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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  November 17, 2010 12:00pm-4:59pm EST

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changes. frankly, the bill i cosponsored is not the bill that's coming to the floor today. it's been changed in some material ways as late as this morning there were changes being made. and i understand that there are discussions going on right now that hey change it again. first of all let me say the issue of food safety is an issue that is of primary importance. we need to make sure that the food that's put in the retail stores as well as in restaurants and every other location in america is absolutely the safest highest quality food product of anybody in the world. that's always been our reputation. but there are some gaps in that -- in that good safety inspection program in the united states today that have allowed some things to happen. we had a situation in georgia two years ago where we found salmonella in some peanut butter at a location in south georgia a manufacturing location.
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and while f.d.a. had the authority to go in and make an inspection the way they actually inspected it was on a contract basis through the georgia department of agriculture. they didn't have the resources to do the real oversight that needed to be done, and here we had a company that had found salmonella in peanut butter with their own inspections and their own product had been sent to their contractor and salmonella was found to be positive, but yet they didn't have to report that to f.d.a. that has been changed in this bill and it's -- it's gaps like that that are important to see changed. what is a problem to me right now are a number of things, not the least of which is the definition of what is a small farmer which now small farmers have been granted an exemption and that provision was changed as recently as this morning.
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i understand it is up for discussion again now. but the definition currently in the bill is that a small farmer is determined to be a farmer with gross receipts smaller than $500,000. well unfortunately or fortunately, in my part of the world, cotton today is selling at $1.50 a bale -- $1.50 a pound. a bale is 500 pounds. it doesn't take much to reach $500,000 in gross receipts just in the sale of cotton, and that doesn't count peanuts and wheat and corn and whatever else may go along with it. trying to put an arbitrary number low-income that and -- like that and saying you have gross receipts and a number like that, f.d.a. has the authority to come on your farm. if you have less than that, they don't have the authority, i think that's not the proper way to go. secondly with respect to that issue, even if they are exempt
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as a small farmer, they still have a mandate of a huge amount of paperwork that has to go along with their production on an annual basis. so i -- i don't know what's going to happen with respect to the amendment process. we've heard that there may be a filling of the tree and there will be no amendments. i hope that's not the case. i hope that we have the opportunity to have an unlimited amount of amendments and that we can get the bill corrected and that we can make it at the end of the day a good bill that will generate a significant vote on this floor but we have also heard that there may be no amendments that are going to be allowed. obviously, without a definite understanding on that, i -- i had to be opposed to the bill. and let me just say that -- that one other issue that -- that concerns me is an amendment that is -- was filed by -- by senator
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tester and i know his heart is in the right place on it, but no less than about 30 national agricultural groups wrote a letter to chairman harkin as well as to ranking member enzi on monday saying they were opposed to that amendment and if it's included in the bill, they are going to be opposed to the bill. that again is one of these 11th hour issues that remains undecided, and i would ask unanimous consent mr. president, that a copy of this letter be entered into the record. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. chambliss: so i hope at the end of the day that amendments will be allowed that we can come up with a bill that is a positive bill and that closes these gaps that we have in the food safety inspection program in this country. senator klobuchar and i have worked very hard on a provision that is included in the base
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bill that will improve the inspection process and make it easier and give it more authority and more importantly more teeth to the folks that are charged with doing the inspection and if that is the case we can get the right amendments done, then perhaps at the end of the day we can get a -- a true bipartisan bill passed and that we can all feel good about supporting it. so with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor. mr. barrasso: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming is recognized. mr. barrasso: a few weeks ago the american people voted for less government. week after week i have come to this floor to give a doctor's second opinion about the health care law. well, the american people on election day polling shows 58%
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of voters still want to repeal and replace the president's new health care law. americans have made it clear that they oppose this new policy that put washington between patients and their doctors. the day after the election, president obama was asked about his health care law's pac-10 on on -- impact on the election. he didn't seem to understand the message from the american people. it appears to me, mr. president that the president continues to believe that the american people liked his policy but just didn't like his sales pitch. well in the president's first year alone he participated in 42 press conferences gave 158 interviews including five sunday shows all in one day. he held 23 town hall meetings and had seven campaign rallies. in fact, there were only 21 days in that entire first year when the president had no public or
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press events. well clearly mr. president the american people heard the president's sales pitch. they just didn't want to buy his product. mr. president, nevertheless, the president and this congress proceeded to force this new law this new health care law upon the american people, and then they paid a heavy price in the 2010 elections when americans voted for candidates who vowed to overturn the president's new law. well republicans have listened to the american people and are committed to ensuring that america's health care system continues to remain the best in the world. now, mr. president, as a physician as well as a member of the senate i listened carefully to the discussions and the debates during the entire campaign season, listened to what candidates had to say on both sides of the aisle and listened to what americans had to say all over the country. what i have put together, mr. president, is something
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called united against obamacare. it is a compendium of comments and statements made by the 13 newly elected republican senators to this body who will take office within the next two months and it is their statement by taking sentences from each of their -- of their statements about health care, and i'll start." i view the health care bill as the single greatest assault to our freedom in my lifetime. the thing that worries me the most about this bill, 2,000 pages of all kinds of mandates, huge new government control of health care, is that in time -- and it won't be much time -- the government is going to intervene between patients and their doctors." the first sentence spoken by senator-elect johnson. the next by senator-elect toomey. and then "i don't want the government to tell me what is acceptable and unacceptable about my health care options. i want the senator to tell me
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what is best for my care." that by senator-elect boozman. it is not supported by the american people. they do not want one-size-fits-all health care, buy senator-elect coats. then it will increase overall costs by senator-elect hoevin. then i think premiums will rise as people begin to deal with the penalties of obamacare, we will have more loss of jobs. senator-elect rand paul. next we're becoming less competitive every time government increases the cost of being in business, and if it's a problem for a large business, my small business men and women will have an even greater struggles to overcome. senator-elect moran. next i do not think that 12 new taxes and cuts to medicare are in the interests of the people, senator-elect kirk. it's going to bankrupt america. it adds $2.5 trillion to our
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debt in the long-term. senator-elect rubio. that's why it's important to keep the repeal effort alive. what we owe is not a republican issue or democrat issue. it's an american issue. senator-elect ayotte. every possible means must be applied within congress as well as through the application of the constitution, and the law and the law to stop full implementation of this legislation. senator-elect lee. i have proposed over a dozen solutions to help reduce the cost of health care. senator-elect blunt. and in conclusion, can i tell you at least one thing coming. when it comes time to repeal health care, i vote yes. senator-elect portman. and that is united against obamacare by the men and women recently elected to the united states senate on the republican side of the aisle.
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mr. president, we will fight to repeal the law and replace it with legislation that will help patients and providers and taxpayers. during his recent press conference, president obama also said that if republicans have ideas for how to improve our health care system, he would now be happy to consider them. well it would have been nice if he had considered our ideas during the last two years. better late than never. since the president was sworn in republicans have proposed a host of proposals that will improve health care in america. so today mr. president, i'd like to just walk through some of the republican ideas that are strongly supported by a majority of the american people. first, if congress wanted to truly demonstrate that it got the message if it truly wanted to demonstrate that it got the message, the house and the senate would immediately repeal the president's new health care
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law. senator demint currently has a bill that would repeal the health care law in its entirety. by passing this law we could ensure that the american people will then get the right reform that they want. now, it's unlikely that democrats will vote for a straight up-or-down repeal bill and even less likely that the president would sign it into law, and so i'd like to talk to you about other republican proposals that would eliminate some of the most egregious portions of the president's new health care law. senator hatch of utah proposed the american job protection act. it repeals the health care laws job-killing employer mandate. it strikes relevant sections in the health care law forcing employers to provide health insurance to their employees or face a penalty. senator hatch has also introduced the american liberty restoration act. it repeals the health care law's individual mandate the mandate
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requiring all americans to buy health insurance. the federal government has never before forced the american people to purchase a product a good or a service that they may not want. we should overturn this unconstitutional mandate. now, senator johanns introduced the small business paperwork elimination act. it repeals section 9006 of the health care law. section 9006 requires business owners to submit separate 1099 reporting forms for each business-to-business transaction, totaling more than $600 over the course of a year. small business owners now by this law have to file 1099 forms for basic business expenses, such as phone service internet service, shipping costs office supplies. this only serves to increase, to
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increase the cost to own and to operate a business. why? well because according to the law, they will then be able to provide $17 billion more taxes to pay for this unwanted health care law. now, senator cornyn introduced the health care bureaucrats elimination act. it repeals the health care law's independent payment advisory board. this bill would remove the unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats from their position of making medicare payment and reimbursement decisions. now, senator enzi, he offered the grandfather regulation resolution of disapproval. this resolution overturns a new obama administration health care law regulation. president obama repeatedly promised if you like what you have you can keep it.
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this so-called grandfather regulation breaks that promise. the new regulation was supposed to spare businesses already providing health insurance to their workers many of the higher costs of new mandates imposed by the health care law. well if businesses lose this so-called grandfathered status, then they will be required, required to comply with all the new insurance mandates in the law. this includes requirements to offer a federal minimum benefits package and to waive copays for certain services. this will force our small businesses to change plans and increase costs. in fact, the regulation -- and it's a regulation where they took two pages of the law and blew it into 121 pages of regulations -- the regulation estimates that 80% fully 80% of small businesses can expect to lose their grandfathered status
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based on the extensive regulations that the administration wrote. this is a job-killing wage-cutting regulation. certainly this is not the reform that the american people were promised. also, mr. president, just this week leader mcconnell is filing an amicus brief regarding the health care litigation that is currently pending in florida's federal court. his brief argues that the individual mandate is not authorized by congress and that the government cannot use the commerce clause to force to buy a product. this list of ideas represents only a fraction of the republican ideas currently on the table. if the president is serious about working with us he will consider our constructive proposals. if not he will continue to see the american people strongly speak out against his expensive
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overreaching and i -- and ideological agenda. thank you mr. president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio is recognized. mr. brown: mr. president, i know that senator barrasso is relatively new in washington, the house or senate, and i appreciate his words. i just -- but i -- and i'm not talking about him here, but i -- i have known -- there are so many opponents to this health care legislation. first of all, i think that -- i mean so many partisan opponents to this law. i hope -- the american people don't want to see us relitigate and redebate the health care legislation. they want us to focus on job growth. but what -- what strikes me as a bit hypocritical --, and again i'm not singling out senator barrasso because he hasn't been here very long, but there are so many members in the house of representatives and in the senate who have inned enjoyed government health care for a decade or two decades or three
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decades, where taxpayers paid for their health care. those members those conservative members did nothing, zero, to help those people without insurance to help those people who had preexisting condition, to help those people close the doughnut hole citizens to get help on their drug costs. now they want to repeal the health care bill that we've finally done things. they want to keep their government insurance for themselves but they just don't seem to want to help anybody else out there. and i -- it just sickens me. but more importantly mr. president, i don't think the public wants to continue debating health care. i think the public wants us to work on job growth, to focus on things like i did in ohio monday, where i gathered 300 small businesses people who make things that want to sell to major aerospace manufacturers in this case, airbus, in my state and putting people to work because that's what it's all b. mr. president, if i could just ask that this be placed at a different place in the record from my opening comments. i want to speak for a moment about food safety.
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the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: thank you mr. president. it's temperaturing to take the the -- it's tempting to take the food safety is a given but it's actually a goal of one that continues to elude us. each year in the u.s., 76 million people contract a foodborne illness. some get mildly sick, some get very sick and a few actually die. the centers for disease control estimates that really more than a few that 5,000 people a year die from -- from food -- from poodfood poisoning foodborne illnesses. and it's mostly people who are not very young it's the very old, those people whose health may not be as strong as others. but nonetheless 5,000 people die a year. over the last few years we faced malamine in infant formula, e coli in spin spinach salmonella in peanuts.
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sometimes it's international problems sometimes it's domestic problems. international means we ought to be looking at trade policy better than we have but that's a debate for another day. a few months ago we had a nation is wide recall of eggs due to salmonella contamination. just this week, we saw a recall of smoked turkey breast products because of possible list eareria contamination. the safety of americans are threatened by a regulatory structure that's failed to keep face in modern production of food safety processing and marketing. we have in our grocery stores a wonderful thing. we have all kinds of selection of fresh fruits and vegetables and fish and all kinds of things that we didn't have when i was growing up in the 1960's in mansfield, ohio. we didn't have that kind of selection at food stores, especially in the winter months. now we do. that's a great thing. but we don't do what we need to do to guarantee its safety. it's time to protect this -- to fix this broken system once and for all. the time has come for congress to pass legislation that will, in fact, improve our country's food safety system.
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american families should be able to put food on the table without fearing any kind of contamination. we shouldn't worry that the food in school saf cafeterias or at progressive field watching the cleveland indians or a at at grocery stores or local restaurants we shouldn't worry that this will send a child to the hospital and spread panic through the community. that's why i'm so pleased we're considering s. 510 the food safety and modernization act. this legislation will address -- and i'll talk briefly about and yield to my colleague from delaware, senator carper, about some of this things in this bill. require facilities to conduct an analysis of the most likely food safety hazards and design and implement risk-based controls to prevent them. it would increase the frequency of plant inspections. it would strengthen record keeping requirements and food traceability systems so you know where the food came from before it gets to the grocery store t. provides the f.d.a. with the authority to mandate food recalls, something that is roll
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terry now. most companies -- something that is voluntary now. most is companies don't do -- most companies don't do it. we must ensure this includes an examination of the pallets that our food is shipped on. you know, at home, you don't use the same cutting board for chicken that you use for vegetables or at least you shouldn't because of potential food safety problems. the same thing with these -- these wooden pallets because they can collect especially wooden pallets can collect way more bacteria than you can imagine. we require more extensive provisions for heightened security of imports which account for an increased percentage a welcome increase, to be sure, because of the selection of fresh fruits and vegetables especially, that the increasing share of u.s. food consumption. this bill is here today because of the strong work especially of senator durbin of illinois, representative dingell of
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michigan. i would also commend ranking member enzi on the "help" committee and chairman harkin and senators dodd, burr and gregg for their work. i would also commend the kroger company based in cincinnati ohio in the work that -- in cincinnati, ohio, in the work that they and other grocery store chains and other food processing companies have done collectively to make sure that legislation works for them the traceability -- many of them -- many of these companies have already set up good traceability provisions by themselves without government involvement. i think that -- and kroger is especially to be commended for doing that. the -- the best way to ensure the f.d.a. can decisively respond to foodborne outbreak is to author as a a comprehensive food tracing system, as i mentioned. earlier this year, i had introduced s. 425 the food safety and tracing improvement act. it would improve the ability of federal agencies to trace the
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origins of all contaminated food. i'm pleased that the important components and goals of the -- of my legislation are included in the managers' amendment. with these stronger traceability provisions the f.d.a. will be tasked with establishing a tracing system for both unprocessed and processed food with -- such as peanut butter. the 2008-2009 peanut butter salmonella outbreak, which sickened more than 700 people and resulted in nine deaths, demonstrates exactly why the f.d.a. needs expanded authority. one victim of the peanut butter salmonella outbreak was nellie napier of medina, ohio, the country just south of where i live. she was an 80-year-old mother of six children, 13 grandchildren 11 great-grandchildren. she got ill in january almost two years ago after eating a peanut butter product tainted with salmonella. when she got sick, doctors told her family there was nothing that she could do -- they could do and she decide shortly thereafter. the f.d.a. was able to identify
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the source of the outbreak in a short period of time but it was incrediblely difficult and time-consuming for the food and drug administration to determine where all the contaminated peanut butter products ended up. for instance, the f.d.a. knew the source company sold to 85 other companies. they sold to another 1,500 companies and many of those companies sold to other companies. so they weren't able -- there was no -- there were no traceback provisions to be able to help and warn others of potential contamination. last year, the inspector general released a report entitled "traceability in the food supply system -- in the food supply chain." this report identified significant and unacceptable difficulties in tracing food through the supply chain. the report attempted to trace 40 products through each stage of the food supply chain. they were able only to trace five of the 40. that's why we know that -- how important this legislation is. we require the f.d.a. to establish a product tracing system and develop additional recordkeeping requirements for
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foods that the f.d.a. determines to be high risk. we require the controller general to examine and provide recommendations regarding how to further improve the product tracing system. we don't know everything yet we need to do. this gives the f.d.a. and the controller general guidance and leadership and -- and -- and the authority to do, in addition to what we've specifically done, the authority to do it in the right way. again, i'd like to thank senators harkin and enzi and durbin and burr and gregg for the work that they've done. i'd like to thank representative diana degette from denver for her terrific work and senators merkley and franken who have worked with me for an improved traceability system. the goal is to make food safety a foregone conclusion. it's what americans expect. it's what we've had through many, many years. we've moved away from this. this puts us right on course to doing it right. i thank the president and i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: the senator from delaware is recognized. mr. carper: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to speak as if in morning business for ten minutes, please. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. carper: thank you mr. president. first of all let me just say i've had the pleasure any number of times as i think most all of our colleagues, to -- to be recognized by the presiding officer, and many times it's you. and i know you'll be leaving us in the -- in, oh, a week or two but too soon -- two days -- but just want to say how much again, it's been a real pleasure to serve with you and appreciate not only having the opportunity to work here in the senate with you but on our committees and subcommittees. and you've just been a great -- a great colleague and we're going to miss you. so i just want to get that on the record. the second thing i want to say senator barrasso was speaking a little bit earlier, he was talking about the health care legislation. and one of the -- one of the means of paying for part of health care reform which you may recall the congressional budget office has said that health care reform is expected to actually reduce the budget
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deficit by about $100 billion over the next ten years and by about another trillion dollars in the ten years following that. and part of our challenge is to make sure that we do that that that potential for deficit reduction is realized. one of the provisions in the health care bill calls for businesses large and small to commit form 1099's when they make a purchase a service or a good from some other business. and that can be an administrative burden for businesses. and the reason why it was in the bill put in the bill, was because there is a big cash economy there's a huge tax gap of money that's owed to the treasury. last time the i.r.s. estimated they said it was about $300 billion or so in moneys that are owed to the treasury not being paid. in many cases by businesses. a lot of cases where they work on a cash basis. and the i.r.s. has asked forever to do something about that problem. we tried to do it in the context of health care reform and to use it as a way to pay for -- for
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part of the health care costs. we're going to come back and fix that issue address the concerns raised by -- particularly by smaller businesses as to whether or not this is an administrative burden and see if we can't find a way to make it a lot less burdensome but at the same time to figure out how to close the tax gap. the idea that those people -- those of white house are paying our fair share of factions taxes and thank a number of folks and businesses are not is enough to make our blood boil. what we've got to do is to fix that and at the same time not create an unneeded burden for -- for businesses in complying. the third thing i wanted to mention is, we just had a hearing, mr. president, in the finance committee here this morning and the hearing was one sought by republicans but also looked forward to by democrats. and our speaker was a fellow named donald berwick dr. donald berwick, who you may know is the new administrator appointed by the president a recess appointment because he expected
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we'd have a very difficult time getting him confirmed. we still have holes in the current administration where we can't get people confirmed on the floor. for -- whether it's assistant secretaries or under secretaries, all kinds of positions. i call it, it's like administration swiss cheese, and it's hard to try to govern. the administration realized early on in a position like c.m.s. which stands for centers for medicare and medicaid services, in that position, we needed somebody, we we needed somebody like, yesterday. and we'll have a tough and probably long confirmation fight with dr. berwick. he just went ahead and make the appointment when we were on recess so he's on the job now. in any event -- i didn't know what to expect in the hearing. dr. berwick didn't ask to be recess appointee. the president asked him to serve, he served. he's doing a very nice job and the hearing today was -- was i think more positive, more focused on issues and results than i had expected and -- that
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it would be. when we passed health care reform earlier this year, for me and having worked on it with my colleagues on the finance committee for about gosh, over a year, my focus was at the time how do we get better results for less money? and we have a lot of people as we know that don't have health care coverage at all and we need to extend coverage to them or as to many of them as we can unless we figure out how to get better health care outcomes for less money we're not going to be able to extend health care coverage to other people. a good deal of what dr. berwick testified to today is how do we provide better results for less money? one of the aspects of the legislation that he spoke to that's about to be implemented in less than two months focuses on medicare and it focuses on our senior citizens. as many of us know since 2006 a medicare prescription drug program. we call it part-d. medicare has part a and b it has part c called medicare
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advantage and part-d which is prescription drug program. the -- in part-d when we actually adopted it, we had -- we said the first roughly $3,000 of name-brand drugs that folks recipients take in a year, the first $3,000, medicare pays roughly 75% the individual pays the rest. anything over $6,000 of name brand drugs in a year that a person takes in this person is medicare coverage, about 95% of everything over $6,000. for most people, i think between $3,000 and $6,000 a year, medicare pays zero. that's called the doughnut hole. come january1, the doughnut hole will be half filled. we'll find instead of medicare paying zero for name brand drugs for chair resipt yens purchasing -- recipients
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purchasing $3,000 to 6,000 they will pay 60%. by 2020 medicare will be providing 75% of the cost of those -- covering 75% of the cost of those name brand drugs. that will accomplish a couple of things. one, you and i know, mr. president, there are people in this -- in illinois, delaware and other states where folks stop taking their medicine. they stop taking their medicine in the medicare prescription drug program because they fall in the doughnut hole. medicare provides zero. that's going to change. and the people who don't take their medicines get sick. they go into the hospital and it becomes expensive to take care of them. we will address that in a substantial way on january 1. who pace that 50% -- pays that 50%, the pharmaceutical companies. as we march from 50% up to 75% in 2020, the pharmaceutical companies are -- have agreed
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to -- to meet those costs and we're happy for that, grateful for that and they deserve some credit for that. another thing the benefit that -- that -- that dr. berwick talked about is annual physicals. if a person reaches 65, they get a one-time only welcome to medicare physical. that's it. under the law beginning in january, and this is two months from now medicare resipt yents -- recipients will be eligible for a once a year, an annual physical for the res. of their lives. -- rest of their lives. cognitive screening as well, a physical by their own doctors and nurses. the idea is to catch problems when they're smawld, rather than when people get sick and end up in hospitals. the third thing that -- that -- that he mentioned to all of us in addition to the doughnut hole and the annual physicals are
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copays. there is a copay for colonoscopy, and a lot of times the medicare recipients don't have the money so they don't get the colonoscopy and they get sick and the rest of us pay the tab. starting january one that goes away we want them to get the colonoscopy. there is a lot of fraud in medicare and medicaid. there are great provisions that will allow us to go after fraud in medicare part a and b part c, medicare advantage and part-d. we have working on medicare fraud cost recovery in about five states for the last couple of years. last year we recovered $5 billion in five states. next year we're going to start doing this in all 50 states.
