Skip to main content

tv   Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 15, 2012 8:00pm-1:00am EDT

8:00 pm
veterans. it allows us to minimize the constitutional -- institutional impact of the deployment tempos and these wars. furthermore, it's going to allow a more agile defense industrial base that will have predictability and can adapt our technology and tools to new threats as they aerge. a lot of weapons systems that come online now were desiped for another era and time fream. to overcome that, we have to change the process. that's going to come from a long period of reform. the keys to beginning that process are addressed. i think in a very difficult political environment between the administration calls for spending cuts without bringing about the regulatory acquisition reform that's necessary to sustain that, the political impasse with the senate, it's been tremendously helpful to see the leadership of chairman mckeon and the armed services committee to make sure everything possible will be done to keep the money flowing before the rules and
8:01 pm
regulations can be changed. . i voted against the budget control act last year. the root causes were not addressed in that and hopefully this lays the foundation for that including other reforms. at the end of the day, we have the ability to debate freely. american citizens can share whatever views they want to. they can go to bed and not be in fear because the men and women who volunteer who answers that call when it comes in the middle of the night, they are the last people we need to let down. thank you for the time and i yield back. mr. reed: i thank the gentleman for spending time for us. before i yield to the gentleman from virginia. there are thoughts i would like to add to the conversation. and one of the things you touched upon, as you make cuts
8:02 pm
and downsize government, defense has to be part of that. and i recognize that. but i recall a conversation as a freshman member and we met individuals over the time and one conversation that really sticks out in my mind when it comes to this issue is when there were a handful of us, and bob gates. and what mr. gates expressed to us, he said, look it, we need to go through this process and downsizing our military and tightening our belt where we can because of the national debt crisis that we now find ourselves and the former joint chief of staff, admiral mullen. he said it was the national debt. and that type of sentiment is shocking to me and should scare all of us in that we have to get
8:03 pm
this fiscal threat under control. the conversation with bob gates is we are going to do this. as we were engaging in that conversation, madam speaker, he pleaded with us and said, as we do this, as we make these cuts, please do not take these cuts or these dollars and apply them to other government spending or expand government in other areas , because what he was essentially saying was, if you take the money from defense and put it in another area and expand government, every year, we are going to have this problem. we are going to compound the problem, take money from defense and grow in other areas and going to continuously take meat and bone eventually out of the military spending and downsize the military where it will not be able to do and that is to
8:04 pm
protect american citizens. the other thing i wanted to comment on is the gentleman from kentucky has pointed out, is that the threat that we face as we downsize and pull back from iraq and afghanistan and i'm glad we are coming to an end in those engagements and i see the finish in afghanistan and where we have pulled ourselves back and that's good, but what we cannot do is we cannot get into a situation where we downsize our military, where we put them into a position where they no longer can be effective to get rid of the threats that are out there. the threats are still out there and they are real. we need a platform across the world to make sure we have the ability to use the brightest and strongest people we have in america, the men and women, so they have the platforms to go, strike, get rid of that threat
8:05 pm
and then come back home. and that is what we need to make sure we do not cross and if we go too far in these cuts, the men and women when we ask them to defend america and fight them over there rather than here on american soil, because we don't want to have that experience of 9/11 again, we have to make sure they have the resources and we stand with them and they have the platforms in which to deploy and protect us. and with that, i would like to yield to my colleague from virginia. and i'm happy he has joined us this evening. >> i thank my friend. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remashes and include ex trainous material on this subject of this special order. again, i thank the gentleman for yielding and i rise tonight, madam speaker, in strong support
8:06 pm
that we will vote on the bill this week and sound the alarm, about a budgetary cut to our defense, a department that is looming, right around the corner. in early january of next year, if not averteded, it will have a detriment tall impact to have to defend our country and it's a matter of serious and grave importance and should be understood by every american. mr. rigell: i have the great privilege of serving and representing the 2nd district of virginia, suren corner, virginia beach, norfolk, and a bit of hampton. norfolk naval station, oceana, where the joint expeditionary
8:07 pm
base, joint base, surface combat systems, the 1%, they live in our district and serve in our district. you see them in the lines at a starbucks or the restaurants and businesses around town. they are hard-working men and women. they love their country and they serve with great distinction. indeed, it's the district of all 435, highest concentration of men and women in uniform of all 435 districts. and it is a high honor and high responsibility and duty to serve and represent the 2nd district and i completely identify with my friend, the gentleman from new york, when you were referring to how he was inspired by his father's service and indeed, that's why i sought this office to honor my father's
8:08 pm
office, he was in world war ii, and the generation he represents and to meet the deep obligation we have to our grandchildren and our children and that is to pass on the blessings of liberty and freedom. and the principal way we do that is by meeting our constitutional duty to defend this great country. and where we're headed in january of next year is indirect conflict with us meeting that deep obligation. the cuts that are -- potentially will come if we don't avert it and i'm doing everything we can to avert that. the formal term is sequestration and as a businessman, i refer to it as a violent reduction. it's between 8% and 12% reduction and happens immediately. even for those who believe that our budget for defense ought to be less, there's no person that
8:09 pm
i know of that would agree that this is the responsible way to do it. now, as i look for leadership, the house has passed a mechanism by which sequestration would be completely averted and indeed, i have already introduced an amendment which will come to the floor and i hope will pass, which will incorporate that mechanism into the ndaa is a vote to avert sequestration. to put this in perspective. in addition to the $487 billion that was reduced by the president's budget, this is another $492 billion. it's almost $1 trillion reduction over 10 years. it has dissausetrouse consequences. i'll share with you a few
8:10 pm
examples of the practical implications. the smallest ground force since 1940, a fleet of fewer than 230 ships when we know our maritime needs aren't increasing but decreasing, principally in the pacific and that would be the smallest level since 1915. the smallest tactic call. and my colleagues want to speak on this issue, so i want to close with this -- with this thought. i mentioned earlier that leadership is about really setting a clear and compelling vision for our country and then laying out -- incumbent upon that person to have a practical plan, the steps that this country needs to take to make that a reality. i'm proud of the house and we have passed a comprehensive plan
8:11 pm
to do just that. and when i look at where the administration is, there truly isn't a plan and our commander in chief has not risen, he has not risen to address sequestration. in fact, he has made it clear that he would veto efforts to avert sequestration. i look to the senate. there is absolutely no action coming out of there, having not passed a budget in over 1,000 days. i am respectfully asking the american people to look at the record. we haven't done everything just right, but the record is clear. we have a plan. it's there and been passed. the senate, there is no plan. the administration really has no plan, particularly when it comes to averting sequestration. so when my amendment comes to the floor tomorrow or whenever it does hit the floor, i trust
8:12 pm
my colleagues will see the wisdom and incorporate that into the ndaa. and this has to avert sequestration and honor the veterans who have served, to honor those veterans who are serving now and our gold star families, those who have lost a loved one in service to our country. and i trust and believe we will do the right thing. with that, i thank the gentleman and i yield back to my the gentleman from new york. mr. reed: i thank the gentleman for being down and and before i yield to the gentleman from colorado. i had a thought as you were expressing your words for the record and addressing the speaker. madam speaker, i think it needs to be clearly laid out, because i have seen reports in our national media that have set the stage a little bit in my mind what is going on here in
8:13 pm
washington and to avoid sequestration. we are trying to have an open and honest dialogue to make sure our men and women are not put in harm's way. but what we cannot do is in any way deflect from what is causing this debate to occur, madam speaker. and the reason this debate is occurring is because the national debt is forcing this debate to occur. and what we're having is a conversation of how to address the national debt and make sure that defense is part of this conversation in the cut but we cannot go too far to cross that line in the sand that i referred to earlier. but what i'm deathly afraid of what this is going to turn into is some folks trying to paint up on this side of the aisle, avoid cuts to the military. we are trying to do what is responsible and make sure our military is protected and our
8:14 pm
men and women are protected and stand with the veterans and with the benefits they have earned and so deserve. but we cannot let the debate end there. the debate has to reflect what is causing this. and this is why, i truly believe admiral muscle hen said the biggest threat to our america is the national debt. what admiral was pointing out is that the national debt is going to cause us to have the debate in washington, d.c., whether or not we are cutting too much out of defense and putting our men and women in harm's way. that is where we are at in washington. and we cannot have the simple conversation that we are trying to avoid cuts for the purposes of avoiding cuts. no. madam speaker, we are dealing with a national debt crisis that is forcing us to have this debate.
8:15 pm
and what we're trying to do on this side of the aisle is make sure we do the responsible thing and make sure that our military is strong, that she is ready to defend us on a moment's notice from any threats, foreign and domestic and that we do not put men and women in harm's way when we ask them to go and fight for our freedom. with that, i yield to the gentleman from colorado, who has joined us this evening on this topic. . mr. rigell: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i thank the speaker, our colleague from alabama, for her work in making sure we are providing the leadership necessary for our armed forces. the gentleman from virginia mentioned a keyword and he mentioned the word leadership. the leadership that this house has shown to make sure that we are strengthening and keeping
8:16 pm
our defense strong in this nation, while also addressing the very serious crisis we face with our national debt and deficit. mr. gardner: the leadership we have seen from the house is obvious. passing a reconciliation plan, working with members of this house to make sure we come up with ways to find spending cuts, to reduce spending, but do so in a way that's responsible, to do so in a way that provides the leadership our armed forces deserve and the people of this country deserve. last week, a week ago yesterday, i had the opportunity, incredible opportunity, to go to the iwo jima memorial where i was able to join over 100 veterans from world war ii and the korean war from my district in northern colorado. these veterans came from greeley, fort collins, across the state, eastern plains. they were there to spend one day in washington to visit the world war ii memorial to visit the various monument here's in their honor for their service
8:17 pm
and sacrifice. met three brothers who served on the same ship in the korean war. met a gentleman who is 92 years old who had never been on an airplane since his time in world war ii. and as i was leaving, as they were departing for their bus a gentleman, 85 years old, came up to me, put his hand on my shoulder, stopped me, he said, i don't have much time left here. i didn't know where he was going, what he was talking about he said, we're counting on you. and i've thought about that, thought long and hard about those words, we're counting on you, to do the right thing, to do what is right for our country, do what is right for our military, to do what is right for the men and women across this country who go to work each and every day to try to make ends meet but who are protected by people they've never met around the globe. there's no doubt that we have a
8:18 pm
very serious fiscal challenge in front of us. no doubt $15 trillion in debt, no doubt the $deficits must make tough decisions around this place happen. one thing we cannot do is jeopardize the safety and security of this country and put our women and men in uniform at risk. i'm somebody who has come to the house floor time and time again and gone back to the district, stood with many of my colleagues, the gentleman from new york, to say, i believe we can reduce spending, i believe there are ways we can reduce spend, we can find waste, abuse, find duplicative programs, but we can never, never jeopardize the security of this country, the security of our men and women in uniform, those people who are serving on the front lines of freedom around the world, by cutting too far and too deep.
8:19 pm
and the question that i think every american, every person in this chamber ought to be asking is, where is the leadership from the white house? where is the plan to avoid these cuts that jeopardize not only our men and women but the very security of this country. where is that plan? to avoid the very costly cuts that jeopardize the future of this nation. we passed a plan out of this chamber to reduce spend big $1.2 trillion. but to do so in a way that provides the leadership this nation desperately needs. our men and women are standing up around this country, those men and women that i met at the iwo jima memorial a week ago, who stood in the trenches in korea and world war ii, who are counting on us to do what is right because their legacy of tree dom didn't end when the war ended.
8:20 pm
it continue -- freedom didn't end when the war ended. it continues to this day as they stand with their brothers and sisters in arms to make sure this country has the ability to protect and defend itself. ultimately, the leadership provided by this chamber, by this house, will make sure we continue to fund our defense, that we continue to fund our men and women in uniform appropriately and that our national security will remain protected against any and all threats. i believe the secretary of defense has even recognized the grave challenges that the sequestration poses for our men and women in uniform. but i think it's time the question be asked to the president of the united states, mr. president, where is your plan to protect our men and women in uniform? where is your plan to continue the great protection of this country? and so my colleague from new york, my colleague from virginia comes and speaks about the great risks and challenges
8:21 pm
that we face, everybody recognizes that we have to address our debt and deficit situation. it reminds me of a time when zell miller, senator from georgia, asked the question, what are we going to do? are we going to provide the ammunition for our men and women in uniform with spit balls? or are we going to do what is right and provide them with the ability to defend themselves. with that, the gentleman from new york, i yield back and thank again our colleague from alabama for her leadership on this very important issue. >> i appreciate the gentleman from colorado coming and offering his comments on this important issue and just briefly before i yield, i am reminded from the gentleman's comments when he references leadership and the story that the gentleman tells of the 85-year-old veteran who put his hand on his shoulder and said, we're counting on you, because that is the sentiment that
8:22 pm
forced or caused me to run for congress in the beginning. part of this freshman class, november, 2010. because i look at the national debt, i look at the economic turmoil that we find ourselves, the fact that we cannot create jobs in america so that people can put food on their table, put a roof over their head and go to bed comfortable and confident they'll get up tomorrow and have a job to go to. i see the turmoil we face in america right now at the same magnitude as a generational crisis that that gentleman, that 8 -year-old war veteran -- that 85-year-old war veteran stood up for in world war ii, to stand as a united country to save lady america and the freedom she represents. what i'm hearing in washington, d.c., and i'm sad to say, out of the gentleman in the administration, i see leadership that's trying to
8:23 pm
divide this country. when we face a crisis, the magnitude of such that is generational. ladies and gentlemen of america and mr. speaker, the time is now to unite, not divide. and conquer this issue of the national debt. because it is forcing us to have the conversation of cuts to our military that are going to put men and women in harm's way and that is not acceptable on our watch. with that, i yield to the gentlelady -- ms. foxx, thank you for joining us. who is a -- for what purpose does the -- the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman rise? ms. foxx: i send to the desk a report from the committee on rules for filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: clerk will report the title. the clerk: resolution providing for consideration of the bill h r. 4970 to re-authorize the violence against women act of
8:24 pm
1994 and providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 4310, to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2013 for military activities of the department of defense to describe military personnel strength for 2013 and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. reed: thank you, mr. speaker. at this point in time, i know the gentleman from virginia would like to speak, but i'm going to yield to the leader of the freshman class, the gentlelady from alabama who scheduled this special order and yield the balance of the time to the gentlelady from alabama. mrs. roby: thank you to my friend from new york, i appreciate you being here tonight and controlling the time, i would like to yield, we have a few more minutes, to the gentleman from virginia. >> i thank the gentlelady, my
8:25 pm
friend. it's a pleasure and a privilege to serve with the gentlelady on the house armed services committee and appreciate her leadership on the house armed services committee and holding this time tonight to talk about the critical subject of defending this great country. mr. rigell: last night i was with congressman forbes and congressman wittman in cress peek, virginia, listening for over an hour to local contractors speaking about how this looming issue of sequestration is already affecting not only our larger economy in our region but also just our ability to defend our great country. companies are making decisions right now, critical and talented people are being laid off right now in advance of the sequestration that very well could occur in january of next year. and if i go back to my previous
8:26 pm
comments, i was talking about the failure of leadership as i see it, the administration and also the senate because it's so important to understand kind of how we got here. in the role of commander in chief, it is incumbent on the president new york my view, to articulate and put forth a plan that would avert what his secretary of defense has made so clear is completely unacceptable. the level of cuts, the severity of the cuts, the suddenness of the cuts is really what we're referring to here. it's not the almost half a trillion that was already proposed in the administration's budget. that's bad enough. we are here tonight, i think, in part to sound the alarm to the american people that this is an additional, this is an additional almost half a
8:27 pm
trillion dollars of cuts. you cannot, mr. speaker, you cannot build 90% of a submarine. you cannot build 90% of a carrier. it will be a legal nightmare. contracts will have to be broken and then renegotiated. it will be a quagmire from just a legal standpoint. so i think the gentlelady -- i thank the gentlelady for yielding, for the opportunity to again address this critical issue and i call upon the administration, i call upon the senate, to meet the house where we are, which is to put forth specific plans. this is leadership and i thank the gentlelady for yielding. i yield back. mrs. roby: thank you to my friend from virginia. just to point back to h.r. 5652, the sequester replacement reconciliation act we passed in this house, we spend so much time in our everyday while we're here in washington and
8:28 pm
back home in our district, for me, when i'm at the grocery store, pumping gas or taking my kids to school, we are talking about jobs and the economy. we are talking about the things that we here in this congress have done to create so much uncertainty for you the small business owner, and the reflection of the lack of jobs because of decisions that are made here. all you have to do is look at this reconciliation, excuse me, sequester replacement reconciliation act to see what we need to be focusing on is priorities. it's about priorities. what is our job as members of congress, as laid out by the constitution of the united states, and as i already pointed out, it's to provide for a strong national defense. when we talk about jobs and the economy and the stripping away of the tools that our men and women in uniform need in order to defend this country, i just want to give you a little snapshot to end on of what that
8:29 pm
picture looks like, specifically 200,000 soldiers and marines would have to separate bringing our force well below pre-9/11 levels. we would have a fleet of fewer than 230 ship the smallest since 1915. we would have the smallest tactical fighter force in the history of the air force and a reduction of 20% in defense civil personnel to go to your point. these industries, the aerospace and defense industrial base directly employs more than one million people and supports more than two million middle class jobs across the united states and all in an effort to protect our men and women who are fighting for and defending the freedom and liberty that everyone in this room so enjoys. i could go on and on and you know that. we could talk well past the hour, although we don't have that time, very quickly, i want
8:30 pm
to thank you again, my friend from virginia, and is there anything else my friend from colorado would say? mr. gardner: our colleague from virginia talked about the concerns of the secretary of defense yet we still have no plans from this white house on how to deal with the very serious problem that faces our troops and jeopardizes our country's security. i thank the gentlelady from alabama for her leadership. mrs. roby: thank you and again to our military service personnel, thank you and we are doing all we can and i urge my colleagues that you will support the national defense authorization act this week as we move through the open process that we have so we can continue to give those men and women and their families all that they need to ensure that they are able to accomplish the mission. thank you again and mr. speaker, i yield back. .
8:31 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 011, the gentleman from california, mr. garamendi is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. garamendi: mr. speaker, thank you for the opportunity to take this one hour. we want to spend this hour discussing the piece of legislation that's extraordinarily important to every woman and every man, who
8:32 pm
lives within the united states. it's the violence against women's act, which is up for renewal and we be discussing that. we just heard an hour discussion on an extremely important matter. i do sit on the house armed services committee and i did sit 16 hours last week as we moved that bill out of committee. not every single person on that committee and every person in this house and in the senate cares deeply about this nation's security and providing the necessary support for the men and women who are currently in the military and those who have served in the past. there is no doubt about that, but there is, however, a very important debate under way about how we provide those services given the ability of this nation to find the money to pay for it.
