tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 30, 2013 9:00am-2:01pm EDT
of the crisis, with renewed purpose and resolve we need to achieve a political transition, and that is why i welcome the fact that where the secretary-general said earlier, agreed among the permanent members of the security council to aim for a mid-november date for the start of geneva ii. this will be a difficult process involving tough choices and compromises, but crucially we are all committed to making our best collective effort to make it work. the goal is something of which we all agree come and negotiate a transition in syria starting with the formation of a transitional governing body with full executive powers formed on the basis of mutual consent. but no political process can deliver results immediately. and tell it does, we must also make a greater effort on the humanitarian crisis. the scale of suffering is truly horrific, 100,000 dead, millions displaced. the united kingdom has provided
a total of $800 million to the managing response so far. but we are yet to reach those inside syria. for this, we need genuine progress -- progress on humanitarian access. we believe in the next few days the council must agree to appoint its weight and authority to securing unfettered and immediate access to those in need in syria. mr. president, today's resolution is about ensuring the horrors of the 21st of august cannot happen in 10. the immediate need now is to focus on the everyday horrors of the document attain situation. and we need to redouble our determination, to work through the geneva ii process, to end the conflict, and to secure a better future for syria. thank you, mr. president. >> i think his excellency, mr. hague, for statement of to give the floor to his excellency coming deputy prime minister of minister of foreign affairs at the luxembourg.
[speaking in native tongue] >> translator: mr. president, the resolution that we just got unanimously is a historic milestone. it contains strong and specific elements to constrain syria to respect its obligations and to prevent chemical weapons from being used once again industry. the cq to council has best put in place a robust mechanism which creates legally binding obligations through rigorous verification measures. the objective is clear. it could not lead to mistakes. syria must fully cooperate with the opcw and the united nations with a view to dismantling its chemical arms program as quickly as possible. if the searing authority fully respect their obligations, this resolution will make it possible to eliminate one of the most significant chemical weapons programs in the world through nonmilitary means. we have all borne witness one
month ago to the terrible massacre in the suburbs of damascus using chemical weapons. what occurred on the 21st of august each of us was able to see with our own eyes on dozens of video, unbearable images of agony of victims, dozens of children's corpses lined up. it's important that these events never be reproduced. this resolution is in the right direction in terms of the normative level. for the first time the security council has determined that the use of chemical weapons, wherever it occurs, and is a threat to peace and international security. this authorizes the council to be seized automatic of the issue in the future. this is significant progress. the resolution is also innovative in another critical area. for the first time the security council was able to agree to endorse the geneva communiqué
calling for the creation of a transitional government body with full executive powers in syria. the adoption of this resolution of as import messages, when i put them into the war no to the enormous suffering of the syrian people. in the long run, the humanitarian challenge and the security challenge cannot be resolved in any other way but three negotiated political solution to the crisis. syria must engage in a political transition process that leads to respecting the aspiration of all serious. consequently we encourage all concerned parties to take advantage of the positive dynamics that have been created in this case of chemical weapons to progress towards the cessation of hostility towards the holding of geneva ii and toward the necessary political transition in syria. in dashing any delay will only lead to more death and more suffering.
mr. president, while our attention focused on the most recent chapters in recent days concerning chemical weapons, we cannot forget the humanitarian catastrophe which continues to unfold in syria and its neighboring countries, especially lebanon and jordan, but also in iraq and turkey. if i may i would like to quote the high commissioner for refugees. syria, he said, has become the greatest tragedy of this century, a humanitarian calamity which is full of suffering and displacement of people without president in recent history. the syrians need assistance and they need it now. they have right to assistance based on the criteria of humanity, the most elementary is codified in humanitarian international law. it is urgent syria respond to the demands of humanitarian actors and that they facilitate immediate unimpeded and free access to the affected population. it is urgent to lift bureaucratic obstacles and
ensure supplies of medical equipment to establish you image positive and open humanitarian routes to make possible access across borders and across lines to the populations that are affected. with australia, luxembourg is bent on and find the managing actors who are parties to the conflict in syria, and anchoring a common message of the council. we hope these efforts will very soon be to the adoption of a strong humanitarian text. the security council must also assume response to build on this point as well. and i listened with interest and carefully to the words of the minister of foreign affairs, united kingdom, william hague in this regard but if i may, in conclusion i would like to reiterate our conviction that the offenders of the crimes perpetua on the 21st of august are behind other atrocities committed in syria since the beginning of hostilities, and they must be held accountable for their acts. that time has come to finally
refer the situation history to the international criminal courts. thank you. >> i think his excellency bruce state medicaid afford his excellency, minister for foreign affairs of the republic of eyes you by john -- to the republic. i apologize. minister of foreign affairs of france followed by. >> friends on a -- [speaking french] >> translator: ladies and gentlemen, minister ministers ad represents of the united nation security council. tonight, facing tragedy, the security council has finally lived up to its name. on august 21, the regime of the
assad regime committed an action which was sadly unacceptable. it gassed and so killed close to 1400 civilians including hundreds of children. the use of chemical weapons so horrible that they have been banned for over 100 years, is yet clear. all of the evidence points to the regime. and no one, no one of good faith could deny this. as a result of the threat of strikes which were not just a strategy come we're finding moving forward that exerted pressure on the regime as well as on -- i would remind you that even though until now they've denied the very existence of chemical weapons, and just a few days they have had to turn their
positioned around completely. they have recognized the existence and accepted they will be destroyed. friends, as others, especially the united states of america, took its responsibility, and we consider and standing firm has paid off. the resolution which we have just adopted meets the three requirements which the president of the french republic, and myself, have set out at the beginning of this week, which will perhaps go down in history, whether one was close -- refers to syria or iran as the international week, the beginning of the end of chemical weapons. this resolution qualifies -- the security council may receive this anytime in the future.
the perpetrators of such crimes will have to answer for their actions. and, finally, the resolution also provides for, as our american and russian colleagues have accepted back in geneva, and they have worked a great deal to achieve this, this resolution also provides for in the event of noncompliance of its commitments by the regime in damascus measures will be taken under chapter seven of the charter. ladies and gentlemen, this resolution is not an endpoint. it is but a first stage. unfortunately, one cannot simply believe a regime that just recently denied that it possessed such weapons, the united nations and opcw must first without any further delay deploy their joint mission with a time when set out in the decision adopted today in the hague must be kept.
syria's cooperation must be unconditional. transparency must be total. the security council which we regulate informed will decide, and it will come if necessary, take measures under chapter seven to assure this objective is achieved. in short, this resolution must not only be passed, it must also be in limited. and france will see to it. ladies and gentlemen, regardless of the positive nature of this resolution, the humanitarian catastrophe and the repression tragically continues. our responsibility is to act to put an end to this. france wishes to take advantage of this unity, within the friend of the council to progress with you, the political process, political process which alone will enable us to put them into the fighting and to see peace prevail again.
we have to prepare the meeting of geneva ii within the framework determined by the geneva want agreement which provides as we set for the transfer of executive power to a transition body. with the secretary-general of the united nations and is on point, and i like to congratulate them and thank them for the work, the members of the security council, and a special responsibility or for achieving this, and has just been done on the chemical weapons aspect. yesterday, i checked with represent a great many states a meeting with the president of the syria national coalition, mr. trent in the east entry to send a delegation to negotiations as part of geneva ii. the supporters of the regime in damascus will have to assure us that they will make similar
commitments. i've invited the second agenda at a special envoy to take every possible initiative to make progress in this direction as well as we have indicated during the meeting of the p5 which was just held, and and yielded positive results, a date for geneva ii. france, of course, will back all of these efforts. secretary-general, mr. president, ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues, we know that despite, one resolution alone will not save syria. this is why the security council must assume its responsibility and see them through the the end. we will have during the next few weeks, think about one thing alone. namely, the syrian people and their martyrdom which must as rapidly as possible, come to an end. this will be france's position. france which will remain firm
and coherent in lending its full support to the search for peace. spent i think his excellency for his statement. and i now give the floor to his excellency, minister for foreign affairs for the public of trenton. >> thank you very much mr. president. azerbaijan, azerbaijan also welcomes the adoption of the resolution expresses hope that the unanimous strong position to mr. today by the security council will conjugate of finding a political solution to the conflict in syria, putting an end to the suffering inflicted on the scene people and ensuring compliance by parties concerned with obligations and commitments under international law. we are grateful to the heads members of united nations to investigate allegations of the use of chemical weapons in the syrian republic for the work they have done an extreme difficult and job security and
political conditions. it is essential that the nation completes its investigation to all allegations of the use of chemical weapons in syria, and submits its final report. the continued support of this process by all concerned is critical to that end. azerbaijan strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons by say, particularly the killing of the funds that resulted from it. the resolution just adopted that the use of chemical weapons is a series violation of international law and also qualified such acts as a threat to international peace and security. it is important that the security council expressed its strong conviction that those individuals responsible for the use of chemical weapons in syria should be held accountable. azerbaijan welcomes the understanding earlier reached between the russian federation and the united states regarding the safeguarding and destruction of syria's chemical weapons stockpile as well as the decisions adopted by the
executive council and organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons. the key objective is to ensure the compliance with all aspects of opcw decision, and the full implication of the security council resolution. it is critical that while placing legally binding obligation, the resolution provided for review on the radio basis of efforts in syria, and in the event of noncompliance, imposing measures under chapter seven of the u.n. charter. by endorsing the geneva communiqué of 30 june 2012 and calling for dr. ahme -- the secy council paved the way for achieving a peaceful transition, stability and reconciliation. it is imperative that all parties engage constructively in the political process and commit to the geneva communiqué. it is important the resolution just adopted once again reaffirms the strong commitment of the security council to the
sovereignty depends and integrity of sure you. the understanding of the sponsors 2180. thank you very much, mr. president spent i think his excellency, dr. elmar mammadyarov overstatement i could afford to his excellency, foreign minister of the republic of korea. >> communiqué the republic of korea welcomes the adoption of resolution 2119. this resolution marks a historic moment in the security council has finally unified position on the crisis in syria. it is my sincere hope that this consensus propels us forward to fulfilling the long overdue responsibility this council those pestering people. in this regard the republic of korea demands intensive efforts made by the united states,
russia, and other stakeholders, as well as secretary-general ban ki-moon over the last several weeks. the republic of korea condemns the use of chemical weapons in the strongest possible terms, and reiterates its view that all chemical weapons, not just in syria, but in all other states should be promptly eliminate. the use of the chemical weapons is a great war crime and a serious violation of international law. more significantly, today's resolution articulates that the use of chemical weapons anywhere constitutes a threat to international peace and security. by adopting this resolution is an important step, only its full implementation will determine the true value of our collective enterprise, the robust language and the binding nature of this resolution reflects this council's strong commitment to
eliminate chemical weapons in syria. it's also significant that this resolution reserves measures under chapter seven in case of noncompliance. we believe that it is indeed the task of the entire international community to encourage better and prompt communication of this resolution. although resolution 2118 is focus on the elimination of chemical weapons in syria, the international community cannot cause to allow immunity. the security council must see to it that those responsible for the use of chemical weapons are held accountable. the security council will remain focus on the broad of resolving this syrian crisis. continue for over two and a half years. we would like to underline the importance of the provisions of
today's resolution calling for the convening of international conference on syria to implement the geneva communiqué. the republic of korea, this conference will be convened as soon as possible with a view to putting an end to the tragic suffering of the syrian people and the regional instability caused by the syrian situation. thank you. >> i think his excellency, mr. byung-se for statement i give the floor to his excellency, minister for foreign affairs for the people's republic of china. [speaking chinese] >> translator: trek to the issue of syria is now the top concern of the international community. in the past two years and more, over 7 million syrians became homeless, and there were a tremendous loss of life and their property. in this august hall, the
security council has discussed major issues involving war and the peace on many occasions. neither syria nor the middle east region can afford another war. in dealing with the syrian issues, the security council must bear in mind the purposes and principles of the u.n. charter, and with a sense of responsible to the syrian people, the world and history. and ensure that any decision it undertakes can stand the test of history. several weeks ago, dark clouds of war overshadowed the syrian issue, in many countries were deeply worried. china opposes the use of force in international relations. we believe that the military means cannot solve the syrian issue. rather, it will bring greater turmoil and disaster. we are happy to see that the security council has just unanimously adopted a resolution
2118, bringing the syrian situation back to the track of peace from the verge of war and presenting a new opportunity for seeking political settlement of the syrian issue. this is the first time that the security council takes a joint major action on the syrian issue in the past over one year. this resolution is in keeping with the general direction of a political settlement of the syrian issue, reflect the role of the security council and upholds the solidarity of the security council. and china welcomes the adoption of the resolution. mr. president, china suffers deeply from the use of chemical weapons by japanese invaders during the second world war. we are firmly opposed to the use of chemical weapons by any country, any group or any individual who ever uses chemical weapons should be condemned by all. china welcomes the fact that the syrian government joined the chemical weapons convention not long ago.
nsn of the overall objective of the construction of chemical weapons in syria, and the roadmap. the chinese side is ready to send experts to participate and provide financial support in this regard. we hope that the parties will stay in close corporation for their respective responsibility and increase when the opcw position and its resolution and a comprehensive and accurate manner so as to eventually achieve a proper settlement of the issue of a chemical weapons in syria. mr. president, the humanitarian situation in syria is getting grimmer. china is deeply concerned that china's government has provided over 11 million u.s. dollars of humanitarian assistance to syrian civilians in and outside of city. china is now providing 15 million -- emergency humanitarian aid to jordan and will provide over 24 million grant in cash emergency for
emergency to mention aid for the program and authorization which will be used to help the displaced people inside syria and the syrian refugees in lebanon. we will continue providing humanitarian help to syria and its neighbors to the best of our capability. mr. president, political settlement is the only way out for syria. this process should go side-by-side with the process of destruction of a chemical weapons in syria. resolution 2118 clearly asks for the implementation of the geneva communiqué and a cause for the competition of the geneva ii conference. parties in c. should keep in mind the interests of syria and its people realize that the sensational violence as soon as possible, put them into the crisis through dialogue and rebuild on thursday. china hopes the international committee will build consensus and promote early convening of geneva ii conference. china will continue with its
support for the mediation efforts of the secretary-general ban ki-moon and joined special reps into the mr. brahimi. mr. president, the syrian issue is highly complex. it is the construction of a chemical weapon by the process of the political settlement will be a place -- safe place. we hope all parties will keep that and compose it. i suppose the principle of the peaceful settlement of disputes and stick to the direction of a political settlement to as a permanent member of the security council, china's entry to work with all the parties and make efforts for a comprehensive, proper and long-term settlement of the syrian issue. thank you. >> i think his excellency, mr. wang for his statement. and now his excellency, of the republic of guatemala. [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: mr. president, our delegation for the last 18 months has been lamenting the fact is security council has been incapable of stepping up to
one of the bloodiest and painful internal conflicts of our time. i am referring, of course to the situation in syria come and also in passing to the impact on its neighbors and the painful humanitarian costs. despite the fact that on two occasions we came together to produce resolutions 2042 and 2043, the fact that there were internal divisions that we are all aware of prevented further progress. because of this, the fact that there was a point of convergence between the russian federation and the united states over one issue, to wit, the rejection and use of chemical weapons, should be welcomed and we congratulate mr. sergey lavrov and secretary of state kerry for the initiative, an initiative that gave rise to the framework agreement of 14 september. we also appreciate the efforts in codifying that the agreement
so that both the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons and the security council could act today. we believe that this step is highly significant for its engines at value, and because it breeds new life into efforts into the underlying issues, putting into the violence, resolving to mention crisis and meets the demand for the syrian people. for those reasons we have consistently supported the final transfer of the action group of syria for june 2012 and a for an international conference with a few to its implementation. this expense also why my delegation cosponsored resolution 2118 of 2013, which was just a doctor. it sets forth the mechanism for verification and destruction of chemical weapons in syria. it provides for the principle of
accountability, and it provides for the urgency of a political transition process and the question of compliance by syria with the conditions set forth in this agreement. the adoption of this resolution is of vital importance, considering the fact that the last resolution is council adopted on the situation in syria was in april 2012, last year. what we would also like to emphasize at this time is that this decision was taken unanimously by this council. and that's why this resolution is not the victory of any single country in particular. it's a great victory for the united nations, and through the united nations is a victory for all of mankind. having said that, we would like to stress the following point. first, we understand the sensitivity of round this particular situation, as well as
its urgency. and despite our understanding of this, we would have preferred to have a great opportunity participate in the development of this resolution, and what might have been able to contribute positively to it. second, it is necessary to look forward and commit to ensuring strict implementation of this recently approved a resolution. we recognize, therefore, the importance of cooperation between the organization of the prohibition of chemical weapons and the united nations, especially in terms of personal access, safety, operational support, privileges and immunities, and sufficient financial resources in order to properly carry out their duties. 30, and as result of the aforementioned, we trust that in the short term, compliance will take place so that the international conference, known as geneva ii, will take place
shortly, and that a transitional government with full executive powers can be established with mutual consent of all parties. and that all of these parties will engage constructively in the search for stability and reconciliation. we believe that it is essential data be an inclusive government and that it taken finish of the positive aspects of institutions developed over decades by the syrian state. finally, having said all of the above, we can but reaffirm our commitment to the objective contained in the charter of the united nations, and then the final transfer of the action group for syria of 30 june 2012. we can't but express our hope that a cease-fire will be reached in the short term. thank you very much. >> i think his excellency, mr. carrera, for his statement and i give the floor to his excellency, advisor to the prime minister on national security
and foreign affairs of the islamic republic of pakistan. >> thank you, mr. president. resolution 2118 adopted this evening is a landmark in the syrian conflict. by rewriting behind a common cause of international peace and security, the security council has demonstrated once again that it is effective and responsive. we thank secretary john kerry and foreign minister lavrov for taking personal interest in persisting in efforts aimed at consensus on a difficult issue. all sponsorship of the resolution by all 15 member states is a clear manifestation that the state council has ownership of implementation, taken by the executive council of the organization for prohibition of chemical weapons in the hague earlier today. mr. president, the issue of chemical weapons has long had virtual consensus in the
international committee, has been used and condemned. the chemical weapons convention contains the prime responsibility of them a nation of these dangerous weapons. security council is here today is meant to augment and implement the opcw decision, not an implementation could lead to serious consequences. mr. president, the cooperation and this new form giunta and the council will be maintained. it is just the first step but also difficult waters of our focus should be on the people of syria and their suffering must endure any action that we take in this form should keep the people of syria defend. elimination of chemical weapons in the country is important, but is not a remedy of all the other problems taken in this unfortunate country, the killing has to stop. more than 1000 people have already lost their life.
political solution remains the only viable option. it is time to move back to geneva. adopted in june 2012, the geneva communiqué clearly delineate the process acceptable to the syrian people. it's called for the establishment of a transitional authority with full executive power, resolution adopted today also outlines a similar process. all the ingredients of the resolution of conflict are already contained in to geneva communiqué. it is therefore imperative that is cemented in letter and in spirit to the announcement regarding the convening of geneva ii by mid-november is a manifestation of the negotiation political process in any the conflict, national conciliation of government of the legitimate expeditions of the string people. this war is not going to be easy -- this road is not going to be easy.
