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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 18, 2015 4:00am-6:01am EDT

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the logs, by believe every chairman has these meetings. representative: is there something sinister in the timing of these meetings? i think the insinuation from my friends on the other side, it is meant to just that there is or to have some kind of quiet conversation that obviously be public is not aware of. did that occur? wheeler: no sir. donnelly: diddonnelly: did the white house ever directs you in the framing of the rule? wheeler: no sir. even when they filed, it was not a direction. it was here is our of opinion. millions of americans had been writing to express. donnelly: as we saw in a letter to the ayatollah, one doesn't
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want to put too much credence in letters. i thought i would sneak that in. is there, the chairman was suggesting in his time that you could have waived the role to bring the public in at an earlier date at a drafting of the rule. your answer to that was a little bit to read a cold, yes i have that power, but it is not a power practice. following up on the question why in looking at that did you not avail yourself? wheeler: there are many reasons
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why. you put out a draft, what do you do two days later when paragraph 345 gets changed? do you put it out again and say, look at this? had you deal with the back and forth between offices. how do you deal with ongoing research. is it right to have this kind of an activity that can be very much affecting of capital markets, people misinterpreting this or that. markets crashing or inflating whatever the case may be. it is for that reason, that foia and specific says that these kind of editorial negotiations are specifically works in progress.
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that was why i made that decision. that is why the president exist. donnelly: do you regret that? in your point of view, did you protect the contents? wheeler: yes sir. donnelly: did you feel, when president obama issues his statement with respect to net neutrality, there were press reports that you and your colleagues were surprised. you may want to comment on that. the did you issue his statement as undoing appearance in your process that was still under the way. wheeler: no, all presidents have input to the process. in multiple administrations and proceedings.
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it is not in new -- a new. donnelly: thank you. speaker: yorkie occasions person in november, in response to your question about with a surprised, did it have an impact? sharon gilson wrote, this question rankles me. do you take this as twisting the knife. i don't want to overreact. to suggest that there was no rankling internally at the sec -- fcc, they are e-mailing.
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again, this gets rejected. i don't see this as part of the public process here that warrants any sort of redaction but, i just thought i would bring that up. wheeler: i want to remind the chairman, that is an interesting point, but we had an identical situation with jay russell george, where his medium person issued a statement contradicting his testimony. to have another media person as corroborating your point, i am happy to do so. speaker: do you have a comment. wheeler: this is the first time
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-- i'm not sure what this is referencing. speaker: who was the person writing that. wheeler: shannon gilson. speaker two: i remember in the 80's and 90's, the internet activists were fighting to remain keep internet service remaining classified information services. the marketing job to completely flips that is just staggering. i want to address something my friend from across the aisle just brought up. i completely lost my track. donnelly: i think you are agreeing that i had a brilliant
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point. because it's st. patrick's day. speaker to: the public comment section, i remember. we are seeking public comments on things that we don't know what we're seeking comments on. open government is about the people knowing the thought process that goes into creating rules and regulations. it is why we have c-span. it is why anyone can turn on and see the debates going on in congress and reach out to her or his congress man or woman and give comments. i am really troubles. this isn't just the fcc this is creating laws by regulation behind closed doors. you are defending doing it kind close doors. i have a problem with that. the more light on that, the
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better off. i have a high reiki -- i have a hierarchy of comments the come into my office. something that is originally written by a constituent something from a non-constituent then a form letter, then one of these things that you click. is there a breakdown that you could share with us with the public comments, on how they fall within the same similar hierarchy. wheeler: i know what you mean. i get all kinds of notes that are -- that rain from -- i don't know if we can break out for million comments that way. whatever information you could get on me. so i think we will cover more in
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a judiciary hearing, but i have two questions that are burning on me. one is as he moves internet service from telecommunication service, are we opening the door to providing service taxes to internet services. will this open the door to that. wheeler: we specifically said we would not do this in this proceeding. as you know there is a joint federal state board addressing that question. even if it were to happen in a hypothetical, that doesn't mean that the total number gets changed. speaker to: do you feel like these regulations restricts to more government relation encourages or discourages more competition. wheeler: one of the reasons why we are focused on making sure that there was no impact on
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investment capital is because we want to incentivize and settlement -- investment. speaker to: it seems it would be a headachy -- have a really regulated industry. wheeler: so there are right -- for regulatory issues in this role. you must be transparent, no blocking, no prior authorization. they were in the republican bill that was proposed -- speaker to: my mom, before she passed away i was hurt tech support. it seems like under this scenario she would have to buy
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she would have no ability to buy an e-mail only broadband service. wheeler: that is absolutely incorrect. there is nothing it we do with retail rate regulation -- speaker to: i am never going to stream a netflix video. why shouldn't i have that alternative. wheeler: there is nothing that prohibits a service provider from having that option. you can have e-mail only. you can have five megabits, 10, 25, and you can charge all at different prices. there is nothing in this bill that regulates consumer rates. that was by design. consumer revenues, the day after
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it this order goes into effect should be exactly the same as consumer revenues the day before the -- because we do nothing to regulate -- speaker two: i don't like the fact that at&t shuts down or throttles my unlimited access after x number of gigabytes but i could buy more gigabytes for more money and do that, i want that choice. chairman: now recognizing. thank you for your testimony. you have over the years earned a reputation for high integrity and excellence. when i asked you a little earlier about have you taken an
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oath, and whether you believe you adhere to that oath your answer was yes. i am here to tell you i believe you. i want to asked you about the actions of the republican commission members. we have heard outrage about the president this morning. let's go to commissioner o'reilly, mike. he is a former republican senate staffer who has been an active opponent of the open internet rule. is that a fair statement? wheeler: yes sir. chairman: when the committee requested documents from you, we also requested documents from the other commissioners including commissioner o'reilly. we receive them. for example, we have now
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obtained an e-mail exchanged between it republican commissioner mr. o'reilly and three individuals outside the fcc. they are robert mcdowell perl baron socha. in this exchange, commissioner o'reilly at its -- e on a draftdits -- were you aware he was having private medications. wheeler: no sir.
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chairman: all three of these individuals had professional interest that could be affected by this rule. in response to commissioner o'reilly's request, several of the individuals provided substantive edits. in fact, one response had so many edits that he apologized writing, i know it was like a lot of red ink, but i am really just trying to finesse, clarify, etc.. according to this e-mail chain commissioner o'reilly then forwarded these edits. he says, took a bunch, and left out some stuff. chairman wheeler, commissioner o'reilly's op ed was published on may 5, 2014.
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that was 10 days before the notice of proposed rulemaking was published. these edits provided by outside parties, seem clearly designed to affect the ultimate decision of the fcc. are you aware of any ex partake filing regarding this e-mail exchange or these medications? wheeler: golly congressman, no. commissioner: would it be normal for you won't to be aware? wheeler: no. commissioner: we went through all 700 and 50 of them, they cannot find one filed by these three individuals for these communications. do you know why that might be? wheeler: no sir.
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commissioner: you just testified how you need to follow the rules . would you tell us how you feel about that. what you just learned, assuming it to be accurate, what i just told you. wheeler: um. commissioner: is that fair. wheeler: i think it is fair to say there is often a free and fluid back and forth between practitioners in the bar and members of the commission. chairman: do you think that exportation of been a foul? wheeler: i don't know in this specific one. i don't want to hit shoot -- hip shoot.
