tv U.S. Senate CSPAN November 18, 2010 12:00pm-5:00pm EST
i remember the very first time i sat where you're sitting now, madam president, and throughout my time as a member of this august body, i've had the opportunity to spend more than 200 hours in the presiding officer's chair and have earned two golden gavels. i also had the honor of delivering our first president, president george washington's farewell address on his birthday of this year to this august body. from the chair, i've had the opportunity to listen to the words of my colleagues and reflect upon the great debate that unfolds each and every day as it has always done throughout our nation's history.
in this, the greatest deliberative body in the world. we come to this chamber from every state in the union, democrats, republicans and independents alike. each of us carry the solemn responsibility of giving voice to the concerns of those we represent, and although we do not always agree, madam president, as the debate on this floor will often show, i'm always struck by the passion that drives each and every senator to stand in this singular place in the world and to speak their mind. it is this passion that will always define this chamber for me. all the weight of history, all the great and eloquent
sentiments that have been expressed here by our forefathers, on a fundamental level, this remains a very human place. we stand today as the members of this body have done frequently throughout our great republic's history at a critical moment. partisanship and obstructionism threaten to somewhat paralyze this great institution, but it is a testament to the inherit wisdom and durability of the senate, of the rules and the tradition that govern this institution, that even in the face of great discord, we have had the high privilege of serving in the most productive congress in generations. despite our many differences, i believe the men and women who make up this senate remain its greatest strength. and madam president, it has been
my honor of a lifetime to once again represent the people of illinois, and to do so here in the united states senate, first as a cabinet member for our governor, as the illinois state comptroller and as the illinois attorney general. the people of my state placed in me a sacred trust and one that throughout my 30 years in public service i made into my life's work, to serve the people of my state to the very best of my ability. in younger years, shortly after graduating from law school at howard university, not far from here where we stand today, madam president, i was turned off by a city with far too much government. i heard -- i headed to chicago, convinced that i would not
return to this city unless i could be an effective and meaningful part of the solution to the many challenges we face, dreaming of a time i might come back to washington as a united states senator or as vice president of the united states. that dream took longer to achieve than i could have imagined that day, but in a towering testament to the -- to the american dream, that day came. and after decades of experience in the executive branch of illinois government, i was sworn in as united states senator for illinois, and this became my first introduction to serving as a legislator. it was the steepest learning curve, but with the warm assistance of my senate
colleagues, the steady support of my loving family and the dedication of my tireless staff, i would not be more proud of what we have been able to accomplish together. to my family, my friends and my staff, i owe the deepest thanks. my wife, berline, has always been by my side, and i have -- i will always be grateful beyond words for her constant support. my son and his wife and my daughter, the pride and joys of my life. and, of course, they were just here yesterday, my two grandchildren, roland theodore and ian alexander, to whom i dedicate my service and for whom i have the greatest hopes and even greater expectations.
to my friends and supporters from chicago to centralia, i will never forget your smiles and your kind words during even the most difficult of times, and to my staff here in d.c. and those of chicago, springfield, moline and cash carbondale, youe been some of the most dedicated, talented and professional individuals that i have ever had the privilege to serve with. from the front office staff assistants and interns answering the endless ringing telephones to my circle of senior advisors who gave me wise and thoughtful counsel throughout, my team has been indispensable to me, and they have always served the people of illinois with distinction. i am deeply grateful for their service, and i ask unanimous consent, madam president, that the complete list of my staff be
entered into the record following my remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. burris: i would like to extend a special word of gratitude to my old friend sitting right there, the sergeant at arms, terry gainer, the secretary of the senate, nancy erickson, the secretary of the majority -- where did she go -- lula davis for their many kindnesses, and to thank the senate chaplain, dr. barry black, for his counsel and prayers during my time here. i also want to acknowledge my fellow freshmen senators: senator begich, bennet, gillibrand, you, shaheen, mark udall, tom udall, mark warner, and our just departed senator kaufman from delaware.
they are tremendous individuals possessing incredible talents and have been a very, very supportive group for me. thank you, my freshmen colleagues. in a broader sense, i'd like to also thank all of those who serve under this hallowed dome with quiet, often unheralded duty, the senate floor staff -- you all do a heck of a job -- the maintenance crews, the elevator operators, the capitol police, the senate train drivers, the dining room servers and the scores of others whose hard and important work ensures the smooth and constant operation of the business that take place in our nation's capitol. madam president, as i stand to address this chamber for the last time, i cannot help but reflect on the unlikely path
that led me to this point and upon the challenges we continue to face. when i first came to the senate nearly two years ago, our nation was only days away from inaugurating an african-american man from chicago as the 44th president of the united states of america. it was a nation's milestone i never thought i would ever live to see, an incredible moment that speaks volumes about the progress our country has made, even in my lifetime. as a child, i knew the injustice of segregation. when i was only about 15 years old, i helped integrate the swimming pool in my hometown of centralia, illinois, and although that incident drove me to pursue a life of public service, dedicating myself to the goals of becoming both a lawyer and a statewide elected
official, there was never any guarantee that such a path would be opened to me. there were no people of color in high elective office in those days, especially not in illinois and not in centralia. there were no paths to follow. so i knew from the start that i would have to blaze a trail. despite the lack of established role models, my parents provided nothing but support and encouragement. they nurtured my dreams and helped me develop the skills to achieve them, and in the end, they and my older brother earl, who is now deceased, my sister doris, god bless her, she is still living, were the only role models i needed. the values they instilled in me of the hard work, determination and unwavering dedication to principle have guided me throughout my life.
the same values have driven me to take an interest in the next generation. it is that focus on the future that drives all of our legislative energy to constantly improve the quality of life for the generations to come. not too many generations ago, my family roots told a different story. i stand in this chamber as the great grandson who was born into slavery in an era when this senate debated whether he and others like him were worthy of freedom and equal treatment under the law. and yet today, madam president, i stand among my colleagues on the senate floor, a member of the highest body of lawmakers in this land. in some ways, madam president, this is a remarkable testament to our nation's ability to correct the wrongs of generations past, to move -- to
move always toward that -- and i quote -- more perfect union, end of quote. but in other ways, it is a solemn reminder of how far we still yet have to go. a country as progressive and diverse as any on this planet, i am today the only black american member of this senate. aside from myself, madam president, i can count the number of blacks who have served in this body on the fingers of a single hand. blanche kelso bruce, hyam edward, carol moseley-braun and
our president barack obama. throughout 220 years of senate history and 111 congresses, only six black americans have been able to serve. this is troubling in its own right, madam president. when the 112th congress is sworn in this coming january, there will not be a single black american who takes the oath of office in this chamber. this is simply unacceptable. we can and we will and we must do better. in this regard and in any other, our political progress has proven less accessible and less representative than it ought to be, and although i have never allowed my race to define me, in a sense, it has meant that my constituencies as a united states senator have stretched far beyond the boundaries of illinois.
letters, emails, telephone calls have poured into my office from black americans from all across the country, and at times as i have tried to bring their voice to this chamber, i have accurately felt the absence of any other black person to represent them. our government hardly resembles the diverse country it was elected to represent. partisan bickering has driven moderates out of both parties and made principle compromise more difficult for those who remain. too often, our politics seem to have become a zero sum game. it's easy for people to feel that the best argument or the plainest truth won't necessarily win the day anymore, and such a destructive political environment, people are often
left wondering who will speak up for them. the media certainly isn't blameless. news outlets which come to play a critical role in educating the american public with facts too often bow to ratings or quick sales and in the process end up choosing to pursue the entertainment value of conflict over thoughtful analysis. this is the harsh reality we face, madam president. america just cannot afford this any longer. we should check these notions at the clook -- cloakroom door. this is a critical moment, so i believe it's the responsibility of everyone in this chamber to take ownership of this process once again, to demonstrate leadership and pledge a return to more responsible rhetoric and more responsible government --
responsive government. what we face is a test, not only of our willingness to meet the challenges we face but of the democratic institutions designed to cope with these challenges. here in the united states senate, this question is paramount. have our destructive politics left this great body locked in a stalemate, unable to move forward because of partisan obstructionism that has taken root, or can this chamber be made to address these problems once again? can it be redeemed by the good people who serve here? madam president, i have confidence that it can. it will require the concerted effort of all 100 senators to overcome the partisanship that has somewhat paralyzed this chamber and the obstructionist
tactics that have become the rule rather than the exception. colleagues, this is the moment to summon the strength of our convictions and fight for what we believe in. this is the hour for principled leadership originating right here in the united states senate. even as we look to the future and debate the agenda for the upcoming year, mr. president, i must note with regret that my time here is nearly at an end. serving as a member of this body alongside many fine colleagues who have become good friends has been an honor of a lifetime. together we have received passage of the most ambitious legislative agenda since the great depression and a great deal of the credit for our success is owed to none other
than our leader, harry reid. i'm proud of every vote i cast in the name of the people of illinois, and i'm proud of the more than 60 bills i sponsored and more than 300 i have cosponsored. in the 22 months i have been a member of the senate, i have -- and here is some of the list -- advocated for comprehensive health care reform designed to meet the goals of public option and fought to address health care disparities that separate minority communities from the population as a whole, pushed for a redirection of subsidized funds that made $68 billion available for new pell grants and extended new opportunities for minority students to attend historically black colleges and universities and predominantly black institutions. stood up for minority businesses and made sure they would share
in america's renewed prosperity as our economy continues to recover. worked hard to extend unemployment insurance and improve access to cobra benefits and create jobs for the people of illinois and across the country. voted for the sweeping stimulus package that brought this country back from the brink of disaster and started us on the road to recovery. introduced legislation that would improve transparency and accountability as stimulus dollars are spent so the american people can keep their elected officials honest. i cosponsored legislation to repeal the military discriminatory don't ask, don't tell policy so all of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines can serve openly. and we just had our press conference on that, madam president, and i'm asking my colleagues, don't filibuster that issue. we need all of our individuals to have an opportunity to serve in the military service,
regardless of their sexual orientation. and if i have an opportunity to vote on that, don't be surprised if i don't come back, because i'm from chicago and i'll vote twice. i've supported major credit reform, credit card reforms, to prevent credit card companies from abusing their customers. i fought for legal pay and benefits -- for equally pay and benefits for women to cut down on workplace discrimination. fought for additional impact aid funding to shore up federal support for school districts that serve military communities and other federal activities. honored the accomplishment of pioneers like vice admiral same gravely, the fist african-american to serve as a flag officer in the navy, and the marines, the first african american marine division, which is in north carolina, madam president. supported the matthew shepard
act, which will help make sure those who target people based on sexual orientation and race or other factors are brought to justice. raised my voice on behalf of main street and all those who may have been left behind in the continuing economic recovery so that everyone can share in the benefits. introduced legislation calling for the department of interior to study a historic site called new philadelphia, illinois, the first settlement founded by a free african-american slave for its preservation as part of the national park system. and i hope as a legacy to burris that someday that legislation will pass. raised awareness of youth violence which threatens our children and tears into inner city -- and tears our inner cities apart, which this must stop. fought for veterans' benefits,
including implementation of the new g.i. bill so that we can honor the service of those who defended our freedom. and now, as we are ready to close the books on the 111th congress and the long, significant chapter of legislative accomplishments, it is time for a new class of senators to join the fight. i'm deeply grateful to my friends on both sides of the aisle for the passion they bring to their work every day. i have witnessed it from the presiding officer's chair and i've had the privilege not only to watch the debate but to take part. but now it's time for me to find new ways to serve. this is the arena where great ideas are put to the test on a national stage. this is where identity is forged anew every day and where our
principles are challenged. it is the heart of our democratic process, and although we will be -- there will be few easy solutions for the problems we face, i will never forget the courage and pa patriotism that e seen from the countless citizens of illinois and americans over the course of my time here. this is a trying time for our nation, but as long as the american people have the wisdom to elect leaders like the ones i've come to know in this chamber, as long as this senate remains true to the people we serve, i will never lose faith in our ability to overcome these challenges together. madam president, i treat this as my parting remarks from this
body. i treat this as an opportunity of a lifetime. and i treat this with great respect and dignity for all of those who i've worked with and come to know in this body. with that, madam president, i thank you, i thank all my colleagues, and i yield the floor for the final time. god bless you all. thank you. madam president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina is recognized. mrs. hagan: thank you. and as i see my colleague, senator burris, still on the floor -- the presiding officer: the senator is advised the senate is current until a quorum call. mrs. hagan: mr. president, i ask
to vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. hagan: thank you, mr. president. i see my colleague, senator burris, still on the floor and i just want to thank you for your excellent work and your comments today, and you will certainly be missed by all of us. mr. president, today i rise in support of senate bill 510, the food food food safety modernization act and -- the f.d.a. food safety modernization act, and also an amendment that i cosponsored with my colleague from indiana, senator john -- senator from montana, senator john tester. each year, up to 70 million americans are sickened from foodborne illnesses. thousands of the most vulnerable, including children and the elderly, die. i don't think there's anyone who hasn't heard of the massive recall of millions of tainted eggs that sickened nearly 1,500 people. we need to find a better way to protect americans from these tragic deaths. and during the "help" committee's consideration of this bill late last year, we had the opportunity to hear from dan
reagan, director of the north carolina department of agriculture and consumer services food and drug protection division, about the innovative steps that north carolina is taking to prevent and address food safety proble problems. north carolina was one of the first pilot states for the manufactured food regulatory program standards, and north carolina has a robust training program for those people dealing with food safety issues. and i am proud that north carolina is leading the way forward in trying to prevent and quickly address foodborne illnesses. at the same time, north carolina is a farming state, and in my state, we have honest farmers who work very hard to make a living. unfortunately, oftentimes when there is a food safety breach followed by a massive recall, the producers or farmers suffer dire financial consequences. farmers are at the front of the food supply chain and frequently are not responsible for the food
safety breach further on down the line. many farmers in north carolina are still struggling, particularly after the salmonella outbreak at the peanut corporation of america and after the massive recall of tomatoes nationwide in 2008. one such farm is the patterson farm, a third-generation family farm in china grove, north carolina. this family has been growing tomatoes since 1919, when james a. patterson began growing vegetables. currently, patterson farms inc., operated by james patterson's grandsons, doug and randall, grows about 350 acres of tomatoes, including mature green, vine ripe and roma tomatoes. in addition to growing tomatoes, the pattersons grade, pack and ship their tomatoes across the united states and canada. patterson farms is currently the largest tomato grower in the state of north carolina, but the 2008 erroneous safety citation for tomatoes by the f.d.a. cost
this family and this farm dear dearly. while consumer demachined for tomatoes -- demand for tomatoes dropped between 50% and 60%, patterson farms lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. the damage was so severe that doug and randall could not pay back their farm operating loan at the end of the year, making that the first time in history of patterson farms that they were not able to pay their operating loan back. in fact, they had to borrow more money just to stay in business. with very narrow profit margins, a massive recall like this can jeopardize the financial stability of farms that have been in the family for generations. that's why i think the f.d.a. needs to be very sure about the source of a food-bourne illness when it institute a recall, and why i fought hard to include a provision to look at new and existing mechanisms available to provide restitution.
specifically the language in this bill directs the g.a.o. to conduct a review on new and existing mechanisms available to provide restitution in the event of an erroneous mandatory food safety recall. if such mechanisms do not exist or are inadequate, within 90 days. the secretary of agriculture must conduct a feasibility study on implementing a restitution program. once false recall could put a family farm out of business. and while i support giving f.d.a. mandatory recall authority, i want to make sure there are a enough protections in place for farms, such as the patterson farm, which are brought to the brink of bankruptcy through no fault of their own. this is an important first step in ensuring that farmers are treated fairly. i'm pleased to be a cosponsor of the amendment by my colleague, senator tester, which will be included in the final bill.
while i believe strengthening our food safety standards and giving the f.d.a. the enforcement authority it needs is critical to ensuring public safety, this bill would have imposed federal regulation on even the smallest food producer including families farms. take a small family farm in north carolina that produces home made jams an and jellies. this would have had to register with the f.d.a. and have a risk-based preventive control plan similar to the plans required of large food companies. small producers in north carolina already have to use a north carolina department of agriculture approved commercial kitchen to make these products. to allow small producers to remain in business, this amendment ensures that the smallest producers selling directly to consumers can continue being regulated at the state level.
also farmers raising produce to sell directly to consumers at farmers markets and food co-ops face significantly different issues and pose less risk than those selling into the industrial supply chain and should not be regulated in the same way. north carolina is a farming state, and i value farming as an institution that is central to my state and america's history and our culture. and in my state we have honest farmers who work very hard to make a living. and i believe with the restitution study language and the adoption of the tester-hagan amendment that this food safety bill strikes the right balance between protecting the public's health from food-bourne illnesses while ensuring our nation's farmers can continue to feed americans. thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate stands in recess until 3:00 p.m.
>> the administration is working to get senate ratification of the new arms treaty between the u.s. and russia before the 111th congress adjourns. senator kyl is blocking, calling for a spending increase on nuclear weapons. this morning, a white house meeting on the issue, included secretary of hillary clinton, former secretary of state henry
president obama: s.t.a.r.t. treaty this year before the lame duck session of congress. mistakes for national security are clear, and they are high. the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty responsibly reduces the number of weapons and largers that the united states maintain and deploy. if we ratify this treaty, we are going to have a verification regime in place to track russia's nuclear weapons, including u.s. inspectors on the ground. if we don't, then we don't have a verification regime. no inspectors, in insights into russia's strategic arsenal, no framework for cooperation between the world's two nuclear
super powers. as ronald reagan said, we have to trust but we also have to verify. in order for us to verify, we have to have a treaty. the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty is also a corner stone of our relations with russia. and this goes beyond nuclear security. russia has been fundamental to our efforts to put strong sanctions in place to put pressure on iran to deal with its nuclear program. it's been critical in supporting our troops in afghanistan through the northern distribution network. it's been critical in working with us to secure all vulnerable nuclear materials around the world, and to enhance european security. we cannot afford to gamble on our ability to verify russia's strategic nuclear arms. we can't jeopardize the progress that we've made in securing vulnerable nuclear materials or maintains a strong
sanctions regime against iran. these are all national interests of the highest order. let me also say win think the group around the table will confirm, this new s.t.a.r.t. treaty is completely in line with a tradition of bipartisan cooperation on this issue. this is not a democratic concept, this is not a republican concept, this is a concept of america national security that has been promoted by ronald reagan, george h.w. bush, bill clinton, george w. bush, and now my administration. we have taken the time to do this right. to ensure the treaty got a fair hearing, we submitted it to the senate last spring. because of the leadership of john kerry and dick lugar, there had been 18 hearings on this subject. there have been multiple
briefings, it has been pullly and varifully vetted and has the full endorsement of our nation's military leadership, our vice chairman of the joint chief of staff is here and will confirm is that it is in our national security interest. my administration also prepared to go the extra mile to ensure that our remaining stockpile and nuclear infrastructure is modernized. which i know is a key concern of many around this table and also many on capitol hill. we've committed to invest $80 billion on the effort to modernize over the next decade. based on the consultations with senator kyl, we've agreed to request an additional $4.1 billion over the next five years. the key point here, this is not about politics. this is about national security. this is not a matter that can be delayed. every month that goes by
without a treaty means that we are not able to verify what's going on on the ground in russia. and if we delay indefinitely, american leadership on nonproliferation and america's national security will be weakened. senator harry reid said yesterday, there's time on the calendar to get it ratified this year. i've asked vice president biden to focus on the issue day and night. it's important to get it done. it's important to let the treaty go up for a vote. i'm confident it's the right thing to do. the people around this table think it's the right thing to do. i would welcome the press to query the leadership here, people who have been national security advisers, secretaries of state, and key advisers, defense secretaries, or
democratic and republican administrations, and they will confirm that that is the right thing to do. so we have a lot on our plate during the lame duck session. i recognize that given the difficulties in the economy that there maybe those perhaps democrats and republicans on the hill who think this is not a top priority. i would not be emphasizing this and these folks would not have traveled all this way if we didn't feel this was absolutely important to get done now. and so i'm looking forward to strong cooperation between democrats and republicans on capitol hill as exempt if id by john kerry and dick lugar. thank you very much. [inaudible conversations] >> i'm confident that we should be able to get the votes. keep in mind that every president since ronald
reagan has presented an arms treaty with russia and be able to get ratification. for the most part, these treaties has been debated on the merits, the majority of them have passed overwhelmingly with bipartisan support. there's no reason that we shouldn't be able to get that done this time as well. all right. thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> coming up live at 1 p.m., in about 15 minutes, a pentagon briefings with jeff morrell. he's going to discuss ongoing operations in iraq and afghanistan and other issues. that meeting at the white house earlier today on the new strategic arms reduction treaty included hillary clinton, john kerry, and ranking republican richard lugar, who spoke to reporters for about 50 minutes yesterday.
