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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  April 1, 2010 12:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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and this is very important to the foreign countries, european, american or other organizations, international organization, to give some information to the people inside the country. it's not enough to say we need to just leave easing the internet bans are sanctioned that this is very important. when the issues controlled by the government inside the country, you need to think about fundamentally, you know, the change there, the ideas of the people. . .
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any members of the guardian consulate which i mentioned in my speech, they are appointed by the leader. and they are to say, okay, you can come at the election or you cannot do that. they are disqualified more than 2,000 in past 10 years for the attending in the free election and this is very important to say of our colleagues and also the people who they believe they are reading freedom of the speech. my country is dealing with many problems as i remember anytime
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we are speaking about the freedom of speech we are -- we sourced 100 years ago. this is now, you know, 2010 we can discuss now for the present. 2010 is -- i think, it's very important because honestly, as a professional photographer, i didn't think about -- you know, filling the country. when i tell my children in my situation, it was terrified. the interrogation -- like interrogation, you know, any moment, your phones, you know, just taping. any trips, you know, they are monitoring. you cannot access any free information. and for one picture which you are taking it's like bringing many problems for you just sometimes some of the photographers for one picture
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they just kicked out from it. let me tell you all the sadder stories. all the photographers and journalists just worked with mahmoud ahmadinejad in the last election. they were kicked out doing their jobs. they are now -- fortunately, my friends here came a week ago from iran. and i asked how is the reporter situation. and he said he was terrified. some of my colleagues they are doing, you know, as a taxi driver. some others are shop sellers. but in their countries they can do that. in the other country the others i told you before, they cannot speak the -- like -- my legal issue is good enough. but i can just tell you this story. the story is if you want to talk about the truth, it's very difficult in this situation. the situation is, i think,
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comparing only to maybe the renaissance in europe. you can't access any free information in iran. and you need to follow like any of the supporters of the country. and you can only just say the words which they like it. and in this situation, talking about the freedom i think -- it's kind of dangerous and playing with fire. anyway, i think i can say it's a good job but i don't know if any questions coming. i'm ready to answer. otherwise, thank you for coming and sharing with the iranian journalists on behalf of those people who cannot access to the freedom of the speech. i really appreciate for this session.
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and for the reporters of the borders and the national press club. it's an honor for me to speak here. and i think we can witness really freedom of iran. and anyone can tell -- can say their ideas freely. thank you very much. [applause] >> and if anyone has questions, just please raise your hand. >> hi, thank you so much for coming. i'm an attorney and a blogger in town. i'm curious as to whether anybody who actually goes to prison for their political activism and journalism ever comes out? or what is the typical plate -- and is there documented cases of torture there should be human rights attention addressed to that is not being addressed right now?
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>> actually i can tell you some examples. a man who was a well-known journalist in iran, he is still in the prison. and they accused him to activities against islamic rules -- criticized the leaders -- the supreme leader. and he cannot write for any more for future. and they accused -- they sentenced him to exile for five years, you know, one of the far cities in iran. any of the journalists who are in the prisons is still -- he's in prison for more than 10 months is exactly after election. no one cannot -- he's on a hunger strike now in the prison and just started in the persian new year.
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and many of the -- many of the iranian journalists who even photographers, we don't know exactly what's, you know, their situation. how they are living in the prison because no access for getting the free lawyer. you don't know exactly how they are doing in the court. you cannot see freely in the court and you cannot speak to anyone in the freedom against, you know -- for defending them. but many -- you know, the turkey journalists now -- i can just tell you that all the names. the most important thing is any journalists who are criticizing the government who they are not angry with the rules, they will definitely need to go to prison. this is really the fortune time. when you are in the official prison it's okay because your
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family knows you are where you are and they can meet even you maybe weekly maybe once in a month. but when some peoples they are arresting and secretly they are in a secret places like, you know, the revolutionary guards who they are controlling exactly under the control of the supreme leader. anyone -- no one didn't know where they are and how is their situation. just look at, you know, the other journalists who they release but fortunately they had some voices. you know, they had some voices from the united states and come had to them so. but other journalists who don't have any voices, who they are spending their times in the
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prison, no access for any lawyer and defending them. it's a complicated story. if you want to talk about this, it's like more than a book. more than maybe 100 book. i don't know. but the situation is really difficult. when everything is linked to the islamic rules -- i think it's really complicated. you cannot talk directly against islam in iraq. one of the professor in iran, who just criticized the following like peoples from the -- he actually, you know, he told -- we cannot do the same 1,400 years which the people at that time which did for the prophet mohammed and we cannot do this which i told you one of the examples. the senior cleric. who said you cannot access --
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you cannot just cooperate with the foreign media. i was working for the foreign media for 10 years. my daughter, you know, said how are you working, you know, for the music news agency and all the people just criticize the united states policy. the journalist is the same situation. in iran it's difficult to to say -- that you can say, you know, freely any of your ideas. it's really difficult. i hope i answered your question. >> i just want to answer something to your question, two things. two weeks ago the iranian -- the revolution -- the revolutionary guards arrested 13 citizens meaning 30 people using the internet to get pictures out and information out. what is really difficult is that we don't have their names. the authorities don't want to
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give the names. and it's very difficult to know who is in prison. maybe you spend two hours and you're released and it's really difficult to get that information. and i also want to stress one example. this man died in prison last year. so it was before the elections. but he died in prison because of negligence -- he was neglected from the guards there. and it shows how difficult it is to be imprisoned, in that prison in tehran. it's really difficult to be there. and he died. and the prison claimed that he just killed himself with pills. so just tell me how you do in prison with pills to kill yourself? everything is good to say it's not the authorities fault.
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and the last example is that that protest where 30 people were arrested, the authorities claimed that it was the cia fault. because the cia is in charge of the protest against the regime. >> actually the clear example of all the things, you know, and photojournalists who she was arrested in 2003 and exactly just couple days after she was arrested in front of the prison, she took some pictures from there in prison. just four days, i think, if i remember exactly. they were killed, you know, inside the application. -- prison. no one didn't answer about, you know, her case. and this is the situation which you cannot -- you don't know exactly what's happening for you
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if you follow the information, follow in the country. maybe just the best idea supporting those in prison and who they are and just appreciate the organization, the human rights for their responsibility for the fugitives. they just have to help those people out of the country. there were the journalists in iran. they had the great job. they had, you know, the good opportunity for the free information for their people inside the country. but now unknown, you know, the fate is in front of them. in the european countries without any answering and corresponding and soon they are not in the good condition. some of them, you know, in the house and the problems and some others with the financial problems. it's not easy to live like this because all we were in the good
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situation in iran because when you are doing, you know, the cultural job you know what's your opinion. what do you want? and you can describe yourself with others. because you are voting for the country's future. and all we were like that but when you cannot feel safety in this situation, how you can tell your idea. this is, i think, a very important point. now we can just move one step while pressuring more like, you know, using the access of the internet in iran by the u.s. treasury department. it was a great decision. it was great because the people, they didn't trust any source -- any official sources and coming with the official tv channels when after just only three days of the election, 3 million people they came out and he they
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showed and demonstrated their protest against the government. no one didn't invite them. they just came and calling each other. they use, you know, the text messages by the phone. they use, you know, the telephone. but as soon as the government find this, for two months, for three months they cut all the text messages. it was like they did what -- you cannot imagine how it was a difficult situation in iraq. even as i'm telling you -- because of my job, i'm carrying all the time, you know, my camera. this is my job. i'm all the time behind the camera but this is the time, i think, i need turnpike. -- to talk. i had a small camera in my car and just security -- the militias, you know, searching in the cars and the streets i didn't know what can i do. if they find this small camera in the car, they searched all the peoples by the chance in the streets after election. bags, anything, you know, just
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finding any pictures in the cameras or any photos in the mobiles because they know the powerful photography and showing their face internationally and inside the country. this is really important, i think, there's steps i hope we can do some small steps to provide for iran's future because iran is an important country in that region. unfortunately, with the hands with some gangs. [inaudible] >> thank you for organizing such a crucial issue. i have two updates, a comment and a question. the two updates, one about -- one of the lions in iran. who has been on hunger strike. i found out yesterday he has been hospitalized because of his
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condition. especially because of his heart condition. and i say lion because a few weeks ago, he made a statement that i don't want to be free. and i don't want to be freed under these conditions. so another lion so thank you for mentioning him. >> many of the journalists i mentioned all the names. you can access by the internet, you know, all the names. i appreciate for your information. >> and the second update with respect to the internet censorship. one of the most amazing things that i've heard recently through twitter and whatnot is the sensory of the word "green" in text messages. so it's the extent that they're going that i think news is -- >> that's the world. they changed even the flag of country's color. my country's flag, you know, the color green, white and red. they changed the green as it was
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the -- it was used by the opposition party, opposition of mahmoud ahmadinejad as a symbol of a symbol of the campaign. they changed even color of the flag. to the blue. how can you trust this government? they say oh, it was like the light. you cannot see the writing. it's unbelievable. you cannot say, you know, this is by chance they did this. but they are doing -- there's kind of many stories coming to my mind. they are even painting, you know, the corner of the streets, which there were white and green. and they are doing white and black now. it's like kind of -- you cannot -- you cannot find any pictures of the demonstration after the 2009 election in any
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official websites or semi official websites of the government. i checked before -- before i come in here. you cannot find any -- even one single shot. they removed everything. they think if they erase, you know, anything, they will erase even people's minds. but we need to do something. >> and the comment is about the question that the lady asked here about the documented evidence, i think, human rights watch has done a wonderful job of documenting especially about the cases of rape. rape of men as well. and this is unprecedented to be kind of public in such a way in iran. and my question from you is -- i was wondering what are we doing to help the journalists who manage to get out of iran? do we have a support system for them? do we -- should we think about that?
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>> fortunately, have a response for this question but my friends, they are here. they are working for the human rights organization here. and also human rights community. they have some sources and, unfortunately, but this is unsafe. they need to pay the money to the smugglers to bring the journalists out of the country. but in other hands, how we can do, you know, to this situation we cannot, you know, bring all the journalists out of the countries because instead people need -- they get to the free information. of course, their lives are in danger and they need to be -- they live in danger, the safety of the place. but how we can do, you know, such as the important country like iran, we cannot like, you know, just leave the country like that. maybe the best, you know -- the
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idea is, i think, you know, just give them more chance to the people to use the internet. i had a chance to talk with some political activists in iran. they are using, you know, the discussion with the congress. and they are using the satellite sources as the internet to access internet in iran. if you can break the censorship and you can give the people the chance to know about, you know, free information about their country, it will be great. it will be, i think, the great step to the future of the country. because i remember when i was 10 i told you, you know, it was revolution happened. and now i'm just thinking if
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there was any internet during that iran/iraq war. if there was any internet during the revolution. if there was internet, you know, just five years earlier than this in iran, it was great, you know, the change just bringing to the country at this time. but now i don't think it's a good idea to bring all the journalists out. of course, you can help some of them that are on the list. all the journalists they know because when any journalist they are arresting, the interrogators they ask the people. so the journalists coming out just, you know, they are urging to the friends, oh, they are asking your name. they are asking, you know, where they are working. and exactly three months ago i think you mentioned, turkey journalists, you know, they just asked them in one night because
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they find that -- they had some links to some tv channels, you know, the base in europe. and they need to come on the world because they need to live and they need to support their family. how they can -- they cannot work in any organization like the prisoners. crime prisoners if they want to come out of the prison, they cannot work because all the people knows their background. now the journalists are like this. they cannot work any official -- in the part of the government the ministries or the offices. and they need to find a job and i told you, unfortunately, some of them they are driving the taxis, you know, some others are shop sellers. [inaudible] >> i just want to tell you what our organization is doing. our organization mobilizing people, mobilizing on the internet also on that cause.
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and what we did is we helped -- we're an international organization but so as we are basing things from around there. and what we did is helping about 10 reporters. it's nothing compared with the situation they are facing. but 10 reporters and friends have visas and we're currently paying for a house like and rooms for them to live there. and to start either, you know, gathering the information they already have. or starting to write books -- we already have that kind of initiative in france it's called the house for journalists. but obviously the house for journalists is not already full of iranian reporters. it's already full. so we had to find another place.
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and so we're trying to them like this we wish the house were bigger. and other organizations would do the same. but, yeah, that's basically our way to help them. but also that's the emergency cases. and for the reporters we don't want to stop working because they know how to report. that's their job.on i mean, if you're a journalist you know that it's -- we love to say it's the only thing i can do. obviously it's not true because you can be a taxi driver or a shop seller. but you tell it's the only thing we can do. and so they don't want to lose that. and they still want to write. and they still want to say what's going on with the links that they have. so one of the best way to help them is to support the initiative independent tv channels, independent radios. but it's true that we have to be informed on what's going on. and so maybe the first step is
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to talk about it. and so i think it's great to be here tonight to talk about that. thank you. >> any other questions? i have one. i understand you have a wife and children, correct? >> yes. >> where are they? i understand they're not in the states. >> my children they are going to the school and waiting for the situation to join each other. i don't know exactly when it will be happening. i have no idea what's going on, you know. it's not my -- like the problem. this is the problem for the other, you know, journalists also. this is the problem which if you want to just leave the country, this is a completely different than your choice.
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if you want to just, you know, decide to leave the country in any situation, you can try to handle any financial things and try to get, you know -- to a good country but how many country can iranians go there without getting visa? it's less than 20 and most of them their friends with the iranians. how can you feel the safety in that country also. it's kind of really difficult situation. but no way you need to accept the reality. when you worry when they're just walking in the streets and when you are stopping on the highway and by a false, you know, the accident just the treating -- the way the drivers and just be careful. treating, you know, just with the phone calls.
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it's difficult to say how is the -- like it's not a choice. i mean, it is really difficult to say the future, what will happen, you know. thank you very much. thank you all for coming here. and i appreciate the national press club. thank you. [applause] >> thank you all again for coming. i greatly appreciate it. and i believe our next speaker will actually be rich. we are working out the details right now. and that will be at the end of april. we're more than excited to have that happen. so thank you all for coming out again. goodnight. [inaudible conversations]
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>> a look at the white house where president obama left to go to new england. he'll stop in portland maine to talk about healthcare reform after legislation he saw last month. see those remarks live at 3:25 eastern on c-span. and some other news, the obama administration is setting new gas mileage standards for cars and trucks. the transportation department and the epa say the final rules
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will require 2016 model year vehicles to meet fuel-efficiency targets of 34.1 miles per hour combined for cars and trucks. that's an increase of nearly 10 miles per gallon over current standards.w >> this weekend on c-span2's booktv. from the virginia festival of the book, rebecca skloot on the bestselling the immortal life of henrietta lacks. ..
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this is half an hour. >> i'm spears, welcome to the highlights of the
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australian parliament in march. as the two sides of politics prepare for an election in australia later this year the key campaign themes are starting emerge. labour prime minister kevin rudd announced plans for major health reform in march aimed at fixing the nation's hospitals. but the opposition says the plan won't work and fear small hospitals could be forced to close. opposition leader tony abbott announced major reform plans of his own in march. a six-month paid parental leave scheme funded through a new tax on business. there was also at clash between the two sides overboarder protection. as more boats carrying asylum seekers arrived in australian waters. there was a rare moment of bipartisanship in march as both sides honored visiting the indonesian president. he became the first indonesian leader to address
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the australia an parliament. >> mr. speaker, honorable members honorable senators today is only 5th time in the 110-year history of this parliament that the two houses have met together to hear an address from a visiting head of state, or a visiting head of government. and today, is the first time that we do so to hear and address from the president of the republican of indonesia. in doing so, we symbolize the profound changes that have occurred in the relationship between our two countries. mr. president, we welcome you, as our neighbor. mr. president, we welcome you as our friend. and we welcome you now as a member of the family of deepaks. a nation which now celebrates political freedom, a nation whose parliament is as loud and as noisy and as robust as the parliament in which we are now assembled. a nation where freedom of
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the press is now exercised without constraint, without restraint, without fear of repression. mr. president, these are profound changes in which you have played no small part and we are delighted to welcome you now as a fellow democracy. >> i believe indonesia and australia are on the same page to foster a more democratic world order. to reflect changing political and economic landscape. we are both firm believers in the virtue of multilateralism and to reform the united nations system. indonesia and australia why are also committed to,. it is important that such original arc tech ture involves in ways that
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insures a new equalibrium and ushers in new geopolitics and new economy of cooperation. in addressing the financial global crisis i am pleased to work closely with the problem kevin rudd with many phone calls back and forth to historic g-20 summit which commenced in washington, d.c. in 2008. it is a sign of the times that indsneesh shaand australia are now part of the premier strong interest in advancing the g 20 process and reforming the international financial architecture. and in promoting a balance to be inclusive group. we also need to insure that g-20 leaders dangers of complacency. that will result in the reform process losing steam.
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prime minister rudd and i have kept in close consultation on international economic issues and yes, we do wink at one another during g-20 meetings. prime minister kevin rudd and i have been issue of people smuggling. given the regional circumstances, this is an issue that seems likely to go on in the short term. didn't niche shaand australia believe in the process that recognizes that people smuggling is a regional problem that requires a regional solution involving the origins, transit and destination countries to work together. what is our response? we have finally look out at a balance cooperation to deal with this issue so that future human smuggling cases can be handled in predictable and coordinated
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way. we will continue to work to together to advance the bali process. we will speed up the process of relocating illegal migrants stranded in indonesia to another country. now that we know much more about their modus operandi, our respective authorities will intensify their cooperation to disrupt people smuggling activities and to strengthen our cooperation, the indonesian government will introduce in parliament a law that will criminalize people smuggling, those found guilty will sent to prison for up to five years. [applause] in the fight against terrorism, the indonesian federal police and will work closely together to including in intelligence sharing and information exchange and capacity building. we in indonesia continue to be relentless in our fight against terrorism.
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we have scored some major successes against dangerous terrorists, and their associates. in recent weeks, we were able to disrupt terrorist cells operating and training in and in other places in indonesia which have some connections with other terrorist cells in the region. just yesterday our police authorities raided an important terrorist cell in the suburb of jakarta and put terrorist operatives out of commission n any case the we will continue to hunt them down and do all we can to prevent them from harming our people. i agree completely with prime minister rudd who said in the aftermath of the bombings, that any terrorists effect any wear is an attack on all. any terrorist attack on our friends in indonesia is an attack on our neighbors.
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another major concern we share is climate change. prime minister rudd and i have worked closely since the bali climate conference two years ago. last december we were both part of the a meeting of 26 leaders that produced the copenhagen accord but we multilateral forum there is much that can be done between us before reaching for the new global climate treaty to take place. i appreciate the opportunity to work constructively on the indonesia australia carbon partnership. indonesia embraces australia support for the triangle initiative which the indonesia initiated and has become our collaborative effort with malaysia, philippines, new guinea, solomon islands and. world's richest marine biodiversity area in our region known as the am pa
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son of the seas. lives of 120 million people are around this marine area is dependent on it. in the same spirit of conserving our marine and coastal resources, we hosted the ocean conference which australia strongly supported. we work with australia to insure the ocean issues in the copenhagen accord. >> talk about health and hospital policy in this parliament. third thing i'll say about it, members opposite, members of this government should stop telling lies about the --. >> order. order. let, leader of opposition will withdraw. >> mr. speaker, i withdraw and i should say they stop telling grotesque untruths about the howard government and every single year between 1996 and 2007 health and hospitals funding in
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this country from the federal government went up and went up massively. now mr. speaker, i don't claim to have been unnecessarily the world's greatest health minister because i'm not that, i'm not that -- i just say, i was a better health minister than anyone on the other side of this -- at this time, at this time. and i say, mr. speaker, we got -- inintroduced the medicare safety net. mr. speaker, we brought allied health professionals into the medicare net for the first time. >> the next person, the next
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person, that displays a sign even, if it was within the guidelines that i set earlier in the parliament, will be marched. leader of the opposition. >> mr. speaker, the leader of the, the prime minister came into this parliament today, put his happened on his heart and boasts about the opening of the new cancer center. i provided that money, mr. speaker. in 2007. cancer center in darling, mr. speaker. leader of opposition comes in parliament and puts his hand on his heart and boasts about pet scan in that hospital. i promised that money, mr. speaker. i promised that money. we have a pet scanner at royal north short hospital. now, mr. speakerer, mr. speaker. >> order. >> mr. speaker, more they're
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embarassment shows, the comes in and talks about insulin pumps. i provided the funding for insulin pumps. what a fraud. what a phoney. what a complete fake this prime minister is. what a disgrace to the great office of the prime ministership of this country, that this man is. mr. speaker, mr. speaker, mr. speaker, look, mr. speaker, i suppose we can't expect anything remotely approaching magnanimity or graciousness from this prime minister, but, let's, mr. speaker, if we may, look at, his health and hospital policies. we ask, mr. er, you know, what's my response? well, mr. speaker, my response is the same response as that of the state labour premiers. some of them question us, some of them oppose us.
