tv Meet the Press KNTV December 22, 2013 8:00am-9:01am PST
from nbc news in washington, the world's longest running television program. this is "meet the press" with david gregory. >> and good sunday morning. a miserable holiday weekend for millions across the country as deadly tornadoes, snow, ice, freezing rain affect much of the u.s. this morning. a lot of people having a hard time getting together with their families for the holidays. here in washington, it's beginning to look a lot like a tropical depression. incredibly warm. temperatures around 70 degrees. that's it for the weather this morning. the top issues we're going to explore. obamacare and the crisis over the government's spine program, but i'm going to start with my roundtable this morning and get
some thoughts on a question that was asked the president at the end of the year news conference. was this the worst year of his presidency, 2013? e.j.? >> no, i think 2007 was the worst year. they had to back off the shutdown. the change in the republican party is the biggest thing this year, and that's why 2014 could be a year of action. >> a breakthrough year, the president says, ana. >> if you're a friend, supporter, secretary, you better hope this is the best year, because if it gets any worse, he'll have to celebrate the new year next year with a bottle of whiskey in one hand and a box of kleenex in the other. >> health care rollout and the
government shutdown, the president looked the worst this year. >> this is a test of the government solving a big societal problem. that's what he took on. that is the big project of his presidency. >> no doubt about it. it does beat out 2011. but -- well, and especially given where he started, the fact that the first year was better than the second, the second more productive.
he might do that press conference with whiskey celebrating the fact that the economic boom has really come. >> we'll talk about the economy, we'll talk more about obamacare. i want to bring in two voices in this fight. senator schumer from new york, senator coburn from oklahoma. welco welcome. here was the heading on t wall street journal. obama repeels obamacare. under pressure from senate democrats, the president partly
suspends the original mandate. oeb's make it up as he goes
improvisation will continue because it's failing. true or false? >> false. i think what most americans want us to do is not repeal obamacare but fix it. the president is working to fix it, we are working in the senate to fix it, we urge our republican colleagues to join us in fixing it. the bottom line is there are a lot of good things in obamacare that people like, and the more people see that, the more positive it's going to be. and i would just say one other thing with all the focus on obamacare, david. the number one issue in the 2014 election is not going to be obamacare or the deficit. it is going to be who can get the middle class going again? who can expand middle class incomes, who can create jobs? that is far and away the issue that most americans care about. >> fair enough. that's going to be the argument. but senator coburn, you know your colleagues, especially those who are running for tough seats in the south, they're going to make obamacare an issue and they're going to focus on
the thought that government seems to make changes to pacify critics. is that the wrong thing to do? >> i think they ought to talk about health care and what we're for rather than continuing to talk about what we're against. look, obamacare right now causes people to spend more money, have less choice, have a higher deductible and have less freedom. the rollout and the ideas behind the fact that the federal government could manage appropriately, one-sixth of the economy is proving itself erroneous. what i would say is we need to change health care, but what they've done, you can't fix this mess. the insurance industry, the indemnification industry, regardless of what you think about the insurance companies, it is on its ear now. and the fact that they granted people a hard exemption, everybody who signed up that had a high deductible policy should go and cancel today and ask for
what is being granted to those people who have it. >> i want to focus on that, senator shchumer, because that' the issue. i'm looking at a mandated delay for those who lose insurance, you have the small business exchange site delayed a year, a mandate was delayed until 2014. does the original mandate survive? that is the one thing that makes health care go, because you make younger, healthier people buy insurance to pay for older, sicker people. >> i think it does, and let's not forget all the good things that are happening. if you have a child with cancer, you couldn't get insurance because of preexisting condition. what agony. now it is there. ask and if you repeal the original mandate altogether, that would no longer exist. as i said, as we move on here to 2014, i'm finding here in new york, our exchange is working, we have competition on it, the website is good. people are saying, wow, i am
getting better care at a lower cost. i think that's going to preface what's happening in the country. there have been a lot of glitches, a lot of problems, but they're getting fixed. and six months from now, many more people will see the positives rather than the negatives. >> that's the marker. senator coburn, let's talk about a budget deal. a small budget deal that has been passed. a glimmer of hope for bipartisan consensus. but here's the bottom line. they didn't take on the hard stuff. including in 2014, and this smacks us in the face, the debt ceiling. are they going to manage concessions before raising the debt ceiling? >> i guess i can't really speak for republicans. my thoughts are if the american people don't believe we have a debt ceiling because we always increase it, and they don't believe we have the discipline in washington. there is a positive out of what happened last week, is, yeah, we can come together and agree.