8:33 pm
you heard the most remarkable debate this last hour, not a debate, but a discussion on the one hand that said, we have this terrible deficit problem and we have to deal with it and on the other hand, we have to spend more and more money on the military. recognizing that the war in afghanistan is drawing down and hopefully will be soon over. we are moving away from carrying on two major wars to a period where we will not have men and women overseas in these wars. that allows this nation to draw down the military in an appropriate and very careful manner. unfortunately, the bill that moved out of the armed services committee didn't do that. in fact, it moved away from the current law, which is one that was voted on by all of our republican colleagues, which was the budget control act that
8:34 pm
actually said that the military had to be brought down and the discussion you heard here about the president not having a plan simply isn't true. the president has put forward a balanced solution to the deficit within the confines of the budget control act. balanced, a balance that has been rejected by the republicans, a balance that calls for revenues, ending unnecessary tax breaks, for example for the oil industry. why should they receive $5 million on top of the tens of millions of dollars of profits they are making in the price of overpriced gasoline? the president says take away those unnecessary subsidies and bring those back into the necessary things we must do in this nation. he said men and women who earn over $1 million a year in
8:35 pm
adjusted gross income ought to be paying their fair share. there was discussion about the reconciliation bill that passed this house. understand that the budget reconciliation bill that was proposed by the republicans would increase the national deficit by $4 trillion. how does it do it? by giving an extraordinary new tax break to those at the very top, those who earn more than $1 million a year would see their taxes reduced. at $1 million earning, they would receive an additional tax reduction of $394,000. that's not fair or balanced and leads to additional $4 trillion. we need a wise defense appropriation bill out of this house. what did pass was neither wise and increased the number of men and women in afghanistan. these are our armed forces.
8:36 pm
under that bill would be increased by 20,000 new soldiers into afghanistan. that's not where we want to go. now, having said enough of that, we ought to put a little balance on the previous hour of discussion. let's get on to what we wanted to talk about tonight, which is how do we protect women in america? in 1994, this congress, the previous congress, passed the violence against women act. and that act provided a level of protection to every woman in america to be protected from domestic violence. i have with me tonight one of the key architects of that piece of legislation. she is now a member of congress. she is from the great state of maryland. her name is donna edwards. back in the 1990's, she was the founding director and executive director of the national network
8:37 pm
to end domestic violence. the national network to end domestic violence was an organization that representative edwards put together, comprised of state organizations that were dealing with domestic violence, many different kinds of organizations throughout the united states. representative edwards, put that together. and she is here to lead the discussion of how we can renew the violence against women act in a way that expands the protection for all women in the united states, all women and central to this discussion will be that issue of all women within the united states. and before i turn it over to her, as the republicans always want us to do, i would like to read a couple of clauses to the united states constitution. the 14th amendment, in the end of section 1 says, for states
8:38 pm
shall make -- no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunity of the citizens of the united states nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property without the due process of law nor deny to any person, any person within the jurisdiction the equal protection of the law and section 2 of the united states constitution, 14th amendment says, congress shall have the power to enforce by appropriate legislation the provisions of this article. any person, a key subject of tonight's debate. representative edwards, you have been at this for many years, please share with us the background and history and why this is such an important part of what we should do here.
8:39 pm
ms. edwards: i thank the gentleman for yielding and for your leadership. i was thinking here, 18 years ago, almost this month, i testified before the house judiciary committee before the passage of the violence against women act on behalf of domestic violence advocates. 18 years ago, we were discussing with a bipartisan group of members, republicans and democrats, men and women, who believe it was time for the federal government to provide resources and programs and support for law enforcement and for protections for women who were experiencing domestic violence. and i am actually saddened today that here we are in the congress with republicans taking one track and democrats on another
8:40 pm
track on an issue that for the time that i have had experienced, professional experience on working on this issue and state legislatures and in the congress, that there has always been work across both sides of the aisle about the need to protect women against violence, that in fact we stand here today with the partisan divide that i think for so many millions of women across this country who are experiencing violence, is not something we understand. today, we had an opportunity on the grounds of the capitol to honor peace officers from around the country, who have lost their lives, some of those peace officers lost their lives because they were responding to situations of domestic violence, when the violence against women act was passed in 1994, it was passed because of several years
8:41 pm
of prior work. i remember working on the violence against women act and its various iterations with orrin hatch, republican from utah and senator joseph biden, now vice president, a democrat from delaware, working on the house side with republicans and democrats as we sought the right kind of compromise so we could end the scurge of domestic violence in homes all across this country. and since the passage of violence against women act as a bipartisan piece of legislation, it revolutionized that violent crimes against women are prosecuted and in the way communities respond to survivors. i can recall long ago when i was in second grade, living on a military installation in very
8:42 pm
close quarters where you could hear through the thin walls the family that was experiencing domestic violence. and our experience then was that the military police would respond and would drive the service member around the block, and he would be back in the home. that was happening not just on military installations, but in communities all across the country. it was a real message to law enforcement that we are going to provide you the tools, training and capacity to respond appropriately to victims of domestic violence. that's what we did in 1994. it's what we reauthorized with bipartisan support in 2000 and then again in 2005. i can recall that as a resident adviser in college that i -- i remember the horrible situation of having to call an emergency service for a young woman who
8:43 pm
had attempted suicide because she was in a violent relationship in 2005. in 2000, we put resources in the violence against women act that enabled colleges, universities and communities to provide support and services that that young women would have needed. i recall being a co-worker of a young woman who showed up at work every day fully educate d and experienced violence. and called me on the telephone in the middle of the night from a phone booth, naked, having been battered by her abuser, not having any place to go and a shelter very far away. today, because of what we have done on the federal level on violence against women, that particular survivor, that victim has recourse and has the ability to seek shelter and services
8:44 pm
available to her. when i testified 18 years ago before a house judiciary committee, i told the story of my own family, a family of four girls and they say one in four women experiences violence at any time in their lifetime, well, that was my family. my one sister held at gunpoint, knifepoint in my household. what we did in 1994 and what we have done in subsequent legislation, reauthorizing the violence against women in 2000 and 2005 has gone along that my sister, my co-workers, the students in college, like battered immigrant women who under threat of deportation from their abuser, under the threat of their own physical safety, afraid because they might be deported from going to seek shelter and services, well, in
8:45 pm
2005 when we reauthorized the violence against women act, we said to those battered women, you don't have to be under threat of deimportanttation. and here we are today, the republicans in the congress are actually proposing rollbacks in the protections we have offered to those who have experienced domestic violence, whether they are citizens survivors or immigrant women, or they require cultural services or they are lesbians and gays and transgender people who also require services. this is not the country we are. certainly in 1994 and in the subsequent reauthorization in the violence against women act in 2000 and 2005, the path was
8:46 pm
overwhelming bipartisan support that we did not envision that in 2012, that we would be rolling back the protections that we had offered those who experienced violence. . i will have more to say because when i think back on my history of working on this issue, and so many of us have in this congress, across the aisle to provide the support and shelters and programs and training and law enforcement and prosecution that holds people accountable, it is sad that we are here on the floor of the house today rolling back protection for those who experienced violence. with that, if you would not mind, mr. garamendi, i know we've been joined by others, i yield to you -- mr. garamendi: why don't we work together here. before we pass the baton to our
8:47 pm
colleagues here, i think we all need to recognize the extraordinary work you have done over these many, many years on this issue and understand now how it affected your family and i dare say it affects every family in america. if it's one in four women are sometime in their life abused and threatened with violence, we're talking 40 million women. this is an extraordinarily serious problem. the legislation you helped write back in 1994 needs to be re-authorized and strengthened, not weakened. i'd like now to turn to sheila jackson lee, our colleague from texas, who deeply interested in this and spoke on this before. with your permission, ms. edwards, i'll let you conduct the rest of this meeting.
8:48 pm
ms. jackson lee: let me thank the gentleman from california and applaud the gentlelady for her early, early involvement in leadership on this issue. it was advocates like herself that allowed members of the judiciary committee, which i was a very young member, to be able to draw upon that advocacy and write the legislation at that time and did it with bipartisan support. chairman hyde was the chairman of the judiciary committee at that time and i distinctly remember, i was with senate members today, senate women members, who remember us coming down to the swamp on the senate side to support this law and its writing and it couldn't have been done without the many stories and many advocates like yourself. i'm delighted to serve on the judiciary committee on each and
8:49 pm
every re-authorization as it comes down. the sadness today to all of us is that we are not able to do this in a bipartisan manner. i will briefly recount, if i can, what it means to a woman and the enormous rang of ages and then conclude my remarks by indicating that the legislation that will be on the floor of the house tomorrow, h.r. 4970, i believe, if i recollect the number, is sad because it has not given the opportunity to do the right thing for women in a bipartisan manner. just let me cite these stories. jonathan barnes, 23, strangled his girlfriend yess ka to death. he was charged with her murder. carlos rodriguez, 38, stradgeled his wife who was found deceased in her bed. she was 27. lucy garcia, 63, florentino
8:50 pm
5,4, beat and ran over his girlfriend lucy, she died from the severe trauma. lonnie punch shot his wife yolanda to death at a friend's apartment complex. donald bernard stabbed his wife lucinda to death in their home. vicker asuza shot and killed his girlfriend to death before he shot and killed himself. shannon stricthauserr, 38, was shot and killed by -- victor yarborough shot and killed her before turning the gun on himself, her 14-year-old daughter was home and called the police. markita brown shot his girl friend to death. another unidentified victim was
8:51 pm
shot by someone they believe her husband and the children discovered both deceased. someone by the name of fortunat was killed by juan perez, shot to death. it goes on and on and on in terms of the violence. it's not a respecter of age. what we have in this legislation, 4970, that is so striking for those of us who have dealt with women, i sat on the houston area women's center, that provided refuge for women. i've dealt with women who have had their faces shot off and had to run for their life. here's what we have in this legislation very briefly. as we well know, as you celebrated law enforcement officers who lost their lives today, we know when they come upon a domestic violence circumstance, they are in jeopardy. what they want most is for that victim to be able to talk to them. in a a series of amendments not in the senate bill, we have
8:52 pm
take ton do immigration reform, immigration enforcement, and we've used it in the wrong way. we've decided to take victims who happen to be immigrant women, who happen to be here legitimately through the visa of their spouse and indicated these three points. we restrict the u visas. currently to obtain a u visa for a victim of crime, it has to be certified they'd be helpful in the prosecution of the crime. some of these women are running for their lives, some cannot be found. another provision on this would encourage vulnerable victims of particularly serious crimes, this would deny them the opportunity for a green card. that has always been law that you have access. it would suggest that these victims are using their abuse to fraudulently get a status or to get an immigration process.
8:53 pm
so it would enhance the penalty for those women if they found some flaw in their testimony. clearly, a whole segment of the population would be ruled in essence ineligible for relief or help but more importantly, you would cast a whole litany of women who have been involved in the violence who happen to be immigrants, whose children happen to be immigrants, it would deny them their rights. let me close by saying, deny them the rights they had before. let me close by saying that senator from minnesota offered an amendment that i have offered and hope even though it may be a closed rule to be able to provide 70% funding to end the back log of rape kits. there is a massive back log of
8:54 pm
rape kits which means a woman is denied justice because those rape kits are not being processed. these rape kits are in hospitals, they're in evidence rooms, they're in back door pantries, they're in places where they cannot be found but they are there. we need to be able to put an emphasis on ensuring that these rape kits, sometimes years old, sometimes women haven't gotten tested, sometimes the perpetrator having raped again has not been able to find justice because we have not been able to find those kits. there are many things we could have done in a bipartisan manner. tomorrow we will be debating the bill, many people will be left out. i say to the women and men on the floor tonight and those who may be listening to us, let's put this back, let's go forward in a bipartisan manner, let's make this bill the kind of bill that answers all the concerns that have been expressed and let's do better than h.r. 4970
8:55 pm
because the women of this nation deserve it. i thank the gentlelady for yielding. mr. garamendi: i thank the gentlelady from texas for her very thoughtful and thorough discussion of this piece of legislation. it is about all women. we should never exclude any woman from the protection of this law. i would like now to figure -- i would like now to ask permission of the chair to turn the time over to the gentlelady from maryland. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman yield back? mr. garamendi: i do. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman will suspend. under the speaker's announced spoifl january 5, 2011, the gentlewoman from maryland, ms. edwards, is recognized for 35 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. ms. edwards: i thank the chair and thank the gentleman for yielding his time. i thank the gentlelady from texas for your leadership on
8:56 pm
the judiciary committee and just a reminder to the chair that at the latest count, the bill that the gentlelady from texas refers to, h.r. 4970 that would re-authorize the violence against women act is currently opposed by 325 advocacy organizations from around the country who remain concerned that the legislation proposed by the republicans actually rolls back protections for immigrant women, for indian women and for the lgbt community. with that, i would like to yield to the gentlelady from california, ms. lee. ms. lee: thank you very much. first, let me thank you, congresswoman edwards, first of all, for your long time and steady support and work on behalf of so many issues relating to women, especially those as it relates to violence against women.
8:57 pm
you have consistently over the years done this work oftentimes when no one else was doing it. thank you for staying the course. it's so important that we come together again in a bipartisan way to get the right bill, the correct bill passed. so thank you very much. i want to thank congressman garamendi for your leadership in helping to put together the special order but also for your leadership on behalf of women around the world. i know your wife very well and your children and you have always really stood on the side of what was right for equity and for justice as it relates to women. thank you very much. i believe that we all can agree that there really is an acude -- acute need to put an end to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual harassment. it's critical that we continue to speak out against intimate partner violence at every opportunity and call attention and awareness to it wherever we -- whenever we can.
8:58 pm
that's why we've got to get this bill back in the shape that it needs to be in so that we can protect women. i can remember when i was in the california legislature, for example, i wrote the california violence against women act for the state of california. worked on many domestic violence bills that were signed into law by then-governor pete wilson a republican governor, and of course continued to co-sponsor and work on numerous bills here now in congress to support victims of domestic violence and prevent domestic violence. as someone who understands domestic violence on a deeply personal level, i know how traumatic this experience is. i know that the strong and consistent support system needed to emerge as a survivor. there was no violence against women act in the late 1960's and early 1970's when i had to deal with many, many issues that we're talking about tonight. there was no place to turn.
8:59 pm
and i also know from personal experience that domestic violence is not only physical, it is emotional. it is brutal. it is dehumanizing for the batterer and yes the battered. and without strong and enforceable criminal laws and services in place, one's life really can be shattered and destroyed. unfortunately, instead of being serious about the federal re-authorization of this law, republicans are attempts to -- atelling to roll back current law and weaken protections for women. this bill, h.r. 4970, would further marginalize lgbt victim, tribal victims and immigrant victims by removing the limited but important protections extended to lgbt violence victims including key nondiscrimination provisions. those are essential. removing the constitutionally
9:00 pm
sound parts of the senate version to allow prosecution against nontribal violators who commit domestic violence against tribal women. under this bill, the protection of immigrant victims would be subject to unsubstan shated abuser-provided evidence among other bureaucratic barriers to protection including the -- include degree lays in the prosecution of abusers. without changes, and these are only a few of them, i request if the republican proposal should even be called a violence against women act. . i understand that congresswoman adams woos make changes to this bill but it -- would make changes to this bill but it would allow the abuser to have the power during the investigation and to maintain control of the victim's immigration status. under the girse of fraud concerns, republicans -- guise of fraud concerns, republicans
9:01 pm
are trying to roll back protections even as department of homeland security officials says that vy -- it is hard to defraud because of the high evidence requirements. now, colleagues in the senate recognize the need to modernize and expand protections for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence. on april 26, the senate versions of the violence against women re-authorization act passed with a rare show of bipartisan support and that is what we are here to say we should do today -- tomorrow in this house. in this bill, though, that the house is considering, this would really pose a serious threat to the victims and this is happening while all around the world nearly one in three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime. one in three. here in the united states. as many as one in three american women report being physically or sexually abused
9:02 pm
by a husband or boyfriend at least once in their life. that's shocking. in my home state of california, the statistics say even more staggering. 46% of all california women experience physical intimate partner violence in her lifetime. these women, three out of four, have children under the age of 18 at home. children who see or experience domestic violence have a much greater chance to become either victims or perpetrators as adults. they are also more likely to attempt suicide, abuse drugs, run away from home, engage in teenage prostitution and commit other crimes. so there is unquestionable evidence of the need for a serious proposal to re-authorize the violence against women act. so i urge my colleagues to pass the senate violence against women re-authorization act. we cannot afford to play political games with women's lives. we must not go back to the days which many of us remember that
9:03 pm
there were no protections, no safe places, where the court would not allow battered women syndrome as admissible evidence in court and women were incarcerated for defending themselves against their abuser. so i have to thank congresswoman edwards again for your tremendous leadership in bringing us all together and continuing to try to work in a way that's in a bipartisan fashion because that's the only way we can do this on behalf of all women. this is really in many ways about life and death. thank you, again. ms. edwards: well, i thank the gentlelady and thank you so much for pointing out, especially with these diverse communities, the real importance of developing programs and services that respond directly to the community, whether they are immigrant population, native populations and others that require the services and support that has been offered
9:04 pm
in the violence against women act and the subsequent re-authorizations up until now. and i am reminded that years ago that one of the most horrible calls that i responded to on a hotline was a woman in a lesbian relationship that was abusive and the difficulty of getting her into a program and services that was uniquely tailored to make sure she could live safely. and it is so sad for me to thank -- to think as the gentlewoman has pointed out that we are going to roll back provisions in the violence against women act that would deny that woman the protections that would be offered to any other person who was experiencing domestic violence because we made some political and partisan decision about who should get services and who should be denied. and so i thank the gentlelady and with that i'd like to yield to my good friend, the gentleman from california, mr.
9:05 pm
farr. mr. farr: thank you very much, congresswoman edwards, for your leadership before you even became a member of congress, especially tonight to lead this discussion. i can't believe that what we're about to do tomorrow in a vote to re-authorize. i was here in 1994 when we were so proud of creating this historical legislation to protect women against violence. it wasn't some women. it was all women. and now we're on the verge of 19 years later, 18 years later of say, well, let's change that. and what's so appalling about it is we are going to take that in a debate tomorrow in this room where every time we're in session we start that session by getting up and talking about and taking a pledge to that flag behind you saying justice for all. we're elected here to bring about justice for all.