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chairman: if the republicans want to accuse the president of undue influence, even when he submitted, he did it the right way -- they can't just conveniently ignore actions on the republican side. there is some thing wrong with that picture. fairness balance. i'm concerned about that. i will yield that. desantis: chairman wheeler i want to go back to this wall street journal report from october 2014 it reported that you and the commission were prepared to move forward on a hybrid 700 and six stop type approach. is it your testimony that that was not in fact the case. you are not at that time leaning towards a 70 six hybrid type
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approach? wheeler: we have gone through a evolutionary process and at that time we were focusing on a hybrid approach, that is in the correct statement. desantis: obviously something changed from then to when you submitted this world -- rule. i think it has been pointed out how the president was very forceful in making his ideas known. did you know that when the commission adopted the role -- rule, february 26, 2015 by the democratic national committee tweeted, congratulations for adopting president obama's plan. wheeler: i found out afterwards. the santos: you know this is something reported as the president's plan adopted by the commission. you had talked about the release
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of the report. the report could've been released in early february. the vote happened several weeks after that. why not just released the proposed rule to the public, given to -- given that this is something with interest. all of the input was done before you had the movement to a title ii framework. why not let people see it? wheeler: let me be clear that your comment about a hybrid being on the table is correct. as were the other approaches. the day following that journal article in the new york times they reported that there were four. mr. connolly and i engage in this. i did not release the draft
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order because it was the draft underlined order. i did take pains to have fact sheets and other outreach so people understood what was in it. the santos: you are saying it is a draft order until the commissioner approved it. that is why you didn't release it? wheeler: yes sir. desantis: i think particularly in this town, i don't think that works. let me asking this. can you guarantee to the american taxpayer, people who use broadband, if this goes into effect they will not be -- see taxes show up as contributions to the universal service fund. wheeler: we drafted this with
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two things in mind. desantis: you guarantee they will not pay more. wheeler: we have said this is not trigger universal service. the santos: that is why it's disputed. he believes title ii imposes a statutory obligation. wheeler: let a be clear the provision we have four born from the provision that would authorize us, today in this rulemaking to do that. to have universal service. there is a joint federal state board addressing that very question today. how they resolve things in the future, i do not know. this rulemaking was very clear to say that we do not trigger that. desantis: it is not foreclose it that we are in title roman
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numeral sloot framework -- title ii framework. i want open, robust internet. when i see 400 pages of red tape, this does not team what openness is going to be. the experience of when the government gets involved the 400 pages, it will never be less than 400. it will be more. government will be up to get involved in other aspects. i wish the public would have more impact. this will be contested here the courts. i yield back. wheeler: can i clarify one thing. there is actually a pages of rules in there. the rest is establishing the background. chairman: we will recognize mr.
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looper five minutes. >> i want to get on the record the answer to the following question. what is the process followed by the sec and the same process the fcc has followed. wheeler: there was a lot of public comment. >> there is nothing wrong with a commissioner being influenced by public comment. there's nothing wrong with a member of congress being influenced by such a left letter . there is nothing wrong with any commissioners being influenced by friends of the united states, provided that contact is
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reported, correct? wheeler: we should make our decision independently by those who have commented. speaker: they can go on your website and see who has filed ex parte, correct? and the president cannot fire you, correct? wouldn't we want different folks to weigh in on issues of this magnitude? wouldn't we want everyone to weigh in and make the decision? wheeler: it is the way democracy works. it is the way the act was structured. to make sure there was an omen -- open opportunity for comment. so they can make a decision based on what the record was. speaker: thank you, i yield back the balance of my time.
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chairman: similar to what you are saying, i do think there is room for everyone to weigh in but whether it be the president, a member of congress. it is about transparency. i would hope that we could find other people -- i believe certainly at the fcc and other agencies, maybe we should require high law there be a 30 day notice take a final rule. give it the light of day, let it be out there for 30 days. what harm would there be in doing that? i would appreciate that if the gentleman would consider it. chairman: i am curious, when you hear the complaint akin fourth
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and here you in sitting in a one what i consider to be a hot seat. are there things that you would like to see us do either as the congress, to bring more clarity or do you feel like the process is fine just the way it is. we want to be effective and efficient. we cannot just keep going on these merry go rounds. there will be controversial decisions in the future, and according to those comments, if there is guidance we can provide that will get rid of any kind of ambiguity with regard to people wondering whether folks have crossed a line. i am sure you have thought about this a lot.
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i know you want to act in the best interest of the united states. is there anything that you can think of? wheeler: i appreciate that question. my goal has been to make sure i follow the rules. i don't make the rules or regulations, i try to follow them. the administrative conference of the united states is the expert -- congress of the united states is the expert agency when it comes to processes. they have a challenge, and that the rules have to apply across all agents use, not just the. -- not just the fcc. i see my job as trying to adhere
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to the statute and the rules that have been put in place to deliver on those concepts. chairman: i want to respond to what you just said and highlight again, under the rules, you have the discretion to make it public, and you elected to not to i think congress is trying to make you open and transparent. now recognize mr. walker. walker: eating a new member of congress i am learning things every day. i had already known that al gore had invented the internet, today i found out the president has saved the internet. just to be curious, do you think that statement is fair? do you think his involvement has saved the
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chair wheeler: i think this is a much bigger issue, congressman i think the internet is the most powerful and pervasive platform in the face of the planet, and it has an impact on every aspect of our economy and every aspect on how we act as individuals and for that to exist without rules and without a referee is unthinkable. rep. walker: let me go back to what you said earlier. you said that earlier today you did not feel compelled to follow the president's suggestion. what was the president's suggestion? chair wheeler: the president suggested that we file an ex parte in regards to that, and we did not, he did not suggest that we did interconnection. he did not suggest that we shoulr the forbearance that we had -- rep. walker: i am trying to get to the places insofar as
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your interaction with him, and there were about nine or 10 trip s to the white house, where there was times of disagreement? chair wheeler: my comment about suggestion was specifically about the ex parte that was filed. rep. walker: did you have any idea -- let's go back to the pictures, obviously, of the protesters that were there that morning -- did you have any idea that those protesters would be showing up that morning, or were you surprised as the look on your face? chair wheeler: i was surprised and if i had spent less time brushing my teeth they would have missed me, because they just barely caught me. rep. walker: so you had no idea -- you are not tipped off that they were going to show up that morning? chair wheeler: no. rep. walker: your posture is
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apologetic. why do you think that assumption has been made? chair wheeler: apologetic? rep. walker: it seems that you are not as firm on the decision. chair wheeler: oh, my goodness congressman, i hope that this is not apologetic. this is my proudest day being involved in public policy for the last 40 years, there is no way that i am apologetic. i am fiercely proud of this decision. i believe it is the right decision and i believe it is an important decision. not only for today but for tomorrow. rep. walker: you talked about earlier, and i think the former congressman mentioned this earlier, we talked about the "wall street" article was wrong, so you can you tell me specifically, that was your comic, that "the wall street