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mr. speaker, i question all of the policies and i oppose. of the policy because just, mr. speaker, as his. >> order. >> is a great big new tax on everything, his hospital policy is a great new bureaucracy. that's my -- that is what his hospital policy is. mr. speaker, he says, says, that what he wants to do is have a hospital system which is nationally funded and locally run. well, mr. speaker, he is run on both counts. it won't be nationally funded because the states will still have to provide 40% of the funding, and believe me, our prime minister tried to make the states put up that money is a prime minister who has never had the kind of experience that any prime minister who's really going to bring about public hospital reform needs. he says that it is likely that, locally run.
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the only way it will be locally run, if he can persuade the state labour governments to provide genuine local control of public hospitals. now this is the test, this is the test of his local hospital networks. will each significant hospital have its own board? will each of those boards comprise of people who are genuinely expert in the fields of health management and governance? will those people be genuinely independent of government and not just the sort of union hacks which this government typically appoints to boards? and will they have real management authority and real autonomy over the public hospitals? will they be able to -- about the public hospitals budget without reference to head office. and mr. speaker, if they are able to raise money locally, can the prime minister guaranty that there will not
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be any compensating adjustment to the funding that they get from the states and from the --? he can't answer any of those questions. why do we know he can't answer any of those questions? because the state's premieres put those questions to him and they have told us he hasn't been able to provide any details. they have told the world, i have told the world there is no detail. it is good to have mark lath back. mr. speaker, not in pages of financial review today but here at dispatch box-offices. mr. speaker, on the substance of health policy what we've had finally, finally after an entire week in this place is an intervention by the leader of opposition on health and hospital policy. day by day we waited for a question but we have waited in vain because, it took today, and we challenged leader of the opposition come to the back box, say
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something, however little, however small however insignificant about health and hospitals. so mr. speaker, i posed the opposition a question before, which does he support or does he oppose the government's health policy? i thought that was a pretty reasonable question. not to ask him day one after the policy came out. not even day two but you would think two weeks later he might have formed a view. and so, his defined, definitive position on the health and hospitals policy after government of commonwealth of australia is, i question all of it and i oppose most of it. well, mr. speaker, this is a definitive conclusion on the part of the leader of opposition. in other words, give me a fence to sit on a few more weeks, few more months, wait to see where the weather vain turns and wait for the opposition. the leader of opposition knows about weather veins. whether that actually
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constitutes moral compass. vanes. whichever way it blows will he take politics of his position. on the way through, mr. speaker, he made extraordinaire claim about the cancer center up there in darling. he said it should be called the tony abbott cancer center. did i hear that correctly? mr. speaker, the minister for health reminds me that in fact, i got it wrong. they, i said earlier today that they had promised it prior to the last election. i got it wrong. they promised prior to the last two elections. mr. speaker, pardon me for understating their level of commitment. they were so committed, they committed to it twice. now mr. speaker, as of when we went to the elections at the end of last year, did we see a brick or a mortar? did we see of any evidence of anything on the ground? no, we did not. we actually delivered thing. we actually delivered the construction. we actually delivered a
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comprehensive cancer center for the good people of darling. so that in the future they don't have to travel all the way to adelaide to receive their cancer services. that's making a difference is all about. not just making a speech, prior to an election, prior to the previous election when he was also health minister and hoping the people will just forget about it once he captured the headlines. is that overall important thing in life for leader of opposition, capture the headline and hope someone else picks up the details. mr. speaker, he also made reference to that pet scanner. pet scanner at royal north shore hospital. now we're advised by roll cast, local doctors, they started making representations in 1997. and the local doctors could not get the members of north sydney to even organize a visit to the hospital by the minister for health. not in '97, '98, '99, but when did they finally visit the royal north shore hospital?
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i'm told it was in that magical year 2007. >> order. >> i'm told it was pretty late in the year 2007 because they particularly event was looming called an election. mr. speaker, we have funded that pet scanner. we are proud to have done so. again, it makes a difference on the ground. mr. speaker, the leader of the opposition has raised questions about the health and hospitals network put forward by the government. our plan is very straightforward. it is for a new national health and hospital network, for the fourth, first time funded nationally and run locally. mr. speaker, leader of the opposition, says how dare you consider such a plan. how dare you consider such a possibility. when i certainly remember a leader of the opposition in the four to five years he was minister for health saying, the commonwealth government should take over the system. now, mr. speaker, did i get that right or did i get that
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wrong? well, the minister for, the minister for health as he was, now, the minister, leader of opposition. >> order. >> nearly five years as health minister to act on this matter of deep conviction because we all know tony is a straight talking politician. we all know he is a conviction politician. when he says commonwealth should take over the health system you know for sure he will be a man of act and do it. only five years later nothing happened. now the position he occupies is that in fact this government is doing the wrong thing by becoming a dominant funders of the system. mr. speaker, funded nationally, run locally through local hospital networks. across the country so that clinicians, doctors, nurses and others can have a major role in the management of the system. >> my question is to the treasure. will the treasurer update the house on recent assessments of australian economy? and what respected economist and institutions are saying about the state of ourry? >> the treasurer.
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>> yes. i thank the member of kingston for the very important questions, mr. speaker. australian economy come through this global recession in stronger shape than any other advanced economy. the strongest growing of 33 advanced economies. and only one of two, that did not contract during the calendar year '09. and of course, we have unemployment rates that are the envy of the united states and europe. and has been something like 180,000 jobs created over the past year. i think that is supported strongly by everyone on this side of the house. everyone on this side of the house that is supported the government's economic stimulus. the fact is, that australians have worked together, employers and employees. the community has come together to produce this outcome. and this has been a remarkable achievement. and it's been commented on today by the reserve bank in terms of their minutes that
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have been released today. this is what they had to say. it now appears the peak unemployment rate in the recent downturn has been equal to around the low point in the previous three sigh schedules. that is a fantastic result for australia. a fantastic result. and this has been commented upon by the commonwealth bank, their chief economist, michael blythe who had this to say a couple days ago. he said the australian economy with stood the full force of a global financial crisis and recession remarkably well. australia dodged the recession bullet is what michael blythe had to say. and he then went on to comment how that was the case. and he had this to say. a year ago, consumer sentiment in australia was collapsing, much as it was everywhere else. the extreme pessimism proved relatively short lived however. a large part of divergence between expectations and
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reality, reflects the fact that aggressive policy action worked and it worked quickly. that was the impact of the government's stimulus, mr. speaker. of course what the events of the past 18 months show is the importance of maintaining confidence through responsible economic management. and of course, what we've seen from those opposite is exactly the opposite. what we've seen is a glimpse of erratic and reckless decisions from the leader of the opposition and what he may doll he were in government. we've seen total disarray. those of us could not describe the size of the tax, who it would apply to, when it would start. they have simply been in disarray. but, the really good news is that senator joyce came back today, he came back to make it all crystal clear. he was lyndon curtis this
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question, business will pass on this tax if you are taxing companies like woolworthed and kohl's. that will be in the price of bread and milk won't it? senator joyce, it will, it will. now of course, what he has confirmed is what we have been saying is the price will be paid by pensioners and families, mr. speaker. all of this, all of this so somebody on $150,000 a year can receive $2800 per week, $2800 per week. mr. speaker, mr. speaker, he's not content with pulling a billion dollars out of public hospitals. that's fine. that's fine. pulling a billion dollars out of public hospitals. but he wants to pay $2800 per week to somebody on $150,000 a year, mr. speaker.
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that tells you twisted priorities of this leader of the opposition and how out of touch he is is. how out of touch he is is with the life-styles of every australian. mr. speaker, he said something very revealing in the party room last week. very revealing. we discovered the budget, a new tax. >> order. >> mr. speaker, treasurer jamie --, order. order. order. order. the house will come to order. order. order!. those on my right, minister of finance, the member on a
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point of order. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i would ask you to ask the minister opposite to withdraw those potty mouth remarks. >> order. >> mr. speaker. >> the treasurer. the treasurer has concluded. the treasurer has the call. >> when speaking in the potty room last week, i think he repeated these remarks he would prefer to apologize after then seek permission before a policy announcement. that should send a chill down the spine of every business in this country. let's seek permission before, not be up front with the people of australia and business community. take decision and somehow make right by apologizing later, mr. speaker. now he was only exceeded in his arrogance in those statements by the statements
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from the shadow treasurer. because the shadow trasher when asked about this big new tax, said it was a wind fall gain for business, mr. speaker. a big new tax become as windfall gain for business. we all know senator has been out there putting his points of view, inventing definitions of debt. we've got net gross public/private debt. so what we have here is the three stooges of the opposition front bench, mr. speaker. they have no credibility, no credibility with the business community. no credibility with the -- community. >> order. >> because they came into this house this country was in its hour of need and they opposed stimulus that saved our country. they opposed the stimulus that has created 180,000 jobs. and now they propose to put a new tax on business which will push up prices for pensioners, families and of course, mr. speaker, the whole community will suffer. so what they have
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demonstrated over the past few weeks is just how reckless and erratic they are and how incapable they are of managing the economy of this country. >> mr. speaker, my question is to the prime minister. and, i remind the prime minister of his promise in 2007 to take, quote, a very hard-line, a very tough line, on people smuggling, unquote. prime minister, with 24 boats, and over 1200 unauthorized arrivals in just the past 10 weeks. >> order. >> isn't his hollow promise of 2007 just latest example of a government which is all talk and no action? >> order. the prime minister has the call. problem. >> thank you very much mr. speaker and i thank the honorable member for his question. could i inform the honorable member in response to his question of the following
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highest number boats arriving in australia any one years was in 1999 when 3700 asylum seekers on 86 boats. that's one measure. . .
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when they ask questions about the effectiveness of government policy at different times, and under different -- >> member mccook. >> i would draw his attention to the historical record of his own party when in government. furthermore, mr. speaker, could i say in response to the leader of the opposition in his questioning -- >> the member for cook naval and air assets patrolling our borders than any other government. secondly we're investing more in international and regional action. we've arrested more smuggler than any other government. fourthly i'm advised under this government we're seeing more people smuggling ventures disrupted than any other government. mr. speaker, can i say to those athat the responsibility to take
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appropriate action in response to whatever global security and regional security circumstances >> this government is doing so in response to the challenges which have in particular arisen from sri lanka. i would say in response to the leader of the opposition that this government will continue to take a responsible approach in dealing with the challenge of people smuggling and for those who are found not to be genuinely asylum seekers they will be sent back home as, in fact, we've already done in a number of cases. >> and there's the highlights of the australian parliament in march. i hope you can join us next time. ♪
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>> a look at the white house where president obama is getting ready to leave washington for a trip to new england today. he'll start in portland, maine to talk about the healthcare legislation he signed last month. you can see those remarks live at 3:25 eastern on c-span.
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>> flexible policies actually make employees more not less productive. because as you all know instead of spending time worrying about what's happening at home, your employees have the support and the peace of mind that they desperately need to concentrate on their work. >> watch something on c-span that you'd like to share with friends. at the new c-span video library, you can search it, watch it, clip it and share it. over 160,000 hours of video. from yesterday or last year. every c-span program since 1987. the c-span video library, cable's latest gift to america. >> next, a conference on media regulation and the first amendment. we'll hear about new technology and the future of journalism. it's a little more than an hour. >> the last panel -- our last panel is going to be talking about what's been on everybody's mind all the way through. and that's the first amendment.
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i was struck by the title of the first panel. technologies of freedom. and there seemed to be a consensus among the panelists that the new communications technologies were indeed technologies of freedom. that is, i think, maybe contested. in 1983, a political scientist and arrested innocent first amendment advocate wrote a book called "technologies of freedom." and the irony of that title was that he thought that, in fact, the new technologies might turn out not to be technologies of freedom of speech. the argument was as follows basically. as electronic media had become dominant and displaced the print media, they brought with them a culture of regulation because all the electronic media, of course, were creature of regulation.
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beginning in 1910 with the act for telephone carriers and right up through 1934 and beyond. so as the electronic media came into prominence and replaced or substantially displaced the print media, they would bring with them a different culture of regulation. so that, in fact, in a very real sense they might prove to be not technologies of freedom but an icon of trojan horse. smuggling an army of regulators in past the gates of the first amendment. i wrote a long article under the title of electronic first amendment in 1998, which i took issue with most of poole's assessment, his dark assessment. among other things i pointed out that it didn't seem that the first amendment had gone away in
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all this time. and that indeed you could make an argument that in some ways it had expanded. and also some of the regulations that he decried had actually been -- had actually been eliminated. fairness doctrine, a lot of the content regulation had diminished if not disappeared. if i were to write that article again today, 12 years later, i think i might have to reconsider some of my own arguments and concede that poole's arguments might have been stronger than i gave him credit for being. among other things, what we've seen although we haven't seen a revival of the fairness doctrine, yet, we have seen periodic efforts to revive other moribund forms of regulation. most recently the fcc has proceedings to consider
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localism, which if there is ever a trojan horse for regulation, that's it. [laughter] >> we've seen a revival, a vigorous revival of indecency regulation which had -- when poole wrote was all but -- all but moribund. so the fact of the matter is regulation hasn't disappeared. and, in fact, in some respects may have actually be increasing. couldn't consider in 1983 because it didn't exist and that's the internet. and as a matter of fact, when i wrote in 1998, it was still pretty much an adolescent medium then as well. today any test of pool's thesis would have to come to grips with the internet and one of the implications of this new electronic medium. in contrast, of course, to broadcasting other electronic media, the internet has been famously unregulated. to date.
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indeed, in its origins it was -- one might think it was a test that would disprove poole's thesis. it will disapate his concern because here's an anan-artic medium and this will be our model for the future. unfortunately, it's a little over-simple too because what we're hear is maybe the internet will not remain an unregulated medium. i'm not just referring to network neutrality. i'm referring to other proposals to extend regulation at least to some parts of the internet. parts that some people don't regard as part of the internet but, in fact, is part of the infrastructure. to impose, for example, common carrier title 2-type regulation on broadband providers.
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now, whatever the merits of these, one way or the other, you no longer dismiss the possibility that the internet will become part of the regulated media. or part of the regulated family of regulated media. in short, yogi is right. it's never over till it's over. so these these are some prompts to put before our panel. i'm not going to try to introduce them. you have more information in their bios than i could recite to you. suffice it to say, although they have substantial expertise across the field. the game plan here is to begin in the order of seeing with bob, kurt, christopher and the last cleanup batter is marvin. we'll try to adhere to maybe 10, 12 minutes.
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i can't guarantee anything. i don't have a whip. and i can't control their mics. [laughter] >> leaving time for some interactive discussion and hopefully comments from the floor. so, bob, why are we still regulating electronic media? >> well, i'm working on it. [laughter] >> good. >> i have a previous powerpoint to pick up where glenn started. and it is a terrific introduction for what i think we're going to try and cover during this panel. and it's a problem that has been a perennial problem involving the fcc. this may begin to provide a partial answer to our problems. i'm going to go through some of the background on the technology issues that have affected first amendment analysis. and then hopefully set it up for the rest of the discussion on the panel. as i think is clear, technology is common. technologies go. the telegraph being the great new advanced technology. of the 19th century.
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but what happens when we get technologies and various ways of thinking the variations may go but some of remain. at the time the telegraph was still a fairly new technology, and the government started looking for ways to regulate other technologies as they came along, they looked for whatever regulatory models they happened to have around. and in this case it was the regulatory model for regulating transportation and that's where we got the public interest standard that was first used in the 1927 radio act followed by the 1934 communications act. and even though you look at those statutory mandates and find protections that sound something like the first amendment, section 326 of the communications act, for example, you find that the decisions that interpret that statutory mandate provide something different from the standard first amendment that applies to traditional media. to print media.
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and decisions over the years beginning -- well, actually you can trace them back much before the nbc case in 1943. but through the pacifica decision in 1978 all establish a different level of first amendment protection for the broadcast medium. now, this is part of a cycle that has continued throughout in this country the analysis of the first amendment but you can take it even more broadly and look internationally at the impact the technology has had by efforts by government to control speakers and speech. starting with the printing press, of course. that was -- we never had censorship bureaus, for example, before there was a printing press because you really didn't need one. but in this country the framers of the constitution embraced the printing press. the new -- the only mass medium of its time as an essential component of our political system and protected it in the structure of the first amendment. but that hasn't been true with other new technologies. for example, every other new technology that has come along,
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all of the 20th century technologies, for example, were considered to be not protected by the first amendment starting with film, of course, and the supreme court enshrined this in a 1915 decision mutual film corporation vs. the industrial film commission in ohio. they say motion pictures is a spectacle and a bit of commerce. there are not part of the press and, therefore, receive no protection under the first amendments. -- amendment. but what has happened in our system as technologies become more mainstream and ingrained in the technology the cultures after a time tend to catch up and so 37 years after the mutual film decision, the supreme court reconsidered and held that cinema is indeed protected by the first amendment. and i think this quote from the joseph bern -- burstyn says it
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do not vary. these principles make freedom of expression the rule. so technologies tend to catch up but again, we have to learn this lesson with each technology as it comes. and so this was the same cycle that he with s in the case of broadcasting in 1932, the d.c. circuit issued a decision upholding the denial of a radio license issued by the federal radio commission. and essentially the government had argued that radio like cinema before it was not protected at all by the first amendment. and the court agreed essentially saying that this again is just within the scope of permissible regulatory power. sort of what we've had in the 20th century at least is a situation where we've had a different level of protection for each medium as it comes along. and so imagine your hypothetical federal regulator walking into a room and you see five television monitors before you each showing the same image and to some as we
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know that image will be more disturbing than others. the question that you're faced with, can i regulate this? and since we're in washington that will be the first question that gets asked. and the answer will be, well, frankly, it depends. it depends on what we're talking about in terms of the medium. not of regulate the image and the means by which the image got in the box. and so as broadcast regulation developed in the united states, we applied a line from a 1949 decision involving sound trucks saying each medium is a law unto itself. and the principal question that court asked as a means of regulation is the exact content. and so we had a number of different constitutional regimes. if it were a direct means of
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providing this a image without some medium that got it into the appliance that the consumer used, then there were no affirmative public interest obligations. there were no particular regulations for bad speech other than basicriminal law, obscenity law. cable television, it took a while for the courts to work through this. but through a combination of decisions there are some local programming requirements primarily through the local franchise. there are few special restrictions on bad programming, for example, no broadcast indecency rule for cable. direct broadcast satellite very much the same as cable. there are some set-aside requirements. there are some in broadcast regulations but none of the special restrictions for indecency that you have because this is a subscription medium. the internet and we'll talk a little bit more about this later. no affirmative public interest obligations. and no indecency regulations as the supreme court affirmed in 1997.