9:06 pm
i always tell schoolchildren, we just had a census in the united states. in that census we didn't count some people because they were citizens, some people because they were rich, some people because they were this or that or had education. we counted every living being in the united states. why? because the laws of this country are supposed to be protecting and enhancing and providing a quality of life for every living being. and now we're on the verge in an election year when the majority of voters in this country are women to say to the women of this country, oh, by the way, we're going to start taking back some of the provisions that protected you. you know, i rise as mr. garamendi before me, we rise as brothers, as husbands, as fathers, as grandfathers, their
9:07 pm
husband because i have a wife, they're fathers because i have a daughter, they're grandfathers because i have a granddaughter. my life is helping them. so the law we passed back in 1994, we re-authorized it. we didn't have takeaways when we re-authorized that law in 2000. we didn't take away things that we re-authorized in 2005. and now we're in 2012 and the vote before the congress is let's take away some stuff. why? doesn't make any sense at all. why do you say, well, you can exclude native americans? why, they're americans. they're native americans. they're probably more american than anybody. take away rights that those women have been given and now take it away.
9:08 pm
noncitizen women. noncitizen women. those are a lot of immigrants. it doesn't matter if you have a green card or no card. taking away your rights if you complain about violence. and those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities, they're individuals. you take away their rights? it's a shame. it's an election year. women are voting. i hope they wake up and understand that the congress, led by the republican leadership in this house, is about to destroy the ability for people to access justice in a congress, in a nation where we pledge of allegiance and pledge justice for all. not tonight. thank you for having this special session. ms. edwards: i thank the gentleman and i thank him for his leadership because it took real courage for a bipartisan consensus to develop in this congress and this house of
9:09 pm
representatives and the senate with virtually no opposition because members of congress came together from every single state, from every community, from every congressional district and said that this kind of violence that happens in intimate relationships is not right and that the federal government has a special role to play in making sure that those who experience violence have the ability to receive the kinds of programs and services and shelter and law enforcement protection no matter what their status because violence is wrong, and i thank the gentleman from california and other members of the congress from 1994 and then again in 2000 and then again in 2005 re-authorize the violence against women act across party lines because we share an oath and an obligation to provide those kinds of protections and services to all who experience
9:10 pm
violence. and it's such a sad day that here we are here in the house of representatives and tomorrow we will have before us legislation that strips away that bipartisan effort that we ep gauged in just 18 -- we engaged in just 18 years ago. with that i yield to the gentlewoman from ohio, ms. kaptur. ms. kaptur: i want to thank congresswoman edwards for her leadership in her adult life on this issue before she came to congress and obviously now. a tremendous leader here on an issue of vital concern. and i underline the word vital to america's families, to america's women, to those in tribal communities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered families, to our immigrant families, our immigrant spouses. let me just say that i don't recall ever the violence against women act being controversial. we have always on an unanimous
9:11 pm
basis practically passed it year after year after year. but this year house companies had decided that they want to make an issue where there shouldn't be an issue. how sad. trying to move america backwards rather than forward. every american should be free from fear. they should free from abuse and they should have equal protection under the law. the violence against women act does exactly that, and i have two cases i just wanted to briefly mention. one from my district where a horrible crime occurred. a woman was literally dismembered by her spouse and each body part was put in a different trash can in the western part of one of the counties that i represent, and i thought about the agony that that woman suffered year after year after year, fear of her
9:12 pm
own life and eventually it was lost. and not reporting this, not going anywhere, being completely consumed by the fear that eventually resulted in her death. no american should face that. and then i recall being called in our office by a gentleman saying, marcy, you know, up the street from me a woman has moved in with a man and she's an immigrant from russia, and my wife and i believe she's being beaten but she's not a citizen. what can we do? how can we help her? this was years ago. this was a few years ago. and i think of these cases that have come across during my period of service, and i know how important the violence against women act is to reduce domestic violence in our country and give women and give
9:13 pm
individuals a place to go, and even today, since 1994, we know that domestic violence has dropped more than 50%. however, the other 50% is still there. and i see this sadly in the regions that i represent, and i'm not alone. but there's still a lot of people that don't know where to go. i recall one time traveling with then congresswoman and now secretary solis, hilda solis. we went to a shelter with a gigantic fence around it to help the women in the border communities for the violence that they were enduring and so i want to thank congresswoman edwards for thicking this lead tonight to help to re-authorize this important program -- for taking this lead tonight to help re-authorize this important program for those that are living in fear. in order to save their lives,
9:14 pm
my goodness, this is the greatest country in the world, and we know that statistics show one in four women -- this is a shocking number -- had been the victims of severe physical domestic violence and one in five women have been raped in their lifetime. many in the u.s. military. and i want to compliment congresswoman jackie speier for her phenomenal leadership on that issue, to try to get justice inside the military as well as in civilian sew silet. so i just want to say -- civilian society. so i just want to say sorry there are those who don't want to protect all the citizens that live inside our borders and immigrants that have come here who face tremendous obstacles of various kinds that many people can't imagine but they're actually happening and to make sure that all those within our borders are given equal protection under the law and justice and the opportunity
9:15 pm
to live in freedom without fear. so i want to thank congresswoman edwards for bringing this together this evening and for making such a tremendous contribution and doing what's right and what's necessary for our country. thank you for leading us forward. ms. edwards: well, i thank the gentlelady and thank her also for her leadership and commitment to all those who experience violence, and i think the message here tonight is that clearly we need to re-authorize the violence against women act. . i think we agree, but what do we do to expand the protections of a vital piece of legislation for women all across this country, however they are situated? and unfortunately, h.r. 4970 simply doesn't do that. it eliminates protection for crime victims that are offered by the u.v. section.
9:16 pm
it deters immigrant women from -- immigrant women, from reporting crimes, protections offered by lawful, permanent resident status. if anyone has ever held the hand of an immigrant woman whose status is in question and whose abuser has known that and uses that as part of the instrument of violence against her, you could not be possibly be for legislation that would roll back protections that she deserves. i have held that woman's hand. there is no reason that we should not have protections for those who come here, for those whose legal status is under threat, only because they are a victim of violence. now, there are some who suggest
9:17 pm
that somehow there is great fraud going on and principally, women are saying that they are experiencing violence so they can receive protections. i have to tell you, in my more of 20-some years on working on issues of domestic violence, responding to telephone calls and taking intakes and shelters and sitting with victims and survivors in court, i can't recall anyone saying that they had experienced violence when they hadn't. so i don't know what fraud the other side is trying to get at. what i do know is that h.r. 4970 would roll back protections from the very women, from the very victims who are the most vulnerable who need those protections. it would endanger victims by making it difficult for them to
9:18 pm
obtain these protections. h.r. 4970 requires that an investigation or prosecution is actively pursued. can you imagine that a batterer would love the idea that you have to pursue an active investigation and prosecution. otherwise that person is free to continue battering, free to continue the abuse, because they know they, in effect, have the protection of the law? this -- it is unbelievable. h.r. 4970, would require that a victim help to identify the perpetrator. all of us who have worked with victims of sexual assault and other victims would know what a dangerous position it puts a victim in in having to identify a perpetrator. very often a sexual assault
9:19 pm
victim wouldn't know who the perpetrator is. as we consider re-authorizing the violence against women act, which we know we have to do, that we consider those who are the most vulnerable, and that we stop down this path of politicizing and turning the violence against women act into a partisan issue and we know that republicans and democrats have come together to re-authorize the violence against women act because we stand against domestic violence. i see we are joined by peter welch this evening and i'm sure he has a words to share with us about supporting a bipartisan violence against women act.
9:20 pm
well well thank you. -- mr. welch: thank you. the challenge is whether we are going to take seriously the violence that is inflicted against women throughout this country. and this legislation has to address what is a very serious problem in this country. women are being subject to violent attacks. and do we have it in our heart, do we have it in our will to provide legal protections to women who are the victims of assaults and violent conduct in this country? it's really that simple. and that should apply to all women. and any person who is attacked on the basis of gender should be protected and what their views
9:21 pm
are about anything other than -- what their views are in politics, what their views are in sexual ownertation, what their views are on anything, are irrelevant to the basic, independent right that all of us have, men and women have, incidentally, to live our life in peace and with protection and with confidence that our physical integrity will not be violated. it's really as simple as that. so this is a question of whether this country has it in its heart to understand that there is violence out there that is affecting half of our population and do we, as a society, have the desire and have the will to provide legal protection to people who are on the receiving end of violent conduct.
9:22 pm
my view, we have that in our heart, we have it in our soul, we have it in our will, and we can do it. and i yield back. ms. edwards: i thank the gentleman. the gentleman from vermont raises an interesting point. we have -- we do have it in our hearts and the question is whether we have the will to do the right thing. and this is not a selfish question, because, in fact, while we can sympathesize and empathize with the experience of victims and provide support and services to them, we also recognize it is costly to us as a society when people are experiencing violence in their homes. it impacts our workplaces, it impacts our communities, it impacts our streets, when young people witness violence, when children witness violence in their homes, it is more likely
9:23 pm
they will either likely experience violence themselves or will become perpetrators. our prisons and jails are filled with men and women and when you get down to the core and ask them the question about their life experience, they will repeat their experience of violence. this is an abstract question about whether we feel good doing it. and for society, is really tremendous. domestic violence spills out on to our streets and workplaces. it estimated that the cost to our nation is on the order of $8 billion in lost productivity because of domestic violence. it is attributed to productivity and to health care costs, the violence that causes two million injuries each year, three deaths each day, untold amounts of suffering to women and others
9:24 pm
who experience violence. i know that we talk about women because the overwhelming majority of those who experience intimate partner violence are women, but we want to acknowledge that there are some men who experience violence. some of those men are in same-sex relationships. some of those men, the women are perpetrators. the overwhelming majority of violence is violence that takes place between men and women with men being the prerp traitors which is why we support it, the system of shelters and services and support for those who support and provided training for police officers, law enforcement, for our prosecutors, so they become better prosecutors, for our judges who actually understand, and our family courts and our criminal courts, what's going on
9:25 pm
with violence so it makes them better with metting out justice and when violence is happening until emergency rooms and other health care facilities, it is the reason that here in this congress, we have this debate. but the fact is that under h.r. 4970, that we are considering, that if you are an immigrant woman. you can say what, the abuser, because he knows about my immigration status, he can abuse me all he wants because i won't be afforded protection. there is no place that i can go. if i from the lbgt community, you can experience untold violence and there will not be services for you. h.r. 4970 turns on its head what we began to do in 1994 with the
9:26 pm
first passage of violence against women act and its subsequent authorization, we began to say what are the level of services we can provide to communities however they are situated so we can make sure we have culturally sensitive programs and services, programs targeted at specific communities. >> what about the kids? is it about the mothers, whether they are immigrants that take car of the children and have the burden of that at the end of the day? mr. welch: aren't we doing something that will protect those kids as well? ms. edwards: the gentleman makes an amazing point. when children witness violence and especially as they grow older, children will often want to protect their mothers.
9:27 pm
that actually puts them in greater danger, and that is especially true for young boys, male children who will want to protect their mothers and think they can intervene. there are children who grow up thinking they were the reason that their mother was experiencing violence and that has an untold, you know, downstream impact on them as they grow older. the fact of the matter is, that we need to re-authorize the violence against women act and need to do it in a bipartisan fashion and need to make sure whether you are an immigrant women or native-american women or in the lgbt community, that you have the full protection of the law against experiencing violence. this is the least we can do. and it is just unfortunate that the republicans aren't even going to allow an amendment that
9:28 pm
would actually allow us to expand these protections so we could come to a bipartisan solution. and i can't tl you and say to the chair, how sad it makes me, as somebody who was in the trenches in 1990 to 1994 with advocates from across this country seeking to seek protection from those experiencing violence and know we were able to do that with republican orrin hatch from utah, joe biden from delaware, john conyers, democrat from michigan, that we were able to do that across the aisle and that today, instead, what we're doing is a republican bill that would roll back the protections that many of us have sought.
9:29 pm
mr. welch: would the gentlelady yield? ms. edwards: i will yield and take the moment to close the hour. mr. welch: you make the good point. is it the case in this country that it's republican or democrat or republican children or democratic children that are victims of violence? we know that's not the case. there is a lot of emotion that goes into this. uncontrolled emotion and we know whether you are republican or democrat, child or woman, you are entitled to physical integrity beyond your own safety. it should be decided on partisan grounds and decided on the basic right of human beings to physical security and should be about to go to the believe we all have, we want to have respectful and loving relationships, particularly in
9:30 pm
our intimate relationships, and i yield back. ms. edwards: i thank the gentleman for pointing out the baseline that when you are experiencing violence, you don't identify yourself as a democrat or republican. you're not a christian, a jew or a muslim. children witness violence, women and some men experience violence, native-american women experience violence and so do immigrants experience violence. and our laws should a forward the full protection of the law against those who would perpetrate in services and programs for those against violence is committed. i strongly urge that the passage of the violence against women act, it's a bipartisan pill bill. and unfortunately, h.r. 4970
9:31 pm
sometime apply misses the mark and tips the scales in favor of abusers, that would tip the scales against immigrant women, that would tip the scales against the lgbt community, would tip the scales across the board. with that, i would urge that we defeat h.r. 4970, and come back to the table with simple, bipartisan legislation in the tradition against violence against women with act. and with that, i would yield. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the the gentlewoman from maryland for a motion. ms. edwards: i move that the house would now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it, the motion is adopted. the house is adjourned until 10:00
9:32 pm
tomorrow the house takes of the reauthorization of the violence against women act. live coverage when members return here on c-span. number of current and former policy makers and a elected officials weighed in today on some economic challenges facing the u.s.. coming up, a conversation with john boehner, tim geithner, and bill clinton we will also hear from alan simpson and now of the
9:33 pm
deficit reduction commission. >> breeding has become the ultimate democratic act -- reading has become the old amid democratic art. of those men can understand a reference because he has read huckleberry finn, so it does require a lot more stealth and cleverness, because laws are revealed to ordinary people like us. >> and a quindlen -- anna
9:34 pm
quindlen won the nobel prize. you can talk to her aunt booktv. get a head start on the c-span video library's curator -- c- span video library. >> next, house speaker john boehner discusses the decisions concerning the u.s. economy, including whether to raise the debt ceiling. this forum is hosted by the peter peterson foundation. [applause] >> thank you for that introduction, and let me say it is an honor to be here in this historic auditorium.
9:35 pm
thatas here in the spring bu leaders gathered to sign the north atlantic's treaty. president truman declared people with the termination can choose their destiny. they can choose freedom or slavery. go all nations face a grave threat to freedom, one from within. that is their debt and our debt. the world looks to the united states for an example. it is an example of of free people whose hard work and sacrifice make a vibrant
9:36 pm
economy. if unlaces -- it unleashes a world-class products. it is never content with status quo. i got an example growing up and working in my dad's jbar. instead of the shining example of what does the world see, the president lost his rating for the first time in our history. the senate has not passed a budget in three years, and earlier, another unemployment report showing the greatest economy remained unable to create enough job centss for lasting and -- and of jobs for lasting economic growth. you should know i am an
9:37 pm
optimist. we do not have to except a new normal were the work place looks like a battlefield and families have to endure week job prospects and higher prices in their daily lives. we have every reason to believe we can come out of this more prosperous than ever. we can confront our challenges while we still have the ability to do so. for the solution to what ails our economy, it is not the government. it is the american people. the failure of stimulus has sparked a rebellion against over taxation and over regulation. american and who take pride in her living on a buttered realize we cannot keep spending money we do not have. our nation is stuck with debt.
9:38 pm
and we are seeing old ideas and -- bold ideas of return us to common sense, the kind of ideas but will restore prosperity and improves the trajectory of our economy. passed a budget with serious entitlement reform. in this budget, it gets our fiscal house in order and promotes long-term growth. good it offers a true cross into prosperity -- a true path to prosperity. the math may be different, but
9:39 pm
the goals are mainly the same. while i am happy to be here, and i am sure we all enjoyed being in each other's company, we can also agree we have probably talked this to death. i think there is another day but looms large for every household and business in america, and that is january 1, 2013. on that day, a sudden massive tax increase will be imposed on every american by an average of $3,000 per household. rates go up, the state's tax returns to 2001 levels, and so forth your your -- so forth.
9:40 pm
it gets more complicated than that you're a good -- complicated than that. it concerns me greatly, indiscriminate spending, which would devastate men and women in uniform and send a signal of weakness. the health care law that is making it harder to hire new workers as well as new banking rules and regulations that will also increased strain on the private sector, but it gets more complicated. this and of the year pile up is a chance to bid farewell to the
9:41 pm
targeted short-term interventions. we have a constant diet of micromanagement and manipulation. none of it has been a substitute for a long-term investment. we made a beeline for the closest lame-duck escape hatch. this congress will not follow abthat path if i have anything o do with it. i know planning to fail is -- failing to plan is planning to fail. we will wake up one day with no choice in the matter. there is also salvation to be found in doing anything to get
9:42 pm
by. nothing not an option. we have got to avoid the fiscal blip, but we need to start today. i will start with the debt limit. get on several occasions in the past it has been the catalyst for budget agreement. last year the president' requested an increase of the debt limit. i run a business. that is no way to do it. it is no way to run a government. business as usual will no longer do. i accepted an invitation. ghraib i went up there and said in my view the government is
9:43 pm
forced to address fiscal issues. allowing america to default on debt would be irresponsible, but it would be more irresponsible to raise the debt ceiling without taking drastic steps to reduce spending and reform the budget process. we should welcome the debt limit. it is an action-forcing event. i put forward the printable we should not raise the debt ceiling without spending cuts and reforms that exceed the amount of the debt limit increase. from all the way in manhattan i could feel the gnashing of teeth. i was asking if i would yield on my position. each time i said no, because it
9:44 pm
is not a position. it is of principle, not just that it is the right thing to do. it is the right thing to do. the debt limit increase is the only avenue i seek to force the country to solve its imbalance. if that means we need stop balance, so be it, but let's start solving the problem, and let's start solving it today. just so we are clear, i am talking about real cuts and real reforms. last year in my negotiations, the president has put a number
9:45 pm
of gimmicks on the table. there are a lot of things like counting money that is not going to be spent anyway. maybe at another time gimmicks were not going to be an acceptable, but as a matter of principle, they will not work. what also does not count our tax reasons. tax hikes to destroy jobs. small businesses need to plan, and we should not wait until new year's eve to give the confidence they are going to be hit by a of a tax increase on new year's day. the house representatives will vote to stop the largest tax increase in history.
