Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    February 16, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm EST

6:00 pm
worth more than $150 billion. it would essentially extend the payroll tax holiday through the end of this year. for you who earn maybe $50,000 or $60,000 on ample it means another $40 per paycheck, the white house says about $1,000 more per year and extends unemployment benefits and works on that so-called medicare doc fix. welcome to hour two. i'm steve scully. meanwhile the president in california raising money for his own re-election effort for fund raisers today in southern california. before heading up to washington state, the president will be back in washington, d.c. tomorrow. meanwhile, senators rick santorum and governor mitt romney campaigning in michigan. news tonight from a debate that was scheduled to take place in early march in atlanta on cnn, that debate has been canceled. mitt romney saying he will not participate nor will congressman ron paul. next round of contests in arizona and michigan on february
6:01 pm
28th. let's begin with our lead story, paul korean has it on the coast website as house republican and democratic leaders working out this agreement. nancy pelosi telling reporters today the plan will be acceptable to her members and house speaker john boehner calling it a fair agreement. so here are the details. the bill would extend a reduction of 20 percentage points in that the 6.2% social security payroll tax through the end of the year. it will benefit about 160 million workers saving on average about $1,000 for the rest of the year. it removes this issue from election year politics. it's something congress will have to take up again after december. a key roadblock was overcome when congressional negotiators agreed to require new federal workers to contribute more to their pension plans. that cleared the way to sign off on the deal. this represented a concession to key maryland democrats who even after prodding from president
6:02 pm
obama did not grant their support till it was agreed the current federal workers would be shielded from this new pension plan according to officials from both parties. again, more details on the specifics of this plan. bottom line, the votes will take place tomorrow the house first and then the senate. here's more everywhere senator dick durbin earlier in the day. senator patty murray is next with her announcement of this agreement. >> you know, hear the same thing from middle class families every single weekend when i go home. more than anything they want certainty and they want security. they want peace of mind and the assurance that back here in this washington we aren't working against each other. we're working for them. that's why as senate democrats we've been working hard to make sure they have the support they need. if they get laid off. it's why we've pushed republicans to extend support for doctors, to provide medicare for our seniors, and it's why we have insisted on a middle class
6:03 pm
tax cut for our hard-working families. and here we are, finally, after months of republicans dragging their feet on a full year extension and after struggling to just get two months of middle class support over the holidays, we are now on the verge of a deal that is not perfect by any means but will tell families in my state and across the country that we're looking out for you and for our economic recovery. but of course, with the republicans here in the senate, the waiting is always the hardest part. and today, they have again left middle class families waiting. with bated breath. after every other member of the conference committee has signed off on this deal, senate republicans are mia. we had left once again to wonder, are they ever going to join us in fighting for those who need it the most? you know, today i was reminded of who it is that really needs our help and just who it is that will benefit from this deal. this afternoon, i spoke downtown
6:04 pm
to a room full of unemployed veterans who had made it all the way here to washington, d.c. just to participate in a job training program that many ge was putting on. these are our nation's heroes. they're just back from iraq and afghanistan. and many among them are part of the millions of american who are collecting unemployment benefits or depending heavily on the $40 a month in their paycheck that this tax cut provides. i talked to these veterans about how we as a nation are at a crossroads. a moment where it will be decided whether we are going to step up as a country to provide the opportunities that they deserve. this vote is critical to them as it is to every middle class american family. and together, they are all looking right now to senate republicans to do the right thing. >> senator patty murray, democrat from the washington, her reaction to this agreement worked out in the early morning
6:05 pm
hours today. now, again, part of this new plan would require any new federal hire tore contribute an additional 2.3% more of their salaries towards the pensions. that will take effect again for new employees. it will not affect current federal workers, part of the of the federal employees retirement system. one of a number of last minute compromises worked out between the conferrees. john boehner speaking to reporters earlier in the day also announcing his support for their plan. >> last fall, i said that the only reason we're even talking about a payroll tax break or an extension of unemployment benefits is because the president's economic policies have failed. i still believe that to be the case today. the agreement that's been reached to stop a tax hike on middle class americans is a fair agreement and one that i support. i want to thank chairman kemp and all of our conferrees for all the work and effort they've put into this bill.
