Skip to main content

tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  March 28, 2012 9:00am-12:00pm EDT

9:00 am
by your testimony, extraordinarily insightful and helpful testimony about the wide ranging breadth of potential cyberthreats. relating to industrial espionage and intellectual property theft. ..industrial espionage and intellectual property theft as well as the potential infiltration of social media, and it reminded me of a separate and perhaps unrelated but perhaps not aspect of problematic conduct involving social media that i have highlighted recently, which is the demands that employers have made for passwords, log-in information from prospective job applicants or from employees which enables them to invade the
9:01 am
private communications, e-mails, g-chats, private accounts, of their employees and potentially people with whom their employees communicate, including potentially service men and women or loved ones or family or service men and women who are applying for jobs. i wonder if you could comment on the potential security threats apart from the invasions of privacy that may occur from the demands for information from employees about their security accounts and also, what the needs are in terms of background checks on the part of your agency. >> i think there's, senator, this is a great question. i think first of all, asking for potential employees for their passwords and other things is odd, from my perspective, to say the minimum.
9:02 am
i think the issue that i see in here is a couple things. is one, how do you secure those so that somebody else doesn't gain access to all of them. one of the senators had a great comment about the theft of bank records and what was going on. i think senator hagan about what she's seeing, what microsoft and the authorities are doing, if you make that easier, i am concerned about that. i'm not sure about the foreign threats to this as i am to what that means to the future. i think cyberspace, we have some tremendous capabilities in cyberspace. we as a nation. the ipad, iphone, and i think our people should be -- feel free to use those and know that they're going to be protected in using them, both their civil liberties and privacy, and as a country. i think we can do both. i think we should push for both. this is a new area and you can see, you're hitting right on some of the key parts, when you look at how the companies are wrestling with this, too.
9:03 am
how do you provide maximum benefit without intruding. i think that's going to be an issue that we're going to wrestle with for several years. >> and when it strikes you as odd, i assume that odd -- >> very well-chosen word. >> may be a euphemism for strange or unnecessary or invasive, unacceptable. >> senator, i'm not completely up to speed on all of it. i did read it so i don't know all the facts that go with it. my initial reaction was this doesn't seem right. that's what i meant by odd. but i don't have all the facts. >> thank you. thank you, general. thank you for your great work on this issue. i hope you will give thought as well and i may ask you a question in writing about it, regarding the potential uses of the national guard cyberunits and how they can better assist you and the cost effectiveness of building those programs through our national guard. >> we are working with the
9:04 am
national guard and there are a number of those. i'll start right with the maryland national guard, the delaware national guard, go out to washington. there are some great ones. i'm sure connecticut, too. i don't want to miss that. but i do think this is an opportunity where the national guard has some technical expertise as civilians working in this area, especially when you look at the high tech area. so this is something that we can leverage and we are working on that. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator blumenthal. senator collins? >> thank you, mr. chairman. general alexander, i very much appreciate the attempts you've made today to clarify the roles of the department of defense versus the department of homeland security versus the fbi when it comes to dealing with cybersecurity. as the discussion today has
9:05 am
indicated, i believe there is a lot of confusion over who does what and who should do what, and as you correctly said, this has to be a team approach, and d.o.d., dhs and the fbi have different but complementary roles so what i would like to do, since based on some of the questioning i heard today, i think there's still a little bit of confusion, is just take you through a series of questions in the hopes of clarifying who does what. first, let me say, do you agree that our critical infrastructure today is not as secure as it should be? >> senator, i do. >> and second, and related to
9:06 am
that, several studies and experts have told us on the homeland security committee that critical infrastructure operators are not taking in some cases even the most basic measures such as regularly installing patches or software updates or changing passwords from default settings, and those are pretty basic and known vulnerabilities. would you agree with that assessment? >> i think those are basic vulnerabilities. i would say -- i would add to that we see that in a number of cases in other areas as well. >> in addition to just critical infrastructure. the reason i'm focused on critical infrastructure is obviously if there's an attack on critical infrastructure, the consequences are so much greater than if there's an attack on one
9:07 am
particular business, even though that, too, can have significant economic consequences and cause many problems. so third, my third question is to try to better define the roles. would you agree that the department of homeland security has the lead role in interacting with the owners and operators of critical infrastructure to get them to strengthen their protections, harden their defenses up front as opposed to when an attack occurs? >> i do agree with that, senator. >> and the distinction that i'm trying to make is once there is
9:08 am
an attack, that has significant consequences, d.o.d. would become the lead agency just as you would if we were attacked by missiles. is that an accurate assessment? >> that's correct. >> and there is where i think the confusion lies. it is the role of the department of homeland security under the current practice of this administration and under the legislation that senator lieberman and i have authored to try to strengthen the defenses of our critical infrastructure, and in our legislation, and in a collaborative effort with industry which is absolutely critical that it be
9:09 am
collaborative, the department with industry would develop risk-based performance standards. is that your understanding? >> that's my understanding, senator. >> and the reason for that is to ensure that the owners of critical infrastructure implement these risk-based performance standards but i would point out to my colleagues, this isn't some new bureaucracy as we've heard today. it would be a collaborative effort and the owners and operators of the critical infrastructure would decide how to meet those standards. it would not be dictated by the department. is that your understanding? >> that's my understanding. senator, if i could, i think that's a key point because i think the concern that i hear that we all hear is just that key point.
9:10 am
how do you do this in such a way that helps industry without i'll use the term overregulating and this is outside of my area of expertise, but how do you get them the standards and help them build a more resilient network, a more defensible network, if you will, that's the key to this. i do think that's the key issue that you're wrestling with, and i think that's where we can provide technical expertise to dhs and others, and i think that's where we've got to partner with industry and just as you said, i agree with the way that you've stated it. i think that is extremely important, that bringing the industry folks together to help decide is what i get because they want to be a player in this, because you know, from their perspective, this is important as well. >> and in fact, we need the expertise of industry, of nsa, of dhs, of everybody working together, the results of the investigations from the fbi,
9:11 am
because this is a huge problem, and it has consequences for our national security and our economic prosperity, and it is so critical that we work together to solve this problem, and i know that is what you're committing to doing and that's what you are doing. that is the one final point that i want to make today. nsa is already working with dhs, for example, at the what's called the nkick, the 24 hour, seven day a week entity that has been set up. there's an exchange of personnel between dhs and nsa, is there not? >> there is. >> and under the bill that senator lieberman and i have
9:12 am
introduced to try to get that essential visibility that you've emphasized is so important. we would require mandatory reporting in the event of an attack because this can't be discretionary if, in fact, there is a significant attack on critical infrastructure and critical infrastructure is defined as infrastructure, an attack upon which would cause mass casualties, a severe economic impact or a serious degradation of our national security. so do you support requiring that mandatory reporting in such cases? >> i do, senator, and i think i would add as we discussed earlier that in order for us to help prevent it, it has to be in realtime. i think that's absolutely vital
9:13 am
to the defense. >> and the reporting and information sharing under our bill is bidirectional as has become the latest phrase to be used in this. in other words, it's in both directions. even nsa, the capabilities of which are unparalleled, can learn from the private sector. i think you learned that in the dibbs study where there were some signatures that the private sector had that nsa may not have had. is that accurate? >> that's accurate, and logical when you think about it. adversaries will do different things for different sectors of the government, will use different tools for different sectors of the government. that's one of the great things that we learned on it and how we've got to go forward on the defense industrial based pilot. >> thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator collins. senator udall?
9:14 am
>> thank you, mr. chairman. good morning, gentlemen. thank you for being here. general alexander, let me turn to you first. i've been concerned as we all have for some years about the potential of cyberattacks on our electricity grid here in the united states and the potential effects that such attacks would have on critical missions, especially during an emergency or during periods of prolonged power outages. given the uptick of tensions in the persian gulf and the presence of our military in the region, i'm interested to know about our potential vulnerabilities of our own military to cyberattacks in the gulf on that electrical infrastructure that our military depends on, and i'm thinking about this from the perspective of the u.s. military's reliance on fuel in the region, fuel that can't be produced without the electricity that runs oil extraction wells and refineries and that powers pumps for offloading fuel for storage and use. do we have an assessment of how
9:15 am
dependent u.s. military in the gulf is on electricity infrastructure? do we have a backup plan if there were to be a prolonged grid outage and do we understand the constitution and vulnerability of the electricity grid in the persian gulf well enough to measure the effect on the oil production transportation system, especially but not limited to the oil refineries there? thank you for letting me direct that trio of questions at you. >> senator, i thought you were going to ask me if i got the new ipad. i thought that's how we were going to start this out. so i did. i got the new ipad. it's wonderful. >> we're envious. >> that's a really good and complex question so let me expand it, if i could, not to make it harder, but so the underlying grids that are in the gulf states and other parts of the region, the military normally will have backup power for military operations,
9:16 am
generator power and other things to operate all critical capabilities. so both from our computer networks and our operations, we have backup power for critical infrastructure. that is not the same for the flow of oil and electricity per se throughout the region. and i think the concern that we have, the concern that i think everyone shares here, is what you were driving at. note that this is one network, one global network with a lot of little pieces but all interconnected so you can be anywhere on the network. my concern is not only in the gulf but here in the united states. so as we go forward in a crisis, no matter where it erupts, is that increasingly, the probability that cyber will be part of that crisis grows. we've got to be prepared for it. it will cover all the things that you mentioned, because those are the easier things to attack, and have some significant advantage for the adversary.
9:17 am
>> so you're saying we've got more work to do here to understand the potential threat and to prepare for it. >> we do. and senator, i think we're looking at it both from how do we defend the d.o.d. networks, great progress there, with senator collins, we just talked about defending the critical infrastructure and support to our allies. i think all of those have to come -- have to be laid out and discussed. and it's growing. >> also, what i was saying, i think you agreed with, was the flow of oil on which the world's economy depends could also be affected by something in this realm of cyberattacks, and we need to be prepared for that in addition. >> it could be, yes. i would not put that highest on the list. i would think the electricity and other. but you can see where it all depends on flow and things opening up. >> so systems in that part of the world are vulnerable and we're also dependent on them,
9:18 am
the far reach of the u.s. or europe or the asian oil markets as well. thank you for that. obviously more attention needs to be paid to that. let me move to a question dealing with the computer network exploitation versus computer network attack. how do you exactly draw the line between those two and how does the government change legal authorities funding personnel and infrastructure when moving from cne to cna? >> cne, computer network exploitation, is largely done under title 50. i say largely, not solely, but largely done under title 50. so that would go to the intelligence community and fall under the executive order 12333. while title 10 is normally where we would conduct computer network attack, you could also do it under covert action, and in times of crisis and war, our forward operating elements would operate computer network attack
9:19 am
and exploit under title 10, and it would be done in conjunction with title 50. so the deconfliction would have to do. the good part about training our forces together and operating together is to be sure we deconflict those type of things and it flows back to the defense. same thing on the defense. i think that's why the good part about putting the defense operate with the exploit and attack puts it as one team, not two different teams which is what we largely had up until 2008. >> so you sound as if we're well prepared to deal with those differences. >> no. i think we're well prepared to state how, senator, we would deal with those. i think there's a lot that we have to do. that begins with grow the force and training. that's the most important thing i think we can do right now. i think the partnership with industry is critical, on learning and protecting critical infrastructure. i think those are the right steps to make. i think all of these are in motion. i'd just like to go faster.
9:20 am
>> have we taken -- have we conducted, i say we, the united states government, your command, exercises to get at this cna, cne handoff if you will in relation to what just outlined? >> we did have a great exercise out in las vegas, outside las vegas. we actually never got to las vegas. let the record state that. >> ipad would have been handy in las vegas, by the way. >> i think what we did learn is just some of the things you say. i can't go into all of that here. it was a tremendous exercise and i'll give air force credit for helping to set it up there. they did a wonderful job and we brought in all of our capabilities and our components, and some tremendous lessons learned. i think at a classified level, we could go into those and when you see that, you would say okay, so you're headed in the right direction and i think, senator, we are.