what, david, i would say to you is the reason we're in trouble on deficits and debts is not because we didn't agree but because we did. we agreed to spend $740 billion we didn't have last year. we agreed to waste $30 billion as i put out the waste book in year. we agreed to continue to let medicare have $80 billion a year in fraud in it. we're going to have $80 billion a year in fraud in obamacare. we agreed to all those things. so the story coming out of washington that we don't get along, i would dispute that. we get along just fine with the status quo of the government being ineffective and inefficient. so we pass a bill that raises spending and raises taxes and denies what we promised the american people, and everybody says, oh, my goodness, how great. you grew the government some more and you charged us more taxes and you didn't fix any of the problems. >> so senator schumer address the debt ceiling. it hasn't been addressed in this budget deal. do you imagine another fight on this? >> no. i would predict that republicans
will back off any hostage taking, adding extraneous, irrelevant issues to the debt ceiling. they learned in october that if they followed the tea party and said we're going to let the government default unless we get our way, it was highly unpopular. i understand there is some sabre rattling right now by speaker boehner and minority leader mcconnell. and that's natural. they cut a good deal, i thought, on the budget, and they had to show the hard right that they're going to do something else. but at the end of the day, the president is going to hold firm, no negotiations on debt ceiling, republicans will look back to october and say, we're not going through this again. >> so here's a question about holding firm that some of the papers in new york are asking about you, and the topic sigh ran and new sanctions on iran. you and others are pushing for it. the president was asked about it in his press conference and he said, look, don't do it, senator schumer. he didn't call you out by name, but in effect he did. he says he knows it's good
politics. that for you in office and running for office, you can look tough on iran. he's basically saying give me room to negotiate with iran and see if i can shut down this nuclear program. back off on sanctions for now. how do you respond? >> look, there are many of us, democrats and republicans in this senate who believe the best way to avoid war and get around to give up nuclear weapons is by ratcheting up sanctions, not by reducing them. the iranians didn't come to the table out of the goodness of their heart. they're still labeled a supremacist organization, the leader is still pulling the strings. only tough sanctions will get them to give up. i give the president credit for talking. i don't agree with some on the hard line who say no talking until they give up everything. but the bottom line is very simple. it's pretty logical that it's sanctions, tough sanctions, that brought them to the table. if they think they can ease up on the sanctions without getting rid of their nuclear
capabilities, they're going to do that. so we have to be tough. and the legislation we put in says to the iranians, if you don't come to an agreement after six months and the president can extend it to a year, the sanctions are going to toughen up. i think that will make them negotiate better and give up more. >> all
right, i'm going to make that the last word. senator schumer and coburn, happy holidays to you both. thank you for your time this morning. >> happy holidays to you and yours. >> as they say goodbye, we'll talk about the improving economy and more about politics. the stock market is at a record high. it's up more than 20% this year. unemployment has dropped to 7%. in the third quarter of this year, the u.s. economy grew at the fastest pace since 2011. why isn't this being vuld ieweda robust recovery? i spoke to the head of the international monetary fund, christine lagarde, about the prospects for 2014 and the political hurdles that lay haed. ms. lagarde, we will tomalcome
the press "snoochlt. >> thank you. >> what do you see about the rebound of the u.s. economy at the end of this year? >> we see a lot more certainty for 2014. there habgos bee has been good n by congress to eliminate the fear about the budget and reduce the sequestration. we see the fed having taken some very well communicated action concerning the tapering of the program, and those are good signs, in addition to which we see some good numbers. growth is picking up and unemployment is going down. so all of that gives us a much stronger outlook for 2014, which brings us to raising our forecast. >> so you talk about the fed tapering. what does that mean, nofor my audience that may not understand? what does that mean and what is the immediate economic effect of it? people may be worrying about
what they've been doing, creating a bubble, in effect. >> what the fed has been doing is effectively buying a lot of debt, putting a lot of liquidity into the system, making it more fluid, and effectively keeping the economy going. that's what the fed has been doing. now, they said they would do that as long as the economy was, you know, low, as long as growth was tepid. the fact that they decided and announced to slow the volume of debt -- reduce the volume of debt that they're buying indicates two things. one is that the economy is picking up. two, the unemployment is going down. >> unemployment is still high in the united states. if you talk to economists or business leaders, they say there's still a lot of the uncertainty. we don't have the animal spirits that have been unleashed, even though the stock market is performing at record levels. why does the economy still seem to be halting in its recovery? >> well, first of all, i would observe that the economy has