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journal" had it wrong? chair wheeler: "the new york times" article had printed it the following day, but it said that there was one solution on the table, and "the new york times" the following day said that there were four solutitions on the table. rep. walker: which one is accurate? chair wheeler: "the new york times." i said in my testimony, we were looking at 706 and a hybrid, 706 by itself, a hybrid, and other options. the appearance of being and independent agency, can you understand why people would have some questions when there are
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meetings after meetings at the white house, as opposed to one just particular partisan perspective? chair wheeler: i believe that i met more than three times as often with the president. my job is to take input. my job is to provide expertise on issues that are being considered. and that kind of an ongoing relationship with all aspects of government is an important role, i believe. rep. walker: my time has expired and i will yield back to the chairman. rep. chaffetz: i think the gentleman -- i now recognize watson colman from new jersey. rep. watson coleman: thank you for your forbearance and thank
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you and you responded to the concern with net neutrality. i know that i am a newbie also but i became aware of net neutrality on social media, so thank you so much for that. i wanted to just clarify a couple of things. first of all with respect to the comment that we are going to have a 60-day comment. that would make that final rule possible, and i don't know how would -- how we would make that final rule. it has been stated that you have gone to the white house for several occasions, for what is supposedly a controversial period of time. was the issue of net neutrality the only thing you are doing when you are considering net neutrality? whether other issues when meeting with members of
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the white house at the white house, and if so, just for the record, might you just want to share some of those? chair wheeler: thank you congresswoman, yes. so i met on national security issues. we met on trade related issues. cyber security. the e-rate and what was happening there. spectrum policy. the white house was obviously very, very involved in implementing the instructions of the congress to repurpose spectrum and we had to work very closely with all of the agencies and the white house on that. and the spectrum options obviously as well. excuse me, i forgot to turn off my phone. rep. watson coleman: thank you
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mr. wheeler, that gives me an illustration of the variety of issues that you had been addressing. we would love to have the opportunity to work on one thing at a time. we know that the president doesn't and we know that we can't. i don't want to suggest that that is the only thing that you were doing. it is certainly misleading. i believe it is a mischaracterization of your character and of your continued statement that you were not meeting on these issues and i have no reason not to believe you, and given that this is such a huge issue, it just seems to me that you were quite willing to listen to more than 4 million people, what they had to say to all of the motions that were filed, and the considerations,
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and including the president of the united states -- i listened to him and i think he is quite brilliant and has great ideas for this country. why does want to thank you, for the opportunity to hear your testimony and to be able to give you an opportunity to ask you questions of the kind of things that are on your plate you might have been discussing with the white house. rep. chaffetz: i yield your time and now we go to representative hice. rep. hice: even though you did report to various lobbyists and activists, it is well-established here today, but this does not seem at all as
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though transparency has taken place. when there is a specific area that is not reported, the appearance is that it is secretive and that there is something to hide. and you are denying that today is that true? chair wheeler: yes sir, there is no secret. reporting to lobbyist -- there is no secret, i am reporting to lobbyist? rep. hice: there is no filing at the white house except one, and it gives every appearance of secrecy rather than transparency, would you agree to that? chair wheeler: i think it has to do with the fact that the language of ex parte is when it is intended to affect a decision and provide information of substantial significance. rep. hice: and you don't believe this is of substantial
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significance? chair wheeler: there was, and this is what the president said, and this is what the president was going to do, that was substantial significance. rep. hice: as a general rule, if someone is offering you an opinion, you would not object to an opinion being offered to you i am assuming? just a general rule? chair wheeler: yes. rep. hice: you would feel free to let someone have an opinion. on the other hand, if someone were trying to give directives to you or the sec or whatever, you would probably be outspoken against that action? you have somebody giving an opinion. you would probably be outspoken against that action? chair wheeler: and i think, boy, did we get opinions on this.
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rep. hice: you mentioned a while ago that the white house offered their opinion on this whole thing. i would like to put up a slide that we had a little bit earlier, e-mails from the chief of staff to the senate majority leader to you, and the top line up there that is in red, you said, the comment is spoken again last night at the white house and you told him to back off, so that sounds like a whole lot more than an opinion. typically, you would not tell someone who is offering an opinion to back off, would you agree with that? chair wheeler: i don't understand the parsing of the words, sir. rep. hice: you say you don't have a problem with someone giving there an opinion, but -- giving an opinion, but there is more
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than just an opinion coming from the white house, it would appear. chair wheeler: the other part about that is at the same point in time, there was 90 letters from republican members of congress saying that i should not do title ii. rep. hice: i am talking about this statement right here at the white house -- chair wheeler: the point of title ii is that it is very much in the mix. rep. hice: it says, spoke again last night with folks at the white house and said to back off at title ii and once again the problems it creates, this is more than an opinion. chair wheeler: this is may, and as i indicated in may, i was proposing that section 706 was the solution, and i learned through the process of this long before the white house ever had their filing that section 706 was not the answer. rep. hice: but the white house
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was not providing an opinion. they were putting some sort of directive to do something otherwise, they would have been saying comments, and you would've told the white house to back off. it was more than an opinion coming from the white house. chair wheeler: i think you are reading into this -- rep. hice: why would the comment be to back off if it is just an opinion? if the white house is offering an opinion, no one would be saying back off. there is more than an opinion being presented -- saying back off, there is more than opinion the presented. chair wheeler: no offense, but that is your opinion. rep. hice: it is your e-mail, it is your e-mail, and -- chair wheeler: there is more than what is clearly stated there -- rep. hice: it says back off, and that is creating problems for us, and -- i yield my time. rep. chaffetz: thank you gentlemen, we will now
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here from the representative from the virgin islands, ms. plaskett. rep. plaskett: i think that the the interest is primarily in the process as opposed to the content of what the open internet is. having these hearings and whether or not you have used discretionary ability as opposed to a rule is something i think is very interesting. i think it was very important for us to understand the steps that the fcc takes in that rulemaking process. the official fcc blog contains a post from the general counsel entitled "process of governance,
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the fcc, and the internet order" and i asked to enter that post into this hearing record at this time. rep. chaffetz: without objections, thank you. rep. plaskett: thank you, and they seek "to create an enforceable rule that opens public input and is able to withstand judicial review." is that an accurate statement that that is the goal of the fcc in its rulemaking? chair wheeler: yes, ma'am. rep. plaskett: and the fcc reviewed rules in light of the public record, and -- the fcc reviewed rules in light of the public record. because of the volume and interest in this. when was that done? chair wheeler: the traditional way that we do it is the
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comment period closes and you have an opportunity to review those comments, and then you can look at those comments and review those. rep. plaskett: can you remember what time that was closed, the review process? chair wheeler: i don't, but i can get that for you. rep. plaskett: and then there was the internal review and deliberation again, is that correct? chair wheeler: yes, ma'am. rep. plaskett: and how long is that timeframe? chair wheeler: three weeks before the vote, and that is our own internal -- rep. plaskett: and that is the commissioner's rules? chair wheeler: yes, ma'am. rep. plaskett: and then before february 6, there were calls to disclose that order. right? is it a policy to disclose rules before the commission votes on it? chair wheeler: no, ma'am. rep. plaskett: what could possibly be that? what would be the reasoning behind that, the rationale?