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medicare cost recovery. we hire contractors for every $1 they collect from fraud 90% goes back to the medicare trust fund. the private company gets 10 cents, that's how they get paid. we're going to extend the life of medicare a lot longer because of this kind of thing. not only are we going after waste, fraud and abuse in a smart way we're also going to do it in medicaid. we're going to do the same kind of thing in medicaid. we asked the senior citizens from across the country to sign up and be part of a posse and go out and help us identify fraud and as we do that, we'll be able to recover more money still. that's a little bit about what dr. berwick talked about today. i thought it was a very good exchange and encouraging exchange as we go forward in health care reform. again, mr. president i appreciate the opportunity to make these remarks today and it is a real special privilege to do it with you sitting in that seat today. with that, i yield back the balance of my time, and there's
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no quorum call. all right. we're just going to -- i think we're adjourned here for a while. thank you so much. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate stands in recess until 4:00 p.m. today. it.
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>> treasury secretary tim geithner says several changes are needed in the u.s. tax code. he told "the wall streetoting thg? journal"'s annual ceo councilthe gol yesterday a growing number of tax breaks are required renewal. and that's causing uncertainty for businesses. his comments are about a halfy ge hour. cullen, your colleague was here last night he said that what would be looked at is how the u.s. handled the emergeance of this extraordinary new power. you spent time dealing with that issue. you spent a lot of time dealing with the currency issue. china as we know has been reluctant to review its currency. you came back from important meetings in asia. can you talk about what the federal reserve is doing and
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policies can you tell whause we could expect in terms of what china is going to do? >> china is letting their currency rise. it is rising. it is moving gradually. they're adverse to a precipitous large move. which i understand. but -- they're letting it rise because fundamentally, if they don't let it rise then all of that pressure that is the reflection of the fact that china is growing rapidly that pressure is going to end up in inflation or in bubbles things that could threaten the capacity to grow in the future. for that reason it is important to them and in their interest for it to let -- let it reflect market forces. they're having a debate how fast to let it rides. you'll see that play out. sometimes it'll move to
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gradualism and inertia and sometimes in favor of people moving through the market. >> is it -- what are they telling you? is it realistic to expect the currency to continue. most economists would say that the currency is at least 10 20% undervalued. is that going to change under time? is it going to go to a level that seems more appropriate? >> i think it'll. it'll happen the question is how. inflation or inflation pushing up the real value of the currency or the nominal exchange rate moving. the last time they let it move it moved 20% against the dollar. over a roughly two-year period of time. and then the crisis stopped it moving because -- they felt fundamentally that they wanted to pause and -- and provide a measure of stability. while they did that this is important to recognize. while they did that and held it constant, most of the currency
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the rest of the world fell very sharply, not just against the dollar but it is because it is against the dollar, and tied the dollar against the r & b now the world is coming back and some of the market currencies are to you stronger than they were pf the crisis. -- before the crisis and some are weaker. it is not just important for china, it is important for the emerging world. those currencies that are more flexible have experienced huge upper pressure. they're above the precrisis levels. all of that market pressure is falling disproportionately on them. >> the u.s. has been criticized very heavily in the last few weeks, actions of the federal reserve in particular the germans complained about quantitative easing and economic policies in u.s. and chinese have too domestically. you had criticism and the u.s. had criticism about it. somebody said last week, any
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policy that unites sarah palin and the united states government against it is remarkable. has the united states lost moral authority because of this? >> i think it is american to recognize as a american that the crisis caused a huge amount of daniel to our credibility. people looked at the united states and said, have we lost the capacity to manage our financial affairs prudentantly? and it is going to take a while to dig out of that loss of credibility. that's partly why we worked so hard and so quickly to make sure that we were address -- this is our financial system so the system was no longer a source of risk and threat to the global financial stability. it is why it is so important to keep working hard so make sure we're not digging out of the hole quickly but we start to address hong term goals. >> don't you think that they --
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>> cure trying to get me to speak about with maltry -- monetary policy, which i won't do. i would like to but i won't about >> go on. >> it is the most important thing, the most important thing the u.s. can do for the world is to make sure we're a growing -- we're growing out of the mess. the we're cuing the damage caused as quickly as we can. that's overwhelmingly important to the global recovery and -- if you look back at financial crises, they make two errors. the first is they're late to escalate. they underestimate it and slow to move because it is so politically difficult to make the actions to break the back of a financial panic. even when they adjust and catch up and correct the policy is directed at solving the problem, the typical mistakes the governments make two or three years in the policy turns indifferent. inertia takes hold and they
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shift to premature restraint. that ecked is type of mistake can be as damaging as the first. it could leave a economy confined. you saw this in japan you saw the united states in the 30 rece confined to low levels of economic growth and that leaves the economy living with too much damage. that mistake is important to avoid. we're trying very hard. i'm only speaking of the executive branch but this is important for the congress too. we got to make sure we don't have the second type of mistake too. we want to -- even though we're growing for five quarters even though we seen private sector job growth come back and private investment froge rapidly in the early stage -- growing rapidly in the early stayed -- stage, we got to have demand that is self-sustaining and we want to make sure that the government of the united states is reinforcing that transition by providing strongly -- stronger incentives.
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this is important to long-term growth and the capacity to come out of the crisis quickly. >> one of the things that came out was business uncertainty about the climate. particularly about policy. and -- we have obviously had a big election which -- argue my play increase the uncertainty. there's an area where business where everybody is crying out, which is the tax cuts. the bush tax cuts that are due to expire on december -- expire on december 31st. you have the administration has said that it is -- it doesn't want to see a permanent extension of the tax cuts for all -- for all taxpayers. i think that's right. >> we want to see a perm nebt extension, that go to 97 98% of americans. we want to make sure we extend the classic mix of business extenders and -- incentives for business investment and -- we are -- we would not favor an
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extension of tax cuts because we don't believe it is the best way to provide support for the economy. we would be very much against a permanent extension because it is just very expensive. we think there are much better uses -- whether you care about the strength of the economy near term, whether you care about the capacity of the government to do things helpful to the long-term competitiveness and things that help support business investment or the long-term fiscal position, we don't think that's the best use of our cass to borrow. >> that newence is you wouldn't favor any tension of the tax cuts. that seems to suggest that the m., the wiggle room here is for a temporary extension of the tax cuts. that's what is talked about. >> i would love to resolve that here. we have smart people here we could work this out. it is not rocket science, we could work it out. but i don't want to negotiate. >> give you two years. >> give me five years. >> should not be a complicated problem to solve.
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the way we're going to approach this debate with the republican here and here in both houses is to say what is going to be best for the economy? short-term long-term. what is going to be fair to the middle class what can we do to make sure we're solving problems, given the long-term fiscal deficits those objectives will guide the approach we take to it. >> if you don't do something permanent, you're just increasing the uncertainty. >> you could resolve uncertainty a lot of ways by providing clarity about the direction of the extensions. that provides certainty too. i will say it is not a sensible way to run a country to have -- this magnitude of tax issues left to annual uncertainty about extensions. on the business side, many of you live with this economically quite significant shifts in business tax treatment are left to a -- an annual process of extension, it makes no sense.
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that's one reason the president proposed in september, that we make permanent a more simplified and larger credit for research and development in the united states. that's just one example. if you care about the long-term competitiveness about the country, you should care not just about how we go about long-term deficits but providing can clarity in the tax code in way that is is good for business. >> is this going to be done before the end of the year? >> it has to be done. it is very important that congress act on this before they leave town. again, it is not -- it is not rocket science, it is not complicated thing to solve. it has to be solved before they leave town. it would not be a responsible act of government to leave this uncertainty hanging over the economy going into next year. >> would that apply to the estate tax and a.m.t. -- >> yes. >> you think it is important before december 31st, we have a agreement, legislation on those
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pieces? >> i think it is self-evidently important. you're talking about what would be dramatic changes in tax treatment of individuals, at a time when it makes no sense for that to happen. >> the longer term fiscal questions. we had this very interesting kind of early report last week from the coach -- cochairs of the president's deficit commission asking -- bowles and simpson, which seems to offer a pretty plausible trajectory for the fiscal position towards a position of long-term fiscal stability. you have had a chance to look at what they proposed. i know there's various other discussions and the commission have not weighed in completely. what they propose changes to social security and the retirement age and cuts to medicare, and significant broad reform of the tax system to -- to proden the base and reduce the manner nall rate. is that broad is that the kind of thing that you would favor? >> i should point out that alex
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reverend and dom men chi are coming out with a report later this week, with a set of what i suspect will be very sensible ambitious reforms for a long-term fiscal situation. the president -- the president set up this commission because he understands that our capacity to grow as a country depends significantly on our ability to rebuild some political consensus in the united states on reforms that provide gravity to our long-term fiscal situation. he recognized then as -- as has been recognized in the past if you're going to do this right you have to do it on bipartisan basis. he took a page out of the reagan social security commission and brought a set of very distinguished republican democrats together to ask them to find a consensus. we're going to let that process play out. we have seen the first step in the proposal that the two chairman of the commission have made. they're beginning that process of trying to -- to build consensus among the members. we're going to let the process play out. again, it is encouraging, that -- that you're seeing people
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across the political spectrum now recognize and understand that our long-term growth will depend significantly on our capacity to solve it. i think these are certainly -- certainly are five to 10-year fiscal deficits are a manageable challenge for the country. we can solve those deficits without ticking i think any significant risks that are going to hurt our long-term growth potential. it is -- it is just a political challenge. but we're in a much better position to manage those challenges than for any other major economies what -- what is more difficult of course is our long-term, the very long-term deficits driven and still by the combination of rapid health care costs and the aging of the population. >> the political challenge seems to be particularly acute for you. as why say president obama appointed the commission. the recommendation so far that commission cochairs cusm out with seem to be on the whole mildly favorably received by
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republicans and greeted with steaming hostility by democrats. they don't like the idea of increasing social security and the retirement age. they don't like the idea of medicare cuts. they think tax reforms will favor the wealthy. given the president appointed this commission and the direction they have gone what do you -- what are you going to recommend to the president about how you handle this? how are you going to handle this opposition from within your observe party? >> i don't think it is surprising. you're hearing people quick out of the box with views and observations on the merits on those. that's not surprising. we're going to let the process play out. out of respect for the people that lend their time to the commission and the complexity of the problem and recognition it is difficult, not going to be easy, we're going to let that process play out. >> i like to get some on. lots of people have questions in the audience.
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i like to come to -- anybody have questions in a minute. we talked about the impact. straight out, president obama maids his press confence and acknowledged he took a shell languaging as he called it. one of the most interesting part of the press conference is his relationship with business. he hadn't handled things, got the balance right, to insure that business plays by the rules and the rules are right and insuring that people understand rblings what an important role the private sector plays here. and he committed himself in that press conference to try to get that balance better. what are you going to do to make sure that -- that there is a sense that business and this administration, business and government are working together and to repair what appears to have been quite a fractured relationship in the last couple of years? >> i think it is important to point out -- jerry that, if you
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look at the profitability of american companies look at what happened to -- to the market's confidence and the future earnings, if you look at the strength of private investment growth in the early stage of recovery, if you look at the basic strength of corporate balance, the u.s. is in a strong position to profit from the extraordinary growth we're going to see in -- in the most populace economies of the world. that's partly because of the basic underlying resilience and dynamism of the private sector and substantially as a result of the fact that the president working with congress and alongside the fed was able to break the back of this financial panic very quickly very successfully and restart economic growth at a much earlier stage than any of us thought was possible. this perception i think is very damaging. it is important that we work very hard to repair it.
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and what we're going to try to do, as you're seeing us do is make sure we're laying out proposals for economic policy that are going to be good for business incentives and good for the basic underhighing strength of the u.s., is this committee going forward. i'll give you three, four examples. stronger incentives for business investment, short-term, long term, have r-very important to the cometiveness. and substantial investment in public infrastructure fully paid for fiscally responsible is important to the underlying strength of the economy and a sustained effort to make sure that exports are going rapidly, is going to be important to our capacity to grow in the future. now of course we're doing a range of other things too, to make sure the government is providing a lot of support for basic science, for basic research, things that have broad benefits over time. but i think the best thing we could do is make sure we're laying on the proposals that have had a hot of republican support in the past. and are unambiguously good for
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the capacity to grow. make sure we're working hard to spend political capital to get support for the proposals. >> could i open it up to any questions? i did want to ask that we didn't discuss very much in the news, europe. the debt death crisis taking hold there. there seems to be a division there is a division among the europeans. they're divided about whether the irish government should seek a bailout from the european union or the i.m.f. and the irish seem to resist that -- and what in terms of global financial stability, this has an affect, how should this e-be resolved? should there be an early move to resolve these, where the government in the periphery has huge debt problems or let the markets play out as they are now. >> out of defer rennes to the
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europeans, i don't want to speak to the details of ireland or port gal right now. i would say the following, europe put in place in the summer to -- took them a while to do it. they put this place in the summer a very strong set of financial instruments to help those countries manage through the very difficult challenges that they had on the fiscal side and financial side. that gives european leaders the ability to do what you normally want to do in a crisis. you want to make sure you move very quickly and you have a combination of policy reforms that help, help resolve the problem with temporary financial support to let countries manage through them. you want as a gem lessen, you saw this over the last spring and summer in europe, you want to move quickly on these things. both with policy reforms and with, if it is necessary, kind of contingent back stuff assistance to help countries manage through it. again i would say the lessens of
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the experience are that europe learned a little painfully last 134er, you want to do this quickly and decisively and not wait. >> do you think the -- the euro can survive? >> do i think so. i think it is in europe's power to manage. they have made that choice. >> okay. yes. at the back there. thank you. there's a motor vehicle phone coming, sorry. ted craber. on the quantitative easing do you envision sometime in the future that you would unwind the quantitative easing? if so, what type of future are we looking at there? what is the indication you would use to unwind the qe 2. >> i would love to talk about that, the executive branch doesn't talk about with monetary policy or the actions of the binds fed. i want to honor that tradition.
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you should direct that to my colleagues at the fed. >> there's decision, there's no movement on fiscal policy right now. there isn't much movement in any other areas -- >> isn't there a sense that the fed is the only game in town here? when you're abroad, you're defending fed policy. >> i don't think -- you do not want to be in a position where you leave the burden for solving these problems on the central bank. there's things they can do and can't do. you don't want to leave the burden of these things on the central bank of any country. but let me come back to your premise on fiscal policy. i think it is quite likely that you're going to see an agreement on tax policy and i hope you're going to see that followed by -- for individuals. i hope you see that followed by a consensus on a set of sensible changes to the incentives for investment in the united states. that will make odds likely that
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the fiscal policy is more supportive of this transition to the private demand recovery. i think that's more likely now. >> there's a strong belief among economists, the i.m.f. said this. the case right now is for -- for some more fiscal stim husband for the u.s. gie >> but a company buy necessarily a company buy, long term plausible long term plan for fiscal consolidation. is that something as the new congress arrises in january is that something you get from them and if it is one idea is a payroll tax holiday that you could do that and that'd be a boost for short term demand but it would be accompanied by the changes. is that something that you would be prepared to discuss? >> yeah, i think you're absolutely right. the ideal mix of policies now for a country like the united states is combine a credible set
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of reforms that bring the deficit down to a sustainable level with a set of actions providing more catalyst to recovery now. absolutely it is the right mix and that's why the president proposed in the fall a series of investment-focused tax changes and public investment plan that will help reenforce that argument. i think as you look at all of these things, you have to make sure that you are not -- you're doing things that are good for long term growth and not just short term. as people observed over this period of time, you want to do things that add to long term growth prospects, and that's why over the last three months we put the emphasis on investment related incentives. even, for example, we proposed in september a one year period, 1 00% expensing of capital investment by any american business. that's true it pulls forward
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investment from the future but if you pull forward investment rather than spending on housing for example you're more likely to be left with a productive economy in the future. there's lots of other ideas out there, and obviously, we want to come together with the new leadership in congress on both sides of the aisle figuring out what's the best thing for the economy in terms of long term growth and is fiscally responsible. >> yes, please wait for the microphone. should be on. >> nick from snapon tools mr. secretary. you said things well received by this audience i think. short term focus on the economy, extension of the tax credit the president proposing permanent extension of r and d and
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business proposals. you know, if we went back a year ago, i think most people here would have said we heard very little of that and i ask you what priorities sort of outranked those considerations, and what could the business community have done to raise them in the mind of the administration? >> i kind of like to look forward now rather than looking back over that period of time. [laughter] but i would just say the following, and let me speak from my perspective as secretary of treasury. we did put an overwhelming focus on the first 18 months on the necessary essential challenges in making sure we were fixing what was broken the financial system recapitalizing the american exnl system, -- financial system making sure the markets were healing and restarting the process of growth
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globally and then fixing the most glaring flaws of our basic financial system. we put an emphasis on that which i think we had to do. nothing is possible without making sure the credit markets are functioning again and nothing is possible without that basic achievement. the recovery changes and after restarting the basic growth dynamic in the united states, the challenge adjusts to find out how you're sustaining it and you're transitioning more effectively, and that dynamic is underway now, and it's actually very encouraging. it's important to get perspective on this but i want to go through it again. household savings in connection in connection increased significantly, private investment growing rapidly, and
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exports performing well productivity growth growing and corporate sector, very, very strong, across industries look really quite healthy to us, that is fundamentally encouraging about our broad place in the world, but you know we're sill not growing fast enough coming out of this and where we have the capacity to provide an initial spark, an additional spark to private investment that's a use of government and i think that's a good focus of attention, and as i said earlier, you want a mix of short term and long term things at the same time, and again, that's why we think this mix of better private investment incentives and stronger investments in public infrastructure is combined with exports is a good mix of strategy. our strategy is to build a more competitive america, and apart
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from what we're doing with education and the long term fiscal reforms part of that is about trying to make sure we strengthen the investments for -- the incentives in the investments in the united states. we are going to be a huge part in the growing world and we want to be a part of that with american investment and innovation, and that's a good focus for policy going forward. >> as you heard, he has a lot on his plate at the moment, so it's great to have him spending time with us this morning. please thank him for being here with us. [applause] a live look now at the capitol building. congress continued their preparations by holding the last of the leadership elections today. house democrats hold a press conference this afternoon while the house republicans have postponed their press conference until tomorrow. this follows yesterday's senate elections in which there was no
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changing in leadership with majority leader harry reed and minority leader mitch mcconnell continuing in their post. the u.s. congress is in recess and meeting separately to discuss strategy for the lame duck session. before recessing they voted to begin debate on the food safety bill. it continues at 4 eastern and we'll have live coverage here on c-span 2. when the new congress begins in january, there's 16 new remembers, 16 republicans, including dan coats who served ten years in the 1990s and is taking the seat of a retired congressman. jerry moran is taking the seat of republican sam brownback who ran for governor.