9:21 am
>> i assume i will see you in a classified setting at some point in the near future and we can discuss this further. >> i think this afternoon, senator. >> yes. my time's about to expire. long term, you may want to take part of this for the record, how do you see the relationship between the nsa and cybercom evolving and changing? >> i think, senator, they are inextricably linked. i would put it as a platform. you do not want any more than we want dhs to recreate an nsa, we don't want cybercommand to recreate an nsa so we need these two components of d.o.d. to work closely together. nsa's got the technical talent, got the access, got the capability. cybercommand will have the forces to deploy and the capability to leverage that platform and work with the intelligence side of nsa to further support the combat and command. so i think that relationship is growing, is headed in the right direction. i think that's one of the things that we have talked about and we both strongly agree is something
9:22 am
that we've got to maintain. >> thank you for that. general kehler, i know my time's up. if you want to reply further for the record, i would certainly appreciate it. thank you for your service as well. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator udall. senator chambliss? >> thanks, mr. chairman. gentlemen, thank you for your service. general alexander, i thank you particularly for your recent trip down to fort garden, where you gave a pat on the back and a morale boost to some of the smartest, hardest working, most committed americans who are doing a great job of helping protect our great country and i thank you for doing that at nsa fort gordon. general alexander, cybercom, you said, had 13,000 employees. let me make sure i get this right in my mind. it's actually, you have 13,000
9:23 am
personnel under your direction. cybercom itself has, what, maybe 1,000 or so personnel? >> little under 1,000 authorized, about 900 some. that does not only cybercommand staff but also operates and directs the defense of the d.o.d. networks. but that's correct. what i counted in that other 12,000 is our cyber, army cybercommand, air force cybercommand. >> various forces. >> that's right. >> okay. i want to make sure i understood that. nsa today does a pretty good job of intercepting and protecting the dot-gov, dot-mail networks. in fact, i heard you say you have the d.o.d. information systems are probed as many as a thousand times an hour, over six million times a day from criminals, terrorist organizations, including 100
9:24 am
foreign intelligence organizations, and even with that huge magnitude of hacks into the system, general, nsa has done a remarkable job of protecting that system. are you satisfied with where you are in that regard today? >> actually, i'm going to answer this twice and contradict myself. we're making progress and i think we're doing a good job on it but we're not where we need to be, senator. and there's two reasons i say that. i do think we have the best defense right there, but it could be better and i think for the future for military command and control, it must be better. so i think the i.t. modernization that the defense department is looking at is a key part to even make it better. >> and the legislation that we are talking about whether it's the administration's or lieberman/collins, one and the same, or the alternative legislation, neither one of those really address that issue.
9:25 am
this is work that you're doing protecting dot-gov and dot-mail, right? >> that is correct in part. if i could say the slight difference is the information sharing of those things that we do to protect our networks that go beyond what you would normally do for a civilian network are the things that we should be -- think should be included in the information sharing parts that both of those have. >> okay. i'll get to information sharing in just a minute. now, going one step further there, nsa also monitors the defense industrial base and there have been numerous attempts and it may be within those numbers that i've heard you use before, hacks into the defense industrial base have happened and nsa does a good job of protecting those -- those
9:26 am
scenarios where that has happened, you've been notified and you're able to respond to it. am i correct? >> not quite. there's a little -- an innuendo here that i think is extremely important. the internet service providers operate that. we provide them signatures, as do the other industry players and the internet service providers actually do the work. the reason that that's important is that i believe that's how we can scale in protecting other critical infrastructure in the mechanisms that homeland security and others are working with so the key part, what we bring to the table and what fbi and others would bring is specific things that we see going on in in the network that may be sensitive or classified. so we bring that, but they actually operate it. we -- the part that we're able to work with the dib is to understand that they will protect and safeguard classified information. that's a key element of this approach. >> okay. my point being that, your
9:27 am
relationship with the internet providers today allows that, the defense industrial base to have that protection. >> that's correct, and now it's been taken over by dhs. so they actually lead. they're the lead interface for the -- the now they've been doing it six weeks. we're at the table and provide technical support but they're actually the lead on that as well. >> okay. looking at another, what i would assume you consider critical infrastructure, our electric grid. if the electric grid is hacked into today there is a mechanism in place developed by industry where if they see something unusual, then they notify nerc and they immediately go to u.s. cert and notifies them about it. homeland security and they're able to provide protection to the grid under voluntary standards that it industry put forth. am i correct?
9:28 am
>> yes, but i think, senator, that's slightly different, if i could. because in those notifications you've gone out in realtime to now a, a part where actually we're in the forensics mode. they're telling you something occurred and by the time it gets to you, a cert. what u.s. cert could do not prevent it only help them understand it. >> okay. >> so i think the information sharing part of what you and others have proposed would take that to a more realtime capability or at least allow that where they could say, i see x happening and the industry could tell the government that that is occurring so you could take it from the forensic side to the prevention side, which is, i believe, hugely important for the protection of the country. >> okay. and now coming back to what you just alluded to, and stated earlier that is on information sharing. this is really the key, as i understand it, from the standpoint of being able to
9:29 am
provide blanket protection to virtually every segment of the economy and every industry that wants the protection out there that needs the protection. if they have the capability of sharing proprietary information with both the government as well as with other industries, like industries, then isn't that the crux of what it's going to take to be able to protect all of the industrial base from a cyber attack in the short run as well as in the long run? >> not -- not actually. from my perspective, senator, the issue in this part really lies in two great capabilities. the one that we provide, i agree they want that -- they want to know what are the sensitive things that could attack them. industry brings together the symantecs and the mcafees, bring
9:30 am
a wealth of knowledge to operate your not wsetwork. it's our assumption they would operate to a standard. if not operated to a standard what happens is, you have other ways of getting into the internet we are probably not looking at. we assume that the doors are locked. if they were not, somebody would get in. or if the window was open. we would be looking for other types of nation states threats and assume what i'll call the stuff the anti-virus community generally sees and is working on today is taken care of. what that means, as you put all that on the table we all have to work together and share the information. we have to have some set of standards. that's where working with the industries, just as you said, how do you get to the that standard and how do you have the industry players work with the government and say, so what's the right way to approach it? as you may know, we had a meeting a few years ago with a
9:31 am
number of the electric company whose asked just that question. how do we do this and who's going to tell us how to work it? that's the approach we have to take. help them get there in a way that's not burdensome but helpful. >> well, i think that part of both pieces of legislation is about the same with respect to getting voluntary participation versus mandatory. that's a little bit different, but the fact of getting the industry to set the standards is the key in getting the industry to shart informatie the informa other piece of that that both legislation, piece of legislation is a critical part of it. my time is up. i wanted to say i didn't vote for the s.t.a.r.t. treaty. one reason i didn't i was apprehensive about the administration not being able to do what they said they would do on modernization. i thank you for your specific comment on that, that, about the
9:32 am
fact that you're concerned about it, and that is a critical aspect of this that we look forward to working with you as we go forward. it's got to be done. thank you. >> thanks, mr. chairman. >> senator. >> thank you, senator chambliss. senator session. >> thank you, senator, chambliss, for that comment, and general great to be with you yesterday and talk about some of the issues that you just mentioned, because the understanding that senator kyl had, senator chambliss, about the start and what kind of funding would be laid out for the next decade to modernize our nuclear weapons has not been funded. and the numbers, senator kyl, is deeply disappointed about that, and -- mr. chairman, i am troubled today about this little
9:33 am
overheard conversation between the president and mr. medvedev where president obama said, of all of these things overheard conversations but particular missile defense, this can be solved but it's important for him to give me space and medvedev said, i understand. i understand your message about space, space for you. this is my last election. after my election i'll have more flexibility. understand i'll transmit this information to vladimir. this is not a little matter. i'll tell you why it's not a little matter. we had a long debate over the missile defense. the left has never favored missile defense. president bush was preparing to place a system in poland out of the blue it was cancelled. the polls were de polls -- po
9:34 am
disappointed, so were the czechs, and told, don't worry about it. we'll have another system. i thought they were changing the course of things and we were going to have that, something that wa not eve's on the drawing board then but we about to implant in poland a system which we've proven. the dmg system that we'd already placed in the united states. so i guess what i say to me, the president, makes his assurances. we're going to implant a new system, albeit an sm-3 system to protect america, sure we cancel that one, but we're going to build this new one. but the russians object to the new one. they've objected steadfastly for no good reason that i can see, other than maybe domestic russian politics, or used leverage against the united states. and so now it looks like the
9:35 am
president's saying, we're going to take care of those concerns, too. we're not going to build the new system. not going to place it there, because -- and now you have, after the election i'll take care of it, vladimir. but that's not what he told us the american people. what he told congress. he told the congress we were going to build this system. so i'm worried about it. i can read -- i know what the significance of this little conversation, and it concerns me. now, i'm also concerned that the policy of the defense department of the united states, when it comes to the nuclear weapons you control, general keeler is that
9:36 am
we insisted on that and they came up as a part of the new start debate the present sent a letter to us and promised it. but it's not occurring. the money is not there. so we are at a time of great danger as i see. the defense budget is under great stress. we are looking to save money wherever we can save money. and it appears to me that the administration has, does not have the kind of rigorous intellectual support for missile defense, or nuclear weapons necessary to ensure we keep these programs on track. so with regard to that system,
9:37 am
let me ask you a few questions. and if you've answered these let me know because why pashtun i was ranking member on another committee i had to attend. tell me about the nuclear weapons that we have for the submarines, aircraft and so forth, and you explain to me several of them were being delayed under the budget plan that you had. would you just tell us what the budget has caused you to delay? >> senator, first let me make the point that the stockpile and the deployed force that we have today, i am confident is safe, secure and effective. those are the three watchwords we use when we talk about this. and so today i believe that that deterrent force could meet its objectives and that it is safe, secure and effective. however, we have weapons that
9:38 am
are beginning to reach their in the life. the submarine weapon, it's not classified information that the w76 submarine weapon our life extension program is underway as we sit here today. very encouraged by that and the program seems to be moving forward successfully. what the budget reductions did was it slowed the delivery of those weapons. i believe while all of these budget reductions i think in a perfect world we would say we really wish we could have to do with budget reductions. but the fact of the matter is that they're there and the nuclear force was not immune. so i believe that we can manage that, that delay in the w76, because towards the end of the program we can manage this. i think that is manageable. the aircraft delivered weapons are also reaching a critical
9:39 am
point in terms of their age. the p60 one in particular needs to go through life extension. the fy '13 budget begins that life extension efforts, although it will give us the first unit, what we call the first production unit, most like in 2019 instead of 2070 which is what the 1251 reports had suggested. i believe that's manageable risk as well. beyond -- >> i would just add a political risk, that when you push things out and you are assuming congress will act rationally and predictably in the future, but i would you say the more things are pushed out and they are not done when you plan to do them, the greater the danger is that somehow they won't happen. go ahead. >> in terms of operational risk i believe we can manage operational risk on both of those. we are beginning a study to look at the icbm and remaining
9:40 am
submarine warheads to see whether or not we can get commonality out of those as will look to a future life extension program, and we believe that there's some possibilities there. we would like to go study that and see. so in terms of the weapons for the fiscal 12 budget we're executing of you all appropriate last year for the fiscal year '13 budget laying on the table i believe we can go forward with manageable operational risk. the issue is what happens beyond 13, and that's where the two secretaries of energy and defense have said that we do not have the complete plan in place for what happens beyond 13. that concerns me. when i look to the infrastructure, the industrial complex that i mentioned earlier to another question, it's a very unique highly specialized industrial complex. the plan to upgrade the uranium
9:41 am
processing facility remains in place. the plan to upgrade what we call cmr are, or the chemical and medical article building that allows us to process plutonium is not in place. that has been slipped fairly far to the right, five to seven years beginning of which of the documents you look at. i'm concerned about that. i am concerned about our ability to provide for the deployed stockpile, and that is my number one concern here. so i have some concerns. we owe you answers. the two departments are working together to look at what alternatives might exist pick we are participating in that review, and as the customer, if you will, for all of those at the deterrence and of this street, i would be concerned until someone presents a plan that we can look at and accountable with and understand that it is being supported.