picked up. we forecast further pickup in 2014. second, most people who invest, who hire will tell you that they are uncertain. they were uncertain. because seeing a budget deal, seeing tapering by the fed, which is a sign of confidence in the real economy, should lead them to invest, to hire and to be more confident into the future of the u.s. economy. >> how low do you see unemployment going in this country? >> two things. unemployment will continue to go down. it's around 7%. it's likely to move towards, you know, the high 6 but certainly will continue to move down. most importantly, what we need to see is a higher participation rate. participation means the number of people who actually join the job market and get a job. that number has not moved up significantly, and that's the
one we will be looking at. are people getting jobs rather than are people receiving unemployment benefits and registering as unemployed? >> do you see the minimum wage fight in this country going anywhere? do you think it has an important impact on the economy, raising the minimum wage? the president, the pope have talked about income inequality being a huge problem in this country and around the world. >> income inequality around the world is a big issue. we have done some work, and there is a clear indication that rising inequality leads to less sustainable growth. not to mention the fact that the social fabrics of society can be at stake. so reducing inequality, making sure people have a job, making sure that there is growth, that there is adequate redistribution through various systems, is important. >> as you look at the united states and the rest of the world, last time we spoke, you were very concerned about the
u.s. flirting with the debt ceiling and with default. we have another deadline approaching in february and march about raising the debt ceiling. has the u.s. reemerged as a global economic leader, or is it still acting irresponsibly? >> it is the economic leader, let's face it, given the size of the economy and below potential but still reasonable growth that is picking up now. the budget deal that was gotten at year end is a very good sign of responsibility, accountability and realism. i, for myself, certainly hope that in february congress will be equally responsible and will not threaten the recovery with yet another debate about whether or not the u.s. will honor or default in february. >> as a woman in power, you think a lot about these issues,
about women in power around the world. a headline here significantly, mary berra now running general motors. perhaps a big deal was it wasn't a big deal that she has come up through the country. there are still only 5% of ceos in the fortune 500 who are women. but it's not just ceos, there are companies, law firms, large organizations who still fail to recognize the upside potential of women as managers, women as executives, women being powerful as consumers as well as leaders. why do you think that still is, and what breaks that? what changes minds about that? >> why it is, i think it's historically based, it's deeply rooted in certain societies, more so than -- >> the power struggle. >> the power struggle, absolutely. why should i leave my seat to
somebody else and particularly somebody of the other gender, is sort of inherent to a tradition that has sustained over time. how can it change? first of all, because women can demonstrate that they can do the job, whether it's, as you say, first, being great leaders in their respect active ive enviro with a corporate public, there is evidence that women can do the job and do it well. i think the second reason is it makes economic sense. there are countries, particularly advanced countries, like japan, like korea, that need to open up that job market to women, and in the u.s., as in other european countries, the participation of women in the job market, the access for women to credit is going to be c
conducive to more growth, more stability. it's a factor to growth to include as many people as possible and to include women. >> there is a lot of focus on hillary clinton running for the presidency. and there has also been speculation about you. would you seek higher work? >> i don't think about the presidency. i think about the job i'm doing at the moment. i have more years to go, more work to do, and i'm really excited about it. >> you wouldn't rule out the presidency at some time? >> the future will tell. >> thank you very much. that was not a shermanesqu comment, i don't think. coping with loss. my conversation with senator jim inhofe. he speaks for the first time about the tragic loss of his son in a plane crash. >> well, i probably shouldn't say this, but i seem to have
gotten more -- at least as many, maybe more, of, oh, communications from some democrat friends and i'm pretty partisan republican. plus, spy games. the bitter fight over government spying in our freedom. has the government stepped over the line and is president obama preparing to rein in the intelligence community? our roundtable will be back. robert brooks, e.j. dionne, ana navarro and robert gibbs. when t. ♪ to help troops see danger, before it sees them. ♪ to answer the call of the brave and bring them safely home. [ female announcer ] around the globe, the people of boeing are working together, to support and protect all who serve. that's why we're here. ♪
