tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 21, 2013 6:00pm-8:01pm EST
the presiding officer: the senator from new york. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that as if in legislative session the senate proceed to the consideration of s. 1774, a bill it to reauthorize the
undetectable firearms act of 1988 for one year introduced earlier today, that the bill be read three times and passed, and the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table with no intervening action. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. sessions: mr. president, reserving the right to object, this is not a good day to move forward with this legislation. we'd be glad to give it serious attention. i know it's the kind of thing we probably can clear at some point, but i would object. the presiding officer: the objection is heard. mr. schumer: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from new york. mr. schumer: i appreciate my friend from alabama, my gym mate and friend and colleague's remarks. i would simply say this. this is simply a renewal of a bill that has passed the senate unanimously several times before. these days technology has allowed us to make undetectable
firearms, no metal. they can get right through a metal detector. i'd like to improve on this bill, but to -- because it expires by december 9, right before we get back, i was hoping that we could simply pass the existing law that's on the books. i'm afraid that won't happen. i understand why my colleague from alabama objected, why he did. i hope as soon as we come back we might get this body to pass it and maybe the house get to pass it. we're in a dangerous world, and to allow terrorists, criminals, those who are mentally infirmed to walk through metal detectors with guns that are made of plastic and then use them at airports, at sporting events, in schools is a very bad thing. what makes us need to do this rather quickly is that a few
months ago someone in texas published on the web site a way to make a plastic gun, buying a 3-d printer for less than $1,000. there were over 200,000 copies, hits, on that web site. people hit the web site then. so we have to move quickly here. i hope we can move as soon as we get back. i do understand my colleague's objection tonight given everything that's happened today. but we cannot wait, and i hope nobody will object to this bill. i have some worries that people might but let's hope not. it's serious stuff. and with that i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. thune: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, i rise today to speak on the national defense authorization act and an amendment that i have filed, amendment number 2903 which supports the next generation long range strike bomber. i hope that we do get back on the defense bill. this amendment, like many of the amendments that have been filed to this bill, is both germane and noncontroversial.
it has been the past practice with the defense authorization bill, my amendment should be included in a managers package that could be passed by unanimous consent. in the past when the with senate considered the defense authorization act we had an average of around 11 recorded votes. that is the historical average. this year we've had two. for amendments included by voice vote or unanimous consent, anywhere from 80 to 100 tends to be the norm. that is the number of amendments we process, not necessarily have recorded votes on, but amendments offered to the bill that are handled one way or another but end up getting added to the legislation. for amendments -- this year, i should say, we haven't even been able to have a managers' package which would include many of these noncontroversial amendments. i support senator inhofe, who is the ranking republican on the armed services committee, and my republican colleagues here in the senate in the approach they have taken while this bill's been on the floor. considering this bill, there needs to be an open amendment process. and we're not talking, as i
said, about the hundreds of amendments that have been filed, but a reasonable number should be considered on the senate floor. everyone here is aware of the time constraints we're under, but that is not an excuse for bypassing an open amendment process on this important piece of legislation. mr. president, as the senate debates the annual defense authorization bill, our military continues to face increasing budget constraints. these budget constraints forced our military to prioritize and to develop ways to increase efficiency and reduce spending. as we look ahead, the department of defense must continue to focus on ways to best prepare for the threats our country will face in the future. on all fronts, these future threats will require an increasingly mobile force that relies on speed and technology to reach conflict points around the world. with regard to the air force, this means a modernization of our current fleet. according to general welch, the chief of staff for the air force, the next generation
long-range strike bomber is one of the top three procurement programs our air force must pursue to modernize our fleet and meet future challenges. the other two, the f-35 joint strike fighter and kc-46 aerial refueling tanker are currently underway. the next generation bomber which general welch called -- and i quote -- "a must-have capability" will ensure our ability to operate effectively in antiaccess and aerial denial environments. as adversaries continue to modernize their systems, our systems must modernize as well. the department of defense has already begun investing in the research and development phase for the next generation bomber. in the meantime, our current bomber fleets of b-2's, b-1's and b-52's continue to provide robust deterrents in long-range strike capabilities. the upgrades which are currently being made to these aircraft allow them to operate in the modern environment. however, as this fleet continues
to age into the mid 2020's, the next generation bomber will need to come online. my home state of south dakota is home to 28 bomb wing which commands two of three combat squadrons operating the b-1-b strategic bomber. the men and women of the 28th bomb wing have bravely defended our country in iraq and afghanistan, and in 2011, the b-1 played a key role in operation odyssey dawn, launching from elsworth air force base in south dakota, dropping munitions in libya and returning home in one continuous flying mission. this operation marked the first time the b-1 launched combat sorties from the continental united states to strike targets overseas and it exemmr.ifies the b-1's crucial flexibility and capability to project conventional air power on short notice anywhere in the world. of the three aircraft in our bomber fleet, the b-1-b has the highest payload, the fastest maximum speed and operates at the lowest cost per flying hour.
as i've said before, the b-1 is the workhorse of our united states air force. mr. president, as the r&d continues for the next generation bomber, the air force has already identified many essential capabilities to this aircraft. according to the air force, the next generation bomber should be usable. across the spectrum of conflict. from isolated strikes to prolonged campaigns. it should provide the commander in chief the option to strike a target at any point in the globe, and it must be able to penetrate modern era defenses despite an an adversary's antiaircraft systems. in terms of payload, it must be capable of carrying a wide mix of standoff and direct attack munitions and have the option for either nuclear or conventional capability. as part of the strategy for development, the next generation bomber should allow for the integration of mature technologies and existing systems, taking into account the capabilities of other weapons systems to reduce program
complexity. while developing the next generation bomber will not be easy, the air force has learned several important lessons from its most recent procurement efforts. the department of defense has already streamlined requirements and oversight to assure a timely decision-making process for the next generation bomber. this initiative has included efforts to reduce costs for the overall program, with the goal of preventing cost overruns which have plagued previous acquisition programs. the department of defense already knows the importance of this program, mr. president. as outlined in the 2015-2019 program objective memorandum, the air force intends to prioritize the development and acquisition of the long-range strike bomber over the next several years. as the air force continues to modernize the long-range strike bomber remains a must-have capability for future combat operations. so this amendment,
mr. president, is very straightforward. i hope that we get back on the defense authorization bill. i hope we have an open amendment process. i hope that amendments like this which are germane and noncontroversial can be included in a manager's package of amendments or at least considered on the floor by my colleagues in the united states senate. it is essential, mr. president, in light of the many challenges that we face around the globe today, the potential adversaries that are out there, the threats that exist as we look out over the horizon, that we make every presentation, take -- preparation, take every necessary step to make sure our country can defend ourselves and our allies around the world. american interests, american national security interests are always at stake, and it is important for us to be investing wisely in those types of weapon capabilities that can ensure that the united states is prepared for whatever contingency might develop around the world. and so i hope that we will get back on the defense
authorization bill, allow amendments to be considered, as they have been in the past whenever we have had -- we have processed defense bills in the past, mr. president, we have had a process that has allowed for consideration of many amendments, as i said before, 80-100 in most cases and multiple roll call votes, way more than we have had on this bill so far, but it is important to the men and women who wear the uniform of the united states military that this be a priority for us, it should be a priority for our country, and i hope that we can get the bill on the floor, process amendments, pass it and get it on the president's desk where it can be signed into law. mr. president, i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to a period of morning business, senators allowed to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without
objection. mr. reid: i'm told there are four bills at the desk due for their first reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the titles of the bill for the first time. the clerk: s. 1774, a bill to reauthorize the indetectible fire marshalls act of 1988 for one year. s. 1775, a bill to approve the sexual assault prevention and response programs and activities of the department of defense, and for other purposes. h.r. 1965, an act to streamline and ensure onshore energy permitting and so forth and for other purposes. h.r. 2728, an act to recognize states' authority to regulate oil and gas operations and promote american entering security development and job creation. mr. reid: i ask for a second reading en bloc and object to my own request en bloc. the presiding officer: objection having been heard, the bills will be read for a second time on the next legislative day.
mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that during the adjournment or recess of the senate from thursday, november 21, through monday, december 9, senators warner, kaine and rockefeller be authorized to sign duly enrolled bills and resolutions. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the appointments desk appear separately in the record as if made by the chair. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn and convene for pro forma sessions only. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, i apologize. i ask consent when the senate completes its business it adjourn and convene for pro
forma sessions only on the following dates and times, following each pro form area session the senate adjourn until the next session, friday, november 22, 11:15, friday, november 29 at 1:00 p.m., tuesday, december 3 at 11:00 a.m. and friday, december 6 at 10:30 a.m. and that the senate adjourn on friday, december 6 until 2:00 p.m. on momb monday, december 9 unless the senate receives a message from the house that it has adopted s. con. res. 28. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: further i request if the senate receive such a message it adjourn until 2:00 p.m. on monday, december 9, following the prayer and pledge, the journal be approved and, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the leaders reserved for iewfs later in the day, following leader remarks the senate be in morning business until 4:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak therein for ten minutes each. following morning business senate resume consideration of s. 1197 the national defense
authorization act, to allow the chairman and ranking member to provide a status update on the bill. calendar number 327, the nomination of patricia millet to be united states circuit judge for the d.c. circuit. finally, at 5:30 p.m. all postcloture time expired and the senate vote on the millet nomination. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: the next roll call vote bib 5:30 p.m. on monday, december 9. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until tomorrow at 11:15 a.m. unless the senate receives a message that it has passed s. con. res. 29. 29.
she spoke at georgetown university for about an hour. [applause] >> good afternoon everyone. thank you so much professor growth, thank you victor as well for all your exceptional work to advance american policy towards asia. from your time on the nsc staff to your current contributions as director of the asia studies program at the school of foreign service. let me just begin by apologizing a little bit. if i sound a bit hoarse and i will do my very best to sustain my voice to the course of what is not a short speech and with
luck i will get there but forgive me in advance. i also want to thank president to joy and my former colleague caroline castor for their contributions along with professor sean, professor growth to making it possible for me to speak here today but most importantly for georgetown's unrivaled success in preparing america's future leaders. particularly so many of our policymakers. president obama is deeply committed to leaving our world more stable, more secure, more free and more prosperous for generations to come. those of you who are students here today are uniquely poised to seize the transformative potential of tomorrow across our rapidly changing world.
and nowhere are the challenges and the opportunities we face so great as in the asia-pacific region. two years ago in laying out his vision for america's role in the region, president obama said and i quote, asia will largely define whether the century ahead will be marked by conflict or cooperation. needless suffering or human progress. thus, rebalancing towards the asia-pacific remains a cornerstone of the obama administration's foreign-policy. no matter how many hotspots emerge elsewhere, we will continue to deepen our enduring commitment to this critical region. our friends in asia deserve and will continue to get our highest level attention.
secretary of state john kerry has traveled to the region several times and will return again in just a few weeks. secretary of commerce bennie pritzker and u.s. trade representative mike from an lead important u.s. delegations there last month. vice president joe biden will visit china, japan and south korea in early december and although we were all disappointed that the government shutdown compelled president obama to cancel his trip to asia in october, i am pleased to announce today that president obama will return to asia this coming april to continue strengthening our ties across the region. i would like to take this opportunity to outline what we aim to achieve in the asia-pacific in the next three years.