mr. president, we have to move beyond differences on interpretation of the geneva communiqué and pursue the political process with unity of purpose. we urge all sides in the syrian conflict to fully seize, this opportunity and work towards dialogue and diplomacy, although it is indeed already too late, or over 1000 syrians that are still time for millions who safety and security is at risk. this, mr. president, should remain foremost in our minds. thank you. >> i think his excellency, mr. aziz, for his statement and to give afford his excellency, the minister for foreign affairs and cooperation of the kingdom of morocco. [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: thank you, thank you very much. at last, at last the security
council was able to agree on a resolution. it was able to agree on a very important resolution on the syrian situation that reflects determination and the genuine well to begin to put an end to the syrian conflict. and paving the road to a political settlement to the crisis. we highly appreciate the efforts made by the five permanent members of the security council towards a solution that would find the syrian chemical weapons, destroy them come and ensure they are never used again. we also appreciate the intense efforts made by secretary kerry and foreign minister lavrov
leading to the agreements signed in geneva on 14 september of this year on the syrian chemical weapons. we also pay tribute to the united nations with the secretary-general as its head for responding so probably to the use of chemical weapons in syria, through the setting up of the verification commission led by doctor saul stern who undertook with this team and major effort in very short period of time despite security problems that confronted the inspection effort. in this context of the right of the league of arab states also undertook a leadership role and
was in the lead of initiatives concerning the situation in syria and the use of chemical weapons. they can roundly in his decision of september 1, the resolution before us, mr. president, is clearly historic by any measure. in addition, to providing steps for dealing with this syrian chemical weapons, according to the framework agreement between the united states and the russian federation, it entrenches the geneva agreement towards the holding of geneva ii, and here the resolution also stresses the need to be held. the resolution is also a legal precedent, because for the first time and in a general term, it
recognizes that chemical weapons are a threat to international peace and security, and this will ease in the future. the resolution will also prevent the repetition of awful massacres we witnessed in the recent past. the resolution will eliminate one of the largest arsenals of chemical weapons in the middle east by peaceful means. the resolution may also be considered a preamble to the creation of weapons of mass destruction free zone in the middle east. proceeding from the above, the kingdom of morocco fully supports this resolution. we cosponsored it, and we hope this dynamic continues with the
setting of a date for the holding of geneva ii as soon as possible towards a political settlement satisfying the aspirations of the syrian people for a democratic state, preserving the sovereignty and integrity of syria. and in conclusion, let me recall as other colleagues in the council have already, let me recall the needs to follow up on the humanitarian situation on the ground. it is a catastrophe. a catastrophe being needed on the syrian people, refugees killed, injured, in their hundreds of thousands. every effort must be made to support united nations agencies to help that regard. they deserve our appreciation for what they have and continue to do to bring help to those civilians in the. we must also pay attention as to
neighboring countries. they are suffering just as the refugees on their land are suffering. they are also baffled by the humanitarian, political and security repercussions of the syrian crisis come including particularly the surge of syrian refugees to their land. once again we value the resolution and we truly hope it is a first step towards the final settlement to the syrian crisis. thank you, sir. >> i think his excellency, mr. saad for a statement and they give the floor to his excellency, mr. timmerman, minister of foreign affairs. [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: thank you, mr. president. the unfolding horror show which moved the world on the 21st of august was neither an isolated, more unpredictable event. for more than two years, week
after week, especially after we joined the security council in january of this year, we had nothing but reports which accounted for more deaths, more refugees, more displaced person, more violence, or supplies of weapons to all parties, more skepticism around the appropriateness or need for peaceful solution and political solution, and the growing and dangerous bet on military action as the most effective strategy. and that is why we cannot, and especially we cannot give rise to the understanding that the drum in syria existed because of the attack on the 21st of august. but we can affirm that the horror opened the door to a resolution, a peaceful resolution of the conflict. much depends on the syrians themselves as those on those you're seated around the table by mandate of the general assembly. perhaps would have on the 21st
of august is that more than the thousands of victims of that day, the world heard the voices of all the victims, and saw with perfect clarity how petty geopolitical interests were at play in syria, and in the region, and many were more interested in deepening the conflict then in resolving it. been warning of the impotence of the council to put them into the daily massacres that were intimidating as an ethical outrage and clear threat to international peace and secured. mr. president, the country firmly committed to nonproliferation and the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction and as a state party to the opcw, argentina supported the resolution which is also detailed and specific with regard to the oversight program and destruction of chemical weapons in syria, approved by the executive council of the opcw. there is no the way for double
standards, for euphemism. the use of chemical weapons is a war crime and a crime against inanity and those who use them cannot go unpunished. with this resolution the council finally is assuming its responsibility to stabilize the situation in syria and contributes to lasting peace. reaffirming multilateralism and the cornerstone of the collective security system established by the united nations charter as the only guarantee against the might is right prevailing. likewise, we agree with those who believe that this resolution can lay the foundation for working towards a negotiated political solution to the crisis in syria, reflecting the legitimate aspirations and demands of its people, and establishing the basis for a lasting peace as well as territorial integrity and sovereignty of city. this is why we applaud the fact that the security council made
its own geneva communiqué of june 2012, calling for geneva ii in order to intimidate. mr. president, this resolution establishes a specific mechanism for the elimination of chemical weapons in syria, based on the framework agreement of geneva established by the united nations and the russian federation on the 14th of september. yet, it is also fair to point to the fact that it reflects also concerns and proposals put forth by perry's memos of this council over the last few months of consultation. this aspect was decisive for my country to cosponsor the resolution. in keeping with article 25 of the united nations charter, the decision of the security council are to be complied with by all members. while we trusted that the various actors that intervene in the conflict act in good faith and cooperate for the effective implementation of this resolution, it is also clear
that should there be noncompliance, it is the power of this council to convene in order to assess and take measures that it deems fit under chapter seven of the charter. mr. president, to conclude, my country wishes to reiterate that the horror of the use of chemical weapons, the use of which is a crime, war crime and a crime against humanity, should not overshadow the fact that 99% of the victims were felled by conventional weapons. ..
>> translator: and exacerbates sectarian tensions in the entire region. the stuff that was taken today was -- the step that was taken today was mess and inevitable. in this regard, argentina will continue to advocate for effective accountability. referring the situation in syria to the international criminal court. unrestricted access for humanitarian aid, we will continue to advocate for measures to stem the transfer of weapons to all parties in the conflict, the rejection of the use of force, for the dialogue and peaceful political solution for a legitimate and realistic path to peace and to stop further violence. thank you, sir. >> i thank his excellency, mr. timerman, for his statement, and i give the floor to his excellency, the permanent representative of rwanda to the
unite united nations and member of the cabinet. >> thank you, mr. president. mr. president, as the world is preparing to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the genocide perpetrated against the tutsis in rwanda which is a reminder of the failure of the security council to serve a million citizens of this world, the conscience of the international community has once again been stained by the ongoing conflict in syria which is in its 30th month. mr. president, never again we said after what happened in rwanda, but since 1994 the community of nations has -- [inaudible] horrendous massacres and ethnic cleansing in corners of the world.
as in 994, the security council was prevented to intervene in rwanda because of -- [inaudible] prevailing in this party among permanent members, the council was once again unable to save more than 100,000 people in syria because of ever-present divisions among world members. mr. president, the heart of the syrian crisis cull culminated wh the attack where 1,500 innocent lives were taken by poisonous weapons banned a century ago. i believe that the whole world was shocked, like me, by the painful images of children struggling to pull their last
breath. as they say in france -- [speaking french] meaning, there is always a good for a misfortune. the images of the suffering of those children seemed to have opened our eyes. i'm, therefore, grateful to the united states of america and the russian federation for the framework they have agreed on related to the destruction of the chemical weapons stockpile in syria which was translated into the security council resolution 2118 we have just adopted unanimously. mr. president, we were encouraged that the resolution contains provisions for the destruction of syrian chemical weapons through endorsement of the decisions of the opcw executive council adopted
tonight. we particularly -- [inaudible] the decision of the security council to propose coercive measures under chapter 7. should the syrian parties not comply with this resolution. furthermore, rwanda was pleased that the security council agreed on the need for accountability and for the revival of the geneva process. indeed, why 1,500 syrian -- a month ago, we cannot lose sight of the fact that more than 100,000 men, women and children were massacred for the last 30 months with conventional weapons. and we know for a fact that a military solution has so far failed in share ya and not -- in syria and not be a viable solution for the country and the region. this is why rwanda awaits the
revival of the geneva communique. i take this opportunity to urge the security council, particularly those permanent members who have an influence on syrian parties, to insure that the international conference on syria to implement the geneva communique's convened as soon as possible and that parties negotiate in good faith. and with a sense of responsibility with a goal to finding a lasting solution to end the killing of the syrian people. and i'm encouraged, and i was encouraged by the information provided tonight that an agreement may have been reached on to start geneva ii conference mid november. nonetheless, mr. president, given the horrendous crimes committed in syria, rwandans
believe that any political solution shall insure that all those who committed crimes in syria are held accountable before a court of law. with, therefore -- we, therefore, welcome the accountability contained in the resolution, and rwanda will play its part to make sure that they are implemented. mr. president, let me conclude by the message conveyed to the council by his excellency, the president of rwanda. if i could, i reiterate my conviction that the primary responsibility of this global body is the responsibility to protect. the agreed objective of maintaining international peace and security will be pointless if strategic interests prevail over the lives of innocent men,
women and children. i, therefore, commend the security council for slowly evolving on this issue, and rwanda -- informed by our experience both in 1994 and in the security council -- is ready to continue working with other member states to insure that protection of human lives and integrity of women and children are always at the center of our decision. i thank you, mr. president. >> i thank his excellency, mr. gasana, for his statement, and i give the floor to his excellency, the permanent member of to to go to the united nations. >> translator: mr. president, togo welcomes the adoption of this resolution, 2118, with its many provisions. we welcome the spread of
compromise which prevailed between the negotiators of this text, to wit, the permanent members and especially the united states and the russian federation. there is no doubt that the russian/american framework agreement dated september 14th has paved the way for this compromise, and i would like to hear -- genre it rate -- our gratitude to the u.s. secretary of state as well as the russian minister of foreign affairs who have labored to achieve this agreement. my cosponsor in voting in favor of this text, togo wishes to underscore not only for the destruction of chemical weapons, but especially to rid our world from this type of weapons as well as other weapons of mass destruction. today our council was a able to speak with a single vote on syria. this is a strong message, a strong message sent to all the
parties to the syrian conflict. >> we are going to leave the last few minutes of this u.n. debate on syria, and a quick reminder that you can see this and all c-span programs online at c-span.org, and back live now to the united nations as the syrian foreign minister is addressing the delegates. you're watching c-span2. >> translator: as president of the general assembly and its current session and to wish you success in conducting our work, further enhancement of this important, essential role of the president of the general assembly undertaken by your predecessor which avoided engaging the presidency of the general assembly in special political agenda. mr. president, ladies and gentlemen, this day last year when i addressed this august
assembly, our world was facing me events that ravaged it and its nations. we were full of hope that the scene would change for the better this year, but unfortunately, the situation remains the same, and in some parts of the world the situation has become even worse. many countries are still facing political, economic and financial crises that exceed their ability to confront them on their own. while the peoples of the world are looking forward to seeing effective international efforts exerted in order to overcome those crises, what we witness today is an indication of exacerbating an increasing problem since hegemony and
domination on the capabilities of peoples have escalated in a way that contradicts blatantly with the charter of the united nations under norms of international law. instead of settling regional and international conflicts by decent means, some known countries continue pursuing aggressive policyies -- policies, pursuing aggressive policies against other nations. political hypocrisy increased to intervene in the domestic affairs of states under the pretext of humanitarian intervention or the responsibility to protect. and when those aggressive policies did not prove beneficial for some countries, including my own country syria, these well known states revealed their true faith and threatened with blatant military aggression
outside the mandate of the security council and certainly away from any international consensus. this comes as those same countries impose immoral, illegal and unilateral coercive measures. this is in addition to suspicious policies that aim at spreading sedition and turmoil within the -- [inaudible] of multiple and harmonized national communities that have lived for hundreds of years in harmony, unity and understanding. worst of all, some countries have launched destructive measure wars under the pretext of combating terrorism while at the same time they are the ones supporting terrorism in my country in contradiction of all united nations resolutions and all human and moral values. here once again i ask the same
question i had already asked last year, was the international consensus on combating terrorism is a serious commitment undertaken by the member states of this organization, or was it just mere rhetoric? written and then not put into effect. mr. president, what is happening in my country has become clear to everyone. yet, some countries do not want to recognize that al-qaeda, the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world, and its many offshoots like al-nusra, the islamic state in iraq and -- [inaudible] the brigade of islam and many others are fighting in syria. the scenes of murder, manslaughter and even eating human hearts were shown on tv
screens worldwide but did not touch consciences. in my country, mr. president, there are innocent civilians whose heads are put on the grill just because they violate the extremist ideology and have deviant views of al-qaeda. in my country, ladies and gentlemen, there are murderers who dismember human bodies into pieces while still alive and send their limbs to their families just because those citizens are defending unified and secular syria. in my country those terrorists violate on a tailly basis human -- on a daily basis human rights; the right to life and a right to a livelihood. and the citizens' religious beliefs and political affiliations. any syrian citizen who does not wrong -- belong to this ideology is doomed to be killed,
slaughtered or the women of the family taken as captives on the basis of perverted concepts of religion that have nothing to do with islam. ladies and gentlemen, this is not a civil war. there is no civil war in syria. this is the war against terror that recognizes no values, no justice nor equality, and disregards any rights or laws. so confronting in the terror in my country requires the international community to act in accordance with relevant resolutions on counterterrorism, particularly security council resolution 1373 of 2001 and to take all necessary measures to compel those well known countries that finance, arm, train and provide a safe haven and passage for terrorists coming from different countries of the world.
[speaking in native tongue] >> translator: mr. president, this city, this very city, new york, and its people have witnessed the devastations of terrorism and were burned with the fire of extremist and bloodshed the same way we are suffering now in syria. how can some countries bit by the same terrorism we are suffering now in syria claim to be fighting terrorism in all parts of the world while supporting it in my country? the claims about the existence of moderate militants and extremist militants have become a bad joke. and a senseless one. terrorism means only terrorism; it cannot be classified as moderate terrorism and extremist terrorism. therefore, i would like to ask you, what do you call those who kidnap children in order to sell their body organs outside the
country? how would you describe those -- [inaudible] children and prevent them from going to school and instead train them on shooting and killing? how would you describe those who spread perverted fatwas through religious opinions such as sexual jihad or incest jihad? ladies and gentlemen, we are the ones who are targeted by poisonous gases. we have asked for an investigation mission and demanded to include in its mandate the ability to determine who used chemical weapons. however, the united states of america and its allies, france and the united kingdom, are the ones who prevented that and insisted then to limit the punkses of the -- the functions of the mission to only deciding whether chemical weapons were used or not. we in syria waited five months
for the mission to come, and when it arrived, it was withdrawn before the completion of its task as certain states began beating the drums of war on syria. my country has accepted the initiative graciously launched by his excellency, president vladimir putin, president of the russian federation. syria, by acceding to the convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons, proves its commitment against the use of such weapons while at the same time calls on the international community to shoulder its responsibility against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the middle east. syria is known for fulfilling its obligations and commitments. therefore, i assure you of syria's commitment to the full
implementation of the provisions of the convention and to cooperation with the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons as a state party to the convention. however, there remains the challenge that is facing all of us whether those who are supplying terrorists with these types of weapons will abide by their legal commitments since terrorists who used poisonous gases in my country have received chemical agents from regional and western countries that are well known to all of us. they are the ones using poisonous gases on our military and our civilians alike. mr. president, the cessation of aggressive policies against syria is the first ten on the road towards -- first step on the road towards a solution in my country. my political solution in light of the continued support of
terrorism whether through supplying arms, funding or training is mere illusion and misleading. syria has repeatedly announced that she embraces a political solution of its crisis. it is now for those who claim to support a political solution in syria to stop all hostile practices and policies against syria and to head to geneva without preconditions. on the basis of the people's right to self-determination, the syrian people have the exclusive authority to choose its leadership, its representatives and its future and political system that a accommodates all walks of the syrian society including those who were deceived and pushed to take a wrong path. we in syria do not bet on any
party but the syrian people who is determined with all of its components to reject all forms of foreign interference in its domestic affairs and to defeat the advocates of sectarianism, extremism and terrorism. in my country, syria, there is a solid connection between state policies and the aspirations of the people. ballot boxes for free and fair elections remain the only solution on the side of the options of the syrian people in determining their own future away from the pressures of terrorism and foreign dictations. [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: ladies and gentlemen, there remains those who do not want a political solution and always resort to aggression either directly or through their agents on the ground. and this is what's happening in syria. as i mentioned, syria has committed itself to a political
solution, but our commitment to a political solution does not mean allowing terrorism to hit innocent civilians. it does not mean watching our mosques and churches concern. [inaudible] as is happening in homs in aleppo and is happening now in the town of -- [inaudible] the only place in the world where people speak the language of jesus christ, peace be upon him. what is happening to the churches and mosques is affecting as well all the historical heritage of syria and humanity. dot representatives of the member states -- do the representatives of the member states in this august body know that terrorists from more than 83 countries are engaged in the killing of our people and our army under -- [inaudible] global jihad? on the other hand, are some of the member states entitled to demand the syrian state to ignore its constitutional responsibilities to protect its citizens and to preserve the
country's unity, sovereignty and independence? the war on terror is not only syria's war. one day those terrorists will return to their respective countries and then no country in the world will be immune of this terrorism which recognizes no borders, nor geography. mr. president, events in syria have resulted in growing humanitarian needs in several key sectors. the immoral and inhuman unilateral sanctions imposed by the united states and the european union have led to worsening the living conditions of syrian citizens at a time when my government is working in
collaboration with the united nations and international organizations within the framework of the response plan to meet the basic needs of citizens, particularly those who were forced to leave their home. it should be noted here that a great number of our people were forced to resort to some neighboring countries due to the activities of armed groups in border areas. regrettably, those displaced syrians were put in some countries in military training camps or in what resembles places of detention. i appeal from this platform to syrian citizens to return to the -- [inaudible] where the state guarantees their
safe return and their livelihood away from the inhuman conditions they suffer in such camps. i would like to assure our residents to exert all efforts to deliver aid from international organizations to all syrian citizens without any discrimination wherever they are in conformity with the general assembly resolution 46-182 while respecting the sovereignty and the independence of syria. mr. president, those developments in my country should not make us lose sight of palestine and the syrian golan. the syrian arab republic confirms its matchal right to fully -- its natural right to fully restore the syrian golan up to the line of june 4, 1967,
and emphasizes its rejection of all measures taken by israel, the occupying power, to change its natural demographic and geographic features in a clear violation of the relevant security council resolution, in particular resolution 497 of 1981. syria reconfirms its support for the legitimate and inalienable rights of the palestinian people, in particular the right of return and self-determination and to establish their independent state on their land with jerusalem as its capital. mr. president, after syria's accession to the treaty on the prohibition of chemical weapons, my country renews its call to the international community to work on establishing a zone free of all weapons of mass
destruction in the middle east. in this regard, we would like to remind the international community of the syrian initiative at the end of its non-permanent membership in the security council in 2003 and calls on the security council to adopt it. syria stresses that establishing a free zone, a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the region is unachievable without the accession of israel, the only nuclear power in the region, to all treaties banning such weapons and to put its nuclear facilities under the supervision of the international atomic energy the agency. at the same time, we emphasize the right of all countries who acquire and develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes in accordance with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. in this respect, syria condemns the continued blocking by the
united states and israel of holding the international conference on the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the middle east which was scheduled to take place in 2012. mr. president, my country calls on the united states and the european union countries and others to refrain from adopting immoral unilateral economic measures that contradict what the rules of international law and the principles of free trade. accordingaccordingly, we call fe lifting of the blockade imposed by the united states against cuba for decades. we also renew our call to lift and stop all unilateral, coercive measures imposed on syria and the peoples of other countries such as venezuela, belarus, iran and the democratic people's republic of korea. [speaking in native tongue]
>> translator: mr. president, we hope that the united nations will lead the peoples of the world towards a better future in order to achieve the aspirations of those people in prosperity, development and fuel sufficiency away from all forms of tension, confrontation and wars for the full implementation of the principles and purposes of the united nations charter. that upholds the southernty and the equality -- sovereignty and the equality and rights and duties of all member states. in this regard, my country looks positively at the efforts exerted by the united states and iran in order to bridge the gap of mistrust between the two countries, and it hopes that this would be reflected constructively on the stability of international -- [inaudible] thank you, mr. president. [applause] >> i thank the deputy prime
minister, minister of foreign affairs of syria and ask the public -- [inaudible] >> well, a lot of talk about a possible government shutdown. several women democratic senators are expected to talk about the shutdown and how it'll affect women's health care. that's due to start at 11:30 eastern, we will have it live for you right here on c-span2. a little bit later today, today's white house briefing with jay carney, we expect the focus of that will also be the government shutdown. that is scheduled to start about 1 p.m. eastern, we'll have it live here on c-span2 when it gets under way. and taking a look at congress, the house this past weekend passed a temporary government funding bill that would again defund the health care law. members gaveled in this morning at 10 eastern for legislative business as they now wait for the senate to act on the measure. you can see the house live right now on c-span. the senate itself set to return at 2 p.m. eastern for general speeches, and then at some point
they'll consider a pair of judicial nominations. they are also expected to take up that house-amended bill to fund the government and a separate bill to pay for the military in the case of a government shutdown. you can watch full gavel-to-gavel coverage of the senate live right here on c-span2. well w the threat of a government shutdown looming, an article in "the hill" this morning cites a poll indicating that republicans will take the hit if a shutdown happens. republicans will bear most of the blame for a government shutdown, according to cnn/orc poll released in this morning. the survey found that 46% of respondents would blame republicans against 36% who said president obama would be to blame. still, that is a closer divide than the same poll found earlier in the month when 51% blamed republicans and 33% blamed the president. >> well, the u.s. chief information officer wears a few hats. one is, sets the budget for the technology spend of the
executive branch. so it covers all the agencies of government and the department of defense to think about and formulate the president's budget every year and to do that. the second thing is through the e-government act that we have in the u.s., the u.s. chief information officer has the ability to set policies, statutory authority to set policy government wide. so thinking about, you know, a visionary view of technology use in government and driving that forward as part of the, what we do. and then the third is, and this is really under this administration, the u.s. chief information officer -- a title and role created by president obama -- acts as an adviser to the president and the administration on the use of technology, the smart pend -- spend on technology, driving efficiency and effectiveness of technology in a 21st century government. >> the federal government's digital strategy tonight on "the communicators" at 8 eastern on c-span2.