we're back. when i spent time on capitol hill to report about the latest political crisis or some hot issue up there, but this week i was in the senate office building for a very different reason. last month oklahoma senator jim inhofe faced an unspeakable tragedy. his son perry, 52 years old, died in a plane crash. senator inhofe hasn't spoken publicly about it until now. as he prepares to gather with family for the holidays, he wanted to share his story. for senator jim inhofe, politics is his life. but flying is his passion. he got his pilot license as a young man, and around oklahoma, he is known to fly himself to campaign events. that skill, he says, got him into the u.s. senate. >> back in 1994, i was running in a race that i was 32 points
behind, but i was everywhere. i would get into one of my planes and i could be from the panhandle down to southeastern oklahoma in a matter of two hours, and it took my opponent about seven hours to do the same thing. >> reporter: a love passed down to his two sons, perry and jimmy who, every year, made the trip with their father to the famed oshkosh air show. but last month, a family tradition turned tragic. perry inhofe crashed while flying a twin engine plane outside tulsa. he was one day short of his 52nd birthday. >> on final approach into tulsa international airport, runway 18 left. we don't know certain things, an engine that was down, but the last communication was garbled, so we don't know if it shut down or if he shut it down.
that would make a difference in what happened. he knew it was going down. he avoided an area with houses and people and went into a wooded area. that's perry. >> he had a lot of training, just like you. >> he had a lot more training than me. my other son and i are not quite as meticulous as perry has always been about flying by the numbers, doing everything right. he was 100%. >> i have young kids. i've got an 11-year-old and 8-year-old twins, and i think like any parent, you worry about them hurting themselves or, god forbid, them losing their lives. and perry was a grown man with a family of his own, but you have to be thinking like a young father, too, about this is your boy. how are you doing with that? >> it's something that you don't understand until it happens. i can remember so many friends of mine who have lost their kids, and you don't know what to say. you can't say, i know how you feel because you don't know.
now i know. and i have no doubt that perry and i are going to be together again. >> you have a strong faith. >> well, it's not just strong faith. it goes beyond just getting back as far as jesus. some of the listeners out there might want to look up 2nd samuel 1 12:23. this same thing happened to david. he said, i won't be coming back here but i will see you again. and i have no doubt about that. >> and it gives you enormous comfort? >> it does. it makes me kind of look forward to it. >> we talk about washington in terms of losing personal relationships, keeping relationships from getting forged, but when you go through this particular loss, you recognize you have some support around you. talk a little about that. >> well, i probably shouldn't
say this, but i seem to have gotten more communications from some of my democrat friends and i'm pretty partisan republican. something like this happens, and all of a sudden the old barriers that were there, those old differences that keep us apart just disappear. because it's not just a recognition that i know how much more important that is, but they do, too. and they look out and they realize that you've lost someone. and that brings us closer together. >> even your relationship with majority leader harry reid, right? >> yeah. i know we just disagree on all this stuff, this political stuff, but you don't change in terms of your positions and what you believe in, but you change in your understanding of individuals. >> is there some perspective that you gain from this kind of loss, this kind of hurt that
makes you think about the approach to your work here in washington? do you think some of what you feel changing around people comforting you through loss is something you can bring to your work? >> well, it is, except the differences are still there. i mean, right now the last bill of this session is my bill. it's the national defense authorization act. there are people i serve with who don't really think you need a strong military. so those defined differences, they don't change. but your attitude changes. and i can't help but think when i'm confronting someone on something with which we disagree that i know what -- how they responded to my loss. >> and as a grieving father, what's your biggest challenge as you look ahead to the next year? >> you know, when you have, as i described our family as 20 kids
and grandkids, counting spouses, you miss one and it's not whole anymore. and so that's still will probably always be a difficult thing to face up to. it's a reality. and you think about those things that perry did that nobody else does, and that's the thing that, you know, that will be missed. >> senator jim inhofe reflecting about the loss of his son. i have a couple reactions of this with the group that's still here. one, as a person of faith, i'm always impressed by someone, and he wanted to talk about his son because we all seek to elevate loss like this at a time of loss, ask i thougnd i thought h so eloquently. but as a political figure, it's sad it's come to this, that as an element of surprise at a moment like this, that he's surprised his democratic colleagues are there to support