6:06 pm
but let's be honest. this is as economic relief package. not a bill what's going to grow the economy and create jobs. tomorrow is the third anniversary of the president's stimulus bill. and yet another reminder that we need to change course and focus on pro growth economic positions and the types of bills that for months republicans have been passing over to the united states senate. you know, in december, the white house famously said that extending the payroll tax cut was the last must do item on the president's agenda. according to the white house when he signs this bill, he's finished. of if you haven't noticed, the president checked out last labor day and has been unengaged in leading our country ever since. it's been a one nonstop campaign trip after another. so he can campaign all he wants, but the republicans are going to
6:07 pm
stay focused on jobs. and the types of pro growth policies that will help small businesses grow and put americans back to work. listen, you all know we've passed nearly 30 jobs bills. all passed with bipartisan support. sitting in the united states senate waiting for action. if we really want to get our economy going again and put americans back to work and have no need for an economic relief package, the president ought to be pushing the democrats in the senate to move these bills because many of them will pass with bipartisan support in the united states senate, as well. listen, we've made it clear that we want to work with the president on jobs to help move our country forward. and unfortunately, the white house has made clear that the president is finished with governing for the balance of his term. so we're left with policies that will not only aren't helping the economy but they've made it worse. unemployment's been above 8% for
6:08 pm
three straight years. gas prices have more than doubled since the president took office. the national debt now tops $15.3 trillion. but where is his vision for how to repair all of this? he could have outlined it in his budget submission this week. and yet, the president did nothing more than kick the can down the road once again. >> the comments of the speaker of the house john boehner earlier in the day. the hill newspaper putting it this way. the signing of this report marking the latest step in what has been a chaotic week for the conference committee as they try to hammer out agreement between democrats and republicans on this payroll tax cut. again, the key issue was how to pay for this. negotiators announced on tuesday they were very close to a deal but due to some final obstacles, it took till early this morning before congressman dave kemp, republican of michigan and senator max baucus, democrat of montana headed to the cameras to
6:09 pm
announce a final agreement. 17 of the 20 conferrees signed on the deal but there are still signs of partisan discontent. rank and file members sayi s sa they will not support the measure. the same message from nancy pelosi. >> it appears we may be shortly voting on this legislation to give a payroll tax cut to 160 million americans without having it be offset. that was one of the pillars of the legislation that we had hoped to see. we insisted on three things. one, that we had the payroll tax cut preferably unpaid for. that's in the bill. secondly, is that we have unemployment compensation extended for a number of weeks respectful of the needs of our workers who their own. that is in the bill.
