsider bill in the sense they have never worked in washington. what i would say to you, what we are trying to do on the transition team level is put a great blend together in a sense you want some people who are insiders and understand the
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system, and outsiders are the creative thinkers and disruptors. if you can get that blend right, you can affect change in washington. if you put too many of one or the other you get status quo providers and nothing will change. too many disruptors, washington has a very healthy immunological system, and there will be organ rejection if you put too many status quo disruptors in washington. we are trying to get that blend right which is why the picks of stephen bannon and race previous -- reince priebus, are great. steve has a sense of the american people and what is going on in the heartland. >> [indiscernible] mr. scaramucci: it depends on how you define "populist." if you're talking about a administration focused on the
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potential for the united states and the american people, and mr. trump wants to be president for everybody who includes the working class and middle class, then i guess by that definition. but it depends on your definition of populist. there is a misnomer, a pejorative. i do not see it that way. the people i grew up with, the working class people of the united states, they need a break and we need to switch them from going to the working class and working poor into the aspirational working-class, of which my dad was a member of. i will take one more question. >> [indiscernible] mr. scaramucci: all this dynamic scoring means we will lower their taxes. if everything stays constant you will have a reduction in revenue. if you filter through the multiplier effect of us lowering taxes, which means potentially increase in jobs and higher income taxes for the workers, there will be more jobs coming back into the united states.
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the combination of those dynamics as a result of lower taxes should lead to greater growth. what is interesting about taxes, and business people understand this better than most, taxes are a price for services. we have to very careful when you are a politician, raising taxes . you are actually raising the price of services. and if those are not worth the price you are charging, people start to defect from your services. they move out of state or move factories offshore. we do not want that. we want the american people, from the ceo to the common worker, know that we are working -- we are open for business. thank you. >> mike pence was on capitol hill to visit with paul ryan. he was joined by reince priebus.
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[laughter] speaker ryan: it is great to have a very close friend of mine from wisconsin and a very close friend of mine, the vice president-elect. this is a part of our conversation about how to get the guess how to hit the ground running in 2017. we are excited about that work. where formulating our plans. mr. pedis: the president-elect is excited about things rolling -- mr. pry this -- a norma's
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amount of enthusiasm. we love to get everything done on day one. will work for the house and the senate. we could not be more excited. mr. pence: i want to thank speaker ryan for his hospitality. an early meeting with steve mcconnell. it is great. an opportunity to be planning the kind of agenda on day one on the administration that will get this country moving again and rebuild our military. [indiscernible] grateful for the partnership. my work to the house and senate is "buckle up." trump is ready to go to work on
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day one. we are going to get this economy rolling again in the american standing tall in the world. you.er ryan: thank [indiscernible] speaker ryan: yeah right. >> president-elect donald trump holds a rally in cincinnati to thursday thank supporters. that is live at 7:00 eastern on c-span 2. ♪ >> c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up thursday morning, texas democratic congressman discusses the leadership election, and the future of the affordable care act in the trump
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administration and the congress. he will also talk about his bill to abolish the electoral college. and then charlie todd's about the elections and the legislative agenda. he will also discuss the trump candidate and leadership takes. and we will talk about policy funding for hiv and aids, and where the mission of ending the epidemic stands today. watch at 7:00 a.m. eastern thursday morning. join the discussion. coming up, remarks on national security from mac thornberry, chair of the house armed services committee. ben sasse of nebraska and essential command leader, joseph hotel.
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house ways and means chairman kevin brady speaks about tax policy thursday. live coverage at 8:30 am eastern on c-span3. >> thursday, a conversation with the outgoing committee chair and incoming chairman on the conservative movement and the 115th congress could watch live on c-span3. >> follow the transition of government on c-span as donald trump becomes the 45th president of the united states and republicans maintain control of the u.s. house and senate. we will take you to key events as they happen, without interruption. watch live on c-span. watch on-demand that www.c-span.org or listen on our free c-span radio app. >> thank you. welcome to congress. [applause]
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>> now, house armed service mac thornberry on military readiness. he took part in a daylong forum on national security, postdated by the foreign-policy initiative. this is 40 minutes. >> thank you, chris. this is great for me to be here with you and chairman thornberry. we will have a conversation that will touch on a number of topics and we will take some questions. i want to talk first about readiness. before i ask you the first question, we are going to talk about current readiness of the military. i think we can safely say that the report is not very good at all. a lot of things you could say in the last two years are responsible for that. a lot of agencies. but not the house armed services committee.
