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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 2, 2016 9:00am-11:01am EST

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o . i point at a couple examples. the decision to truncate the
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dgd-1,000 to revert back to the 251 was a recognition in the 2009 timeframe we overreached in terms of technology versus what we needed in terms of war-fighting capability. we go back to the tried and true dgd-251. >> that made it likely only building three ships was going to make them more expensive. >> it is going to drive cost into those three. >> the first dgd was very expensive. >> it recognized the cost that was coming in terms of completing that ship program and then going back to the 51 and incrementally introducing the capabilities we need to keep pace with the threat, particularly in the 51. >> the key word is incrementally. we had a hearing on carriers. as i recall, what we learned was we were trying to do too much. the. absolutely. the original carrier was on a
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single hull called cvn-78. >> how do we avoid this. we have the b-21 coming down. >> i gave you the 51 example. on the next amphib, we took the proven lp-17 hull form and what we are doing is tailoring that ship to meat the requirements associated with replacing the lsd-41. a year-long effort with myself, the commandant and the ceo to get down to a design we are confident it is mature enough. we are not introducing unnecessary risk and junderstan cost. >> one of the things we need to think about is how to design these weapon systems in a way, i hesitate to use the word modular way so that they can be upgraded as technology improves instead of having to rebuild the whole
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thing. >> we are getting there. it is open architecture. >> that's on open system design. it started off with sm-2. it now handles the sm-3, the sm-6, the tomahawk. it handles the evolved sea sparrow missile. we can develop the missiles in their environment and bring them to the ship. we deal with the upgrades to the software. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i look forward to future. i hope we can continue this broader discussion of why does this keep happening? thank you. >> mr. chairman, could i follow up for a moment with mr. king. mr. king, i think you are right on about the broader problem. we have done quite a bit of work. i think what we have is an age old acquisition culture problem
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where there are really strong incentives to overpromise when a program gets started, on its ability to perform and underestimate cost and schedule. >> and to load requirements on, specially if you are only going to have platforms once a generation. you better get everything on that platform you can. so we have to look at what those incentives are and why they occur. some, it is competition for funding in the pentagon. if you show any weakness, your lunch is going to get eaton. you have to be a strident supporter of the programs going flew. we have to learn where to take risk and how to take risk. i would say it is before the milestone "b" decision. we have to make investments, try things out and be willing to put money there. there is an aversion. if we take time to do that, that's going to delay the capability of the war fighter.
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we find that to be unacceptable. when we have approved a program and it runs into delay, we find that acceptable. i think we can get it right. i empathize with secretary stackly. he is in a very difficult position. he is one of the best service acquisition executives i have had the pleasure to work with but he is charged dual with executing the programs and defending the programs. that's a very tough position to put somebody in. our acquisition process demands it. mr. chairman, i would like to say one thing on this topic based on my experience over 26 years. what we have to do is quit denying the facts. there are plenty of facts that were available about what was happening with lcs all along. yet, as recently as 2013, when it comes to the mine counter measure system on lcs, that he testified, most of the systems
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in the first few p occurrences consist of off the shelf products. the risk is very low and very well managed. that turned out not to be the case. in 2013, the linchpin of the remote package has 47 missions in five months between operational mission failures substantially succeeded requirements. that statement was absolutely incorrect. i have been reporting for several years those claims were incorrect. the program office and navy couldn't bring themselves to deal with what the facts were. ultimately, they did, to their credit with the independent review team. what i have seen repeatedly is an inability, a refusal to deal with what the facts are of how well the systems are and are not performing. it keeps happening. it is a real problem.
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>> that's why some of us express such extreme frustration. we are only as good as the information we receive. that would cost $220 million per share, which now secretary stackly says that was absolutely wrong. nobody said it was wrong at the time. everybody said it was right. yet, i don't want to take the senator's time. there are two stories here that i could relate to. one was the m wrap, which we needed very badly in iraq. then, secretary of defense had to preside over a weekly meeting in order to get the m wrap to the battlefield to save lives in the ied and the other extreme, an rfd for a new pistol that's 200 pages long, for a pistol, because its gone through layer after layer after layer.
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the reason i am frustrated and other members are, we can only make decisions on the information we get. if that information is incorrect or false as secretary stackley just said about the lcs, how can we function effectively for the people we represent? that's why you sense this frustration here amongst members of the committee, including this chairman. we see it time after time. we haven't even talked about the aircraft carrier and the resting gear and the catapults. i don't want to take more time with the committee. i hope that our witnesses understand that we have to bring this to a halt and fooling around on the fringes has proven to be unsuccessful. senator? >> thank you, mr. chair. i agree with the chair we have to have honest brokeers and people that will be held
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accountable. i don't know that we have seen that so far. i do want to thank all of you for coming in today. as you may be aware, improving acquisition program management is a priority for me. i have past legislation to improve program management government-wide, not just in the d.o.d. but government-wide with an emphasis on areas that are designated by gao as high risk. this specially includes d.o.d. acquisition program management. i know we can all agree this lcs has become an example of one of those d.o.d. challenges. we mentioned the aircraft carrier. we won't go there today. that's another one we need to take a look at. during time of defense spending capps, we know how difficult it is. we have looming entitlement spending which will further squeeze our military budgets. we can not have repeats of acquisition failures like we've
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seen with the lcs. acquisition success is bottom line a matter of national security. this is a question for all of you. if you could just briefly respond, please. the lcs program changed its acquisition approach several times, something cited by the gao as a reason for the increasing costs and it also created performance issues. in your opinion, would the lcs program and others throughout d.o.d. benefit from a standardized approach to managing the portfolio based on the best practices not only of the industry but also the government before fully moving forward? if you could briefly respond, please, starting with you, mr. stackley. >> let me just describe the experience at lcs, it broke the navy. we retooled the entire way we do
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business when it comes to acquisition programs. i think we are trying to pull best practices in. i described cno and rda sitting side by side reviewing requirements, reviewing specifications that lead to design that lead to program. we have our program managers pretty much under a microscope right now. we have taken things like cost and put them into our requirements so you don't get to ignore cost while you are chasing a requirement. speed, range, power, and payload. if you start to infringe on the cost requirement we put into our document, you have to report to rda and cno and identify what are you going to do to revert that, trading away or otherwise. we look at either canceling or, if necessary, adding costs to the program. >> would that have been good to have had before the process was
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started? >> absolutely. mr. chairman's reference to the $220 million shift. the witnesses that informed the congress, i don't think they knew. i don't think they knew or understand what this ship would cost. so the system led to information that was provided -- >> if they didn't know, why did they tell the congress that it would be -- that the cost would be that? >> absolutely. >> because i think they believed or they desired it strongly enough that they believed it would cost $220 million but the underpinnings below that was broken. that's why sitting side by side with the cno, reviewing our programs, holding program managers accountable, understanding the details of the cost element by element, time phrase by time phase and if we need to make trades, we will make trade. >> very good, thank you very much. vice admiral. >> yes, ma'am, with respect to
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the lessons learned, from my perspective, clearly one of the things i think the review we conducted showed that we need to take a step back and a pause and look at what lessons we had learned associated with the program and make the appropriate adjustments to get the value to the combatant commander's and get the operation of the availability of the ships up. it is a constant process. i know we will be continuing to look at the ships as we continue to deploy more of them applying those appropriate lessons as we learned them and then feeding them back into the systems. as it applies to the acquisition system, if we can apply, certainly we are going to go do that. >> dr. gilmore, if you could respond as well. as well and good, i am amazed we are only just now discovering that we should be reviewing these processes and have a finished product in mind before we start the process. could you respond, please? >> we should use best practices.
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if you read the department's acquisition, the documents that describe its acquisition process, they incorporate most of these best practices that people talk about. except, they are often waved. what i have watched over 26 years is what i call a constant search for process solutions to what i think are fundamentally leadership problems. when leadership is presented with a cost estimate that a number of people. i was working at cbo at the time when the original cost estimates were put out. we were warning that they were probably quite low. when leadership doesn't make itself aware, doesn't critically question the information that its being given and lets it go forward, necessary a big problem. process can help get them that information. if they don't do their job as real leaders and critically question the information they are being given be that is being
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recommended they send to the could go gress and elsewhere, they are failing. i have watched those kind of failures occur for 26 years. i am certainly for process improvements. if you have a bad process that stops information from getting forward, doesn't enable the reviews, to produce that information to occur, that's all bad. if you have leadership that doesn't do its job, those process solutions won't fix things. >> that's very well put, dr. gilmore. >> thank you, mr. frances, thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for having this hearing. thank you, each of you, for being here today, realizing that this topic is a challenging one for you but as the chairman said at the very beginning, quoting ronald reagan, facts are stubborn things. leadership is important. dr. gilmore, i find your
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testimony probably the most damming document concerning any government program i have ever read. not just as to what has happened in the past and my colleagues have amountly and ably focused on the procurement process. the decision, what should we do going forward. not only is the surviveability of this ship in question but it's very ability to accomplish the essential missions and endure the testing that has been reduced, in effect, because the ships are not sufficiently shock harden and its cyber security defenses are not aptly
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developed. in this close mr. frances has outlined of a procurement process, rather than a block purchase, what is the case now for going forward with this program at all? >> well, sir, it is not my purview to say what ships the navy should buy or what capabilities the navy should have in those ships. that's the navy's decision. what we have seen is that the ships thus far are not meeting the navy's own performance requirements. we are well into the program. i can't predict what the future will hold. i know it sound parochial.