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> nice to be back in familiar surroundings. let me start by thanking the chairman and ranking members of the senate foreign relations committee for hosting a breakfast this morning with leadership from both the house and the senate on some of the most critical national security issues facing our country. and in particular, i want to thank both senator kerry and senator lugar for their outstanding leadership on the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty. with their stewardship, this treaty is ready to
be voted on by the united states senate. they have held a dozen hearings, other committees have held an additional ha dozen. they crafted a resolution of ratification, incorporating input from senators on both sides of the aisle, and they were ultimately able to usher the treaty but the senate foreign relations committee on a strong bipartisan vote of 14-4. now recently, some have suggested we should hit the wait button. it's too difficult to do this in a lame duck session. i strongly disagree. this is exactly what the american people expect of you. to come together and do what is necessary to protect our country. we can and we must go forward now on the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty during the lame duck session. we have an opportunity to ratify this treaty and to lock in consensus
on modernization funding. and perhaps most importantly, and i want to stress this, because i am not sure that everybody really understands that when the treaty expired, we lost the ability to have inspectors on the ground. we need to get our inspectors back into russia after a gap of nearly a year. as our intelligence and defense colleagues have repeatedly noticed we are much better off with it than without it. the director of intelligence said yesterday the earlier, the sooner, the better. we new the transparency that new s.t.a.r.t. will provide by giving us insight into the russia's strategic
arsenal. that is rational that previous administrations of the both the republican and democratic party have repeatedly, and overwhelmingly supported. this is also a treaty that's critical to our bilateral partnership with russia, on iran, afghanistan, nuclear proliferation, and on counternarcotics. that's why our entire military leadership, as well as six former secretaries of state, five former secretaries of defense, three former national security advisers, and seven former commanders of u.s. strategic commands support this treaty and support it now. we look forward to the senate quickly completing it's advising process.
i want to stress how the american people want to see republicans and democrats working together on behalf of national security. that's why in 1991, under a republican president, the senate approved the s.t.a.r.t. treaty by a vote of 93-6. that's why in 2002, under a republican president, the senate approved the moscow treaty, which included no verification measures by 95-0. i had the privilege of voting for that treaty. this treaty deserves the same overwhelming bipartisan support. >> thank you very much, secretary clinton for joining us today. we had a very broad discussion on all of the national security
challenges from afghanistan, pakistan, iraq, to the middle east. the secretary was comprehensive in her engagement with the house and senate leadership. but this issue of the s.t.a.r.t. treaty is really at the top of the list and at the top of the discussion. our country is strongest and we protect it best when we come together in a bipartisan way or in a nonpartisan way. and historically, we have made our greatest advances in terms of national security when we leave politics at the water's edge. that's how we got a 95-0 vote on the moscow treaty which had no verification at all as the secretary just said. people who are today in the senate on the other side of the aisle voted
for that moscow treaty. here we have a treaty that for the first time provides additional ability to count war warheads on both sides. here we have a treaty that allows us to have a spot random inspection to find out what the other side is doing. but for one year now, we have had no inspections, no american boots on the ground in russia able to protect american interest. and we will not have them on the ground protecting american interest until this treaty is ratified. we are in two conflicts, two wars right now. we face the threat of terror every single day, we face the threat of proliferation of nuclear weapons. this treaty is the best way to reduce and address threats to our country.
and we need to proceed forward to address it now. now we have reached out for months. i made a decision as a chairman to delay asking for a vote as a request from a number of members on the other side of the aisle to give people more time to evaluate the treaty. we have done that. as of today, i know the last questions that were posed by some senators have been answered. those questions are up here on the hill available for analysis. american people have asked for a lot in an election year. they of coursed the united states congress to do it's business. they asked the congress to get rid of the politics. they asked us to protect american interest. and it is this congress that has done the work on this treaty.
this is these senatorred, elected here and now, who have a constitutional ability to deal. they have analyzed the hearings and gone to the hearings. these are the senators who have the responsibility to vote. and the president, secretary of state, that are asking them to do their job. i talked to a number of senators yesterday. we discussed the outstanding issues. as of now, there's no substantive disagreement on this treaty. what separates apparently the sense of the ability to move forward is a question about money out ten years in the future for modernization. as of now, the president has put $80 billion on
the table for modernization and an additional $4.1 billion in the request of senator kyl, you know, senator, in a way the chairman, the president of the united states, the secretary of state have all state we're committed to the modernization. as to next year, the house of representatives will be run by the republicans. and we would hope that our republican leader in the senate can get an agreement from the republican in the house as to what is going to go forward with respect to that. we stand ready to negotiate. we have two weeks. we are going to be out of here, of course, for the thanksgiving break. we stand ready to work any day before that period of time. we have at least two weeks before this might come before the senate. i refuse to believe the door shouldn't remain open, we can't find the good faith to negotiate on behalf of our country in order to deal with
modernization funding and in order to resolve any outstanding questions. the national security of our country demands nothing less than that effort and we are committed to providing it. one could have no greater partner than vice president biden, who shared that privilege for 25 years or so, and i've shared it now for five years. there's no stronger voice for respect with proliferation than senator lugar. we appreciate his leadership on this enormous issue. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and secretary. let me simply summarize this point of view. we're talking today about the national security of the united states of america. the point is not simply a debate among senators at this point. this is a voice of the american people that has to inform senators that this treaty must be ratified and must be ratified in this session
of the congress. why? because senator kerry and secretary clinton have pointed out since last december 5, we have had no boots on the ground to tell us what is occurring as far as the nuclear weapons of russia. this is very serious. and in my office, we have a score card that says at the beginning of the so-called threat reduction program, 13,300 nuclear warheads aimed at us, our cities, our military insulations, everything that we have, 13,300. i've stated to my constituents, any one of those warheads could obliterate the city of minneapolis. there are thousands still there. the american public might have forgetten about it. senators may have forgetten about it. we have deeply concerned
about north korea and iran and other programs in which there maybe 1,2 ,5,20, thousands of warheads that are there. problems for our country. it arises at this point and is in inexcusable. i have supported the modernization of our nuclear, i've supported all of the efforts of the president and mr. kerry, and working with others in the republican party essentially. we're at a point where we are unlikely to have the treaty or modernization unless we get real. that's the point of our meeting today. i appreciate the secretary sharing so vividly her impressions. i appreciate the chairman's patients through the negotiations. we thank each one of you for helping us here, this is the american people.
>> any questions? [inaudible question] >> well, i hope that through our own outreach efforts to the russians which have been ongoing as we have discussed the process of ratifying this treaty, i hope the statement from the vice president, i hope that the very strong statement that you just heard from senators kerry and lugar send a message that we intend to do everything that we can during the lame duck session to get a vote to ratify the treaty. i think it's -- it is to me essential that we bring this before the senate. i think what senator lugar said is so important. nobody knows more about this issue than senator
lugar. and for anyone to think that we can postpone it, or we can avoid it is, i'm afraid, vastly under estimating the continuing threat that is posed to our country. so we hope our friends in the senate will bring this up, pass this treaty, and then i can inform the russians that it's now their -- you know, their turn to do the same. which they have told us they will intend to do. [inaudible question] >> well, i think that both senator kerry and senator lou -- lugar are experts. i had the privilege to serve with them for eight years. they both believe it must be done in the lame
duck. the administration will stand with them. we will do what it takes to answer questions around the clock, have discussions, you know, this is not an issue that can afford to be postponed. we think once he takes that message with the urgency that you heard from the three of us, we will get the votes and we will pass this treaty. thank you. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> live this weekend, join us as booktv heads to the miami book fair
international. follow the authors and panel discussions and join in with your calls, e-mails, and treats, live all weekend on c-span2 booktv. >> like all men of great gifts, when they give up power, even though they may give it up for principalled reasons, they will hanker for it at the moment they give it up. >> the award winning trilology of theodore roosevelt. >> this year's student cam video documentary is in full swing. made a 5-8 minute video on "through my lens." include one point of view along with c-span programming. upload before january 20th for your chance to win $5,000.
claude taylor to hate u.s. strategic command and army general carter ham to lead u.s.-africa command. that general faced questions on a wide range of issues including the don't ask, don't tell policy, national missile defense and the start missile tree. we will bring that to you after the pentagon briefing.
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> while we wait for the pentagon briefing to get underway, some news for you. the house ethics committee is meeting right now on the appropriate sanction for congressman charles rangel of new york. he was found guilty of it of an ethics violations on tuesday.
subcommittee never cited clear and convincing evidence, and that led to the nearly unanimous ruling. that's going on currently right now on the companion network c-span3. to the committee meets in open session they will go behind closed doors to discuss and vote on the disciplinary measures. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> hello, hello.
pardon me for being a couple minutes late. good afternoon. goodie sewall. let me give you a very quick rundown of secretary gates is scheduled for the rest of the week and then we will get to the questions. right now he's in the middle of what we call a large group plus. this is a meeting of military and civilian leadership up stairs here in the pentagon. it includes the service chiefs, the combatant commanders and senior dod civilians. today's session more than six hours in length is the latest in a series of these gatherings focused on the department wide budget deficiencies initiative, and developing the 2012 budget request. this is has always and -- exclusive process in keeping with the secretaries commitment to ensure that those responsible for executing changes and reforms are involved in developing both options and recommendations. i would also note the key role played by the leaders of our operational military, reflecting
the secretaries decided that they be able to weigh in and shape all aspects of these initiatives. all of the department leadership has been working hard to implement the specific measures we have announced, and to develop further develop our plans to produce overhead and transfer savings into real military capabilities. with respect to the budget deficiencies initiative, a number of the reviews as secretary announced in august are near completion. the secretary and other leaders will face a number of important decisions in the weeks and months ahead. tomorrow morning, the secretary leaves on a four-day trip to south america. his second to the continent this year. he will first fly to santiago, chile, for bilateral meetings with the chilean minister of defense, who the secretary hosted at the pentagon in september. chile is among our closest partners in hemisphere. and we have him on other shared interest and mutual desire to develop regional mechanism to
support disaster relief, the capabilities that chile has developed in this area. part become in this arena, were on full display this year for his remarkable response to the earthquake and tsunami that struck in february to the extraordinary rescue study 33 miners trapped underground for 70 days. the need for a hemisphere wide mechanism to more effectively channel disaster relief will be a key agenda item of the americas, which the secretary will attend this weekend in santa cruz, bolivia. this will be the secretaries second cdma, and he believes this form can and should play a vital role in fostering cooperation with other governments, and militaries, in the western hemisphere. finally, on the sidelines of this ministry on, the sector and will meet with his counterparts from bolivia, colombia, brazil and el salvador. >> what is the secretary doing about the to potential
legislative agenda items here in the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty and senator reid consideration of bringing up the don't ask, don't tell legislation? is he making any direct lobby corps -- what is he doing besides supporting the president's agenda on the star treaty? >> we talked last week earlier this week about the fact the secretary had placed a call to senator kyl. i believe it was friday morning last week. had a lengthy conversation. and shortly thereafter senator kyl met with a high level briefing team that was sent out from the pentagon and the department of energy. i think a three-hour meeting that involved deputy undersecretary defense for policy jim miller who is
spearheading the department's efforts on new start as well as general children, the outgoing commander. and i think high level represented of department of energy. that was a three-hour meeting that took place. and then you are as we saw the joint op-ed identify secretary gates and clinton that appeared in monday's "washington post." so he is a part of the administrative -- administration's team that is making it clear to the senate that we need to see action on this matter. this year. it is a vital importance to our nation's national security. and we can't afford a delay into the next congress. so i think, you know, his position on this has been well known for some time. it's been underscored in the op-ed. it's been underscored in the conversations with senator kyl. i don't think anybody is at a
loss for how strongly we feel about this. >> i think the direct call was to senator kyl. he doesn't want to come up? >> they not -- they have not spoken since the call last week. >> and with senator reid taking up the don't ask, don't tell legislation? >> i mean, you know, historically this department has not been one to tell the senate how to do its business. that said, you know, we are a member of this administration, and this president has made a call as i understand senator levin this week, and senator reid i believe as well, making clear that he wants to see the repeal of don't ask, don't tell a catch to the national defense authorization act, and that's what we as an administration are pushing for. and we sorely see the merit in using that as the legislative
vehicle to ultimately get to repeal. but we are usually reluctant, especially from this podium, to be telling the senate how to do its business. >> on track there are people here who bristle when they tell us how to do ours. so we try to respect each other's responsibilities. yes? >> my question is about -- >> ann, do you have anything else? >> well, just on that last point, i mean, this has gone around a couple of times. i mean, this wasn't your original preferred strategy, to have this done legislatively now, and then now he back it. is this sort of come is this the last chance? do you see the merit in this strategy, this latest strategy, to get to the next congress they would presumably be fewer votes
and you have to start all over again. is that sort of what you're you're -- >> i'm not going to be a political prognosticator and try to evaluate, you know, in this congress versus chances in this next congress. you referred in your opening part of your question there as that we historically have been opposed to it. i don't think that's true. i think what we have always been -- secretary came out in february with the chairman of the joint chiefs, very strong and supportive the presence desire to repeal don't ask, don't tell. he has held to that position ever since. he has not wavered. that is his view. that said, he was very clear that as well that there is a preferred order in doing things. and the preferred order then was, and now, is let's get the study done. the study is very, very near completion. we are, you know, days away from december the first. at which time it will be provided to the congress.
it will be provided to you. so everyone can see the nine months effort that's been under way to try to figure out the implications of a repeal and what needs to be done internally to prepare for that change. we're almost there. so, i -- that's what our focus is on internally. we are right now in the midst -- keep them on, i know there's been these calls to move this all up and release the report sooner than december the first. which i would just remind you that the original plan here was for us to work towards december the first as the date by which the report would be do. and then the internal work would begin in terms of working with the services, getting feedback from the service secretaries, from the service chiefs, having to chiefs meet him on themselves, the secretary consider their input, and ultimately charting a course
forward for the department. we have compressed that timeline such that we are now operating on parallel tracks. not only is the draft report still being finalized, but we're also doing the internal work that would've taken place after descender first, simultaneously. so that we can, on december the first not just release the report, but the secretary can state where he wants to take us with regards to this measure. so that's what we're focused on right now, things. and there is a lot of work to do between now and then because we have compressed it, since it to the fact that there is, there is a real desire for direction on this. >> what i was trying to get, not very well, is the secretary really, really want this to happen, unicom in the senate, yes, after the study comes out,
sometime between december 2 and the end of the session. and easy actively working to ask the senate to do that? >> with regard to the second part of your question, ann, he is actually working to get this on xp to time because december 1 is expedited for us because we're doing all the work that was supposed to follow on simultaneously. so that is the focus of this effort, in addition to the group and a torso budget. and oh, by the way, we are preparing for an afpak strategy valuations. and also we are advocating passage and ratification of new s.t.a.r.t. there a number of balls were juggling simultaneously, just because we're doing multiple things at once does not believe he doesn't believe any less strongly in any of these things. just take you through the history again, ann. he has state emphatically for months that he is supported review. you of all sorted very, very
strongly lately on his real concerns with regards to court action being the mechanism that ultimately leads to a change in the law and policy. the fear there is that it would result come it would be a very precipitous change, and force us to sort of change on a dime, you know, with the flick of a light switch, if you will. so we are right now finishing the report, working with the chiefs am working with the service secretaries, getting their input, finalizing this report, and at the same time, you know, formulating the way ahead for this department to proceed, december 1st. all that work, all that hard work is being done simultaneously. blue we? >> -- louis? [inaudible] >> talk about the full 370
pages, and when did that determination, bought? because up until about last week it sounded like there was no indication that any of this was going to be public, except it does maybe a -- >> i don't know we are getting an indication from. i think i've been the secretary's intention, i think he uses as a very important work product. i think what is seen of it thus far, and he has had a draft report, he has reviewed and rented the draft report. is, is, he is impressed by its thoroughness, by its professionalism. and i think it is always been his attention passionate intention for this to be become a public document. movie, we're also not naïve here. even if we wanted to keep this a private document, which we do not, it would not remain a private document's habitat and that's why you also saw in my statement on friday, the fact that he was very disappointed and concerned about, about a
leak about the draft report. and i can just update you with regards to the. is passed the department inspector general to conduct an investigation that hopefully will identify the source behind the "washington post" report. and hope that it will take appropriate action. but i think it was always our intention at the appropriate time to make this public. not, not, not before december 1 to anyone. >> simultaneous with deliver to congress speakers congress will see this report on descender the first. not before december the first. >> on missile defense -- >> don't care about angel, louis. it would not be worth your while. >> is the senate an agreement now with your support and purchase a patient in defense shield system for europe and
will turkey that host possibly radar? >> i can't say anything definitively. we have been working with the turks for some time. secretary met with his counterpart in turkey when we were in brussels a month or so ago. this was a subject them. i know it's been a subject to follow-on conversations with other members of the administration, certainly our ambassador to nato. from what i've seen, frankly in the press it seems as though we've been making progress toward that end. i have seen it prime minister erdogan has a think expressed a willingness to host this. i don't know if that will come to some ultimate resolution. but i imagine that, obviously the goal here is that the nato summit in lisbon, friday, saturday, i don't know which day this is being taken up, that the alliance will embrace missile-defense tornado. and that turkey will obviously be a part of a unanimous support of that new initiative.
