tv U.S. Senate CSPAN February 10, 2011 12:00pm-5:00pm EST
aware, do not have a relationship with care. there are individuals within care whom we've had issues and continue to have issues with and so i would say that we do not have a formal relationship with care at this time. >> did you have an informal relationship with care? >> no, but there are indications when individuals loosely associated with care or may have attend the care event that we do have relationships with so i
want to be precise in saying that we have no formal relationship but there are a number of fluid organizations depending on where you are in the country and on some occasions we may be at or with persons who have an affiliation with care. >> director panetta, your concern if it does not go right with egypt it could spread to the region. could that extend as far as morocco and algeria, for instance. >> without getting into particular companies and i'm happy to do in closed session, i think there are a number of countries in that region that could be impacted in the same way. >> also, as far as india and pakistan, are there any changes at all in the kashmir issues, any changes in the dynamics or diplomatic changes? >> there have been efforts to try to reach out between pakistan and india but as far as i know they haven't gotten anywhere. >> i think recently -- yesterday
or today, they agreed to resume strategic dialog. if that happens that would be a movement in the right direction. >> and i know nothing can be anticipated but is there a possibility of reciprocation -- if the situation in kashmir does improve somewhat, that we get more cooperation in the fatah? >> well, you know, i have to say this. that the pakistanis with regards to the operations that we're involved with have provided cooperation and have given us, you know -- have worked -- have worked with us certainly in the efforts to try to go after al-qaeda and i appreciate that effort. at the same time, obviously, we worry about their relationship with militant groups and their relationship in terms of the effort with regards to india. if kashmir -- if that area could
be resolved, that would help a great deal, i think, overall in terms of pakistani security. >> okay. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. king. >> thank you, mr. chairman, i want to thank the panel for the testimony here today and just let me thank you all for your work you're doing in your respective roles to keep the nation safe. i'm very pleased that we've had a pretty robust discussion here this morning about -- about cybersecurity and the vulnerabilities that we face. i spent a lot of time as some of you know on the cyberissue. and clearly i think we have a great deal of work yet to do. director clapper, i guess i'll start with you and perhaps director mueller can comment as well. how do you assess the progress that we made in dealing with the cyberthreat overall i know we had success and standing up
cybercommand and also deploying our perimeter defenses especially with respect to protecting the network and we're working on deploying the ensign 3 on the dot gov network but clearly not enough has been done to protect critical infrastructure which for better or worse is -- much of it is in private hands. i want to know basically at this point if there were a major cyberattack on the nation, particularly in critical infrastructure, do we know who's in charge and do we have sufficient authorities to actually stop that attack? >> chairman? >> congressman, i think we've been working very hard to try to make sure as a community we're linking together all of our capabilities and authorities to be able to respond effectively to cyberintrusions.
as director mueller says it's not always clear from whence they come or how they can be attributed. we recently signed an m.o.u. with dod to create a joint unit so that we now have an enclave colocated with nsa and cybercommand that will allow us to sort of flexibly deploy our authorities appropriately and will improve our ability to share technology and information for situational awareness. and, of course, we will use that in our department's role of sharing that information when appropriate and possible with the private sector and particularly the critical infrastructure sector that we work with very closely on a continuing basis. >> can we stop a major cyberattack on the nation today? do we have that authority and do we know who's in charge and can we act quickly to stop that attack? >> i would say that the administration is working right now on a comprehensive
cybersecurity strategy that i hope will allow us to do that. >> see, i think the answer is no. and i'm not hearing you -- >> i think we're in a much better position than we were in but i think there's much worm for progress and improvement on this and we're working in an interagency way in the white house. >> the dot.gov network and the ensign capability have been within every dot.gov? >> i don't believe it's been deployed on every node but i will get back to you on that for the record, sir. >> director mueller? >> i would say what has been in place for a couple of years caused a national cyberjoint force in identifying and correcting attacks, big, larger or small. you have all of the relevant agencies there and the expertise and the tie-in into the relevant agencies. if it turns out to be an attack by your high school student down the street then we obviously would take and it'd be a crime.
more particularly it goes to the question of stopping an attack depending on the -- from whence the attack originates, you would have people at the table there who have the capability of doing it. if it originates overseas, nsi, cia and others. if it originates in the united states we would have a jurisdiction. if it comes to the -- in putting a wall on -- between the attackers and particular entities within the united states, dhs would have a role but we have a focal point that identifies immediately the attack and then immediately tries to deter them. the focus of that attack is utilize all the capabilities we have to address it. regardless whether it's on the intelligence side or the law enforcement side. >> let me turn quickly some of the things we're talking about especially with respect to dot.mil and dot.gov our
perimeter of defenses. what is our level of defenses and being able to protect and dealing with the threat as it relates to cyber? >> well, that's something -- that is -- that issue has come to the floor and has been reaffirmed by the wikileaks disclosures and certainly within the intelligence community at least we have, i think, a strategy and embarked on an improvement program to attend to the insider threat, whether it's a wikileaks or any sort of insider threat through better identification of people who are on networks controlling removal media and most importantly and this applies for several purposes, auditing and monitoring. and our progress is uneven to
this point and we've embarked on a campaign to police that up, particularly, within the intelligence enterprise. the white house has a group -- a study group going right now how to do this across the government. on an interagency basis so i think your characterization is right. >> we've made progress but there's a lot more that yet needs to be done. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> the gentleman from new jersey. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. and to our panel, thank you for being here today. and to the men and women who serve under you in the intelligence community, our heartfelt thanks for their service to our country. very often in difficult and trying situations, a great sacrifice the nationos you and then a great debt of gratitude so we thank them. director clapper, this would be
for you and for anyone else who would like to comment. a few years ago, this issue of piracy seemed to resurface with somalia and it appeared at the time that there was somewhat of a disorganized ragtag band that was interested in shaking down someone for money and we all know the circumstances that developed after that. recently, there are some who are suggesting that terrorist networks have attempted to become involved with the piracy issue, from two vantage points. number one, to be able to fund money for their terrorist activities. number two, if they can't shake down somebody for money they can create a real terror in an incident that they might perpetrate. can you comment on that at all? >> well, first, sir, you've
highlighted a serious problem. piracy is is a major issue, particularly, of course, as is connected with somalia which essentially is a failed state. there has been no government there since 1991. and so that -- it is that area of the world where the pirates are most prevalent. there is, i think, some connection particularly with al-shabaab in somalia in relation to piracy either directly or indirectly they do obtain revenue from some of these pirate activities, although most of it at this point appears to be just individual criminal gangs operating to extract money for holding hostage of these ships. obviously that's something we're watching. in fact, terrorist threat finances is a high interest item for the community. mike, anything you want to add? >> the only thing i would add is
we're particularly worried about the pilots in the area because it also to some extent shows the growing and we think problematic potential linkage and real linkage between al-shabaab and somalia and al-qaeda and the arabian peninsula in yemen. in particular because as director mueller stated, we've had a series of americans go to somalia to train and join al-shabaab. any connective tissue we see is very problematic. >> and i'm wondering if you can confirm or deny or comment on some recent press reports of an arab-financed effort to train a security force in somali run skate putland to fight piracy. >> sir, it might be best to discuss that in private -- in a closed session. >> okay. and maybe you can touch on this and tell me if you can, more
broadlily do you have any additionally we bhooish able to do to address this issue of piracy? >> well, one of the challenges -- i'm not sure if we can do something about it. but one of the challenges with pirates is if you capture them, what do you do with them? the international legal mechanisms for prosecuting, trying and convicting pirates turns out to be rather problematic. that's obviously we in the west can do something but that is a problem for the international community. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. mr. chandler from the great state of kentucky. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this is my first opportunity to visit with people in the community as a brand-new member of this community and that i want to say to echo some of the comments that was made about the work that the men and women in
the intelligence community do for our country. i think that you all are true american patriots. you all put your lives on the line on a regular basis and i know that so many people in this country are grateful and i'm a member myself for those people. and i thank you very much for what you do. i also view your task as one of the most daunting tasks of any area in our government or, frankly, of anybody that i can think of anywhere. when you look at all the hotspots throughout the world, you think about what you all are required to do, it's just remarkable, frankly, and how you get your arms around it is amazing to me. so anything that we can do on this community to help you keep our country safe -- i know that everybody here wants to do. it's extremely important. and i wish you the best of luck
in those efforts. and in terms of asking you questions, where to start. you know, there's so many things that we need to know about and now you're dealing with the middle east and one conflagration after another. i'm particularly interested, though, in events in yemen, in the horn of africa. i'd be curious to know what the status is there of al-qaeda, how much -- i mean, we're talking about as you just said one failed state in somalia, potentially another one in yemen. we're concerned, i know, that that could become a failed state. i hope not. that is a region that i think is extremely volatile. and i was wondering what we're doing in terms of resources. do we have sufficient resources to understand what we're dealing with in the horn of africa and yemen?
what are -- what is the situation there? and the second question i would have is, is one that i think -- this makes me nervous, too. pakistan, of course, is extremely crucial to what happens in the rest of the world. what happens in afghanistan. it is the -- i think, one of the most dangerous places on the planet because you've got a state in pakistan which has enormous volatility and nuclear weapons. what can you tell us about the security of the nuclear weapons under the control of the state of pakistan? are we indecent shape there? -- in decent shape there and what can be done to make sure those weapons are secured? >> first, thank you very much for your expressions of support
and appreciation -- obviously, we appreciate that very much. a couple of comments about the two countries you bring up and it might be better if the my colleagues want to add something if you want to get into more detail in closed session. obviously, probably the president in yemen is facing some profound challenges. he has secessionists in his own country, the presence of al-qaeda and he's another leader who has been in place for a long time. and they've had demonstrations in the streets there. he has been an ally of ours particularly when, you know, militants, extremists jeopardize him. in terms of your question about resources that have been
allocated there, that might be better discussed in closed session and you're quite right about your characterization about pakistan. a lot of challenges there as well. i think what i can say in public that our assessment is that the nuclear weapons in pakistan are secure. and that's probably all we should say about that in public. >> congressman, very quickly and again, i'm very happy to talk about it in closed session. in yemen, two principal concerns for al-qaeda. one, the plots that we think are continuing to plan and try to execute from yemen are similar to what we saw on december 25th of last year for the cargo plots. the second piece is their efforts to speak to english speakers here in the united states and the west and inspire them to act in their home countries without going to yemen and getting training. on somalia, two basic challenges, i think, as well. al-shabaab closely aligned with al-qaeda but i think more at the leadership level than the rest
of al-shabaab and the troops. what i would say again, two concerns. one al-shabaab launching transnational attacks last year killing 74 including an american during the african world cup and also again as director mueller stated, we have a history of several almost in the dozens now of americans traveling to somalia to fight with al-shabaab and we remain very, very focused on the potential for them to be used as operatives back here in the united states. >> thank you. i appreciate it. mr. nunez from california. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm sure you're all familiar with the conclusions of the world at risk support by former senators graham and talent. in it they express a concern the likelihood of a bio terror attack is high and the commission further believes terrorists are more likely able to obtain and use a biological
weapon rather than a nuclear weapon. directors clapper and panetta, how do you assess the bioterror threat globally? and do you believe a bioterror invest such is an weapon an anthrax remain at the top the theft threats throughout the world. >> if i may let me turn to leiter. >> i would agree the likelihood of obtaining a biological weapon is more likely than obtaining or producing a yield-producing nuclear device although i think the likelihood of using a radiological device that doesn't have yield might be equally high. i think the possibility of anthrax, anthrax has been focused on by these groups in the past. i think it will continue to be focused on.
i think that although there is a huge consequence to that, i do think that the smaller scale, lone wolf attack with conventional weapons still stands out as the far more likely event. >> director panetta? >> congressman, that threat concerns us is great deal because obviously oftentimes when it comes to biological and chemical threats, you know, we tend to in the light of nuclear in light of the kind of suicide attacks that are conducted, we tend not to focus as much on that element. but i have to tell you from an intelligence point of view, we see more and more that al-qaeda continues to look at that possibility and that's something we are focused on as a result of that to ensure that they don't develop that capability because in dealing with al-qaeda, the
likelihood is they'll use anything they can in order to create terror and that's something -- so that means we've got to focus on all of these elements. >> thank you. for the second time, mr. chairman, i'll yield back. >> thank you, mr. nunez. mr. westmoreland from george. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank each and every one of you for your public service. i know that some of the -- some of you have been serving this country, protecting us all your adult life. and so i want to thank you all for that. my question is going to deal with the debt that we have. joint chief chairman mullen and even secretary of state clinton have made the comment that our national debt could be one of our greatest national security issues. and so i'd like to ask general clapper, director panetta and i'll give mr. goldberg -- since
he's from the state, the department of state an opportunity to address that. do you think that's a possibility that would -- or could create some problem with some of our countries that -- some of these countries that own this debt? >> well, it is a great problem for us. that's clear. and i think the debt does pose a potential threat to our national security. and i think, you know, the allusion -- the relationship we have with -- the financial relationship we have with china is illustrative of that. and so i think we recognize in the intelligence community that we're going to have to play our part in a programmic and resource sense to help reduce
that debt, but i agree with chairman mullen and secretary clinton that it does pose a huge problem for us. and we have to deal with it in my view. >> congressman, i guess i would speak to that more of a former director of the office of management and budget and a former chairman of the house budget committee that -- that threat of the debt and the level of deficits that this country is now running and the consequences of that internationally, economically and in terms of the resources we need for the future -- i think there's no question that that represents a threat that we have to pay attention to. and, you know -- obviously, you know, from an intelligence point of view, our main focus is on
al-qaeda and the threat that they pose to attacking this country. but i also think we should be smart enough to pay attention to the potential threats that exist within this country as well. >> and i would add that clearly when, it's an foreign policy issue and an intelligence area that it's a constant area of -- >> would you hit your microphone? >> sorry. >> that it's a constant topic of discussion in relation to our foreign policy and our foreign relations and its connection to our ability to deal with other countries. so it is -- it is a top concern and secretary clinton had said that it is something that we have to deal with whenever we are sitting down with the chinese and other countries. >> thank you. and mr. chairman, i'll yield back my time in deference to the time we're under.
>> thank you, sir. ms. buchman from minnesota. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to the members who have come to speak to us today. i appreciate the integrity that you bring to this process and your commitment to keeping the american people safe and now as we're all awaiting to hear what president mubarak will say to the egyptian people, the people here in the united states are paying attention as well because we sense the instability in the region and we are nervous, quite frankly, the people that we represent about what a change to egypt will mean to the middle east region. will we see a friend that will have some sympathy to the american people and to peace in the region and to a commitment a peaceful relationship with israel or not and something that i'm wondering, if you could comment on, would be in regarding to hezbollah and fatah and hamas.
and how you see the impact of the current instability in tunisia, in egypt, in yemen, also in jordan with the changes that we've seen there -- how do you see that impact on those three organizations, particularly in the light of the fact that as we look at hezbollah, secretary of defense gates has said hezbollah is perhaps the best armed of the organizations, and both in terms of quality and quantity of weaponry. what do we see as far as their equipage goes as far as hamas goes? are we sensing from them that they see an opportunity to perhaps enhance hostilities with israel now at this particular point? what are we seeing and also if you could comment regarding their weaponization as well? >> well, let me start and i'll turn to others here.
i think, frankly, the organizations you mentioned, hezbollah, hamas, et cetera, are also watching with great interest here to see how all this unfolds, particularly in egypt, and whether or not they do, in fact, have an opportunity to exploit to further their interest or not. al-qaeda, for example, has kind of a -- had a standoff relationship -- or standoff posture i should say with respect to outreach and to egypt. so to me, at least, that's -- that's a to be determined and i think they are watching and observing just as we are and are looking for opportunities perhaps to exploit or further their interest. you highlight hezbollah i think correctly so because in a sense it's kind of a state within a state. very well armed.
it also attends because to the social needs of the people. that's one of the reason why it elicits support to their population. they are armed to the teeth and they have an extensive array of mails which obviously poses a threat to israel. leon, you want to add to that? >> i think there's no question that our main job, the people at this table, is to confront terrorism in all its forms. we talked about al-qaeda, we talked about aqap, we talked about aqi and all of the different versions of al-qaeda. but the reality is that there are other terrorist groups that are equally threatening to this country. and you've identified those we worried about. hezbollah is a country that has relations -- or is a country -- is a terrorist group that clearly has ties to iran.
as does hamas and the others. and so our concern is that iran can influence the direction of those groups in a way that could really impact on the stability of that region. hezbollah is well armed. hezbollah has obviously exercised its influence in what happened in lebanon. and for all intents and purposes is -- you know, is involved in trying to influence the governing of lebanon now, in a way that we haven't seen as much in the past, we think we're exercising even greater influence today. ..
>> the rehe's of detainees -- release of detainees from egyptian prisons. i think fatah we have to put in a separate category. i would say that that's a separate and distinct problem that we can talk about i more in closed session. >> and i would only ask, and it may perhaps not be wise for this session, perhaps, in closed door but i would appreciate getting more information as to your assessment as to the number of rocket capability of hezbollah as well as the ground troupe assessment as well. and, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> dr. heck from nevada.