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>> secretary robert gates says he's trying to end ineffective programs and criticized the deficit commission idea to cut defense spending. he made the comments yesterday at the "wall street journal" ceo counsel. he told participants that the
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proposed defense cuts harming security. his comments are a half hour, and we're show you as much as we can before taking you to the state department with secretary clinton making remarks on religious freedom. >> i mentioned that mostly because he's an -- 8th president. >> he's actually leaving the government next year but like the eagles you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. [laughter] i thought that what bob and i would do is talk about the security situation around the world for a few minutes and the management challenges at the pentagon which must be just as frightening as the security situation around the world. let's talk about the most pressing problem in some ways
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which is afghanistan. president karzai made startling statements with the "washington post" which was the need for the u.s. to ramp back military operations to stop special operations in the south which have been very effective and disturbed general petraeus among others raising a question of what the relationship with president karzai is like right now. what's your reaction to what president karzai said? >> first of all, president karzai is our partner. he'll be the president of afghanistan until his second term is out in 2014, i think, and we will continue to partner with him through this conflict. i think, i think that president karzai is reflecting the impatience of a country that's been at war for 30 years. it's been in this war for 10
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years, and was at war for 20 years before that and i think what president karzai was articulating was the desire to see afghanistan get to the point where as he referred to in his interview, the way it was in the 1950s and 60s when the primary american presence was a development presence. we were building roads. we were putting in irrigation systems and so on. we share that desire. the problem is we can't get from here to there tomorrow and i think that you will see nato next week or this coming weekend probably tackle the issue of transition probably embrace president karzai's own stated goal of having a security transition of responsibility for
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security complete by 2014 so i think, i think he was -- my own view is he was expressing the frustration of the leader of a country whose people have been at war for so long and i think the reality is he understands what we have to do to get afghanistan to that point and the reality is the afghans are playing a significant role already there's been dray -- dramatic improvement in the security forces over the last year 60-70% of the forces in the kandahar operation are afghan and that is an afghan-led operation all of the counterterrorism operations the raids that he referred to are led by afghans so we will continue to work with them as a
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good partner. >> is there a gap emerging though between the approach the u.s. wants to take over the next 8 to 9 months and what president karzai's political needs dictate that he has to ask for? >> no, i think we'll be okay. >> what about pakistan next door which is in many ways the root of the problems you just described? is the arch of the military relationship going upwards or downwards? >> i think it's going up. you know, if you had told me two years ago that pakistan would have 140,000 troops on its western border fighting taliban and the various other terrorist groups that are in that area, i would have thought that impossible. they basically withdrawn six divisions from the indian border to deal with this problem. is it as fast as we would like? no, but if you had told me,
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again, two years ago that they would have occupied swat and south warzirtan and they cooperate with us on both sides of the border i would have thought it a reach but the leaders of pakistan coming here twice and secretary clinton and our team has gone to islambad once this summer that enhanced the quality of the relationship and i think there's a growing common understanding of the mutual threats we face. >> but it's clear the strategy in afghanistan requires the ability to move across that border to deal with taliban sanctuaries on the site and that's a source of great tension with the pakistani government. are you as the u.s. military
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going to continue to have the freedom to move across that border as necessary to conduct the operations you want in afghanistan? >> well, we don't have combat boots on the griewnd in pakistan. what we are seeing is the pack stanny -- pakistani army taking action against the safe havens, disrupting them and as i suggested, increasingly coordinating with us not in cross border but on either side of the border operations against these groups and i think that the pakistanis taking it on is preferable. >> is that in ways that you'd like? >> well, as we've said all along, you know they've gotten to where they need to be. we're pretty impatient people you know. we want everything done yesterday, but again, they are doing things that frankly we
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would have been skeptical they would do. >> what is your view of the willingness of the government to go further to say the pakistani government is going after the taliban that threatens pakistan and less willing to those who threaten afghanistan. that's been the fundamental diskette for awhile, is that over? >> their highest priority is going after the people who they think are trying to overthrow them which is the pakistani pal ban -- taliban, but they are increasingly working with us and against other groups. >> the other source of threat is yemen before the u.s. house serious ises terrorist threat in
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yemen, and what kind of tools do you have as the u.s. government to deal with the terror threat from yemen? >> what we've seen in bringing pressure to al-qaeda in north waziristan, it's changed and we see them in somalia and yemen, in north africa, in the mod grib and our biggest tools with respect to yemen is the partnership capacity of the yes , yemens themselves to go after these guys. we don't need another war, and the people of yemen have shown the willingness to go after what we call quap, and they are
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working with us and with the saudis and with others and one of the big themes over the last couple of years for us has been building partnership capacity, giving them the equipment and the training so they can do the job themselves, and this is a theme behind a lot of our efforts in africa swell in the middle east, and -- as well as the middle east, and that's our best tool in yemen. >> in yemen, is there a government you can work with unlike somalia? >> yes. >> do they have the correct attitude of dealing with the problem in yemen? >> well, they like, as the case in a lot of these places, the president of yemen has a triable and management challenge that he has to deal with, but i would say in terms of going after the terrorists yes they do have the right attitude. >> let me continue the trouble spots in that part of the world
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by asking you about iran. it seems likely there's renewed conversations about the iranny government, is there anything you see the path towards nuclear weapons capability is anything but straight and narrow for the irani government? >> i think they are still intent on acquiring nuclear weapons but also the information we have is that they have been surprised by the impact of the sanctions this latest round, not just the last u.n. security counsel resolution but the actions taken by individual countries using the u.n. security counsel resolution as a platform or foundation, and those measures have really bitten much harder than they anticipated, and we have evidence that they are
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wondering if ahmadinejad is lying to them about the impact of the sanctions object on the economy and whether he's getting the straight scoop in terms of how much trouble the economy is really in, so i think that the sanctions are having an impact. look the only long term solution in avoiding a reigning nuclear weapons capability is for the iranians to decide it's not in their interest. everything else is a short term solution, is a two to three year solution and if it's a military solution, as far as i'm concerned, it will only make them -- it will bring together a divided nation. it will make them absolutely committed to attaining nuclear weapons, and they will just go deeper and more covert, so i think that the political
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economics strategy is the one we have to continue to pursue and wratch it up and create an exit for them, you know if you agree to do these things that give us confidence that you're not building nuclear weapons then there is a way out of the box you've gotten yourself into. >> but you're saying the imperative is to find a nonmilitary solution? >> i think that's the only long term solution. >> let me ask you about a topic that consumed this room last night and already this morning which is china. it's clear the chinese are becoming more aggressive to become a regional power. at the same time, you've managed in the last few weeks to maintain a military-to-military dialogue which i think is a good sign. what is the role china wants to play in its own region and the extent which they may or may not
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bring conflict to the u.s. in the long run? >> you give me too much credit. i think from the first meetings the presidents have talked about the military-to-military relationship being an underdeveloped problem to the overall u.s.-china relationship. i think president of china has reemphasized that and that's the reason -- of course, he's coming here next year. i will be going to china, and i'm confident that the reason i got an invitation to go to china early next year is because the president thinks this is an important part of the relationship. i think it is important myself and i am hopeful that in addition to exercises and joint efforts in humanitarian assistance disaster relief and a variety of other things like
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that that we can broaden this relationship to a strategic dialogue so we get a better understanding of each other's intentions, the way we see the world, and so on. i got involved in the strategic arms talks with the soviets 40 years ago and i'm not sure whether most of those negotiations that were much led to disarmerment, but the one thing i am confident of is that over that period of decades we came to a very clear understanding with the soviets of how each of us thought about things, and i think that dialogue helped prevent many miscalculations and mistakes. i'd like to have the same kind of a dialogue with the chinese. >> let me turn to the other part of your job which is the management part of your job. people in this room run very big organizations. you run a very, very big organization, and you've got some management and budget challenges that are
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significant. you've essentially told the defense department, the budget gravy train is probably coming to an end sooner rather than later, get ready for it. you said we need $100 billion in savings over the next five years if we're going to keep the structure that we have in place. you tell the shareholders and company congress they have to learn to live with that as well. how are those two messages going down? >> well first of all i think within the building i have gotten incredible cooperation. this has been done in partnership with the military and i think one of the -- the challenge that we face is that the growth rate -- >> live now to the state department where secretary clinton announces the release of the international religious freedom report. >> it's my pleasure to join you today for the release of the state department east annual
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report on international religious freedom. every year the state department prepares a comprehensive review of the status of religious freedom in country and territories around the world. we do this because we believe that religious freedom is both a fundamental human right, and an essential element to a stable, peaceful thriving society. this is not only the american view, but the view of nations and people around the world. it is enshrined in the rights and protected by the international covenant on civil and political rights and guaranteed by the laws and constitutions of many nations including our own where religious freedom is the first freedom listed in our bill of rights. because we believe in relishesz freedom and because we are committed to the right of all people everywhere to live
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according to their beliefs without government interference and with government protection we are troubled by what we see happening in many, many places. religious freedom is under threat from author tearian regimes that abuse their own citizens. it is under threat from violent extremist groups that exploit tensions. it is under threat from the quiet and persistent harm caused by intolerance and mistrust that can lead minorly religious groups marge marge -- marginal. during the past year al-qaeda issued calls against further violence of religious minorities in the middle east.
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holy sites in pakistan have been attacked and so was a catholic church in baghdad just a few weeks ago. we received reports from china of government harassment of buddhists, christians, and muslims. several european countries have placed harsh restrictions on religious expression. these inforfor-- infringements sustain the bond that create democratic societies. with this report we hope to give governments, ngo, and citizens around the world valuable information about the status of religious freedom and a call to action for all of us to work together to protect us. our office of international religious freedom and our embassies and console lats around the globe worked for
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months to compile these 198 country reports. they are assisted by ngo's, think tanks, news outlets, religious groups, and other governments. i want to thank everyone who offered information and analysis and in particular the brave activists who shared their stories with us at great personal risk. one country not included in this report is the united states and that is because the department of justice monitors threats to religious freedom in the united states and issues reports throughout the year. as some of you know i've said on becoming secretary of state if we were going to issue reports on other states, we would issue reports on ourself. we are keeping true to that position, and these reports on the united states are publicly available for review by everyone. you know obviously we, like
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every cru, must be vigilant in protecting the rights of religious minorities and societies with people of all faith and people of no faith can live together openly and peacefully. with this report we do not intend to act as a judge of other countries or hold ourselves up as a perfect example, but united states cares about religious free worked hard to enforce religious freedom. we want to see religious freedom available universally, and we want to advocate for the brave men and women who around the world persist in practicing their belief in the face of hostility. this is one that begins with private belief and communal, religious expression but doesn't end there. religious freedom also includes
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the right to raise one's children in one's faith, to share one's faith peacefully with others, to publish religious materials without censorship to change one's religion by choice, not coercion, and to practice no religion at all and it includes the right of faith communities to come together in social service and public engagement in the broader society. we have seen the valuable contributions made by religious communities in the global fights against poverty disease and injustice. here in our own country, religious people, people of faith have played a key role in our most important reform movements from the abolition of slavery to the modern day campaigns against human trafficking and forced labor. when the work of these communities is constrained or blocked, we all lose out regardless of our particular
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beliefs. now, some people propose that to protect religious freedom we must ban speech that is critical or offensive about religion. we do not agree. the defamation of the resolution adopted again this year and pending before the general assembly reflects the other view and the united states joins in all nations coming together to condemn hateful speech, but we do not support the banning of that speech. indeed freedom of speech and religion imnate from the same belief that communities and individuals are enriched by a diversity of ideas and attempts to stifle them or drive them underground even when it is in
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the name and intention of protecting society have the opposite effect. societies in which freedom of religion and speech flourish are more resilient, more stable, peaceful and productive. we have seen this throughout history, and as this report reflects, we see it in the world today. so with this report as our guide, the united states will continue to advance religious freedom around the world as a core element of u.s. diplomacy. president obama's speech in cairo in june of last year signaled a significant increase in our engagement with muslim majority countries and religious communities around the world. compared to previous years, many of the chapters in this year's report provide greater detail about what the united states government is doing to engage faith-based groups and address the issues that affect them. our embassies continue to support dialogue and works with
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religious groups across a full range of issues and we'll continue to speak out against the curtailing of religious liberty wherefore and whenever it occurs. i'd now like to welcome michael posner, secretary on human rights and labor to elaborate further on this report and answer your questions. michael? >> thank you, madam secretary for your remarks. as secretary clinton said, religious minorities in many societies today face serious restrictions on their ability to practice their faith gather with others to worship freely. in too many places people are targeted for their beliefs and face discrimination, intimidation and even violence. this year's report tells their
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story. it relies on the universal standard in the declaration of human rights. these are human rights issues. it provides a baseline of understanding the global status of religious freedom around the world. it details both improvements we've seen over the past year as well as government failings. let me give a few examples. in iran, government respect for religious freedom continues to deteriorate, especially for groups like the bahi. in burma the government continues its tight control in the activities of buddhist clergy and discriminates against minority religious communities. it is a positive step but there's more than 121 political prisoners in burr ma including monks and other religious figures.
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in pakistan against the violence the number of reported cases against religious minorities increased. in may, two attacks on congregations killed at least 86 people. government raided christian and bahi services and many groups face fines or other restrictions. the government continues to harass and detain members of unapproved religious groups several hundred religious minority members are today in jail in very harsh conditions. in china, as the secretary noted, we continue to see restrictions on the population and in tibet and buddhist commune and other restrictions
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on religious freedom including on the authorized house christian churches. there's some positive steps. president obama in his trip to indonesia noted that religious tolerance in that country is a defining characteristic. the government set up a national interface counsel we've participated earlier this year in a bilateral religious dialogue. in syria and turkey they have spoken out publicly urging toll -- tolerance for christians and jews. in bray zill a commission on religious -- a commission against religion tolerance and earlier this year,
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government in rio created an office to combat religious intolerance. this morning doctor johnson cook appeared before the senate foreign relations committee, a step on her way to becoming we hope and are encouraging the ambassador at large for religious freedom. i hope the process goes quickly and she'll be able to join us to pursue this important agenda. i'm happy to take your questions. >> [inaudible] >> no the report is a separate exercise from that but we will be designating countries of a particular concern in the next couple of months. >> yeah, if i could follow-up on that? >> sure. >> vietnam -- well the u.s. commission has urged for more than a year now
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that vietnam be put back on that list and i think the list wasn't timized this year since the -- finalized this year since the last report. why is vietnam being kept off? >> well the commission as you know is an independent body. it has its own designations. we will make a judgment as i said in the next several months of the countries to be designated as countries of particular concern. we discussed vietnam in the report and we discussed a range of thing, and in fact i'm going to vietnam in december to renew a bilateral human rights dialogue that we did last october, and these are prominent issues on the agenda. >> does it make any difference because year after year you bring the reports out and we see many countries never change and you keep telling them each year and the united nations and including china and other
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places so where do you go from here after the reports unless you force them and you -- even sanctions doesn't work. what's the next step? >> well as i said in my opening comments, these reports are a factual baseline that is that gives us information to then make policy. the reports by themselves will never solve the problem. the reports those provide information both for our dip dip diplomats and those in other governments. we address these and other u.s. officials so. it's the pressure of public attention and political and what happens in society that makes a
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difference. one thing that is striking to me about all of these reports is the extent to which those activists, religious leaders in this case, appreciate the fact that their situation is being publicly identified so there's a recognition on the part of those most affected that these reports give them strength, give them a sense of solidarity and support. >> one thing is a list of the muslim countries of concern. i saw women who are suffering and they have to be in all kinds of thing and they have no freedom. i think muslim countries that -- >> we raised these issues everywhere incoming the countries you -- including the countries you described. as you know for this
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administration the treatment of women and girls is an extremely important human rights issue. we raise it constantly, and this is part of that effort to be publicly identifying our support for their inclusion in every aspect of their society. >> it's been pointed out a lot of the countries are familiar and come up again and again, but the secretary mentioned you are taking note of european countries putting harsh restrictions on religion. can you go into more detail? are you concerned about things like the bans and western europe in particular a concern where it wasn't before when it comes to religious freedom if >> i can't speak of before but i am discussing these issues constantly with our european allies. let's take the vote in switzerland. the government didn't support that initiative. it was a public initiative 50
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some percent or 59% of the population vote the to ban and i've talked to their representatives repeatedly who is now doing what they can to overturn that and create a legal and public process that will basically restore the ability of the muslim community to build. something with the burka, we've raised that issue and our own position and again, president obama spoke about this in the cairo speech. we have gone to court in the united states to enforce the right of muslim women and girls and that's our position. it's a position we articulate when talking to our european friends. >> is it your view broadly that religious intolerance is a growing problem there? >> there is certainly a growing sensitivity and tension in europe and i think what we are
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urging again, are european friends are to take every measure to try to e leaveuate this -- alleviate this tension. these are tensions between communities, and it's for the governments to be as proactive as it can in each of these situations to reduce the level of tension. >> in 2003 the christian communities in iran has been a target of a great deal of violence and towns are blown up. how do you deal with that? how do you deal with people who want to immigrate as a result of this year or how do you -- [inaudible] >> we are and have expressed great concern about the situation of the christian community in iraq the bombing
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last month of the our lady of salvation catholic church where more than 50 people were killed is an example of the violence that you described. we've condemned that violence in the stronger terms. we have repeatedly spoken to government leaders in iraq, and president maliki is now announced increased security for the christian community and rebuilding of that church, but we will continue to be vigilant, and this is an ongoing problem and challenge for all of the people. >> what about the community, you know they -- i know that the whole town was blown up and they still are waiting for some sort of aid from the u.n. or elsewhere since 2007. is there anything that is
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directed towards this community? >> i don't have anything to add on that community in particular. i think we're looking at the whole picture and obviously if iraq creates a government that we're hoping that there can be a restoration of a better relationship and a more stable situation. a huge number of christian population have left the country, and so we are very mindful of the continuing tensions, and obviously, one aspect of that is to restore people's lost homes and whose lives have been disturbed. >> has anybody from the administration reached out to france, especially the french president, and the ban on muslims? >> i can't speak to the question of whether anybody has talked to the president. i've talked to my counterparts in the french government repeatedly. we have a different view, but i
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think our view is that for all of our allies we're encouraging a government action to redews tensions and to allow people to express their religious faith. >> you mentioned that you are concerned about the increased violence in this condition against public and christian people in egypt. you painted several times of this decision of worrying about their situation but the egyptian government has ignored several statements about the religious freedom about the freedom of human rights. what -- what news do you have to encourage the egyptian government in taking interest and considerations in the election and the increase of the
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violence and to have witness two days ago another violence accident. thank you. >> i've been in egypt twice in the last year. most recently, last month in october. i've raised these issues with senior government officials. i was in egypt first in january several weeks after the killings. we urged and the government did initiate an investigation. there are now three people on trial. that's a step in the right direction, but my conversations and i had a number of conversations with religious leaders both christian and muslim last month, the level of violence may not be increasing but there's a great tension. there's a great sense that this sectarian tension is actually
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increasing. we'll continue to raise it. i raised it publicly there. i'll continue to raise it. these are concerning of ours and they are certainly concerns to many, many people in egypt. >> do you expect any u.s. aide to egypt regarding to the ignorance of the egyptian government to these issues? >> one of the things that president obama has talked about is principle engagement. we have a strong bilateral relationship with the government of egypt. we have many, many security and other interests which are very important. they have been our partner in the middle east peace process, but these human rights issues are front and center. we'll continue to raise these issues. we'll continue to press them, and the sectarian tensions are an important piece of what we are discussing. >> a report that we got under the u.s. actions in countries of
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particular concern you stated china, north korea iran, saudi arabia sudan and other countries. what do you consider these countries? >> what do we consider them in? there are eight countries designated as countries of particular concern. those eight countries are burr ma, -- burma, china iran north creigh that saudi arabia, sudan. we are now reviewing that process, separate from this report. this report states the facts. now we're going to have an internal process where we evaluate these and in the next couple months we designate countries going forward that are on this list.