>> you are optimistic that turkey will -- >> and the icing, everything i've heard suggest there is cause for optimism. i just don't have a sense of whether there has been any conclusive agreement reached on this. there may have been come in which case, who would be out most up-to-date on where we stand in a conversation with the turks would probably be my friends at the state department spent one unrelated question. on private security in afghanistan, is there some movement there? is a dialogue now with afghan government that shows -- >> i think, that one would have come to resolution on. we've been working closely with the afghan government with president karzai and his team for several weeks now. and i think we have, you do, through this collaborative process arrived at a resolution. i think we all think is a very responsible and reasonable, and
so either, point you to isaf one -- are keeping the specifics of it, but i would say that i think is also one that probably the ngos who are so vital to the development side of our efforts in afghanistan, that they can be comfortable with. that it provides for the security of major development projects so that they don't have to fear any more than they already do for the well being, or that of the project. as we move forward. but i think we have, you know, arrived at a conclusion there. >> you mentioned that the department, mr. gates has a number of important decisions on the weeks and months ahead. can you give some insight as to what they will be reviewing and will not include this technical baseline review from add movin
dirt? >> the dad is indeed -- i love these terms, the dad is the mind as you said. but i would just underscore to you, tony, that this was a meeting that was scheduled back in june. so there's nothing sort of, there's no development that is necessitated this meeting. it was put on the books in june. it's scheduled to take place on monday. it will focus, yes, on the jsf. and specifically on the work that the ad will has been doing with this technical baseline review, which is near completion. not final, but considerable work has been done there. they will review that appeared it would discuss some jsf management issues for the coming years. but i would emphasize, tony, that you should not expect any decisions to come out of this meeting on monday. any decisions with regard to
this program, as important as it is, would likely to be made, or at least the major decision will be made by the secretary himself. and likely it's a part of the 2012 budget review. but as you know, the admiral was brought in as a three-star, and with a lot of experience to dive deep into this program, given we've ever gone before. and find out as much as we can about any remaining challenges that we face with regard to it. he has done this -- this is who cannot. this is 120 people, not taking anybody's word for anything, but saying to them, show me the money, show me the proof, show me the data. don't give your version of the world, i want to see your version of the world. and i think as a result we feel as though we have a much better understanding including some new issues of where we stand with
this program and what might need to be done as a result of it. >> they will recommend additional dollars additional cost for the development program? >> i'm not going to say what is fair to say at this point. as i said, it's not done yet, and it will be -- any recommendations that come out of it will be dealt with as part of the budget review, which is, you know, the particulars of which we don't discuss publicly. so you need to hold your horses on that front. >> as a layperson watching this program would say to him or herself, -- >> this program or jsf program? >> the 35 program. there was an asset last november that resulted in a lot of changes to the program. there was a nun mccurdy breach in washington parliament in june. now there's another review of this program three in one year. is this a troubled program that needs all these reviews? was going on here a prudent
person would ask? >> user to add to the question yourself with how you stupid thing. clearly it is a nun mccurdy breach is having trouble. [inaudible] >> okay. but by definition we've hit none greater than issues with this program. there have been troubled with this program. we've acknowledged that are frankly for the last couple of years. and the secretary and a great undertook a major restructure of this program. we can talk at length about the measures he took, about the money he withheld, about the people he let go, about the people he hired and promoted. and then, but were the key key components of this was tasking the new program manager to take a deeper dive that we have ever taken in this before so as to avoid future surprises about this program. that's what the ad will has been
doing. that's what he is nearly completed. and as i said last time i saw you, and just a few moments ago, he has discovered additional issues that are of concern. those issues may be discussed in the dab, but there will be no actions taken in the dab as a result of those. those kinds of actions would be reserved for the 2012 budget process. >> whether they are cost of technical related? >> tony, i mean, just to give you one example, we had a believe at one point that we had x number of lines of code left to be written. [inaudible] >> yes. and what we've done is we have more software code to be written then we had originally thought. so that's just an example of having, you know, gone under the hood yourself and taken a look at the engine firsthand that we
have discovered additional things that need to be done. to get older my two where we want to be your. >> you're telling me this year is when you're taking the deepest dive ever? you wonder why this was never done before, the deepest dive. >> well, tony, i sleep have been reviews of this program previously. i think at the time and, frankly, i think it's fair to say secretary is frustrated by the fact that they have not been, they have not fully illuminated the issues of this program. and he made it clear when he undertook the restructuring in february when he i the admiral that he did not want the future surprises. so let's get to a baseline now. let's figure out where bottom is. and then come to me so we can make decisions fully informed by all the problems that we face.
but, then we just also make clear, and the note this will bore some will bore some in a some in a odd is, but i know it is of great interest to you, tony. [inaudible] >> you're absolutely right and that's why want to underscore this point. don't mistake any of this as any sort of wavering on this program. this program is, this will be the backbone of our tax air for decades to come. so it is a final importance to this department. the secretaries believe that for some time he continues to believe that. and, you know, we fully expected that it would be devoted issues and a program as sophisticated as this one. frankly, every time we met them we've overcome them. but we want to have as full as appreciation as possible up front for what more still needs to be done so that we can play in accordingly. and that's what we're in the midst of right now.
yes, justin? >> geoff, what does the date the year 2014 mean for the war in afghanistan? is this an aspirational goal for the withdrawal of most combat forces, or is it is a deadline for withdrawal speakers i think you have a right, justin. you have heard the lines clearly before. yes, it's the end of 2014, which is a goal that frankly was first set out by president karzai during his inauguration, what, more than a year ago, or a year ago. and was further reiterated when he went to london for a donors conference. then again at the kabul conference. and i think you will see it formally embraced by nato this weekend. so 2014 has been out there for quite some time, as an aspirational goal.
for us to meet in terms of ultimately putting the afghan security forces in the lead, having primary responsibility for the security of their country. i would emphasize two things here. number one, it is the end of 2014, so effectively it is by 2015. and that although the hope is that the goal is to have afghan security forces in the lead over the preponderance of the country by then, it does not necessarily mean, a, that everywhere in the country they will necessarily be in the lead. although clearly that would be the goal. that would be the whole. that is what we will shoot for. and number -- and b., that it does not mean that all u.s. or coalition forces would necessarily be gone by that date. there may very well be the need for forces to remain in country,
albeit hopefully in smaller numbers, to assist the afghans as they assume lead responsibility for the security of their country. i've seen some of the stories that have sort of suggested that there is an inherent contradiction between july 2011 and the end of 2014. and i think we have always seen these as a very much linked and consistent, that you as the president articulated nearly a year ago, begin the gradual withdrawal of u.s. forces, jul july 2011 based on conditions on the ground, and then hopefully move the afghans into increasing responsibility for their security. we are already seeing it, further. we talked last week, or two
weeks ago, about how at the time i think there were six out of 10 security forces in the hom card operations in kandahar were afghans that i think that number has since risen to seven out of 10. so afghan forces which have grown by roughly 100,000 over the past year are increasingly take responsibility for the safety and security of their people. and we envisioned that by the end of 2014 they will be able to do that over the preponderance of their country. >> so if they had security of most of the country, how many u.s. and nato forces would unique in country at the end of 2014 and the start of 2015, roughly? >> i think it is entirely unknowable at this point. i don't think anybody could tell you with any, with any credence, what the force posture will be
four years from now. it's just impossible to know. it just depends, like we don't know, for example, here we are nine months out, less than that, eight months, seven months out from the july 2011 date. and the conditions on the ground are not known to us now about, you know, for july 2011. so we can even tell you, for example, how many forces we estimate will be coming out or reinvested, july 2011, let alone, you know, four years from now. >> what we have seen this week president karzai's comments, how do you describe the relation -- >> let me, once a. as i talked about the growth of the ansf, it was brought to my attention today also because i
think is overlooked, although it doesn't do with a specific, i think it's an interesting statistic that you may want to pursue. so if the ansf have has grown by 100,000 over the past year, similarly, afghan civil servants, we have training in 11,000 afghan civil servants since february. so much focus has been placed on the growth of the ansf, and it is clearly the long pole in our tent in terms of, you know, the surge was never to think that it was meant, to reverse the momentum of the taliban and it was meant to buy time to develop the size and the capability of the ansf. we've had great success on that front, but we are also simultaneously clearly trying to develop the civilian capacity of the afghan government, and i think that is a telling figure than 11,000 afghans have been trained this year as well. sorry. >> what i've seen this week, president karzai's comments, how
do you describe the relationship? do you think the pentagon and president karzai are on the same page regarding the special operations, the military? >> i do. and i think, you know, it was useful for all of us to have the secretary of defense get this question itself on tuesday morning at a "wall street journal" event he attended. i would direct you to this comment, which essentially said that, you know, president karzai is our partner. we've certainly understand what he is trying to express in the "washington post" article. and i think, you know, but secretary gates said was he thinks that what you saw there was the leader of a country whose people have been at war over the last 30 years, is frustrated by that reality.
and that's perfectly reasonable and understandable. and he longs for the days, and hopefully the days to come, the days in the past and the days to come when our role in afghanistan with the one primarily in the public face, when we're back to building roads and aqueducts and reservoirs and camp canals and things of that nature. as we did in the '50s and so one. but we can't get there from here quickly. it's going to take some time until we are solely in that role in afghanistan. there's still much more work to be done on the security front, and i think secretary gates is confident, and i think you are from secretary clinton as well, that we can get there with president karzai as our partner. he is the elected leader of that country. he will be the leader of that country for the next four years. and i think we both share an understanding of where we are and where we need to get too.
i would also note, as you so i think in an ap story today, that president karzai met with general petraeus yesterday. they had a lengthy meeting. wasn't entirely one on one. i think people joined it later, but as i understand that a very good discussion about the issues that president karzai raised concerns about in the "washington post." and i think general petraeus went through each of those issues, whether it be back operations, private security contractors, force levels, things of that nature. and explained our mutual understanding of these things. and i think at the end of it, there was a solid understanding between those two gentlemen about the campaign, and as it's been described to me there was actually bashing actually no
daylight between them on this topic and i think you'll likely see that from president karzai himself when he speaks in lisbon at the nato summit later this week. i'm sure you've talked, joe, to my colleagues in kabul who have gone to great lengths to explain to you all, as we have done so with the afghan leadership, precisely how night operations work. you know, with extra great adjustments in how we conducted these things. mindful of the fact that although they are militarily necessary, and they think clearly president karzai to but else in his administration understands that, they are politically sensitive. and we understand that. this does put the afghan leadership in a difficult position with its people. they are a sovereign country, but they have real security needs that have to be attended to. and night operations are, you know, one of the most effective ways of doing so.
but nothing we undertake at night is done without the full consultation with the afghan government, with the afghan military. they have officers in our operation center. they are involved in the planning from the very beginning. it goes up to their chain of command for approval. and on each and every one of our operations at night, 80% of which i would remind you, results in no shots being fired as we're apprehending suspects. in each of these operations, there is a minimum of seven specialist trained afghan trained who are in the lead when it comes to announcing, you know, taking to the poll and asking families to leave their homes peacefully so that we can conduct services -- searches for suspected individuals, and you're in the lead in terms of
dealing with sort of sensitive situations, particularly the with afghan women and children. so they are vital partners in this from the beginning of the planning process to the execution of these missions. >> let's finish up, gordon. >> a lot of focus on the 900 trainers going into lisbon. and i'm history, i think secretary-general said we could give the traders sometimes even by the end of next year . how important are these traders and another said game of poker on several levels of how willing he was needs to kick in some of those trainers if need be. >> is our final important. as much success as we've had over the past year and growing and developing the afghan national security force is, there is a lot more work to be
done. and the way the system is developed we're going to need more commonly more tourism hundreds of more trainers very soon. so i would really in this respect point you to portugal in lisbon this weekend, and let's hopefully see some developments there. but they're vitally necessary. there's no way around it. and as for whether or not coming in, we stepped into the breach already with what was supposed to a temporary assignment of, i do know, i think it ended up being 600 or so army personnel who went over to perform a training function. and, you know, there's an, for example, this week, not directly related training but the secretary approved the deployment of a battalion, an army infantry battalion which will go over to augment the
special forces, village operations which ultimately is what developing in the afghan local police, which everybody has great faith will ultimately be a game changer in afghanistan. so we clearly have, when necessary, ponied up, but we also, and our allies have been very supportive as well over the past year, especially the past couple years especially but we need more help from them with regards to trainers. if we are continue on the path we've been enjoying with regards to the ansf program. >> is that following that 10%? >> it does. this would come i believe is coming out of the flex that the secretary has. this was, this is why all these silly stories you see from time to time about there being a cap. i mean, i recommend is still very much have the ability to raise their hand and say, i need
ask. and i think every time general petraeus has ever said i need x., the secretary has given him turn 12. this is another case where he says this is really the afghan local police are very important. we think they're having a big difference and would have been deployed so far. i think right now we have 20 districts certified, and we've got i think the desired out is to grow that to perhaps come we've got 10,000 afghan local police approved. i think the desire ultimately with the afghans and document in afghanistan is to double that so you potentially have 20,000 afghan local police. that's going to require more of our forces to help the special
forces that are so key to developing these local police forces which are roughly each district i think would have about 300 of these guys. hold on, i will come back to you. [inaudible] >> you use about 2000, if ever correctly, and this would be how many more speakers we would have to get a precise number, but it could be a thousand more. we will get you do precise number. but remember these are fluctuating numbers that i would get so caught up on your use 2000, you're just two-thirds, you have used that. our never start constantly fluctuating based upon guys rotating and, guys are getting out, guys did for a certain breed of time and do not need. but this was an identified need that will be met so that we can continue this, the development of this afghan local police program. >> so you have 10,000 police,
local species we don't have 10,000 now. we have, the program has been approved to ultimately develop 10,000 afghan local police that i think it is the desire of both the afghans and general petraeus to ultimately double that number. we're now looking at possibly a 20,000 person after local police force. >> in an area like rc eastern p.a. know, it is all done very, very in a very tightly strategic way based upon, you know, are there areas where we have a high concentration of troops but there are, but we can't get them -- for example, we've got a lot of folks obviously right now in the kandahar area. there are as we described rat lines, supply lines into the taliban in around kandahar that
travel to areas that we don't have the resources to focus on now. but when we see a willingness among the local population to stand up and guard against them is being used as a supply route to resupply the taliban. so what we're doing is putting these afghan local police in areas that we think could have an impact, not just on those communities, but also ultimately on the supply and movement of the taliban. okay. as we go on, more heads are going up which is problematic that it's supposed to work the other way. so let's -- i will go for four more minutes. we will go to 50 and will go into the speed round pick you already asked. let's go to jayhawk year. what if you got? >> there's a report about possible -- about north korea, can you comment on that speak as i see these press reports you speak of, you know, you know, i
have asked a mostly seen press reports frankly due to this sort of notion of building a light water reactor and other things wouldn't undertaking construction here or there. and all i can really say to you there is, we watch the very closely. we monitored developers their closely. we are trying, as we always do, to design the real intent in this otherwise very secretive country. you know, if it is true that they're pursuing any one of these things, it is of concern to us and we would call on the north not to take any additional provocative or destabilizing actions. and rather to engage constructively with its neighbors, thickly the south that and ultimately in diplomacy so that we can get to what our and what we hope the gulf, all of our goal is which is indeed nuclearized peninsula. that is classy and very viable
and so forth. so anyway, yes, go ahead. >> the china commission put out a report which showed some start he was one of those in the pacific. not excluding hawaii but they were vulnerable to chinese attacks. are you aware of this speech i have not read the entire report, so let me come if you want to chat after, we can speak. but we certainly have experts who deal with these matters day in and day out. >> given tensions in the pacific regions. it's pretty shocking report given the tensions in the region, it seems that there is quite able to build on the u.s. i'd. >> i don't know if the phone ability to. benny: so i can't refute that i find hard to believe that we feel as though we right now are vulnerable. if we felt like we are vulnerable and it was a real threat that was potentially,
that we were exposed to, i am sure we would be taking action. let me look at the report. i haven't seen it or talk to experts who have seen the report. but i would, my sense is i want to take issue with your question. but i'm not armed with the ability to do so at this moment. so anyway, yes, young lady. >> any update on secretary gates trip to china speak as we are working it. hopefully our next year. i don't have anything new to announce there. >> military changes? any update on that's because i do know that we've had any -- i mean, i do not buy have any developments there. that is a goal. something we're working towards. we want and increased interaction, engagement, conversation across the board. i don't know that i would have any to announce since the last time we spoke with them. okay? let's go, we have one minute here. >> just on iraq for a minute.
the secretary said a week or so ago that he was open to the idea of extending troop presence in iraq. the department of any kind have any recommendations with the iraqi government or give any further insights peace i think the iraqi government right now is try to focus on trying to for that they are governed by then come to an agreement about leadership, the three key leadership post have a lot of work to do over the next 30 days to for the rest, the rest of the key ministries. so i do not believe we have had any communicacommunicate in a long those grounds. and i wouldn't expect it in the near term as they have considerable work to do in terms of finishing the formation of their government. i think what the secretary said, probably the last time that i can't remember last time he said, but he said frankie for months and months, is that we will of course, we are open to having such a conversation with the iraqi government at the appropriate time.
but i think they have other priorities at this very moment. let's do these to come and then we are done. >> geoff, can you tells why it is the secretary is going to south america and not to the nato summit to deal with matters that take up much more of his time? >> i think the summit will be well represented. the united states will be well and adequately represented at the summit. this is a head of state gathering. the president of the united states will be there. the secretary of defense will be there. sorry, the secretary of state will be there. so i think we are in more than good hands, particularly for defense-related issues. to be represented by those too. we will have assistant secretary of defense standing or small will be there. he has a small team within. but no, i think there are more than enough high level u.s. representatives in lisbon to do the job.
but i think this speaks to the fact, frankly, that we can do multiple things at once. even though you're right. the preponderance of our efforts, militarily, have been in the middle east and have been partnered with most with europeans in that effort. as you saw from our trip to australia and malaysia last week, and by our trip tomorrow to south america, we remain actively engaged elsewhere in the world as well. we could have increased our engagement at least with regards to hide of a visit and so forth and conversation with asia over the last couple of years. and we continue at reach into south america as well, and elsewhere. africa and elsewhere. but we can do multiple things at once. we can deploy high level officials simultaneously multiple places around the world, and still get the job done. yes, go ahead. [inaudible] afghanistan is concerned with what's going on and taliban leaders are saying now
officially that as long as one u.s. troop remains there, the terrorist actors will continue. my question is what you think the neighboring country like india, pakistan or russia will play after 211414, when all -- >> hussein does as long as one remains their? >> taliban leaders there. >> is this at all more statement? >> one of them, yes. >> if you do want to decipher history become is interesting reading from the respect it clear clue shows they are having enormous issues with the city our operations in afghanistan. there is a clarion call to sympathetic supporters around the world for additional funding. clearly suggesting that having trouble financing their operations. there is a call also for fighters not to come back to the safe havens but to remain in country duking it out, as best they can even though they're not
adequately supply. so i think there's also complaints about you all, about the media. they feel as though you've been co-opted by us. which i think you guys would take exception to. so to me there's a suggestion they have issues, that the operational tempo that additional forces, that the sustained consistent across in engagements that we have undertaken militarily, they are having an impact and they are feeling the effects of it right now. with regards to the region, yes, india, pakistan, more end, all of afghanistan's neighbors are ultimately very important to the stabilization of that region. they all need to be playing a positive productive constructive influence on afghanistan.