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chair wheeler: the rationale is that first of all, there has been this extended period of comment and public debate and then you get to a point in time where the rubber meets the road and you are drafted and you are going back and forth and editing a document that changes frequently as a result. and that is something that is dynamic and not public. one reason you want to make sure you have the full participation of all of the commission is the opportunity to cause mischief in financial markets by misinterpretations of changing glad to happy, and that is an issue, and so these have always been in camera kind of editorial activities. rep. plaskett: so even after the
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there has been an additional steps before the order is final and ready for release, correct? chair wheeler: yes, ma'am. rep. plaskett: and you follow those? chair wheeler: yes, ma'am. rep. plaskett: clarification of any specific arguments made by the statements and then the final cleanup edits? correct? chair wheeler: yes, and when those final cleanup edits were made by the dissenters, that was about midday and on the following morning at 9:30, we released the item. rep. plaskett: and the final order was released on march 12 correct? chair wheeler: yes, ma'am. rep. plaskett: so it appears to be that you did not depart in any way from the rulemaking process in this respect in regards to the open internet and it really has been a question to many people's mind and are good chairman and the other individuals, whether you
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used your discretionary role outside of the rulemaking, correct? chair wheeler: that is correct yes. rep. plaskett: and then there is a question of whether that discretion was appropriate or not appropriate, like the president weighing in on the importance of the people for the united states. chair wheeler: i can't comment on that hypothetical, but my statement is that we followed the protocols. rep. plaskett: thank you, very much. i yield the balance of my time. rep. chaffetz: sure, sure, and now we recognize the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. russell, for five minutes. rep. russell: thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, mr. wheeler for your long and dedicated role, and i know it is often thankless. your dedication is appropriated. chair wheeler: sir, i recognize your badge, and thank you. rep. russell: thank you. you stated earlier today that it
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-- you determine it was reasonable for isp's, but not reasonable for consumers with this ruling. is it not true that federal taxes could be applied to consumers where it was once limited? chair wheeler: specifically, the freedom of information act prohibits specifically that that, and whether that has changed is outside -- rep. russell: but from an informational service to a communication service, should consumers be taxed? chair wheeler: again, that is going to be your decision and not mine. rep. russell: was it possible when it was just an information service outside of title ii? chair wheeler: information services, some are taxed at state
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levels, i believe, and some -- some could be taxed at state levels, i don't want to say that because we have a tax freedom information act, and -- well, it cuts both ways. rep. russell: the constitution states that it is congress that has the power to regulate commerce. do you believe this? chair wheeler: yes, sir. rep. russell: do you believe that the public would have been better served for the public to review the rules prior to their release, especially in light of your testimony today, where you said that rules have to apply across all agencies to be considered? chair wheeler: this has been, as you know, congressman, a 10-year process -- and there has been multiple input by multiple congresses along the way. there is legislation now which is entirely appropriate.
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to take the instructions of congress as stipulated in the statute and interpret them in terms of the realities of the day. and that is what we did. rep. russell: the quote that i would like to read to you by a senior vice president of a communications company says, changing a platform should be done after careful policy analysis and the congress which , is constitutionally charged with determining policy." now, you and your agency have established a clear believe that adopting these title ii rules would create problems, as we have seen in some of the e-mail traffic that we reviewed today
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and you also stated in other e-mails that you produce to the committee that you did not intend to be a wallflower in your tenure at the commission. but given the coordinated efforts, and the pressure of the white house, coincidentally timed protests and other white house statements, would it be unreasonable, then, for americans to somehow feel betrayed that this decision was a cave against your earlier judgment, and damage the reputation of the fcc as an independent agency? chair wheeler: no, and i think it is also important to go to your key assumption there in quoting the senior vice president. there are four bright line rules, there are only four rules -- no blocking no paid prioritization, etc.
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you have been subject to this, and we would never think of not doing that, so when this person says it is going to change the basic operation of the internet, there is some kind of a discord there, because as they are saying, oh we are not going to do that, but when they say we require that, it is changing the operation of the internet, and i think that kind of is an underlying tension that has been going through this whole thing. rep. plaskett: i would hope as we move forward in the future, that there is clearly going to be lawsuits in this process, there is going to be continued discussion about it, and that we would make sure the congress regulates commerce. i personally believe that what we will see follow will be a taxation of consumers. i think had they known that, they would not have been so quick to click the internet
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like to get these 4 million comments, and i think we have set back free information and access to all americans. thank you, i yield back the balance of my time. rep. chaffetz: thank you, we will recognize the gentlewoman. rep. lawrence: thank you. first -- welcome. i appreciate you being here today. my friend, my colleague, stated you did not intend to be a wallflower, and i find that refreshing. to be part of a regulatory process, you should not be a wallflower, you should be actively engaged, and i appreciate the passion that you have distributed today. i wanted you to know that when i came to congress, i have heard a lot about this net neutrality, and had done my homework, and i came to congress with an open mind and willingness to see both
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sides of this issue. i also am aware that over 4 million people filed public comments with the fcc. 4 million. most of them average people voting yes. and i also saw the president's comments on this issue. one of the things that i want to ask of you today, mr. wheeler, it's too really solidify you in this position. chairman wheeler, you were supported by telcom companies when president obama selected you to this position, is that correct? chair wheeler: i believe so, yes. rep. lawrence: and you were unanimously confirmed by the senate and the house as well? chair wheeler: yes, ma'am. rep. lawrence: so it was not just one side, it was many -- both sides. you worked for the national
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cable television association which is representing these agencies that would be affected. from 1992 until 2004, you served as the president of the internet association is , that correct? chair wheeler: yes, ma'am. rep. lawrence: clearly you would not be a wallflower. you know this industry while because if there was ever such thing as an internet or an isp, you would know that, correct? chair wheeler: i have spent my professional life in this space, ma'am. rep. lawrence: knowing this, would you push for regulation that you knowingly would be aware that would damage the industry that you represented for so many years?
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so the decision and the regulation that you advocated for, your position was, this would not damage, but enhance? chair wheeler: thank you, miss lawrence, that is a very good question, and i think there are two answers to that. number one, i think that yes, i was the chief advocate and the chief lobbyist for those two industries, when they were growing industries and not the behemoths that they are now, but when they were growing. my client today is the american consumer. and that is who i want to make sure that i am doing that, you do not help the american consumer by cutting off the nose of those who provide competitive broadband service to spite your face, and so what we were doing in this was balancing the consumer protection with the
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investment necessary to provide competitive broadband services. and i went back to my roots as the president of ctia, and when i was sent to congress, and they said we need to be regulated with title ii with forbearance congress agreed with that and that is the rule under which the wireless voice industry has since then had $300 billion of investment and became the marvel of the world. the answer is yes on both fronts. you can't help consumers if you are not stimulating broadband growth, but my job rep. lawrence: just for the record, because the question
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today is inferring that, would you support regulations -- and you eloquently stated that there is a balancing of information in your experience, and bringing to this point, would you support regulations that would hurt isp's just because the white house thought it would be a good idea? chair wheeler: throughout this process, i have been trying to be very independent and very thoughtful. rep. lawrence: lastly, do you honestly believe that net neutrality will stifle innovation, hurt access, or hinder the growth and development of the telecom industry given your 40 years of experience? chair wheeler: no, ma'am, and it is not just my opinion, that when major internet service providers like sprint, like t-mobile, like frontier communications, like google fiber, like hundreds of rural providers say that they,
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to believe they will be investing and continuing to grow competitive broadband, i believe that is a reinforcement of this point. rep. lawrence: thank you for your service and i now yield back my time. rep. chaffetz: thank you very much and now we recognize the gentleman from alabama mr. palmer. rep. palmer: thank you so much you claimed in your opening statement that this was the most transparent rulemaking in fcc history is , that correct? chair wheeler: that is correct. rep. palmer: you claimed that all communications with the white house where documented with the ex parte filings, is that correct? chair wheeler: yes, sir. rep. palmer: while they are working on that slide, i have
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here a copy of your ex parte filing on the president's statement on net neutrality, and mr. wheeler, it is two paragraphs long. three sentences total. are we left to believe that the entirety of the white house's involvement in this process can be captured in just three sentences? chair wheeler: i am now being passed. this is a letter from november 10? i believe it has a two page attachment with it think it's quite specific and says what bright line rules should be an things such as that, that wireless should be covered? rep. chaffetz: i believe the portion is three sentences. chair wheeler: i disagree
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respectfully. they put in here the entire statement in which he was saying this is what i think we ought to stand for. >> are you telling us that jeff zients just read the president's statement? i yield back to mr. palmer. chair wheeler: i don't think that was the question. rep. palmer in you had two phone calls, is that correct? chair wheeler: if the calendar says that, i do not recall talking to mr. podesta. but if the calendar says that. rep. palmer: do you have any
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recollection of a phone call with mr. podesta? chair wheeler: if the calendar says, i will stipulate to it. rep. palmer: do you recall talking to the white house office of science and technology policy? chair wheeler: i have talked to them multiple times. rep. palmer: can you give us an idea of what was discussed? february 2014. chair wheeler: i do not know what the specifics of the call were. rep. palmer: do you have a recollection of having those calls? chair wheeler: if my calendar says come i must have. there's a bunch of things going on that are relevant. but i don't know what we were talking about.