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i said it in my openings comments. whatever the navy decides to do with regard to going forward, the history here in this program as well as in many other programs is clear, that is the only way you're going to discover the problems with performance that are significant that you have to deal with, you have to deal with before you send sailors into harm's way in combat. you don't want to discover these problems for the first time when you are in combat. the only way you are going to discover those problems is by doing realistic testing along the way. >> i agree completely that you want to fly before you buy, which apparently has not been done here. obviously, test before you use the ship in combat. what assurance can any of the witnesses give us that this ship is actually going to be capable
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of acocomplishing its mission ad protecting the sailors that are going to be on board. >> we can give you information along the way about how well the ships and crews are doing with regard to what the navy expects the ships and crews to do. the navy's views of what the ships and crews are going to do is chapginging along the way as they learn more, which is appropriate. it is late in the process. it is appropriate. you are never going to get from me or anyone else, an honest, iron clad guarantee, that the ships are going to perform the way people now say they hope they will. those hopes are sincere. again, i know it sounds paroleal. what you have to continue to too is do the testing that will tell you along the way whether your hopes are actually going to be realized, not deny the results of that testing and just accordingly along the way. now, finally, the navy is doing
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some of that adjusting. i commend them for it. it took a while for all that to occur. >> admiral, duffid you have a comment? >> yes, sir. if i could add, there are a number of things that we are doing to ensure the value of the sh ships to the commanders as they go forward. in my discussions with the forward commander's, both in the mediterranean and western pacific, one of the things they constantly tell me is we can't get enough of these ships to provide the presence and the operational availability forward. i am excited about the direction that we're taking the ships. i'm excited about the capabilities we are bringing to the fleet. i'm excited by the conversations that i have with the sailors on the ships as they look forward to innovating with the capabilities that we're delivering forward. there is no doubt we have a lot
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of work to do. as recently as 18 months ago, we had the war fighting development center, an organization we are building with myrrh errors a similar organization that the aviation and submarine community has had. we can take the good ideas, the equipment, the capability the acquisition system is delivering and put that in the hand of the sailors and get it forward. i think what we are finding, and what i'm finding, as i talk to these young men and women that take these ships to sea. yes, there are problems. they are not shy about telling me what needs to be shipped about these combat ships. they are very excited not only about the capabilities they do deliver but the potential that is built into these particular ships. >> may i make a comment? as regards the ships, once you do produce a hull, then the navy is going to have to support it. for the ones that we have
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already committed to and under contract, the navy will have to do whatever is required through mission equipment and so forth to make them viable. as we know, there is no guarantee it is going to work out the way we thought. it is hard to say, as mike gilmore has said. the it may have advice is committed to the full buy of lcs and entitled to that decision. you have to make your own decision. it is at least a $14 million commitment. there are opportunity costs. the question for the committee is, is that the next best use of $14 billion. >> thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chair. mr. chair, i hate to take exception to something you said earlier. you said the handgun rfp was 200 pages. it is almost 680 pages. it has been in the works for ten years. it is a shining example of to me a disastrous procurement
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process. >> thank you for that correction. the acquisition people did tell me, there are only 39 pages of specifications. i asked them are the other pages just blank pages for note-taking or relevant to the acquisition. first off, i believe everyone here is trying to do the very best to put war fighting capabilities out there to protect our men and women. a lot of them accomplished their mission. i think everybody's intention is to do that and secretary stackley, i think you have inherited a problem. there is a great joke that i won't use my time on now that talks about the difference between a bear skinner and a bear hunter. you are trying to skin a bear that somebody took down and didn't quite wrestle it to the ground. i appreciate the fact that you are dealing with something and expectations that were setback over a decade ago. i do think there are things even in this administration we have to face up and going forward, mr. frances, i worked in complex
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consulting environments in research and development. when we would go about estimating large projects, we would use past history as a basis for going out and creating an estimate for what we are doing now. once we did that, we would still handicap it with examples of other projects that we didn't hit our mark. it seems to me, until we come up with an acquisition process that actually comes close to its original remark, we have to start handicap any remarks here. if i go through the lcs, the future combat systems, it would seem to me any time someone comes in here, either you or your successors, i should multiply somewhere on the order by 2 or 2 1/2 times the amount of money and the length of time it will be necessary to deliver this platform. past history has proven that to be the case most of the time. would you agree with that? >> i would, sir. >> i have to ask you as a point
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of interest on my part, i don't know how on earth anybody who has worked in your position for 42 years could possibly have the amount of hair that you do, because i've got to believe you are tearing it out. why can't we front-end load, the insights that you are providing here, why can't that be instructive to the estimating process to begin with? in other words, in the same way we would handicap these large complex projects, not anywhere approaching the complexity of what we are talking about here in the i.t. world, why don't we have a function that says, you know, you guys, you think you have got it right, an ideal circumstance, $200 million, great, time horizon. have somebody come in and say, because all of you have been consistently and habitually wrong, we are going to require a handicapper of some sort of
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multiplier. why shouldn't we have that until we get our act together and deliver something on time and on budget? >> it is a really interesting discussion. if you look at the private sector, this is the point the chairman is getting to, accountability is pretty clear. if you blow the estimate and you can't sell your product at a profit, then the company loses money and you know who is accountable. >> mr. frank, i want to keep to my time. i know that the committee has gone long. that's another point that the chair has made and a source of frustration for many of us that i any we also have to change in the procurement process. i used to call them memorable moments. when i would have a team who would come out and do these sorts of estimates and then we would do the handicapping, i would put a tag on every single one of them. who was ultimately responsible for this? was it the supplier with inputs from a supplier or, in my case, subcontractor, staff on board? i would create a memorable moment. so if that person still worked for the government at the point
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in time that we were 2 1/2 times over cost or 2 1/2 times over time budget, they lost their job. i think that in this process, we have to start looking that way or we are going to continue these poor results and we are going to continue to be frustrated at the expense of having more money to put to more war fighting systems that make our men and women safer and the probability of our completing our missions more likely. i think we have to start doing this. i am going to reach out to your office and speak with you about maybe how we can front end load some of this handicapping. it is clear to me it hasn't happened. if it has happen, we have got incompetent people doing it. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back my time. >> senator, could i just add something? in my previous life, i worked as a career person in what's called cost assessment. now called cost assessment and program evaluation. there is a group that does independent cost estimates, independent of the service and
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cost offices. they do it on the basis you just described, historical experience. there is a very rigorous process that exists and a good lit tote tour that exists about how to do it and they do it well. they present the estimates. the acquisition leadership starts ration looizing why, things will be different and better. they go through the handicapping that you talked but in exactly the opposite way you just described. >> sir, if i may, dr. gilmore's description of the role of the es stim mating is correct and his description of what happened between the committee and the cape is not correct. >> the bottom line, secretary stackley, with all due respect, they have been wrong. the lcs, the f-35rks the carrier. if i had more time, i would ask mr. frances in his 42 years,
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this is a bipartisan failure. it has trance skended administrations. you have to look at history and recognize history for the what it is. it is the only way you won't repeat the mistakes. if somebody wants to come up to us and say, look at all these programs in dod we have gotten right. it is unfair to say we are off almost every single time. i don't believe that the data would be very compelling to support that argument. so let's figure out a way to handicap it so we can have discussions and set realistic expectations so we can help a war fighter. i'm sorry, mr. chair. i've gone over. thank you. >> secretary stackley, you wanted to comment. >> two things, i think we, as a task here, we should be providing the data in terms of cost growth on programs. it is not a pretty picture. cost growth on programs over history. my comment with regards to the
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cape's estimate. i can't point at many programs in the navy. i can't think of any offhand, where we are not, in fact, budgeted to the cape's estimate with the exclusion of programs where we have a fixed price contract in hand so we do not budget above the fixed price. i think we actually try to work very collaboratively with the cape to arrive at the best estimates for our programs going forward. i would go back to mr. frances' discussion with regard to the importance of milestone "b." that's the critical point where we have to get it right, get the independent cost estimate as best as possible, budgeting the risks and everything else accounted for. that is the critical point, in effect, lcs went forward without a milestone "b." that rigor was not there. >> again, wonders why and who did it? senator graham? >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral, we've gone from 52 ships to 40.