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broadcast television, however, is now laboring under the same model that was established essentially first articulated by the d.c. circuit in 1932 and then by the other supreme court decisions i mentioned earlier. there are affirmative public interest obligations by virtue of the grant of a license and there are also special restrictions on bad programming. stay tuned on that one. so is the picture tube half full half empty. it depends entirely on your perspective which i think marvin will tell us a little bit later. and you can see -- these are obviously not scientifically measured calculations. but if you look at the technologies on the ends, tape, dvd, dvr, first amendment protection and same for the internet and varying levels of protection based on the different means of communications. so what happens in a world of convergence. if we have created different
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analogies, what happens when those media come together? when you have a mix of those media? do we have regulatory convergence where suddenly the public interest requirements that existed for licensed media apply to everybody? or do the regulations that previously applied to broadcasting and other regulated media fall away because of the nature of convergence? i don't think we have an answer to that yet. but we do have a few cases that have begun to explore the issue. the first, of course, is reno vs. aclu. which struck down provisions of the communications decency act that were part of the 1996 telecommunication act. therefore, they tried to regulate the internet with the same standards of indecency of television. they said unlike broadcasting it's not a scarce commodity. that online communication is a converged medium.
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and that our cases provide no basis for qualifying the first amendment scrutiny that should be applied to this medium. it's the first time by the way that the supreme court has ever looked at a new medium of communications and accorded it first amendment protection. usually it takes decades and all. we're still waiting for broadcasting. however, the question then comes up what is next? what happens to this converged medium as we look at further possibilities for regulation? well, some of us have suggested over time that as different media use the different methods of communication, that the regulations that are associated with one should then transfer to the other, for example, it was once suggested that because newspapers are beginning to use satellite distribution, therefore, they're using spectrum, that you should be able to regulate the content of their editorials because they would then be more like newspapers. and here's -- actually, i was wondering if anybody can name
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this quote or name the person responsible for this quote saying that it is reason to put all media under some obligation to serve the public interest. it's just not sustainable to have public interest obligations for some but not all. anybody? okay. sort of we've already had this kind of theory being put forward. that we should have a leveling of the playing field by extending regulation to all media rather than looking at a converged world and seeing it doesn't justify -- or at least it doesn't -- regulation would not be based on the historic regulations we used. you know, that should diminish regulation instead of seeing as an argument for increasing it. and yet some of the same arguments are being made. former chairman hunt gave a speech in new york about three weeks ago in which he argued
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that the time for broadcasting is essentially done. that it's time for the internet. and broadband to be the common medium. and suggested this also implies that there should also be the same kinds of public obligation applied to the new media as the old. and, of course, one of the historic justifitions for extending this kind of regulation is children. who now have access to a broad range of media that didn't exist when the justifications for having a different first amendment standard were first created. and we're getting to see this in a number of ways. congress charged the fcc with studying various media platforms not just broadcasting to see whether or not parental empowerment technologies and other techniques used for protecting children were effective. and again directly asked the fcc to look at this across all platforms. the fcc reported to congress last august and provided a
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comprehensive report that explained the broad range of parental technology choices that are out there. and said -- this means we need a further study. and that came -- if i can get this thing to advance tlbz. in the form of currency of empowering parents and protecting children. and like the child safe viewing act report before it, this notice also asks commenters to provide comment on all platforms to see whether or not there are adequate protections for children or whether or not there's some basis for extending fcc regulations beyond its traditional sphere of jurisdiction to these other media. and so you have to ask if this is the trend, if this is where we're going. how far do these arguments extend? ron collins, who was formerly the first amendment scholar at
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the freedom forum suggested a couple of years ago that it's inevitable that sooner or later we'll see some kind of argument for regulating devices le the kindle. and why not, of course? they do use wireless spectrum. yeah, that's right. and after all we do have to worry about what kind of influences the kids might get, of course, i'm displaying here with the kindle the most challenged and censored book in america. because of complaints about it taking witchcraft seriously. and you might ask whether or not the information available on the kindle is fair. i mean, after all, you know, amazon doesn't have all books on it. it has only 450,000 of them. it has 101 of the 112 current "new york times" bestsellers. 11 authors might feel they've been excluded. and should there be rules? suggesting that there should be access to this platform?
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should candidates be able to demand that their campaign biographies be included as kindle versions? there are all the kinds of questions that you wld normally ask in a regulatory proceeding. and so that pretty much just sets up the questions. and i think we have a number of proceedings that are currently underway. many discussed in the first panel. and carried on in the second panel that sort of tee up these exact issues. to determine where regulation goes next. >> thanks, bob. that's a great introduction. kurt? >> we didn't plan this but that is actually a perfect hand-off. what i would like to talk about is constitutionally how should we be regulating. building on this really terrific survey of where we are. i like the title of this panel which really asks two questions. what is the rational for regulation implies the first question is, what's the --
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what's the rationale for regulating new technology. and that turns out to be the easy one. as bob described in reno vs. aclu the supreme court has given us really strong guidance that new digital technologies should have the full first amendment protection as the print media. not all countries see it this way. it talks about freedom of expression regardless of borders. and, of course, we never had a medium that would act regardless of borders. and as soon as we got one, the internet many countries have tried very hard to put those borders back up. particularly, iran, turkey, and many others. in blocking facebook, twitter, and other sites. and here as in other countries, the state obviously can regulate for data protection and privacy to prosecute crime, to regulate deceptive trade practices and the like. but as to content, on new technologies in the united states, the first amendment protection should be full and
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robust. the more interesting question is really the second. what happens to the regulation of legacy media when you have these new digital technologies who are getting full first amendment protection. does the advent technologies mean anything to the existing technologies. i think the question to me is clearly, yes, for both content regulation, which bob has focused on. and also structural regulation. i'll continue to focus broadcasting. the supreme court as you know held in pacifica in the 1970s that broadcast content had the most limited content protection of any media. but think about the contest at that time. the broadcast television market consisted of three commercial networks and pbs in some communities. cable had less than 20% penetration. programming channels had just been launched. there was no videotape or dvd media available, direct
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broadcast satellite didn't exist. the internet, of course, didn't exist. mobile telephones didn't exist. broadcast radio was the only mobile audio medium. there were no ipods. there was no satellite radio. there were no zunes. there wasn't even a walkman. digital meant something you did something with your fingers. my hair was shoulder length and bob's hair was block. and against this backdrop the court found broadcast content could be regulated because of it's uniquely pervasive presence and extends in the privacy of home and because it is, quote, impossible completely to avoid. today we've got a very different picture, of course. 90% of homes use cable, satellite or telco video systems. these systems bring in hundreds of unregulated channels. alongside broadcast channels. and both the monitor and the set-top box hardware contain the ability to block objectionable channels. thousands of hours of
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programming are available on broadband internet sources. and our kids are growing up as digital natives use all these sources of programming interchangeably. clearly it means it's time we regulate content in broadcasting. the same is true for structural regulation. although it's a little bit different. it's impossible to ignore the sheer number of competitors in the broadcast market. in the media marketplace overall. broadcasters compete not only against television and radio. but against cable, against satellite. against the internet. against telephone companies, against new distribution systems for video and audio programming. against outdoor advertising and a huge array of new media. many of which are also being deployed by the broadcasting business. so for the fcc to restrict ownership of newspapers and television stations, exactly as it did in the 1970s, doesn't strike me as making any sense. my friend john sturm is fond of saying there's only three types of people who can't own a broadcast station in the united
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states, felons, aliens and newspaper owners. to me that seems a little bit odd given the way that the newspaper and broadcast market have gone. and all of the new information sources that have arisen. the department of justice also analyzes mergers of newspapers as if newspapers can compete only with newspapers and television stations if they compete only with television stations. which also doesn't make any sense. i created a degree of symmetry and parity in a regulatory approach though does make sense and it's the way forward. which raises the question of whether this means that whether the entire constitutional basis for regulating broadcasting has fallen away. i personally don't think the supreme court would go quite that far. although if you re-read "red liion" which i did recently it seems incredibly quaint. it based regulation on broadcasting on the scarcity of spectrum. that is because not all who want to use the spectrum can. the government is justified in
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imposing some regulations on those who are granted the license to use scarce spectrum. clearly there's no scarcity of program channels and no scarcity of video programs available but whether there's scarcity of spectrum i think is a very different question. the fcc chairman julius genachowski talked about the crisis. the court could find that scarcity is just the wrong yardstick to use but that's another issue. but even if the court -- even if the government continues to have constitutional authority to regulate broadcasting, the question really is whether the advent of new digital this its means that it should exercise that authority in a fundamentally different way. and i think that it should. and by imposing burdens on broadcasting that other unregulated media do not bear, to me raises serious constitutional questions.
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the current fcc in what we've heard about the next ownership review seems to be searching for a new vision of structural regulation of the broadcasting industry. and i applaud that approach. any data-driven analysis of how the media should be regulated -- well, i think inevitably recognize there should be more parity with unregulated media and that this could be done in a way that provides incentives to provide greater diversity and public service to the public. so i'm hoping that the same freedom to innovate that is characterized new digital technologies will continue to be provided to the broadcasting media and expand it. >> christopher? >> i actually distributed slides which are in your handouts. but because of the format i'm going to skip actually using them and we'll just proceed and i'll just talk to you normally. one of the interesting things -- it's part of a paper that i've written and it's forthcoming and you can find it under the title of free speech and the myth of the internet as an unmediated experience. and what do i mean by that.
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when we saw the internet arise, there was a spate of writing say this is the death of wholesalers on the economic side. people will buy direct. there will be no intermediation in the economic space. well, we found out that's not true. the easiest example i can give you is if you're a hospital you have to buy approximately 40,000 products from gloves to fancy machinery. and the answer is you're not going to want to shop all 45,000 of those products drill. and for the low value items you want someone to negotiate better deals and represent all the hospitals. and what we found wholesaling and that form of intermediation has continued to exist. well, at the same time we saw that on the economic side, we also saw it on the free speech side. people wrote -- there's a famous article called cheap speech and what it will mean. it means the individual speakers will get connected directly to their audience without dealing with their intermediaries overall. and by and large we found that optimism to be not true as well. so why is that?
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well, what we discover is that there's a lot of negative -- there's a lot of bad speech out there that we don't want to run into. and there's a lot of -- and we want intermediaries help to stop us from being exposed to that. so what what are the classic things, spam, viruses, different sorts of things. this used to be handled by end users functioning at the edge with a little piece of software running on your pc. they were expensive to maintain. they were extremely buggy. then you had to constantly get them updated and we have that filtering but the vast majority of the filtering has moved out to the network. it's easier to catch the spam before they deliver it to your desktop. detecting spam depends on seeing a lot of different email so you have to actually look at not just one user's receipt but lots and lots of them. and from an information standpoint as well as a cost standpoint it makes tremendous sense to do that in the network. there's a wonderful new feature about detecting what's called botnets. they are viruses that can live
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on your computer and they get instructions from some centralize website. and they can actually turn it into a distributed super computer. it borrows a little bit of computing space almost enough so you don't recognize it on your own computer. and can launch spam attacks and different kinds of service attacks. there's a new botnet detection systems that looks for website addresses. there's a botnet on your computer it has to get instructions from someplace. often a went in russia. and so the network is sitting there and looking at it and saying, why are all these people going to this run russian website. what good reason is there? they look at the website. they discover there is a really good reason. and it's a way they are using aggregate information at the network level to detect when you're infected with a botnet. that's something your individual computer can't do. it depends having lots of different computers and looking at their behavior and seeing what's going on. it's not -- that's one point. the flip side it's not just screen you against bad content. it's out finding good content. i'm not -- when i go to bed at
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night i'm not able to get up in the morning and crawl the entire internet to see what's new. what do i do? i depend someone to do it for me. sometimes it's a blogger who i trust. sometimes it's an internet -- an email newsletter that collects stories of a particular subject matter and dumps in my in box or sometimes it's a search engine. i'll have a new idea -- joe mentioned this new merger by harbinger system. i jumped on the search engine to find out about it. i'm going to depend on someone else to do it for me. so the real question is not if there's going to be an intermediary. the question is who. and what's interesting it tell us a couple of things in the first amendment values which we've also sort of forgotten. so we turn to the first amendment space and we think about free speech. we need these people to make this good speech useful. and what's interesting is we're acting -- a lot of people think about the internet as if it's a new day. we actually have a very mature line of precedence from other
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forms of electronic communications that explain to us the value of having someone serving as that intermediary and picking and sorting through the good content and the bad content. and so what they are they are broadcasting in the cable cases. what's interesting is they sit there and they take -- they start off by looking at newspapers. and if you look at the newspaper precedence, they recognize a rule of what's called absolute freedom to quote the supreme court. and they said that, in fact, newspapers editorial discretion is limited only by their ability to attract enough readers to cover their costs. it doesn't matter if they're natural monopolies. it doesn't matter if they serve as a conduit for other people's speech. that editorial discretion of choosing what they speak is absolutely privileged. and that's the baseline. and if you look to the newspaper and the cable cases, they reaffirmed that is the natural baseline in all the cases. the leading broadcast cases like cbs vs. dnc and red lion will
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sit there and take newspapers as the baseline and they actually say it doesn't matter if there is a limited number of voices or just a conduit for others and, frankly, it says it doesn't matter if there's private censorship. why? because the first amendment is a restriction on the government, not on private actors. there's a movement in the courts to get rid of what we call the state action requirement. but the supreme court flat out says it's not that the dangers of private censorship don't exist. they do. but government censorship is worse and to have governments come in to fix the problems of the private censorship the cure would be worse than the disease. and that is a clear thread in these cases. but we clearly have some intervention in the space. so what did the court do? it recognized and broadcasting in two exceptions and cable one exception from the newspaper baseline. now, bear in mind what it means to frame as an exception. if those exceptions do not apply to the internet, then the internet gets full first amendment protection like newspapers. so what are they?
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people who are familiar with the communications issues are familiar with both of them first is scarcity. as we've talked about already, the tremendous number of channels where there's now by the most recent data we have 2006. 565 cable networks currently available as recognized by the fcc. and the idea of a limited number of voices at some point we're reaching the limit where if you can't get on television it's probably because your program is bad. not because it's not an opportunity. because of the wealth of channels. so that's a problem. but more to the point the supreme court held that doctrine does not apply to the internet. and the fact it doesn't follow regardless of whether you think that's a viable one or not with respect to broadcasting still, the courts have already established it doesn't apply to the internet. the second one we also talked about. it's pacifica and the restriction on indecent speech. it's things -- the medium is supposed to be uniquely pervasive and uniquely accessible to children and there's an argument whether it
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distinguishes broadcasting and cable television and all of the others. we have the very easy answer. the supreme court has already ruled that the pacifica rash nation does not apply to the internet. because it's generally a pull technology where you've gone and you've taken the action to initiate the search to get it to come to you. so that's pretty much deals with the broadcast regulation exceptions. what about the cable exception? the cable exception comes out of turner one. again turner one embraced the newspaper model as the baseline. it discussed tornilo and it said basically there is a physical bottleneck. it has to be a physical bottleneck. it can't just be an economic bottleneck, because he's wrong and the newspaper precedence go by the wayside. what do they say? they say if there's a physical control, then you have an exception. but interestingly, the courts have already held in all these cases that that does not apply to cable -- to cable -- to the internet because we have a competitive internet space. you look at the supreme court
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case in linkline. we have right now cable and dsl duking it out and what we have is wireless coming on as an increasingly effective platform growing at a rates that are envy of every cable and telco in the country right now. because they're growing at double-digit percentages. and according to the last data have already captured 25% of the market. and if you look at how the world is using broadband, it's mobile not wire line. and if you -- and that's the future that it's likely going to be. there's actually two overlooked precedence which are often ignored. about telephone. now, it's interesting. people say the broadcasting is the least -- gets the first at least amendment protection. the book technologies of the freedom action says no actually the one that get the least is telephone because it get virtually nothing. even though there are two sets of cases. there's a presence a phone company can keep certain objectionable material off. and the fight against the first
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amendment challenges against the rules preventing telephone companies from providing twelve program. even though you're have common carriers with part of your wires you have a first amendment right to be free from government -- the government preventing you from then sending mass media programming if that's what you choose to do. that suggests even in the limited world of common carriers you have a great deal of editorial discretion as recognized by the first amendment. that's the first amendment aspects of it. the question then becomes there's a couple cautionary notes coming from the broadcasting world which is what happens when the government tries to regulate editorial discretion? well, the two i'll throw out -- there's one example of when the government -- when private individuals exercise too little discretion. and those are the time brokerage rules. if you sell off all your broadcasting time to a third-party, the courts say you violated the public interest. because you're supposed to have the obligation to make sure that
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channel is being used properly. there's an inability to develop criteria proper and improper exercises. what we found the time brokerage was hurting foreign language programming and eventually we started to get back to withdraw from this. the other flip side is too much editorial discretion and that's the fairness doctrine. and what we discovered again is a tremendous frustration with the ability to develop standards but again what we're starting to find is empirical evidence shows a total reduction of the total amount of speech and in the history of historical examples of the manipulation of the rules for the political purposes. the red lion case which is the touchstone for all broadcast regulation was itself, it's now shown, the product of a systemic campaign by the kennedy and johnson administrations to silence the goldwater movement in conservative speech and they were actually collecting different mentions that were sympathetic to that side and fostering fairness doctrine complaints. now, just to show this is an
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equal opportunity doctrine, the nixon administration did the same thing on the republicans and we should expect nothing less. people will use the rules for whatever leverage it's going to give it. so bottom line what do we learn from this? the internet is not new. it's the first time we've met from these types of things. what we learned from the supreme court cases they say intermediation is inevitable and beneficial. and that, in fact, we cannot as we go to a world of user-generated content and the world of plenty it actually increases our need for editors to shift through it not decreases it. and that's something that the original tech nooptimism just missed. and that intermediation serve free speech values at a minimum there's two sides to be balanced. it's not just about the speakers and their ability to connect on an unfettered way. there's listeners needs to actually depend on other individuals, other parties in the system to filter through all that. and that, in fact, the courts -- the case has recognized that except for the exceptions for cable and broadcasting which has already been established as inapplicable and the regulatory
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history is not very comforting and these are very cautionary messages we need to take forward whenever we think about regulating the internet spaces. >> marvin, rebuttal or not? >> i'm here to provide balance. [laughter] >> we believe in the fairness doctrine. we just don't enforce it >> i'm a professor at the university of nebraska. i occasionally consult nonprofit advocacy group called free press and we don't represent any corporate clients. and so my point of view is slightly different. but i want to be in on the story based on chris' last point as to the importance of intermediation. it's a very specific story. yesterday a friend of mine said you have to check this clip out on youtube. you know this is going to be a good story. so i look at this clip and it's called scar face school play. if any of you have seen the movie scar face one of the most violent movies out there it involves a drug kingpin who kills his best friend and his sister.
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and get taken out by another kingpin and there's, you know, lots of f-bombs and s bombs and some school like 9 years old or 8 years old are putting on this play of scar face having changed the f-bombs and the s bombs in front of a crowd of adoring parents. and to give you one line, you know, little al pacino takes a gun and says you fudge with me you fudge with the best. [laughter] >> and after the applause and after the clip, i thought i wish there was a word that meant both disturbing and awesome. [laughter] >> i'm glad comcast intermediated my experience. rcn was the care. i'm glad rcn chose this clip and i'm glad youtube chose the clip. the internet allows people to communicate however they want. and i certainly didn't think the cable company should have the
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first amendment right to have the intermediary or youtube or whoever wants to host this awesome movie. moving from that particular story to sort of grandiose questions so free speech is itself an exception in our constitutional structure. we believe in freedom of speech because we believe our entire democracy rests on people being able to debate on issues. we debate healthcare policy. or the war. or student loans. and we believe that those are democratically legitimate because people are able to debate about these openly. and so -- i mean, all across the world, we believe freedom of speech is important for democracy. we believe the structural regulation of media is important. after world war ii, the u.s. government helped shape the german broadcasting system hoping to shape in a localized way so it wouldn't tend towards totalitarianism again.
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i've often met with, you know, arab regulators licensing private broadcasters for the first time asking questions about what kind of system they should have. we have friends who have helped write the plan for iraq post-war what their media system should look like in a democracy. and the state department in a major speech secretary clinton has announced the secretary clinton doctrine that we support in open internet around the world. we support open connections. as a matter of our foreign policy in terms of both promoting democracy and our own security. so the question of what media system we have in our country is also a question of what kind of democracy do we want? and freedom of speech as i mentioned is an exception. you want to make sure that the majority which can decide matters like healthcare if they have 60 votes -- healthcare and warfare can't determine questions of speech. they can't silence unfavorable speech.