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we are grateful for your leadership and the consistent way you have stood up for american security. welcome. mr. thornberry: i appreciate it. mr. talent: i thought i would give you an opportunity to talk about the personal tour you have engaged in recently in a number of american military installations. i think you followed some of those abroad. and, asked a lot of questions and learned a lot of things. but we want to talk readiness issues. so maybe even talk about what you found what the implications are. mr. thornberry: thank you. i appreciate your kind words. but i have to say, i did not fully appreciate the state of our readiness. and, the damage that has been done by sequestration, by the high pace of operations, a combination of factors. at least until i started talking with the people who were trying to live with it every day, and
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as you mentioned, earlier in the year i started traveling to various installations here at home, talking to pilots, aircraft maintainers and others. some of their stories, you just cannot forget. for example, one of the pilots brought me over to his f-18, and said ronald reagan sent this plane to bomb qadhafi in 1986. it is my plane. something when i was in flight hit part of the plane, i had damage, we could not get the part to fix it. this was the pilot talking. i am taking my family through a military museum and seeing an f-18 on static display in the museum, and get the bright idea that maybe i could borrow apart
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-- borrow a part from the museum aircraft. so he had to work his way through the museum bureaucracy and the dod bureaucracy to make this happen. took a part off the museum aircraft, it turned out the holes were drilled in inappropriate places. in the early 1980's it did not exactly fit. he had to come up with a plan b. but as i continue to talk with others getting planes out of the boneyard -- and that extends beyond the flying. we have had testimony from a navy captain, his ship was tied up in dock so they can -- could take 13 parts of it to put on other ships that they had to deploy right away. so what we are doing is cannibalizing. and what goes with that, we do not have enough aircraft available for training. our folks are not getting the training they're supposed to get. so you get this cycle that is
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headed downward. until you talk -- one other thing. you have these old aircraft, to stay with airplanes for a second. you are really stressing your maintainers to keep them flying. i spoke to maintainers who say, i am not seeing my family any more at home than i was when i was deployed because we are literally working seven days a week, often 12 hours a day. you get the depots backed up and there is a cycle that just gets worse and worse. you are right, i followed one squadron to the middle east. i thought of problems they were having getting ready to deploy. once they got over there they took a plane to borrow stuff. they had not enough experienced pilots so they had to manage the experienced pilots and less
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experienced pilots in their missions. are they bombing isis? in this case, yes. is it an incredible stress on the force? yes. it takes its toll over time. i think what we are seeing, and is not just anecdotes, you're seeing it in accident rates for all the services going up. you're seeing consequences, these readiness shortfalls. and we have got to turn it around. last thing i will say is, it is morally wrong to send people out on missions for which they are not fully supported and fully prepared. and we are kind of doing it. we are not fully supporting them, and that is wrong. we have to turn it around, no matter what. mr. talent: that is a powerful statement. as you know, if those problems are existing across all the
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services, we know the day-to-day readiness is one of the last things this system wants to sacrifice, because it is embarrassing to everybody. if they are sacrificing that, what does it say about the long-term readiness issues that you have also talked about so far? mr. thornberry: i do think we make a mistake, both the military and those around it, by seeing readiness as some sort of a code for our unit. it is broader. the only way you're going to make some of these aircraft squadrons ready is to get them airplanes. you can only do so much with the 1980's that are way beyond their flying hours.