9:42 am
so i'm not saying there isn't a way forward. i am hopeful that there is. we just don't have it yet, and until we do as the customer, i am concerned and i will remain concerned until we go a little farther down the road. >> well, thank you. you are the customer. you are the person for whom these weapons are delivered, and you need to share with us, and i believe you have honestly, both the good and the bad news, and i think it's up to congress to make sure that out of all the money we spent on national defense, we make sure we have sufficient funds to maintain a credible nuclear stockpile. so thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator sessions. senator shaheen? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, gentlemen for being here this morning and for your service and hopefully i will keep you too much past lunch. i wanted to start, gende general
9:43 am
kehler, as you know the treaty was an extremely difficult and contentious debate here in the senate. and your predecessor, general children, as those seven of the last eight commanders of strength, voiced their support for the tree which i think was great helpful in getting it done. but can you tell us little bit about how the implementation of the treaty is progressing? >> senator, i can. there are a number of segments in implementation of the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty that have to move forward together. the first statement is we need to eliminate those launchers that count against the overall treaty limits, and have not been in use for a very, very long time. for example, we call them phantoms, simply because they count on the books but they have
9:44 am
been be activated for a very long time ago. some number of bombers, b-52's that are in the boneyard and need to be dismantled. there are 100 icbm silos that have been empty now for a number of years. we don't have any plans to go back to, that need to be eliminated as well. not converted from nuclear to non-nuclear, but completely eliminated. those processes are under way. the wheels are turning. they are about to finish the environmental impact studies that go along with the, eliminating those silos, and so i'm comfortable with those pieces, are moving forward correctly. the second thing is we have to get ourselves down to the central limits of the treaty, and that's 1000-50 deployed warheads, 700 deployed launchers, and a 800 deployed and nondeployed launchers. that requires us to select a force structure mixture, and we have gone through the joint
9:45 am
chiefs with proposals. we believe that we are settling on the final proposal that the chairman and i can take to the secretary of defense here in the meantime we have begun reconfiguration activities. we are emerging all the icbms. that work has begun and it will continue. we are reconfiguring the numbers of warheads on submarines so that we can get our warheads down to certain limits. so all of these steps are underway, senator. i will tell you that we know that there's a clock running here. we have to be out the central limits not later than the fifth of february, 2018. and the goal we've set ourselves is a year in advance of that so we have time. the icbm fields, reconfiguring those, we know how to make some adjustments in the ssbn force submarine force. there's a long lead time.
9:46 am
but been able to do that, the icbm fields are set so we've got to leave yourself some slack. i'm okay with that but we're getting to the point where we need to make final force structure decisions and i believe we are poised to make those. >> so based on that you're comfortable that on the central limits that we will meet the deadlines? >> yes, i am comfortable we are going to do that. >> and the russians are also meeting the requirements under the treaty, as far as we know? >> they are. >> thank you. i want to switch now to the refueling tankers, because general kehler, i know you've commented one of the importance of support evidenced of long range bomber is obviously a refueling capability. we've seen that at peace where we have a 157th air refueling mission, and i've had a chance
9:47 am
to ride along on some of those planes. so i appreciate the skill and the importance of having that component. so can you talk very briefly about how critical it is for the air force to modernize that refueling capability, and how important it is that we have the new kc tanker for those long range armor operations? >> senator, the one word that we typically use to describe stratcom is global. that word has been used for stratcom since it was sacked. and so i think we appreciate the value of what makes us a global command. in large part what makes us a global command is our ability to project power your in large part our ability to project power is based upon our tankers. it isn't the only thing that allows us to project power.
9:48 am
and by the way, i think the big finish the entire united states military has is our ability to project power, which is what anti-access aerial denial counterstrategy against us are so concerned. in the mixture, i think that is probably, when i look at my friends in air mobility command and our colleagues in u.s. transportation command, i think there's probably no more valuable military assets that we have down our long range aircraft that can move, give us strategic mobility, and the tankers that make it so. so when i look at important things for us in the future, a modern tanker fleet is a replaceable, and is crucial for our success. i think that the united states ability to project power relies on that as well. by the way it relies very extensively on space and cyberspace for us to be able to
9:49 am
project power. so all these pieces go together, and anymore, it's almost impossible to say that one platform only exist in the air. they are connected by cyber. they are relayed by space. they are really truly global in nature, and being able to move a lot of fuel, to power projection forces is critically important. >> and i know it goes without saying that in addition to equipment that is required for all of that, the skills of the human talent that is required to do that is also critical. >> the most critical part. >> thank you. given that, one of the things that i have works on in my civilian life before i came to the senate was the importance of education, and, obviously, one of the things that we're struggling with both in the private sector now and the public sector, and i think it's
9:50 am
particularly true in the defense arena is making sure that we have the trained engineers, scientists, mathematicians, technicians that it's going to take for all of these jobs in the future. so could i ask maybe both of you my comment on what, what your commitment is to making sure that we have the stamina trained people that were going to need for the future, and whether there are any particular efforts that you see that the military is involved in to help make that happen? >> senator, again, having people who are s.t.e.m. people, who have that set of skills, is a replaceable for us. anything we can do to support the development of our young people in that regard, we need to go do.
9:51 am
i would say it this way. in all of our combatant commands, you can look and you can see who the warriors are in our combatant commands. typically there is someone with a set of war fighting skills that you would recognize on television. they carry a rifle. they fly an airplane, et cetera. in stratcom, and general s.t.e.k to cybercommand, but across stratcom, whether it is space or any of the other things that we do, the engineers and scientists are very often are people with that kind of background. those are our warriors. and so it is even more magnified i believe in stratcom the valley of people with that kind of background that may be in other places. >> senator, i would just add, nsa has a program with over 100 plus universities for information assurance and cyber related stuff. we did in conjunction with the department homeland security, and now we bring cybercommand into the. so that offers us.
9:52 am
tulsa university was one of those we work with and there are many others as you know. but i think the issue with science technology engineered and math, the s.t.e.m. program is critical for our country. and we, the military, can not do it. it will take you and congress don't generate that. we need more scientists and we need to start that in fourth grade. it is the things that we actually have got to push the i have 14 grandchildren, all of them should be engineers and scientists, math edition. maybe one could be a lawyer, but the rest -- >> thank you for leaving us a little room. >> i would go for a doctor myself. well, thank you. i think as you point out this is an area where the military and the civilian sector really need to work more closely than we had in the past. and i think as we talk about what we needed to in our education system, i think it's important to point out that this is a national security issue as well. so thank you all very much.
9:53 am
>> thank you, senator shaheen. i happen to agree with senator shaheen about her efforts and her s.t.e.m. skills but i also happen to agree despite i am a lawyer and mary to her lawyer about your comment about engineers. we need a heck of a lot more of them come and i will, i will be negative whether we need more lawyers. i would just be positive about needing more engineers. both of you, we are very grateful for your comments but don't think i think i would add probably general alexander is that you make repeated reference to what we need to do in the area of cyber, in terms of working with industry. and i obviously agree with that. in terms of meeting performance standards. they will work to try to come up with performance standards. i think it's important, however, to emphasize that even though they will be adopted, that they
9:54 am
will have to be followed. the industry will decide how to meet those standards, but there will be standards. and i don't think you should shot away from the. i think we talk about national security or, if this is not a question of pro-business, anti-business. this is a question of being the security of the united states we're talking about. we want to work with business but we can't disallow business here to dictate what the duty of this country is icing that they oppose standards. instead, we would hope they would work with us on those standards, and understand that there's plenty of flexibility in decide how to meet the standards, but not whether to meet those standards. are you with me so far? >> im, center. and i agreed. >> and also, another piece, and that's the information sharing peace. as you point out, you want them
9:55 am
to get to the point where they can tell us about an attack, and the bills make it easy for them to tell us because i guess we are addressing some of the issues about proprietary information, for instance, so that they will be protected on that. but i think it's also clear, as your answers to senator collins made clear, that whether or not they share, and we are talking here about the major infrastructure of this country, whether or not they share information with us is not the question of whether they agree to it or not. at some point with major infrastructure, and that is going be a requirement that they share information relative to the attacks with us. we were protected in terms of
9:56 am
proprietary information, but they've got to help protect the country by understanding that there should be and i believe hopefully will be requirements that they share information of attacks on that major infrastructure with us. and i would just urge that you not be reluctant about talking about their obligation, not that, only that they will get to the point where they will share, but that there is a responsibility that needs to be placed upon them. and again, talking here about major infrastructure a responsibility, at least it would be placed upon them to share that information of major attacks. would you agree with that? >> chairman, i do. >> okay. any others? cinders cheating, eating for the? we thank you both but it's been a very, very helpful morning,
9:57 am
and we stand adjourned. [inaudible conversations] >> [inaudible conversations]
9:58 am
>> live sunday on in depth, our founding fathers, civility and conservative politics. your questions for author and "national review" senior editor richard brookhiser. he will take your phone calls and e-mails and tweets sunday at noon eastern on c-span2's booktv. >> follow c-span's local content vehicles throughout the weekend as booktv and american history tv explore the history and later a culture of little rock, arkansas. spent saturday starting at an eastern on book tv on c-span2, the little known riots and killings of at least one african-american sharecroppers. >> you had calls going all up and down the mississippi delta,
9:59 am
and saying that blacks were not in revolt. and the next morning between 601,000 men, white men, pour into philip county to begin shooting down blacks. >> and on american history tv on c-span3, sunday at 5 p.m. former student bruce lindsey on integration and north little rock high school. >> they know what's going to happen but we don't know what's going to happen. we don't realize what's going to happen when we get up those steps. that they seem to, because the crowd is with us now. the momentum is behind us, and they are pushing us up the steps. >> these stories and others from c-span's local content vehicles in little rock this weekend on c-span2 in three. >> the senate is about to gavel in for the day. members today will work on a bill that would set a minimum
10:00 am
effective tax rate for people with higher incomes. it would require that taxpayers with more than 2 million of them, pay a minimum of 30% in federal taxes. live coverage of the senate here on c-span2.