him that way. did that strike you? >> this story cut very deep for me. i lost a brother, and i know what he's talking about when he says the family will never be whole again. i just want to take politics out of it, and i want to say that there is a lot of families right now in america who are not whole, who have lost somebody, and particularly the first holiday season is incredibly difficult. so let's keep them in our thoughts. let's keep them in our prayers. >> well said. we'll take a break here and come back. we'll talk more about politics, more about the president's leadership this year as he looks ahead to 2014 and whether there are other glimmers of hope, a chance for politicians to meet in the middle on some topics. you can separate runway ridiculousness... from fashion that flies off the shelves. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. (natalie) ooooh, i like your style.
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a little later on, the fight over government surveillance. will the president rein in the intelligence committee. a debate about that coming up in a few minutes. we're back after this. p working. so as his financial advisor, i took a look at everything he has. the 401(k). insurance policies. even money he's invested elsewhere. we're building a retirement plan to help him launch a second career. dave's flight school. go dave. when people talk, great things can happen. so start a conversation with an advisor who's fully invested in you. wells fargo advisors. together we'll go far.
number one with government shutdown number two. here is the president on friday. listen. >> since i'm in charge, obviously we screwed it up. i'm going to be making appropriate adjustments once we get through this year, and we've gotten through the initial surge of people who have been signing up. >> what makes you think 2014 looks better on health care? >> well, i think they have no choice but it get it right. i've said this all along, that the most important thing in the second term was implementing health care reform the right way. 2013 was a forgettable year in that sense. they've got to do all they can to make the implementation of and the sign-up period as it goes and extends until the end of march, they've got to make that work. >> listen, there are two issues here. there's first the competency issue. that's by far the most important issue. the least important issue is the mandate issue. basically when you have a government program, you build the system and you say to
people, you have to work within the system and sometimes we have to limit your choice. we're going to mandate things. the american people don't like mandates any more. we're a much more individualistic culture. and when they've faced mandate or surrender on this bill, they've surrendered each time. if we can mandate all along so you have to expect they'll weaken and surrender on the mandate down the line. >> i think there is something crazy when people say where government can't deliver health care. ever heard of medicare? ever heard of medicaid? and there's a man at a time to pay taxes for those things. this thing is complicated because president obama chose to go for a model that is a market-oriented model that republicans favor of helping people buy private health insurance. that proves to be very complicated. but what you're seeing already is there is an enormous appetite among all the americans who don't have health insurance to buy it, and that's what's going to save obamacare. this is filling a real need in
the society. and you have to say, they sure lowered expectations for obamacare. >> society is not the same as it was in the 1930s and the 1960s. there is less faith in government, it's much more consumer based. so if you can't force people in the system and people rebel against enforcement, then you have a problem. >> edward burke believed in less confidence for them to deliver, and they keep backing off of things they say have to be in there. >> i don't know how you can be optimistic about it working better next year when all we see are delays. i've lost track of the delays they've granted. i think one of the bigger problems, and longstanding problems, it has eroded the trust people have in this president. trust is a lot easier to
establish than it is to recover once you've lost it. and that's something they'll have to work on. >> every rich democracy in the world uses government to deliver health care. you had christine lagarde on. france spends less per capita in government spending to cover everybody than we spend for just medicare and medicaid. so this thing can work. it needs fixes, and i think the next move by the president is to tell republicans, you want to fix this or do you just want to get rid of it? >> and know this. if all of these predictions are true and we're at sort of the low point of obamacare, we still don't have a majority of polling the belief we ought to repeal it. they believe we ought to repair it, because as e.j. said, there is tremendous demand for particularly the uninsured or those with preexisting conditions that have always been told no by insurance companies. there is tremendous demand for it. i believe david is right, but one quibble of them is i believe the technical aspect of the
website is crucially important because quite frankly it is the intake valve for everything in health care right now. getting that and continuing to get that right is a huge, huge thing. >> you agree that fixing the website is easier than fixing the policy? the policy is the crux of the matter and you've got problems that are going to continue to happen as the corporate mandate goes in. we're going to start seeing people losing their insurance, and there's going to be a lot of angry people. >> isn't the crux of the matter that people don't like government telling them this is what is best for you, as a business this is how you have to operate. so in our quest to do good -- again, this is the argument -- it's too coercive. >> corporations tell you you're too old for that program or whatever; sorry. >> we have a much more individualistic country.