9:46 pm
we will give a chance to cut lowers rates for individuals and businesses. eyebrows go of over town when i talk about this, but when i say tax reform, i mean it. we need to make it fairer and productive for all americans. but is why we established an expedited process that would enact real tax reform by 2013. you put in place a timeline for both houses to act. about the mine is if we do this right we will never have to deal with the uncertainty of -- the bottom line is if we do this right we will never have to deal
9:47 pm
with uncertainty again. we will maintain productivity and create a fairer, simpler code, and if we do that right we will see increased revenue for more economic growth, and change does not have to be sudden or painful curator in the next year -- seven or painful. in the next your eyes and making changes -- the next year i said making changes down the road. we need to continue to bear this in mind a. we could eliminate social security, medicare, and the 10- year window could be minimal because changes to these programs take time and need to be phased in slowly. the retirement age for social
9:48 pm
security was at a two-year increase, but it was scheduled to fully take effect over 40 years. another example, of the house budget resolutions and medicare reform. those will not even been given until 2022. small changes means huge dividends down the road. i can hear partisans getting worked up. we cannot wait. regulations free them in place. did the markets are not going to wait forever appear again -- to wait forever. we know to enjoy an -- to ignore these warnings we will do so at our own peril. i hope the president will step
9:49 pm
up and bring his party and the senate leaders along and work with us, because if there is one of panthers -- one event the foils the rest is presidential leadership. i believe president obama knows what the right thing to do is. one difference between knowing what is right is courage, and the president lost his coverage last summer. he was willing to talk about entitlement programs, but he was not willing to take action. it turns out he would not have agreed to the most basic entitlement reforms unless it was accompanied by a tax increase for small business. by strengthening entitlement, it
9:50 pm
would permanently lower rates for all and lay the foundation for economic growth, but when they saw the senate asking for tax hikes, the president lost his nerve. political temptations became too great. and he demanded tax hikes. he could have done so much more. the letdown was considerable. it should also be the last time that happens, which is why i came here today. if the president continues to put politics before principal or party before country, our economy is going to stop, and we will miss the last chance to solve this crisis on our own
9:51 pm
terms, but if we have leaders to pursue future growth, we can heal our economy, and we can be an example, so i am ready, and i have been ready to record this is the last position in government i will ever have, but i did not come this far to just walk away. i have operated on a pretty simple principle. if you do the right things for the right reasons, good things will happen. let's do it for the right reasons. let summon the courage and vision to choose freedom, and to choose prosperity, and to
9:52 pm
determine our own destiny. and we will be worthy of the success. i just want to say thanks to all of you for being part of this, and i will look forward to having a very productive .nterviewe thank you very much. and >> thank you very much. i have an idea for saving some money. air-conditioning if we turned it down we could save for a couple thousand dollars. we have the argument every morning. if you were to say how bad is, how bad is the situation right now?
9:53 pm
>> one only has to look good what is happening in greece or spain, much less portugal or ireland -- to look at what is happening in greece or spain, much less portugal or ireland, and they have waited too long, and their ability to solve their own problems as all but to diminish, so as i look to the end of this year, there is no reason to kick the can down baronthe road. we have a serious problem. regardless of what happens with the electorate, we will take care of it. the next two years could be the most consequential we will see in the next 50 or 60 years, because these problems are not going to go away, and we cannot and will our way out of the
9:54 pm
problem. there are three components we need to embark on if we are serious about solving this problem. to get economic growth we have to reform our taxes, lower the rates, make it fairer for everyone, and we need to get a regulatory juggernaut off the backs of the private-sector. are want clean air, but the regulatory nightmare is gearing -- is schering every employer in the country, so if we get real tax reform, we have got to do something about our spending. we have 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day, and this is just the beginning fo the baby boom bubble, so this is going to go on for the next 25 years, some of his wife does so
9:55 pm
-- that is why it is so important to solve the problem. begin to makee changes, the easier it will be to ensure they are sustainable for the long term. for 20 years washington has not done much, and we have waited almost too long. the sooner we solve this problem, the sooner we will finish, but everyone knows what the menu is. it is just a matter of having the guts to choose what is on the menu. it is not like going out to dinner we know what the problem is. it is a matter of having both sides come to agreement about what is on the revenue side. good >> i saw tim geithner on the way out, and i said what is going to happen to the debt
9:56 pm
ceiling? i said, i do not know if we can do it, and he said you are wrong. he knows in his heart is the right thing to do. he was smiling, but he was not joking, and that was before i saw your speech, so is the debt ceiling going to go up? >> i think i have made it clear. allowing the debt ceiling to go up without addressing our fiscal challenge would be the most irresponsible thing i can do. >> are you going to let it run out? >> it took me eight months to get people interested in talking about fixing a problem, so let's start now. why wait until after the election? because it is inconvenient? let's begin the process now. there is no reason to wait until we are against the ceiling.
9:57 pm
it >> i would agree with that, but playing out of you have to have the reforms greater than or equal to the debt increase, he said that is a line in the sense. -- sand. >> it is a line in the sand, because washington has kicked the can down the road, and the american people were not ready. i am ready. let's go. >> what would you cut? if you let the bush tax cuts, that is true trillion dollars -- that is two trillion dollars. good fight but it would put everyone out of work. we have to have real controls on spending.
9:58 pm
we know that medicare is going bankrupt. it has all been spent. why not just be honest about the challenge we face, but as much as i can do, it is not going to be announcenough. the president is reducing his presidency to the size of a post-it note. this is the number one challenge facing our country, and he is worried about little things. >> the one thing that always frustrates me about rhetoric like that is you say he is reducing his presidency to the iteze of a post-it note,
9:59 pm
evolved into two sides pointing fingers. good >> i am the most transparent guy in town, and i speak english. i have a 22-year record of being myself. the president and i have a very good relationship. get along very well, but the american people expect us to find common ground and help solve america's problems. my biggest disappointment is the president and i could not come to an agreement to take a big chunk out of long-term debt. our economy would be better if we were able to do that. our fiscal situation would be better, and it would set an example for the rest of the world. important to do.
10:00 pm
>> i want to follow up, and he said reforms or cuts. reform could mean anything. >> budget reforms for all kinds of programs. i want to make it clear that when people talk about the tax increase, you may not let the word, but in your world, some people will pay more in taxes post-your reforms than before, right? >> the idea is, we will bring rates down for all americans. me to clean up all the loopholes. -- we need to clean up all the loopholes. >> that is the political point. >> we will bring everyone's
10:01 pm
rates down. to do that, you clean it up. some may pay more and some may pay less. >> more everything on the debt ceiling. -- one more thing on the debt ceiling. the ryan budget. the increase on the debt ceiling of the next 10 years. >> it would still require a $5 billion increase in the debt ceiling over the next 10 years because of the great big babygraphic bobbubble like boomers like me. it is a big challenge. >> it is the point you are making to force over of reform. you can borrow for your plan.
10:02 pm
>> that was the line in the sand last year. guess what, as long as i am -- understand the basis. what i'm trying to do is use the debt ceiling as an action forcing event to force the process to deliver more change the what it can produce on its own. it is as simple as that. >> final question. there is the frustration that many americans are feeling. you have been doing this for 22 years. you want to go out with a legacy. do think democracy is part of the problem? democracy will vote for more things? good luck to going back to the way it was. good luck with a lot of these things.
10:03 pm
>> we are in our 23rd year of our experiment in democracy and representative government. there is some point at which there are problems. they have problems because leaders along the way did not stand up and leave. listen, america is the greatest country on earth. represent 25% of the of's economy. why? we have the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail. we have had the freedom to innovate, grow. it is that america that gave me an opportunity to run a small business and be here and give you an opportunity, everyone in opportunity. when i was running my business,
10:04 pm
it looks to me like government was choking the goose. more rules and more regulations. i got involved in this for one simple reason-to make sure the opportunity was available to all of us i am a pretty simple guy. there is no distortion in my view of who i am for why i am here. america can be the greatest nation on earth. we can provide the best opportunities for our kids and grandchildren, a we need to act. no more talking. the time for action is now. >> i have to leave it there. thank you very much. i appreciate it. [applause] >> more now from the peter peterson foundation fiscal summits.
10:05 pm
he spoke with a reporter from the "wall street journal." >> we are the warm up act for bill clinton. good news is that we are not following that. that is a good thing. we are in the post-denial phase regarding the democrats and republicans. you have a few months left in this. many people are wondering why they are polarize political system is capable of doing something that touches as many people as this. why should we believe that this can happen? >> this would be a huge test of the ability of this political system to come together and make some sensible decisions for the economy.
10:06 pm
we will be thinking about this sustainability. it is important to remember and i think you said this right in the beginning, we face a lot of challenges as a country. we need to worry about how to make grow stronger so we can get people back to work and get our nation together. how do we make investments in human capital? of course, we need to think of how we come together and put in place a balanced package that allows us to live within our means. those are all challenges me to think about as we think of the crafting of this plan. that is why did it is important we bring broader balance to this. think of balance in several respects. make sure that you are facing in the reforms so that they do
10:07 pm
not undermine recovery. make sure that the spending restraints and cuts and reforms, alongside tax reforms so you're not putting much of the burden on the middle class or on retirees, things get back. make sure you're doing this in a way that not only shares the burden, but also attacks the basic commitment to the safety net for retirees and americans. remember that this crisis hit our american economy where even before the crisis, 20% of people were living below the poverty line. think about that as you think about this basic challenge. we need to restore fiscal
10:08 pm
stability we. we need to grow and compete and protect our retirement. >> we talk about balance, i think you mean that includes revenue increases. it includes public investment. the republicans seem disinterested in that. they think it would be a sign of weakness. that is a very nice platform mentioned. is there any chance of getting that through our political system? >> the reality forces it. we come to the judgment a from balsams and to look at the -- --need to do this in a way the right way.
10:09 pm
look at how the americans feel about this. i think all measures show that recognition is shared by a very broad majority of the american people, including republicans and independents and not just democrats. remember, we're not asking americans to embrace increase revenue tax reforms without a comprehensive restraint on spending so that we are reducing deficits as we do this. what we are saying is, here is a balanced package where you can say to people who are going to have to pay a higher share of revenue, we can assure them that that contribution will , along side with reforms the law in for the long run. at the same time, we are asking the vast bulk of americans to recognize that we will have health care costs. that sacrifice will not go to
10:10 pm
support tax cuts we cannot afford. that is a basic balance of the framework. reality will drive the political system for the result. >> i am glad that you are endorsing reality. the peterson people had -- >> there is a famous muhammed ali line. he says, he's to come into the ring, my opponents have a strategy and i would hit them. what drives people to this, when you confront the fiscal map of this reality, it is not republican or democratic. it is reality. >> there has been this talk on facebook. one man asked, how bad does the debt have to get before there is
10:11 pm
a series bipartisan effort to make the difficult choices? how close to the edge do you think we are? >> i think anyone who has had the irresponsibility of our printing needs to recognize that these steps are unsustainable for the long run. we have a 10-year problem and an immediate problem of restoring deficit to a decent level. we also have a 50-year problem and 100-year problem and even beyond that. we need to bring those back down to earth. no doubt about it. we are in a stronger position to manage those. we are a number country. our growth rates are stronger because we struggled with a relatively low debt burdens before the crisis. because the level of taxes is remarkably low and because the commitments me break in our safety net are still very modest, we are in a very good
10:12 pm
position to do with these. we should put this into perspective. we have the unique ability as a country not to put ourselves in a situation where we commit to an irresponsibly talk of austerity because of what the fear of a long-term medical problem a sacrifice to meet the needs of our country. we do not need to do that. we cannot put it off for ever. we cannot run the country on the assumption that the world will always have confidence on the ability of the american system to act. that will require us doing more in the near term to make some progress. >> is there any real prospect of doing something before the end of this calendar year? or will we be faced with gridlock and kicking the can down the road? >> we have a set of expiring tax measures.
10:13 pm
a lot of spending cuts should be a very powerful incentive for people on both sides of the aisle. need to figure out a balanced package of doing these things. again, it is not that complicated. we can do it without asking americans to bear an unacceptable burden, and unacceptable pain. we need to do this in a balanced way. the scale of the justice we have significant they are but not beyond our capacity. i think there is a very strong and powerful incentive for politicians to make some progress. >> one of the things that we face before the end of the year is the need to raise the debt ceiling again. speaker john boehner said that he will go along with an increase in the debt ceiling
10:14 pm
only if it is accompanied by cuts and reforms greater than the increase in that debt limit. will that be a problem? >> all that could be talked about the debt limit has been said. i will say one important thing, this commitment to meet obligations of the nation, this commitment to protect the credit worthiness of the country is a fundamental commitment you can never call into question. it allows us to govern and fight wars and with crises and recessions and adjust to a changing world. you cannot put that into doubt or question. you cannot threaten to undermine that from any side of the political spectrum. only congress can act to raise the debt limit. we hope they do at this time without drama and pain they
10:15 pm
cause the country last july. >> can you separate the debt increase from the broader and the school growth agenda? >> on the current estimates, we are likely to hit the debt limit sometime before the end of the year. congress has dimmed executive branch is set of tools to buy them more time -- has given the executive branch a set of tools to buy them more time. we have separated somewhat the time that the tax cuts expire and the sequester. they should do it as soon as they can. that is the sequence in this. our objectives should be to replace the very large set of expiring tax provisions and
10:16 pm
improve spending cuts with a more responsible balance. that should not be a difficult challenge for a country that has been able to deal with harder challenges in the past. >> other challenges -- other countries are dealing with challenges. take your for example. they have been pursuing austerity and that has been making things worse. if they did not pursue a austerity, they get punished by the markets. >> we should welcome this new debate about growth and europe. it is a welcome debate. they have a stronger set of tools to manage the crisis in place. they can shift the focus where they should. let me point out three things
10:17 pm
that are encouraging. one is the talk of a better balance between growth and austerity. meaning a gradual and softer path to restoring fiscal sustainability. if you have to respond to every disappointment in the growth by cutting spending immediately freezing it immediately, you put yourself in a spiral. you have also seen important talk about trying to put in place long-term public infrastructure investments targeted to the countries with the biggest growth challenges. we need to see a sustained period for wages rise in germany and other parts of europe. they have gained a competitive ness. that is welcome and encouraging, but they have a long way to go.
10:18 pm
they need to make sure that they can convince the world that they will manage these challenges. they need to manage these challenges with less risk of damage to the economies of the rest of the world and the u.s. if greece is forced out of the eurozone -- >> they have a unique set of challenges. the garment will have to decide what strategy they can support -- government will have to decide what strategy they can support. they need to do what ever these to be done to make things work. take their turn to put in place a set of mechanisms for -- they are trying to put in place a set of mechanisms for managing a
10:19 pm
financial system that you need to make monetary union work. their decision confronted with this fear of broad erosion in the european government is to redouble their commitments. we believe they have the ability to do that. we hope they achieve this. >> do we learn anything from this experience or is it totally different? >> the challenges are very different. if you listen to where we started this conversation, what we're trying to do is make sure that americans recognize that as we restore gravity to our long fiscal position, we need to do that in ways that does undermine recovery and said as back onto the path that caused this crisis and this is the room to invest in things like education , human capital, infrastructure, a better incentives.
10:20 pm
those are things that we need to be able to grow and expand in the u.s. going forward. if we are unsuccessful, then our fiscal challenge will be much worse and much more difficult to manage. >> you made the point earlier. the believe there of a global downshift in growth will look at china and india as compared to job growth over here? >> obviously we still live in an uncertain and dangerous world. the american economy is gradually getting stronger. you are seeing more strength across the american economy. you are seeing companies rebuild their capital stock and rebuilding the work force and hire people back to work. americans are bringing down the debt burdens. you are seeing a modest initial
10:21 pm
steps at the state and local levels to try to restore fiscal balance. we are doing a lot of the tough work you need to grow our way out of the mess that caused the crisis. i think growth looks more broadbased and resilience in the u.s. you can see that in the confidence measures as well. we need to keep focusing on the reality. we need congress to do things now. the president has laid out an agenda for congress. we will be in a better position to deal with our problems if congress does with our challenges. cracks in the last few days, there has been a $2 billion mistake at j.p. morgan. what lessons do you draw from that? do you think we ended up with
10:22 pm
banks that are too bid to manage? should we make them simpler and smaller? >> good question. this is a very strong case for financial reform. reforming the not mean preventing mistakes or errors of judgment. that will happen. it is inevitable. the question is, do those mistakes put the broader economy at risk? that is the way to prevent that from happening. make sure that you force banks to hold more capital against risk. we need to bring down leverage and to make sure that the rest of the financial system has better cushions against these kinds of mistakes. we have been very forceful and effective very early in how we manage this enforcing more capital into the system in that
10:23 pm
context. that is good. we will work hard to ensure that these reforms are tough and effective. not just the volcker rule. it should does this fix did not put at risk the broader fortunes, the broader security of the economy as a whole. >> and we look at this as an example that j.p. morgan can lose capital? is it that capital or bad management? should they not have been taking this kind of risk? >> it is a failure they have acknowledge. it has been a profound shock for your. -- europe. we have the debt limit to drum
10:24 pm
up. we saw money flow because of the confidence and basic strength of the system. our system is much stronger than it was before the crisis. but still, this points out how important it is that these reforms are strong enough and to make sureugh tha when those mistakes happen, they are modest and not in size and can handle them. we will work very hard to make sure that we meet those. >> have you spoken to dimon abou tht that? >> we will take a careful look at this. not just the volcker rule, but -- >> what you mean about the size
10:25 pm
of the volcker rule? >> capital, leverage, liquidity requirements of that they are less vulnerable to losses of funding in the markets. more transparency and oversight. better capacity to understand -- we will be able to make sure those come out as tough and effective as they need to be. this helps make that case. >> when you talk about fiscal issues, the one question you here often from audiences like this is simpson-bowles. why did president obama do not embrace all of it? was that a mistake? >> i want to compliment them in
10:26 pm
their work. they are where this debate started. it is very unlikely that this debate will end on terms very similar, in broad balance of the package. look at the premiere that the president has laid out in terms of balance in spending reforms and tax reforms. they are very similar. many people will speak about that today. there are details that we will have to modify. i will give you a couple of examples. the defense cuts in simpson- bowles was deeper than the commander in chief could commit to. the shape of the reforms of social security we thought put too big a burden on the average beneficiary. in the basic framework of the reforms, again an example, in
10:27 pm
the president also firmer, we proposed a spending reform to raise a% of gdp in revenues for tax reform. -- 1% of gdp in revenues for tax reform. we are much more closer to that remark as our our -- opponents. they have the features of a very steep path of austerity that would damage growth. they have not a dollar of additional, committed revenues. all of the burden would have to fall on medicare beneficiaries. they cut very deeply into that safety net. they were deeply erode our capacity to invest in things like education and
10:28 pm
infrastructure or investments that i think anyone realizes that is critical to future growth. we have much more in common in our basic framework with simpson-bowles. .ou'll hear about this ask yourself, does this -- to do the plans provide a plausible strategy for growth for expanding opportunities in capital and education? >> on that, i think we will end. thank you for your time. good luck. [applause] >> and more from the peter peterson foundation summits. next, bill clinton talks about some of the political and economical challenges facing the u.s. this is 15 minutes.