10:01 am
the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain dr. barry black will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. almighty god, the prince of peace, give our senators this day the grace to move away from divisions. take from them all cynicism and resentment and anything else that may hinder them from experiencing concord and harmony. may the bonds of patriotism, truth, peace, faith and love
10:02 am
provide the glue that will enable them to glorify you with their oneness. graft in their hearts the love of your name as you nourish them with all goodness and mercy. may they find in you a faithful guide. we pray in your great name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
10:03 am
the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c., march 28, 2012. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable kirsten e. gillibrand, a senator from the state of new york, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: daniel k. inouye, president pro tempore. mr. reid: madam president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: following leader remarks, if any, the senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to 2230. that's the paying a fair share act. republicans will control the first 30 minutes. the majority will control the next 30 minutes. i now ask unanimous consent that following the first hour, the time until 5:00 p.m. today be equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees. that the time from 2:00 to 3:00 be under the control of the majority. the time from 3:00 to 4:00 under the control of the republicans. the presiding officer: no objection. mr. reid: thanks, madam president. at 5:00 tonight, the senate will
10:04 am
proceed to executive session to consider the du and morgan nominations. prospective judges from nevada and louisiana. at 6:00 p.m., there will be two votes on confirmation of those nominations. there are three bills at the desk due for a second reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the titles of the bills en bloc for the second time. the clerk: h.r. 2682, an act to provide end user exemptions for certain provisions of the commodity exchange act and the securities exchange act of 1934, and for other purposes. h.r. 2779, an act to exempt interaffiliate swaps from certain regulatory requirements put in place by the dodd-frank wall street reform and consumer protection act. h.r. 4014, an act to amend the federal deposit insurance act, and so forth. mr. reid: i, madam president, object to h.r. 4014, 2779, and
10:05 am
2682. from any further action at this time. the presiding officer: objections having been heard, the bills will now be placed on the calendar. mr. reid: madam president, today the senate will consider the nomination of a woman by the name of miranda du to be a united states district judge in the district court of nevada. i was very pleased to recommend this woman for as -- because she is such an experienced litigator and a very proud nevadan. miss du has an enormous love for the state and this country and a tremendous dedication to public service. her story is about as inspiring as it gets, madam president. it proves without any question the american dream is alive and well. nevada's asian pacific population is less than 10%, but if confirmed, miss du will be the first asian american federal
10:06 am
judge in the history of the state of nevada. miranda du left vietnam when she was 8 years old with her family in a boat. she was one of the boat people. she was born in vietnam. she and her family survived the war and they left. they left voluntarily. they couldn't get out any other way. i said -- they left voluntarily. they sneaked out, got a boat and took off. where they wound up was in malaysia. she spent more than two years in a refugee camp in malaysia, this little girl. she was then with her family taken to alabama. vietnam, malaysia, alabama. when she got there, she enrolled in an american school for the first time. she didn't know how to speak english, and that's an
10:07 am
understatement. but as a third grader, everyone recognized how smart she was. she picked up the language very quickly. miranda du speaks -- it doesn't matter if she had an accent, she has none, but today she speaks as well as you or i. she -- her family after living in alabama where her father worked on a dairy farm, they eventually worked their way into california. she continued to be pointed out as always one of the smartest in any class. she was able to go to college. she got a degree in history and economics from the university of california-davis, and her law degree from one of the finest law schools in the world, university of california-berkeley, bolt hall, the famous bolt hall. she did well wherever she went to school. after law school, she moved to nevada. she joined at that time a law firm, mcdonald karano and
10:08 am
wilson, which, madam president, is a very, very respected law firm. bob mcdonald, the founder of that firm, was a protege of the famous nevada senator pat mccarren. he was very involved in politics until he died a couple of years ago. don karano, also a famous, well-known man in nevada, has done extremely well, a lawyer, owns major hotels and casinos. he is one of the biggest producers of wine in the state of california. and mike wilson was a long-time nevada state senator. just a very fine, fine group of people, these three men that started this law firm. she was made a partner in 2002 at the law firm. her specialty is litigation. she is a trial lawyer and a very good one. she specializes in complex civil litigation and also employment
10:09 am
law. she has appeared before the state and federal courts in all phases of litigation. trial lawyer, appellate lawyer before the nevada supreme court and the ninth circuit court of appeals. she has the support of a bipartisan coalition of nevada officials, including the governor. by the way, the governor was one of my appointments to the federal bench. he was a federal judge, brian sandoval, and a good federal judge. he resigned that position and ran for governor. against my son, and he won. he is a fine man, he is my friend, and he has come out vocally and very publicly that this woman is a great lawyer and should be on the bench, something he should know a little bit about. she is -- she has received vocal support from the lieutenant governor, also a republican, the mayor of reno, also a
10:10 am
republican. in fact, governor sandoval wrote to the judiciary committee to say -- quote -- "du has exhibited great character and is well respected in the legal community." close quote. he has given her his unqualified support. republican governor, lieutenant governor brian koleckey called miss du -- quote -- intelligent, reliable and dedicated, end of quote. and the republican mayor of reno, who, by the way, we had a visit here yesterday, said du -- quote -- will be a great addition to the bench. in addition to being an experienced litigator, she is also an outstanding citizen. she is involved in the northern nevada community. there are many things she has done. she serves on the nevada commission of economic development. she has also served as a court-appointed special advocate representing abused and
10:11 am
negligented children. she now and has in the past, for a number of years, mentored high school students in reno, nevada. she is a fine example to those students. madam president, i have had the good fortune to be able to forward to presidents about ten names, and i have never been more proud of one than miranda du. i repeat -- if there were ever a success story, it's this woman who was born in vietnam, took a boat, wound up in malaysia, came from malaysia to america to alabama to california and is now one of the most respected lawyers we have in the state of nevada. this is what america's all about. mr. mccain: madam president, will the senator from nevada yield just for a comment? i say i thank him for honoring those who came to this country
10:12 am
who fled re-education camps, execution and the most horrible, brutal regime period and the enormous contribution that those individuals and their children now have made to our nation and our economy, our political scene is remarkable and one that all of us should be extremely proud of. i thank the senator from nevada for recognizing those individuals' contribution. mr. reid: madam president, and this coming from a person who was held for seven years in a prisoner of war camp in that country, so i'm -- i think anyone hearing this -- and there are lots of people watching this -- should understand what john mccain just said. john mccain and i have battled on a number of substantive issues over the years, but i don't think that any two people have -- at least from my perspective, that i have more admiration and respect for than
10:13 am
john mccain who has done so much for his country. mr. mccain: i thank the leader for his generous and kind remarks. as he said, he and i have done battle on the honorable field of combat, but i think the feeling of respect and appreciation and admiration is mutual. i thank the leader. mr. mcconnell: madam president. the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: if i may just add, the colloquy between the majority leader and my good friend from arizona certainly underscores once again the extraordinary contribution that legal immigration has made to our country for over 200 years. i think as an example my own wife who came here at age 8 not speaking a word of english, and the majority leader was just pointing out an immigrant from vietnam has done well. senator mccain has said the same thing that all three of us
10:14 am
said on numerous occasions, so it is indeed something to celebrate. and, madam president, yesterday afternoon, i came to the floor to suggest that what has been happening in the senate this week is precisely the kind of thing the american people really don't like about washington. gas prices have more than doubled under president obama, and the democratic-controlled senate. this is a problem that affects every single american. it drives up the cost of everything from commuting to groceries. and yet, the democratic response is to propose legislation that even they admit doesn't do a thing to lower the price of gas. we have got seven democrats, in fact, on record saying the bill doesn't do a thing to lower gas prices. one of them has called it laughable, but this is apparently the best our friends on the other side can do, the most, apparently, they are willing to do. at a time when gas prices are at a national average of nearly $4 a gallon, this is what passes for a response to high gas
10:15 am
prices for washington democrats. a bill that simply does nothing about it. but it even gets worse than that because not only is the democratic solution to high gas prices a bill that even they admit does nothing to lower gas prices, they won't even allow republicans to offer any amendments that would help. not only are they pushing a bill that won't lower gas prices, they're blocking any measure that would actually make a difference. so at a moment when working americans are struggling with high gas prices, the message democrats in washington are sending this week is simple: get used to it. get used to it. because they've got nothing, nothing but a phony proposal aimed at distracting people from the fact that they have nothing to offer. maybe the reason they voted yesterday to get off their own bill is they realized the american people were onto them. maybe they realized they didn't have the political issue they thought they did.
10:16 am
well, my point is that they should be more concerned about helping americans than helping their own campaigns. so if democrats won't allow us to offer any proposals to address this crisis, we're still going to talk about them anyway. because americans need to know that there are some things we could -- we could do about this issue. we could actually have an impact on high gas prices right here in congress. they need to hear us debate these ideas and they need to know that democratic leaders in the senate won't even allow a vote on any of these ideas. this whole episode is completely and totally unacceptable. and hopefully at some point a number of democrats will recognize this, will recognize that this should be more about just political games, we should -- actually ought to try to actually accomplish something. this issue affects real people. for them, it's an urgent matter. and democrats should summon the
10:17 am
same urgency in dealing with it. we were sent here to solve problems, not to hide from them. now, madam president, on an entirely different matter, something very special in the world of sports is happening in the commonwealth of kentucky. kentucky is well known as the home of the kentucky derby, often called the greatest two minutes in sports, but this coming saturday, march 31, we will witness one of the greatest moments in kentucky sports history. two of the most-storied and winningest programs in all of college basketball, the university of louisville and the university of kentucky, will meet in saturday in the 2012 ncaa tournament final four. the two teams will face off in the semifinal game in new orleans, and the winner of that game will contest for the
10:18 am
national championship next monday night. now, in my home state of kentucky the rivalry of fans of u. of l. and u.k. is passionate. from birth, it seems, kentuckians are raised to root for one of these two teams. you either wear red for the cardinals or blue for the wildcats. the two teams boast two legendary coaches, rick pitino and john calipari. the teams have met every year since 1983, and they've met in the ncaa tournament four times in the past. most recently in the middle east region -- middle east regionals in 1983. between them they have 24 visits to the final four but never have these two teams faced each other in the final four with the stakes so high. if the excitement and frenzy and turbulence that's been stirred up in kentucky this week could be harnessed, we could solve
10:19 am
our energy crisis. basketball fans from kentucky have been waiting their whole lives for this game. and on saturday, we will prove that these two schools have the best rivalry in all of college basketball and that the commonwealth of kentucky is the best college basketball state in the nation. let me say that again. so my friends in north carolina can hear it. u.l. and u.k. have the best rivalry in all of college basketball and the commonwealth of kentucky is the best college basketball state in the nation. but only one team can win on saturday. i'm actually an alumnus of both schools. i attended the university of louisville as an undergraduate and went to law school at the university of kentucky. so i don't know who will win saturday's game, but i do know this -- whoever the winner is will go on to defeat either
10:20 am
kansas or ohio state and bring the national championship back home to kentucky where it belongs. so count me in with my fellow kentuckians and college basketball fans everywhere as we tune in this saturday to see history in the making. madam president, it's going to be really exciting to watch. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to s. 2230 which the clerk will report. the clerk: motion to proceed to calendar number 339, s. 2230 a bill to reduce the deficit by imposing a minimum effective tax rate for high-income taxpayers. ?uvment under the previous order, the time until 5:00 p.m. will be equally divided between the two leaders or their niece ?ees with the republicans controlling the first 30 minutes and the majority controlling the second 30 minutes and with the majority controlling the time
10:21 am
from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. and the time from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. controlled by the republicans. the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: thank you, madam president. i ask unanimous consent to engage in a colloquy with a number of my colleagues for the next 30 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. barrasso: thank you, madam president. i come to the floor today as i have over the last two years since the health care law was passed with a doctor's second opinion, and i do that as someone who has practiced medicine, taken care of families across the country, and primarily in wyoming for a quarter of a century, listening to them, trying to care for them and knowing that what the american people want is care they need from a doctor that they want at a price they can afford. and during the last two years since the health care law has been passed, the american public has found out now that it was passed, they now get to
10:22 am
know what's in it. and they don't like what they're seeing because instead of providing patients with the care that they need from a doctor that they want as at the cost they can afford, they are seeing time and time again a significant change on promises that the president has made broken. so i'm here with my colleagues today to talk about some of those concerns, and i see the senator from arizona on the floor, who has heard the promises made and i know when he goes to town hall meetings and focuses to people back home, they find out that the cost that had been promised to go down have gone up instead and that the opportunity of patients to keep the care that they want if they have it or the doctor they want, they're not able to do that. is that what the senator from arizona has been finding? mr. mccain: i thank my colleague for his continued leadership on this issue and his eminent qualifications to
10:23 am
address it and to help educate the american people about what's at stake here. i think this colloquy we're having has to be considered in the context of the arguments before the united states supreme court. my colleague from south carolina, senator graham, i think will mention that we should not draw too many conclusions from the questions that are asked by the justices of the supreme court, but, you know, one of the things that i find when i watch the talk shows i'd ask the senator from wyoming that always the first thing they say is the most important thing about obamacare is that parents can keep their children on their health insurance plan until they reach age 26. well, you know, i think all four of us right now would be glad to put that into law as an amendment in a new york minute. if they want to stay till 30 in the basement, it's fine with me. but the fact is that for that to be the centerpiece with -- this
10:24 am
this is why we have to preserve obamacare is of course a bad joke. what we're arguing about here is the thousands of painls. i guess the senator from wyoming, is it 100,000 pages of regulations to implement this plan? before he responds to that, you know, we have promised to repeal and replace obamacare if -- depending on not only -- not only the supreme court decision but the will of the people as expressed perhaps next november. one of the areas that i think we have not focused enough attention on is two: one the unsavory process that resulted in the passage of this legislation, behind closed doors, everybody at the blair house, bludgeoning the a.m.a. and pharmaceuticals and the deals that were cut here.