justyn cox i think you've had two or three. justin? [inaudible] >> opening up trade routes and possibly supply more helicopters -- >> russia has played a very constructive role with regards to our operations in afghanistan. we have come as you know, developed a whole alternate supply line network to keep our forces supplied, and they were instrumental in us being able to bring in routes from the north. so we were not solely reliant on what are also very important routes through pakistan. so they played a very constructive role do. they have played a constructive role in terms of counter narcotics. they have played a constructive role in terms of supplying russian built helicopters to the afghan air force, who are used to and most comfortable dealing with those aircraft. so i would, yes, point you to
lisbon later this week. i think we'll have our our first meeting of the nato russia council since the georgia invasion, and hopefully we will get more, more movement out of that. >> are any of these plans threat by potential failure of the s.t.a.r.t. treaty? >> i mean, yes. in the sense that we have been working over the past couple of years to restart or and reset our with russia. we have made real progress on a number of areas, particularly as i just mentioned, cooperation in afghanistan, cooperation also and, sanctions against iran. the latter of which could not have been done without russian support. and in addition to all the reasons why it's important for american reasons, and important
for our credibility on nonproliferation issues worldwide, it's also fundamentally important in terms of our credibility as partner with the russians on this issue that we be able to get this ratified this year. and that's why we are pushing so hard to get this done in the remaining weeks that we have with this congress. all right, louis, come see me there. >> regarding the new strategic arms reduction treaty that mr. morel was passed about, you may avert president obama talking to reporters about it earlier on our network. "usa today" reports that he is confident of getting enough votes in the senate to ratify the treaty. continue now with more military and defense-related programming, this morning the senate armed
services committee, chaired by carl levin of michigan, took up the nominations of air force general claude kehler to head u.s. strategic command, an army general carter ham to lead u.s.-africa command. the generals face questions on many issues including the don't ask, don't tell policy. they also answered questions on a new strategic arms reduction treaty, national missile defense, and islamic terrorism in the horn of africa. we will show you this hearing into the senate cavils back in at three eastern. -- gavels back in and 3:00 eastern. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> good morning, everybody. the committee meets this work to consider the nominations of general robert carey, u.s. air force, being commander of united states strategic command and general carter ham, and as his army to be commander of the
estate's africa command. we give both to a warm welcome and would also have a warm welcome for two new colleagues, i believe, were with us this morning. senator coons is with us this morning from delaware. were welcome to you. senator mention it was not here, but we expect he will be here. so we are not here. general kehler in general ham. heu have longest long to sanskrit the indian i said end to the both of you here with us today. as you and we all know, without a strong and continuing support of your families, that your military careers would not be possible. so we think each member of your families for the sacrifices that they have made and will continue to make when you assume the commands for which you have been nominated. ..
implementation of the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty when it's ratified. on the subject of the new s.t.a.r.t. treat ety, i -- treaty, i note thrts been hear tionz on the treaty and hundreds of questions have been answered and the robust budget request has been submitted to congress. it's now been a year since the united states has gone without a replacement for the expired s.t.a.r.t. treaty and thus no ability to have the regimes of the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty. much of the technical superiority of the u.s. military forces is reliant on space systems. while these systems provide significant advantaging, they also present the potential for significant veal as a as a rule
nect. one of the most collaging areas of responsibility for the strategic command is the area of cyberoperations, protecting and defending defense department necs and cyber assets issue and if directed, participating in offensive cyberoperations. we must plan if called upon to a cyst other government agencies at the defense of their networks. there are many issues unresolved in this area in which you will be involved, general, and we look forward to your views on this issues include questions of authority, responsibility, and rules of engagement. general ham, you've had a distinguished career in the army, and we thank you for your willingness to serve our country over the last three and a half decades. if confirmed, you will be only the second commander of the
u.s.-africa command, and you will be forced to balance the requirements of continuing to stand up to this combat and command as well as playing a supporting role in advancing u.s. policy objectives on the continent of africa. the challenges are staggering. extremists and terrorism in africa and actors and nonstate actors reaching across the borders and bounds of their capitols, illicit arms smuggling routes and peace keeping forces are the best and sometimes the only hope for security and stability. we look forward to hearing your views on these matters. one of the concerning views of the members of this committee is
the evolving threat posed by certain al-qaeda elements in somalia including elements to attack the united states. in addition to somalia, there's a number of other areas where the committee is eager of learn of your views including the january 2011 referendum in sudan, the threat posed by al-qaeda in the islamic aqim. ongoing atrocities projected by the lord's resistance army and military-to-military relations with other countries in africa. one area where you will be working together in in combating the regional spread of weapons of mass destruction. you'll be working together on that issue, and with the support of this committee, the cooperative threat retux or ctr
program has a global approach to combating weapons of mass destruction including issues in africa. strategic command responsibility for coordinating and combating wmt should result in a more comprehensive coordinated approach to dealing with these challenges. senator mckay. >> well, thank you, mr. chairman, and let me thank our distinguished witnesses for joining us this morning and service to our nation. i want to join the chairman in welcoming our new men and we look forward to working with you. i think the witnesses confirmed your respective commands in a variety of strategic terrorist threats to the united states. the strategic command is
responsible for ensuring freedom of access to space and cyberspace and coordinated global missile defense plans and operations. the missile threat from iron and north korea is increasing, but equally worrysome is their capabilities. according to the review commission 2010 report to congress, it concludes that china has the ability to strike five out of six u.s. air force bases in east asia. the report highlights china's sophisticated cyberwar fair capabilities. earlier this years chinese internet provider redirected traffic for at least 18 minutes, briefly hi jacking what the commission reports refers to "as a large national volume of internet traffic."
a large scale attack against google in china was reported. google described it as a highly sophisticated target attack on its corporate infrastructure originating from china that resulted in the theft of intellectual property. i predict that this committee and you will be spending a great deal of time on this whole issue of cyberwar fair. we don't know a lot about it or really understood some of the things that are both friends and adversaries are doing, and it opens up, obviously, a whole new type of warfare that we are going to have to be much better prepared for than we are today. as commander of the u.s. strike com, you serve a critical role in couldn'terring these threats and advocating in our own threats and cybercapabilities. one of the responsibilities that
the senate reviewed, the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty, its references and binding limitations on missile defense and the complex on nuclear delivery vehicles. i look forward to hearing your views on the treaties and current health of the nuclear weapons complex, and the need for investing in the development and deployment of the next generation of delivery vehicles. general ham, i believe you are nominated for this command at a critical time not only with respect to security on the continent, but with respect to possible growing threats to our homeland. in the past, i've been critical of u.s. military involvement on the horn of africa other than providing more than financial support for the u.n. mission there and humanitarian support, i'm unclear of what the administration short or long term plan is to achieve stability on the horn, but the
threat from the region is our friends and interest and even homelands has changed significantly in the last few years. africom was born and dominated the debate for years, and given the commands integrated command structure, africom remains unique among equals and has to be prepared to protect americans, american interest, and american security throughout its area of responsibility. as we all might remember in 1998, al-qaeda launched attacks on the u.s. embassies killing 12 americans and related groups executed terrorist attacks in east africa including an american suicide bomber in somalia in october of 2008. in uganda, a group with ties to
al-qaeda conducted its first successful attack outside somalia territory killing 76 people including one american. the director of national intelligence and senate select committee on hearings testified and i quote, "we judge most al-qaeda members being focused on regional objectives in the near term. nevertheless east africa al-qaeda leaders may elect to redirect to the homeland some of the westerners including north americans now training and fighting in somalia." on august 5, more than a dozen somalia americans were arrested. erik holder announced that 13 people are charged with
providing financial support to al-shabad. i trust they are building cooperation in this capacity, however, it's imperative africom evolve and requires the necessary exainlts to identify, detour, and counter all relevant threats to our nation's security. i look forward to the witness' testimony, and thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. chairman. senator mccain, senator mansion, welcome. >> there's a series of standard questions we ask all of our nominees that i'll now ask, and you'll each just give us your responses together. first, if you adhere to applicable laws and regulations regarding conflicts of interest? >> i have. >> do you agree to give your personal views even if they
differ from the administration in power? >> i do. >> have you taken any actions appearing the outcome of the information process? >> i have not. >> excuse me. will you ensure that your staff complies with deadlines established for requested communications including questions for the record in hearings? >> i will. >> will you cooperate in providing witnesses and briefers in response to congressional requests? >> i will. >> will those witnesses be protected from their testimony or briefings? >> they will. >> do you agree if confirmed to testify upon request before this committee? >> i do. >> and finally do you agree to provide documents including electronic forms of communication in a timely manner when asked by a dually constituted committee or to consult with the committee regarding the by says for -- basis for any good faith delay or denial in providing such documents? >> i do. >> thank you. we're going to now turn to you for your only remarks, and
please feel free to introduce any members of your family or others with you today. thank you. >> general, why don't you start. >> thank you, sir. i would like to introduce my wife, marge, who is here. this is an exciting time for the kehler family. our two sons are grown and couldn't be here today, but if i can put a plug in for military spouses, the phenomenal things they do for our soldiers, marines, air forcemen coast guard, she's one of them. she set aside an accounting professor to be part of a team and takecare of our troops and their families. i'm especially proud because she and others like her do a lot of
work for wounded warriors. >> we appreciate that and all she does for us and you and we could use some of your accounting talents in the pentagon if you think about joining forces with your husband. [laughter] >> distinguished members of the committee, thank you for this opportunity to come before you today. it's my sincere honor to appear as the nominee as the command. i thank you for nominating me for this duty and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff for expressing his confidence in my ability to serve as a combat commander. if confirmed, i look forward to working with you to address the challenges that face our nation. they are complex, unremitting and compelling, and u.s. strategic command plays a key role in each. previous nuclear threats
continue while new ones are emerging. linkages provide opportunities for tornado terrorism and other security concerns. space is no longer the purview of two superpowers. there are problems we are just beginning to understand and organizing for this challenge is still in its beginning stages. international security relationships need to be forged. all developments require more intensive and extensive cooperation across many elements of our government and the governments of our friends and allies, and our ability to shape events to our interests will depend as always on the skill and dedication of the growth men and women who serve our nation. leading strategic command is an awesome responsibility. if confirmed, i pledge to you that the strategic challenges facing our nation will command
all of the energy and commitment that i can muster. i'm very fortunate in that i have been the beneficiary of assignments and mentoring and operational experiences and command opportunities that align with strategic command's mission set, and that i believe have prepared me for this challenge, and, if confirmed, i will also be fortunate and deeply humbled in following the path blazed by our truly great national leaders. i want to particularly mention the most recent one. his leadership is important in these past critical years in shaping our national posture and marge and i are grateful to count he and his wife, kathy, as our dear friends, and we wish them the best as they proceed into retired life, and, of course, as always, if confirmed, i look forward to working with and caring for the world's best soldiers, marines, airmen, and
their families. it's a privilege to be here before you today, and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much general kehler. >> my family is not here, but i hope they are watching by web cast. my wife is a teacher teaching in numerous schools moving through our army service. our daughter, jennifer, was born in italy, and her husband is a purple heart recipient in afghanistan, and they are parents to 3.5 month old, jackson, our first grand grandchild. our son was born in germany and graduated from the university of georgia and he and his wife work in virginia, and they are expecting a baby girl this spring. i draw my strength from them,
and thank you for allowing me to mention them. when i enlisted in the army, never in my wildest imagination did i envision appearing before the armed services committee of the united states senate to be considered as a combat commander. the day the secretary gates told me he intended to recommend to the are that i be nominated, i was struck by two feelings. first, i was exhilarated to have the possibility to serve in a command that i believe is of great importance and which there is such great opportunity. secondly, i felt a tremendous since of humility. the humility and sense of honor that comes with being asked to continue to serve alongside the men and women of our armed forces. i also recognize if confirmed, i have big shoes to fill.
i've been an admirer of kip ward and his wife. we joe -- owe them our deepist appreciation. these interests include concerns over terrorism activities, piracy, trafficking, africa's hue nan tearian crisis, armed conflicts, and the affect of hiv aids. the military component of a whole government approach as a role in addressing each of these issues. the key remains that africa's future is up to africa. if confirmed, i look forward to building upon the commands' efforts to continue to expand the inner agency composition of the head quarters and enhancing partnerships with africa nations. i acknowledge if confirmed, i have a lot to learn about africa and u.s.-africa command. i pledge to you, mr. chairman,
senator mccain, and to be members of the committee the same pledge i gave to secretary gates. i will do my best each and every day to uphold the trust and confidence you place in me to accomplish the many and varied important commissions of the command and to the very best of my ability provide for the well-being of the soldiers, marines, coast guardsmen and civilians and families in my care. i look forward 20 working closely with the committee to ensure united states-africa command is correctly focused on accomplishing its role in support of u.s. policies objectives in africa. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you so much. general ham, let's try a first round of seven minutes. we have a good turnout here today. general cehler, the committee has a defense authorizization
bill and -- authorization bill and reporting on march 2011 on sigh beer warfare policy. -- cyberwarfare policy and to establish it as a subunified command under u.s. strategic command. our examination reveals there are substantial gaps in the policy guideline needed to govern u.s. military operations in cyberspace. senior department of defense officials testified to this fact and assured the committee that the secretary of defense understands the situation well and intends to have answers to many, if not all of the may nor policy questions by the end of this calendar year. now, these are just a few of the unresolved issues. first, rules of engagement in authorities for various command echelons including cybercommand
itself, second rs how to limit ease calllation, a third, what constitutes a act of force in cyberspace including the war powers act, and fourth, the lack of a deterrence doctrine. my question is kind of a status of process question. if you know the answer, what is the status was secretary's cyberpolicy review, and is the department on track to fulfill the year-end commitment to complete the review given to the committee for general alexander. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first let me say i recognize that in the whole area of cyberspace, i have many to learn. if i'm confirmed, this is one of the areas that is going to command a great deal of my time and energy early on. my perspective today is as a
service component to strategic command, we are aligning our cyberspace activities under the new construction of strategic command, u.s. cybercommand and the components that fit that. there's much for me to learn here if confirmed, and i would be delighted to dig into this further. my understanding is you defined the issues very well. in my mind this is about authorities, responsibilities, oversight, doctrine, all of the pieces that need to be put in place to drive forward on where we need to be postured in cyberspace. that work is underway, and you and the committee are aware that the department of security and department of defense signed a memorandum outlining roles and responsibilities and other steps taken to partner together. those are positive steps, and there's much more to do. my understanding is that the
work on the report that you're referring to is continuing and in preparation for my confirmation hearing i was told the expectation is that they will be delivering that on time. >> thank you. last year the secretary of defense and the joint chiefs with the support from the combat and commanders unanimously recommended the so-called phased adaptive approach to missile defense in europe, and approved their recommendation. this year, the administration produced the ballistic missile approach to set forth policies and plans for missile defense, and my question is do you support the policies and priorities incoming the phase adaptive approach to missile defense in europe? >> yes, sir, i do support those policy, and i so support the phase adaptive approach. >> general kehler, and the
director of the missile defense agency have all testified that the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty does not limit or constrain our plans or programs. do you agree? >> mr. chairman, that's my understanding as well. yes, i do. >> do you agree -- let me ask you a couple questions about the you start treaty specifically. does the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty limit our nonnuclear long range weapons? >> mr. chairman, the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty as i understand it does not limit. it does, however, under certain circumstances cause them to be counted under the limits of the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty. >> did it con train our --
constrain our missile defense capabilities? >> it does not. there's one relationship in the treaty to put a finer point on it about not being able to deploy missiles except for the five that we have already done so in vandenberg air force space. it is not in our plans to do that. >> are they committed to replace our aging nuclear weapons laboratory and infrastructure? >> my understanding is that they are. the budget is on the hill and has sustainment and modernization funds in it. i have not seen the 12th budget and cannot comment on it. >> okay. thank you. general ham, you and jay johnson and dod counselor serving as koa
chair in the working -- coworking group has implemented a repeal of the law that is commonly referred to as don't ask, don't tell. your report is due to the secretary of defense no later than the first and you are authorized to discuss the content before that time of the draft report, and this committee will hold a hearing on the report shortly after the secretary provides it to congress. we're urging that that be done, by the way, prior to december 1st if possible, and you will be available at that time to discuss the contents of the report. i question is just on the timing issue then because i won't ask you about what the substance is. do you an tis pace that the working group's report will be ready to be presented to the
secretary of defense before december 1st? >> mr. chairman, i think it will take us until the first of december. the key factor remaining for us in the review group is to receive the review and comment by the service chiefs and service secretaries which is ongoing. we an anticipate their comments soon. mr. johnson and i will review those comments, make final adjustments to the report which is currently in draft form, and then deliver it to secretary gates on one december. >> would you make all efforts to deliver it before test 1st if possible? >> yes, sir. with the secretary's office. >> thank you. senator mccain. >> general ham, since the issue has been brought up. the survey went out to 400,000 military personnel; is that correct? >> that's correct, senator.