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i do think it is important to look at readiness more broadly. not just units, but individuals, and also, our capability to deal with the variety of threats for high-end, to others that we face. mr. talent: the irony is that this is happening because of the desire to save money. and yet it will cost so much more, as you know. and you warn the colleagues, it is cutting off your nose to spite your face. getting a concentration of energy to do something about it is a lot harder. mr. thornberry: it is like not patching your roof and just letting it go. one day you will have water in your house. just think about the cost of that. that is a small example we can all relate to. across the military that is what we are facing. mr. talent: i love your example. when we do finally take these platforms offline, some will show up at the antiques roadshow. and they will say, what can i
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sell this for? you got to laugh or cry. we have a new president coming in. he gave an outstanding defense speech with a very good defense plan over the summer. i would love for you to come on if you want to, but one of the things i like is the emphasis in it not just on capabilities on technological, the technological edge that we are losing and need to maintain, but he did focus on numbers, capacity, and there has been a tendency in the last few years -- the defense panel and others -- for people to get so in love with capability to offset -- that is important that they forget numbers. do you want to focus on that issue or how you see it going forward? mac thornberry: i agree, i think his focus on building the
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military is exactly right as was the piece you wrote that chris mentioned. numbers do matter. part of the reason we are challenged right now is we don't have enough aircraft -- i will just continue with that example. we are all flying more and more hours, and that is part of the cycle of how hard it is to get things ready if you don't have enough, and what you have got, you are flying the wings off of. what else is true, i was recently in the asia-pacific region. you can have more capable ships . we had this debate all the time with the obama administration. it can need more capable but only in one place at one time. you have to have numbers to cover geography. these days, when you have such a huge array of threats from russia and china, iran, north
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korea, terrorists that not only have gone away but are spreading out in more places, there is no substitute for numbers. final point is, like with aircraft, we can wear out our people as well. day after tomorrow in the house, we will pass this year's conference report for defense authorization bill. one of the primary features is we stop the drawdown on in strength on all the services, especially the army. part of what has happened is we have drawn down the numbers so much we have warned people out. -- we have worn people out. for the air force, 700 pilots short, 5000 maintainers short because we are wearing people out. they can only do so much. jim talent: i am cochairing at
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the bipartisan policy center with secretary panetta and jim jones. when you get into these subjects as you know, it is quite interesting what you find. one of the things we are seeing is that all throughout the force, one of the reasons morale is suffering so badly is people feel like they are having to do two or three jobs instead of one. they will do it, but you mentioned stress. over time -- these are volunteers. they don't have to stay. it is amazing that the force has held up, has held up i think as well as it has. mac thornberry: it is a credit to them. one last point on this. when you do the drawdowns like they are in the process of doing, who are you losing? you are losing the people with some experience and so forth. you lose that capability. even if you try to maintain it
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tomorrow, you are not replacing that experience. you are bringing in a new recruit. don't lose them to begin with. jim talent: it is impossible. you also lose more fighters because to some extent, this is the old tooth to tail ratio, but you have to sustain the army. you do have to sustain the institutional army in order to continue as an organization, which means your strengths are going to fall primarily in the brigades and war fighters, which is what we want to see out in the field. capacity is important going forward, and you are going to be working on what is the right capacity. we don't keep drawing down. i want to talk -- we were talking about the decline in our strength as a result of all of
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these factors, but that decline, when you talk about the decline of the military, it is relative to the missions they have to perform and the threats they are facing. -- the threats they are confronting. part of the danger, we are not only gradually getting weaker, maybe not so gradually, but many of the potential adversaries we are facing are getting stronger. do you agree with that? mac thornberry: two years ago, when i first became chairman, we had a number of hearings. senator mccain did the same in the senate, just the state of the world. among others, henry kissinger made the comment that probably never before have we faced so many conflicts -- serious complex threats all at the same time. in addition to that, over the past 18 months or so, our committees had a number of classified-unclassified sessions where we looked at our eroding
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technological advantage over others. this is another area that in some ways may have crept up on us, but if you look at it objectively, we are clearly less superior than we have been in the past. so you look at what russia and china are doing, where they are making their investments -- it is directly focused on the way that we conduct warfare. and poses a real danger, whether it is nuclear deterrence, all the various cyber or counterspace activities -- you know, a variety of other abilities. jim talent: integrated air defenses. mac thornberry: absolutely. you look at the on russia's side, the missile work that china is doing, and they are not the only ones.
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because you see iran and north korea accelerating their missile testing among other things. isis is getting more sophisticated with the cyber -- the point is, we have a huge array of threats, more than we have ever faced, and their sophistication is growing, and we have got to deal with it all. and that is the key factor. a lot of people say, we spent so much more money than all of these other militaries combined. we also have responsibilities more than anybody else combined. without us, others step into the vacuum. we are starting to see that in more aggressive activity and in the world. jim talent: yes i too deal with that. we spend more than other countries combined. i thought how best to capture the right response. it is a fair question. we want people to ask questions like that.
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you have got to have apples to apples. what are we spending? these potential adversaries in their regions of the world -- china has $140 billion a year, half again that much? virtually all of the power you they are getting -- the power they are getting out of that is concentrated in east asia and the near seas. so are we spending this money to maintain presence in that type -- in that part of the world? and the answer is no. we are like a company that is trying to market in all 50 states, and a regional competitor is spending three times as much in five states as you are spending, and you will lose market share in those states. you are correct. we will go to questions in just a minute, so be thinking about it. time goes by so quickly. i think -- i do want to make certain we touch on industrial base issues.
