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tv   Capital News Today  CSPAN  November 15, 2010 11:00pm-2:00am EST

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basically being in lockstep with the democrats simply because they had pieces of the bill. and so the problem developed than that we simply were not making our case well enough to ever become the majority and the majority became used to the fact that is where the formula we were legislating on the science and technology committee where i serve. we had one chairman who used to do the the chairman's mark a couple of nights before the bill would come to the floor and his idea of bipartisanship on that was to invite a couple of members of the minority staff.
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no minority members but the republican members were divided that the minority staff was invited into the room. and what he would say was now, you know, we are going to do the bill this way. they weren't allowed to speak, so the minority staff simply sat in and listen to what the chairman planned to do and the next day or a couple of days later he would come to the committee and talk about his bipartisan bill. well, that didn't strike some of us as being the kind of bipartisanship that was going to get us very far. and what it meant was that then you lost the component of focused criticism because you didn't have the people in the room that ultimately were going to make the decisions about where the debate was going to go. so, the criticism piece is in my mind, fairly large and all of this, and it is a case where noe
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criticism is likely to at least take on the character of knowing what it is like to go. most of the people who are going to become committee chairman under the republicans in the house are going to be people who served on the part of the majority and so it is likely to produce a people who yes are going to go along with the velocity they think been there but on the other hand are going to be a little bit subject to knowing that at the end of the day if you are going to get some of this then you have got to figure out a way to govern. the other point i would make is that bipartisanship does not have to block debate. this whole business of having people who find the flaws in pills actually contributes to the end product, and if congress is literally allowed to work its will, it has a number of really good aspects to it.
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among other things that force is committee chairman to come to the floor and defend their bills. one of the things i used to hear when i would criticize the republicans when they were in charge and i would tell them you don't have enough open rules going on here guys coming need to have that. i was told while the committee chairman has gotten these kind of perfect bills out of their committee. you know, they are next to perfection and they don't want to have a chance of coming to the floor and having these perfect bills ripped apart. and so my response always was well with the bill is so perfect, why would it be ripped apart on the floor? but the other problem was that it also mentioned the chairman didn't have to spend time on the floor defending each aspect of their bill but that is a bad thing because they are ultimately the authors of many of these and it is a very good thing to have them come out and defend not only to their colleague but to the country at large what it is they have done. it seems to me that governing becomes harder if the minorities
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ruled in presenting the alternatives is degraded or diminished. began, i say, the main role of the minority is to become the majority. its chief governance is to criticize. in many offices all over town here, you have potted plants that serve a function. soak in the minority party in congress if the majority respects its role. [applause] >> while he is approaching the podium i forgot to mention that i had the honor of serving with him on the bipartisan ethics task force. i was a staff member in my boss was the cochair and that was probably one of the best bipartisan experiences i had in my 28 years on the hill. >> i enjoy that as well, done. that was a very positive income -- outcome for the
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institution. it is really a pleasure to be here today with don and particularly with bob walker. bob really did the minority well. he loved it. he was good at it. it was a joy to see him approaching the parliamentarian with a question which was going to determine how the day went on the florida house. bob was somebody who was really respecting on the majority side as he was innovative, and he was creative and he was the fact that, and he drove us nuts. and at some point you have to respect the people who can drive you nuts on a daily basis and bob certainly did that very well. you know the majority is another thing. it is always difficult when the minority has its wonderful cathartic victory as it did a couple of weeks ago. only to discover they have caught the bus.
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the difficulties begin immediately. that sense we are focusing on the minority right now, i have to relate to what is going on downstream in the democratic offices in the capital. and that is something the trial lawyers referred to as pain and suffering. there is no question this is a very, very difficult time. we democrats are particularly good at these circular firing squads and we always do it after elections that don't go well. the left says we should have been more left. the right who is no longer members of the body, say no we should have been more moderate. we shouldn't have done that in maybe we should've done this. there is no real agreement ultimately accept that will we have to pick up and move on. and they are still going through that process right now. people in the blue dog category who remain frankly need to have a way to express their opposition to the former
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speaker. and apparently they will have someone, maybe the gentleman from north carolina, schuyler, be the sort of sacrificial lamb, knowing that there is no way he is going to win but wanting to for his own purposes let alone his colleagues say that he was different and didn't want to just ratify his leadership. you will find others, who are simply of the school that, if you lose you know like george steinbrenner would have it if the yankees don't win the world series maybe we need to get a new manager. and there is no question there is always that, and yet, politically these days, democrats are well aware of the fact that nancy pelosi has brought something to the table for them, and that is the ability to raise money outside of washington, outside of special interest.
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and while it is great to talk about procedure and rattles on the floor and the use of c-span, practically, and i think nancy cited this a good deal in her work, the campaign committees and the leadership that attends to them, which is made an incredible difference in the last i would say five to 10 years, i served as chairman from 90 to 94. by the time we entered into the more recent decade, which is just about to leave, the entities had sharpened themselves tremendously. better staff, better informed, more control in terms of having influence on who ran and how they ran and whether -- were funded. recruitment became incredibly powerful. i don't think anybody has done a better job than kevin mccarthy who was just a think about to be made with a membership on the
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ways and means committee that he may take a leave of absence from. a reward for doing an incredible job upper creating candidates who ran as republicans and in many cases one this term. many of them actually were defeated in primaries and whoever beat them, there were still a real effort to get serious people with public service backgrounds and experience in the public sector generally to be candidates. that makes a big difference particularly when you are running against incumbents. it is great to have the wind at your back. recruiting goes really well plan the mood of your party is in the ascendancy. it can be very tough when you are losing support in the general public can people see their opportunity perhaps five years down the road, not immediately and they don't want to run loose. recruiting has been incredibly important. they have raised more money than a valuable opposition research.
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democrats did a wonderful job, hoping to stem the tide this year i going into the weeds and finding out a lot about the tax liens and divorce agreements etc., of the republican candidates. frankly it didn't do any good in general. it did kind of cause some of the republican campaigns to sort of hit some bumpy spots, but the wind is at your back, you can overcome just about anything and you can elect a governor of florida, the state with the largest senior citizen population, who has been a perpetrator of medicare fraud to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. you can tell, didn't really matter what was wrong with your candidacy. you were going to win, and i think it was pretty impressive in many states that they did that. now you have to look at reapportionment at this point. republican victories were not only large, they were extremely timely and they are doing i think as we speak.
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a lot of homework as to how they can cement another 10 seats perhaps without even going to the election by simply taking the redistricting and the reapportionment that leads to that and locking in both syntaxes for example where they will pick up three or four seats, and perhaps protecting republicans in states like pennsylvania, new york, if they have the state senate. in ohio where they are losing seats to the south and the west. so that was a very important part of this transition and it is very important as the democrats go forward to strengthening their political arm as they move into the next political environment and none of us know exactly what that will be. all we know is in the sort of economic environment it will probably be just as volatile. the question really becomes for me, what should the legislative
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role of the minority be? republicans have been educating the democrats now for about 20 years. the gingrich/walker -- of the '90s effectuated by the renewed emphasis on retaining power that you saw with the delay and hastert finally came across to the democrats. they have always been somewhat divided in to legislating governing and not particularly good at the politics. they got better at it or good nancy pelosi organize the democratic caucus in a way very similar to the way republicans had organized it. and i have to say in relatively short order, republicans have a fair game, and they did it i party unity. they did by just saying no to everything, and i think regrettably they did it without really offering a lot of alternatives. they simply don't get into the
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debate about issues. they simply stand there and resist whatever the obama administration or the policy congress wants to task. and they do it in a way that makes clear to your base into an increasingly conservative independent voter that this was the way the republicans would govern, differently than the democrats. and it turned out to be a great success, but we have a problem in this country. unlike the menzies churchill debate, we are a divided government. almost all the time. even those 40 years where democratic majority in the the house, i think would tell you we had about 20 years for the republicans ran the senate and a lot of illegal republican coalitions that really controlled the floor of the house. we have divided government now and probably will continue to.
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and as a result of that we have to govern somehow, and so at some point just saying no doesn't get it done. having constructive alternatives are required. sorting out those issues where we can reach agreement, where we must for the good of the economy and the country, finding common ground. it is always difficult with the minority. they always want to vote no. bob and i were talking earlier about the difficulty of passing the debt limit extension, the fact that so many of these young republicans coming to town have no government experience, have taken positions in the election against any debt limit extension which we all know the country has to do in order to pay the bills that the party been incurred. would democrats continue some votes to make you that happen or will john boehner have the most difficult crisis on this very issue? it is really one example of where we must find at least in
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some areas an alternative to just trying to defeat barack obama. there has to be some areas that can be discussed, worked through perhaps, to a conclusion that is a compromise. it used to be in a path that the ways and means committee or the appropriations committee with sort of sort out these bitter partisan issues and bring them out to the floor. that is no longer the case. the leadership has sort of taken over through term limits and other ways of influencing who leads these committees through the steering committee. they have taken all that compromising ability out of the process, and now those committees are there to tow the line. people who hate the idea of line items being taken off the table, people who love having the ability to send something back to the districts are now swearing off. no way can they prevail as committee chair if they take
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that kind of position. so i look forward to some discussion about what is going to be going on in the next congress and how this minority particularly might work in a terrible dilemma they have of having their president occasionally asking them for those that they think are not in their interest in terms of pump remising with the majority. i think we have begun to see some of that formulation with the simpson commission's recommendations. the left in the writer taking off for the hills. the question is, can there be a center, and that will be a very important issue for both wine already and the majority. [applause] >> there are plenty of seats if anybody still needs any along the wall here or up here at the table. matthew green.
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>> thank you very much. what i'm going to do today is talk about the minority party from a theoretical and empirical perspective and my purpose here is twofold. first, to help us i guess propose a theoretical way of thinking of of the minority party, what they do and why they do what they do. and then second talked about briefly in the time i have certain categories of that to be that the minority party in the house of representatives undertakes to try to achieve basic goals. and to at least suggest the question, not just why they do it but whether it actually works. they make a difference and a political influence as it were. so, my focus -- here we go. first of all, one question is why am i looking at the house and not the senate? i'm looking at the house of
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representatives. with a look at the minority party at all which is done mention not many do they look at the senate and for some fairly straightforward reasons. has been of the senate minority has a lot more power, both individual members and minority party members especially if the minority party work together. procedural tools such as the filibuster, loose lipped another procedural rules make it easy for the minority to slow things down. and this is why wb rolls among others has focused on this and called part of the minority party tool kit, this ability to filibuster legislation on the senate floor. .com if you watch c-span and see with the minority party is doing, they are not just sitting around doing nothing. they are acting. they are conducting activities both on the floor and of course off the floor in the question is why are they doing these things that they are so powerless? they don't act in a helpless fashion, and so one of the things that motivate them to do
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this research is to understand what the minority party is trying to achieve and whether they are able to do so with the things that they do. now my focus is going to be the house. many of the things i will talk about are applicable to the senate minority but the examples i will get far from the house in particular. so there are three questions that i will propose and that motivate my interest in the subject. the first is, what does the minority party in the house actually do? the second is why did they do it? in the third is whether it makes a difference to the political outcome. i'm not going to answer all three questions thoroughly partly because it would take a lot longer than the time i'm allotted, partly because it is part of a larger research process as don mentioned that is still underway, so i don't have firm answers to all these questions but i will suggest answers to some of them in my talk. first i want to talk about the second question why does the minority party do what they do? and the way that i suggest conceiving of the minority party
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or thinking about it is in terms of collective goals. now i'm not the only person to suggest by the number of other scholars also talk about parties in terms of their collective goals. but if a party has a goal, collective glow, then presumably the activity they will undertake are designed primarily to achieve that goal and that they have several goals, then they may undertake activities to achieve one or more of those goals. so what i have proposed is typology of goals in which the minority party can be thought of as having four major collective goals and i will talk about each of these very briefly. the first is as congressman walker mentioned and perhaps the most important to not be a minority anymore, to be in the majority are winning elections. and this is to be sure a very important goal of the minority party. some might say the most and some might say or have the only but it is certainly important in the house of representatives. the second goal is to influence policy and the idea here is that
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even if you are in the minority party to me you are a member of congress, you care about policy. you got elected to congress presumably to influence national policy so you are going to want to try to exercise influence on policy. to be sure they can betray us between the first and second goal in the can talk about that later. the third goal, these two goals have been proposed by other scholars such as stephen smith and charles jones. this is not a new idea but i suggest to additional goals that also can maier motivate the minority party in congress and especially the house. the third is the protection of procedural rights and powers. the idea here is that members of the minority care about their rights under the rules in their own right. to be sure the rules of the house can allow them if they are liberal enough, to influence policy or to try to win elections but they are also important in their own right. you get elected to congress, you are representing over 600,000 people, you care about your rights as a member of congress.