>> thank you, mr. chair. likewise, i offer my sincere thoughts to the members of the panel for the services they provide and also for the panel's tenacity and perseverance in this process in getting to the point where even the person with the lowest seniority on the committee gets to ask a question. [laughter] directer clapper, in your written statement and in response to the recent question, your reference to the potential threat caused by the health infrastructure vacuum in certain countries and the provision of these and other social service by extremist groups presumably in the attempt to win the hearts and minds, how would you characterize the severity of this threat and what, if any, recommendations would you have to combat the threat? >> >> the threat posed by the provision of medical, i guess, i'm not concern. >> the threat of the extremist gaps filling in service vacuum that exists in these countries. >> well, i think the arch example right now is probably
hezbollah which does attend to social services, medical treatment, that sort of thing. and, obviously, that does elicit positive response and support. that is one of the things that the miss be limb brotherhood -- the muslim brotherhood does in egypt although i hasten to add that is not under the guise of an extremist agenda. so they operate some 29 hospitals, i believe, in egypt and pursue other social services on behalf of the citizens. but it is not necessarily a, with a view towards promoting violence or overthrow the state or anything of the sort. but that is, clearly, something we watch, try to watch. to the extent that they extend those kind of services to citizens, that elicits, that elicits support, so it's something we have to monitor.
mike? you want to say anything? >> congressman, the only organization i would add that is very similar has an enormous presence in pakistan providing education and medical fs services and the like which has aligned itself very closely with many in that region and gained support from the government of pakistan. it is also a terrorist group that was responsible for killing six americans in mumbai as well as many indians in 2008. >> are there any relations on how we can -- recommendations on how we can minimize the threat of those extremist groups taking on the provision of those services? >> well, obviously, one way is to either directly attempt to provide competing services, or more, more relevance, i think, is to encourage and support the nation states in whose area they operate to provide similar services. so that -- in order to compete
with them. because they fill a vacuum as lat does that the state doesn't provide. >> let me, let me comment that, you know, i think in dealing with terrorism, in tealing withal -- dealing with al-qaeda, in dealing with jihad, you know, we're going directly at 'em, and we try to do everything we can to make sure that, that we disable their leadership, disable their command and control, disable their operations. but one of the things we've got to pay attention to is the larger message that goes out that attracts people to jihad. and if for these groups that do pay attention to social needs, that do pay attention todding those -- delivering those kinds of services, i think the united states has to be smart enough so that we are competing in the same arena. because if we don't do the messaging side of this thing, you know, we can deal with all of the bad people you want.
we're not going to be dealing with the fundamental problem that inspires jihad. >> and thank you. thank you, mr. chair, i yield back. finish. >> thank you very much, all. thank you for your open testimony, and we remind you that this is, maybe, the one and few chances for the american people to have a look and the relationship between the arcane business of intelligence and the american people. we appreciate you doing this. we're going to reconvene. we're going to go running a little bit behind. if you could stay with us on the closed portion until 1:30, we'll work hard to get you out at 1:30. we have, obviously, some important issues and questions in a closed and classified session. so if we can reconvene there at ten to one in hip si committee spaces, we'll get under way, and with your fingerprint on entrance, you get a bad calf -- cafeteria sandwich. [laughter] we look forward to seeing you in just a few minutes.
>> well, this hearing was expected to last until one this afternoon. as you heard, they're going into closed session, so we'll be leaving it at this point. by the way, tomorrow's "washington journal" will have more on international and domestic terrorism. you can see "washington journal" live tomorrow starting at 7 a.m. eastern on c-span. i believe their appearance begins at 7:45. well, much of this hearing dealt with the recent changes in the situation in egypt. as we move over to a live picture now from al-jazeera network with thousands of anti-government protesters or continuing to gather in tahrir square in cairo. egyptian state tv is, along with a number of sources, reporting that egyptian president hosni mubarak is going to step down soon giving in to the demands of protesters, military and party officials. some sources saying it could happen as early as today. state tv says president mubarak
right now is meeting with his vice president at his palace. the ap is reporting that the armed forces will be taking control in that country. in the meantime, white house spokesman robert gibbs onboard air force one today says developments remain fluid in egypt and he's not confirming reports that president mubarak is leaving office. we will continue to watch p the unfolding events in egypt and report any changes. also right now we're airing a hearing on our companion network, c-span3. >> the senate returns at 4 p.m. today after a two-daybreak for a democrat summit. they're expected to work on trade benefits.
>> potential candidates to succeed him as the number two gop leader, lamar alexander, john cornyn and john thune. general speeches starting at 4 p.m. eastern. >> this weekend on booktv on c-span2, on "after words," george friedman offers his predictions for u.s. foreign policy over the next decade. also this weekend former defense secretary donald rumsfeld sits down to talk about his memoir, "known and unknown." and the directer of the iranian studies program at stanford on the shah of iran. find the complete schedule at booktv doorg and get our -- booktv.org and sign up for our free mail alert. >> this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, voting discrimination in the south and the kennedy administration'sap strategy to overcome it. also a look at the beliefs of our founding fathers and the role of christianity in
establishing our nation. and senator daniel anyone you way with his service in world war ii. experience american history tv on c-span3. all weekend, every weekend. for a complete schedule, go to c-span.org/history and click on the c-span alert button and have the schedules e-mailed to you. >> next week president obama will present his budget to congress. earlier today we heard from a freshman member of congress on u.s. budget priorities and policies. from today's "washington journal." >> host: we want to introduce ju you to congressman tim huls camp, he is a republican of kansas. he is a freshman and a member oe the budget committee. and congressman, welcome for the first time to the "washington journal," we appreciate it. am i saying that last name correctly? >> guest: that'll work. there's a lot of pronunciations.
>> host: how do you pronounce it? >> guest: exactly like you did. >> host: okay. we were talking with our viewers this morning about budget cuts,t if any, to federal spending. you're a member of the budget committee, can you kind of put into context what has been going on the last couple of weeks in the budget committee and now in the appropriations committee and in a lot of news reports about some conservative and tea party activists calling for more budget cuts? can you give us your take on al this? clearly, status quo is not an option, and we've had folks in for far too long have ignored the culture ofultu overspending. when you're looking at a $1.5f trillion sit, it's mind -- deficit, it's mind-boggling. it didn't happen overnight, ands it's going to take a while, not peter. >> host: the appropriations abouttee is looking at $40 until cuts or so, some different figures out there.bout but is that a good start? is that enough, in your view?
>> guest: absolutely not. and we have a long waysr to go. but 40 billion out of 1.5 trillion, we obviously can't balance the budget this year.$4 but what we need to do is find l way to start. we and what i keep telling folks, and i just had 14 town halls ini my district last week, and i said everything's on the table. and most americans are getting it.e. they're expecting a straight answer from washington. far too long they've been told you can borrow and spend and tax and somehow it'll all work outea in the end, and it's not. >> host: where would you like to see some more cuts made? >> guest: i think everything should be on the table. obviously, we have to have significant entitlement reforms which can't be in our budget discussion in the next few weeks, but as we move forwardfia past the concurrent resolution, that'll be part of the discussion. par but there are plenty of programs and rsc have put together cutsoo that make a difference. >> host: and that's a republican study committee chaired by jim jordan. rep when you talk about entitlement reform, how would you envision
entitlement reform? >> guest: i think we need a new model. one thing i do know, peter, is not all the answers are found im washington, if any of those. and we need a model of medical m provisions that involve more competition andpr choice which gets into the whole provisions of the president's health care e plan and those kind of things. but we do have a medicalf th deficit, we do have an out-of-control federal budget because of ouro medical costs, and that's part of medicaid andp medicare as well as somewhat social security.l but we have to tackle that head on, and washington has always said, hey, you can't tacklee, that, but we have no options any longer.ho >> host: you had ben bernanke in your committee yesterday, the budget committee. what did you hear from him? >> guest: i guess i was underwhelmed. we don't have any growth, and where are the jobs? looking at long-term unemployment at high levels and be talking about 5-10 years
maybe at the current growth rates, we'd actually grow to thl levels of unemployment we are used to and should have. so we have, essentially, aoyme jobless e recovery going on. so i was very underwhelmed. but the problem is, i think, far too often washington thinks they create jobs. it doesn't happen. and most republicans agree that jobs are created by people int the private sector. what we need to do in washington, in my opinion s to get out of the way, and that's what my folks in kansas are w looking for. >> host: well, your first time in washington, give us a quick background on yourself. >> guest: i come from a small town called fowler, farm andcall ranch for a living, served a few years in the state legislature. and like most members of the freshman class, i got tired of what was going on in washington and wanted to change the culture up here and not just at the c margins. we're talking fundamental change, we're talking about a culture in washington that's oul of control, that's in every sector of the economy, and withi a $1.5 trillion deficit and an
anemic recovery and millions of unemployed americans, it's time for a change. >> host: did you get elected with tea party support, and are you a member of the tea party: r caucus? >> guest: i am a member of the tea party caucus, yes. i have served in the legislature for many years and, yes, i often spoke to taxpayer rallieses we called 'em back then. what's amazing about this is around the world you have a lot of folks protesting for more government, protesting cuts many services where here you have a bunch of americans saying, hey, ratchet it done down, give us control back of our country. so i think it's an excitinge trend, but it's a distinctly american idea that we need lesse in washington. we're members, and we're excited by the fact that millions ofed americans, i think, are involved when a couple of years ago they probably weren't. i >> host: this lead story in "the new york times" this morning, this is in other papers as well, but house leaders facing turmoil in gop ranks.
are you satisfied with the housm relationship so far? -- leadership so far? there's been a occupy col of -- couping of votes where it hasn' gone the way the leadership wanted it to because of freshman conservatives. >> guest: well, i don't know if it was freshman conservatives, but one of my papers back homeae said it's been two weeks, you haven't replaced obamacare. things don't move very quickly. the point being, it's the long term. what are we going to get done? are we going to face and tackle the budget deficit and some of these other tough problems?? votes here and there, that doesn't get it done. it's the real entitlement reform, it's the real budgets balancing.e let's do a balanced budget amendment, and let's do some things that'll have long-terms o impact. i think the leadership is commit today that, but they need to be moved in the direction most americans are, and that's get'er done. >> host: what's surprised you most about washington?
>>s >> guest: i went home last wee' and they said, was it everything you expected? i said, yes, and even worse.a [laughter] the complacency about the debt, the $1.5 trillion deficit, and, you know, i talk in my town halls, it's not about the folks that were there, it's about the children and grandchildren thatt weren't there because those aren the ones that are going to have to pay this off.i am a lot of folks say they want to do something, but when they say, hey, let's put something on the table, not my program and not what i'm doing here becauseg that's too critical. so the complacency is my concern. >> host: first call for the congressman, republican fromy co kansas, a freshman, denim springs, louisiana.uels byron on our democrats' line. you're on the air. o >> caller: yes, thank you, peter, for letting me speak on a c-span. i'd like to ask the congressman a couple of questions, and then i'll give some suggestions for balancing the budget. first question is or first fact that i know, exactly ten yearst
ago this week, governor -- ipr mean president george w. bushd signed a $1.6 trillion tax cut. if he wouldn't have done that, t we'd be $16 trillion ahead righe now. there wouldn't have been any deficit. and while you were a farmer or rancher, did you receive any subsidies from the federal government? and let's cut out all the subsidies for the business, the oil companies, the farmers, let's also cut all foreign aid and the cost of the war. >> host: all right, byron. >> caller: then we'll have a surplus. >> host: thank you for calling in. let's start with the tax cut issue.tart >> guest: yeah, great question. i guess it's a different philosophy. somehow folks in washington think they take more ofolks taxpayers' money, somehow it'll balance. you know, we don't have a revenue problem in washington, i
believe we've got a spending problem. and you look at the facts, and v that's, i think, pretty clear on that. we need to make certain that entrepreneurs across america are able to create jobs. and that involves rolling backca regulations, not raising taxes, providing some certainty. so i know a lot of folks say, boy, if we could just take more money, we'd balance. government spends the money that they want to take, and the same thing with farm subsidies, yes, our family has taken those, and my share of that's been very small, but i've told my constituents, everything's onha the table including farm programs, including food stands. the status quo's no longer an h option. >> host: can you get reelected by going home to a ranching and farming constituency and saying everything's on the table, including subsidies? >> guest: well, that's what we've been saying. and status quo, like i said, is no longer an option, peter. i wouldn't guess what people would want to do and guess whether, you know, how they'd look for it into the next
election. but, again, it's not the people: voting a year from now that aree going to, that i'm worriedow t about. it's my, i have four young children.haab i'm worried about $14.3i trillion.ldre but i think so, i think the american people are saying, hey, we understand. you can't borrow, you know,hey, currently if you take out the money that comes in for the national debt, paying theat c interest and paying the mandatory programs, every other program we borrow money to spend on it. ms, every other program, we borrow money to spend on it. that is not sustainable. host: next call, ted on our republican line. please go ahead with your question. caller: good morning. you show things on the tv, like a list of proposed cuts. $500 million here, $5 billion here, $1.2 billion here. the problem is, there is a shortage. what we do not see is what the benefit of those programs are. to try and make cuts on pet
peeves -- i hope the congressman and the budget committee will not be going by peeves, but will approach it or by what are the benefits we receive from -these receive- more by -- more by what are the benefits we receive from these things. it seems ludicrous to import 60% of the food in this country and continue to pay farmers not to grow food. that just doesn't make sense to me. what is a "forgiven loan"? that sounds like a gift with a five-year string on it. the most important thing i think we can do is invest in the education program. many of your listeners have called in, said, we have to start putting americans back to work. we cannot put americans back to work in factories and so forth because the jobs -- the labor market just is not there for that. we have to have a worldwide market. an educated populace is the only
way to do that. things are not working on that -- in that area. host: we have a lot going on. congressman? guest: i appreciate your comments. if education could drive our economy, we would have the fastest-growing economy in the world. we spent trillions of dollars on education. the president wants to invest, spend, borrow. it just does not grow the economy. what does grow the economy is taking on the regulations, the small business administration estimates that the cost of regulations are $1.75 trillion. if we could roll some of those back to a level of certainty and a level that is much lower than it was before the current and previous administrations, we would have much growth. we would have jobs. if we could spend our way to prosperity -- they have proven in washington that isn't working.
again, it is the old adage that washington does not create jobs, but more regulation and red tape. let's unleashed entrepreneurs across america -- unleash entrepreneurs across america and we will see tremendous growth. host: congressman tools camp is our guest -- huelskamp is our gest. what do you want to question douglas elmendorf about? guest: i want to hear about the facts. where are we at? i asked mr. bernanke yesterday, tell us about the current economic growth projections. how long before we get down to the right to unemployment level? five or 10 years is not good enough. the idea that we could have a $1.50 trillion deficit and people talk about $40 billion in cuts, and that is a rounding error -- we need to be serious
and face the problem head-on. mr. bernanke did indicate that the long-term economic indicator -- impact of these deficits will be stunning. we cannot grow our way out of the deficit. we have to reduce what we are doing. host: do you think there is the political will to make some of the structural changes you have described and that president obama talked about in the state of the union address? guest: i believe there is, but i'm very optimistic. i think that's what the election was about in part. people were upset about the direction of the country and recognized that we just cannot carry $14.30 -- $1.40 trillion deficits. people at home tell me, hey, congressman, if you're going to raise the debt ceiling, tell me exactly what you are going to do to make sure we do not have to do this again.
i think there is the political will. i tell some of my colleagues, many of whom participated in creating the problem is -- the republicans were given a second chance in this election cycle. they will not be given a third. the republicans and democrats, president -- i am hopeful. we will see what happens. a lot of people talk, but this is about action. host: james allen tweets in -- guest: i do take part in the system, like every other federal employee. repeal health care for 30 million americans. imply stopped- killing proposal that would cost $2.70 trillion. somehow, there are folks in this town who believed they were controlling the entire of care system they would save us all
money. i could not find a government program that has worked out that way, particularly on health what we need is more competition and more choice, just like is federal employees have. if you go into kansas, they have one choice for kansas insurer. and so we need more competition and choice.we that's why we're going to work in committees here in washington on the republican side anyway to provide some alternatives and to do what we can to have some real health care reform. >> host: tell us about the firso congressional district in kansas. >> guest: it is huge and getting huger. [laughter] it's one of the 13th largest in the country, it's about 400 miles indian and just -- >> host: southwestit corner? >> guest: the western two-thirds, actually. >> host: western two-thirds. >> guest: essentially. the largest town is 50,000 -- >> host: what town is that? >> guest: salina. and there are other towns close at hand.ther again, i'm from a town of 500.
small, rural town america. and it's folks that say, hey, we've had enough. weer have our share of programsn the first district of kansas, and some of them you make good argument for and some less of an argument. but the folks are saying, hey, it's -- we're ready to build america back up again, and it'so just a, it's tremendous to go out in a town hall, have 14 of those in a week and just look at folks, say, hey, what are weto doing up there? and they gave us an earful.s >> host: is it losing population? >> guest: it certainly is. it certainly is, and like a lot of rural areas. but the issue of regulations and how it cripples -- i i farm and ranch for a living and how it cripples, you know, the proposal by the epa to ban at rah zien. why? there is noe -- basis for that in science. it estimates that will cost 40,000 -- 14,000 jobs.
if that were banned, we would roll back many of our conservation practices many decades. there is a proposal by the epa to limit dust. i live in western kansas. there is probably not any day we would not exceed those limits. people say, what is going on, the tools camp -- on, huelskamp? host: next call, carl on our independent line. caller: hello. gentlemen, i would like to know why, in september, 2010, there was a bill that would end subsidies to american businesses to move jobs to china. it was defeated, mainly along party lines, by the republicans. i think that would be a good way to start with budget cuts.
let's stop giving these subsidies. also, let's maybe do something about bringing, or at least keeping, jobs in america. guest: carl, i'm familiar with the bill. i was not around at that time thatthank good -- at that time, thank goodness. we will have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. if you want to see jobs shift overseas and continue along that path, there will be our real economic impact -- a real economic impact. we can compete by changing the tax structure. we do have disincentives to business, and that is a real concern of mine. i appreciate your concern. host: one of the issues coming up -- raising the debt ceiling.
what is your plan right now? guest: in just a month or so, i think it is important to note that the vote on the debt ceiling is a referendum on past spending. we will probably have to vote to do that. the question is, what is going to be in that pack >> guest: we have to have serious, significant budget reform. i personally would support a balanced budget amendment to avoid this problem in the future and force congress and the president in the future just to balance your budget. it's going to take a couple years at least, but i think the american people are for it. they understand you can't carry trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. i think we'll see that in the president's budget next week. we'll face that head on, but the idea we raise it and go on is not an option in my book. >> host: indianapolis, content, republican line, you're on. >> caller: in responding to the
concept to cut the budget, i've been watching the hearings with mr. bernancke. we should not be cutting the budget. if you want to cut the budget, there's plenty of stuff there to cut. the federal reserve caused the crisis. let them print the currency as it designates in the constitution. why don't we have some tariffs? [inaudible] why don't we take the bailout money back from all of these international banks that are robbing us blind? if you let him do this to us,
there's going to be serious problems, talking about taking pension funds away, social security away. >> host: all right, kent, we got the point. thank you. >> caller: i appreciate that, and at least in my book, ben bernanke is an adviser and i think the real issue here is though when we're liking at -- looking at a budget, we can't spend money we don't have. the appreciate the caller recognizing what washington does. we want to create jobs in washington that and the life-supports have shown that. it's a real concern. there are folks out there who think new normal is 9-10% unemployment. that's the european model. washington is clear, needs to get out of the way, stop the high tax killing regulations, and i think we'll have economic
growth. it's not going to happen with policies at the fed, but i am concerned with the fact they are easy money and that could potentially cause problems as well. >> host: this is from bill who tweets in to you, big thing in the news is that ethanol said food will continue to rise and corn futures skyrocket. is it a good thing as a farmer/rancher that corn prices are going up pretty significantly right now? is that a good thing, and how do you balance that with the increased food costs? >> guest: depends if you have corn or not. it's just like any other commodity. it's a supply and dmend function. ethanol has taken some of the demand. in your current scenario,
commodities are valued more than paper. a lot of commodities, and that was in the hearing with ben bernanke, and he wants to remove the energy and food out of the inflation. i think there's a potential real inflationary factor, but i didn't want to get away from the issue of ethanol. it's almost market competitive from what they're telling me. there's some folks in the industry who said do away with the subsidies, just make should have we have access, and we'll move forward. that will be examined and reduced, but there's folks saying, hey, let's do away with that. those in the livestock sec store are not -- sector are not necessarily supported by ethanol subsidies. >> host: would you be supportive of cutting ethanol subsidies? >> guest: they should be reduced. >> host: can they be eliminated?
