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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  October 4, 2011 9:00am-12:00pm EDT

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than one or two bomb runs. second of all politically in this end is better for the united states if we do it than if we sit back and let israel do it. if israel does it the united states will inevitably be blamed the. think back to the six day war of 1967 in which was put out by tho government's of jordan and ego o ist and repeated that it was a.erican airplane that flyers iho had led toe arab air forces and the arab armies. ..
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>> the avenue through which terrorists are funneled into iraq to murder american soldiers, and other, and iraqis, but serious is iran's main ally in the world. the iranians know it. the iranian people know it. these are brother nations in a certain project. and if the syrian regime goes down, it will have powerful psychological repercussions in
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iran. and it's more likely than anything else i can think of to be the spark that rekindles the embers of revolution in iran. and so, the opportunity that needs to be seized these two do everything in our power to make the syrian revolution succeed. and that would begin with an immensely wrapping up of american rhetorical policy towards syria from the president on down to the state department, with daily denunciations of the brutality and killings by the syrian regime, daily repetition of the illegitimacy of the regime. and the evidence we have that the syrian people want this regime replaced, the american government is still a bully pulpit. and if that message would come
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out strongly and regularly from the united states, it would have impacts. and there are also other players in the region who, for their own reasons, would be happy to see syrian regime change. i think that's true personalities, and there are increasing signs it may be true for the turks. we can encourage them to give material and diplomatic support to the syrian opposition, which just this week has gotten itself much better organized than before. and on top of this, we need to at least be putting on the table the question of military action all of libya and syria. we see reports this week that more and more the syrian opposition is despairing of succeeding through their beautiful and nonviolent tactics, and there are instead of larger numbers of defectors from the syrian military that
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have taken up forceful action against the regime. and we should put in the air the possibility of helping them from the air in the same way that nato helped the rebels in libya. i think that would, among other things, holds the promise of changing the psychological equation inside syria as a lot of people in the regime, in the mid-tiller's -- military, can be made increasingly to wonder how this is going to end up which side is going to win, and whether they are going to end up on the winning or losing sight. thank you. [applause] >> abram shulsky. >> thank you.
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and i'd like to thank bradley foundation once again, not only for supporting this conference but for its generosity over the years. i've certainly been a great beneficiary of that. it's certainly true as josh said that, you know, everything has been said, not everyone has said it. i will say that again. i took of your point i suppose. but i will try to be brief as a result. we are here to talk about threats and opportunities to the u.s.-israeli relationship in the future, and, unfortunately, it seems to be the threats are a lot more visible and clear than the opportunities. but let me give a brief description of what i see as the major threats. first concern something which made we haven't really talked about much which is what the u.s. role in the region will be. if the u.s. role -- as the u.s.
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role is winding down, especially militarily, then we have to readjust our thinking as to what exactly u.s. leverage is on various actors in the region, what we can do. we will still have a role certainly as sort of guarantor of various machines like saudi arabia and other sunni states, but i suspect it will go back to the pre-1990 sort of over the horizon presence rather than what we have been used to, which is a continuous on the ground presence in the region for really 20 years now. i mean, that wasn't the case before. and then the second is the arab spring, and i would throw him without the islamist government in turkey, for this purpose at least, which is that because of these changes, governments in the region will have to conduct the foreign policy with much more of an eye towards popular opinion. and that means that they have
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less leverage to do things like sadat dead or king hussein did. judged on the basis of what they saw as their countries interest. they would have to be much more consultative to their popular fashions. taken together, this really changes the nature of the dynamic of the u.s.-israeli interaction as it deals with the major issues of the region. u.s. leverage on the elite in the region will decline, and those elites themselves will have less freedom of action. in a sense, the oslo model of dealing with someone like arafat over the heads of the palestinians who lived on the west bank and gaza is over, and you know, given what we've heard this morning we probably shouldn't want it too much but it will make things more difficult. so what remains? let me just mention three areas
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of important cooperation. one is that israel will clearly continue to rely on the u.s. for diplomatic protection. we've heard a lot both from doug and from peter about what's called the lost their movement, i.e., the attempt to counter act the military superiority of countries like the u.s. and israel with this web of arguments about the nature of the law of war, and this clearly will continue in the past. and in countering that, the u.s. is clearly in a position to do that is only through a security council, you know, which is kind of the gold standard of history. another area of course is the technological cooperation him and it really has been discussed a lot so i won't go into it. but it's clearly important, and both hasn't economic, civilian economic side to it and also a military side to it.
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that by the way points to an interesting question just on the point of view of israel's future is whether the boom in technological innovation that israel has experienced recently, it coincided with immigration from russia of a large number of very technically educated and trained evil. that's obviously a one-time event, whether israel will be in a position to keep up that level of technological education on its own is an interesting question. i must admit i don't know the answer to that, but just an interesting point because one shouldn't think of this as a normal situation. it really would come from the russian immigration which was a one-time event. and, finally, the question of what was the political military cooperation between u.s. and israel look like in the future. i think this is going to be more difficult for some of the reasons i mentioned earlier.
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i mean, there may be some opportunities, but it very much depends on what the regimes that come out of the arab spring our life. the syrian regime, if it came out of, you know, they post regime, if it's a dramatic regime interested in getting back to the golan heights but, you know, had no particular reason to want to carry on resistance against israel as a dogmatic or ideological point. there might be some area there for u.s.-israeli cooperation in trying to work that. at various times israel of course has directly militarily directly supported u.s. allies in the region, most notably jordan in 1970. there are various numbers of u.s. friends and allies in the region that are going to be political military support against iran in the future, whether they will have the ability in their own, use of
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their own population to accept this sort of support from israel is an open question. but if they do it will be an interesting area of u.s. is ready political cooperation. thank you. [applause] >> i'd like to ask the panel to think some more about this, this issue of the use of law as a means of war against both the united states and israel, the threat of prosecution's, of government officials, of members of armed services, for military operations has been described as a means of asymmetrical warfare.
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and i believe that your berkowitz use the term law there as it is commonly referred to now. this, i think it's a fair description to say that it's a type of asymmetric warfare. countries that can't confront successfully the united states or israel are on the battlefield have found that it can be an important check on those countries to threaten them, threaten their officials with prosecutions and threatened their country with all the diplomatic damage that comes from being put in the dock the way israel was with the goldstein report. now, what i think would be helpful would be, i mean, you know, if people came to this subject for the first time, you
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know, i would say it would be very hard to explain to rip van winkle why this is even an issue. how did this arise? where did this come from? and i think it has to do with one of the points that i referred to in my comments about the loss of elite opinion. i mean, when israel lost elite opinion and the u.s. government and many of its national security policies lost elite opinion, that became the basis for the development of these ideas that go under the general term of lawfare. if you were advising an american president, and saying that this is a problem for america national secure to policy, not just for his relationship with israel but for his own policy and the president said okay, i agree, it's a problem. it's a kind of warfare against
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the united states, we plan to do with all other kinds of warfare against the united states, what's our plan for for dealing with this? right? what would you say to him? [inaudible] all those democracies trying to understand politics -- [inaudible] partly their determined to use boundless cynicism because they know that you, you care as a president, you care about the rule of law. they know that you will be sympathetic to these arguments. but in addition to their boundless -- you need to appreciate the shallow idealism that so many of your university
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educated progressives who share the idea that all political problems are essentially valuable through diplomacy and through courts by the use of right reasons. so understand that. once you've understood that, once you've understood that, once you understand, understood that, it's both a long-term and short-term response. the long-term, or i should say that short-term response is century people out and help the world understand that the international law or at its inception and rightly is about balancing to goods, military necessity and humanitarian responsibility. both are genuine goods, but don't allow those who focus only on humanitarian responsibility. forget the need democracies have to defend themselves against their enemies.
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that's short-term. the long-term response is we must improve the educational system. we have an educational system which doesn't teach military history. this is especially, this is especially serious problem in the country in which the vast majority of the elite not only doesn't serve in the military, but doesn't know some who served in the military. we have a long-term interest in recovering this kind of education. >> just a quick political footnote to this. doug and peter are actually lawyers, although i guess you call peter a recovering lawyer. the additional point is that while you cannot reach those who are manipulating lawfare are very cynical reasons as a weapon, there's an old political saying about political speech, that you should never underestimate your audience's
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intelligence, nor overestimate their information. and in this case it is stunning, not least because what peter said about educational formation of young elite, it's stunning what people don't know. there is a narrative about their which is shallow and often contrary to the facts, which is why it's essential to whenever these things are addressed to repeat some of the basics. again, i complimented obama for saying some of the necessary things at the u.n. a couple weeks ago in his speech. it's just a tragedy he didn't do it to enact years ago, but you need to counter not only the narrative, but the way the narrative plays into the lawfare arguments. and you need to do so for political reasons and informational ones. >> one final question on this side. do you want to add a comment?