>> the d.c. circuit court of appeals heard oral argument tuesday in gilardi v. department of health and human services developing the contraceptives coverage as infringing on the religious liberty of the people who own the company. francis and phillip gilardi own a for-profit company. the family currently excludes coverage of all contraceptives from their employee health plan because paying for and providing these services through the plan would violate their religious beliefs. they are asking for an injunction arguing that it violates their free exercise of religion. this is about 40 minutes. >> good morning, your honors. i would like to reserve two minutes for rebuttal. i'm francis --
[inaudible] representing the the appellates in this case. the central question in this case should be whether the government has showed a compelling interest in forcing this particular family business to include contraception in its health plan against the family's religious beliefs. at the same time, the government has decided not to impose that same requirement on millions of other employers for both religious and nonreligious reasons. now, the district court never reached this question because contrary to the supreme court's teaching, it asked the wrong question. it focused on the formal identity of the parties instead of on a law that we say and that the government acknowledges implicates religious liberty interests. the district court did answer these two questions, first, whether or not the gilardis as individuals are substantially burdened by the hhs mandate. the court incorrectly said no. and secondly, whether or not the freshway companies are burdened by the mandate. again, the court incorrectly
said, no. it would have proceeded to the strict scrutiny test which should have been easy given the ready availability of less restrictive means of achieving the government's goals. as we see this case, there are four paths or routes to get to strict scrutiny. the first one is to look at the gilardis as individuals and whether or not there's a burden on them. this is the order in which we've argued these things in our brief. the second is the freshway company's as exercising religious under rifra. the third is what some courts have referred to as a pass-through standing whereby a closely-held family-type corporation such as this one can assert the free exercise rights of its owners. and fourth is a route that i think so far only judge walton in the district here used which is the third party standing doctrine. i'd like to begin by looking at the claims of the gilardis as individuals. now, several things are
undisputed. first, the gilardis are, obviously, persons under rifra. second, the gilardis own, control and make all the decisions for the freshway companies including what goes in and what's kept out of the company's health plan. third, the gilardis have a specific be, well-documented religious direction to directing their companies to include coverage for contraception, sterilization and things at least in their view can cause early abortion in their health plans. fourth, the hhs mandate that's be challenged here requires the companies to include those things in their plans or face significant fines. five, those things can only be include in the plan if francis and phillip gilardi direct hem to be included. given those undisputed facts, it's our view that the court should have applied the test of the thomas case and asked whether the hhs mandate puts substantial pressure on the gilardis to violate -- to modify their longstanding behavior and violate their religious beliefs.
the common response is, of course it does. they either abandon their religious belief that they can't have their company pay for these things, or they go out of business. they lose their family's livelihoods. and while the compulsion may be indirect as thomas said, contingent -- the infringement is nonetheless substantial. >> i ask you -- [inaudible] if we conclude that the gilardis can bring the suit, what -- [inaudible] what is the limiting principle? because they're a corporation, and they're shareholders of this corporation. so does that mean that if you're a shareholder in gm you could likewise assert a free exercise right? >> your honor, i think the limiting principle is ownership
or at least control of the decisions that are made by the corporate entity. so it's -- >> so it's the ceo. in a c corporation in. >> not unless the ceo, which i wouldn't think would be the case, can make decisions for the corporation that are not ratified by the board of directors. in other words, the principle is ownership and control. >> well, suppose the board of directors unanimously are devout catholics and the ceo speaks for the board of directors. >> yes, i would think so. >> same rule that you're advocating? >> yes. >> same analysisesome. >> yes. i think there's discussion of that in the austin case, the supreme court's austin case which was the case that citizens united overruled. justice scalia goes into that whole principle of -- of course, that's in the context of free speech. but it essentially says it's not that difficult to determine who
makes decisions ultimately for a corporation, and whatever that process is -- board of directors or some other set-up -- that's what controls for purposes of speech. >> in the cases in which -- [inaudible] the third circuit, is there any issue in your case that is not contained within the questions presented in this case? [inaudible] >> you know, taking the two cases together there is, yeah. probably in the hobby lobby case they didn't reach the -- at least the majority didn't reach -- >> three judges. >> yes, yes. that's simply about corporate free exercise. but in the third circuit case, both issues are discussed, yeah. >> if we decide that the gilardis could bring this suit as individuals but we don't think the corporations have a free exercise right, what
happens to the injunction? how does that work? >> the injunction is currently in place. >> well, in other words, it went back, and an injunction would be issued by the district court. how would that work? >> that's an interesting question, your honor. [laughter] you would have decided that the gilardis can bring the case as individuals and, presumably, that strict scrutiny, you'd get to strict scrutiny and say the government has not carried its burden. the injunction would be against the government enforcing the mandate. i mean, it would make sense if it's not also applicable to the corporations, obviously. >> but there's a rule of civil procedure that covers that. the injunctions being binding not only on the individual, in this case, case hhs, and in fav, in this case, the gilardis. there are also entities, people
that -- in concert with. >> sure. probably the principle there. so focusing again on the gilardis as individuals, the government's response is that the gilardis aren't forced to do anything, that because they've chosen to operate under the corporate form, there is no burden on them. but the corporate veil is not an iron curtain. there are exceptions, particularly in the area of first amendment rights. the court in citizens united specifically listed the kinds of special advantages that corporations enjoy, specifically limited liability. and the supreme court said there that the state cannot exact as the price of these corporate advantages the forfeiture of first amendment rights. >> [inaudible] substantial burden assuming your past standing? >> the substantial burden is that the mandate requires my clients to do something that their religion tells them they cannot do. >> which, of course, we know is permissible in our constitutional scheme in the
cases of legion where that happens. but -- >> but we're talking about. >> merely saying it that way is not an answer to question. there are lots of cases in which -- and no one seems to attend to, and i've looked at it carefully, and i looked at all the other cases, and those on your side of the issue skim past it. i don't know how you get past lee, united states v. lee. you cited for proposition that is uninteresting to me to the question that i would pose. the court was very clear there in saying every person cannot be shielded from all the burdens incident, exercise, every aspect of the right to practice religious beliefs, and on and on it goes. so a very strong statement -- >> is right. >> there was no question that the court said there was absolutely a burden on religious free exercise. those who oppose the system. court didn't doubt it for a
minute, but they said you're a commercial operation, and you're in play, and you decide to come into the market, there are some things that you have to adhere to for the better good because there's a larger interest. and there are many cases like that, the title vii, the handicap, there are many cases, and the courts have routinely held that you can't prevail in those types. >> well, you're honor -- your honor, the passage you're referring to in lee is the strict scrutiny analysis. we're not saying there's an absolute right -- >> i'm just talking about this case. i don't know how you get past lee. if you can get that far in the analysis, i don't see how the government doesn't prevail. i don't see what's different act this case than lee. you have a national mandate, you have a requirement that lots of employers have to follow. your employer is not obliged to do anything other than contribute to the program. your employer is not obliged to
give contraceptives to anyone or to endorse abortion. in fact, quite the contrary. your employer can pay what's required and then put up signs that say i strongly oppose abortion, i strongly oppose contra senttives, whatever they want -- contraceptives, whatever they want. and there are so many cases like that. so there is a burden, but it is not one we've acknowledged, and lee has never been overturned. >> we're quite comfortable that our case fits within lee, because -- >> i know you think you are, and i'm trying to figure out why. >> because the lee court found that there was a burden on mr. lee's religious beliefs. >> but it's a justified burden. >> right. and that's where strict scrutiny comes in. and if we get to strict scrutiny, there is no way the government can justify it because when you talk about the national scheme in lee, that's not what we have here. we have a swiss cheese. according to some courts' calculation, there are 191 exemptions from this mandate. >> your argument is -- i think what i'm hearing you say is you can't prevail under lee as is
but for your assertion that this is fundamentally a discriminatory system. >> yes. and i think that's the analysis that the supreme court teaches has to be followed in the -- [inaudible] case. what the supreme court says there is the government has to justify the application of its mandate or law to the particular be claimant, and and in ocentro, the government had granted exemptions for something for hundreds oftous of native americans using pay owety but was unwilling to grant an exemption for the 130 or so religious claimants in that case. here it's far worse than that. we have in the federal register 98 million, some courts have calculated the number of 191 million excelses of both -- exemptions for both religious and nonreligious reasons. there's no way that this is comparable to lee. >> surely you can't equate your corporation, a commercial operation that does not purport to be a religious operation, with those companies that are
exempt on those terms. be. >> those are not the only company that are exempt, judge edwards. >> they're small companies. >> they're grandfathered. >> no, but the grandfathering is limited. >> the grandfathering is not limited according to the government. the government says it is a right, and you can maintain it indefinitely. sure as a racket call>> well, ls eliminated as i read the statute. it's a limited, a pass-through period, and then at a certain period it goes away. so, i mean, i don't know -- where is this vast sea of exemptions that are relevant? >> well -- >> you certainly can't equate yourself with religious corporations. this is not a religious corporation. >> right. >> okay. so they're out. in my view, just so you understand what i'm thinking, the grandfathering group is an insignificant group, and you can't equate yourself, frankly, with the nonprofits, can you? this is a commercial operation. >> it's a commercial operation. >> okay. so we're not talking about a large group.
>> well, candidly, i would disagree with your honor. it is a large group. >> [inaudible] because, again, i don't see how you get around lee. and be i understand what you're saying. you're saying there's a vast sea of exemptionings, it's discriminatory. i don't see any vast sea of exemptions. i see some exemptions that are clearly explained in terms we understand under the case law. >> i would disagree with your assessment of the grandfathering exemptionings. exemptions. the regulation itself says a right and it's a definite. >> so your case hinges on how we construe the grandfather? >> no, not necessarily, because the other exemptions have to be taken into account as well. >> yeah, i know, we've gone through them. have we missed some? >> no, that's the point. >> they're insignificant. they're not a religious comps, you can't argue that. >> that's why we're here, because we don't qualify for any of the exemptions, we're saying that rfra requires that we be given an exemption because of
those other exemptions. we don't pretend we're a religious corporation. what we do say, however, is that the exercise of religion is not necessarily limited to people in the quote-unquote religion business any more than in the belotti case that freedom of speech for corporations is limited to corporations that are in the speech business. so i frankly disagree with your honor's assessment of the scope of of the exemptions. they're massive. and -- >> there's a case that i don't believe you cited that supports the proposition that you're arguing in fave of, a supreme court case, the greater new orleans case. >> not familiar wit, your honor. >> greater new orleans case -- [inaudible] not religion. it was speech. >> right. >> and justice stevens in the opinion dealing with this sort of thing says the, the flaw of the government's case -- and this is in the scrutiny -- he says the operation of this statute so attendant, so pierced
by exemptions and inconsistencies that the government cannot hope to exonerate it. it was an advertising case, but the supreme court struck it down. it seems to me that that case supports your argument. but the district court never got that far. >> that's correct. >> the special question here is identifying whose religious beliefs are being burdened. >> right. >> and the next question is whether it's substantially. and i just want to ask you about that. i'm, i can't remember the procedural posture of this case. did the government ask you for a complaint? >> no, they did not. >> so as the case comes to us, we have allegations by your clients that running their company in the manner that the mandate requires violates their religious beliefs. >> that's right. >> and that's uncontested. >> it's uncontested. >> are so the question then become withs what is the relevance of the corporate
structure? unless there's another religious tenet that says if your company is a corporation, then you have absolutely no moral obligation to run it in a manner that is consistent with catholic teaching. there is no such -- >> in fact, our clients interpret their catholic faith the opposite way, that they are required to run it in a manner consistent with their religious faith. and that's what they've done for as long as anybody can find records for. >> is there any significance to the fact that at least the penalty portion that they would be subject to is part of the internal revenue code and that under the internal revenue code at least for income tax purposes, the corporate form is disregarded? because this is an s corporation? >> it may well be. and the fact that it's an s corporation means that even though there is this corporate form, the net result -- income and loss of the penalties here -- goes on frank and phil
gilardi's separate individual tax reforms as part of schedule k. >> it's a complete pass. >> exactly. >> and that's true of limited liability partnerships as well? >> i think so. i think that when we're dealing with a law that impinges upon fundamental first amendment freedoms, the supreme court has taught we don't allow form to triumph over substance, and that's what we're arguing here. >> i think what lee says is if you're in the commercial, if you're in the commercial market, you have to give up some for the greater good. >> i agree, judge, it does say that. but what we say is that that's part of the strict scrutiny analysis. >> congress had some exemptions as well. >> nothing like in the -- >> well, i mean, that's your case. you're saying the exemptions here are so overwhelming, so large in their number that you should win. because i don't see -- you can't possibly get around lee. because lee had exemptions, and the court gave it the back of the hand. they said of course congress can
make those decisions. that's what we do. and you cannot come in, they said, and impose your religious values on society and deny to your employees who are larger than you are what congress has decided is the better good, that they should be entitled to if they choose to have it. that's the way lee looks at it. that is, you can't bring your religious free exercise and overtake the larger good in society. we just don't allow it to happen. >> imposing their religious views on anybody? >> no. the gilardis are not imposing their religious views on anyone. their employees are free to buy and use contraceptives anytime they like. the gilardis are simply saying -- >> how is it different paying them wages -- >> that's the line they draw which the thomas case and others teach the court may not second guess. has to do with principles of catholic formal mythology about formal and material cooperation
with evil. >> i just don't, i don't get what the plaintiffs here are obliged to do other than to contribute a national scheme. they are not in any way to give up their -- obliged to give up their beliefs. >> they have to literally check off in the joint appendix contraceptive, sterilization, abortion. it's not the same as contributing to a national scheme for social security taxes or income taxes. it's quite different, your honor. >> are any of the employees who work for these employers obliged to take the contraceptive benefits? >> under the hhs mandate, they will be. >> they're obliged to? >> not to use them, but they're not part of the plan. >> of course not. >> i see that my time has expired. if the panel has no other questions -- thank you, your honors. >> thank you. [background sounds]
>> may it please the court, lisa klein for the federal government. i will turn to victim scrutiny, but if i may begin with the threshold point that the sixth circuit recently made which is that the claims there, here and all of these contraceptive coverage cases are asking the court to interpret rfra in a way that would disregard the corporate form. and the supreme court in cedric cushner has made clear even if you only have single shareholder, the tenet that a shareholder is distinct from the corporation holds true, and it has interpreted the federal rico statute in accordance with that principle. there are other examples we've sited in our cert petition. this is not a contested proposition. so the question we have here, an issue only of statutory interpretation, what did rfra do when congress enacted it in
1993? >> well, the dictionary defines persons as corporations. >> unless the context indicates otherwise and the language of rfra is persons' exercise of religion. so when you say the claim is by regulating the freshway foods corporation -- and that would be any form of regulation -- you are, that is tantamount to personally burdening frank and philip gilardi as individuals. and we are not aware of any support, you know, the 900 years -- 200 years before rfra was enacted -- >> that's a religious question. >> no, your honor, this is a statutory -- >> no, no, no. whether regulating freshway as you say burleds the gilardis -- burleds the gilardis exercise of religious depends on the ten innocents of the catholic turf -- tenets of the catholic church. they say it burdens us, and that allegation so outstanding the
government hasn't contested it. will you contest that? will you say the catholic church or the catholic religion does not recognize the burden of, on the gilardis from running their company, their solely-owned company this that way? >> i'm distinguishing between the sincerity of their claim and the legal question. we are not asking the court -- >> you don't -- [inaudible] their basic argument that to run the company in the way that the government is requiring us to do through fines violates our religious beliefs? that's the heart of their position. do you contest that or do you not? >> we have not contested the sincerity finish. >> i know you have not. do you? >> as a -- well, at this point we have no reason to. at this stage. >> so you accept that. >> as a matter of law, we are saying that a that does not state a prima facie case under
rfra, that it would be wrong to interpret rfra to allow -- i'm not sure where the line is, but controlling share holding office or whatever the claim is to say that when you regulate a corporation as the for-profit business, as the corporation, that you then reverse pierce the veil and say this is for legal purposes a substantial burden on the individual who owns the controlling stake, is the ceo -- >> so to follow up on that then, if the gilardis had established their business as a partnership, i assume you would then agree that they have standing? >> yes. all of our other arguments would be the same. we would not acknowledge that the particular burden of which they claim is substantial. we would argue that strict scrutiny is satisfied -- >> so even if they clearly had standing as individuals, your argument would be that the mandate does not impose a substantial burden on them? >> that's correct. there are a number of
independent arguments, but the threshold problem with the claims here and in hobby lobby, most of these are s corporations, is the same point, which is that you do not interpret rfra or other federal statutes in a way that disregards the background principle that the supreme court reiterated in cushner but it's been said many times, a corporation is distinct from its shareholder, ceo, president -- >> it's not a -- [inaudible] of the internal revenue code, is it? >> there is a, as your honor referenced, a specific provision in the tax code that gives a tax benefit to certain types of corporations, s corporations if they have, you know, fewer than 100 shareholders and that avoids double taxation. >> under subchapter s this freshway only has one shareholder, right? >> these corporations have the two. >> they're treated as one under
the finish. >> correct. i believe that's correct, yes. >> be because they have a common -- >> yes. and many of these pending cases it's a sole shareholder. hobby lobby and others all have several, but there are lots of cases that have a sole share shareholder, and our argument is exactly the same. >> so that your view that the corporate form itself has this effect, doesn't that mean then that the state which allows them to incorporate is actually imposing an unconstitutional condition? it's basically saying if you get these benefits, you have to give up certain constitutional rights to do it. >> if i could unpack the answer. first, there is no constitutional claim before the court. >> i understand. >> we've explained in district court why post-smith there is no viable free exercise claim here.