>> guest: i think they can. we'll have hearing in the ag committee and ways and means and look at that. we'll have hearings and open that up, but there are folks in the industry that say, hey, give us access to the marketplace to sell our products, and we'll be competitive with oil from the middle east. that's the good thing. we need to develop sources whether it's ethanol, wind, coal. i'm an area where we used to have the largest natural gas rereceivers in the world, but we use coal to generate electricity. the epa is concerned about that, but that's a local issue. the point is we're trying to build a new plant to produce electricity to create 1800 new jobs. it's regulations that stopped that plant for the last three years. >> do you know where hayes, kansas is? >> guest: absolutely, it's my
district. >> caller: congress mapp, we hope you would move more to the moderate approach of your preed -- predecessor. the epa, you have degraded on numerous occasions in you know comment. the epa can help in many ways to keep us safe with clean water and clean air and the regulations that help to do that. as far as the budget cuts, how about considering what our former president eisenhower said about the military industrial complex and all the useful pieces of equipment, some of which the armed services don't even want, but congress continues to fund because it makes their district look good, and washington can, indeed, create jobs, congressman. jobs in high speed rail, solar, and wind which they can
subsidize, which have been subsidized in the past to a certain extent. >> host: three issues on the table, congressman. >> guest: military and budget cuts -- >> host: and epa. >> guest: i'm serious when everything should be on the table. secretary gates mentioned things he could do without. i'm not a military expert, but i think washington said, wait a minute, everything's on the table? everything's on the table and everything should be competing. the idea in this place is that cut one sector off, and that means everybody. yeah, i think we should look closely. what i disagree with is somehow washington creates jobs. the only jobs they create is the 1099 requirement in the health care bill. that's going to create thousands of jobs if it's not repealed. it's creating jobs for
accountants who do nothing economically other than paperwork. i'm talking about that, mike, because kansas is talking about the fact they are tired of the epa. the epa decided a few years ago they were going to try to implement $87 cow tax. why? they wanted to capture methane gas from cows. it's silly, and we laugh about it, but they want to ban dust, burning in the flint hills that have been going on for generations. the silly thanks that are -- things that are not science based. they are talking about that, and lastly, the issue of the epa in terms of the global warming and the cap-and-trade. if you want to drive jobs out of rural america, the cap-and-trade is the perfect scenario to drive jobs to mexico. >> host: we have 10 minutes left with the first time guest
here on the "washington jowrnt." cincinnati, glenn -- glenn, you need to turn that tv volume down. moving to john in arkansas. democrat, hi, john. >> caller: good morning, peter, and thank you for c-span. a couple suggestions here i want to make. one, redo the tax code, close loopholes, especially for dirty energy. cut the house and senate salary and pensions by 20%. close 70% of the 870 military bases around the world. these are from the democrats and republicans and a closed political system. this is the problem. a, have public financing. the term limits to two to three terms in the electoral college have a 50% vote and have real debates for presidents, not the canned show we now see.
>> john, before you go, there's a lot on the table. >> caller: i know i did. i'm sorry. >> host: that's okay. i just want you to follow-up on why you support term limits. >> caller: realm, what we keep -- well, what we keep seeing here is i listen closely to the tea party people. we see the back and forth of the left and right and media makes money on businesses to inflame the wedge issues, and we never get to the real core problems. we never talk about the -- i mean, we've got 870 military bases around the world. why? you know, the republicans and these tea party like to talk about the constitution and stuff, but we're not living to the constitution, and we're wasting so much money, and you keep taking it from the people who have lobbyists. it's always from the weak, from the poor people, and that's why it was a term limit.
these people, they don't have any sense of reality of what the real american people, the working class. >> host: thanks for calling in today. >> guest: a lot of things there from john, and i appreciate that. that's what's great about america. that's what is great about elections. the vast majority of people around the world can't vote on their representatives, but john talked about a lot of things. i think the first one is the idea of the tax code reform. i support a flatter fairer tax, and there's going to be hearings and start talking about that. again, to me, the biggest issue in this campaign last year was the fact that we got out of control deficit, $1.5 trillion, whatever the figure is for the week, and i think that's what the election was about. most of the americans missed the point whether it's military or food stamps, whether it's the other welfare programs, i mean, those things need to be looked out because we are borrowing .40
cents from every dollar we spend. if we would somehow create jobs just isn't going to happen. there's constitutional limits that we've gone well beyond on. the national defense is a basic requirement in the constitution. we have got to get that one done first and right. >> host: about 20% of the congress is new this year. brand new congress. do you find that to be a good thing? do you think term limbs are a good thing? do you think longevity is a good thing? >> guest: obviously, i'm happy with the freshmen class and a lot of folk. you know, it's amazing. it's a broad array of various parts of america, various backgrounds, walks of life. we need that diversify on capitol hill, and i think it's going to bring a new perspective and focus on what's going on, and so there's real change up there. change is scarry to folks in
washington, especially those who are used to the status quo, but hopefully we'll see whether we change washington, this freshmen class or washington changes us. frankly, i didn't sign a term pledge. i don't know how long we'll be here. when the job is done, we want to go home. i have four young children. this is not a fun place to be, but i think it's the right place to be, but there's so many freshmen committed to staying in touch with the folks back home and making real changes up here. on term limits, there's a president with term limits, and i think in two years, the damage that's done in trillion dollar deficits, they've added $2.8 trillion to the long term debt, i mean, it's amazing what can be done in two short years, and it's amazing what can be done good in my opinion in the next two years. >> host: how long does it take to get home and how do you do it? >> guest: 10-12 hours to fly
and then you have a drive. there's a couple connections and drive 2.5 hours home. it's a ways to get here. >> host: back to cincinnati, glenn, republican line. go ahead with the question for congressman. >> caller: congressman, the question i had, i got a couple of them, but one would be why don't we take some of the epa budget and like go $20,000 tax credits for people who by hi breds, and that cuts our oil usage in half and you get 40 miles per gallon, and that cuts pollution, and that's filling the epa's demand. that seems a simple way to do it fast and also produce jobs. >> host: all right, thank you, glenn. >> guest: i appreciate that suggestion, but i believe glenn, if you want to buy that car, buy it. the government should not tell
you what car to buy. electricity has to reproduce. epa is standing in a lot of new ways to produce electricity. if you want to buy an electric car, do it, but the epa shouldn't pay you to buy one. we have tremendous resources in the country whether it's coal, you know, we do have ethanol industries, and wind. we have tremendous resources plus all the oil and gas, and if washington would get out of the way, we could produce a lot more energy. that's going to be a driver if we don't get let washington get out of the way with more energy plux take place. >> host: nashville, independent line, please, go ahead. >> caller: good morning. quickly, your guest was talking about cutting education budget. my question is he said he has
four kids. are any in private school or public school? next comment is cutting regulations. back in the 30s, 1500 men a year were dying in the coal mines in america. i don't know how many are dying in china, ect., ect.. one more. when nafta kicked in and all the heavy industry went south of the river into mexico for cheaper labor, that area became the hardest hit area in the world according to the -- what is it? world health organization for birth defects because there was no epa, because there was just rampant waste and pollution. >> host: clyde, we got the point. thank you. >> guest: yeah, absolutely. quite a few things there as far as regulations and he mentioned
education. i'll tie those together. i'm a firm believer with a bipartisan mistake for no child left behind there's more federal regulations on education. our education dollars should be turned back over to the states. that's one way to reduce regulations. there's a new governor in kansas, and he'd be more than happy. take 5% less money on block grants, give them to the 50 states, let them do what they can do. the best answers are not found in washington. they will be found back home. i think that's how we address a lot of the regulations. these are 30 or 40 years ago regulations. i'm talking about the ones in the last two years. there's been 100 regulations particularly for health care that are enormous job killers and a drag on our economy. >> host: are you happy with the public school system in your town or your area, and with the town of 500, where do your kids
go to school? >> guest: we home school our children and online virtual schools as well. that works for our schedule. about education, i tell me folks back home, you know, it was a republican president that passed no child left behind. first, visit with nor teacher -- with your teacher and then the school board. the further we separate it from the people, the parents, and the local community, that's where we create the problems. we try to create and have local control and education in kansas as many other states have as well. >> host: what's your experience with home schooling? >> guest: it's tough. it really is, but it's a real commitment, and the home schooling parents i know are committed to that. it's an option, a growing option, and you know, there's folks who have seen some tremendous progress with a lot of children in home schooling. >> host: if you didn't home
school, is there a local school in your town of 500? >> guest: there is, there is. one the smallest schools in the entire state, but yeah, that's a challenge for rural areas is maintaining good schools. we have to have those, and with the declining population, and we struggle with losing population, and what i want to do to make sure washington is a partner by getting out of the way in this is creating jobs, and there's entrepreneurs all over the world that would like to be in america if we could lower regulation and have a reasonable level of taxation, and i think my district is one the best places in america to live and a great work ethic, and we are making certain employeesment to stay there and grow there. >> host: when you're here, who is running your cattle ranch? >> guest: it's a farm -- >> host: is it a farm or cattle ranch? >> guest: we used to run cattle as well, it's corn and
wheat. >> host: no more cattle? >> guest: no, a few in the summer, but mostly a crop organization. i farm with my dad and brother. it's a typical farm, multiple generations, so we don't get much work done on the farm. ethics rules actually prevents you to be working much on the farm, and the schedule doesn't permit that. we have to turn that over to the rest of the family, and we had some of that going on when the served in the state legislature. >> host: is there a labor shortage if you hire folks to help out? >> guest: that's one thing that is so much stronger than the rest of the economy. we have jobs, it's just whether people want to work in them. jobs in food production and packing plants. we have jobs that we need people, but again, they are tough jobs, and they are in agriculture. agriculture -- i think it's the best spot for the future as well. our unemployment is historically low and still is very low.
>> host: mason city, iowa. rob, republican line, hi. go ahead, rob. nope, not there. we will move on to peoria, arizona. go ahead, marvin. >> caller: yes, thank you for taking my call. one of the things i would like to see -- >> host: we're listening. turn down the volume on the tv and go ahead. >> caller: one of the things i would like to see the congress address is the amount of foreign aide. i understand -- >> host: we got the point. turn down the volume, and you can hear everything through your phone. congressman, foreign aide. >> guest: foreign aide is always an easy target, and i agree, there's a lot of reductions we have to do there. the bucket is $1.5 trillion in
drops, and we have to focus on that. we're looking at the fact that, you know, we spent $56 million. that's a big amount, but not up here. we sent that to china last year. one of our major bankers, and we still give them foreign aid. that doesn't make sense. hopefully that's discussed and we'll reduce a lot of the foreign aide. >> host: it's the 150th anniversary of kansas; reg? >> guest: two weeks ago it was. we are in the middle and heart of things, right in the middle of the battle of slavery. we are known as bloody kansas. >> host: it was after the election of 1860, but prior to inauguration of president lincoln. >> guest: yes, i was reading a book last night, and i have four
adopted children with african-american backgrounds. the background of kansas is important. they led in the mission to free black americans. there's 150 years of history in kansas, and proud of that as well. >> host: are they haitian? >> guest: two daughters from haiti, and my two other children were already americans. there's a mixture of international and domestic adoptions. >> host: pleased to introduce you to congressman tim, a freshman member and congressman, i hope you come back to the washington journal. >> as you've been hearing, there are reports that egyptian president mubarak this evening will address the nation and announce he is stepping down. that has not been confirmed yet, but we expect some comments fairly soon according to news reports from cairo. we have been looking in all day
at this in english and the coverage of the unrest and political demonstrations in tahir square in cairo. we will take you to marquette, michigan where president obama is talking about energy initiatives, but we are hearing reports that the president will address the egyptian situation at the top of his speech. we'll bring that to you scheduled at 1:15 eastern, but pushed back to 1:30. we also plan to bring you president's mubarak comments when they happen. there's no confirmation on a time. this is a report out of the "washington post" and the foreign service reporters, mubarak to address the nation amid reports that he will succeed power. he is poised to receive power after 17 days of massive citizen demonstrations with the country's military saying long
time leader would meet protester's demand. mubarak could step aside as soon as thursday night. he made those comments in a house intelligence committee hearing earlier today. we hope to bring you those comments as well. however, that report is conflicted by or contradicted from another report saying television in egypt says the minister there denied that president mubarak will step down. we have to wait and see. we're going to wait a few minutes here, waiting for president obama to speak live at northern michigan.
>> communication networks that move goods and information as fast as possible. to make room for these investments, we're going to have to cut whatever spending we can do without. we've got a real issue with debt and deficits, so we've got to live within our means. that means that we got to cut out things that aren't adding to growth and opportunities in order to invest in those things that are. that's why i propose we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years to reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion in the next decade. it will bring spending to the lowest share of our economy since eisenhower was president. that's a long time ago. [laughter] even i wasn't born then. [laughter] government has to do what american families do every day, live within our means. even as we do so, we can't
sacrifice our future. i'll just give you guys an analogy. if you're trying to cut back in your family, you might decide we're not going out to dinner so often. maybe we'll skip a vacation and not remodel the kitchen, but you wouldn't stop saving for your child's college education. you wouldn't stop saving for your own retirement. if your boiler was broken or your roof was leaking, you'd still go ahead and make those investments. well, the same is true with our country. we've got to cut out the e equivalence of eating out and vacations. i know there's restaurant owners here, go eat at their restaurants, but i'm just making a general point. [laughter] even as we cut out the things that we can't afford to do without, we've got a responsibility to invest in those areas that will happen. the biggest impact on our
future, and those things are innovation, education, and infrastructure. that last area, infrastructure, is why i've come here today. connecting a country of our size has never been easy of. just imagine what americans experience when they spanned out across 13 colonies to develop a continent. if you wanted to get from one coast to another, it would take you months, cost you a small fortune. if you settled in the heartland, you were an io land with no -- island with no real market to sell your goods or buy what you needed. you might have to wait until the traders come by so you can stock up. we decided to build a railroad to span a continent that used thousands of miles of steel and used an army of immigrants to
work. there was evidence that required the support of our government. it just didn't happen on its own. as general william t. sureman said, uncle sam is the only giant i know who can grapple the subject. even as president lincoln tried to hold the north and south together, he was determined to see this railroad unit east and west. other companies joined the charge, racing each other to meet, and eventually a telegraph operator sent out a simple message to the cheers of the waiting nation. the telegraph just said done. done. if he knew we were still talking about it today, he might have come up with something more inspiring. [laughter] but overnight, the transcontinental railroad laid the way for a nationwide economy, not a bunch of local
economies, but a nationwide economy. suddenly, a cross country trip was cut from months todays. the cost to move goods and mail, plummeted. cowboys drove cattle in rail cars with them back east. entrepreneurs could sell anything anywhere. after the railroad was completed, a newspaper proclaimed, we are the youngest of peoples, but we are teaching the world to march forward, teaching the world to march forward, that's who we are. we are a nation that is always built to compete. that's why decades later, fdr set up the role in the electric administration to help bring power to vast swaths of america that were still in darkness. companies said that building lines to rural area would be too
costly. big cities already had electricity, but they said, you know, it's too costly to go in remote areas and to go into the upper peninsula, so americans in these towns went without refrigeration or running water. if you wanted a look at the larger world, your town might run a movie after a small diesel engine that might not last the whole film. once power lines were laid down, electricity flowed to farms across the country transforming millions of lives. there's a well-known story of a texas family returning home the first night their farmhouse was hooked up. a woman thought it was on fire, and her daughter said, no, mom, the lights are on.
think about that. that wasn't that long ago. government was there to help make sure that everybody, everybody, not just some, but everybody, to those, and everybody had immediate access to electricity. years later as our nation grew by leaps and bounds, we realized that a patchwork system of back roads and dirt paths couldn't handle the biggest economy in the world. president eisenhower helped make it possible to build an interstate highway system, and that, too, transformed the nation as much as the railways had. finally, we could ship goods and services to places where the railroads didn't reach. it meant we could live apart from where we worked. we could travel. we could see america.
each of these achievements, none of them just happened. we chose to do them. we chose to do big things. every american benefit, not just from new con conveniences or the jobs of laying down new lines, tracks, or pavement, but we benefits from new economic growth from scores of businesses in each town that opened a new train station, new powerlines, or a new offramp, but this is a new century, and we can't expect tomorrow's economy to take root using yesterday's infrastructure. we have to think about what's the next big thing? we have to make sure that we're at the forefront just like we were in the last century.