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>> only that we ought to do what we can to combat the idea that courts are inherently repositories or sources of justice. the courts in free and democratic societies are that, but courts in other kinds of societies can be instruments of tyranny, and often have been. and for a court to be a source of justice, it has to be embedded in a political system which is essentially democratic. that is, in which the people will be subject to the authority of that court are also participants in making the laws
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that will be put before the court. and also in which there is a sense of full range of rights, including minority rights, of those who will possibly be subject to that court. and in the absence of those things which are very much absent in the case of all international courts, that we currently have, then there's much more likelihood that the courts will be instruments of violence and tyranny, than instruments of justice. >> on that point, i'd like to make the observation that one frequently hears people refer to u.n. bodies, especially the
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security council, as a source of legitimacy, as if the u.n. security council functioned as a court, and it made judgments about right and wrong and legitimacy, when the u.n. security council is a political body and it was set up as a political body. i mean, nothing in the u.n. charters suggest it's anything other than a political body. that's part of the reason the great powers insisted on having a veto, and so not only is it true as josh i think rightly pointed out that some, that some courts that function a broad don't function properly, according to our western liberal democratic conception of justice, they don't function as courts, but there's a very big mistake that somebody's that our political -- some bodies, which
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is sadly not true and we should be very careful that there could be a political put on by the u.n. security council, but the notion that a security council resolution legitimates something morally or legally is just wrong. that's not, they are not in that business. you know, part of the education that i think peter referred to as necessary is to get people a little clearer on what the u.n. security council is supposed to do and not supposed to do. let me shift to the question of efforts to resolve the arab-israeli conflict, and in particular the palestinian-israeli conflict. bob lieber talked about the issue of stressing not democracy but liberty in the rule of law,
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and he suggested that we focus on conflict management, not resolution of the conflict. when george w. bush was president, he tried to shift the people focus, the world's focus from the negotiations that dealt with the so-called final status issues, to something more fundamental. he said that instead of just staying in the rut of working and reworking these so-called final status issues, we should recognize, he said that there will not be peace unless the palestinians have new political institutions and a new leadership untainted by terror. what i'd like to get a sense of is, you know, if anybody thinks that that's realistic, well first of all, that's a correct analysis, that the problem is
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the palestinian leadership, and there's been a number of panelists who have suggested that. i mean, how realistic is it that the united states and/or israel can do anything about the quality of palestinian leadership and political institutions? >> well, let me respond to that, or at least begin to do so. i think bush's june 2002 statement made a lot of sense. it was directed at arafat and everything he represented and embodied, rightly so. i will also add, although it's an administration you were a part of come unfortunate the bush administration i also think it's an things that contradicted its own policies, especially in 2006 when it pressured israel and even fatah to allow hamas to take part in the gaza elections. it took similar positions about lebanese elections involving
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hezbollah, and those contradict the point about protecting democracy, not just popular sovereignty but liberty and the rule of law. that was a serious misstep with damaging consequences. the other thing to recognize, and this is a political process. i think for a variety of reasons, one of which is they need to keep the american public on board, foreign leaders on board, even more pragmatic elements in the region, you need to be seen to be engaging in efforts at peace and efforts at negotiation, or as churchill once said, better draw draw than war war. the other part of it is, it isn't so much an issue of palestinian leadership right now, although it's critical because you have to palestine, but also the underlying fundamentals which i already pointed you at the beginning of my remarks, which is why i think for the immediate future there
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is no prospect of reaching the final status agreement, but the paradox, if you like him is that we have to be seen to be engaging in nonetheless. that's debatable. there are people who look at these same understanding as i've address and arrived at a conclusion that it's counterproductive, and even a waste of time, and ought not to be done. i think there are good reasons for being seen to be active, not least because ultimately if an agreement is to be reached, not only will it require a change a long the lines, i mentioned that is authoritative palestinian leadership ready and able to negotiate and make peace and end the conflict, but invariably because the parties are so far apart, israel and the palestinians, even under those circumstances, as with israel and egypt in 1979, the u.s. is usually the only outside action
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that can help them to bridge their differences at the end. but we are far from that situation. >> peter? [inaudible] first, we agree, and just wanted to add to liberty, liberty will of law, you mentioned, the political institutions. i would add development of economic institutions that you ask whether this is really realistic. excellent question. i am confident that is more realistic than the alternative, which is the endless search for an agreement on final status between the israelis and the palestinians. recent history is again reaffirm how elusive that this. we should focus on light work of trying to as opposed to the loud and conspicuous failure of abbas and what can be done. it's difficult work. it still long-term work that it won't happen overnight, but you can increase security cooperation. you can build roads.
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you can build factories. you can build houses. you can build bridges. you can, physical bridges. you can build hospitals. you can begin to create the institutions of the state, but more important than that, you can create the institution that enable people increasingly to govern themselves and live a decent life. so, it still may take decades but this seems to be a more realistic alternative. >> all right. i'd like to open the microphone up to questions from the floor. what i'm going ask you to do, please, is waiting to get the microphone before you start your question. and if you could identify yourself with your name and affiliation, we would appreciate that, too. >> hi.
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my name is laura reagan. i'm a lawyer but also a writer for the american website. arguably, i would suggest that we have not seen a full-blown war in the region since 1973, due to the, that was discussed earlier and relationship between israel and the u.s. that and i'm just wondering what we have a talk about today the possibility of future military, you know, full-blown war that so may people are talking as being imminent, especially in light of the movement away from the strong american influence and religion, leaving behind that we're seeing from the obama administration. >> just a quick observation. there's always a risk, i'm thinking of trotsky's comment about you may not be interest in war, but war is interested in you. in particular, the risk is that
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for the iranians or the syrians, by that i mean the regimes, not the people's, a serious military conflict with a means of changing the subject. the same thing could be true if the situation in egypt deteriorates very badly, as is possible. but beyond that it's difficult to speculate. >> it's actually difficult, but i think that for at least for the foreseeable future, israel has sort of established a military superiority that wouldn't allow that. i think the way war could come is essentially what bob said, that some router or parties is having some difficulties at home besides that going to the brink of war is a good way to distract the population, and then discovers, you know, unintentionally that it has created a real war, sort of like 1967. so you could easily get, you can
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imagine that sort of thing, but i suspect it's much more likely that you're going to see, you know, the types of rocket attacks, other sorts of things of that nature. >> doug? >> this was almost dealt with in an earlier panel, but not quite. and it hardly ever gets raised when we talk about possibly of an israeli attack on iran but it seems to me it needs to be. israeli military strategy has always been as quickly as possible to get the word to their territory. the next time around, it's possible, who knows, will be a war of missiles. not just mortar shells and not just rockets, missiles in other words, that you can drag edge of warheads that explode in the war. that city has these kinds of missiles, hezbollah has these kinds of missiles.
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hamas, 45 miles from tel aviv has some of these already. iran has long range ballistic missiles. one of the things they have to take into account in considering a possible attack on iran is the homefront in israel being subject to income and long range ballistic missiles from iran, missiles that can hit tel aviv from southern lebanon, from syria, from the gaza strip. and for that matter, rockets that can be catapulted, literally, from the west bank into the airport. so there's a danger, things spinning out of control and israel find itself in a kind of war it has never been in before. real danger.
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>> to follow-up to the most recent question about war, there hasn't been a major war involving israel since 1973. but there has been a major war in the region, the one between iraq and a band that went for eight years and killed several million people and maimed several million more. and it, i guess the question i would have been, if it's the case that there is a kind of receiving american involvement in the region, and also at the same time as abe shulsky florida, a more fluid dynamic because of populist regimes and so forth, what, the war in question, the emea complex need not be, have israel as one side of them. but the question is whether we,
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united states, would be joining, and israel itself. and what people would think about those kinds of scenarios and what they would involve. >> well, i mean, again, it's really impossible to rule anything out. but if you look at what an iranian strategy might look like for the future, and i think even if i got a nuclear weapon, all he would see is the same sort of strategy, or it might be pursued much more vigorously, is one that sort of worked fairly well so far for them, which is proxy groups like hamas and hezbollah, sort of subversion interference and so forth. you know, they will have a very strong position in iraq, perhaps, even if they lose syria, then you will have iraq as a kind of, you know,
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political ally of the sort. i mean, a kind of base. and you know, the real issue will be how do they choose to take on saudi arabia and the other states of the gulf. and my assumption is that they would take it on by a subversion, via trying to build up hezbollah type groups in those countries. i mean, so far, you know, they haven't been too successful at that, and someone earlier, i forget which handled country and a by rain which was an interesting case where the iranians huff and puff but they were unable to do anything. that may turn out to be significant. but still, i would imagine we'll see much more iran subversion of various sorts in the region.