the only question before this court is the statutory one, and for 200 years no corporation or sole shareholder has ever obtained an exemption from any form of regulation on the theory that's being urged here which is that you pass through the corporation and treat corporate regulation as if it were regulation of the ceo or controlling shareholder. there is no support in any supreme court case. the plaintiffs here can and elsewhere rely on a ninth circuit decision called townly in which the ninth circuit -- it went on to reject the free exercise claims but said, essentially, there's no difference between a closely-held corporation and its controlling shareholders, but it did not address any of the corporate law principles that are crucial here. and the third circuit and sixth circuit express live rejected the townley pass-through theory. and just if i could make sure to
address the strict scrutiny point -- >> well, before you get to that, let's suppose that you had a religion and one of the beliefs spelled out in the sacred text was that if you own and run a company and your company, corporation violates our moral principles, you are just as guilty of a sin as if you did it yourself. suppose that's the religious principle. would your argument still be that the corporate form trumps the religion? the religious preceptsesome. >> yes, as a matter of law under rfra. we are, we're taking a as a given that your hypothetical is their belief, that they sincerely believe that the teachings of the catholic church prevent them from, i don't i do, acting as officers of a corporation that complies with the federal law and that that
compliance -- we're not taking on the sincerity. we're saying as a matter of law that congress when it enacted rfra, it did not countenance that type of claim. >> did not intend that? is that -- because how do you get to that proposition? i mean, it is a statutory interpretation, but just treat persons not as the corporation, but as the individual sole owners. how do you get to the proposition that congress didn't intend to recognize the sort of precept that -- [inaudible] >> all right. well, a few different points. first, as, you know, the sixth circuit explained and the dissent in hobby lobby, 200 years between the adoption of the first amendment and the enactment of rfra which is meant to restore the supreme court's pre-rfra jurisprudence. there's never been a claim like that. second, the corporate -- >> so it's an open question. if there's never been a claim
like that, then -- >> if you are asking what was congress doing when it enacted rfra and you have to say it is restoring something, you would not conclude that for the first time it is authorizing courts to disregard the corporate form, look past the regulation of a general business corporation and treat it as if this were a burden on the individuals who are officers of the company. >> well, i think courts have recognized that rfra goes beyond simply overruling smith. >> i'm not aware of this. i know there are courts that have said rfra restores the pre-smith jurisprudence. >> any exercise, etc., etc. >> well, i mean, i think the court has been fairly clear that, no, this is -- if you're looking to the body of precedent, you look to the supreme court's pre-smith jurisprudence. and quite conspicuously, what you have are claims by natural persons like scherr bert and yoder which are the two cases detroited in rfra and some
claims by churches which is unsurprising. these are organizations formed in order to exercise religion. so no example in all of rfra's, you know, the supreme court precedent history, nothing in the debates, nothing in the legtive history if the court is inclined to look there. a lot of background federal employment law, federal employment statutes in which there are specific exemptionings for certain types of employers, but those have been confined to, essentially, churches with a small c, religious institutions, and -- >> let me ask you in that regard, is your argument limited to nonprofit corporations in. >> our argument, if i understand the question, is that a for-profit be corporation is -- >> i meant that. >> okay. be that's, yes, if that's the question, our argument here -- and we have different arguments and there are pending cases in district court that is brought by nonprofit religious institutions that are challenging the new rules that were just issued in july, so i'm just flagging those, but for the
purpose of all the cases that are now in the courts of appeals and our cert petitions, it is sufficient that we are talking about for-profit corporations. >> and that's your way of distinguishing churches that incorporate? >> yes. yes. the supreme court has said that congress could in title vii exemption not just the church's religious activities, but it could go all the way to the church's nonprofit activities. it was the mormon church that ran a nonprofit gymnasium, and the reasoning was it was to avoid entanglement concerns, that for a church to have to predict in advance whether a court would regard its, you know, soup kitchen or other activities as religious or sec la is -- secular is itself problematic. and so that congress could go beyond the core exemption for a church's religious activities and get to the mormon church running a nonprofit gymnasium. but there is nothing that would take the step to for-profit
business merely because it has directors, officers, controlling shareholders who have religious beliefs. >> so to operate a 501c corporation, is that the idea? >> i just want to be careful not to step into issues that may still be the subject of litigation in the district court, but nonprofit religious institutions -- >> [inaudible] by the internal revenue service? >> i don't believe that that is part of the definition, but there are piggybacks off of other established exemptions. >> i feel like we're relying at least on some of these. maybe can't get it out of the district courts' opinions, but dealing with 501c stats which raises a question in my mind. if your distinction -- you may deny this, but if your distinction rests on the treatment of a particular corporation under the internal revenue code under section 501c, then why isn't an s corporation
exempt -- not exempt, but why isn't it that the shareholders of the s corporation are the focus rather than the corporation itself? >> well, again, this is what -- we're not, actually. i mean, this court's precedent interpreting the title vii exemptions, actually, it's the university of great falls case is interpreting the nlra exemption by relying on title vii principles. talks about nonprofit, but i don't understand this court to be saying that's tantamount to 501(c)(3). essentially, if you look at the employment law statutes against which congress enacted rfra, there is precedent to exempt not just the church, but the church's nonprofit activities whether or not a court might regard those activities as religious or secular. as this court explained in the great falls case, it's hard to decide whether a church's activities are religious or secular, but there's a
bright-line, easy way to distinguish between nonprofit activities and for-profit activities. >> i just want to make sure that i understand the government's argument here. are you saying that the government takes the position that more religiously-observant openers of corporations -- owners of corporations, there is no free exercise right, or are you saying, in fact, that if it's a neutral and generally-applicable law, no one has a free exercise right? >> we're saying that as a matter of interpretation of rfra, there is no substantial burden on the controlling shareholder officer based on the generally applicable regulation of the corporation. >> be as a reason there's no substantial burden in your view is because it's the corporation that has to implement the mandate? >> it's the corporation that has all of the obligations. it is not the personal
responsibility of, you know, mr. gilardi or the greens of the hah ns -- >> and that's regardless of what the religious tenet said. >> yes, so if you had -- >> so it doesn't matter that the religion says you can't, you can't excuse yourself from the violation of the moral code by claiming that it was the corporation that did it, not you. but that doesn't matter to the government. >> exactly. we are not asking the court to question that. and just one -- oh, i want to make sure i touch on strict scrutiny. >> even if they brought this suit as individuals, there still would not be substantial burden. did i -- >> yes. they are police officers in this case, and -- police plaintiffs s case, and we think the sixth circuit -- correct. there's neither standing, but -- >> i'm just trying to understand. you said just a moment ago that because it is the corporation who has all the burden of implementation, there's no
substantial burden on the gilardis. but you also said even if they brought it as individuals, you would argue, you would make all the same arguments. in other words, that there was no substantial burden. i just want to make sure -- >> that's exactly right. i understand they have brought -- >> okay. so on the one hand, it's because the corporation is doing all the implementation. but your argument that even if they brought it as individuals, there would be no burden, that's what i'm trying to understand. >> if the question is forget about the corporation and this were just a sole proprietor, the argument would still be that there's no violation, but the reasons would be different. you would then be dropping down to our other arguments, that this particular burden is too attenuated, and strict scrutiny is satisfied even if you were to get to strict scrutiny, and just to make sure i respond to the grandfathering argument. i mean, from my recollection of the survey of the 30-plus cases, to the extent district courts or the tenth circuit have ruled against us, it's been on the
basis really of the grandfathering provision, and we just think that's a fundamental misunderstanding of the grandfathering provision. >> i don't read your regs the way the plaintiffs have worded it. they claim that your regulations say that they go on indefinitely. that's not my understanding. >> well, it may be that we're saying the same thing in different ways. if you raise co-payments, raise deductibles, decrease employer contributions, materially reduce benefits, all the things plans do all the time, you lose grandfathering status. sometimes the term grandfathering means you're forever protected. this is not the sense in which the affordable care act is using grandfathering. if there are no further questions, thank you. >> briefly, your honors, what the government's argument in these cases comes down to is heads, the government wins, tails, the religious claimant always loses. this presents a situation that
the supreme court precedent that's the real background of rfra could not possibly countenance. so if you have a kosher deli owner who goes into business and decides i'm going to incorporate, and the law's passed requiring all food establishments to sell pork or some other violation of kosher regulations, no one could bring a rfra claim according to the government. if you have a sabbath observer who for sound business reasons decides to incorporate and the government to encourage economic growth requires all businesses having more than, say, two employees to be open seven days a week, no one could bring a rfra challenge there. >> i think you're really overstating. and, again, the supreme court has addressed this. to maintain an organized society requires that some religious practices yield to the common good. >> i agree. >> cases go on and on and on. it's just not a surprising
notion. we can't have people just announce, wait, i firmly and absolutely believe in x, and x happens to be inconsistent with the statute you just passed, and i really believe it strongly, and it comes from wherever the great leader is in this mar religious group -- particular group, and no one doubts they're sincere. that notion is not a viable notion. that's not the way we run it. >> judge, that's the employment of point very smith which rfra was enacted to overturn. >> rfra did not overturn lee. the principles in lee have been recited by supreme court over and over again. they are viable principles, and sometimes free exercise has to give way to the common good depending upon whether the government has shown there is a good -- >> when there's a compelling interest being -- i see that my time has exr expired. i'd like to thank the panel.
>> well, all eyes are looking at the possibility of a government shutdown set to start at bid night tonight. shortly, we will hear from several women democratic senators who will talk about the shutdown and how it will affect women's health care. that's due to begin at 11:30 eastern, we will have it live here on c-span2 2007 it gets underway -- when it gets underway. and a little later, the white house briefing that is supposed to start at 1 p.m. eastern, that will be live also here on c-span 2. ..
the washington region home of to the largest concentration of federal contractors of the nation could lose an estimated $200 million a day. they could see more than 700 million jobs take a financial hit if the federal government shuts down monday night according to a local economist predictions. that's not counting the blow to tourism. one of the region's economic mainstays is they national zoo, civil war battlefields and other federally funded attractions are shut. this is a serious. the national economy may not notice a shutdown much unless it last three or four weeks but to the washington area, this is a tsunami. >> congress -- chrisman chris van hollen was the featured
guest at today's christian monitor breakfast is. the potential for a government shutdown and the debt ceiling battle. "christian science monitor"'s david cook moderate the discussion to congressman and all in also took questions from reporters in attendance during this hour-long event. >> [inaudible conversations] >> how have you been? >> i've been good.
>> we're going to start. some of our colleagues will join us in progress as they say in television lead. our guest is congressman chris van hollen of maryland, ranking democrat on the house budget committee. this is his sixth visit to the breakfast grew. arkestra presents portions of maryland's frederick, montgomery and carroll county. he was born in pakistan, got his bachelor's degree from swath more of masters in publi public policy. he took his impressive resume to position a staff of the senate foreign relations committee. is elected to the house of delegates in 1990, maryland senate in 1994 and congress in 2002. in 2005 he became co-chair of the dccc working with rahm emanuel and was named chairman in 2007. in 2010 his democratic colleagues elected him a ranking member of the budget committee. the biographical portion of program, known to the riveting mechanicals. we are on the record here.
please, no live blogging or tweeting or other means of filing on the breakfast is underway. there's no embargo when the session ends except our friends at c-span have agreed not to air the session until one hour after the breakfast inns to give reporters in the room time to file. finally, if you'd like to ask questions in the subtle nonthreatening said no and i will call on window. will start off by offering the guest to make some opening comments and then we'll go to questions from around the table. thanks again for doing this. >> dave, thank you very much for inviting me. it's good to be back. thank you and the "christian science monitor" for hosting all of us. i thought i would make just a couple opening comments and then throw it open to questions. i'm pleased of bridget from my team joining us as well. i think it's really important that the public understand, i know everyone around this table understands, we could resolve this government shutdown issue today if the speaker would ally was to have a vote in the house of representatives on a clean,
continuing resolution to keep the government open. we have 435 members in the house, and i'm absolutely confident that if you were to allow the people's house to work its will, that we would be able to vote to keep the government operating for this period of time. i hope he does, but so far he's chosen not to allow that clean code going forward. so that's one thing that's important to keep in mind here. just a couple comments about the affordable care act which i don't think have gotten enough coverage, and i would urge all of you did it because it is the kind of thing that is not easily covered on some of the television programs, but i do think there are important points. one is the fact that the house republican budget relies on
major parts of the affordable care act to reach its claim of balance. this is a fact. right? they kept the medicare savings from the affordable care act in their budget. that's despite the fact that during the last presidential campaign both governor romney and vice president a candidate paul ryan said that those medicare savings would be the end of the medicare program, but they promptly turned around and included that in the house republican budget. they also included in their budget the exact same level of revenue that would come in as a result of the affordable care act. to the penny. now, they say they're going to raise that trillion dollars in revenue through other means, but they've never identified where they're going to get one dime of it. and yet they assume the same level of revenue. so again, republicans are going around the country complaining
about the revenues in the affordable care act when their budget presumes that level of revenue. and, in fact, their budget would not reach its claim of balance in 10 years but for the parts of the affordable care act, the parts of obamacare they include in their budget. so you just can't have it both ways. you can't, on the one hand, say you're getting rid of obamacare, at the same time claim that you have a budget that's imbalance e when the budget relies on major parts of the affordable care act. their budget has all sorts of other gimmicks in it, but this one goes to the heart of the debate we are having on the affordable care act. and i really think it's important the american public understand that fact. the other thing, and again, people around this table follow this issue closely so i wanted to raise this issue here. if you look at the republican
proposal to turn medicare into a premium support plan, voucher plan, whatever you want to call it, that proposal for medicare is virtually identical to the structure of the affordable care act. in other words, their -- they're proposing for people on medicare a plan that designed virtually like what they call the dreaded obamacare, right? take a look at their proposal. even call it a medicare exchange instead of a tax credit, which people will get everyone to go into the affordable care act exchange approach insurance. they're going to get people on medicare the equivalent of a voucher, print support, it will go directly to the insurance companies. and they set up an exchange, of private insurance companies. now, if you don't have insurance coverage today, if you are one of the millions of americans who
doesn't have medicare or doesn't have your employer providing coverage and you're out on the individual market, which has been a broken market, the affordable care act is a great step up. it will allow millions of americans to get more affordable care coverage. but if you're on medicare, which is a guaranteed coverage system right now in comprehensive care, then going to that kind of exchange is a step down. so what republicans are proposing their budget is for folks on medicare to go into a system that they describe as the dreaded obamacare, which would be a step down if you're guaranteed coverage under medicare. at the same time they are denying millions of americans a chance to get a step up to go on to the affordable care act. so i really hope that people will expose these two great contradictions in the republican positions on the affordable care act. because they really need to be
highlighted, and in my view, they have been largely ignored in the debate so far. with that -- >> to hear you describe it, i'm thinking that if i had to do that in 30 seconds each, how would i do it? so is a sort of a -- people hate obamacare, people hate obama, some people do, this is a more sort of -- your position is a more technical one instead of a harder sell, right? >> it is, which is why i'm appealing to -- [inaudible] >> keyboard trying to write about this because it's close to the core of the policy and philosophical debate. this is at the core of the philosophical debate, right? so you remember all those placards during the summer of 2011 that said keep the government off my medicare, right? and everybody around this table the recognizes that medicare is a single-payer program is a
government program. so one the one hand you had government off my medicare. republican singh keep the on the other hand, you had the same people saying that the affordable care act that obamacare was cold a government takeover of health care which, of course, turned them politifact lightyear in 2010. at the point is medicare of course is much more a government run program than the affordable care act, right? on the medicare is a single-payer program. the affordable care act is a marketplace exchange program, which is of course what republicans are proposing to turn medicare into. and what i'm saying is that easy of guaranteed coverage, the idea of getting some premium support that doesn't keep pace with rising health care costs, that's a bad deal.
but if your summary has no access to affordable care act right now, getting a tax credit in being able to go into a competitive exchange is a very good deal. republicans, on the one hand, are denying millions of americans access to the kind of program they are proposing for folks on medicare, and at the same time telling the folks on medicare, hey, guess what? you know, we're going to keep the government's hands off your medicare by turning medicare into something that's very close to obamacare. and i just think that irony has really not been communicated. i realize it's not a simple story, but it is one that goes to the heart of the philosophical issues spend one more push and then will move around the table for those who joined us in progress. if you want to ask a question, sending a signal and i'll call on you.
so let me ask you a political question. is what's going on now, in your view, likely to improve democratic on to taking house in 2014? or do you agree with charlie cook in his latest column in the "national journal" said in fact what it shaping up both sides are going to end up looking that? >> i think everybody looks bad when you have a government shutdown. i do think that for people who are really focused on the facts year, it's pretty clear -- the facts here, this whole episode is being driven by the hard right extreme tea party elements of the republican party. and we are seeing that play out in the house, where you know, senator cruz is essentially running the show in the house of representatives. and if the speaker boehner doesn't want to assert leadership, then he should go ahead and turn the gavel over
the speaker cruz, because that is what we are seeing in the house of representatives today. and it goes to the point i made, david, the outset, which is if we had a vote in the house of representatives today on the clean continuing resolution that's coming out of the senate to keep the government open, it would pass. it would pass. and so the only thing standing in the way of keeping the government open would be the refusal of the speaker to allow a vote on that issue. >> mike, go for it spent our democrats prepared to vote on a clean sure if it comes back over from the senate cleaned and john mayer syslog -- >> i can speak for myself, and the answer is for a short-term c.r. as it's coming out of the senate, the answer is yes with the understanding we would use this period of time to try to negotiate an end to this cluster
level of funding, which are eating away at the very important investments in the country, which the director the congressional budget office just told the budget committee this past week would result in 800,000 fewer jobs in this country between now and next year, and possibly as many as 1.2 million fewer jobs. so this question is having a drag on the economy. is a self-inflicted wound. we don't need. 800,000 jobs is about the job growth we've seen during the last four months. so you're talking about wiping out a quarter of figures job growth. more. and that is unacceptable to many of us when it's a self-inflicted wound. but to your point, we would use that period of time between now and november 15 to try to
replace the sequestered. and just be really clear and i think folks are in this table know this, in the house we, the democrats can have tried eight times down to get a vote on a proposal that i presented to replace the sequestered for fiscal year 2014 that would achieve actually more deficit reduction than the sequestered would. but it would accomplish the deficit reduction in a way that doesn't create a drag on the economy because it makes targeted cuts to agriculture subsidies and shuts down a lot of corporate tax breaks like the big oil companies subsidies over a period of time. unfortunately, we've not been allowed a vote on that in the house. we would want to use this period between october 1 and
november 15 to work on those kind of -- >> you've had stimulus our vote against a sequential occiio no matter if it shuts down the government. is there a sense that john boehner might be afraid to bring something to the floor because he's not going to b the democrac support he needs to get it passed? >> look, i can't speak for everybody at this particular point in time, but i think i can confident predict that if you put that on the floor of the house that it would, in fact, pass today. all the speaker has to do is try, right? all he has to do is put it up for a vote. if it failed he could say, look, there's some democrats that are voting against a clean c.r. but he refuses to do it because he knows it would pass. then he's going to have to take a lot of heat from his right wing tea party crowd, and that's why he hasn't done it.
>> caitlyn? >> where has paul ryan been at a lot of this? he's kind of quieted down a little bit. we will probably seem and the debt debate later on, but where do you think he is? >> i don't know. you're going to have you send out the posse around. look, i don't know. i think, as you say, he's been a part of the group that is behind the scenes, trying to put together a proposal to deal with the debt ceiling. i believe they called themselves the jedi council. we see it more as a darth vader group. and they've been apparently plotting for months to figure out what they're going to attach to the debt ceiling bill. i think everybody around this
table knows that speaker boehner had actually wanted to pass the baton on this issue from the c.r. to the debt ceiling debate, a lot of c.r. to pass, a clean c.r. to keep the government open, and then shift the debate including the debate on defunding obamacare to the debt ceiling. i should say that doubling down on that strategy on the debt ceiling is extremely dangerous to the country. a government shutdown is very bad for the country. not paying our bills on time would be even worse. it would create huge uncertainty throughout the economy, jack up interest rates and slow down the economy. and that's true come as soon as the united states stops paying the obligations that are due and owing. so this notion some of our republican colleagues have that
you can take some of your obligations and not others is a highly risky move. and as the director the congressional budget office testified against his last week in front of the budget committee, when you stopping any of your obligations, when the tiny government stops been any obligations that are due and owing, it injects a huge amount of risk into the economy and could put the entire economy on the skids. >> can you characterize the kidney tissue between speaker boehner and democratic leadership over the past appliques? are you all talking? and particularly, has the lead on at all if you are talking, about putting forth a short-term clean c.r.? is that even in backroom negotiation, something that you think you might be open to if you all had a conversation? >> well, we learned about what the speakers proposing through
their press releases. right now the answer is no. we have tried repeatedly to reach out. i said to paul ryan in a budget committee hearing just this week, you know, we are happy to sit down right now and, you know, talked to a lot of these issues. in fact, i pointed out we have been trying to do that for months to the budget negotiations process. and this is another point i think needs to be highlighted because of all this talk about the fact that the president doesn't want to talk to republicans and there are no negotiations. that's a bunch of nonsense. by law, the conference committee has exposed have wrapped up its work by april 15. you obviously can't have a conference committee report easy refused to name your conference committee negotiators. i introduced a resolution
calling upon the speaker to appoint conferees. we tried to get a vote on that resolution. the speaker has absolutely refused to the point negotiators to resolve these budget issues. in the senate, senator reid has tried on multiple occasions to try to get consent to the point budget conferees. senator lee and others have blocked it. senator mccain calls kanye, senator lee's blocking of conferees quote him saying, right? because what have republicans been asking for over these last is? they've been asking for the senate to pass a budget. so the senate passed a budget. the house has a budget. next step is to go to conference to work out those issues. i mean, they made a big deal about no budget no pay. but it turned out that they had their fingers crossed behind their backs. they only met apparently the house has to pass a budget and distant has to pass a budget
will all know it's kind of meaningless unless you have a federal government budget. and so we aren't where we are today. and this is been part of a very deliberate strategy. not to go to negotiations on the budget where you would have to compromise, but instead to bring the country right to the cliff, whether it's on government shutdown or whether it's on the debt ceiling, thinking that that would enhance their leverage. but as we are seeing, you know, it's just not going to happen where you're going to threaten the default of the country, going to threaten the shutdown in order to nullify the affordable care act. and so that's, that's where we are today. >> well, two questions. [inaudible] -- with a review or diminution of the medical device tax? >> no. and i will tell you why. that adds to the deficit.