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why? why are we just going to buy 40 of these things? >> well, that's the requirement for the small service combatant remains 52. >> secretary carter said we are going to build 40. is it because of the budgets? >> that was a budget-driven decision. >> the committee needs to know, number one, the sequestration? is that right, mr. secretary? >> let me weigh in. the budget control act, yes, sir. secretary carter's decision was we have to take risk due to the budget and where we are going to take risk. >> so he said, i've got to do something, because i just don't have enough money. so i'm going to go from 52 to 40. admiral, you said people out in the field, out fighting the wars and preventing wars, they like this. they want more of these ships, is that right? >> that's correct, sir. >> what does this ship do that's
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so important? what can it do that's different than the ships we have today, very briefly? >> well, certainly, sir, as we move forward, the building of the -- >> is it more stealthy? what makes it different? >> it will deliver higher operational ability forward. i think it will deliver more capacity forward. as we bring in the mine sweeping capabilities and the anti-submarine capabilities, which i think will significantly improve our ability to hunt and track. >> is this a modernization program? are we trying to modernize ships? d >> well, certainly, the advanced technology we will deliver will be of much use to the sailors as we move them forward, yes, sir. >> so modernization of the existing fleet is one of the goals to be achieved if this ship comes online, right, and
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operates? it will be more effective. that's why we are doing this, right? >> yes, sir. >> the reason we are not building 52 is because of money, not because of demand. the world is not safer to justify 40 versus 52, is that correct? >> that's correct, sir. >> when it comes to estimating ships, who actually said $220 million or whatever the number was? >> sir, we're going to have to go back to the record. navy leadership. >> that's a lot of people. so let's find the guy or gal or the groups of guys and gal that is said it is $220 million and see who they are and figure out what we should do about that. i think we should call them in, mr. chairman and talk to them. so, is 448, why did it go up so
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much, because we asked for things additional to what was originally required? was it sort of add-on capability? >> the one major change that was done to the program early on, commensurate with contract reward, was we changed the specifications to go to what's referred to as naval vessel rules to give it the degree of t design details. >> how much did that add to the cost? >> it is hard to pin a number on it but it created extraordinary disruption at the front end of the program. >> you can't blame the original people that gave the cost estimate because they weren't confronted with that requirement? >> that's a good point. that requirement was added after the 220. >> who put that requirement on? >> i would have to go back to the record to find out.
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>> i want to find out who did the 220. i want to find out who said it needs to do this, not that, so we can talk to them as to why they decided that. mr. frances, do you have any idea who did that? >> i don't remember at this point, senator. but i think that what happened with the ship is it was thought to be a relatively simple derivation of high-speed ferries of commercial vessels and they made that estimate before they entered detail design. when they got into detail design, and they got naval vessel rules in, they found out it was way more complicated than they thought. >> they found that out after they started building the thing? >> yes. i want to end were this. if we don't mod earnize our force, we will pay a price. we won't be fighting isil forever. it makes no sense to retire the
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a-10, because it works. we need to know what you want to do is modernize the force, that the next war we are in or need to prevent, we are capable of boeing. modernization is not an exact science. part of the problem is, when you modernize your force, it is not like just duplicating something. it is not a commodity. what have i learned? in the effort to modernize the force, our estimates of what it cost and the capabilities we need are everchanging and the process completely broken goes back to what you said, doctor, about leadership. if you want this to stop, somebody needs to get fired. one of the reforms we did in this committee is to make every service secretary, service chief, responsible for the big programs under their control. hopefully in the future, someone will be held accountable and get
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fired if this happens again and if nobody ever gets fired, nothing is going to change. thank you. >> senator sullivan? >> thank you, mr. chairman. dr. gilmore, i wanted to follow up on some of the questions you received from senator blumenthal. you were talking about the hopes you had. i think you used the word hopes three or four times just in answering questions on the capability of the ship but in your written testimony, your written testimony is not full of hope at all. so let me read a little bit of what you said with regard to the written testimony. with respect to survive ability, neither the lcs variant is expected to be survivable in high intensity combat. neither of the lcs designs includes survive ability features necessary to conduct
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sustained operation ns a combat environment. the lcs's limited lee that willity makes them shallow of the ability of modern navy frigates. let me ask a more focused question, admiral. given what dr. gilmore said, are you confident these ships could go into the south china sea, conduct something near mischief brief or other places and be able to survive if chinese frigates responded with force or could an lcs in the fleet today survive attacks from small boats or other patrol craft like the ones that were used in the recent capture of american sailors by iran? are you confident of that given be what dr. gilmore clearly
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states is a ship that's not combat survivable? >> yes, sir, i am. >> are you, dr. gilmore? >> no, for the reason that are stated in detail in all of the reporting that i have done at the classified level and other levels. >> the original vision for these ships was they could use unmanned systems that would go in and conduct combat operations. any could stand off away from threats. but those unmanned systems that can reach out and conduct combat operations, we don't have. it isn't clear when we ever will. so the ship was built to not be as nearly survivable as for example, the fig-7s we used to
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have. it was built according to that which limits the redundancy you can put on the ship. it is not as survivorable as other ships. it wasn't meant to be in that regard. the original con opts, if it could have ever been realized, as i understand the con ops and the way it has been written, the navy is continually revising it, it still says that the ship would be out there preparing the way for the battle fleet. if that's true, then it will be subject to attack by any ship cruise missiles, tore pea dose and mines. the navy's only requirements slow that the only thing the navy expects if it is hit by one of those threats is for it to be able to exit the battle area and/or provide for an orderly abandon of ship. >> so, against those kind of
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threats, which afcm's, for example, the chinese are fielding thousands of them. they are super sonic and very threatening. those are going to be a challenge for any ship. but a particular challenge for this kind of ship. >> admiral, how do you respond to that? are you confident in putting our marines and sailors on these ship toss conduct those operations. say in the south china sea in standoff or confrontation with iranian small boats? >> there are a number of variables that go into the equation with the survive ability of the ship, the manufacturer, the water tight integrity of the ship, the way the ship is manufactured. that's part of the survive ability. part of it is the damage control systems that we put on the ship in order to ensure the survive ability. part of it is the defensive systems we put on. >> you don't agree with dr. gilmore's written testimony?
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>> i think there are a number of variables that have to be looked at when you look at the survive ability of the ship. one of the variables you have to look at is the intensive training we provide to all of our sailors, not only to fight the ships but to fight battle damage. i go back to the example of the uss samuel b. roberts that hit the mine in the arabian golf. every analysis said it should have gone to the bottom of the gulf and it didn't. those sailors fought and saved that ship. that is one aspect that is lost in talking about the survive ability of a ship. clearly, we don't want to have any of our ships get hit. we rely on operations, intelligence, operating those ships to hopefully not have to lean into a punch. >> despite dr. gilmore's written testimony, you are comfortable putting marines and sailors on these ships in combat situations against chinese frigates or iranian naval ships? >> yes, sir.
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i think you have to take it in the proper context in that i don't think that necessarily, we would find these ships operating alone and unafraid in the middle of an adversary's fleet. >> if they were? >> i think we would do our best to fight the ship and defend the ship and if the ship took a hit, the crew would fight to save the ship and exit the area as the ship is designed. >> can i add something, senator? >> sure. >> we do something called a total ship survive ability trial. it gets at exactly the issues that the admiral was just raising. of course, we don't actually let an ascm, anti-cruise missile, hit the ship. we do have the crew there. they are trained in all the damage control measures they are supposed to take and we do then go through a lation of one of these threats, an anti-cruise missile hitting the ship. we have done this.
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we then have the crew fight to save the ship. in the total ship survive ability trials we did, the crews did their best but in almost every instance, there was major damage to the ship and the combat capability was fully launched and in some instances, the ship would have been lost. again, if any ship cruise missile is hit on any ship is going to be a problem. a hit on one of these ships with their lack of redundancy and compartmental zation, which is driven by their small size and speed requirement and their construction according to high speed naval vessel rules. a hit on one of these ships is going to be a real problem and we've analyzed that. we have done the kind of testing that enables the crew to try to fight to save the ship. there are definitely problems with these ships. if you can keep them out of harm's way, okay?
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the current con op says they will be out ahead of the battle fleet preparing the way. if they are going to do that, they will be subject to being hit and attacked by these threats. >> senator cruz? >> thank you, mr. chair mab. good morning, gentlemen. thank you for your testimony and your dedicated service to our men and women in uniform. the near peer threat we are facing is increasing. with our nation's adversaries bolstering their defense capabilities and focusing on new technology tht hopes that they can deny access to the united states navy or, if necessary, compete militarily with the united states in a more limited scenario, recent acts of aggressions by our adversaries proved the men and women in the united states navy operate in an incredibly difficult environment every single day, whether facing threatening shows the force from iran, russian belligerence and unsafe practices or china's
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agrieve jess claims in the navy sea. these actions should remind us there is simply too much at stake if we willfully xhooz to ignore the ambitions of our foes. there is undoubtedly room for improvement in the lcs program. i appreciate your candid testimony regarding several of the reviews and efforts that are already under way. instead of looking back, i'm most concerned that future problems might plague the program. that it could have a chipliripp impact on the navy's modernization efforts. between the ford class carrier, f-35 procurement, the lcs and an ohio class replacement ballistic submarine. the navy simply must make the most effective and efficient use of every single dollar it receives if we are to have any hope of rebuilding the fleet.