today, news companies are going to seek out the fastest, most reliable ways to move goods, people, and information whether they are in shanghai or chicago. if we want new jobs and businesses here in america, we've got to have the best transportation system, and the best communication networks in the world. like that movie, "field of dreams," if we build it, they will come, but we got to build it. we got to build it. over the last two years, we've begun rebuilding for the 21st century. there's a national project that meant thousands of jobs for the hard hatted construction industry, and i've now proposed redoubling these efforts. we want to put americans to work repairing roads and bridges. within 25 years, our goal is to have 80% of americans with access to high speed rail to allow you to go to places in half the time it takes to go to
by car. within five years, we want it possible for businesses to put high speed internet services and reach every american. that last part, high speed wireless is why i chose to come to northern michigan university today. [applause] let me give you some context. today, more than 90% of homes in south korea subscribe to high speed broadband. they have better networks than we do. in america, the nation that created the internet, by the way, because of government investment, didn't just happen by itself magically, because of government r and d, we created the internet, but, yet, only 65% of house holes here --
households here in america can say the same. when it comes to high speed internet, the lights are still off in one-third of our households. one out of every three households in america don't have that same access. for millions of americans, the railway hasn't showed up yet. for our families and businesses, high speed wireless service, that's the next train station, the next offramp. it's how we'll spark new innovation, new investment, new jobs, and you know this here in northern michigan. that's why i showed up, in addition to being pretty and people being nice. [cheers and applause] for -- [applause] for decades, now this university has given a new laptop to every incoming student.
wifi stretched across campus, but if you lived off campus like most students and teachers here, you were out of luck. broadband was too expensive too afford, and if you lived a bit further out of town, you were completely out of luck because broadband providers will not build networks where it's not profitable, just like they wouldn't build electrical lines where it wasn't profitable, so this university tried something new. you partnered with various companies to build a high-speed, next generation wireless network. you managed to install it with six people in only four days without raising tuition. good job. [cheers and applause] good job. [applause]
by the way, if you give me the name of the six people -- [laughter] there's a bunch of stuff in washington i'd like to see done in four days with six people. [laughter] so today, this is one of america's most connected universities, and the enrollment is near the highest it's been in 30 years. what's more, and this is what makes this special, you told nearby towns that if they allowed you to retrofit their towers with new equipment to expand your network, then their schools, city responders and governments could use it too, and as a result police officers can access crime data bases in their cars, firefighters can down load blueprints on the way to a burning building, and public works officials save money by monitoring pumps and
equipment remotely, and you've created new on -- online learning opportunities for students as for as 30 miles away in a place where students can't always make it to school in a place that averages 200 inches of snow a year. [laughter] [applause] now, some of those students don't appreciate the end of school days. i know our daughters get really excited about school days. of course, in washington, things shut down when there's an inch of snow. [laughter] but, this technology is giving them more opportunities. it's good for their education. it's good for our economy. in fact, i just came from a demonstration of online learning in action. we were with the professor rubic, and he had plugged in
nagoni high school and powell township schools in big bangs -- [cheers and applause] i felt like the guy in star trek being beamed around the upper peninsula here, but it was remarkable to see the possibilities for these young people who are able to, let's say do a chemistry experiment, and they can compare results with kids in boston or if there's some learning tool or material that they don't have immediately accessible in their school, they can connect here to the university, and they are able to tap into it. it's opening up an entire world to them, and yon of the young people -- young people who i was talking to, he talked about foreign policy and what we're seeing in places like egypt and he said, you know, what's amazing for us is that now we have a window to
the entire world and we can start understanding other cultures and places in ways we could never do without this technology. the local businesses, broadband access is helping them grow and pos per and compete -- prosper and compete in a global economy. in fact, marquette has been rated one of the top-5 cities in michigan for entrepreneurship. [applause] that's right. [applause] so, here's a great example. [inaudible] the jetsons are here. where are they? there they are. in is a third generation family owned institution. they had the same downtown store for more than a century, but with the help of broadband, they
were listed as one of america's 5,000 fastest growing companies. how did they pull that off? [applause] how did they -- [applause] great products, great service, but what's also true is online sales make up more than two-thirds of their annual revenue. think about that. you got a downtown department store, now two-thirds of its sales are online. it can process more than a thousand orders a day, and its work force is more than doubled. you got a local business with a global footprint because of technology. now, if you can do this in snowy u. p., we can do it all across america. in fact, many places already are.
in wagner, south dakota, patients receive high quality life saving medical care from a sioux falls south dakota. there's a town in wyoming of 300 people and a fiberoptic company allowed them to employee several hundred teachers to teach english to china. this is in-sourcing where overseas work is done right here in the united states of america. [applause] we want to multiply these stories. we want to multiply your story all over the country.
.. >> to seek new opportunity because opportunity is right there at his or her fingertips. [applause] so to make this happen we're going to invest in research and development of emerging technologies and applications. we're going to accelerate breakthroughs in health and education and transportation and deploy a new nationwide
interoperable wireless network for first responders making sure they've got the funding and the frequencies that they were promised and that they need to keep us safe. [applause] by -- that's important. by selling private companies the rights to these airwaves, we won't just encourage private investment and expand wireless access, we're actually going to bring in revenues that lower our deficits. access to high-speed internet by itself won't make a business more successful or a student smarter or a citizen more informed. that takes hard work. it takes those late nights. it takes hustle. it takes that quintessentially american drive to be the best. that's what's the most important ingredient for our success. but we've always believed that we have a responsibility to guarantee all our people every tool necessary for them to meet
their full potential. so if they're willing to work hard, they can succeed. and in a 21th century economy -- 21st century that has never been more important. every american deserves access to the world information. every american deserves access to the global economy. we have promised this for 15 years, it's time we delivered on that promise. [applause] it's time we delivered on that promise. [applause] so connecting our people, competing with the rest of the world, living within our means without sacrificing what's required to win the future. we can do all this. because we've done it before. in the 1960 at the height of his presidential campaign, jfk came to michigan.
and it was a moment similar to this one. other nations were doing their best to try to take our place at the top. and here in ban he made it -- michigan he made it clear that if we wanted to keep from being knocked off our perch, there could only be one goal for the united states. it could be summed up in one word: first. first. i do not mean first, but -- he said -- i don't mean first, when, i don't mean first, if. i mean first, period. and the real question now, he continued -- [applause] the real question, he continued, is whether we're up to the task. whether each and every up with with of us is willing to face the facts, to bear burdens, to face the risks and to meet our dangers.
that was 50 years ago. but things haven't changed in terms of what's required to succeed. and we were up to the task then. i believe we're up to the task today. time and again whether westward or skyward, with each rail and road that we've laid in every community we've connected with our own science and our imagination, and we've forged new our faith that -- anew that we can do anything. we do big things. that's who we are, and that's who we're going to have to be again. a young nation that teaches the world to move forward. that's what you're doing up here in u.p., that's what you're doing at the university. that's what we're going to do in the years and months to come. thank you. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. [cheers and applause] ♪
[cheers and applause] >> president obama speaking at northern michigan university many in marquette, michigan. at the top of his speech, the president said america will continue to support the orderly and genuine transition to democracy in egypt, and we're waiting to hear from egyptian president hosni mubarak. two news sources now say that will happen at 2000 gmt. it's about 20 minutes after two, so that puts it about 3:00 eastern we expect the comments from mubarak. meanwhile, the bbc reports the president may stand down. they write that the military is standing by to support the orderly transition, that from the bbc this afternoon.
again, we're expecting to hear from president mubarak at 3:00 eastern. we will have it live here on c-span2 when that happens. whether it's 3:00 or earlier. did want to bring you some of the comments from capitol hill because coincidentally today, a couple of hearings that delved into the issue of egypt. leon panetta, the cia directer, was before the intelligence committee today, and he talked about pre-uprising intelligence from tunisia and from egypt. here's what he had to say to committee members. >> the purpose of intelligence is to provide the very best, the most accurate, most timely intelligence we can to policymakers so that decisions can be made. and with regards to this regionover the world -- region of the world as jim clapper has stated, we have long provided a series of reports that indicated the nature of the problems in
that region. the regressive regimes, the economic and political instability, stagnation, the lack of freedoms, the need for political reforms, all of that has been provided in a numerous amount of intelligence reports. just last year alone almost 400 reports were provided that, basically, described the concerns that we saw many this region -- in this region that had the potential for disruption. i think the area where we need to do better collection is when it comes to the triggers that ignite these conditions. and cause the events that we've seen take place. and there are a number of triggers out there that came together. one was, i think, just large,
unmet expectations of the people that are there in these countries. two are the large numbers of youth that are there, many of them now better educated, many of them unemployed. three is the whole role of the internet and the ability to put a demonstration together in quick time. that's something we need to pay a lot more attention to in today's world. and lastly, the role of the military. there's always been a feeling that the military, ultimately, could control any demonstration in any regime. but the loyalty of the military is now something that we have to pay attention to because the it's not always one that will respond to what a dictator may or may not want. so as a result of these kinds of triggers, i think it's important for us to do a lot more collection in those areas.
what we've done at the cia, i've established a 35-member task force to focus specifically on these elements, and what i've asked for from all of my chiefs of stations is better collection on issues like popular sentiments, issues like the strength of the opposition, issues like what is the role of the internet in that particular country so that we can get better collection and better information to be able to provide to our leaders. now, as jim clapper pointed out i have used the earthquake analogy just because, you know, people can tell you where the mores -- tremors are, they can tell you where the fault lines are, they can even tell you that the threat of something happening is close, but they can't tell you exactly when an earthquake's going to take
place. our biggest problem is how do we get into the head of somebody? we're trying to get into the head of kim in north korea, we're trying to get into the head of the supreme leader in iran. when it came to menally, i think everybody assumed the dictator in place, that he was going to, basically, crush any kind of demonstration. i don't think he even knew he was going to get the hell out of town until he decided to jump on a plane and leave. those are the kind of things that are, obviously, very tough for intelligence to predict. but i think our job is to collect as much as we can, to know those triggers. and, frankly, because of what happened in tunisia, we were in a much better place of looking at what was happening in egypt. we provided a number of reports about what was taking place there. we teed up these issues, and as you can see, i got the same information that you did, that there there is a strong likelihood that mubarak will step down this evening which would be significant in terms of where the, hopefully, orderly
transition in egypt takes place. >> cia directer leon panetta this morning before the house intelligence committee. so here's the latest we're hearing about president hosni mubarak of egypt. reports indicate the president will speak to the nation at 8 p.m -- 8 p.m. gmt, 3 a.m. eastern, so about 45 minutes from now we expect to hear from the egyptian president. we will have it live when it happens for you here on c-span2. c-span2. again, that should be somewhere around 3 p.m. eastern. in the meantime, we're going to bring you to a hearing today, the second of two this week that the house foreign affairs held on egypt. they heard today from deputy secretary of state james steinberg. a large number of committee members expressed concerns over the muslim brotherhood and concerns over their influence in egypt's new government. we'll show you as much of this hearing as we can until president mubarak speaks. again, that's supposed to be around 3 p.m. eastern.
>> not just with one person, but rather with all of the egyptian people as a whole. former deputy national secretary adviser elle yacht antibiotic finish elliot abrams reiterated that mubarak created the very situation that israel and the u.s. now fear and that mubarak's statements that he will not run in egypt's scheduled elections is too late to enable a smooth transition. america's role should be to facilitate a post-mubarak transition in order to avert future of violence and restore calm and guard against the use of the transition process by nefarious elements sup as the muslim -- such as the muslim brotherhood to directly or indirectly undermine egypt's evolution to a democratic republic. there is no evidence that a
well-thought-out contingency plan existed in the event that mubarak's governance -- government payment unstable or collapsed. "the wall street journal" reported that middle east experts at a january 31st meeting asked national security council officials, quote: please tell me that you have contingencies in case mubarak's regime collapses, end quote. the national security council reportedly admitted there were no such plans. a february 2nd report by foreign policy.com cites a senior administration or official telling abc that the administration was being compelled to change its strategy, quote, every 12 hours. first it was negotiate with the opposition, then events overtook that. then it was orderly transition, then it was you, mubarak, and your son can't run, and now it's the process has to begin now, end quote. turning to the muslim
brotherhood, new york times reported on february 2nd that, quote, white house staff members made clear that they did not rule out engagement with the muslim brotherhood as part of an orderly process according to one attendee, end quote. engaging the muslim brotherhood must not be on the table. this also has implications for u.s. policy toward with lebanon given statements last year by john brennan, assistant to the secretary for homeland security and counterterrorism, describing hezbollah's evolution from, quote, purely a terrorist organization, end quote, to a militia, to what mr. brennan refers to as an organization that now has members within the parliament and the cabinet. has the state department evaluated whether lebanon now meets its statutory definition of a state sponsor of terrorism given hezbollah's control of that government? and what is the administration's stance on continuing to provide
assistance to such a lebanese government? from lebanon to egypt, what is the administration's stance on the muslim brotherhood? beyond the general parameters referenced in if deputy secretary steinberg's written statement that is in our packet, what are the specific components and contingencies of the u.s. strategy toward egypt and for aiding in the transitional process? if a key u.s. goal is to prevent the muslim brotherhood from taking over and the muslim brotherhood is well funded, then shouldn't u.s. policy seek to shift economic aid away from the mubarak government and focus it on strengthening responsible, peaceful, democratic voices? the administration's initial approach to egypt was, clearly, not keeping up with the priorities in its first years while driving increases in the international affairs budget. the administration made
significant cuts to total bilateral funding for democracy and governance programming. usaid even reportedly adopted a policy of only funding those organizations officially approved as ngos by the mubarak government. repeated u.s. failure to enforce it own conditions and requirements on nonsecurity assistance to egypt has compounded the problem. so, mr. steinberg, what tangible economic or democratic reforms has the government of egypt undertaken as a result of the billions of dollars that we have provided in nonsecurity assistance throughout the last decades? what have we received in exchange? this brings to mind two lessons on the lebanese debacle that we are currently facing. the first is that the elections themselves are meaningless unless they are supplemented with democratic institutions.