ultimately, i america's purpose is to establish a more stable security environment in asia, an open and transparent economic environment and a liberal political environment that respects the universal rights and freedoms of all. achieving that future will necessarily be the sustained work of successive administrations. in the near term, president obama will continue to lay the critical foundations for lasting progress in four key areas, enhancing security, expanding prosperity, fostering democratic values and advancing human dignity. let me begin with security, which is the underpinning of all progress in every region. we are making the asia-pacific
more secure with american alliances and an american force posture that are being modernized to meet the challenges of our time. i 2020, 60% of our fleet will be based in the pacific and our pacific command will gain more of our most cutting-edge capabilities. as we are seeing in the philippines today, our military presence in the region is vital not only to deter threats and defend allies but also to provide humanitarian assistance and unmatched disaster response. we are updating and diversifying our security relationships in the region to address emerging challenges as effectively as we deter conventional threats. we are urging our allies and partners to take greater
responsibility for defending our common interests and values. by next year, we will complete the first fundamental revision of our bilateral defense guidelines with japan in more than 15 years. japan has also created its first ever national security council and i look forward to working closely with my japanese counterpart on regional and global challenges. in south korea, we are enhancing the alliance's military capabilities to ensure that our combined forces can deter and fully answer north korea's provocations. with australia we are bringing our military's closer by rotating marines through darwin and deepening cooperation in newer areas like missile defense and space and cybersecurity. and we are doing more with thailand and the philippines to address maritime security and
disaster response. to diversify the network of security relationships in the region, we are strengthening trilateral cooperation with our allies and security partners and encouraging them to cooperate more closely among themselves. when it comes to china, we seek to operationalize a new model of major power relations. that means managing inevitable competition while forging deeper cooperation on issues where our interests converge. in asia and beyond. we both seek the denuclearization of the korean peninsula, a peaceful resolution to the iranian nuclear crisis, a stable and secure afghanistan and in end to conflict in the
sudan. there are opportunities for us to take concerted action to bolster peace and development in places like sub-saharan africa where sustainable growth will deliver everlasting benefit to the people of africa as well as both of our countries. we are improving the quality of our military-to-military relationship with china as we enhance our strategic security dialogs and cooperate on issues like countering piracy and maritime security. greater military engagement and transparency can help us manage realities of mistrust and competition while augmenting the high-level communication that has been a hallmark of this administration's approach to china. as we diversify the ways in which we do business, with china , we will continue to
champion respect for the rule of law, human rights, religious freedom and democratic principles. these are the common aspirations that all people share. we will do this even and especially when it is not the easy or expedient thing to do. i sat on the security council at the united nations with china for over four and a half years working on many of these issues. i know all too well that we have some fundamental differences that cannot be minimized but i also know that our interests on many of the major challenges of our time can and should be more closely aligned. nowhere is this more evident than in confronting the threat
that north korea poses to international peace and security. the regime threatens neighbors. pyongyang proliferates dangerous goods and technologies. it seeks to expand its nuclear weapons arsenal and its long-range missile program in flagrant violation of international law. consequently, one of our most pressing security goals is to roll back the threat posed by north korea's nuclear and other wmd programs. to that end, we are prepared for negotiations, provided that they are authentic and credible. yet at the entirety of north korea's nuclear program, and result in concrete and irreversible steps towards denuclearization. pyongyang's attempts to engage in dialogue while keeping
critical elements of its weapons program running are not acceptable and they will not succeed. we will continue to join with international partners, especially china to increase pressure on north korea to denuclearize. we will do what is necessary to defend ourselves and our allies against any threat from north korea and we will maintain and expand as necessary both national and multilateral sanctions against north korea. there will continue to be significant costs for future provocations. so pyongyang has a choice. on the one hand lies greater isolation and crippling economic private chen. on the other, a true chance for
peace, development and global integration. another growing threat to regional peace and security and to u.s. interest is the rise of maritime disputes in the east china sea in the south china sea we aim to help governments in the region to communicate better with one another so that incidents at sea do not unintentionally spark wider conflicts. we encourage all parties to reject coercion and oppression and to pursue their claims in accordance with international law and norms through the establishment of peaceful, diplomatic processes for preventing their time conflicts. a good first step would be progress on a code of conduct for the south china sea. how are the nations and institutions of the asia-pacific
managing these disputes will be a harbinger of their ability to shape their shared security future. indeed many of asia's most vexing security challenges are transnational security threats, those that transcend borders like climate change, piracy, infectious disease, transnational crime, cybertheft and the modern-day slavery of human trafficking. no one nation can meet these challenges alone. that is in part why we are increasing our engagements with regional institutions like the association of southeast asian nations asean and the northeast asia summit. these groups allow nations to develop ideas, share best practices, address disputes constructively and nurture a
sense of shared responsibility. asia's regional institutions are essential to delivering more effective solutions than any one nation can muster on its own. these security goals constitute one key element for asia-pacific strategy, yet we have an equally essential economic agenda in the region. by the end of 2016, we aim to transform our economic relations with the region through dramatically increased u.s. exports, the implication of the most ambitious american free trade agreement in decades and closer cooperation with china, india and other emerging economies in pursuit of sustained global growth. our own economic future is
inextricably linked to that of the asia-pacific. a full quarter of the goods and services exported by the united states are bound for asia and about 80% of our imports come from the region. more than a million americans served in jobs supported by our exports to asia and that number has risen 50% in just the last decade. we are committed to growing these numbers while making sure the benefits are broadly shared. as a pacific nation, the united states is working to shape a more dynamic future for the entire region by promoting u.s. businesses and forging new ties of commerce. asia needs open and transparent
economies and regional support for international economic norms if it is to remain a worldwide engine of economic growth. driving a global economic recovery that creates jobs here in the united states and addresses the kind of trade imbalances that contributed to the economic meltdown in the first place will require hard work on both sides of the pacific. for the united states, that means boosting our exports and continuing to bring down our budget deficit. for countries in asia, it means shifting the focus from overseas markets to strengthening their domestic sources of demand. our foremost economic goal in the region is concluding negotiations for the transpacific partnership and achieving congressional approval. the 12 nations that are part of
the ttp negotiations represents more than 40% of global trade. so the rules we establish through this agreement will set the standard for future trade agreements. it will take on unfair practices by state-owned enterprises and the regulatory barriers goods encounter at him behind borders. this will help level the playing field for everyone. the ttp will promote workers rights, environmental protections and build stronger safeguards for intellectual property, improving economic conditions for everyone, not just a few. we welcome any nation that is willing to live up to the high standards of this agreement to
join and share the benefits of ttp and that includes china. the ttp can be the core of a far broader agreement expanding to countries across the asia-pacific,. to help realize that vision were helping to negotiate a series of agreements with asean that will put these countries in a better position to join high standards agreements like the ttp. asean represents a $2.5 billion economic blog that contains some of the fastest growing countries in asia, as well as some of its worst. helping these dynamic economies improve their policies on key issues like investment principles will benefit them. it will also foster an even
greater trade and investment climate and opportunities for the united states in southeast asia. by 2030, india is projected to have the largest population of any country in the world and the third largest economy. during the past decade, the united states and india have developed and valued the global partnership and president obama aims to make the next decade even more transformative. from the look east policy to india's contributions to maritime security and its expanding involvement in regional organizations, india has much to offer asia and the world. together, our nations have launched a new clean energy partnership mobilizing millions of dollars in public and private
investment for solar, wind, and alternative energy projects in india and their governments have joined with private sector partners in both countries to launch a 2 billion-dollar infrastructure debt fund, the first of hopefully many future funds meant to attract financing for indian infrastructure projects. we look forward to deepening our cooperation across a broad spectrum of our relationship. the united states also seeks to elevate our economic relationship with china in the years i had. last week, china's leaders announce plans for sweeping reforms that if realized, could go a long ways towards leveling the playing field for private and foreign investors and moving china's economy towards market principles.
that is an opportunity we must seize. but even as we increased trade, and pursue a bilateral investment treaty, we will continue insisting on tangible progress in areas that matter to u.s. businesses and workers. these include china continuing to move towards a market determined exchange rate, increasing u.s. access to chinese markets and bolstering protections for u.s. companies and property rights in trade secrets, especially against state sponsored cybertheft. sigh burr enabled economic espionage hurts china as well as the united states because american businesses are increasingly concerned about the cost of doing business in china.