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the fourth coal that i suggest his internal party unity. this one is maybe a little less persuasive case because one could argue really get a tea is the means to achieve in and such as winning on the floor are winning elections, but i would argue that in many cases the minority party seeks to unify either in ways they can't quite say exactly, they are not sure how it is going to achieve future goals but it is something that is important. or it achieves other things that matter to minority party levers. for them since they don't have to worry about dealing with open defections on the floor price coverage of the divided minority. if the their parties and by they can focus less on building discipline or discipline to build its unity and focus on other things as well. and as a show here in the chart, there are four different basic strategies that a minority party can undertake to achieve one or more of these goals. campaign related activity, position taking some activity in
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the public sphere, legislating and obstruction so i thought i would do is briefly talk about some examples of each of these four categories and then some up. the first activity of campaign related and of course a lot of things members of congress do can be focused on campaigns or elections, so what i mean here is activity that is primarily or principally focused on election activity and winning elections. two examples i will mention briefly. the first is candidate recruitment which is very important for the minority party, for either party frankly, to get people to run for office, challenged members of their their party or to run for open seats. now in the paper that i wrote for this talk for this panel, you talk about one way of measuring the success of recruitment which is the quality of candidates. another way which is not in the paper is just looking at how many people you get to run on their party against the majority party and this is data compiled i nate silver, the blogger who is currently affiliated with
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"the new york times." chose number of house seats held by each party that were uncontested. notice if you will the top bar which is the number of democrats who did not face a challenger. the difference between 2008 in 2010, republicans successfully got almost every house incumbent this year to face a challenger, and that means to be sure not all of these challengers may be of high-quality but that put pressure on the majority party to fund those candidates, to put up some degree of defense against those incumbents and so forth and in contrast the bottom of the chart with a number of republicans who did not face challenges and the democrats did worse compared to 2008 in finding people to run against incumbent republicans. so candidate recruitment is very important. of course it is difficult to know for sure the relative role of party leaders and campaign, folks doing campaigns for the minority versus other factors.
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as congressman fazio mention when the wind is at your back recruitment as a whole lot easier and there have been stories and reports for example congressman mccarthy telling the press that there was an difficulty recruiting members until a republican to run for congress, tell two things happen. one was scott ran winning the special election in massachusetts and number two was the enactment of of the health care bill. all of these republicans came out of the woodwork saying i want to run for congress either because i think i can win and/or i am really unhappy with obama and i don't want to see the demo cracks in charge in congress anymore. separating these two is difficult but to be sure it is important a minimum for the minority party to be putting in effort into candidate recruitment. second briefly i will mention fundraising and in the papers talk about overall fund-raising by the dccc as well as republicans and i also look at how well the democrats raise money for special candidates they targeted in 2006 when they were in the minority in the so-called red to blue program.
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this chart shows how well red to blue members raise money. this is the green bar. in the quarter before they were put on the list and a quarter after they were put on the list. compared within the red, members from roughly similar districts who are running, democrats and the blue and a random assortment of members and democrats who are running. sure enough red to blue members, candidates were raising a lot of money but they continue to raise a lot of money after they were put on the red to blue list whereas other lawmakers may have also raised more but nowhere did the exact amounts are the same dollar amount as those who were on the blue list. same thing happened for the second round of those democratics added to the red to blue programs in july 2006. again the green bar showed they raised significantly more in the second quarter after they were put on the list as opposed to members from similar districts. dimock rats were also running. very quickly, the other three spheres i looked at,
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legislating. this is a large complicated sphere. a lot of ways the minority party can influence legislative theory. i look at amending on the floor and surprise surprise minority party members do not have success in influencing legislation on the floor and less these two things happen. when they are offering an amendment that is relatively minor or noncontroversial or they can command a pivotal majority of members. they can get enough members of the majority party to vote with them. this has been particularly the case on campaign finance legislation in recent decades. but, the caveat here is that as i said there are a lot of other ways to influence legislation. a lot of legislation might flied minority party interest before it is introduced or in committee and of course if the minority party has their party controlled by the senate or, and/or the white house than they have more leverage. so it is possible for the minority party to influence policy at just a strict amending process is relatively -- the
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last two spheres of activity, public position taking in the example i will discuss here is election-year agendas come alternative agendas. i think it is a little bit more removed from recruiting candidates so i look at things such as the contract of america, new direction for america, the pledge for america. the minority party suggesting what they would do if they took control of the house of representatives. two quick points i want to make about this. contract with america was very important and in many ways influence what minority parties would do after that but we shouldn't forget that this was not the first time a minority party tried to offer an alternative agenda. for instance congressman john gross who is the leader of the republican minority in the 1970s, after the devastating 1974 election when republicans lost a massive amount of ct got his college together and they
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drafted their own alternative agenda may publicize it in a book he wrote that was published in 1976 called a feudal system. this is not the first time we have seen minority parties try to do this. the second larger., there is not a whole lot of evidence that these have at least help the minority of achieved their electoral goals for a number of reasons. polls have shown that is donald wolfensberger noted his book most americans don't know about these things. is not clear they vote based on these what these agendas say. voters tend to be retrospective so they just a party in power rather than prospective where they think the other party will do. so at least in terms of influencing elections, these don't seem to have a whole lot of influence but i think they can play an important role in other ways which i can talk about. the fourth and final category is dilatation of tactics. this is where the senate gets all the attention, filibuster and all this. the rules allow the minority to
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at least pester the majority, slowing things down here and there and example that i gave here are motions to rise and/or a journey which is a path to intrepid legislative process. in if they don't they require a recorded vote, usually divided by a recorded vote which is another 15 or 20 minutes. to basically stop what we are doing right now. the most famous example of this in recent years was probably in 2008 when congressman tom lantos passed away. it was a memorial service for him. the house went into session for some unclear reason and they were considering some resolutions. the congressman diaz-balart offered a motion to adjourn and said all this hullabaloo how dare you do this while we are having a memorial service and back and forth and back and forth. that is not the only time the minority parties done this. very quickly this graph shows the percentage of recorded votes cast on motions to rise and/or
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adjourn. you can see that as a total, sort of a percentage of all roll call votes, less than 6% and oftentimes much less. and there's a lot of fluctuation but i think was most interesting about this chart is how it is very rare until the 1990s. now it is seen as a potential for minority parties, potential to to offer a lot of oceans to go -- rice and adjourn. of course these are both effective when they are used more than once. this is the percentage of motions to ricer adjourn offered by the minority party that occur within one day of each other and you can see now we see these routinely, that 80% of motions apprised to adjourn are done at least two times over the course of today's. caveat here, sometimes this is just one member of congress with some personal grudge who offers them five, six, eight, 10, 12, times. so it is not necessarily a good sign of the minority parties concerned or their objections.
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so they shows the percentage, the average percentage of the minority party that votes for these motions to rise or adjourn and you can see again a great deal of fluctuation. i think most interesting here is the difference between the last congress, the 110th in this congress. so in 2007/2000 republicans were offering a lot of motions to rise and adjourn and most of the party was for them. this congress not only were there fewer but hardly anybody was supporting them. we can talk about some recent -- but one reason is the case for my discussion with folks who work in the minority leadership is that there was a decision after 2008 that these things didn't work. they weren't helping the minority achieve their goals, and so they were abandoned both the number and in the frequency with which members would support them. the last chart on this and then i will quickly wrap up, the other way to think about these are understand why they are done is to look at why the people who offer them what their justification is. why are you offering a motion to ricer adjourn?
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most of the reasons are not too surprising and most of them can be connected to these four goals. what was most interesting to me is the percentage offered by members who were upset at the agenda because they wanted some other bills to be considered on the floor. this is not a power the minority party has to change the agenda so it is interesting they would be doing this out of protest. you do they really thought they could change the agenda and wanted to or it was a way of highlighting their agenda to the broader public. so to conclude, the minority party is not irrational, the things they do have a purpose. it is often to get the majority but not always and i would say that some of these tactics can work to some extent in helping the party achieve some of their goals. to general things that i think matter for the minority party, resources, minority party if they have money, they have talent, they have individuals who are entrepreneurial. that can help them achieve at least -- strategies well.
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for a pivotal status they can win over majority parties on the floor. can they attend attention? and finally the goodwill of the majority which congressman walker mentioned, smart majorities, give the minority opportunity. and so one could argue. >> please turn off your electronic devices if you have a cell phone. >> that might be also a cue for me to stop. very quickly, sometimes the majority minority has influence because the minority gets in that. we don't see it so often in aggregate sometimes and individual pockets of politics in the house we too and that in my talk. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. >> one thing that i notice, and probably one of the few walking people outside of the hill that looks a special rules but the majority began writing into the special rules for bills and lay down the procedures. prohibition, anybody offering a motion to ricer not only the
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chairman of the commission can do that so that is why do you were saying a lot fewer those motions. at that i'm going to turn it over to jackie calmes. jackie has had the benefit not only of covering congress for "congressional quarterly" when she first came at covering budgetary and appropriations matters but also covering a number of campaigns both congressional and presidential so i think she can give us some perspective to mackinac some of the stuff is perceived outside the beltway and on the campaign trail. >> i am here at the time of another turnover because when i first started covering congress, 1984, and i actually thought year after year went on, that i would never cover a congress that had a republican house majority. seriously, never thought in my career i would see that.
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and a 92, there was a group around the late '80s, early '90s called the 92 group of house republicans, and their names suggested their goal. they were going to win a majority and we are all going yeah, right. and of course they didn't but they were actually, the seeds were planted that year for the midterm election just like we have got now, where the party in power, the party that held the white house when typically but not always, lucy to the midterm and newt gingrich and i'm sure u2 bob were, new you would gain seats in 94. in fact, the statute of limitations is passed on this. i can say that, in 88, i am going so far back now i have to think, that newt gingrich did not want george h. w. bush to get the presidency. no, this was a 91. he didn't want him to win it
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again in 92 because he saw that in 94 they could be these big gains in the midterm. so, but i actually think, i was glad all party considerations aside, i thought it was bad for anyone party to hold control of the house for four decades with an unbroke ends brach, and that you saw the results and what was happening within the house democratic caucus. there was, you know, there were some practices taking hold a sense of entitlement that was corrupting. so, then you know, when the democrats, right before this by the way, but wasn't just a 92 group that we thought was delusional. there was a couple of moderate republican political scientist who wrote it look and i think it was 91 called the permanent minority. do you remember that? >> it came out 94 but it had a question mark in a timely way.