6:10 pm
it does not have the strange like you have to have a high school diploma in order to get unemployment benefits for workers who have been in the workforce a very long time, that would be an unfair barrier. and third, that we would have enable seniors to be able to see their doctors under medicare. that's in the bill, too. and while do not like the pay for there, we prefer another pay for and we prefer a longer period of time. we do recognize that the bill does contain the three features that we said were necessary and does so at least in terms of the payroll tax cut and in terms of the unemployment insurance in a way that i think is acceptable to most of us. again, on the pay for for the medicare doctor visits for seniors, we think it could have
6:11 pm
been done in a more economic way which was better for the taxpayer, better for our seniors, long period of time paid for by savings. >> nancy pelosi, the democratic heder in the house of representatives speaking to reporters earlier in the day. u.s. debt keeping track of the nation's debt to you at 15.3 trillion dollars. for every citizen, the cost for the debt is just under $50,000 a year for every taxpayer, that averages out to about $136,000 a year. and so the question is whether or not we are doing enough to offset the nation's debt and deficit. one of the issues that not only came up during the payroll tax cut negotiations but also an issue that is likely to dominate this 2012 election year, what do you think? our c-span listener feedback line is open, 202-626-7962. 202-626-7962. >> my name is steve. i'm a republican from south
6:12 pm
central pennsylvania. my wife is in the military. they keep talking about cutting military spending and one the things that they've been talking about is cutting military pay. in order to get this deficit down, you can't cut military pay. and the federal government is made up of a whole bunch of different departments. but one thing nobody's ever talking about is congress and the president. they get paid on the average of $125,000 a year on the low side. on the high side, it's over $400,000. why don't they take a pay cut? they're supposed to be serving our country. why don't they act like it? thanks. bye. >> calling from fredericksburg, virginia. i think too much attention is being paid to the federal deficit, not enough attention is
6:13 pm
being paid to economic activity. more money is in circulation, the more jobs to be created. yes, there's a risk of inflation. we need to guard against that. but as the dollar inflates, our debt top of china been diminish. thank you. >> yes, i'm calling from fredericksburg, virginia. i'd like to amend my comments earlier. i still believe that too much attention is paid, being paid to the deficit. in the near term. as prices become inflated, which is a risk, our debt to china is diminished. but there's a greater risk of deflation in prices. and so we need to maintain economic activity. and i think that obama's policies are a step in that
6:14 pm
direction. thank you. >> just some of your calls and comments at 202-626-7962. again 202-626-7962. we'd like to get your thoughts whether or not you think the federal government is doing enough to deal with the issue of the debt and deficit. well, next month a lot of attention on the u.s. supreme court and the president's health care bill. a website called scotus blog along with bloomberg law putting together a panel that included attorneys paul clement and neil katiel previewing the pain arguments that will be made next month when the court considers the health care challenge which centers on the reach of congressional power under the constitution to regulate interstate commerce. that's the essential argument that we're going to be hearing during what will be unprecedented at least five hours over the course of two days oral arguments before the court. c-span has requested cameras inside the supreme court. we'll have more on that as we hear back from the chambers. but first, here's more from
6:15 pm
today's national press club events. >> what i had i gives rise to the central constitutional issue is the starting observation ta this is a fairly unique or completely unique provision of law. there have been a lot of crises in this country over the years that economic other where congress might have thought that forcing individuals to purchase a particular good or particular service might be a useful means of government action. but the government never did it. just to take an example that as i was resonated with me because it's so recent and seems to me so obvious that a compelled purchase would have been an even more effective regulation. there was the famous cash for clu clunkers program involving a series of incentives to get people to help the car industry by giving them incentives to purchase cars. it seems to me it would have been much more efficient and effective for the government in accomplishing its objective of
6:16 pm
boosting the automobile industry to simply say that everybody over a certain income level just had to buy a car. much more direct way to accomplish that objective. the government has never really seen fit, at least the federal level, to do that kind of direct requirement that individuals engage in commerce. and so that's what really gives rise to the basic issue here i think. you know, the government for its -- the federal government on its behalf suggests that this is although i think they concede that it's largely unprecedented action, i think they suggest that it's a fairly straightforward regulation of commerce supported by the commerce clause. the challengers on the other hand, point to both the unprecedented nature of the imposition and the government's seeming inability to articulate a limiting principle such that if you could engage in this regulation what regulation
6:17 pm
couldn't the government engage in, what commerce couldn't they force you into in the name of federal better regulating commerce. so in a nutshell, i hope that's responsibly setting the table. i'm sure i've said at least one thing that makes neil want to clarify. >> so first of all, thank you for this wonderful event. it's a delight to be here with all of you. i did represent the government. i'm obviously not here now representing the government. i'm just speaking for his. i agree with a large part of what paul said in terms of the descripti description. let me just flesh out exactly what congress was doing because honestly, i didn't understand why this individual mandate existed till i started getting into the weeds and arguing the case. so congress was reacting to a problem in which there are approximately 50 million people uninsured in this country and priced out of the insurance markets. a large part of that has to do with discrimination against those with pre-existing