if meaningful action is not taken now, this behavior will undermine the economic relationship that benefits both our nations. as the world's two largest energy consumers, energy producers and greenhouse gas emitters, the united states and china also have a duty to lead together to tackle climate change and spurred the global transition to a low-carbon energy future. last june, president obama and she reached in historic agreement to phase out certain potent greenhouse gases. in july we launched initiatives under the west china climate change working group to scale up successful technologies and policies around heavy duty vehicles, smart grids, carbon
capture and sequestration. given that the asian economies will be the strongest driver if it energy demand in the coming decades, how the region meets its energy needs will have critical implications for global energy supply and climate change. we have a vested interest in shifting the global energy mix to cleaner, low-carbon and more efficient energy technologies. as we work towards this goal in asia, we will partner with regional leaders in renewable and clean energy technologies. like india, taiwan, japan and south korea to bring these technologies to market. we are also promoting cleaner burning natural gas as well as safe and secure nuclear energy to meet the region's rising energy demand was lower carbon
alternatives. another key driver of economic growth, global economic growth and development is the expansion of women's participation in the workforce throughout the asia-pacific. this single change has the potential to do the most good for the greatest number of people. in developed countries like japan ,-com,-com ma fuller participation in the workforce by women could increase per-capita gdp by as much as 4%. and it's no coincidence that in the philippines, where they are making strong progress to close the gender gap, they also have one of the fastest-growing economies in the region. the world economic forum has shown that those two factors are closely correlated.
simply put, the smaller the gender gap, the stronger the economic growth. strengthening our shared security and promoting our shared prosperity are vital elements of america's commitment to the asia-pacific region. so too is advancing respect for the rights and values we hold dear. since world war ii, the united states has played a key role in fostering one of the most significant developments of the past century, the advance of democracy in asia. in the early years of this new century, we must help consolidate and expand democracy across asia to enable more and more people to participate fully in the political life of their countries. the rapid change seen in burma in just the past two years is a
portend of the possible. not unlike north korea, burma was a state rule by a military junta and responsible for egregious violations of human rights. when president obama took office on san suu kyi was in her 14th year of house arrest and hundreds of hermes citizens were imprisoned merely for exercising their right of free speech. burma's leaders faced enormous economic pressure and intense international escalation until they chose another path. over the last several years we have worked closely with president hussein and on san suu kyi and with the government and people of erma as they have made historic changes. today more than 8000 lyrical prisoners have been released and we are helping burma build a
credible electoral infrastructure ahead of its 2015 national elections. we are supporting a process of constitutional reform and national reconciliation. as erma moves towards greater openness and change, we are easing sanctions while encouraging responsible investment and robust support for the people and civil society activists who suffered so long under the iron fist of dictatorship. there is still a great deal of work ahead before burma fully transitions to democracy. the challenge of overcoming the violence and protecting vulnerable minorities will require persistent vigilance, but the progress continues. by the end of president obama second term, we hope to have help burma reestablish itself as
a regional leader and as a driving and nascent prospers democracy. not all countries will achieve progress so dramatically but the steady work of lyrical reform presses on in nations across the region. the united states will support those working to pry open the doors of democracy even just a little wider from cambodia to fuji. to uphold justice and the rule of law to meet the basic needs of their peep hole. working with the open government partnership and the community of democracies will help protect civil society and to port its work to shape the region's development.
it will combat the corruption that makes it so difficult for ordinary citizens to run for office, start a business or even just send their kids to school. in every region -- in every country the region we will strive to improve protections for ethnic and religious minorities and help nations see the diversity of their peoples as a source of deep strength. fidelity to our values will guide us as we pursue closer relations with countries of the asia-pacific including those with which we differed. we will continue to champion freedom to speak one's mind, the ellipses to access information freely to practice one's faith without fear and speak out when governments tossed aside basic rights and freedoms which are
the birthright of every human being. that rings me to our last set of goals, helping improve the well-being of the region's most vulnerable people who share the same desire for dignity as all mankind. we want an asia-pacific region in which poverty continues to decline, citizens are healthier, children are educated and the environment is protected and winning to participate fully and equally in their societies and working in partnership with countries throughout the region to give life to that vision. we know we can fight aids, reduce preventable child deaths and improve security -- food security across the asia-pacific because we have seen real progress in all these
areas over the last five years. further progress is possible where countries demonstrate the political will to invest in their own development and step up to do big things together. our feed the future program has helped more than 400,000 rice farmers throughout the region increase their yields through the more efficient use of fertilizer. through the partnership or growth we are working with the philippines to strengthen the country's foundations for economic development while improving their ability to mitigate the impact of future disasters. throughout the pacific islands, we are partnering with governments to address development challenges ranging from adapt in to rapid population growth to reducing high poverty and unemployment rates. and we are working with indonesia and others to craft a
measurable ambitious development agenda for the world in 2015 and beyond. with smart, targeted investments countries in the asia-pacific are leading dramatic improvements in development. across the region we are partnering with countries to address the issues that affect all people including public health challenges. in an era when someone can step on a plane in jakarta at wreck -fest and be in los angeles by lunch, we are increasingly focused on the threat posed by global pandemics. at the same time we have continued to support governments and health care providers across the region to improve public health. for example we are working closely with bangladesh on our joint pledge to end preventable child deaths and we are collaborating with indonesia to improve maternal and infant health in rural communities.
america has a stake in asia's children, growing up to be productive members of society. that is why we are investing in early childhood education, expanding access to post-secondary school training at universities and vocational institutions all throughout the region. we are working especially closely with ozzy on nations on this goal, establishing several new programs to help young people of southeast asia develop new skills and opportunities and equally we have an economic as well as a moral state in elementary -- in every facet of asia-pacific and therefore we are helping to prevent and respond to gender based violence and combat the scorch of human trafficking. through the equal futures partnership we are joining with
countries across the region, the world bank, the united nations and others to advance reforms to create more opportunities for women to participate in the political and economic life of their countries. in burma, cambodia laos thailand vietnam we are involving more women in helping their countries better respond to pandemics promote education reform and improve food security. finally, we will do more to help sustainable growth by protecting the environment and conserving asia's natural resources while implementing measures to help communities come back to the impact of climate change. we are redoubling our efforts to protect threatened wildlife and reduce trafficking and endangered species in cooperation with regional forums like a pac. our planet, as we all know, is a
nonrenewable resource. it supports some 7 billion people. half of them in the asia-pacific we have a duty to those who will inherit this earth to put in place practices that will sustain and improve life for future generations. i would like to and today by highlighting a place for all of these elements, security, alliances, economic ties, development, institutions and universal values have recently come together in a major manifestation of america's commitment to the region. the philippines is our oldest allies in asia. our nations for forever bound by the blood we shed together, the families we have built together in the history we have made
together. last week a super typhoon slammed into the philippines leaving thousands dead and millions more in dire need of assistance. as president obama said, when our friends are in trouble, america helps. before the storm our disaster relief experts from the u.s. agency for international development were already on the ground. pacific command moved into action. we put hundreds of marines from okinawa on the ground and talk labahn almost immediately to help with the search and rescue. within days the uss george washington strike group arrived with helicopters, small ships, water purification capacity, medical services and equipment to clear roads and ferry aid to outlying areas.