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and the first amendment essentially takes that question and hands it to judges to strike down majority decisions. as an exception. and there are a lot of laws, speech-restricting laws, that all of us would agree on. should probably be struck down by judges enforcing some of the freedom of speech. some of the indecency cases. i've written against the fairness doctrine. but where we tend to have our largest disagreement is on structural rules such as what i consider to be pervasive rules. and if you look at the communications act that foster universal access to communications media. foster particularly diverse sources of speakers. so ownership limits. limits saying that newspapers can't own broadcast stations in the same town, right? so ownership limits as well as access rules. access to other people's structure to speak. so think of the basic common carrier rules you guys are used to on the phone network. where you can pick up the phone and you can call whoever you want and say whatever you want. call whoever.
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and the phone company can't say, we have editorial discretion generally to block or silence certain kinds of speech. and that gives me access to their infrastructure to speak. and if you think of network neutrality, an issue that's come up often, that would be a rule that would provide all consumers access to an open internet to communicate however they want without the phone or cable company acting as an intermediary slowing down or blocking communications. i tend to think that the government should have some discretion and has historically had tons of discretion to impose these kinds of rules, ownership limits, access rules. we see them in -- on the broadcast medium but we also see them in satellite. we see a lot of them upheld in cable. we see them imposed across-the-board pretty aggressively in phone regulation. if you see the laundry list of ownership limits that were imposed on phone companies and access rules like common carriage.
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thank you on wireless phone service, wireless -- wireless internet rules. thank you across the whole panoply of regulation. there's a whole communications act in the fcc that imposes these kinds of rules. and so i tend to think that a lot of them aren't required. i wouldn't be able to sue comcast and say -- or a newspaper and just say you're not allowed to own that broadcast station over there but if it's imposed by government, if i've gone through the majoritarian system and this rule has been imposed i think courts should not stand in the way. and i say that partly as a former advocate for consumer groups. and i remember, you know, scraping our way to a victory at the fcc. and then going to courts and the arguments being made that this violates the first amendment, et cetera and then you have to scrape your way in the courts again on those arguments. and so i would like to make one point about all of us. that i think we all agree on, which is most of you -- most of
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you at some point or other have agreed with my point, i think. and so i think the turner case that was brought up by chris which is a case upholding congress' ability to require cable companies to carry broadcast stations. now, of course, broadcast stations don't want to be subject to their own access rules giving other people access to broadcast stations. but once it was their competitors the cable companies that's required to carry the broadcasters all of a sudden that really -- that was a first amendment value. they really need to make sure that access rules are imposed on cable companies. and i'm assuming -- i've seen a lot of newspapers editorializing in favor of network neutrality. they are in favor of network neutrality. newspapers are moving from print to the internet. they'd really like to have an open internet where they could reach all of their consumers and not have to get permission from every carrier across the country as though they are an app on the app store or they are a consumer. they would be happy to argue
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that access to the cable infrastructure further values rather than burdenening them. so i'm glad that you guys agree with me sometimes. there are some of you who agree sometimes. but i'm sure there are who agree with me. if you woke up this morning and are not a cable company, i'm trying to speak for your interests. i want to make one other point about first amendment -- first amendment judicial activism, let's say. striking down rules that are access rules. and i'll give the example of the internet and network neutrality. we just had the federal communications commission issue this huge report, the national broadband plan. it's full of stuff that would regulate in different ways the cable carriers the broadcasters, et cetera. and the net neutrality rule is a rule that would say, you know, cable and if any companies can't
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speed up or slow down certain traffic on the internet. the internet is not just a medium. i flew through here expedia and i buy my books on amazon. and i bank online. a lot of economic activity happens through the internet. and if we have judges sort of imposing a mediated experience over the will of congress or the fcc if congress adopt net neutrality and if we have judges imposing that framework it's coming straight from the court which is something we abandoned, i thought, back in 1937 when we overrule locknered. and even though it's for a basic of economics and for all of our speech, i think it would be dangerous for courts to be involved in striking down rules that are adopted after years of study and study and debate on issue. >> okay. we've got 10 minutes. let me open up -- throw a couple
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of questions out and then we'll pick up some comments from the floor. i want to ask maybe bob first but the rest of you chime in on this one. it relates to andy schwartzman's comment about the value of the spectrum. forget the scarcity issue, the value of the spectrum now occupied by television broadcasters has been recently estimated at as much as a trillion dollars. now, there's some tricky mathematics involved in that but just accept it's plausible. the fcc itself has actually used this figure. so a trillion dollars he says is a lot of value and shouldn't they be giving something for that value? now, forget whether or not what we get is worth a trillion dollars. that really kind of blows my mind. but what about that, bob?
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forget the scarcity couldn't they say well, you would a trillion dollars of spectrum, here's what you got to give us forward? >> actually this goes to the point that i raised in my question about andy. what are the ties if suddenly you can regulate in ways of the first amendment otherwise would not permit if you've given some benefit to the potential speaker. and unfortunately there's no end to that question because you can always look for some kind of benefit. newspaper trucks rolled down public rights-of-ways to deliver newspapers. news boxes are on the public thorough fares and cable companies use public rights of ways to string their lines. and if you can argue there's some connection to a public benefit then you can argue that then becomes the justification for regulating in a way that otherwise the first amendment wouldn't permit. and there's no end to how far you go with what the price is for the public demanding some concession in editorial discretion.
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you can always simply say well, you accepted the deal, didn't you so now i can impose this regulation, i can do indecency rules and whatever rules happen to pop into my mind because you paid the price. >> let me flip it somewhat this way, suppose this is a game we can't play with the broadcasters, so let's take it away from them. let's just have cable or, you know, satellite. is that okay? >> is that okay? >> yeah, no. i mean, one of the proposals invite broadband issue is allowing the broadcasters basically to cash it in. cash out their spectrum. and say i'll take the money and thanks very much. >> well, i mean -- >> that would be one alternative. >> if you're talking about a purely voluntary arrangement that might be one thing. in washington, a few things are voluntary even though the word is used a lot. and so if you are talking about the government essentially forcing people off-spectrum that they're using because they've decided they prefer to use it
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for another purpose then i think you're going to run against some significant legal problems. actually speaking have that in regulatory terms, there have been proposals whether or not they're facetious that the fcc should affirmatively use regulation to drive broadcasters off the spectrum so it can be put to better uses. i don't know if that's a serious proposal or if it's just meant as a sort of a rhetorical question. but it raises a problem. >> from a policy standpoint, now that we could use an internet protocol platform to send any kind of communication, voice, video, there's no policy justification to have that much spectrum devoted to one kind of application. it could be -- and i don't think any serious policy analyst agrees and all the engineers say it's technically feasible and video has proved to the point where that's possible. it's not about policies. it's about politics. and what bob is getting at you had people who had that spectrum for a long time and the problem is getting them off and finding
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the solution to getting them off is very hard to do. but i'll give chairman genachowski credit for saying that out loud. if we can have that spectrum radioed when you want it, gps when you want it, video when you want it, anything when you want it, the days of having that being just video don't make any sense anymore. >> can i chime in as well? and i like what chris said as well. a lot of these debates which are policy and political debates should remain policy and political debates solved by the fcc and congress and not turned into constitutional cases be brought before nine justices who don't know anything about spectrum regulation, right? and so as a matter of institutional competence the reason we have these nine judges striking down laws that restrict freedom of speech is because there are certain circumstances where they're in a better institutional position. they're unelected. they don't have the same incentives to suppress speech.
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this is not really a place where they have an institutional advantage over the fcc and congress. in terms of policy debates. >> can i ask you a question about that. .... net neutrality, or you suggesting that there would not be any kind of constraint on@@án the question is with that violate the freedom of speech of these carriers and it looks like
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an end of regulation but even if we apply traditional analogy is it doesn't strike me as a much different from the rolls would have on loan companies which were limited in the kind of prices they can charge. >> that actually gets to the technology regulatory classification, marvin said about how you wouldn't want a loan company to intervene in your conversation with your grandmother or something because they are a on company but that it's back to the way in which technologies were divided into silos in which they provided a one single service and nothing else and at that point the first amendment issues involved in the villone carrier providing service were far different than they are and how were they are providing a full range of services it using all kinds of media. no one was subscribe to a phone company for example of that could break in on your call anytime they wanted although no one here is old enough to remember party lines, actually
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-- >> [laughter] >> was interesting to me is architecture? contents. it's easy to pretend it doesn't matter. no network architecture does everything well or engineers will tell you the protocol will do certain things well and not well so choosing which one and standardizing on one as bias so the internet right now is a person to person set up for e-mail and vowed transferor and is really bad and multitasking. once of packets for a lot of people. the second is internet is a shared medium. when i get depends on what you're doing and the best example is i rode here on the amtrak and is now offering wi-fi service on the fastest train but there's little thing in the pocket that says please don't download video. because if you download video no one else will do e-mail 7-up the bandwidth and its low of 150 kilobytes because what we do it
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tracks with each other. not because they have video but because it's a shared medium and their army hearing on the basis of application and how do that. the third point is the broadband plan that affects buildout and the best example is right now the contrast between the use and that next been with the addition of won't be with a lost generation. we leverage to the existing telephone wires and now are getting new editions. lyles, wireless. the price tag for files laying fiber to the -- $40 billion and i'm sure it would cost overrun. at&t is doing it for $7 billion. what are they doing? they are doing this by leveraging is little bit more of the existing infrastructure but the problem is they will get 30 mb instead of 100. how do you do video? they are reserving parts of the band with for one application, that's video from one source themselves and then we are
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worried about increasing their broadband buildout and me have to realize limiting people's ability to manage works and operational expenses horses capital expenses and it will raise the costs of wireless to the hundred and megabit goal that fcc has said. >> we are about at of time, but maybe there's a couple of urgent questions or comments from the floor we can take them. >> until there is can i respond. >> iraq's i think chris is the first two points are excellent and it goes to the false dichotomy in saying is that to be either wireless broadband were broadcasting because it really is and bring good at doing want to any communications and so for my way of thinking in broadcasting is part of the broadband ecosystem. we have gotten digital broadcasting and there's a lot more coming down the pike and if you look at the yardstick of what's in the public interest you need to have a mix of different technology so saying
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its 32 clear broadcasters off and sell this by chairman or $8 trillion which brinkley all of these numbers other reason why congress would have been active at the oxon legislation and is said you can't fcc make any decision based on the money from us back drama because they had in mind the public interest plus auction of diamonds doesn't apply to auction of cars or auction of real estate in baathist the numbers and a drive policy. really i think the point about the point of multitasking is one that is lost in the debates in this is one of the overall ecosystem. >> i should clarify the trillion dollar figure is tricky. the economic side the everybody is relying on is based upon the 700 mhz auction and the arguments or at least the conclusion was that the direct transfer of value would be
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$50 billion but there's a consumer surplus that would be valued of a mobile wireless using risc -- 300 mhz with the spectrum. >> and i quickly respond? to thoughts -- in response to press, he made a great examples that regulation of a speech but i'm not sure which way back cuts. the rest on is congress will have a bridge and not affect space and know that there are tons of rules that of white speech and the question is when it violates the purposes of the restaurants and pilots certain doctrine etc. so it's a question which with its cuts and congress to adopt rules that promotes speech value. a quick shot on what bob said it's tricky to the figure out what to do with the first amendment as transitioning toward a converged system where you can see lots of difference services over the same kind of
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platform. and there have been proposals such as wind people heard as a horizontal kind of regulation breyer regulate auto companies or cable companies and broadcasters but the infrastructure companies and regulates logical software companies and then the content riding on top of the infrastructure so comcast didn't would get the protection google would get but it wouldn't get different kinds of protection and those arguments have been made and i think that's where i would come to this. >> i will agree with you. that it is two sets of interests that have to be balanced. part of the debate suggests the of the free-speech interests is the content provider and the point here is the list cares about mediation and we need someone to build with add and if you do a fair reading it means to have a balanced pious and there's a different content provider who has a free-speech interests here which is the one that needs a different kind of service or architecture of the
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network and a redesign it to excess of what we are demanding more from that work and doing more with its when we should expect to see the network involves in offering our things and it may be different than the best everett's that was a standard before. the free-speech interests is by the content providers that want to speak in a different way that can't find from the status quo as existed in the past. >> we are going to give you the last word. we are indulging and let's have a hand for the panel. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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>> and look at the white house were earlier president obama love to visit new england today, stopping in portland's to talk about health care reform after legislation he signed last month. see those remarks live at 3:25 p.m. eastern on c-span. and some other news, the obama administration is setting new gas mileage standards for cars and trucks and the transportation department and the epa said the final rules will require 2016 model year vehicles to reach solutions the targets of 34.1 mpg combined for cars and truck that's an increase of nearly 10 miles per gallon over current standards.
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now a house hearing on infrastructure spending in the $787 billion economic stimulus package. as of this week $355 billion have been committed to states for projects and a $205 billion have been paid out here and held by the house transportation committee this is to end a half hours. [inaudible conversations] >> the committee on transportation and infrastructure will come to order. apologies from the chair for the second delay. we were delayed to it
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11:00 o'clock because it was clear the house was going to remain in session last night, but then i was delayed further last night way into the late hours, close to midnight, trent to resolve matters with the other body as we affectionately call our friends across the way. and and even into this morning problems still were being worked out and so i was unnecessarily and delay the by the other body but necessarily had to delay the beginning of this hearing. the 15th and are serious accountability hearings on performance of state dot
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metropolitan transit agencies, state revolving loan fund authorities, and the other federal agencies who have direct spending responsibility under the stimulus fact that congress passed a year ago. it seems like much longer time than a year, but in that time as we will hear in the course of today's session, we will have -- we will be able to account for a million 200 plus thousand jobs in the programs of the jurisdiction of this committee. an extraordinary record of accomplishment and on those direct jobs, those directly on job site from highway transit and waste water not counting all the others in the federal
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government agencies, but a row expenditures of 1 billion in hundred million dollars federal taxes withheld from those on job sites, three and $76 million, and unemployment compensation checks avoided $296 million. that is a net overall extraordinarily positive contribution to our gross domestic product. in addition, the state dot can account for 24,000 lated miles of highway improved bills widened to renew and 1200 bridges either replace, restored, reconstructed. that 24,000 laid it miles of highway equal to half of the entire interstate highway system which took us 50 years to build and is a mountain highway improvement has been done in a
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year. before i go further, and recognize our witnesses, i would like to yield to the gentleman from iowa mr. boswell who has a plane to catch and who had planned to leave town according to a 10:00 o'clock schedule, but who has delayed his departure and he has witnesses in this morning's hearing. mr. boswell, thank you for your wonderful support of our stimulus legislation and all the programs of the committee. >> thank you mr. chairman and again we all thank you for your leadership and your vision on trying to teach us everybody in this complex that transportation infrastructure is jobs, good paying jobs and they are not exportable. there are jobs right here we need to do and things we need to do and you've certainly been a leader of this. we can tell you how much we appreciate and have had discussions about the recovery
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going on and it being available to our states and your concept and report back, who's ready to go and so on, i think i showed you at that time that i was department of transportation would be standing ready to go and i am very pleased that i can report that's been true. pride of its hot -- top and the response of this and we're privileged to have someone i've known for a long time whose agreements and expert in transportation. that is our director of the i would department of transportation and mrs. richardson so i welcome heard today and thank her because i know that not only she responded to the direction from she's ready for the next round if you are ready. sitting next to her is that mr. miller, brad miller, a young fellow who came to capital city of two years ago and people said that i don't know if you can fill the shoes of a guy who went ahead of him but he has and he's filled them very well.
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he's the director of the general manager of the monetary region of transportation authority and transit authority and he's doing a bang up job. innovative, getting people to use public transportation and making it reliable, dependable and coming up with the concept to have a location where people can get in and out easily and i'm sure he will share that with you today. in so i am just very appreciative that people in my state and i capital sitting are responding and responding in an expert way to the very guidelines that you established and i look across the table and the background and we've got a lot of people with things to share. commenting about joyce fisk, a truck driver. right? there's a few of us in the congress to have an unrestricted cdl so i know something about a
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little bit -- so glad to have you here, the one that has the hands on the wheel and using this road system of ours to keep our commerce going and all things. appreciate it very much. so mr. chairman i yield back and thank you for this and i can say a few minutes but i appreciate the attention and the leadership that you've given to this extremely important matter to our country and across the whole country especially from the our state of iowa. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. boswell. at this time of the chair will yield to the distinguished chair of our subcommittee on economic development and it fema and a host of other issues who has been diligent in holding hearings on her subcommittees' portion of the stimulus. mrs. norton. >> thank you very much mr. chairman and you think unaccountability to a new level.
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mr. chairman hamas there are accountability hearings were most members of congress have long since gone having passed the historic health care bill a top of it untitled. well, chairman oberstar was entitled to end it in keeping with the way he always approaches his work here reset to. accountability hearing and one that i think is important because occasionally you hear people say well, if you have got a stimulus funds i am not sure i myself have personally felt it. well, that's certainly true in the chairman oberstar and many of us would have preferred to see a much larger stimulus package but what is has done is to show that to the money has hit the ground and it's hit the ground in the small part because of the it new accountability of the likes of which the congress
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has never seen. these pieces of paper which every member should carry home with her tracks not only the subcommittee chairs because this chairman has held us accountable, had five tracking hearings myself, but in turn the agencies are being held accountable, the states are being held accountable and that is a difficult because the agencies are task -- pass through for the states and yet they're being held accountable here if you don't believe the states are being held accountable, every member is going to be looking at this sheet to see where her state fits. and i must say mr. chairman i see the district of columbia on highways and bridges has 85.3% under contract and in the united
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states and on the 50 states in the district of columbia ranking 14th. i have sent to my state, don't embarrass me here. we worked too hard to get these fines. i don't see how there can be any controversy about these funds because the chairman has put it in black-and-white almost every week to help us track our own jurisdictions and the agency is over which we have oversight. so mr. chairman, i thank you for the accountability that you're showing to these hearings and if i may say so at mr. chairman showing it also at the hearings of subcommittee is when we are having hearings to hold the agencies under our jurisdiction accountable. my own agencies, edie a, gsa, the smithsonian and, in number
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of a federal agency is, precisely because of a known of late by holding them accountable but the whole chairman is looking at them just as hard have proceeded in ways that i found satisfactory and if you have continued in the way have done not only those who come to these hearings know that this money has been put to good use as the press focuses on how you are putting blacks and figures before the public it will be impossible of to underestimate what the stimulus funding that came to our committee has done an american people. i think again mr. chairman. >> again, i repeat my appreciation and admiration for your persistence in holding the accountability hearings which have served to spur on the federal agencies and stay on course, stay on track or be shown to the public for failing to do their job and the first series of hearings, first three
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months of hearing showdown great inconsistencies among the states and federal agencies. but after the information that was made public and reports to members and calls into state and the federal agencies, they all got on board and they moved their projects out smartly. mr. cummings, thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman and i thank you are convening today's hearings to receive an update on the implementation of highway transit and waste water into a structure products and as the american recovery and reinvestment act. under your leadership mr. chairman of this committee has kept meticulous records of how our recovery act funding has been expanded. i applaud the diligence of our staff and compiling the data available to us today. you have ensure that we have remained focused on the goal of getting this money out of the door and flowing into the
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economy as quickly as possible. while also ensuring that funding recipients are fully accountable for every single dollar that expanded. today's report shows more than $40 billion of the more than $64 billion provided for transportation infrastructure projects in the recovery act has now been obligated to more than 18 gao's in 500 projects. further of the $30 billion provision of the highway transit and waste water infrastructure projects that of the focus of today's hearing how 80 percent of available funding has been put out to bid. work has begun more than 12,500 projects totaling $26.7 billion. these expenditures have created or sustain it nearly 350,000 jobs. these are two statutes which humans and the work under way producing the new and rehabilitated it infrastructure
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that will ensure our future mobility. mr. chairman many of us forget that when we enacted the stimulus we face economic crisis of unprecedented proportions. we just have to provide $700 billion in federal funding to keep our entire financial system from melting down, we were uncertain whether even the extraordinary sum would be adequate. against that backdrop mr. chairman wow the current and implement rate of 9.7% is unacceptably high and i know that unemployment among minorities is still higher with employment -- unemployment among african-americans hovering at 15.8% i'm certain it it would have been far higher had we not taken a critical decision to enact the recovery act. finally the guy and that we have need to be reminded of the of the severity of a crisis we face when we approved these
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expenditures is perhaps the best possible a testament to the attractiveness of the recovery act. i can recommend new mr. chairman for holding the hearing today and i look for into the testimony of our releases and with that i yield back. >> thank you very much for your kind words but also again for the cooperation in a new and mrs. norton and all the committee extended the in ensuring that the work of the committee on stimulus was carried out by the responsible agency is an e to viewed during your respective oversight work. mr. cummings as chair of the coast guard maritime subcommittee hearing at this time i would ask without objection the statement of mr. reich of senior republican on our committee be included. he had to be at a town and it will give his concurrence and proceeding with a hearing without his presence.