that adds to the deficit. it makes the deficit worse by $30 billion. if the republicans are serious, he should come up with a proposal to come up with the $30 billion revenue loss. as i pointed out in my earlier comments, it also contradicts the republican budget. the republican budget assumes that $30 billion, right? it assumes every penny of revenue flowing in from the affordable care act. again, they pretend that that's not come yet, they don't identify the sources of the revenue, but their budget only bounces because they assume the same level of revenue. so my point is, look, don't go parading around the country talking about the dangers of deficits and then put something before the congress that actually increases the deficit. >> the last time we came up to the president's and vice president biden up to the hill
to talk to senator mcconnell. senator mcconnell may not be available this month. is it time, is it time for the president to send joe biden up to hill again? if so, who would be logical -- who would be logical interlocutor be? >> things have changed. i was a part of the biden talks that preceded that action between the vice president and senator mcconnell. but that's exactly what we've been asking for in terms of these budget negotiations. we've been wanting to have a budget negotiation. and republicans said no because they pursue this cat killers strategy to drive us to bring. -- this calculus strategy to drive to the brink. they thought they would have more and leveraged but the other reason they did is because speaker boehner cannot tell you day today what the position of his caucus is. how can you negotiate with somebody who has no negotiating authority? how can you negotiate with
somebody who can't make a deal because if they ever make a deal they have to run back to caucus and the caucus the those their decision? which is why i said santa cruz is running the show now. i mean, it is time for the speaker to make a decision. either he should step aside for senator cruz, or he should exert some leadership. because it's enough. it really is time for him to say enough is enough, put this up for a vote. so in terms of negotiation, i need to make really clear, we want to have a negotiation on the budget. we welcome a negotiation on the budget. we've been trying to discuss where we can make additional cuts to do with a long-term deficit and where we can deal with the revenue side. i personally believe that the
overall framework established by groups like simpson-bowles and rivlin-domenici is the way to go. not every specific proposal by the overall framework. republicans have rejected a bipartisan framework, because it requires conferees, especially with respect to the revenue peace. and so they have not wanted to talk about the long-term deficit issue. and so i do need to make this distinction with respect to the debt ceiling between communist, in the past certain severely negotiated agreements getting attached to the debt ceiling, and the debt ceiling itself being used as a bargaining chip. what the republican position is is the following. but the republicans are going to give in this negotiation is there going to vote to allow the united states to pay its bills on time, right? that's their concession. they're going to make sure that we don't default. in exchange for that they want the democrats to accept the radical budget agenda.
they have the kitchen sink that they threw into their proposal. that's not how it works. we believe we all have a responsibility to pay the country's bills on time. as you know, congress has voted to occur all this obligation in the past. but we do want to separately sit down and negotiate a budget. we've been trying to do. we been trying to get the budget conference committee appointed as a block that as well. >> i have two questions so forgive me if this is been asked before. do you think that a shutdown of, however long, makes the debt ceiling reach more or less likely? second question is a different version do i know you said you wouldn't vote for sco with suspension of a medical device tax on it but do you still see the in the in as a possible area of compromise since it's already
so unpopular with democrats and so me with you in the senate? >> so, on first issue, i know there are sort of two theories. one series is this tea party obsession with defunding obamacare will play itself out on the seer, kind of burn itself out. and, therefore, we won't have to deal with it with that particular aspect of this debate on the debt ceiling. i fear the opposite is true. i fear that because it's not going to be resolved here on the affordable care act comics you cannot resolve here on the continuing resolution, a lot of these tea party republicans are going to double down on trying to defund obamacare on the debt ceiling, which goes from a really risky and irresponsible move to a downright dangerous
move with respect to the full faith and credit of the united states. so that's the way i see this playing out right now. hope i'm wrong about that. with respect to the medical device tax, again, if you want to make tax policy, or if you want to amend the affordable care act, you just got to do it through the regular order, which, in fact, is what speaker boehner called for at the beginning of this year. i would encourage everybody to go back, you all reported on this, at the beginning of this year, it was speaker boehner who said, whose of folks said he did want to have one on one negotiations with the president anymore. they made a big deal about how they're going to go back to the regular order in the house of representatives and the congress, that we're going to pass budgets. they did pass a budget and the senate passed a budget and then
they blocked the appointment of negotiators. so look, i think that we've got to get back to a place where you don't try and use the threat of government shutdown to make demands on tax policy or unrelated issues like the affordable care act. spin we are going to go next to warren -- [inaudible]. >> i want to ask you, you mentioned this earlier but what -- [inaudible] while the house of representatives was kind of hashing this out try to come to the table with something a little different, even though it looks pretty much the same as what they had last week? how have the president has begun so far on these issues? >> well, just to go back to beginning of this year, which is
when the republican strategy was developed. speakers, folks said they were not tired of negotiation with the white house because in the last negotiation, what happened, the speaker negotiate a proposal at the white house but he brought it back to the capitol hill and its own republican caucus rejected it. then he came up with his own tax proposal. this was the speaker, and they rejected the one he came up with just by himself. not to be negotiate with the president. and so they moved to a totally different model, and their model was supposedly going through the regular order. the problem is the regular order requires you to compromise. they've got a tea party element to the caucus that absolutely refuses to compromise. you asked why we hadn't seen a lot of paul ryan. if you give to a budget negotiation, ma it requires give
and take. it requires compromise. they would have the same problem speaker boehner has gotten which is anything they agree to would be subject to veto by the caucus along as you about that tea party wing of the caucus to veto commonsense compromise. and so that's where we are. so low, i think what the president is doing is, you know, laying out very clearly the steps that he is trying to take, but we are now at an impasse they can only be resolved by speaker boehner finally saying to the extreme element of his caucus, enough is enough, you know. it's one thing if they're just damaging the republican party but they're now doing great damage to the country. i don't don't think the country should be the victim of this republican civil war. >> paul? >> let me take you back up there.
what you think speaker boehner can do with the growing conservative tea party caucus where do you feel sorry for him? because of what he has to work with, or do you think he will -- [inaudible] >> i think it's more and more the latter. i think this is the time when the speaker has got to step up and exert some leadership. because what's happened is, at every juncture when he's had to either exert leadership or kowtow to the far right, he's ended up throwing a bone to the far right. it's really just fed the beast. he has been feeding the beast all along here. and let's take, for example, the cell issue of the continuing resolution, right? he didn't want to fight this battle over the affordable care act on the continuing
resolution. but what was his proposal? his proposal was to fight it on the debt ceiling bill, which will be even more catastrophic than a government shutdown. now i think he's going to get both the i think he's going to get both from his caucus. so look, it's what i said at the beginning. i mean, we have moved from a place where the speaker was i assume trying to lead his caucus as a group. but what he's done is given control over to the most right wing faction. and it is absolutely true that speaker -- speaker. senator cruz is dictating policy in the house of representatives today. >> he demands with the original for. isn't that essentially putting his head on the chopping block and eliminating his future as
speaker? >> in the house was have to look at what is the alternative. i'm not sure who the alternative in the house to speaker boehner should be. so you know, he should take some confidence, take some risks for the good of the country. at this point in time. instead of, you know, reinforcing the worst instincts of the most extreme parts of his caucus, which is the playbook is followed so far. thinking i believe that somehow if you feed the beast, at some point they will be satisfied. but the opposite is true, you know? it's constantly snowballing effect. >> congressman, i had a question about sort of the government by crisis we've seen over the past several years, maybe going i guess probably back to '08.
you were in congress for several years before that. have you seen any ways in which this governments crisis has change congress, change the way it's worked? change the way you do your job? i'm curious about the longer-term, maybe even structural impact of that. >> yeah, i think, you know, this is going to be a period of time that historians look to as sort of certainly a change in course. and the only question is whether this will be temporary or a more permanent condition. god help us if this is a more permanent condition. but look, i mean, we're all familiar with the analyses that have been done by scholars have tried to take a step back and look at the situation. you've got norm augustine and thomas mann with their book.
it's even worse than you think. these are guys who have been, you know, scholars of the congress. they try and take a step back and look at what we going to in this period, and the argument is that right now you do have this very extreme right wing tea party faction that is uncompromising and, you know, refuses to try and negotiate these differences for the good of the country. so i think it's too early historically to really answer you question whether this is kind of a permanent condition. it would be very dangerous for the country if this is a permanent condition. because as you know with our system of separation of powers, it requires, especially during these areas a divided government that there be compromised.
in fact, caught must is the only thing that stands between a country that works and dysfunctional government in areas of divided government. >> the way you do your job when you come to work is all that different from what it was before you got into this period of crisis? >> well, it is different. i'm sorry, in the sense that the common you know, in earlier periods there was always a lot of back and forth, always a lot of to and fro. always a clash of ideas, but what's different now is this totally uncompromising attitude and, therefore, willing to shut down the government or risk defaulting on our obligations in order to achieve our radical agenda, or any agenda, to use
those tactics in an uncompromising way. that is different. that is different than it was in earlier years, even under -- when i was first elected, the republicans were charged -- were in charge of the house but it was a hard-fought, i make him issues for hard-fought. but you didn't see this kind of effect. of course, at that point in time we also had republican president in the white house and a republican congress but and, of course, in 2008-2010 you had a democrat in the white house. your democrats on the hill. we achieved a lot. there's obviously controversy with respect to some of those policies. .com you know, the system worked. there were lots of outcomes come system produced when you have a republican in the white house and a republican congress, you know, that i might not have liked. but at least it to function in a
messy but real way. now it's just moved towards dysfunction. >> mr. watzman? >> you are a very loyal democrat but you're also one of the likely members of your party to engage the other side. have you had a conversation where a republican counterpart has been a particularly eliminating lately quick said he spoke with anyone that admits privately to you that the party is drinking hemlock and not just key? would you characterize it as this may or are you only encountering bravado? >> well, i would say it's a mixture. but mostly in terms of conversations that are off-line with republican house members, you do get a lot of dismay about the way that republican caucus has been handling these issues. on the other hand, i should say
those same members who are unhappy with the fact that you've got this tea party wing running the show are not publicly standing up to the same people they are privately complaining out a 10 about -- complaining about. use our republican senators standing up to the tea party crowd, right? i mean coming you had, you know, obviously senator mccain said that this approach they are taking was irrational to you had senator byrd from north to let's say this was the dumbest idea he'd ever heard of, the idea they're going to shut down the, at her to shut down the affordable care act. senator corker got up on the floor of the senate. you're seeing that in the senate year you don't see the canals to give people privately complaining, but you don't see
the more, you know, the right but not the far right standing up. you don't see the right standing up to the far right in the hou house. and that i should is reflected in the legislation. s's look at the senate. the senate has produced a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill. the senate has produced a bipartisan farm bill. both those bills would pass today on the floor of how xavier put up for a vote. both of them. you'd have the majority of the house of representatives vote for the competence of immigration ballot came out of the senate and the bipartisan farm bill that came out of the senate, both of them. just like you get to vote on the continuing resolution that came out of senate. it would also get a majority in the house today. so in the senate, you know, as a house member, it hurts me to say this, but at least they are
productive. i mean, it's messy but they are producing bipartisan legislati legislation. in the house, it's totally dysfunctional, and those house members are not standing up to the far right ideologues. [inaudible] spent fuel, if your speaker is not willing to lead it's hard for your rank and file members to lead spent with about 18 minutes left. we will go to gym and then james, paul, jeff, and jonathan. >> congressman, you talked about ultimate getting back to budget negotiations but we've seen how that movie ends before. it seems that the issue of revenue is that redline. nobody seems to be able to cross that. the president couldn't cross it with his new dinner guests, most reflate those talks fell apart.
republicans keep saying you've got your 600 billion with negotiations at the end of the year last year. can democrats drop the revenue issue and find another negotiating point at all in these talks? >> the issue has always been how do you achieve long-term deficit reduction, right? when bipartisan groups like simpson-bowles looked at that, they concluded that the only way to get there without doing violence to important investments or without reneging on important commitments to seniors with medicare and social security was to take a balanced approach. not that those programs couldn't be reforme reform but and i seee affordable care act actually made significant change in medicare, which i mentioned earlier in which republicans included in their budget.
but that if you don't have any additional revenue that you're really do violence to other things, and that's what all those groups propose revenue. so we have put forward a plan that includes that balanced approach is that the president and we don't think that you can achieve long-term deficit reduction through additional cuts alone. it is important that everybody remember, i know everyone here does, but it's important that the public remember, that the budget control act in 2011 cuts $1.2 trillion from discretionary spending. that's apart from this question. that's totally distinct from this question, $1.2 trillion by lacing spending caps on growth. so that was part of the budget control act, okay? the sequester, of course add another $1.2 trillion in these very deep immediate
across-the-board cuts which are placing a drag on the economy. so what we've proposed is let's replace that sequester with a balanced approach. in the house, the republicans did not come up with any alternative in this congress to replacing the sequester. so we haven't had one vote in this session of congress to replace the sequester. we've tried to get a vote a times on our planet but we haven't gotten one. so you know, we believe that if you look at the tax side of the code, there are lots of these as you know tax expenditures. there are tax breaks in the code, which are the flipside of spending. i me, its spending through the tax code when you provide special interests a break, or when you get a larger deduction or exemption to the very high income folks. and in the congressional budget report that was issued a couple months ago, they showed that 17%
of the tax expenditure benefit went to people earning over $1 million. and that's about, it's a very small percentage of population in less than 1%. about 17% of the benefits of the top deductions and expenditures go to the top 1%. we think it needs to be a part of the conversation. >> james? >> you talked about the effect in d.c., a lot of federal workers. what's the level of kind of morale in the federal workforce especially given the sequester is already furloughed some people over the summer, and now you're facing, you know, another set of even deeper furloughs and shutdown what does it mean for risking be able to retain talent? what's the long-term damage to? i think there's a lot of damage
that is being done. because as you say, this is really a double whammy for federal employees. they are already facing the furloughs from the sequester, and now they are facing under this continuing resolution a continuation of sequester level budget. let me take a detour here because, you know, a lot of people don't realize, this goes to question earlier, democrats think the sequester level of funding is irresponsible. it's eating away it's important investments with its international institutes of health, whether it's trying to provide support for people are trying to clear their new prescription drugs and medicines or medical devices to the fda. all sorts of areas of government, you even read a lot about the fbi, the new director of the fbi has been actually
astounded at the negative impact the sequester is having. so you have that sequester and you've got the prospect at least in the short term of those sequester level funding levels continuing. and then on top of that you've got the government shut down. so it's having a very demoralizing impact on the federal workforce. these are folks who go to work every day to serve their country. and on top of that if you look at previous, if you look at the republican budget, their budget proposes to effectively cut federal employee pay by another 5%. cut, right? federal employees has been frozen for three years now. but they are now proposing to cut it by 5% indirectly by requiring a much larger federal employee contribution to their pensions.
but that conservation would come right out of your paycheck. so effectively it's a 5% cut. so yes, i mean, federal employees have been, have been asked to bear the burden of this battle. and it's totally unfair. but beyond being unfair it hurts the country because the country does depend on the good work of federal employees to provide essential service. i worry that is doing long-term damage to the federal workforce. >> some fda or nih employees -- [inaudible] >> yes. people are understandably upset about the fact that, you know, they live under a cloud of uncertainty, you know. their pay is effectively cut when they are furloughed.
and so the answer is yes, but it's having a very corrosive affect on the federal workforce. at a time when we need to be encouraging morgan people to participate in public service. >> congressman, back in 2008 there was a lot of tea party fervor, republican spending cuts in chafer c.r.s when they got the ca in exchange for a dozen entries. there's a lot of tea party fervor now but they're having trouble getting everyone. how have the political dynamics changed? >> they have changed in a couple ways. one is that if you go back to the budget control act period of time, it was just after the tea party crowd had one in the 2010 elections. so the dynamics were different.
they won a large number of seats and came income as you say, with a lot of fervor. and at that time their focus was primarily on his deficit reduction peace, right? and so in the budget control act, if you look at the provisions that were included, they were focused on reducing the deficit. two things have changed. one is we've had a presidential election since then, right? and i know our republican colleagues can't get used to it but the president won convincingly. and he won running on issues that are being debated in the congress right now, including implications of the affordable care act, a heavily litigated issue. of course, the irony was always that the affordable care act is modeled after romneycare, but anyway, was a very heavily
litigated issue in the election, as were these others. so that's obviously change the dynamic. and so for republicans to go back and now say that they want to notify the affordable care act when not only has it passed, signed by the president and upheld by the supreme court, it's a different dynamic. that's number one. number two, you should never hold the debt ceiling hostage. but once particularly kind of wild, in fact their demands this time are totally detached from the issue of long-term deficit reduction but, in fact, it to repeal the affordable care act, you increase the deficit. that's what the director of the congressional budget office told every member of the budget committee this past week it again, he reaffirmed the fact that repealing the affordable care act increases the deficit.
so you have to explain to me the logic of demanding to attach something to the debt ceiling bill that increases the debt. and again, republicans are just trying use this as a vehicle to get their whole grab bag of demand but as you know, they had a discussion in the caucus about trying to add the whole question of prohibiting abortion to the debt ceiling bill. that's the kind of conversation that they're having in their caucus. and so those are at least two things that are changed. >> chuck? >> [inaudible] a short-term c.r. clinging to keep this open. would you support like a one week plan or by short-term, beaming through like november 15? and second, why do you think the republicans wouldn't pay a price in a midterm electric? the midterm electric in 2014
will be a lot smaller. will they pay a price, do you think? >> a couple things. first on the shor short-term. as i said, i personally would support the c.r. at these levels. in order to use that time to try to come up with a replacement to in the sequester. look, my view is we should be working to do anything we can to avert a shutdown to get someone's to propose an even shorter duration in order to negotiate, that something i'm certainly open to. i don't think it resolves the speakers challenge, which is making the fundamental decision about whether he will stand up to the tea party extremists. but if you want another week to do that, that would be fine. i don't think that week buys us anything myself. in terms of the midterms, look,
you've got a lot of republicans out there in the country who are looking at what's happening in the republican party, and shaking their heads. i was asked the question about whether or not you've got members of the house republican caucus complaining about the direction the republican caucus is taking. and the answer is yes, they are doing it quietly, but republicans out in the country are not doing it quietly. they are expressing a lot of anxiety toward the fact that the party is taken this hard right uncompromising term. and so to the extent that modern republicans are even more, you know, independence, are going to be voting in the midterms, that could have a significant impact. after all, in the 2010 election come in addition to getting a very high turnout of the republican base, the republicans
also won the independent vote, convincingly. i think, i mean, they are losing that boat by the day. as you know, that's even with the correction we've seen where a lot of people who used to identify, a lot of people use to identify themselves as independent. but you're still going to see a turn and that. because this is such again, it's about among the republican party but in my view, as comical have that fight somewhere else where it's not going to damage the country. because right now the country is a victim of this republican civil war. ..
>> i think in this case in the reward should be you're doing something good for the country. now, i mean, and frankly, i mean, far be it from me to give the speaker advice, but certainly something that's good for the national republican party, if not for republicans in the specific districts. look, that's a hypothetical. you're talking about if they were to oust him, and you were going to have a vote for a new speaker or election for speaker,
yeah. >> [inaudible] presumably democratic votes -- [inaudible] >> i think let's just see what the future brings here. i mean, i think that right now the question's going to be whether or not, whether or not he wants to make that fundamental decision. let me put it in this way, if the speaker wanted to have conversations with any democrat, you know, we're happy to -- i mean, our candidate is our, is the leader, the democratic leader in the house. and, you know, if he wants to ask the democratic leader if she would provide some support to him under the current configuration, we're happy -- it would be the first sort of overture we've seen or heard from the speaker in a long time, but we're happy to listen.