>> and what percent responded? >> a little over 115,000 responses. >> like 25%? >> a little more, like 28%. >> excuse me. 28%. isn't it true the survey said in a preamble said dod is considering changes to the don't ask, don't tell policy to quote allow gay and please beian members to serve in the army without risk of their sexual orientation; suspect that true? >> yes, it is. >> if it is repealed, the services retain their high services of conduct. is that also true? >> sir, it is. >> thank you. general ham, what do you understand the relationship between al-qaeda senior
leadership and al-shabad? >> he's claimed that there is a relationship -- >> what's your view of the relationship? >> sir, they're stating that they believe they have a relationship certainly conveys to me that that's the type of operations they want to engage in. i'm not privy to the detailed information in intelligence yet that would verify or refute that allegation, but they are certainly a dangerous and disruntive organization. >> well, i'm sorry you couldn't an the question. i was asking your view as to what the relationship was, but what is the threat to the u.s. from him given recent arrests of u.s. citizens, apparently planning to travel to somalia to join al-shabad? >> my understanding is while primary focused on internal
matters in somalia, there's recent activities outside of the country convey to me a very disturbing interest in conducting more widespread terrorist activities which certainly are of concern to the united states, and if confirmed, that's a high priority to me to better understand how to counter that threat. >> well, again, it's evidence that americans are joining him; right? >> sir, my understanding that in this particular case, that's true. >> general kehler, not with standing russia's threat to withdrawal from the treaty, are you advocating for deployment of all elements of the phase of the adaptive approach from europe and implementing the strategy portrayed in the ballistic
missile defense review? >> yes, sir, i am. >> do you believe that the russian unilateral statement that the treaty is quote effective and viable in conditions where there's no quantitative buildup in the united states capabilities in the united states of america? have you heard that -- you know that statement was part of a signing statement part of ratification agreement? have the russians made any public statement refuting that signing statement they made? >> i don't know that they have. to my knowledge, they have not. >> and given your involvement you might know probably if they did? >> yes, sir. yes, sir, although i will tell you at this point in my current seat, i may not have seen anything, but i have not seen anything. i'm not trying to be evasive,
but i have not seen anything. >> does it concern you that they would make a signing statement at the time that the agreement was signed? it basically said that if there was any change any quantitative or quality buildup in capabilities of the united states of america that the treaty would not be viable in their words? >> sir, all i can answer with is that our position, as i understand it, has been that those two are not related. >> but the russians have made no statement that it is unrelated? it's just our position; right? >> yes, sir. >> a recent pres report states that north korea weaponry is showing characteristics of being associated with the shabad-3, iran's most sophisticated
missile. are you concerned that the two countries, iran and north korea are collaborating to produce improvements in both arsenals? >> sir, i am most definitely concerned. >> and we have seen, i mean, in unclassified manner published reports have been apparently they are working in coordination together to improve both arsenals, is that your view as well? >> it is. the proliferation of missile technology, i think, especially in those areas like north korea and iran is especially disturbing. my view, the number one threat that we are facing these days is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of the regional actors that pose a threat. >> do you agree with dod's assessment that with sufficient foreign assistance, quote "iran could develop and tegs an international ballistic missile
capable of reaching the united states by 2015." >> i'm not aware it was 2015, but i do agree with the dod assess. on this, yes, sir. >> again, i return to my previous statement. it seems to me that it's deeply concerning that both countries have areas of expertise on both nuclear capability as well as missile technology and transfers between the two countries is deeply concerning. >> yes, sir. i'd agree with that. >> and are you concerned about mr. ahmadinejad's new relationship with mr. shavaz down in venezuela? >> yes, sir. >> how serious do you think that relationship is? >> again, from my current perspective, i'm not much more aware of that relationship than
what we've just been discussing here in the open forum. this is one of those areas that if confirmed, i'll push into to get a better feel for those specific points. there is responsibility here working with the regional combat commanders to address these kinds of threats that can go outside the regional boundaries. >> well, thank you, general. i just want to repeat again what i said in my opening comments. this whole cyberwar issue is one that we've been working with senator lieberman and the homeland security committee and the intelligence committee, and it covers a number of jurisdictions here in the congress, but i would argue that it is the greatest threat of which we have the least knowledge and expertise and just about every threat that we face. do you view that as an overstatement? >> sir, i would not view that as an overstatement. i do think it's a special area
of concern. certainly again in the port portfolio if confirmed, this is an area that demands, i think, the same since of urgency put over it here in the last year or so, and my pledge is to dig into this and be as helpful as i can. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> as senator mccain pointed out there's committees that have jurisdiction over parts of that issue that are extremely important and our working together underway with senator lieberman and his ranking member, senator collins and the intelligence committee is in not as important but just as important in working together is significant and important as senator mccain points out. senator lieberman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me pick up if your comments
and senator mccain's about how real the dlet of cybera-- threat of cyberattack is and how much i think members of congress and the general public are not aware of it, perhaps even some with skeptical of how serious it is. yesterday, the homeland security committee held a hearing on the worm that was discovered. really, this is another world, but the ability -- i mean, just to show oh complicated it is as the experts said yesterday, we don't know where this originated or what its target was, but we know it's out there, and it has the capacity, it's now infected 60,000 different computer systems in the world including some in the u.s.. it has the capacity essentially on command to disrupt the digital systems, the computer systems that control, for instance, electric power plants, and when you think about the
havoc that could be unleashed in a country like ours, it's profoundly unset ling, so -- unsettling, so i appreciate this very significant step forward in the memorandum of understanding between the department of defense and department of homeland security, a pretty clear responsibility here. dod has responsibility obviously for defense websites and our own offensive capacity and defensive capacity and the department of homeland security for these civilian infrastructure and the federal government nondefense websites, but dod and nsa have such extraordinary capabilities can inform what dhs does. i appreciate that our committees are working to together. i was proud that all the witnesses agreed that a group at the department of homeland security more than anyone else
in the private sector or anyone else had the comprehensive capability to unravel the stuck's net puzzle if you will. we need your help, and i appreciate your commitment to that, general. we work forward to working with you own both committees. thank you to you about for your service to the country and being prepared for this assignment that the country asked of you. general ham, i have a quick question on the working group of don't ask, don't tell. first, i appreciate that you told us this morning that the report will be out by december 1st, and if possible along working with the secretary earlier if you complete the work. i wanted to ask you for informational purposes about the table of contents. there's been a lot of focus on the leaks about the survey done on military personnel, but am i right that's just one part of what you are going to do, and if
in summary could you describe what else you and mr. johnson intend to cover in the report? >> senator, i would. in terms of reference which secretary gates issued to mr. johnson and myself gave us two tasks. the first was to assess the impacts upon effectiveness, readiness, unit cohesion, recruiting and retention should repeal occur. the second appeal of our charge was understanding those impacts, develop a plan for imputation so if the law is repealed and policy changes, the department is prepared for that. that's a contingency planning. the directive to assess the impacts contain a specific statement from secretary gates to conduct a systematic
engagement of the force to include families. we did this is a number of ways. the survey of the service members, active guard and reserve was one, and we also had a survey for family members. in addition to those two statistically sound and analytically rigorous assessments, we conducted a number of engagements across the force in groups both large and small to get a sense of what were the topics of interest of the force and to their families. we cuctded small -- conducted small demographic focus groups, for example, a group of 9-12 junior enlisted marines from the cam bat arm -- combat arms and other similarly organized groups. we established an online inbox, a opportunity for members and military to provide their comments to us with regard to
their thoughts about don't ask, don't tell. the most difficult challenge we had probably at least in my opinion was how do we get the sense from those who are gay men and lesbians serving in the force today without triggering the requirements of the law requiring them to separate. we established a confidential mechanism through a third party nondod entity to get a better assessment of that. all in all, senator, we believe, as far as i could tell, the most comprehensive assessment of a personnel policy matter that the department of defense has conducted. >> thanks for that, and obviously, i agree it's very comprehensive and should inform the decision that congress makes in voting on the question and also, obviously, if it's
repealed facilitate the transition of the defense department. i want to ask you about the africa command. it seems to me, and i agree with you, in highlighting the two highest counterterrorism priorities in africa reminds us that the war against islamist terrorism is a world war. we are obviously involved intensively on the ground in afghanistan and scaling down in iraq, but this enemy is appearing all over the world. i view the two terrorist groups in africa and the countries they are located as tests of whether we can stop them or contain them before they spread to be become something like afghanistan if you will, and i note in your response to advanced questions that you've said that the after
africa challenges in every field . i hope after confirmation you'll conduct a top to bottom requirements for security assistance funding and other resources and convey them up the chain of command, but when you appear before this committee. can we count on you to do that? >> yes, sir. >> thank you. that's all the questions i have this morning. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me get the unpleasantries out of the way first. as i read this and there's many things about the s.t.a.r.t. that i don't like. one concern was brought up by senator mccain, and when i read something like this, a unilateral statement, the word they used, they talk about extraordinary events to release themselves and extraordinary
events referred to in article 14 of the treaty include a buildup in the missile defense capabilities of the united states of america such that it gives rise to the threat. that was further simplified, i think, by the russians that said the treaty can operate and be viable only if the united states of america refrains from using its missile capabilities. i guess my question is what's ambiguous about that? >> sir, i'm not exactly sure what you just asked me. >> i'm asking you, i read that and it says that they bailout if we enhance our system. >> oh, i see. it doesn't sound like the russian's position is ambiguous, but again, as i understand it, our position is not that one. our position is that these are not related, and again, as i understand it, the regional
threat drives our missile defense planning. the strategic balance between united states and russia is driven by the forces. >> we have to enhance our defense system. most don't see it that way, but we are going to. a lot were concerned when the ground base was taken out of poe land and -- poland and as pointed out iran would have this capability with the delivery system by 2015. that's not even classified. that's a position that everyone agrees with. now, i guess just to ask you one question. do you think in the absence of that capability that we are not more in danger, and i'm talking about in western europe and eastern united states by the removal of that system and to land. quick answer. >> as i understand it, i don't think we are endangered provided that we go ahead with the phase adaptive approach.
>> all right. general ham, i enjoyed our long, long, long visit that we had on the subject that's been discussed here. i can only tell you that the soldiers in the feel, the ones you talk to, don't feel their input was heard during this inquiry that was announced was supposed to be taking place until december 1st. it is the impression i get from them in the field that they are saying, all right, we're going to adopt this position now, how do we best implement this thing. i only want you to know we'll be talking about this in some length in the future, but i am interested in what you are going to be doing as i sold you on some of the problems in after -- africa that i'm interested in. general ward came along and has done an inyesterdayble -- incredible job with inadequate
resources in my opinion. we have had problems in africa that people don't know about. they are familiar with what's happening in somalia and the problems between ethiopia. one of the biggest things that i've been concerned with and personally involved in trying to do something about is the lra, large resistance army, starting in northern uganda and it also spread fro rwanda and eastern congo. it was signed by the president to take out joseph coney and the lra. i want to ask you and members who might be knew, joseph coney started about 30 years ago, and some people call it the child's soldiers, little kids who are
13-14 years old, and then the first thing they have to do once trained they have to go back to the villages and kill their parents and if they don't, they cut their lips off. this is something not talked about, but what's your concern in the direction of the law we passed a few months ago concerning the lra. >> senator, i agree with you. i need to learn more about the large resistance army, but what i know from the previous assignment from the directors on the joint staff and what i read in open source, it is a horrific situation and as we discussed yesterday, i want to learn more about that personally and find ways that if confirmed that africa command can contribute to the solution to that problem. i am aware that africa command has been engaged in developing the capability of the forces, and i think that's a step in the right direction, and if
confirmed, # senator, i'll look at this issue much more closely to see what the command might be able to do. >> i would say with 70 in uganda and rwanda and all agree it's a joint problem because of the fact this movement is moving around the countries and central africa too i guess. anyway, that's going to be something i would like to be the clearing point for any activity that you have and be updated on a regular basis because i would like to have it during your command, and i think you're going to be doing a great job in that command that we will have this problem eradicated by that time. now, people know about somalia. people know about some things in sudan, a lot of publicity, but a lot of things are happening they are not aware of. i am upset with the morocco
attack on the western sierra and i want to do something about that horrible thing that took place there and these people are have been out in the wilderness for 30 years now. are you interested in trying to come up with a solution that james baker was not able to do, i have not been able to do, but working with us to try to correct the problem that is out there in the western sierra? >> senator, my understanding is that the issues in western sierra and morocco are not primarily military, but if confirmed, i want to explore what the role of u.s.-africa command might be in a support of the a whole government approach to that matter. >> well, and i appreciate that, but i would think if it's military and armed forces are invading --
although, i understand what you're saying. my time is up, and i'm sad it 2*s up, but we talked at some length. one last question, that is, we made a discussion, a good decision on this committee several years ago, and in fact it was right after 9/11 that we would assist the africans in billing five commands located around and west africa, but the rest is lingering. people are not really -- the africans are not aware how we're trying to help them take care of their own needs, so what i'd like to do is have you look at that, and i'm sure that general ward would agree that we haven't done enough with that, and before the terrorists start coming down in greater numbers through the horn of africa to try to have this in place so we are not sending our troops over
and they can take care of their own problems. would you consider that a priority? >> senator, i would, and i believe regional approaches are a good way ahead in africa. >> thank you. >> senator ben nelson. >> thank you, mr. chairman and regime kehler and general ham for your service and willingness to extend your services to these positions and a thank you to your families for supporting you in this effort. general cehl rerks -- kehler it was said the need for a new aheadquarters building and i've been pleased with the progress made so far in addressing this need. the existing facilities failings put straps on mission and personnel at some risk. i know you have previous duty as
the vice commander and that you would have views on the need and importance of the new straitcom facility. the design is 90% completion and the progress is a strong indication of the department's commitment on the mission. what is your view on the need for a new headquarters to replace the existing facility? >> senator, i can base my view on this from the time i was the deputy commander there and we went through a series of electrical fires and outages and other problems that reflect, i think, sort of the state of health of a building that was built in the 1960s and clearly something needs to be done about all of that. the demands of the mission there have placed some tresses on that
facility. that whole complex and there's an underground complex as well never designed to address, and so if i'm confirmed, certainly i'll make sure i'm looking into that and looking after an appropriate way forward to make sure the people there have what they need to get the job done. >> appreciate that. one of the things that i've always tried to look for back here and as a governor as well. stove pipes within government whether it's in the military or civilian government which establishes duplicate services, duplication of efforts over mission effectiveness or the expendture of taxpayer's money. general chilton previously highlighted the importance of sharing information with intelligence community, department of defense in
addressing the security risk particularly in cyberspace. just yesterday, secretary gates said that future cyberthreat was quote on quote, huge. that's no overstatement. without strong coordination, agencies will continue to build their own walls around their own unique situation, and what is your view of the role of stratcom and cybercom. what's your position both to the military and to our civilian agencies? >> senator, i think that strategic command sits in a very unique position to have a very strong influence on the way the department of defense proceeds and also on these other relationships that you talked about. i think that as we look at
strat's role to oversee some of the activities that go on in the subunified and other activities and the roam to en-- role to engage with the other combat commanders to make sure that cyberspace is addressed across the military forces, and then the ability to look up into the policy world where i think there's a role for the commander of strategic command to play there as well. i think there's a big role there for strategic command to play in all of this and most of that is happening by the president in the unified command plan. >> if we partner with all the private entities whether it's google or any other similar company that has significant interest and considerable experience in what we would call
cyber and developing that partnership, could that also, let's say, enhance our national defense? in other words, can we learn something from the private sector as well as having the private sector learn something from us? >> sir, my experience to date is that in many cases we're learning more from the private sector than they are learning from us. some of the latest technologies, of course, techniques and approaches are there. you are defining the big challenge of the cyberspace. it is the ultimate cyberspace activity, and it's something we need to be working on, and again, i think secretary gates comments yesterday about the dhs, dod partnership -- >> we'll leave this hearing that you can watch in its entirety on c-spanspan.org to live coverage on the senate floor here on
quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: the senate is not in a quorum call right now. mr. coburn: oh, very good. then i will withdraw my request. i would like to be recognized. the presiding officer: we recognize -- the senator is recognized. mr. coburn: thank you. i want to spend a few minutes discussing the bill that is before us. having been a manufacturing manager for ten years, producing products that came through the medical device industry and having dealt with the f.d.a. as a manufacturer and then having dealt with the f.d.a. and the consequences of the f.d.a. as a physician over the last 25 years, and then looking at this bill that's on the floor today, i think it addresses three things that i've talked about, especially in oklahoma, over the last year. and everybody recognizes this
nation's at a critical point. fiscally, internationally, from a standpoint of foreign policy or its being impacted by our fiscal problems, but there is three structural reasons that i think we're there, and i think we need to learn from them, and this bill provides us a great example. the first is as a physician -- and i knew it as a business manager -- is you have to fix real problems, and if you fix the symptoms that have been created or the circumstances that have been created by the real problems, you will make things better for a while, but you actually won't solve the underlying problem. and what happens when you don't solve the underlying problem and fix the symptoms, then what
happens is you delay the time and also the -- you increase the consequence of not fixing the real problems. the second is that if you only think short term, you don't have the planning strategy with which to do the best, right thing in the long term. and we consistently do that in washington. consequently, the c.b.o. put out the unfunded liabilities for medicare, medicaid and social security yesterday. it's now $88.9 trillion. it was $77 trillion last year. it was $63 trillion the year before. so we're up $26 trillion in unfunded liabilities that we're going to pass on to our kids in three years because we continue to think short term instead of
long term. and then the fourth thing is to have the courage to stand up and say no, we shouldn't do things that fix the -- address the symptoms, we should address the underlying problems, and no, we shouldn't think short term or parochially, we should think long term and address that issue. the food safety bill, all my colleagues are very well intended in terms of what they are trying to accomplish with this, but there are some facts that we ought to be realistic about, and we can spend spend $100 billion additional every year and not make food absolutely safe. there are diminishing returns to the dollars we spent. but if you look at what the case is, in 1996, for every 100,000
people in this country, we had 51.2 cases of food-borne illness, the best in the world, by far. nobody comes close to us in terms of the safety of our food. but in 2009, we only had 34.8, three times better than anybody else in the world. so the question has to be asked is why are we doing this now when, in fact, we're on a trend line to markedly decrease it? the second question that should be asked is no matter how much money we spend, is there a diminishing return? now, there are a lot of things in this bill that i agree with, a lot. i think foreign food ought to be inspected before it comes in this country, and i think those that want to sell products in
this country ought to have to demonstrate the quality of it, and i think the cost of that ought to be on the person selling the food, not on the american taxpayer, but ultimately, that cost will be added to the cost of the food. i think the recognition of peanut allergy is a realistic one, and i understand the purpose for wanting a grant for that, but as i read the constitution, that's a state function. that's not our function. the other thing that bothers me about the grant proposals, i walked out of the deficit commission to come over here, and i have spent eight months in that commission looking at the problems in front of this country. we can't afford another grant program. we just don't have the money. and so we can say we're going to authorize it in this bill, but you know what? it ain't going to get funded next year because we don't have
the money. and when the interest rates skyrocket in less than a year from now because of our misplaced spending over the past 20 years and our continued short-term decisionmaking instead of long-term decisionmaking, our situation is going to grow even darker. so this -- this bill provides a wonderful example of how we ought to fix the real problems instead of the symptoms of the problem. the -- the other thing that truly isn't addressed is the long-term criticisms that the g.a.o. has continually made on our food safety. now, senator harkin has the best idea of all, but he couldn't get everybody to do it, and that is an independent food agency, food
safety agency. where we're not relying on the c.d.c., we're not relying on the f.d.a., we're not relying on the department of agriculture. we put them all into one and you're responsible for food safety. but he couldn't sell that. ask yourself the question. if you had three different agencies stepping all over each other with different sets of different rules, with agreements between themselves that they will do certain things and then they don't do them -- that, by the way, is why we had the salmonella problem, that they didn't follow their own protocols to notify the f.d.a. of the problem -- most commonsense thinking people would say well, maybe you ought to put all those things into one agency with one boss and one line of accountability and responsibility. so senator harkin is absolutely right in where he wants to go. so my question is is we're going to spend $1.5 billion over the
next five years on this bill that doesn't accomplish what we really need to accomplish, which is what senator harkin really wants to do, and he's right, and we're not going to fix the criticisms that have been leveled against the agencies by the g.a.o. for eight years. in spite of the fact as i understand here and am critical of different agencies, they actually have done a very good job. and that is known by the fact that our incidence of foodborne illness is now less than 34 per 100,000 people. i mean, think about that. think about all the sources of food we get in this country and the diverse places they come from, and yet only 34 people get a staph poisoning or an e. coli
nontamoxifen genic poisoning or salmonella poisoning or ursenia poisoning in a year. so this is the incidence of illness. now, the question is is how do we stop the 10 or 20 deaths a year from foodborne illness? can we do that? well, as a physician trained in epidemiology, we could do it, but i would posit that we don't have the money to do that because it would take billions upon billions upon billions of additional dollars to ever get there. so we find ourselves in a dilemma -- and by the way, i'd like to introduce into the record three g.a.o. reports, published march 30, 2005, and i don't see the publication date on this other one. for the record so that they can
be part of the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. coburn: because the g.a.o. does a wonderful job of telling us where we're failing, and we ought to address everything that they raised in this. and the question is even further than that, dr. hamburg, around the time we were having the salmonella with the eggs problem, released an egg standard. the bureaucracy took 11 years to develop that standard. now, that falls on the shoulders of president bush's administration as well as this one. i'm proud of her that she got it out. but the fact is 11 years to do what you're responsible for, to get an egg standard so that we don't have significant salmonella poisoning coming from eggs. and then lo and behold, after the egg standard is out, the
f.d.a. inspectors on farms in iowa are violating their own protocols cross contaminating egg farms, as documented in the press. it's not a matter that we don't have enough rules and regulations. that's borne out by the fact that we're continuing to see a decline in foodborne illness. that's not the real problem. the problem is effectively carrying out the regulations that are there today. so we have a bill on the floor that has 150-170 pages -- i can't recall exactly how many it is. here it is. it is 266 pages of new regulations, new rules, new
requirements. let me tell you something else i learned about dealing with the f.d.a. the f.d.a. overall in this country does a fantastic job, they really do. they are very professional. they are very slow sometimes, but they are very professional, and they are very ciewshious. in this bill -- they are very cautious. in this bill is a mandate to require recalls. not once in our history have we had to use -- to force anybody to do a recall. it's always been voluntary. and you can check with the f.d.a. on that. they don't need that authority. and why don't they need that authority? because if you've got a problem with your product in the food system in this country, you're going to get sued, you're going to get fined if you don't recall that product. now, what's wrong with a
potential mandatory recall? what's wrong is it's going to markedly raise the cost of foods, and let me explain why. it's called coburn's bureaucratic principle. do what is safe first in the bureaucracy rather than what is best. and here's what i imagine happening with a mandatory recall. is because we have a problem, we're going to recall something. and we're going to force a mandatory recall. even though they may recall it voluntarily, somebody is going to pull the trigger early because they don't want any criticisms. and there is a great example for that. how many people remember the tamoxifen -- toxogenic e. coli jalapeno pepper episode? voluntary re voluntary recall for tomatoes. because we said it had to be in
the tomatoes. and so they did that. that cost $100 million to the tomato farmers in this country and didn't save one life. because they got it wrong. they discovered about ten days after that that it wasn't the tomatoes, but the damage was already -- i can remember ordering my hamburger at a special place in muskogie, "my place barbecue," and i couldn't get a tomato on it. the reason we couldn't get a tomato? there wasn't anything wrong with tomatoes in this country. it was because a recall had been suggested by the f.d.a. and the tomato growers responded to it. but what you're going to see is a heavy hand rather than a working, coordinated basis with which we do recalls, like we do now. we've not had one instance ever when a food needed to be recalled that it wasn't voluntarily recalled.