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when you look at the buildup, and this is the difference between now and 30 years when reagan did this. we have an incoming president-elect who i think is committed to a major rebuild of america's armed forces, but he does not have the robust defense industrial base as president reagan. would you talk about that? mac thornberry: i think it is self-evident. we are down to one or two suppliers in many instances. if you talk to the major defense contractors, they are very dependent many times on a single subcontractor for various components. and much of the reason for that has been the erratic budgeting that has come from our political system -- not the political system. cr's, all of that has taken a toll on the industrial device.
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one of the things, as you know, one of the areas i have focused on has been acquisition reform, and part of the reason is, i have grown increasingly concerned that innovative companies that do commercial work and do work with the government are going to make a decision that is just not worth messing with the government. they are just -- i have had executives with some of them tell me, that has been their calculation. it is just not worth it. and you think about what it -- the way the world is moving, the investments that our adversaries are putting in -- if we lose the innovation that comes from a whole series of companies, we will have a very difficult time defending the country.
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and so, when you think of the industrial base as the prime defense contractors, which is true.tely they are essential. but really it is a much larger group, and we have made it very hard to did business with the department of defense, and we have made it very slow to take advantage of their innovations. while it is really important to get more value for the money we spend, what is even more of a driver for me is we have to be faster. we have to be more agile in fielding the best technology that will protect our people better but also meet the adversary. we have got to have a better acquisitions system in the industrial base, improving those relationships. it has been a very hostile one in recent times. you know, i understand you they are in it to make money. there has got to be arm's-length transaction and all that, but we have got to get back to
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everybody being on the same team for the same purpose in order to harness that tremendous innovation that is in the american army. jim talent: all of this -- and we will go to the questions that have monopolized the chairman for the whole -- we are going to go to your questions. a lot of that is creating a deeper understanding and mindset among the colleague. and even within the defense or the press covering these things. the free press understand it of how this system works had what kind of oversight and what kind of standards to hold them to are appropriate. when they are performing well, and when the $400 hammer shows something is wrong, that is hard to create that. i know -- tell me, one of the
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big things the chairman of the house armed services committee has to do is help his colleagues in the house understand how it is hugely important how a very different part of the government works. most of them will come in have a look at health care, education, but they don't understand this. how do you see of your role, and how do you think it is going? mac thornberry: that is a question you don't get everyday. there is always more work to do. for me, it starts with members of my committee, and so we have had a lot of informal conversations with people that help get a better feel for that, but for example, a couple of months ago, i took 20 or 30 folks over to the pentagon. we walked around a little bit, got to hear firsthand from many of the service chiefs.
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i do think for all the reasons we have been talking about, nearly all members of congress feel a responsibility when it comes to national security. you are right, it is in many ways not something that many of them are used to dealing with, except we do have some key veterans who are elected. they bring their bases -- jim talent: i don't want to overstate. mac thornberry: i think you are right. there is a hunger for members to understand better what is happening in the world, about our military capability. part of our job is to help provide the information, but also to be understanding. the understanding about how that works. the rest of the story is, i don't want to explain how this
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very obligated bureaucratic system works. part of our job is to reform this and streamline it. the bill we are going to vote on day after tomorrow reduces some of the bureaucracy, begins to reorganize some of the functions at the pentagon. my friend senator mccain says the most extensive reorganization since goldwater and the other in 1986. but we are not done. jim talent: all right, i am going to be a little more disciplined than you probably expected. i will take questions. chris, do i just call people? >> [indiscernible] jim talent: so i think this hand went out first. >> hi, i am pat with defense daily. chairman thornberry, you take candles position split into. you have a chief technology
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officer and the under secretary for engineering. how is that going to improve how you, the speed of which you get new technology into the field, take one decision-maker's position and make it two decision-makers' position? mac thornberry: we have put too t&l. under a what i say is no criticism of frank kendall, who's done a good job. but i am persuaded by those people who say, it is essentially impossible to make the person who is responsible for buying things efficiently , the chief innovation officer as well, as well as many of his other duties. as you know, the senate bill had a very significant reorganization.
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but what we have agreed upon for this year is to separate out some of these functions, but also delay implementation for a year to allow the new administration to come and look at it, but also to allow us to study more carefully what the right way is and what the implications are. part of the challenge with all of these reform efforts is, you can't take a break and rearrange things and then start again in two weeks. you have got to do the job every single day, so you still have to make sure the rifle gets to the guy in afghanistan tomorrow while you are trying to improve innovation and reform acquisition and so forth. so this is a first step in recognition that we have lost something on innovation. it is probably not the final answer.