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>> do you expect it to get bigger next year or -- >> i can't speak to that. we haven't had the discussion. as soon as we have the list we'll let you know. >> this this report again, refers to north korea as a country, and have you discussed or have any plans to discuss with north korea their human right conditions? >> in our -- as you know our relations with north korea are strained to say the least and we raise publicly in whatever ways we can a whole range of human rights concerns the human right situation in north korea is desperate, and so on every measure, it is a country that is consistent violater of human rights. we will continue to raise those issues publicly in whatever ways
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we can and try to encourage other governments to do the same. >> so you seem to think the future will address north korea's human rights conditions? >> i'm sorry? >> should the talks address the human rights? >> you know, we have a special representative here in the state department that is to pursue the human rights issues with respect to north korea, and i think he's probably the person you ought to be talking to because he leads that effort. >> considering the special relationships with the saudis, how do you raise these issues? >> well you know, we have had a range of concerns with saudi arabia in terms of restriction on religious freedom. they have been on the list since 2004. the government bans any public
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religious observance outside of islam, even private religious observance is sometimes interfered with. we are concerned continue to be concerned about educational materials. the government has made commitments to reform the textbooks and other educational materials. it has done some of that, but there is still continuing to be in the saudi textbooks references very negative stereotippic references to jews and christians which we regard as offensive. these are real concerns and have a range of other interests with the saudis, but this is part of human rights policy. we will continue to raise these concerns in particular with the saudis until these issues are addressed. >> thank you.
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>> it seems that most of the interference and prosecutions going on in the countryside according to your report. is the central government just failing to regulate the behavior of officials out in the rural areas? >> you know, i don't think i have much to add to what's in the report. i will say that we have with the government of laos signed an agreement that allows the ngo's to provide training on religious freedom both to government officials and religious leaders. it's often the case laos and elsewhere that what the central government is doing is not completely in harmony with what goes on at a local level so much to the credit of the government of laos, they have been open to this kind of training program and involvement of an ngo, and it's certainly something we'll continue to work on. >> time for a few more
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questions. >> you spoke about the principle of engagement with egypt. can you speak more about indonesia begin the fact that the president was just there? >> well, i think again i highlighted it as a kind of interesting example of a large muslim country, but a country where traditionally different religions and faiths have coexisted. we applaud the fact that the government is set up a national interfaith counsel. as i say, we also in january undertook a bilateral dialogue where religious leaders, students, and others came together from our two countries so one of the things again, i was in indonesia earlier this year, and one of the things that's quite encouraging as the president said, this is not a clean bill of health. there are obviously still a range of issues still to be
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addressed there, but there is a sense with the indonesian government that they are engaged in these issues from the president on down, and there's a potential for us and we're eager to do it to work with them with respect to the region and more broadly. >> the report says that the government took some steps, but not enough, and you say but serious problems remain. can you explain this a little bit? >> you're talking about indonesia or -- >> pakistan. >> oh, in pakistan. there is, as you know a widespread scattered violent attacks from extremist groups. i mentioned the one, the bombing in may, but there have been attacks against christians, and there's still discriminatory
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laws on the books and blasphemy laws. the government is taking steps. it is a very tense situation now, and there are tensions within the society so it's a mixed picture honestly. we give this government credit for steps its taken but also recognize that more needs to be done and it's part of our diplomacy with them. >> in your report you mentioned about the extremists, but what about the specific laws that discriminate against members of religious minorities in pakistan? that is under government control. >> right and as i said a moment ago, we are mindful of those laws and concerned about those laws. we raised our concerns directly with the government of pakistan. one of the things this report does is identify in pakistan and
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elsewhere government actions where they contribute to the problem, and where we see that we're going to raise it. pakistan is not alone in that. >> just in quick follow-up, you mentioned that you raised the issue. what exactly level goes, and you know and is it just a meeting and then nothing happens, or you expect some results, and when can we hear about those results? >> you know, i don't think any meeting ever gets results. there has to be a consistent message delivered by different people, and it has to be accompanied by followers. that's what we're trying to do in each of these situations. we've talked about egypt. i've been there twice. i'm going to go back there. there's other government officials raising our concerns and same thing in pakistan and the other countries i'm describing.
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in some countries we have more leverage than others. it's difficult for us to be the ones to promote human rights in north korea because our relationships are so strained. we continue these discussions publicly and privately. this is part of what we do as a government and we'll do it in a consistent way and sustained way and multiple officials raise it and we will keep pushing until we get the results we're aiming for. the goal is to allow people to practice their religious freedom. it's one of great importance. ..
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>> but we will raise these issues as we see them. we will call them as we see them. we will write a these reports straight out based on universal standard, and we will continue to press government to promote and respect religious freedom. the right of people to not have constraints. >> recently, u.k. congressional delegation visited north korea come and they published a report that they found a little bit of
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improvement in the religious situation of north korea. including the new seminary, do you have any comment on that? and is there any reason are examples of why you put north korea in the last, one of the eight countries? >> again, i'm going to take that question at bath report, i have not seen that report there's designation north korea was made two years ago. we are reviewing it now but from our perspective across the board human rights are not respected, violated in north korea. and i would be interested to see the report. i'm glad to see her reaction, but we certainly see a very draconian government their that doesn't respect religious rights are human rights generally. >> is there any way that
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discrimination can take a legal act against government regarding the discrimination legal act in the u.n. or any other international bodies? >> i don't know about a legal act. we sorely are trying to encourage a greater international attention to these issues at the u.n. and elsewhere. i did choosing to join the human rights council last year -- our decision to join human rights council last year, we could raise these and other issues. so that's what we're trying to do. we are trying we come in septembeseptember, for example took the lead in the resolution on freedom of association. part of that relates to religious communities. it's important that these religious communities, don't you
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isolate. part of what we are also trying to do with this report and this effort is to make sure that religious groups that are feeling beleaguerbeleaguered and isolated, understand that we are paying attention that we are helping them. thank you very much. >> [inaudible conversations] >> a live look year outside of the conference room at the capital. house democrats are meeting behind closed doors right now to vote on leadership for the next two years. allies have nancy pelosi of california predict she will win overwhelmingly. particularly, given the 129-68 vote to defeat an effort by her critics to postpone the leadership election until next month. both parties are holding closed-door house leadership elections today with little controversy over who will lead the incoming republican
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majority. democrats lost more than 60 house seats to republicans who are poised to elect a ohio's john boehner as speaker when the new congress convenes in january. the u.s. senate is in a recess. democrats and republicans are meeting separately to discuss strategy for the currently and accession. before recessing, senators voted to begin debate on the food safety bill. it will begin when senators return at about four eastern, and will have live coverage here on c-span2. >> pakistan's ambassador to the
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united states spoke yesterday at the atlantic council in washington, d.c. about the current relationship between the u.s. and his country. president obama returned recently from a 10 day trip overseas which included stops in india, but not pakistan. the president and ceo of atlantic council introduces the ambassador. it's about an hour and a half. >> good afternoon. i'm fred kempe am a president and ceo of the atlantic council. it's a particular pleasure for me to invite you to this very special event because we are welcoming back an old friend of the atlantic council, who came here first two days after youre had your credentials making yourg her first public appearance as ambassador from pakistan to theakistan united states. and i know youto will come back to some of the issues you raised o them. what also an old friend of mine.
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of mine. we met first in 1985 when i was a reporter for "the wall street journal" in pakistan and going behind soviet lines with mujahedin. and ambassador haqqani was my teacher, my instructor and i've been stealing his ideas ever since. i must say even in the garb of that day, the idea of the garb was to make it look as though i was one of the mujahedin. if you look at me it was not the most convincing outfit. pakistan must be among the most resilient of nations on earth and also among the luckiest. in the middle of a serious insurgency movement inside its western borders, it was inundated by the worst flood in 80 years. but brilliant at it.
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and i think we always underestimate pakistan's resilient. in areas the size of the eastern seaboard of the united states in some 20 million people were affected by the floods. more than half of them were children. an economy beset by the effects of the global slowdown was rendered even more problematic in the face of these challenges. and then a coalition government led by the pakistan people's party. struggles while attempting to meet the needs of its people. to give it credit, the government has attempted to make some attempt at bold reforms introducing a nation wide reform tax and value-added tax, reordering the fiscal relationship between the center and the provinces and now a promise by prime minister gillani to cut the cabinet size by devolving responsibilities to the provinces. surreal things are happening that really aren't reported enough here.
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but old-style machine politics and newly empowered and bring that news media activist judiciary body muscles powerful military. we were just talking about before ambassador haqqani came out. it's a complex society. it's a complex country. and they'll put pressure, all these items put pressure on a fledgling democracy and civilian government. the u.s.-pakistan relationship is then put on a higher plane through strategic dialogue with the u.s. is that three major meetings involving senior participants, including secretary of state the pakistan foreign minister the army chief. ambassador haqqani has been at the center of all these arrangements. some might call them as much as pakistan's ambassador to washington as washington's ambassador to pakistan, a difficult job of building trust in a period of time in building trust isn't always that easy. his own government's trust in
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him has been shown by the extension of his tenure in the study and as the recent bob woodward book on obama's bors indicates, he has been a go to guy for the u.s. government in building relations with pakistan a journalist and a former life when he was my first teacher on pakistan in the region. a scholar and now a constant diplomat. we are happy to invite back ambassador haqqani to her south asia center. he also gave me good advice in the beginning as we were setting up. as he knows well from his previous visits we are proud of the role the center is played in less than two years we believe it's become a crucial form in the city for these sort of processions. the director of her south asia center's will moderate the
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discussion. >> thank you very much for that very kind introduction. as i recall in 1985 the reason why it couldn't look just like the mujahedin is because you weren't reading to grow that one. that was necessary. so we got to the turban, we got the dress, but we couldn't tear a man not been able to pass off as one of the mujahedin in 1985. and that of course brings me to my usual team in addressing american advances. americans do many things very well. and so patience is essential to understand how change is going to be affect it. two years ago when i came here i spoke about for critical transformation that pakistan needed. the first was the transformation from a country that has had an intimate and politics and weak civilian government to a stable
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democracy. a democracy that is consistent. a democracy that has the consensus it leaves behind a pair the trend entre second transformation i spoke a list from militancy that hasn't taken root in society to a culture of entrepreneurship and willingness to be part of globalization and be part of the contemporary word. at the current transformation i spoke about at that time was from being a country that sees it both at the crossroads of several regional conflicts to a country that sees itself as being at the crossroads of opportunities and therefore an economic transformation and economic transformation that would help us realize the full potential of our nation and our region and of course the fourth transformation that i broken about at that time was in terms of pakistan becoming a nation
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that is not looked upon by the rest of the world as a problem, but a nation that is part of the solution of the problems of south and central asia and it has a good peaceful relationship with all its neighbors and that helped bring stability to afghanistan and has a stable relationship with their eastern neighbor india. so i would like to begin my remarks today by giving a kind of shocked progress report on those reforms of course. i think the pakistani democracy is moving forward. i like all democracies and we found out on the fourth of november even in this country can people change their minds in a democracy. they elect leaders and sometimes they start rethinking. the critical challenge in pakistani democracy is to ensure a connection between the political -- elect to pull local
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leaders and pakistan's professional middle-class. because one of the reasons why we find so much criticism of pakistani democracy in my humble opinion is because the pakistani middle class doesn't have the critical numbers. as the major political parties do not pay attention to them. they have had a major role larger-than-life role during the period of dictatorship because after all all dictators need civilian partners and the civilian partners usually other people who have come from a military background is good nonprofessionals. and so you have very many pakistani professionals and that applies to pakistani professionals who are in the city. pakistani professionals were visible on pakistani 24/7 television news in pakistan by the way has 40 channels right now who each have 24/7 news. so try and build an american democracy, take a 21864 example
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and try and have a democracy -- have a democratic government or democratic administration of 48 fox news channel's or republican administration with 48 msnbc's. and you'll understand the difficulty we have. so basically the government is not performing as poorly as some people claim it is. it is the nature of the politics that the people who are the commentaries, the people who actually comment will be the professionals. they are going to be the educated people. they're going to be the lawyers. they are going to be the colonists. they actually see they are not necessarily part of the elective process as much because the political parties go to the working class. they go to the farmers. they go to the water. so that is the challenge i think it's remaining there. but other than that cometh them of the press is good even though it does not always work to the benefit of the government. the good news is the government has done nothing, nothing
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whatsoever to interfere with the freedom of the press. the president takes criticism. the prime minister takes criticism with a smile. and the strongest that they've taken so far as to announce a boycott of the media group that is most stringently opposed to them instead of trying to do anything to curtail the freedom of our expression of our media. so good, i would say, good progress on the building of democracy. major challenge remaining, inclusion of the middle class and professional class each of the democratic process, bringing them on board, convincing them that they have to play a role to the democratic process by aligning with the political parties that can get the war and not think of it needs a zero-sum game in which they will be able to contribute professionally under educator ship of democracy
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is the function for the riffraff. on the question of the militant pakistan in the last two years has fought the militants far more effectively than in the preceding nine years under general musharraf, although i believe he was here a few days ago and probably have a slightly different take. the fact -- the fact remains that in the last two years we have cleared large tracts of territory that had militant influence. swatch was cleared. out of the seven tribal agencies, success in military action senior militant action. and it has a significant pakistani military presence. now of course, just as economists always disagree, we'll know the generals also disagree about what might or might not be the best strategy. so it's not always that everyone
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agrees in the united states military must be pakistan's right strategy. the fact remains that pakistan's own general said the best suited to define pakistan's military tactics and strategy even though we like to listen to our allies but certainly we know what our situation is, how stretch our armed forces are how then to go after whom men. and that is something that we expect our friends around the world to understand has been something that is our way. we have so far demonstrated our ability to fight the militants within the country and for all those who still point out the lack of conviction on the part of pakistan in fighting militancy. i would just like to point out that in 2009 we had an average of 10 pakistani soldiers killed every day. ten pakistani soldiers killed every day for each day of 2009 in fighting the militants.
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and there have been more than 31000 casualties killed in india of which took place in 2009 alone. pakistan has deployed 80% of its army aviation to fighting in militant v. there are nine infantry divisions. 483 artillery pieces and 142 tanks committed to this effort. sometimes people don't understand the nature. they want to say, well you started fighting that without the results. well the results are coming. they will, further down the road. and just as the united states has taken several years in iraq and in afghanistan, we will have to take some time as well and competing what we are trying to do. we have started it and it's not going back. and the taliban and the militants and extremists understand that because in the last two years there have been
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several attacks on pakistan's intelligence personnel and we have lost more intelligence personnel than any other country in the war against terrorism during the last two years. so the fact that the taliban and the militants are attacking isi shows as far as they're concerned, they're already cleared that the isi is an enemy because it aids terrorism but it is an organization that is committing to fighting terrorism and that pakistan understands that the terrorists and their success is not in any way going to be beneficial to pakistan. the era in which people made arguments about certain taliban being pakistan's allies and strategic partners, that is gone. pakistan makes no distinction between various militant groups based on their ideology. we just do the terrorists on the
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basis of their actions. the reason why we are not able to accomplish certain things is because of the capacity. we cannot fight him off friends at the same time. and public opinion in a democracy matters. and in pakistan, there is public opinion now in favor of fighting militants and taliban. but there are still a lot of people who are confused about what pakistan's priority should be. we are doing our best under the circumstances and hopefully we will tackle all terrorist groups, all terrorist groups to respect as of whether their prank target is local, regional or international. and we intend to fulfill that obligation. the third is the economic transformation that i talked about. there has been some progress but of course the floods have set us back. we embarked upon an imf supported programs for economic
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reform. people have felt for a long time that pakistan has already a narrow tax base. pakistan does not pay taxes. the government has introduced or is in the process of introducing the reform tax situation which is inequitable way of collecting tax. at the same time, there's an effort to introduce a runoff tax on properties of which is specially larger residential properties which will enable us to raise revenue without necessarily burdening the poor. we must understand certain facts. one third of pakistanis live below the poverty line of a household living on less than 1 dollar a day. another third live on less than $2 a day. a number of people who live on less than $2 a day is two thirds of the population. so what we are talking about is the rest of the country that can. among them also, even those
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living on three or $4 a day are not necessarily the best and the most likely source of added revenue for the government. the tax reform has to be very methodically introduced, very scientifically done and done in a way in which the burden is not put on the poorest segments of the population, but is a process that has been undertaken. we are moving in that direction. corruption remains a concern but even the corruption of the concerned, we think that the elimination of corruption is best achieved by strengthening rule of law. so if we have a strong parliament, a strong media, a strong judiciary. and then, we have stronger prostitution methods and our civilian law enforcement becomes better than it has in the past. but surely, everybody will agree that these are things that can only be accomplished on a multiyear basis and cannot happen overnight or quickly. the fourth is the question of
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relationships internationally. and how we relate to everyone. and that's where u.s.-pakistan relations are also critical. when the process of transforming relations with all her critical partners and our neighbors. in the case of india, with a setback as a result of the mumbai attacks. friends and neighbors in india have been rather with the 10 to move forward. but as far as the concerned, were very clear. pakistan and india are neighbors. our future is intertwined. we need to find a solution to our outstanding problems and we need to give comfort to each other instead of being a source of problems for one another. so pakistan remains committed to dialogue with india. we will continue to remain to dialogue and we understand the aftermath of them are by attacks, but we still think the indian leadership should overcome those political concerns and try and build the
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bridge that we hope we will eventually be able to build between our two countries. afghanistan and pakistan have improved their relations confab. i don't know how many people recall a time when president karzai and general musharraf refused to shake each other's hands on a lot of the white house were president karzai and president zardari talked to each of the regulars. president was the only form guess that president zardari's inauguration. president zardari and president karzai have met more than -- i've met several times and we have also initiated a trilateral process, even at the summit level, which had been the case before. president obama, president zardari and karzai that for trilateral cooperation. in pakistan and that in the center in the process of overcoming the misgivings that have built up over the years. but, this is not about saying
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where the blame lies. there's enough blame for everybody to share. the u.s. involvement and then sort of, you know, precipitate redraws from afghanistan and pakistan after the withdrawal of the soviets in afghanistan contributed to the problems of that region. afghanistan has been a country where for many, many years. but we understand that what we have not been able to convince afghanistan theaters is that pakistan could be great desire is to see a stable afghanistan. a stable afghanistan that has led to iran's and which is not a center for any extreme ideology for those who think. and their people in pakistan who thought that demonstrators people even now who think that. but they are not the people who are running the government. they are people who thought the taliban might provide some strategic advantage to pakistan. that is something of the past.