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it was a permanent republican voter. >> along the same lines, two friends of mine actually wrote a book in the mid-decade that we just finished that was about the permanent domination of republicans for years to come, and than that was right before 2006, which make me glad i never get the urge to write it look like that, or at least not one that can be proven false in the next election. so, that the minorities -- so it has been a great experience to see this swing back and forth. in 95 arguably the republicans over reached just as democrats are having been accused at doing now. i think there was an even bigger argument for the house republicans overreaching in 95, and partly it goes to what bob said about the difference then
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versus now, which is that there there -- what i saw happen in 95 is that you had house republicans, including the chairman, who had no idea really it seemed how to govern, how to be a majority and a lot of them, or at least some of them, had just about become, they were potted plants in the committee. will give you one example where a committee i watch closely with with the house ways and means and the larger. he had just spent both by the democrats domination and his own inclination just took himself out of any role whatsoever in that committee, so in january of 1995, i remember chasing after him after he had just made an announcement right after they took power that the ways and means committee was going to cut something on the scale of 245 billion out of medicare in five years. and something i just thought was not possible. and, so it quickly became
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obvious in the thing with newt gingrich couldn't check them either because newt gingrich had never been much involved in policy. so i think the budget breakdown later that year proved that they were wrong. i remember my colleague, when i was covering congress than for "the wall street journal" and my colleague day in and day out on the hill with david rogers who was arguably the best-known longest-serving congressional reporter ever. he is now at politico. and he and i were always like getting angry because we were getting these divides and directly hearing from the mothership in new york. we just didn't get it, that there was a revolution going on and our stories worth reflecting what was happening. david and i have, just because we have been around in the nitty-gritty of politics, me since 90 -- 1984 and date since 1989, and we just knew that they couldn't -- you can never be
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sure but we sure couldn't say how they were going to be able to do what they had promised they could do. so i think it is a good thing now that they are taking over at a time when their memories are so recent as to how to be a majority, but i think in a lot of ways they seem to be taking the message that they have a mandate that i don't see, and my duty on election night was to write the exit polls story. those exit polls more than most were just full of mixed messages, you know and there was, you know, a big four out of 10 voters said they wanted more spending, not deficit reduction or tax cuts. there was a big, about the same percentage. i should have reviewed the numbers before i came in here. it was a majority, about 52% when you combine the number who said they didn't want any of the bush tax cuts to be extended and those who wanted just a middle-class extended, which
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leaves the minority to do with the republican majority now wants to do. so i think the other thing is i'm really interested in watching every time is different. what i'm really interested now in watching is how these republicans deal with something -- you know i'm used to watching congress as an institution. is very and were driven. the numbers themselves have external pressures but it is a very -- there are a lot of internalized and institutional factors that come into play, in part because the public isn't playing that close attention. but, i have never seen a situation or an environment where the majority of party in congress is going to be so watched over by a group and that of course is the tea party and people who are sympathetic to what they stand for. and they have been very blunt in saying you no we are not
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republicans. we happen to share a lot in common with republicans and if they don't you know, if they don't do what they promised us they will do then there will be trouble. one thing as a reporter i think is another healthy thing, and again it is all policy and partnership aside, is the extent to which when you are in the minority and in particular especially in the house and i think we are just talking about the house here, we in the press don't pay any attention to them, next to none and especially when you have an agenda as an activist as the democrats have had both by necessity and inclination for the past two years. and i will give you just one example that shows what is really sort of a benefit of having divided government from a journalist standpoint. there has been a lot of things
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said by republicans over the last two years, that if we have the time and if our editors have the interest we could write and say it is not quite right. you know, this is rhetoric. this is not really fact-based. but like i say, there are just no appetite in no time for it but recently i was going over the list of the proposed cuts to see where republicans, to try to figure out where this promised $100 billion in domestic discretionary cuts would come from. one of the largest cuts on their list is $25 billion by repealing, the 25 billion in savings i repealing a particular welfare program. so i looked at it, and it turns out this welfare program, $2.5 billion a year, was actually part of the stimulus program, a two-year program, $2.5 billion divided over two years. now, to be fair, the
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republicans, i mean democrats in the house did try to extended for a year or two because unemployment remains at 10% in this particular welfare program was aimed at long-term jobless families. but they failed. republicans lost it and in any case the program died on september 30. you cannot balance the budget by getting rid of programs that don't exist. now normally i would just laugh and say, oh my god and roll my eyes but now that they are majority and i'm trying to figure out where they are going to cut, i mean that would have would have been one for the -- 100 billion is the amount they are talking for when you are so this is 25 billion. what they did is take 2.5 billion multiply by 10 and that is 25 billion in tenure savings. so i wrote about it. i would have never written about that for the past two years even though things like that have been out there and i think that is good. i called the republican leadership staffer and asked,
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can you justify this? why did you propose this as saving that much money? he said just like he said, the democrats did try to extended. and i said, yeah, and they failed so when you are the majority just try getting cbo to score that for you. [laughter] one of the questions don asked us to look at was whether reapportionment, and i thought i would address it since it is coming up, the first time i covered pre-apportionment was 1981 in the texas legislature when it was still a one-party democratic state and the republicans were just starting to make and roads but then in 1982 they would lose every statewide seat. but that was the last time, that was the last straw for democrats in texas. but, the question is whether it will, whether the talk of the importance of computer manipulated district lines to advantage of one party over the
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other is overblown and i would say absolutely not with the caveat that a wave election can undo the best, most precise computer redistricting and gerrymandering as we saw in 1994 and 2006 and now in 2010. but the fact is, the combination of redistricting, which has segregated the wings of both party and to so many districts except your apps for you know two or three dozen, together with the realignment, political realignment in our country since the civil rights era, has made i think the prospect of more of these turnover elections for the house more common, for better and worse. you have you know, the house republicans are the most conservative of conservatives. just as the democrats, except when they have it take influx of moderates on the wave election, the combination of 2006 in 2008.
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a lot of members said even they were saying didn't really deserve -- wouldn't have a long hold in the seat, that they were just two republican leaning. so you get the situation where you have you have the wings of each party in these districts. they are virtually one-party district and then the activists are looking closely at what they do and they have high expectations. and when the party that is the majority doesn't meet those expectations, isn't liberal enough for us and conservative enough they get depressed. midterm election comes along with no presidential candidates at the top to bring voters out and the activists, who are for the majority, who have disappointed them, they stay home, and lot of them. and conversely that minority voters get energized and they come out. we saw that happen in 94. it disadvantaged the democrats and now in 2010 once again to
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the disadvantage of democrats. so i think we are in you know very much the opposite of what i first expected when i started my career where i would never see a republican majority. i think i'm seeing a republican majority now for the second time and i think i will see them in the minority again before my career is over, specially since i'm going to be working long past 65 since i won't be able to afford -- [laughter] i would just close with one thing. and i have to say when i first got to know bob walker, when he was in the house and e. newt gingrich were in the conservative opportunity society, i really didn't like what i thought they represented because i thought there should be some more accommodation. but, i have, if little bit closer to where he is just as a citizen, because another thing that is very much changed and
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i'm sort of ripping here so i apologize and then i will sit down so you can answer questions. but when i first started my career, a truism was there is not a dimes worth of difference. there is no daylight between the two parties. think about that. nobody would say that now. i don't think they would. well, some of the people in the french parties. so, so i think it is good but i think we are in danger or we have party taken it too far and i'm going to go out on a limb at the risk of sounded like i i am it's expressing an opinion. if there's one time i think people should accommodate each other it is in times of national crisis. i think that period from late 2008 to early 2009 was just such a period. and i just want to give four examples to where i think the republicans did not accommodate or at least try -- and we can
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all stipulate that the democrats didn't go far enough, that barack obama despite some initial outreach seemed an part encouraged by his party, decide there was nothing in it and he might as well just like clinton decided, in his first year, that he would just go it alone. but think about the things that have been issued in this election. stimulus. the stimulus bill, the first person to put on the map that we needed a big stimulus was none other than martin feldstein the chairman of ronald reagan's council of economic adviser. on halloween day i remember in the "washington post" he wrote that we needed 300 billion in pure spending, no tax cuts. nobody on the democratic party had said anything approaching that, and so by the time, and the economy is getting worse by the weeks go by the time democrats came and they were looking at something on the scale of a trillion dollars but
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they made one third of the tax cuts in part because barack obama i think many people have argued to me made the mistake of negotiating with himself, thinking that aside, instead of letting republicans with the tax cuts and the stimulus he put the men and then didn't want to go much further. they threw in the amt release for chuck grassley and a lot of good that did them. the health care bill, people talk about government takeover and how this was a liberal pill. just as the liberals how liberal it was. i cover the 94 health care debate. that will that past is so similar. if you don't have to take my word for it. they will tell you. republicans in the senate, bob dole, john chaffee and 21 other senate republicans cosponsored a bill that is practically within individual mandate. that was their alternative to the democrats employer mandate. the fiscal commission. you have the mcconnell staff and where mitch mcconnell and seven
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other republicans in the senate who had once cosponsored the idea of a fiscal commission in voted against the plan the idea that democrats and financial regulation. again and arguably moderate hill, just as the liberal democrat and one that i think there was some work in the senate, could have been more involving republicans. but i know from two republican senators that on the banking committee that when they thought they had a deal they were called into mitch mcconnell's office in reined in. so i just think this has been, this period this sort of worries me for the future when i see the kind of decisions that the fiscal commission as illustrated by its package. we are going to have to be making in the next few years, and i just came from a briefing at the residence of the ambassador of the european union and he was talking, because there is going to be this summit in lisbon this weekend, and he
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was saying that europeans are very very worried about the prospect for a dysfunctional american government. and, and i think they should be and i think we should be, and it is just very difficult though to know you know when do you accommodate and when do you not? i look forward to your questions. [applause] >> before i open it up to the floor i want to give our other earlier analysts a chance to make comments on anything that has been said after them. congressman walker? >> let's go to questions. >> to you have any follow-up comments on anything that was set before? >> i just wanted to make a comment on the dilatory tactics that we have seen from the grass up there. it is increasingly the minority school to make the majority
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inoperable, unable to function, not pass the appropriation bills, not just in time but even during the year in which the fiscal year has begun. and i think this is a trend that is bipartisan, and is terribly destructive. it isn't that people are offering amendments to make a shift in priorities within an appropriations bill. it is amendments which amount to a filibuster. countless, almost repetitive amendments that caused my geordie to say we don't have the time to spend a week on the energy and water appropriations bill and therefore it gets rolled into an omnibus. there is no conference for the senate any more. all of the things that used to make of this kind of legislating i think an important success for the congress has been sort of put it out of the realm of
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reason and largely because i think minorities conclude that the most important thing they can do is make sure that the majority fails, capital f broadly and that is becoming more important than whether or not they actually accommodate the minority in any concept of amendments or changes to law, and i think this is really sort of escalation of what we used to see. and i think it is reminiscent of an era that we are and, where polarization is so deep in the country, and so much a part of our media, cable and the blogosphere that it is really what the two-party basis jackie was talking about, the computer driven redistricting. they may see some changes. california has the commission now for congress. florida has passed a constitutional amendment that might change this by requiring districts to have a little bit more integrity based on
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population in cities and counties. but the bottom line here is the polarization that we now see in the congress has led us to a point where this is the norm. make sure the majority fails. it is not so important as to what you have to offer as much is that they don't succeed. i think that is a very troubling change that i have seen in the last 10 years. >> if i might though,, the antidote to that though is to allow free and open debate in the congress. i think where the mistake has been made by both parties as one nation down free and open debate, loud germane amendments to come to the floor. i would say to jackie on the health care bill, financial bailout was all written in backrooms. the republicans had no input to them whatsoever, none. and so then they bring them to the floor and the absolutely close process and expect people expect the republicans to say
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okay, fine. the country needs it. what you need to do is bring these bills to the floor and allow them to be debated, allow people to bring them in. that is what forces the minority to come up with alternatives at that point. if they don't have to come up with alternatives in all u.s. them to do is to vote up or down on the bill, but if you put a bill out there they have to come up with solutions. they have to allow for amendments that put them on the line for what they stand for, and i think when the republicans shut down the process on the democrats and the democrats over the last two years with only one bill permitted on the floor under a modified open rule, one bill was brought to the floor in the last two years, and it was a fairly minor science committee bill. now, that just is not legislating and it is certainly not the way in which you assure
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an adequate policy process. >> let me just follow up on what was said though. the appropriations process was really shut down completely. there were only two bills that got to the floor and were adopted and those were under restrictive rules, which was done to i think prevent you know the type of filibuster by amendment you are worried about that there is the fear, i understand, that once you put these out there they are so filled with earmarks and there were people that want to get a vote on every one of those and that could go on and on and on. the majority does have the ability to restrict those and they have done that in the past, but now we are not even willing to do that. is that what what you saw unfolding? >> well i think what i've seen as a brake down of the committee leadership working across the aisle with the ranking republican in this case. i think we have seen the end of the ability of the majority and
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minority on each subcommittee to work together to get their bill. and we have seen the end of the kind of discussions that routinely took place between the leaders of the speaker, the leader of the minority. they would in effect orchestrate what was needed to get comedy on the floor. .. >> they are written in leadership offices. the only people that participate is maybe some of the majority
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members. but certainly nobody from the minority there that's permitted to have a say in what the legislation looks like. and that is going to lead to a revolt immediately by the minority. we didn't have any input, why should we be for anything that's in the bill. and my suggestion is the way that you get around some of the intense partnership is to allow everybody to have their say, and allow a real policymaking to take place. and if it takes two or three weeks on the floor, it takes two or three weeks. sometimes you might have to keep the house in session for 18 hours a day in order to do this and tire the members out. you have have a better product if the chance bets to work it's will. >> i don't agree with that. the task force approach to writing laws was part of the newt gingrich genius. breaking down the committee. making sure the chairman no
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longer helps. the two or three day week was hard to change when everybody was worried about going washington. live at home, make sure you don't spend any time there getting to know the other guy. >> that was a west coast thing. on the east coast, we've had the tuesday/thursday club for as long as i've been around. >> well, in that case, let's open it up to the audience. please wait for the microphone. give your name and affiliation. let's start up here. he gave away your name already. >> thanks, don. two-part question. congressman fazio, based on your comments is the word bipartisanship merely a pipe dream? >> i think it's going to be in this period of economic distress in our country, a very important thing that i hope will prevail on some occasions.