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>> what you can do, is trying to do speak can you identify yourself? [inaudible] >> i am a student. what do you think palestinian leadership is trying to achieve with its bid and united nations when it realized it when i get independent? >> we are trying to change the subject. for abbas his position even in the west bank is shaky, it's a means of building up his political popularity at home. it's also a means of fudging the realities with to palestine's, with an agreement with hamas that couldn't and didn't stick because there is a civil war within, among the palestinians. it does seem like an opportune moment to capitalize on some of the things that have been discussed. it's a cynical action, but it's part of a number of things including lawfare at an average of what outside pressure to
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achieve results that they are unwilling and unable to do through negotiation with israel. >> peter? >> instead of the very shooting by going directly to the u.n., to achieve palestinian statehood without having to recognize israel as the nationstate of the jewish people, he said in his speech the land of palestine is an occupied for 63 years. that mean since 1947, since israel was granted independence by the u.n. general assembly. all negotiations for israelis now insist that the palestinians recognize israel as a nation state of the jewish people. if the palestinians do, it would mean they would have to give up the right of return, right of return not to a state of
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palestine on the west bank and gaza but a right of return to tel aviv and others. and that we know from al-jazeera websites which published more than 1000 documents, the giving of the right of return is something that palestinians are determined not to give up. >> i was thinking about from your earlier question, i think the situation among the palestinians that has been referred to earlier today, in a way that i would not, it is referred to just in terms of the
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palestinian leadership. my sense is the palestinian leadership is fairly accurately reflective of the public sentiment, among the palestinians, and that sentiment seems to me to be and to have been for now some decade or two, quite divided down the middle. we don't know how reliable the various polling agencies are, that poll among the palestinians, but there are lots and lots of polls. and they tend to show fairly even division, in a very divided population with, some part of which, roughly half, that answers yes to various questions about a permanent settlement of living in peace with israel, and some other part of it which
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answers no to those questions. and palestinian leaders tried, are fairly immobile in terms of taking steps for peace because, although i think the current p.a. government, hamas, fayyad, are people who are much more amenable to peace that arafat was. there are still not people who want to take on themselves the role of selling to their own people the concessions that will have to be made to have peace, and why this would be in their interest, in the interest of the
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palestinians and would enable them to have an indie pendant state. -- to have an independent state. that immobility on the palestinian side is why we are locked in a situation in which there is, and there you are going on august talk about negotiations, or there's political gains that are standing in the way of negotiations. but nothing moves forward, and it hasn't, and it hasn't moved forward for a long time. the u.n. is always the palestinians peace in the hole, or it's actually a deck of 52 aces in the hole. this is not a new story, but an old story starting, the first,
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the first person ever invited to address the u.n. general assembly was not the head of a government, was yasser arafat in 1974. and then from there you go through a whole series of precedents in which rights and recognition was given to an organization it was not the government of the state, that was never given to any other organization that was not the government of state, and that was to the plo. so the plo, palestinian liberation authority, has had this favored status at the u.n. because outside of the security council, the u.n. is run by the non-aligned movement and it is largely controlled by the organization of islamic conference. and so for a long time the arabs
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have been able to pass in the u.n., except in the secure to counsel, any vote they wish, saying anything on this subject. and so, to go back to the u.n. for another sanctification of the palestinian righteousness is, it's sort of the easiest possible move for abbas to take, to address his own people about what they would need, what deal is realistic in terms of having peace and having a state is probably the most difficult thing for him to do. >> let me say that the analysis that we have heard your, and there's a broad agreement within the span and among the panel, the analysis we have heard here
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is that the reason there is not peace is because the palestinians are split, are not organized to make peace, have retained attachment to principles that preclude peace, principle such as the law of return for palestinians to overwhelm israel. but that analysis is distinctly a minority analysis among government officials around the world. and it's even a not universally held, a mildly view in washington. and the problem that israel has with things like the lawfare campaign against a delegitimization campaign against it, boycott divestiture
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and sanctions campaign against it, but probably it has is that there is a widespread view that the reason there is not peace is because of israeli policy. and specifically, the policies of this israeli government, but israel in general, and then there's usually our special attacks on this israeli government. so given your analysis that the situation is not ripe for peace and it's not israel's fault, but given the reality that israel is widely blamed for the lack of peace, i would ask you as i asked peter before if you were advising an american president, you know, what we tell the american president to do, if you were advising the american prime minister, how would you do, you have a serious problem that the world is blaming israel for the lack of peace, and this is fueling serious national security threats to israel, like the boycott divestiture sanctions campaign. i mean, what does one do about that?
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peter, do you want to start? >> first thing you ought to continue with the israeli government has been doing under sharon, under netanyahu, is cooperating a international committee europeans, united states, to build infrastructure in the west bank to the extent possible. you should continue with that. second, the world is determined not to hear, but you nevertheless must go out and redouble your efforts to make the case. so here is the recommendation for internal israeli political reform. do what you can to depoliticize appointments and initiate a foreign affairs and take advantage of the extraordinarily talented people you have out in the, out throughout the country, and send them out to europe, to
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the united states, all over the world, to make with redoubled efforts the case on behalf of israel and the case on behalf of israel is grounded in the truth about israel. >> if i could add one or two more points to a very cogent remarks by peter, i will add them michael, who you'll be hearing from him until he can is an example of what peter refers to. and that israeli diplomacy and israel's hezbollah, or if you like, outreach effort has not always been so effective. there's a thing about diplomacy that good diplomacy is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that he looks forward to the trip. [laughter] and michael oren, my former georgetown colleague for a year before he took on the ambassadorship is a good example at the skill diplomacy, someone
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who is intelligent and effective, is a fine scholar and accomplished author who knows the subject inside and out, and is capable of making the case in that sense. one more dimension, which is that to appreciate where so much of this narrative is coming from, a lot of it comes from the collapse, sort of intellectual and ideological collapse of the left, which can mean the hard left, democratic left, social democratic left, and the kind of anti-colonial left. the causes which moved it here and abroad over so many years have basically, are things of the past that of collapse, field or what have you. and is almost a kind of obsessive need to find a new cause. reminds me of an essay about a neighborhood in the greenwich village when he called -- well,
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the search for commitment almost biological need for someone to believe in for a cause to replace religion for those who would otherwise need that ideology, is, the path of least resistance was to embrace condemnation of israel. and with more than a whiff of anti-semitism there in some quarters. so you need to recognize that that's what drives a good deal of this, but that there are lots of people who, as i argued earlier, are not stupid on intelligent, but actually knowledge base is mediocre or inadequate. and that's why these outreach efforts continue undertakings to make the point are still essential. >> will have a minute or two but i'm going to ask josh to make a quick comment, and then i will call for the last question on cliff may. >> it seems to me, and i don't, and i think it's apropos and
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necessary to acknowledge it that there are israelis, including quite possibly members of the current israeli coalition, who themselves are not willing to make the kinds of concessions that probably will be necessary, if a negotiated settlement is to be achieved. a negotiated settlement is going to involve painful compromises on both sides. it's going to involve uprooting a lot of settlements in the west bank, for example. but the fact is that the israeli body politic has a history of being willing to make those concessions when peace is in
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sight. and prime minister begum went much farther than he or his colleagues envision going when he signed the camp david accords. and today, in terms of dealing with the palestinians, we can see that israelis have moved and the israeli government, the current leaders have moved a good deal when the 2000 camp david proposal was on the table, who are rock and doris. it was shocking and scandalizing -- who are rock into what. it was shocking and scandalizing in the decade since in the conversations have come toward, two or toward recognizing that
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some, that concessions along the lines are those who were put forward at camp david or even those that more extreme ones were put forward will have to be made. in fact, olmert offered that, or offer that and more. in 2008. the difference is that we do see this history of readiness on the part of israelis to move positions, if it's in exchange for prospect of real peace. we haven't yet seen that on the other side. >> let me to a question after the panel. i wonder if we, i mean, the europeans, others come on not insufficient attention to the fact that we live in a time when islamism and jihadism has
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ideologies are a send, therefore if mahmoud abbas had been sitting in the back of them all the and at this point of the discussion said you know what, i'm persuaded. they deserve to have security and freedom. the only way we will achieve that is to come to a settlement of borders. i know i can't overwhelm them demographically. the jewish people are not going to want to be a minority in own country. that's not going to work. so let's get this done. is there one member of the organization of the islamic conference, 56 countries, now called organization of islamic cooperation, a wonderful pr move, that was a what a wonderful thing he has done? is the one member of the arab league who would say how brave of him? on the other hand, would you give him life insurance? i think that any palestinian leader, which is adopted, he would end up as sadat ended up,
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killed by his own troops, bodyguards. as long as that's the case, doesn't really make a lot of sense if we say well, we probably could make progress on this issue if we take a risk for peace on this issue and they we can get some settlement on this issue. the fact of the matter is, until jihadism radical islamists, is there any really way for israel to have a separate piece? >> peter? >> probably know, but if all that were true, it would be a further reason to pursue the approach that i think bob was recommending, that you must proceed, israel must proceed with doing what it can to build infrastructure in the west bank, and it must proceed with doing what it can to educate the western public.