10:25 am
but another area was a promise made by the president that he would consider -- wasn't committed to, i'll admitted -- medical malpractice reform. here we're talking about 20% to 30% of the health care costs in america, in the view of some, can be attributed to the unnecessary tests that are administered and prescribed by physicians and health care providers because of the fear of ending up in court. yet in all of this bill there's not one mention that i know of that has meaningful approach to medical malpractice reform. and since the senator from south carolina not only is an expert on the supreme court but also to the trial lawyers who he is one of their republican favorites, maybe he could address that aspect of medical care as well. would the senator from wyoming comment on that. mr. barrasso: i agree with my colleague from arizona that there are a number of things
10:26 am
that continue to drive up the cost of care and one of the things that i believe should have been included in the health care law were things that we knew that actually could help lower the cost of care. lower unnecessary testing. and part of all the studies show is doing away with these junk lawsuits that result in significant numbers of additional tests, expensive tests being done seems to me often more time to help protect the doctor than actually to help the patient get well sooner. i have lots of concerns. even in a rural state like wyoming, i see my colleague from south dakota on the floor as well as our colleague from south carolina, this is a national concern and i believe should have been included in any health care law that was really supposed to target lowering the cost. i mean that's what the president promised in the beginning, that families would see their health care premiums go down by $2,500 per year and instead the premiums have gone up by about $2,100 a year.
10:27 am
on so many of these things, and my colleague from south carolina i have -- has cosponsored legislation to give states the opportunity to opt out of a number of the provisions of the health care law, blaws they are so onerous and -- onerous, and you look at the president and his proposals, and i would think that any national health care law ought to look at certain components of things toably down the cost of care and, in fact, what i see with the mandates in this one-size-fits-all approach and the demand that everyone in the country buys government-sponsored or government-approved health care insurance, that the rates are going up instead. so i would turn to my friend from south carolina and ask him about that plus the unfunded mandates that are forced on the states with medicaid, which is a significant part of what's being discussed today in the supreme court. mr. graham: i'll be glad to. i've enjoyed the opportunity to
10:28 am
create legislation that would allow states to opt out of medicaid expansion under this bill. about 30% of the people in south carolina will be eligible for medicaid in 2014 if this bill was fully implemented. it is the second largest expense in the state of south carolina,. you get three federal dollars for every state dollar you put on the table to deal with medicaid. sounds like a good deal until medicaid explodes in costs and becomes the number one driver of the budget in south carolina, wyoming, south carolina, and arizona. and under this bill the problem we have today with medicaid becomes medicaid on steroids and i'm confident there are plenty of democrats who have governors who are democratic governors who will say wait a minute before you expand medicaid, put additional burden on my state budget, let's see if we can find more creative ways of dealing with it and give people the aguilt bilt to opt out of that i -- the ability to opt out would be good policy.
10:29 am
but i want to comment quickly. one rule of thumb, any bill passed on christmas yvonne a party-line vote is probably no good for the country. that's exactly what happened in the united states senate. as senator mccain was saying. this is a partyline vote, 60-40 on 1/5 or 1/6 of the economy. this was supposed to happen on c-span. president obama said i'm coming to washington and we'll change the way washington works. if i had to offer exhibit a as to what's wrong with washington, it would be the health care, obamacare process as well as substance. everything that people hated about washington resulted in this bill being passed. absolutely no bipartisanship, behind-closed-door negotiations, beating people over the head to get their support, buying votes based on special interest deals for their state, is not exactly what people had in mind. and is it any surprise that something that came out of that
10:30 am
process is going over like a lead balloon? now, one of the problems with health care is getting doctors to take medicare and medicaid patients. well, what do we do with medicare? we took $500 billion out of a system that's $30 trillion underfunded, $500 billion out of medicare to help the uninsured. we've got an uninsured problem we but we got a medicare problem that's going to be an absolute nightmare. what i wanted to do on malpractice is tell a doctor if you will take a medicare or medicaid patient, doing the country a service, and you get sued, we'll go to arbitration. require arbitration. let the panel render their judgment. and if you want to go to court, you will have to lose the payroll. to me that's fair. i want people to have a chance to litigate their differences when it comes to alleged malpractice, but i wants doctors to feel like there is an incentive to serve medicare/medicaid patients. all i can say is what was promised in this bill, the
10:31 am
remedies to our health care system, none of them have come true, and what you see two years later are our worst fears being realized at a faster pace. we were promised, the president promised if you like your health care, you will be able to keep it. what's going on in the country is that employers are dropping health care for their employees because it's just cheaper to pay the fine. what's happening in this country is that the idea of being able to expand medicaid without bankrupting the budgets of this country at the state level is just when you look at the consequences, it's just a nightmare in the making. we were promised that this bill would reduce the deficit. well, to me, health care includes doctors, and in the bill itself we never dealt with the problem that doctors face of having their budgets, their reimbursements cut. that was not even addressed in obamacare. that's a couple of hundred billion dollar liability.
10:32 am
so the idea that this thing has been paid for as promised no longer exists. it is adding to the deficit. it was projected to be $900 billion in costs. now it's about $1.7 billion. so the basic promises around what this bill would do for our budget, what it would do for choices in health care have not come true, and i'm here to say to our democratic friends fix this before it's too late. you will find people on our side willing to meet you in the middle when it comes to reforming health care because it needs to be reformed, but the model you have created, centralized health care that is going to damn state budgets beyond belief, is going to drive private sector insurance out of the market and is going to have a budget consequence on top of what we already have is not the right model. so to my colleagues here today, i will work with you to do two things -- educate the public
10:33 am
about what awaits us if we don't change this bill quickly and work with our democratic friends to find a better alternative. i think that's what america wants. when 67% of the people two years later feel like this is not the way to go, responsible leadership would say let's alter course. the supreme court may strike down the mandate. they may say medicaid expansion is a violation of the tenth amendment. i hope they do, but i can say one thing with certainty -- because nine judges, five of which say it's legal to do something, doesn't make it smart to do something. what's smart is to fix health care in a sustainable way, and what's smart is for republicans and democrats to work together in a transparent, open fashion. and we haven't done anything smart about health care yet. i hope that changes. mr. mccain: could i just ask my colleagues if they remember
10:34 am
the cornhusker kickback, another democrat holdout took credit for $10 billion of new funding in community health centers, exemption for nonprofit insurance in their states. vermont and massachusetts were given additional medicaid funding. $300 million increase for medicaid in louisiana. the list goes on and on, the process that they went through culminating, as the senator from south carolina mentioned, on christmas eve a process that obviously most americans find unsavory. and is it interesting, i would ask my two colleagues, if that these same people, organizations, the a.m.a., the hospital, the pharmaceuticals and others who all signed up and were bludgeoned into supporting obamacare -- and by the way, that negotiating -- as the president promised, that there would not be lobbyists in the white house. they were in the blair house.
10:35 am
that they -- they would not play a major role obviously, but the fact is these same people, these same organizations come to our office and ask for relief from obamacare. isn't that fascinating? i mean, time after time, members of the same organizations that supported obamacare come and say look, we can't live with this provision. we can't -- it's impossible for us to comply with that provision. it's a fascinating commentary on trying to do the lord's work in the city of satan, i would ask my colleagues. mr. thune: i would say to my colleague from arizona that he always has a way with words when it comes to describing the strange meanderings of the process here in washington, but it really was. unfortunately, all those groups that had access to the process who then in the end they all got sort of kowtowed into going along with it, now they are all being hit with these huge tax
10:36 am
bills because everybody is getting taxed to pay for this thing. all of which is passed on, i might add, to businesses in this country, driving up their costs. but the one thing that everybody has mentioned here this morning which i think you didn't -- that didn't really have a seat at the table were the states. think about the states and what this means for them. you are actually passing on in the first three years, the federal government said it was going to pay 100% of the costs of the new populations that are going to be covered under medicaid, but if you look at what happens after that, the states then are starting to have to bear more of the burden and be forced to pay at least another $118 billion, according to one congressional report through the year 2023, which crowds out priorities like education, law enforcement, and all the things that we expect our states to do. and so the states got all these mandates shoved down their throats, making it more difficult for them to meet the responsibilities they have to the people in their individual states, because the federal government has not only said
10:37 am
you're going to have to pay for this but they have also become very prescriptive about what you can and can't do. and so states no longer are going to have and frankly haven't had a lot of flexibility even in the past when it comes to setting eligibility standards determining who can and can't be covered by medicaid in their individual states. they just get the costs shoved down their throat, very little input into how they are going to implement this program, and so much so that governors all over the country are reacting to this, and that's why you have 26 governors who are part of the litigation that's going on right now at the supreme court to challenge the mandate on medicaid which will be heard today by the court. but listen to what some of the governors around the country have said, and these are democrat governors. this is the democrat governor of kentucky -- "i have no idea how to pay for these new mandates regulations." former governor of tennessee said -- "i can't think of a
10:38 am
worse time for this bill to be coming. nobody is going to put their state into bankruptcy or their education system in the tank for it." the governor of montana said -- "i am going to have to double my patient load and run the risk of bankrupting montana." those are democrat governors reacting to this new mandate that's being shoved down their throat because of the changes that were made to medicaid in the health care bill. and so i -- i think that the states unfortunately did not have a seat at the table. if they did, they certainly didn't get their voices heard because they are going to be forced now and the people, individuals in these states to come up with the billions and billions and billions of additional dollars that they are going to have to pay to finance the new mandates in the legislation. now, i want to make one other point because there has been a lot said here on the floor of the senate, by just people and generally in congress about the
10:39 am
importance of focusing like a laser on the jobs and the economy. and frankly, i think there are some things that actually have been done around here. last week we finally passed a jobs bill, a private sector jobs bill that would create jobs, hopefully make it easier for our small businesses to access capital to grow their businesses and great jobs. but the health care bill clearly is going to have the opposite effect. now interestingly enough, when it passed, there were lots of statements made at the time about how many jobs it was going to create. in fact, if you go back, the former speaker of the house said it would create four million jobs, 400,000 jobs almost immediately. that's former speaker nancy pelosi. interestingly enough, that contradicts what the congressional budget office director said. he testified that the new law would actually reduce employment over the next decade by 800,000 jobs. now, there is an analysis done by u.b.s. that stated that the law is -- and i quote -- "arguably the biggest impediment to hiring, particularly hiring
10:40 am
of less-skilled workers." so what we are seeing again is a promise made about creating jobs and the very opposite i think is what you're going to see. now, there was a gallup poll just recently that found that 48% of small businesses in this country are not hiring because of the potential cost of health insurance under the health care law. 46% are not hiring because of concerns over other government regulations. but if you look at the impact this legislation is having on hiring in america today, what we're hearing from the people who hire, the job creators out there and our small businesses, this is a huge impediment to hiring. the device manufacturer stryker announced that they are shedding 5% of their work force over concerns about the impending 2.3% medical device tax which was included in the health care law. there is another employer here, this is somebody who owns restaurants in this company, a restaurant chain. let me state bluntly -- this is a direct quote." let me state bluntly, this law will cost my company more than
10:41 am