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i think it's going to be a very rare occasion. but maybe essential. i'm afraid that we have come a long way from bipartisan relationships, let alone ability to work together and accomplish things together. >> and for congressman walker, mr. boehner has said, congressman boehner has said that he's going to return the power to the chairman. the committees are now going to have the power. so does this mean that someone is going to be the adult as we are going to go back to -- mr. boehner going back to picking up what you just spoke about. you are going to go back to the committees. you are going to do the laws there. >> well, you certainly said that. you certainly said he's going to open up the processes on the floor. i hope he means it. he's a former committee chairman himself. he has seen that process work. for john boehner and george miller to actually work together on legislation is somewhat of an
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example of the fact that bipartisanship can work. >> kennedy too. >> yeah. >> even in very, very philosophical bases and with very activist members. the committees are a place to hammer out some of this intensely partisan debate. and then maybe come up with some compromise bills. so i think john means that absolutely. i think the congress will be better for it. >> make an announcement. i'll just add that i believe this mr. boehner when he becomes speaker will be the first speaker of the house since the 1970s to serves both in the majority and the minority in the house twice. perhaps this will further reinforce majority today is minority tomorrow. it's best to be fairer to the minority for that reason. >> i do think john is a much more institutional leader that
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we've seen in recent republican leaders. he has been part of bipartisan compromise. i had will, however, it's usually when he had a republican president. now will be the time to see if he can, as bipartisan as when he's a democratic. >> okay. other questions. let's bring the microphone over here. >> hi, monte tripp with wexler and wolfer. when you have a majority, the republican house minority was left out of all negotiations. they were nonexistent. do we anticipate the same kind of triangulation under the democratic president with a democratic senate and a republican house majority. >> you mean will obama stiff nancy pelosi?
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is that what you are asking? y guesstimates? >> there will be some tough times. and i think if you really knew the relationship that rahm emanuel and nancy had developed and the fact that they had some tough times in the first two years, i think you can only imagine how difficult it will be when their political interests may differ. i think i've always assumed that the party in power needs to govern to be reconfirmed in power. and need to be able to show accomplishment. that's certainly in obama's interest. everybody knows with his volatility, he could be re-elected after two years. on the other hand, it's not always in the interest of the certainly minority democrats in the house to buy into every compromise that he wants to engage in. in some cases, they would be
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better off politically drawing the bright line just as john boehner has in the last two years. >> i think that's true. and the question will be whether or not given the circumstances that they have, whether or not they really want to be spear carriers. they don't have the votes to accomplish it. the question will be weren't that's not -- will be whether or not that's the role they want to play or play the role of defines himselfs to be against that which the republicans are trying to do. and leave it up to the administration for the things they can't accomplish in the house. >> he needs to get back the independence. that's job one. but at the same time, he cannot -- he has to do something to get back the excitement of the base. now i think one thing the white
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house is counting on, i know they are counting on it, it's not a bad bet, the republicans will governor in a house in a way that excites the base for them to get, you know, -- there's nothing. what's the saying in politics? there's nothing that motivates voters like anger and fear. both of those things, you know, could be emotions that come into play as they watch house republicans depending on how they govern. >> okay. other questions in the back? but for a moment if they look at the senate since senate dole's name came up. many things he was famous for was being able to sit down on the table that he'd rather leave with half a loaf than no loaf. now you get the sense if we talk
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about the republican's not having too much input in the house bill in health care, you certainly could not say that about the senate bill. and yet compromise at this point in time seems to be making concessions, but not getting any support. is that when compromise is headed, we were still going to preserve the issue at the extense of legislation? >> if i could jump in quickly. because that gives me an opportunity to say to bob when he took issue with what i said about the comment. he was speaking to the house. i probably got too far, i was talking about the senate. those were -- i was thinking about the activities and months and months of it to get republican votes in the senate. i think it's -- i don't know how -- whether it's house republicans or senate republicans are going to want to compromise. i think a lot of the people that were elected, they don't have
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that inclination. they don't see grounds for compromise. those republicans whom i know want to do, you know, cut deals are -- they are looking at -- you say two words to them. bob bennett. and who lost his seat in the republican convention in utah, yet for two cents, one was voting for t.a.r.p.. the other was simply so co-sponsoring with ron white and rob oregon. you can see what was said about mike castle, lisa murkowski, she'll be back. look what it took. anyway, i think it's simply enough. i've talked to so many tea party members. they don't want to see compromise. granted, they are not totally in challenge. i think they are oversized influence over the republican
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party right now. >> let's remember when we were talking about the work that was known senate, basically the democrats tried to pick off two or three republicans. you know, they worked with them and tried to bring them in. there was not much of an effort made to try to work with the totally where the philosophical issues come to mind. they picked out three or four republicans that they thought shared closest to their philosophical base and tried to work with them. that's not the kind of compromise that ends up being true bipartisanship. all you've done then is made those people praias in their own party for having gone with the democrats. the real bipartisanship that has to be demonstrated here is a bipartisanship that understands that the republicans come from a philosophical base and begin to work with them on the basis of the reality of their positions.
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and not simply trying to pick off one or two so as to get enough votes over 60. >> the great irony is the process actually helped the republicans, because it prolonged the period, it made the process ugly, it gaves months and months of opportunity to go on national television saying they are cutting your medicare. which frankly, created the atmosphere in which the democrats couldn't succeed. >> i agree with that. i agree with that. >> yeah. >> it was a very bad strategy for the administration to have pursued it that way. again, i come back to the right strategy is to allow real bipartisan activity to take place. that's what happens most often in the committee structure rather than in a general kind of leadership led effort. >> okay. other questions. yes, over here. >> hi, i'm paula felt with the
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dispute resolution service at berk. >> we need you, paula. [laughter] >> i was wondering about the use of mediation in the committee process. if you had neutrals come in and had them work with both parties and you, you know, looked beyond position and look to interest and what could really help the national scene, the national, you know, come up with really concrete national policies. it would be a collaborative effort as opposed to the democrats say this, the republicans say that. what would be so bad about that? actually having the new freshman come in have conflict resolution training. you can have people from pepperdime, georgetown, would love to come and teach the skills. it's their nature to be confrontational in their campaigns. they have just come off of the campaigns trails.
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why not try to give them these skills to move forward and get something done instead of having the gridlock? >> congressman walker is from the science committee. he has looked at things similar top do they work in congress. as far as mediators to resolve disputes? >> not very well. the constitution system was designed as an adversarial system. three separate branches, all of whom are adversarial, the congress and senate that hate each other. institutional, but they hate each other because they operate on very different planes, and so upon of so you have that adversarial. you throw in the differences that truly do exist in politics, then you put a lay your of partisan differences and it's hard to say that you are going to have, you know, conflict
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management in that kind of situation. you know, it seems to me again that the way in which you cool it off is to allow everybody to have their say. most people get the most frustrated if they don't have a chance to have their say. you know, because i used to operate. i lost a lot. you know, i offer a lot of amendments. i lost all the time. and so on. i figured i had a chance to make my point. maybe somebody else would recognize the wisdom. didn't happen very ann. at least i had my shot. the way in which you were going to get congress back to a tradition that actually makes sense is when you get to a situation where you can, in fact, have a good debate on the floor, fazio and i can debate on the floor. have lunch. i can say you got to admit i really got you on the last
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point. i really did. >> i'm not your dad. >> but that's the way that the process ultimately should work if you really do have a sense of true debate. >> part of the problem is if you look at the polls coming out of the election, overwhelming majority of republicans want their member to stand firm and not compromise. democrats, wishy washy. on the other hand, would like to see everyone come together and find common ground. that's not likely to produce the kind of accommodative environment when dispute resolution could work. in part of the people that come to congress probably even more dispose to stand firm on both sides of the aisle than the people who elected them. i think the people who have come back as part of the incoming republican class, bob and i were talking about this earlier. heavily inexperienced in government of any sort.
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they know why they were nominated. they know why they were elected. and they are coming to town to accomplish something. whether or not they can do that may a lot to do with whether they come back. certainly that's their mo right now. they are not about to compromise with people who they really don't like very much. >> remember, the other thing to remember, you are dealing with 535 egomaniacs. it takes a huge ego to get up and decide that 700,000 people are prepared to represent you in congress. it's one the great frustrations of leadership is dealing with that reality. it also plays a role in all of this. >> didn't the moderates at one point when they existed in congress play the dispute resolution role at mediating role finding some common ground. that's not there that the parties do stand so much apart and different from each other. >> it happens within party
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caucuses. i know the democrats, for example, knew that abortion would be a terribly difficult issue to handle on the health care reform bill. and people were asked -- and people of goodwill on both sides of the issue, both in the party, were tasked with dealing with this problem to the resolution over a year and a half. and couldn't get there. in this case, the pro-life community. it became a very significant issue in the elections or the decision to retire on the part of a number of pro-life democrats who voted for this bill. who would have expected jim oberstar tour -- to be defeated. he'd been a pro-life democrat his whole life. this became a devicive issue. even when the parties try to resolve the issues, it's very
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hard to get a handle on it. >> can i add? to think about in terms of tradeoffs. for all of the commit -- criticisms, we had several decades ago folks like moderates, don wolfensberger mentioned the party leaders who was goal was to prevent that sort of thing. often the criticism was the parties don't stand for anything. the democrat activist and republican activist, what's going on. you are republican. you are voting with democrats. i want to know what party you stand for. where are you going? now we have the alternatives, almost like a parliamentary system. you have choices. you don't have that problem. now there's a concern about lack of comedy, lack of agreement. it maybe impossible to achieve all of the things that we want. to remember if we want to go back to a system in which there was more cross. -- more cross-party agreement. you may lose something in the
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process. >> yes, back to thomas barack -- thomas bracket reed. he did not care for the minority very much even when he was in the minority. he saw it as obstructing everything. he thought the minority should be able to work his will. he used a line that was often quoted when i worked for jerry solomon, and joe was the democratic chairman. he loved to dig up reed quotes. reed had high regard for the minority. well, according to your former speaker, thomas reed, the only right of the minority is to draw the pay. the only duty is to make a quorum. of course, solomon would get riled at that. that was sort of the at constitute towards the minority back when you have another era of party governance in the congress. other questions? tom before you, did you have your hand up?
