tv [untitled] February 17, 2012 12:30pm-1:00pm EST
over so there's no backward movement. i think we're on the right panetta's comments i would say all along our strategy is to turn over responsibility to the afghan security forces and i think as we continue to make progress, general allen and others on the ground will make the decision exactly when this happens. we all agree with secretary panetta that over time we're going to turn responsibility over to afghan security fors, we will move back from combat operations, allow them to take the lead, and we will do that when the time is right. the end of 2013 might be the time we do that. but that will be a continual assessment that goes on. we've had open conversations with secretary panetta on this. that's his judgment as well. he was stating what his estimate would be right now and we'll don't assess that as we move forward. >> thank you. mr. secretary, the fiscal year 2011 defense authorization
required the department of defense to provide congress with a full analysis of alternatives for the ground combat vehicle. we still have not received that analysis of the alternatives, and when will we get it? >> well, we're -- pardon me. we're working through the dictates of the congressional mandate but also what be our normal procurement and part of that as you just noted is an analysis of alternatives but also an analysis of nondevelopmental platforms as well. our current plan, i think, calls for 2014 on the next step for that. so hopefully at the end of this year we'll have some input for you and get back to you. i don't recall that -- i don't recall the legislation itself had a specific deadline. >> but i'll tell you we're aggressively going after this.
it's not only developmental but we want to look at nondevelopmental items in this and that's clearly part of the process we'll go through. once we meet milestone a as part of that will be nondevelopmental potential with capabilities that we could accept at that time. that's part of this open competition that we want to continue to have as we develop these systems and programs. >> thank you very much. general, how much is the ground combat vehicle going to cost and at what unit production cost would the gcb become prohibitively expensive? >> i'll have to get back to you on the prohibitive part. i'm not sure yet. we have to wait until they give us what we think the capabilities of the vehicles will be before we understand those costs. i can give you more of a ballpark. >> thank you. i'll yield back. thank you both for your service to the country. >> thank the gentlemen, chair will now recognize himself for
possibly the last question as long as no one else walks in. secretary, general thank you both for being here. i have two questions but they pertain generally to readiness and reset. and obviously first question is to what extent it important to maintain the current funding level for reset of equipment for home station training in places like my district we have joint base lakers. now despite the plan reduction and over 100,000 army and marine troops and the second question is kind of lays into that. what's the rationale for the army's decision to increase reset funding over the fy-'12 appropriated levels despitducti fy-'12 budget? >> a couple of things first. the has to do with -- as we reset it'scoming out of iq
and afghanistan and that equipment will be used to continue to properly man and equip ourctive reserve component forces. if we don't reset this equipment properly we'll not -- wet readi level. it's absolutely essential we get this reset dollars and the reason it's increased is because coming out of iraq, more equipment coming back, equipment coming out of afghanistan, come being back to the united states. it's important we have this fund this year. >> it's up there on the priority list. >> very high on the priority list for us in order for us to sustain our overall readiness. >> the other thing on training, we have some risk in training fund through this program, through '17. but one of the advantages of taking a five year look is that each year we have the opportunity to re-analyze where
we are to make sure we're financed across the course of needs. we have to be working hard going into '14, '15, particularly '15 and '16 and we recognize that challenge out there and it's something we're focused on very carefully. >> to piggyback off of that. as we have the need for the reset and say the mechanics to do that and we're reducing personnel, is that well within your vision, you're very well aware of that. that could be a legitimate problem. you have a lot of equipment to fix and you have the funding levels but you don't have the personnel to do the maintenance. >> part of this is to fund it in our organic capability that we have within the army. that's where we see most of the reset working done. that's why it's so critical to have the fund sewing we don't get the appropriate funding we'll not have the people that will allow us to conduct this