>> in the first place. as i said, the way to do that is to allow a vote in the house of representatives today. because once the, you know, once you go down this road, it's not clear how it comes to an end. so let's not head down this road. >> jonathan, last question. >> you mentioned that doug elmendorf said repealing the aca
would actually raise the deficit, the budget deficit. i was talking to paul ryan who seems to think there was some bank so the here, that this whole crisis will bring you back to the table for serious budget negotiations. is there any kind of budget negotiations going on? is deficit reduction at all part of this equation anymore? >> well, i think as i mentioned earlier, we've been trying for months and months to have budget negotiations. >> [inaudible] paul ryan about getting to the table now? >> yes. the answer's yes. we had a hearing last week and, you know, i once again said we should get talking about these issues. but we haven't seen any response from our republican colleagues on that. i'm happy to sit down and talk about the long-term budget issues, the immediate budget issues anytime. we've been trying -- but, you
know, jonathan, we have been trying to do that. we've been trying to get a conference committee going, and if they don't -- since april 15th. they've refused at every turn. i mean, they -- i introduced a resolution calling on the speaker to appoint conferees. they shot it down. they shot down efforts in the senate to appoint conferees. i mean, that's the forum for resolving these issues. and, you know, it's interesting to hear our republican colleagues say that we need a budget framework. we've been trying to get a budget framework for not just six months, we've been trying to get a budget framework for years. that's been the conversation all along. a budget framework would look very much like a bipartisan, one of the bipartisan commission frameworks at least in the structure, right? you take a balanced approach, and you'd have to deal with these things. but they refuse to deal with that. they've refused to deal with any revenue even as part of a
long-term deficit reduction plan. >> thank you. >> but, again, the invitation is -- we're happy to sit down with our republican colleagues anytime. we've been trying to do it for months. >> thanks so much, sir. >> thank you. >> appreciate it. >> thank you. thank you, all. [inaudible conversations] from and that was from earlier today, ranking member of the house budget committee, chris van hollen. and some of the talk about the government set to shut down tonight at midnight if no agreement is reached by congress on funding, take a look at some tweets from viewers.
>> and nbc's frank thorpe also tweets some news out this morning. house republicans will meet at 2:00 eastern. they'll be discussing a possible way forward. and just a few minutes ago california democratic senator barbara boxer said that majority leader harry reid has indicated he's going to treat the funding bill for the house the same way that they did with the last one, stripping it of provisions that would delay the health care law for a year. they're going to send back to the house a clean continuing resolution. you can expect lots of questions about looming government shutdown at today's white house briefing with jay carney. that's scheduled to start at 1:00 eastern time. we're going to have that live on our companion network, c-span. and looking at capitol hill, the house in the past weekend, they passed a temporary
government funding bill that would delay implementation of the health care law for one year. members gaveled in this morning in the house for legislative business, now they're waiting for the senate to act on that measure. you can watch the house live on c-span and the senate set to return at 2:00 eastern time for general speeches. at some point they're going to consider a pair of judicial nominations, and then they're also expected to take up the house-amended bill to fund the government and a separate pill to pay for the military -- separate bill to pay for the military in case of a shutdown. you can watch full gavel-to-gavel coverage of the senate live right here on c-span2. >> well, the u.s. chief information officer wears a few hats. one is, sets the budget for the technology spend of the executive branch. and so it covers all the agencies of government and the department of defense to think about and formulate the president's budget every year and do that. the second thing is through the e-government act that we have in
the u.s., the u.s. chief information officer has the ability to set policy, statutory authority to set policy government wide. so thinking about, you know, a visionary view of technology use in government and driving that forward as part of the, what we do. and then the third -- and this is really under this administration -- the u.s. chief information officer, a title and role created by president obama, acts as an adviser to the president and the administration on the use of technology, the smart spend on technology driving both efficiency and effectiveness of technology in the 21st century government. >> the federal government's digital strategy tonight on "the communicators" at 8 eastern on c-span2. >> usually during speeches warren would stand in the middle here on the steps, the top step, florence right beside him. this was a perfect backdrop for
the campaign. not only did it show the human side of the hardings, the fact that they did not live in a mansion, they lived in a very normal house like most of the folks coming to see him speak. florence was very much a part of this message. she was a very visible part of this campaign. she was always near him on the front porch when he was speaking. she gave interviews herself to magazines, especially women's magazines. she alternateed between being the savvy politician to being the home body, the wife, the caretaker of the candidate. so she knew how politics worked. >> meet first lady florence harding tonight life at 9 eastern on c-span and c-span3, also on c-span radio and c-span.org. >> former vice president al gore
was in washington, d.c. last week talking about government funding and the gop's strategy which he calls political terrorism. he talks about the impact of a shutdown on the global economy and the progress on health care in the u.s. his remarks were about an hour and ten minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> good morning, everyone. welcome to brookings. and welcome to our c-span audience and to our webcast audience. please note that the hash tag for this event is cepm. my name is elaine, i'm senior fellow here at brookings, and i'm pleased to be announcing the opening of brookings' newest center, the center for effective public management. so allow me for a moment to talk
about our vision for this center. i don't need to tell you that things aren't going so well in washington these days. [laughter] indeed, we opened this center on the eve of a goth -- government shutdown. how fitting. in fact, if you are out and about on the streets of washington today, you may notice that people seem a little unusually depressed or anxious. in fact, if i owned a bar, i'd call in extra help for tonight. [laughter] and that's because yesterday agencies issued their shutdown instructions to the staff, and some one million people were told that they were nonessential employees. as you can imagine, that's quite a blow to one's ego. all many all, a pretty tough message -- all in all, a pretty tough message to get. so let me tell you briefly what i hope we can accomplish at this center. when washington works, it works
because politicians ask their appointees bring new energy and new ideas to town. when it works, it works because they confront the experienced members of the permanent government, the civil servants who know a thing or two about how to make the place work. the result is a dynamic tension between change and stability. this has been the hallmark of our government and, in fact, it is the hallmark of all successful modern democracies. but these are troubled times for america's leaders, political as well as civil servants. when washington doesn't work, the politicians can't manage to put their country above their interests and their ideologies. as everything gets politicized, the civil servants move into the defensive crouch, afraid to stick their heads up lest they get shot off. as we've seen, progress stops on all fronts from big picture items like the need more
immigration reform -- need for immigration reform or the need to cope with climate change to the need for technical amendments to the affordable care act, something that in more normal times would have been passed without notice but that in these polarized times can't even be introduced to the congress. at this center we will deal with both politics and government, making it a little different from undertakings in the past with similar names. we will focus on political reforms that can help create morefective leadership by getting -- more effective leadership by getting to the roots of our political dysfunction. we will look at the future of federalism in the united states and ask maybe if the states shouldn't come back to their rightful place as laboratories of democracy. we will try to understand what happens to regulation in a government, in an era where the change so rapid and technological and scientific
change so rapid. we will try to foster a pitter of innovation -- a spirit of innovation in government through our new blog, fixgov, and we will look at the current state of capitalism and ask if perhaps it could be structured in a more sustainable way, through our corporate purpose project. all of this is geared towards making both parts of the government -- the political and the career -- more able to engage in what my friend and former colleague leon firth has called anticipatory governance. in today's government about the only thing we can anticipate is gridlock. certainly, the most prosperous and powerful nation in the world can do better. i'd like now to introduce an old friend, david rubenstein. david is co-founder and co-chief executive of the carlyle group. prior to forming the firm in 1987, david practiced law in washington d.c.
i got to know him when, from 1997 to 1981 during the carter administration, david was deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy. before that he served as chief counsel to the u.s. senate judiciary committee's subcommittee on constitutional amendments, and before that he practiced law in new york city. david is a magna cum laude graduate of duke university. following duke, he attended the university of chicago law school. among his many philanthropic endeavors, david is the chairman of the john f. kennedy center for the performing arts, a regent of the smithsonian institution, president of the economic club of washington and on the board of trustees of duke university and vice chair here at the brookings institution and also vice chair of the could col on foreign relations. in fact, every time i turn
around i find another example of david's generosity. one of our buildings at the kennedy school at harvard where i came from is the david m. rubenstein building. and last week we had a birthday party for my grandson, vincent, at the zoo, and there it turns out that the panda pavilion exists courtesy of, you've got it, david rubenstein. [laughter] david, if i was one of your children, i'd be seriously concerned about this tendency of yours to give money away. [laughter] back in the carter administration david was famous for long hours in the white house and for eating dinner from the vending machines in the basement of the white house. i had the dubious distinction of writing the 1980 democratic party platform, and so some years ago i spent long hours at the white house with david and alice who was later to become his wife. david, had i known then how much money you'd have to give away, i
would have cooked you homemade lasagna and brought it to the white house. [laughter] anyways, before david comes up here to introduce former vice president gore, i'd like to remind the audience the hash tag for the event is there for both our virtual audience and our audience in the room, and also there are note cards on each seat for your questions for vice president gore. as he's speaking, our staff members will be coming around to collect them so we can take some q&a at the end of the vice president's presentation. thank you very much for being with us. david? [applause] >> thank you very much, elaine. it was nearly 100 years ago that robert brookings decided that government could be managed somewhat more effectively than it was being managed, and he put up some money, modest in those days -- or by today's standard
certainly modest -- to put together some institutes that would study how government could be made more effective. ultimately, these came together in 1916 as the brookings institution. it's altogether fitting that as we get close to celebrating the 100th anniversary of brookings, we are, in effect, returning to our roots a bit by creating this center, because this center will help us study even more intensely than we do today how we can make our government work much better. and it's, of course, altogether fitting that the person who's going to kick off this center with his speech today is al gore who, among other things, when he was vice president of the united states -- our 45th vice president -- he led the reinventing of government project. and that effort really did many things to make our government more effective and more efficient, and i wish today that the government was effective and as efficient as we would like it to be. but many of the things that al gore put into place and recommended to president clinton did come to be and are now some of the things that we are fortunate to have with us.
it was years ago that another group of people began to think about reinventing government. it was last week, 226 years ago that a number of individuals, 55 of them, came together in philadelphia and said let's reinvent the government we have. and they took the articles of confederation government and tore it up and came up with this incredible document called the u.s. constitution. now, it wasn't a perfect document, and it didn't create a perfect government. but it did do more than any other government in history to come together in a democratic form and a government which has lasted for some 200 years. so think about that. over 200 years ago people came together, they spent about three months working on how a government should be structured, and they came up with a system that wasn't perfect. and as we are reminded by elaine and we know today, we see the imperfections of our system every day now on capitol hill. however, with the exception of some amendments we've had to make that system better, we have, in effect, put together a
government that is as effective as any in the world's history. and it's a government that, i think, has its imperfections, but it can be improved upon, and it should be improved upon. had he been around about 260 years ago or so and been of age, i think our guest today would have been a founding father. [laughter] because he, to doubt, would have been invited to that constitutional convention. he had the intelligence, he had the drive, he had the commitment to make the world a better place, and he had the ability to really work effectively with other people. it is to our great regret that he was not a founding father. one of the reasons for that is that, no doubt, he would have been prescient enough had he been involved in those days to recommend that as part of the government we might have direct election of the president. [laughter] [applause]
but he wasn't around then, and so we have a different system, and perhaps we can study whether direct election of the president would make the government more effective. you never know. i do think, though, that our country owes al gore two great favors, because while he was born much later than he might have been born to be a founding father, there are two things i really want to cite right now as why i think our country is in his debt. first, when that famous election happened in the year 2000, it was, obviously, a very complicated, difficult situation for our country. and it's not clear that other individuals or other governments would have acted the same way. i know had i been in the situation that al gore faced himself, i wouldn't have handled myself nearly as well as he did. he recognized, though, that the most important thing in this country is the rule of law. and while the system may not have been perfect and maybe the government didn't work as well as we would all like, it was
important that everybody recognized the rule of law prevails. and so al gore did what i think every great citizen should do, recognized that the rule of law is more important than anybody's individual ambitions and anybody's individual plans. and so he basically said i think the system should work, it isn't working as well as i think it should, but we should let the system work. and he, in effect, left town, let his successor do what he wanted to do, and he basically did not disrupt that government. and i think that's a very important thing. while we all may have had disagreements with what happened in that administration, there's no doubt that allowing the rule of law to prevail is an important thing x i think it's set a lesson for people all over the world. and for that in letting the rule of law prevail, i think that's a are important thing that al gore did for our country. and when he left washington to return to his native tennessee, what did he do? he reinvented himself. what he decided to do was to pursue what i consider the highest calling of mankind, private equity. [laughter]
much more successfully, much more successfully than many people who have left government, he basically returned to the private sector and showed that that after government service you can do very useful things in the private sector, and he's done an incredible job of building a number of companies which have been quite success. but he did one other thing that i think puts us all in his debt, and it's this: and it may be something more significant than anything any of us have ever done or anybody in this city has done or will do, he basically made it clear to people that we have a problem with the way our globe is working. there is a problem with climate. and against great odds and against derision at times, he said, no, we have to recognize that the world is warming up, and there has to be something done about it. and while we might not be able in our lifetime to really have dramatic effects on climate change, we have to begin now. and although he was criticized by many people and is still
criticized by many people for what he has done, the truth is the world has recognized in the form of a nobel prize that what he did was a great thing for humanity. and so when history is written, people will say who changed the world the most in the lifetime in which we all live, and there will be many people who will be given that potential honor, but i think nobody is likely to receive that honor more than al gore because al gore really stepped up and said the world has to do something about this global problem. it's not just a national problem, a global problem. and every government has to reinvent itself to make sure that it's doing something to conquer and challenge the problems of global change, global climate change. and, therefore, i hope very much people recognize that when they hear al gore today, they're seeing a man who not only did something great for our country -- which is to recognize the rule of law, but he's done something great for the world which is to say we have to attack this most important problem, global climate change.
and, therefore, we all are very honored that he's come today to kick off this center, and we're all very honored that he's done the things that he's done in his life, and he has reinvented himself and helped to reinvent our government, and now i hope he can help to reinvent brooks. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, david. thank you very much. i really appreciate that. thank you very much. thank you very much. thank you, ladies and gentlemen. i'm very -- thank you very much. i appreciate the warm welcome. and, david, thank you for that over the-the-top introduction. i cannot remember who deserves credit for first using this old line -- i'm sure you've all heard it, but my father would have enjoyed that, my mother would have believed it. [laughter] i really appreciate it.
and your comments about the election, you know, my attitude is you win some, you lose some, and then there's that little known third category -- [laughter] and as for how to react to it, i did actually study the work of the founding fathers in some detail during those days, and i confirmed to my worry that actually in our system there is no intermediate step between a final supreme court decision and violent revolution. [laughter] and given those options -- [laughter] i basically did only what the american people are credited for doing by famously by winston churchill, they generally do the right thing after first
exhausting every available alternative. [laughter] and, of course, we are here today at a moment when we are exhausting a lot of alternatives to keeping the government running. but, david, thank you for your kindness and for your generosity and leadership in so many spheres of our life together. i'm going to -- i want to also acknowledge daryl west, vice president of governance studies here at brookings, and i'm going to get to elaine in just a moment and talk about this important few center. new center. but i also want to acknowledge one of the, one of your, one of the board members here at brookings, my friend and longtime business partner joel hyatt who as some of you have heard me say on many occasions is absolutely the best partner anybody could ever have. and our partnership recently
ended very successfully, but the friendship will be eternal. if i had to pick one person to be in a foxhole with, it would be joel. a lot of my former colleagues in government are here. leon firth was mentioned by elaine, bill galston, senior fellow here, is present. and some of my former colleagues in the congress, former -- let's see, congresswoman jill long-thompson who i greeted just on the way in and some of my friends in the campaign years, donna brazile, my former campaign manager, is here somewhere, and teddy vine who -- ted canty vine who was an important leader in the campaign. and my other colleagues from the
white house years in addition to elaine and leon include gordon adams and jim colonberger, lee an bracket, rob shapiro, mike, paul weinstein, ellen oakes and others. i also want to acknowledge josh gotbaum, the u.s. pension benefit guarantee corporation head. and so now to elaine. [laughter] i have known elaine shula caymark for 20 years, almost exactly 20 years, and i want to acknowledge her husband tino who was a tremendous public servant running the xm bank, and their daughter-in-law, christy, who is here, and elaine's sister,
joanne shula. but elaine is, by all odds, one of the most talented people that i've ever worked with. and whether it's in the sphere of governance or in politics, she is just truly outstanding, and everybody who's worked with her knows that. and to the powers that be here in brookings, congratulations in wooing her away from being at harvard and establishing this important center. ..
i'm really happy to be here. i'm glad you picked a slow news day to launch this new center. the most important news of the day other than this launch is not the pending potential shutdown of the government or pending potential dissolved. i do want to talk about that briefly, but it is the release this morning in stockholm of the fifth assessment by the intergovernmental panel on climate change. you may have seen it in the
news, and if you haven't, i would urge you to look at it. it's not the topic that brings us here today, but it is intimately connected because we have a set of challenges that we must now confront that are very different and kind and difficulty compared to any issues that we have ever had to face. and our ability to do it confidently is absolutely crucial to the success of what we are undertaking. but, you know, where the report from stockholm is concerned, they used to be certain only to a degree somewhere between 90% and 100%. now there are to a degree summer
between 95% and 100%. i'm sure that will make all the difference to those that are wondering how serious this is. but joking aside, we are still putting 90 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere every 24 hours as if the atmosphere is an open sewer. the cumulative amount of man-made global warming pollution now trapped there is trapping as much heat every day as would be released by 400,000 hiroshima atomic bombs going off every single day. that is a lot of energy. and it's that energy that is disrupting the water cycle that central to life on earth, disrupting the stable pattern of climate and weather systems that's been in place since the
first cities were built 9,000 years ago driving out the land surface is an important regions including our own southwest and soon and our midwest. southern europe, southern africa, central america, the amazon. the list goes on. causing all of the extra water vapor to evaporate from the oceans into the warmer skies that hold much more creating a much larger downpours that trigger the kind of flooding that we saw in boulder colorado over the last few weeks and nashville, my home town, three years ago and in pakistan in that year when 20 million people were displaced from their homes further destabilizing the nuclear-armed fragile country. that list goes on.
creating more fires. we've seen them in the west this year and our own country. we saw them in russia a few years ago leading to the removal of all grains from world markets leading to the highest food price spike in world history. and at the moment a food vendor and tunisia set himself on fire and although there were many factors that contributed to that individual tragedy and the events soon thereafter unfolded. food riots followed recent events related to climate discussion. climate refugees are challenging the ability of governments to remain stable there is now a
growing threat of more post national problems that come from it. so we have to address this. we have to put a price on carbon in the economy and a price on denial in the poll local system -- political system. i will have more to say about this and many other occasions but because this report was released just at a worse before we gather here i wouldn't have felt right about not address sing at triet malae going to talk about the potential for a shutdown in just a moment. but i think the only praise that described it is political terrorism. nice global economy that you've got there. would be a shame if we had to destroy it. we have a list of demands. if you don't meet them all, our
dead line will blow out the global economy. really? where are the american people in this? wide as partisanship have anything to do with such a despicable and dishonorable threat to the integrity of the united states of america? it cannot be allowed, but it can only be stopped if people in both parties and independents as well say look, i might not agree with everything that is in the affordable care act, but it did pass, it was upheld by the supreme court, it is a ball of the land. if you didn't succeed in the constitutional process by which
this was considered and now you want to frighten to not only shut down our government, but to blow up the world economy unless we go back and undo what we did according to the process of our democracy? how dare you. how dare you. but it doesn't matter what i feel for what many of you feel unless the american people not only feel that what express' it. i sure did appreciate my fellow senator bob corker yesterday and i disagree with him on all kind of things, most things i guess. but i really appreciated the spirit and sentiments that he manifested. in any case, one of the reasons why there is then too much tolerance of trifling with the
shutdown of the government and on payments that are owed which is in part something that goes back to the days of king george but has been fed by too many instances of poor management. there are problems that are allowed to linger and confidence, bureaucracies that sees out and don't function well. so, the work of this center in bringing to bear the best minds available, the best scholarship available under the leadership of the best leader of the center you could possibly have this
work is important far beyond what many might think of when they see the name on the door or read the short description of what it does. this is really about the hard work and fresh thinking that is now a central in order to redeem the promise of self-government's lincoln's trey is the last best hope. and the u.s. constitution is still -- having been changed and made better over the last two and a quarter century is the finest document on governments ever devised. but as we implement the document
and administer the programs of government, we have to do it well. we know when we go into a business or a store that clearly gets it and has incorporated that the finest lessons of high quality management and serves its customers extremely well and the costs are surprisingly low compared to what we might have thought when we walked in and everything clicks. we recognize such businesses and we patronize them. and there are reasons why they operate so well. and the same principles that have led to their success can be applied to the public sector. so it was 20 years ago this month that i went out on the
south lawn of the white house and presented president clinton with the first report of the national performance review, also known as reinventing government and a popular terms we called it rego or reinventing government. we held this event in front of to enormous forklift's piled high but government documents intended to serve as symbols of the excessive bureaucracy and the frustration that most americans associated with the government. we worked at reinventing government in rego for the entire to terms that we were privileged to be in office. and i'm very proud to say that a great many of the ideas and practices that were knew back
then our standard operating procedure in the federal government today. and looking back, the reinventing government movement started actually three revolutions in government and i'm going to list them one by one. all free of these revolutions have not only survived in one form or another within the u.s. federal system, many of them have moved -- all free of these revolutions have moved to state and local governments and they have been emulated in countries around the world. in the wake of our reinventing government initiative, the united nations sponsored a series of global conferences to take these ideas and spread them to other countries and these meetings continue to this day. public policy students now routinely study things that began 20 years ago with the team
of change agents and the reinventing government movement. now, i often refer to myself as a recovering politician, david. i'm on about step nine. [laughter] the longer i go without a relapse, the more confidence i have that i will not get back into. but after 20 years, i like to think that i ever earned the right to do a little bragging not as a politician, but as someone who was very lucky to be able to work with hundreds of determined reformers. men and women some of whom still work for the federal government who accomplish great things who answer the call and performed in
an outstanding way. and i am indeed extremely proud of what they have done and continue to do. now these three resolutions. the first revolutions, the performance revolution required a cultural transformation for many agencies because it entailed a new way of thinking and a new way of doing business. unlike prior attempt set measuring government performance that were initiated and then soon thereafter abandoned, this one has now lasted for two decades. president george w. bush expanded on the idea by creating an innovation known as part of the program assessment rating tool. and president obama appointed the federal government's first
chief performance officer and signed into law amendments today gpra, the government performance and accounting act that embedded some of the best innovations that involved since that original law was enacted in the wake of the recent government. this new idea to set the goals in the performance against those goals can be found in the federal government and in the city and state governments. and i'm very proud that we were there at the beginning of the performance revolution. the second revolution that we've launched was the customer revolution. now the word customer created some controversy when we used the phrase customer revolution. in some quarters people objected that the citizens we were referring to were in fact owners of the government.
nevertheless there was no other word other than customers that so accurately conveyed to our work force how we wanted our citizens to be treated. so we stuck with that word. and to this day, federal agencies that deal with the public measure their performance in the quality that they bring to serving their customers. one quick example that stuck with me from those years, we went out and studied the rather isolated examples of the governmental units that had actually pioneered some of the things that we instituted in the federal government and we went and spent time with the private corporations that were known for their vision. i will never forget spending two days shuttling herb at southwest airlines. what a kick that was.