over the weekend joining with unicef, we were able to help the philippine government bring talk labahn's municipal water purification and production system back on line. it is now providing clean drinking water to more than 275 thousand people. we are co-operating seamlessly with our allies in the region particularly japan and australia who have stepped up to help a neighbor in need. together we are working around-the-clock to manage the immediate crisis and help the filipino people begin with holding their country. recovery will be a long process but the united states will stand beside the philippines every step of the way. getting people back to work, rebuilding homes, reopening schools. our pledge to the people of the philippines reflects our broader
pledge to the people of the asia-pacific. america's commitment won't expire a few months or a few years from now. the united states of america will be there. reliable, constant, strong and steady for the long-haul. and together, with the people of the asia-pacific, we will continue to advance the shared security, prosperity and human dignity that we all cherish. thank you all very much. [applause] [applause] >> thank you very much ambassador rice for
comprehensive and visionary statement of u.s. policy in asia. it comes at a very important times of thank you again. if you have just a few minutes and are able to take a couple of questions from our students -- i apologize to the audience because given time constraints we collected some questions in advance. the first question comes from drew who is a first-year master student in the program and his question is on china and japan. he asks, besides adopting a policy of discouraging military escalation is there anything else that the united states can do in regards to the island dispute between china and japan? to what extent can we serve as a mediator on this issue or how can we help sino-japanese relations? >> that's a very important question and indeed we are very focused on the dispute over the islands. the united states has not and
does not take a position on the question of sovereignty but the fact of the matter is we do have a real stake in avoiding conflict and helping china and japan to avoid any escalation and to find peaceful diplomatic ways to address their dispute. we are encouraging the two sides to open channels that would enable them to avoid the risk of unintended escalation in the event of a misunderstanding or miscommunication and we are encouraging them to work on this issue with an understanding of the risks involved and the necessity of avoiding any kind of conflict that would be disastrous not only for those two countries but for the broader region and indeed for the global economy. see the second question is on korea and this comes from sam who is a senior.
he asks, what steps if any can the administration take in the remaining years of president obama second term to restart the six-party talks and how do you think the negotiations with iran could impact the north korea nation? >> let you actually start with iran and then come back to north korea. we don't know yet or in the next few days how the current round of talks between the p5+1, the parties negotiating with iran and iran will unfold. the last ground yielded significant progress but not a resolution. the p5+1 remained united and on the table is what we consider to be a very reasonable and well crafted first step initiative.
that first step would be for a six-month period to buy time and space for a comprehensive negotiations that could resolve iran's nuclear problem. the reason to buy that time and space is because without this interim agreement, there will be no break on iran's continuing full steam ahead with its nuclear program while it talks and perhaps drags out talks. this interim step would hault all progress in iran's nuclear program and roll back its program in some very key respects. it will deal with all aspects of this program, centrifuges, enrichment, the processing facility and give the international community unprecedented transparency into all aspects of the iranian nuclear program.
now, whether that comes to pass or not obviously remains to be seen but if it were to, that would give good first step for the united states because it would enable us to test the prospects of a peaceful resolution which is what we have stopped if the application of very tough sanctions and at the same time, it would give the international community greater insight into the nature of this program while halting its progress and rolling it back. so if such an agreement were reached and now turning to north korea, what important lessons or applications does that have for north korea's? first of all of that agreement is reached it will have been a product in large part of the concerted pressure that the members of the international community had applied particularly through broad sweeping economic sanctions. it will be the product of
cooperative effort over years between the united states, france, britain, russia, china and germany. not a dissimilar configuration part to the six-party configuration and the fact that the p5+1 had come together and negotiate from a position of strength with the backing of the security council and international sanctions may have created an opening. in the case of north korea we have had similar unity and economic pressure and indeed china and the united states along with the other members of the six parties have stepped up increasingly the pressure on north korea. north korea has not yet taken a decision partly perhaps because it's from a lower economic base and is far less open in fact to the international community then
is iran to realize it's in his best interest to come to the negotiating table in earnest. there are no more interested in talking for talking sake in north korea than we would be with iran. it's got to be given the past history of north korea's talking while enriching in pursuing its nuclear assault programs, a serious engagement if we are to do this again. north korea knows exactly what needs to do to demonstrate that it's serious including by starting to implement the agreements previously reached and broken. we remain as i said in my remarks open to the resumption of negotiations and we certainly are open and have had bilateral channels for communication with north korea but north korea has to make the fundamental choice that it is serious about denuclearization. the six parties, the five
countries in the six parties and the members of the security council russia china united states plus japan and the republic of korea have been very clear about what is necessary. we will see if north korea chooses to take that opportunity as i said which can lead to the context of denuclearization with a different relationship of the world the end of economic isolation or continue on the path it's on in which case the pressure will mount and the circumstances will get much worse. >> the last question is from a first-year masters student and asks i am very anxious to to know what dr. rice's take is on the newly established chinese state security committee? opposed the committee of the primary mission like our nspm dr. rice were to meet her new chinese counterpart. what would she say to him or her?
[laughter] i think we need to wait and see exactly the nature of their sponsored bill of event this new state security council will have and the nature of its leadership it's certainly an interesting potential development and obviously if i have a formal chinese counterpart the equivalent of the national security of visor i will look forward to working with him and i suspect it may not va her. to work on the panoply of issues that we do every day with china but i want to mention in the absence of that structure we still have very regular and open channels with chinese counterparts. state counselor yang and the foreign minister, with many of those closest to the leadership who work on core national
security and foreign-policy issues but it would be nice if there were a structure that would accelerate and coordinate chinese foreign-policy and national security decision-making and facilitate the kind of collaboration and deconfliction that we enjoy here most days in the united states. thank you all very very much. appreciate your time. [applause] before heading into a two-week break for thanksgiving the senate voted today to change the chambers filibuster rules for most executive branch and judicial nominations. it would allow the nominations to advance with a simple majority of 51 votes instead of a 60 vote supermajority. it limits the minorities party's ability to confirm -- senators carl levin of michigan mark pryor of art joe manchin makkah west virginia were the only demo rats to vote against
the rules change. you can see more about what happened in the senate today on the filibuster rules change on our companion network c-span tonight. at just after 8:00 eastern we will take her calls about it on c-span. at her weekly news conference house democratic leader nancy pelosi called on republicans to pass a budget before turning in the house for a year. this is a little more than a half an hour. >> good morning. i have invited some special guests to our weekly and because of the pressing business mr. hoyer is only going to be with us at the start, so i want him to start. >> thank you very much leader. many of you heard me say but you know us well there are eight legislative days left in 2013 according to the republican
majority schedule. two of those days of course her days in which we come in at 6:30 so that there is not much time to do the work of the american people. however republicans seem content to let the clock run out on the replacing with a bounced agreement is a question that will hurt our country, hurt our economy and put at risk or national security. we have to prevent a second year of sequester from taking effect in january. even republican appropriators who sent a letter to the budget on monday are saying we need to take action now. all 12 chairs at the republican chairs of the appropriations subcommittees have said that. and they said this, the failure to reach a budget deal to allow appropriators to assemble funding for 2014 will reopen the specter of another government shutdown. if the republicans are going to
be a responsible leadership pard they will provide for adequate funding for the government of the united states of america. this is current sequester in the upcoming second sequester in january would result in more indiscriminate across-the-board reductions that could have been my opinion would have, negative consequences on critically important federal programs especially in national defense. that quote was from the republicans chairs. the american people they went on to say deserve a detailed budget blueprint that makes rational and intelligent choices on funding by their elected representatives and then they added this. not by a meat axe. now that is the ryan budget. i was inappropriate for many years as was leader pelosi and mr. clyburn. >> mr. israel.