we don't like the government telling us what to do. >> but a lot of people don't want them to repeal obamacare. a lot of people saying repeal obamacare say it's just fine to have big government for people over 65. i agree you need to prove that government can do this competently. but we've done that on social security, we've done that on medicare, we need to do that on this. >> in spanish there is a famous saying, the cure is worse than the illness. and i'm not sure, i'm afraid that obamacare is very much that. >> the biggest issue -- >> you don't want to debate spanish with me? how do they say it in alabama? >> what they're saying is exactly what e.j. said. you can't go to the doctor, you can't have that surgery, you can't get that covered. the biggest issue for hispanic voters in 2011 wasn't
immigration, it was health care. >> and the administration couldn't even get the spanish website going until two months after it launched. >> that's something they desperately have to fix. >> i want to talk about popular culture having a clash with politics, and by this i mean "duck dynasty." phil robertson and gq magazine got that started. what in your mind is sinful? he says, start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and men. he talks about african-americans having a particular problem where he grew up in the south. and david, you have politicians, conservative ted cruz and others saying the reason he was suspended was political speech run amok, a violation of free speech. what is the debate here? >> i know people who take a more
biblical view of homosexuality than i do, but i've never seen christia christians say what he did was bad. it was a disrespectful way to say a lot of things. >> liberals have been thrown off tv networks for saying bad things, too. i was very touched by one thing he said. he said the world would be different if we all loved each other and loved god. i would love phil robertson, perhaps it would pay another tribute to pope francis, listen to those words when you think about people who are gay or lesbian. we could have a real change in the world. the other thing is i don't know why republicans who are already suffering massive loss of youth voters knowing that they already have most of that audience already. why they're rushing to this defense, i think it's a political error, but i want phil robertson to listen to his own
words. >> ana, you just think it's ridiculous that politicians would want to weigh in on this to begin with. >> i think it's riculous that phil robertson wants to weigh in. i'm a fan of the show. i happen to love "duck dynasty," watch it constantly. i don't understand how you go and give this interview and you say these things. yes, there is free speech. but all of us who are on tv know there are also contractual obligations to networks that you're not supposed to say things that embarrass them. >> there is a sense of morality that companies have that you work for in the media and advertisers that are offended. you could argue they're offended by some things and not others. >> and the argument is reality and homosexuality are not equivalent. >> as ana said and as others have said, look, any of us are free on this program to say whatever we want. our employers, whether they are nbc or the "new york times" or a newspaper, might not like how
that sounds. they might take action. because they believe both in free speech but they also pay us and others to speak. so it's a confounding thing and you hope and you wish in the holiday season that there was a whole lot more tolerance in the world. >> we'll come back to this with some of our remaining time. we're going to take a break here, come back and get into other debate over our rights, our personal privacy, whether it's in jeopardy because of government spying. and should president obama weigh in on u.s. intelligence gathering? that's the debate. (announcer) scottrade knows our clients trade and invest their own way. with scottrade's smart text, i can quickly understand my charts, and spend more time trading. their quick trade bar lets my account follow me online so i can react in real-time. plus, my local scottrade office is there to help. because they know i don't trade like everybody. i trade like me. i'm with scottrade. (announcer) ranked highest in investor satisfaction with self-directed services by j.d. power and associates.