[laughter] but i learned a lot from herb and several of the other ceos that i met with. but i remember an example from one of the state department of motor vehicles. of course, the dmv is kind of symbol of everything that can go wrong. anyway, this particular dmv decided that they had to reform, and they just assumed that what they needed to do was pull out all the stops to reduce the waiting period and the length of the line. so they went through the work, and before they pulled the trigger and implemented the reform, they decided maybe we ought to ask the people who were trying to help here what they think about it. that's a clever idea. and they did that. and they were shocked.
the biggest complaint that these folks waiting in line want to fix wasn't the line. you know what it was? it was the picture. [laughter] they stood in line once every two or three years and they looked at that picture quite a few times a week. [laughter] and so they reengineered the system to give them choices and so forth and it didn't add that much extra time. but people responded to it and they also shorten the lines. but there are many similar examples of wisdom that is impossible to gain access to unless you engage in a dialogue with the people to whom you are trying to deliver the services of government.
the server revolution was the innovation revolution. 20 years ago when i entered the white house, there were 50 sites on the world wide web. 50. there were one or two other geek wannabes like me to use did but there was no such thing as a government website. of the word website was, you know, you might as well have been talking about something on the surface of mars let alone was there any ability to conduct government transactions online. but a few years after we launched this initiative, we published a book entitled access america: re-engineering through information technology. and in the in the age when less than 25% of the public was on
line -- we actually released this for years later. this was an 97 to be even then less than 25% of online. this report summarizes what was to come. the internet would be used to bring information to the public on its terms. information technology made it possible to begin implementation of a nationwide electronic benefits transfer program to integrate information in the criminal justice community and to provide simplified employer tax filing and reporting. it also began the integration of government information through the creation of firstgov.gov, the government's first comprehensive web portal launched in 2000. today it is called usa.gov. but it's the same thing to offer one-stop access to government information and disinformation
also was quickly spread to state governments and local governments and governments in countries and regions and municipalities throughout the world. so i'm proud of what our team did on that as well. i like to think that we left the government in better shape than we found it, and i believe that is still true today. especially for the career people who keep this thing going. in spite of the sequester and shut down and of course nonstop criticism, the federal workers land our plane safely in the ever crowded airports. they track down the bacteria that sickens people in unsafe food and food chains or grocery stores. they get the retirement checks out on line. they protect americans here and abroad. so, the federal workers are not the problem. the political class is the
problem. and just as we began our reinventing government work by saying that the federal workers were good people trapped in a bad system and that what needed to change was the system, our political class is trapped in a bad system. many of them are very good people, very dedicated. some of them are here. but the system has grown, it has been degraded. you and mr. oren -- orenstein were pressing when you wrote it's worse than you think. and maybe even worse than you thought. [laughter] but thank you for that wonderful
book. i know that you and norm took a lot of heat for that. but american democracy has been hacked. that is a computer term as you know. [laughter] which refers to somebody taking over the operating system of a computer and making it deutsch things that the owner of the computer doesn't want it to do. well, our democracy has been hacked. the operating system has been taken over by special-interest baiji using big money and lobbyists and taking advantage of a very sick political culture that has grown worse very rapidly in the last couple of
decades. it needs to be fixed. like many other citizens, i have been dismayed by what's been going on in washington, d.c. and in the political decision making process. the level of partisanship and vitriol has been growing and of course that too is connected to the influence of big money, anonymous contributors, corporations pretending to be people pursuing business plans in the diet of politics and encouraging many politicians to say things and do things that would not have been seen in the best interest of the public in the years passed. i grew up in a political family. my father was in congress for ten years before i was born and
did not leave the senate defeated in 1970 because of his opposition to the vietnam war and in support of the voting rights act and so forth on till i was out of college. so i saw that all my life and some seven or eight years after that i went to the house of representatives. about the varied experiences that i've had in my lifetime have given me an idiosyncratic view of the arc of american democracy over the last six decades, and it's changed quite a bit. most of our elected officials now are forced by this system to spend five hours a day on the
telephone raising money or going to cocktail parties and even to raise money from special-interest. and it is a kabuki routine that both sides, the ask her and the giver understand. a spiral downward their craft with which the quid pro quo at the heart of the equation are made openly visible. that has grown as well. and over time those who are drawn to participate in such a culture have changed. many men and women who wish for in politics aren't in politics now. why would they be? and some that i wish were not in politics are speaking for long
stretches of time. [laughter] but the point is not not to make it an ad hominem this course but to focus on changes in the system that have led to these problems. and the influence of money is number one on the list. david, you were generous and kind in your comments about the founding fathers. back in those days at the birth of our country, thomas paine was able to walk out of his front door and philadelphia and find a dozen of low-cost print shops within the ten square blocks. and he printed common sense. he had no money coming came from been planned as an immigrant but he had the gift of clear thinking and expression. and he published common sense and it became the harry potter of the late 18th century.
[laughter] and he helped inspire the american revolution. and in those days when the marketplace of ideas was dominated by the technology that was easily accessible by individuals, individuals could use ideas as a way to counterbalance power and money. as the decades rolled by and we entered the 20th century, by mid century, by the 60's -- 1960s anyway, television eclipse the printing press and today it's completely dominant. although the internet will soon be powerful enough to bring another dominant medium. but today, thomas kane could walk out his front door in philadelphia with his newly created a video called common
>> and it has come to the point now where vibrant, intelligent discourse including spirited disagreements, that's how we come to the right decisions. it doesn't take place anymore. facts don't appear to matter. preconceived ideas are simply repeated over and over and over with greater force and more loudness as if that makes them true. and now once again, power and wealth is pushing ideas and political discourse back out of the system. now, the internet is beginning to change this.
individual bloggers can change the discourse now. television's still dominant because the average american watches it five hours a day, and the number of minutes goes up every year, even in the age of the internet. but we're at a tipping point. and that's why this initiative here at brookings comes at an ideal time. now, the potential for a shutdown that is going to unfold before us this weekend really reminds me, how could it not, of the shutdown that we went through when elaine caymark was working with me on reinventing government. and she told a story this morning leaving out some important details -- [laughter] on what's your blog? fixgov. during the last shutdown, it had
occurred not that long after the oklahoma city bombing and the destruction of the murrah building, a fantastic, horrible tragedy. and president clinton was about to make his state of the union address, and i went to elaine, and i said i want you to talk with our reinventing government team, and i want you to find me somebody -- this was after the government had shut down, that's right. i said i want you to find me a man or a woman that qualifies according to three criteria. number one, this person must have been inside the murrah building when the bomb went off. number two, this person must have been a hero in the aftermath of that tragedy. many were. number three, this person must
have been relocated to another temporary government building which was itself shut down by the congressionally-mandated shutdown. so she went to work on it and got help from one of our team, susan, and they came up with this incredible guy named richard dean who was a vietnam veteran, and he was in the murrah building. and god bless him, he went back into that burning building and saved three people by himself. and brought the body of a deceased coworker out. and then he went to a temporary building, and when the congress forced the shutdown, he was told to go home. and so i told president clinton there'd be great for your state of the union -- this would be great for your state of the union, and we could put richard dean right next to the first lady. well, now, his speech writers -- who were great, by the way, this
was a temporary lapse of judgment -- [laughter] said, no be, that's a terrible idea. we have three runners who carried the olympic torch, and we're going to have to olympics, and this'll be very inspiring, and we want them next to the first lady and tell that story. i said, please. [laughter] please. you don't understand. this needs to be done. no, no, no, no. well, after they all left, president clinton and i had a pretty good way of talking to one another, and he said, okay, al. so the day of the speech comes, and i'm sitting up on the dais there. somebody could write a book just about the things that happen up on that dais. [laughter] like the time earlier when president clinton went, i was standing -- sitting up there as vp and everybody's standing, i don't know how many standing ovations come off, but he goes
to look at the teleprompter, and he's smiling, and he turns around and looks at me and says, al, they have the wrong speech on the teleprompter. [laughter] and i ducked off the podium, went down, george stephanopoulos -- george, you've got the wrong speech. so president clinton -- and, of course, from my vantage point, i could see when they were frantically scrolling trying to find the right file in the teleprompter. and completely unflab blly, president clinton extemporized for eight minutes. it was the best eight minutes of the speech. [laughter] and then finally the text stabilized, and he seamlessly got into the rest of the speech. but anyway, that's another book. this time he goes through the presentation of richard dean and a genuinely inspiring story, as i've noted. and i'm sitting there, and to my left is the speaker of the house, newt gingrich.
and he said all the heroic things richard dean had done and triggered a standing ovation, and we're standing there clapping, and i look over at newt, and i said, newt, wait for it. [laughter] and we sat back down, and the president said, basically, unfortunately that was not the only time that richard dean was forced out of his office. and he went in and said and on behalf of richard dean and all of these other heroic -- let us pledge that we will never shut down this government again. i leaped to my feet -- [laughter] and i looked over and said, i told you to wait for it. [laughter] [applause] anyway, nothing particularly funny about what's going on now, but here's what those who are threatening the shutdown and the
default should understand. in situations like this, the president of our country has as he or she should have an inherent advantage in speaking for the whole country. and when the congress can't even, when the minority can't even get its act together to pass its own substitute version of what ought to happen, that just further illustrates the fact that the president's speaking for the country, leading the country is going to win this confrontation. but it's not a game. it's not something that is just a political contest. but they ought to understand that. and don't put our economy through this. in any case, i am excited about the future of these efforts to make government work so well that when the average citizen hears some threat to the
continued operation of the government, they will think about the high quality service they've just been delivered. they will think about the individuals who are working hard to redeem the promise of american self-government, and they will say, no, this is our government, and we need to make it work well. and with the channels that are coming up now -- the challenges that are coming up now, we have got to take the lessons that elaine and her team will be exploring and presenting here and make sure that they are spread far and wide. i'll close where i began. i truly belief that the -- believe that the launching of this center is far more tan an ordinary or -- than an ordinary or a routine new center announced by a preeminent institution like brookings. this one is going to make an
even larger difference than normal. this one really is at the heart of what we need to do to make the united states of america what our founders intended and what our people deserve. so we found out when we were doing this work of reinventing government that it opportunity always get headlines. in fact, it seldom got headlines, except when i went on david letterman to break an ashtray and things like that. but it doesn't capture attention in the way it should because it's hard work. and it requires rolling up your sleeves and really getting things done. but it is absolutely central, and i could not be happier that brookings with all of its greatness and tradition has recognized the individual who can do this better than any
other and has allocated the resources and the organizational work to launch in this center. i congratulate brookings, i congratulate you, elaine, and i congratulate your colleagues, and i predict great things. thank you very much. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> thank you, mr. vice president, for that tour de force. we've got a great deal of questions from the audience but time for a couple, so why don't i just start right in. >> okay, okay. >> and we've got a great
question from tony smith of the french-american foundation who asks a pretty big question. in light of our persistent inability to get anything done in washington, is it time to think of abandoning the separation of powers in order to produce more responsive government? [laughter] i told you it was a big one. >> no. >> okay. [laughter] >> but let's, let me adjust a bit to that. [laughter] i'm surprised by the question. i'm not surprised by the level of frustration that leads to the question. but the essential genius of our founders is as relevant today as it was when they wrote the constitution. arguably, even more so. there is in human nature a power-seeking impulse, and many thinkers over the centuries have expressed in different ways the
thought that in lord ashton's words of power -- an absolute power corrupts absolutely. but the essential genius of our founders was an understanding that this is a key aspect of human nature and is not tethered to any particular ideology or set of political viewpoints. anyone who is put in a position of exercising too much power is vulnerable to wanting more power. and the only way to contain that threat to freedom is to create an equ-poise by balancing different centers of power against one another to create a
space in between where individuals can be relatively invulnerable to the abuse of power by any one center because it will trigger a countervailing force from one of the other centers. and so much more to say, but that's an insight that we've got to protect. >> another one from stephanie la sage. according to you, what can make all americans acknowledge the global climate change and address this issue? and the contrast that europeans seem to be much more aware of this issue. what's the difference? >> well, part of it is is what i was describing earlier in the description of television and big money in our politics.
there's been an extremely well-funded campaign of distortion, and it was modeled very consciously on the campaign undertaken by the tobacco companies some decades ago. in fact, a terrific book co-authored by naomi -- [inaudible] called "merchants of doubt" documents this in great detail. they've hired some of the same people that put out lies in return for money for the fact companies to do the same thing for large carbon polluters. and you remember the tobacco companies hired actors and dressed them up as doctors and put them in front of cameras with a script that had them saying they were doctors, and the public didn't need to worry about lung cancer or any other diseases that they might have heard were linked to cigarettes, because as doctors, they could reassure them there was no such
thing to worry about. and many tens of millions of people died during the 40 years between the surgeon general's warning and the first meaningful steps to rein in the deceptive marketing and the killing of people. so heir doing exactly -- they're doing exactly the same thing now. and, you know, 97% of all the climate scientists agree with the consensus. and if, god forbid, you had chest pains that got worse and if you were able to consult a hundred leading heart doctors in the world and 97 of 'em said, oh, my god, you need to have this procedure and change your diet and exercise and there were three that said, well, i'm not sure yet -- [laughter] we need to do some more tests, what would you do? i mean, the answer's pretty simple. but that's what the world,
that's the question the world faces now. and here in the u.s. the news media has been intimidated, frightened. and not only frightened, they are vulnerable to distorted news judgments because the line separating news and entertainment has long since been crossed. and ratings have a big influence on the selection of stories that are put on the news. and the deniers of the climate crisis, quite a few of them paid by the large fossil fuel polluters, really it's like a family with an alcoholic father who flies into a rage if anyone
mentions alcohol. and so the rest of the family decides to keep the peace by never mentioning the elephant in the room. and many in the news media are exactly in that position. they get swarmed by these deniers online and in letters and pickets and all that if they even mention the word "climate." and so they very timidly, today get frightened, and they're afraid to mention the word "climate." now, some of them are changing now, thank goodness. but this is -- and while the news media is not mentioning it here, has not been, the large corporate-driven advertising agenda has kept putting out these messages. why are, why so-called clean coal one of the three principal
sponsors of every news program and every public, every talking head show? why is that? is it because they have an idea that consumers watching television are going to say, mildred, i'm going to go down to the store and buy us some coal? [laughter] no. no. their purpose is to condition thinking and to prevent the consideration of a price on carbon. i mean, it's just that simple. and so, you know, as both president clinton and i have said, it's an old saying that the you see a turtle on top of a fence post, it's a pretty good bet that it didn't get there by itself. when you see this anomalous outcome here in the u.s. public, it didn't happen by itself. >> one last question. and it's from wilson golden, vice president of government affairs at xerox. what's next for you, and how
might those of us nearing retirement become active in your good works? >> oh, what a lovely question. [laughter] >> i thought i'd end with a softball here. [laughter] >> well, as chairman of the climate reality project, i spend most of by time on trying to move our country and the world with past the political -- world past the political tipping point beyond which we recognize the reality of what's going on. you know, in the late 19th century there was a cholera epidemic many in london, and a famous doctor there made a map and put a dot every place there was a case of cholera. and he overlaid the map on the sewer system of london. and in that way found that one malfunctioning pump on broad street was the proximate cause. and just a few years later,
louis pasteur found the biological cause. they connected the dots. and cholera is no longer the mass killer it once was. we need to connect the dots now, because the 90 million tons of global warming pollution that we spew every day into the atmosphere -- as i said earlier, as if it's an open sewer -- are trapping the heat causing all of these extreme, making worse and contributing to the extreme weather events that are related to climate. and these extreme temperature events are now 100 times more common than they were just 30 years ago. when will we awaken to the point where we say, hey, we've got to do something about that? that's how i spend most of my time x. the climate reality project will have its third
annual 24 hours of reality next month, a global telecast. we had 18 million viewers last year. we're launching a number of new web sites. i also work, as david said earlier, in private equity. i'm co-founder and chairman of generation investment management which pursuing sustainable capitalism. and although i didn't have the occasion to talk about that in depth here, i know that your corporate purpose initiative is really in the same space, and we'd love to work with you on that. so anybody that wants to help on the climate issue, go to climatereality.org, and we'd love to have your help. and, elaine, thank you again for inviting me here today. >> well, thank you very much. and if everyone would, please, be seated while the vice president leaves, on behalf of brookings and certainly on behalf of myself, thanks so much for coming by. >> my pleasure.
thank you all very much. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> well, the u.s. chief information officer wears a few hats. one is, sets the budget for the technology spend of the executive branch. and so it covers all the agencies of government and the department of defense to think about and formulate the president's budget every year and do that. the second thing is through the e-government act that we have in the u.s. the chief information officer has the ability to set policy
government wide. so thinking about a visionary use and driving that forward as part of the, what we do. and then the third -- and this is really under this administration -- the u.s. chief information officer, a title and role created by president obama, acts as an adviser to the president and the administration on the use of technology, the smart spend on technology driving both efficiency and effectiveness of technology in the 21st century government. >> the federal government's digital strategy tonight on "the communicators" at 8 eastern on c-span2. >> usually during speeches warren would stand in the middle here on the top step, florence right beside him. this was a perfect backdrop for the campaign. not only did it show the human side of the hardings, the fact that a they did not live in a
mansion, they lived in a very normal house like most of the folks coming to see him speak. florence was very much a part of this message. she was a very visible part of this campaign. she was always near him on the front porch when he was speaking. she gave interviews herself to magazines, especially women's magazines. she alternated between being the savvy politician to being the home body, the wife, the caretaker of the candidate. so she knew how politics worked. >> meet first lady florence harding tonight live at 9 eastern on c-span and c-span3. also on c-span radio and c-span.org. >> you're watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs, weekdays featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate. on weeknights watch key public
policy events and every weekend the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedules at our web sites, and you can join in the conversation on social media sites. >> and back to what's happening on capitol hill on in this last day before a possible government shutdown if congress can't agree on funding the federal government before bid night tonight. the house was in this weekend, today worked on a bill to fund the government. that bill is now in the senate, and the house is recessed as today wait for the senate to take action. the senate scheduled to gavel in in about 35 minutes, 2:00 eastern time. they're going to take up some judicial nominations, and at some point they'll work on that bill that was sent over by the house to fund the government as well as a separate bill that would pay the military in case of a shutdown. now, the senate says it's going to strip the attachments that were put in place by the house and send back what's called a clean continuing resolution. that would temporarily fund the government.