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>> no. >> okay. >> hi, dave riverwood, i was wonder if any of you could comment on the tea party? republicans, or another minority party? >> where's the tea party movement going as far as let's start with the influence in congress? then maybe you could speculate as to it's broader influence around that. >> look, if my opinion, the tea party has been wonder. back in nixon, they were called the silent majority. the reagan democrats. then the perot, then the republican revolution, then the people who voted for obama. there are a lot of independents who have had a similar feeling about the debt and deficit of the country over a long, long period of time. they have expressed in a variety of ways. they haven't organizationed themselves into a separate party. the interesting thing about the tea party, it maybe def in
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definitional. they are organizationed virtually through the internet. and it allowed them to communication, allowed them to act in common to the. they really are not organizationed under a particular leadership. in order for them to move into the party status at some point in the future, they would have to unite around some kind of a leadership model. i don't know that they are prepared to do that. now it could be if the republicans totally fail in doing what they have said that they are going to do in the congress, that they -- that there will be leadership develop that will try to take the tea party in the direction of a third party movement. but i think we have to wait and see what the performance of the republicans is. and the republicans recognize that they the tea party has given them kind of a second chance.
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but it's not just a second chance, it's perhaps their only chance. >> they were not very happy with george w. bush, they didn't like t.a.r.p., certainly. they certainly weren't happy about republican congresses increases earmarks and spending. they certainly, probably didn't like paying for the drug benefit off of the books or paying for the wars in afghanistan and iraq off of the books. but they weren't energized until the economy came along and knocked their housing values down, made their employment uncertain, cut their 401(k)s. those were threatening things. they needed it get off of the bench and get into the game on behalf of someone who spoke about debt and deficit avenue -- deficit after all of the debt and deficit that was balanced. who's going to pick up for president? i think their members will fight
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some very visual battles in congress to try to reaffirm the support that they've had from this group. who will be their presidential candidate? if they get someone who they are not enamored with, they could support the third party. >> perot had a third party. >> mr. walker's point is taken. i'd go back as far as the liberty league on the fdr. folks who opposed the new deal. the differences between then and now are severalfold. one was the liberty league was top down. where as you noted, the tea party is bottom up. which has given them flexibility. also the second thing, fdr and democrats were much more skillful and aggressive in trying to neutralize the liberty league which made them less effective. and also the economic crisis was
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far, far greater. there was a republican senator after the 1934 midterms when the democrats won seats which was unusual. the senate said we all thought about the constitution. people can't eat the constitution. those kinds of differences make the tea party more influential. i think it's importance to think about what their influence is. as jackie mentioned, their influence is all over the map. it's not clear they turned out in great numbers and that led to their election. the influence is in who they nominated. and those candidates who have said they need to align themselves or claim their alignment. if that respect, the influence could be greater. these members feel personally they are connected with the movement. and their behavior will be watched by those groups. and so in that respect, they could have some influence. but yeah it's probably a little early to say exactly what's going to happen in the coming months.
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>> jackie, do you have anything to add? >> no, but i was -- as several people commented on. i thought in terms of the polarization, as i journalist here, i'm -- i am feeling lately the extent to which the changes in journalism as it practiced have reinforced the polarization and to the extent that you have, you know, when you have this almost quasi parliamentary form, and each side is dedicated to seeing the other side fail. they get set on sides that are more rhetoric than reality. yet you have the media outlets that more and more people are going to, they are like boutiques where the media outlets that most says to them what they -- you know, that reinforced your own biases. i think that's dangerous. meanwhile, all over the country
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newspapers are in financial straights and haven't figured out how to make money off of the internet advertising yet. and they are losing subscribers. because people just are not interested in -- and don't trust and disagree with my premise of the balanced reporting. so it's -- they are all started out. >> the jefferson had their own newspapers. the gentleman back here had a question. yeah. >> can you drop some parallels between the election and what happened in the '70s when you a problematic liberals come in and essentially split the democratic party? who are the prospects of that on the gop side.
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do you see the tea party pulling boehner, well, not the folks behind him. canter would go that direction. do you see splitting the democratic party and giving rise to more moderates or on the republican side? >> well, i mean i think in the initial phases here, the republican leadership is doing a pretty good job of pulling together the majority. i mean they've got 84 new members to work with. a lot of whom came out of activist movements. and part of their genius of this will be sitting down and trying to figure out what the agenda looks like. and not to over analyze what your mandate is. to some extent, in 1994, what happened to us is a little bit of hubris set in on what our
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agenda was and meant. you know, for example, i think the health care bill for many, many people out there was, in fact, a proxy for debt and deficit. there's no doubt that this particular majority has a mandate on government spending. how they interpret that is how they are able to hold together the caucus. allowing a lot of these people to work through the issues as part of the committee assignments. that also will tend to come together. so far it appears they are off to a good start. >> here. >> larry oman at the wilson
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center. to what extent to the lobbyist play in terms for the members of senate and congress not having time to talk to each other and have lunch with each other because they have to spend so much time soliciting funds and getting re-elected. is there a large factor from the lobbyist that exaggerates what might have happened in past years? >> that's a very good question. two people here from the other side now. >> the dark side. [laughter] >> not the dark side. >> first of all, i'd say as a lobbyist, you don't see a lot of members these days. members are busy calling you for member a lot with a lot of other people that aren't lobbyist. you don't have a lot of time when you are only in town a couple of days to sit down with lobbyist. they talk to your staff if they are fortunate enough to come in the door. money is a huge factor.
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it comes from the left perspective. but it would allow for matching funds, small donations, that can be parlayed into larger funds. you would therefore have to show support in the community, district, state, to get into the game. so it's not a free ride for fringe candidates. but it is a long way from enactment. and it may not even be something that this court would accept. so i don't see practically any alternative but to keep going down this road which is to say that members of congress spend far more now than ever before. a embryoing amount of town. simply raising funds for the next, you know, wave election. >> yeah, i mean i agree with that. i think the fund raising has become obscene. and i would reject your idea
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that you force it off of the lobbying community and so on. i think all of us are concerned about the way in which money has tended to take the real intellectual ferment out of the process. i mean most of us would like to be talking about issues on the basis of the merits of the issue, and not on the basis of the fund raising. and, you know, a lot of the contacts that people have in this town with members of congress are at fundraising events. i regret that. i think that's bad. if i could have my way, i would ban lobbyist from giving money to candidates, therefore, assure the lobbying was done on the basis of putting the subject matter before them and rather than having the money.
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i would also -- my reform of the type that vick talks about, my reform would be to not allow any candidate to have a fundraising committee. anybody running for office. have the political parties raise all of the money and portion the money out to their candidates and keep the fundraising one step removed from the policymaking progress. there are some things you could look at doing that seems to me would make some sense. >> if i could add very quickly, if your concern is about members who don't have enough time to interact and work together, spending time and fundraising would be a problem. that goes back before the rise of political action and massive amounts of money and campaigns. it goes back to the at least the early, mid '70s. if you have new members who weren't as interested in interacting with others and they needed to focus on the district. as congressman walker mentioned, the tuesday/thursday club
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spreading outward and things like the house eliminating the quorum call. where it used to be members ask for the quorum. members come to the floor. there was no vote. there was an opportunity to meet and talk with other people on the floor. there were some substitutes to that. you don't see the floor as the place for the members to sit and interact and talk with each others as it used to be. that's a loss for members to get to know each other across the aisle. >> i would want to make one additional comment relating to spouses. certainly as it relates to lobbying reforms, our spouses are even more for the reform. >> the other factor on spouses, people don't think about the realitying of pulling out of keokuk, iowa, and moving to washington. it isn't just taking johnnie out of high school, the spouse is employed. that's the reality of modern housing. two worker families. you just don't pull someone out of a career and move them to
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washington. that doesn't work very well. there are lots of cultural factors, jet aircraft, blackberries, cell phones, everything is sped up. people are just constantly connecting and the not dealing with each other as human beings in washington. which is what i think is at the route of the a lot of the inability to work together. >> let me follow that up, if you -- we agree that lobbyist don't like to have to be asked for money. members don't like to raise it. members do like to go back to the districts though. but it boehner's idea of spending more legislating in committees, is that realistic? are members going to push back saying i've got to spend more time back home, i still have to raise the money for my campaign? is it realistic that members want to be legislators again? >> that's going to be a very heavy lift. i've been in the leadership rooms where we sat and listened to people who told us that, you know, unless you have real legislation to schedule on the
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floor, i don't want to be in town. let me get home to my district. you know, that will be a very, very heavy lift for the leadership to keep members in town long enough for them to actually participate in real substantive committee activity. and that's an open question. >> why did the democrats heavy down? they wanted space down. they knew it might be in the heal. it may have worked in some cases, certainly not in many. but the point is more and more, members with they are getting a hot blast from the district, if they are good and understand how they can mid gait that, -- mitigate that, they want to be there. monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday. >> this is going to be the test that we will see unfold in the next congress. before i ask y'all to join us for a reception to thank our panelist, i am going to inflict
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my poem. my ode to jefferson manual. thomas jefferson has the senate president foresaw conflict. he studied hard the british pres -- precedents, and filed a motion. with that, please join me in thanking our panel. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> on tomorrow's "washington journal." >> listen to landmark supreme court cases saturdays on c-span radio. >> in texas women still are not able to receive abortions from licensed doctors because they fear they will be prosecuted under the statute. >> this week, part two of roe v. wade. argued in 1972, it's still considered one the court's most
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controversial decision. listen at 6 p.m. eastern on c-span radio, nationwide on channel 132, and online at >> british prime minister david cameron talked about the british economy and foreign policy issues at the annual lord mayor's ban -- banquet in london. it's about 20 minutes. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> the queen.
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> the green. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> the prince phillips, the prince the wales, the duchess, and the other members of the royal family. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> the royal family.
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ >> silence for the right honorable, the lord mayor. [applause] [applause] >> my late lord mayor, your grace, my lord chancellor, prime minister, mr. speaker, your excellence, your lord, chief commoner, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of our two sheriffs, fiona wolf and -- we welcome you
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to the gildhall. thank you for joining us as your first time as prime minister. [applause] [applause] >> we gather here tonight in the remarkable symbol of the city, guildhall. the hall of history, a place of commerce and cooperation. next year we will celebrate the 600 anniversary of the present building, the third to stand on this site. guildhall honors the cities men and women, people of all backgrounds and classes who have dared, dreams, worked, and struggled, and to build a great nation. it is a site of living history and one of the most powerful symbols of our country. we gather here as part of the
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passage from responsibility from one lord mayor to the next. a process that extents back to 1189. and the 683 time the articles of the great and ancient office had been exchanged. tonight's dinner is in honor of the late lord mayor, nick. he has left an legacy of contributions, especially through his actions to increase commerce and trade between the city and other countries. he's also been a champion of philanthropy, helping numerous organizations, especially through his pitch perfect initiative. his wife claire has been a model lady, supporting the lord mayor in so many worthwhile causes in her own right. [applause] [applause]
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>> this is my happy duty to remind the gathering of the late lord mayor's achievements. one of which was running the new york city marathon. that is an achievement that lord mayor will not be repeating. [applause] >> on behalf of my wife barbara and myself, on behalf of the civic and business, and behalf of the citizens and london, many thanks to the late lord mayor for a lovely job done. [applause] [applause] >> the late lord mayor often spoke of preparing for the future. one year ago in his speech before you, he asked that we undertake a long-term vision for the city. mindful that our task is to get the right balance between looking at the problems of the
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past and finding a way to solve those that we face in the future. i agree. the city must settle for nothing less than a great and sustainable future. we are world leaders in culture, commerce, industry, education, and innovation. we must continue to outtry and explain our vision for the future to embrace and shape that future to make this our time of achievement and progress. our choices now, right now, will
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>> the world will see london as never before. created, organized, welcoming, and tolerant. the world will see a multicultural nation with one the most diverse capitals. they must see a model of progress, decency, social justice, and political decorum. they must see a city of financial stability for exciting future open for investment. and a city that meets it's obligations to those in need. frankly, in the financial markets, the world is already watching. looking to the city of london for leadership and stability,
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reassurance, and responsibility, transparency in the highest levels of provety. we have just survived a shattering shock of a worldwide recession. it has been turbulent and difficult. during the turbulence, that has been some who have predicted a slow agonizing death for the city. claiming that we have been over taken by events and our competitors. these are premature and they are also wrong. this is a city that has a strong and steady heartbeat. our workers are amongst the best in the world, reliability, productive, and well trained. we have visionary and dynamic leadership throughout the city. this is a city that's energetic and hard at work 24 hours a day. we know the city continues to provide national and international leadership.