10:29 pm
>> i do not often give orders to the commander in chief. i am very happy to do that. first, i am very pleased to be here for what i think is one of the most compelling issues of my lifetime as a political journalist. i think it will be the defining issue for a long time to come. i am very pleased to have the opportunity to interview president clinton. he came down here because he cares deeply. we were talking backstage. he was going and traveling around america to the town halls. the midwest. the southwest. the far west. there is a uniform reaction to what is going on in the country. there are many people your
10:30 pm
longing for identification they want to characterize the tone of audiences around the country. there is a kind of weariness about the political system as it is now, especially in this election year and given what we have been through the spring. for the first time, i have parents and grandparents come up to me, i am worried that my children will not have the lives that we have. i have never heard that before until this past year. i am trying to get the answer to that. maybe we need to think about the body of life that we are talking about. we need more tolerance in our society and think about how we
10:31 pm
can raise the level of public service and more people to step into the arena. as a backdrop for the issues the chronology here today, it is fiscal responsibility and the deficit and how to work our way out of it. a year ago, he said it would be a mistake to try to fix the deficit and the economy is broken. do you still feel that way? >> yes. i also said that we need to pass a very tough deficit-reduction plan now. we needed to trigger -- need to to trigger. it needs to deal with this problem that you mentioned. there is this gnawing sense -- we had a for alternative that
10:32 pm
hit low rock. it destroyed neighborhoods. -- little rock. i went down and have a barbecue dinner with people i went to high school with. two of them had four-year degrees. i went around the table and ask them what they for most worried about. even then, they were worried that things in the economy would undermine the opportunities for their children and grandchildren. the economy was anemic before the crash. i favor with simpson-bowles said. i've likened to take even more out of the deficit was simpson- bowles.
10:33 pm
-- i would like them to take even more out of the deficit. interest rates will go through the roof. the costs of financing the deficit will be staggering. the private sector will be screaming for a political credit. it thing we did it now, people would see that we are a serious country. the american people would still feel reassured about it. the europeans might have gotten themselves out of the box up the find themselves in. you see this both in the you and the recent elections -- in europe and the recent elections. revenues will drop more than you can cut spending. i was really impressed after the last election. all the political leaders themselves cindy jensen,
10:34 pm
ordinary citizens would say that we know you need to cut these benefits. we know we have to do these things. but would like to see the benefit of this. we should pass a plan as soon as possible, but you would simpson- bowles said. trigger an uncertain growth projections are met. you do not have to convince anyone because interest rates will start to rise. >> but the chance of getting anything done before the election are slim. >> probably. i think that the two plants ought to be talked about more. -- plans ought to be talked about more. and in the president to talk more about the medicare savings he has and the defense cuts he has proposed. i disagree with this, by the
10:35 pm
way. he proposes to take discretionary spending to the lowest since eisenhower was in office. i think both the republicans and the democrats are arguing over their over ideological positions. it puts people in a tough bind. we ought to be talking about this stuff. he has at least try to honor the deal he has made. i think he should talk more about it. i think they should talk about it. the gentleman said something that i found disturbing. he is a very appealing suppressant. he said i am totally against any compromise. are will be is are irreconcilable. we need to keep fighting until someone wins all.
10:36 pm
if that was the view, the never would have been a constitution or a bill of rights. nothing else would have happened. i think as soon as this election is over, i think the incentive will be for both parties to make more principled compromises than they have in the past. but we add to the context if i can. this is from the united kingdom. four recent surveys have found that only 28% of americans are satisfied with the condition of the country. 70% are dissatisfied. seven recent surveys have found that between 69% and 83% of americans believe the country is still in a recession, even though it is not. anyone can find grounds for optimism. the first boeing just landed in
10:37 pm
washington. will be decades before china can make such a machine. the imf is predicting growth for 2012 and 2013. this country still has the world's best universities, more than any other, it is the largest producer of natural gas and the biggest food exporter. granted, this is a government hollowed by the winds of of voters. if we do not do something, we will end with sequester at the end of the year. spending cuts will be automatic. what do you think the chances are that sequester will be activated? >> i do not know. my guess is, we will not know until after the election. i agree with with the economist said of the strength of the american economy. they left out the fact that it is very diverse. good thing we have somebody here. a lot of this anti-immigration
10:38 pm
seems to be abating. i also agree that most people think we're still in a recession because the have not gotten a pay raise and so long. keep in mind, even before the financial crash on september 15, 2008, inflation-adjusted median income produced so few jobs. small people -- small business people were paying for health care premiums. i think the perception is real. people do not feel more secure about their own financial futures. >> at the same time, positions have hardened politically. we're seeing that in wisconsin with the recall movement. you are saying it does well and ohio. -- seeing it as well in ohio. certainly, around the world and france, the election of a
10:39 pm
socialist movement and the rejection of austerity. greece is an utter turmoil. even great britain. we seem to be moving to more deeper and deeper into the extreme cold and leaving out the people. how can you activate that group that does want to do a responsible thing? should there be an extraordinary coalition that goes beyond the simpson-bowles and becomes a political movement and says, we are linking arms and sang, we want something done realistic and urgently? >> it would be great if they could do it. the evidence is that the republicans will be scared to do it. that is what happens to senator lugar, although there were other factors that led to his defeat. we will see what happens. obviously, i think there should
10:40 pm
be a big, bipartisan coalition for the spirit we made is have to wait till the election is over. the american people have to decide. they go around telling everybody, i am sorry. these politicians, they voted for them. one of the problems is that we have listened to the rhetoric of politicians and pay almost no attention to their specifics. i feel sort of sorry. what is the tea party stand at? 18% approval? all they're doing is what they promise to do and they got an overwhelming victory. it is not like they did not tell everybody what they were going to do. but we listened -- we talk about the body language and the likability and the strength and all of that. actually, most people you vote for try to do what they say they're going to do when they are running. the american people have got to take some ownership here, too.
10:41 pm
meanwhile, politicians ought to be talking more about the hard issues. i think this budget issue ought to become front and center, in the presidential election, in all of the debates in very specific ways. >> the opening question of the first presidential debate should be, which of the two of you will activate simpson-bowles? >> could be. obama will say, i thought there were a little excessive on defense cuts. minor only slightly smaller, but i have cut more in the first five years of medicare spending than the recommended. and then you have to go back and say, i guess, but you've done nothing about social security. since then-bowles makes social -- simpson-bowles makes social security more progressive. that is one thing i love about it.
10:42 pm
that would help if you have the right follow. in other words, you have to get down to, basically, the republicans compare it to too much tax cuts. and the democrats are reluctant to to commit to the longer term savings and do not yet want to touch social security, which i think could be fixed with relatively little controversy in a way that would, if you look at the simpson-bowles plan, it is very clever. it is better for lower-income seniors. politicalalk strategy, if we can, for a moment. i know it is a subject near and dear to your heart. if you are mitt romney and you emerged from this fire of the republican primary, which u.s. had to skew closer to the conservative wing of the party,
10:43 pm
how you begin to transform herself coming out of this convention so that you complain -- yourself coming out of this convention so that you can conclude much more to the middle and to deal with these issues that may include, in fact, simpson-bowles increases? >> i do not know. it is really hard. a moderate republican friend of mine in new york, who is going to vote for romney, he says, that to give him a promotion. he told the truth. it is like, romney said i'm running for the present student body, and that the real argument was that i could not be their president because i wasn't right wing enough, so had to get over there and pretend that i was. now let me tell you what i really do as president. it is tough. but i think he is going to have to fill it out. for example, the budget he put out in the primary, according
10:44 pm
to independent sources, would increase the debt over and above what will happen by $1 trillion or more, whereas the budget president obama put out, according to the congressional budget office, would take about 3% of gdp out of our annual deficit and take it down to 77%, the debt held by the public and stabilize it. i think it is too much. i like to see them take it down more, but you have to have growth figures in there to get much lower than that. i think he has to start with specifics. he can say, look. i have got to deal with republicans and democrats. we have to do this together. but, you know, he is hung with the budget he can now within the primary. the bush cut -- the bush tax
10:45 pm
cuts were not enough anyone a degree even more s on the job creators after we've not had any jobs. it is a difficult thing. i do not know how he will do it. he had to renounce his own health-care bill as a solution for the national average. an interesting thing about that. massachusetts has expensive health care. seventh highest in the country. before romney signed the health care bill with the individual mandate, it was the second most expensive health care in the country. in other words, since it was signed, inflation and health care costs in massachusetts has been substantially lower than the country as a whole. it would be a good thing if he could embrace that again, but i do not know how he can. or, at least, he ought to have some incentive. it depends on what the supreme court does. this is, from the point of view
10:46 pm
of the budget, i think the biggest item. there is a recession component to this in our debt. where, at worst case, he had spending at 24% of gdp and revenue barely above 15%. if you had 30% growth, it would probably correct to 21% and 70%. -- and 17%. when i was president, we had a balanced budget. we had revenues and somewhere around 20% to a little over 19% and spending was always close to 18%. four surplus budgets in a row. so, what you really need is a plan that closes the structural deficit. knowing that, the rest of it will be closed or not, if you have growth.
10:47 pm
maybe romney can just come out with a new plan based on what i would say is -- the congressional budget office says these numbers do not add up. i do not agree with him because you always get more revenues when you cut taxes. notwithstanding 30 years of evidence to the contrary. [laughter] so, here is my new plan. it is a very big challenge for him. i feel a lot of sympathy for him because the whole primary was about try to find somebody was a true conservative. but they're going to vote for him anyway. those people. i think. they think he is more concerned the president obama, which he clearly is. --more conservative than president obama, which he clearly is. if i or in his position, i would use the congressional budget office numbers to say that my
10:48 pm
plan to increase the debt, no responsible president can pretend that an independent of his analysis does not matter. that, i think, is at his best avenue into the real world. >> do you think it is possible for him to enlist and activate a moderate republican who is going to vote for him and put together a group around the country that can make a big public statement about what is necessary to get him elected, or has, in both cases, both parties, been taken over by the more dogmatic sense? >> no. that is just not true. there have been two different independent analysis in the last couple months. if you believe -- let's say in my second term, in the senate, the republicans have moved three times as far away from that center as the republicans have. and the house, they moved 12 times as far with the democrats have. my party is not blameless.
10:49 pm
saying that. we have to do something about health care and social security in our budget, what ever happens on taxes, in order to free up some investment in the future. that is the key to our growth. there are -- there ought to the corporate tax reform with a public-private partnership. we're but the only major in the company in the world that does not use private capital to modernize infrastructure. i think that, you know, the republican division that tends to prevail was expressed by the chairman who beat senator lugar. he said, i am against compromise. he said, our views are irreconcilable. we have to force the american people to choose which one of us is right. if that prevails, we are toast. we will look like a mussolini country. because one party, our party,
10:50 pm
the democrats will look like they're hanging on to the status quo. our budget will be too weak and balanced, but it will be so much on the baby boom generation and on health care delivery systems that we will be holding on to the past too much. their budget will be in la la land because it will defy arithmetic. it would say to cut billionaires tax cuts. were you invest in bonds and try to grow. >> let's talk about politics anymore specific way for a moment. wisconsin. it will be a milestone of this year with what happens from the recall effort, money pouring in from both sides.
10:51 pm
what would have happened if when the governor took such a strong positions on the union's and when he said, we're not going to have collective bargaining anymore, what would have happened if those unions had said, in a voice, which is want to sit at the table with you and work all of this out. we're not going to gather outside of the recall or start a recall, but invite us in. this is our future, as well as yours. we stand on the steps of the capital, wanting to come in to the interchange, sit down with you, and negotiate this in a way that has traditionally been done in this country. with that have been a better strategy? >> it might have been. but there would have wound up in the same place because he was elected on a promise to break them. the people voted for him. they voted for him thinking that obama the democrats -- this is
10:52 pm
like 1994 all over again. the basic thought is, the american people have been conditioned to believe the government will screw up. they have always been skeptical of it. and that has become part of the orthodox of the right since the mid 1970's. they probably should have done that and said, here is what we offer in terms of concessions, because they have the long-term problem spirit of the, their problems and not that severe. the voters voted for the sky. -- voted for this guy. the governor is just doing what he promised to do. they often a vote on that the maddox and the direction. -- the thematics and the direction. they think we are a bunch of slugs who do not care about
10:53 pm
commitments. overwhelmingly, people try to do with this if they're going to do. they do the specific things they promised to do. i think, frankly, they just decided that's they had rolled over and play dead a long enough and someone needed to be to them since they got beat by an extremist, rhetorical campaign. the republicans have taught us that the harder you are and the more extreme you are, and the more demonizing york, the more monizing you are, the more likely you are to win elections. if you are reasonable, they eat you alive in the primary and the
10:54 pm
general. people think you are weak or wishy washy. they do not know what you stand for. tactically, they should have offered that in the first place. but i doubt if it would have worked. as for 2010, everybody thought the american people was with us on everything. how could we have won all of these elections? and that the liberals thought obama wasn't liberal enough. the conservatives said he was not american enough. bob english got beat in a republican primary, let me remind you, with a 100% conservative record on two issues. after his injury, he said had an epiphany and realize he did not have to hate the president to oppose him. he was an american, not a canyon. -- not a kenyan.
10:55 pm
a christian, not a muslim. a good family man. he liked him, he just thought he was wrong. that was a cardinal sin. the other thing was, he said, i listen to my senator and i think global warming is real, we to do something about it. is it a conservative-market- based solution to bring down greenhouse gases. that violated the theology and they threw him out. this guy was on the judiciary committee that impede to me and -- that impeached me and it was enough for him. [laughter] he is a very good guy, by the way. [laughter] [applause] i like him. it was just never enough. guys like you always acts like, it must be everybody's fault. must be both parties at fault. our party's problem is that we are always the one to give up big gains of the past to create the future. that is a different problem. we have a lot of people in our
10:56 pm
party will not be drawn down if they depart from the conventional wisdom. i think you could put together significant democratic votes to enhance -- to enact some variation of simpson-bowles. but the numbers have to add up. >> cannot be in ideological thing. it in that is really what the american people want, they need to make it clear. i do not know how that will be made clear before the election. >> howard you successful in getting parts of the reform? for the parts of the party was able to access? >> most people do not know what i did. i have a ready given 44 of the 50 states waivers to enact welfare reforms before the law had passed. then the republicans wanted to use welfare reform to cut
10:57 pm
benefits for illegal immigrants and to basically block food stamps and medicaid. health care and nutrition for poor kids. i v to the first to the bills. they bought food stamps and medicaid -- vetoed the first two bills. they fought food stamps and medicaid. by 1996, people said, i got rid of the federal welfare benefits. let me tell you what it was like in 1996. this allegedly federal benefits one from a low $700 a month to a high of $655,000 a month in
10:58 pm
vermont. but we did is to say that every state would receive an amount of money for this equal to what they were getting in 1994. it was all-time high in federal reimbursement. erceive --pre the safety net did not hold up as well. there was a five-year lifetime limit. whenever there is more than six months of negative growth, if we stop that and added harder requirements and would require the money to be spent in preparing for people to go into the work force, i think it might have worked better.
10:59 pm
it in the rather recession, people were less likely than employees overall to be laid off. we worked through all of this. it took two vetoes. that is part of the process. they wanted it. i wanted it. they knew that we were doing it. >> mr. president, we have a facebook page as part of the symposium that peter peterson has organized for us. peter has always been on the cutting edge of technology. this is from linda in fort collins. i believe he must make radical cuts in entitlements to ensure that my daughter and her friends will not have a lower quality of
11:00 pm
life because of our barring extra. how on earth do you get the democrats to agree to entitlement cuts and the republicans to agree that taxes must go up and not just for the rich? this is something of what we have been talking about. >> first of all, i think you ask people to actually read what simpson-bowles did on social se. i have read every word of the simpson-bowles reports. they raised more money by flattening rates. the one thing the what to do that i disagree is the red of the r and d tax credits. we are trying to get high in manufacturing back to america. they like to have it done at the
11:01 pm
site where they do manufacturing. i think those two things are good. on the medicare entitlement, you have two problems there. one is demographic. if the baby boomers consume health care at the same percentage of gdp our parents did we are sticking to our kids. to wonder billion dollars of the dollar trillion dollar difference that we pay under our system -- the $200 billion of the $1 trillion difference that we pay under our system our lifestyle things that older children do. we have to deal with it. the democrats could be induced to do some of that and make changes in the law and the distribution of food.
11:02 pm
the about $500 billion of the difference is because we still pay for procedure and not performance. one of the reasons i want this to be repealed is at least it has a germ in it of these accountable care organizations which are paying for performance and not procedure. there are lots of them around the country that have far more inflation. about $230 billion of the difference is because of the way we finance health care with huge paper work costs which will be diminished under this new system. we've already had $1.3 billion of in health care premiums returned this year under the 85% rule. i think the democrats should be willing to gamble at the ideas
11:03 pm
that are just floating around but not push through in this budget. the difference in the obama plan and the one i pass is that might have less government. everyone says bill clinton is trying to ration health care. we ration it every single day in america. in millions of ways we do not see. even with 60 votes, we could not get a budget through. i think that we could get the democrats into this if the thought they were not going to theaccused of putting th country at risk and shifting to more mobile forces like the special forces like the navy
11:04 pm
seal fell one after osama bin laden. -- that went after osama bin laden. we do not need a cold war military structure to do this. if the republicans showed a willingness to work with us on the defense cuts and some willingness to do some on revenue, i think we could get there. i do not think it would kill the country if we had the tax rates [inaudible] i am not speaking for the white house. you could tax me at 100% and you would not balance the budget. we're all going to have to contribute to this. in the middle class people's wages were going up again and we had some growth in the economy, going back to the tax rate of change when i was president, the country did pretty well then. few people thought they were
11:05 pm
overtaxed. we have a growing income, low inflation, and rising wages. you have to put it together to make it palatable. i think that we can not be in a position where one of the partners says that is non- negotiable. we want more tax cut and we want the right to disregard what the cbo says that our budget will do. you cannot do that. it is hard to have a deal if there is no arbiter. i did not always agree with what the cbo said when i was president. we have been through 12 years with the debt had gone up four times in 12 years before i took office. i instructed our congressional budget office to try to be as conservative as the omb was.