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>> where peter and i are in agreement, as i mentioned earlier in my own remarks, that if abbas makepeace tomorrow, it would mean we have to end the conflict and agree to right of return, security arrangement, borders, and so forth, that he would be assassinated by hamas if it isn't only a matter of radical islamism. it's a matter what as the israeli public has come to terms with all kinds of things that were taboo in the past, the balance of argument, knowledge, debate, emotion, and so on and the palestinian side, has not been, has been one in which the necessary things, the pragmatic outcomes which fall fall short of demands have said they not been addressed satisfied with.
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and until that happens it's unlikely you'll find a palestinian leader who's willing to do what sadat did within egypt. it's not impossible but for the short to medium term, it's very difficult to see such an outco outcome. >> well, just maybe a little less gloomy. there are some reasons why various arab states would welcome such a solution, i think. you know, they might not want to say it publicly but i think they would. and the main reason would be because it takes away a huge distraction from the ability to face what they see as the real threat, which is iran. i mean, you've got the saudis, you've got gulf states, jordan for that matter, lucy, you know, iran as a real, as a real danger here. in that sense, yeah, i think it would welcome a. would they say out loud?
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no one wants to be, who's going to bell the cat? no one wants to stick his head up and announce that this is what has to be, because that's the guy obviously is most likely to get assassinated. at it doesn't mean that, i mean, that others in the region would see that as being in their interest. you know, i can easily imagine it would be the case. it would be unpopular with everybody. it would be painful in a certain sense with everybody, but, you know, how you react depends very much on what you see as your real problem. the saudis at least, they see their real problem as iran. unit, if they keep that thought firmly in their minds, things become possible. >> i think i would reserve to myself the final remarks and we're pretty much out of time. but i will say in answer to the cliffs on, analysis is one thing, and politics and democracy is another.
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politics in democracies is about hope. always. and an analysis that comes to the conclusion that peace is simply impossible because you have reason it's there and figured out that it's unachievable, i think it's just not a realistic policy for a democratic government to take. and so, democratic governments, even if their analysis tells them the keys is extreme and unlikely, have to do the kinds of things that i think peter berkowitz was suggesting, which is to say, as unlikely as peace may be, if there's any chance at all, we're going to do everything reasonable that we can to try to have that chance materialize. and you put yourself in a position where you want to make it clear to your public and to publics around the world, that if it fails, if the grim analysis turns out to be true,
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it's not because of any want of effort on your part and so i think that, i mean, that's just an important thing to always bear in mind that it's where i think policymakers will always diverge from analysts when analysts come up with extremely grim conclusions at that time but i want to thank everybody for your patience. and i want to thank the panelists also. [applause] >> in a moment, we will be joined by ambassador michael oren, issues ambassador to the united states, so i would appreciate if everybody would remain seated and i believe we will get going momentarily. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> the senate gaveling in this morning following leadership remarks and an hour for general
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speeches, the chamber will continue consideration of the built-in with sanctions against china if the treasury department finds that china is manipulating its currency. amendments and votes possible later today. also from about 12:30-2:15 eastern, the senate will recess for the weekly party lunches. now to the senate floor for live coverage here on c-span2. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray.
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lord, we open our hearts to you in gratitude for the blessing of another day. renew us, revitalize us with the knowledge of your loving providence. have mercy on our nation and world this day. solidify the financial foundations of teetering nations and restrain those who seek to reap gain from others' woes. lord, bless the many on capitol hill who give of their time and talents in such full measure to keep liberty's light burning brightly.
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may they are trust in your word sustain them with confidence in the difficult days to come. we pray in your sacred name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america 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, october 4, 2011. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing
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rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable jeanne shaheen, a senator from the state of new hampshire, to perform the duties of the chai. signed: daniel k. inouye, president pro tempore. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: the senate will be in morning business for one hour. the majority will control the first half. the republicans will control the final half. following morning business, the senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to s. 1619. the senate will recess from 12:30 to 2:15 today to allow for our weekly caucus meetings. at 2:30, the senate will begin consideration of s. 1619, which is the china currency legislation -- that's how it's referred. roll call votes are possible during today's session. we'll notify senators when they're scheduled. and i would hope that senators, both democrats and republicans, will want to offer amendments, and would contact the managers
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of the bill. we need to get these amendments moving as quickly as possible. hopefully on most of them we can do time agreements. this is important legislation and we need to expedite it as quickly as possible. this is a busy work period we have, and we have a couple of important holidays. we have yom kippur, which starts friday at sundown, which is the last of all the holidays of the jewish faith. and then we have the columbus day, which is monday. so we have a couple of short weeks here. last night the senate held an overwhelming bipartisan vote to move forward with legislation preventing continued currency manipulation by the chinese government. this unfair practice, which gives chinese exports an unmerited advantage in the global marketplace, injures the american economy it hurts american manufacturers, and it
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costs americans jobs -- lots of them. in 1990, america's trade deficit with dhien was $10 billion. 240 years later thanks to currency manipulation, it gives an edge to chinese exporters,that has soared to $273 billion. $10 billion to $273 billion. the trade deficit has fueled the loss of about 3 million american jobs including 2 million manufacturing jobs in just the last ten years alone. in nevada, we've lost more than 14,000 jobs to china trade, and it's all because of currency manipulation. the eight hardest-hit states have lost 1.4 million positions total. 17 states have loss more than 2% of their jobs. manufacturers can't compete with the chinese government when it gives its exporters advantages that other countries don't get. american workers and manufacturers work as hard and
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as ingenius as any in the world. they don't need special advantages to succeed. they just need a fair shot. this important jobs legislation will give them that fair shot. putting an end to the chinese deliberate actions to undervalue its currency will support 1.6 million american jobs. to many, a fair playing field would pump $300 billion in our economy in a few short years. don't take my word for it. just ask american manufacturers. the alliance for american manufacturers called this jobs bill -- quote -- "deficit-reducing, job-creating, no-cost stimulus." the american iron and steel institute, the national association of manufacturers, even the united states chamber of commerce have said the problem pits american and chinese manufacturers against
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one another in an unfair fight. this issue a has also forged some strong alliances. the afl-cio has called for swift action to level the playing field. the chamber of commerce, the afl-cio are together. this is what the afl-cio said, and i quote. "the single most important jobs measure that congress can take is to adescries the chinese currency manipulation." business groups agree that american workers aren't getting a fair share. they agree that congress should take action to give them that fair shake. here in the senate we've heard the message loud and clear. we can't ignore blatant, unfair trade practices that put american workers at a disadvantage. supreme court justice potter stewart said, "fairness is what justice really is." fairness is what justice really
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is -- close quote. this week the national is demanding justice for american companies and their employees. i know that a few of my democratic colleagues don't support this but very few. there are some republicans that don't support this legislation, but very few. but even though there are a few on each side who don't support this legislation, i think this is the mark of a good piece of legislation. it can garner a significant number of votes from each party. that's what bipartisan hispanic is all about -- that's what bipartisanship is all about. mr. mcconnell: madam president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: madam president, a lot of talk these days about washington is broken
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and how unless we do something to fix it, the solutions to our most urgent problems will remain out of reach. the fact is, it's not really true. congress is not frozen in a state of perpetual gridlock, and the now-emnant passage of three long-awaited trade agreements with colombia, panama, and south korea shows it. for two and a half years, i and other republicans have stated as clearly as we could to anyone who would listen that we are willing and eager to work with the democrats on legislation that we know both sides agree on. free trade agreements fall squarely into that category. that's why i've been calling on the president to approve them since his very first day in office. yet for reasons that i'll touch on in a moment, he's actually held back. it is true that the president had to be convinced of the importance of these agreements. after all, he ran for office promising to renegotiate nafta.