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everybody in pakistan government understands that the television is getting control of any part of aftermath and would threaten pakistan's and pakistan's way of life. we do not want the future for our children in which girls cannot go to school. we do not want to be isolated from the rest of the world. we want to be a progressive modern democratic state and that is not possible by having taliban in charge next-door or in any part of our own country. and that is something on which there is much more clarity than there was in the past. i'm sure in questions and answers people asked me then why hasn't that story come out quite well guess what. there are many things happening in the world that have yet to make it to the front page of "the new york times." u.s.-pakistan relations. until recently u.s.-pakistan relations were always the dems have a transactional approach on both sides. so pakistan with finale of
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united states due to the cold war and then against the soviets. pakistan provided america an opportunity to reach out to china. pakistanis felt that we were all refused and drought. the americans say the pakistanis never held up their end of the bargain on some of these transactions. we continue to have a debate on that and there were scholars in this audience who actually written on this and are better qualified to give a more object to the account of that. all i would say is that we've decided to move past the transaction. and moving past the transaction primarily means of course all these transactions in a relationship, but moving past transaction basically means we have to create a level of predictability in the relationship. in the strategic dialogue, which is the mechanism for doing that is essentially an attempt to try and create that predict ability and that brett relationship. the secretary of state, heller
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clinton has called the u.s. strategic dialogue is the most extensive engagement the unit dates have been a country at the present moment. there were three ways of the strategic dialogue at ministerial levels within 2010. the religions being the one that was concluded in october. on the one hand, there is a higher level of contact. cabinet people interacted with one another. then there is a regular meeting at the level of principles to try and work out the sort of things and then follow -- work out what needs to be done or what is being done and then following it up inaction subsequently. there are 13 sector working groups from agriculture communications and public diplomacy, defense and security. education, energy health, market access, law enforcement and counterterrorism. science and technology. strategic stability and non-proliferation.
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women's empowerment. so 13 areas clearly identified for long-term cooperation. and the u.s. has made, for its part, made the effort to reassure pakistanis through that kerry luker berman at a continued partnership. five years of economic assistance have been promised and the possibility of another five years of that assistance that basically reassures pakistan this time around the u.s. is not going to walk away and in a perceptive manner as they did soon after the imposition of the sanction after the soviet withdrawal from afghanistan. there are some other initiatives that i currently have in the congress. one is the r. is the legislation, reconstruction opportunities on legislation that has been stuck for a while because primarily for medical and political considerations
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not two effects related to afghanistan or pakistan. debates within the major political groupings, within this country between the major political group he is within this country on the question of labor standards that should be applied to american businesses investing -- which we hope that the new congress will be able to overcome. because right now in afghanistan and the poorer areas of afghanistan and pakistan, every child that is created for a young person is likely to diminish the possibility of that young person being recruited by the talented or al qaeda as a foot soldier. then there is the pakistan enterprise fund which is likely to bring the edge printers of all the countries to come closer and will pave the way for the economic transformation in which pakistan will become a nation of entrepreneurs taking advantage of the strategic location and an economic sense, rather than just being a country that is focused
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on military and strategic dimensions in a narrow sense. now what do we mean when we say we are looking down the strategic dialogue? well the first of course is two and a transactional relationship. the second is the more mature and level sorting of this relationship. both sides understanding we are partners. we are partners for the long haul. partners mean you will disagree sometimes. that will not be 100% concurrence of use or interest. but at the same time, we are committed to the fact that we are america's allies and the americans are our allies. and we have to understand each other's concerns. we will sometimes disagree on what we want in the retail concept. pakistan? had a lot of problems from a regional news. and our frame of reference is shaped by our history. it is shaped by our circumstances. the american view is more global
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and the american view being global is not going to be the same as ours for the simple reason our frame of reference is shaped by our history. the american frame of reference is shaped by american history and the american political structure. with that said i think the commitment between the two to forge a relationship that is longer-term and is a genuine partnership and in which pakistan looks upon it felt as the major non-nato allies have united states. the united states can count on pakistan as a major non-nato ally and something we are looking towards beyond the strategic dialogue. and the last point i would make is that is pakistan a democracy evolves and in the eyes of some models, pakistan and the united states have something more fundamental that binds them. and that fundamental thing is the shared values of democracy and freedom. so pakistan's commitment to
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democracy will help pakistan win more friends and the united states based on the conviction the united states and pakistan shared democratic values which was not always the case. if you remember the historic on the u.s. side always has been that can we trust a pakistan that is not democratic? well now things have changed. pakistan is a democracy. it tends to remain a democracy on military and civilian leaders are both committed to making the democratic process for. and that makes us partners as democracies in bringing civil liberties to what is essentially a very difficult and complex region of the world. i'm going to stop my remarks there. i'm sure there will be plenty of questions that i have to answer subsequently. thank you all very much. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] >> ambassador haqqani, thank you very much for coming back to the atlantic center. i don't know how many of our audience are aware that today is also the it allow hot and so this is not only a religious festival that is important for you and for me but also a day of rest for you. but i guess being ambassador to the united states means that there is no day of rest.
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.. that to work is to pray. so i guess both of us are in the same category. >> let me begin by asking a few questions before i put it up to the audience. i'm sure they will have many more interesting questions to follow. i wanted to begin with the strategic dialogue. you mentioned how important development is. and certainly it is attempt to change the whole focus of the exchange between pakistan and the united states. but it doesn't seem to be working in the eyes of many. i mean after three attempts, and the various working groupsr th don't appear to have much results. anoun
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particularly in key areas thatn pakistan continues to race with the united states. the united states. he mentioned one of them which is market access for pakistani goods. the of is, again, an area that you mentioned which does seem to be moving off center and finally, the area which is critical for pakistan giving developments in the u.s. indian relationship the recognition that pakistan is in the same category as india as a country that went openly nuclear. so can you explain why these issues get postponed each time? >> i don't think anything is being postponed. we are trying to work in 13 different areas simultaneously so there will be some areas progress is much easier for example agriculture. pakistan is working towards american systems and modernizing making the assistance available.
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it's easier for the united states to do. the american commerce discussed find means and resources in which are already authorized under the bill. similarly the area of water and energy the u.s. is partnering to start and pakistan has tremendous potential in the non-traditional sources of energy for the first big project is going on line soon not on line that is going to be implemented soon and there are other areas faster. education, health care these are areas progress is easier to accomplish in the sense that pakistan asks america to give the ability to match. there are political problems on either side. for the exit poll if there are people in the united states that expect pakistan to act in a certain manner on specific
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aspects of the effort against terrorists, there are pakistani concerns similarly there are issues to what many pakistanis began understand the politics of it. they do not have standards the house version of the bill had and not willing to resent the way were standards and the liberals in the house were not willing to present labor standards in terms of giving up on them so they had no relevance to pakistan or the institution. it was an american political argument to which our request became a victim but that said we had tremendous expectation that the united states will understand providing pakistan
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better market access and that essentially means putting certain textile products and a category. the folks with the european union and it's interesting the investor went to brussels and approached several foreign ministers of the european union as countries and we were able to get confessions from the european union as a lobby but it's far more difficult for them sometimes to what the american congress because of the way the map is and we as a fledgling democracy understand the compassion that doesn't mean we are going to give up on it. that is something we continue to ask for. i am optimistic about our administration being the first to go through the congress and the whole market access issue is something we have to continue to work upon. the nuclear question is more complex and has more complexity for the reason what has been
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publicly played in the united states and a very strong constituency in the united states of nonproliferation who think is easier to stop proliferation around the world because they can't do much about america's own nuclear weapons so therefore they keep pressure on countries like us and our view has been we acquire nuclear weapons capability because certain regions and we would like our nuclear program to be seen in the context of that of our neighbor. now that india has received a nuclear deal, there is a case of pakistan to receive the civil nuclear arrangement as well. this is something that requires a lot of negotiation. it's not something that is going to happen very quickly but we realize it will be whatever comes of of the negotiations and other subjects and of the stronger and closer our relationship is, the more likely it is that we will get their if
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not tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. >> you spoke about the question people in pakistan are often seen as trying to model for the situation. there was a critical tone to the view. the real the underground in pakistan as that the economic situation is dying and the floods have exacerbated. there are many decisions that need to be made within the country so it's not a question of what pakistan asked it's what pakistan can do for itself. my question for you is who is making the decision and pakistan today? is the president? is the prime minister the army in chief? who can stay the book stops here? i will make the decisions with its agriculture tax, with its position of the general services tax, whether it's in government
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and so on who is making those decisions? >> that's a very interesting question because those of us from pakistan who have actually struggled against dictatorship we struggled against dictatorship because we didn't like the idea of one man having too much power some of that we have a democracy we have for friends in washington say who makes the decisions because a lot of other phone number they can call to get everything resolved. it's not going to be that way. pakistan has a parliamentary constitution. the parliament to elect the prime minister who is the chief executive of the country. the president is the head of state in this particular situation for greater political stability the president is the person who's also the chief of the largest party in the country so he has influence and power more than with the constitution lays down by virtue of his leadership of the political
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party. we have a coalition government in parliament in people miss out because no single party has the clear majority so we have a space process of decision making as well as the army chief is concerned he's been very clear he has no intention of getting involved in politics. he's not involved in political decision making that does not stop those who have benefited from the military intervention in politics from continuing to try to say he should be more involved in political decision making. the army has a legitimate role in terms of making and puts on the national security like anywhere else in the world. it would take a few more years before pakistanis and pakistan strengths take a deep breath and say pakistan is just like any of the other complex democratic countries where decision making is not concentrated.
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i would turn around and ask who do you think is the principal decision making in any of the coalition governments in a country like any of the countries of western europe? it's not a single person for the reason the process in which people act and interact and make decisions. the president zardari and the nerve the political party will always have the respect of most people in parliament in terms of and the authority to give guidance. but eventually it will be a process of give-and-take. for example the senate of pakistan doesn't have a simple majority party say you have political parties that have to negotiate and very frankly, i know that people get very irritable with that in this town because they like the idea of who can we get a decision out of tomorrow with the fact of the matter is that from pakistan point of view, we would have
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multiple powers so that a greater understanding and of the pluralism of pakistan pakistan as a multi-ethnic religious country. we do not want to be and we are not a dictatorship with any point on history. it might be difficult for journalists. they may need to talk to more sources and some of them don't and it the story's wrong. i can count five times publications have predicted the downfall of the government within the next few days. hasn't happened. so, it makes it more difficult for them and also makes life more difficult for americans to pakistan they have to meet our people during the visit than they would otherwise but i think it might actually be good for pakistan in terms of helping us forge national unity in a better manner. >> as pakistan have the time to try and mosul threw away the there will be these internal
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acts and conflicts, and on the flood i would like to get your view. there was a few recall an estimate from the primm mr. that the floods that created damage was about $43 billion the world bank and the asian development bank came up with roughly $10 billion that's been figured. the government hasn't challenged that but even that amount of money is not available whether in the recent pakistan development forum for others where pakistan has sought the assistance. so how bad is the situation on the ground now as a result of the floods, and what of the international aid doesn't come through? what is the mechanism available? >> let me say this such a mission pakistan was definitely the biggest humanitarian challenge that we have seen in the history of the united nations and the general said
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that much. however, let me say one thing. the worst predictions have not been fulfilled. the fact there were fewer casualties should have been cause for people to say somebody did something right and evacuated large populations it is a free areas but that credit was not going because after all we all understand and you're sort of here at the council but has a wonderful center in this town somebody who has worked in the think tank businesses as there are careers made and that sort of bad news and careers made in sort of predicting the worst, there's careers made in the sea and the rhythm was falling apart. so far pakistan has defied those predictions more than once. the under flood themselves. let's go first to the specific question. he said it was the emotional loss in terms of infrastructure
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lost crops and the potential for future crops lost, potential for development etc., etc. a. the world bank figured is for actual infrastructure sort of material, tangible things being lost and that is a 10 billion-dollar figure. and for that funds are being mobilized. pakistan is mobilizing its internal resources as well in greater taxation to believe but it has been closely on a fair. a flexible ten days after the flood, the amount that has been raised for pakistan stands at something like $3.20 per person, whereas in case of the pakistan earthquake of 2005 it was $70
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per person in off the coast of myanmar and in the case of the haiti your quick it was $495 per person, and it seems that natural disasters fallen to two categories, the cover life on television by anderson cooper and natural disasters not covered live on television by anderson cooper, and since pakistan is heading to the second category we didn't get the same kind of attention we should have. i have actually prepared -- have had a study done which shows there were only 700 new stories and pakistani floods within a month of the flood taking place in the american media. and of the 700 stories the overwhelming number of stories related to the political consequences will pakistan survived the flood will american pakistani relationship
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survived the flood? are the militants taking advantage of the flood that there had been a flood and 20 million people were at risk wasn't a story that was covered by most people. and even then it has been excluded now by several studies in putting our very good research piece by christina and another by the guard which shows similar stories were run after the earthquake of 2005. it's the easiest, cheapest of the simplest street journalists have that first quick story, and that was the jihadis are coming. but the fact of the matter is five years later they went and actually interviewed people in the earthquake affected area and 70% of them had received support and assistance from either foreign ngos or the government of pakistan, the pakistani armed forces which are part of the government of pakistan, so i think the way this has been presented things have been exaggerated but pakistan does
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mean greater international support to get back on its feet in the aftermath of the floods. we've lost 70 million acres of farmland. 20 million people have been rendered homeless or affected which is the largest number of people affected by any natural disaster. 150,000 square kilometers came under water which is one-fifth of pakistan's's land area and the area the size of the near eastern seaboard of the united states all the way to florida. and basically we have had infrastructure damage that this calculated to be a billion dollars, so we do need international systems. the united states are the first and they have come especially through the united states government secretary of state clinton has taken tremendous interest the affect only
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yesterday the united states announced one-third of the funds will be available for rehabilitation and the other 500 million on top of the 493 million that have already been made available earlier. president obama has taken an interest in the matter, ambassador holbrooke has been to pakistan more than once and senator john kerry and has interacted with the flood survivors that said private giving in america has been much less than it could have been and i'm hoping in the next few days pakistan the americans and those americans support of and sympathetic to pakistan and we must also that knowledge when the floods came our neighbor provided $25 million of assistance to the united nations so it's not like the international community has risen to the location it's just the magnitude of the tragedy requires a far greater dressed
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in has been possible given the circumstances of how the world sees these days is not just our problem is but half the problem is seen is equally important and i hope discussions like this will educate people more on the needs of pakistan and the aftermath. >> my question still remains of the international aid is the way it is it's not coming in droves. what steps can the government take or planning to take to transform the economy in a way that it can better look after its own needs rather than rely -- >> the international assistance would make it easier to get through the crisis but at the end of it we draw our own food and will continue to do so. we will have to -- we have a very young population half of pakistan passed's population its 19 billion very young.
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they can be a source of great strength for the country. we hopefully will be able to attract our attitude toward investment and get more investment and the fact remains even at this moment many significant american companies are expanding investment. stories that are not told. coca-cola, procter and gamble, boeing and several others. there are people increasing their commitment to pakistan because after all pakistan is a market of 180 million people and then the boom that is in the region is something despite the global economic downturn that we can hopefully to get into just a the government of pakistan is not depending on international assistance. it is looking forward to it. >> thank you ambassador. i should monopolize your time and go to the audience and when
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i recognize you please let for the microphone hidden. >> mr. ambassador, and i supposed to identify -- >> please do if you would pave >> former ambassador to the osce in the united states. your mastery of message leaves me almost breathless. and i think the picture you have drawn of pakistan so far is quite solid and remarkable but there is one part of what you just went through that leads me and perhaps somebody else in the room puzzled and it has to do with your description of who makes the decisions in your government because -- and i may
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have misunderstood completely what you were saying, but what i understood plus there is no accountability in your government if there is no one party or person responsible for making the decision or at the other end of the telephone. now in our country there is one person in the other end of the telephone, the president of the united states. and i think probably that is quite understood, well understood. so have i misunderstood your description of your -- >> i wouldn't be so rude to say you misunderstood my description i will just try to give the description again in different words -- >> so there is no one accountable in the government? >> i just said -- the question asked of me is who makes the decision? and to that i explained pakistan is a country that has emerged
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from a dictatorship doesn't like the notion. that set of course we have a president who is the constitutional head of state and primm industries that of government, so people who want to make a phone call can reach them and i can happily and arrange the conversation and will do but i was answering the political question which is there is this assumption that just like under general musharraf everybody in washington used to say yes ichtegem mittal musharraf and got this or that promise with the promise was subsequently fulfilled or not we on the other hand see a democracy has to have institutions institutional decision making in that decision making is proceeding forward, so that is what i said. i didn't say that there is no one in charge. >> thank you. ambassador, you spoke about
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wanting to restore some sort of dialogue with india. but the fact is pakistan has not taken successful action against those who are believed to have been involved in the mumbai attacks. my understanding is there have been no convictions at anybody and the government efforts against the organization have been half-hearted at best. how do you respond to that and if i may ask a question about afghanistan use that relations are better now between afghanistan and pakistan. how do you envision political solution of the afghanistan going forward and how much involvement does their need to be from neighbors like pakistan and also iran? >> let me answer the second question first. the answer is simple. it has to be determined by afghans, not by anybody else. and it's up to the afghans to decide who is involved in that process. the afghan leaders of the start
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a reconciliation process and call upon us to provide assistance we are there to assist and facilitate them. after all we have been home to 105 cities at one time and [inaudible] are afghan refugees so we have a role to play but we will not demand a role that does not acceptable to the afghan the testily the reconciliation process will have to support from pakistan. for the pragmatic reasons it would be useful for all of afghanistan's neighbors to be part of the reconciliation effort but for that the afghan leadership will have to come up with a reconciliation blueprint and then we will be very happy to work with it and facilitate it. as far as the first question is concerned mumbai was a tragedy that pakistan felt strongly about. we were hurt by what happened in mumbai as our brother and friends in india.
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we felt strongly that this was an attack on humanity the people were killed there were victims of terrorism and just as we do not like anybody being slaughtered in the streets of law or we do not like the idea of anybody being slaughtered in that manner in mumbai. our heart goes out to our neighbors and the citizens who went through they went through on the 26th of november. but people who were involved in that to the extent some of them have been in pakistan have been arrested. they are under trial to convict them would require to have the evidence that is available. with mumbai police and anybody else in the world it doesn't
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mean we want to punish these people. but it's not something that can be easily done so we think the difference of opinion we have between india and pakistan is that india first confects mumbai and that will facilitate a dialogue. we feel if we had better dialogue the conviction would be facilitated because that we there would be more exchange of intelligence information, more exchange of legal and other material and document and personnel and the b.c.. it's a disagreement between us but it's not a disagreement of intentions. we invested the indians and us both want india and pakistan both want terrorism to be eliminated from the region, and we look forward to the day when we will both have enough trust and faith in each other that we will understand that we are both victims and neither one of us has any interest in keeping the terrorist machine going.