11:06 pm
it worked out pretty well. i believe you could put together and of democrats if you could make a simple argument that he cannot spend all of your money on the present and the past. we may have a better balanced budget plan than the republicans do but it is too heavily bogged down in health care and costs.menretirement it is too oriented toward yesterday and today. it is not a good idea for us to have discretionary spending where it was when eisenhower was president when south korea's 14 times faster than we are. it is not a good idea when we have fallen from first to 15th in the world in college graduation rates.
11:07 pm
you can say what ever you want. unemployment rate among college graduate is half what is among those who have a college degree. i think it will hurt us with the economy over the long run. it is a little amount of money. >> she is taking copious notes offstage. issue interviewed speaker john boehner later. --she is interviewing speaker john boehner later. >> constituencies and their part, i have a little exchange with the aarp when they had a
11:08 pm
commercial that ran in december in which a tough guy comes onto the screen in says "who am i?" and they say "i am the aarp and we want our benefits." it was in your face. it seemed to me there is a better way of dealing with that. we have lots of people in the way our people could afford social security. >> absolutely. look. if you live to be 65 in america today, our life expectancy is not high, if you are in the oldest senior population on earth. a lot of us are not pork. half -- not poor.
11:09 pm
half of the people are kept out of poverty because of the social security payments. the whole idea behind simpson- bowles is to ask people like you or me to pay more and do with less because we do not need it so that we can bring the debt down and put a little more into the people on the low income side. this is crazy. robert samuelson had an article the other day saying that roosevelt would not recognize social security today. 1/3 of the money goes to supplemental social security income. i love that program. it does good. it is targeted to people who need it, but the rest of us are going to have to ask ourselves whether it would not be better to have one set your income based than any other changes can make. -- ones that are in come based
11:10 pm
than any other changes you can make. medicare costs have gone up 400% a person in 40 years. private health insurance has gone up 700%. if you privatize it with a voucher, if you are getting people a fixed amount of money, putting them in a more expensive system. there is no way the whole population will not wind up being poorer or sicker. it will fix the budget problem. it will fix the budget problem with out the organic changes that we need in the health-care system that would help the private sector even more than the budget. i would rather see restraint and
11:11 pm
increase the copays of people for medicare that have more money to pay for its. those of us that should afford it, you and i got our medicaid cards. i favor that. you cannot say what it all like it used to be. that is a problem in the european countries where they are asking for these pension liabilities to be ignored into the future. for a long time i was stunned when i became governor of arkansas which has a very conservative pension program, some people started drawing their pensions in 50's. they said we never had any money. they never made good salaries. we made it up to them by letting them retire and get another job
11:12 pm
so they could finally end their days of a decent income. a lot of this stuff made such good sense and they did not work anymore because of the demographics. we are having a vigorous disagreement on this. if that is the aarp's position, i disagree. >> they called me into that ad down. now they have more of a dialogue and on. -- dialogue ad. >> the one thing i agree with you asked me questions, most of my life has nothing to do with this. i work for my foundation. we are building help systems in 30 countries. we are doing projects. the places that work best is where all the stakeholders get
11:13 pm
together, openly acknowledge the different interests and ideas, and then talk to each other like they have half good sense. i was in brazil last year. they are worried that after stopping 75% destruction of the rain forest, it is jumping up. one reason is the sugar cane that they grow for ethanol does not use rain forest lane but that pushes the soybean renters into the rain forest. they need more power. the only place to build new dams is in the rain forests. every big industry, the president of the green party that ran third in the race for
11:14 pm
president, the representatives of the native american tribes, advocates for poor people and the environment are all sitting around table talking to each other like they are intelligent beings. in other words, to go back to what you said, my opinion on the details is not as important as the process. our politics favors conflict. the only thing that is working anywhere in the world are created networks of cooperation. orlando has 100 computer simulation companies. you have nasa, disney world, ands global entertainment arts. they're all supporting this.
11:15 pm
if you look round the world, making all the stakeholders together with the goal of making an agreement does not ask anybody to change their mind or to ignore their interests. it says in the end, a decision is better than an impasse. that may be more important than anything else in this whole thing. these people are plenty smart. there are a lot of smart people in congress. they can figure out how to do this. their goal has to make a deal, not to have a bite. >> i will share with you a couple of experiences i have had. the present and i talk about these issues. we have known each other a long time. i am on the mayo clinic aboard. it is one of the most interesting things i do. they brought in people from the phoenix area who are conservative. we walked to them through the
11:16 pm
clinic. we showed them a couple of the big operations that were going on. then we gathered for lunch. i was going to talk about the place of the clinic in their lives and the health-care system in america. a shrine to think of a way to connect. i said -- i was trying to think of a way to connect with them. i said you saw those nurses who were spreading in. did any of them ask if you were from a red state or a blue states or if you were a conservative or a tea party member? they did not ask that. i was in south dakota speaking to an organization that does a branch for troubled boys. my guess is most of the audience is doing very well. we all grew up in a state in which they came out here. it could not have been more
11:17 pm
difficult building these communities and starting farms. i do not remember anyone when i was a kid saying "are you a conservative or are you a liberal or are you 80 party member - -a tea party member?" everyone was ready to step forward. we have to recapture that. >> i just gave a speech a couple of weeks ago to a big health- care group. there were people there from big help insurance companies, running big health-care networks, and small health care networks, there were all these people in health care. i had known a lot of them for years. i did not know what the division was but there were plenty of republicans in a few democrats. to the person after i spoke, i said i thought it would be a
11:18 pm
disaster because we have to go back to square one. right neanow there was an incentive. what was the first bill passed after the president signed the bill? bipartisan majority to clean up the requirements which were screwed up. why? once there was a bill and the process, there was an incentive to cooperate. -- a bill in the process, there was an incentive to cooperate. they said they were forced to rethink the delivery system. that is where half the money is that we spend. that is what we have to do. we have to create a system where we say to a guy by speaker john boehner that i think would make nobody is going to
11:19 pm
be right about the specifics. we are living in a complex world. what drives progress is direction. what people are afraid about america is that we do not have direction. we are going to be paralyzed. you can see a more clearly in other countries. how many articles have you and i read about the career square, the aftermath of the arab spring, and now the muslim brotherhood that went all the elections? why? they have been organized. they go to voters who do not understand the need for religious and intellectual diversity. the magnets can pull the middle of parts. we need a magnet in the middle. it is the process and the idea that compromise is an honorable
11:20 pm
thing. diversity of opinion only works for society when you bring it into a process with people who do differ from you. you know something they do not. if you have to work through these things and yes, say no, yes, no, you wind up with a product that gives you the right direction. if we do not deal with it, we will sooner or later, although we are dragging it out, interest rates will go up so fast you a not be able to catch your breath. people will say, why didn't we do this earlier? half a plan now. all of you should make compromise honorable. >> thank you so much. [applause] [captioning performed by
11:21 pm
national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> the fbi opened a probe into the $2 billion in trading losses at jpmorgan chase. a house panel holds a hearing on how to designate institutions as too big to fail as part of the new dodd/frank regulations. we will hear from bank officials. live coverage from the subcommittee at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3. also on c-span3, an oversight hearing. they testify before the science and transportation committee. that gets under way at 2:30 p.m. eastern. >> we continue our discussion on the fiscal challenges facing the u.s. economy. we will hear from the former co- chair of the president's deficit committee alan simpson. this is hosted by the peter
11:22 pm
peterson foundation. this is 55 minutes. [applause] >> hello, everyone. why don't we take our seats now? all right. i am glad you are right next to me. this is the first time i've ever invited you. >> i did not hear that. >> i do want to begin with you. i have been here -- i have heard the last couple of speakers. i have been interviewing a lot of people on the budget issues. it made me think. he must feel like the pope these days. -- you must feel like people these days. everyone feels the need to kiss the ring of simpson-bowles even if they do not adhere to
11:23 pm
everything you laid out. what i would like to do is have you talk a little bit about what you are hearing when you go out into the country and tried to lay the groundwork for support. what you're hearing back from people of what they expect, what they want, what they need, and what they understand. >> thanks to pete peterson and michael for this. this is a great forum. i am always glad to show up. i new peak years ago when he was talking about social security reform. he's a very dear person in my life. bowles is just superb. he is a numbers guy. i do the color. we will often say to a group "pull up a chair. we do not do bs or mush."
11:24 pm
people are thirsting for that. you do not give them bs or mush. when someone from office says i am here to tell you we're going to save everything and we are going to save precious medicare and precious medicaid and --cious social puri without social security without touching those, and they are fake and phony. withoutot get theire messing with medicare. there is no need to blame it on obamacare. collet elvis presley care -- call it elvis presley care. i do not care. it cannot work if you use your brain. >> what do you mean? >> it will take pre-existing conditions from someone from three years old to 60. one person in the united states weighs more than the other two.
11:25 pm
you have obesity and diabetes. you have people who choose to do booze and cigarettes and tobacco and designer drugs. a new dees is discovered predict a new disease is discovered every month. it is not even get a bill. what is that. use your head. 10,000 a day turns into 65. another final one is this. if anybody believes we're hauling out the defense budget, and the only thing that is hollow is their brains. we spend $750 billion a year on defense. the top 14 countries on earth, including china and russia combined, spent $540 billion. 750 billion for us.
11:26 pm
$550 billion for the top 14 countries on the earth. this is where we are. how many contractors do you have in the defense department? it is quite a range. it is between is1 millionand 10 million -- between $1 million and $10 million. that is quite a range. [laughter] social security will go in debt faster. we have not heard anything from the aarp. if these guys are monsters. are the patriots or -- they patriot or monsters? that is its. >> what do you hear back? we all know that medicare is going to be a problem in the future. the costs continue to grow. do not take away what i have
11:27 pm
now. we know that defense spending exceeds what the rest of the world spends. do not leave us in the least bit the vulnerable. when you get pushed back, what do you do? the two or three numbers figures that seem to make people understand everyone is going to have to contribute to this. >> the escape hatch is i am ready to do something as long as everyone else will. they know nobody else is going to do that. that is their way out. it is done with smiles and graciousness. i am ready. you're not ready for any of that stuff. you have the realtors. you have the end of housing in america. what is a million dollar mortgage deduction? give a 12.5% non refundable tax credit.
11:28 pm
that help the little guy. what people really understand is that when everybody is talking about this, and they say i'm ready to do something, at the say i doshypocrisy of those to not want to hurt the little guy. when the tipping point comes, it will come from people who loaned us money. to the market will respond. they will say we will more money. interest rates will kick in. the guy that gets hurt the most is the little guy. >> i guess you are deep in the bond market every day. i know this is an imprecise science. how much time are the bond market's going to give our federal government to address this? >> i expect less than most people think. what are the numbers to get
11:29 pm
people's attention? total federal revenues last year from all sources, $2.30 trillion. total spending, at $3.60 trillion. in 2020, and the cbo data, social security and medicare will be $1 trillion a year more than it is now. it is going to grow from about $ -- it is going to grow. this is stunning to me. i suspect that the time that we have to deal with this is shorter than most people would observe. the principal beneficiary of low interest rates has been the u.s. government. another amazing statistic.
11:30 pm
$15 trillion of debt. $225 billion of interest cost right here. that is the same number we had only have $5 trillion outstanding. rates are so low. if you put it in when rates were low, [unintelligible] simple stuff. i get confused when people talk about debt as a percentage of gdp. tell me we have a fixed cost of $1 trillion a year and we're going to march our way to it. that scares the devil out of me. >> how is it affecting the decision making of you and your peers? >> the reason we got started in this is that we started asking ourselves how we are going to plan for the next 10 years. that is what the business people do. we sat down. what is the outlook? the best we could get to is that if we did not do anything, it would be awful.
11:31 pm
if we actually acted, it will be difficult for a few years. until there is some clarity, i do not think there's any one solution. the only solution that does not work is the one we are doing now, nothing. until there was some clarity, most business people were hunkered down. we're trying to figure out how to run our business. in that slow-growth environment, how is your business to do as well as they can do? >> cutting costs as close as you can to the bone. quite not putting more people to work in manage in the medium term. i recognize the fiscal cliff in january 1 but that is not how you run a business. until you see a plan to make it better -- >> simpson-bowles is one plan.
11:32 pm
i have heard the president expressed his frustration about simpson-bowles and the way the financial and the corporate community has reacted. when it comes to the tax increases, particularly those on the business side, the business runs away. >> i will only speak for myself. we are in. it is a matter of public policy. we would stand up for that in the heart beat. when you start breaking it into pieces, you cannot put it together again. this is a matter of priorities in choices. we can do anything. we are the richest country on the planet. the only thing we cannot do is .
11:33 pm
how can you not sign up for it in a heartbeat? >> if you asked me, what is the one word that almost everyone can sign onto it would be balanced? -- be balance. can you sell that at the local level? >> we sold it. people bought it. it was real. it was honest. in september of 2008 before we really knew what was going on, i announced to the public that we had a minimum of $450,000,000.50-year plan deficit. -- $450 million 5-year plan deficit. i told it had grown. two days after president obama was elected, that thursday, i
11:34 pm
stood up to republicans and said we had a $1 billion five-year plan deficit. i use the words "this is a shared sacrifice approach." we stopped our business tax reduction program. we cut a variety of services, a look at everything we were doing. we did not lay off thousands of people. i did not want to damage our ability to provide services. there were things we are doing that so we could not anymore. we did temporarily raise taxes as well. we closed to $2.4 billion gap. in january, i announced we had another $1.5 billion five-year plan deficit. it was 500 cuts and 50 cermet
11:35 pm
new revenues. -- 50% cuts and 50% new revenues. no one was happy. every senior executive in the city government to pay cuts and furloughs. we had to let the public know that we were not going to ask anyone to do anything that we were not prepared to do. >> can you tell us how much the symbolism mattered? do you think it is a model? >> i do not make a whole lot of money. it is what it is. i will tell you what happens. we decided to then have eight town hall meeting shortly after we made all these announcements. the swimming pool will not open. the library hours will be cut back. it was not one of my best moments. we go to these meetings. eight town hall meetings.
11:36 pm
i wonder people. three hours of folks screaming at us about how stupid we were. -- 300 people. three hours of folks screaming at us about how stupid we were. people understood that my 10% cut was not solving the fiscal crisis. they understood the mayor stood up to cut his plan as part of a plan that would close the hole and that we were serious. no one stands up and the stuff like that. >> i did that once when i was getting shelled on every side, i gave back $93,000. it saved me a lot of pain. it may be symbolism. they understand that. taxing the rich and all the stuff they do not get. they understand that.
11:37 pm
you did it to yourself. >> where do you get your health care? it is free. you fly on a government plane. where you get that back to reading the-- that, read the digest?"s >> you can have these venting sessions where everyone could at least speak. >> my constituents are there. we had a close personal relationship. i pick of their trash. we run recreational centers. if you call 911, you expect someone will show up. i have a daily poll. there are thousands of people i run to on a daily basis. they tell me how you feel. the people from philadelphia are not shy. i think that many members of
11:38 pm
congress are very much out of touch with what is really going on back home. they live in a closed circle environment. this all about point scoring in who is up and who is down and he will cut the next ad -- who will cut the next adding he will be on television. mayors do not have time for that. i cannot debate on whether i'm plowing snow. you either did it or you did not. this is a daily test we go through. our budget is balanced. theirs is not. i cannot spend more than i have. i have a capital budget. they do not. they just wait for step to break and then they send somebody to fixed appeared in march 2008, 98 was shut down for three days because a bridge inspector happen to go to a store to get a cheese steak, looked up, and
11:39 pm
sell a gaping hole in i-95. there is no capital program in the federal government. how can you run a government with no capital program and no idea going into the future of how you will spend an plan? this is not the way to run the railroad. >> there are not that many recent examples where government, republicans and democrats, have come together to make more difficult choices. you have them come together in 2001 to pass tax cuts. the last time i could see was probably under the first president bush in 1990. both parties seem to learn from down that roado again. >> that road got all twisted. they went to the air base and put together a deal and said "here is what we can do. we can give budget reform.
11:40 pm
we can deal with catastrophic health care." house members were out there. they were all republicans. they made the deal. they said "we need revenue." they went to george the first and said he will not believe what we are asking. if we can do this, we need revenue and you will have to help. he said, "that is great. these are funds." dole promise that and so did newt gingrich. we boughttisan votes, the package. newt came back and won on the floor of the house and said there is a member of the group i am voting against.
11:41 pm
i hope my republican colleagues could help. the democrats were thrilled. it was the end of george bush. it was the beginning of newt. >> in your commission, you were but haveet buy in limited success. -- buy in and had limited success. how do you build a bipartisan coalition? >> you do it with trust. trust is the coin of the realm in the legislative body. that is all i ever did. i did not want to be anybody. i wanted to legislate. i knew how to do it. i knew how to construct bills. i knew that.
11:42 pm
there is no trust now. the coin of the realm is trust and there is no trust even among party members. look what is happening within one of the leaders of the house helps some guy in the primary to knock off another guy that was sitting next to him. what is that? >> there is probably even less trust from everyone out there in the country and how they feel about washington. they cannot trust washington right now to solve their problems. >> i think the next word is "courage >" ." you have to have the courage to do the right thing. some in our profession worry so much about keeping their job and what ever is going on in their head that they are blind to the
11:43 pm
50 million folks that do not have one. they are worried if i do this and then i have to raise more money or this group will line up against me. the country is calling on you for your service. have some courage. do what is right. the rest will take care of itself. if this is the only thing you can do, that is really a personal problem. >> are they speaking out? are they mobilizing? are the energized? >> i think every survey has shown that democrats, republicans, libertarians, what ever you want to be, everyone is calling for compromise. unfortunately, 500 folks here are not really listening. they're talking amongst themselves in a room. this is our thing. we have a position. we have to maintain its. the country is calling for compromise.
11:44 pm
no one is in a total gridlock. i do not know what the constituency is for gridlock. you do it. people hear it. you make your pitch. can it be sold? to take action and move on. that is what this business is about. i'm a public servant. >> i am reminded, and i recognize it is different because he was appointed and not elected, of paul volcker in the 1970's. we have corrosive inflation. he went to take out a mortgage. he understood the only thing worse than fixing inflation was not fixing it. in 10 days, he took the prime rate up to 20% and it really triggered the recession of 1982. the last time we have unemployment over 10% and had an
11:45 pm
impact on the center of the country. companies where dependent on this. it traded a foundation shortly there after. it sustained economic growth. i look at that moment as good as an example of shared sacrifice as i can think of in my lifetime when everybody was impacted by it. you try to buy a house. it was hard. the only people that benefit it were those that had money and could get decent return. we were struggling. there is no easy answer here. it is going to take a group of people. it was different because he was appointed and not elected. it will take people who have a responsibility of their role. >> if you are at a town meeting trying to sell a plan like this in six months, they say that is easy for you.