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rep. palmer: it shows up on your calendar. if you are having a difficult time remembering because and the content of this cause, should either of those calls have been recorded as ex parte contacts? chair wheeler: there are two answers. one, i do not recall the content. second, there are specific guidelines as far as ex parte ru les as far as what ex parte is. third, there is and has been since the first bush administration that contacts with the administration and congress are not ex parte. rep. palmer: last question. what other contacts do you recall that you have had with the white house staff prior to
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april 2014, e-mails that have been publicly released? chair wheeler: you have my calendar and you have my e-mails. rep. palmer: i yield the balance of my time. rep. chaffetz: we recognize the gentleman from california. >> i just want to thank you for your service. i am tremendously proud of not just your decision but also your testimony and how you have handled yourself. particularly considering your background. coming from the san francisco area, the importance of innovation for us and having many constituents and friends that work at companies like google and apple, we went to make sure we get it right. having the presence of at&t and comcast come i understand the
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balance. i understand the balance of your independence and expertise of independent commissions and their relationship with the administration and congress. there is a strong argument to be made that someone like yourself and your staff are more properly situated to avoid some of the politics and make these decisions. having said that, i was taken by your comments to one of the questions. looking like you are second-guessing your decision in your vote in your response was very forthright. that was to the decision. knowing that a process is as important and the perspective of the process is as important as the decision-making, how would you respond to the question of are you equivocating as to the questions you are being asked and the process? chair wheeler: i believe that we
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handle this just as any other issue that comes before us. as much for monday ends -- as much for monday and things that we deal with, we use procedure religiously. rep. desaulnier: would you say that your comments about the decision-making -- chair wheeler: i think the process worked.. rep. desaulnier: you commented about the input from the public. the 4 million comments. would you ascribe a reason for that? i have gotten lots of input, we all have from average, everyday citizens. would you describe the motivation? chair wheeler: i think that the internet touches people's l;ives
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more than any other, everybody has an opinion about the internet and wants to talk about the internet. when you begin addressing issues such as will the internet continue to be fair, fast, and open, those are things it does not take an engineering degree or computer science degree to understand. those are things you can understand that affect people individually. that is why we had this kind of response. rep. desaulnier: i appreciate that. interesting seeing behind you a picture of the transcontinental railway. when you look at a historical perspective of how the government has handled what would be considered assets of the commonwealth but also wanted
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to be fair to the private sector, whether it was railroads or television or the media, from your perspective, one of the concerns is who benefits and who does not. usually the poorest americans have benefited the least, at least in the short term. do you have comments on this rulemaking and the digital divide? will it help eliminate that? when not doing this ruling or an opposite rulemaking, how would it affect the poorest of americans? chair wheeler: if you do not have access -- free, fair, open access -- then you, per se, hav e a divide. and so when we come out and talk about how there needs to be, no matter where you are, no matter what legal content it is that there should be open access to it.
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that is the predicate to not having a divide. not to say that there are not challenges we will continue to face. but that the baseline is there has to be openness. rep. desaulnier: thank you, mr. chairman. chair wheeler: thank you. rep. chaffetz: i now recognize the gentleman from iowa. rep: blum. -- rep. blum: thank you. i admire your green tie. chair wheeler: you grow up with a woman into irish, you make
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sure you wear a green tie. rep. blum: you said one of the fcc's goals is to protect the internet as a level playing field for innovators and entrepreneurs. i am one of those innovators and entrepreneurs. my concern as a small businessman, i have seen firsthand what happens to private and free marketplaces when they have the federal government get involved. typically what happens, we see less innovation, we see higher prices and higher taxes. an example of that recently is the affordable care act, which was supposed to help level the playing field for small businesses. higher prices, less innovation higher taxes. my question to you and a question i get asked in iowa often is what steps is the fcc going to take to ensure that the internet remains vibrant
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innovative, and open. when history has shown us that the heavy-handed federal government gets involved in a free and vibrant market, bad things happen. chair wheeler: thank you. first of all i would like to identify with you as one entrepreneur to another. i, too have been a small businessman. i started half a dozen companies. some worked, some did not -- that happens. you understand that experience as well. for the decade before i took this job, i was a venture capitalist who was investing in early-stage internet protocol-based companies. and so i know, both personally from my entrepreneurial experience as well as from my investing experience, that
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openness is key. if the companies i had invested in did not have open access to the distribution network, it would have been an entirely different story. the thing that is interesting about the difference between -- this is what we do to guarantee it. what you can tell your constituents is that it is openness that is the core of creativity. there should be nobody acting as a gateway and saying you are only going to get on my network if you do it on my terms. as we get to the previous discussion, what you want to do is make sure you have that gateway not blocking the openness of entrepreneurs. at the same way, the gateway not being retail price regulated so it can continue to invest. that is the kind of balance we
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were trying to do. i would urge you to tell your constituents the opportunity for innovation and the opportunity for the scaling that is required of innovation has never been greater since the networks are open. rep. blum: with all due respect, many people and i a lot what say you are trying to solve a problem that does not exist at an interview at the consumer electronics show in january, you said you had an "aha" moment when you realized the telecommunications act of 1996 applied title ii to wireless phone providers but exempted them from many provisions. later, the house subcommittee chair said he met with you to reiterate republicans' concerns with title ii regulations. he said you assured him you were committed to net neutrality without classification of broadband under title ii.
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sounds to me like a flip-flop. can you explain that? chair wheeler: i respect mr. wadding greatly and will be testifying before him on thursday. i saw him when he made that statement. i went back to the notes from that meeting. we have a completely different set of recollections and, in fact notes. my notes say that i sent that we would -- i said that we would use light touch title ii and section 706. i do not know what is going on. all i am saying is that is or what my notes are. rep. blum: thank you. i yelled my time. rep. chaffetz: we recognize the gentleman from georgia. rep. carter: i want to get a
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better understanding of two things. throughout the process today and through my reading and through listening, a just appears that the whole process, there was more attention paid to the white house tha congressn. i don't understand why that would be the case. did you serve on the transition team for the obama administration? chair wheeler: yes. rep. carter: it is safe to say that you have a close relationship with the president? chair wheeler: i do not know that i am close, i know the president. rep. carter: he would not have you serve on his transition team? he did not ask me to be on his transition team, let's put it
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that way. after the rule, the day after the role, after the vote for the rule, did it strike you as being interesting and all that a fellow commissioner called the new rule president obama's plan ? chair wheeler: everybody is entitled to their own opinion. and i think it's appropriate to state something very clearly. the response to what you are saying. since taking this job, i met o nce with the president in the oval office. it was the first couple days on the job. it was congratulations and welcome to the job. rep. carter: i understand -- chair wheeler: in that meeting he said to me, i will never call you. you are an independent agency. rep. careter: why do you think a
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fellow commissioner made the comment this was president obama's plan? chair wheeler: he has been good to his word -- rep. carter: why do you think the democratic national committee made the statement it is president obama's plan? chair wheeler: both committees will engage and hyperbole. rep. carter: you think it is hyperbole? chair wheeler: sir -- rep. carter: do you agree with the dnc's statement? chair wheeler: it was a plan put together by the fcc. rep. carter: you do not believe it is president obama's plan? chair wheeler: one, he did not have section 706 when he sent something and peer he did not cover interconnection.