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it contributes 60 billion pounds each year. 60 billion pounds that pays for schools, hospitals, roads, and much more. even in the difficult year, of 2009, net exports of the uk financial services were the second highest, covering 50% of the cost of imported goods from abroad. 41 billion pounds. and exports will be vital to our continued recovery. a recovery that will depend on trade and investment. these are the city that is will fund the trade in investment. the city can do all of this and more. we had the right products to our meet our present challenges. we lead the world in insurance, sustainable finance, public/private partnerships, foreign exchange and more. and private, you see our great strength in guildhall tonight,
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the men and women who are the city who give the city it's life, it's verdict, and it's resilience. together we can influence the history of our future. places of history that can make history again by providing opportunities, jobs, and hope. the market was one silent and direct. now is a vibrant place where people gather, people make a living, children play, voices carry, we have made a neighborhood and a community. this can happen anywhere in london. we must dream large and cast aside skepticism. and one way we can do this is through renewed and better infrastructure. we must do more to maintain and improve our city's infrastructure. that is a perennial challenge.
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commerce flows into the city and out. through our roads, railways, bridges, and air force. they are depended on and determined by infrastructure. we must member that infrastructure pays for itself. one pound spent on construction brings two pounds 84 back into the economy. 92% of which is spent in the united kingdom. infrastructure is more than investment. it's a powerful engine of economic and social change. prime minister, that's why we are delighted that the government's decision to go ahead with the cross rail and to continue the upgrade the two. [applause] [applause] and the city can also lead the world in environmental responsibility.
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our economic growth if responsible and ecofriendly requesting a -- ecofriendly can be a model for the world. we will be conscious and environmentally aware. if we do this, we will create jobs, good jobs. in doing so, we will help to save our planet. london must be a leader in green technology and environmental friendly practices. this is our chance to be creators and innovators. and maybe we can be a bit old fashioned too. i hope that some of you rode a bike here tonight. [laughter] >> they are more than transformation, they are a message for our care for the environment. we have much to do. we face demanding challenges inn the rapidly changing world.
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we must create the right conditions for startups and new enterprises. we must convince more businesses to locate here and final the balance in achieving intelligence and regulation. we need to find the right mix of predictability and taxation. we have to build a sound, prudent, and working relationship with brussels and the g20. ensuring our partners honor their commitment as the country is doing. otherwise, we risk losing as an competitive edge. we must build solid and lasts bridges to the world. and if immigration is to be capped, we must find a way for the city's international firms to bring in the talent that they need. we must not reach a tipping point where the uk's well established businesses find the
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perceived or actual risks, drive them out. that would be a tragedy for the uk. and for the world. we also have to be aware of those who have been left behind in our society. a stronger economy, will provide more opportunity to people living on the margins. and i applaud you prime minister and the coalition government for your vision of the big society. this is in tune with the thoughts of our countries which still touch the lives of millions every year, providing help and support for the young, the old, the disabled, a superb armed forces, reserves, and cadets. the city corporation also played it's part in creating sustainable communities and supporting those in need, for example, through it's charitable arm, the city bridge trust and by establishing and supporting
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academies in isington, and hackley. my challenge to city is ask what more we can do. the private sector has an increasingly role to play. especially at this time. one way to help is through charitable appeals, like one called bear necessities. [applause] [applause] >> building better lives. yes, i think i rather like the name. you probably saw the large bear in the lord mayor's show. this will principally support two charities supporting youngsters and people effected by natural disasters around the world. it is one way to help. for me charity appeals are a
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vital part of my work as lord mayor, as with the late lord mayor. it is work for us all. this is a time of choice. and a time for choosing. choices about our city, our economy, and our environment, enormous challenges. let us make a powerful, positive, profound difference in the coming year together. thank you. [applause] [applause] [applause] [applause] >> and now it gives me great pleasure to invite everybody to rise and drink a toast to her majesty's judges. ministers.
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tell you what, majesty's ministers, i have too many judges in front of me. the toast is to her majesty's ministers. [applause] [applause] [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> praise silence for the prime minister. :
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what will tonight's dinner be like? i said i don't know darling, i haven't been to one of these before. but i have seen seating plans, and i can tell you that you will be sitting next to someone in an even more glamorous outfits then you are. [laughter] sheer tights, an immaculate week. i think she was expecting naomi campbell. but instead she got kenneth glock.
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[applause] you are something of a new arrival. i just hope your arrival into office was slightly smoother than mine. [laughter] in fact my abiding memory of those five days in may was the very last day, when there was something of a rush to get to buckingham palace and as i left buckingham palace, having seen her majesty on my way to number 10 downing street, i was desperately trying to remember the words i wanted to say on the steps of number 10 downing street. but just at that moment, my phone rang and an aging relative on the other line said, i've been watching the television darling and died knew you would be free to have a chat. [laughter]
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now i have just come back from visiting two of the fastest growing economies the world. china, with average growth of nearly 10% a year for the last three decades and korea, which in 1960 had a gdp of only twice that of zambia, but which today has a gdp 40 times higher. in seoul i was at the g20, bringing together not only the united states and china but also brazil, south africa, india, russia. beijing and seoul replied advantage points to reflect on the huge changes sweeping our world. the rise of new great powers, the shifting balance of economic power and the tensions of globalization. this interconnected world, the world of restless markets so
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well represented here in this room tonight, is creating huge new opportunities for the countries that are able to seize them. but this very same interconnectedness is creating new and more diverse threats to our security. that defies that was found on a plane at the east midlands airport, which we now know was a viable and dangerous bomb, rich in native in the yemen and was carried to the uae, to germany on to britain en en route to america. today, threats originating in one part of the world becomes threats in all parts of the world. as you are only too aware in the city comes to threats from cyberattacks has increased exponentially over the last decade. with last year alone accounting for more than half of all malicious software threats that have ever been identified.
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all of the shows how fast our world is changing, how much britain's interest depends on the interest of others and why we need to maintain a global foreign-policy because our national interests are affected more than ever by events well beyond our own shores. now our national interest is easily defined. it is to ensure our future prosperity and to keep our country safe in the years ahead. the key question -- quest is how do we best advances national and just when the threats on the opportunities are evolving so fast before our eyes? now there are some who say that britain has embarked on an inevitable path of decline, that the rise of new economic powers is the end of reagan's influence on the world, that we are on some of fast zero-sum game in which we are bound to lose out. i want to take that argument
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head-on. britain remains a great economic power. show me a city in the world with stronger credentials than the city of london. show me another gathering with the same lineup of financial, legal, counting, communications and other professional expertise. you know even better than me that written is a great trading force in the world. whereever i meet foreign leaders, they do not see it written shuffling apologetically off the world stage. on the contrary. they respect our determination to get our economic house in order so that we can remain masters of our nation's destiny. they can see the immense advantages of doing business with britain. we are already ranked first in europe for the ease of doing business and we intend to become the first in the world. we are cutting our corporation tax to 24%, the lowest in the
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g7, we are creating one of the most competitive corporate tax regimes in the g20, cutting the time it takes to set up a new business and scrapping the needless red tape and excessive regulation that has held us back for too long. there is no reason why the rise of new economic powers should lead to a loss of british influence in the world. and neither is there any reason why our military power should be diminished. we have the fourth-largest defense budget in the world and remain one of only a handful of countries with the military technological and logistical means to deploy serious military force around the world. and on the day after remembrance sunday, i know everyone in this room will want to pay tribute to all those who have served and continue to serve our country. [applause]
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in terms of our role in the world, the truth is that many other countries would end the the cards that we hold. not only the hard power of our military but our unique inventory about their assets all of which contribute to our political weight in the world. our global language, the intercontinental reach of our timezone, our world-class universities, the cultural impact around the world of the bbc, the british council and their great museums. the civil service and diplomatic service which are admired the world over for their professionalism and their impartiality. one in 10 of our citizens live permanently overseas, reflecting our long tradition of an outward facing nation with a history of deep engagement around the world, whose instinct to be self-confident and active well beyond our shores is in our dna. we said at the heart of the world's most powerful
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institutions, from the g8 to the g20, the nato, the commonwealth of the u.n. security council. we have a deep and close relationship with americans. we are strong and active members of the european union, the gateway to the world's largest single market. few countries on earth have this powerful combination of assets and even fewer have the ability to make the best use of them. what i have seen in my first six months as prime minister is it written at the center of all the big discussions so i reject this thesis of decline. i firmly believe that this open networked world place to britain's strength that these vast changes in the world to me that we do constantly have to adapt. let me turn to -- we need to sort out the economy if we are to carry the weight of the world. economic weakness at home translates into political
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weakness abroad. economic strength will restore our respect in the world and our national self-confidence. so the faster we can get our domestic house in order the more substantial and credible our international impact is going to be. but we also have to be more strategic and hardheaded about how we go about advancing our national interest. in recent years, we have made too many commitments without the resources to back them up, and we have failed to think properly across government about what we were getting ourselves into and how we would see it through to success. so in iraq, there was no plan for winning the peace. in afghanistan we fail to think through properly the implications of the decision to deploy into home on province in the summer of 2006. as a new government we should learn the lessons and make changes. i am not suggesting that we turn the country's entire foreign policy on its head.
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as leader of of the opposition i've always made clear to foreign leaders that there was a great deal of common ground between the policies of the government and the opposition. we want an active foreign-policy that is staunch in its support for democracy and human rights as we have been for example in arguing for the release of the rights of the burmese people and was made a fantastic site on our television screens over the weekend to see. [applause] we want to foreign-policy that his vigorous in its efforts to address climate change which poses such a threat to humanity and which can only be dealt with by nations coming together. we will continue to build our special relationships with america. it is not just special, it is crucial because it is based on solid and practical foundations
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such as our cooperation on defense, counterterrorism and intelligence. but in other areas where we believe that britain's interest require a change of course, we should lose no time at all in adjusting the national tiller accordingly. i want to highlight three areas this evening. first, we must link our economy up with the fastest growing parts of the world, placing our commercial interests at the heart of our foreign-policy. second, we must take a more strategic, and more hardheaded approach to our national security and apply that to our mission in afghanistan. third, we must focus more of our budget on to building security and preventing conflict. let me take each in turn. first a more commercial foreign-policy. this is not just about making britain an attractive place to invest. it is about selling britain to the world's too. some people think it is somehow
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grow brief to mix money and diplomacy. i say what it is harder than ever for our country to earn a living way to mobilize all the resources we can. today, we trade more than with brazil, india and turkey combined. we are not made the nearly enough of the opportunities. that is why one of the first visits i made as prime minister was to india. the second fastest growing major economy in the world. i have also been to turkey which is growing at 11% this year and just last week i took one of the biggest and most high-powered delegations in our countries history to china. next year i plan to visit her cell and russia. we are also rebuilding our relationships with the countries in the gulf. they feel strong links with britain but have felt somewhat sidelined in recent years. i'm delighted her majesty the queen will visit the uae in armonk next week and i will be
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make in my own visit early next year. this is in just about what the monarch ministers arrived to. is about what our ambassadors, diplomats are hard-working staff at you kpi. is what all of them do day in and day out in every country in the world. i have told them every time anyone representing britain needs a foreign counterpart forever how short a time i want them walking into that room armed with a list of things they are there to deliver for our country. others do this. we should too. when it comes to the european union we have shown in recent months how we are constructive and firm partners using our membership at the e.u. to defend and advance you can trust. and i can promise you this. we will stand up at each and every turn for our financial services industry and the city of london. london is europe's preeminent financial center and with this government i am determined it will remain so.