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this statement will be in the record in info -- in whole. in today's hearing will focus on the work of of federal highway administration, transit, fixed gangway, waste-water treatment programs. and but there's also amtrak which has started work on 141 projects totaling $1.1 billion which is 83% of amtrak's funding those investments will result in the replacement of 80,000 concrete, restoration to service of 60 am and lead to passenger cars, 21 superliners, of 50 locomotives and improvement of 270 passenger stations. seay has completed work or has work under way on 94% of its
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$1.2 billion. since under 63 projects geared of those projects went up so fast because of the unique contract and authority aviation agency is near port authority is rutan advertise a word bids but withhold work on the project until the funding is available were able to get further ahead of the work that the transportation service -- service transportation agencies such as aviation investments have produced one hard 55 runway improvement projects, 139 imports, that a comment 11 million takeoffs and landings a year. into taxiway improvements and 17 airports additional airports that accommodate million operations. the epa has awarded $582 million
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for 57 superfund construction projects for design projects end work is under way or completed on 45 of those that are at a total of $502 million. the corps of engineers has committed $3.1 billion for 780 projects, navigation repair our amendment to 284 blocks and commercial ports. 1124 dan and levees a few projects, maintenance and upgrading 160 corps of engineers recreation facilities, lakes and corps constructed dams that resulted in recreation areas. those investments are extremely important to the navigation and movement of people and goods on our inland waterways.
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in the general services administration prodded by ms. norton's hearings has awarded contracts and began work on 383 projects, $2.4 billion, 43 percent of the running. the economic development administration has awarded $60 million. alteration of bridges, for projects under way to $081 million. all of these have resulted in jobs, people working and getting their lives restored, such as that of the joyce fisk. in whom i had the unexpected pleasure of meeting last august on interstate 35 project of knife river construction. they were doing 28 lane miles of highway between north ranch and
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a rush city and was a day like today, gloomy overcast rainy drizzly dreary day, but the clouds parted, the sun came out with miss joyce fisk, her smile as she jumped down from her truck on the job site, threw her arms around me and said, thank you, i am working. joyce fisk represents the human pace of recovery, a stimulus. so we are going to begin with joyce fisk and her story. thank you were traveling all the way out here. ..
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miles east of interstate 35. i met chairman oberstar while working on i-35 project last summer. it was a stimulus funded project. and i was i was thrilled at mr. oberstar took the time to come to see firsthand the job in progress to take the time to talk to someone like me, just a truck driver, and thankful to have a job. mr. oberstar told me about the new bill he was working on and the progress it was making. i went home that evening and want a quick e-mail to the transportation committee, thanking him for taking the time to visit and to see his hard-working action. as a belly dump driver, i transport returns to and from the job. i all material such as classified rock for road-based
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are i'll millions away when we do relative routes and i also hope next to a paper. but i'm not only drive the truck, i am expected to help maintain them. i greece moving parts, i check the oil daily, i call in the engine compartment, check for cracks in my friend and i even make small repairs on the road if i need you. i put 500 miles or more on a day. driving at 80,000-pound truck isn't easy. i have to constantly be alert for traffic hazards, other drivers, animals and potholes, and it can be a challenge to drive all day without getting tired that even more of a challenge is trying to guess what's going to happen next spring. i get laid off every winter, usually around thanksgiving, and would usually be recalled in may after road restrictions are lifted. last year was the first time i panicked when i heard our plant only had 10,000 tons of mixed and no bids were being one. we are proud of our company. knife river has a large
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workforce of knowledgeable men and women who care about their community. we care about each other, and provide moral support. but with no jobs to be it, because of the recession and uncertain government funding, i watch ralph all big it was difficult to stay optimistic, and we started to argue about who's going to get the hours. and it made work stressful. my husband and i started to wonder what were we going to do if something didn't coming soon. are we qualified to get another job to sustain the household? what about health care? we bank up to 600 hours during the summer that allow us to qualify for health care during the layoff season. it is the hours run out, we have to pay for the cobra, and to continue coverage is almost unaffordable in unemployment and to make a mortgage payment, too. what could we afford to give up?
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austin might have to give up his saxophone. i was had an electric guitar. my mom made me so it because we needed the money. we decided to sell the pickup were making payments on, so now the newest vehicle we own is an age-old pontiac with 163,000 miles on it. we were preparing for a long summer of no work. the previous year, 2008, was hard on our industry. we saw close friends lose jobs, and we realized we no longer could take hours for granted. but then our plant estimators, he won the bid on the i-35 stammers project, and we were relieved. the project was the heartbeat of a newfound source of happiness for coworkers and me. we faith in the economy again. but many of our friends are still out of work. and there are many minnesota roads in need of repair. some highways are almost undrivable and the tractor-trailer because they are deteriorated to the point of being unsafe. we need a long-term dedicated
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highway bill that will allow small companies a chance to rebuild and provide real jobs that will last. short-term bills are good for keeping a few companies afloat, but the real deal of the six-year, $450 billion dedication of funds to transportation can restore confidence to companies and their workers. a new funding bill and ease the congestion in big cities. and heavily traveled highways. funding for light rail transit can save time, money and help clean up our environment. without future funding, i don't see manufacturers selling their equipment. there will be no companies starting up and offering new jobs. road construction is constant. there will always be a need for repairs. let's stop the mandate approach and put money into infrastructure that's going to offer real jobs that are going to last and get our economy moving again. thank you for this opportunity to speak today.
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>> thank you very much for that heartfelt statement. you just summed it up also well. your personal story tepealld a 0 times all over the country. people who were laid off, who faced a bleak future, and who have had a respite. and our task, our challenge, as you said just it, as you appealed for, and act, secure authorization bill, continue, extend the regular programs of the federal highway program, and make it possible to do the more complex projects that take longer time and involve more
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effort. and more subcontractors, where minority enterprises will have more and opportunity than in simple bill and overlay projects. before i go to our next witness i must observe, on the job site, i've driven over i-35 at that point many, many times. maybe hundreds of of times over the years. but there was a right so deep that my arm, forearm disappeared in it. the engineer put his road level on the surface. he went right over a about 2 inches over my forearm. is not a dinky little forearm either. and that was the nature of the project being undertaken then. and it was so heartwarming. i had been at that sand and gravel pit knife river opened to carry out the project.
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and there were workers doing, classifying of sand and gravel and aggregate, who had been laid off two months earlier, who now were back on the job. as ms. fisk. and the staff reminded me, i misstated the number of road miles. i've been using six -week-old figure. we are now at 34,438 miles of highway improvements. we will come back to each of the witnesses in due course, but our next witness is mr. florentino esparza on the. carpenter. my grandfather came from naples italy as a carpenter in a 1896. settled in providence, rhode island. and then when i had or was
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discovered in northern minnesota, district that i now represent, he and many others were george west to build homes in the iron ore mining country. so we come from a family of carpenters. it's very touching for me. and one of my treasured pictures is a picture of my grandfather and the i've years old, hammer in hand pounding nails in a home that i still live in. mr. luna. >> thank you, chairman over star, ranking member. members of the transportation community. it is an honor to join you today. my name is florentino esparza luna that i'm a resident of district heights, maryland. i am a proud member of the united brotherhood of carpente carpenters. and joined local 1145.
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the district of columbia maryland, virginia and west virginia. local 1145 is a mountain, but we work through the region. my mission today is simply straightforward, the stimulus passage by this congress and signed by the president obama provided me with a job that i have now. i am living proof of the job creation from the recovery act. the stainless found the project where i work. to provide in transportation. a job means so much. not that is more important for providing for my family. i work for cherry hill construction on the fairfax
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county project in nearby virginia. after eating employ for more than four months, i struggle on this project a simmer 2009. i am a skilled carpenter. i perform other carpenter work on these huge multimillion dollar projects. there are carpenters working on the project now. the project is expected about 350 workers in the construction trade. it will take over a year to complete. we will build extension to the fairfax county parkway. my contractor will perform the fastest of the work. the project involves extending the parkway, grading, draining, building a sample and more. the project will make a big difference in northern virginia where, as you know, traffic can be terrible.
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the members of congress who voted for the recovery act. you play a key role in helping me provide for my family. i have a wife and two children. it is not easy getting my unemployment check. i didn't much right there be working. building my communities transportation system, i know that's a true, through the industry. construction workers are strong. many of the opportunities in this presidential and commercial parts industry dry up with our recession. about 20 persons of the members of my local union are unemploy unemployed, even with unemployment rate twice the national average, my local union is doing better than the rest of the construction industry. as you know, chairman oberstar, the unemployment rate is over
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27%. too many construction workers simply cannot find work and provide for their families. i will be a lot worse if it wasn't for the stimulus. the recovery act allows me to put food on my family stable. allow me to provide health care for myself and my family. i also able to put money into retirement. so i can retire in dignity. the carpenters union and my employer also invest in the future workforce, making investment in training. the carp and who's union believes in long-term career. the high unemployment rate and construction in my union has made difficult to find work opportunities. that's why the support from this congress and this president and providing real jobs to the
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american recovery under recovery act has been important to me and my brothers andisters o local 1145. all construction workers hope that congress will make more of this investment in our thank you for the opportunity to testify today. i sincerely appreciate it. >> thank you very much for that wonderful, heartwarming testimony. we start off with two home run hitters here. of very personal testimony, personal experience. that's, to me, that's reward enough for the hours put in, the hundreds of hours we put in on crafting this bill, beginning in december of 2007, moving into the house in september of 2008, but resistance from the previous
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administration. said they would veto the bill. and then we h an election. president obama said he would sign a stimulus bill, or president-elect obama at the time, and as president he did sign it. and as for the future of transportation, this is it. this is the bill that we reported some subcommittee for the six-year authorization, 750 pages, probably a few more to be added once we finish the final legislative drafting. it will be a total transformation of the department of the federal highway administration, federal transit administration, and we will be able to move projects and much more expeditiously. we found the lessons learned in the stimulus. that states can move projects out much faster than in the traditional scheme of things. and we are incorporating those lessons learned into this bill.
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so we are moving ahead, and your encouragement is colagues on this committee. i know mr. mica as many times is that we just have to move ahead with this bill. all of the members feel that way. and we've had little difficulty getting the senate to concur with those, but senator boxer made a statement, a hearing two weeks ago, and against last week that she will move ahead with a bill that starts with our document as the foundation for it. so i am very encouraged that we will be able to complete the bill in this session of congress. ms. richardson, director of the iowa department of transportation, you have already been won and generously introduced by mr. boswell. >> i am nancy richards, director of the iowa department of transportation and on behalf of the american association of highway and transportation
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officials, i'm here to talk to about three things. first the successes states are achieving for the recovery act, second the states ability to spend further funding on additional ready to go projects. and third, the role transportation and rebuilding and sustaining our nation's economy and the importance of passage of a new federal highway and transit authorization bill. but first, try to let me thank you and your members of the committee for your commitment to transportation which led to the enactment of the higher act that extends the highway and transit programs through the end of the year. this means that congress cannot turn its attention to your priority and hours, the enactment of a comprehensive multiyear deal. speaking of economic recovery, as you know the recovery act had as of march 2 use march 2 use it or lose it deadline. and i'm happy to report today that every state obligated, every highway dollar they were eligible to receive, not one dime was returned to washington for me just to addition. we are proud of the thousands of
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jobs the economic recovery act enabled us to support in iowa, and across the nation, and a long lasting economic benefits of this capital investment. the states record of 100% obligation of these funds by the deadline did not happen just by accident. it took early planning and preparation and quick action. i am particularly proud of the pace of getting the recovery act funds put to work and my state of iowa. i am pleased that iowa has consistently ranked in the top five states in your committee's rankings of how states have moved to get the recovery act funded project out to bid under contract and underway. my state is just one of 50 examples of how the states have put the recovery act money to swift and good use. prior to act in becoming law, the iowa dot work with local partners to identify potential project which would qualify for funding. we wanted to be ready to hit the ground running when the bill was passed, and we were. through these partnerships, we're able to quickly identify over 645 miles of highways and
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streets, 55 miles of trails, 36 bridges and structures, and for freight rail projects that were in need of improvement or replacement, and were ready to make use of i was $358 million. work has begun and i'll on over 200 projects, and as of march 15, 215 million, or over 60% of the highway funding available to iowa, has been received from the fha a as rivers before payments to contractors and vendors. this funding was injected directly into our economy last year and was responsible for creating are retaining jobs all across the state. when spring arrives, and the construction season begins again in iowa, we will see the remaining 143 million in recovery act funds being used to want to gain support jobs, eight economic recovery, and continued to improve i was transportation system. the same success has occurred as a result of the transit capital fund. with a $25 million transit fund for iowa's small cabin and
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rolled transit systems, we were able to identify, for much needed replacement 216 old transit vehicles. as of the end of february, 136 of those transit vehicles ordered had already been delivered and put into service iowa. congress and the public also expect his parents and accountability in our ministries of federal funds. and i'm confident that the duties and our local partners will meet and exceed those expectations. but what does this mean to americans? first of all it has meant jobs. i understand every member of the committee has been given a copy of ashto's report, projects and paychecks. it found that states have created or saved 280,000 direct on project jobs. total employment related to the projects has reached 890,000. while transportation received six% of total recovery act dollars, as of this past december, it was responsible for at least 14% of the total direct jobs saved or created today.
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but the real stories about people. the peoples whose job or saved or went back to work, the people who able to make their mortgage payments, put their kids through school and pay for health care as you have just heard. these investments in our nation's transportation network first and foremost have put and are putting paychecks in peoples pockets. and although the primary focus of the recovery act was job creation and short-term an immediate economic stimulus, we should not overlook the fact that these investments will provide long lasting benefits with improvements to the nation's transportation network. we are very appreciatof congress' recognition of the role that expectation could point in this nation's economy, and we want you to know, chairman, that we remain poised. early this year ashto went back to the states to determine additional ready to go projects. the states have identified more than 9800 projects valued at close to $80 billion that could move to the federal approval process within hundred 20 days
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of enactment. the recovery act is working and the states could do more of the same if additional funds were available. finally, we urge you to enact a multitier highway and transit bill before this congress a journeys. we believe that $500 billion surface transportation funding target that you, chairman oberstar have established is a reasonable goal for this said she authorization period, and congress should seek to fund. we need a balanced bill that increases funding for both highways and transit, and funds continue on high-speed rail. we also need a balanced bill that meets the needs of both rural and urban parts of the country. mr. chairman, we stand they to work diligently with you to see that reauthorization happens probably. in closing let me say thank you to congress for providing us recovery act funds for transportation improvements. the states beauties have taken seriously your confidence in us that we could swiftly and wisely spend the money, in order to benefit the economy, and we have delivered. we stand ready to swiftly and wisely spent additional funding that you might provide for
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continued economic recovery. and, finally, we urge you to continue your efforts and advocacy for passage of a well-funded, balanced multiyear highway and transit authorization bill. thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the opportunity testified and will be happy to answer questions. thank you very much for the splendid testament. congratulations on the superb achievements in iowa under the stimulus, as you have reported. and for the work of ashto. this is the report, projects and paychecks. and it is well document and with photos of successful projects all around the country. i just love stuff like that. you know, it just gets me going. and this is the ashto proposal for 9800 additional projects. and nearly half of those are
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projects that you're executive director has said can be under contract within 90 days, and the rest within 120 days. and that would satisfy the requirements of the bill we red in the house. which unfortunately the senate has yet to complete action on. they have only done, only dealt with half of it. and for readiness, there are many touching stories, but that really sticks in my mind is that of secretary gary ridley of oklahoma, who in my this out there to tulsa, oklahoma, city, pointed to the inner dispersal loop logic, or the loop around also. and he said we began designing this in november after your hearing, i held in october. he said that committee is serious. we better be ready. i told my engineers, i want you
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-- were going to do in 18 months of design in four months and i want you to take your design and engineering plans to church with you on sunday. because if i need you i will call. and they did, and he did. and they had a design and they are under -- they are more than halfway through the 76 million-dollar project, which includes 44 bridges, by the way. so you've got a great story. all of your colleagues across the country at all the state devotees have a great stories as well. now we will move to transit, with brad miller, general manager of des moines area regional transit authority. speaking for after. >> thank you, mr. chairman. chairman oberstar, i am honored to submit testimony regarding the des moines area regional transit authority uses the funding. which has already created jobs in central iowa and around the country while improving public transit. darts or as i was capital region with a series operation of just
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over 400,000. while dart into one may be somewhat smaller than some of the other transit systems are committee has heard updates from i am pleased to report the funds have had a profound positive impact for our 16,000 daily riders. dart receive seven put $8 million in funding. not only has carbon award all of our funding and was signed contracts by june but dart has already drawn down and cut checks for nearly half the fund. getting these dollars into the economy and generate dozens of good jobs and improving the transportation services in des moines. i don't think our store is unusual, as fda has awarded more than 99% of the 8.4 billion that was made available for transit under arra. i was thrilled to see the funded buses will onto our property as shown in the picture, just two weeks ago. the committee has no debt her significant testament of the strong need for funding of our country' infstruure to
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achieve a state of good repair. this policy is as true for small and midsize transit system as it is for our nation's aging rail system and deteriorating bridges and highways. not only did the arra funds benefit dart into one, but i'm also pleased to report that arra funds support the replacement of more than 180 smaller buses and 70 larger buses at other systems throughout aisle. i would takes great pride in its network in all 99 counties of the state. the senior citizens and job seekers living in iowa's smaller towns rely on public transit are also seeing the benefits of arra. dart use it $1 million of arra funds to build an energy-efficient expansion for bus facility. the project is and what and the contractor has a didn't fight over 30 full-time jobs and more than $200,000 in construction wage and benefits that have already been created by this arra funded project. to recover funds have moved dart number one capital project priority, a step closer construction by supporting the
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design of the leed certified transit hub in downtown des moines. now the design has advanced for this facility will create not only 200 plus construction jobs, but it will also be a catalyst for additional job growth as a dart will be able to vacate its outdated transit mall on walnut street and provide space for first floor retail and small businesses. finally, dart is one of the many transit system to gratefully use 10% of our outdated arra funds for a one time source of operating assistance. not every system is chosen to use this flexibility, results from it after serving a underwear show that about a third of the approximate 150 agencies respond to the survey so far are using a portion of arra funny to prevent layoffs, or maintain service. with the help of your $800,000 in arra funds for operations in des moines, along with a reduction for me and my nonunion staff, we were able to reduce our budget gap and save more than 30 bus operator jobs. as a general mayors of 115 bus
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system might des moines, it is your story that makes a presentation at public media listens to the hundreds of others to tell me that going to lose their jobs if they cut their bus service. which is complete in such meetings three weeks ago, and one story at the forced out of fiber into one. she was at a meeting with a three year old daughter to fight to keep the weekend bus service past the mercy this is where she and more than other '40s in the mothers live with their children. she said she and adam us at the house of mercy of going to lose their jobs at the quest commute haitian call center in downtown des moines if we cut the weekend bus service on round number five. she asked the question i heard more than a dozen times at the hearings. why are you by buses and building a transit hub when you can be saving routes? i tried my best to play the limits on using funds for operations versus capital expenses, but as the committee knows when transit issue lifetime to keeping her job to supporting are struggling family, you're not going to be deeply convinced that luckily thanks to the allowance of the
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10% of arra funds for dart was able to preserve that weakens the service that she and many others rely on. certainly the question operating system as a challenge for the committee. undoubtedly many transit agencies, particularly small ag more federal money on operations. however, they would've for capital projects including desperately needed bus replacement. but these are some the extraordinary times. dart five% cut in service and likely layoff of 20 bus operators are the most substantial cuts would have to make since the 1980s. we are extreme angle to the committee for the temperate ability to use 10% of the funds for operations and would strongly support continuing this authorization on a temporary basis. i finish my remarks by noted that without a new federal investment in a long-term reauthorization bill it will be difficult to maintain the employment benefits that arra has created for agency. needless to say we definitely support the committee's efforts to improve a multiyear transportation bill at the
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highest level of investment possible for public transit. such a bill would stabilize doors, and strongly insist our efforts to improve transit in iowa. thank you for the opportunity to testify, and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much, mr. miller, for that splendid testimony before and after pictures for the story about your remarks on operating assistance. it was very important for us to include that language in this bill. we extend it in the authorization bill. and she has double the funding for transit. over the six years of this bill. i will now invite mr. jeff freeman, who's the deputy director of the minnesota public facilities authority, who has an extraordinary story to tell us about how they have leveraged their funds to achieve a nearly
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50% increase or more other recovery act funds allocated to minnesota, and provide clean water for commuters at many cases didn't have it at all. i will issues myself for a few minutes for a meeting with the speaker. and invite mr. cummings to chair the hearing. >> mr. freeman, please give. >> thank you, mr. chairman thomas members of the committee. my name is jeff freeman. i'm the deputy director of the minnesota public authority. thank you for the opportunity to come before the committee to talk about our clean water state revolving fund program and our experience with the american recovery and reinvestment act funds. the minnesota put this those authority is a multi-agency infrastructure financing authority that manages the clean date revolving fund, drinking
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state revolving fund, a state infrastructure bank for transportation projects, and several other infrastructure financing programs. since the clean water act state revolving fund began in 1989, minnesota has received 577 million in federal capitalization grants. at 150 million in state matching funds, and leverages those funds with our own aaa rated revenue bonds to finance 2.4 billion in clean water rogers throughout the state. these low interest loans have saved cities and attacks there's over 530 million in interest charges. this financing is up to local governments we have and replace treatment plans, upgrade systems, we have collection systems, construct new interceptors, and a variety of other projects. these are essential
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infrastructure projects that protect and improve water quality, and also of course have a major economic impact, not only in terms of the construction jobs that they create, but also in terms of providing a critical foundation for the economic vitality of the cities that have and need this infrastructure. the enactment of the american recovery and reinvestment act in figure 2009 provided badly needed capital for these programs, but also create significant challenges for the state revolving fund programs. the specific provisions and accountability requirements i catch to arra require a ba in each state to develop and implement new processes and procedures within a very short period of time. in minnesota there's a flurry of activity from between figure in april of 2009 as a put together all the pieces, leading up to our formal application for the funds in mid-april.