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>> a quick follow-up. >> are you saying that because you don't have this intelligence from india that you cannot categorically say there were not elements of the pakistani government involved in the mumbai attacks? >> i don't think that is a question i can answer at this point all i will say is i do not always -- you probably discerned that from my presentation. i do not consider newspaper reports as sufficient basis for conviction of anybody anywhere in the world. so i've read a lot of newspaper reports. in the end convictions come through evidence that has presented before judges conviction is something for which a legal process has to be followed so while we read a lot of reports and to keep multiplying the fact remains our court has not convicted them and we look forward to convicting them when and if we can.
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[inaudible] you spoke about the fact that the relationship with the u.s. has moved beyond transaction as it was in the past but there was the president who visited india, he didn't visit pakistan this time around and while he was there he also endorsed the candidacy for the permanent seat on the u.n. security council and also very strong we spoke about the fact that pakistan cannot provide safe havens to terrorists against india etc.. is there a sense of deja vu the plural the u.s. is forging a futuristic tragedy partnership with india pakistan once again is being replicated to a strategy convenience? >> i think pakistan no longer sees u.s. relations with india
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and pakistan. we are quite happy pakistan has a good relationship with the united states and we are equally pleased indeed that is developing a close and important strategic partnership with the united states. as far as president obama's visit to india is concerned, we appreciate that visit as offering an opportunity for bringing greater stability in the region and friendship and the united states and india is not something we look upon with any sense of worry. all we would like this for our relationship to be stable as well. what president obama said in india about the u.n. permanent security council permanent membership is something that we do not agree with. but then even reform is something that is a complex process and we feel that complex
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process has yet to play itself out. the united states also committed itself to a permanent seat for japan several years ago. japan is now nowhere near getting that seat so this is not something we think is going to reflect in any way on the u.s.-pakistan relations, and i don't think even reform is something i'm going to read about in tomorrow's paper as having materialized and commenting on the after tomorrow's paper is a little too far right now. as far as pakistan being relegated it hasn't benefited the united states. in the past a don't think it's great added benefit the united states around so there's a considerable understanding in this time around and in the united states that it is in america's interest to have a close relationship with pakistan and pakistan's interest to have a close relationship with all of our neighbors and i would emphasize again pakistan would like to have a close relationship with india just as
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we want to have a close relationship with arab neighbors. >> we have a question at the back. the young man. then the lady of the front. thank you. could you please identify yourself? >> my name is allison johnson and i write for northrop grumman corporation and but like your reaction to comments from general musharraf last week in relations three areas that very worried me. first, you were strong in your convictions that afghanistan should be decided in terms of its future in terms of the afghans, whereas the general basically reemphasized during his talk that it is a decision on pashtuns and there should be a greater role of the voice in afghanistan and that that was the missing piece.
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second, in terms of the relationship with india, the general felt the missing dialogue was around cashmere and until there wouldn't be further progress in the dialogue and relationship with india. so if you could comment on that stance, and finally in terms of the relationship with the united states as was already mentioned this whole challenger now where to for the dialogue with the united states for its relationship with pakistan as it relates to the overall regional questions the role of iran and afghanistan what is your reaction to his concerns about the role of ambassador holbrooke and how effective these different players have been in
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trying to strengthen the dialogue in the region with the secretary of state intervening with the president and in the suburban brook intervening his conviction there's too many players attempting to have a dialogue in the region. i really would appreciate your feedback. >> as the ambassadors to not make comments on the former presidents of their own country especially remarks made so i'm going to treat all your questions independent of what the source of your knowledge in this particular instance may have been and i will define it as your first question about afghanistan. how should the future be decided, and i think the pasterns, and there are some who are pakistani but the pashtuns our elfgin citizens and as i said earlier a decision within
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afghanistan has to be made by the future of afghanistan and that includes afghan pashtuns. people express concern about not having sufficient police in afghanistan that is an internal political problem him and stables afghanistan will require every community and try and afghanistan having a say in afghanistan's future. but i repeat the future still must be determined by the afghan people. we do not tend to dictate its and would advise others to not dictate to them either. second, cashmere remains an outstanding problem between pakistan and india and it would be useful for everyone are all concerned if the issue of kashmir as result. the current situation in kashmir is one that merits attention. once again there are complaints of human rights violations and
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it's not in the interest of regional stability and we are in a different party of that when kashmir becomes unstable. they've been able to discuss outstanding issues including general kashmir so we do not say that we would exclusively see it. all subjects should be discussed and that is what they conceived. so it's something we need to talk about. third question was about the regional context. pakistan does have concern and has had concerns about the security and the have been defined in a certain context. we have had for walls.
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the wall of afghanistan is the fifth that has relevance. it has had tremendous impact on our society, tremendous impact on our psyche and of institutions and the civilian military relationship. everything has been affected by that so it is understandable if any political personality from pakistan serving or retired feels the regional issues need to be attended to for pakistan to feel secure and i think the united states is fully engaged in trying to do that. maybe some people found it easier in the past as a sort of talk between two people. that didn't solve anything either by the way. pakistan i would like to plan now has made for military sort of commanders who took over power. there have been before in pakistan.
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those three of them had of least 90, ten years each of running the country and if it is that easy one man talks to another person in washington as of the problems of the world we would have no problem by now. it would have been between [inaudible] and eisenhower and later on lyndon johnson and then nixon and ronald reagan and things would be hunky dory. let's do it this way as we are trying to do of people understanding each other one brick at the tire. we will build stronger and very frankly i am not someone who is going to insult our american partners. there is a famous saying i would rather be looked over than
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overlooked. so in pakistan we feel the same way. we would rather have several people interacting and pay attention to us than one or two people of brazil and the better. i think in the asahel produced in wonderful in terms of engaging with afghanistan here is secretary of state hillary clinton is definitely going to be ascertained by historians to be an additive and successful secretary of state and very powerful voice of the united states in dealing with the rest of the world and president obama and his own security in the white house -- ayman below the first to reach out and pakistan and to our friends and to others to find some solutions. sometimes solutions are not easy to find. let's be realistic. getting several people to agree to a solution is not always easy to read of your body is positioning differently. everybody has different concerns, different priorities
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of the different distinctions day after tomorrow which brings me to my own remarks of patients. sometimes you have to look it situations a little more patiently. >> thank you. i am trying not to overlook anyone's views so please excuse me -- connect you have a question here and then your good to go back. >> mr. ambassador from the bingo post. if i could go back to my tax for a moment, you said the lack of evidence that this happening i didn't say anything about the post. [laughter] >> some of us work for them and
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lately have been flooded with a very good rewarding in pakistan to what could be good access to information and i was wondering given your wide strategic dialogue with the americans could some of this evidence come from here because one of the key masterminds is in jail in america. david half lead. so if pakistan really wants to convict and wants to give to india as use it as a good neighbor this could be the move. >> i don't think it is appropriate to comment on the case, when an american court in relation to mr. headley and then trial in pakistan. as far as a speedy trial is
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concerned, we have someone who is now [inaudible] just to keep things in perspective, they do not always attribute bad motives of the wheels of justice in our country. that's something that you have to understand. that sometimes it does happen. things happen that way and would be phyllis militated they took the position david made in the process and they take place in pakistan of the people being arrested and the attacks, and as far as mr. hadley is concerned, if and elegance and intelligence are hard to come by. you get a newspaper report ostensibly based on intelligence
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but the dog doesn't always translate into evidence so what i was talking about was about evidence that as long as we have evidence we do want to bring these people to trial. we do want to complete their trial. we've charged them the of interest in pakistan and we would like to prosecute them and convict and that's what we want our neighbors in india to fully understand. >> if i could cite on that come ambassador, there's been a fair amount of country even within pakistan about the anti-terrorism law ways of the country which began very difficult to bring people to trial and convict them. >> the government as you say is already working on reforming the whole sort of set of laws because in many cases that brings me to what we went through.
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there was a patchwork of local fishing spot on top of each other. if you remember the cofounder introduced. to untangle all of this and build that actually works on a more or less permanent basis to take time and i know you started off asking a question i did not deliberately answer which was this pakistan have time and i think we do. it's not about we have to have it to be able to set it right because any attempt to try to do that in a haphazard manner would bring them to the same problem we have that in the past. if we learn something from the past we should understand trying to take short cuts has made our journey longer so might as well set things right and put them on a strong basis. we are in the process of changing for a simple our money laundering laws very significantly which has made us one of the better forces of laws
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relating. you must remember eight or ten years ago that was one of the biggest issues in this country in the media that we haven't read anything lately partly because we have been able to move against organizations taking over etc. some people are taking advantage of the situation even now and we have to find solutions to that as well. for example a few decades ago there was no internet and therefore there was no need to have cybercrime laws but you have the new situation you start dealing with it. the same is happening in pakistan. we are building the legal regime and will take time to do that but we do intend to do that. the idea is still week laws is dictating pakistan. terrorism is a problem of pakistan. we should stop and most pakistanis recognize that we should not see it as a problem for anybody else. pakistan needs to eliminate terrorism to protect itself.
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more pakistanis are being killed there as a result of attacks the last couple of years and so is there any other? we must understand that mumbai was a tragedy and 9/11 was a tragedy but many that take place in pakistan and people going of worship trying to kill them those are all turner was the tax we feel very strongly about and we do not make any distinction. a terrorist attack is a terrorist attack whether it takes place in mumbai, new york or law -- lahore. >> mr. a ambassador, in your eliminating remarks, and you mentioned public opinion in pakistan and in fact your comments you just made are a very good segue to my question.
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if he could about the role of an investor and explain to this american audience some of the source and context which frankly many of us who follow development in the country we don't really understand. i will give you a couple with samples, the drone strikes. of course any american, in the person could understand why pakistanis would feel on front this is a violation of sovereignty. but you just stated pakistanis are the biggest victim of terrorism. among others, the assassin of benazir bhutto, and of course others in the other networks that are responsible for the very attacks that have built so many pakistanis that you just mentioned. so of course we can understand as americans that there would be an upfront but one might expect that that outrage might be tempered by the understanding
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that as you put pakistan doesn't capacities of the jerome strikes, yes, they sometimes have collateral damage among the tribesmen buttonhole they are targeted at a jamdat going after these terrorists like the tool of massoud and others to reading the secretary clinton confronted in her visit these fantastic and preposterous conspiracy theories that find such welcome in pakistan that these obama attacks that you have diluted two that are somehow the work of the cia or american security firms, which is absolutely the most preposterous notion and the fact that even some media, elite media folks in pakistan perpetrate because frankly it's
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incomprehensible at least to this american observer. thank you mr. ambassador. >> it's a sensible for people in pakistan so don't feel it's just your problem. the fact of the matter is conspiracy theories there's a particular mindset to harm the constituencies. and, you know within this country i know that certain data indicates that 20% of americans have revelations about their own country's atomic that pakistan has a low literacy rate and the clear history as a preponderance of people believe [inaudible] please bear in mind we live in an era sometimes people believe anything. and so the solution to it is working with us and in hamdi american government after the cold war just walked away so
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down the united states information agency, cut down on scholarship and fellowship programs allowed many nations in pakistan you are more concerned about pakistan because it's on your radar screen. it's the sort of nation of attention that there are many countries in the world of people who would rather be. he and secretary clinton came because she made the effort, she went and met people in town hall meeting but that was just one for example in your government to speak languages and foreign languages and therefore can go -- even in the middle east right after 9/11 i remember then
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ambassador went on -- who speaks in arabic. you have to do that. why am i sitting here? i could have spent this celebrity with my family. i come here because i consider it part of my job to explain pakistan to americans. well guess what? it's the job of the government to explain itself and the idea to the people of pakistan and the rest of the world. if you can say i am amazed that those guys fortunately you are allies of trying to make them get it and if you can't provide resources and mobilize your government into doing it then may be part of the responsibility rests with the government. there was a time when i was very fantastic and should not be denied. it was a low point of view
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people should not be defined whittled may 6th planet. by the time we didn't explain it millions of people were starting to believe it and its now very clear that nations that you actually point out. sometimes you get your point of view across much better and i think that we recognize that. those in government and pakistan faced the conspiracy theories and most the and and really day out what to do with them but that needs to be changed and it can only be changed in partnership and only by the u.s. government mobilizing its resources and has a pakistani ambassador does to america. >> [inaudible] >> we of the question the year.
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does this military establishment young pakistan's. it's hard for nuclear and other conventional weapons systems because that's not reflected in your policies i second question is the tax policy. what is stopping the government from focusing on the top two, 5% of the population and in terms of [inaudible] furs i do not agree with the last comment being a strong have enough, i don't know if you've
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been visiting the blogosphere until recently and the blogosphere is certainly not the landowning elite. it's the middle class, so i mean i have comments on that that i should withhold having made that particular comment. as far as the policy is concerned, the government is in the process of introducing new measures which will try and decide the tax burden more equitably. the tax burden is concerned actually it is much more disproportionate today. the only thing is that most people in pakistan that call themselves middle class in case you deduct from their salaries. so then they just complain about a lot more. the businessman has to be evaluated, he has to fill out a thing in tax the middle class it's not that the of disproportionate, but it's just
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not 1.5 million people in small business who do not pay their fair share and they need to be assigned their share. the middle class is not overburdened. this proportion of labor demand of the others are not able to take the tax cuts they go. the only reason why the government funding for a lot of high year i think the question is specifically about the higher education commission, which under the previous regime has a huge budget for sending people abroad. there are two things. a lot of people sent abroad on scholarships should not return and so there was a cool evaluation of should we be standing people to study with. if these people are ever going to come back and say there's the general allocation of resources
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as being curtailed in many areas, and pakistan, the government primary responsibility in education is 42%. the women and children who do not go to school. so it's not that we do not pay attention, it's only a question of limited means. i would really like to support all young pakistanis who seek higher education internationally as well as nationally, but it was a question of allocation of resources. the was on that subject. there is enough pakistan is concerned have been on the basis of sovereignty concerns and civilian casualties. pakistan has never, ever expressed any reservations about the consequence of attacks such as the elimination psp mix
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before the minister. i know given the time difference between pakistan and the u.s. you don't get much time for bed because you're getting for work when they are going to bed. these issues probably keep you awake. i wonder if it is the one that is quite often and with the next faugh cook occurs in the united states and is successful, and of a tradition plan which does exist is put into effect what you see as the consequences? >> something that keeps you up at night, doesn't render you able to comment on building the day. [laughter] but let me just say that we hope to work with u.s. intelligence and the u.s. government and with the intelligence services of the european countries, and even with our neighboring countries
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to make sure that there is no terrorist attack that can be trucked to pakistan even after the case the have been allocated. intelligence has emerged as the people slipping into pakistan or into pakistan's tribal areas through some of our neighboring countries. and i am proud to report that in the last several months the intelligence cooperation between the united states and pakistan has improved to the point where our cooperation has made possible for far more terrorist attacks that have been with a similar level of cooperation in the past so we hope we will continue to work on that and the worst case scenario not materialize. spec ambassador come on behalf of fred kent and my colleagues of the atlantic council i want to thank you for coming today and hopefully he will continue
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coming back. >> thank you very much. [applause]
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senator lisa murkowski has become the first senate candidate fewer than 50 years to win a writing campaign. alaska officials spent two weeks counting write-in ballots showing that she has overtaken joe miller who was back at a tea party. as senator murkowski according to "the new york times" could claim victory as early as tonight. her campaign has invited supporters to an evening event in anchorage. when the new congress begins in january, at the senate will have 16 new members. 13 are republicans including right blend. he is the -- when he moves over to the senate. mr. blunt will take a seat held by christopher bond who is retiring after the current lame-duck session. and from new hampshire republican will join the senate as she was new hampshire's attorney general and a former state prosecutor. she will take the seat of republican judd gregg who is
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also retiring. the senate is in recess. democrats and republicans are meeting separately to discuss strategies for the current lame-duck session. before recessing senators voted to begin debate on a food safety bill. that debate will begin in about 25 minutes from now when senators return at 4:00 eastern peco we will have live coverage. in the meantime a look at some of the debate that took place this morning. bri >> food safety modernization act ant as it is called is very similar in cr to bring bringing our nation's into t antiquated andhe inadequate food inspection service into theomprehen 21st century. apprch to it takes a comprehensivehe approach to reforming the current system. and i'm pleased to report that the product this bill is a product of strong bipartisan collaboration on the health education labor and pensionsain, i wt committee. again i want to particularly thanks senator durbin and senator gregg who have worked together over many years toproduce
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ts exc fashion and to produce this excellent bill.king i also want to tank or ranking member senator enzi for his bill leadership in helping to bring this bill to the floor and also frid, to my good friend senator doddworking on t who has been working on thishi also from bill also from the beginning and food adding his expertise especiallyrgies. on food allergies, and also senator byrd who has been be perso personally involved in this entire process. mr. president senators often talk about the importance of addressing kitchen table issues here in the senate.oncerns this practical everyday concerns of working americans and theirll food families. sake food safety is a kitchen table and issue, and it couldn't be more it -- urgent or overdue. it is shocking to think that the lastha comprehensive overhaul of our food safety system was inago. 1938, more than seven decades ago. think about how our food system in has changed in those 70 years. fe now on the whole americans enjoy know that. safe and wholesome food.he pblem
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we know that but the problem ishole on the whole it is just not goody enough any y as you can see from our first chart here as you can see the recent foodborne outbreaks amica have america has been widened scope and the devastating impact on public health. when people get sick from eating bagged spinach we have a problem and when we have peanut butter, when kids take their peanut butter sandwich to school and they get sick ahmed and they go to the hospital, well we have a problem. and, we had nine deaths and 690 reported cases and 46 states. case salmonella and tomatoessaella in salmonella and peppers. pe how about cookie dough? evening cookie dough. and families in a cookie dough and they are getting e. coli and that we have a problem. recently of course the salmonella up rake in eggs. so it is widespread.ged it is not just in bagged spinach or does not just in eggs.