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>> you are satisfied so far on the compromise for at&l? mac thornberry: i think it is the right thing for now. it will continue to be -- as i said, we are not done on organizational reform, on acquisition reform, on some of the personnel reform issues, so i think this is a good step for now. there is more to be done. jim talent: all right, this gentleman here. >> chairman thornberry, you spoke about the need for a new aircraft, and the first aircraft i think of is the f 35 which has been delayed for a very long time. if you think about how the u.s. government could acquire new assets without that happening again, going over budget were -- budget or being delayed by significant period of time.
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mac thornberry: well, part of what we try to think about over the last -- and really, we started this in november 2013, is to understand the problems for the f-35, for the ford aircraft carrier, for future combat systems. we have had some problems in the past. and one of the things i think we can learn is, when you define requirements at the beginning, it is a very important thing, and you really need to make it difficult to change those requirements. you try to put too much innovation into a new platform, it will inevitably delay its fielding and increase the cost.
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and you know, i just had a member on the floor tell me about visiting some of the basis, training bases for the f-35. problems are being worked through. computer issues they have had, helmet issues, they are working through them. but you are right. it is over budget, it is too long. if it takes us another 20 years to field the next aircraft, we are going to be in real trouble. so that is part of the reason this year's bill, we really focused on incremental improvement and not committing to buy 1000 of something until we know that it works and have a separate funding stream for some experimentation. we need to experiment. but you can't experiment as you're building a program of record. and so, trying to learn the lessons of the problems we have
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had in the past is, is important. the answer is not to not build -- not to not build another airplane. the answer is, is to make these gradual steps. >> can i just add one thing? and i am going to stick up a little bit for the department here. i say this as a person who has been writing for acquisition reform as you know when i was there. part of this is the result of when you know you are not going to have all -- you don't have the money to buy all the platforms that you really think you are going to need. so you are going to get one plane. so the pressure to put as much as you can in that plane becomes very strong. now, yes, i think -- i'm not trying to say that's the only reason. but i think we have seen that. i think that hurts future combat systems. mac thornberry: you are right. jim talent: we have got this one thing, so we have got to make sure it can do everything we needed it to do. mac thornberry: when we started f-35, the idea of having a
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common platform that would be adapted for the different services, you think, that could work. but it was much more complicated i think than anybody realized. jim talent: we can do a whole hour on that idea and how that has affected as you know. i'm going to go back there to that gentleman who has been waving his hand. i think we're going to get a real good question here. there is no way to pick these sorts of things. >> tony bertuga, representing the noble defense trade press. for chairman thornberry, in the compromise version of the authorization bill, you ended up halting the increased, but billions got stripped out for f-35s and lcs. everything else. my question is, do you plan to come back for those in the next legislative cycle? do you think those remain high priorities in? and you will try to get an authorized next year? for senator talent, you praised the incoming administration. do you have any plans on playing a role?
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maybe in a building with five sides of? -- five sides? jim talent: do you want to go first? mac thornberry: i am just happy you get a question like that. my hope is that the new administration will come to us with a supplemental request as soon as they get their feet on the ground. it was disappointing that in order to get this bill done now and to stop the in-strength hemorrhaging that we were not able to have as much funding as the house had originally had. as i mentioned before, the only way you are going to fix some of these old airplanes is to build a new airplane. and so, that's part of what we had. but my hope is, and i think across the aisle, recognition of the fact that sequestration, 21% cut over four years in the defense budget, as well as the
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pace of operations has taken its toll. so there is, i think, interest to try to make up some of that ground, and what i hope is the new administration will come with a supplemental, and that we can put back, and for me, the top of the list would be the things that had to drop out now and then, of course, go to next year's budget as well. jim talent: i would love to see a supplemental too. i really loved the president-elect's defense speech when i read it. i loved the tone. i loved the issues he took on and the way he took on. i am going to support that whether inside or outside of government. i would be very interested in doing something inside of government. we have had some -- i have had some discussions with the transition. i also know enough about cabinet building, having watched it in a number of instances that, you know, he has to pick the people that fit, that he feels the most
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comfortable with, and then also fit the overall pattern. they are working their way through a lot of progress. i've been watching and pleased with the appointments i've seen so far. so they are going to work it out. i am going to support that plan inside or outside of government. because there isn't anything more important to america's national security or i would also argue to donald trump's domestic agenda of regrowing the manufacturing base in this country. and i think it's been an untold story. he is starting to tell it. one of the reasons we have lost a lot of manufacturing is because we have underfunded capacity these procurement programs over time. yes, sir. and then i will go back over here. >> peter humphrey, i am an intel analyst and a former diplomate. wondering about two things. in what fantasy world did preparation for two major

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