reset. but it would be done by mostly civilian governmental employees that operate within our denals t the majority of the reset work. >> that really goes back very cs we've had a number of times today with respect to how do we sustain our organic depots, how do we keep our places like that employed and up to speed. it also underscores the need for oco funding because a great sh will war.out of those oco accounts we need that line for at least two years, we hope two to three years after the hostilities. >> thank you. that's all i have. being where alone in here. thank boston you for being in here. taking time out four testimony. this committee looks forward to
if you missed any of this hearing on the army's budget for fiscal year to 13 you can see it in its entirety in the c-span video library. the house adopted the conference report to the payroll tax agreement. moments after that the senate voted 60-36 to approve the agreement. it now goes to president obama for his signature. you can see how are you congressman voted if you go to our website c-span.org and this is the final piece of legislation in the house and the senate for the day as members head out for the president's daybreak. the president has requested $525 billion for the defense
department for next year. 1% cut in discretionary nonwar spending. the budget does have about $88 billion in war spending but it's about $27 billion less than this year. the overall budget for next year is proposed at $3.8 trillion in total spending reducing the debt over $3 trillion. discretionary spending goes down 3% but overall spending increases mainly due to growth in the government's major health benefit programs. it's a recommendation for congress. president obama is in washington state today talking about jobs and exports at the boeing plant in everett, washington. the white house says boeing has seen a 45% increase in exports since 2006. the president has a plan to help other countries to do the same. we'll have live coverage of his comments at about 2:35 eastern here on c-span 3. book tv is live saturday
from the savannah book festival. coverage starts at 9:30 eastern with tom clavin on the last hours of the vietnam war. followed by karl marlantes and scotty smiley. at 1:30 eastern, jennifer griffin on the changing israeli conflict. toure looks at who is afraid of post- blackness. at 5 lone 15, gwynne on the rise and fall of the apa chess. in 1966 julian bond was prevented from take his elected seat in the georgia state house after state representatives voted 184-12 not seat him due to a stance against the vietnam war. his appeal went to the u.s. supreme court. >> went to the court to hear the
argument and i was sitting in the court just behind the bar with the lawyers in front of me. i was sitting next to my lawyers' partner and the attorney general of georgia was making argument that georgia had a right to throw me out because i had said things that were treasonous. and i think it was judge white said to him, he said is this all you have? you came all the way up here and this is all you have. i said to his partner we're winning opinion >> discover more about for example history during black history month on american history tv on c-span 3 and online at the c-span video library. search and share from over 25 years of c-span programming. farming officials tell congress current immigration laws make it tougher for them to find workers.
at issue is the temporary visa program for immigrants coming into the u.s. for seasonal agriculture work. members of the judiciary subcommittee on immigration heard from farm experts from georgia, california and north carolina. they discussed what to do with agricultural workers in the country illegally. this is about an hour and 20 minutes. >> i'll call to order the subcommittee on the policy and enforcement. today, we have a hearing on regional perspectives on agriculture guest worker programs. good morning to all. today's subcommittee hearing represents our third hearing on the issue of seasonal agricultural labor and guest worker program. this is a complex issue which impacts not only farm workers and agricultural employees, but also u.s. workers and local communities in the united states and the american taxpayer.
this is a critical issue to the u.s. agriculture because real world experience has shown that there are simply not enough americans willing to work as migrant farm workers. the labor intensive branch of agriculture, fruits and vegetables and horticulture specialties employs over 1.2 million individual farm workers a year. each year, farm workers are interviewed by the u.s. department of labor's national agricultural worker survey. the survey found that over the 2007 and 2009 period that 48% of farm workers openly admitted to being illegally in the country. the actual figure may be even higher. the naws shows that 85% of first time farm workers openly admit
to being illegally in the country. what options do growers really have? since 1986, the program has made visas available for temporary workers. the american agriculture told the subcommittee that the h2a program was characterized as extensive and complex regulations that hamstring employer who try to use it and costly litigation when issues of alien workers are sought. they allege the department of labor was opposed to the program. front and center in the growers' mind was assuring the availability of labor and harvesting whose timing varies with the weather.