hezbollah's ascendance in lebanon was facilitated by the failure of responsible nations to insist on changing a syrian-dictated electoral law and subsequent regulation prior to holding elections in the aftermath of the 2005 cedar revolution. clear standards for participation in elections and institutions must be both articulated and implemented to insure that destructive actors are not afforded the opportunity to hijack an incipient democratic process. the second lesson is we cannot afford to continue to pursue i a myopic, personality-based policy that relies on stability over institutional reform. in lebanon we had a short-term policy based on maintaining stability, and we invested significant political capital with both ca rir ri and in the wake of his assassination, an ascendance of the pro-western
march 14th bloc, his son. basing the next round of existing egyptian law and regulations without clear or standards for participation and a democratic institutional framework is a recipe for disaster. and turning lastly to the role of the egyptian army, it has been reported that the u.s. is working behind the scenes to impress upon the egyptian military the need to protect protesters and support a peaceful government transition, and i will be asking you questions on the administration's view on the security assistance to egypt. so thank you very much for being here, and i'm so proud and pleased to turn to my ranking member, mr. berman, of california. >> well, thank you very much, madam chairman. i'm just getting word that probably a lot of people are getting, except possibly the deputy secretary of state that according to nbc news and a insurance number of other sources
including quotes from the new prime minister of egypt that hosni mubarak is to step down following an all-day meeting of the country's supreme military council, the army's head, all the protesters' demands will be met, any further statement is expected thursday. [applause] mubarak was also due to address the nation. >> [inaudible] >> at yesterday's -- >> if i could interrupt you a second, we'll start your time again. the chair would like to remind the audience members that no disturbance of the committee proceedings are allowed, and if there is no order, we will ask for you to be removed from the room according to house rules. mr. berman's time will now begin. >> well, thank you, madam chairman. yesterday's hearing i made a fairly detailed opening statement on the
rapidly-evolving events in egypt as well as events in lebanon. today i'd like to focus on just one aspect, the most immediately relevant aspect of the democratic transition in egypt, and that is the issue of when that transition will actually begin. we may have just had an answer on that. but on february 1st president obama said that a transition me egypt must be meaningful, peaceful and begin now. at this point, however, prior to my reading about this, i felt that we were still waiting for that beginning. there have been some important announcements, the decision that neither hosni mubarak nor omar suleiman would run for the presidency in september, but nothing meaningful up until now has actually happened. nothing that could be considered a break with business as usual
as seen by the egyptian regime. madam chairman, the transition needs substance. if current egyptian leaders are reluctant to give it that substance, then the administration needs to give it a major push by setting out it own timetables and targets. the transition needs to be orderly, to be sure. but foremost, it actually needs to happen. both the regime and the opposition need to see defining actions so that each begins to make what president obama called the psychological break from the past. any number of tangible actions would serve that purpose whether it be ending of the emergency law, a decision by president mubarak to hand over effective power to his vice president, a decision by the regime to bring credible opposition members into a transition government, clear indications that a new constitution will be written and implemented that will insure the
provision of free and fair elections, the abilities of secular parties to organize, the presence of monitors, the presence of international observers, and the kind of both print and television freedom that allows all parties and all voices to be heard during that kind of a campaign. this type of concrete action needs to happen for many reasons, but primarily, for the benefit of the egyptian people. the egyptian regime needs to know that it cannot dawdle or simply go through the motions of democratic change without any intention of genuinely transitions to democracy. if delay is its tactic, it will reap a whirlwind at home, and it will leave congress little choice but to take action. in other words, no slow walking. when this crisis broke out, i emphasized that i favored continuing our security assistance program, but the
duration of that program depended on whether the military played a constructive role in the democratic transition. that's still my position, but our patience -- mine, that of my colleagues -- has limits. given the military's influence over the regime, a regime that was born in the military and whose entire leadership is composed of military men, the democratic transition will happen if and only if military plays that constructive role. so, mr. secretary, we're very glad to see you here, great respect for what you have been doing in a number of areas, but i'm hoping when we finish this hearing, we'll have a sense of -- from you -- of when you think the democratic transition in egypt will begin. you may have been helped by some of this news. and how we will know it has begun and what our administration does, intends to do to make sure that it begins,
if not now, then very, very soon. thank you. >> thank you, mr. berman. and i'm pleased to yield three and a half minutes to the chairman of our middle east subcommittee, mr. chabot. >> thank you, madam chair, for holding these timely and important hearings again today. i look forward to hearing from our distinguished guest, secretary steinberg, about the situation in the middle east which continues to unfold even as we speak as the ranking member indicated with the news on mubarak today. i think it's safe to say the developments that continue to sweep across the middle east in north africa really did surprise many. but for years analysts had called attention to the region, a lack of respect for even the most basic human rights like freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and fair and free elections as a potentially dangerous source of discontent, but it was ignored. they pointed to the widespread policy and the regressive economic policies instituted by
dictators who were out of touch with the plights of their respective populations. they did not, however, predict that one 26-year-old street vendor's desperate act of defiance would initiate a wave of anti-regime protests that are shaking the very foundations of the political order in the middle east. even those countries in which protests have not yet erupted look at countries like egypt and tunisia and jordan nervously wondering if they themselves will be next. for years we've, also, been told something else. we've been told that the middle east is a region that is not ready for democracy. indeed, save a handful of exceptions, the democracy deficit in the region had all but become a permanent assumption upon which far too much u.s. foreign policy was based. i say "had" because other the past week -- over the past weeks the people of the middle east by taking to the streets have proclaimed loudly to their leaders and to the world that
they share the same principles that we cherish. they have told us that the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness does not stop at the water's edge. while these developments are very exciting, there's also a dark side which is a cause for concern. the specter of radical islamist groups who will exploit every opportunity to seize power is lost on no one. in egypt for over 30 years, president mubarak has crushed every moderate, secular political party that could pose a challenge to his party. the only movement which managed to survive the muslim -- is the muslim brotherhood which has declared its desire to reconsider egypt's peace treaty with israel as well as to its desire to impose sharia law on the egyptian population. president mubarak, however repressive he may have been, was a close ally of the united states in the region and was especially helpful to us in fighting the global war on terror. in his absence and as egypt enters a period of transition, we must do all that we can to
insure that egypt emerges from its current crisis with strong and democratic institutions of government. institutions that will respect the rights of women, uphold past treaties and agreements like those with our ally, israel, and not exploit the pillars of democratic government like elections to ascend to power only to abolish those very pillars. we must do all we can to help support the development of these institutions and to avoid one man, one vote, one time. preventing the muslim brotherhood from coming to power must be a leading priority as we revisit our policy towards egypt. the quiet diplomacy that the u.s. has been engaging in so far may be helpful in dealing with the mubarak regime, but it does nothing to assure the people of egypt that we sympathize with their cause. as one of our witnesses yesterday pointed out, many egyptians are totally unaware of the nonmilitary aid that we've given them. so we have to, again, i commend
you, madam chair, for holding this hearing. we, obviously, want to avoid a situation in be which the egyptian population looks at us as having bankrolled president mubarak while completely ignoring them. thank you. >> thank you so much. the ranking member, mr. ackerman, for three and a half minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. until recently and unlike its arab neighbors, lebanon had a democraticically-elected government that should have had a mandate to govern. but like all of its regional neighbors except for israel, lebanon has suffered from an unaccountable element of its society acting above and beyond the law. what was different in the lebanese case was that this unaccountable few didn't occupy or use the institutions of the state in order to coerce, in order to repress, in order to dominate their political opponents. instead, they just threatened them and then killed them. no one should forget that before the current crisis, before the insurrection of may 2008, before
the presidential succession crisis and the lockout of parliament hezbollah and its iranian and syrian allies engaged in a campaign of assassinations against lebanese parliamentarians and journalists that began in be 2005 with the murder of former prime minister rafik hariri. long before the coup, hezbollah considered it outside to the reach of the government. hezbollah has systematically undermined lebanon's sovereignty and has made lebanon a regional time bomb by developing artillery rockets and advance surface-to-surface missiles all aimed at israel and shielding iran's nuclear weapons program. tragically, the people of lebanon are now hostages. like the captive nations of eastern europe during the cold war, their hearts are free, but their government has colluded with a foreign power to put them
in chains. the unite must continue to advocate -- the united states must continue to advocate for lebanon's sovereignty and for the restoration of a legitimate government. we must continue to support the special tribunal for lebanon and keep faith with all all of of te people who want justice for their countrymen and prime minister. america must continue to insist on the implementation of u.n. security council resolutions. and finally, we need to be clear with the government of lebanon that it bears the burden of demonstrating that it truly serves the people of lebanon and that it will keep peace inside lebanon and on lebanon's borders and that it is not and will not either be a none key for the ayatollahs in tehran or for the dictator in damascus. until there is clear evidence that beirut has made these choices, i believe we have no other alternative but to suspend
all of our assistance programs to lebanon. we have many urgent careerties in the middle east -- priorities in the middle east; helping iran, helping syria and helping hezbollah maintain a facade of lebanese independence is not one of them. thank you, madam chair, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. ackerman, thank you. the chair is now pleased to welcome our witness, james b. steinberg, deputy secretary of state serving as the principle deputy to secretary clinton. appointed by president obama, he was confirmed by the senate on january 28th, 2009, and sworn in by the secretary the next day. prior to his appointment in the obama administration, mr. steinberg served as the dean of the lyndon b. johnson school of public affairs and the vice president directer of the foreign policy studies at the brookings institute. from december '96 to august 2000, mr. steinberg served as
deputy national security adviser to president bill clinton. mr. steinberg also has held numerous other posts in the state department and on capitol hill. deputy secretary steinberg, thank you for attending, and i would kindly remind you to keep your oral testimony to no more than be five minutes. and without objection, your written statement will be inserted into the record. welcome. >> thank you, madam chairman. and let me begin on behalf of secretary clinton to congratulate you on taking the gavel here and to express how much we look forward to working with you and ranking member berman and all the members of the committee and to express appreciation for holding this timely hearing. last month in doha secretary clinton challenged the leaders of the middle east to give greater voice to their people as the region confronts a potent combination of technological changes, rampant unemployment and in too many cases the denial of universal rights of freedoms. and in recent weeks this dynamic
has given rise to demonstrations across the region and changes in tunisia, jordan, yemen and, of course, sparked the dramatic developments in egypt that along with the events in lebanon are the focus of today's hearing. in such an environment it's more important than ever that america works both with the people and the governments to democratize and open up political systems, economies and societies. as the secretary said just a few days ago in munich, this is not simply a matter of idealism, this is strategic necessity. change will emerge differently across the region, but our policies and our partnerships are guided by a few consistent principles. we stand for universal values including freedom of association, assembly and speech. we oppose violence as a tool for political coercion. and we have spoken b out on the need for meaningful change in response to the demands of the people. american administrations of both parties have been conveying this message to arab leaders publicly and privately for many years and have also sought cooperation on
crucial priorities such as counterterrorism, alabama's nuclear program and the peace process. but these are not mutually exclusive or even contradictory. absent freedom and democratic progress, the public support needed to sustain progress on common cause cannot be achieved. changes must come, but we must be mindful that transitions can lead to chaos and new forms of intolerance or backslide into authoritarianism. we are working wherever we can to insure the transitions are deliberate, inclusive and transparent, and we expect all who take part to honor certain basic commitments because, as president obama said in his cairo speech, elections alone do not make true democracy. one constant in a changing region is unwavering support for israel's security. we continue to believe that the best path to long-term security for israel and the region is the committed pursuit of comprehensive peace. by working for orderly
transitions, we believe we can help insure israel's long-term security, and we will be vigilant against attempts to hijack the legitimate impetus for domestic reform to advance extremism. egypt today is undergoing a remarkable transition, and given egypt's leadership and influence, its peace with israel and our longstanding partnership, the stakes are high. we've all been transfixed by the heroic images from tahrir square, of young and old, rich and poor, muslim and christian gathering to lay claim to universal rights enjoyed in democratic societies around the world. and as the president has said, egypt is not going back to the way it was. we have declared publicly and privately that a peaceful, orderly and prompt transition must begin without delay, and it must make be immediate,er reverse or bl progress towards free and fair elections. we've set out key principles to insure the transition remains peaceful including expression,
association and assembly, freedom of the press. we've condemned violence against peaceful protesters or, reporters and human rights act activists, and we've underlined the need for egypt's military to remain a force for stability. we're urging egypt's government and opposition to engage in serious incollusion i have negotiations to achieve at a timetable, game plan and path to constitutional political reforms. and as they do, we will support principles, processes and institutions -- not personalities. the desire for an orderly transition may not be a pretext for backsliding and stalling. another vital message we are sending to all who take part in egypt's political future is the fundamental need to honor egypt's historic peace treaty with israel. as egypt builds democratic institutions after the recent unrest and also contends with the economic challenges, we will continue to extend the hand of partnership and friendship to the american people, and we will
act to support civil society, nongovernmental organizations, democracy groups and economic recovery. as the transition unfolds, we will tailor our support to engage and nurture it. in many lebanon, a very different situation is unfolding. last month hezbollah, backed by syria, used threats of violence to undermine the collapse of the lebanese government. we've worked with the international community with one voice to urge the next lebanese government to support the special tribunal, to honor its international obligations and refrain against retribution against former officials. we intend to judge the next government by its deeds, mindful of the circumstances that brought it about. we will be watching the prime minister to see whether he makes good on his public pledge to build a broad-based government that represents all sections of lebanese society. the lebanese people deserve better than a false choice between justice for the murder of their prime minister and stability for their country. if i could just conclude, madam chairman, by observing without
commenting specifically on the recent reports that you've referenced that what is critical as we see this unfolding dynamic is that we remain consistent in our principles, and the values and interests that we bring forward while remaining nimble to adapt to emerging circumstances. it's a little bit like having a good game plan for the game but also knowing when to call an audible. and i think that's what we're seeing as we go forward here; a consistent approach that identifies u.s. interests and values but adapts to the circumstances and preserves our long-term interests, and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you so very much, sir. and before yielding my time to congresswoman burkle, i wanted to bring to your attention, sir, a problem that we had regarding the you cut debate on the floor yesterday not related to the subject of this morning's hearing. but yesterday morning less than two hours before floor consideration we received a
letter from the state department opposing the you cut proposal to instruct the u.n. to return $179 million to the u.s. because of overpayments we had made to the u.n. tax equalization fund. a surplus that the u.n. itself admitted was payable to the u.s. your department's letter stated for the first time ever that the current tef surplus i is now approximately 80 million, so there's a discrepancy there. so if it's true, it means that the department of state had already given away $100 million owed back to the u.s. taxpayers, and we have been asking for this information for the past three months and have been stonewalled by the state department. the u.n. cannot redirect this surplus fund without instructions from the united states, so i have some questions that i would like to get written responses from you by thursday,
februa 17th, about how this was handled because the way that this matter was handled was, raises serious concerns in my mind about the management and the candor of the department of state. so i would appreciate it when my staff hands you that letter if we could get that written response. >> be happy to provide that. >> thank you, sir. thank you very much. and i'm so pleased to yield to congresswoman burkle of new york who serves on the subcommittee on terrorism, non-proliferation and trade as the vice chair. >> thank you, madam chairman. and thank you for the opportunity this morning to address mr. steinberg. mr. steinberg, thank you for being here this morning. throughout the course of the opening statements, we've heard from many of the members talking about the concern that the muslim brotherhood will step in if and when president mubarak steps down. so i -- and really the key being, is this something that the administration is making a priority of, preventing the
muslim brotherhood from stepping in when that void occurs? and then beyond that, if it is a priority, what is the strategy of this administration to prevent that from happening? >> thank you very much for the question. i think that what we have focused on is some set of principles that we apply to what we expect to happen during this transition. because, as i said, we recognize that these transitions can be difficult, and they can lead to unpredictable results. and so by focusing on those expectations and conditions the need for an inclusive process that respects not only the need for elections, but also the institutions, that protect the rights of minorities, that make sure that as things move forward that individuals of different religions, of different perspectives are allowed to be part of the process is quite critical. and we want to make sure that the process is not hijacked by extreme its or those who do not deeply believe in the open and tolerant and democratic process
that we want. the process itself is one for the egyptians to decide, but as we engage with whatever government emerges there, we will be guided by those principles. >> if you could, mr. steinberg, can you elaborate a little bit on this inclusive process, some of the specifics, the strategy that the administration will put forward? >> again, i think what's important is that this be a process that's driven by the egyptians themselves. but what we've made clear to the government of egypt, that we expect that the full range of voices -- not ones simply friendly to the government itself -- are allowed to participate. particularly, the voices of the individuals who have been protesting peacefully on the street or asking for democratic change are brought in and that different voices are heard, that legitimate perspectives from civil society participate in these discussion cans. the format is one that the egyptian people themselves have to develop, but that's the kind of approach that we support. >> and if i may just follow up with that, how do you anticipate
the united states of america being engaged in that process? how do you see that unfolding? where will you be involved in the process? >> i think our first role has been to support those voices, and we have done that through our assistance programs. i think it's important to recognize as a number of members have raised this question that we have a variety of ways of being involved in supporting civil society voices and that while there has been a focus on some of our assistance programs under the esf, there are other programs through our democracy programs and through our middle east piece initiative and -- peace initiative programs that we have other ways of supporting these democratic voices which we have done. we want to support them and give them the capacity to support effectively, and we want to make clear with the egyptian government that these are voices that need to be heard. but i think it's not for the united states to be in the meetings themselves. we want this to be a process
that's corinne by the egyptian people, by legitimate voices in be egyptian society. >> and one last question. do you believe if you follow this process that you've just outlined for us that that will be sufficient for the united states or to keep the muslim brotherhood from stepping in? is that going to be a sufficient strategy to prevent that from happening? >> you know, i think the key here as i said in my opening remarks is to have a clear set of principles which says what we expect and what from our perspective is an acceptable outcome for a new government moving forward. not just for our interests although our interests are critical here, but also for the interest bees of the egyptian people. and then to judge that as events emerge. and i think we need to rather than trying to anticipate potential outcomes, be adaptive enough and responsive enough so that we recognize as these things that we can identify concerns as they emerge, be vigilant and make sure that we flag potentially dangerous
emerging trends. and i think that's what we've tried to do here which is part of the reason why we focused on a need for an orderly process to make sure it's not hijacked which are going to set up an intolerant regime. >> thank you so much, mr. steinberg. i yield back, madam chair. >> thank you so much. i yield to my ranking member, mr. berman. >> thank you, mr. steinberg, for your testimony and your leadership here. ride like to follow up on ms. before i'd like to follow up on ms. burkle's initial question. the administration position regarding the participation of the muslim brotherhood and the transition and in subsequent governance. i certainly agree that in the end the egyptian people are going to decide these questions. there is an article in the current egyptian constitution currently requiring that religion be kept out of
politics. turkey has had a similar provision in its constitution. does the administration have a view as to whether egypt should retain that principle in the next phase of its governance? >> mr. berman, i think what's important is that the next government respect the kind of democratic principles that we've talked about which is a commitment l to democracy just not for one election, but for all of the fabric of democracy. open institutions, open debate, tolerance of of diversity and religious minorities, ability of people to pursue i different paths free of harassment, a recognition that you have to have a vibrant civil society. there are different ways the constitutions can embody that, different ways in which countries allow religion to play a role in their lives. we know, for example, even in our friends and allies in europe, some have roles for religion in society. so i think you can't have an absolute rule about exactly how
that applies, but it is very clear that we need to have and we will need to be clear in our own mind that allowing this to become a state or a government that is intolerant, that does not provide an opportunity for the free, full expression of religious rights, freedom for all the different voices in egyptian society is very important. and what's encouraging is if you look at the people who are out in tahrir square, what you are seeing is exactly that; christians and muslims, people from different religions and backgrounds and different viewpoints on the role of islam in society. and that's what needs to be preservedserve we feel would bee important in any future constitution adopted by the government. >> i've supported the administration's decision not to suspend the assistance program at, up til now, and, but i've noted that the white house press secretary robert gibbs back on january 28th said the u.s. will
be reviewing our egypt assistance posture based on events that take place in the coming days. is that review ongoing? what's the nature of that review? under what circumstances would the administration consider suspending aid to egypt? and then just an observation that i'd recommend you, the administration, look towards the whole issue of export controls on things like tear gas canisters, items that are mostly relevant to the suppression of peaceful protesters or. i think there would be some value in reviewing and, perhaps, eliminating licenses on those kinds of items for the interim period. >> mr. berman, i think you would expect and we do always keep under constant review our assistance programs not just for
egypt, but elsewhere. congressman ackerman raised concerns about lebanon, and we do the same there because we have to be responsive to ongoing events. and i won't suggest there aren't some circumstances where events may arrive that we'd have to change our approach. but what we've focused on here as events have been unfolding in egypt is how to encourage this transition, how to use our influence in a process, in a direction that we would like to see it go and that meets the needs of the egyptian people. and we have to be prepared to deal we vents as they emerge, but we don't want to try to anticipate bad outcomes in a way that would make it less likely to achieve the good outcomes. >> i glee with that. i just -- agree with that. i just don't want it to become a basis for the slow walking of the orderly transition. one last question. with all the focus on egypt, i just -- i'd like you to take one
moment to sort of discuss how the situation may be affecting situations outside of egypt such as iran. and my specific question was whether the state department is on track to make determinations on their investigations for those violating our iran sanctions legislation next month. >> congressman, as you know, this is an issue that i spent a lot of time on, and the secretary's asked me to put a lot of specific attention to make sure that we have a vigorous implementation of society. we think it has been an e enormously helpful tool, and it has had enormous impact in helping us to galvanize the international community, to take steps to put additional pressure on iran. and i think we've had enormous success. this continues in a comprehensive way to effect iran, the iranian economy and also deepen the sense of isolation. so we understand the importance that we have full enforcement of that, that we have an ongoing
effort that's looking at activities as they emerge, and i continue to pledge to you that we will need everything we need to do both to enforce it, but also to use the statute in a broader way to engage with other countries to make clear that we need to remain vigilant not only about the letter of the law, but the broader desire to make sure that we don't have companies trying to skirt those, those provisions. >> thank you so much. now for the next round of questions, mr. smith, the chairman of the subcommittee on africa, global health and human rights. >> madam chair, thank you very much. mr. steinberg, welcome the committee. you know, he's the administration's dictator until his i utility and usefulness erodes or evaporates or diminishes, and then the administration finds its public voice on human rights and democracy and calls on the former friend to get out of town. you mentioned, mr. steinberg, a moment ago about the consistency
of principles and i, frankly, have some concerns about that. a few weeks ago president obama rolled out the red carpet as president hu jintao came into washington, a brutal dictator who has murdered, tortured and repressed countless chinese and uighurs. the press conference was so disturbing -- i watch t id, and i couldn't believe my ears. and even "the washington post" wrote an editorial that said president obama makes hu jintao look good on rights. the president defended his friend, his dick today to have to have friend and said the chinese had a, quote, different culture which i found to be an absolute insult to the chinese people, especially those who are being tortured for demanding their fundamental human rights. he also said they had a different political system as if that was a defense, and that's what "the washington post" picked up on. yeah, it's a different system, a dictatorship. my question is, you know, so i
think we need to be very cautious, and i would respectfully submit to you be cautious when you talk about consistency and principles. even saw bow is languishing in prison, but we need public statements. not when that dictatorship is in its final hour, but consistently and in a very transparent fashion to let them know that we know. i read all of the chinese press after the fact on people's daily, at least what was carried there. of they called hu jintao's trip to washington a trip de force. we were sitting there and feebled by the effort that we showed. so i'm very concerned when we talk about consistency. i do have a question about freedom of press and reporters in particular. reporters without borders suggests that as many as 79 journalists have been attacked in egypt, 76 detained, one has been killed. do we know how high up in the command whether or not the army,
whether or not the military, whether or not mubarak ordered that, or did it come from the muslim brotherhood, or was it just an outgrowth of the chaos of the day even day? and secondly, i'd like to ask about a very disturbing report that an american company has sold the egyptian government what is called deep packet inspection technology, highly-advanced technology that allows the purchaser to search the content of e-mails as they pass through the internet routers. the report is from an ngo called free press and has revealed about it business. now, no way of knowing the information the egyptian government gleaned from his technology and abled it to identify, track down, harass or detain so many journalists or anybody else in egypt. i would like to know what we know about this company -- and it is part of boeing boeing, it was recently bought -- and what can you tell us about the
invasion of privacy on the internet? >> >> thank you, congressman. obviously, we could have an extended conversation about china, but i would just make one point which is that in addition to the very public remarks that president obama made, by who's boss, secretary clinton, made a very extensive speech in which she specifically identified our concerns about sue bow and other dissidents and gave a very clear statement about the importance we attach to human rights in china. ..