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he talked about forbearing from regulation but not 26 other things. we produced a plan that is uniquely our plan. and is a plan based on the record established before us. and when the president joined the 64 democratic members of congress and the millions of people and said he too thought that this makes sense he was piling on rather than being definitive. rep.: carter: through the evolution of the plan, did your thought process change at all? initially it appeared you had in mind a hybrid seven or six plan -- 706 plan. chair wheeler: i started out with pure 706. i realized that would not work because of the commercially reasonable test.
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i started exploring title ii. rep. carter: did anyone lead you in this exploration? chair wheeler: all kinds of commenters and a lot of work. rep. carter: do you think any of those commenters were influenced by the white house? chair wheeler: i have no idea. rep. carter: do you feel you paid us close attention to the white house as you pay to congress? chair wheeler: i believe i have frankly spent more time discussing this with members of congress then with the administration. rep. carter: you feel like you listened to the input of congress more than white house? chair wheeler: i paid full attention to the record that was established in this proceeding. it included members of congress saying no, do not do title ii. it included members of congress saying do do title ii. rep. carter: do you feel you
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paid as close attention to congress as you did to the white house? chair wheeler: my responsibility is to be responsive to all the people. rep. carter: i cannot tell -- thank you very much. rep. chaffetz: the chair is prepared to rule he's only been outdone by the gentleman from wisconsin, who is wearing his colors. we recognize that gentleman for five minutes. change been last month, the wall street journal had an article reporting the white house spent months in a secretive effort to change the fcc course. what was your reaction? chair wheeler: there is a standard process where the white house works on developing their position. i was not a part of it.
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>> did it surprise you when you heard about it? chair wheeler: it is not a surprise that something like that goes on. >> last spring and summer you had meetings with white house officials. did you become aware that the white house was working on an alternative to your proposal? chair wheeler: i had heard rumors the white house was looking at this like they look at all other issues. rep. grothman: the white house had meetings with online activists, startups and traditional telecommunication companies. participants were told allegedly, not to discuss the process. were you aware of these meetings at the time? chair wheeler: i knew there was a process that -- that there was
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this group. i did not know they were meeting -- i did not know who they were meeting with. rep. chaffetz: the gentleman from maryland. rep. cummings: i want to thank you again for your testimony. i think that when decisions are made by various, by these commissions, quite often people are in disagreement with those decisions. i do not think there is anything wrong with looking behind the curtain to try to figure out what the process was. one of the things we happen pushing very hard on in this committee is the idea of transparency. so your testimony has been very enlightening.
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i think we need to keep in mind, you know, these decisions are made by people who come to government -- they do not have to do that. they come to government trying to bring their own experiences to the table. their concerns and hopes of bringing us more and more to that more perfect union that we talk about. i want to thank you for all that you have done and continue to do . i want to think the other commissioners and your employees. a lot of times in these circumstances we forget that there are employees who have worked very hard on these issues trying to do it right. so that is very important. i hope you will take that back to your commissioners and the
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employees. and i am hopeful that we can move forward. i have listened to you very carefully. there was a moment, i mentioned to my staff that touched me that . you were asked whether you are backtracking on your decision. the passion that you responded in saying absolutely not, this is a decision that you all made and you are proud of it and is something that is very important to you. you cannot fake that. as a child lawyer used to watching people testified -- as a trial lawyer used to watching people testify.
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as a childanother thing you said is that you are here to the rules. i appreciate -- you adhered to the rules. i appreciate that and i believe you. i want to thank you. rep. chaffetz: i appreciate you being here today. we were made aware that the inspector general has opened an investigation of this process. are you aware of that? chair wheeler: no. rep. chaffetz: it is not an audit, inspection, but an investigation. will you be willing to cooperate with this investigation? chair wheeler: of course. rep. chaffetz: one of the key things is the process of openness and transparency. my personal opinion, there could have been a lot more done to maximize the transparency and the openness. the rules do allow you latitude
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to give it more transparency than you did. i think one of the things our body should look at is compelling openness and transparency rather than making it discretionary. that is something we will have to take back. thre -- there are rulings that go one direction and another some people are happy and some are not. the idea that the public could have a 30 day opportunity to see the final rule rings true. until you voted for it, nobody outside the commission is allowed to see the final product -- that does not lend itself well to maximizing openness and transparency. that is just my comment. it is not a question. i think a 30 day window would do that. i also think the interactions with those who have an opinion
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is fine, it is a healthy one. the lack of disclosure about those, overly redirecting e-mails does lead one to believe that there is a bit more of a secret type of communication going on. i think you can understand and i hope you can appreciate why some people will come to that conclusion. particularly given the dramatic change in the policy. i think this is a good and healthy hearing. we appreciate your participation. that is what this is about. we do have a number of outstanding requests from the fcc. some take a little bit longer and some are fairly easy. we appreciate your staff and we thank them for those efforts. this committee now stands adjourned. [captions copyright national
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cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> fcc chair tom wheeler will be back on capitol hill today. more about our live coverage in a moment. >> defense secretary ashton carter and martin dempsey will get an update on efforts to combat isis they will take questions on u.s. defense programs at the house armed services committee. live coverage at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3.
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later, the commissioners of the fcc, along with the chairman tom wheeler will take questions about the newly approved net neutrality rule. live coverage from the senate commerce committee at 2:30 eastern. also on c-span3. >> this weekend, the cities tour has partnered with media com to learn about columbus georgia. >> inside the museum is the remains of a confederate ironclad, the css jackson. those oval shapes are the gun ports. armed with six rifles. the rifle is one of the guns built for the jackson. it was cast at the selma naval works and completed in january
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1865. the claim to fame is connected to the fact that there are only 4 ironclad's from the civil war that we can study right now. the jackson is right here. this is why the facility is here. first and foremost tells the story of this ironclad. to show people there are more than just one or two ironclads there were many. . >> all our events from columbus saturday on book tv and sunday at 2:00 on american history tv on c-span3. >> republicans on the house budget committee laid out their 10 year budget plan, which includes repealing the affordable care act. tom price of georgia chairs the committee.
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mr. price: happy st. patrick's day to all. i'm very, very proud to join my colleagues, members of the house budget committee to present a balanced budget for a stronger america. when i talk with folks back in my district, back in georgia and talk with folks around the country, they are very concerned. some are angry. some are really frustrated about the direction of our great country. they feel we are adrift. that washington seems incapable of addressing their concerns. that the federal government is getting in the way and impeding the very spirit of the american people. and the president's response in his budget, more taxes, more spending, more borrowing, more debt, more stagnant growth.