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now, secretary stackley, there have been many studies that have attempted to determine the appropriate size and mix och navy forces, including the 1993 bottom-up review and the 2010 quadrennial defense review to name a couple. most of the studies indicate we need more than the navy's current plan to build 308 ships to defend our global interests. in the time since those reports, our navy has now shrunk to around 275 ships. while commitments in the number of deployments have remained relatively constant. this has resulted in a larger percentage of the force being at sea on any given be day often, for longer deployments than their predecessors and at the expense of others. the incoming administration has set a goal to increase the navy to 350 ships and to reverse this damaging trend. that is a goal with which i strongly agree. my question to you is, can you provide your professional opinion to this committee on how
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we can accomplish a 350-ship fleet? what an appropriate hi-lo mix of platforms might look like and where you believe the lcs and its successor will fit into that construct? >> yes, sir. let me describe that right now the cno and his staff is conducting an update that was last updated in 2014. he has been very clear in testimony to the public describing that the threat vector has only increased. the 308 ship navy that is currently on the books, all pressure says that number has to go up. so the four structure assessment has taken place right now identifying what number and mix of ships we need for the future, mid 20, 20s, and beyond. he has been clear. the number in terms of requirements will go north. that's going to put more
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pressure on the budget. what we have to determine is in that mix of ships, what are the specific modernized capabilities that we will need, platform by platform and then how to procure those as affordably as possible so we don't add more pressure to the budget than absolutely necessary. lcs is the small service combatant today. we have have talked about the frigate modification. the number, 52 in the four structure assessment. 40 in terms of a budget determination. if we fail to deliver the small surface combatant in those numbers, then what that means is we are going to put more pressure on the high end of our structure. that's going to add costs, take those ships off of where they need to be and tax them in terms of operational demands compared to where they need to be. that's going to put more pressure in terms of turn-around
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time and the entire operations for the maintenance cycle. >> so what do you see as the biggest challenges facing growing to a 350 ship fleet? >> yes, sir. >> and what do you see as a realistic time frame? >> the first big challenge is the replacement program due to its the next thing we need to do is leverage existing designs. what we don't want to do is bring a whole bunch of new design to the table, add the
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technical risk that brings and the startup cost that adds, the uncertainty that introduces and the amount of time that will take to go through the design and production cycle. let's leverage the production since we have and introduce capabilities points as best as possible look at the future threat and that's the path that we are on. the next is raising the rate at which we produce those ships. i will tell you the first priority is going to be looking at our attack submarines. you look at our four structure going forward we have a serious shortfall in attack submarines in the late 2020s. we've got to stem that as best as possible so that will be the first place we go in terms of increasing our production rates. surface combatants right now we're building surface combatants at a rate that in the long-term results in dropping off in terms of total number of large surface combatants because we build at a high rate during
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the reagan buildup years. if we stay at two per year we'll start settling down to a 60, 70 number of large surface combatants which won't meet our operational requirements and amphibs. today we are below what the cno and commandant agreed to in 2009 in terms of the amphib force structure. we have to get to that number and we're on that path. these are high utility platforms, high demand, high utility, very flexible, wherever we have operations going, amphibs find a way to support that operation. that would be the next leg in terms of increasing our production rates. >> thank you. >> i am sure will you not get support if we have double and redoubled the cost for these systems. we owe the taxpayers a lot more than that. this has been very helpful hearing. i thank the witnesses. we're adjourned.
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the u.s. house finally taking up u.s. defense authorization bill. it's been a house senate
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conference since july. we're joined by jacqueline klimas with the washington examiner, defense reporter with that organization. this bill authorizes $619 billion in programs and policy for the pentagon. what are some of the key issues authorized by the bill? >> one of the biggest issues is pay raise for the troops. the compromise bill on the floor is .1%. the president's request for fiscal 2017 was only 1.6%. there's a major reshuffle of how the pentagon's acquisition shop is organized. it splits it into two different positions. one focused on innovation and risk taking and the other more focused on the business and not taking risks which was a big priority for john mccain in the bill. >> it's been here since july, differing how to fund wars in afghanistan, our military spending in iraq.
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the headline on your washington examiner piece, $3.2 billion boost in the overall authorization. how did they resolve the differences in particular on that issue on funding for iraq and afghanistan? >> when you look at the funding, the house increased their funding in the overseas contingency operations account, but they used a lot of it for base priorities. there was $18 billion difference between the house and senate bills. so looking at it, they essentially split the difference, but that takes into account the president's about 5 million supplemental request. when they took about the midway point between the house and senate bills, and then when you take into account the president's request, it gives them about $3.2 billion more than what the president asked for, which could be contributing factor to democrats not supporting the bill. for armed services committee chair, mark thornbury has been the acquisition process for the military, how the military buys things. what did they decide on this
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bill? >> major reshuffling of how the acquisition department is going to be organized and really this focus on innovation. the conference report says negotiators really believe that acquisition and innovation, the culture of the two different aspects are just totally different. so to separate that out will help buy things quicker, get new technology quicker, and get things actually fielded out to the war fighter faster, hopefully with fewer costover -- comes -- cost overruns. >> this is an authorization bill, so a chance to layout policy priorities. what about the issues like the drafting, potential drafting of women and discrimination in hiring practices at the pentagon and in the military. >> those things are both left out of the final bill. the bill will not require women to sign up for the selective service. it does not include the russell amendment, but a capitol hill
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aid tells me part of the reason the republicans were willing to leave out the russell amendment, because now with trump's election, they see new avenues early next year to be able to come back at some of the religious liberty issues. >> this is an authorization bill, authorization of more spending on military projects and programs coming at a time when the house and senate are figuring out the continuing resolution, the overall federal spending. i wanted to ask you about how the two tie in. with this tweet of yours, commenting about joe wilson and mike turner, asking for a pentagon bill, not a cr. explain that for us. >> the funding level in the cr is different obviously since it is the last fiscal year funding level. it is different from what is going to be included in the ndaa. so these two lawmakers essentially wrote a letter to speaker paul ryan saying that because the ndaa was expected to pass overwhelmingly, the vast majority of congress clearly agrees on the funding level, why can't we just fund the pentagon
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at this level instead of doing a cr, which is going to -- secretary carter sent a letter this week saying the detrimental impact that the cr will have on their programs and it preventing any new starts and could them behind in key issues like the f-35 and other procurement priorities. >> now that it is coming to the house floor, the white house had initially issued veto threats against the senate and house version. what are they saying about the final version? >> they haven't spoken definitively on it yet. a lot of the issues in the bill that they were threatening to veto are no longer in there. it is unclear if they'll sign it. the white house press secretary said that one of the biggest issues will be this funding, the fact that there is an additional $3.2 billion for defense that is not matched in nondefense spending. >> the days are dwindling down. they'll get to the passage on friday. what about the senate? what's the timetable for action
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there? >> the senate is expected to take it up next. they will also be considering the cr before they leave and then they're trying to get out of town. >> jacqueline klimas, washington examiner, she is on twitter on jacqklimas. thank you for your update. >> thank you. c-span documentary contest in full swing. this year we're asking students to tell us what's the most important issue for the new president and the new congress to address in 2017. joining me ashley, a former student cam win 2015 for her documentary hope for homeless heroes. tell us a little about your student cam documentary. >> in 2015 my partner and i produced a documentary where we covered issues of homeless veterans on the street in orange county, california. we decided that these are the people who fought for our country, given all for our country.
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the fact they are now living on the streets, not having family, anyone to care for them were not okay. so we decided we are going to talk about this issue within our community and we decided to make c-span documentary about it. i encourage all seniors in high school, even juniors in high school, even middle schoolers to use this platform to speak your voice, to raise your voice, to say that your generation deserves to be heard in the government. if there is a better place to speak these issues, i think my advice for the students who are on the fence starting this documentary is to really look into your community and see what is affecting those around you, because they are the one who you love. they are the one who you see the most. they are the one who you're around almost every day. so if there is an issue that you see happen every day on the street, that's probably where
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you can start, be a part of this documentary because you want to be a voice for your community. >> thank you, ashley, for all of your advice and tips on student cam. if you want more information on our student cam documentary contest, go to our website, former white house staffers and presidential teams talk about how the first family prepares to move into the white house and how the incoming president governs through the first 1xdays. starting at 11:15 eastern time. tonight at 8:00 on c-span, the supreme court oral argument on immigration detention. the court will decide if detained immigrants facing deportation can be held for longer than six months without a bail hearing. a lower court ruled the government must provide individual bond hearings to determine danger and flight risk. the justices are hearing the case today.
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we have a special web page at go to and select supreme court on the right-hand top of the page. once there you'll see the most recent oral arguments heard by the court on this term. click on all link to see all oral arguments on c-span. many appearances by supreme court justices or watch justices in their own words, including one-on-one interviews in the last months with justices kagan, thomas and ginsburg. there's also a calendar for this term, a list of all current justices with links to see their appearances on c-span as well as many other supreme court videos on demand. following supreme court on >> december 7th marks 75th anniversary of the japanese attack on pearl harbor.