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but once he did come around, his reluctance to act became an emblem for the administration's entire approach to jobs in which results have taken a back seat to ideology. all the president had to do was to follow through on his own pledge, send these trade agreements up to congress, and we'd have had an early bipartisan achievement that didn't add a single dime to the deficit and which, by his own estimates, would protect tens of thousands of jobs right here at home. instead, the president passed over what could have been a job-creating bipartisan lay-up and devoted the first weeks of his presidency to a highly partisan stimulus that has since become a national punch line. two and a half years after the stimulus was signed into larks there are 1.7 million fewer jobs in america. and the president is just this week getting around to free trade agreements we all knew
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would create jobs. all of which raises a question: why didn't we do this sooner? i think there are two reasons that we didn't do it sooner. first, the white house was under pressure from unions who don't like free trade. they've been extracting promises from the white house for two and a half years in exchange for their support. that's one reason. the second reason the white house didn't send these agreements up sooner is that the political operators over at the white house seem to believe that they benefit from the appearance -- the appearance -- of gridlock. they're over there telling any reporter who have listen that they plan to run against congress next year. their communications director said as much to "the new york times" two weeks ago. so that's their explicit strategy to make people believe that congress can't get anything done. and how do you make sure of that? well, you do that by proposing
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legislation you know the other side won't support, even when there's an entire menu of bipartisan proposals the president could choose to pursue instead. how else do you explain the president standing before the country in january extology the job-creating potential of these free trade agreements, asking congress to pass them as soon as possible and then signature on them until yesterday, preventing congress from take the vote? how else do you explain the fact that the president spent the past few weeks running around the country demanding that congress pass a so-called jobs bill right away, even as leading members of his own party admit that the democrats wouldn't have the votes to get it through congress, even if it came to the floor? as one senior democrat aide put it yesterday, "nobody is all that excited about the president's jobs bill." that's how you create dysfunction, by refusing to acknowledge that we live under a two-party system in this country and that as long as we do, the
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two parties will have to cooperate to some extent in order to get legislation through congress. it's the refusal to accept this reality that leads to inaction. the president can govern as though this is the congress he wants or he can deal with the congress he has. along the first path lies gridlock and along the second lies the kind of legislative progress americans want. and as for republicans, well, we've been crystal clear from the outset that we prefer the latter route. so this morning i reiterate the same plea i've consistently made for the past two and a half years. my suggestion is that the president put aside poems for which we know there is bipartisan opposition and focus instead on proposals for which we know both sides can agree. free trade agreements are a good first step. but they're just that -- a first step. if we're going to tackle the enormous challenges we face, we need to come together on much,
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much more than that. there is bipartisan agreement, for instance, on the need to increase domestic energy exploration to reverse job-killing regulations, to reform the corporate tax code so we're more competitive. in the white house really wants to make a estimate, it will work with us on all of these things. if it disrntion americans will only conclude that it would rather have an issue to run on than an impact. with these trade agreements we're showing we can work together to create jobs and help the economy. it's something we should do a lot more of around here. madam president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will be in a petered of morning business for -- in a period of morning business for one hour with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each with the time equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees, with the majority controlling the first half and the republicans controlling the final havmen half.
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mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. dur dire listenedur dire listeno the -- mr. durbin: i listened carefully to the minority leader statement. we should find ways to work together, try to find solutions, bipartisan solutions in this divided government that will truly address the problems that america faces. and if if you ask people across america about our problems, number one on the list is the creation of jobs, high unemployment. president obama has come forward with a jobs plan chess now trying -- which he is now trying to sell to congress as well as to the american people with some success, certainly when it comes to appealing to the public. when you ask the american people is it a good idea to give a payroll tax cut to working families so that they have more spending power, so that they cannot live paycheck to paycheck, fill the gas tank, go shopping, of course it makes sense. and that's one of the pillars of
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the president's jobs act. the president also proposes that we give tax breaks, particularly to businesses, smaller businesses that hire the unemployed, including veterans. and if you ask the american public what do you think of that, overwhelmingly they think that's a good idea. when you is say the president's plan tries to help state and local governments that are facing layoffs of teachers, firefighters and policemen by lessening the impact that would have, the american people say that is a reasonable thing. we don't believe crowded classrooms and lack of police protection are good for our future. the president also thinks that we should invest in this jobs act in rebuilding the fundamental structure of the american economy. not only highways, bridges and airports, but our schools. and the american people have overwhelmingly said that's a good idea. so the president said but we should pay for this, and we should pay for it by making certain that those who can
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afford to pay more in taxes, those making $1 million or more, pay a little more in taxes so that we can achieve the things i outlined earlier. well, it turns out that that is not only approved by the american people, 59% of republicans agree with that, raising taxes on the highest-income americans to help move this economy forward. 59% of republicans agree with that. as someone said in a meeting this morning, unfortunately, none of them are serving in congress. and the republican senators and members of the house are saying no way would we consider any additional taxes on the wealthiest people in america, even if the money's going to be used to give payroll tax cuts to working families and to give tax incentives and credits to small businesses and to avoid laying off and firing firefighters and policemen and teachers. they say no way. so when the minority leader comes to the floor in the senate and says we've got to find
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things where there's common agreement, what the president's jobs bill does is to come up with a bipartisan approach to getting this economy moving. and i hope that we can find a way to do exactly that. the minority leader talked this morning about trade agreements, and our hope is to bring those up in the very, very near future. i think it's a good thing. but we made it clear as well that before it could be seriously considered, we needed to take a look at something called trade adjustment assistance. that is a program to help workers who lose jobs because of trade agreements or because of trade relationship between the united states and another country. i've had it happen in my state. i'm sure the presiding officer in new hampshire has had the same thing, where people have lost jobs because of competition overseas or jobs moving overseas. we want to make sure those workers have a fighting chance to pick up new skills and education so that they can find another job in this economy and provide for their families. that was a condition to bring up
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the trade agreements, we passed it in the senate. it is now pending in the house. we can move to those trade agreements. let the senate and the house vote accordingly. the reason why it's been delayed, if there's been any delay, is to get that part right. i think the senate has done just that. madam president, i heartily agree with the conclusion of the minority leader that we should work together in a bipartisan fashion. i suggest to the minority leader, take a look at the president's jobs act. most of the ideas there are ideas republicans have openly endorsed time and time again. i hope they are not going to reject the obama jobs act because the word "obama" is in the title. let them come forward and think about ways with us to design an economy that's moving forward rather than design the next presidential campaign slogan and bumper sticker. the american people expect us to look beyond campaigns and get something done on the floor of the senate and of the house. i might differ with the minority leader when it comes to whether or not we've had gridlock and
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obstruction here in the senate. and i would just say for the record, it has become a matter of course, a normal part of the business of the senate to require 60 votes on virtually everything. 60 votes. that isn't required in the rules of the senate. we have reached the 60-vote threshold because of republican filibusters. if it were simply an up or down majority vote, 51 votes would do it. but the republicans by threatening filibusters and imposing filibusters have create add 60-vote requirement. that gives them leverage. it takes away the power of the majority and gives the minority this new empowerment. but to suggest this hasn't been used and things have gone along just swell around here, take a look at the record. three times now we have been knocking on the door of closing down the government and closing down the economy just this year. the american people noticed. they didn't like it. standard & poor's noticed and
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downgraded the american credit rating saying the problem is not the economy. the problem is the political system which is in gridlock in washington. that's a reality. we can change that. we should change that. and i encourage my colleagues on both sides to look for ways to change that. yesterday incidentally, madam president, i spoke about the bank of america's decision to impose a $5 feet on their -- $5 fee on loyal customers who have debit cards. bank of america announced this fee had to be collected because they were going to be restrained in the amount of swipe fees they could charge for people who use debit cards. now, those who tpo*ld tpo ld follow this issue -- those who follow this issue know the federal reserve took a look at this. every time we use a piece of plastic to pay for something as a debit card, there is a charge imposed on the retailer: the restaurant, bookstore, grocery store, you name it. there's a charge imposed. so we asked the federal reserve to take a look at that charge that's being imposed by the
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credit card companies through the banks and here's what they found. the actual cost of a bank and visa or master card processing a debit card transaction is anywhere from 4 cents to 12 cents. remember when they used to process checks for pennies, no matter what the face value was? the actual cost of the debit card, the new checking account, the plastic checking account, is 4 cents to 12 cents a transaction. then the federal reserve board said what are they actually charging to the retailers? 44 cents is the average charge by the banks and credit card companies for the use of a debit card. more than ten times the 4 cent rate, more than six times the 7 cent rate that the federal reserve said is the reasonable cost of a debit card transaction. a 600% profit that they're taking right out of every transaction, of course it means
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that the grocery store, the retailer, they have to charge more. emergency someone comes in -- imagine someone comes in and gets the special, a cup of coffee and doughnut at the rock island country market which i visited during the break here, 99 cents special. they use their debit card to pay for it. the country market is now going to be charged 44 cents for a 99 cents transaction. the world changed last saturday. the new law went into effect capping for the largest banks in america the debit card swipe fee at about 24 cents, splitting the difference. still these banks are doing quite well. the actual cost of the transaction, 4 cents, 7 cents, 12 cents; they're going to get 24 cents. you would think they could live with a 100% profit on what they're doing. no way. bank of america said to their loyal customers sorry, but because we can't make as much off the retailers we're going to nail our customers with a $5 monthly fee for the debit cards.