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[applause] next, bring a more strategic approach to defending our national security. we set out for the first time a national security council which met on the first day of the government and hazmat we ever since. foreign foreign-policy, defense policy, domestic wolesi, development policy, all the decision-makers are pursuing disparate missions in different parts but sitting around a table together asking what is best for britain and working out how we can gear up the government machine to deliver for our national security. our first priority was to set a clear direction for military and civilian mission in afghanistan. the fact remains that we are still the second-largest second largest contributor to the nato-led force of 10,000 troops there, most of them in the most
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difficult part of the country. we are not there to build a perfect democracy, still a model society. we are there to help afghans take control of their security and ensure that al qaeda can never again pose a threat to us from afghan soil. a hardheaded time-limited approach based squarely on the national interest. in august we transferred british forces out of sangin to enable them to concentrate in greater numbers in the central helmand where the bulk of the population lives and to share the burden more sensibly with u.s. forces across the province as a whole. i said our combat forces will be out of afghanistan by 2015. [applause] a truly strategic review of all aspects of security and defense. this was long overdue. it has been 12 years and for war
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since the last one. we started with a detailed orders of our national security. we took a clear view of the risks we face then we set priorities, including a new focus on meeting on conventional threats from terrorism and cyberattack. we then take a detailed look at the capabilities we will need to deal with tomorrow's tragedies. yes we made some tough choices. we had to too given the budgetary mess we have inherited that we have ensured that our magnificent armed forces will always have the kick they need for the threats they face weather today in afghanistan or in the world of 2020. we will be one of the few countries able to deploy a fully equipped brigade sized force anywhere in the world. with the joint strike fighter in typhoon the raw air force will have the most capable combat aircraft money can buy backed by a new fleet of tankers and transport aircraft. the navy will have a new
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operational aircraft carrier, new type 45 destroyers and seven new nuclear-powered hunter killer submarines, the most advanced in the world. and we will renew trident our ultimate insurance policy in an age of uncertainty. my determination is that britain will have some of us modern and flexible armed forces in the world, but our security does not depend on our military forces alone. that is why we have also given party to investment in our counterterrorism capacity and new programs to improve our resilience against cyberattacks and ensuring that our world leading intelligence agencies are able to maintain their brilliant work in disrupting threads and in keeping our country safe. and there is one more area where despite the economic pressures we face, this new government has been determined to hold firm our commitment to spend 7% of our gdp on a bike 2013.
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we will meet that target and for good reason. our aid program, like the activities of the myriad of charitable aid organizations, literally save thousands of lives. it helps prevent conflict which is why we doubled the amount of our age budget spent on security programs in countries like pakistan and somalia. and for millions of people, our aid program is the most visible example of redden's global reach. it is a powerful instrument of our foreign-policy and profoundly in our national interest. that means pursuit of our national interest has been at the heart of everything i have said this evening. our foreign policy is one of hardheaded internationalism. enabling britain turn its way in the world, more strategic in its focus on meeting the new and emerging threats to our national security and firmly committed to
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upholding our values, depending britain's moral authority even in the most difficult of circumstances. above all, our foreign policy is more hardheaded in this respect. it will focus like a laser on defending and advancing britain's national interest. that concept of national interest is of course as old as our nation itself, and i am conscious of the many prime ministers who have stood here before me and set out britain's national interest as they sought. many of them would have confronted circumstances even more perilous than those which face britain today but few perhaps one of dough or their world that is changing so fast. from beijing to seoul, from washing to two san paulo leaders must work out what it all means to their country and where the national insurance lies. when some people look at the world today, they are quick to prophesy dark times ahead,
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difficulties for britain. our foreign policy runs counter to that pessimism. we have the resources, commercial and cultural, to remain a major player in the world. we have the relationships with with the most established powers and the fastest-growing nations that can better fit our economy, and we have the values, national values that swept slavery from the seas, that stood up to fascism and communism, that helped spread human rights around the planet that will drive us to do good around the world. with these drinks in our armory we can drive prosperity. we can increase our security. we can maintain our integrity. we are choosing ambitiously. far from shrinking back, britain is reaching out and far from looking back starry-eyed on a glorious past, this country can look forward clear-eyed to a great future. thank you.
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[applause] >> british foreign secretary testified before the house of commons foreign affairs committee about british strategy in afghanistan and pakistan. there are approximately 9000 british troops in afghanistan. this hearing is about an hour and 20 minutes. >> can i will come via foreign affairs select committee inquiry to the u.k. foreign policy towards afghanistan and pakistas today are foreign secretary william hague and karen pierce who is the director of south asia and afghanistan. foreign secretary, would you like to start?
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speeding at think you may be helpful if we get on with your questions. speeding at me say i thank you and your officials. it was very well-received and we sense the people went the extra mile for us and it is much appreciated. is is li can i distinguishve between it s often put to us that al qaedal and the taliban are being grouped together when as you well know they are verye different beings. and, the government justifiesu its intervention ins afghanista, if they weren't there a qaeda would return to afghanistan and could pose a threat to nationaln security security. but a number of our witnesses have disagreed with this premise. what evidence have you got to suggest al qaeda, not taliban, al qaeda will return to
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afghanistan? >> it's impossible to have direct evidence of something that would happen in a situation. but we do have the experience of what happened before, before 2001, when most of afghanistan was an up and -- ungoverned state or taliban governed state. we know al qaeda were able to set up their training camps and bases there. now based on that experience, it must be a reasonable suspicion that the same thing what happened again, particularly where al qaeda felt pressure in other areas. and so it would be a rash of service who said he knew this would not happen. and it is fair to set any conditions that president karzai has set out for political settlement in afghanistan, that taliban and others associated with them should renounce al qaeda and renounce violence. so i think that is the line of
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reasoning. >> he said he didn't think they would return. >> well, under conditions he said, and he said that condition for a good reason. >> could you answer the question regards to military situation, the question that was posed on wednesday last week, and that is successful counterinsurgency operations in the past, have suggested that not one of the preconditions, control of the borders, high density levels, credible government, support the majority of the population exist in afghanistan. so why do you think the military in particular is so optimistic they can achieve a successful outcome? doesn't beg for more assessment?
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>> it remains in any realistic assessment phenomenally difficult task. the task we're engaged in in afghanistan. some of the fact is you quite rightly described, nevertheless, all of those factors are being addressed at one way or another. the build up of the afghan national security forces is very substantial, as you know, and as you will have seen on your visit to afghanistan. the afghan national army is not 144,000, 10,000 ahead of where they were meant to be at the time. the afghan national police is stronger than was anticipated now. the attrition rate in terms of people leaving these sources is diminishing. the legitimacy of government and operation of government and a province like helmand seems more widely accepted that it was a year ago, or two years ago. so progress is being made in many of these parameters.
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even cooperation of the countries, the afghanistan-pakistan transit trade agreement working with regional neighbors is an area of greater strength of the afghan government than before. so they all remained very difficult, every parameter remains very difficult. but i think it's fair to argue that there in case, progress is being made in all of these ways. so success remains very difficult. in afghanistan, but it is by no means impossible. >> one of the things that has played our presence in afghanistan is the over optimistic assessments since our progress there. we are all please obviously the more realistic situation there now, although some of us need to be more realistic.
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but does this suggest in the path of the military, the driving strategy, as opposed to politicians? >> well, to take several parts of that, because i agree, sometimes it hasn't been an overoptimistic effect before we are trying to avoid that, learning the lessons was happened in the past. i go to the first of our quarterly review. it was in the week where your committee was visiting afghanistan, and i apologize for that, because of the pending review of the previous week and my visit in the middle east the following week. i will try to capture in the caching next time, the course of the review. but i hope, i think it was regarded by the house, a frank assessment of where we are and not so stating what is being achieved by showing the progress as we made in several areas, and much more needed to be done, for instance, in the area of corruption and governance. and we'll carry on in that vein
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with our assessment. not encouraging false optimism, but not being blind to good news either. because there are those, there are often more successes to talk about than featured daily in our media. so i think it's important, hopefully we are getting that right, getting realistic in our assessment. what were the military driving -- you may need to wreck that -- you have directed it to one of the officials who served in the last government, but to members of the last government more than to the current government, it's very important on an issue like this that military and political leaders work well together. that political decisions are well informed by military assessments, otherwise of course politicians can make rash decisions without sufficient military awareness. but i think now the way in the u.k., we have our own national
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security council, the chief of defense staff, heads of intelligence agencies sitting together on this and other subjects, on a very regular basis. that we have the correct balance and have decisions are made. >> can we just explore very briefly the extent to which perhaps counterinsurgency operations are undermining our political goals? will happen is half some military, politicians must provide -- a negotiated settlement i think, and here the military seem to be targeting taliban leaders as the decapitation policy in place. do you think that is constructive for a negotiation settlement? and what extent can the u.k. actually influenced the u.s. in
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its approach to the taliban in the sense that these publicly they have been reluctant to negotiate? >> so the u.k. can in the passionate influence the u.s. the prime minister goes to great deal. i'm heading to the united states where today. this is top of the list of my topics to discuss with secretary clinton. and we have a multitude of contacts at official level and between our intelligence agencies, and so on. but i do very much agree that it is important to keep the taliban under maximum military pressure, and, indeed, to intensify the pressure in the coming months if we are to come to a negotiated political settlement, ultimately. so i would, in fact, set the premise of a policy of your question, that conducting combat operations against the taliban reduce, reduces the chances of a political settlement.
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i think military success and intensified military pressure is an important component of bringing about a settlement. the taliban should expect intensified military pressure, and even greater pressure on them in the coming months in the out of a political settlement. >> and finally, do you accept that when a negotiated settlement takes part and takes hold, it will have to obviously reflect reality on the ground, on negotiations with taliban, negotiations with regional warlords, et cetera, but is it not possible to have a negotiated settlement and still retain the ability to take on al qaeda perhaps using special forces, should they ever returned? what i'm trying to get to hear is, splitting time between the taliban and al qaeda.
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there's no doubt that reconciliation, negotiated settle as he take place with the taliban. that doesn't mean we have to make peace with al qaeda. and kelly not engineer, not be on the demand, where but at the end of the day we retain the military capacity to take on al qaeda, should they ever returned, while progressing the negotiation settlement with the taliban and order to engineer some sort of success? >> well, yes, i would hope that is possible. it's highly unlikely, it's possible in the foreseeable future to negotiate peace with al qaeda. that would be fundamentally against the believes of al qaeda. it may be possible to do so with taliban, or with the parts of the taliban. we don't know whether that is possible. but it is certainly desirable under the right conditions. and now one of the conditions i
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refer to are your that president karzai has set alongside respecting a constitutional framework and renouncing violence, is cutting ties with al qaeda. so yes, such a settlement would require a distinction to be made between those who are reconciled and those who are committed to al qaeda. >> fonseca, if i may. i think one factor when looking at the prospects that you gave is the level of pipe support for the taliban which is around 10%. so it varies. in different parts of the country. i think the other thing we need to consider is that parts of the insurgency have active links with al qaeda now, not necessarily inside afghanistan, but certainly links emanating from pakistan. and if one looks at president karzai's conditions about renouncing links with al qaeda, i think what also would love to see security council resolutions
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and suffice of 9/11 that you'll find the taliban getting up al qaeda, a step the taliban didn't take. so that the real questions about to what extent what is taliban assurances that would be capable of being carried out? >> thank you. >> the nature of this insurgency, we understood from what we were were talking, there are three different insurgencies in the haqqani network, and there is the pakistani-based palestinian. maybe there are more. perhaps. is it your strategy to get all three of those components into a political process, or are you trying to split them and get some of them on the basis of that, and at least reduce the clash of the conflicts going on? >> well, we're trying to create the conditions for a -- the
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military campaign is a very important part of that for a reason i was referring to earlier. if not within our control who wants to enter into a settlement. whether all of those groups and for the groups or any of those groups who wish to do so. that is up to them to decide whether they wish to be part of that settlement. so we might wish for however many groups to be enrolled, but, so we will see how the circumstances develop. >> finally, in your earlier answer, he referred to the growing training of the support of the afghan national security forces, either virtually none sovereign posturings in those agencies and that the only pashtuns are from the eastern and north of the countryspeak with a remains the case that the southern pashtuns are way underrepresented in the national
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security forces. a few percentage i think of afghan army, 3%, although more than 40% of the army would be pashtuns of other origins. so when you say the only other pashtuns are from other areas, you talk about -- yes, that remains a weakness. it's an important one to address over time, and, but it has to be seen against the context of the very rapid buildup of the afghan national security force is, and a huge in improvement in the training of officers that we've seen over the last year. >> secretary, do we have a contingency plan if we get through to 2015, we -- how we going to contain and manage the situation in 2015 if the
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counterinsurgency strategy doesn't work? >> well, of course we're working very hard to make sure it does work, and remember that a key component of this is the forces that we're talking about. that the afghan national security force is will be over 300,000 strong by the end of next year. nevermind by 2014. the training of officers in the afghan national army is up to 700% over the last year. now, this is a very important consideration. this is an army becoming much larger than ours. that i think is crucial, that buildup is crucial to the afghanistan, whatever happens, so that afghans can lead and then take their own security operations from 2014, in line
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with president karzai's objective, a respective of arriving at a political settlement. so you can think of that as the next line of defense after international thought it spent on train on train on train on train -- [inaudible] >> well, we made it very clear statement perhaps not being involved in combat operations in 2015, although that does not preclude the manner in a training role, for instance. but yes, i think the long-term outlook, if they were to be no political settlement, is the afghan national security forces become large enough to be able to hold their own in afghanistan. that does not mean there would be a peaceful afghanistan. it does neither would be an
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afghanistan where the government would run wide enough for the government to be able to resist being overthrown by force. >> will we be asking from the british military, that troop numbers, 2013, in 2014 -- [inaudible] >> also in the national security council, of course. that is now the core of an which such matters are decided. so yes, the prime minister will certainly, secretary of defense will set forward the plan for the next few years. it's quite hard to foresee at this point the level of resources and the nature of activities regarding 2013-2014. of course, it is clear that we should have a larger and larger training role, and as you know, the defense secretary has announced movement of more than
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300 personnel into a training role just in the last eight months. but yes, the security council will examine the plans for our deployment overtime. >> if i may, that is on the agenda of the national security council over the next few months. and troops will be linked obviously. >> can we then just get exactly what the 2015 deadline is? what is a? when is it? exactly -- >> the prime minister and i have stated it, by 2015, we will not be engaged in afghanistan in combat operations, or in anything like the numbers that we have there today. and as i was saying to mr. stewart, does not mean that we will not be there in other forms in training wrote and so on, but i don't want anyone to underestimate the clarity, or
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view the clarity of it. and the prime minister said that very clearly in meeting. and that is what we will stick to. >> when? 2015? that is 12 months longer. there's a general election in may 2015, isn't it a? >> i don't think -- >> january 2015? >> i don't think that's correct to try and hone in on the actual day in 2015, particularly since we're sitting here in novembe november 2010. this is quite a long way away. in fact, it is further in the future as you all well know that our whole operation and how month are in the past. so it is a long time into the future. but we don't anticipate in the new future setting a particular month or week. >> who took the decision? >> the decision is taken by ministers and the national security council in the cabinet led by the prime minister.