>> i'd be happy to see what we know about this. >> can you dig into that and get back to us? it's back to the issue where u.s. corporations are enabling dictatorships we saw in iran with german corporation, we've seen it in china where the internet was used to crack down to invade their e-mails, find out who they talk to. it is an awful tool of repression, and according to these reports, it's been enabling that kind of invasion of privacy, so thank you very much. >> thank you. we would appreciate answers to that. thank you so much, mr. smith. the ranking member of the middle east subcommittee. >> thank you very much. good to see you again, ms. secretary.
consistency is important, especially in foreign policy. it is something much to be avoided. there's a question that keeps asking itself, some of us are asking it, and it demands a real answer. we can agree on the principle of freedom of speech and freedom of communication and we can agree how important it is to democratic and civil societies. when you pose the question that there's information out there that's in a virus, would you say that that would be welcomed in your computer? if the purpose of the virus was to bring down the system?
my question is about the muslim brotherhood. they are an element of society for sure, and we have principles that all elements of society are welcomed and everybody has their rights and freedom of religion and ect.. now, i believe in treating my neighbor as myself, but that doesn't tell me that i should invite jeff rhode island dohmer to myself for dinner. nothing good will come from that. how do you form a government and welcome in an element of it, a party that would destroy the government itself and expect
stability? this is a tough question, and we really have to think about it and being civil and democratic and welcoming, we also have to avoid being foolish. >> thank you. you know, obviously, this is an important, and i just made two observations. one, i do remember from my constitutional law that even for free speech, there's limits to free speech. we can't cry fire in a private theater and the like. in our own system we recognize that speech has to support civil society and be a part of that. >> are you saying the muslim brotherhood is an exception? >> no, no, what i'm saying is if there were actual acts that were threatening to people, that would not be acceptable. i want to make clear that threatening acts of violence is
an accepted form of speech. even more important what we're focused on and you raised the question is not so much the dialogue going on, but what kind of government emerges once this transition takes place, and there's been a consistent record in saying there's circumstances in which parties fail to respect democracy, fail to be an acceptable participant in government, that we would not be supportive of that happening. obviously, a clear case of that is with the palestinian authority. i don't want to an tis pace what's going to be the outcome of this process of democracy in egypt, but i think we'll bring principles together which is a government that has our support and respects open society. >> my concern is we be as wise
as we could be considering. lebanon. what happens if the new government of lebanon rejects whatever the results of the try bial -- tribunal might indicate? >> i think i've made two points about this. one, we attach enormous importance tonight tribunal, and we'll do what we can. it is our clear expectation that whatever government is formed will meet its international obligations with respect to the tribunal. we'll hold them to that. >> if lebanon pulled financial support for the tribunal, some thing it would collapse. are we considering with holding aid from lebanon? >> as i mentioned earlier, i think we always keep issues of
assistance under review. right now, we're focusing on encouraging all the parties, including the prime minister designate to have an inclusive government that meets its obligations so long as that continues, and at least until now, the tribunal is not underminded. obviously, we have to keep that under review, and look at the circumstances if they emerge. >> i thank the chair. >> thank you so much. great questions. so pleased to yield five minutes of the chair on the subcommittee on south asia for five minutes. >> thank you. secretary, i have a number of questions. some talked about to some degree, but, you know, clearly, we all want democracy. we want the people of egypt to improve their conditions and their freedoms. our overriding concern is that what we all want is going to end
up with the folks that we, and i don't think the egyptians themselves, the vast majority want to be in control, and that's the muslim brotherhood or jihadists or whatever terminology onements -- one wants to use. they said a lot of things in trying to portray themselves to some degree being more moderate now. could you talk about law and what they've said and what you really think their position is on that with respect to egypt if they would gain control? >> you know, i think there's a lot of speculation as to what their goals or objectives are, and i think i would prefer to leave that to the analysts. what i would say from the perspective of the a policymaker's point of view is that we have to be clear about what anybody joining a government would be expected to be committed to, and that commitment is to an open
tolerant society allowing for religious diversity, differences of opinion, doesn't undermind civil societies, supports an open discourse among all elements of society, and rather than trying to anticipate what any particular member or organization is, that we hold to those principles and we made clear anybody that is joining a future government must commit themselves to those principles, and if they do not, we're clear to our position. >> the difficulty, i mean, i'm familiar with the writings. i think what we know is that there are different instances in which sri law is used in different societies. some are tolerant, others not. we need to focus on what protects civil liberties. if this government cannot support and subscribe to those things, we believe it's
inconsistent with the very efforts going on right now. >> you said some tolerant and others not. can you give me examples of tolerant? >> what i'm saying is there are examples of where in domestic law are a pride in societies. we're focusing on political law and what are political circumstances under which a government should govern. that government has to meet the pribs pls we're identifying. what are the political rights, the opportunities for the society, what are the opportunities for citizens to exercise their rights. what are the opportunities for religious minorities? christians play such an important role and there's a small jewish community and other religious minorities. if that law means no tolerance for that, we don't support it. >> relative to the turkish
model, there's some parallels and differences between turkey and egypt, obviously, but in turkey, the military plays a particularly important stabilizing historic role there. what are the comparisons with that in egypt and are there differences? >> i think what has been encouraging, and i think it has been a positive aspect of our engagement, is that thus fair as events unfolded in egypt, that the military has respected the right for peaceful assembly and has not tried to suppress the legitimate right of peoples to express their views and assemble and the like. we hope any future government that emerges in egypt, we have the same commitment from the role of the military which is to support legitimate constitutional human rights, and that's something that we could look to in any society to see that is the role as the military. >> i have just a short period of
time. let me comment on something that's frustrating to the policymakers here in washington. i'm sure the american people too to some degree, and that's with the considerable resources we've invested in those two countries, egypt and turkey, when you do public opinion polls of the people of those countries, united states is not well thought of. i don't know if you want to comment, but i'm told that we're so close that they expect more, ect., ect.. do you have any comment on that? >> i think it's a challenge to us and and important challenge to us. it's critical going forward that we find ways understand why that is and be consistent with our own principles and values that we try to do that. there may be circumstances and if we can do a better job of communicating and indicating that we share the aspirations of people all around the world for
better life and better opportunity that it is important and it's been a major focus of what secretary clinton has tried to do. >> thank you very much. thank you. i want to recognize gregory meeks from new york for the next round of five minutes. thank you, gregory. >> thank you madam chair. good to see you mr. secretary. one of the things i get concerned about, and i know a lot of my colleagues are talking about the muslim brotherhood, ect., however, if, in fact we seem to heavy hand it, sometimes it's like the kid, the child, you know, you say don't date this person, and they date the person just to spite you at times, and i want to make sure we're not getting 1350 that scenario. you know, i have tremendous faith in the egyptian people. they want freedom. they want to make sure they have democracy which they have been denied for 30 years. that being said, the, you know, what you don't want to happen is
that it be a vacuum so that someone like the brotherhood steps up and what concerns me is with the opposition and i don't know who or what leaders can evolve or will evolve because it seems their leader left, and when you begin these negotiations and conversations, you know, there has to be someone that's talking. i was just wondering whether this question was asked yesterday. who are the leaders we can expect to emerge? can you tell us anything about them? can the protesters achieve their goals basically without a leader, and so i want to tie that in quickly as i could to the fact that there was a lack of a clear leadership in the tunisia revolution also, and how's that going because concern about the, you know, going to
tunisia real quickly, about the assessment of the security situation there. there was so many violence this weekend, protests, and in your view, what cause of action in holding the former regimes in total security services accountable for past abuses would be conducive to greater political openness without -- excuse me -- contributing to greater destablization? >> thank you, congressman. there are, and we shouldn't underestimate a lot of important and well-respected civil society voices in egypt from the ngo's legal professions and the like. i think it's difficult to predict, and not our role to annoy individuals to be the ones. i think that's why we've so much focused on urging the egyptian government to create a process to allow these voices to come together, the groups that are meeting and others that do include a variety of well happen
respected voices in society, and to make sure younger people in the streets have a chance to express their views and have perspectives heardment i think it's the nature of democratic process is not to preselect the leaders, but establish processes that then will allow for a good free and fair competition in elections where individuals can stand for election and the egyptian people will pick, and i think we have a real belief that that process can take place, and that what needs to happen now is to take the institutional decisions to repeal the emergency law, to take the steps to allow for parties to register for there to be a full debate and have an election and have very important voices that are heard throughout egyptian society now have a chance to put views forward. on tunisia, accountability is important. different societies have different ways of doing it in different conflict situations. that's been done. i think something the interim government is focusing on is to establish an approach to
accountability in understanding both of what happened during the past regime and during the transition, and we would certainly support that. >> are we dealing with tunisia again, the aid package that is currently focused on military assistance, and is there any assistance needed for institutional building? has the new government requested technical assistance from the united states or the purpose of more supporting the reform agenda, and will the con continuation of military programs be continued upon human rights benchmarks or other benchmarks? >> well, clearly, on the last, we're under a mandate from you to make sure it does. that's an important part of what we do. we have been involved in conversations with the interim government on how to support that transition. i think that's part of the flexn't and adaptability we're showing is to look for opportunities to short that process going forward. >> finally, let me gist ask,
what level of success would you anticipate from the tunisia islamic groups if they can compete in the election that they are promised in the next 6 months? >> again, congressman, we have a basic principle that guides us. we will support and encourage governments that need the basic -- meet the basic tests of tolerance. rather than prejudge them, we will judge them by their deeds. >> before yielding five minutes to my florida colleague, mr. ray veer ya, i want without objection, ranking member to be recognized for an announcement. >> we've just learned that, and i think on behalf of the chair and an entire committee want to
extend con doll lenses of the entire committee to the loved ones and friends of ali, a fellow who is a u.s. embassy cairo staff employee for 18 years went missing from his own on january 28th, and just today is confirmed as dead. on behalf of all of us, we want the family -- >> thank you. it is a try butte to the staff and the risks they take and we appreciate that, and behalf of all of us, we appreciate that. >> thank you. secretary, thank you so much for being here today. i'm heartened by your testimony regarding the impact of the crisis in egypt, vis-a-vis, is realm. whatever emerges from the uncertain circumstances in egypt, that u.s. interests
remain constant, and specifically that egypt continues to honor its commitment to peace with israel. i'm wondering if you can elaborate and please be as specific as possible as to what exact message the united states is delivering, has been delivering, will be delivering to all the parties regarding e's commitment to peace with israel. >> thank you, congressman. what the message has been clear and thats peace treaty between i gent and israel is for the region as a whole. we expect any government to honor its international commitments and the treaty signed by that government and to remain committed to it not just in letter, but in spirit. this is a foundation for egypt's future success, that the prospect of conflict with israel serves no interest of egypts,
and certainly not consistent with our interests. we are unequivocal with our own position, and making clear this is not a favor to anybody else. the egyptians should continue it, and the reason we expect them to continue it is because it is in egypt's interest. >> over the years, the u.s. sold a great deal of military equipment to egypt, and at the same time, we've been deeply committed to israel's qualitative military edge, and herbally israel to defend itself, and part of that call calculus is they were committed. if the commitment for peace changes, how will that affect future decisions about the sale and maintenance of weapon systems to the egyptians? >> congressman, obviously, we -- any time there's a dramatic change in circumstances, we have to take that into account in making decisions, but i think our focus now on the positive
message, which is the benefits of engagements we've had with egyptian military and therefore expect them to see the benefits of continuing this and continuing that basic process that led to the long period peace between israel and egypt. >> based on your experience and development you see right now, do you see egypt continuing to play a positive role on issues in general regional stability, for example, opposition to iran's nuclear program, standing up to islamic radicalism, ect.? >> i would have every reason to respect a more democratic egypt wob committed to the principles. in a democratic society, all the things you talked about are applicable to the a democratic society. the support for terrorism and the things we're concerned about are something that a strong and vibrant democratic government
would share. they are global partners in the shared values an interests. when we deal with iran, who are the strong partners? partners in europe, the democratic societies there, working with japan, korea. i think we believe strongly in terms of these interests whether it's sustaining peace in the middle east, dealing with terrorism, dealing with iran's nuclear program, that an open, vibrant egyptian government would be in sync with those views and perspectives. >> up to this moment today, you see no indications from any element of egyptian society, military or otherwise, civil society, or elements of the government, that any of the prospects can change? >> events are sometimes not fully predictable, but what we need to do is encourage and support the forces to reduce the chances of those things
happening, and our whole strategy is to do that by engaging this process to reduce the risk which the dangers you rightfully identify and have to be alert to don't emerge. >> thank you, and i yield back the remainder of my time. >> thank you. i want to yield to another florida congressman for five minutes of question. >> thank you, madam chair. secretary, i want to pick up where my colleague from florida left off and broaden from there starting with the issue of aide, not just to egypt, but aide to israel as well gives us a good jumping off point for a broader debate on capitol hill doing with foreign aide more generally. there are proposals that have been flowing around that suggested that state departments and foreign aide requests should be lumped in with nonsecurity spending and should be submitted to cuts between 10%-10%.