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on june 8, 2009, we received official notice that the funds have been awarded, and by june 25, 3 weeks later, virtually all of the funds had been committed for projects that were approved, bed and under construction. formal loan agreements with an executed over the next few months. minnesota share of the arra fund for clean water was approximate $82.5 billion. we awarded 44.7 million as principal forgiveness, and 17.5 million for green infrastructure projects for energy and water efficiency improvements. our strategy for the arra funds focus on using the principal forgiveness aspect in three ways with an emphasis on creating incentives to give projects moving quickly. we offer 20% principal forgiveness to all projects on a first, first serve basis, as they were open bids and ready to
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start construction. we also directed principal forgiveness to do with particular affordability problems as an incentive for the green infrastructure aspects of the projects. to get the biggest impact and fund the most projects we leveraged those $82.5 million in arra funds with over 100 million in non-arra water loans to finance 25 project for a total investment of $182 million. to date we have expended over 62% of the arra clearwater find a job reports show that there have been 295,000 job hours created with a total payroll of 11.7 million. the clean water arra funds with a variety of cities and projects. i like to give you example, a couple examples that the city finance a 60 million-dollar payment to the wastewater treatment and collection system. the undersized system was
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creating raw sewage discharges to clearlake, and also sewage backups in people's basements. to prepare for the project, the city and increased their rates by 60% to an average household cost of $55 a month, but they still would have been unable to move ahead with the project without the arra funds. the city of duluth received $5 million to build a sewage overflow tank on the shores of lake superior to prevent overflows into the lake during storm events. the city of grand rapids constructed a 30 million-dollar project to relocate their primary treatment and solids facilities, and incorporated energy and water conservation improvements into the project as a real of the arra funds. our experts with arra illustrates some of the features of the clean water state revolving fund that have made it so successful in general.
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the clean water fund utilizes a project priority list a companies of lives that in minnesota's case we have 381 projects for about $2.1 billion, each year we get over $400 billion for requests for projects to move ahead to construction. we know that not all of those can go ahead because there will be delays, but we purposely put more projects on the list that we expect to go ahead and we use solve aaa rated revenue bonds as the flexibility of that to provide funding for the projects that are able to go ahead. when our board approved our intended use plan, in the summer of 2008 at that time the economy was already slowing down and they recognize the importance of putting more projects on the list to give as many and operating to move ahead.
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because of that we put five times as many projects on the list as we typically fun, and because of that we will positioned to fund the arra projects when the money came through. mr. chairman, and members, thank you for your strong support of the clean water state revolving fund. will look forward to working with you on reauthorization of the program, in the future and i would be happy to any questions. >> thank you very much, mr. freeman. will now hear from mister stephen wright, the vice president, wright brothers construction company, representing the american road and transportation transportation. welcome. >> i am steve reich, president of wright brothers construction company in charleston, tennessee. i initiative represent the american road and transportation builders association where i
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serve as the southern region vice-chairman. wright brothers was founded in 1961 by my father and my uncle our company performs a variety of highly and heavy construction services. we currently have projects underway in tennessee, alabama, georgia and north carolina. mr. chairman, the recovery and reinvestment act transportation investments have been a resounding success. its impacts, however, cannot be truly appreciated without understanding of what our sector faced prior to the measures enhancement. the u.s. transportation construction market had been in steady decline since 2007 due to state budgets that general economy, and increasing material prices. the continued recession made this bad situation worse. highway contractors laid off almost 26,000 employees in 2008, and early 2009. in fact, my companies employment peaked in 2008 at 350 workers,
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and has since fallen by 34%, due largely to the decline in the private construction market. going into 2009, we faced weaker session, uncertainty about the federal surface transportation program, we authorization and continued state budget difficulties. not surprisingly, this made for a very sobering outlook. the one bright spot for our sector was the recovery act transportation investments. my written test will include substantial information that describes the exemplary pays at which these funds have been put to use and the real-world impacts. i would like to highlight one point to demonstrate the contribution recovery act transportation investments. figure two on page four of my testimony compared to transportation contracts of words for 10 months prior to the enactment of the recovery act.
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with the awards 10 months after, these and doesn't hit the marketplace. this information is significant, because contract awards are a leading indicator of future construction. following the recovery act. highway construction of words increase a 19.4%, bridge contracts are up 14 points six%. airport awards have grown 61%. transit contract live 216%. because there are a variety of u.s. transportation construction investment, sources, it is difficult to a to b. to increase of contract awards solely to the recovery act. however, it is abundantly clear that the to your negative transportation construction market trend began reversing itself in may of last year. this is the same point at which we sub recovery act funds begin
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supporting projects. as figure three demonstrates, this positive trend is continuing with highway contract awards growing this january while awards in january 2008 and 2009 had declined. to put a real face on this data, wright brothers 14 separate recovery act contracts. three of these are small projects in tennessee that have allowed us to say the jobs of one, five person concrete crew. we also have a large capacity and reconstruction project in alabama that has allowed us to hire 19 people, and saved at least that many jobs. we are expected to add more people as we get further into this project. half of the project is subcontracted to we represent only a portion of its job impacts. the leadership at the alabama department of transportation has said that while this project was a priority for them, it would not -- they would not affect the ability to move it forward without the recovery act.
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the success of the recovery act notwithstanding, the transportation construction industry continues to struggle with unemployment at record levels and great uncertainty about future state and federal transportation investments. i can state with all certainty that as bad as things are right now, they would have been much worse without the recovery act. to sustain and build on the recovery act, and we energize the long-term growth potential of the united states, we must not lose sight of the need to enact a six-year surface transportation authorization bill at the investment levels proposed by this committee. as soon as possible. thank you for your leadership on the recovery act, the recent transportation extension your ongoing efforts to deliver a multiyear reauthorization bill. i appreciate his opera to testify and happy to answer any question. >> thank you very much, mr. wright that will now hear from mr. jeff wharton, president
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and polls. i guess in north carolina? >> yes. >> thank you very much for being with us. >> good afternoon, mr. cummings. my name is jeffrey wharton, president of impulse nc transportation. thank you for this opportunity to present testimony regarding the job creation and retention impact of the public transit investments include in the american recovery and reinvestment act. as a brief background, and polls is an overhead contact hardware manufacturers located in mount olive north carolina with 30 direct employees was a large nationwide subs supply base. our product which dates back to 1888 to the ohio brass company is used to support aerial wires that fee power for light rail trains, streetcars, trolleys, and electric trolley buses. impulse is a marvin group,
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berkshire hathaway company and a member of the american public transportation association. my testimony today is on behalf of my company. i am pleased to report that in 2009, my new project business grew 35%, ending 2010 i expect sales to grow another 10 to 15%. i do not believe that my business would have survived without the incessant and public transportation by way of the arra spending money that our projects include los angeles goal line extension, the denver west corridor line, the pittsburgh north shore connector and the portland streetcar flew projects among others. i recognize that most of these projects were already in the funding pipeline. as a new capital projects. and as the program and project authorizations under safetea-lu approach expiration, are a funding serve as an important bridge between that bill and the next authorization bill and help
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expedite these projects. in talking with my supply partners, i've come to learn how much they have relied on my business to the tough economy. shirley gaines, president of the sign height casting a woman on business located in south carolina and told me that impulse kept up his a float with the decline in the automotive industry. she was able to keep 36 jobs through the orders received by impulse and arra funded project. john prater, a third generation owner for warsaw found in warsaw, indiana, has been able to maintain 44 jobs to the transit orders directly from transixty. john styck the only sales growth and his business that he is expected has been from the impulse of transit orders. maclin, plant manager for the bro standard that is in ohio and cleveland, attributes over 29% of his business to impulse, helping to keep 60 to 50 employees working.
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and lastly, course galvanize cubby located in johnstown, pennsylvania, has been able to keep 44 jobs through impulse orders and the quick implementation of economic standards and a jobs funding for public transit. previously, they have relied mostly on commercial work, and today transixty and is one of the larger accounts. i could go on and on with suppliers in texas, california, illinois, washington state, and others that as you can see, impulses transit sales has impacted businesses throughout the u.s. and the associated arra funny has directly contributed to saving hundreds of jobs. let's face it, transportation is the backbone of the economy. and public transit is an incredibly important aspect of our national surface transportation system. public transit create great jobs. i want to make substantial long-term investments to grow my business, develop new products and technologies that will
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improve public transit options, but i need a long-term vision from our elected officials. i truly wish to thank chairman oberstar and this committee for your steadfast leadership in advancing transportation investment through arra, and her efforts to pass a new surface habitation authorization bill. let there be no mistake, there is a clip fast approaching if we do not continue to invest and recognize the media and in valuable benefit the public transit provide our economy, quality of life, and the environment. i think the committee and i look forward to answering any questions you may have a. >> thank you very much. ms. de rugy, am i close to? very. >> with a mr. oberstar would be in the cherry-pick he speaks french but i was told. >> ms. de rugy, is a close to?
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guest. >> is a senior research fellow at the center of the george mason university. thank you. >> mr. cummings, it's an honor to appear before you today to discuss the allocation of the recovery act funds. my name is veronique de rugy. i'm a senior research fellow at the brocaded center at george mason university. a research-based organization where i study budget and tax issues. it is in that capacity that i have been tracking stimulus dollars since last february. using report data from and economic and political data from the bureau of labor statistics, the census bureau, dubbed ws and others have compiled a series of facts about stimulus spending. my interest is something to make use of the tens of thousands of stimulus recipient report recently published on and to put the aggregate information contained in this report in the larger
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context. this report is a second pacers a report published on a quarterly basis as new recipient reports are released each quarter. the data presented here covers the fourth quarter of the calendar year 2009 reports of recovery act contracts and grants only. the complete data set used for this report is available for download at that you can find the details at my methodology in my written testimony, but today i will highlight some of the main result of my analysis. first, in the second quarter for which reports are available, over 65,000 contracts and grants were reported. the total spending reached $170 billion. that is roughly $1 billion awarded per week, and an
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additional $13.6 billion reported received over the previous quarter. this is a sharp decline in spending compared to the $156 billion received in the previous three months. at that rate the government should be done to warning stimulus dollars by 2020. second, the total number of jobs claimed to have been created or saved overall by the stimulus actually declined from last quarter, shrinking from about 634,002 a little over. this job think it could have resulted from change made by the white house on how to count jobs. however, it goes to show them how terribly difficult it is to account for net jobs created from stimulus spending. it also outlines the merely and possibly to account for how many jobs were saved by the stimulus fund. third, i found for every 200 --
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$86,000 then, one jobless claim to have been created. fourth, the main argument for enacting a 787 know you dollars in this bill was that if the government spent money where it is the most needed, it would create jobs and trigger economic growth. we would expect the government to invest relatively more money in district that have the highest unemployment rates, and less money and dishes with lower unemployment rates. controlling for the percentage of the district employed construction industry, which is often used as a proxy for the vulnerability to recession of a district. we find no statistical correlation between all relevant unemployment indicators, and the allocation of funds. this suggests that unemployment, so far, has not been a factor leading the awards. also, i found no correlation between other economic indicators such as income. however, you want to measure it.
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and stimulus fund. finally, on average democratic districts received 1.5 many awards as republican wants. democratic district also received to put five more times as they must dollars than republican district that republican district also received smaller of wars on average. there are more democratic district than republican district in the congress. this is why didn't i check for the correlation between political indicators and stimulus fund. i found that was the exception of the district parties affiliation, which is whether the district representation was republican or democrat, there is no aspect of political variable on allocation of stimulus funds. so how much does party affiliation matter? why the effect is significant, the specification of the model, more confident should be place on the relationship between the two variables than on the quantification of that relationship. in plain english it means that while i am confident that whether the district is
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represented by a republican or a democrat, matters for funding, we're not sure but the weight of this particular factor was compared to others that went into the decision of spending the money. such as the formula, for instant. thank you very much for the opportunity to testify before you today. i'm looking forward to answering your questions. >> thank you very much, ms. de rugy. let me just ask you something. i just asked staff, what you're basing those figures on. i'm just curious. you know, a third of this money went to tax cuts, right? >> the report that i published is based on the data that is available on this is the data reported by recipients of the stimulus dollars for contracts and gran grants. >> i see. i see. when we talk about stimulus,
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about, i mean, almost two-thirds of the money went to do things. one, two tax cuts. and, two, two helping states address their issues and keeping policeman hired and that kind of thing. so i guess what you've got less, you're talking about the actual contracts themselves. >> yes. >> all right. thank you very much. >> you're welcome. >> ms. richardson, you indicated in your testimony that states have $80 billion of ready to go projects, if additional funding were made available. what do you mean by ready to go? and how long would it take for those projects to actually begin construction? and with a majority be repayment projects? >> by ready to go, when we did the survey, we define that as summer to what the recovery act
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has been, and said within 120 -- they could be obligated using that federal definition of obligation, they could be obligated within 120 days of enactment. we have done some additional analysis of that, and about half of those could actually be put to contract within the first 90 days following enact but, which would be even a more aggressive timeframe. the types of projects, the 80 billion has crossed all boats, so it's not just highway. you know, it's also aviation and trails and transit, and the other kinds of projects. but in the highway side, certainly a fair amount of it, a certain amount of it would be in resurfacing and preservation of the existing system. but there were also projects, a mix of projects that would be
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expansion or creation of some new lane miles. >> you discussed a number of direct on project jobs among the states made possible by the recovery act. has ashto track the total dvd participation across the state? >> i don't know if ashto has, but i do believe that that is being tracked as part of the reporting that we are doing, either to the federal highway administration or two gal or someone like that. so that is being tracked. we always track that, frankly, on all of our projects. we track the percentage that we have achieved, and that has, that data is out there for that related to the recovery act that i don't have that number in my head, but it is available spectate you. mr. freeman, have other states provided principle forgiveness as you have done, to your
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knowledge? >> imacs that keep your voice up. >> start. mr. cummings, yes. all states had used the principle to forgive the arra funds that went to claims to water funds required a minimum of 50% be provide as principal forgiveness. each state has done that a little differently. in our state, we have affordability criteria, and we do some state funds in the past to deal with affordability problems. that's where we directed most of our principal forgiveness funds. i think that's a similar expense with other states. but each state has -- and that's kind of the strength of the clean water state revolving fund, is each state has complex ability to design the criteria and procedures to best fit their needs. >> and do you know what has been
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the experience of other states with that process? do you have any idea? >> i don't have the numbers from other states. i know that all states did meet the one you're -- the requirement to have the fund under contract and under construction within the one year period of time. and as part of that, have met all of the principal forgiveness requirements as well. >> is this something you have done in the past? provided some additional subsidy for communities that have affordability problems. we've found that for smaller communities in particular the cost for waste water treatment infrastructure can easily go over $50, $60, $70 a month per
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household. at that rate communities just can't afford to move ahead with projects without additional subsidies. we've done that with some state funds. the principle forgiveness through the ara funding gives us another tool. and a significant share of t to be able to meet those needs. >> now, mr. miller, you've indicated in your testimony that you use 10 percent of your allocated recovery act funds for one time operating assistance that. is that right? >> that's, right. >> what will happen to your operating budgets when this institution is no longer there available? >> well, mr. cummings, that's a good question. we are hopeful that the economy will start to improve and some of our other sources of revenue will improve, but we certainly would be supportive of additional reauthorization to use some of our other federal funds or additional stimulus
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dollars should they be allocated in the same way. >> you also indicated that you purchase new buses with the recovery act funds. is that right. >> that's, right. >> i know that purchases have been common with recovery funds. you said that you have taken delivery of your new bosses but have other transit agencies experienced delays in getting the bosses given the large number of orders that they place, do you now? >> i have heard that we are very lucky that we receive delivery just two weeks ago of our buses and other transit systems have not received a there's, but even under normal times it takes a year to a. a half to deliver buses so i haven't heard of any particularly long delays in receiving buses and they are already on the street driving around des moines, iowa right
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now. >> finally let me ask you mr. wright to questions and then the chairman will take over. mr. wright, what are the trends in state transportation budgets in 2010 and are the state's able to afford to maintain their existing systems or is even maintenance suffering in this economic environment? >> mr. cummings, the state and most familiar with his tennessee and that has evolved to a maintenance only program. they have almost no funding available for new capacity. >> so they're basically maintaining? >> that's, right. >> are there any specific changes to the metropolitan planning process you are advocating for the next reauthorization? >> i would encourage anything you can do to simplify the process. it takes too long to get a
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project from creation to contract before we actually began to work on its. >> i will tell you and he will tell you about this but our chairman has tried to figure out how to do that, how we can go about doing what you just said. it's not an easy thing but we try to figure it out then i think with the reauthorization he is proposing i thank you will be pleased with some of the things in there because it goes a long way toward what you're talking about. >> to extend that the conversation you just had with
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mr. cummings, the chairman from our subcommittee, we established in this bill that has been reported from subcommittee a program of the project and office projects expediting in the federal highway and federal transit administration. it is intolerable it takes three years to do under current law a simple overlie, go and run the service of a roadway, reprocess and put back in place, or 14 years from idea to writer shipwright transit project. that's way too long. bond issues run out, costs escalate, there have been some experiences of up to 50 percent cost increases over the time of a transit project -- that is intolerable. we have to in the discipline to process of endless reviews and turn that on its side and have
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these reviews done concurrently. with the transformation we spell out in this legislation and craft for the future of transportation, do those reviews concurrently and duke transit projects, new starts, and extensions of existing operations in three years instead of 14 years. the system we have today is new start, slow starts and no start. that is not serving the needs of transportation or reducing congestion in america as a major metropolitan areas. we have to move much faster and put people to work and projects under way much faster and we will do that with this legislation. they are to be a has had a great contribution to our process, to the legislative language, mr. wayne has been like a marine
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corps drill sergeant helping us get this done. so, yes, we are very keen to get to this bill moving again. we reported in this document from subcommittee in june of 2009. unfortunately the senate thought they needed 18 months, the administration said they wanted 18 months and i said the the delay is the enemy of progress. that's way too long. we have to move past and in the stimulus we have shown a ashto to a transit agencies, the contractor community, associated general contractors, road and transportation builders and the building trades and the truck drivers have all shown that a given deadlines they can perform, they can meet those deadlines, they can put projects
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to work but people to work and projects under way in much shorter time frames and then in the past so we're taking those lessons and incorporating them into the future of transportation but we also need a follow-on to the stimulus. there are 30 states that have notified this committee that they will be unable to provide their full 20 percent match under the 8020 federal aid highway program. because the revenues are down and the tax revenues are down, because the cat -- gas tax revenues are down and those 30 states represent 70 percent of the population of the u.s.. this is the general contractors did a survey of their top 400 firms and. >> -- they came up with a report that when stimulus runs out they expect to have 40 to 40 percent
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layoffs because the private sector financing for what the trade calls in the vertical projects isn't coming back. investors simply aren't making the investments that they were making. mike herbert told me last year that in 2000 -- 2007 and 2008 to nearly 80 percent of the workers in the private sector. is that right of a ms. fisk? >> i believe it is close to that number yes. >> and by last summer because of the deterioration of the economy, the financial meltdown, most of those general contractors are doing it 60 plus percent of the work in the public sector but we have to sustain the existing jobs and investments and carry that so that the rest of the economy can catch up and the private sector
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investments that had been made in the past can continue to be made in the future. we need to get through this summer. i think this is one more summer of a stimulus will set the stage and move the country forward. the but unfortunately while we passed our legislation to fully fund the state 20 percent share of the federal highway program, in december the senate has not done that. they only passed the extension of current law through the end of this fiscal. that three additional months. that is not sufficient, that's not a good service to the country. the every witness that we've had over these past 12 months of hearings has said we need an
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additional investment in transportation and other infrastructure projects to carry us thru until the private sectors made its recovery and then we will see a return. meanwhile we've got a permanent investments and improvements for the future of our transportation system and our waste water treatment system. now, mr. freeman, you and terry coleman have done outstanding work as i said at the outset. 25 your professionals, you've been at this program for a long time. what lessons learned from the stimulus which you offer for the committee we can apply to the future of the state revolving loan fund has already passed the house but again is awaiting action in the senate?