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this weekend on american history tv we're featuring programs remembering that day. this afternoon, u.s. army film directed by frank cap ra, know your country. >> when factories were producing for japan's war machine, then the rest of the world would fall. the japs in command. >> just after 5:00 on oral histories survivors from "uss arizona" where 1,177 crewmen were killed december 7th, 1941, recall what they witnessed that day. 6:00 eastern on american artifacts. >> missouri was actually commissioned in 1944 and saw action in the pacific. she's often remembered, though, for one event. that is the surrender of japan at tokyo bay. >> we'll tour pearl harbor attack sites an memorials on the island of oahu part of the value
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or in the pacific national monument home of the "uss arizona" memorial. for complete schedule, go to democratic senators chris coons, amy klobuchar and james lankford on congress, power, health care, and his recent cabinet picks. ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the george washington university and the jack morton auditorium. tonight, as with many that have taken place recently in universities, homes, forums, clubs, and places of congregation throughout the united states, tonight is an even -- an event of careful
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reflection on our future with learned guests as we move through the annals of history in the wake of the most recent presidential election. as is the tradition of the george washington university and our renowned school of media and public affairs, we are the promoters of respectful dialogue and exchange of views on some of the most delicate issues of our time. the conversation series at smpa has a long tradition of bringing together some of the leading minds in politics and media to engage in healthy debate to advance our democracy and our civic dialogue. behind every headline is a story, and behind every story are ideas and actions. as an institution of higher learning, our never-ending quest is to penetrate these elemental levels in search of truth and in
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search of understanding. the veritable pillars of every democratic society. it gives me great pride as the dean of the columbia college of arts and sciences at the george washington university for our institution to host this event tonight because it represents the very fabric of who we are. we are home to the engaged liberal arts where disciplined intersect and inform each other, where students drink from the well of knowledge and in the halls of our institutions, students marry the world of theory to the realm of practice, as we symbiotically meld the life of the mind with the real world at large. we are the home of value-added education, where we strive to ignoble our students to be citizen leaders, ready to tackle whatever the world may bring with the highest ethical and
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moral compass that an education can provide. the grand maestro of this evening's events and of our school of media and public affairs is frankie sesno. frank sesno is the director here at the george washington university and a former cnn bureau chief, anchor and white house correspondent. he's an emmy award winning journalist and the creator of, a multi-media project that highlights innovations and sustainability. he is passionate about storytelling, and he is adamant that we need an informed public if we are to have a healthy democracy. it gives me great pleasure to introduce tonight your maestro, frank sesno. [ applause ] >> thank you very much and good evening, everybody. this is quite a crowd. a testament to just how topical
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this is. before i bring out our guests for what is going to be a tremendously fascinating and unbelievably timely conversation, i just want to cover a couple of things. first i want to thank some special people who are here. we are able to have this conversation series and many of the other things we do at the school of media and public affairs and at george washington university generally because of the generosity and the support and the unwavering friendship of some special people at the school of media and public affairs. we have our national council, our national council chair is here, barbara bradley haggerty, john lansing whom i see. cornell belcher. so our national council members and to your support financial and otherwise that helps make this event and these sorts of things possible, i'd like to ask things possible, i want to thank you. i'd like to ask all of you to join me in thanking our wonderful friends. [ applause ] so much of what we're able to do is because of the generosity and
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the philanthropy of the people who support us and support you, the students in the room. i want to thank college democrats and republicans who are co-sponsoring this this evening and they have helped us publicize this and obviously have done a pretty darn good job, so thanks to college republicans and democrats. to our media in the room who join us for this conversation, this is a conversation that's important and we're happy to share, and we hope that others can join in in real time and i'll get to that in just a moment and we'll be able to watch and learn from. john parrino, jen hall pen and betty sailor our staffers helped make this happen. the hashtag is nowwhatsmpa. as you're tracking this, please feel free to share it with your social networks and let's get a little positive conversation going. i'd like now to introduce our remarkable panelists for this evening.
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senator james lankford of oklahoma, senator chris coons of delaware, senator amy klobuchar of minnesota. the one and only gw alumni, dana bash, a correspondent from cnn. [ applause ] thank you all for coming. you didn't have anything else to do, stop by gw. this is good. before we start, just so we can get an orientation, how many students are in the room? okay. and how many of you would consider yourselves politically active or politically aware? >> why would they be at g.w.? >> so weird. >> and how many of you predicted that the president-elect would be the president-elect? >> for the cameras, let the record show i see about five hands. what we're going to do this
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evening is talk about where we are, what's changing and how a bipartisan group, democrat, democrat, republican are going to interact and govern in a very unusual and unprecedented president-elect and president, the role of the media past and present. i'm going to invite my wonderful friend and really remarkable journalist dana bash also to join in the questioning as we go. we'll come to the audience for questions in a bit so you will have an opportunity as well. let me start with a very big, broad question to the three senators, and that is simply, what do you think it's going to be like? i mean, just on this day the president-elect is tweeting about flag burning and you should lose your citizenship and maybe go to jail. he's appointed new -- named new nominees to his cabinet who are true to his campaign pledges of wanting to replace, repeal obamacare and move against certain other things that he
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talked about on the campaign. but we've never had anybody like this in the presidency. >> since andrew jackson. >> except andrew jackson served his country before he was president. what do you think? what's the big change going to be? >> it's the unpredictable nature of what things are going to be. that is the part that's shaking everyone up. no one really knows what to expect other than to expect things are going to be different. >> what do you expect? >> you know what, i do expect him to follow through on some of the campaign promises. >> some. >> i expect him to come through on some of the promises and some we're not going to do anymore. i think that's the nature of what we've already seen. for instance, i'm going to prosecute hillary clinton. now he's said i'm going to be magnanimous, we're not going to do that anymore. there will be some of those that will come out. for instance the trade, he was passionate about trade issues at the beginning but throughout the entire campaign he also said i like free trade, i think we should trade.
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>> he's a businessman after all. >> he said we should have better deals, no one knows what the better deals are. he said we should have better deals but we should have free trade. so there's a little bit of uncertainty there. >> what do you think the changes are going to be? >> first that we're going to have a president who is tweeting himself unvarnished immediately, apparently all the time. not necessarily about -- >> maybe in the middle of a meeting with you. >> likely. i would expect it. as we're in the middle of a meeting if he doesn't like what i say, you'll call me up and say what down of donald trump's tweet. he demonstrated a remarkable ability to grab the steering wheel of the bus and shift it and change the national focus of the conversation at whim. in some ways that demonstrates the power of social media. every time there's been a major shift in communications technology, a president emerges who really grasped it and was able to lead with it.
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this is our first real social media president. barack obama, our correct president was really quite agile and adept at social media but this is taking it to a new level. what do i think it will be like? i think the senate will matter more than it has before. i think the structure, the fundamentals of our democracy, are going to be challenged, and i think the role of media and informed voters is going to be more important than it's ever been. >> do i want to make one point that's important for the audience to know. we have two democrats and one republican here. we tried very hard and senator coons thank you, your staff also to get other people. calendars are crazed, and we were not able to add to this group. that's why i'm going to ask dana -- no, i'm not. but senator klobuchar, when you think of the changed landscape and this changed role of the senate of which you are not a majority, what do you anticipate? >> first of all, i would agree with my colleagues that it's going to be an unpredictable
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time. we don't know exactly what this is going to look like. what we do know is that the democrats in the senate are going to have power because of the senate rules. >> the democrats are going to have power? >> yes. we have 48 democratic votes right now, and senator mcconnell has said he's going to keep in place the senate rules, at least that's what he said at a dinner that i attended. and so if that is the case, then we have the fact that you need 60 votes on most legislation. there are exceptions for budgets and other things. there's exceptions, of course, for cabinet nominees. there's an exception for judges but not for the supreme court if that remains the same. we were taking that at a 60-vote margin, and we assume that's what's going to happen with the republican majority again. so given all that, we do have power, and i think we have to be smart about how we use it.
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first of all, if there's common ground, i'm never one to say simply because you don't agree with someone on a lot of different issues that you don't find that common ground if it's good for the country. things like infrastructure, we can talk more in detail about these things that maybe there will be some agreement and we can move forward. but then i think the main role is the senate and really the congress as a whole. it will be to be a check and balance on power. there's a check and balance on the administrative branch, but there's also the check and balance of democrats in the senate because one party will now control the administration, the house, and the senate. so i think that's going to be a very important role when it comes to trying to say no, we need some compromises on this legislation or no, we're not going to reverse this policy and go back decades on whatever the issue is. >> we'll come to some of those particulars and where the filibuster is going to matter in just a minute.
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but dana, you have, as a journalist you have observed many different administrations, and clearly one of the big differences here is the twitter president. >> absolutely. >> and the once upon a time when the media set the agenda or so other people thought has been blown up by a candidate, now president-elect, who has been uncommonly successful at setting the agenda at 3:00 in the morning or 7:00 in the morning. i was on cnn at 6:50 and we were talking about his tweet that preceded us. >> exactly. >> what does that mean? >> we don't know. we know what it meant for the campaign which was -- you put it so well in a very vivid way which is that he did take the steering wheel and turn it with his twitter feed. sometimes he did it to his detriment and to the point where at the end of his campaign you remember his aides successfully somehow took his twitter away from him and he won.
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however, he also understands the power of social media and his twitter account in particular, and he feels emboldened because he won. >> it worked. >> it worked, sure, it worked. it worked. but campaigning is one thing as you all know, and governing is quite different. if he's attacking my colleague, jeff zeleny, for correctly pointing out donald trump's tweet saying there were 2 million illegal votes cast was not provable and probably not accurate is okay, that's probably not going to move stock markets. but it is possible that he could wake up one morning and send out a tweet that could shake the global economy, depending on his mood that day. so i don't know the answer. none of us knows the answer. i actually am wondering -- you're going to get picked on, but the one republican here, what you think.