given the state's department's role and the national security concerns that we have and further, given the role that foreign said plays not just in the middle east, not just in helping israel to ensure that israel has a qualitative military edge, but in the role that foreign aide plays in global health, in maternal care, children's health, the role that foreign aide plays fighting global hunger, the role of foreign aide in fighting traffickers in latin america and continuing president bush's achievement in combating aids in africa. i wonder if, and timely given some of the suggestions that have been made on the hill to eliminate foreign aide all together and suggestions from some outside, some prominent outside groups, that all outside aide should be on the table, is
it proposal, mr. secretary, for us to look at what is 1% or less of the federal budget in finding ways to balance the budget by eliminating florida assistance all together, and wouldn't the elimination of foreign aide put our nation at greater risk? >> well, thank you, congressman. as you can well message, secretary and all of us feel strongly with the president that this is a critical part of ensuring our national interest and o to support democratic institutions to build economic opportunity, to deal with the problems of health and hunger are all critical questions about how the world looks at america. this is part of a positive engagement that allows us to build friends, have support, and build on national interests ourselves. if we don't deal with global public health, they could come to us. it's having a strong balanced strategy of smart power and e
gainment in the world -- engagement in the world and supports the diplomacy to have the partners that we need to move forward. we've had important successes in iraq. we need to sustain that. it would be a tragedy right now with all that's been achieved and sacrifice not to continue the process of continuing to create a good example of a democratic society in iraq that's a powerful signal in the region including to egypt, to continue to make sure the extremists don't come back in afghanistan. we know what happened before, and we have a critical issue that again echoes what you discussed this morning about how do we assure extremism doesn't come back? it's by ensuring good rule of law and a civil society. this is what we do with the assistance programs. they are critically important to the national interests, and this is, as we think about our long term future and the role of the united states in the world, this is an absolutely indispensable
part. we hope that as we understand that the fiscal challenges, but this is a very small part of the budget. it's a critically important one for fundamental security interests of the united states. >> just again, mr. secretary, am i correct, the foreign assistance budget is 1% of the overall budget? >> that's about right. >> if you could speak to what a cut of 10%-30% across the board might mean. how would that impact american foreign policy? >> it would affect us across the board. it would mean we can't sustain the engagement on the civilian side in iraq because it's important this transition moves forward, the reconciliation that's taken place in two elections continues. it would affect our ability to support civil democracy and affect the ability to deal with the problems of hunger in creating sustainable agriculture, affect our ability to deal with the problems of global public health, affects
our ability to support the kind of work that we need to do around the world to build strong institutions and our -- we are, right now, having good opportunities where we engage, but the opportunities are greater if we see and smartly apply the resources. we have an obligation to you toe make sure they are well targeted, well conceived, and well managed, but in return, we deliver a benefit, and i think no one more than secretary geats made clear how important that is to our national security. >> finally, mr. secretary, to those who suggest we should eliminate foreign aide all together, i suggest they are putting our nation at risk. would you agree with that? >> as i say, it is a critical part of our smart power engagement in the world, the three legs of the stool that all president advisers recognize are critical to national security, and that has over our history back in the marshall plan and how we sustain our long term
influence and protected interests by the wise use of our resources in this area. our military can want protect the national interests alone. we see that in iraq, afghanistan. there has to be a balanced effort, and our contribution, the part that goes to the state department is small compared to defense, but there's a huge positive impact on the well being of the american peoplement also, on the economic side, it opens up economic opportunities. it creates opportunities for american jobs and exports. we advocate for american interests, opening markets and the like. there are many ways u.s. interests are protected by this ratter modest investment. >> i yield back. >> thank you. the chairman of the subcommittee on oversight and investigations. >> following up on my last colleague's line of questioning, putting america in jeopardy, let me just note, putting us at risk
at a much greater level than what we're talking about is $1.5 trillion worth of deficit spending a year that we have to borrow from china, and we cannot maintain that? if we continue to do that, our economy will collapse under a burden of debt that we have never experienced before. this is not oh, boy, we love to do this and that. no, there's certain things that we're going to have to come to grips with and be serious about. borrowing more money from china in order to give it to other people in different countries is not something that i consider to be a positive option. it's crazy. it's insane. we have been providing aide to egypt over all of these years, and now we have people who seem
to be high and mighty about how bad mubarak is but support the aide program to egypt all of these years. it seems to me that american foreign policy is not based on principle as you have suggested today. it should be or has been, but instead, it's based on juggling. what can we do for the moment not to create a crisis rather than have a long term principled policy and a policy aimed not what we can do for the world, but what's best for the people of the united states of america, and would the -- >> would the gentleman yield? >> no, i won't. i have a very fine diplomat. we have so much juggling going on that we can't have someone like yourself answer a straight question about the nature of the law. if we can't do that, how do we
expect to have the american people and the people of the world understand where we draw the line? yeah. we can have people jump up and applaud that mr. mubarak is gone. yeah, but what's going to happen two years down the road when we have an administration in egypt that puts women in jail much less permitting them to act in the system if they want to go on the street without wearing a veil? is that what we're going to end up with with mubarak gone? we're trying not to end up with that. let me note, i've been dismayed for all of these years, we have taken administration in egypt that is less than democratic, less than honest, we've known that, but we've treated them well, and then as soon as, but they've been basically a prostability and prowestern government, and as soon as they
are vulnerable, we turn on them with a vengeance compared to an antidemocratic regime in iran when there's demonstrators in the streets against them, we have a muffled response, well, we can't really go in and side with the dmon stlaiters -- demonstrators against this anti-american regime dictatorship in iran. we can't do that because, well, that would be just too intrusive. but in egypt, where there's a friendly regime, as i say, we just don't toss mubarak, a guy's who tried to be a force for stability, we don't toss him under the bus, but feed him to the wolves, and the wolves eat our lunch. let's get to some basics here. the administration, mubarak, president mubarak offered to say that he would not be a
candidate, and his son would not be a candidate, and he would oversee a basically a caretaker regime until the september elections were held and the people of egypt were permitted to make their decisions as to what direction their country should go. what was wrong with that? >> let me just briefly comment on your first point first. >> sure. >> you have 30 secondses. >> i understand. [laughter] having that point raised, our position is clear and illustrated in the proposal for this in afghanistan which would have deprived women of their rights and would have been unacceptable to the united states. we made clear to president karzai that that was not acceptable to us. i don't think there was a lack of clarity on our part about where the red lines are and our principles. i understand your question, but i want to make clear from our perspective we understand that point, and we do -- >> seems to be you were dodging
the question. >> i apologize, but i hope -- >> thank you very much. that was a good exchange. thank you for those excellent questions. [laughter] >> [inaudible] thank you for being here. during the iranian protest two years ago, americans saw how the iranian people used the social media. it's no longer in dispute the effect of the internet on the egyptian uprising, and, you know, they use twitter, facebook, texting, youtube to gain a following in the country, and in fact with admiration of the world in the process. however, many american people were shocked to know years ago that they were using the social media, you know, to monitor protests and down opposition leaders and even worse, we discovered the companies
mentioned by congressman smith with the presence in the united states were helping the iranian regime exploit technology and turn innovation into violence. when the egyptian government, you know, commenced its side for crack down, frankly no one was surprised i think that followed that, but it seems that american company is involved in this instance as well. it was the technology to monitor the interpret, allowing the egyptian government. i understand that the pakistani government, telecom company had this technology. it's no secret they are a glare on human rights. i want to know what the department is doing to work with american companies that are selling their technology and these products around the world to ensure that these products are not an obstacle to human
rights at best or a tool of vims at wrs -- violence at worst. when we sell weapons to other countries, we require an end use monitoring agreement. do you think such an agreement to make sure that u.s. technology is not abused? is that being considered? thank you. >> congressman, as i mentioned, i'm not familiar with the specific case, but we'll get back to you on that. more generally, one of the things we try to do working with civil society is to promote open ness and support their access to alternative media when it's been deprived and help them to understand the dangers and risks too. i think it is two sides of the coin, and that we have to be alert to the dangers that will be used by people for the wrong reasons, so part of our educational effort and our work with them is to help groups in civil societies protect themselves and to take measure that are sensitive to these things. again, without knowing the
speives, it's hard to make a general observation, but it's something we should take under advicement. >> okay, and i would ask if there's any discussion along those lines, i would like to know myself and other members of the committee would like to know thatment indeed, people are losing their lives based on technology, and it's not a stretch to say it'sed -- it's used as a weapon by some of these countries. i'd be curious on that. >> thank you, do get back to us. >> i yield my time. >> with that, i yield myself 30 seconds of time to welcome back and congratulate and say thank you to a member of our foreign affairs family, a member of our majority staff, matt, who just returned from a year of military service in kandahar, afghanistan. thank you, matt, and good to
have you back. [applause] with that, i want to yield 5 minutes of questioning to our subcommittee chairman. >> i thank the gentle lady for yielding and appreciate you for being here, mr. steinberg. my big concern is the united states first and our close ally, israel in the middle east, and toward that end it appears to me there's a great deal of uncertainty now and there's all kinds of reports what's going on and nobody knows for sure what's happening, but there's upheaval not only in egypt, but in other countries over there. we get 30% of our energy from that part of the world, and although the decision on exploring for energy here in the united states will not rest with the state department, the state
department does have a role to play in deciding where our national security interests lie, and right now, if we have problems over there in the suez canal, and egypt is the suez canal, or if things get bad over in the persian gulf states, or if, and we see people who are concerned about things in iraq, if things go awry in iraq because of iran, we can see our supply of energy diminished dramatically, and i think it's the state department's obligation to express that to the administration. the administration -- and we get 30% of the energy from the persian gulf region, 20% from venezuela who is in leave with taiwan right now. that's half of our energy. we can't get permits to drill in the gulf now. we can't drill on the
continental shelf or in anwar, and we have the ability to be energy independent within a decade. there's no question about it. we have more energy in this country collectively including gas and oil, coal shale that can be converted into ole than any other place in the world. there's no question about it, but we're not moving in that direction, so we're still dependent on the middle east, and they have a life and death grip on us if everything goes awry. i'd like for you to answer the question, why is not more attention being paid by this administration and the state department to the security of this nation both economically and militarily because we're not moving towards energy independence? not only that, but if you talk to the average person who spends $3.50 for gas knowing it's going
to $5 or $6 if things get out of control, they're saying, if we have that ability, why don't we do something about it? where is the state department on this issue, and why isn't the state department and secretary clinton talking to the president about the long term issue of what happens if things go in the wrong direction in that part of the world. make no mistake about it. if you look in history, there's a book from 1776 to know, you'll see upheaval in that part of the world is a constant, and our security depends on it. while we're concerned about that area with democracy and everything else, why suspect the state and the administration talking about moving towards energy independence? >> obviously, it's a complex issue for the whole administration. >> it's not that complex. >> there's other parts of the administration engaged, and i'm not the spokesman in that respect, but i'll talk about
other things -- >> before other things, what i want you to do is go back to the state department and tell them to talk to the administration about our national security. we're supposed to work with other nations in the world to bring about stability and we use foreign policy and foreign aide to do all that, but the number one speedometer -- responsibility of government according to the constitution of united states is to protect this country economically and militarily, and we're risking that right now and just look what's going on in egypt and other countries in the middle east. >> i was going to state if you look at our energy strategy, one, the president indicated the importance of developing domestic sources, and in addition to oil and gas there's other sources like nuclear energy, and we are looking to diversify so we're not dependent on the dangerous areas, for example, an agreement with mexico to have access to the
boundary in the gulf. i was in africa to have access with ghana, a democracy. >> i'm talking about energy we have here in the u.s.. >> thank you, mr. steinberg. we would appreciate if you can get back to mr. about that. >> going live now to the al-azzi rirks. >> translator: i address you today that nations wide. i address you all with a speech from the heart, a speech from father to his children, to his sons and daughters.
i tell you, i take pride in you, the symbol of a new innovation of egypt, calling for the change of the better and yielding to the same, dreaming for a bright future and shaping such a future. i tell you before anything that all those who fell and were injured, their blood will not go down the drain, and i confirm that i will not relent to penalize all those fiercely and directly, and i will hold accountable those who committed crimes against the rights of our youth, to the smallest severe sentences according to the law, and i address the families of those innocent victims that i felt the pain, the same pain you felt. my heart went out and i felt the
pain as you did. i tell you that my response to your voice and your message and your demands is a commitment that cannot be waived. i am totally determined and adamant to fulfill and the promises genuinely, honestly, and seriously, and i'm totally keen on implementing all these promises with no return backwards. this commitment stems from my firm convictions of the genuineness and through your intentions and movement, and that your demands are local and legit legitimate. mistakes are likely in any political regime in any state, however, it is important to admit to mistakes and rectify
such mistakes at the earliest and penalize those responsible. i tell you, my capacity as president of the state, i cannot find any embarrassment at all in listening to the youth of my homeland and responding to them. however, all embarrassment comes from and the wrong doing comes from, and i cannot and will not accept to be dictated orders from outside no matter what the source is and no matter what the excuses or justifications are. my fellow countrymen, the youth of egypt, my fellow citizens, i announced in very plain unequivocal words that i will not run the upcoming presidential elections satisfied with what i have offered to the
nations for over 60 years and in the time of war and peace. i announce that i will adhere to this position, and i also announce i will similarly remain addment to shoulder my responsibility on protecting the constitution, safeguarding the people until the authority in power is handed over to this to be elected by the people in september coming in the fair and free elections where all the guarantees for transparency and activity will be secured. this is the hold i've taken before guards and before the nations, and i will continue to keep this oath until we with the people rest assured. i have laid down a vision, a clear one, to exit the current crisis and to realize the demands voiced by the youth and
citizens in compliance with the constitutional legitimacy without underminding the constitution and in a manner that ensures the stability of all society and the allegations of their demands. at the same time, laying down a framework to be agreed upon for the peaceful transition with a responsible dialogue among all the forces of society with absolute veer rasety -- veer rosety and disperty. i lay down to this committed to my responsibilities to take the country from these harsh moments, and i will continue to observe the implementation step by step, and hour by hour, and looking forward to the support and backing of every person keen on the people's interest in order to translate them into
concrete reality within broad con sense of nations to ensure the proper implementation will be safeguarded by the forces. we have initiated a very constructive national dialogue encompassing the youth of the people who called for change together with all other political forces, and this dialogue has yielded preliminary agreements on stances and views, therefore, we can lay our foot on dry paths to exit the crisis and we should continue marching into this fad to move from the guidelines of agreements into a clear road back and a specific timetable. this will go day after day, day by day, and the path of peaceful
transition of power from today until september next. this national dialogue has converged on the formation of the constitutional commonty to examine the amendments required together with the necessary parallel amendments. also, i stand to ensure the precise implementation of the promises i made before the people. i am keen on the formation in these to be compromised of independent and transparent jurists, legal professionals, and other professionals. in addition, to the victims that have fallen in the unfortunate
tragic events which lists deep pape in our heart and shows the conscious of the people, i handed down my orders to speed up the investigations in the last week's events and to repair the outcomes to the chief prosecutor to take the necessary, legal actions. yesterday, i have received the first report on the constitutional amendments as proposed by the commonty i formed from the jurist and legal experts to examine the constitutional amendment and legitimacy of one, and i, in response to the report laid by the accommodations and virtue of the powers listed 189 of the
institution, i, today, propose the amendments of six constitutional articles. article 6, 76, 77, 83, and 189 in addition to the annulment conserving i am prepared to propose at the later stage to amend the articles as further accommodations of the constitution as required. these amendments, the top priority amendments aim at streamlines and simplifying requirements as candidacy to this presidency and the term of office to ensure dedication of power reenforces the supervision of our elections to ensure it is
fair and free. it also gives the jurisdiction to rule upon the validity of members of parliament and the proposal made to scrap article 179 of the constitution that aims at creating balance. it fixes the nation from the terrors of terrorists and ensuring the respect of civil rights of citizens, to clear the way for scrapping the emergency law once stability and security are restored and suitable circumstances are available. my fellow countrymen, priority now is to restore confidence among all egyptians, confidence
and trust in our economy and international reputation, confidence in that change and transformation can be reversed. egypt is braving through hard times where we cannot noasht gar these circumstances to continue. our economy has suffered losses and damages day by day. it will end up in a situation where the youth who are calling for reform and change be the first vick tills. -- vick times. the current moment is not relating to my current personality. it is now relating to egypt, the current situation, the future generations, and all egyptians are lying in the same trench,
and we should continue engaging in the national dialogue that we started in a friendly atmosphere without any distancing from any differences in order to brave through the current crisis and to restore confidence in our economy. stability and peace to our citizens and to restore the normal way of life. i have been a youth just like you when i learned the ethics, loyal to the homeland, and sacrifice for its sake. i exhausted my life defending the homeland and its plenty. i went to war. i won victory. i lived the days of occupation, and i also lived through the
days of victory and liberation. it was the happiest day of my life when i lifted the flag of egypt. i have paid debts on many occasions. i never breathed under foreign pressure or dictator's orders. i work for the peace, stability, and independence for the people, work for its development for the generations of egypt. i never sought false power or popularity. i am certain the majority of the people are aware of who hosni mubarak is, and i feel pain in my heart for what they hear from some of my countrymen. in any event, i am fully aware of the cross roads we are at and based on my firm convictions
that egypt is going through a defining moment in its history where we are all required to rise above all differences and to put the interest of the nation above all to support the homeland above all. i have been that is required to delegate the powers and authorities of the president to the vice president as per the constitution. i am fully aware that egypt will exit this and the will of the people cannot be dented. egypt will be back on its feet absolute by the jen niewn winness -- genuineness of its people. we will not allow others to gloat over us. we, egyptians, have the ability to realize the demands of the
people by their civilized conscious dialogue. we will prove that we are not satellite states, followers to others. >> egyptian president, hosni mubarak, speaking on egypt television. coverage from al-jezeera. breaking away now because the u.s. senate is gaveling back in. president mubarak saying in his comments he'll continue to serve through the current crisis continuing to keep my oath and work for a "peaceful transition today through september." he says he hopes to hold a constructive national dialogue yielding -- before we can lay our foot on the right path to exit the crisis. no indication there that president mubarak is stepping down. you can continue to watch the speech as it happens now at
c-span.org, but leaving here on c-span2, and taking you live in the u.s. senate. and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c., february 10, 2011. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable amy klobuchar, a senator from the state of minnesota, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: daniel k. inouye, president pro tempore. mr. reid: madam president? following leader remarks, there will be a period of morning
business with senators allowed to speak for up to ten minutes each. there will be no roll call votes during today's session of the senate. however, i hope we will be able to extend the trade adjustment assistance legislation today. senators should expect the next series of votes to begin at 5:30 p.m. on monday. we hope to have as many as three votes on monday, starting at 5:30. madam president, saying you want to cut government spending is an easy applause line. we all want to lower the deficit. we all wish americans had less debt sitting in the other countries' treasuries. none of us wants to leave the most difficult decisions to the next generation. they deserve better from us. but actually doing the hard work of figuring out what and where to cut, that's the hard work. that's an entirely different story. the american people don't need to hear an applause line. they need us to ease the burden on our nation's bottom line, and there is a fine line between doing so responsibly and recklessly. it's our job to do that hard work, to figure out what and where to cut, to do the math
carefully and practically and with commonsense. it's our responsibility to remember we're not just taking numbers off a ledger. in many cases, these proposals may mean taking workers off the assembly line or taking teaches out of the classroom or police officers off the street. i want to talk about taking police officers off the street. in the republican case to make as many cuts as possible, they propose eliminating the cops hiring program. cops stands for community oriented policing services and has helped put thousands and thousands of police officers and sheriffs on patrol around the country. about 450 of them in nevada. under the republican plan, many could lose those jobs and many more who want to join the force won't be able to. the cops program also helps our law enforcement departments and affords the computers and communications equipment they
need to do their jobs. these jobs are keeping us safe, so cutting cops doesn't just put them at risk. it puts all of us at risk. this is the kind of investment we gain from losing. this extreme plan does nothing to grow our economy or keep us competitive. it doesn't make our future more secure. it makes our neighborhoods less so. we have to cut responsibly. that's not the kind of cut that we're talking about here, wiping out the cops program. we can't support that, madam president. when we talk about cutting government waste and excess, this is what we mean, among other things. we mean eliminating handouts to oil companies that are already making record profits. we mean cutting billions in wasteful pentagon spending to contractors like halliburton. it means stopping the government giveaways to companies that ship american jobs overseas. these are commonsense cuts, and a good place to start the
conversation. so far, republicans have shown no interest in meeting us halfway and have shown every intention of protecting their rich corporate friends. as this conversation continues, democrats don't need any lectures from the other side on fiscal responsibility. remember, madam president, we were the ones that balanced the budget during the clinton years. we did it. we were accused of reducing the deficit too much. we were spending less money than we were taking in, and because of the work that we did during the last of the clinton administration, even president bush during his first year because he got all the largess from the clinton administration, he turned in a record budget surplus himself, but as soon as his policies got into effect, he changed that very quickly. in a matter of months, he turned a record surplus into a record deficit that we're fighting today. so in conclusion, madam president, any budget debate is
going to be about numbers. that's the way it should be. but that's not the real priority, and those figures shouldn't blind us to the real story behind the numbers. our goal and our charge isn't to cut billions of dollars just to say we did. our task is to make our government more efficient, our economy healthier, and our future more secure. our challenge is to do so in a way that doesn't put our public safety at risk or break our roman to seniors. so we need to think about what we're cutting and making sure those cuts aren't counterproductive. we need to pay attention to the quality of these cuts, not just the quantity of these cuts. madam president, after all, you can lose a lot of weight by cutting off your arms and legs, but no doctor would recommend it. mr. reid: would the chair announce morning business, please? the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will be in a period of morning business with senators
permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. and the senator from ohio is recognized. mr. brown: thank you, madam president. i am joined -- i thank the majority leader for his support on our -- on our cutting efforts. i am joined on the senate floor by senator casey, the senior senator from pennsylvania, who has been a leader for workers in this body. i want to make some brief comments about something very important for workers and businesses and international trade. then senator casey will make a couple of unanimous consents, and i will make one that i hope is agreed to. if it is, then i will not -- he will not need to make a second, i will not need to make the third. madam president, in december, just before the 111th congress adjourned, it extended two critical trade programs which senator casey and i were on the floor working on then. first we extended the indian trade preferences act, thanks in
part to senator mccain of arizona, which provides assistance to latin american countries which also helps american businesses and workers by granting access to new inputs and products. second, critically important to our two states, pennsylvania and ohio and i know to the presiding officer's state of minnesota, we extended trade adjustment assistance. that's the least we can do in this congress. and we extended the health coverage tax credit, so that together workers who lose their jobs because of bad trade agreements like nafta and cafta and bad trade positioning like pftr for china can at least get help for retraining so they can get back to work in comparable paying jobs we hope and some assistance, some tax credits to buy health insurance for them and their families. as a result, thousands of workers and retirees who depend on t.a.a. and the htct made it through the holidays when we did
this in late december, in the last minute, it shouldn't have been that long, but in the last minute with the critical sources of support. the indian trade preferences act has brought business for our businesses and workers. it's nice, mr. president, that, madam president, some flowers from colombia will be in florist's shops for valentine's day next week because of this act. but the difficult reality faced by too many workers relying on t.a.a., relying on the health care tax credit reminds us of the effects of trade and globalization, the down side of trade and globalization. it reminds us that our actions bring consequences. we hear presidents and congresses trumpet the advantages of free trade, yet they forget about fair trade. what happens to too many workers. good for investors, good for some companies, good for some countries, not always good for our workers. they forget about that. by this weekend, if we fail to act, crucial improvements to t.a.a. and health care tax credits will expire. workers again will be hurt, not just by loss of job but loss of
these benefits. it will expire at the expense of workers who played by the rules, who lost their jobs, most of their pensions and their health care or all three. just last month, i visited the mahoning valley on the pennsylvania border in northeast ohio, mahoning one stop to visit with workers who were using t.a.a. to develop new skills and training to find new secure jobs. one industrial manufacturing worker, i believe in her 40's, has a daughter, i believe, in her late teens. she and her daughter were in the same school, both studying to be health care workers, both becoming professionals, both getting their lives and their futures in order. the mother able to do it because of trade adjustment assistance. i was there with a simple message -- we can't keep passing trade agreements that undermine ohio workers, then turn our back on those workers when their jobs are offshore. the t.a.a. and htct enhancements are not expensive and they are not complicated. they are modest improvements
that congress passed to help tens of thousands of americans either bet get back to work or regain some measure of security. last week, 12 senators and i including the majority leader sent house leadership a request requesting a long-term extension of trade adjustment assistance, the health care tax credit and the andean trade preferences act. t.a.a. is a critical part of our nation's competitiveness strategy. in just the last two years, more than 155,000 additional trade-affected workers across the country who might not have been certified under the former t.a.a. program became eligible for t.a.a. benefits, because a year and a half, almost two years ago in the recovery act, we added, we expanded trade adjustments to help those workers that had lost their jobs because of trade. these americans are rubber workers from johnson rubber company, for instance, in wood county. they are furniture makers from
mexico to jackson county. or aluminum casting manufacturers -- i'm sorry, from masco in jackson county or aluminum casting manufacturers from my home county of richland. in addition, workers in the service industry are eligible for t.a.a. because of these changes. these workers include engineers at belkin engineering in cincinnati, computer programmers and electronic dell systems in fairborn, a suburb of dayton. it includes researchers at the transportation research center. in total, 360,000-plus workers nationwide have been certified eligible for t.a.a. since 2009. these workers use t.a.a. to require new skills to return to work as quickly as possible. this isn't theory. this isn't some game. this is workers who have lost their jobs because of decisions in this body and in the white house that cost those -- cost people those jobs, and it's helping those workers so they can get back on their feet.