what i worry about is the fact that we'll have recalls that are mandated much too soon on the wrong products, at the wrong time. and we don't have a track record to say that the government needs additional power. as a matter of fact, the f.d.a. doesn't say they need additional power. so just to summarize for a minute, where's the crisis in food safety when the science demonstrates that we have the safest food in the world and we're on a trend line to have it even safer? where's the cost-benefit analysis in terms of what we're going to get from spending another $1.5 billion in terms of lowering that number? there's nothing in this bill to show that. what is in it bill -- what is in this bill is tremendous new sets of regulations and authorities on top of the authorities that both
c.d.c., f.d.a. and department of ag already have. that i don't believe -- and i agree, i'm in the minority on that, but i am trained in the area of medicine, science and epidemiology, i don't believe we're going to get a significant cost-been fi-benefit from it. now, we're going to feel better because we did something. but again, that goes back to the first three principles. if we don't treat the underlying problems, in other words, have the oversight hearings to make sure the agencies are actually carrying out their functions every day on a thorough and vettable basis and making sure we're doing the right things to create the opportunities to have safe food, we're not really accomplishing. but we're going to feel better. but you know who's going to feel worse?
our kids. because they're going to pay -- if we appropriate this money, which i highly doubt a good portion of it will be appropriated, they're going to pay for it. if you follow the last week in the international finance, the scare over the -- ireland's ability to repay its debt and the pressure it had. and we got good news on the economic front today, good news. and it's welcome news by all of us. but the fact is, is what's happening in ireland and greece and spain and portugal is getting ready to happen to us. and this is a small example of why. very good-intentioned, well-intentioned people trying
to do the right thing fixing the symptoms instead of underlying problem. and our answer is more regulation has to be the answer. that's what we did in the financial regulation bill. that's -- that's what we did on the s.e.c. and bernie madoff. everybody knows that the s.e.c. was alerted several times, but they didn't do their job. and so consequently, we put all these new rules and regulations to not let another bernie madoff scandal go, when we should have saying -- holding people accountable for not doing their jobs. so i'm not against regulation but i think it ought to be smart, it ought to be targ he t, it ought to be focused to real problems, not the symptoms of the problems. and i believe -- it's my personal belief -- that we're targeting symptoms and not the real problems with this bill. senator harkin has leaned over
backward to work with me. he is an honorable man. he is interested in food safety and the welfare of this nation. nobody should ever say otherwise. but my experience leads me to believe that it isn't going to accomplish the very purpose that he wants to accomplish, and my recommendation is to go back and work in the new congress to develop a true food safety centered organization within the federal government that combines all the factors. do you realize right now when you buy a pizza at the grocery store, if you buy a cheese piz pizza, it comes through the f.d.a. but if you buy a pepperoni piz pizza, it gets approved by the united states department of agriculture. how many people in america thinks that makes sense?
the other thing with this bill -- and i'll finish with that and yield the floor -- is this bill wants more inspectio inspections. that's great. there's no question inspections will help. the question is: what's the return on the dollars that you spend for it? but can -- if you -- if you're going to use more inspections, there's not near enough money in this bill to do it effectively, if that's what you're going to trust. let me tell you why i think we have the safest food in the world. because we've got the best legal system in the world. that's why we have the safest food. because the market forces applied on somebody selling food into our commerce are so great and the consequences legally are so negative that it is only in their best interest to bring a
safe product to the market. and when we have food scares, most of the time it's not an intentional act that created the problem. it's an unintentional act. it's a failure of someone in carrying out a protocol that should be established. now, we -- anybody that sell -- under this bill, anybody that sells more than $500,000 worth of food -- that's almost every amish farmer in america or co-op of amish -- at every farm will have to have a detailed, laid-out plan written down, double-checked, cross-checked and everything else. what do you think that's going to do to the cost of food? do you think as we implement new regulations those costs aren't going to be passed on?
so adds we grow the reach and grow the government if, in fact, we're treating symptoms not underlying problems -- and i don't have any problems with regulations that really address a real problem -- all we're doing is raising the cost and making ourself less competitive. decreasing number of the jobs that are available in this country and not truly ensuring an increased level of safety with our food supply. it's hard to dispute the facts about our incidence of foodborne illness. one case is too many, but we don't have the resources to make it where there's not one case a year. not when -- it's -- it's the same question on homeland security. can we ever spend enough money to 100% guarantee that we won't have another terrorist attack? anybody that looks at it says no. we can't do it. and the same is with food.
for every additional dollar expended, what is the return to the american consumer for that? i mean, if it was an achievable goal to eliminate all foodborne illness, i'd be right there with ya. it's not achievable. it's going to happen. the question is: can we continue on a slope to continue to decrease the frequency to where we have the least amount for the dollars that we spend? there's a balance and we need to be there. and i -- i will take the criticism of my colleagues if they think we need to spend this additional $1.5 billion to get it further down the road, but i'd still raise the question how we cut it in half over the last nine years -- or five years and didn't spend any of it. so we're on a good trend. we're, unfortunately, going to have complications with our food supply. but we have a great legal system
where we have bad actors, like the peanut butter factory in georgia, which is now shut down, bankruptcy, and the people are going to jail because they intentionally violated the rules that we have today. but how -- how'd they intentionally do it? because we didn't have effective carrying out of the regulations that we have today. so i appreciate the great manner in which senator enzi and senator harkin have worked with me. i have another amendment that i want to offer on this bill. everybody knows what that is. that's an earmark amendment, and i understand the disdain for having to vote on that and i understand the procedural moves that will be made for that. but we're going to vote on that and we're going to suspend the rules to get the first vote. but i can assure now the next congress, we're going to get a straight up-and-down vote on it,
and it's going to pass in this body because the american people expect it to pass. it's something that we ought to put away until we get out of the problems that we're in nationally. with that, mr. chairman, i'd yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. ms. klobuchar: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to speak up to ten minutes. the presiding officer: we are in a quorum call. ms. klobuchar: i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. klobuchar: and i ask unanimous consent to speak up to ten minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. klobuchar: mr. president, i'm here today to highlight the urgency of passing the legislation to overhaul our nation's food safety system. the last time the f.d.a.'s law related to food was changed in any substantial way was 1938.
you think of how things have changed since that time. food coming in from all over the world. you think of all the new producers and the new processing plants and the new kinds of food we have that wasn't available in 1938. an overhaul of the food safety system is long overdue, mr. president, and so is the passage of the food safety modernization act. food safety reform should have passed congress and should have been signed into law months ago. and, mr. president, i've stood in front of this chamber many, many times saying the same thi thing, and each time, each month something new comes up where people get hurt or when people die. whether it's jalapeno peppers or peanut butter, or, more recently, eggs, these outbreaks of foodborne illness and nationwide recalls of contaminated food highlight the need to better protect our nation's food supply. we need to fix it. the good news is, we know how we can do it and we have legislation sitting right here
on the table that could go a long way toward helping families at their own kitchen tables. the bad news is that this legislation has been stalled in the senate since last november. this legislation is, first of all, comprehensive. it covers everything from ensuring a safe food supply at the front end to ensuring a rapid response if tainted food gets into the supply chain. and i want to say, i'm going to take on a few things that my colleague from oklahoma raised. the first is he noted that somehow the f.d.a. said that they didn't need the authority to recall. in fact, right after the last outbreak, the egg issue, from the eggs in iowa, the f.d.a. commissioner came out and said she needed additional authority to do a recall. so let's set the record straight on that. that was wrong. secondly, i would point out that this legislation is bipartisan. it has both democratic and republican sponsors and it passed through the committee, the committee on which you serve, mr. president, last
november with bipartisan support. food safety is not a partisan issue and it shouldn't be. it's a national issue, a public health and public safety. and do you know what else, mr. president? it's a business issue. so when i heard my colleague from oklahoma talk about how somehow it was going to hurt the bottom line. i would like to know why the grocery stores of america support this bill. do you think they're not worried about their bottom line? i'd like to know why companies like general mills support this bill, like companies like schwans, one of the biggest food producers in the country, the number-one thing they raised with me is passing this bill. you think schwans is a company that doesn't care about their bottom line? then you haven't met their business executives. their focus son jobs, making money -- their focus is on jobs, making money, produce ago good
product. why do these businesses care about passing this bill stphr -- bill? guess what? these bad actors, whether it is a peanut butter factory in georgia, a place that has rats in it? these bad actors hurt all the good farmers that put in safety measures. that's why the companies, the grocery stores, supervalue, these kind of companies want to get this bill passed because they think having bad food out there, not only bad for consumers when they get sick or die, but it's bad for their bottom line. that's why there's industry support for this bill. finally, this legislation addresses a very serious issue. and this was the most difficult thing to hear from my friend from oklahoma. you all know in our state the case of shirley almer, a grandmother. she fought cancer, she survived it. she was ready to go home for christmas, and she eats a little
piece of peanut butter toast. and that grandmother died because of that peanut butter toast. so i don't want to hear about how it's not worth it for the people of america. it's going to cost the people of america, until you talk to shirley's son jeff, that's what this is about. one other thing that was not true was when my colleague from oklahoma talked about the tomato recall. that was true. it was misdiagnosed. they said the wrong thing when it was jalapeno peppers, they said it was tomatoes. why would that lead us to believe? if people are out there and calling the wrong card and say tomatoes cause this and then the tomato prices go way down and people get hurt that produce tomatoes, and instead they find out it is jalapeno peppers and
he people are getting sicker across the country, why would the answer be let's not do anything to change it? the answer is we have to change the system. the answer is both the peanut butter contamination and the jalapeno pep percent, you know who called it right? the sta*eut university of minnesota -- the state of minnesota. that makes us proud of our state, but we would really rather not have lost three people to the peanut butter crisis to say guess what? we got it right. you tpwhaoe we can do -- you know what we can do? take the system we have in minnesota which is common sense, we've got graduate students that work together, they make calls when people get circumstance and they figure out what caused it, what did you eat yesterday. it's that simple. part this have bill which the republican senator chambliss and
i sponsored is to look at that model and say let's see if we can improve the system so we can catch these illnesses quicker and respond better and have less people die and less people get sick. so when i look at all of the issues raised by my colleague: bottom line for businesses, the businesses in this industry are supporting this bill. when i look at the issue of consumer safety, all you have to do is look at what would to shirley al -- look at what happened to shirley almer. when i look at what happened to the consumers in this country, i don't think anyone wants to get sick from eggs taintd with salmonella. it's very easy to make these claims, but let me tell you, one, the people who do this work say they need more authority to do these recalls and to do it right. the businesses who are affected by these food safety outbreaks
say they need a better system, they don't want to get stuck back to 1938, the people who have been hurt by this or family members killed by this, they say we need this improvement. that's why this bill has bipartisan support. that's why three-fourths of the senate supported moving forward on the debate. and, mr. president, my hope is that the delay will end, we will get this done so when families sit done for their thanksgiving dinner, they will know there's hope for the future and we're not stuck back in the inspection system we had in 1938. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. inhofe: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent i be recognized as in morning business for such time as i shall consume. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. inhofe: mr. president, mark twain might have characterized where we were just a short while ago as reports of
the death of captain trade have been greatly exaggerated. it's true that we defeated all the bills. this was after the kyoto treaty was -- failed to even get recognized for discussion, leave alone ratified. and we had all the bills that were the lieberman -- the mccain-lieberman bill, the lieberman-warner bill, the markey bill, and all of these other bills -- waxman-markey bill. everyone knows each year that went by, i can remember, mr. president, way back eight years ago, i was the only bad guy, the one everybody hated. that's when i made the statement, an honest statement at the time that perhaps what they're trying to do with this global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the american people. as time went by, more and more people, as the issue came up,
agreed. a lot of thing have been happening. in the last year we had the revelation of climategate, which i will talk about in a minute. we had the failure of copenhagen. the mission of futility of unilateral climate action. with all this, one might be tempted to declare victory. and i have to admit for a short while i did. but after all, it was a year ago today that i gave a speech right here on the senate floor at this very podium, noting that the tide had turned decisively against global warming alarmism. the year of the skeptic took place. that was a year ago. two days later climategate exploded into view as thousands of e-mails were released that showed at a minimum there were scientific spokesmen for alarmism, they were scheming to blow open an honest assessment of their work. behind the veil of e-mails, they showed their true colors.
they weren't acting as scientists but as political hacks promoting and defending a political agenda. you might wonder what that agenda is. the agenda there would virtually shut down america. if you did away, a lot of people realized or recognized that fossil fuels are necessary to run this machine called america. right now 53% of our energy is generated from coal. coal is necessary. we have clean coal technology. the releases are much less than they used to be. oil and gas, those are both fossil fuels. it's necessary. the bottom line is you can't run this machine called america without that. well, the damage has been done in terms of the -- what was going on in copenhagen. i think the chapter on the climate science has closed. of course, climategate scientists and their allies want to keep fighting. they're particularly begging us to bring them before committee to question their work, but we won't because they're now
irrelevant. the time to talk about this science, after climategate and the science is pretty much cooked. i would say this, five years before climategate i gave a speech right here in the senate and talked about what they were trying to do to cook science. well, instead of talking about science, we talk about the economics and what's happening. right now we're talking about jobs, about competitiveness, the manufacture and small businesses and real people who have to pay more for electricity, for food, for gasoline. and what do i mean? even with all of the progress we've made, and while cap-and-trade is dead bureaucracies crattic -- bureaucratic cap-and-trade is alive and well. what's happened in this country is we have an administration, with the majority in congress, they tried to pass this legislatively, they tried to pass cap-and-trade. the cost to cap-and-trade, we finally were able to convince the american people that if you look at it not from what jim inhofe says or senator inhofe
says, but what the economists say, what they said at m.i.t. has stated, what the wharton school said. that if you pass any of these cap-and-trade schemes, the cost to the american people would be in the range of $300 billion to $400 billion a year. anyway, what they decided they were able to do legislatively, they thought we'll do this because we control the e.p.a. we'll do it through, through the regulations. so, what senator reid said may be true for a massive 1,000-page bills filled with mandates, taxes, regulations, bureaucracy and much else. but it's not true for the more subtle strain of cap-and-trade now moving through the environmental protection agency. that's right, this backdoor cap-and-trade hidden behind an administrative curtain, now i can already hear what my friend, the e.p.a. administrator, lisa jackson will say. she will say, now, senator inhofe, you know we're
regulating in broad daylight. we're inviting public comment. we're providing guidance. it's all aboveboard. it's all out in the open. that may be true, and i trust administrator jackson, and she wants the e.p.a. to be transparent. unfortunately, this bureaucracy has gotten to the point where transparency is virtually impossible. the reality is backdoor cap-and-trade is hidden behind acronyms like p.s.d., bacd, sips, fips and the like. it's all a great muddle for bureaucrats and lawyers, but it's a profound disaster for jobs and for small businesses in america. make no mistake, the intent's here and ultimately the effect is no different than the waxman-markey is to eliminate fossil fuels and impose centralized bureaucratic control over america's manufacturing base. until we stop them, that is what
they will achieve. of course, president obama will say that we could have avoided all of this if we just passed cap-and-trade. that's true, we could have. but if we would have done that, we also know that would not have preempted what the e.p.a. would be doing. it's wrong on two counts. first, what kind of a deal involves accepting a really bad bill in place of really bad e.p.a. regulations? that's no deal at all. secondly, the supposed deal wasn't an either/or proposition. waxman-markey didn't fully eliminate e.p.a.'s ability to regulate under the clean air act. president obama and cap-and-trade supporters wanted both. keep in mind, all the time we're talking, we're talking about something that is a very massive, would be the largest single tax increase on the american people. when you're talking about $300 billion to $400 billion a kwraoerbgs tough bring that -- a year, you have to bring that
down, what does it mean to me? i can tell what you it means to the taxpayers in oklahoma. each tax-paying filing a return it would mean over $300 a year. what do you get for it? you get nothing. one thing i like about administrator lisa jackson is she's honest in her answer. i asked her the question. f. we were to pass something like this, if we were to pass wax man-markey, do something legislatively, how would it effect worldwide emissions of co2? she said it wouldn't have much of an effect at all. the reason is we can't do that here in the united states. this isn't where the problem is. the problem is in china, it's in india, it's in other places around the world. as we tighten up our availability of power, they have to go someplace, our manufacturing base, to find power. well, now we -- they would be going to areas where they have less controls, and so that actually could very well have,
by banning it here have an effect on emissions of co2. i think most people understand that, most people agree with that. we have a long difficult fight ahead. this fight goes back to december of 2009 when e.p.a. promulgated the endangerment finding, the finding that i co2 endangers public health and welfare. let me explain. before i went to copenhagen last december -- first of all, what copenhagen was, that's the annual big party that the u.n. puts together. they've done it for 15 years now. a huge, huge party. they always have it in very exotic places. this next month it will be held in can kaoupb. last year before i went to copenhagen, i asked administrator jackson the very question: what is your endangerment stphaoeupbgd actually the way that happened, i say to you, mr. president, was we had a hearing. this is a public hearing, live on tv. administrator jackson was in our hearing room. i said i'm getting ready to leave tomorrow to go be the
one-man truth squad in copenhagen. i have a feeling when i leave, you're going to have an endangerment finding. what would that be based on. the answer was the ipcc. the ipcc, that's the united nations. that's what started this thing in the 1980's. now that that's established and we know the science on which an endangerment finding is based, we go to copenhagen. it was almost the next day that climategate broke. it's oddly enough that timing couldn't have been better. they came out and they said that -- they talked about the flawed science that was there and the fact that they were cooking the science, and i have to say this, that five years ago this week -- that was in 2005, i gave a speech on the senate floor talking about how they are cooking the science at the united nations, the ipcc to make people believe that greenhouse
gas -- anthropogenic gases -- co2, methane -- are causing catastrophic global warming. they started 0 with that conclusion and then they tried to get science to support it. all that was exposed. the list of ipcc errors is so long that i won't repeat it here. i did so right after this came out. the claim that the himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 bass off -- was off by about 300 years. what's important now is that the endangerment finding triggered regulations that will reach out into every corner of the american economy. this will be the greatest bureaucratic intrusion into american life that we've ever seen. let's put some specifics on that. we're talking about 6.1 million sources subject to e.p.a. control and regulations. now, e.p.a. control and regulations -- i don't think i have to tell you how onerous that would be, what that would be doing to all of these
institutions that would be feactd. the u.s. chamber has put together a list as to who would be affected by these new regulations that thousands and thousands and thousands of new bureaucrats would be crawling all over in america -- 260,000 office buildings, 150,000 warehouses, 92 thousand health care facilities -- that's hospitals and so forth -- 71,000 hotels and motels, 51,000 food service facilities, 31,000 churches and other places of worship, 17,000 farms. now the e.p.a. understands the political peril of regulating all of these sources, so they decided to change the law without congressional authorization to exempt many the sources i just mentioned. now, that's a front. it sounds good and they'll stands up and say, no, we're not talking about 250 tons of co2, but the clean air act specifically says that the major sources are to have the potential to emit 250 tons or
more of given pollutants. all the farms, all the churches i just mentioned, they are glg to be in that category. now, 250 tons of, say, sulfur dioxide is a good deal of pollution. but when it comes to co2, it is not. lots of facilities emit that and more -- we're talking about schools, nursing homes, restaurants, people's individual reserve diresidences, sources, , that were never contemplated for regulated when congress passed the clean air act. so, what did e.p.a. do? well, they promulgated something called the tailoring rule. this gets kind of in the weeds here but it is something deleted to say, well, no, we're not going to use 250 pounds of emissions. we're going to use 75,000 tons -- well, i'm sorry. 250 tons and instead it's 75,000 tons. we're talking about only the giants, the refineries and some of these groups. well, the problem with that is,
that's not what the clean air act says. now, sources emitting above the amounts -- those amounts have to get permits that require so-called best available controlled technology to reduce co2. of course, we don't know what that is. it's never been defined. the e.p.a. issued draft guidance on what they call the bact. that's the best available control technology. last week -- it provided no help. just more confusion and uncertainty as to what the requirements would be. oivelg, they talk about the -- of course, they talk about the e.p.a. has a law in frnts of it. it says compleerl that the major sources are those that have the potential to emit 250 tons or more. and it says, the new number is 75,000 tons or more. so now the e.p.a. can conveniently say that schools, hospitals and the like won't be regulated. at least not until 2016, when the agency says it will consider whether to regulate such sources. and there's a catch.