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if donald trump called you on the phone right now and said how do you think i should handle this twitter thing, what would you say? >> i would say have somebody that's by him so he can say it out loud and say, should i tweet that and someone say, hmm. change a couple of words on that just to clarify. >> call that adult supervision. >> it's just a person to be next to you because there is a difference between a candidate and a president. >> absolutely. >> and i think he will learn quickly that what he says as president of the united states the entire world listens to. this is the most powerful office in the world still, bar none. and it can move markets and it can change the relationship of n.a.t.o. and it can change the relationships with people even within our country. i would just say it's not a bad thing to continue to communicate. it's not a bad thing because it's very authentic. people know this is really what
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he's thinking at this moment. but it's not a bad idea to be able to say it out loud and have someone else say let's work on wordsmithing it. every press release wasn't written by the president. it was written by someone else. they either ran it past him or ran it past the chief of staff and the president never saw it. the spokesman typically speaks for the president. this president didn't hear most of that. it's someone speaking on his behalf. this is this very raw, what's the emotion of the president, that's new. >> let me ask the audience something and answer this honestly. how many of you are fearful about the incoming president? for the cameras, if you're watching on c-span, what would you say, dana? >> a lot. 90%. >> senators, this is a serious issue. it's one thing to have political division. we've experienced that in the past when candidates have won
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and lost, but it's another thing -- and i have had students tell me they have been called names we do not accept as proper, acceptable discourse. it's not about p.c. it's about what we do and don't call one another and think of one another. how should donald trump and the people around donald trump handle this now? and how pervasive do you feel this is? >> well, i think there's different reasons for fear, if i could guess this. one is just a breakdown of our politics and what that's going to mean and i think a lot of that's going to depend -- that's in his hands, including on his phone, how he treats people. remember, he's got a whole government he's going to be running now. so as jim mentioned, you may have people negotiate an agreement for him and then he tweets something and can undercut them. i just think there's all kinds of problems he's going to have
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to work with the team that he has. the second piece is legitimate security fears, depending on what his policies are. a president has to make dozens of decisions a day that can affect people's lives, that can affect the world order, and he's going to have to take that very, very seriously. i think that's why president obama has been repeatedly meeting with him to convey that message. and the third fear that i picked up in my own state is just immigrants and people that are concerned about their status. we have a lot of refugees in my state. we have somali among the population and i have told them repeatedly, and of course this doesn't apply to the entire country, the law is bigger than anyone's tweet. the law is bigger than anyone's rhetoric. so a lot of this is going to depend, depending on what his actions are, on those of us that are involved in other parts of the government to, as i said, be
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a check and balance, and i think that's a big part of it. i would agree with dana, unlike the campaign where it was everyone went down in a vortex with whatever he said and the whole day became that, i am not certain that at least my party going forward is going to be doing that anymore. we're going to have our own agenda focused on the economy and working with republicans in congress when we can. i just think you're going to see a different dynamic. >> what's the dynamic going to be in the senate as a response to this? >> my hope is that we will find each other and work together more than we've been able to in recent years. >> why? >> partly because of the dynamic that amy points to which is the filibuster means. we're the one piece within congress where controversial bills, bills that don't necessarily command as broad a support as they might get slowed up or get stopped. frankly, partly because by structure, by intention since the founding, we're an institution that has six-year terms. james just got elected for a six-year term.
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we were somewhat joking back stage about the difference between two year terms and six year terms. part of our role is to be small enough that we get to know each other. all three of us are active members in the prayer breakfast which is something that happens every wednesday we're in session and where folks from a broad range of religious and political and regional backgrounds get together for an hour. there's nobody there but senators and our chaplain, and we really get to learn a lot about each other. it's a very powerful experience. it is, i think, possible for us to agree as senators that we want to focus on infrastructure, on manufacturing, on supporting our veterans, on things that we can agree will strengthen our country and that we want to tamp down or downplay or marginalize. the jerking the wheel back and forth effect it has on our constituents of a nation that seems to be led merely by whim and tweet.
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i do think that the gravity of the job is beginning to sink in with president-elect trump. i think the conversations he's had in intelligence briefings and with president obama are important. >> what makes you say that? >> the tempo of the tweeting. its focus changed quite a bit after the night of the election. look, i'm choosing to be an optimist here, okay? >> three very civil people here. >> this is the beginning. >> the tempo of the tweet. >> the tempo of the tweet. look, i choose to be hopeful based on the tenor that trump struck in his victory speech where he focused on veterans and infrastructure, period. and i choose to be optimistic about the number of his more outrageous, outlandish or offensive proposals from the campaign that he has already stepped back from. i have no illusion that i'm going to agree with many of his
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cabinet nominees, with his agenda, or his priorities, but to the point just made a few minutes ago that 90% of this audience is genuinely scared of him as president, i think a number of the more outlandish things said in the campaign are going to be put aside, partly by senators working together to say, hang on a minute, we're not going to suddenly have a bromance with putin and set aside decades of alliance with n.a.t.o. we're not going to ignore the illegal annexation of crimea and occupation -- >> lindsey graham has sent signals -- >> they've been very forceful. >> that's another factor which is a number of republicans who on various issues, whether it is mike lee and rand paul on some of the civil liberties issues, whether it is john mccain and lindsey graham on russia, whether it is susan collins and lisa rakowski and jeff flake and others who have taken more
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moderate positions on various issues, i think that will be a factor as well. that's going to be a big deal. >> i just wanted to add to what you were saying about trying to make the 90% of the people in here who raised their hands saying they were fearful, look, this is definitely a shock to the system but it's not -- a shock to the system is not necessarily a bad thing. as somebody who has covered you all and, you know, genuinely believed that these individuals are phenomenal public servants to a person, they're phenomenal public servants in a system that has been broken. voters got that. they got it. it hasn't worked. the gridlock, there's so much blame to go around and it's unclear if this solution is going to work, but they wanted -- voters wanted a disruption and they got it. and i actually think that there is reason to be optimistic that people like this and as long as
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those of us in the media hold their feet to the fire can find common ground, whether it's on infrastructure or fixing -- the republicans -- you guys have different points of view with the president-elect on how to deal with entitlements but you got to deal with them because you guys are not going to have them probably unless they're dealt with. >> here's the big issue. we're not in a dictatorship that has a single leader that defines everything. it's always by an offensive thing to hear people say, i've heard people say the president is the ceo of the country. he's not. he's the leader of a co-equal branch of three branches. he leads the executive branch. there's a legislative branch and a judicial branch. and the perception that's risen and it's risen for the past couple of decades that somehow the president is the leader is -- of all government is not true. he's the co-equal leader in many ways. it's fascinating to me, the week after the election and i chair the subcommittee on regulatory
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affairs, so i work with the -- writing the regulation but the process of how regulations come together. there's a legal process called the administrative procedures act and there's a lot of statute in how regulations come about. i would tell you in my committee, i work very hard for the last two years to be able to build coalitions and to say we have real problems with how regulations are coming out, the speed, the frequency, the way that they're coming out, how many are being overturned in the court. there's a problem with regulations and what's happening right now. my democratic colleagues wouldn't get on board. and i kept saying to them in the presidential election, if there's a president trump you're going to want to have good boundaries on how regulations are done. so help me, a week after the election, democratic members are calling me saying let's work on regulatory reform. >> a lame duck. >> as soon as possible, let's work on regulatory reform. i smiled at them and said, i am still willing to work on this because regardless if a republican or democrat is the president, that's a co-equal branch that needs to have
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boundaries. just like everyone else does. americans, i would tell you -- and i agree with dana on this, for those of you that are scared of a president trump, this is america responding to a sense of frustration to a budget process that doesn't work, it hasn't worked since 1974. there's been four times since 1974 the budget process has worked, four times in that time period. this is a frustration that people feel like they're not being heard in key areas and not having engagement. i would tell you, with most elections, the electorate when they look at who they will vote for look for arsonists or carpenters. these three are carpenters. president trump is an arsonist. he's going to walk in and say this all needs to change immediately. >> it's interesting you say that. if you want to burn down the house, you hire the arsonist, and that's exactly what just happened. >> that's the response of the american people. but there's still a white house, there's still a house and a senate and a judicial branch.
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none of that has changed. >> i'm just looking at the former prosecutor that prosecuted arson cases. i can't go there with you. i can go with the gang sometimes. >> we're also talking with three senators here, and the senate is a deliberative body. the deliberative body is designed to slow things down, but there are plenty of things -- >> we do that well. >> you do that really well. there are plenty of things that a president trump can do quickly. some of the fears i know that have been expressed relate to climate change a candidate that called it a hoax, who has turned to his transition team, is led by someone who is essentially a climate denier. the person he's turning to to for department of transportation believes in revving up coal plants and digging. that may be good for those areas and produce jobs. for those that think climate is a big issue, it shows the president can move quickly and
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can make rapid change. what's your response to that? >> i remain actually optimistic that the economy has moved in a way that even if a new secretary of transportation and president wants to dramatically revive coal production in the united states, most of the closing of coal-fired power plants has happened because of fuel switching to natural gas. we have abundant natural gas because of fracking in this country. i don't think we're going to see a significant resurgence of coal mining production and burning in the united states, but we'll see. i frankly think there's been more reduction in greenhouse gases because of fuel switching than there has been because of regulatory impact on coal production and output. hopefully one thing that could happen is a new administration might really invest in carbon sequestration and technology that could make coal less dirty and more sustainable. but bluntly, the private sector in the united
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states has overwhelmingly accepted that climate change is real, that people cause it -- >> are you saying what happens in washington doesn't matter? >> what happens in washington will have less of a negative impact given that virtually every major fortune 500 company says we've already invested in making some of these changes. our regulatory agenda matters and what the epa does matters, but i am trying to note some small reasons to be less depressed for this audience. >> but also, the paris climate change agreement matters with the rest of the world. >> which he said he's now not going to get rid of. >> when he talked to obama did he -- this is me trying to figure out cuba. >> he suggested. he didn't come flat out and say it. >> he suggested to the "new york times" that -- >> he would reverse himself. >> right. that he might not change that. but i just say, i agree with chris that there's a lot of action in the private sector and we have companies in my state like carhill and others that are very supportive, general mills, in moving forward on reducing
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greenhouse gases, so there's also major businesses that see this as an issue for them going forward, especially international businesses. but that gets to the international issue, is if he were to step back from the agreements that we've made with other countries which does have an impact to me, if we start putting pressure on other countries they agree to do it. if we walk away from that, i think that would not be good for the future. >> because we have so many political -- politically engaged people in the room and history majors, i can make reference to nixon goes to china. could trump be nixon goes to china on the issue of immigration? >> yes, i've said that to people already. >> explain that. >> i absolutely agree this will be a situation of nixon goes to china. if you go back to the earliest years of the obama administration when all the promises were made we're going to do immigration issues and it didn't happen and then the work that the senate did, i wasn't there at the time, on immigration, was not matched by the work of the house and was not matched by the actions of the -- >> the senate did its job.