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yesterday i sent a letter to the c.e.o. of bank of america, mr. moynihan, and i said to mr. moynihan, i've just done the math here. and if your customers pay $60 a year for their debit cards, you are going to collect more money from your customers than you could possibly have lost because of this change in the law. you're overcharging your customers. it's not fair, and i want you to defend it. let's see if he does. not just for me, but for the people who bank at bank of america and have debit cards there. you see, madam president, what happened last saturday is not just a change when it comes to debit card swipe fees. i think what happened last saturday with this new slaw empowering cuss -- with this new law is empowering customers and retailers across america. chase bank, well fargo and bank of america talked about imposing this debit card fee. if they decide they want to penalize their customers and
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nail them $5 a month and $3 a month, that's their decision, but i what happens next is bank customers across america realize they have the right to change their banks to move to banks that aren't going to nail them with these fees that are driven by greed. there's good news. there's thousands of banks across america for people to choose from, thousands of credit unions. many of them have already stated publicly they're not going to join in with the bank of america of nailing their loyal customers with a debit card fee. the press democrat newspaper in santa rosa, california, friday carried an article saying -- quote -- "local banks say no to debit card fees." the article lists a number of local banks and credit unions that would not copy the bank of america strategy. the article quotes tom durrier, and he said it's not something we want to do to our customers. i'm not going to nickel and dime people over five bucks.
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that's a man speaking for a bank that i think has a future, a bank that realizes if you treat your loyal customers right, they're going to stay loyal. but if bank of america has their way and nails their loyal customers with a $5 monthly fee, i hope some of their customers will think twice about doing business there. washington federal regional bank in washington state, its spokesperson, kathy cooper was quoted in the oregonian newspaper saying we have no plans to impose a debit card fee. end of quote. i'm going to put this statement in the record because i see one of my colleagues on the floor here. but across the united states, more and more banks and credit unions are making it clear that they are not going to nail their customers with a debit card fee. now is the time for bank customers across america to say enough is enough. if you don't value me as a customer enough not to charge me a new $5 monthly fee just for trying to access my own checking account, my own bank account at your bank, i'm going to do my
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business elsewhere. i think that's an important thing to do. of course we need to stay vigilant to make sure that america's consumers have good, honest information about how banks are treating them. i'll be meeting later this week with the acting director of the consumer financial protection bureau, roj dan t*e. we'll be talking about how to ensure customers know what their rights are when it comes to banking services. madam president, there are republicans who hate this agency like the devil hates holy water. the notion that the consumers of america would finally have a voice in washington, keeping an eye on the activities of financial institutions scares the living heck out of members of congress, some members of congress. but many of us believe that the scales have been tipped for too long on the other side, that many consumers are, frankly, at the mercy of these financial institutions and could use an advocate who stands up every once in a while and fights for them. holly petraeus is the wife of
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general petraeus who is now heading up our c.i.a., and she and her husband have certainly given great service to this country. i met with her just a few weeks ago, and she talked about the exploitation of men and women in uniform serving our country by many financial institutions. predatory lending and awful practices, many of these practices incidentally lead to the service members having to take an early discharge from services because they're so deeply in debt. i think that's a scandal, and i'm glad that mrs. petraeus has spoken out on it. she is using this agency, the consumer financial protection bureau, to come to the assistance and protection of our men and women in uniform. that is a legitimate use of their responsibility. and for those who want to do away with the bureau, let them explain, if they can, why they think our veterans and our service members don't deserve this kind of protection. i want to see the consumer financial protection bureau up and running. i think it's about time that we had some advocacy group standing
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up for men and women in uniform, consumers and retailers across america. i hope we can soon confirm the nominee for the head of that bureau, richard cordray. i met him and he's going to be a smart and effective watchdog for america's consumers. there are some particularly on the other side of the aisle who hate the notion that there would be such an advocate and such a counsel available for consumers, but i think american consumers and families at least deserve to have someone speaking out when they're about to be exploited. the keys to a well-functioning market are competition, transparency and choice. when these conditions are present, consumers have a fighting chance and they can thrive. so can small banks and credit unions. i'm going to keep standing up for these basic principles. i believe competition and transparency are critical for a free-market economy to operate in a just and fair way. it's the right thing to do. madam president, i yield the floor.
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a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. a senator: madam president, i just want to acknowledge the great work the senator has done in standing up for consumers and protecting their interests. it fits with the purpose for which i rise today, which is to talk about protecting our public lands. mr. udall: and the importance they hold for all of us as americans. they're really at the heart of the way of life we hold so dear in colorado. in addition, i want to talk about how public lands are important to an issue that all of my colleagues care about, and that's creating jobs. now, i know many of my colleagues, including the presiding officer, understand the value of public lands, but i want to take a few minutes and list some of the reasons that i
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think that they're a vital thread in the fabric of our country. first, we are a nation of explorers and risk takers. constantly in search of the next challenge to overcome or the next mountain literally to climb. public lands, especially in the west are a reminder of that heritage. i want to bein acknowledge thatn the great northeast of our country, we have mountains and extensive public lands as well. a $and i know that same spirit is infused in the people of new hampshire. but our public lands also benefit our communities across the country through the clean air and clean water act that they provide. in urban and rural areas alike, open spaces filter and clean our air, improve the environment for surrounding communities while lowering storm management and water treatment costs. access to the public lands and the many opportunities they provide are a key reason why many of us choose to live in the west. and i know this is particularly true in colorado where public
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lands and outdoor recreation are truly in our blood. it is also one of the reasons that colorado is one of the most active and healthiest states in the country and why i have been encourage #-g children and families across the nation to get outside, stay active, especially in our national parks. but, madam president, the public lands are also, to coin a phrase, in our wallets. when discussing public lands, we can't forget their importance to our economy. our public lands have long been a source of economic value, and multiple use as a key component of the management of our public lands. for example, extractive industries such as oil and gas development and mining will continue to be an important part of our economy in the west. but these uses are certainly not the only economic uses of our lands. outdoor recreation -- hunting, hiking, biking, the list goes on and on -- are a major use of our
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lands. our outdoor recreationallists not only enjoy the land, they also support a large and growing industry of supply stores, manufacturers, guides, hotels, and other important businesses. in fact, madam president, in this time of economic uncertainty, outdoor recreation and tourism are two of the bright spots in our economy. i want to draw attention to the chart that i have brought to the floor to those viewing the floor of the senate today. in 2006, the outdoor industry foundation found that biking, hiking, and hunting and all the other outdoor recreation activities add $730 billion to our economy every single year. and perhaps, most importantly, this is an area of our economy that continues to grow. it's grown by more than 6% just in 2011 alone and has outpaced u.s. economic growth more generally.
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these numbers really tell a powerful story of the outdoor recreation industry's contribution to our economy. now, we hear a lot about the problems that government causes, and there are certainly areas that we can reform. we can streamline government, make it more efficient, get government out of the way where appropriate, and we can increase oversight where necessary. but when i was traveling in my home state of colorado over the summer, like the presiding officer travels her state, i heard a lot about how government is working. i heard about partnerships between federal, state, and local governments, private businesses, and local stakeholders to preserve and protect our natural resources. and these efforts are improving the lives of coloradans. they're creating jobs, they're making communities a better place to lirvetion and they're building future economic opportunities. and i want to share a couple of examples in that vein, madam president. in july i was in the town of creed, which is in the historic
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san luvment is valley of colorado. i met with a willow creek recreational committee. this is a wonderful example, this committee, of citizens at the local level coming together to take on a problem and create solutions. and in this committee, you have retired minors, artists, local business people, ranchers, vacation homesteaders and federal and state officials who are working together to klein up pollution -- to clean up pollution in their watershed. the narrow valley that's above creed is lined with abandoned mines. while the area boasts some of the best examples of mining structures you'll find in the western united states, pollution from these abandoned mines hurts water quality. the pollution was so bad that residents in the area feared that creed would be placed on the national priorities list for a superfund cleanup. a prospect that any community who's faced it understands would
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hurt their tourism-based economy. so in 1999, the residents formed this committee to do something about it themselves. they worked with the environmental protection agency, the forest srvetion the department of agriculture, u.s. fish and wildlife service, state agencies and many others and developed a plan to clean up their watershed. and the plan they came up with is truly a comprehensive approach that recognizes the full value of their watershed to their community. and what struck me most -- and again i know the presiding officer senses and experiences this same spirit in her state of new hampshire -- is that nobody was talking about whether they were democrat or republican. they weren't trying to wage political or partisan battles. they saw a problem affecting their livelihoods. they banded together. they partnered with the federal, state, and local government officials, and they did something about it. now their streams are healthier, their land is healthier, and
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their economy is healthier. and i'd like to bring some of that creede pragmatism here to washington, d.c. our public lands are an invaluable natural resource. i hope we can come together in the congress with policies and stliewtionz wisely utilize and conserve them. and in that spirit, let me provide some additional examples that we could do here in the spirit of the people in creede, colorado. pawf onone incredibly successful program is the land and water conversation fund or the lwcf is the acronym. it has been proven over and over again that every dollar of lcdf funding creates an additional $4 in economic value. lwcf was developed on the belief that as we develop and exploit our oil and gas resources, we should set aside also some land for hunting, fishing and recreation, the enjoyment for
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future generations. so we as a country set up a mechanism whereby royalties from oil and gas leases were to fully fund lwcf projects. now, i have to tell you that instead of that mission being fully fulfilled, instead every year those dollars are taken out of lwcf for other unrelated government expenditures leaving in its wake a huge unmet need in each state across the country. while royalties flow into the government coffers, lwcf has been raided and authorized $900 million of funding every year, has been fulfilled only twice since 1964. only twice since 1964 has the full $9 million been appropriated. now, not only are we robbing future generations of critical open spaces and outdoor recreation, we are underinvesting in our assets, our public lands, that would drive job creation.