whether that will happen in time for the bill to go back to the house and pass there still unknown. but in the meantime, politico is reporting that senate republican leader mitch mcconnell is meeting with his party's conference to gauge whether there would be enough support to pass a one-week stopgap measure which would prevent the government from shutting down tonight. we'll have live coverage of the senate when they come in here on c span 2. and before they gavel in, we're going to take a look back at how they got to where they are with the bill. this is some of the debate from the floor of the house this weekend. it's about half an hour. >> mr. speaker, i rise to move forward with h.r. 59, the continuing resolution that will keep the doors of the government open after the end of the fiscal year on monday. it's unfortunate that yet again we are in this situation facing yet another shutdown showdown. with no solution to our many fiscal problems in sight.
funding the government with a continuing resolution should not be plan a. plan b, even plan z. but our challenges are many. a timeline is short, so passing this cr today is absolutely essential. the house passed a version of this bill last friday. the senate amended it, sent it back to us to consider once again. the motion before us agrees to the senate amendments with two further amendments; one, delaying obamacare for a year and one repealing the medical device tax. included in each amendment are three changes that i've requested. the first changes the date back to the house-passed end date of the cr of december 15th to give us more time to pass the fiscal
'14 appropriations bills. i've been flexible on in this issue from the very beginning, but this longer time frame will help us avoid the potential need for another cr in the interim. the second change would make a technical change to an anomaly for the eisenhower commission added by the senate. this change will simply continue the status quo of a hold on that project. and finally, the third will add a new anomaly to extend the authority for the united states to issue special immigrant visas for the length of this cr. this authority is necessary to insure that the visas continue for iraqis who assisted the u.s. during the war, many of whom put their lives on the line to do so. it's become clear that since
this cr was first introduced, that this new provision has wide bipartisan support. mr. speaker, one of our primary jobs as members of congress is to provide our people with important programs and services only the federal government can provide. and to insure that these services are available. this bill does that. however, it's also our responsibility to address the nation's fiscal challenges head on with a realistic and pragmatic approach that will allow for attainable solutions. with the debt ceiling looming, a fragile economy in recovery and the threat of additional draconian sequestration cuts that will gut our national defense, it's essential that we
come together to find common ground. one side cannot do it alone. and inaction or failure on these crucial issues could lead to disastrous results for our people and our nation for years to come. let me take a moment now to remind us all of just a few of the consequences if the government were to hut down. shut down. our troops will not be paid, and national security will be put at risk. our borders will weaken. our most vulnerable citizens, the elderly and our veterans, may not get the assistance they rely upon. our businesses, facing great uncertainty, will take a hit. our economy will suffer. we must act responsibly to keep our government open and our
country on stable economic footing. now and in the near future, we must also act as productive partners to keep the nation safe, provide our people with essential services, rein in unsustainable entitlement programs and secure a responsible and realistic federal budget. and we must remember that we do this not just for ourselves and our districts, but we do it for the nation as a whole. i hope that today with the countdown to shutdown clocks ticking away that my colleagues will understand that funding the government is one of those essential duties. and i ask you to vote yes on this continuing resolution. i reserve. >> gentleman reserves his time. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i yield myself
such time as i may consume to discuss the majority's intransigence. >> the gentlelady is recognized for as much time as she may consume. >> the bill the house is considering tonight takes yet another step towards total dysfunction. instead of working with democrats to prevent a shutdown, the majority has gotten even more extreme by writing a bill that has no chance of becoming law and will be the 43rd vote on repealing or undermining the affordable care act. while the old saying goes if at first you don't succeed try and try again, i say to my colleagues across the aisle tonight, stop trying. you will not succeed in giving our medical choices back to the insurance companies and keeping health insurance costs too high for too many families. and it continues the republican war on women by allowing a woman's employer to determine what's safe and -- what safe and
legal health services she can access. the bill the senate returned to the house would not increase spending, but one provision within the jurisdiction of ways and means would cost $30 billion. the majority is wasting time as we get closer and closer to a shutdown because we all know this bill will be dead on arrival in the senate. here's a sample of what the house majority shutdown will do. small business owners will stop receiving federal loans to hire and expand their businesses. the national institutes of health will stop receiving new patients. veterans' benefits will be disrupted and housing loans for middle class families will be put on hold. these are the painful results of the republicans' refusal to act responsibly. they walked out of negotiations with the president last year, they ignored the president's deficit reduction plan in his budget, they refused to go to
conference on a budget resolution, and today repeatedly -- they repeatedly voted down democrat amendments to replace sequestration. and now when it's time to fulfill our most basic task of funding government operations, republicans push us further to the brink of a shutdown. anyone who votes to amend the senate bill is voting for a shutdown. vote no on the republican shutdown proposal. i reserve. >> gentlelady reserves her time. the gentleman from kentucky. >> mr. speaker, i yield five minutes to the vice chairman of the energy and commerce committee of the house, gentlelady from nashville, tennessee, ms. blackburn. >> gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of amendment number 1 and to offer this to the continuing resolution and the bill that is bringing us to the floor tonight and how vital it is that we address the
funding needs of this nation and how vital it is that we do it in a manner that is respectful of the american people and of our constituents. one of the things they have repeatedly said is they want to make certain that we delay the onset of obamacare. and that is what we are going to do. now, included in the amendment would be the delay of the 20 new taxes of obamacare. it would delay the individual mandate. and the costly surtax for noncompliance. it would delay the employer mandate, the medicaid expansions, the new exchanges and all those subsidies to try to get people to enroll. it would delay the dozens of enforcement powers which obamacare gives to the irs, and it would delay the collection of all your personal information
and data by the navigators and those seeking, seeking to put this program into effect with these exchanges. so that is what this amendment would do. now, why are we doing this? number one, this is a program that is too expensive to afford. we have seen that already it haastrup led in cost from its $has tripled in cost. it is up to $2.6 trillion. we know that it is making $600 billion in cuts to medicare. we know that it is not ready for prime time. there have been 1200 waivers given to this program. people that are friends of the administration that have gone seeking to be opted out. it's not good for the american people. there have been 19
administrative and presidential delays of in this program. we also have learned that there are missed deadlines. we see the impact that it's having on our hospitals. they're laying off people. hospital doors are closing, jobs are being lost, insurance costs are escalating. they have missed 47% of all their deadlines as they have sought to put this into place, and the list goes on and on. but most important is what we hear from our constituents. what we hear from the american people. the rate shock that is out there. and with my constituents i have a small business owner who wrote me this week. her insurance cost is going up five times. five times over what it is right now. a teacher with a husband and two
children, 105%. we also have people that are writing in, and they're talking about how disappointed they are. they had a plan they liked, but they can't keep it now. one that said, look, our insurance would cost more than what we make. we would be paying our employer $71.50. another who said they've lost their insurance. the reason they were given? because of obamacare. discontinued due to obamacare. this is what we're hearing from our constituents. parents of children, a family, a child type #-r diabetes, they need those reimbursement accounts. tear being cut -- they're being cut, cut in half. they're not able to keep that. an employer whose employees are
seeing their out-of-pocket expense go up. you know what that amounts to for this family in it's a $7600 pay cut. so what we do is come to the floor tonight to say it's not ready. we are seeing the impact of delay after delay that is being done by this administration, and what we are saying is it is time as a fairness issue to the american people, delay the whole thing. delay it for a year. continue to work on it. make certain that we listen to the american people and respond to their wish. delay obamacare. i yield back. >> time has expired. gentlelady from new york. >> i am pleased to yield two and a half minutes to the distinguished ranking member on
appropriations, ms. delore of connecticut. >> recognized for two and a half minutes. >> let me begin by quoting sir walter scott, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. this amendment is an exercise in deception. it is designed to shut the government down. it dallas create underfunds the fundamental -- drastically underfunds the priorities of the american people and it tries yet again to delay families' access to affordable health care. we do not have time for this sort of recklessness. the nonpartisan congressional budget office, federal reserve chairman ben bernanke warned us that the automatic across-the-board cuts could cost us as many as 750,000 jobs in 2013. the majority wants to make these cuts permanent regardless of the job loss, damage to our economy or harm to working families
across the country. and because of the deep cuts enshrined here, over 57,000 children lose access to early learning through head start. these children never get that opportunity back. the biomedical research that saves lives is being curtailed, delayed or lost. educational programs are sharply reduced for over a million of our most disadvantaged kids even though one in five children currently live in poverty. hundreds of thousands of unemployed adults are losing access to job training. low income seniors lose out on five million congregant and home-delivered meals. mental health programs are being gutted. and with this funding labor, health and education programs are slashed 17%. beyond the deep cuts the republican majority's once again trying to use the budget process to take the government hostage unless we delay the affordable care act. and because of the affordable care act, americans with
pre-existing conditions finally have coverage, women's health is finally on an equal footing, maternity and pediatric care is covered, preventive care can be obtained with no out-of-pocket costs. the doughnut hole is closing for seniors, young people stay op their parents' plans, it empowers patients and doctors and, yes, insurance companies no longer can make the decision about whether or not you will get health insurance or not get it. the affordable care act is at last affordable health care for more american families. you know, we stand on the verge of a government shutdown, and instead of behaving responsibly, of working towards a reasonable compromise, the majority continues to put their personal, radical ideology above the fundamental priorities of the american people. this is wrong, and i urge my colleagues -- >> time of the gentlelady has
expired. >> i yield back. >> gentleman from kentucky. >> mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentleman from indiana, mr. stetsman. >> recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. almost three and a half years ago many stood in this chamber claiming to have made history by overhauling our nation's health care laws and subjecting one-is sixth of our economy to federal control. the american people disagree. they understand that obamacare broke with history, and that's exactly the problem here today. when government mandates that that every american buy insurance established by bureaucrats and threatens to severely tax them be they don't -- if they don't, that is unconstitutional mandate. this country was founded on the principles of limited government, personal responsibility and consent of the governed. but obamacare is based on limitless government, bureaucratic arrogance and a disregard of the will of the
people. that is why three and a half years ago washington broke with history. washington ignored our country's founding principles. back home hoosiers still know what this town forgot. they know that their freedom diminishes when government raises taxes, empowers bureaucrats and issues oppressive mandates. that's exactly why obamacare was unpopular three years ago, and it is unpopular three days ahead of its implementation. >> time of the gentleman has expired. >> i'm pleased -- >> gentlelady from new york. >> i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentlelady from california, ms. lee. >> gentlelady is recognized two minutes. >> thank you. i want to thank the gentlelady for yielding. i rise in strong opposition to the republicans' amendments designed to shut the government down. it's no secret that the tea party republicans came here not as public servants, but to destroy and decimate our
government. and, to add add insult to injury, they want to destroy and dismantle the affordable care act which is the law of the land and was upheld by the supreme court. this is morally wrong and it's lawless, quite frankly. and not to mention that they want to put insurance companies, once again, back in charge of the health care decisions that should be made by our constituents. this hostage taking must end. mr. speaker, why in the world would any member of congress want to jeopardize the jobs of our dedicated government workers who provide desperately needed services to millions of our constituents and who, by the way, have their own families to feed? well, today the tea party extremists who came here to shut down the government will see their dream come true. these dangerous amendments would hurt children, seniors, families, yes, the most vulnerable and would create
havoc and uncertainty in so many lives. but it's their first step to create a country really, quite frankly, based on a free for free-for-all, you know, survival of the fittest, one that no one will recognize. that's what happens when there is no government, mr. speaker. we should reject these irresponsible, dangerous and un-american amendments. they will shut down the government, and american people, quite frankly, do not deserve this. >> time of the gentlelady has expired. the gentleman from kentucky. >> mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the distinguished chairman of the labor hhs subcommittee on appropriations gentleman from georgia, mr. kingston. >> the gentleman from georgia is recognized for two minutes. >> i thank the chairman and the speaker for the time. want to say this, we're here tonight on a continued debate over obamacare for good reason. in fact, there's three reasons. number one, health care's
one-sixth of the economy. i think that before we turn over one-sixth of the economy to the federal government, we need to be very clear on the path that we're going on, and right now the path is anything but clear. in fact, to quote one of the leading democrat architects from the senate, senator baucus, he said it's a train we wreck. so to me, to continue the debate on obamacare is the proper thing to do. one-sixthth of the economy, mr. speaker. think about that. secondly, in terms of our health care system now, as flawed as it may be, it's still the best health care system in the world. indeed, 40% of the medical tourists come to america for procedures and operations. you can't say that about any other country. and then number three, obamacare as failed. two of its objectives, the prime objectives were, number one, to decrease the cost of health care and, number two, to increase the access.
and let's examine those. do you know anybody whose health care premium has decreased in this year? i've asked this question many, many times back home, and on the floor of the house, and i've invited people to call my office if their premiums have, in fact, decreased. i haven't heard from an individual, i haven't heard from a business. i've talked to many businesses who have had 25 and 30% increases. my own daughter, a healthy 30-year-old's premium went from 170 a month to 270 a month. the premiums are not going down because the cost isn't going down. obamacare has failed on that. then, number two and are important, the accessibility has not increased. two fortune 500 companies in my home state of georgia have announced the following: one says that they will no longer cover 15,000 spouses of their employees under their health care. another one said -- could i have another minute? >> yield the gentleman another
minute. >> gentleman is recognized for another minute. >> i thank the gentleman. another company in georgia has announced that 20,000 part-time employees will no longer have company-sponsored health care. we're hearing this over and over again. i talked to one man who has a successful start-up business. he got to 42 employees, he said, i quit growing because i did not want to get to 50 because not only am i concerned about obamacare, but the costs of obamacare, but i don't know how it's going to be implemented, i don't know the rules of it. so i would say this debate is well worth having, and i would say to our democrat friends whether you voted for it or not, at point it's not a matter of philosophy, it's a matter of admitting that it is a mistake to go on with obamacare. it has not decreased the cost, and it has not increased the access of health care. and before we say good-bye to the best health care system in the world and one-sixth of our
economy turning it over to the federal government, we need to stop and retool can and start all over so it is the right thing to do to fund the government, avoiding a shutdown but not to fund obamacare. thank you. >> time of the gentleman has expired. the gentlelady from new york. >> i just want to thank my friend, the gentleman, mr. kingston for making a good case for the affordable care act. you want to turn it back over to the insurance companies who are raising these rates in your district and my district. and i'm very pleased to yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from florida, ms. wasserman-schultz. >> the gentlelady from florida is recognized for two minutes. >> thank you. mr. speaker, as a member of the house appropriations committee, i rise in opposition to this, the 43rd attempt to defund, delay or undermine the affordable care act by house republicans. what is even more disturbing is that this latest attempt comes with the very distinct possibility for a costly and disruptive government shutdown. as members of congress, we have
a constitutional obligation to fund our government. the senate sent us a bill yesterday that would accomplish that goal. but rather tan pass it, house republicans are pressing their ideological agenda once more, pushing us closer to a government shutdown. look, i get it. the republican caucus is desperate to halt the affordable care act because they bet against it, and they came up short. but now they're gambling with our entire economy. they're desperate because they bet against a law that is already benefiting millions of americans from seniors on medicare to children with pre-existing conditions to billions of americans who were being overcharged by their insurance companies. and starting january 1st, millions more will be able to obtain quality, affordable health insurance. in fact, just week it was announced that a family of four in my congressional district making $50,000 a year would be able to obtain private health insurance for as little as $4 a month. the affordable care act is working, and i urge my colleagues to stop betting the same losing hand on our economy.
enough already, let it go. now, let me tell you something that your little stunt that you're pulling here which has no chance of becoming law, what it does for the millions of breast cancer survivors like me. 95 days from today the millions of survivors, the 150 million people who live in this country with a pre-existing condition, you are trying to rob us of the peace of mind that that provision gives us. what you're trying to do is make sure that every single day when each of us who survived cancer or another life-threatening illness waiting for the other shoe to drop, what you're trying to do is say you should stay living in fear for an insurance company to boot you off your insurance because of the possibility of you getting sick again. it's unconscionable. it's unacceptable. >> time of the gentlelady has expired.
>> walk a mile in our shoes. i yield back. [applause] >> members should address their remarks to the speaker of the house. chair. gentleman from kentucky is recognized. >> mr. speaker, may i inquire of the time remaining? >> gentleman from kentucky has 16 minutes, and the gentlelady has 20 and three-quarter minutes remaining. >> mr. speaker, i yield five minutes to a very important member of the ways and means committee of the house, mr. paulson of minnesota. >> gentleman from minnesota is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, we all know that the medical technology industry is one of america's leading manufacturing industries and has huge potential, huge potential to continue being a vehicle for creating jobs. this american success story employs more than 400,000 workers, pays salaries 40% higher than the average national wage, is one of our country's few industries that actually imports -- exports, actually exports more than it imports,
and it is an industry that is fueled by innovation and is made up of mostly small businesses, 80% of these businesses have less than 50 employees. 98% of them have less than 500. most importantly, however, this is an industry that saves and improves lives for patients. medical devices help slash the death rate from heart disease by a stunning 50% and cut the death rate from stroke by 30%. but, mr. speaker, last january a new $30 billion medical device tax was enacted as a part of obamacare. it's not a tax on profit, it's a tax on revenue. it's a tax on sales. nobody can explain why this industry was singled out other than tens of billions of dollars needed to be brought in to pay for an over trillion dollar law. but you know what? the effects have been devastating. 10,000 job losses across the country have been announced, companies are moving their operations overseas, and once these jobs move oversea, they don't just come back. countless small, privately-held
company, they've cut jobs and investment in research and development to deal with this onerous policy. and research and development is the very life blood of this industry. i have a letter, mr. speaker, from 975 organizations in support of repealing the device tax. 975. the signers include the chamber of commerce, the national association of manufacturers, numerous doctors and physicians and health care groups that are directly impacted by the tax. i'd ask unanimous consent to include it in the record, mr. speaker. >> without objection, so ordered. >> mr. speaker, we know this tax is bad policy. we know there is support in this claim a bear and in -- chamber and in the senate to repeal this tax. last year the house passed the repeal legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support, but the senate didn't act before the end of the year. this year we have 263 cosponsors of legislation to repeal this tax. 263. far more than last year and more than enough to pass it in the house. and last april when the senate
was debating this, their budget, resolution 79 senders voted their intention to also repeal the device tax. 79 senators, and 33 were democrats. mr. speaker, how often do we have such an overwhelming bipartisan majority and support on such an issue? this is our opportunity. winston churchill is to have said that people occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as the if nothing ever happened. the truth that we all know about the medical device tax is that it has destroyed jobs, it's destroyed innovation, and it has hurt patient care. these are the very pillars that the health care law reform was actually supposed to support. repealing this policy sends a very strong and common sense message to the american people that congress might always agree on what is the right path forward, but we can absolutely recognize when a policy has set us on the wrong path, and today we have an opportunity to right this wrong.
this amendment repeals a tax that is threatening america's global leadership and innovation. this is about saving lives. it's important that we do act now and today. let's stop the job losses. let's protect these high-wage jobs, and let's insure that america continues to invent, continues to innovate and continues to develop the very cutting edge and life-saving technologies for our patients. vote for the repeal of the medical device tax. i yield -- >> and that was some of the debate from the house from this weekend. and an update from the senate on this day before the shutdown would occur midnight tonight, after gaveling in -- can which they're going to do in about two minutes -- majority leader harry reid is expected to lay the government funding bill before the senate. we could see a roll call vote occur shortly after 2:00 eastern time. earlier today when the house gaveled in, this morning speaker boehner in the house talked about the status of the impending government shutdown. we'll take a look at that before
the senate gavels in. >> without objection, the gentleman is recognized -- >> mr. speaker, my colleagues as i travel around my district and travel around the country, the american people are worried about their job. they're worried about their incomes rising. because they're all under pressure. the economy's not growing. why isn't it growing? one of the issues that's standing in the way is obamacare. the fact that nobody knows what the rules are, employers scared to death the hire new employees, cutting the hours of many of their current employees, and for what reason? this law is not ready for prime time. the house has done its work. we passed a bill on saturday night, sent it to the united states senate that would delay obamacare for one year and would eliminate permanently the medical device tax that is costing us tens of thousands of jobs that are being shipped overseas. senate decided not to work yesterday.
well, my goodness, if there's such an emergency, where are they? it's time for the senate to listen to the american people just like the house is has listened to the american people and pass a one-year delay of obamacare and a permanent repeal of the medical device tax. >> that was the house speaker from this morning. some more congressional reaction to the impending government shutdown. he wind, thereby >> next we'll get a look at how the senate will proceed as the chamber gavelsth in with life