>> a lot of us come out of the appropriations commission -- committee and understand the responsibilities that committee to the american people, not to a party, not to democrats or republicans but to the american people. congress must act to spur job creation by ending uncertainty and passing american bills as well. there is no time to waste and only six days into partial days left to do our work. i have urged my colleagues as i know the leader has, we will not vote to adjourn until such time as we have addressed the critically important issues on our agenda. among those is the budget conference, the unemployment insurance, the farm bill, the sgr tax extenders and yes we have to do with comprehensive immigration reform and ending discrimination in the work pace as well.
our caucus is determined that we will stay and do the work of the american people and i think the leader for allowing me to go first. i will rely on you to answer questions. >> thank you mr. webb for joining us this morning because this is the last time we will see you before the thanksgiving break and i wanted out of our colleagues to have something to say about concerns we have hope leaving now. mr. hoyer clearly pointed out that time is wasting. the clock is ticking. time is wasting and this is the republican agenda for 2014. do you think that's funny, an agenda that has nothing and a timetable that is never? does that work for you? it doesn't work for the american people. we need to have a budget as soon as we possibly can. we don't have to drift into next year. we need a budget as soon as we can so that we can create jobs, growth economy and reduce the
deficit. as we reduce the deficit we can fill that page with initiatives that do just that. our colleagues were. >> more fully about that but mr. van hollen represents us so well is the ranking member on the budget committee and on the conference from the house democrat side and what what our approaches and you've heard it over and over again is to create jobs by building infrastructure in the long-term by investing in early childhood education, by making sure 1 million people will be cut off by the end of this year and to get rid of the sequestration. mr. becerra will be talking about immigration. i proudly wear the pin of the fasters in the mall who say act fast, act fast. they are fasting hoping that we will act fast to pass
comprehensive immigration reform which has a big boost in terms of dollars to the economy, $150 billion in one year to the federal budget and over $900 billion over 10 years. everything we are talking about helps to reduce the deficit whether it's immigration reform, whether it's passing the farm bill which has the snap program and for every dollar that is spent on the s.n.a.p. program more money comes back to the treasury. for every dollar that is spent on unemployment insurance more money comes back to the treasury. the immigration bill helps to reduce the deficit so we are talking about investments that will reduce the deficit and to have sequestration as it should deficit is a false economy because it cuts the very investments like infrastructure and medical research that will grow the economy. without i'm pleased to yield to our budget representative
because he will give us a framework as to how he sees that and go to my other colleagues that i do so with the greatest appreciation for the work of mr. van hollen is doing as a ranking member on the budget committee. mr. van hollen. >> thank you madam leader. a little while ago some of our colleagues coined the expression no budget, no pay. as we gather here today we have not budget and we would hope that those same individuals was certainly adopt the proposition no budget, no vacation. we should not be adjourning as the congress in mid-december until we have completed work on the budget. i'm going to read a little sentence here. the failure to reach a budget deal to allow appropriations to assemble funding for fiscal year 2014 will open the spec or
affect other government shutdown that is a little plagiarism from the same letter that mr. hoyer preferred to. this is from the republican chairman of the appropriations committee and the chairman of the republican subcommittees. what you see in this letter is republicans recognizing that if we don't get our work done a lot of their colleagues made the pushing for another government shutdown in january 15 so they shut down the government of covering there is a real press at that if we don't get the budget done by mid-december we will see a repeat of that, which is why we have put forward are hired is in this budget negotiation and they are very simple. number one, we want to focus on getting jobs and the economy moving again. we want to focus on jobs now and jobs in the future so we propose a major additional investment in our infrastructure, roads, bridges and highways and infrastructure the 21st century to help put people back
to work and need a lot of unmet needs in this country. create more jobs and meet national priorities. we also believe we should invest in early education for our kids and that is a national priority. second we should replace the sequestered because if you keep it in place for another year the congressional budget office tells us we will have 800,000 fewer jobs by this time next year. and then finally we believe that we have got to renew the unemployment compensation because millions of americans who had jobs, who lost jobs through no fault of their own and who were still looking for work and have been unable to find it will be cut off from the security they provide to their families, which by the way not only helps them but helps people in our community. our colleagues will be talking more about the infrastructure development and also the unemployment compensation piece as well. i also want to say a couple of
words about the sequestered. as i indicated we will create job loss in the coming year for don't do anything about it. next year you will see $20 billion in additional cuts to defense spending relative to this year so i would hope we would all be motivated to come together before december 5 team to come up with a budget agreement to deal with those issues. we have tried seven times this year, democrats in the house, to get a vote, a vote on our proposal to replace the sequestered for the fiscal year we are in right now and just like we didn't get a vote on october 1 to prevent a government shutdown, we haven't been given the opportunity to vote on our proposal to replace the sequester which would do two things. it would reduce these really excessive agriculture subsidies that have then going to millionaire agricultural
interests and it would eliminate a lot of special interest tax rakes and that would help us put more into education and prevent job loss this year. so we believe we need a budget negotiation. we have to get it done before december 13 and it should include the elements that i just talked about and of course on immigration of course is another way to supercharge our economy that would also help pay for a lot of these things and of course mr. becerra is going to be talking about that so thank you madam leader. >> thank you madam leader. i am pleased to join with their ranking member on the budget and in trying to reach some common ground with our republican colleagues on a budget that will remove the tremendous cloud that is now hanging over the american people.