this supposed exemption through the tailoring rule will only last for a few years, not to mention the fact that it blatantly violates the clean air act. which subjects it to litigation. on that last poirnghts the tailoring rule, along with the endangerment finding and other greenhouse rules, is being litigated so we will know eventually whether the tailoring rule survives. i think it will be thrown out. but really just the fact that it can be thrown out should be enough for us to be honest with the american people and say we're going to regulate everything that falls within the 250 tons, all the residences and the churches and the farms and the -- i mentioned before. again, i want everyone to understand the regulation of global warming by e.p.a., backdoor cap and trade, begins january 2. it is here just a month away. i am not the only one concerned about t on february 19, senator rockefeller, joined by seven of his other democrat colleagues, wrote administer jackson and he
said -- now, keep in mind this is coming from the democrats here in this chamber -- "we write with serious economic and security concerns relating to the potential regulation of greenhouse gases from stationery sources under the clean air act. we remain concerned about the possible impacts on american workers and businesses and a number of industrial sectors, along with the farmers, miners and small business owners that could be affected as your agency moves beyond regulations for vehicle greenhouse gas emagicians." we need to address this because employers and small businesses are afraid to expand right now in large part because the e.p.a.'s global warming regulations. they don't know what to expect. they're looking out there, looking at the claicialght. it has a very small threshold, and yet the statements that are being made that's going to affect everyone. they don't know what to do. my colleagues and th the americn people in general, i want them to know that the e.p.a. is
moving in directions beyond regulation. e.p.a. is threatening jobs on a host of fronts. a few months ago i released an oversight report examining the thousands of jobs at risk. by the way, this is a good report. it talks about four major areas of concern and they are all in the -- on my web site inhofe.senate.gov. look at them if you really want to be scared. the standards for commercial industrial boil certificates up to 792,000 jobs at risk. the revised ambient air standards, ozone, that is going to be severe restrictions on job creation and business expansion in hundreds of countries nationwide and new standards for portland cement plants, up to 18% of plants at risk, shutting down nearly 1,800 direct jobs and 900 indirect jobs. irthink we should be concerned enough about the unemployment
rate we have right now without exacerbating that problem, which is what we do with these riewsms i think everyone knows this. where are these rules going to hurt the most? nlt heartland, pennsylvania, ohio, michigan, indiana, i will illinois i will, missouri, nebraska, wisconsin, and my own state is feeling the brunt and others will as well. backdoor cap and trade is alive and well. it is moving forward, and the fight over americans's industrial base is underway. i want to put the administration on friendly notice that i will investigate these rules vigorously in my capacity at ranking member of the environment and public works committee. i will do this to expose their impacts on jobs, energy prices, competitiveness, small businesses, energy security and the true extent of their environmental benefits. it is my sincere hope that the e.p.a. will pull back, revise, reform and balance its regulatory agenda to protect jobs as wales the environment. if the e.p.a. persists on moving
down a more extreme path, then our 9.6% unemployment rate will be even worse in 2012. so in attempt to stem the the impending economic harm facing thousands of smashings the e.p.a. has developed the so-called tailoring rule. i don'i don't want to elaborate. it is to make people think that we're only going to be regulating those 40 emit 75,000 tons or more when the law clearly says 250 tons or more. in some cases these rules will have no meaningful environmental benefits, considering the e.p.a.'s rules to regulate greenhouse gases. they would reduce global temperatures by 15/100ths. the same figure goes back to the consideration of kyoto. this is back in the 1990's. i remember at that time it was vice president al gore's own scientists who -- tom crigle
ynchts i believe it was. the question was, if all the developed nations were to comply with kyoto's emission requirements, how much would if reduce the temperatures by 50 years? and the answer was 7/100th of one degree celsius. talking about all this sacrifice we're make, nothing good can dprom t there are a lot of people wanting to speak. but i would only say that if -- in the honesty of our administrator of the e.p.a., lisa jackson, when she talks about the enact that it really wouldn't make what we do unilaterally here in the united states is not going to have a major impact on emissions nation yid and yet -- nationwide and yet we know what it is going to cost, we're going to quit talking about the science. science is not on their siesmed the things we said on the floor of the senate five years ago were verified with climategate.
they have been cook the science. it is very convenient. lastly, i went to copenhagen -- i mentioned that earlier, the big u.n. party each year dish went over there, probably the most productive two and a half hours of my life for the two and a half hours i was on the ground in copenhagen. i was preceded by senator kerry, hillary clinton, president obama and several others -- nancy pelosi -- and they were all assuring the other 191 countries present that we were going to do something about cap and trade. and i went there to make sure that they knew we were not. i always remember that because we had 400 people, 120 cameras were zeroing in on me. i say to my good friend from virginia, they all hated me. and so that is behind us now. and we have to now look at the regulators. this regulation would put america out of business. with that, i yield the floor. mr. warner: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from virginia. mr. warner: before i get to my remarks, i want to commend my
colleague from oklahoma for his comments. i have had the opportunity to sit in that chair and listen to his views over the last two years and i -- and let me make sure i make clear that that characterization of some of those folks with those camries, i would not fall into that category and i want to wish the senator a very happy birthday. it is my understanding it was yesterday. i wish him all the best. our offices are next door to each other and we're good neighbors. madam president, i rise today to continue a recent new tradition of the senate, the tradition of honoring exemplary federal employees that my friend senator ted kaufman began last year. senator kaufman believes, as i do that our federal employees deserve recognition for their admirable patriotism, which drives nem in their daily work as civil servants. senator kaufman highlights 100 federal employees in his close to two years of service. 100 federal employees with significant accomplishments in the fields of medicine, science,
technology, diplomacy and defense. today i would start to continue that tradition. i am very proud that the first federal employee that i am going to have a chance to honor is actually a current resident of virginia who combined his engining expertise with his past experiences in the navy to help save 33 chilean miners after they had been trapped 3,000 people underground for 69 days. this was an incident that i think again captured the attention of the world as we all watched the rescue of those minors. i again will only take a quum moments to describe this employee and how he contributed to that remarkable, remarkable, worldwide success story. clint craig served in the navy for 26 years. he, as imansed, is currently a resident of virginia. his lifetime of service to our country led him to many exciting opportunities, including serving as the chief of current operations, u.s. european command. while in europe he participated in a number of operations
including the wars in kosovo, afghanistan, and iraq. today craig is principal engineer for nasa's engining and safety center. clint has given his life of service to his country. since his graduation from the naval academy in 1978 and his service was never more important than it was when he took part in the worldwide effort to save the chilean miners. clint and his colleagues were asked by the chilean government to assist in rescuing their 33 countrymen trapped underground in a collapsed copper and gold mine. clint rose to the challenge and flew to chile with three fellow nasa employees to examine the scene. using his experience as a commanding officer of a submarine in the navy, clint provided valuable insight to the minors on how to cope with the underground existence they were going through for sustained periods of time. clint and his team also met with
chilean officials to discuss the development of a rescue squad that at that time was a completely untested idea. upon his arrival home, clint received a message from the chilean health minister in which the minister asked for nasa's help in thinking of special features that would make the rescue capsule idea a reality. clint assemble add team of 20 engineers, ten from nasa langley and ten from around the country, and they commenced brain storming in innovative ideas for a capsule design. again, t again, this was thinking clearly whole cloth. the only information that the team had available was that the capsule's maximum length and the diameter of the rescue shaft through which the capsule was required to fit. 72 hours later -- i repeat, 72 hours later, the team had a written comprehensive report that included 75 proposals for the rescue capsule. the paper concluded that the
rescue capsule should include a harness inside the capsule that could hold a miner in case the miner fell unconscious during the assent. i think we can all remember those images on cnn as they kind of drew out the capsule a little bit. i didn't know at that point, but that capsule was designed by one -- the federal employee and his team that we're honoring here today. as the 33 men rose from beneath the earth, clint could take pride in his work for nasa and the knowledge that he and his colleagues had made the reunion between these men and their families possible. i was privileged to meet clint and his family and other members of the rescue team during a visit to nasa langley last week and presented them with a framed american flag that had flown at the u.s. capitol in honor of their contributions. mr. president, -- madam president, the successful rescue of the miners was a testament to the american spirit of cooperation and ingenuity, a
spirit exemplified by the nasa team. i hope that my colleagues will join me in honoring clint for his service and his leadership team at nasa, and he is this week's example of a great federal employee. madam president, i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that immediately following senator grassley and my colloquy, that the distinguished senator from north dakota be recognized for 30 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: thank you, madam chair. madam chair, my colleague, senator grassley, and i come to the floor today to discuss very urgent business for the american people that has frankly been put off for far too long. i'm talking about this outstanding -- the outstanding tax issues that this congress has so far failed to address, and as i count them, there are
five major tax issues that collectively represent a looming crisis for our economy. these are, first, the set of tax provisions that expired almost a year ago on december 31, 2009, and have yet to be extended. second is another set of important tax provisions that are due to expire at the end of this year, which is only 44 days from now. the third item is the need to once again address the threshold of the alternative minimum tax so that about 25 million more american families are not caught in its clutches for the tax year about to end. fourth is the estate tax issue which has been haunting us and the american people all year long. i submit that is way past the crisis stage that is about to enter into an even worse state. and finally and certainly not least is the looming expiration of the tax relief provisions we passed in 2001 and 2003, which
are swinging over the future of our economy like a hangman's noose. it is this situation that i particularly would like to address the bulk of my remarks to, but before i do so, let me turn to my colleagues for their initial comments. and i turn to my colleague, the ranking member on the finance committee and great friend, senator grassley. mr. grassley: senator hatch, you have long been a leader in a lot of these tax provisions and particularly in research and development, and i want to thank you for your leadership there. i think senator hatch has clearly outlined the gravity of the economic consequences of a continuing failure to finish time-sensitive tax legislative business. there is a chart i'm going to put up here that shows where we are on these categories of expiring tax provisions. said just another way, here are the categories of tax hikes that
congressional inaction will put in place, and i have used this chart before so i think a lot of people will be familiar with it. in fact, several months ago i used this chart as well. the congressional democratic leadership paid no attention to the seriousness of these issues then. unfortunately, the to-do list is exactly the same today as it was several months ago. if you go down through this chart, you can see that we have had partisan votes on extender packages negotiated between the bicameral democratic leadership, but no effort to reach out to the republican side to find bipartisan common ground. on this year's alternative minimum tax patch, as senator hatch noted, inaction on the
a.m.t. will force a gotcha tax hike on millions of middle-income families when they start to file their tax returns six weeks from now. on the death tax reform, the house passed a permanent reform almost one year ago, but it has languished in the senate during that period of time since their package. on the other side, we would like to improve the -- improve that bill to protect more small businesses and farm families from the death tax. on the 2001-2003 tax relief packages, there is no bill from the other side that would serve as the starting point on preventing this massive tax hike. on the other side, if the democratic leadership permitted us, we would like to start with senator mcconnell's bill.
senator hatch and i are cosponsors of that. mr. hatch: the ranking republican on the -- or the chairman of the finance committee for a long time now. we have seen times when the expired or expiring tax provisions have not been dealt with in as timely a manner as they should have been, but have we ever seen a state of affairs like we have now with the extenders? what has this meant for job creation and economic growth? and i'd like to hear from senator grassley on that. mr. grassley: well, first of all, my colleagues probably know that my friend from utah is going to advance as the incoming ranking member of the senate finance committee, and i congratulate him on that and i know that he's going to do a very good job there. to my friend, i say one needs only to look to the nonpartisan congressional budget office to assess the harm that could be done to the economy if we don't get this tax legislation passed.
according to the congressional budget office, not addressing these very time-sensitive tax issues will reduce -- and i want to emphasize that -- will reduce economic growth by as much as 1.7% on the average for the years 2011 and 2012. if you didn't hear that, it's not some political leader saying that economic growth is going to be harmed by 1.7%. it's the nonpartisan experts in the congressional budget office say that if we don't pass these tax bills, economic growth is going to get hit 1.7%. some private forecasters put that hit even higher at 2%. when you consider that the last report has the economy growing
at an annualized rate of 2%, then it's quite obvious you can see that the single failure to prevent these great big tax increases could wipe out what little economic growth is currently occurring. i don't know how policymakers can sleep at night let alone be so casual when we haven't dealt with these time-sensitive tax issues at a time when coming home -- coming back here, we heard nothing from our constituents other than concern about the economy, about jobs and about the legacy of debt that we're leaving. mr. hatch: one of the real leaders in this body and somebody that we all look up to as totally honest and sensitive on these issues. he has done a wonderful job on the finance committee, but according to the commissioner of internal revenue, perhaps the most time-sensitive problem waiting for congressional action is the so-called patch for the alternative minimum tax. now, i understand that if we do
not take care of this very soon, we can see major delays in the tax-filing season that will start on january 1. now, is that your understanding, senator grassley? mr. grassley: absolutely, absolutely, and we have track record on that. just a few years back, didn't get done in time, and people had to wait for their tax refunds. they -- that's the most thing, but it also created a terrible bureaucratic problem for -- for i.r.s. to get the forms out. so my friend from utah is correct. fortunately, the chairs and ranking members of the tax-writing committees wrote to the commissioner of i.r.s. last week indicating our intention to pass an a.m.t. patch. the letter specified what the a.m.t. patch would look like, but as helpful as that letter was, we still need to change the
law. as a matter of fact, the filing season could become very complicated if we don't act. during our years in the majority, we never let the a.m.t. patch legislation slip past may of any tax year that it applied to, and that only happened ones. the death tax is another -- senator hatch, is another overdue tax legislative piece, and it's referred -- that's been referred to. maybe, senator hatch, you would bring up the issue of the estate tax. mr. hatch: well, it's the third item on the to-do list. if we do not act, in six weeks from now, the reach of the death tax will greatly expand. according to the nonpartisan joint committee on taxation, ten times the number of the states
will be taxable versus the number that would be taxable in the bipartisan lincoln-kyl compromise. in the case of farm-heavy estates, 13 times would be hit by the death tax. that would be really unfair because the families would have to either borrow the money or sell the farm in order to pay the death taxes. that's just crazy. on the issue of extending the expiring tax relief provisions enacted in 2001 and 2003, to move on to another subject, has been a central question all this year, but we are just now beginning to discuss this in earnest. this lack of action on this vital topic has been a major factor in the low performance of our economy. the outcome of this debate is exceptionally important to the future of this nation. its implications go well beyond what many on the other side of the aisle -- or on the other side of this issue might want americans to believe. this is not merely a question of how well the rich in our society
will live if we raise their taxes. rather, this debate goes to the heart of the burning questions facing american families of all income levels today. will i keep my job? how can i get a new and better job? will the economy grow enough to allow my family to pay its bills? can we afford to educate our children? will america continue to prosper in the years ahead, or are we in a permanent decline that some people think we're in? the president and most of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle decided that the answer to the question of fully extending the tax relief provisions that are set to expire in just about 44 days is no. they are willing to extend them for those americans earning less than $200,000 per year if a single individual or $250,000 per year if a family, their position is that anyone above these treasure holds should get a tax of increase. however, the right answer for our country's future is that all the tax relief provisions should
be extended. the reasons the president and his allies give for their position largely boils down to the general supposition that the welloff among us can afford to see their taxes go up and that the nation cannot afford to forgo the revenue lost to the treasury from these taxpayers continuing to have their taxes as low as they are. ironically, the second point implies that we can afford, we can afford the revenue loss from extending the tax relief to those making under $200,000 and and $250,000 treasure holds. even though this loss is upwards of 80% of the total amount of lost revenue from extending the tax relief for everyone. in other words, madam president, the president and his congressional supporters would have us believe that this debate is solely about whether the so-called wealthy among us deserve continued tax relief. they either fail to see an economic connection between the
finances of those at the top of the income scale and the rest of us, or they refuse to admit that such a link even exists. the plain truth, however, is that those most affected by allowing the tax relief provisions to expire are not the wealthy, but those americans who depend on a strong and growing economy for their livelihoods. this may sound somewhat counterintuitive, but it is nonetheless true. the essential element to this conundrum is that good, permanent jobs, which are the heart and soul of the american dream, are inextricably linked to those in our economy who have wealth. when the income of the wealthy is taxed, particularly in a way that reduces the incentive for saving, investment and entrepreneurship, that tax is not just paid by those who write the check to the government. indeed, mr. president -- madam president, even those americans who pay no income tax at all, which is now upwards of half of all adults, can be badly hurt by tax increases on the so-called rich.