we make." end quote. cost the company more than we make. another employer in this country said this -- "the new health care law has wrecked our plans to grow our business and create jobs." madam president, that is exactly the thing that i think many of us predicted would happen. notwithstanding the assertions that were made by the proponents of this legislation that it was going to create jobs, we see the very opposite happening. we see our small businesses are pulling back, not hiring, not growing their businesses because of the concerns about the cost and the penalties that will be imposed, and the taxes that are included in the health care law. and so i know that my colleague from wyoming represents a lot of small businesses like i do. south dakota and wyoming are not -- they are very similar in terms of the size of the state, the way that people make their living. we have a lot of small businesses, a lot of entrepreneurs. we look to them to create jobs and grow the economies in our state. and obviously, it becomes much
10:42 am
more difficult when you continue to drive and shove these mandates, these requirements down the throats of our small businesses. these new taxes that they are going to have to bear. and the list of taxes under this is really just pretty amazing. the new taxes that are going to be imposed under this. but it adds up to -- and this is just over the cost of the first decade, $552 billion when it's fully implemented, a trillion dollars in tax increases, all of which get passed on in the form of higher costs for health insurance and other costs throughout the economy. but my point very simply, madam president, is if we are sincere in being focused on creating jobs in this country, perhaps the biggest impediment and barrier to that now is the health care law, the obamacare law that is currently being heard by the supreme court. and i would just, i guess, ask my colleague from wyoming to comment on his -- his view with regard to some of these promises that were made regarding this legislation and how actually the bill is now playing out as we
10:43 am
get to know more about it, which is what was -- the former speaker of the house also said, we have to get this bill passed, we'll find out what's in it. as the american people are finding out what's in it, they are becoming increasingly convinced this is the wrong direction to go for the rest of the country. i think that's a view shared by the majority of the people in wyoming. mr. barrasso: as a neighboring state, south dakota and wyoming, we work very closely together, very similar. the experiences we're having in wyoming where we now have a republican governor, previously had a democrat governor, and you talked about the medicaid mandates, what has been called by one governor, the mother of all unfunded mandates, the money that then has to be used for that is, as you said, crowding out other things, and that's money that can't be used specifically for education. one of the worst things that's happening through education across our country is the health care law, because for every penny that the state now has to add to pay for this medicaid expansion, this unfunded
10:44 am
mandate -- and i heard the numbers from my colleague from south dakota. these are astronomically large numbers. those are dollars that aren't going to go to the universities and the institutions of higher education as well as our additional schools throughout the state. so when all of a sudden if you have a student in college and you see that the tuition has gone up much more than you thought it should have, or likely think it shouldn't go up at all, say why is it? well, it's president obama's health care law. that is what's mandating money being spent for the medicaid and the unfunded mandates so that takes the dollars away from education. just this month, march, 2012, there is a report out that 2011 actuary report on the financial outlook for medicaid, and the figures are astonishing how this health spending law called obamacare or the so-called
10:45 am
affordable care act, but because you call it that doesn't mean it is affordable, as we see from this report. it drives up federal medicaid costs by hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars through 2020. it forces many more people onto the medicaid rolls. and, you know, the president has talked so much and used interchangeably the words "coverage" and" care" but what we know is across the country if somebody has a medicaid card, that does not eke kuwait to necessary -- equate to necessarily being able to receive care as my colleague from south dakota talked about reimbursement rates for physicians when we see how medicaid in many ways underpays sometimes even the cost of seeing the patient, it is harder for those patients to get seen. so i think the president has used two words interchangeably which are in no way interchangeable. someone can have a medicaid card but not be able to get care, and the concern is now with
10:46 am
medicare, as my colleague from south dakota said, $500 billion of medicare cean out of medicare, -- taken out of medicare, not to strengthen medicare, not to increase the security for people on medicare, not to improve medicare but to start a whole new government program for other people, the medicare patients are having a harder and harder time finding a physician to care for them. so i would say the president of the united states by using those two words interchangeably, coverage and care, has, unfortunately, misled people to think that coverage equals care and we know it does not. and that is the concern, one of the concerns with the health care law as we talk about the broken promises and the unfunded mandates sent to the states. so as i stand here with my colleague from south dakota, i assume when you go home on weekends as you do almost every weekend, you hear the same
10:47 am
things that i hear and when i have a town hall meeting and i ask the question, how many of you believe that under the health care law, remember the one that the president promised your rates would go down, your insurance rates boo would go down $2,500 a year, how many believe because of the law your rates are going up faster if there hadn't been a law at all? and all the hands go up. the hands go up. and they say how many of you believe that the quality and availability of your care is going to get worse because of this law? and again the hands go up. and for a second i thought maybe that was just something we saw in wyoming and in south dakota, but in a national poll yesterday, national poll, no "the new york times" of all places, page a-15, yesterday's "new york times" in terms of the health care law, how many people -- how many will this health law affect will you personally? will this help you? less than one in five americans said this will help me. twice as many said it will
10:48 am
actually hurt them. when asked will this decrease your cost, one in six said it would decrease their cost. more than half said it would increase their cost. when asked about how about the quality of your care, only one in six said that they actually expected better quality of care. many, many more expect worse quality of care. so it's not just wyoming. it's not just south dakota. it's the entire country which is seeing this same impact and by ask my colleague from south dakota as he travels around, is this what you're seeing everywhere as well? mr. thune: it certainly is. i think as you mentioned, the huge majority of businesses across this country and especially small businesses like those that you and i represent in wyoming and south dakota are enormously concerned about what this is going to do to their ability to create jobs, to maintain coverage for their employees, and there are just so many huge impacts from this.
10:49 am
much of which frankly we predicted but again the idea, the notion that somehow imposing over half a trillion dollars in new taxes on businesses in this country, on health insurance plans was somehow going to lead to lower costs for people to get coverage in this country is beyond me. i don't know how, i'm at a loss to explain how anybody could make the argument this was going to create jobs. as i said, former speaker pelosi predicted four million new jobs. the congressional budget office had said it would cost us 800,000 jobs, i suspect that's a conservative estimate based upon what i hear from employers in my state and elsewhere around the country. but i do want to point out, too, in so many ways this thing because of the new mandates, because of the new taxes, because of the new costs is just going to make everybody's lives more complicated, more difficult, including our states. and we represent states where the -- our governors, our
10:50 am
legislators work really hard to balance our budgets, live within their means, not spend money they don't have and here they are forced by the federal government to swallow these additional costs that are coming because of this -- this new health care plan. basically what the obama administration has ton dunn, it's put shackles on the states when it comes to making decisions about eligibility needs in their states. they'll have to lower spending on medicaid providers and in some cases they -- our states are trying innovative aapproaches, and yet the federal government is going to make that much more difficult. the bottom line is the combined effect of the health care, the obamacare's policies has taken power from the states, given more of it to washington, it's forced unrealistic new spending mandates on the states that will crowd out local priorities that the senator from wyoming mentioned like education, like law enforcement, the things that i think constituents in our individual states expect their governors and their state
10:51 am
legislatures to deal with. and so, again, by come back to what these governors have said. i'm not talking about the conservative republican governors in this country. look at what the democrat governors have said. the governor of kentucky, "i have no idea how to pay for this." the governor, as i said, of montana, basically saying that increasing the patient load under this bill will cause a bankruptcy or force them to bankrupt his state. and then of course there's even the governor of a state like california. the presiding officer: the republican time has expired. mr. thune: which i'll submit for the record. the point is there were lots of promises made that haven't been kept with this legislation. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: madam president, i come to the floor to talk about what is the pending business before the floor, which is my legislation to end
10:52 am
big oil subsidies in this country. you know, madam president, middle-class families are hurting, struggling to make ends meet. and yet today we're here on the floor of the united states senate fighting an uphill battle against those on the other side of the aisle who with one hand would continue handing out $24 billion in wasteful subsidies to five of the biggest, most profitable oil companies in the country, and with the other hand take away vital programs from our nation's veterans, its seniors, disabled children, just to name a few. we hear our republican friends talk about balanced budgets, and we hear them talk about austerity. we hear them saying we all have to tighten our belts. we all have to make hard choices
10:53 am
on medicare and veterans and veterans' benefits and student loans, just to name a few, and yet they will not in that austerity or shared sacrifice say that we will end unnecessary tax breaks to big oil. they'll continue to ask the same things they've asked a thousand times before, which is that the american taxpayer subsidize the richest five companies in the world while we cut programs for our wounded soldiers, for our seniors, and for our students. we think of budgets, some people think of budgets just as boring documents with lots of bewildering numbers. in reality, they are statements about our priorities. and this debate today draws the brightest lines between our priorities and theirs.
10:54 am
the romney-ryan budget, for example, cuts $2.2 billion in education for children with disabilities. and what do they say to these parents? i guess they justify it by saying we just can't afford it. so why is it that we cannot afford it when five companies that collectively made $137 billion in profits just last year alone are getting $24 billion in subsidies over the next ten years. so you tell these children on the romney-ryan budget they cannot be helped to fulfill their god-given potential because we just can't afford
10:55 am
it, but we can afford to give these five companies who made $137 billion in profits -- not proceeds, profits -- that we should give them an additional $24 billion of our taxpayers' money? i don't think so, madam president. here's another example. republicans are proposing cutting $13 billion per year from the snap program. that's formerly called the food stamp program. for families who do not know where their next meal will come from. so laid-off workers may not be able to feed their families, but our republican colleagues will enjiewr -- ensure that big oil companies continue to stuff their face at the taxpayer trough, and they make sure no subsidies are cut that will hurt the bonuses of the big five oil
10:56 am
can company c.e.o.'s. here's rex tillerson, the c.e.o.'s of exxonmobil. he made nearly $29 million in just 2010. how is it we can afford to protect mr. tillerson's pay but not a program designed to help hungry children? why is it that we need to protect those who need it the least but take it from those who need it the most? another issue we keep hearing from the other side is that cutting these subsidies will somehow raise gas prices. the notion that gas prices will go up -- this is only in washington, only in washington. anyplace else in this country, i tell you, they get it. but only in washington hearing from the other side that cutting subsidies will somehow raise gas
10:57 am
prices. the notion that gas prices will go up if we end subsidies to big oil is nothing more than republican snake oil. and the american people aren't buying it. let me put it plainly. by subsidizing -- we are subsidizing these companies to the tune of over $2 billion per year. collectively, just these five companies -- not talking about other producers, just these five companies -- they made $137 billion last year. can anybody here with a straight face tell the american people that if they could only live with $135 billion in profits that they would give up their $2 billion and therefore if they could only live with $135
10:58 am
billion, they wouldn't need to raise gas prices a dime, unless they are so greedy that $135 billion is not enough in profits, that they need out of each and every taxpayers' pocket in this country another $2 billion to add to their profits. now, yesterday morning i heard one of my colleagues on the floor ask why are we picking on the poor oil companies when everyone gets the same tax deductions? so, madam president, i took out my 1040 tax form to look for myself, and i was looking, i said let's see, intangible drilling costs. nope, i don't see it in my 1040 form. tertiary injectants. i don't see it on my 1040 form.