last saturday, it was a very pleasant day in south carolina and my wife and i decided to just take a leisurely drive with one of our daughters to the rural part of our district. at our second stop, a young lady asked me whether or not the letter she had just received about unemployment insurance was actually going to be a and whether or not come next month, she would in fact lose her unemployment insurance because she has not enabled to find a job. i have been talking for a long long time about the wealth gap that is growing in our country.
howell middle income people are being squeezed out of the employment picture and into unemployment insurance. i have talked with our authorities on this subject and they tell me that unemployment is a direct contributor to our budget deficit. and an issue that is affecting us about as bad as anything else is the absence of a livable wage among working men and women. the senate is poised to take up an increase in the minimum wage when they return their second week of december. i believe that there are more
than 190 signatures calling for the house to do something similarly, to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. that is something we ought to do and we ought to do it right away i think it will incense the working men and women, people who go to work every day and work very hard and find themselves still unable to eke out a living. it is time for us to take steps toward a livable wage for all working men and women and the first step to that would seem to me would be to increase the minimum wage even $10.10 an hour will not get us to a livable wage level but it will start us on that journey and i would hope
that our house of representatives will follow suit and bring the minimum wage bill to the floor and let's were store some security. let's give some hope to working men and women as we move forward. we are about to approach the most important and impactful season on the american economy. if people are not comfortable, they're not going to be able to enjoy the holidays. they're not going to be able to do the kind of shopping that so many of our constituents in order to have a good autumn line on their businesses if they don't feel some security in their lives. the best way to do that it seems to me is to let the american men
and women know, we feel your pain and we would trust that pain by increasing the minimum wage. without i was like to yield to the chair of our caucus mr. becerra. >> thank you, jim. i think the speaker made -- the leader, our leader made a very important point. we were addressed this morning by five americans, five americans who are fasting. in some cases some fasting for over nine days. as the leader said, their message was act fast. there's no reason why we should leave in december and not have completed our work. and so the message should be to our colleagues who have a do-nothing agenda, and it's now. we can act now.
we know we can do a number of things that will help us create more jobs, that will help us grow our economy, that will help us build up and not tear down the middle class. we can do something for this budget that will help us reduce our deficits. those fasters know it very well. it is passé fixed or broken immigration system because everyone including her congressional budget office, our fiscal nonpartisan referee has told us you to immigration reform you reduce the deficit at the federal level by close to a trillion dollars. you to immigration reform you help the budget conferees, with $150 billion worth of reductions in deficit by including immigration reform in your fiscal conversations. you do comprehensive immigration reform and you create thousands of new jobs in america. they thus to act fast.
we believe our republican colleagues should hear the message, let's act now. it's good for the economy, it's good for america to do this and at some point our colleagues will recognize either they will get elected in two things for our country before their party. it is time for us to act. we in congress have to match with the senate did. we have to match with the president is doing and we have to match with the private sector has been doing for quite some time. 200,000 jobs created last month with the help of the administration. we must act so it's time for the house representatives to pull its own weight and get things done rather than shut down, let's build up america's idol class. let's build up for working men and women and build up an opportunity for us to have an immigration system that works. time for us to act now and without with that let me get to
our vice chairman of the caucus. >> thank you mr. becerra. like the leader and chairman becerra i too were a button to remind me of those five individuals on the mall today who are fasting for immigration reform. maybe to the irish-american in me makes me sensitive to the issues of hunger were there the $40 billion my republican colleagues want to cut from food stamps or the fact that there are five individuals who are on the mall fasting for complication -- conference of immigration reform. human beings hunger for more than just food. they hunger for justice and what we need is a just and conference of immigration bill to pass. i also know my republican colleagues are looking possibly for some ideas and maybe that is why they have this blank agenda. i know of 2.1 million people who may have a suggestion.
that is how many people and americans who will lose unemployment insurance if this congress does not act to extend this critical lifeline for their families. unemployment insurance is not just good or americans, america and its workers, it's good for our economy as well. numerous nonpartisan economists have consistently found that unemployment benefits are one of the most effective ways to increase economic growth and increase employment in our nation. for every 1 dollar spent on unemployment insurance $1.64 is circulated back into our economy cutting off extended unemployment benefits now just after christmas will cost our economy 310,000 jobs. the facts are clear. unemployment insurance strengthens our economy and in our economy does better more jobs are created and more
americans are working and that is exactly what out-of-work americans want more than anything else right now. they wanted job. if my republican colleagues want any ideas to grow our economy they must look in the eyes of millions of out-of-work americans who are struggling to make ends meet today. all republicans can offer our blank stares to match their blank agenda. and with that my colleague and friend from new york. >> thank you, joe. it is now public that house republicans actually have a daily playbook to sabotage, to ambush and to repeal the affordable care act and that playbook shows exactly who they are. they do not have a playbook to create jobs. they do not have a playbook to build infrastructure. they do not have a playbook to reform immigration. they don't even have a budget.