hurry, offer ends january 2nd. is caused by people looking fore traffic parking.y that's remarkable that so much energy is, is wasted. streetline has looked at the problem of parking, which has not been looked at for the last 30, 40 years, we wanted to rethink that whole industry, so we go and put out these sensors in each parking spot and then there's a mesh network that takes this information sends it over the internet so you can go find exactly where those open parking spots are. the collaboration with citi was important for providing us the necessary financing; allow this small start-up to go provide a service to municipalities. citi has been an incredible source of advice, how to engage with municipalities, how to structure deals, and as we think about internationally, citi is there every step of the way. so the end result is you reduce congestion, you reduce pollution and you provide a service to merchants,
and that certainly is huge. the hot debate this week, as you know, the future of u.s. spying programs. a presidential task force is now recommending sweeping changes to the way the national security agency gathers intelligence. president obama says he'll decide to any reforms he's for next month. i'm joined now by two out spoken voices on the issue, democratic senator patrick leahy of vermont and republican congressman peter king of new york. he's on the homeland security committee. edward snowden writes this. six months ago i revealed that the nsa wanted to listen to the whole world. now the whole world is listening back and speaking out, too, and the nsa doesn't like what it's
hearing. the culture of indiscriminate worldwide experience and the government is collapsing. is it collapsing? >> there is no agency that is mormon tornado and more watched than the nsa. it's managed by the courts and the justice department. it's managed by the intelligence committees in the senate and the house. i think it's absolutely indispensable to our national security. the president said it's essential. >> that may be true, what you're saying in terms of oversight, but the american people had no idea what it was doing. you could think that was a good thing, but there was no real debate about this. >> i don't think everyone has to know what a spy agency is doing. by the nature of a spy agency, it's kept secret. >> is snowden right about the fact that this is collapsing? is it going to exist in the future the way it exists now? >> if it doesn't it's going to be calamitous for the country. this is all a debate generated
by the hysteria caused by edward snowden, and why we're listening to him is beyond me. >> my sister from kentucky was here and she says, david, you talk about the founding fathers and the principles of the country, but that's not where the country is. the country wants what peter king was, which is this country to exist. >> that's what kept us strong as a country for over 200 years and the founding fathers would be astounded to see what nsa and others are doing. you know, it's not snowden. in a way he's irrelevant on this. it's a question of how well this has been looked at and how much the american public knows about it. i was heartened by an editorial in the "new york times" today who strongly recommends nsa as republican and the president's panel on this. a very good panel recommends the same thing. >> but the panel wants to allow
the bulk collection of our meta data with some control. the government ought not to be able to stockpile it, a third party ought to have a crack at it? >> they said they will send it to the senate judiciary committee in a few weeks. but there have been problems, and one of the reasons the big companies, yahoo, google and so on, is concerned about this is it gets them in crosshairs. and the other thing that bothers me greatly, we talk about what a great job they're doing. they did such a poor job, the nsa, that a subcontractor was able to steal all their secrets, and today after spending a million dollars, they still don't know what they're doing. >> and they aren't able to accept the panel's
recommendation. a third party has access to it and you only get to query it, as they say, if you have a court order. that's one big piece of it. >> we'll be a lot better off if the president and the congress can work together, if congress will rubber stamp whatever the nsa does. and at the same time those who say we don't need a spy agency, of course we need a spy agency. but let's have it accountable to the american public. >> why can't you, congressman king, take a look at these programs and rein in aspects of it? what is the proof? i've heard argument. what is the proof that absent the government being able to stockpile this metadata that you can't get this information and prevent an attack? >> what to rein in? there have been no abuses cited. the president said the same thing, so we're talking about something that doesn't exist. to keep the public from the metadata as well as the government is so maintained.