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>> thank you mr. chairman and for those kind words. the clean water state revolving funds, of course, our unique in that in the first of all -- these are cities that are building these projects and we're providing the financing rather than doing direct contracting. the clean water revolving funds operate from a comprehensive priority list so there's always projects in the pipeline that are in various stages of development. the fact that these are revolving loan funds rather than straight brands means there's an ongoing stream of repayments, the money's always revolving some projects are continually in moving to the process and being funded and the additional federal capital the state matching funds allows us to leverage of those funds and generate additional lending this
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that for the cities that are developing these projects and moving them to process, they need steady and predictable funding. they need to know the money will be there when their projects are ready and they need to have a clear sense of what the requirements will be. so we're very much in favor of the proposed reauthorization of the program. we are a little troubled with the 2010 appropriation because it imposes additional work permits that were not predictable and became somewhat disruptive and difficult for the city's already in the pipeline projects that were bid in some case under construction. so that's a difficult way to fund the process and certainly ab authorization bill that will again and we start to the
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predictability and the city funding for the program will be -- we are very much i support of and appreciate your efforts on that and will do anything we can to help. >> how were you able to manage the balance of loan funds with grant funds? the srf is a loan program and we provided partial -- a part of the funds as grant money and part as loan bonds and you were able to -- not just you but your agency was able to leverage of those dollars to create more funding including state funds from the minnesota legislature and you were able to deliver those into a significantly greater investment then would otherwise have been the case.
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what did you do? you have some creative financing. >> mr. chairman, minnesota the is one -- i think there are about approximately 35 or so states that operate their clean water revolving funds as leveraged programs and in simple terms what that means is we are using the federal capitalization funds and the state match this kind of the seed money and then the selling in the case of minnesota our triple-a-rated revenue bonds, they're not back by the state, there are minnesota public facilities bonds backed by the repayment stream of all the loans be made previously and so using that leveraging ability allows us to give a larger number of projects on the priority list, kind of
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give them the green light to move the engineering design work, the approval process and then we can have the money available when their projects are ready rather than those projects waiting for us to tell them okay now you can start. there are always moving and always developing those projects and we're able to use leveraging to have the money available when they need it. >> two other states have a rating system such as the minnesota public facilities authority? if i recall a rightly, you rank the project's 132 dodgers 63 in e ways funded human side and one through 112 or 113 on the drinking water side. by needed locally and that buy readiness to go to bid, local
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financing capability in place. other states that have similar rating systems? >> yes mr. chairman. all states have operating premise that priority list, that's part of a the requirements and the framework of both the clean water and drinking water state revolving funds. in our case and act with those numbers have increased quite a bit since i think the last time we provided you a list. to be now have over 280 projects on the clean water list for about $2.1 billion. the drinking water list i think has close to 300 projects as well. so the needs are certainly there. we rank those projects, actually we don't, are partners with the minnesota pollution control agency ranks of those clean water projects based on environmental and public health factors so that's a the ranking
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that we follow and then we work with communities to identify the ones that are have completed the preliminary planning work and will be ready to go to construction and that's the list that we take then and develop intended use plan from so all those cities know if they get to reach a certain point where the planning is done they can then move on and we will put them in a fineable range on are intended use plan and have the money available when the projects are ready. >> kerry good. in our reauthorization of the state revolving loan fund program we require states to develop management plans, ranking of projects, and develop long-range program of investment and using the criteria that you
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just cited we hope that the senate will act on that legislation. it is $15 billion authorization over the next five years. i think it's far less than what the nation needs, put its responsible for funding and we know that it will be fully offset. ms. richardson, in the service transportation program we have a requirement for -- a two-part requirement for projects to get under way in 90 days another in 120 days. and initially states dot said that would be too difficult for us to meet, but in the end all state dot have far exceeded their original -- underestimated their own ability to perform.
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now, what lessons are there to be drawn and for the future of transportation, your stimulus experience? >> well, a couple come to mind based on your comments. one and, i think that we cannot underestimate how much work there is that needs to be done in the transporation infrastructure in this country. so when they go to states and other jurisdictions and say what projects do have a there's a considerable backlog and a lot of these out there. so i think that there will always be a pool of very good projects for us to choose from and whether it's for our regular funding or any special funding. the second lesson is the one that you highlight and that is we underestimated our own abilities but you're always concerned when you hear times like that because we're used to
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launder time frames but i think when asked to change our paradigm and look at things differently we all for able to come through and deliver in that type of time frame. the 120 days obligation, everybody mad it. i know there were discussions about follow along stimulus in the jobs bill, there was concern that had language that said 90 days to contract, but in the past when we did a survey of states to find out what other ready to go projects are out there and identified 9800 projects and $80 billion i'm told that somewhere around half of those could get to contract within 90 days so i think we've learned that we can with the kind of work that the pent-up demand that's out there, the kind of work that is to be done to preserve the system from crumbling, that there is certainly enough work out there that we can do it quickly whether its 120 days to obligation or 90 days to contract.
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>> those are of poor and lessons learned and the program of project expediting or the office project expediting that we will include in this bill that's been already reported from subcommittee will take those lessons learned and apply them and expedited the process so that we are not doing multiple reviews in sequins that delay project delivery. it's not to set aside any environmental concern or other permitting requirements of a host of government agencies, townships and a sewer boards and the environmental protection agency and all -- and then national trust preservation all have a permanente responsibility but they can be done concurrently rather than sequentially. >> absolutely. in fact, when we looked at that in every state in the past
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decade we had -- we turned it the can-do process -- it was to do exactly that. see where in our process we can have things running in parallel rather than sequentially so that we would take considerable chunks of time out of that lengthy process. >> that's where we want to go for the future. now, what is the situation in iowa? i mentioned 30 states have notified the committee iowa was one of those. and are your highway funding prospects looking better or the same? >> well, i think that like all states economy, of course, is affecting our revenue streams and both in terms our revenue at the state level comes from the fuel taxes and then also be used and new vehicle purchased on the
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registration fees and fees at the time of purchase. when the economy is not as strong people aren't buying as many vehicles nor driving them as much so we certainly have a lag and our revenues from what we were projecting. but i believe that our legislature at the state level, two years ago, took on the hard task of looking for additional state revenue and pass a piece of legislation called time 21 that is bringing more revenue at the state level into the transportation fund is just the that is ramping up over about seven or eight years. so our legislature has put in place something that will bring in additional state funds in gradually over the next few years and i think that will help us the continue to have another match for federal funds. but it's touch and go and there are other states where certainly is already a problem.
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>> that's what we need to get this bill passed. >> i agree. >> and the long term funding mechanism. >> yes i couldn't agree more. >> and additional maybe six months stimulus but also significantly more revenue. in this legislation that we expressly prohibited project specific designations known as high priority projects. each state has a ranking process that they followed it so you've made selections, projects based on a readiness, that is meeting the criteria of the act which is through right away acquisition, environmental impact statement completed, design down to final design, ready to go to bid, provided the money is available -- is that essentially the process i will use and other states? >> yes and there are other criteria we paid attention to
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appear, for example economically distressed areas and making sure we identify those and try to override that on our selection process as well as making sure we have a good blend of projects geographically. urban and rural. i think all states in the attention to those things that were in the bill. we are fortunate in iowa that the process we traditionally used that we are able to use for the recovery act is one that's very collaborative with our local partners, the metropolitan planning organizations and the regional planning agencies. we already work in concert with them and they help identify projects. we try to have a little more local input into helping to define some of the projects. that process serves us well and it was what i thought health iowa -- helped i would jump the gun and get going quickly because we already talked with the local partners. they help to identify priority
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projects and we have oliver is the same level and that meant we had the priority list of projects ready to go when you pass the bill and we would be in the same situation before. we've done that in case there's another stimulus and made sure we have the priority list ready to go. >> well, that's encouraging. every state dot director of talk to and i've had a conversation at least half, maybe more than that, 30 of them, are in the same situation. mr. miller, what's the average age of prior to stimulus funding, what was the average age of your fleet plaques. >> chairman oberstar, we like all had a very old fleet. i think the average was around nine years with a typical bus at 12 and and we're very thankful for the stimulus dollars because those combined with the annual appropriation our regular
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federal dollars we are able to buy in this one order that's arriving this month a sixth of our fleet or replace about 80% of our buses over their useful life. it's been fantastic. >> that also provides those new buses providing more passenger capacity? >> not necessarily more passenger capacity, but they break down on the side of the highway which affects -- >> reliability. >> certainly one-fifth as often and it costs half as much to maintain as the older buses so they are a boon to our system. >> justice and the highway sign we're replacing pavement, making it better ride and drive for people on the chances side. better equipment, lower-cost to operate and longer service life for the equipment. >> not to mention the environmental benefits, the cleaner engines and even have a
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hybrid bus, the new airbuses are beneficial on that area. >> terrific. thank you. mr. wright, does the future of the funding give you concern and, that is what i cited a moment ago about the general contractor's been concerned that the private sector investments on recovering as all would have liked? and the funding continuing and perhaps even winding down from some of the stimulus by the middle of summer -- what's the outlook from the contractor sign it from the side? >> it's exactly which you described earlier. our company's balance the public versus private work has gone from 5052 probably 8020, now
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80 percent in public work. the federal transportation bill not being -- p&agk &h2ab@ @ @ o @ sá@ @ )cá astonishment to me that >> this time last year the united states developed a new expert product. used construction equipment.
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we're filling up containers shipping backhoes and d4 and d8 cats, front end loaders, to china and india. china committed 9% of its gross domestic product to stimulus, $940 billion limited to highway, airport, rail, and wastewater treatment projects. they're on track to complete an 820-mile railline from beijing to shanghai, which is boston to richmond on the east coast of the united states. 822 miles. you will be able to travel that distance in four hours with 220-miles-an-hour steel on steel
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passenger rail. they have made the investment in it. and this time next year, there will be full ridership between two mega. they he contributed over $220 million a year to upgrade its aviation, water, passenger rail and highway infrastructure, including building a canal to link the north sea to the black sea, 2,000 miles across the hart of europe to move goods more efficiently and effectively with lest environmental immigrant pact and at lower cost to shippers and consumers. we're just falling behind.
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their plan includes an additional 7,200 miles of high-speed passenger rail line in europe. president obama put $8 billion for a passenger rail in this country, but it's a drop in the bucket compared to what the european community is doing in addition to their extensive and successful programs. so, here we come back to the point. other countries have made these investments. they're stimulating they're economies. they're having great short-term as welling a long-term investment impact. you mentioned a concern about buying equipment. what amortization period do you have to look at as a contractor. they're expensive. you have to figure out how to pay for it. >> you do not billion a million
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dollar crane or your credit card. we use about 60 months. so approximately the life of the highway bill. >> very interesting. so, you want -- you really want to see a longer term investment and greater stability and continuity of funding. >> absolutely. just this week there was a conversation in my office about, should we buy two machines or should we rent them? we only have 90 days' worth of work for them. it's hard to make a five-year commitment to that process when you cannot see any further than that. with the appropriate bill in place, you would at least believe you have the opportunity to compete for a market that you know is there and would give you the faith to go ahead and pull the trigger, for lack of a better way of saying it. >> what we have seen also in this stimulus period is that bids have been coming in 25%
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below original design estimates because there's so much competition in the marketplace, and materials cost even have dropped in the u.s. during this recession period. was that your experience? >> yes, sir, it is there. seems to be three to four times as many bidders on projects as people move from the private sector back to the public sector in their bidding process, and margins are very, very low. >> now, miss veronique derugy. [speaking in foreign language]
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[speaking in foreign language] >> well, thank you very much for that. >> i'm not sure my mom is as happy about this, but... >> we'll translate this later for the reporters. president sarkozy will be in the united states shortly. he will have an announcement, you hope. 47 billion euros, which is roughly $60 billion, and their recovery plan has created jobs,
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has stimulated the economy, has moved france ahead, but you make a good deal of reference in your testimony about party affiliation and political variables, but you must be talking about something other than the programs of our committee. >> the way i looked at the numbers, i only used the data from recovery and compared them to other publicly available government data, and then i ran regressions and i -- the spending i'm talking about covers some of the transportation money. so, $10 billion exactly of that data i looked at was spent through the department of transportation. >> but these correlations, party
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affiliation, variables and so on, surely have to be happenstance rather than deliberate -- >> well, the only thing i can tell you for sure is when you look at the regressions, we can tell that whether the district is represented bay democrat or a republican matters for the funding. what i cannot tell you is how much this factor is influenced the decision compared to other factors such as the formula or the unemployment in the states, even though my finding will find that the money does not seem to be allocated, guided by the level of unemployment. >> in our legislation, we specifically directed, as ms. richardson said, that
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priority be given to areas of highest unemployment as measured by the economic development administration of the u.s. department of commerce, which has map of the united states by county, in which eda certifies the unemployment level for each county and updates it monthly, and we wanted those dollars to go to the areas of highest unemployment. areas of greatest economic distress. and certainly, we wanted an equitable distribution of dollars so not all the money would be used up in the major a metropolitan years such as minneapolis-st. paul, los angeles, california, they could consume the state's entire stimulus allocation in one area and that would not be right. and the state department of transportations have made the
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allocations and distributed the funds, and ms. richardson assuring that projects went to the highest areas of unemployment. so be very interested to see what the back -- >> all that data is available for download exactly for that reason because we wanted to be absolutely transparent. so we have put not only the data, the raw dat tacoma -- at that data, and the regression analysis. the data we used for unemployment, we used two sort of data. the first report was for the first quarter of the money allocated. we used unemployment level in the district, and we found there was no correlation. the second time around, actually informed by -- after talking with a series of economists who are -- who just do economic
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tricks, they suggested that better measure and a better way to assess unemployment level is to actually look at the variation of unemployment between time to actually get not only a sense of the unemployment level in absolute terms, but also how hit and hurt each given district was by the recession. again, we were using bureau of labor statistics data, and no matter what type of unemployment indicator we find, we find absolutely no correlation. in fact, if i remember correctly, the coe -- coeticket makes it look as if it was done intentionally, even though i know it's not the case.
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it was quite stunning. i assumed, considering the rationallal behind the stimulus bill, we would find a strong correlation, and we tested it many different ways. we used different method, and i would be happy -- you won't have to go though web site. i can send it to you. >> you did this on the basis of congressional districts? >> congressional districts, yeah. >> my congressional district is the size of the eastern seaboard from here to connecticut. >> we controlled for the size -- that's what regression analysis do, is to control -- >> my district has the highest unemployment of the whole state. >> these regressions -- this is why we do regression analysis rather than just comparing, you know, numbers. it's because there's controls for all the variation.
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>> the funding in minnesota is controlled by the department of transportation under a republican governor, who, if you were attempting to manipulate, would have avoided my district. but clearly not the case. he did not put his hand into it. he did not involve himself. i don't know of any other states where governors have attempted to -- there's no evidence on the record that there's been manipulation. >> i'm absolutely not judging intent. i'm just looking at facts. in fact this report was done, and it's to provide facts about the stimulus to you, members of congress so you could actually decide what's happening. >> we would be concerned if there were any manipulation at the state level of these funds. >> my data doesn't look at intent. the only thing it looks at is results. and, again, this data is based on the data we found reported
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as -- as reported by recipient of the awards, and as posted on >> thank you. a very interesting correlation. i would like to receive the entire body of data. >> absolutely. i would be happy. >> and i will review it myself. [speaking in native tongue] [speaking in native tongue]
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>> all right. after that love affair in french. for the future of transportation funding, the big -- which has been a big obstacle in getting this bill moving, from time immemorial -- that is, from 1956 forward, we have had the federal highway trust fund. in 1956, the congress enacted three-cent user fee. president eisenhower signed the bill into law. three cents in 1956 represented 10% of the cost of fuel, which was 30-cents a gallon. in 1982, president ronald reagan signed a five-cent increase in
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the user fee. at the time he said this five cents is budget neutral. the users are paying for their you of the system, and this five cents represents the equivalent of two shock absorbers in a year on your car. fast-forward to 2009, and we have president of the united states who made a commitment in the race we wouldn't raise taxes. we have senators say we can't raise taxes in the time of a recession. but in 1958, the bureau of public growth came back and seed we need another penny increase in the user fee. congress passed it. this house passed it on a voice
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vote. you can't pass a prayer on a voice vote today. we need to re that spirit of investment in america's future. just as i cited a little bit ago that the european community has committed $1,400,000,000,000 for their future to remain competitive in the world market place, as china is doing now, as japan has done, and india with their $25 billion highway program, and we have to move our goods more efficiently in this market place. ups did a survey of their operations nationwide. for every five minutes delay, their trucks experience, they lose $100 million. in overtime charges for costs
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for their truck drivers, and late delivery fees for their customers. in the minneapolis-st. paul metropolitan area, an independent group did a survey of the cost of congestion. among the company studied was general mills. they spent $692 million a year moving their wheaties and betty crocker goods to market. every mile they travel below the speed limit it costs them $2 million in overtime charges to their drives and late delivery fees for their customers. there is a business cost to delay. just try anywhere in america to get a plumber. we'll be there between 8:00 and noon. plumbing contractors told us they used to make eight or nine calls a day. now they're doing four.