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>> taken in the national security council speak was taken by the prime minister in consultation. [inaudible] >> yes. >> who were you consulting? >> a four he made his announcement. [inaudible] >> i'm sure he was consulted, but i can't sure when everyone was consulted. >> look, i mean, we are there as part of a coalition force with very significant part. and we always try to be good partners, have a, as a country in the coalition, activities and international affairs. no conceivable possibility that that will be changed, let's say, in a nato discussion takes place about the need to change because deadlines are not being met. american request, because we simply can't get in position.
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or the afghan national army, afghan national security forces are capable of standing up on their own. no conceivable way that that is going to be ordered. it's set. it's finished. that's it. it's a deadline. we will not be changing any circumstances. >> it won't be changed at the prime minister has been very clear about that. it is a change of politics. there are several changes. we have double operations for the troops. redeploy away from certain areas of helmand to concentrate on other areas. you know, several changes in policy on afghanistan, and yes, this is one of the. and people can argue advantages and disadvantages to a. mr. ban has done that as well on the floor of the house. we will make the most of the advantages of this policy. it is clear to all concerned what our intentions are, what we're going to do by 2015, to our allies, to the afghan government, and we don't want
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anybody to be any doubt about that. there are other allies in nato who also stated specific timing so the deployment of their forces. we will buy that had been in helmand for most long, 50% longer than the entire second world war, and we feel it right to say that by then we will not be engaged in combat operations. >> this is a big change of policy, isn't it? [inaudible] we were halfway out before the change of government. this is the change, really. >> is an important change and is a change we will stick to. >> why did we think that was helpful? we did it to put pressure on the karzai government, but didn't take the pressure off the taliban, off the insurgents? >> i think insurgents will find
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in line with our earlier discussion that they are under intense pressure over the coming months. there is no relaxation in the british or coalition military. in fact, since it's only recently as you know, really all the forces of the commanders have been available in afghanistan and that pressure will intensify over the coming months. and even over the coming years when that is added to the increasing role of the afghan there should -- afghan national security forces that they are quite wrong to conclude that anybody can relax, that everybody on the other side can relax in any way, because we've made an announcement about 2015. a it does mean with absolute clarity for the afghan government that they know that is the length of our combat commitment. our allies know that, too. and there are advantages to that, as well as of course the arguments against it that others have put. >> i was ever going to say that
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the summit takes place later this week will endorse the 2014 target date for transition and all of nato's efforts will go into making sure that happens. >> i mean, that's been known for quite some time. other nations, the dutch, canadians are leaving in response, there was some indication that would have to be a plan between now and 2015. how are we going to do this, the withdrawal of other nations? there are relative means. the dutch in the canadian our very, very significant contributors. >> yes. and i certainly hope some of the countries will be able to
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sustain some substantial training growth. >> we've been discussing that with them, and it would be highly desirable, given the extent of canada's cod division over the last few years, if they are able to do that. i think that would be very welcome. we have been discussing that with the canadian government. there are, as you say, a growing number of nations overall, although not all make military country vision, since there are at the moment 48 contributing nations, there are more at the moment than there have ever been. i thought that can easily be overlooked. but in the cases of canada and the netherlands, a good deal about their notice, intention. but from an operational point of view, given the increase of the forces from the united states and seven other countries, the operational gaps will be filled. there is no doubt about that. >> foreign secretary, you've
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touched on the fact there is a lack of trade in afghanistan, something that was quite apparent in both the police and army, the afghan army, the quality of training is at a time the people will ask a train, and others, was a very of small amount of time. can you explain why that's the case? and secondly, it would seem that a way of change between 22014 and 2015, not just, but the quality of training, because when we talked, for example, the pakistani generals, they said they were quite impressive, though as to what we're doing is creating can improper, not troops because of a small amount of time that has been given to the trainers and troops. unit, many of the afghan police were being returned, where had no idea of the job they intended
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to do. their pay at one stage was so poor that it was below the living wage which encouraged theft and extortion. can you just explain to us about the policy now, why we spend billions of pounds that we haven't got such good records in training? >> it remains a huge challenge, i mean, you are quite right to highlight a. i don't want to say in any way that this is an easy process, although we achieved our objectives on training. there are improvements have taken place in recent time. [inaudible] [bell ringing] >> one of those is the pay of the afghan national is being
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increased and improved. your quite right on one of the difficult has been, that is the more attractive for people to do other things. afghan national police souders has been increase. training programs has been improved. and recruitments than has generally exceeded the target. and i mentioned briefly the attrition rates before. the average attrition rate has gone down to 1.4% a month in the case of the afghan national police, which is is a series improvement of howattention beie training of noncommissioned officers and officers, which, of course, are key to the quality and to the leadership that is necessary. so people are not in the phrase that you have given. i mentioned some of the figures, were given more in increase of the ncos in the afghan is up
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70% since november of last year, and officers of 175%. so that will lead over time to policy, any other important thing that is happening is a partnering of afghan national with british troops. most of them were, british troops going forward is in partnership with the afghan national security forces. i pointed out in my review statement to the house three weeks ago how the operations conducted recently have been led by the afghan forces, for the first time in a very significant way. and so i think as you have all sides of improvement. there is a level of training, the same level you could get in a european or american army, well, no, it is because your the emphasis is on driving as rapidly as possible. but you can see from the figures on giving, the quality of training, the quality of training, and the way in which
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the troops and afghan forces then gain experience alongside nato troops, all gathering pace in improving. >> one thing about afghan troops are taking the lead in operations in around kandahar, and that is quite successful. >> 50% of the operations have been led by the afghan national forces themselves. >> just to make the point, foreign secretary, since we've been there, people responsible for the training and troops in afghan were complaining bitterly about the lack of resources even now as we speak. can i just moved onto, talk about the police, the government itself. one of the important things of the afghan people have to face in own government, we heard an awful lot about corruption, about malpractices of the afghan government. what have we been doing, what can we do in the future that
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will build on faith in their own, the afghan people in their own government? >> this is one of the areas where much more progress needs to be made. by the way, i wasn't i doing in my career and that everything was fine of trading that the problem was passionate every major huge challenge that i take nothing away from -- [bell ringing] [inaudible] >> your quite right to say that training requires increase exponential attention. but on governments, on corruption, a greater effort needs to be made. that some progress is being made, some of the commitments into the time of the kabul conference in july, our being met. and we've seen over the last few months some of the afghan
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ministers and declare their assets in public. we have seen a great improvement and transparetransparency. for instance, in the military of mine, more than 100 new contracts were placed openly on the internet for people to examine. that is the kind of practice which may help to combat corruption in the future. so certainly some progress is being made. nevertheless, we have seen anything surrounding the kabul bank and other institutions, very depressing news. and so we do call on the government of afghanistan to make greater progress in this area, and to continue to try to win the support of domestic and international opinion. >> i heard your statement in the house of commons as i was present, and i thought a very franklin. you touched on good governance
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and again now. what precisely do we mean by good governance? how can -- how do you feel it is succeeding in getting good governance? for instance, being respect for human rights, respect for women's rights? and i would hope maybe that's topics you might raise with secretary of state clinton if you see her, because obviously she is very concerned. what does good government mean to you? >> that's like a wide philosophical question, but to begin with in afghanistan, it means the basic things that we take for granted here like government being present at all. and here i think we can see some of the progress that is being made. there are 10 district governors installed in helmand, for instance, compared to only five
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in europe who are able to operate. there are 26 afghan ministries, now represent in lush car. so government is more present and certainly very difficult areas of the country like element that was a year or two ago. i think a second requirement is in the area we have just been addressing of people being able to have confidence. that it is not corrupt, that works in the interest of the people. there is much more to do, afghanistan remains them to the bottom of the scale on international for levels of corruption. and has improved a little bit. i think on the world index for doing business, for ease of doing business. it is improved to 160th in the world. instead of 168th. [laughter]
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it has moved in the right direction. it is moving in the same way and corruption as well. so we see a little bit of progress there. and then it means those other things that you're talking about, i've yes, respect for minorities, respect for human rights, including women's rights. and as you know, quite a lot has been done in that it the united kingdom strongly encourages that and has funded projects which do encourage women's participation in afghan society and politics that they may be an answer to one of your questions a couple weeks ago that i pointed out, the improved participation of women in the peace jerker, in june, but there's also been an increase participation by women in the recent parliamentary elections. and i think it's very important that we continue to encourage these things so that it becomes part of the fabric of afghan society.
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before and during the time a clinical summit is created. >> you may be aware of the age of foundation poll which measures a number of things. were the things that measures is the conference of the afghan people in their government. this has got out 5% over five years. it's only 47%, but the trend is upward. >> probably more than many governments in the world. [laughter] >> just returning to questions, just for clarification. 2015 deadline, that applies to secretary forces as well, all combat troops speak with we don't have a comment as a former defense secretary knows. >> so, it's not clear as to whether or not it applies to special forces speak what's on the giving you an edge that i may give you a clear and deliberately.
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[inaudible] >> to the united states is the most important power in coalition, but there are lots of reports about internal divisions within the u.s. administration. and we heard in private, many places, people saying, and it's also in the record publicly about what this is referred to incoherent and contradictory decisions within the u.s. administration. how committed it the u.s. to reconciliation as a strategy speak with the united states is committed to reconciliation. and they're very much also committed, as we are, as i answer to are the questions, to intensify the military pressure on the taliban. those things are not mutually opposed goals for the reasons i get our gear. they go together, the chances of reconciliation are increase by an effective i


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