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>> was not matched by the house or the white house to try and engage and bring a real agreement together. you've got to get all three parties to be able to do that. this is a situation where trump can stand up and say, he has the bully pulpit and say, immigration is a problem. where he has been effective is to stand up and say this is a problem, and he gets criticized by saying -- when someone says tell me what the solution is and his solution is i'm going to hire good people. that is a ceo mentality that says i don't have to fix that, i have to find good people that can fix that. i just know that's a problem and we need to commit resources to it. if we does that on immigration, we'll settle the immigration issue. >> i want to put on my chris coons optimistic hat. i have wondered this because the senate immigration bill when marco rubio and others were on involved on the judiciary committee, actually contained hundreds of millions of dollars
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for security at the border. it did not mandate a wall across the home border and he's been backing away from that. it was going to be a combination of personnel and fencing and of course it had a path to citizenship and a number of other things. >> the gold door. so the point is i have thought in my most pleasant moments that maybe there is a chance to move forward given the strong support we had in the senate, the bipartisan bill and there were other compromises that were brought up in the last bill. but the point is that's going to be a leap now with the base that's been behind him in the campaign and also the immigrant community which is not going to be very trusting of this. so this would be a major effort if he wanted to do this and it would be -- there's clearly people in congress that want to work on it but i can tell you on the democratic side it has to be a combination of not just order at the border but also some kind of path to citizenship,
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documented worker, something that works for the people that are here that would qualify for that kind of status. >> i know everybody has insight on this as well. there's been an ongoing conversation on how do we do compromise in congress and how do we handle this. the lock on this has been that everybody's got to take parts that they really hate and put it together. so we've been in this gridlock. there is a way to be able to approach this and say for the common ground, what amy is talking about, so what we -- >> we're building relationships. >> we already have a relationship so that's okay. the issue is if you look and say, i really like a and b, i think a and b are a good idea, amy thinks b and c are a good idea and she really hates a, and by the way, i really hate c, at some point we can say to compromise, you got to do a little bit of a that she hates and a little bit of c that i
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hate and that works it out. but you're stuck if you try to do it that way. it's easier to get unstuck if we both say we like b, let's move on what we agree on and let's stop staring at each other and fighting over a and c and let's get moving again. part of the challenge is everyone's trying to say, you've got to do a little bit that you hate so we're doing nothing. >> it's easy to talk about that when it's a, b and c. it's harder to talk about when it's obamacare and it's a question of are you going to be required to have health coverage and if you're not are you going to be fine, is the federal government telling you to do that and what's the a and b and c. let's take that for a minute. that was a specific and deeply held position of candidate trump throughout, right? you interviewed him. >> are you talking about repealing obamacare? >> repealing obamacare. you interviewed him several times? several times. >> five or six, not including the debates. >> and you talked to him about obamacare among other things. >> yes, i asked him questions during the debate about obamacare, not just obamacare
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but more importantly what he would put in place. >> and what do you see taking place? >> i see that he's going to rely a lot on you guys, truthfully. maybe not these guys, but you. i just remember very clearly in one of the debates during the republican primary my line of questioning was about what would you replace obamacare with. his first answer was i'm just going to do away with the lines around -- he did this -- the lines around the states which is of course a very kind of core republican ideal that you allow more insurance to be sold across state lines. then i said, well, what else? and he's like -- i said do you have anything else and he said no. i mean literally he didn't. of course again, this is just one example of how any of you -- no offense -- it would have been like lights out. you don't have a healthcare plan, but it didn't really
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matter. the flip side and the positive side of that for you guys is now he's put price in, which is harsh for the democrats, but he actually is somebody who has some plans and he's done this and he's come up with ideas and written it into legislative language and so forth. >> and is a doctor. >> and is a doctor. so i think obamacare is a perfect example of how he's got a big idea about what he wants done, but he's going to be very okay with allowing a lot of people to fill in the blanks. >> this is a really -- this thing on healthcare is really interesting. i pulled tom price's piece he wrote for "politico" on the 30th of july, 2009, which was the 45th anniversary of medicare. this is a really interesting example actually, and i'm looking at my friend bob here in
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terms of bias, media bias. so all the reporters that i have seen today talks about price and how he has this quote about how medicare was the worst thing -- having government in medicare is the worst thing to happen to healthcare. but if you go back and you read the entire paragraph, here's what it says. as a physician, i can attest that nothing has had a greater negative effect on the delivery of healthcare on the federal government's intrusion in medicine through medicare. that's what i see quoted. because of washington's one size fits all approach, flawed coverage rules, broken financing mechanism seniors are increasingly having care rationed while funding spirals out of control. he made reference to insurance companies as this third party desire. talk to a senior citizen about medicare. talk to a senior citizen about doctors who aren't taking medicare patients anymore or the concierge service they have to buy. maybe medicare really is broken.
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maybe they're really right. >> well, i mean, when you look at medicare itself, it has actually been one of the best things that's happened for the seniors in our country when you look at their status, what their life was like before and what it's like now and there's a reason that they want it to stay. do we look at reforms, yes. i've been a long-time advocate for better delivery system reform. i don't actually think we did enough in the affordable care act, being from a state that has always had high quality care and seeing the money go down in one big transfusion to states that are less organized in their health care and charge medicare rates that are much higher than what we do in some states. that's not right. it's called geographic deaveraging. i've been an advocate for some reform. but at the same time when you look at the need to make changes to the affordable care act, i think you have to look at what's going to work and you can't make the changes in one day.
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you've got the benefits that people want, staying on -- i'm not -- staying on your parents' insurance until you're 26, the doughnut hole that was closed, the pre-existing conditions. when i start looking at one by one changes i'd like to see, clearly some changes to the way those individual exchange works, clearly some changes to pharmaceutical which no one in the senate ever wants to take on but it's huge. it's 20% of our healthcare costs now when you include hospitals. senator mccain and i have a bill to bring in less expensive drugs from canada. senator grassley and i have a bill that we're doing together to stop pay for delay where big pharma pays off generics to keep competition off the market. look at what happened with epipen. that was just one example. the top ten drugs in this country, four of them have gone up 100% in their price to consumers. insulin's gone up three times.