they don't have a playbook to actually actually fix the broken health care system. they have a playbook that will take us back to the days of the system that didn't work, that would lead hard-working people back into bankruptcy as the result of a loss of health care that would give give insurance companies unchecked power to deny care and drop coverage. we are going to relentlessly remind the american people that in this congress there is one group, house democrats, who want to fix and improve the affordable care act, one group that wants to fix fix it and anr group that wants to repeal it and put the fix in for insurance companies. we are going to be relentless in reminding the american people about the difference between playbooks to sabotage and ambush the affordable care act in playbooks to build reform education --
immigration and build the middle class. >> thank you my comics. you have heard about a number of subjects here this morning but they all fall under one title and that is growth. growth of the economy. how do we invest and reduce the deficit? reducing the deficit is served by creating jobs and bringing in revenue. reducing the death that is served by passing immigration reform. reducing the deficit is served by putting money in the pockets of the american people and unemployment insurance that they deserve but as mr. crowley said, $1.64 for every dollar spent. it was $1.65 by the economics have upset. to say you want to cut in order to reduce the deficit if you are
making the wrong cuts you are not reducing deficit. in fact you're growing the deficit. the same applies for investing in building infrastructure of america were society of industrial engineers say we get a d in terms of the caliber of our infrastructure right now and investing in early childhood education, the best investment that we can make. we need to feed the children and we need teach the children. we need to have them learning while their parents are earning and earning a minimum wage that lu's work that enables them to inject into the economy with additional purchasing power that they have. it all comes back to one word comes to growth. to create jobs, to reduce the deficit and as we have seen, if we have no other reason but money to pass the affordable care act, because it was
unaffordable. the costs were unsustainable to individuals, to families, to businesses small and large. there was a competitiveness issue globally for our businesses and certainly unsustainable for government at every level including the federal government while the rate of inflation is the lowest in 50 years according to the council on economic advisers, a report that they just put out yesterday and i just saw this morning. i can it's all about deficit reduction. reduce the deficit, reduced the interest we pay on the deficit but do so by creating jobs and growing the economy and not i just giving special tax breaks to special interests and our tax code. we want to see tax reform being part of the agenda as well. get a budget agreement. i'm hopeful we will be able to do it very seems to be appropriate as can finish their work at december 13. i would hope that something
would be announced before we leave for certainly before we come back but it has to be something that again princes of the sequester invest in jobs and honors her commitment on unemployment insurance and again creates jobs immediately by building infrastructure of our country. i am certain my colleagues would be pleased to take any questions that you may have. yes maam, since your last last time. >> i believe president obama said in past days that he is waiting to pass immigration reform bit by bit in the same way that republicans are. >> we have i said on that score and the speaker anyway he wants to bring the bill to the floor, in pieces or in the chunks or whatever it is we just want to see legislation come to the
floor so that congress can act upon that legislation, the house can then send it to the conference table with the senate which is passed immigration reform in a bipartisan way. important to note that we have 10090 co-sponsors, three republicans and 190 democrats but many more republicans who have said they would vote for the bill if it comes to the floor. mr. becerra did you want to say something? next question? [inaudible] speeder seems to be growing momentum and talk about another short term cr to the holidays. i'm wondering what your thoughts are and should a budget deal not be met and timed? >> mr. conyers spoke clearly to that. we have the christmachristma s
season the biggest time for consumer confidence to be high as necessary so we would hope that they could have something at least by the time we come back, by december 1, second so the rep readers can act upon it by december 13. mr. conyers? >> the continuing resolution goes until january 15 so that is in place. what we need as the leader said is to be able to come and find some commonality on some top line numbers in the budget so that the appropriators can get some work done before that time. if we can get those topline numbers between now and the 13th of december we believe -- we used to do it in the first of december and appropriators will have until the 13th two flesh that all out. i believe that we are still
hopeful and there was a conflict with or not there's movement that is positive but our leader on the subject publicly knows more than i do. >> you said it just right. look, the republicans are cheering the budget conference right now but they have not put any proposal on the table. we have had a proposal on the table to replace the sequester for fiscal year 2014 which we are in right now since much earlier this year. we tried to get a vote on it seven times so if you are not going to give the people of this country the opportunity to have a vote on that issue at least put your own plan on the table. don't try and run out the clock and raise the specter of another government shutdown. they tried that once. we hope that they won't try that again and the reason to get this done now and by early december
is cs so that the appropriators can do their work but it's also to send a clear message to the american people at a critical moment that we are not going to be rolling the dice again on a government shutdown just a few weeks later. we know that is what republicans did once and we saw proposals yesterday actually from some of the same folks who were the architects of the government shutdown to once again try to demand changes in the affordable care act as part of the continuing resolution if that is what it comes to. they are going after one of the parts of the affordable care act that is working really well which is to provide working people with lower incomes with coverage and get their once again threatening to use the appropriations process to change that and otherwise shut down the government. >> is important to note that yesterday marked five weeks since the president --
today five weeks since the president signed a bill to open up government, five weeks and we still haven't seen anything. we could be well down the path of the top line coming from the budget committee from the appropriators taking the time to do their work and moving all that in the public's mind that we will get this done and they are not going to run out the clock is mr. van hollen says so there are fewer options left in the decision-making and therefore it would be harmful to the american people. yes, maam. >> do you think he should step down and. [inaudible] >> you no, i don't want to go to that place except to say i think think -- i guess that for he and his
family and i'm glad that he is seeking care and that is why patrick kennedy took the lead in passing the mental health parity legislation which have important provisions regarding addiction in it. that is really important and that is well served by the affordable care at. but the inconsistency on the republican side to say we are going to cut $40 million out of food stamps and by the way you should be drug tested before you can get food stamps when people are voting to do that are engaged in that activity. having said that though i come back to the sadness i feel for his family. patrick addressed this problem. he left congress. i'm not suggesting congressman radel do that. that is the decision he and his family and caucus have to make but i think if they want to compare themselves to patrick kennedy they are setting a very
high standard for themselves because he uses personal challenge is to make a difference in public policy in our country that makes it a difference in improving the lives of the american oak. that is a tough act to compare yourself to. >> i took to the floor to challenge that part of the act dealing with drug testing testig because i feel very strongly that illnesses are illnesses and they have to be treated that way. i believe that it's disingenuous for our republican colleagues to start looking for scapegoats. let's take a hard look because that is not the only calamity that we have seen recently. we just saw a public official in virginia who came close to
losing his life because there are mental health system failed his family. i think that sought to highlight for all of us the necessity to treat illnesses as illnesses. >> there has been some discussion in the conference about nontax revenues being part of the mix as tsa user fees and revenue from the sale of the communications spectrum and things like that. in the context of the smaller deal that deals with sequester for one or two years is that something you can live with or to you guys absolutely have to have a tax loophole closing to make it good for you? >> you mentioned a couple of user fees that are in various budgets. we are just a little perplexed
that our republican colleagues think it's a better idea to raise tsa fees on the american public than close a tax loophole that actually creates incentives for american companies to move their profits to places like the cayman islands, so obviously we should look at various fees because we want to make sure that the fees are set at the levels of the service provider but again we do find it very strange that republicans would want to take off the table the closure of tax breaks that protect special interests and very wealthy individuals while they want to look at the other fees that have a broader impact on the american public. so why they would focus on one to the exclusion of the other is a question people are going to have to ask themselves about priorities. >> especially when at that same time they want seniors to pay more for their medicare.
so far there've budget is one of millionaires over medicare and we are on the side of the american people who have access to medicare as the pillar of their economic and health security. so hopefully the budget will be driven by values. hopefully it will be evidence-based. hopefully it will be reflecting the need for us to get to work to create jobs and to reduce the deficit. i hope you have a very thanks -- happy thanksgiving. later this afternoon i guess and i don't know what time it will get out that later this afternoon we will be having a special order to observe the 50th anniversary which is tomorrow of the assassination of president kennedy. this is something that many of you were born at the time but for those of us who witnessed it or were alive at the time, or
speaking to others who were inspired by president kennedy but since we are out tomorrow we are going to be very prayerful today and send our wishes. i know the kennedy family is more and just in focusing on the president's birthday or his inauguration day or his many other accomplishments as yesterday we beautifully observed at the 50th anniversary of the signing of the presidential medal of freedom award and all the value he placed on growing our economr old, sports, the arts and all the rest, but it has made a difference in our country and he inspired many of us to be involved in politics. much legislation sprang from inch of rain his original agenda but we will talk more about that this afternoon. just remembering