this is through the loss of opportunities, the lack of jobs or better jobs, and slow or nonexistent economic growth. now, one vital fact that many citizens do not realize is that a high percentage of this nation's business enterprises pay their taxes through the tax returns of their individual owners. taxes on sole proprietorships, partnerships, s corporations and limited liability companies are all passed through these entities and assessed on their individual owners. higher taxes on these entities result in less money for investment and expansion, which translates into fewer jobs created and fewer opportunities for those who want to move up the economic ladder. tragically, and especially in this time of economic stress and high unemployment, the real cost of taxation is paid by a group of unintended victims. these are the men and women and their families who do not get the chance to have a job or a higher-paying job because the
tax recognize the economic growth -- tax destroys the economic growth that might have provided for such an opportunity. madam president, a study recently released by the nonpartisan heritage center for data analysis highlights these facts. this study, which ute liedzs an -- utilizes an economic model owned by the leading economic forecasting firm in the country, concludes that the president's tax plan to allow the tax relief provisions to expire for the so-called well-off would have very serious consequences for millions earning far less than those targeted. now, here are just a few of the highlights of these conclusions. first, the president's tax plan would reduce economic growth for at least the next ten years. over the ten-year period, our gross domestic product would fall by a total of $1.1 trillion compared to where it would be otherwise if all the tax provisions were extended. this slower economic growth would directly translate into fewer jobs created. in fact, the study projects
238,000 fewer jobs would be created next year and as many as 876,000 lost jobs in 2016. for the ten-year period, the average would be 693,000 jobs each year that would not be created had we extended the tax relief for everyone. now, this projection alone should be enough to give anyone pause. in this critical time of job shortage, do we want to purposefully choose a course that would lead to even fewer jobs for americans? other economic indicators would also turn negative compared to extending the tax rates as they currently stand. business investment, personal savings, disposable income, and consumer spending would all be lower. this is exactly the wrong direction we need as the u.s. struggles to recover from this nasty recession. my home state of utah would not be spared dispute the fact that the downturn has been less pronounced there than in many other states. the beehive state would lose an
average of 6,200 state2 200 jobr and house disposable income would drop by $2,200. for a relatively small population state, this is nothing but bad news. another recent study highlights the effect on the economy of increases to the capital gains tax rate as is called for under the president's tax plan. this one was prepared by the respected economist, allen sinai. in this study, dr. sinai concludes that increasing the capital gains tax rate to 20% from the current 15%, as is called for in the president's plan, would cut the number of jobs available by $231,00 1,000r year. again, this is factually the wrong direction for a congress that is supposed to be focused on job creation. if we were really serious about creating jobs, we should be doing just the opposite. that is, lowering the capital gains tax rate. the sinai study concludes that a reduction from the current 15% tax rate on capital gains to a
5% rate would increase the number of jobs by 711,000 per year. now, that is the kind of job growth that we need right now. and by lowering the rate down to 0%, dr. sinai says we could turbocharge this rate of job growth to 1.3 million new jobs per year. of course, this capital gains tax reduction would not be free since the treasury would lose some revenue. the sinai study indicates that this loss would be about $23 billion per year after the effects of stronger economic growth are taken into account. and while this is not an insignificant number, it works out to a cost of about $18,000 per job. i call this a bargain, madam president, particularly when it is compared with the cost per job from the so-called stimulus bill which passed last year. the congressional budget office projected last year that the cost of each job saved or created from the stimulus bill would be between $414,000 and
$1.3 million. for each job. and most of -- most or all of these jobs are temporary, not permanent. the c.b.o. also last year projected that the net increase in the number of jobs from the stimulus bill by 2015 would be zero. in other words, we will get no permanent job increase from this gargantuan stimulus bill. now, madam president, i do not believe the contrast between the two approaches to job creation and economic growth could be any more striking. let me refer back to senator grassley. mr. grassley: senator hatch, the only thing i would add to the good work you've put out there is maybe to say a little bit more about the estate tax, and that is if we don't do anything -- you can see the house-passethehouse passed deatm but not the senate. and obviously we don't have a final bill. and if we don't get a final bill by the end of this year, instead
of having no estate tax this year, or $3.5 million exemption last year, we're going to have only a million-dollar exemption and a -- a 55% tax rate, and that's going to be catastrophic on small business, it's going to be catastrophic in the rural areas. so i hope that emphasizes the importance of getting something done on the estate tax ahead of time. and the only other thing i would add would be, because you did such a good job of saying what the economic consequences are, if we let the biggest tax increase in the history of the country happen by sunset december 31 and then that means you go back to the tax rates and tax policy of the year 2000, it's going to be very destructive on job creation for small business and very destructive as far as bringing certainty that business,
particularly small business, needs if they're going to hire people. i had a news conference last month in my state and i brought in some small business people, and one of the small business people testifying for me said to the media of iowa that they would like to hire five or six people. but as long as there's all this uncertainty about what the tax policy is, they -- they're not going to move forward. so what we have to do -- and i think you've said it several times, senator hatch, and particularly for small business, is we've got to bring certainty to the tax code. and you can't have this uncertainty of what's going to happen after december 31, particularly when you're certain that you're going to have the biggest tax increase in the history of the country without even a vote of congress. so i want to compliment senator hatch. and i won't have anything more to say on this subject until we get one of these pieces of legislation up. but thank you very much for your leadership. mr. hatch: i thank my leader on the finance committee on the republican side.
i appreciate all the work he's done to try and keep this economy going. and we ought to listen to him. let me just say the president and congressional democrats and republicans agree that small business is the key to a job-based recovery. as the president himself said, small business creates about 70% of all of our new jobs. if we fail to prevent the marginal rate hikes, small businesses will be especially hard-hit. the joint committee on taxation concluded that half of the flow-through small business income would be hit by the reimposition of the top two brackets. ironically, this is what all the resistance from the other side is about. they insist on raising the top marginal rates on small businesses by up to 17% to 24%. all of this during a time when we ought to be going the other way and assuring small businesses that they should take steps to grow without paying a tax penalty.
there is a bipartisan group that recognizes the merits of preventing these tax hikes on small businesses, but the president and democratic leadership i think need to see the light. we're talking about somewhere between 750,000 and 800,000 small businesses where the 70% of the small jobs are created. and if we don't handle this right, we're going to have a pretty long time of -- of an economic system that really doesn't work in this country. so it's important that we get going here in this lame-duck session and resolve this issue. now, there are people all over the map on this issue, but i think the smartest thing to do would be to keep the tax relief the way it is and i would move it at least two years and hopefully three years. i'd like to make it permanent for everybody in our society, because we are a high-tax society under the current circumstances. and -- but it's apparent we
don't have the votes to make it permanent, but we should have the votes to be able to put it over at least until we can get out of 9 -- out of the rough politics of a lame-duck session. and hopefully we'll be able to resolve these problems in the future in a way that both sides can feel good about. having said all this, let me just say that i have really appreciated serving under the distinguished senator from iowa. he is a hard-nosed, practical leader in this body. everybody knows he's totally honest and totally effective in so many ways. he's a dear friend of mine and i just want him to know how much i've appreciated serving next to him on the finance committee. and we'll be serving next to each other on the judiciary committee in this upcoming year, and i look forward to seeing him as a nonlawyer take over the controls from the republican standpoint on the judiciary committee, because even though the distinguished senator from
iowa is a nonlawyer, he brings a practical balance to the judiciary committee and to the finance committee up till now that is sorely needed. and i just -- he's one of the most respected people by me in this whole body of very, very strong minds and people. so i'm grateful to him. i'm grateful that he's my frie friend, and i'm grateful that we can work together side-by-side on both of these committees. and i just want you to know that i want to thank you for all the hard work you've done on the finance committee all these years. i've watched, i've sat beside you, i've seen the products that you've done, and you've worked in good faith with both sides and certainly total honesty, and that's -- that's a high. that's a high accolade right there. madam president, these are important issues. i know that not just 9 the distinguished senator from iowa
and myself feel deeply about them, but i hope we can get our colleagues together on both sides and the president, who's indicated he's willing to compromise on this, and get this -- get this put over. if we could do that, i think the president will be better off, jobs will be better off and, in the end, our country's would -- is the ultimate goal and there's no doubt in my mind it would be much better off. with that, i thank my distinguished friend from north dakota and yield the floor. mr. dorgan: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota. mr. dorgan: madam president, i decided some long while ago that i'm going to leave the congress after serving 30 years, so at the end of this year, i will conclude my work here in the united states congress. but i was thinking sitting on the floor listening to my two colleagues, for whom i have great respect and profound disagreements with, i was thinking how interesting it is that people of good faith -- and they are two senators of good
faith -- feel very strongly about an issue. i feel differently about some of the issues they just described and i sat here and resisted the urge to jump up every five or ten minutes and engage in that discussion. it's not a difference of opinion about whether we would like the american people to pay the lowest rate of taxes possible. it is, rather, in my judgment about the rear-view mirror of histories when historians gather 50 or a hundred years from now gather and they back at this moment and say all right, where was america then? well, america had a $13 trillion debt, a $1.3 trillion deficit, was sending men and women off to war by the hundreds of thousan thousands, strapping on body armor in the morning, getting shot at in the afternoon. about 20 million people either unemployed or not working up to their potential because they couldn't find the job that fits them. record numbers of people on food stamps. so that's where america was th then. and what was the debate on the floor of the congress?
how can you further cut revenue. how can you borrow money from the chinese in order to give those that make a million dollars a year a $100,000-a-year tax cut. and they're going to say: are you kidding me? that's what the discussion was? wasn't there discussion about whether it was wise or mott to borrow $4 trillion more to extend tax cuts that came in 2001 because the president -- then president george w. bush -- felt we were going to have surpluses forever. the first surplus was the year before he took office, the last year of bill clinton, the last in 30 years. now we predict we're going to have surpluses for the next ten. president bush said, well, then let's give them back, with very big tax cuts, the bulk of which go to the upper-income folks. i didn't vote for that. why don't we be a little conservative? what if something happens?
and it did. a war in afghanistan, a war? iraq. deficits as far as the could i seevment we now have a $13 trillion debt, a $1.3 trillion yearly deficit, soldiers at war and the discussion here is how to further cut taxes, especially for upper-income americans. i'm telling you, it is going to confound and confuse some future economists. how on earth that could have been the major debate of the day in the congress of this moment. there's no preordained destiny for this country that this country will automobiles be the dominant world power. that is not preordained. that will happen if this country begins again to make good decisions and tough decisions. people think times are tough now. they've been tougher in this country. our parents and grandparents and those that came before them, those that homesteade homesteadd hots, those who populated the countries under the homestead act to go find a place and build a farm and raise a family, they had it thank you. but they built communities and built a country. and they did the right things. they made tough decisions.
it's not a tough decision for us to say, all 100 of us want tax cuts. oh, yeah? well, i'd like it if nobody paid taxes, if nobody had to pay taxes. but who's going to pay the cost of things we do together, build schools to educate kids, build roads to travel, pay for defense so that we can protect this country, and on and on and on? so, i didn't come to talk about that, but i couldn't resist at least the urge to say, our requirement -- our requirement for this country -- is to look look well ahead to ask, how do we retaint capability in this country that we still will remain a world economic power? this country needs jobs. this country needs the resurrection of a manufacturing base. you will not long remain as a country a world economic power if you don't have world-class manufacturing capability, making stuff, making things that say "made in america." and that ought to be the discussion here. how to put america back to work. there's no social program as
important a a good job that pays well and too many americans are out of work at this point with a sick economy. and the solution not a tax cut for everybody. that's like going to a quack doctor that's got only one recipe. he's got a jug of thick, brown liquid and no matter what you have -- the hick cups, the gout, liver trouble -- he says, take that. it'll make you better. we have people that have this vision here. any urge, any itch, give them a tax cut. how about the federal budget deficit? how about controlling spending? yes, we have to cut some spending. how about controlling the budget deficit? yes, we have to do that. let's cut some spending and let's ask people that should be paying taxes that aren't now to pay their fair share of taxes. that's what we ought to do. well, i've ghoot at least a little bit out of my system today, madam president. i came here to talk about something else, i came here to talk about unfinished business before the end of this year. there is still the opportunity to reclaim some success in an area that i think very important. it's true, as i've just
described, jobs are unbelievably important in this country. it's also true that the economy, fiscal policy, debt, and deficits are really important and we need to get ahold of them and deal with them and respond to them and fix this country's economy. but it's also important that we need to address the subject of energy and we have tried, tried so hard. and we can decide that it doesn't matter much. we can act like it's irrelevant. but then tomorrow morning, just for a moment, what if all the american people couldn't turn on? what if they couldn't turn on or off the alarm clock or turn on the light or turn on the hot water hereto to take a hot shower or turn on the toaster or turn on the coffee maker? what if they couldn't turn on the ignition to get to work, what if they didn't have lights at work? we use energy 100 ways before we start work and never, ever think about it. what if the switch didn't work? what if the tank wasn't full? now, let me describe the danger,
because this is not irrelevant. it's not an idle issue that this country could very well find itself belly side up with an economy that couldn't work, because we couldn't find the energy we need. about 60% of the oil that we need and use in this country comes from other countries. i've described hundreds of times on the floor that we stick little straws in the earth and we suck oil out. about 85 million barrels a day is sucked out of this planet. on this little spot called the united states of america we need to use one-fourth of it. one-fourth of everything we suck out of this earth in the form of oil has to come to the u.s.a. we're prodigious users of oil. much of that oil comes from areas of the world that are very troubled, some interests that don't like us very much. and we send them a little over $1 billion -- in some cases $1.5 billion a day -- every single day to buy their oil. and you know and i knee in some
parts of the oil enough money spills from that oil barrel to help fund terrorism. we know t if you are that vulnerable, if your economy is in that much need of oil from others, particularly troubled parts of the world, if tomorrow that supply were interrupted or shut off, and if that meant that this country's economy would be belly up just like that, do we then decide to do nothing about it or do we do something about it to address it in the contesks national security? you know, we have armies. we commit armies to troubled spots around the world to protect our interests. those armies can only operate if they have food and fuel. they need both. energy security is the same as national security, and we have ignored for so long this issue of vulnerability that exists with respect to our energy future. now, i want to talk about what we need to do and i want to talk about my disappointment that we
come now to november, almost december, three weeks left perhaps in december, and last june a year ago beesed an energy bill out of the energy committee that was bipartisan, did a lot of important things that address our energy security, and yet we will likely end this we're one finished business, leaving behind that progress. now, madam president, i want to talk just a little about the unbelievable progress in this country. in 1830, it took three weeks to travel from chicago to new york, three weeks from chicago to new york city. 25 years later you could do did in three days. transcontinental railroad. transcontinental railroad changed everything. and then the automobile, the automobile came along, first with an electric engine and then the internal combustion engine and then it needed a substantial amount of oil. our government said, we need that. anybody that's going to look for
oil or gas, we want to give you a big, permanent tax benefit if you're looking for oil or gas. it was in the public interest to do that. we've said go find oil and gas because we need it. we've incentivized that drilling here in this country and done it for a century. and if you think of what has happened over this period that i've described in travel and technology, the automobile, the light bulb, i mean think of the impact both of those innovations have had in our lives -- pretty unbleeivelg. now, one day on a saturday a couple of years ago i was in grand forks, north dakota, and i met with our oldest resident. her name was mary schumacher and she was 111 years old. she was spry -- well, i shouldn't say spry because she wasn't moving very well but she had a very keen mind and we were able to have a a very good visit. 111 years old. and she talked to me about her memories of when she was six and watched the barn burn. i mean, she had a great memory. we talked about how things have changed in 100 years of her
lifetime. by the way, i stopped at that nursing home to see mary because i wasn't able to be there some months before when i was invited to go to her birthday party. i was invited by her niece who showed up that saturday when i went to visit march rhode island her niece put on the birthday party and was in 103 years old and was in even better shape than mary. moving around and fussing and making sure this visit with mary was going well. but mary and i talked about the big changes in her lievment i thought, here's a person who's now lived over a century. she's seen everything. so let me think about her life. in 1909 -- and she'd have been nearly 10 years old then -- in 1909, president howard taft, 5'11 "tall and 300 pounds, decided to get rid of the horse and buggy as the mode of
transportation. the first president to decide that he was going to buy an automobile. bought a bicker electric car. -- bought a baker electric car. now, president taft might not have fit into a mine knee cooper if they had them back then. but he bought an electric car. an electric car for the white house in 1909. that's 100 years ago. that electric car now a century later, 100 years later, is the subject of legislation i have on the floor of the senate along with senator lamar alexander of tennessee and senator merkley of oregon, the electric automobile. it's the new, new thing. it is what we knew 100 years ago worked. i want to talk a little about these things and all the changes
that we've seen and why this issue is critical and why i feel so disappointed if we don't in the final three weeks at least take a portion of that which we know needs to be done and do it, because there's bipartisan agreement on a couple of these issues. i mean, let me just mention them quickly. one, a renewable electricity standard so that we try to induce more renewable energy production in this country. that's bipartisan. we have cosponsors in the senate -- senator browrks a very strong supporter of that. a renewable electric standard. the electric vehicle deployment act, which i have described, senator alexander and others. and the natural gas provision that senator reid and senator menendez have sponsored. that's also bipartisan. those are things that we can do and should do at the end of the year that's bipartisan that will advance our interests. now, why -- why is it that energy is important? one, the vulnerability to our economy, if we were to see the
supply of energy that's necessary shut off to this country at any point. so it's national security, number one. national security. and, number two, it is the issue of the domestic energy use and the conversion as a part of this national energy security to conservation, number one, and the production of different kind of energy, number two. and then finally, the issue of environmental benefits of some of the changes that are necessary. we're coming to an intersection for the first time bh when we debate energy in which energy production and national security resulting from that comes to the same intersection as the issue of climate change. and so everything is going to change. the question isn't whether, it is how. so i want to talk just a bit about some of the things that we can do, it seems to me, to address these matters. let me talk about electricity. we produce a lost electricity
from different sources -- coal and natural gas and so on. we're probably -- coal is our most abundant resource. 50% of the electricity in this country comes from coal. but we're going to have to to use it differently because bh we burn coal, we throw carbon into the air and we understand that we can't continue to do that. so we need to find innovative ways to extract the carbon from coal to be able to continue to use that resource. we can and we will, in my juvment i chair the appropriations subcommittee that funds carbon capture technology. there are all kinds of people around this country doing innovative, wonderful, breathtaking things to find a way to decarbonnite use of coal. and it is going to happen, if we decide that we're going to make the investment in order to allow it to happen. but electricity that comes from coal or natural gas, from electric plants, one of the problems that we have dealing with the electricity is the delivery from where it is produced to where it is needed. back in the early days of moving electricity around, we would build a plant to produce the electricity and then a expired
web network of transmission wires -- in a circle largely -- around the plant. that became the service area. they weren't connected one to another. that's just the way it was. finally we discoed we needed to move electricity from one area to another so we connected the grids, barely, but we never did go back and build a modern transmission system and the result is, we have a system now that is not very reliable and can't effectively move power from where it is produced to where it is needed, particularly in the area of renewable power. where the wind blows and the sun shines, and you can produce wind energy and solar energy, we can't at this point have full, effective capability to move it from where you can produce it to where you need it. so we need to build an interstate transmission system. we can't do that now. we need legislation to do that. we can't do it now, as demonstrated by the fact that in the last nine years, we built 11,000 miles of natural gas pipeline to move natural gas around this country, and we've been able to