6:18 pm
conditions that if you're in one job and you try and switch your job, you can't really do so because that other employer looks at you and says oh, boy, this person has all sorts of -- this person has high risks and so on and so the insurance costs for them are too high. so 50 million people approximately are uninsured. congress comes along and says we're going to eliminate the discrimination of those with pre-existing conditions and insist everyone be rated at a certain level in a community so that you can't stick the bill too high to particular individuals. now the problem with that is once insurance companies are told well, you've got to insure folks and at a fair cross section of the rate, then everyone could just wait to the buy insurance till they go the sick. you would wait till you got to the hospital before you the had to sign up for insurance. and then that way, you'd econ mize on your costs up till you got sick. well, that obviously would create massive adverse selection
6:19 pm
problems and did in the states that tried to reform the insurance markets through pre-existing discrimination bans and the like. so what congress did is said we're going to have an individual mandate so that everyone has to have a certain amount of insurance precisely to avoid that adverse selection problem. right now, congress found every american family spends about $1,000 -- every american family who gets health insurance pays approximately $1,000 extra to pay for those uninsured and those costs spread across state lines. so that's really i think what congress's was saying when they said this is part of their commerce power that, health care is approximately 18% of the gdp. and this is a comprehensive regulation of the health insurance markets. now, paul says that the example that resonates with him is that if the government -- why didn't the government do this with respect to the automobile industry. the automobile industry is really different. i mean, there isn't -- that's
6:20 pm
not a situation in which you can show up at the car lot, drive off with a car and stick your bill to your neighbor. that's what's going on in the health insurance market. that's what congress found. that the uninsured are going into emergency rooms and you and i who are paying for insurance are effectively paying for them. that is an economic effect that is real and present right now. >> the comments of neal katyal. before that the paul clement. paul clement is the former solicitor general under president george w. bush. he is arguing for the 26 states challenging the president's health care law saying that the obama administration offered no limiting principles on what products americans could be required to buy. and, of course, the product required by under the health care bill is insurance. but neal katyal saying that individual mandate was one of a comprehensive reform to address what he says has been a national
6:21 pm
crisis of 50 million americans without health insurance. again, arguments before the u.s. supreme court that will take place in late march over the course of two days here in washington. and we're told from the "washington post" website that a court decision is expected sometime in june. you're listening to washington today. senator richard burr joining his colleague tom coburn who is a medical doctor, republican from oklahoma unveiling what they call the seniors choice act that would help america's seniors by building a more sustainable medicare program through immediate reforms. pointing that many are rooted in long-standing and bipartisan ideas ta democrats and republicans will support something that senator burr is hoping democrats will join. some experts have warned the current medicare program is facing insolvency due to the unsustainable growth. here's more with the north carolina republican. >> over a year ago, tom and i
6:22 pm
started working on a medicare transformation bill. it was to take all the good suggestions that were introduced or talked about to try to see if weep could incorporate them in a bill that provides at the end of the day seniors with choice and transparency. if we can accomplish choice, then we can create competition in a new marketplace that we've seen work extremely well in medicare part d, the prescription drug plan. if you look at all the government estimates as to what part d would cost this year, we're significantly under the monthly premium of what part d was projected to be. the only common thread that you can find is that we created a successful competitive bidding process for plans with the
6:23 pm
eventual patient that are chose. what we're doing here is exactly the same thing. but unlike other medicare reform proposals that have been introduced, we're not eliminating fee for service or traditional medicare. we're saying to seniors today and tomorrow that traditional fee for service medicare will exist. if you choose to stay on it or you choose to pick it as you become eligible for medicare, that's fine. but what fee for service should have to do is it should have to compete with what the private sector can lay on the table also. we believe that level of competition will not only bring down the cost of fee for service. it will engage seniors in better choices about not just the coverage but the procedures that they choose. i think it's safe to say that we realize and a simple mathematic
6:24 pm
calculation problems that just reform within medicare is not enough. and for that reason, we do take the tough of political step of saying, income testing has to be part of the medicare benefit in the future. that will individuals that are low income should have skin in the game but much less than people who are in high incomes. this plan for the first time in the history of a health care plan in america will provide for all beneficiaries an annual cap on their out of pocket costs. let me say that again. an annual cap to what every senior will have to spend out of pocket regardless of what health condition they might have. it does not exist today in fee for service medicare. and we would do that as well on a sliding scale.