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i serve as the chairman of the national parks subcommittee, and i've seen how these funds have been particularly useful to our parks, and there's no better example in my state than the creation of the great san dunes national park and preserve. this magnificent park and preserve was made possible by lwcf appropriations that were obtained with very strong local support. the great san dunes protects one of our nation's great landmarks and is also a source of tourist dollars for the surrounding rural communities. that's why i've joined several of my colleagues, including senator bingaman, senator burr, senator baucus, the presiding officer, and others to fight for full funding of lwcf. the point i want to emphasize on the floor today is when we talk about natural resources, we aren't just talking about beautiful landscapes and future generations. there are incredibly important economic benefits to preserving
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and protecting these land. in that spirit, i want to briefly discuss another key component of our public lands system: wilderness. lands classified as wilderness with a big "w" are critical to our multiple-use management strategy. some areas should be preserved as wilderness, just as some areas are better suited to mining, oil and gas verntle or off-road -- oil and gas development, or off-road vehicle use. wilderness provides opportunities for backpacking, fishing, hiking, grazing and hunting, as well as protecting these precious landscapes for future generations. wilderness, madam president, also provides opportunities for our veterans to reenter, reconnect, and heal. and i have a column here from "the denver post" yesterday that speaks to the ways in which veterans can reconnect to their purpose in life and to reenter
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society. and you'd ask unanimous consent that it could be included in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: it is an inspiring come up, and it speaks to the power of wilderness and wilderness activities in the context of our veterans returning home from standing up for us in places like afghanistan and iraq. now, speaking of wilderness opportunities, just this last week i introduced the san juan mountain wilderness act along with senator bennet. my bill would designate -- and we have a photograph of this wonderful, inspiring area -- this bill would designate 30,000 areas in southwestern, colorado as wilderness. it would also designate 2k 2,000 acres as a special management area and was draw over 6,000 acres from mineral entry lands in the area. this bill is the work of extensive input and
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collaboration among and across every imaginable stakeholder group. and i want to particularly note the efforts of former congressman john salazar and his staff who worked with the affected colorado county commissioners, interested citizens, and my staff in developing this legislation over the last four years. it's crafted to take into account the various ongoing uses of these lands such as for water supplies and recreation, while also providing strong managerial protection for these sensitive lands. i don't have to tell you when you see this photograph, among many, that this region of colorado is blessed with stunning beauty. much of the land proposed for wilderness and other protections in our legislation are additions to existing wildernesses, such as the mount sneffles wilderness area and the liz sparred head wilderness area. the bill also establishes a new
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area called mckenna peak. it also provides important winter wildlife habitat for large numbers of dea deer and e over 30,000 recreation use days are recorded annually during hunting season in this one game management unit. that's a significant number of recreation user days. the bill would also establish a sheep mountain special management area. since helicopter skiing currently exists in this arkansas the legislation designates the area as n. a way that protects its wilderness character but still allows this use to continue. this is in my opinion the type of flexibility that's a key for sound wilderness protection proposals and is a shining example of how protection can coexist with responsible use. madam president, what i'm saying is the bill has been carefully
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tailored and crafted to preserve these lands. this is how wilderness should and can be done. now, between all of the benefits -- clean air and water, recreation and economic growth -- one would think that congress could work together and enact commonsense public lands legislation like my san juan wilderness bill. but i'm frustrated, i know the presiding officer is frustrated that this congress hasn't recognized the opportunities that are before us. instead of what i saw happening on the ground in creede, colorado, it seems like our politics here inside the beltway are getting in the way of moving our country forward. a prime example of politics getting in the way -- at least in the senate -- i'll come back to i didn't say just in the senate -- is a -- as i'll come back to why i say just in the senate -- is an act that i
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worked closely with senator aboubarrasso on. we have an additional ten cosponsors across the country. in the house representative bishop and representative goetz have championed this bill. the forest service may promote activities on ski areas on public land. it includes no new federal spending. i think it is an attractive element in the legislation. it would increase the amount of money coming into the federal treasury because it would likely increase permit fees. the bill would boost year-round activity in ski resorts on public lands, providing more opportunities for outdoor recreation, creating jobs in the process and aiding those rural economies that surround ski areas. in fact, the bill was so bipartisan and strongly supported that it passed the house last night by a vote of
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394-0. no house members voted against the bill. yet, despite bipartisan, bicameral support for the bill and the fact it would create jobs, i've not been able to get this bill to a vote on the floor of the senate. i'm attempted to ask for a u.c., unanimous consent, that the bill pass but i will continue to work in the regular order here to get this bill moved here on the senate and to passage. madam president, i had a long career, if you want to call it that, as a mountain climber before i came to the congress. that experience has prepared me to serve in the house and now the senate in unexpected ways. in 1992, i was on the south face of mount mckinley, known as dinali. we were ten days in what was supposed to be a seven-days climb. we were out of food. the lesson i learned in that
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successful climb was that when you face 20 below temperatures and high winds, the only way home is overt top of the mountain. you've got to work together to accomplish the impossible. and when you do work together to accomplish the impossible, you find a way to make it happen. in some ways i feel like that's the choice that congress has to make as we face these challenging times. we can either work together and find a way up and over the summit passing legislation that will create jobs, fix our budget problems and start working on the problems that americans face every day. or we can keep fighting with each other and in effect starving the country of the leadership that i know congress can provide and that we must provide in these challenging times. so, madam president, as i close my remarks today, i ask my colleagues to join me in passing this straightforward, bipartisan and commonsense ski areas bill
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and to support full funding for the land and water conservation fund. i also ask my colleagues to work with me to enact locally developed wilderness proposals such as the san juan wilderness act as we tackle the problems of unemployment and how to tkproe the economy, let's -- and how to grow the economy, let's not forget the important role that our public lands can and will play in the future. madam president, thank you for your attention. i yield the floor and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. johanns: madam president, i ask that the quorum call be set aside. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. johanns: madam president, i rise today to honor a fallen hero, navy master at arms, petty officer first class john duwan devment ra of south sioux city,
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nebraska. petty officer duwandera was part of the seal team that was armed by enemy fire on august 6, 2011. he was a dog handler for the seal team. he and his combat assault dog led their unit on patrols in order to expose dangerous explosives and hiding enemy combatants. he and 29 fellow service members and his combat assault dog bart paid the ultimate price in support of the operation enduring freedom. as a dog hander, the seal team entrusted their lives to him and to his dog. his first dog toby was killed in action in iraq. his second dog bart would die with him on the helicopter. the name duvment wandera as cane
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difficult to pronounce. so they gave him the call sign "jet." members of his unit remember him for being trustworthy and always positive. the decorations and badges earned during his distinguished service speak to his dedication and his skill. he received the purple heart, the defense meritorious service medal, the bronze star, the joint service commendation medal, the presidential unit citation, the afghanistan service medal, the iraq campaign medal, as well as many other decorations and awards during his military career. i'm told petty officer duangdara had a joyful disposition and a deep sense of commitment to american ideals that were
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evident to everyone he encountered. john's high school friends and teachers recall his sense of humor coupled with a competitive desire to win. participating on the high school mock trial team was one way he directed his very considerable energy. john was also about helping others. it was not a surprise to those that knew him that his energy, focus, and empathetic nature would lead him to military service and the challenge of working with the navy seals. john belongs to a very special family. his mother and father escaped from laos31 years ago and em greated to the united states. they settled in south sioux city, nebraska, where they grew and nurtured a very respected family.
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the south sioux city honored john with a special memorial service on september 25, 2011. they also named a local park after john. i know his community and nebraskans as a whole are enormously proud of his service. i am confident they will provide his family with confiden comforg this very difficult time. today as we bow our heads with the duangdara family, i ask that god be with all of those serving in uniform and bring them home safely. madam president, i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. inouye: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii. mr. inouye: i rise today -- the presiding officer: tbher a quorum call. mr. inouye: oh, mr. president. i'm sorry. i ask that the quorum call be rescinded. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. inouye: mr. president irng rise today to recognize my chief of staff, dr. patrick deleone, who has helped me to serve the people of hawaii and our nation for 38 years.