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remember that every single dollar, every dollar that's taken for taxes or borrow money is a dollar that can't be spent to buy car, pay the rent, to send a child to college, or to technical school, to buy a house, to expand the business, or grow a business, create jobs. we think there's a better way. the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, admiral mullen, said a few years ago, when asked what the number one threat to america's national security, the number one threat, he said the debt. the debt. what he knows and what the american people know is that unless we have economic security we cannot have national security. instead of the insecurity and uncertainty of the president's plan, we think there's a better way. we believe in promoting the greatest amount of opportunity for the greatest number of americans so that the greatest amount of success can be realized and the greatest number of american dreams can be found. in doing so, in a way that demonstrates real hope and real optimism and real compassion and
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real fairness without washington picking winners and losers. our balanced budget for a stronger america saves $5.5 trillion. gets to balance within 10 years without raising taxes. we responsibly lay out a plan for a healthy economy. an opportunity economy. one that opens the doors for people, not subjects them to the dictates of washington, d.c. we save and strengthen medicare and medicaid instead of allowing them to continue on the path of insolvency which is what the president's plan is. we recognize the imperative of providing for the military men and women and their families the resources needed to protect our national security and respect their service. in fact, our budget spends more on national defense than the president's and we do so in a responsible way that addresses current law and lays out a path to address the ongoing concerns of the military so that they are better able to plan and prepare to meet current challenges and those in the future. we believe in america.
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we believe in americans. we understand our problems are significant and we hear the people of this nation crying out for leadership here in washington, d.c. this balanced budget, this balanced budget, for a stronger america, will result in a government that is more efficient and effective and accountable. one that frees up the american spirit, american optimism, and enthusiasm to do great things and to meet great challenges. and we encourage our colleagues and fellow citizens across this nation to join us in this exciting opportunity. go to budget.house.gov and download our blueprint budget. got a few members of the house budget committee who will make some comments about some specific areas of our budget. first up is the gentleman from indiana, the vice chairman of the budget committee, mr. rokita. mr. rokita: thank you, chairman. vice chairman of the committee. i want to first say how proud i am to stand in front of my fellow colleagues here.
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we have taken our job very seriously. hours of member meetings putting this responsible and accurate document together. not hours of staff meetings, hours of member meetings. we each have been actively engaged in this process. i think that's worth noting. first and foremost it's important to know that this balance, this budget balances within 10 years. now, that is the quickest of any of the recently passed house budgets. and it's also important to note that it's a very stark contrast to the president's budget. that never balances. how can we begin to pay our debt if we can't even get to balance under the president's plan? our plan does that. it does it in a responsible way. after that, after we balance, we begin to pay down our debt so that future generations aren't saddled with irresponsible
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decisions that have been made in the past. a balanced budget is crucial to giving individuals, families and businesses greater certainty for the future and it shows the american people and frankly the rest of the world that we are ready to make the tough decisions and hold government accountable in how it spends our hard-earned tax dollars and why america should be the financial leader for years to come. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. price: mr woodall? mr. what: -- mr. woodall: my name's rob woodall, from the seventh district of georgia. i want to talk about the job opportunities in the budget.
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the budget a moral document talks about where your values are. and what this committee values what this conference values is the opportunity for job creation. i happen to be with a group of manufacturers this morning completely unsolicited, well you can give us bad news or give us good news, but what we need is certainty. if we can have certainty, then we can get back to the business of creating jobs. in an uncertain economy, in a world where the president's budget purports to borrow not just next year, not just 10 years from now but 20 years from now, 30 years from now, and 40 years from now job creators know there is no certainty. this budget balances in a responsible way. provides certainty on issues of interest rates and borrowing because we know america's government will no longer be that dominant borrower. provides certainty in the tax code. how many state of the union speeches have we all sat through where we talked about the importance of reforming the tax code in order to create american jobs? how many proposals have we seen come forward from downtown? this budget, this budget anticipates that fundamentally structuring of the tax code that allows us to be the absolute magnet for job creation around the globe. from streamlining regulations to focusing on energy production,
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item after item you will see that commitment to certainty. i'm very proud of what budget committee has done. i'm proud of what the last four budget committees have done. but we never had an opportunity to partner that the senate to provide that certainty for good. i hope you look carefully at what is different this year when folks are playing with the opportunity for the first time in my short congressional career to actually bring a budget to the united states of america. i'm grateful to the chairman for his leadership. i look forward to being a great part of it. thank you very much. mrs. black: thank you, mr. chairman. good morning to all of you. let me say that it is an honor to be here with my members of the committee and each of you as we unveil this, a balanced budget for our stronger america. as a nurse for more than 40
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years, i'm pleased to tell you this budget repeals all of obamacare. the taxes, the mandates, and regulations that are wreaking havoc on our health care system and our economy. we additionally end obamacare's $700 billion-plus raid on medicare and we put forward a proposal to save and strengthen the program for today's seniors and future retirees. further, our budget empowers states by giving them the flexibility that's needed to tailor their medicaid programs that fit the unique needs of their populations and we call on policymakers to start over with with health care reform that puts patients, families, and doctors in charge -- not washington bureaucrats. i'm very proud of this budget and i look forward to future action to put this budget in action and pass it into law. thank you, mr. chairman.
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mr. price: we are enthusiastic about the future of our great country. we recognize there are huge challenges and know that economic security is the key to national security, and the key to a brighter more hopeful future for all americans. again, our budget, a balanced budget, for a stronger america is a bath forward to that brighter future. for government lives within its means, for washington is efficient, effective, and accountable. we embrace the challenge and opportunity and we call again on our colleagues and our fellow citizens across this great country as we move forward together. a balanced budget for a stronger america, budget.house.gov. i'm happy to take a few questions. >> dr. price, which committees do you intend to issue reconciliation instructions to and what do you plan to use reconciliation for? mr. price: the great opportunity we have with a senate that is now in republican hands is that we have an opportunity to have a
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unified budget between the two chambers and do something called reconciliation, which is an opportunity to pass a piece of legislation out of the house and out of the senate with just 51 votes in the united states senate and put it on the president's desk to put forward good policy and to provide a contrast for the american people to see who's trying to solve these challenges and who might be standing in the way. our reconciliation directives will direct eight or nine different committees to identify areas of savings and have the flexibility to be able to address the issue of obamacare repeal, has flexibility to address other items should the conference desire to do so. we have specific language that identifies calls on the committees of jurisdiction to identify ways in which obamacare might be able to be repealed. >> to follow up on that. looking at the instructions it looks like it's about $5 billion which comes a lot short than the $5 trillion are you talking about.
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why not go for a higher number on reconciliation? mr. price: the amount of savings we find in the budget ourself and demonstrate over a 10-year period of time are two different things. the reconciliation instructions given to the committee are put an appropriate level that allows them to go above it. that's a floor not a ceiling. so we are able to address the kind of deficit reduction that we might desire. again, it's also an opportunity to provide a positive solution that the american people desire, put it on the president's desk and encourage him to sign. you say the budget does not raise taxes. but it assumes the c.b.o. baseline which assumes the expiration of tax extenders which would amount to a $900 billion revenue increase from current policy. secondly, you claim that you're repealing all of the obamacare taxes, but you have a c.b.o baseline on revenue. can you square those two things? mr. price: we believe in the american people and believe in
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growth. the amount of spending that's done here in washington we believe to be at a level that we can rein in, just decreasing spending or reining in spending will not get us to the kind of economy we want or allow the american people to get back to work and realize their dreams. the tax reform we have identified and the proposals we put forward we believe will result in significant increase in growth. it's important for people to appreciate this. the congressional budget office has decreased its estimate on growth in this country from 3% four years ago to 2.3% annually over the next 10 years. 2.3%. recognize the average for the last 40 years has been 3.3% growth. what's that difference mean? what's that 1% difference mean? that means over $3 trillion, $3 trillion over that period of time in greater revenue to the federal government because of the greater increase in economic activity. so as i mentioned before, we believe in the american people. we believe in the vitality of their enthusiasm and the vitality of an economy. if you let it loose.