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used for opiate over doses has gone up 1,000%. do i want reform, yes. i always said from the day we passed that bill it was a beginning and not an end. it is more than just medicare. it's stepping back and looking at this and i was really hopeful we could do a reform bill, we could make changes but not if the discussion is let's just throw this out and figure out what we're going to do later. that is not going to work for the american people. >> i worked hard in the last congress to introduce and to work on five different bills that were modest reforms to the affordable care act. i'll never forget, there was a new republican senator who's a physician from louisiana, was presiding over the senate and i came to the floor to give a speech about obamacare. this is about two years ago, 18 months ago. and the first half of the speech was three stories about three delawareans whose lives had been saved by the access to affordable care act. the others were small business owners, contractors or physicians, where the increase
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in rates and costs have really hurt them, hurt their business, caused them to drop coverage, caused them to stop providing certain care. and he was writing away during the first three stories. when he heard me tell the next three stories, his head came up and looks at me and says you're a democrat, aren't you? i said, yes i am. and he said you just spent 15 minutes talking about the flaws of obamacare. i said, yup. he was genuinely surprised. he was genuinely surprised. he didn't realize it was less than perfect. i wasn't part of the senate when it was passed but there are many in our caucus who recognize that it wasn't written by god. it was written by humans and it has flaws. the challenge here is compared to what? if you simply follow the path that the house republican majority has and repeal it, just wipe it out, repeal it without any work together to find something that can achieve some of the same goals in terms of coverage and quality and cost reduction, i think then republicans will rue the day because two to four years later,
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there will be a very negative consequence. on the other hand, one of the core principles of republicanism has been federalism, respect for states and their ability to reach their own conclusions. my hope is that one of the things on the table will be that those states that have really embraced the affordable care act and have put in place exchanges that work and have really invested in it will have the option to retain much of the structure and rules that exist today, and those who have utterly rejected it and said i don't think this works for my state, have an alternative path with less government. >> i reached out to a friend who is a player in healthcare forum and said what do you think i should ask. he said ask the republicans given the promises made to the affordable care act are you sure that the 21 million americans provided coverage under the law will continue to be covered. how do you answer that? >> i would say, that is one of the conversations that we have. when obamacare was put in place, many people had state-based coverage or other coverages that lost their coverage. they had to get new doctors, they had to go through new testing, they had to do a new
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shift. we don't want to see that again. those folks are diabetics or cancer patients. that was a very, very hard time -- >> people will continue to be covered. >> the hope is to have that. the hope is hold harmless. to say freeze with what you have on that and help with transition. you're really looking at two states with a bridge and a transition. let me make a couple of comments. one going back to your comment about the bias and tom price. that is the focus right now for every person that trump puts out. the first story is not from dana of course but immediately the first story is how horrible they are, we've reached back to 1973 in a comment they made at a college meeting and they said this, so they're a terrible racist and they're an awful human being and they hate all people, period. they don't like any human beings. and so what i get people coming to me and saying, oh, my gosh, these people they selected, these are horrible individuals, where are you finding these,
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instead of backing up and looking at people and say let's look at the whole of what they're doing. let's give them the opportunity to be able to walk through the process. that's one of the things now. people who are frustrated and upset. they lost the election they didn't wish it would go his way. so i don't like him and i probably won't like anybody he likes. in many ways i'm catching people saying you're doing to him what you said you don't like he did to you. how do we fix that? that's a modeling issue. that's a shift that has to occur. >> how do you fix that? >> that's the modeling that we do, i think that's modeling each individual does. i'm amazed at how many people that don't like the caustic nature of his tweets or what happens on social media, but if you read their tweets, holy cow, trump's are g rated compared to what i see other people put out there and how caustic and angry things have become on social media. i try to ask folks to say, why don't you look at your own stuff
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and be able to evaluate what we're doing and the example we're setting for the next generation. on the health care issue, the we're setting for the next generation. on the health care issue, the strong men that are put up continually is that democrats want to take care of people and republicans want to put people on the street. that's not review and everyone knows it. two different sets of solutions. to go back to what chris was saying, how can states solve some of these issues? in the past five years, medicare -- i'm sorry, medicaid has one of the highest improper payment rates of all government. $142 billion. improper payments in just medicaid. if you move to states being able to organize and be able to do more, they're more engaged. that regulator in oklahoma that's overseeing just under 4 million people, when there's
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fraud, they're down the street and we can check on it. when you're managing fraud, bad relationships, you've got a bad doctor, a bad hospital, they know about it in the state. >> so this is -- >> multiple options but there should be more ability to be able to monitor and control that on a state level. i don't have the belief that only people that are in washington, d.c. love americans. i kind of think there are state leaders who also love the people in their state and want to care for what's happening in their state as well. >> dana, this touches on a media thing. in five minutes we'll go to audience questions. so much we're not going to get to here. a way a lot of this is portrayed through the media, including cnn, my alma mater, the place you work, rush limbaugh, rachel maddow on msnbc, it's not as gentlemanly and womanly as this conversation here.
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it doesn't focus on compromise and consensus. it focuses on conflict and head butting. >> that's right. and so one of the things that, at times, has frustrated me in my service in the last six years is that i will get asked if i'm available forry show. i will get sort of tentatively booked and then i'll get bumped for somebody who is more of a bomb thrower or more willing to take a fight, more willing to throw a punch. >> you're smiling and nodding. >> or a paid person who will do it and pretend they're not paid. >> so, if it didn't matter in our line of work whether we were ever on the sunday shows or the cable shows, it would be easy to just ignore it and say it doesn't really matter. but on some level our visibility to our constituents, to our friends and supporters
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nationally depends on how often we're on the shows that they're interested in. >> just move the ideas. >> there is sort of a feedback. i'll give you a quick example, to get back to your point about nominees. senator sessions has been nominated to be our next attorney general. i've done a series of interviews already. one of the things i did immediately was to put out a statement. in a couple of interviews i said this and told jeff directly i was going to do this. i give him credit for two things that we worked on well together that i did not expect he would be a good partner on. when the federal public defender service got absolutely slashed, savaged by the sequester -- real law and order guy and former federal prosecutor, he worked with me to make sure that funding got restored by the public defender system. i should have understood as a principle prosecutor he understands if the defendant doesn't have a good lawyer the odds are you're going to get a bad conviction and it will get overturned on appeal or higher. i didn't naturally grasp that. it was a good
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relationship-building exercise for us. second, when the obama administration cut funding for victims of child abuse act, senator sessions worked with me to get the funding restored and reauthorized. in six years, those are the two things we've worked well together on. >> on civil liberties, civil rights. >> do you hold him accountable to the statement he made, in soft pedaling the ku klux klan that he made decades ago? >> i promised him we will keep an open mind, a full hearing, what merit garland didn't get. i'm less concerned about statements from decades ago than i am things he has done recently in the senates a legislature, but i'm going to look at the whole record and ultimately, whether i support him or not, i haven't made up my mind yet. i don't think i should have made up my mind. >> any decisions that you have made up your mind on with regard to cabinet positions by the
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president-elect? >> i am waiting eagerly to see who he will nominate for secretary of state and secretary of defense. >> what if it's corker? >> senator corker was actually the first senator with whom i traveled overseas, as i think we discussed before. fascinating trip. joe manchin, bernie sanders, bob corker and me. >> band of warriors. >> had there been a camera crew in the back of that c-130 bouncing around from pakistan to afghanistan, we had some fascinating conversations. i knew senator corker least of the other three before we went and i came back with a real respect for him. he was a mayor. i think he and president-elect trump might get along very well because they both have a background in development and construction. he is a very conservative republican. we do not agree on a lot of issues but i find he is earnest, honest, fair and has managed the
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committee well. to me, those will recommend him pretty high. >> rudy giuliani? >> that would be a harder slate for me. >> should ask him about rudy giuliani. >> i don't know rudy but i'm not afraid of rudy only because of what i saw him do in his leadership in new york city. he was fair. he was law and order. he was fair. he engaged with all people, all parts of the community and was very passionate about helping the whole city when he was there. >> are you convinced? >> i'm just very concerned about some of the comments that he has made during the campaign. and, like chris, i'm going to look at each nominee on their merits. i think that's very important. i did that when sonja sotomayor was nominated to the supreme court. that's what you do. that's your job as a senator. >> any name out there you would propose right now? >> for the supreme court? chris coons. >> no, for this cabinet that's emerging. >> well, let's just -- i'm just going to see who he brings in. so -- >> dana, let me let you ask a question of the senators you've covered so closely before we go
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to the audience. where would you like to hear them? >> oh, boy. i'll start with you. senator, you are obviously, you know, a conservative and from a very red state. >> that's why i have red hair. >> exactly. i was just going to say that. but you -- where do you think that you -- you talked about the prayer breakfast and so forth. >> yeah. >> where do you think that you, as a republican, along with democrats, along with president trump can actually get things done? >> i think there's a lot of areas. >> like what's the first thing in real terms, and practically, the first thing you could move through congress, get to his desk that he could sign that would make everybody think okay, maybe things are working now. >> that's a tough thing, what's the first thing. there are so many top
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priorities. i talked about regulatory issues before, how we function again. >> it's important but, no offense, it's not so sexy. >> i know. i chair the nerdiest committee, i joke. >> i chair the anti-trust. >> oh, okay. >> several students who aspire to your job. >> that issue is a big issue. we'll find more common ground on immigration than everyone wants to admit at this point. if people are willing to drop a and b or a and c and be able to focus on the common ground, i think we'll be able to move on things. we have, for decades now, done nothing on immigration. and there are major problems that are there that we need to address. if we can focus on the common ground areas and not have to fight about the a and c areas, we'll do okay on it. >> if he called you tomorrow and said, amy, i want to work on
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something with you, what do you think we can actually get done? >> i would say infrastructure. it's the best bet. by the way, if he called me tomorrow i would say don't step back on what obama has done on cuba. that would be the first thing i would say, leading that bill to lift the embargo. >> that would be the first thing you would say? >> yes. i would just say it but then i would go -- >> how about you? >> first thing i would say? probably hello. >> yeah. really? to finish answering dana's question, the thing that i think has the most potential, based on partly what chris said is, and he raised it the first night, infrastructure. i live eight blocks from that bridge that fell down in a summer day in minneapolis, 35w bridge. not just a bridge. it's a highway. 13 people died and i will never forget that. and if he's willing to finance a major infrastructure development in this country, we already have passed the fast act, led by senator mcconnell and senator boxer. and so we have baseline funding already. so it's not like we're just making up for things.
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we actually could have a chance to do something on perhaps broadband, roads, bridges. you name it. wastewater treatment plants. and you talk about a rural agenda, a state that's a pretty rural state, that would be a big step if we started working on that. how we pay for it, there is some interest in overseas money, trillions of dollars that are overseas. senator schumer, our leader, has been devoted to this for a long time. i am, as well. and that is finding some way to bring that money back from overseas. it won't be -- i will say it will be a bit controversial on our side. but finding a way to bring the money back. and then what you could do, if companies voluntarily bring the money back with a rate that we have enough votes to pass, you could then, as part of the deal, have a certain percentage of it go into either an infrastructure financing authority. i don't call it an infrastructure bank because that creates problems on your side with some people. infrastructure financing authority or straight into the highway fund. that could be a big -- >> i think you should take some more time to think about it.


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