>> but could abuses occur? what is the purpose of our founders, which is to make sure you don't put government in a position to abuse authority and they are in that position, are they not? >> but they're monitored by the courts, they're monitored by the justice department. every time you give a police officer a gun, it abuses authority. but we don't disarm our police, we should not be disarming the nsa. i wish the president would defend the nsa. he says there is no abuse, intelligence is absolutely necessary. but then he says he wants to reform it. what do you reform if it's working? he can't have it both ways. >> what if the president said, i'll put some safeguards on the m metadata program. is that a compromise? >> these are the people that had all the intelligence of the
united states stolen by a subcontractor, and today, millions of dollars later, they still don't know what was stolen. that doesn't give me a huge amount of confidence. we can make them better. we will make them better. but the idea we must do exactly what they want or we're not safe is not -- >> but why doesn't congress demonstrate the courage to pull back the power that's given to the president and that was given to him? these programs have been re-upped time after time by congress. >> we tried. in fact, i joined with a conservative republican to put sunset provisions on the patriot act, and that has required the committees to look at it. we can do it. >> david, there has not been one abuse cited. i live in new york. i was with friends and c constituents on september 11. if they had had this information on metadata, it probably wouldn't have happened.
and they stopped the bombing in the new york subway station which would have killed 4500 people. no one has come up with one abuse. what's to rein in? let's not unilaterally surrender. let the president come forward. >> there are views that take just the opposite position on that who say the information was there before 9/11 and was not activated. >> they didn't have the power to do it. they didn't have the power to do it. >> i'm going to leave that here today. merry christmas to both of you. this debate will continue in 2014. our program will continue right after this. the roundtable is back looking at the early line on 2016, right after this. [ sneezes ] [ female announcer ] the start of sneeze season. the wind-blown watery eyes. [ sniffling ] the sniffling guy on the bus. and, of course, the snow angels with your little angels. that's why puffs plus lotion is soft. puffs plus are dermatologist tested to be gentle. they help soothe irritated skin
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while reducing emissions by up to 60%. energy lives here. ♪ final thoughts here from the panel on spying. we've got a few minutes so we should be able to resolve this. what do you think? leahy and king. what's the right answer? what's the president going to do? >> i'm a pretty reasonable security guy, but i think they would worry about the community. i think we need to ratchet back a little bit. that's what the panel wants and so i'm for it. >> doesn't the public deserve a congress that is capable of putting emotion aside and rethinking these policies? congress has not been willing to address the power given to the
executive since 2001. >> you want congress to put emotion aside and rethink policies? surely you've been drinking. >> i think we are going through a correction. america is good at self-correction, and after 9/11, we seated all kinds of power to the executives, some of which i don't think we should have seated in the first place, but it was understandable after 9/11. americans are stepping back and saying, wait a minute, how much of this actually protects us? i thought in the president's commission, one of the most devastating things is we can't point to a case where the bulk protected us. >> it's both a liberal and conservative argument to say we can come back to the same place, but let's debate it. we don't know a lot of this stuff that's been done. >> there should abe full debate, because when we go back to
david's point on health care, we have to retrust the government. regardless of where you sit on the spectrum, i think some of the revelations you've seen have even shocked some in the program. i think putting in some safeguards, if we're going to collect that data, that it be housed with phone companies, that a court order be given authorization for a third party to look at it. those are sensible safeguards that won't tear down our ability. >> the fact this is so broad is what makes it safer because the government is not concerned about who is looking at what website. they are really just collecting data to be able to protect the country. >> the bottom line is this is a tough nut to crack. and the debate between privacy and security is a very difficult one to balance out. i think the president and congress are going to have to figure out a balance. i suspect he's going to end up
accepting some of those panel recommendations and rejecting others. >> thank you all very much. happy holidays. we mentioned burke, my wife, her sister. and the french health care system. thanks tuo all of you. check out something i wrote on line, too where positive is possible. you can follow me all week o on @davidgregory. have a very merry christmas. we'll be back next week if it's sunday on "meet the press."
. myth buster tries to do a television show entirely online. melanie perkins raises one of australia's biggest staging rounds ever. meet the teo, founder jeff goldman. our reporters from bloomberg and fortune call this week on "press here." good morning everyone i'm scott mcgrew. president obama drinks. a lot. hits the bottle all the time. that bottle is black forest berry decaffeinated tea. he likes the stuff so much the "new york times" says there's bottles of black forest