unfortunately, timeless has never been the h2-a program's strong suit. neither is the availability of the domestic labor. it seems little has changed in the intervening 16 years. the bush administration's labor department initiated a bold plan to revamp the program. the plan was rescinded by the obama administration and remade the program into a system designed to streamline the regulatory process and speed up the guest workers that faced labor shortage. it was designed to make the cost of the program more manageable for the growers. even though the changes did improve the program, let me make it clear on one point. the h2-a program is not structured to meet the needs of
the vast majority of agricultural employees in the united states. it simply is not flexible enough to provide an adequate supply of labor in timely fashion to many growers, especially growers, especially crops across the country. i look forward to hearing the testimony today of diverse panel of witnesses who will provide their assessment of the h2-a program. and discuss specific recommendations for an alternative guest worker program. it is my hope this hearing will plant the seed for much-needed reform of our agricultural visa program. with that, i yield to my friend from california. the number one agriculture state in the united states. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you are right. this is the third hearing before the subcommittee. specifically on our agriculture work force. we have been talking about the
issue for this whole congress in relation to chairman smith's proposal to implement a mandatory e-verify system. as members of both sides of the aisle have made clear, without something to address the county's mandatory work force needs, mandatory e-verify would simply destroy segments of the agricultural industry. looking back on the hearings we held on this issue over the last two years, i think critical facts are ignored. we know corn and wheat and soy are not the issue. the biggest is with seasonal fruit and vegetable production. when it comes to farming, we don't just need a work force, but an experienced work force and an experienced work force is not enough. we need a fast and flexible work force. farmers do their best to plant harvests, unusual rises or dips
in temperature or humidity can move up a harvest giving growers days or hours to pick a harvest. the grower must find experienced workers with the right skills immediately or lose his or her crops. luckily, such a fast work force exists in america today. those have helped make american agriculture a resounding success. for those who believe in the free market, this is a prime example of that power. technological advancement may get all of the attention, but america has long been an agriculture power house. agriculture continues to be a major sector of our economy and a primary u.s. export. in fact, we export so many more agricultural products than we import that the sector is the largest in which we see a trade surplus. congress has ignored the needs of labor in this sector. we have been educating our children in other areas.
at the same time, the immigration laws have made it impossible to fill the void with foreign legal workers. despite the need for workers on a permanent basis, our immigration laws have made 5,000 green cards available per year for people without bachelor's degrees. that is 5,000 per year to be shared by landscapers and hotels and many other industries who hire such workers. the temporary program has not done the job. any employer will say the program is slow for fast-moving harvests. a recent survey found 72% of the users reported that their workers arrived 22 days on average after the date of need. it is no surprise that the program is used so sparingly to the high water mark of 54,000 visas in 2008. high watermark o
62,000 visas in 2008. in that environment is it any wonder mark forces use magic to pair up willing employees and employers. the government essentially left farmer with no choice but to hire undocumented workers. everyone, including the government, looked the other way as they filled the jobs that our country needed filled. what do we do now? do we accept responsibility for creating this mess? recognize that we have an experienced work force that has been providing critical services to the country for years, provide a way for them to obtain legal status and continue to help this country succeed, or do we, as some suggest, attempt to throw out this enter experienced workforce and import millions of new workers through a government controlled program that has never worked in the past? i mentioned it before, but i need to mention it again. how can anyone think that the
answer to our labor needs is to deport over a million agricultural workers who are already here, workers who have experience, know where to go, what to do and when to do it just to ship in millions of new government approved workers every year, year after year after year. the proposal is asking taxpayers to spend billions to deport the experienced workers only to require america's farmers to shoulder the cost annually of bringing in millions of new workers. it doesn't make sense. it won't work. we already know the results in those states where action has been taken. tremendous loss. we have seen a preview in georgia and alabama because of their new immigration laws. university of georgia estimates because of resulting worker shortages in just seven key berry and vegetable crops, georgia and its growers will suffer millions of dollars every year.