11:46 pm
you have a comfortable living. what are you prepared to sacrifice? >> whatever i am asked up. i'm serious. we talk about can you sit down and do bipartisan work and banged out a solution that to give their nose to. whatever the as the me, my own personal story my father started a tiny printing business. it enabled me to be the first person in my family to be able to go to college. here i sit. have you not feel some obligation to do what ever is asked that i feel that way. whatever it is. whenever the compromise is. -- whenever the compromise is. you have to step up. >> we are approaching a pretty remarkable moment.
11:47 pm
unlike anyone that i know in my adult lifetime where so many decisions have to be made at time.a concentrated we have a limited time to bring people together. you are almost certain to be doing it after an election when feelings are most raw. looking at it from both sides, recommend that congress deal with that right after the election? to put it off? to bite the bullet in the lame duck session? >> i think it is going to be between november 6 and december 31. it will be chaos. it will be absolute chaos. you are going to find the guys that were defeated. new ones are waiting to come in.
11:48 pm
if you have a flood, a fiscal cliff. if you extend the bush tax situation, that is $3.80 trillion over 10 years. you have to take the payroll back to 6.2. when they raise it, grover will call that a tax increase. then you have the sequester coming in. there will be hair and blood and eyeballs all over the floor. did they will do something. they may do a six month extension. you can bet the closest thing. the old president or whoever is elected is going to come in an
11:49 pm
january and say i never knew these figures were so bad. i am so shocked that this country is in this unsustainable, a totally predictable situation of the deficit and interest which matches anything in spain, portugal, ireland, or italy. we of $16 trillion. what the is $1 trillion? -- we owe $16 trillion. what is a $1 trillion? nobody knows. the big bang theory of the universe was 13,600 million years ago. that is not even close to $1 trillion. that is where we are. it is like you have rocks for brains. >> we're also at 8% unemployment. can you sign on to what talked about?nton signe
11:50 pm
>> and bill clinton has been the greatest ally for us. i know he went to the president. i know he went to him and said "you did this by executive order and you got 11 of the 18 to vote for it, hell, i wrap my arms around that thing and take get." he would have. he told the president that. >> would you take delaying the cutbacks until the economy is growing again? >> we put in our proposal. when everything fails, read the 67 page report. it uses a word of "shared sacrifice" and "going broke."
11:51 pm
it is not a mystery. he cannot get there would just fluffing it. what the hell was your question? speak out. >> i said i think you did. [laughter] what did you find you cannot address, you cannot cut, people would say no way? >> every department and agency in the government had to take a cut. i had to cut police services. i did not lay off a police officer or sanitation worker or health worker but we cut back over time in the police department by 30%. we lose 15 or 18 officers a month. we were not able to hire as many as i wanted.
11:52 pm
we kept it at historic lows. a part of it was really more about what we were not going to do while maintaining the core services. i do not know when a recession will be over. technically, it is over. i do believe this is not going to last forever. i have to be prepared for growth going forward. people would not stand for massive cuts in public safety. they would not stand for massive cuts in programs that affect children or seniors, are most vulnerable populations. where we could cut administratively and become more efficiently. every service we provide has a constituency. that is why we got three hours of shouting and screaming. there are some things that are essential and some things that are good to have a. we kept the essentials and cut back on the good to have stuff.
11:53 pm
if you want to see leadership and action, democrats and republicans, more than half of my colleagues i have no idea what party they are in. there is no democratic or republican way of sweeping the street. we do what we do. that is where you're seeing great leadership on the grounds all back home that mayors are providing because we have to. there was a guy on the video. we have to get things done. you get things done by making tough decisions. every majomayor have constituens that are upset. some will win and some will lose. they are trying to do the right thing to run their city's. >> would you think your own party has fallen short in washington? -- where do you think your party has fallen short in
11:54 pm
washington? >> we did not hold onto the house. that cramped our style a little bit. for single more and more votes to take place -- forcing more and more votes to take place, the senate -- you have ot pushing infighting. make folks vote. i was a legislator. it was not ad d & r thing. you can say whatever you want to say about the republican party. right, wrong, or in different, they seem to stick together. it would certainly be more beneficial to the president if the democrats would really line
11:55 pm
up. this is the agenda. these are the reasons why. be bold in their actions. >> i wonder if you can address, when the things we know is difficult and you hear it around the world, if we fail to make the investments we need to make an education, if we fail to make sure that our infrastructure is world class and on a par with china, we're not going to be able to have the kind of growth we need in the future. in the end, growth will be the biggest driver for producing our deficit. can you sell that idea across the business community? >> business people are good about talking about priorities and making choices. we live in a world of limited resources and infinite demand. most business people get the notion of you cannot do
11:56 pm
everything and you have to pick your spots. i do not think that debate, i do not think we have had a rich discussions of priorities. we have been trying these last 10 years to do everything simultaneously. it is all important. everything is important. i love your numbers on the defense department. it falls into choices and priorities. i think the business community get it. i think they get it then more people -- most people give us credit for. you do not know what you do not know. one of the biggest buyers of treasuries is the japanese. >> they have a tsunami. they have had to shut down all of their nuclear plants. it would not be an unreasonable decision for them to make a comment to take those dollars that would have been directed to financial advancements and put
11:57 pm
it into other investments. does that put more pressure on the treasury? i do not know. i began to recognize that there is a geopolitical elements that we do not control. we can get wrapped up in the debate of the dollars we spend. someone has got to lend them to us. it gets back to how much time do we have. we do not know the factors that could turn that upside-down. >> it could be happening in greece. >> that is exactly right. you can see that and lots of places around the world. we have had good leadership. we have had sound decisions. the longer we wait, the more painful it will be. it is arithmetic. complicated.n, but there is a factor of what we do
11:58 pm
not control. i worry about that a lot. >> judy woodruff brought this up. what would you say to richard murdocuch? >> i was shocked. senator lugar is a very dear friend of mine. he was helpful on my leadership. we counted on him. he was such a remarkable man. i believe this gentleman that one said that we have to step up the partisanship. that is his pitch. i would cite the case of paul that came to the u.s. senate who was there when i was there who said "stick it in jesse helms." after a year, it they were sponsoring legislation together. there are some softening agents in there. they are not likely where they
11:59 pm
were before. the softening agent in the senate are not there. the sharp edge people are there. then you have a couple of leaders. you have here and mitch -- harry and mitch. they love the ring. they know how to hold their turf. if you mess around too much around with the other guy, and they will make you the chairman of the journal committee. or the ranking member. [laughter] >> you do not sound all that optimistic. do you think that these issues will be addressed in the fall, personally in the u.s. senate? >> that things can be solved with the way they are now? >> dole finally said that we will not go with that.
12:00 am
first, i've got to have this. we cannot give you that. we will give it to you in six months. get that thing off of here. we have legislation. they are here to do fund- raisers. we would have night where we cannot get a quorum because they were raising >> you have to have discipline and use a little courage. the filibuster, don't mess with that, because that is an automatic fannie keeking machine. it will kick your fanny sometimes and it will keep you in the fannie some time and you will not love it. there is a way to break that easily. it is just three words.
12:01 am
listen to the threat of filibuster. we will have a round the clock, bring your cot. >> put the question around. i think one of the advantages when it works on a local level is that people actually can make the direct connection between the sacrifice they are making, the cutbacks have had to endure, and the benefits. what were the benefits that people saw? >> we saw we actually had a plan. some parts that might agree with and some parts they hate. it was constant communication with the public on a regular basis. this is why we are doing this.
12:02 am
this is what this is about. we talk about shared sacrifice, a million times of day. we talked about the fact we would not compromise on public safety. we are still focused on, in the midst of -- we are running the government with integrity. there have been some challenges with that in previous administrations. i jokingly said it was a dumb idea. but we were out there on a regular basis. our basic philosophy was, you have a right to be upset. you have a right to let us know
12:03 am
what is on your mind and we will tell you why we are doing what we are doing. i think in that exercise was over and the next budget came, and things continue to worsen, but we were steadfast in what we were trying to accomplish. people got the message that we are not just throwing everything up on the wall to see what sticks. here is the plan, this is what we are trying to accomplish. public safety was not being compromised. we were focused on our police officers and firefighters and correction officers and the like. the things that people truly cared about. we have 70 swimming pools and philadelphia. when i made that announcement, i said we were only going to be built have 10 of them open. this was in november. -- only going to be able to have 10 of them open. we ended up having 46 of those pools open, and every summer since, all 70 have been opened.
12:04 am
we had five ice rinks. i said we would only be able to keep two of them open. they immediately stepped up and said we will run the other three for you. you are out there hustling and working, driving the agenda, getting the private sector involved. we had people sending us money on their own, saying we have to have these pools open. people want to see action. they want to see leadership. we talked about trust, courage, and in the end, if you want to run for office, then be a leader. if you have a deep-seated need to be loved and admired every day, this is not the business for you. work in a pet shop somewhere. [laughter] we have courage, trust, fairness, balance. let me throw in another word and see if you view it -- said you put this in context with your
12:05 am
plan. not just avoiding a catastrophe, but really gaining a picture of what america can look like if a plan like this is implemented, and what it will need -- what it will mean to the average man or woman sitting at home. >> first, just to comment. if you are a leader, you are taking flak by the ton. he said it beautifully. if you want to be loved, go somewhere else. i have had my skin ripped off 100 times and it grows back double strength. my dad ran for public office. he was a governor and senator. somebody yelled out, simpson, i would not vote for you if you were jesus christ. he said, if i were jesus christ, you would not be in my precinct. [laughter] an attack unanswered is an attack believed. you are entitled to be called
12:06 am
up full, edie it, bonehead, but never let it distorts the you are. but i m an optimist. these guys are all talking about what we have to do. i do have hope, and it will come before december 31, because in a room somewhere, not like paul and chris will sit down -- there is no need to study it any further. you had all those things and everything is out there. there's nothing hidden as to what you do. you have to have a blend of revenue. to cannot spend your way out of this. cannot tax your way out of it, and you cannot grow your way out of it. not a single economists said you could have double-digit growth for years and grow your way out of this. you have to have a blend. if you are in a situation
12:07 am
, --ing with andy sternbac those guys put together a recommendation, what we do with the defense budget. if you cannot get that done, and forget the stereotyping. that is what is out there now. you say dick durbin sign on to our report -- what is this? i can tell you that i really feel you are going to see people come together and drop all the phony stuff. the phony stuff is, i am not going to touch medicare, medicaid, social security and defense. those people are total fraud. every cent of revenue last year, everything, excise, sales, everything the federal government brought in which only three programs, medicare,
12:08 am
medicaid, and social security, and we borrowed everything else, including the wars and homeland security and culture and infrastructure and research and development. that is where we are. >> i want to go back to last august. the stalemate over the debt limit. we saw the stalemate coming out of that. it did seem like that was the moment when the world was watching. what were the practical effects that you felt? >> i will give you a very specific example. just on the optimism point for a second time i do think the topic is getting recognized. two or three years ago, it was not. if you consider that progress, raising the focus, sounding the
12:09 am
alarm and having people hear it, that is real progress. the next up is, you have to do something about it. but we were banging away and no one was listening a few years ago. we had a pretty good investment portfolio, and i never believed for a moment that a maturing treasury bill or bonn would not be paid. i never believed it. but what if we were wrong? what if we just live on one. in the week before, we actually raise the half billion dollars of cash. we went to two banks, which i found very funny. we were worried that the federal redwood not pay its obligations and we were wrong to give the money to banks. it was a relevant point. we put a half billion dollars into two banks. we did enough cash for to know that if we were wrong, in which could run our business for 30
12:10 am
days on that cash flow. >> we did a temporary default. i cannot imagine that a maturing bill would not get paid. >> that was the work that bob used always use in 1993 and 1994, literally unthinkable that we would not hit the debt limit yet. we came far closer than anyone ever thought. >> it is to separate issues. a maturing bond was not require a higher debt limit. we cannot imagine that a maturing obligation would not get paid. they could not fuel the engine to spend money. but the politics of the moment were unclear. it was not visible enough to any of us to roll the dice and bet the ranch that we would be right. we had enough in the mattress so that if we were wrong, we could
12:11 am
keep the place going. >> you have to put money away in the matter is again for next year. >> i hope we don't need to get a bigger mattress. >> you referred to it a couple of times. could you have done what you did without the requirement you had to balance your budget? >> i would have wanted to. i believe in fiscal integrity. i believe in the fundamental principles that you cannot spend more than you have, that you have to have a balanced budget. with or without a balanced budget requirement, we also have rating agencies. i came into government in 1992. the city on its own was facing a fiscal crisis that had nothing new did nothing to do with anything going on in the country. i learned some tough lessons. i paid attention to the finances of the city very closely.
12:12 am
fiscal integrity and physical security are very, very important to me. we have a lot of people watching what goes on in our city. the rating agencies also pay attention to those issues and i am -- the fact that we have a balanced budget requirement, that we have a fiscal oversight into the, that we have to produce a five-year plan puts in certain contexts people understanding that it is unfathomable that we will might have a balanced budget. we have to have a five-year plan approved by a financial oversight agency. it will be a major embarrassment not to be able to do those things. bourses' fiscal discipline, but a five-year plan also forces you think about every dollar you want to spend, that is $5. it ensures a certain amount of discipline but allows you to plan for the future. i am not sure what the folks down here are doing other than
12:13 am
trying to get through that next news cycle. that kind of discipline really is required. you have to understand the consequences of your actions. i am left with the impression that unfairly that some of the proposed cuts that come down through these budgets, we are not clear that many members of congress truly understand the consequences of these cuts, the impact it will have at home. you can name 100 programs which all have their constituencies. i get that, but there have to be some fundamentals that you agree to. fiscal integrity has to be one of them. dealing with the debt crisis is a paramount issue with the government. i agree with the center, but it has to be balanced approach. it can be a number of different things, but you have to have some core principles about what you are trying to do, what are
12:14 am
the outcomes you are expecting, and where are you going. those are the things that unfortunately, many of us do not hear about a local level as it relates to the federal government. >> let me wrap this up with a hippocratic oath to the next six months between now and the election. it does not look like much is going to get done in washington until afterwards. what is the best way for both parties to do no harm between now and november? >> i think this could to keep telling the story. sounds so corny, town meetings -- i would always find out where they are and then have a town meeting in that play spirit i would speak for five minutes and state for two hours. these people will not expose themselves to the public except in certain other ways. [laughter] i don't know why that slipped out there like that.
12:15 am
communication, talking, -- i bet we have talked to 500,000 people in the last year and a half. we speak for 10 minutes each and take questions for an hour, and stick around sometimes. people are saying, how come people don't understand where we are? we sadeq you are listening to people that are more interested in re-election than their country. grover norquist is one smart cookie. he is the most powerful man in america right now. how does that sound to you, that grover norquist, the americans for taxpayers reform or whatever is coming is the most powerful man in america. he has 95% of the sitting members of my party pledging never to raise a single penny in tax without the commensurate cut in spending. so we said here is one for you,
12:16 am
grover. we are taking the tack expenditures and getting paid taking $100 billion to reduce the debt and the other trillion to give to the lower tax base. what can he do to you? he cannot murder you or burn down your house. the only thing he can do is to beat you for re-election or put some of dud in the primary to take you out. that means more it to you than your country, then you should not even be in congress. [applause] >> that was fun. >> we continue our discussion on the fiscal challenges facing the u.s. economy. we will hear from senator rob portman of ohio. this 40-minute panel is monitored by john harris of politico.
12:17 am
>> this morning, we have 40 minutes to tackle a pretty big question. the first thing i like our panelists to do, and we will just go down the line starting with senator portman, is to test the premise of this panel. it might be challenging, but not really that difficult to solve the mathematics equation cut the deficit, that people can sit down with a calculator and a legal pad and get it done. the difficult dimension of this is the political one. obviously this does take place in that context of -- it mature, reasonable people in a room, throw the reporters out, and say don't come back until you get it solved, as was done in 1997 with
12:18 am
president clinton and speaker gingrich. it was done in 1990 with republicans and the first president bush. it was done in 1993 with social security. if you can replicate that process, get people in a room away from the glare of lights, there'll be a solution to this. 2011, that proved not to be true. simpson-bowles the not do anything to tackle the structure. extensive conversations between speaker boehner and president obama ended in failure and recriminations. the super committee on which both of you sit did not get the work done. let me ask the question, if you did not have to worry about the political blow back and public opinion, how difficult would be for the two of you to sit down and come up with the solution that would be in the public interest and not by late.
12:19 am
ideological principles? you could do it in 20 minutes. >> first law, it is more difficult than it was in 1997 or in 1990 or 1983. the fiscal hole that washington had dug is deeper. for those who say let's just go back to what we did in 1997, we had a growing economy. we do not have that now. we had both weak economic growth and increasing spending on the entitlement side particularly. is at a far higher level. our debt is the size of our entire economy. we did not have these long term medicare and social security issues that we have now.
12:20 am
it is a different type of problem and a larger scope. for getting politics of the second -- for a second, if we can. the changes we have to make or going to be more fundamental and more difficult. my own view is that it has cbp both spending restraint -- we cannot continue to spend more than we take in, and you have to have growth. back in 2007, when i was the budget director, we had growth in the economy. we were able to get the deficit down to $161 billion. that was not long ago. it requires growth in addition to spending restraint. it has to be done very carefully to avoid having a devastating impact on our economy at a time and have the weakest recovery since the great depression.