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if you let it go. that's what we embrace. >> are you claiming that economic growth just magically matches the c.b.o. baseline and that that $900 billion for the extenders -- mr. price: we not only believe it will, we believe it will exceed it. it isn't accounted for in our budget in numerical values because we believe if you increase growth the increase will be over $3 trillion over that period of time. more than covering the baseline of the c.b.o. estimate. >> over the $5 trillion in savings, $1.064 trillion is from other non-specified federal programs. could you specify that -- mr. price: let me encourage you to take a peek at a balanced budget for a strong america, i
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encourage you to go there and courage the american people to go there, budget.house.gov. >> i am looking at that, table s-4, it does not specify. mr. price: there are very specific notations where that comes from. mandatory programs. the welfare programs. we encourage working as a component of participating in a welfare program for abled body adults. the snap program, the food stamps program we believe is , better run at the state level rather than federal level. each one of those things gets you a certain amount of savings. the good news over the constellation of all of those results in significant savings for the american people so we can get the economy rolling. >> on tax reform. your intention that tax reform will be revenue neutral. you wouldn't be capturing any revenue from closing any of those loopholes? mr. price: we don't account for any revenue in our budget because of the question that andy asked. that is how can you plug a
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number in there when you don't know what's exactly going to be? we however feel strongly and , confidently, as has happened every time that federal government reduced taxes for the american people it's increased revenue to the federal government. so we believe that a strong and vibrant economy rests are on progrowth tax reform. we allow a path to make that happen. >> why does the c.b.o. only give you $147 billion in sort of deficit reduction effects from the economic growth, why is that number not bigger? mr. price: because the process they go through to score is by and large static scoring which doesn't recognize the feedback that happens in the dynamic way that our economy works. we're excited about the opportunity that we have. i can't tell you how proud i am of the men and women standing behind me and the work they've done in the budget committee. we look forward to having it in markup tomorrow and having it on the floor next week. we are happy to answer any questions after the press conference. thanks so much. god bless. >> chairman price, about the
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c.b.o. score -- [inaudible] >> house minority leader nancy pelosi weighed in on the budget plan. "there's nothing new here," she said." more budget coverage, including wednesday's house budget committee markup later. >> president obama met with irish prime minister enda kenny at the white house to mark st. patrick's day. the president spoke about the relationship between the two countries and touched on a number of issues, including immigration, trade and security.
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president obama: everybody ready? well it is a great pleasure to once again welcome my good friend and colleague, prime minister kenny back to the white house and the oval office. along with his delegation. this is always one of my favorites. it allows me to trot out my irish heritage and brings back fond memories of my visits to ireland. it allows us to reaffirm the incredible friendship and family ties between our two countries. the visit comes at a time when ireland is on the move, after a
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very challenging financial crisis. finances have stabilized, the economy is now growing again. unemployment is beginning to come down. creating jobs in the u.s. an island. one of these is the potential for eight transatlantic trade partnership between the u.s. and the eu. we had discussions about how we can continue negotiations on those fronts. i was able to hear from the taoiseach about europe's progress trying to strengthen its economy as a whole. what happens to europe has a great impact on what happens in the u.s. we had the opportunity to talk about northern ireland.
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although the recent framework agreement that has been put in place offers great hope for a resolution of some long-standing challenges, there is still more work to do. we appreciate the leadership the taoiseach has shown in this process and the collaboration with the united states and encouraging both parties to arrive at peaceful resolutions that can lead to prosperity and growth in northern ireland. we had an opportunity to talk about domestic issues here. of great interest to the taoiseach is immigration reform. i indicated the executive actions i have taken, some of which are tied up in the court. we share the view that one of the great strengths of the united states has always been its willingness to welcome new immigrants to our shores.
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that is what has made us unique and special. nobody has contended more to the growth and dynamism of the u.s. economy than our irish immigrants. that continues to be the case. we appreciate the interest there. we had a chance to discuss broader security issues that we face in comment. the importance of having a firm and resolute position with respect to ukraine and russian aggression there. we need to maintain strong sanctions and ensure the minsk agreement is fully implemented. and that the territorial integrity and sovereignty of ukraine is respected. a chance to discuss the challenges of the middle east and the importance of stemming the flow of foreign fighters to island, the u.s. in the rest of europe. and increasing and deepening
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cooperation in countering foreign fighter flows. we appreciate it cooperation. the biggest challenge i have when i meet with the taoiseach is finding something we disagree on. we are great partners and he's a great friend. we look forward to welcoming everyone to the white house for some st. patrick's day cheer later this evening. we are going to be going over to congress for some friendship and fellowship on a bipartisan basis. i should mention that i was hoping for a little luck of the irish as the republicans put forward their budget today. unfortunately, what we are seeing right now is a failure to invest in education and infrastructure and research and national defense -- all the things that we need to grow to create jobs, to stay at the
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forefront of innovation and to keep our country safe. it is not a budget that reflects the future. it is not a budget that reflects growth. it is not a budget that is going to help ensure that middle-class families are able to maintain security and stability. and tah people -- and that people trying to get into the middle class will have rungs on the latter two get into the middle class. we will have a robust debate and my hope is that ultimately we can find compromises where together we are financing the education, research, training, the building of roads and bridges and ports railways and all the things we need to grow and put people back to work. make sure that the momentum our economy has built over the last several years continues into the
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future for the future generations. i will keep my four leaf clover in my pocket and see if the speaker and mitch mcconnell and others are interested in having that conversation. all right. taoiseach? prime minister kenny: thanks very much. it is a privilege to be back here again. i wish the president a happy st. patrick's day. and the first lady a safe journey on her travels. i think the president for the ambassador's appointment. we work with him wholeheartedly. the president has outlined the issues we discussed. i've given him a rundown on the progress ireland has made on the last number of years in terms of growth, employment i ncrease, the progress with respect to our economy.
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i reminded him that it is a fragile process. our challenge is to manage that for the future. i've given the president an update in respect of europe, with the situation as far as the election in britain. the issues that might arise there. the potential for a referendum in respect to staying in or out of europe. and the need for britain to stay in. the comments of prime minister cameron. i referred to the situation in greece the prime minister was clear he wanted time and space to produce programs for the future and did not want to leave europe. he has been granted that by the european council.
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the ball is in the court of the greek politicians greatly referred to the ttip, the transatlantic agreement to we are supporters of this and we commend the president on his forthrightness on making the decision tothe ball is in the court of the greek politicians greatly referred to the have the american side of that team engage with the european teams. we want that to happen in the lifetime of this administration. the next six months are could go. i speak to president jean-claude juncker and president tusk in brussels about this. we referred to immigration and the issues that affect us. i commended president obama on his executive action. we are aware that this is going through the courts. waivers and e-3 visas and all that are part of the process. i would hope that political
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leadership here in washington, the most powerful nation on earth, will deal with this problem. it can only be dealt with by having courage and leadership to actually make it happen. i referred to one of the recipients of the scientific medal which iowa did yesterday herself the descendents of immigrants. he came one of the best known astrophysicists in the world. that kind of contribution from immigration to get hope that that can move through the system. and that the decisiveness of president obama can bear fruit. particularly the -- the road to
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legitimacy is the opportunity to travel. there's a there is a court process in place now. we discussed the issue of the talks on nonproliferation, and the isis situation in the middle east in general, and the challenges we face. many countries and indeed humanity in that part of the world at the moment. we also discussed the ukraine the necessity for clarity about strength with respect to sanctions. i was reminded that the president has been very clear on this and wants to be very clear in coordinating activity with the united states with respect to sanctions being imposed on russia.

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