6:25 pm
so no seniors should go through an annual period where they're concerned that they will lose everything they have accumulated over their lifetime because of an illness yet to be discovered. and we believe that that's a tremendous security for all the country's beneficiaries. and we have built this program around that have annual limitation. so, why are we doing it now? we all know it's a presidential year. it's tough enough to do easy things. it's to some degree impossible to do big things. we were spurred by the fact that the president's budget came out and it didn't attempt to address any of the structural problems in medicare. >> the comments of senator richard burr, republican of north carolina joining his colleague senator tom coburn on a piece of legislation that they say will help resolve some of the financial issues facing medicare, claiming it is unstainable with the growth
6:26 pm
projected over the next 10 to 12 years. this is washington today. >> the obama administration has denied wisconsin's request for a waiver from the new health care law's medical loss ratio. while partially approving north carolina's. and with the two decisions, the hhs, department of health and human services has concluded its review of the 17 states that have requested a waiver from the law's requirement that the individual market health plans spend at least 80% of premiums on medical health care or give customers rebates. the department has rejected ten requests and approved modified applications are from seven requests. encouraging reports about jobs and housing have helped boost the dow to its highest close of the year, up 123 points. nasdaq was up 44, s&p was up 15. president obama has sent to congress the proposed legislation that estalked about
6:27 pm
a little bit earlier this year would give presidents more power to consolidate governmental functions. the president said he would use this authority to merge six major economic agencies into one. in a letter to the house speaker, john boehner, the president said the move would create a department "with one website, one phone number and one mission, helping american businesses succeed." the nigerian man who pleaded guilty to trying to blow up northwest flight over detroit on christmas day 2009 has been sentenced today. it's life in prison without parole. the judge called it a just punishment when sentencing farouk abdulmutallab saying that he poses a significant on going threat to the safety of american citizens everywhere. at the united nations has approved a resolution strongly condemning human rights have alations by the syria government and calls for bashar al assad to
6:28 pm
step down. the vote was 137-12. 17 abstentions. and finally, a new record in new york city, an apartment there has sold for $88 million. that's according to the "wall street journal," 66% above the old record. the family of a russian billionaire bought the penthouse on central park west. the apartment features a wrap around terrace and then the general says now it's most expensive in new york. broker's commission was $3.5 million. back in a minute with more washington today. >> this friday on after words on c-span, ira shapiro discusses his latest book "the last great senate." he talks about the legislation passed by the u.s. senate in the 1960s and the 1970s. >> 1963, 1964 was an extraordinary moment of political consciousness in our country that all of a sudden the historic injustice of civil
6:29 pm
rights was going to be dealt with. but the senate was the last bastion of resistance that had to be overcome. and what mansfield did with hubert humphrey and everett dirkson and the other senators is they won an overwhelming victory for what was probably the most important piece of legislation ever enacted, the civil rights act of '64. >> ira shapiro discusses his book with independent senator bernie sanders of vermont this friday at 7:00 p.m. eastern on after words here on c-span radio. >> news on afghanistan and syria today from defense secretary leon pa at the time net ta who spoke to reporters jo. today applauding hamid karzai for telling an interviewer that the afghan government and the taliban recently holding three-way talks aimed at moving toward a political settlement of the war. president karzai's comments by the way coming in the "wall street journal," an interview published this morning available


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on