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dr. deleone is retiring. when he leaves -- but he leaves behind him a legacy of work that has greatly improved the lives of many of our citizens in hawaii, particularly native hawaiians, while advancing the professional circumstances of doctors, nurses, and psychologists. after joining my staff in august of 1973, as an psychologist and attorney, he directed my office to create and refine health and education policy, and in the later years he would also serve as chief of staff of my washington office. pat helped to shepherd legislation related to native hawaiians, immigrant children, the people of the pacific, and higher education. and under his service, the importance of nurses,
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psychologists, and other health professionals have been properly recognized. he has been very active in helping our hawaii community system become full-fledged four-year colleges. for example, he played a major role in the establishment of a school of pharmacy and a school of nursing at the university of hawaii's helo campus. pat also serves as a teacher, a mentor, and psychologist to my staff, a role that will be difficult to replace. so i'd like to personally thank pat for his decades of hard work, his service to the people of hawaii and this nation, and, most importantly, for his friendship. mr. president, i thank you very much. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii. without objection. mr. inouye: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate move to the immediate consideration of h. con. res. 83, which was received from the house.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h. con. res. 83, a concurrent resolution directing the clerk. house of representatives to make a further correction in the enrollment of h.r. 2608. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate proceed to the measure. mr. inouye: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid down on the table, and that any statements relating to the resolution appear at this point in the record. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. inouye: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. brown: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with.
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officer without objection. morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to s. 1619, which the clerk will report. the clerk: motion to proceed to the consideration of s. 1619, a bill to provide for identification of misaligned currency, require action to correct the misalignment, and for other purposes.. the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. brown: thank you, mr. president. i appreciate the opportunity to come down to the floor once again to speak to you and to the american people. i document floor today because there's something that too many people in washington, d.c. -- i come to the floor today because there's something that too many people in washington, d.c. are missing right now. that is you know, we're americans first. we're americans first. it's a simple idea but one that seems easily forgotten in politics because washington has a way of making elected officials act like partisans rather than problem solvers. for example, how can any member of the senate be 100% right? i just don't know how that
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happens. and how can they also vote 100% of the time with their own party? do they honestly believe their party is right 100% of the time or is it just easier than going with the alternative, easier than working together with theme that you don't agree with on every single issue? mr. president, i ran for the senate to make a difference, and i believe the voters of this country sent us here to find ways in which we can all agree to move our country forward, to make things better. governing wisely doesn't mean spending all of our time politicking, make the other side uncomfortable by voting a certain way or taking uncomfortable votes, putting those votes in the bank for more petty attacks during election season. why else would we spend hours and days trying to ram through one-sided bills that can't pass, simply to highlight our differences? is that honestly why we were
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sent here today? there's no republican or democrat bill that's going to pass. it needs to be a bicameral, bipartisan effort the president will sign. we face very huge challenges here today, and that means we must rise to the occasion and rise above politics to accomplish the very big things that the american people expect from their elected officials. our jobs and economic picture as we all know is bleak. the line of unemployed workers would stretch across america and back again. our national debt and deficits are spiraling out of control. and working families are getting squeezed by the high cost of energy, high health care costs, high education costs. businesses are squeezed by high tax rates, burdensome regulations and uncertainty about the future and the political leadership in this country. our housing market is frozen and the government is making it
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harder and harder, rather than easier for borrowers to refinance. yet, with all these challenges that we have, the answer here in washington is just kind of more of the same. more threats, more gridlock, more partisanship. i say enough already, because i've said this back home in massachusetts, and people really, i think, greatly appreciate the sentiments. we're americans first. and if we don't work together right now, this moment in time, right now, then we're going to miss a great opportunity. we need to focus on jobs. we need to focus on the economy. that's whaoeuf done since the -- that's what i've done since the day i got elected here. i believe the american people deserve better. they deserve better than congressional gridlock and political gamesmanship. for example, mr. president, the president -- not you, mr. president, but the president -- has given us a jobs bill that isn't perfect, but it's a start. the majority leader has said that the senate might consider the president's package
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eventually. really? eventually. we're in a financial emergency. we're going to talk about creating jobs eventually. well, let's be honest with those that sent us here. the current proposal from the president isn't going to pass either chamber if it relies entirely on tax increases to pay for it. i know it. you know it. so, when we bring it up, are we going to try to make it better? are we going to try to pass it? so i urge the majority leader to bring the jobs bill to the floor, a jobs bill to the floor that can actually get 60 votes and also have a chance in passing in the house. what would they look like? well, they'd look like parts of the president's proposal that actually have bipartisan support and can help our fellow americans immediately. we should take the things that everybody agrees on and bring them forward now. right now. we can pass a payroll tax cut for both employers and employees. i stood up when he said that. i clapped. i agree with him. we can also pass his version of
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the hero act, where we're going to provide tax incentives for employers to hire our heroes who are returning from doing incredible service for our country. it puts them back to work. their unemployment rate is 25%. all for it. i clapped again. a great idea. we can get to work on reforming our tax code in a way that eliminates our loopholes and leads to lower rates. we can do these things. those are the things we can agree on and we should be doing immediately, not just bringing a bill forward knowing it's not going to pass and then spotting a particular person or party for an election season that's so far away that if we don't do something right away we're going to be in deep trouble and miss that opportunity, mr. president, because we are americans first and we can do it better and should do it better. we should also -- i've been a little bit discouraged. it seems to be in ebb and flows about the ability for us to have an open amendment process we had to sign a letter to the president guaranteeing that we
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would actually move forward with the trade agreements, and then we had an open amendment process. quite frankly, i think when it was done everybody was satisfied that it was just that, an open amendment process, and we got some good suggestions and sent them off to the president. and i'm eager for those bills to be passed. we need to allow our members to offer their own ideas on job creation. there's no one particular person, whether it be the president, the majority leader, the minority leader, any individual here that has all the ideas on job creation. since when? i have a vote just like each and every one of them do. and i'm sure that you have some amendments, mr. president, that you think would help job growth in your state. tpwhoeuf worked on one -- i know we've worked on one that was cited by independent groups as being probably the number-one way to get the economy moving, and we won't even have the opportunity to allow that to be filed as an amendment. is that right? of course not. i have a number of bipartisan pieces of legislation, one of
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which i just referenced with you, to help boost our economy in massachusetts, whether it's from working with our fishermen and protecting that industry that provides food for the american citizens and throughout the world or it's the high-tech sector. biofarmer, you name it, my bills will help solve, as yours will and others will here, some of our economic problems. it won't be done overnight, but it's a first step. there's absolutely no reason that we can't move forward to have an open amendment process on a bill that will actually create jobs. but they will make a difference in massachusetts today, and that's what my constituents sent me here to do. secondly, we need to focus on our debt and deficits. they're out of control. when i got here $11.95 trillion national debt. it's up to $14.5 trillion in a little over a year. there's plenty of blame to go around, mr. president. i hear my colleagues ranting and
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raving and blaming everybody. let's just say everybody's at fault. let's acknowledge that and set aside the sniping of whether we should blame this administration or that administration. because quite frankly, it doesn't matter. it doesn't matter at this point. everyone has contributed, and now everyone needs to work together to solve that very real problem. so i'm urging the debt committee to put aside partisanship and remember that we are once again americans first, and we have an opportunity right now, right now in this moment in time to do it better and to solve these very real problems. we should not get lost in party politics. for example, think the way the great american leaders have always thought. they didn't waste time scoring points. they took the long view. they thought about leaving a legacy for the next generation and leaving our country in a better place. i know like you and many others, i have pictures of my children and my family -- no grandchildren yet -- here in my office, here in washington and
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in boston and in my home. and if we care about the young people in those photos, we should be demanding, absolutely demanding. have a lot of the folks not in leadership actually get up and demand a bipartisan compromise on the debt, one that finally puts us back on the track towards a balanced budget. as you know, mr. president, before i held this senate seat, it was held by the senator ted kennedy. before that it was held by john f. kennedy. i'd like to remind my colleagues that it was president kennedy who famously said -- and i quote -- "to those whom madam much asf given much is expected." voters have given us so much, so many opportunities to do better and be better in solving our country's problems. they have given us an opportunity to come here and come to work to get something done. every minute we waste here we
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let them down. they get more cynical. and while washington bill clinton and while washington bickers, their faith in our democracy is waning. i challenge the minority leader, the majority and all the members to finally do something for the american people, who need our leadership so badly. so let's work together on these big challenges. let's renew the faith that the people of america bestowed in us. let's remember that we are americans first, and we owe it to them to do it better. so, mr. president, i thank you, and i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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