the professor at the university of alabama, estimates that alabama will face between $2 billion and $11 billion in annual economic losses. is this what we want for american agriculture? i think we need to face facts. the law has been broken for decades, failing to meet the needs of entire industries, particularly ag. people took matters into their own hands. yes, the farmers came without obeying the rules, but almost every fruit and vegetable farmer in the country broke the rules. the government essentially let it all happen. we're all at fault. we need to recognize that and do what is right for the country. we can't allow ideology to trump common sense. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> i thank the gentle lady. the good news is we have the hearing this morning. the bad news is the bells just went off and we have votes. poible. we may lose some members along the way, but this will be an important thrdg .
>> at this time, the chair will recognize the chairman of the full committee. the gentleman from texas. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the agriculture industry needs to hire hundreds of thousands of seasonal workers each year to put food on americans' tables. however, many workers with better options choose to work elsewhere. that is why many illegal farm workers who got amnesty
soon left the fields for other jobs in the city. as the president of the american farm bureau, any new amnesty would have the same result. because of this, u.s. employers often face a shortage of available american workers to fill seasonal agricultural jobs. there is no numerical limit to h2a visas yet half farm workers are illegal immigrants. why don't more who have demands make use of the program? in 2008, the department of labor concluded that the majority of growers find the program so plagued with problems that they avoid using it all together. this sub committee held a hearing in which witnesses described what was wrong with the program. growers believe that the labor department, which largely administers the h-2a program is
hostile to them and the program. growers are troubled by the great cost of using the h-2a program, especially the adverse wage rate. growers have to build free housing for the guest workers. america needs a guest worker program that is fair to everyone it impacts. american growers, farm workers, consumers and guest workers. a program must provide growers who want to do the right thing with a reliable source of legal labor. it must protect the livelihood of american workers and rights of guest workers. it must keep in mind the pocketbooks of american families. i have introduced legislation, the american specialty agriculture act, that accomplishes these goals. it establishes and h-2c guest worker program responsive to the needs of the american growers and maintains strong policies. it does so without the mass amnesty for illegal immigrant farm workers that failed in 1986. let me highlight some of the provisions of the bill.
the bill puts the agriculture department in charge of the h-2c program. second, in order to minimize red tape, it stream lines the process for workers making it attestati attestation-based. it requires workers to pay workers the prevailing wage. fourth, the bill allows growers to provide a housing voucher instead of actual housing which for growers who may need farm workers for only a few weeks a year. fifth, the bill opens up the h-2c program to daries and other producers that cannot use the h 2-a program because they employ workers year round. sixth, the bill allows growers to include binding arbitration in contracts in order to forestill litigation. i'm also pleased that the report has been found that the program
is responsive to the needs of america's specialty growers. i look forward today to hearing perspectives from both coasts on how best to write and implement an agricultural guest worker program. we must put policies in place to help ensure american growers can keep growing our crops and our ec i yield back. >> i change the chairman for his statement. i must say, i enjoy sitting here. this is the first time i have seen an override button. i can cancel all other microphones while activating my own. >> you're not supposed to do that. >> i didn't know that was here. >> before you do that, mr. chairman, could i ask unanimous consent to put his statement in the record? >> absolutely, without objection, so ordered. i ask unanimous consent that the statement of ceo of western growers, the statement of
marreen tory marshall of tory farms of new york and the statement of dale foreman, chairman of the u.s. apple association be included in the record as well. without objection, so ordered. we have a distinguished panel of witnesses today. we are fortunate that we got our votes done so we can be uninterrupted now before members might have to return to districts. each of the witnesses written statements will be entered fwht record in their entirety. i ask each of you to summarize his testimony in five minutes or less. to help you stay within that, we have those beautiful timing devices next to you. when the light switches from green to yellow, you have one minute to conclude your testimony. when it switches to red, it signals the time has expired. we're not as difficult -- i wouldn't say difficult, we're not as precise as the supreme court is. if you had an opportunity to argue before the supreme court, you are instructed that