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it is an peanut butter. it is in cantaloupes and tomatoes and it is justntpread. widespread. pr ob so we know that we have a real an problem the centers for disease control and prevention estimate imat foodborneel illnesses cause approximately 76 million illnesses a year, 76 million. are 325,000 americans every year are bo hospitalized because of. foodborne illnesses 325000. 5000 americans die every year is not my of a foodborne illness. these are not my figures. pre these are from the centers for disease control and prevention. according to a georgetown university study the cost to our society is about $152 billion a medal year in medical expenses, lost disaty. productivity and disability.not only e num so this staggers, the numbers are staggering. not only the number of people they get sick in the number of people who die in the cost to our society.own s the cost that i just checked my a own state of iowa, the cost alone in i iowa we have over
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800,000 cases every ian a each eye one has to spend about $1800 in annual health related expenses.expenses a about $1.5 billion in total billi in related costs just in my own state of iowa.ook in you can locate your own states and see the impact of this. sohow these are intolerable but somehow we tolerate them.ger c no longeran can we do that. rulatory our current regulatory system is s broken.ious it does not adequately protect fooorne americans from seriousour widespread foodborne illnesses. our meals have grown moremplex, m complex. more varied ingredients, diverse methods of preparation and raw shipping. to our by the time raw agricultural products find their way to our proes dinner plates multiple intermediate steps and processes have taken place. food ingredients travel or thousands of miles or as senator durbin just said from other countries here to factories to ourac table. alonghe they are intermingled and makes
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along the way and yet despite all theste changes our food safety laws have not changed in 70 years. starrs w so, what they need to do for starters, we need to improve the processes to prevent the contamination of foods. methods to provide safe and to consumers. to achieve this more testing and better methods of tracking food can be utilized to verify the processes are working. mr. president, here are some interesting figures. 30 years ago, we had 70,000 foodessors i processors in this country. fda made 35000 visits a year so we had 70,000 food processors. we made 35,000 visits a year. today, and a full decade into c the 21st century we have 150,000 food processors over t twice as many, but today fda inspectors make just 6700 visits each year.wice one fifth as many as they did 30 years ago with twice as many
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plans. so is it any surprise then that we are getting more and more foodborne illnesses throughout res this country? w and, to respond to what senator durbin said earlier, more androm more of our food is coming from our bil other hav all we aree saying in our bill is food you have to adopt the same kindtion metho of food safety processes and prevention methods that we have in thious country to be able to thas ship your food in. i don't think that is unreasonable to say that their processes and their safety procedures have to be at leastr the same as ours are adequate asrt o this chart shows our bill overhauls or food safety system all in four critical ways. first of all prevention.riculture mmittee in we have had some success on ours agriculture committee in the past on what is called a program of finding out where are the and points where contamination can come in and then address those points in a preventative manner. of well we are now kind of bey
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extending that beyond meat and poultry to all of our food, to get the prevention in place. we improve the detection responses to foodborne illness respoes outbreaks with better detection services, better response s times. we have a mandatory recall in here that the department has nothad had ever. ca wepa enhance the u.s. food defense.a. capabilities and we increase the fda resources in order to take care of this. at this bill today will dramatically increase fda inspections of all food facilities.ew it will give fda the following new authorities and require all s food facilities to have as i saidve preventative plans into place, and the fda can have access to those plans. so they have to have preventative plans that the fda gets access to.mergency t we have better access to records in case of a food emergency to happene
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try to iron out what happened. impor it requires says senator durbin said importers to verify the safety of imported food. our s ur strengthens our surveillance systems it requires the secretary of the department of health and human services to establish a pilot project to test and evaluate new methods for rapidly tracking foods in the event of a foodborne illnessut said, i outbreak and as it said it's the fda the authority to order a mandatory recall of food. a lot of people don't know this.e of if there's an outbreak of illness, because of foodborne diseases pathogens fda does notcall that have the authority to recall that food.that. you might say well the companies do that. well, they do and most of them see it in their best economic interest tmio do that but youfly-by-nig might have some some out fly-by-night operators out there that will take the money and run or you m for you migight have some foreign-based companies, and ipanies don't need to -- mean to pick on
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foreigners but you might have c companies that are offshore and they may have some food in this country that has foodborne illnesses. they may not want to recall itthem. an and we can't really go after fda does not have the authorityis bill w itself to recall that food.thority. this bill will give them that authority. so again mr. president is a by co bipartisan bill strongly supported by consumer group san industry. i've got letters from the grocery manufacturers association, the u.s. chamber ofre commerce, national restaurant trust association, the pew charitableor science i trust consumers union, center for science in the public interest trust are americans help to name just a few. i think it is a rarity when i can say both to chamber of center fo commerce and the center for a science in the ndpublic interest all on the same page and that is true here.hese i have all these letters mr. president i would like tocer: witut ask that these letters be made a hav part of the record. times to >> without objection.t foo >> i've been told many times to say that food safety in this country is ahw patchwork is giving too it too much credit.
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food safety is too often becoming a hit or miss gamble with parents obliged to kind of the dice when it comes to the safety of their kids food. and that is frightening and it is t unacceptable. it is past time to modernize our food safety laws and regulations 70 years past time. f.d.a we need to give fda the resources and authority it needs to cope with the growing and very t big risk that threatens to days abundant and diverse food urge supply. we need to act and we need to act now. i urge my colleagues to join an bipartisan sponsors in passing this important legislation to voting for cloture this hopefully that afternoon on the motweion to proceed and hopefully we can get on the bill and pass it as soonas soon asas possible so that the families of america will have more assurance that the food that re they by the matter from what source, from where it comes, hasy more safety procedures attachedprocess
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to it, that we have a new process for prevention in placend for all facilities in this country and in foreign countries and so that we cano raise the bar. that we can raise the bar and say to our families that you can have more assurance in the future that the food that you buy whether it is the fresh fruit to buy in the middle of the winter that are shipped from chile or argentina or wherever or mexico or guatemala, or the fresh fruits that you get in the summertime from california and washington state and canada, orwalking the produce, the lettuce thispin bag spinach or whatever it might g be that you get is going to be more safe for you and your families. it is ab that is what thioust is all aboutnd making s is urprotecting our families and sety making sure that our food safety laws are adequate for the 21std not century and not to the 18th century. mr. president, yield the floor.hout
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>> i am an original co-sponsor of s. 510, the bill we justosponsor invoke cloture on and as i said that before the vote i was going to o actually have to vote against was going cloture and i would speak after spe ak the vote as to why because we were up against a a i just wanted to take a minute tim to say that iel regret that i have to vote against cloture now that cloture has been invoked i guess we will go to the bill and rap hopefully we can make the necessary changes in it to neces improve this bill but frankly, the bill that i originallyill i cosponsored is not the bill that has come to the floor today. se it has been changed in somee material ways as late as thisere morning that there were changes there are being made and understand theirn right discussions going on right now that may even change it again. first of all let me say that all the issue of food safety is ane. issue that is of primary importance. we need to make sure that the food that has putut in their am retail stores as well as in
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restaurants and every other location in america is absolutely the safest highest-quality food product of there anybody in the world. that has always been our reputation but there are someafety gaps and bad food safety inspection program in the united some t states today that have allowed geo some thrgings to happen. where the situation in georgiala in two years ago where we foundocation salmonella in some peanut butter added location in south georgiahe and manufacturing location, and and while fda had the authority to go in and make an inspection the way they actually inspected it was on a contract basisto d through the georgia department of agriculture. they didn't have the t resources to do the real oversight that needed to be done, and here we have a company that had found eir salmonella in peanut butter with their own inspections. and their own product had been sent to their contractor and to
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salmonella r was found to be positive but yet they didn't have to report that to fda. that t that has been changed in this t bill and it is gaps like that are important to seeoee change. what is a problem to me rightngs, not now a number of things not the least of which is the definition of what is a small farmer, which now has -- small farmers have been granted an exemption. that provision was changed as recently as this morning. i understand it isi up orsion a discussion again now, but that definition currently in the bill is that a small farmer is determined to be a farmer with th $500,00 gross receipts smaller than $500,000.nately or well, unfortunately or i fortunately in my part of then world, cotton today is selling for a dollar and a half a pill, dollar and a half a pound. a bail is 500 pounds and it doesn't take many bales to p reachn
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gross recei $500,000 in gross receipts just from the sale of cotton and that doesn't o count the lead in the corner but ever else may go along with it. arbitra so trying to put an arbitrary number like that in saying that if you have gross receipts in excess of that number fda has that, the authority to come onto youri farm. t if you have less than that they don't have the authority i think is not the proper way to go. secondly with respect to that even issue, even if they are exemptandate of a as a small farmer, they still have a mandate of a huge amount of paperwork that has to go along with their production on an annual basis, so i don't know t what is going to happen with amendme respect to the amendment process we have heard that there may be i h a filling of a tree and there amount amend may be nome amendments.e i hope that is not the case. i hope we have an opportunity to have and amendment and we can a significant
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make it at the end of the day a good bill that will generate a have a significant vote on this floor but we have also heard that there may be no amendments that are going to be allowed. obviously without a definite understanding on that, had to be opposed to the bill. that and, l--et me just say that one other issue that concerns me is an amendment that was filed byeart i senator tester and i know his heart is on the right place on it but no less than about 30 national agricultural groups wrote a letter to chairman harkin as well as two ranking member ander see on monday, saying that they were opposed to thatl, amendment.ed to and if it is included in the bill they are going to be opposed to the a bill.11th and that again is one of these 11th hour issues that remainsanimous undecided and i would asketter b
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unanimous consent mr. president that a copy of this letter be entered into the record. . cham >> without objection.he so ordered. >> so i hope that the end of the aments day that amendments will be allowed, that we can come up with a bill that is a positive l. and that closes these gaps that we have in the food safety in t inspection program in thisr klobuch countarry. senator klobuchar and i have worked very hard on a provision that is included in the base bill that will improve the inspection process and make it easier and give more authorityore and more importantly more teethhe to the folks that are charged with doing the and, if that is the case we can ofhe get the right amendments done then perhaps at the end of the day we can get a true bipartisan bill passed that we cannot feel tha good about supporting. so with that mr. president, i would yield the floor and.ut it'
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>> it is actually more of a contin goal, one that continues to year in elude us. each year in the u.s. 76 million t pple people contracted foodborne illness.ome get some get mildly sick some get very sick and if you actually die. the centers for disease control that rlly more t estimates that really more than a few, that 5000 people a year fro die from food poisoning, foodborne illnesses. foodborne these are mostly not people inillnesses. their 30s that are healthy. is the very young and a very old, those whose health may bese heah frail, whose health may not be bu as strong as others. but nonetheless 5000 people die a year. over the last few years we have faced melamine in infant ci formula, harmful seafood from china, tainted peppers from mexico, e. coli in spinach peanuts. salmonella in peanuts. sometimes it is international problems. sometimes it is domesticicy robbins. international problems means weba have to bete looking at the trade
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nation policy better than we have but t that is a debate for another day. a few months ago we had a nationwide recall of a day to use o salmonella contamination. possi just this week we saw a recall of smoked turkey products because of possible wisteriamericans contamination.ened by the safety of americanshat'sailed threatened by regulatory structure that has failed to n o keep pace with modern changes in food production processing and marketing. we have at our grocery stores a selecon wonderful thing. we have all kinds of selections fresh fruits fruits and measurable sunfish and all kinds ohio. of things that we didn't have when i was growing up in the espe 1960s andci mansfield, ohio. months. we didn't have that kind of selection at food stores weeed to especially in the winter months. now we do and that is a great time thing but we don't do what we need to do to guarantee its safety. it is time to protect thise for system once and for all.mprove our is time to pass legislation that will protect our food safety system. family should be able to pinut co food on the table without fearing any kind ofry contamination.
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we shouldn't worry that the food in school cafeterias or at progressive grocery stores ort local restaurants. we shouldn't worry that willhrough stand trial to the hospital andthat's w'm so spread panic or a committee.nsiderin s. that is why it's so please we are considering s. 510, the fda food safety modernization act. this list legislation would have talk brief thought the -- address and i will talk briefly and yield to my colleague a from delaware senator carper about some of the things in this bill. plement requires facilities to conduct to analysis for the most likely food safety hazards in design and implement risk-based control to prevent them.quiremen it would increase the frequency foo of plant inspections.bility sys to strengthen recordkeeping requirements and food traceability system so youwh know before where the food came from beforeandate foo it gets to the grocery store.ow. it provides the fda with the authority to mandate foodthing is voluntary recalls, something that is voluntary now. most company step forward and do it. sum don't. some delay before they do posinges
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don serious public health risk. would ensure further study by fda and enhance sanitary methods for the transportation of food. tt we must ensure this includes ann. examination of the palettes are food is shipped on. icken t at home you don't use the same cutting board for chicken that you use for chicken are leastallets you shouldn't because aollect potential few things. the same things with these wooden pellets because they can collect especially wooden pallets can collect way more we requi bacteria than you can imagine. they require more extension of her visions for heightened security of imports which account for an increased percentage.nsumption. the increasing share of the u.s. food consumption. this bill is here because of a strong work of senator durbin of of illinois. co and represented dingell of michigan.and sen i would also commend ranking member and be on the health committee and chairman harkin andatr senators dodd burr and
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gregg for their work. i would also commend the kroger company based in cincinnati, ohio in the work that they and stor other e grocery store chains andor other food processing companies have done collectively to make sure this legislation works for tmany of the them.ny ofhese c the traceability, many of themelves many of these companies have wi already said that the i traceability provisions by themselves without government is involvement. i think kroger's especially as to be commended for doing that. the the best way to ensure thengyste m, fda can decisively respond to had foodborne outbreak is to s. authorize the comprehensive food tracing system. earlier this year i introduced federal s. 425 the food safety andins of a tracing improvement act. it would improve the ability of federal agencies to trace the origins of all contaminated foods. i am pleased that the important goalslu of my legislation are the
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included in the manager's estabshing a amendment.nd with a stronger traceability provisions the fda will be cast with establishing a tracing system for both unprocessed andutter processed foods such as peanutbreak, butter. the 2008/2009 peanut butter nine salmonella outbreak which sickened more than 700 people resulted in mind death demonstrates exactly butte demonstrates exactly why the ft may need need to expanded authority. one victim of the peter butter o salmonella outbreak was just south of where the northeast ohio.reatndchil she was an 80-year-old mother of two ye six children and 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. she got ill in january of almost two years ago after eating a peanut butter product tainted with salmonella.ould when she got sick doctors told source of her family there was nothingn they could do and she died time surely thereafter. the fda was unable to identifyonsung for the source of the outbreak in a short period of time but it was incredibly difficult and
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time-consuming for the food and drug administration to determine where all the contaminated soldo peanut butter products ended up. for instance the fda knew the source company and sold to 85 other companies. they sold another 1500 companies and many of those companies sold to other companies so they weren't able there were no trace that o provisions to be able to help and warn others ofin the fooupply potential contamination. last year the inspector general released a report entitled sy traceability of the food supplyicant system. supply this report identifies significant and unacceptable difficulties and tracing food through this supply chain. cha the report attempted to trace 40 products through each stage of the food suppl y chain.import they were able only to trace five of the 40. that is why we know how tracing important this legislation is. we require the fda to establish a product tracing system and. determine develop additional recordkeeping rk. requirements for boots that the fda determines to be high and we require the comptroller
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general to provide recommendations regarding how to further improve the product this tracing system. t we don't know everything yet we need to do. this gives the fda and the comptroller general guidance andy to leadership and the authority to the auth do inor addition to what we righay. specifically have done, the authority to do it in the right way. again i would like to thank the senators are can and save durbinrom burr and gregg for the work they have done. >> we take you live to the u.s. senate where members are returning from party caucus meetings. today the chamber voted to move forward on food safety legislation and is expected to work more on that later this been afternoon. ou live coverage of the senate here on c-span2. sses and some failures. unfortunately, the failures usually get leaked to the media while most of the successes go unheralded. while i'm obviously not at liberty to discuss the successes here, i can witness to the fact that we have an outstanding fleet of intelligence personnel
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who selflessly sacrifice their time sometimes their lives to protect our great nation. as i leave the senate having served in its privileged capacity as vice chair i leave for you some thoughts and some recommendations on improvements that can be made on intelligence matters going forward which i believe will enhance our national security. first, the committee. members of congress often like to criticize the executive branch as is appropriate. but congress needs to get its own house in order. the chair of the committee senator feinstein and i have worked hard to bring the committee back into bipartisan operation on intelligence oversight. we hope that the intelligence authorization act that the president signed into law recently will help get the committees back on track. one area where i strongly believe congress has yet toed the warnings of the 9/11 commission and other groups is in reforming its approach to
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appropriations for intelligence. that's why the 2008, the committee passed a resolution to establish an appropriations subcommittee on intelligence, something the full senate had already passed in 2004. yet, the appropriations committee has failed to act. i continue to believe that it's vital to improving oversight and funding of our nation's intelligence. and i urge the senate in the next congress to proceed on that. now, the nation's wars. we learned in iraq, fighting the enemy is not enough. a comprehensive counterinsurgency strategy is required. it must combine kinetic power military attacks against terrorists and insurgents with smart power the development of host nation capabilities, infrastructure and a sensible mix of economic development education and diplomatic strategies. we also know that without a viable and appropriately resource counterinsurgency strategy, we will not see success in afghanistan in the
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future -- and tpaout tour of pakistan will remain in doubt. driving terrorist safe havens out of afghanistan is crucial but insufficient if militants find sanctuary in the border regions of western pakistan. eliminating the terrorist threat to the united states that emanates from these terrorist sanctuaries in the region must be our number-one goal. a u.s. withdrawal in whole or in part from afghanistan in the near term would be a tacit yet unambiguous approval for the return of taliban control of afghanistan. in turn, this would lead to the establishment of more safe havens for many of the world's most violent and feared terrorists. next, at the end of 2004, congress passed the intelligence reform and terrorism prevention act, creating the office of the director of national intelligence. after six years the jury is still out on the odni.
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some say it's an unnecessary layer of bureaucracies. other say it's too big and needs to be downsized. still others are concerned that the d.n.i.'s authority is undermined by decision-makers in the white house and department of justice a point with ample evidence over the past couple of years. while these observations have some merit, i believe the odni serves an important leadership function within the intelligence committee and should not be abandoned. however, there is room for improvement, so i sponsored a number of legislative provisions that should enhance the d.n.i.'s authority with respect to accountability reviews and major systems acquisitions. while some of these provisions were signed into law more will need to be done to strengthen the effectiveness of the odni. one of the most disturbing leaks that i've witnessed during my tenure on the committee occurred in december 2005 when the "new york times" published a story describing the president's
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terrorist surveillance program. some review -- some view the leakers as heroes. i do not share that view. in fact, intelligence operators in the field at the time told me their ability to gain valuable information was reduced dramatically. michael hadden, then being confirmed for the director of the c.i.a., stated that we've begun to applight darwinan theory to terrorism because from then on we would only be able to catch the dumb ones. i'm amazed the department of justice has yet to prosecute thomas taam, a d.o.j. attorney who openly bragged that he intentionally revealed the information. another area of importance is the fisa act. in order to ease concerns of critics, the president's terrorist seufrls program was submitted to and approved by the
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surveillance court. unfortunately, in may of 2007, the arrangement started to unravel when the fisa court issued a ruling that caused significant gaps in our intelligence collection against terrorists. although d.n.i. mike mcherald pleaded for help, congress failed to respond. we cosponsored the patriot america act which passed in the first week of 2007. the act did exactly what it was intended to. following the passage of that act, i worked to come up with a bipartisan permanent solution to modernize fisa, to give the private partners needed civil liability protection. in february of 2008, many hearings, much debate, the senate passed the fisa amendments on a strong bipartisan vote, reflecting the intelligence committee's conclusions that those electronic communication service providers who insisted with the
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act, acted with good faith and deserved civil liability protection. the senate bill also went further than any legislation in history in protecting the potential privacy of u.s. citizens. after months of difficult and protracted negotiations with the house, congress finally passed the fisa act amendments on july 9 of 2008, and the president signed it into law the next day. i consider my involvement in the passage of protect america and fisa act to be two of the highlights of my legislative career. there is, however still work to be done. a number of provisions of the fisa amendments act are set to sunset at the end of next year. also there are three additional provisions related to roving wiretaps, business records court orders and the loan wolf provision that are set to expire february 28, 2011. i urge the next congress and the president to work together closely to ensure that these provisions are made permanent
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without adding unnecessary requirements. on authorization. when i became chairman, vice chairman in 2007, my top priority was to get an intelligence authorization bill signed into law and i'm thankful that with the leadership of senator feinstein the chair we finally met that goal. the 2010 bill light on authorization was heavy on legislative provisions. i'm pleased that a number of good government provisions which i cosponsored were included in the bill. imposing new requirements on the intelligence committee to manage better their systems acquisition, these provisions will operate to address the long-standing problem of out-of-control cost overruns and acquisitions. despite the successful nun mccurdy provisions and d.o.d. tkao*pbd encourage greater involvement by the d.n.i.
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another good provision established the requirement for the intelligence committee to conduct vulnerability assessments on its systems. a third gives the d.n.i. authority to conduct accountability reviews of the intelligence community elements and personnel in relation to their significant failures and deficiencies. finally, the future budget projection provisions require the d.n.i. to do what every american family does on a regular basis: map out a budget. now, going forward, i have a number of recommendations for future members and leaders. on satellite imagery, one of the intelligence community's greatest failures was complete waste of billions of dollars spent to develop satellites it never took a single picture.