12:21 am
>> congressman, what is your view of this? if we just take all the reporters away, could we get this done relatively easily? >> if we could hang the sacred cows at the door with norco's as we walked in and lead the eagles behind as well, it is simple math. we have enough templates out there to guide us, whether bowles-simpson, rivlin amenity. o plans dealt with what most observers say must be elements of a good compromise. restraints on spending, changes, increases to tax revenue, and making sure that the policies are in place so you have economic growth. it is not rocket science. most of us have gone through this enough, whether a was super committee or bowles-simpson or
12:22 am
the biden group or the gang of six. we have seen is, and you can only do the movie so many times. i think we can get there. the problem is that most of the folks to get to make the decisions are not experiencing the pain that those americans who are on the cusp of losing their homes or their job or suffering. it is like the situation in iraq and afghanistan were 1% of america is impacted by that two wars in iraq and afghanistan, where we do not feel it. most of the folks on capitol hill do not feel the economic pain that some american families fighting through today to make sure they persevere. if we did, it would be a lot easier to get this done. the reality is, most of us who get elected don't have to worry about this. i think we need to deal with some of the programs that are near and dear to me. what i have seen them do for families including my parents,
12:23 am
folks who had little chance to get educated. i am not willing to tell someone i will compromise when the only thing that is compromises cuts to programs for families with working people and children. >> we have one view of the problem that is the egos in the room that make a grand bargain impossible. i wonder if there is another view, is not that egos in the room but the divisions in the country that make this so hard. you have won election in 2008 that points dramatically in one direction. another election in 2010 points in the opposite direction, to the benefit of republicans. maybe what we need is not a back room deal but for the public itself to decide which side is right and which side is wrong. >> one of the things that made
12:24 am
welfare reform popular was that candidate clinton campaigned on it. the question should be, how does the media use its agenda setting function to keep focused on the issues, and how to communicate the lead consensus about what needs to be done? perhaps these proposals that were floated a few years ago, sunday evening devoted to candidates talking at length with each other with good moderation about these issues. >> that is in addition to the presidential debates? >> in addition to presidential debates. i think we can bring the public up to speed on these issues, to accept the trade-offs and the sacrifices and to break through the barriers of polarization. there actually is a consensus there. we will all have to sacrifice in
12:25 am
some ways to the question is, can the public be raised that to a level of understanding that if we make some sacrifices and look to the benefits of future generations and let someone who is able to govern responsibly. >> patricia, do you buy that? there is an elite consensus that gets muddy as it enters the realm of politics, or is the fundamental antagonism itself -- maybe there actually is not an easy consensus. the super committee would have been more successful. advanced talks between president obama and speaker boehner would have reached consensus. >> if you are defining each as members of congress, there is no consensus. that is very clear. if you define it as the chairman
12:26 am
of the joint chiefs, that our debt and deficit is the greatest threat to national security, if you define it as leaders around local communities who understand budget, understand how to balance the budget and what is not happening, and i think the real consensus among the american people, they are way out ahead of their leaders on this. the leaders need to follow the people. when i go around and talk to people and when i go to campaign events for democrats and republicans, when i talk to people in cafes or in starbucks, people are worried. i don't think the american people know the difference between simpson-bowles and the gang of six. it starts to cloud over. they understand that something has to change. they understand there is
12:27 am
something deeply out of balance. they understand numbers and the direction that the deficit is going and apparel at the country is in. they understand that and they know that members of congress are not making sacrifices with their own constituencies in order to get across the finish line. it is the first time a lot of voters have seen taxation equated to morality, that there is something morally wrong with taxing people. i think they are just very frustrated. the consensus is among the people. that is why there is hope that there could be some room on this -- some movement on this issue. the question is, who are the winners and who are the losers? if you look back to 1986 with
12:28 am
the tax reform, each side gave away a good bit, but they also felt like they were waiting for their constituencies. both sides are going have to give it is going to have to give. you don't see the leadership at the presidential level, the congressional leadership level. president reagan drove tax reform -- rostenkowski gave the democratic response and said we are here to work with you. we have not been hearing that. >> of would like to agree with patricia. we talked about the leak consensus. i have not seen it yet. you are talking about -- >> we cannot grow our way out of it. we have to be responsible about making sure we do not tank the
12:29 am
economy. >> a vast majority of my constituents who were not part of the washington elites would agree with everything you said. people all have family budgets and a lot of them are in small business and the understand it does not work. there is a sense that washington is careening down a path toward fiscal catastrophe. it is partly because of what patricia was saying, the lack of leadership. does require leadership. not to be partisan here, god forbid, but i think patricia makes a good point. not just about ronald reagan in 1983 and social security or about tax reform. it is about bill clinton and welfare reform. it is about presidential leadership and providing cover to your own party. democrats need a little help in
12:30 am
terms of the super committee. what we had was a veto threat. it was not done just the way that president obama wanted it. it requires a couple of things. one is taking what is a consensus among folks that we are in a serious fiscal crisis now. crisis is not too strong a word to use. people are concerned about raising taxes. there is a sense of the greater good and sensible solution and a way to have both spending restraint and economic growth, people can move this forward. but it requires leadership in terms of the solutions.
12:31 am
>> two years before president reagan's tax reform in 1986, he worked with congress to pass the deficit-reduction plan. 8% of that deficit reduction plan relied on tax revenue to work. we cannot get unstuck here in washington d.c. because of the word taxes. there is no way to resolve the debt of this without dealing with taxes. that is where the difficulty occurs with well-intentioned republicans and well-intentioned democrats. and rob talked about getting our spending under control and about economic growth. spending controls, economic growth, and you have to deal with the tax side of things. there's no way you cannot. and the largest contributor to the deficit over the last 10 years has been the bush tax
12:32 am
cuts, because they were not paid for, you have to deal with it. if you are going to deal with the spending component, the budgetary side, the appropriations side of what congress does, the concessionary -- what we allocate to services programs, and you do not recognize that two-thirds of all the new spending since 2001 has come in one department, the department of defense, and yet you have the crew in the house that wants to spare the department of defense of any savings whatsoever, that means you have to load all the cuts to services to american taxpayers -- education, health, clean air, clean water, food safety, and you cannot do it. if you are trying to load it all on domestic discretionary services, it will not work. i think you do have to
12:33 am
essentially put people in that back room and tell them to hang there's egos and special interest pledges at the door, and do not come out until you come out with the plan. there is no way realistically we are going to deal with it. none of the bipartisan plans dealt with this without incorporating taxes in some fashion. >> if your organization runs fact check, is there an answer? is one component of this more responsibility it -- is one party more responsible for the 2011 failures? those are equally to blame, or would you say one of those components is more? >> is not productive to say you
12:34 am
are asking who is to blame. there is plenty of blame to go around. the question is how we get where we need to go and bring the electorate along with it. most of the time, it approaches 75%. when they campaigned, saying read my lips, no new taxes, and have to raise them. it is harder than saving congress when they really need taxes. we have to make sure we have made it possible to govern from this campaign. >> it has been said that the second marriage is a triumph of hope over experience. [laughter] i am paraphrasing, but i think the stars might be alive after the election, perhaps in a lame-
12:35 am
duck session after the election, or early in 2013. enough factors are converging, the debt limit runs out, the tax cuts expire, the sequestration measures go into effect, particularly at the department of defense. what is your guess? is there a grand bargain to be had in late 2012 or early 2013 that has eluded washington? >> there is certainly a bargain to be had that will come with the lame duck. there are pieces of the bush tax cuts and the sequestration and the unknown effect all those expiring could have on the economy. i think it is going to matter a lot what happens in the election, which side gets the leverage and which side goes into the room and says we have just one and we are now in
12:36 am
charge. you can take your medicine out or taken later -- we have just won. i have talked with leaders and they said sari, blamed the other guys. there will be a bargain, because each side has so much to lose, and have lots to gained just by being able to come out of a room with the deal. people are lame-duck session. there is the day that these things expire. there are ratings agencies that are watching very carefully. the stakes are too high to do nothing. after the election, there will be time for a grand bargain. that will be incumbent upon either the new or the current president to solve this problem. this is the task of the generation. we have kids coming out of the college and you were scared for them, for the amount of debt
12:37 am
that taken on. scared for the economy that have inherited. when you said how do you know that people care about it? gallup asked about a month ago what is most important to you in the election? the debt was the number-one issue. it has never been this way before. people literally did not care about the budget, and now they do. it has a lot to do with the tea party giving an earful to the republicans. people were not responding to their constituents in a number of cases. they hear democrats talking
12:38 am
about spending cuts in a way you have never heard before. failure is not going to be fail on this, but six months to a year after the elections in next president or the current president has to change it, then ight back into election mode. >> what is your sense of timing? >> as patricia indicates, it is difficult during an election year. she met a comment we are not sure what the economic impact is going to be. we know enough to know it will be devastating to the economy if we do not deal with these issues before year end. some say that means kicking the can down the road for the new congress or the new president to potentially deal with. it certainly ought to be under a strict deadline. look, if we don't do that, the federal reserve, chairman
12:39 am
bernanke has said we are looking at a three-point drop in gdp. we were to 0.2% in the first quarter of this year. the congressional budget office said the same thing. -- 2.2% in the first quarter of this year. we also have a debt limit coming up, which for many of us on the republican side will require more progress on spending, as many of us who voted for the debt limit increase last year. that is how we got the super committee and so on. it is time we do have an opportunity as a country to make some of these tough decisions. i would say we have no choice but to do it. i hope patricia is right and both parties see it that way and see it in their interest, and move forward. we do have differences. i would disagree with some of the analysis, but we can have
12:40 am
those debates and stick to the facts. 24% of gdp and spinning right now is historically high. we are headed towards 30% by 2030. this is not sustainable. we have to deal with the spending cuts. that is a fact. that is where we are. on the revenue side, it is relatively low. my view is, we should not be arguing about the bush tax cuts. we should be arguing about tax reform. this is an opportunity for us not to keep the current code and add more taxes on top of that, but to reform it across the board in a way that would result in a better economic alignment. >> governor romney is going to give a big speech on this issue in iowa. they have released for the text already. one of the things he says in
12:41 am
their is that is like a prairie wildfire. he said both parties are to blame for the mess we are in. in the spirit of doing painful things, i am going to ask each of you to say how is your party to blame for the current predicament? congressman, you first. >> kathleen, i think he meant to go to you first. [laughter] >> to the degree that democrats have had the longstanding concern that on the republican side, we are intent on eliminating important programs that have helped seniors to live with dignity our children to move up into a productive life, maybe democrats have worked too hard to try to protect those programs from the devastating
12:42 am
cuts. in doing so, perhaps that has kept us from trying to come up with a smart budget. so i think patricia said that democrats are talking about making some spending reductions, and having agreed to the sequester process, indeed it did so. so those are all cuts on the discretionary side. there are some cuts to mandatory programs as well, but most of the programs we find here in dear to most american families of education and so forth. so i think you define that democrats are willing to come halfway. the difficulty is when -- got think you do find that democrats are willing to come halfway. we had to borrow money to do that, to do those bush tax cuts. they were the most expensive element of the last 10 years or so in terms of what we have
12:43 am
spent and what has driven some of these deficits. many of us believe it has to be a balanced approach. you just cannot look at one side of the table. has to be balanced approach to deal with it. you can do it in ways that will spur economic growth. the more we are able to reform the code, we will be able to spur growth. but cannot talk about reforming the tax code simply to reform the code. we have to deal with the looming deficit and the fact we have essentially spent more money than we ever spent through the regular appropriations process. this is an old college the tax loopholes. -- simpson-bowles calls that tax loopholes. we could do twice as much as they did and deal with the imbalances in the tax code.
12:44 am
we have to figure out a way to do things so that we don't disorient american families. you can do a number of things without having to do violence to the american family's ability to do what my parents did, to allow me to be the first and my family to get a college degree. >> the you agree that the lack of spending discipline had its origins in the bush administration, that there just was insufficient concern for the long-term cost of things like medicare, prescription drugs, etc.? >> that is accurate. if you look back at the time from 2001 on, after 9/11 particularly, there was a sense in this town that more needed to be spent on homeland security and bent, and democrats were able to spend more on social programs -- homeland security
12:45 am
and defense. i have said this before, but president bush should have vetoed those bills prior to 2006. spending did start to be restrained and we had growth in economy, prior to the financial crisis and we got close to balance. we were on track to get close to balance, but i proposed a five- year balanced budget at that point. it is public record. there was a sense that we were getting the spending back under control. there was no increase in domestic spending and there were some changes in that budget on medicare spending. i do think that was the issue that both democrats and republicans -- it was
12:46 am
understandable after 9/11, but it does not mean it was the right thing to do. that is where i would be critical. second is on the entitlement programs. the safety net needs to be there. it cannot continue as it is. the mandatory spending under the president's budget is 64%-year and in seniors it takes it to 78%. -- in 10 years it takes it to 78%. it goes back to 1983, the last time there was a significant change in the entitlement programs. that is the challenge. we worked on this in the super committee. we got closer than folks in the media would admit, but in the incumbent has to be a combination. i agree we need more revenue, and we ought to get in tax reform.
12:47 am
on the entitlement side, we have to deal with decisions that otherwise will affect the country. >> independence and moderates are just as frustrated with the status quo as we see on the left and right. the last time we had that on this issue in 1992, we had ross perot bringing this front and center. it seemed like the conditions are right, but where is ross perot this time? >> all the independents are wondering where is the person speaking for us, the person speaking our language? where is the man or woman who knows what we are going through and is willing to take a step
12:48 am
outside of politics to try to solve that problem? going into this election cycle, i think people were thinking that there could be a third- party candidate, although the thinking was that if the republican nominee was romney, there might be a third-party candidate to the right of romney. it is difficult to say. the parties are so strong, they need so much money to run, there just are not enough people stepping up. there is a center of raging moderation, but there are not a lot of good choices for to pick from. people from the center are leaving. they are getting beaten in their own elections are leaving on their own because it is so hard to be moderate.
12:49 am
>> let me pick up on that. we have eight minutes left and i want to finish on a note of optimism. i would like to inject more of a note of pessimism before we get there. we saw a lot of the outward evidence, the problem is not getting easier, it is getting worse. the problem of political will. you have moderate senators who are leaning -- leaving the institution because they do not feel there is a workable center. your pac was supporting senator lugar are the other night, and he was defeated in part because he was seen as too willing to compromise. parties are getting more divided. there are fewer conservative democrats and your liberal republicans. isn't it getting harder than it easier? >> where it's easier it is where the american people begin to
12:50 am
realize this is a crisis stage. we have to deal with it. if we do not by year end, we are likely to be back into recession. it is not just kicking the can down the road, but fundamental changes. >> what does that say about our politics in washington? >> it probably says a lot of things. a lot of it has to do with the fact that he did not have a residency in his home state. the media has picked up some of the other aspects of that, but there was a legitimate concern when he could not vote in his own election. a lot of republicans were in the middle but all share a concern about that. i think the race started to shift when those issues started to come out. in a republican primary, the more conservative candidate sometimes has the advantage
12:51 am
there. maybe i am naive about this, but it is more about the willingness to define your resolve. i think we are hired to seek solutions and help move the country forward and help our constituents. whether you are javier on the left side or you tend to be more on the right side, it is inescapable. we've got to solve the problem. one thing needs to be made more directly, it is not just about the charts and the numbers. it is about open opportunity. if we do not solve this problem, the unpredictability and uncertainty in the economy will not change. we will not have the robust return of the economy week we hope for. you have 15% unemployment coming out of college these days.
12:52 am
this will not change until we deal with this problem. we have to link the physical problems to the economic opportunity. that will and enable us to get more public support. >> there is an argument, the highest profile person to advance it is paul krugman in " the new york times." the top priority is growth. >> it is not so much what paul krugman says, it is what republicans have been saying for the last seven years. i don't care if it is a poll taken today or polls taken in the last three or four years. more often than not, the public is way ahead of the politicians. the public will tell you, we want to decrease the deficit, but not if it will cause us to
12:53 am
lose jobs. we don't want to see deficit reduction plan that says do not build those highways or repair those bridges that a transportation bill would provide us. i think they would say the biggest deficit we face today is a job deficit. if you get people back to work, they are paying taxes. if they are paying taxes, the treasury has more money. there are enough votes on both sides of the aisle that want to get something done. we can get something done. olympia snowe is leaving. she has always been part of a bipartisan solution. at the end of the day, we have to take a look at the numbers. my biggest concern is that we will do more harm by acting and by non.
12:54 am
we have of fail-safe mechanism. we have something in place that can give us $7 trillion in deficit reduction without congress having to -- you mentioned the expiration of all these different programs. rather than increase the deficit by doing this or that, right now, we can save over $7 trillion in the deficit if we allow the law to take effect on january 1, and we can take advantage of the fact that we can tweak some of what will take place on january 1 and still have deficit reduction bigger than bowles-simpson. >> i want to make sure i am hearing you right. we can just take a few months off at the end of the year. >> most everyone in this room right now -- there are millions
12:55 am
of americans who are. on january 1, what we have this armageddon that we keep talking about, expiration of all the tax provisions -- most of those americans will not be hit as hard as if we do not do something about interest rates on student loans. that interest rate hike will cost most is about $1,000. that is more than they get in the bush tax cuts. we are not talking about middle america here. if it were, we would be willing to do the tough stuff. >> i want to finish on an upbeat note. why don't we go down from far to closer and answer this question as precisely as possible. i am optimistic this problem
12:56 am
will be solved and the political will will be found because what? >> because i think we get an election behind us and we will have a little breathing room. i really do believe that people who come to washington come here for the right reasons. they are almost all people of good will. leaders are going to step forward. they always have. this country has made it this far with a lot of significant problems to solve and we have always called them. i don't have any specific reasons to be optimistic, other than i think the leaders will rise to the level of the people. >> kathleen, what makes you so cheerful? >> i think ross perot made it easier for -- we now have simpson-bowles do we have the equivalent of a ross perot
12:57 am
surrogate. i think responsible media can do it. i think we can have a campaign that will make it easier to address these very serious problems for future generations. >> i think the middle class is going to wake up and speak very loudly, whether this election are future elections. obviously that ship turns very slowly, but i think the middle class, the heart of america has kept us going and they are going to wake us up and make us do things. it is very simple math. we do not need to have the middle class push us into doing the right thing. >> you mentioned that governor romney had given a speech on tax reform. had the risk of being partisan here, i love the fact that he is talking about tax reform that
12:58 am
will generate more revenue, and he is willing to talk about the politically sensitive issue of entitlement reform. he has been talking about a through the primaries. you all do not cover it much, but it is out here. i agree with kathleen. it is hard to see us coming together after the first of the year without a presidential campaign that focuses on these issues. folks are going to hear two different approaches and most people will say we have to address these issues. we cannot continue to allow congress to kick the can down the road to avoid these problems. that is one reason i am optimistic. if more of us make that connection, including the media, then more people will be interested. if we don't solve the problem at year end, a recession is going to hurt every middle income
12:59 am
american. >> i think i deserve the nobel prize for bringing such clarity on the issue. thank you all very much. [applause] >> mitt romney campaigned in iowa today and talked about the federal debt. his remarks are next on c-span. after that, house speaker john boehner and treasury secretary kem binder discuss some of the challenges facing the u.s. economy. -- treasury secretary tim geithner. >> tomorrow, television and radio talk-show host ed schultz. we'll talk about the republicans' house agenda going into the 2012 election season. as part of our weekly spot light as part of our weekly spot light on

140 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on