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it means their business is less efficient because they can't get through the congestion. so we have to make these changes. we have to deliver projects more expeditiously. we have to put people to work more faster. we do this with freight movement corridors and investments for major metropolitan areas of the country. we have to have a $450 billion investment in america's future of transportation. recommended by two independent national commissions. so, what i'm proposing -- i'm promoting for consideration is an idea that i will atribe but to mr. basho, who many years ago worked on this idea for ashto. at the time i said, jack, that won't work. i have come back to him and said, jack, it has to work.
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it's the modification of a boning proposal. we would direct the -- we, the congress, would direct the treasury to deposit $130 billion in bonds, treasury bonds, into the highway trust fund to be repaid with revenues from the highway trust fund out into the future, and we would delay repayment for the first perhaps four years, giving the economy time to recover, at which time you would need to increase the highway user fee, probably by 201-2015, and begin repaying the treasury bonds, capital and interest at the treasury rate of interest. that would give us, based --
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with the bane line -- base line of $450 billion over the next six years. mr. wright what do you think of that? >> i think it's a wonderful idea. let's get started. >> i'm hitting you cold. you haven't had time to see this. but from your perspective, what do you think? do you think it's a workable id? >> sounds workable to me, sir. yes. i would order some equipment. >> thank you. mr. wharton, what do you think? on the firing line. >> chairman oberstar, i think it's definitely needed. in my testimony, i said we see a cliff, and unless there's a long-term solution, there's going to be a lot more people looking for work and a lot of businesses closing down. so we need act, and we need act now.
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>> ms. richardson, is that workable? can you -- is this workable? can you work within that framework? >> well, chairman oberstar, as you and jack say it's workable, i would hate to argue with you. it's interesting. i have not heard that discussion and haven't thought a lot about it. the idea of waiting three or four years for the economy to recover would be an appealing part of it, would appeal to some of the descenters in terms of increasing funding. will 15 or 20 cents be enough? you have done the math. it's intriguing. >> this is the first time it's been discussed in an open forum. i have tried it out on small groups here and there, and economists. mr. luna? what do you think about the future of transportation?
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>> mr. oberstar, chairman, i believe that transportation is the backbone of the united states' eisenhower system, they put the plantation down for us, and we need to move forward, and i think your bill or proposal could very well work, and i support it. thank you. >> thank you. [speaking in native tongue] >> go ahead, please. >> you have to push the button on the microphone there.
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>> do you think we need to make this kind of investment in the future of transportation? >> necessary for volume, to have -- >> if you had to spend another ten or 15 cents on gasoline everytime you filled up, knowing it makes it possible to make the investment in the transportation system that will create employment opportunities, do you think it's worth it? >> yes. have to. have to. >> thank you. jeffrey, the wastewater treatment systems aren't findded like street systems. but as a consumer of the system, what do you think? >> mr. chairman, i think it sounds like a very innovative
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idea, and tying it back to more what i know about, the clean water fund and wastewater finance, that was the key to the success of the program. it's a different approach to how financing is being done for municipal wastewater treatment, setting up resolving funds and using them as the ability to leverage money. in that way your proposal is similar, and i'm all for it. >> thank you. madame derugy, you're an economist. >> yes. >> what do you think? >> i think the government doesn't have any money, and as you mentioned, it makes it very
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hard to actually measure the true return on investment of the dollars invested by the government. 15 cents, you know, might not seem like a lot to you, to me. this 15-cent is is on top of the dramatic increase in gasoline prices we have seen in the last ten years. so, it's a marginal increase. more importantly, measuring the return on investment -- just let me give you an example. measuring the performance of going into action by how much is spent seems to me the wrong measure of things. i can go to the grocery store and spend $100. what matters is not the $100 but what i bought with it. with this, we have to have enough to feed my family and not
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just -- but things that are good for them. i feel very often, in all the conversation that go on is, unfortunately, the performance of the government is measured more by how much it spends than a compared to how much it produces. even when we talk about how many jobs were created, not to mention it's extremely hard to actually measure, as i have said in my own testimony, but very often these measures are arbitrary, and they don't look at economic production. you can spend government dollars to create a job to dig a hole and create another job to fill this hole. is this creating economic growth? maybe. maybe not. and i think it would be -- you talked a lot about accountability. it would be very, very important
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to think very, very hard, about how we can better measure the return on government dollars, because, again, for the government to spend money, they need to either tax i andt, all e things have consequences for us who live in america. >> in the surface transportation program, however, as in our aviation program, we have an aviation trust fund, the highway trust fund. revenues collected at the gas pump do not go into the general treasury of the federal government. they're deposited into the highway trust fund, and the u.s. treasury pays interest on those revenues deposited in the trust fund, and they are allocated and reserved only for highway and transit funding according to the formulas set forth by the
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congress. in 1956, our gross domestic product was $345 billion. today it's 13 trillion. in 1956 there was one car per household. that car drove on average 6,000 miles a year. today we have on average three cars per household and driving 15,000 miles each. we had a million trucks in america in 1956. we have over seven million trucks on our highways today. our economy depends on mobile, on movement of people and goods. the interstate highway system and the national highway system that have fundamental reasons for which our economy has
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expanded at the reality it has grown. ...
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>> that thereby for shock absorbers and more tires and other equipment for their vehicles. where we improve the roadway, where we make it more efficient and safer and save lives, we are improving our economy. the highway trust fund is different from other government investments. that's what i'm saying. and so with the aviation program. >> can i add something? i'm not a transportation expert, but i bet a lot of reports about transportation funding, and i remember in particular a pretty groundbreaking report produced by the urban institute in 2004, i believe, where they actually looked at the economic literature on transportation spending. and acknowledged that for very, very long, in fact, economists agreed that investment in transportation was a central to economic growth. for exactly the reasons that you've talked about, and that
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has become not clear at all anymore. we seem to have hit a threshold. however, maybe there are other ways to do everything you want to do, such as actually making consumer pay more of the cost of the road they are using. for instance, i will give you an example in fact. the a 14-which is a privately owned highway in paris that goes out to the west, it is privately funded and it has, it actually makes a profit, and is actually allowed massive reconstruction of the region, highway system. in particular, on fridays and you know, weekends, sunday when people want to come in and out of the city. so maybe there is something if you directly look at transport for this. this is not a government solution. it was facilitated by the government that allowed, you know, but it was privately, it
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is privately owned and it is working. a choices given to people to pay which is pretty expensive, but what it does, it actually allows to reduce the congestion on other roads. >> and the same -- >> and that -- >> and the same with the bridge and the south of france to spain? >> yes. >> i've seen the video, the building of that beautiful structure, massive structure. but that was funded by tolls. >> so maybe could look outside of the way -- >> in fact, we do that in this bill. we provide in our program for metropolitan mobility and access, and iranian funds for those of 75 major metropolitan areas in the country who have the worst congestion, to use the tax credit bonds, tax exempt bonds, public-private
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partnerships, design, build authority, congestion pricing, tolling, but only for new capacity, not tolling existing roadways that have already been paid for by the users. and revived those, those metropolitan areas new financial tolling, new financial capabilities, as i said, include tolling as you have suggested. because those are unique situations. but we are not, we're not going to allow tolling of the interstate highway system. it's already been built and paid for. >> i was talking about something else. i never think -- >> but new capacity, that is also a need that we have. >> it is also possible that if you allow, if there is a profit to be made, and i believe that in cities that are very highly congested, there are giant
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profits to be made by private developer. that they would make it independent of government or incentive. and that would save taxpayers money. >> the california legislature approved a total authority for a private contractor underbidding process to build as they proposed, two lanes of highway, california 90 your the tolling, the company won the bid that built 20 miles of this roadway, and set the tolls, but few people use it. the tolling company was on the verge of bankruptcy. the state, however, was experiencing increasing congestion on the adjoining
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state highways, with rising fatalities and injuries. so the state proposed to build two additional lanes of freeway in that corridor. the tolling authority sued the state because they had provision in the state legislative authorizing for exclusivity in the quarter -- corner. no competition from any other source. the state of california wound up acquiring the authority and building two additional lane miles of roadway and retired the tolls, and continued the roadway. so and not all situations does tolling succeed, but there is an appropriate place for it in the future, transportation. and we provide for it in this legislation. >> may be the fact that there was a private company was guaranteed no competition had to
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do, lead to actually this company not to do the best job it could. >> no, the tolls were too high. that's the -- that was the conclusion. mr. miller, for the future of transportation, we provided funding in this bill. mr. cummings as to the question, what happens when the authority to use capital account, monies, for operating expense. in our legislation we provide the authority for up to 10% of your capital account for smaller systems to use in their operating account, and only 5% for the larger systems. there's considerable tension within the transit community over that provision. what do you -- what thoughts do have, not necessary percentage, but what is the ballot, what is
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the proper balance between operating account and capital account? >> well, mr. oberstar, i have -- that's certainly a challenging question for transit because, as you know, most of the smaller systems who have the ability to use all of their federal funds to our operations, at least most of the smaller systems in iowa under 200,000 you do use all of their money to offset local funding. des moines is an area over 200,000, so we cannot use our regular funds for operations, only capital. and we are saving jobs with this, a great ability as 10% of our stimulus dollars. moving forward, again, like some of the other folks are testified, there is a cliff, these are one time funding, and we're not sure exactly how we are going to move forward. would certainly be supportive of limited ability to use some of
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our federal funds for operations in another stimulus bill, should that come available, or longer-term. >> this is part of the tension within our surface transportation program. at the beginning of the first 15 years of the interstate highway program, the federal funds were provided for capital account, construction. only in the late -- only intimate 70s that interstate maintenance become the category of funding. the principle is federal element with the highway trust fund would provide 90% of the cost of building this new system of roadways, divide and access controlled superhighways. and the states within maintain it. but as the interstate age to,
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and it's one that% of the highway miles of the entire united states, it carries 20% of the tracker of the vehicle miles traveled, go on our interstate. it began to wear down, and reluctantly, the congress provided a limited amount of funding for interstate maintenance that eventually grew to a larger number, as on average 15% of the interstate needs to be rebuilt almost every year. in order to keep pace with the growing demands on the system, and the deterioration of the bridges, have the bridges in this country were built in the 1960s with interstate highway funds. so similarly with the transit, the original concept was federal partnership with transit agencies would be to provide the capital to acquire the equipment, and the local entity would maintain it and generally
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that was a 50/50 proposition. in some cases it's a little bit higher. we're moving into -- who we are now firmly in the post-interstate era of transportation. we are in an interim mobile era, long overdue, but now thinking into mobile he. and so it is appropriate, i think, to provide some federal, some level of federal funding for transit operations, but it's still an open question just how much that should be. we have set some goals in this legislation, but we -- that will be a continuing dialogue that i urge you and tranforty think more about that subject matter and help us move forward. >> as i mentioned in my testimony, when i was out at public meetings, these last few
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months talking about our service reductions we're going to have to make because of the drop in the economy, it was a very tough question to answer. why are you buying buses and spending all this capitol money, and why can't you save my route? it is a tough question to answer to anybody to explain that that'sow w hav to it. so yes, as we're moving forward, i think there n to be a balance. >> exactly. and the stimulus we thought long and hard about this t director f the atlanta system said it doesn't make sense on one hand for you to provide us funds to buy new buses if us on the others hang to dry off drivers at existing buses and. so give us some flexibility to keep the existing system operating as well as replace our fleet and make it more efficient and reduce our cost of
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operation. well, all of you have been very thoughtful and very contributory in your responses. you have helped shape a view of the stimulus up to this point. my judgment is it's doing what we intended. a million -- 1,200,000 jobs created, and more to come. 1200 bridges restored, replaced and rebuilt. over 10,000 transit vehicles acquired. that has created jobs in the production sector, building those buses, building those railcars, and we're seeing the effects all river great throughout our economy. we need to sustain and need to continue it. and i thank all of you who made your contributions.
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friendand everyone else, you ont it in english. thank you very much for your testimony. and keep up your great work, each in your respective ways for those who are on the front lines, ms. fisk, mr. luna, keep driving, keep building. the committee is adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> this years c-span's studentcam competition ask middle and high school students to create a five to eight minute video giving with one of our country's greatest strengths are a challenge the country is facing. here's one of the third place winners. >> it's a regular day at work and you're working hard. like you always do. suddenly, your boss calls you into his office. which is weird because he never calls you end. you walk into his office, and he asks you to sit down. he begins to talk to you about your work and how tough things are at the office. and then he says the words, i'm letting you go.
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and then it is hard and painful. and you feel like the whole world is falling on top of you. ♪ ♪ >> unemployment. >> in october the unemployment rose to 10-point to present, the highest rate since april 1983, and nonfarm play more employment declined by 190,000. job losses have average 188,000 over the past three months. the declines were much smaller and thus widespread than they were last fall and winter. over 5.6 million workers have been jobless for six months or more. among the unemployed of 9.3 million persons working part-time in october, the would have preferred full-time work.
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>> in october 2009, construction was 52000 jobs lost. especially trade and heavy construction. manufacturers lost 51,000 jobs. professional and business services shed 51,000 jobs. >> we have been hiring other people. on a brighter note, health care at a 29,000 jobs in october. >> we have recently expanded our clinic in october 15 of 2009, and we added jobs your security. >> restaurants and bars added nearly 9000 jobs, but not all
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did. >> are you currently hiring? >> we welcome you to submit an application. >> recognize any of these pictures? 1929 to 1933. the great depression. in 1929, the unemployment rate begin at three-point 3%. in 1933, it was at 24-point 9%. we stand at 10-point 2%. are we going into the shadows? smack i don't remind them or any of you about the situation we found ourselves in at the beginning of this year. the economy was in a freefall. as a result of our financial crisis, folks couldn't access affordable credit to run their businesses or take out an auto loan or a student loan or in some cases pay their mortgages. homebodies were plummeting. and we were hemorrhaging about 700,000 jobs per month.
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today, the economy is growing for the first time in more than a year. and november's job report was the best that we had in nearly two years. but the fact is, even though we have stopped the rapid job losses that we are seeing just a few months ago, more than 7 million americans have lost their jobs in the two years since this recession began. unemployment still stands at 10%. so we're not finished with our task. far from a. we've got a lot of work to do. >> job loss is a scary thing. but it does happen and it happens a lot. fortunately, there are always way to recover. find out if you're eligible for unemployment benefits. determine how long your financial resources will last. if you're health benefits are paid by your employer, find out how to maintain those benefits.
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cobra will be able to help you. determine whether a career change is in order. if layoffs are rampant in your field, you may want to consider making a change to a field that is favorable. take this time to find out what skills are most viable to employers. begin your job search. write your resume, we do your job interviewing skills. realize you're in a very stressful situation, and being upset or even angry is normal. take a little break to evaluate your situation, but try not to wallow in self-pity. unemployment and a huge problem, but president obama has a plan that will free us from this
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trap. >> we can't borrow a way out of this crisis. we have to earn our way out and the only way we can earn our way out is to put america back to work again. i found that his approach in terms of everything would have to get things going again and the fact that the big banks are not making this credit available to them is a critical problem. i think we need -- >> i announced some additional targeted steps to spur private sector hiring. and given an added boost to small businesses i building on the tax cuts in the recovery act and increasing access to the loans desperately needed for small businesses to grow. we will rebuild and modernize even more of our transportation, communication networks are crossed the country. and i call for the extension of emergency relief, like unemployment insurance, health benefits to help those who lost their jobs while boosting
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consumer spending and promoting job growth. we also want to take some strategic surgical steps in areas that are going to generate the greatest number of jobs, while generating the greatest now you for our economy. and from the moment we took office, even as we took immediate steps to deal with the financial crisis, we began investing in newer, stronger foundations for lasting growth. one that would free us from the cycle of boom and bust, that has been so painful. one that can create good jobs and opportunities for a growing middle-class. that's at the heart of our effort. [applause] >> many people work incredibly hard to support their families and to earn a living. losing their job is like a death sentence upon them. we will find employment and we will win. for the sake of our country and for the sake of our future.
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it's time to turn the page and begin a new chapter. >> to see all of the winning entries in this year's studentcam competition visit >> next federal reserve chairman ben bernanke testifies at a hearing on programs and at shoring up the financial markets. following the near collapse of the financial system in 2008, the fed took numerous steps to supply the market with capital. in recent months some of those programs and policies have been scaled back. this house financial services committee hearing is a little over three hours. >> the photographers will get out of the way. this is an important hearing. we have had for some time now the federal reserve system under
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the leadership of chairman bernanke playing a very active role in dealing with the problems generated by the financial crisis of 2008. i believe the federal reserve has played a very constructive role in providing liquidity in ways that helped diminish the negative effects, and i believe that chairman and the system have also been responsible and they are aware of the need to undo this in a way that it is protected by the taxpayers, but also is not going to damage the economy that it is not done prematurely. the chairman of the subcommittee on domestic monetary policy, the job in from north carolina, mr. watt, has been closely monitoring this. i think he has been playing a very constructive role, and i will be turning the job up
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resigning over this hearing to him because he has taken the lead in this. and as we said, the federal reserve has a dual role ahead which is to make sure it continues to be improving the economy, but also it gets back to more normal status in a way that doesn't cause damage. i will repeat publicly now what i mentioned privately to the chairman. part of my job here as chairman is to hear from other members, about what their current concerns are. not surprisingly, in a bipartisan way, i've heard concerns from a number of members about commercial real estate in the independent problem of commercial real estate with loans that have to be rolled over with problems of evaluate in, people concerned that loans that are fully performing in terms of income may be jeopardized. one of the facilities that we're talking about here that is due to expire has ago and commercial
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real estate, so while i will not be able to stay the whole hearing, mr. chairman, i hope you will be addressing what we can do about commercial real estate. i appreciate the fact that you and other of the regulators have sent some members of your staff here to talk to us about what could be done. some of the members on this committee, mr. kline of florida, others have various proposals both to the regulators and that could be legislated to do with this. i think there's general agreement that getting responsibly with the commercial real estate is very important one of the things that occurs to me again to stress is some of this has to do with concerns of the county. and i would really the position we've been taking. i don't think we should be done via county board what to do. but we can i think urge the regulators to show some discretion and flexibility and act on what the accounting rules
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require. so with that, i'm not going to recognize the gentleman from alabama for two minutes according to the minority's list, and the remainder of the hearing will be under the chairmanship of the gentleman from north carolina. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for holding this hearing, and thank you, chairman bernanke, for your testimony. the federal reserve was 1 trillion a half dollars of additional liquidity in the system is faced with a very difficult problem. how to vacuum that money out fast enough to avoid hyperinflation, but do so without stalling a recovery. chairman frank, an exit strategy is made necessary in the first place due partially to a series of interventions by the fed and the treasury that were both unprecedented and highly controversial. the most questionable of which was the use of 13-3 authorities to rescue individual firms, and
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their creditors under the doctrine of too big to fail. of course, house republicans had rejected the concept of too big to fail in the long-term. now is the time for the federal government and the fed to get out of the bailout business. as i've said previously, the term intervention implies that the government is anything with the economy and market forces. and intervention creates an artificial condition in which the system becomes increasingly dependent on government action. you see that with the gse's. as with any addiction an altered state is great where the only choices are permanent addiction or somewhat painful withdrawal. that is why a centerpiece of the republican regulatory reform solution, not only to end a too big to fail, but to rein in the feds 13-3 authorities consistent with that goal. to his credit, chairman frank has incorporated several of these ideas in a regulatory reform bill that passed the house and the center.
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while there was much that we disagree with, the need for limitations on the feds authority to conduct large-scale bailout of individual firms was one area in which there was bipartisan consent. in conclusion, withdrawing liquidity and returning the fed to its more traditional monetary policy role will be difficult if done incorrectly it may negatively impact the economy. but this transition must take place. thank you, mr. chairman. >> the gentleman's time has expired. and that we have myself i think about us of the time, five minutes. in response to the global economic crisis, the federal reserve injected over $2 trillion into the economy through various liquidity initiatives, including the term asset-backed securities, loan facili,


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