it's not a game. it's not a happy time. it's the least we can do for those workers. health coverage tax credit program also helps the -- helps those same trade-affected workers and retirees who lose their benefits. i could go on about this, madam president. i'll stop. i hope that republicans don't object to this. the combination of t.a.a. and hctc, trade adjustment and health care tax credit, it's a winner for business, the combination is a winner for workers, it's a winner for our economy. it will boost the economy. it's too important for the country. for decades, there has been bipartisan support for the t.a.a. program. in 1962, president kennedy when this was conceived said those injured by foreign competition shouldn't be required to bear the brunt of that. madam president, there are no -- when there are no replacements for good-paying, secure jobs, t.a.a. and hctc are there. they help workers acquire new skills. they help businesses compete. they are keys to our nation's
economic recovery. they are keys to our competitiveness. and, madam president, they are simply put the right thing to do. i yield to the senator from pennsylvania for, i believe, for unanimous consent request. mr. casey: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. casey: first i want to thank senator brown and others in this chamber who have helped us in this battle. first a couple of words about trade adjustment assistance as it relates to pennsylvania and more importantly pennsylvania workers. as many people know, the trade adjustment assistance provisions were enhanced by amendments made to the program in 2009. it was updated in two critical ways. first of all, h expanding covere to more workers, including service workers and workers whose jobs have been offshored to places around the world, and the change was essential because it made workers whose jobs were lost to china and india eligible
for assistance which these days is an essential safeguard for those workers. the amendments also increased and improved training, health coverage and other benefits available to trade adjustment assistance certified workers. what does that mean for pennsylvania? well, the 587 certain fictions that -- certifications that have been issued in pennsylvania cover an estimated 67,000 -- 67,000 -- workers in pennsylvania. give you one example and then i'll offer the consent request. general electric announced in 2009, early 2009, that they'd be cutting 1,500 jobs. we've worked with them and others to -- to get them through this period. they've just recently gotten a solution in the form of trade adjustment assistance. and as a result of their certification, the workers have been able to go to school, feed their families and contribute to
the local economy so general electric in the state of pennsylvania is hiring again, with the help of trade adjustment assistance. so with that, b by way of background -- and i wanted to be brief because we want to go to our request. i would ask unanimous consent that the finance committee be discharged from further consideration of h.r. 359 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration, that a casey substitute amendment providing an 18-month extension of trade adjustment assistance and the andean trade preference act be agreed to, the bill, as amended, be read a third time and passed, and the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming is recognized. mr. barrasso: thank you, madam president. madam president, reserving the
right to object. the gentleman's unanimous consent request contains components that he knows are controversial, are opposed by numerous senators, and for that reason, that proposal cannot pass the senate today. specifically, the proposal would extend the t.a.a. related provisions of the american recovery and reinvestment act of 2009, better known as the failed stimulus package, which most members of this side of the aisle strenuously opposed for very sound reasons. that stimulus spent approximately a trillion dollars under the guise that it would keep unemployment rates below 8%, yet nearly two years later, we are still at a point where unemployment rates, which had risen to the -- to the area of 10%, are now still a at 9% and i am reminded this is nearly double the average annual rate of the last administration. it would be one thing to me, madam president, if there was clear evidence that differing
t.a.a. programs were effective, meeting these intended goals. but research suggests that the efficacy of the t.a.a. training, funding is not as convincing. and at the insistence of senator coburn and senator enzi, the government accountability office found that in fiscal year 2009, nine federal agencies spent approximately $18 billion to administer 47 separate employment and job-training programs, including t.a.a. despite large federal spending, g.a.o. could not conclude whether or not the programs have had any meaningful benefit. the g.a.o. report states -- quote -- "little is known about the effectiveness of the employment and training programs we identified because only five" -- madam president, only five -- "reported demonstrating whether outcomes can be attributed to the program through an impact study." so as a result, madam president, i object. mr. brown: madam president?
the presiding officer: the objection is heard. the senator from ohio. mr. brown: would the senator from wyoming yield to a question? mr. barrasso: yes. the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. brown: thank you, madam president. one is are you aware that 155,000 new workers have been certified -- that the new t.a.a. program since may 2009, 155,000 americans have been assisted under t.a.a.? mr. barrasso: madam president, i would be happy to, as a matter of record, submit for the record the government accountability office study that was reported by senator coburn and senator enzi to outline the entire study and the reason that i am objecting today. thank you, madam president. mr. brown: fair enough. madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: senator barrasso, if you'd be willing to give us more specifics, i -- first of all, 155,000 workers are -- i'm willing to go on the record with that. it's fact. it's very important to those 1 155,000 workers. i know a lot of them live in
pennsylvania and ohio. i don't know how many of them live in wyoming. i could certainly find that out too. could you give us -- i understand your criticism of the recovery act. that's a debate for another time. i understand senator coburn's disagreement and perhaps yours too with -- with worker training programs. i'd like to see a better consolidation. this president is actually beginning to do that, something that president bush never i don't believe ever really attempted. but more precisely, what exactly did -- strip away all the other discussions of the recovery act. precisely what did we do that you object to when we expanded the t.a.a. language in the recovery act? we had the recovery act in place -- we had the t.a.a. in place. we expanded t.a.a. so that more workers could be covered, those workers who lost their jobs from trade agreements not just in -- not from trade agreements, lost their job from trade -- trade losses, from trade, not just in countries we had free trade
agreements with, but other countries, we expanded it there, we also expanded service workers. what precisely, since you're speaking for mr. coburn and a few others, what precisely was the expansion in t.a.a. that you object to? this is not a -- this is not a debate on all the worker training programs. this is a debate on making them more efficient. we should have that debate. we should make it more efficient. this is not a debate on the recovery act, even though any fair-minded economist said it's not a well-known failure, it actual worked. but that's another debate. but precisely, the expansion of t.a.a. to cover service workers and to cof those workers who lost jobs to countries with whom we did not have an f.t.a. with, what is your objection to thos those -- the precise, specific expansion of t.a.a. that senator casey, his unanimous consent is trying to expand, if you could continue? mr. barrasso: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: well, thank you very much, madam president, and
i do look forward to having those additional discussions and debates on all of the issues that were just raised by my distinguished colleague from ohio and that is why after the two distinguished senators on the floor today offer i think the three different proposals, that i have a counterproposal that i hope that they would accept, an alternative package that maintains the underlying bill of h.r. 359. it extends the andean trade preference act for 18 months and extends the -- the permit staffing prohibition for 18 months. so i'll be offering that after we have finished the additional discussion and offerings by the other side. thank you, madam president. mr. casey: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. casey: madam president, i have a second unanimous consent request which i will offer right now. i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of h.r. 359, which was received from the house and is at the desk, that a casey substitute amendment providing
for a 4 1/2-month extension of trade adjustly assistance and the andean trade preference act, be agreed to, the bill as amended be read a third time and passed, and the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. barrasso: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: thank you, madam president. reserving the right to object, and for the reasons that i've stated during the previous request and debate, i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. brown: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: i -- i'm not -- i'm not surprised by this, madam president, but i'm very disappointed. i mean, these are american workers who have lost their jo jobs, who at the least we can do, because this body is responsible in part with a bunch of multinational corporations who have moved jobs out of this country, in some cases to get cheaper labor, to get trade
advantages, to take advantage of tax breaks, to evade environmental laws, to invade worker safety laws and labor laws. they've moved out of this country with an assistance from this chamber yet we are, because of -- i don't know if it's senator barrasso or it's senator coburn or who it is, we are saying -- we are just turning our backs on those workers who have lost jobs not through their own doing. i'm -- i'm just very disappointed. madam president, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of h.r. 359, which was received from the house and is at the desk, that a brown substitute amendment providing an 18-month extension for the health insurance cost tax credit be agreed to, the bill as amend be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. barrasso: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: thank you, madam president. reserving the right to object. this third proposal, madam president, deals solely with the health coverage tax
credit, including the increases contained in the stimulus that went from 65% to 80%. it's important to note that the -- the health coverage tax credit is not going away. it is merely reverting to the previous level which will require recipients to increase their contribution for health coverage. the health coverage tax credit stimulus level of 80%, which represents one of the most generous health care premium subsidies provided by the federal government, is unsustainable. as a result, madam president, i object. the presiding officer: the objection is heard. mr. brown: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: i'm again disappointed. this is a tax credit, and the senator from wyoming knows this, as many of my colleagues do, this really brings back the issue of health care generally. a bunch of us in this body who are -- who get our health insurance, who get our health insurance from taxpayers are not willing to assist people who
have lost their jobs. yeah, the health care tax credit's available, just like cobra is available, but tell me for most american workers that cobra is not a cruel hoax. cobra is what you get if you lose your job, you can keep your insurance, you've got to pay the employer side and your own side. now, you're working at a job making $40,000 a year. you pay your insurance and your employer pays part of your insurance also. if you lose your job, you keep paying your own insurance but you got to pay the employer's part too. who -- what kind of workers can get laid off and have the money to pay both? so, yeah, it's still available, sure it is. isn't that a wonderful thing? aren't we great in this body? but the fact is, it's not really available. and for our -- for senators who want to repeal health care, for senators who want to strip any assistance because in the end it really does strip the assistance that the health care tax credit gives, it's basically turning our backs and saying to these workers, sorry about that health -- sorry about that -- sorry about nafta, sorry about
pntr, sorry about these trade agreements. i know you lost your job because of those. sorry about losing your health insurance. sorry about not having any job training money. oh, and by the way, if your house is foreclosed on, that's just too damn bad too. madam president, what -- i -- i just don't get this. i don't understand why people in this body can't at least help those citizens who don't dress like this everyday, who don't make $170,000 a year, who don't have really good health insurance provided by taxpayers. why, madam president, are we turning our backs on them? madam president, i -- i yield the floor. mr. casey: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. casey: madam president, let me -- let me add a few words to what senator brown said. think of what's happening here. what just happened the last couple minutes. we had three unanimous consent requests. one of them, the first one that i offered was an 18-month extension of trade adjustment assistance. what are we talking about here? trade adjustment assistance is just basic to people's lives
when they lose a job. over the years, it's had a lot of support from both parties. it's about training. it's about income support, reemployment. so people can get from joblessness through no fault of their own to a job. it's a very basic program. it works well and the evidence is clear that it works. so i ask for -- asked for an 18-month extension and that was objected to. so then we tried again. the next consent request that i offered was a 4 1/2-month extension. this is after -- just as we were leaving here in december, senator brown and i worked out within agreement with two members of the republican side of the aisle, two members who said let's -- let's extend it for a short period of time. a much shorter period of time than -- than i wanted and a much shorter period of time than senator brown wanted but we got an extension. is that's what we're asking for here, helping people in the midst of what is still a very tough economy. just almost 14 million people out of work, 13.9 million
according to the last number, okay? that's what we're talking about here, not some fuzzy theoretical program. this is a program that we know works. it's a program that helps people get from here to there, from joblessness to a job. and provides some training and some skills. why is this objected to time after time by people on the other side and then you add to that -- you add to that the health care provisions that senator brown just talked about? everyone in this chamber, every elected official in this chamber has both a steady income and health care. and all we're asking for is to extend for a very short period of time a program that helps people in the midst of a tough economy. and the other side objects and objects and objects. it is hard to understand, as senator brown said. it makes no sense. this isn't some new program that we're experimenting with. this is a program that works. as i said before, in our state,
67,000 workers are positively impacted by this program. so i'd like to hear more from the other side about why they keep objecting to a program that we know works in every state and we in people really need at this time. mr. barrasso: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming is recognized. mr. barrasso: thank you very much, madam president. you know, i think for those folks around the country -- and i go home to wyoming repeatedly; i'll be there again tomorrow evening -- they're concerned about a $14 trillion debt that this country is trying to live with, a deficit this year of $1.5 trillion. the united states -- this just year we spend $3.7 trillion, brought in just $2.2 trillion. that is not sustainable, cannot
continue. and we simply cannot continue at this level where 41 cents of every dollar in this country is borrowed, many of it from people overseas. and it really should not catch anyone by surprise today that the stimulus provisions that we're tawlg about, the provisions from that stimulus package, they are set to expire. in fact, it has been we will-known since the day the stimulus passed. the current financial position of the united states forces us to examine all federal programs and make some very tough and difficult decisions. i agree that the senate should extend the prohibition on implementation of the department of labor's merit staffing rule, which i believe is harmful and unnecessary. and for these reasons i propose an alternative package that would maintain the underlying bill, h.r. 359, regarding the elimination of the taxpayer-funded presidential election campaigns and extends the atpa, the andean trade
preference act for 18 months and extends the merit staffing provision for 18 months. and so, madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of h.r. 3 a 59, that all after the enacting clause be stricken, the amendment at the desk be agreed to, and the bill as amended be read a third time and passed. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. brown: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. brown bron i reserve the right to object. i can't walk out of here -- and i think -- i think senator casey feels the same, saying "yes" to workers in the -- governed by the andean trade preferences. mr. brown: in other words, yes, we're going to help workers in colombia and peru and h ecuar and bolivia. we're going to say "yes" to workers there but the gentleman from wyoming wants us to work out and have said "no" to workers in harrisburg and columbus and eerie and
youngstown and toledo. so, madam president, i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. casey: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. casey: i think both sides understand that these should move together as a package, both trade adjustment assistance and the andean trade as we will. but let's try something here. we -- we -- we've talked about the arguments back and forth -- i'd ask my friend from wyoming if we could -- if he would agree to an extension through mother's day, which is sunday, may 8. i'd ask him to respond to that request. the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming is recognized. mr. barrasso: madam president, i object. the presiding officer: the
objection is heard. the senator from pennsylvania. mr. casey: what you just heard is another objection. they object to a short period of time -- let me go through this again. they object to a four and a half-month extension, they object to an 18-month extension and now they object to an extension through mother's day. i don't think it's asking that much to ask to go from here through may 8. and i don't think we're helping the economy at a very difficult time when there's objection after objection. but i hope the american people understand what's at stake here in the midst of a still-recovering and for some people still for many people i should say -- millions of people -- an wh horrific economic circumstance. madam president, i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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