10:59 am
i guess not everyone gets the special tax deductions for drilling. now, there is a tax deduction that big oil gets called domestic manufacturing deduction when congress was contemplating that provision, big oil through their legion of lobbyists managed to convince many on the other side of the aisle that drilling for oil was somehow manufacturing. we think of manufacturing, we think about creating a product. creating a product. i don't know about you, but being able to call drilling for oil manufacturing seems like a real special tax break to me. so, madam president, as i said yesterday in this chamber, it's time to get back to reality. the type of reality that middle-class families face in this country, the type of reality that middle-class families face as they go to the pump as they have to get to work, take their children to
11:00 am
school, to doctors' appointments, the type of reality small businesses face when they are trying to send their sales force across a state, and have them traveling in a car to do so. it's time to tell middle-class families struggling to make ends meet that fairness means everyone, everyone pays their fair share when it comes to reducing the deficit. and that it also means it's time to stop wasting taxpayer moneys on oil subsidies and use this money to invest in clean energy, in jobs, in lowering the deficit. it's time for us to repeal the big oil tax breaks. it's time, madam president, for our colleagues on the other side to join us to end this corporate welfare for big oil companies, to create competition to help
11:01 am
lower gas prices and to reduce the deficit rather than continue to sell snake oil to the american people to protect big oil profits. i -- i have listened to some of the debate. i just -- i just don't get it. i have seen average americans who are struggling, and they say wait a minute, $24 billion of our money is going to the big five oil companies, and they're making $137 billion? as a matter of fact, that's just one year. the $24 billion that we want to eliminate and put into renewable energy fuels that will create the competition that will ultimately help drive down gas prices to reduce the deficit significantly instead of calling upon cuts to children, whether in their nutrition or cuts to children who are disabled.
11:02 am
you know, during that same period of time, i only talked about $137 billion in one year. we want to cut $24 billion over the course of ten years. guess what they will make in ten years. over a trillion dollars in profits. i find it hard to fall for the crocodile tears that taking $24 billion over ten years, a little over $2 billion a year, when they are going to make a trillion dollars over a decade, is somehow not enough that that leaves them with not enough profits, $24 billion, from $1 trillion, and that because we take those $24 billion, gas prices are going to go up. well, all of these subsidies haven't made gas prices go down, and as a matter of fact, as i pointed out yesterday, at a time that they were making $137 billion in profits, they were producing 4% less oil.
11:03 am
so come on. it's time to give working families in this country a break. we can do that as we vote to end big oil subsidies. with that, madam president, i yield the floor and observe the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
11:04 am
11:05 am
11:06 am
11:07 am
11:08 am
11:09 am
11:10 am
11:11 am
11:12 am
the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: i request that proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. thank you, madam president. we continue the discussion today about the impact of high energy prices, high gasoline prices at the pump, what they mean to families from alaska to new york. just the very reality that we
11:13 am
face as a nation that is struggling still, coming out of a recession, we're worried about jobs, we're clearly worried about the high price of energy and what can be done. i think it's important to note that this is something that there are no clear and easy answers. there are no short-term, quick, flip the switch fixes that we can do, but there are a lot of things that we can -- we can help to make happen by either affirmative action or in many cases getting the government out of the way. but in doing so, i think it's important that we speak honestly about the situation before us, about what the -- what the solutions, potential solutions are, and how they really translate. in the past day or so, i have -- i have heard some comments from some of my colleagues that i
11:14 am
think deserve a fair and an honest rebuttal so that this conversation, the dialogue can continue and really be better understood in terms of what we're talking about with these oil and gas tax increases, because that's exactly what the menendez proposal would do, is increase the taxes on an industry, an industry that is providing not only resources, much-needed resources for this country but much-needed jobs. the first point that i have heard is that american taxpayers are somehow or other subsidizing the oil companies, and i think again it's important to put this in context. this argument i think rather bizarrely labels basic tax deductions somehow or other as a subsidy, as though the federal government is allowing
11:15 am
businesses to retain more of their earned dollars, because that's what's happening here with the situation of the oil companies. they have earned the dollars and they are basically keeping more of the dollars that they have earned, that somehow or other that action is the equivalent to handing them a check, handing them a check from the government, whether it's what we see with the -- for instance, the situation with solyndra where they got a check from the government. so i think it's important to put in context that when some say that we need to end subsidies for oil companies, i think what we really -- what that really translates into is raising taxes on oil production. and, again, i think it's important to note and understand that this is an industry that does pay substantial, substantial taxes to -- to the
11:16 am
treasury. their taxes are already higher than we see in most industries. the four largest companies some have an effective tax rate over 40%. in 2010 they paid $55 billion in income taxes to federal, state, local, and foreign governments. madam president, that's a huge sum. it probably increased along with the oil prices back in 2011. these numbers were from 2010. but when people talk about we need to pay our fair share here, i think it is important to ask the question, how much does the industry have to pay before it's sufficiently considered to be doing its part? one of the other points of contention that has been raised by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle is that raising taxes on oil companies won't increase gas prices. well, it's certainly not going to lower them. i think we can probably agree on
11:17 am
that. if you raise taxes on oil production, you're going to get less oil production. and it's -- it's a question that i think we need to ask. think -- madam president, think of any situation where if we tax it more, we will have more of it and it will be more affordable. it doesn't make sense here. but both the president and the sponsor of the legislation before us have publicly stated that more production can help lower prices, loss of oil production due to punitive taxes, i think we see this play out time and time again, whether it was back in the carter administration, they advanced a failed windfall profits tax, i mentioned yesterday on the floor the example that we're seeing play out in great britain right now. one year ago the united kingdom decided to do essentially what's being proposed here. they reacted to high oil prices by raising taxes on the
11:18 am
industry, and the net result was companies produced less, they diverted their investment elsewhere. in the year since the u.k. increased this tax -- imposed its tax hikes the production decline has tripled from 6% to 18%. they're now looking at reversing that decision and have announced new oil tax breaks to try to bring that production back. another point that has been raised is somehow or other oil companies are getting special treatment, and i just mentioned this a little bit. again, the four largest oil companies have an effective tax rate that's over 40%. and what that means in terms of where they stack up with other industries. this is a higher effective rate than in most other industries that we would see there. another point that has been raised, oil companies aren't
11:19 am
investing their profits in more oil production. now, the president seems to disagree with this statement, arguing that the u.s. is producing the most oil that it has seen in years, but the reality is, madam president, that efforts to produce oil here in this country have been blocked or slowed by the federal government seemingly at every turn. and i think it is important to again put this in context in terms of where we are seeing increased production because that part of the discussion is true, we are seeing increased production. but not necessarily on our federal lands. in this map of the lower 48 the federal lands are all these areas in yellow. the red dots here are operations, federal operations on -- on -- excuse me, shale well operations on federal lands. the blue is the shale well on the private lands.
11:20 am
so you've got a situation where 96% of all production increases have occurred on our state and our private lands. this comes from the administration's own e.i.a. that we have seen production on the federal side drop under this administration. the fact that exists is that america's largest untapped oil fields, whether they are in the offshore areas, whether they are in the mountain west, whether they're in alaska that's not even on this map, these are still off-limits under federal law, and none of these resources are counted when people say that the u.s. only has 2% of the world's reserves. i showed a chart yesterday that indicated that we can't -- we're not even allowed to count these areas that have not been been -- been truly proven up.
11:21 am
and it's because of the lands being off limits or the permitting delays that we see that the u.s. is not a larger producer of oil. and if the federal government wanted to, it could allow us to become the world's top oil producer, be virtually eu7bd of opec sources. a fifth point that deserves some comment. it was the majority leader yesterday that said for every one cent increase in the gallon of gas, big oil profits rise by $200 million. petroleuming this -- presuming this figure is true in the general sense it has been alleged, i think my democratic colleague prefers those profits should go to opec rather than u.s. companies, to the pensionholders here. in the u.s. here, at least -- at least those dollars are taxable, they support the jobs, 9.2 million jobs within
11:22 am
the oil and gas industry, help us with the balance of trade issues. so, again, a contention that needs to be directed, some commentary. another point is that america is now a major or net exporter of oil. this was -- this was raised yesterday when i was on the floor by the senator from california. she says we're now a major or net exporter of oil and this is a statement that is absolutely false and needs to be creat -- to be corrected. under c.f.r. 15.2, it is illegal to export crude oil from the united states without a rare and very special waiver, and therefore 99% of the oil that is produced here stays here. 99% of the oil produced in this country stays in this country. only 1% of u.s. oil is exported.
11:23 am
the very small, very insignificant exports of crude that do occur require a very expensive review process. they're typically sent to canada or mexico for refining purposes. ultimately that fuel is returned for use here in the united states. in terms of exporting refined products, if that's the concern, secretary chu came before the senate energy and water subcommittee and stated that the only refined product exports from the u.s. consists of certain types of diesel fuel and things that we don't use here in the united states. so it's a big difference between refined product and then the crude. but it is important to correct the record, and -- and demonstrate that we're not in a situation where as a country we are exporting our crude oil. it's inaccurate, it's totally inaccurate to say the u.s. is
11:24 am
running a surplus or acting as some major exporter of any of the fuels which americans need and use to fill up their vehicles or heat their homes. and as a result almost 90% of refined products stay here in this country, pretty much the only things that are exported are those things that we don't use. and then the last and final point that i'd like to make here, madam president, was the statement that was again made yesterday that somehow or other republicans only want to drill and they're not interested in renewable energy. and, again, i think that that statement is a false one, it needs to be corrected. i certainly, certainly coming from a producing state believe very strongly that we need to also focus our efforts on renewable energy. republicans are simply proposing that we pay for renewable energy research and development without raising taxes on employers and consumers. now, i have been pushing for -- for years now to allow
11:25 am
for revenues from the development of anwr to help us build out that next generation of -- of energy source for our country. anwr revenues alone could provide as much as $300 billion in federal revenues for renewables, depending on what the price of oil is, if democrats would simply allow access to it. instead, they propose to raise taxes on whatever production is taking place, hand out loan guarantees, unfortunately, to many unstable companies. i'd also point out that allowing the keystone pipeline has nothing to do with drilling. neither does pressing the e.p.a. to settle down with its regulations that are making refineries so expensive to operate, in some cases actually shutting them down. i think most republicans also support the new cafe standards. many of the other renewable provisions that were in the energy law passed in 2007,
11:26 am
we've passed multiple efficiency and renewable bills out of the energy committee just this congress. unfortunately, none of them have been allowed a vote on the floor. so i think it is wrong to suggest that republicans aren't willing to talk about anything but drilling. we just want it included in part of that discussion when we're talking about all of the above, madam president, i think we absolutely need to mean all of the above. and that includes increased domestic production, it includes a strong future for renewables. it must focus on conservation and efficiency. this is how we will get to a true level of energy independence and reduce our energy vulnerability and insecurity. with that, madam president, i know my time has expired, i would ask unanimous consent that the time during all quorum calls be divided equally and at this time would yield the floor.
11:27 am
the presiding officer: without objection. ms. murkowski: and would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
11:28 am
11:29 am
a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from new mexico. mr. bingaman: i'd ask the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. bingaman: i have 10 unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they've been approved by the majority and the minority leaders. i'd ask unanimous consent these requests be agreed to and that these requests be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. bingaman: madam president, a week or so ago i came to the floor to talk about the general issues of gasoline prices and domestic energy production. i believe it's important for us to use accurate facts as we are talking about our energy
11:30 am
challenges, and we work on energy policy issues. only by using actual facts can we identify policies that will hopefully bring down the price of gas over time. the price of gasoline at the pump. so i'd like to focus on the -- on a particular aspect of our domestic production, and that is production on federally owned land. this is something which has been the subject of a lot of political discussion, both out on the presidential campaign trail and to some extent, here in the senate. let me first note with respect to the price of gasoline and the impact of domestic production on the price of gasoline, this chart which i put up before called "u.s. oil production and
11:31 am
gasoline prices during the period 1990-2011" i think makes the point very well. and that point is that the price of oil is set on the world market -- world market. what we produce domestically does not have a significant effect on that market and so the red line here represents increases and decreases in domestic production of oil and the blue line represents the price of gasoline. and clearly there is not a lot of correlation between those t two. it's worth looking again at this chart. i think it makes the point that as u.s. production has increased from 2009 to the present, oil prices have also increased. so increased production has not resulted in lower prices and it
11:32 am
cannot, because the price of oil is set on the world market and the price of gas is pegged in -- in effect, pegged to the price of oil. so increased domestic production, while important for our country and it is important for many reasons, it does not bring us lower gas prices. our policy approach must be to find ways to use less oil and be less dependent on the volatility that we see here in world oil markets. and we know how to do that. we know how to decrease our vulnerability to those world oil markets and we made some -- some, in my view, e view enlighd policy steps to start that.