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senator feinstein and i strongly voiced our abiding concern to all four d. tpheufplt's that the i. -- d.n.i.'s that the i.c. is spending too much money on satellites that are too big and too costly. we put forth solid alternatives that would produce more satellites at far less cost, be less fragile and perform as well or better as the unaffordable plan presented in the budget. sadly, our ideas have met with the n.i.h. resistence not invented here. even worse, it appears the resistance has been based in part on the n.r.o.'s unhealthy reliance upon subordination to the contractor that builds these incredibly expensive satellites. on cyber in an ever increasing cyber age where our financial system conducts trades via the internet families pay bills online, the government uses computers to complement war
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strategies successful cyberattacks can be devastating unless our private sector and government start doing a better job to protect our information networks serious damage to our economy and our national security will follow. senator hatch and i have introduced a legislative proposal that takes the first step by creating a solid infrastructure that is responsible and accountable. there must be one person in charge, someone outside the executive office of the president, who therefore cannot claim executive privilege whorbgs has real authority -- who has real authority to coordinate our government security efforts in cyber. third, we need a voluntary public-private partnership to facilitate cyberthreat information, research and technical support. we believe that once this infrastructure is established the assembled government and private-sector experts will be able to provide guidance on the next steps including any further legislation needed to
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enhance our cyber security. now with respect to the gitmo detainees. as a christmas day attack reminded us, rising recidivism rates for gitmo detainees are more than just a statistic and claims that a 20% recidivism rate isn't all that bad as one senior administration official put it, must be challenged. as part of its goal to close gitmo, the administration continues its efforts to persuade other countries to accept detainees. but everyone's views on closing gitmo, we all have an interest in making sure that no former gitmo detainee kills or harms us or our allies. as these transfers continue, the intelligence committee in congress must pay close attention to these and earlier transfer decisions. thus far our review has raised
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significant concerns. we all know that transfers to yemen are a bad idea, but other countries may not have either the legal authority or capability to keep track of these detainees effectively. still others simply view these former detainees as being free. if we don't know what these detainees are doing we end up relying on luck, and we will catch them before they act. having luck on your side is always a good thing but it stinks as counterterrorism policy. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pay close attention to this issue. unfortunately, it is one that i think we'll continue to be around for a long time. mr. president, i hope these reflections, observations and recommendations will be of use to the members of the next congress and the members of the committees. i've been deeply honored to serve on the intelligence committee with my distinguished and talented colleagues. i salute the fine men and women of the intelligence committee who have given so much for the safety of our country.
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and i wish them all in their future endeavors. mr. president, in closing i ask that my full remarks be submitted for the record as if read and including the attached addendum of other items of importance. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. bond: i yield the floor. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. bond: mr. president i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i ask that the quorum call be rescinded. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i ask to speak in morning business. i wish to speak about a man who died in illinois. dan calahan was a baseball coach
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at carbindale in southern illinois. he died at the age of 52. he was not only a good coach was a great man. he inspired just about everybody who ever met him. dan died of a very rare and very serious form of skin cancer. his struggle with cancer began almost five years ago when he detected a little black spot on his lower lip. the spot was successfully removed but the cancer remained and it grew. after receiving his diagnosis dan callahan silently endured the rigors of his treatment while continuing to coach his baseball team. in the 2007-2008 seasons there were times he probably should have stayed home because he was too weak to do much but sit in the dugout, but he came to work and he came to that ball yard every day. he didn't miss a single game. the next season, dan endured more intense treatment including a surgery that would
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remove part of his right jaw. it was only then that he went public with his illness. eventually the cancer cost dan not only his jaw but the sight in his right eye and the hearing in his right ear but it didn't stop the coach. the losses damaged his depth perception and hearing but if dan callahan, once a pitcher in his own right wasn't able to throw a fastball with quite the same speed and control he taught his players an even more important lesson -- how to push through adversity. the chemo and surgery forced him to miss nearly all of his team's road trip games during the 2009 season and that bothered him even more than the cancer. he believed a coach should be with his players. somehow, this past season, his last season, danny was able to be on the bench for nearly every game. he considered that a great victory, and it was. the president of southern illinois university, glenn
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pachard, a former congressman said about danny callahan, as far as i'm concerned, he was the face of courage. the missouri valley conference recognized that a year ago when it awarded dan callahan its most courageous award an award that honors those who have demonstrated courage in the face of adversity or tragedy. in announcing his selection the missouri county conference committee commissioner said -- "dan callahan personifies professionalism in the face of adversity and he has been an inspiration to his baseball student athletes and really all those who know him. we feel honored to be able to recognize him." dan had a great sense of humor. he used to joke that he led the league in one category -- surgeries. in fact, he leaves a rich record of athletic achievement. in 22 seasons as an ncaa division one head coach dan callahan compiled an impressive record of 595 wins and 605 losses, 442 of those nearly 600 victories were at southern
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illinois, making him the second winningest coach in their history. dan was one of just five coaches in the missouri valley conference history to win over 200 league times. in his time in carbondale, he produced 23 major league draft picks and 19 first-team all-m.v.p. selections. baseball was dan's lifelong love and passion. as an athlete he pitched two seasons at the university of new orleans, two at quincy college from which he graduated. after college he pitched professionally in both the san diego padres and seattle mariners' organizations. his first coaching job was in my hometown at springfield high school his alma mater. he also coached at eastern illinois university for five years before heading down to carbondale. last october dan began chemotherapy. his doctors prescribed a three-drug cocktail that includes avastin one of a new generation of anticancer drugs that works by preventing the growth of new blood vessels that
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support tumors. avastin can buy time and better quality of life for people with advanced cancer, but it is very expensive. in dan's case, it costs $13,686 a treatment about $100,000 a year. unfortunately, dan's health insurance company the largest health insurer in america a company that had paid for surgery and removed the initial spot from his lip in a second surgery to remove part of his jaw refused to pay for the avastin. the chemo drug was approved and something of a wonder drug in treating many cancers but the insurance company said its use to treat cancers like dan's was experimental so they wouldn't cover it. with the support of family and friends, dan and his wife stacy found $27,000 to pay for the first two treatments, and washington university in st. louis provided another $50,000 that bought him four more treatments. through all the chemo and radiation treatments and all the
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painful surgery dan callahan never complained. he was never bitter and he never felt sorry for himself. he worried about other people and their families who needed expensive drugs and couldn't afford it. dan thought it was unfair that patients could be denied treatment that could extend or maybe even save their lives simply because of a drug's high price. we talked about that last year while the senate was debating america's broken health care system. i thought about dan callahan when i voted for the affordable health care act. in his prime dan callahan stood 6'4" weighed 225 pounds. the cancer took its toll. the last couple of months were really rough. he spent most of them at barnes hospital in st. louis. a little more than a week ago he told his doctors that he needed to take a break so he could attend a thanksgiving gettogether with his team. he went home for hospice care and died three days later surrounded by the people he loved. i offer my deepest condolences to stacy dan's wife of 21 years and their daughters alexia and
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carly, and his parents ann and gene. gene and ann are my closest friends. i have known dan since he was 9 years old. i also want to say to his sisters he couldn't have come from a better family. my thoughts with with the student athletes that dan coached and inspired over the years. dan's passing is a deep loss for so many people. on monday, dan's going to have a send-off and it's going to be at the baseball diamond. dan's family and his s.i.u. family are hosting a celebration of his life at the s.i.u. baseball diamond where he spent so many happy years. there will be a party afterwards with hot wings and beer at the s.i.u. football stadium club, and the invitation says please dress casually. no suits no ties. exactly what dan wanted. jim rupert is a sport senator in my hometown newspaper in springfield. he was also dan callahan's brother-in-law. in his column the day after dan
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died he said when the official scorer in the sky makes his final ruling, he will say dan callahan lost his nearly five-year battle with cancer monday afternoon but the 52-year-old callahan was a baseball guy who went down swinging battling the dreaded disease to the bottom of the ninth inning. mr. president, dan callahan coached the sport he loved and it's a unique sport. it is one of the few sports, team sports that has no time clock. baseball is only over when it's over and that's the way life is too. at the end of his life, dan callahan still sits in that dugout and with a watchful coach's eye he scans the field and sees hundreds of young men whose lives he touched players and families who will never forget him. he taught them more than baseball. he taught them about life and courage, about themselves and
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their relationships with others. i have known dan all his life. i consider it a blessing to have counted him as a friend. lou gehrig, when he learned of his cancer, said he was still the luckiest man on the face of the earth. dan callahan felt the same way about himself and for the same reasons. whether he was the luckiest man on earth, i don't know, but i do know that all of us who had the good fortune to know dan callahan were really lucky. we were inspired by his courage and his dignity and we will miss him. mr. president, i ask consent to enter another statement in the record separate and apart from that earlier statement. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: this is another baseball-themed speech which i didn't expect to give on the floor of the senate, but today is a happy day for me. mr. president, i grew up in east st. louis illinois, and i learned about god in church, but the only god i was sure of played for the st. louis cardinals and his name was stan
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musial. the first baseball glove i ever on the other hand was a rawlings leather glove that had stan's name written on the edge of it. i used to do what kids did my age. we would wrap rubber bands with the baseball in the glove to get that pocket just right and then we would pull that ball out and we would rub it with glove-oleum, some kind of oil concoction that we thought made it supple and made it easier to catch the ball. that's what we hoped. i rubbed that glove so many times, i was the only one who could still read his name on that glove. i kept it forever until my wife said what are you doing with this old thing? i said it was my prized possession when i was about 10 years old and it still is. well, the good news is that my feelings about stan musial were shared by the president of the united states. he may be a chicago white sox fan, but he knows a great champion when he sees one. that's why the announcement
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today that stan "the man" musial is going to receive the presidential medal of freedom makes me feel so good. the one thing about stan musial that i found interesting here was one of the most public figures in baseball of his time, and i never heard a negative word about him. not about his professional life or his public life. he served this country not only as a hero on the baseball diamond, but he left his team to serve in the military, and he went back, as you did mr. president, to entertain the troops and serve them as well. he really cared about this country. he was a champion on and off the baseball field. after playing 22 seasons in major league baseball for the cardinals, 1941-1963 musial was elected to the baseball hall of fame in 1969. over that time, he compiled a lifetime batting average of .331 -- how about that -- with 3,630 hits, 475 home runs, and 1,951 r.b.i.'s, appearing in 23
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world series games and 24 all-star games. he is one of only three players who have run over 6,000 bases in his career, right behind hank aaron and willie mays. a sign of his great sportsmanship, stan musial was never once ejected during his career spanning more than 3,000 games. both in and out of the cardinal uniform, stan musial exemplifies the values of sportsmanship discipline, hard work, grace consist tenty, -- consistency excellence and humility. he is truly deserving of this medal of freedom. let me say a word about my colleague, claire mccaskill no one no one has worked harder to impress upon the white house how important this presidential medal of honor is to stan musial but to cardinal fans alike who think musial to be one of the greatest living americans. i salute claire mccaskill's dogged determination to convince the white house the president is well served by awarding this man an honor for his life on the baseball diamond and off the
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diamond, serving his country in so many ways. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. menendez: mr. president i rise to speak on the floor of what i have addressed in the past about injustice and it is about the reality that there is no secret that decades of discrimination in lending practices at the united states department of agriculture have made it difficult if nearly not impossible for minority farmers, specifically hispanic and women farmers to make a living at what they love to do. leaving many no choice but to lose their farms and ranches that they have tended all their
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lives, in many cases from generation to generation. and that's why i rise today in support of parity for hispanic and women farmers. i rise so that all the victims of discrimination in this case are treated equally fairly and are adequately compensated for the damages they suffered, regardless of their race or gender. the department of justice's proposal to hispanic and female victims is certainly a first step towards closing the entire book on the u.s. department of agriculture's discrimination, but frankly mr. president there appears to be some contradiction between the proposal given to these two groups and the declared objectives of providing parity among the different groups who suffer discrimination. so here's the situation. african-american victims of
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discrimination are on a path to receive approximately .2.25 billion to resolve their claims. victims who filed on time were afforded the opportunity to choose from two different tracks. first, they could present substantial evidence of discrimination which if valid entitled the victim to a monetary settlement of $50,000, plus relief in the form of loan forgiveness and offsets of tax liability, or they could prove their claims using evidence which was reviewed by a third-party arbitrator who decided how much damages to award, if any. now, this system looks -- look into account the fact that many if not most of the documents from this era were destroyed by the u.s. department of agriculture, making it extremely difficult for victims to prove their claims while also giving
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claimants the opportunity to seek more than $50,000 if their case was especially egregious and their losses were severe. there was not a cap on the amount of money awarded. there was not a cap on the number of claimants who could recover damages which allows the merits of each individual's claim to be the sole basis for determining what they received. now, that process appeared to be right in line with the stated goal of determining the appropriate course of action for each claim based on the merits of the case and only on the merits. and i certainly commend that approach. however, when it comes to hispanic and women farmers the justice department has used legal maneuvers to prevent hispanic and women farmers from achieving class status.
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legal maneuvers shouldn't be what the department of justice is all about. justice is what the department should be all about. unfortunately, i don't believe the proposal which has been presented to the hispanic and femaletims meets that standard of justice. nor does it employ the fair method utilized in the pickford 1 settlement or the valuable that's needed. instead, it puts a cap on the damages each victim can receive and the total amount that can be awarded to all victims. this is not in parity with the pickford 1 settlement and could potentially leaves thousands of hiss span and i can female victims with only a modicum of relief -- hispanic and female victims with only a modicum of relief. specifically, while pickford
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rewarded a minimum -- a minimum -- of $50,000 to victims victims, the proposals to hispanics and females will only award victims up to that amount. what this means is that hispanic and female victims even if they suffered millions of dollars in damages lost their farms lost their families lost their livelihoods will not receive more than $50,000 and will not be made whole. farmers who were denied a loan and, as a result, in the words of then-secretary of agriculture glickman who said -- quote -- "they lost their family land not because of a bad crop not because of a flood but because of the color of their skin they'll never be able to rebuild their lives and recover the land with a fraction of $50,000."
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if that's not enough the department of justice imposed cap on the total amount of money that can be awarded to hispanic and women victims can arbitrarily reduce each claimant's award far below the $50,000 individual cap. now, you may ask why. well here's the reason. because there are likely to be far more claims filed by hispanic and women farmers than were filed by african-american farmers, yet the amount allocated for hispanic and female claims is almost a billion dollars less than provided to african-american claimants. this is despite the fact that according to the department of agriculture census, in the years in question, from 1982-1997 hispanic and female operated farms far outnumbered
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african-american operated farms by almost 7-1. if the department of justice estimates are correct and approximately 80,000 valid claims will be made by african-americans to pickford 1 and 2 it's safe to assume that at least this many and likely many more hispanic and female farmers who were discriminated against, will file valid claims. even using the very conservative estimate of 80,000 valid claims for hispanic and females a $1.3 billion overall cap will provide each claimant with about $16,625. this amount will shrink even further if there are more than the 80,000 claimants and tax forgiveness funds are counted against the $1.3 billion cap. so think about this. under this method the amendment
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each victim will -- under this method, the amend each victim will receive will depend on how many other victims there were not on the merits of each individual case. not only is that not fair but it's perverse. it's perverse. because each victim will actually be punished the more the united states department of agriculture discriminated, since the more valid claims there are the less each victim will receive. so a structure that has been set up that instead of pursuing justice and inquit actually works to the -- equity actually works to the detriment of those who have already been discriminated against, because the more that have been discriminated against and prove their case, the less each one will receive because of this cap. finally, mr. president the process proposed for administering hispanic and female claims seems arbitrary
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and needlessly complicated. in contrast to pickford claimants, hispanic and women-owned farmers would not have the benefit of a court-approved notice or any of the procedural protections associated with a class action process. mr. president, the underlying facts of the claims made by african-americans hispanics females and native americans are nearly identical. now, i want to commend the president and his administration for making some effort towards delivering justice to women and hispanic farmers. that's why i urge the administration to guarantee the relief that is to be provided to women and hispanic farmers be justice and consistent with that provided to african-american victims who filed on time. in the words of timothy pickford the lead plaintiff in the pickford case, hispanics and
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females -- quote -- these are his words -- "suffered the same discrimination by the u.s. department of agriculture as african american farmers." "suffered the same discrimination by the department of agriculture as african-american farmers." and -- quote again mr. pickford -- "class certification is a procedural matter that does not address the underlying discrimination that is in fact, admitted." "is, in fact, admitted." not a dispute about whether discrimination took place. "is, in fact, admitted." the indisputable fact remains that farmers and ranchers who were particularly women african-american hispanics were denied access to u.s. department of agriculture loans to farm benefits and credit services due to their race their ethnicity
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their gender and they were not given proper opportunity for recourse. in the process of being denied those opportunities, they lost in many cases their land or sold parts of their land to keep a little bit of it left. the only thing that could be worse than the original discrimination ironically, is if it were to treat the victims of that discrimination differently based on their race ethnicity or gender. justice for one cannot masquerade as justice for all. so, mr. president i applaud the usda for taking a big step towards universal justice in this kiss -- in this case by recognizing the need to put aside technical questions about class certification and address the underlying valid claims of discrimination. i understand that this administration inherited this problem like so many others
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and is now in the position of cleaning up the mess left by its predecessors. i applaud them for seeking to right an injustice but i do not think nor can i accept that you can dispenlsz justice -- dispense justice when you know that the facts are such that, in fact, there is no dispute as to the discrimination, that you can dispense justice piecemeal or that you can treat victims similarly situated almost identically situated and harmed, with justice for some and not for all. we need to make this right. we need to make the victims whole. and we need to do it fairly justly and soon. mr. president, with that, i yield the floor.
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. feinstein: mr. president, i rise to speak on the bill before us but before i do one thing i was remiss in not doing and listening to senator durbin speak about stan muscill, is really point out what has happened in san francisco and that is that the san francisco giants have won the world series with a team that was just amazing. and to see a team i think that were essentially outcasts and some would say misfits come together, play with teamwork, develop a world-class pitching staff a defense where double and triple plays would happen really quite amazing. i had the pleasure of going to the playoff games during the recess as well as the world series games and it was a very,
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very special trip -- treat and i just want to offer my commendation to that great team. it was quite wonderful. now down to business. mr. president, it appears that i will be blocked from offering an amendment on something called b.p.a. to the food safety bill. so i come to the floor to express my disappointment and my very serious concern about the continued use of this chemical in children's products. there is mounting scientific evidence that shows that b.p.a. is linked to harmful health effects. over 200 scientific studies show that even at low doses b.p.a. is linked to serious health problems including cancer diabetes heart disease and early puberty. behavioral problems and obesity. i know there's not yet consensus
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on the science but -- and there's still research to be done, but i also know that this chemical is so widespread it has been found in in 93% of americans. i know that b.p.a. alters the way the body chemistry works. babies and children are particularly at risk, because when they're developing, any small change can cause dramatic consequences. to put it simply, the fact that so many adverse health effects are linked to this chemical, the fact that this chemical is so present in our bodies and the fact that babies are more at risk from its harmful effects leads me to believe there is no good reason to expose our children to this chemical. my grave concern for its continued use particularly in children's products is the reason why senator schumer my
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cosponsor, we introduced a bill a year and a half ago why he and i have been willing to compromise, to be complex i believe, -- to be flexible, and to try on work out an agreement to move this forward. for six months, we have been negotiating with senator enzi, the distinguished ranking member of -- handling this bill before the floor hoping for a compromise that would enable this amendment on b.p.a. to be placed in the food safety bill. it looks like there will not be amendments. therefore, i have no opportunity to offer an amendment. but last evening at about 6:15 senator enzi and i reached an agreement which would ban the use of b.p.a. in baby bottles and sippy cups within six months of the passage of the -- of the enactment of this legislation. would require that the f.d.a., the federal drug administration
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issue a revised safety assessment on b.p.a. by december 1 2012. the reason that's important is it would push it up in their order of business. and, third include a savings clause to allow states to enact their own legislation. and i want to thank the ranking member for his agreement. it meant a great deal to me and i thought ah-ha we are really close to making a beginning on this problem. unfortunately today it became clear that the american chemistry council has blocked and obstructed this agreement from being added to the food safety bill. therefore, language cannot be in the


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