11:33 am
in the 2007 energy bill, it was a bipartisan bill, in that bill we required the use of more biofuels, that is home-grown energy which is not traded on a world market. and we -- we required the use of those biofuels in transportati transportation. we required that vehicles of all sizes be more efficient, more fuel efficient. we've seen dramatic results from that and have hopes for even greater results in the future. this chart, which was just put up here, shows the real progress we have made in reducing our reliance on imported oil. it was about 60% in 2005. it is now down closer to 45%. in 2011. the energy information administration projects that this progress will continue and their projection is that under current law, if we do nothing else, imports should drop to
11:34 am
around 38% of our oil consumption by 2020. i, for one, hope we're able to do some other things and bring that dependency on foreign oil down even more. one way to continue that improvement is to support the expansion of our renewable fuels industry and support efficient vehicle production. in the context of our debate about energy tax policy, we must use some of our limited taxpayer resources to encourage a diverse supply of energy and of fuels both. promoting home-grown advanced biofuels and highly efficient alternative vehicles needs to remain a priority for our country. yesterday we had a hearing in the finance committee's subcommittee on energy, natural resources and infrastructure and
11:35 am
the purpose of that hearing was to explore how the expiration of a number of tax incentives directed at advanced biofuels and at energy efficiency and at renewable energy has affected those industries. i hope very much that we can find a way to work together to keep those incentives in place and continue to make progress in -- in developing these alternative ways to meet our energy needs. unfortunately, there are those involved in these discussions who persist in focusing almost entirely on, how can we increase domestic production instead of on any other policy that can help us to use less oil. we know that domestic production will not significantly impact gasoline prices, at the very least when we discuss domestic production, i think it's
11:36 am
important that we get the facts right. there's an ongoing misunderstanding or misstatement of the facts about the production of oil on federally owned land and let me address that for a minute. one of the republican candidates stated last week in the context of gasoline prices that -- quote -- "production on government lands has gone down under obama." indeed, he went on to suggest that, without any basis that i can determine, that increasing domestic production of oil would reduce the price of oil by $1.13 a gallon. how he came up with that number, i have no idea. but it is important that we all work from the same facts. here are the facts. it's undisputed that overall domestic production of oil has increased, not decreased, over
11:37 am
the last three years. we have a chart that makes that point and let me put that up. this chart shows the -- the three years of 2006, 2007 and 2008, the last three years of the bush administration. we produced 1,786 million barrels of oil during the first three years of the -- barrels of oil. during the first three years of the obama administration, 2009, 2010, and 2011, we produced 2,027 million barrels of oil. one of the witnesses we had at a recent hearing in the energy committee was james burkhart, a managing director of i.h.s. cambridge energy associates, and he described our situation in this country as the great revival of u.s. oil production.
11:38 am
over the last three years, the u.s. increase in oil production was far greater than that in any other country in the world. the united states is now the third largest oil producer in the world after russia and saudi arabia, and this trend also is true if you look at the subset of domestic oil production which we would define as federally owned resources. that is, oil production on federal land. this chart i think illustrates it very well. production on federally owned land is higher in every year of the obama administration than it was in the previous administration. between 2006 and 2008, as i said before, we had a total of 1.78 billion barrels of oil produced on federal land.
11:39 am
between 2009 and 2011, that is -- the total is over 2 billion barrels being produced on federal land. secretary salazar testified to the energy committee recently that oil production from the federal outer continental shelf increased by 30% between 2008 and 2010. offshore production decreased somewhat between 2010 and 2011 because of the b.p. disaster in the gulf but it still remained higher than it was in 2008, and that production, of course, is increasing substantially again in 2012. so the energy information administration suggests that clearly the decrease that was experienced in 2011 in offshore production was due to the
11:40 am
deepwater horizon disaster. it projects that domestic oil production will increase over the next ten years in part due to ongoing development in the gulf of mexico. the projection is that it will increase by over a million barrels per day as compared to 2010. annual production onshore on federal lands has increased by over 8 million barrels between 2008 and 2011. it is now over 111 million barrels. so oil production has always fluctuated a bit from year to year, on federal lands and on private lands. there's no doubt that will continue to be the case. the important point here is that we need to put to rest once and for all the claim that the obama administration is causing a reduction in production of federally owned resources.
11:41 am
that simply is not the fact. we should also be aware that the industry has access to a great deal of productive federal acreage that it has not yet developed. this chart is instructive. this is total federally owned acres leased for oil and gas development as of 2011. you can see that there are 74 million acres that are currently under lease. this is federal land currently under lease, both onshore and offshore. the striking thing about this chart is that roughly 25% of this is actually being produced and producing oil and gas at this time. and there are many reasons for that and i'm not accusing anyone of not diligently pursuing this.
11:42 am
i'm just saying that there is a lot of land under lease, a lot of area under lease that is available for production and i assume that the companies that have leased it are aggressively purr doing that production. this final chart that i want to show covers the number of acres offered to industry for lease on the outer continental shelf, all of which were in the resource rich central and western gulf of mexico and the number of those acres actually leased. as you can see from this chart, the blue area is the area that was offered for lease but not purchased and the red is the area that was actually leased. the administration, of course, has announced that they will have another lease sale in the gulf of mexico, in the central
11:43 am
and western gulf, and this will cover 38 million additional acres. so there is a very substantial amount of land being offered for lease. it's useful to keep in mind that federally owned oil production today is about 37% of our total domestic production. many of our oil resources are located on private lands or on state lands and resources from all of these areas are important in meeting our energy needs. we need to produce domestic oil and produce it responsibly. there are a lot of good national security and economic reasons for that. i've always supported doing that but to suggest that some change in policy regarding domestic production is going to change the price of gasoline at the pump is just disingenuous. in order to move toward policies that will work to moderate the
11:44 am
impact of gasoline prices in the future, i think it's important we be honest with our constituents and -- and ourselves about what the pharmaceutical company at thes are that -- factors are that influence that price. we enacted some policies in 2007 that have been helpful. i hope we can build on that work at a time and on an issue of such great importance to the future of our country, i hope we can work together and stick to the same facts. if we do that, i believe we can develop and enact policies that can provide real help in the long run to our constituents who are suffering from high gas prices. madam president, i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
11:45 am
quorum call:
11:46 am
11:47 am
11:48 am
11:49 am
11:50 am
11:51 am
11:52 am
11:53 am
who have madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that i be recognized for, oh, up to 25 minutes. sphir officer we are in a quorum call. mr. inhofe: i ask unanimous consent to dispense with the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. inhofe: thank you. madam president, i voted against the motion to proceed to the menendez bill on monday because, quite frankly, it is just a bill to continue raising gas prices. i talked for quite sometime yesterday on the floor about this, that by raising taxes on the oil gansdz industry, it sounds -- the oil and gas industry, it sounds good because people don't like the oil and gas industry, they've been
11:54 am
vilified, so everybody thinks we ought to get the oil and gas industry. i think they understand it, but what they don't admit is that that's the way you increase prices at the pump. you've simply got to pay for all that stuff. so even senator menendez and several democrats have said this bill is not going to lower gas prices. it would raise gas prices. and i don't think anyone who looks at it logically could come to any other conclusion. as i discussed monday on the floor, the democrats' plan goes against everything we know about basic economics -- higher taxes and limits supply. whenever you limit supply, the prices go up. i don't think there is a person out there who doesn't remember back in his elementary school days the basic concept of supply and demand. if you -- if we have this huge supply out there, but if we cut the supply, the demand is going to be greater and the price is going to go up. president obama and his allies
11:55 am
don't have an answer to high gas prices. that's because higher prices for all the energy that we use are exactly what they want. this administration remains committed to a cap-and-trade green agenda. it is a plan that severely restricts domestic development and drives up the price of gas and electricity. let me put it another way. their policies are designed to make traditional energy recove-- recoverabletraditionale expensive so their desired green energy can compete. that's no question what the obama administration has wanted. you all remember and we've quoted so many times on the senate floor that steven chu told "the wall street journal," somehow we've got to figure out, speaking on behalf of obama and the obama administration, not so much the democrats in the house and the senate, but this is the obama administration. he said, "somehow we've got to
11:56 am
figure out thousand boost the price of gasoline -- somehow we've got to big out how to boost the prices of gas leaning to the levels in europe." the levels in europe at that time were around $8. we're about up there. he is gating his way. it is something -- he's getting his way. it is something that is happening now. we all know the infamous quote by president obama when he said under his cap-and-trade plan -- and this is a quote -- "electricity prices would necessarily skyrocket." in the the word "necessarily." it's going to happen. the president had it right. the point of the cap-and-trade legislation is to make you pay more on your bills. energy is energy. if you raise the price of energy on your utility bill or gas prices at the pump, it all relates to the rest of it. if you have -- if you somehow put coal out of business, so you have to use more natural gas and more gas, then that is -- then
11:57 am
that raises the price because it makes more demand for that particular product. i think most people understand that. that's very basic. if we are serious about lowering prices at the pump, then we need to open up the vast oil and gas reserves that we have at home to develop. after all, c.r.s. recently reported -- and this is kind of interesting because there is a c.r.s. report -- so far i have not heard anyone counter this report. that that we have more recoverable reserves of oil, gas, and coal than any country in the world. more than saudi arabia, more than china, more than canada, all of them combined. in fact, with more than 160 billion barrels of recoverable oil, we have enough to maintain america's current rate of production and replace all of our imports from the persian gulf for 50 years. that's just locally. that's domestically what we could do. it's out there. a lot of them try to say, oh,
11:58 am
no, we only have 2% of the reserves. you know, i've said this so many times, and yet the other side just looks like they keep repeating over and over again they only have 2% of the reserves and we're using some 25%, when in fact they are talking about proven reserves -- proven reserves are reserves where you have drilled and proved that there's oil there. recoverable are the areas where you have not drilled yet because you haven't had an opportunity. so if we have a policy, as this administration harks not to allow us to -- as this administration has, not to allow us to drill for oil, then you can't prove anything. so the 2% means absolutely nothing. it is totally false. the thing is, they know it. the key is recoverable. we have more recoverable reserves in fossil fuels -- that's oil, gas, coal -- than any country in the world. but today we have a government with these regulations that prevent us from accessing it, and we're the only nation that does this. i defy minute to tell me the
11:59 am
name of -- i defy anyone to tell me the name of other nation that does allow the their country toe their own resources. we have this president saying it is okay to drill down in venezuela but not here. anyway, we have these reserves and we need to start doing something with it. that's why i've introduced three amendments that will address president obama's war on affordable energy. i am going to talk about them now. first of all, the amendment 1974 is america's jobs in domestic energy production act. in order to increase the development of our wealth of resources, i've introduced a substitute amendment to this bill that will open up literally billions of barrels of oil and gas for commercial development. it is something that we actually will bring down the prices -- directly bring down the prices of oil, of


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on