Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    April 13, 2012 1:30pm-2:00pm EDT

1:30 pm
they can reach people. these are very high priority. and each case they present some very challenging issues to work through. >> well, we wish you the best because that's going to be a challenge and one everybody will be looking at. there's a question i've asked the last couple of years every agency that's come before us. it's of special interest to me. what about the territories? as you know the fortories are always an afterthought in congress, in corporate america and everywhere else. if we were to ask americans are the folks who live in the territories american citizens, we may be shocked at how many americans do not know that we're talking about american citizens because they don't live in a state. it got so bad that a couple years ago at an fcc hearing i
1:31 pm
was told that satellite radio was not available in puerto rico and i asked why and someone sitting right there, i hope it wasn't you. no, it wasn't you said the satellite doesn't reach there. i said it's a satellite. i suggested they borrow one from the cia which can reach anywhere in the world. so now they have satellite radio. what are you hearing from the territories? which issues do they have that may be different than folks in the 50 states or in the continental states as some people call it. and what is still missing to bring about equality under the umbrella of the fcc? >> the issue we most hear is the same issue we hear from rural america which is ensuring adequate broad band infrastructure and broad band adoption. and so whether it's the universal service fund or other policies and programs that we have, we certainly look at
1:32 pm
territories, the issues that the territories have to the extend there are unique issues of course we take those into account. but many of the issues are similar and hopefully that will help accelerate solutions across the board. >> well, and i must say to both you and mr. mcdowell, you can comment on this if you wish also, please, that if you think it's rough for the rural areas and this is not a political statement, most rural areas all of them have two senators and a couple of congressmen, at least one to call the fcc, the territories is a whole different situation. they're treated equally only by the military. and that's both a positive -- i'm speaking in positive terms for their service. i just want you to always stay on top of that as we will on the subcommittee and i know the chairwoman shares that thought
1:33 pm
with me. mr. mcdowell. >> thank you for the opportunity to speak. we do keep them in mind the territories. just last october i had a terrific conversation with the governor of puerto rico about our universal service reform and the need to make sure that puerto rico and all its unique circumstances were taken into consideration. so whether it's going to be upcoming spectrum auctions or other things regarding injecting more spectrum in the hands of consumers or broad band deployment or adoption. we do take them into account very seriously and do all we can. a lot of them do have unique circumstances and we do try to incorporate that into our policies. >> i thank you for that. i think it's important to always, madam chair, be aware of what's happening in the territories and what they're thinking as a certain presidential candidate found out this weekend in puerto rico. >> indeed. >> thank you. >> mr. womack. >> i've got a couple of follow up questions. i'm not going to be near as understanding or forgiving for
1:34 pm
what my colleague brought to the attention of this panel here just a few minutes ago in regard to the number of employees that are now receiving in excess of $150,000 annually in earnings. he went through the full list. i'm just going to take 2008 and 2009 and just set them side by side because i can't imagine an explanation that can justify this. in 2008 there were 46 and in 2009 there were 431. those numbers -- i cannot wrap my head around a one-year growth pattern unless magically hundreds of those workers were making $149,000 a year and they
1:35 pm
got a couple thousand dollar raises and took them over that threshold. what i'm specifically asking is not specifically an explanation today because there may not be one that can be supported better by what research might be able to uncover. but i sit in hearings with the national nuclear security administration and health institutes and other very, very high level high energy, high competency level bureaucracies in this government. and i would be shocked if they all came with this kind of appreciated number between 2008 and 2009. so i'll give you a chance just to comment about that significant jump in one year. but i do for the record do see the justification in where we're headed on this glide path. >> we certainly provide you more
1:36 pm
detailed explanation i understand from our staff that in that period from 2008 to 2009 a certain class on the gsis pay scale went from just under $150,000 to just over $150,000. we'll get back to you on whether that is the explanation. i can certainly tell you in my time as chairman there was no effort to say let's inflate the salaries of employees. i suspect that the explanation will be one like was reported to me. >> surely you would agree that on paper in front of the disearning public out here that is an astonishing jump in one year. >> i'd like to understand the numbers better myself. again, it's possible that the pay scale went, this is what i understand from just under $150,000 to over $150,000 in that year. we'll work with you and the committee to provide the
1:37 pm
underlying factual information. >> at the risk of being hard headed and not satisfied with that particular response, let me say it again, that a member of the disearning public you have to agree would look at that discrepancy 46 in 2008, 431 in 2009 unless there is a general support argument like you've indicated that a change in the pay scale which goes back to what i said a minute ago if hundreds of those people were all of a sudden went from $148,500 or $145,000 to excess of $150,000 overnight that would be a logical explanation. but absent that, if that's not what we get back, would you agree that that's a hard number to justify? >> i would agree that that number needs to be understood. it appears to have taken place before i got to the fcc. in any event we will provide
1:38 pm
that information to you and the committee and understand it. >> thank you. i promised a broad band question. i'm going to make this a softball generalized question. there's been a lot of talk about rural broad band. i represent an area in arkansas that is very cosmopolitan along the interstate 5 corridor and home to some great companies in america. but i also represent an area of arkansas that is very rural. very rural. so rural that i've got areas in my district that probably don't get the grand ole opry til tuesday. it's that rural. i'll have to explain that to my colleague from kansas. assure me and help me assure rural america that given the tremendous pressure on our public schools in distance
1:39 pm
learning programs, health care, and the enormous impact that broad band is having on the delivery of health care services and the whole plethora of other issues impacted, i would even go safr as to argue that in some cases adequate broad band is as important if not more important than highways where once a time in our nation's history. assure me, help assure rural area that we're going to do what it takes to get broad band services of sufficient band width to the people that need it. >> i completely agree on your statement about the importance of broad band to basic participation in our economy in education and health care and it's what drove our effort to reform and modernize the universal service find. the challenge we face and we look forward to working with the committee and congress together is we made the decision driven by fiscal responsibility to fund
1:40 pm
the connect america fund out of savings from the program. and to respond to some of the concerns from other parts of rural america phase in some of the steps we took to increase efficiency and accountability and so it will be a step by step process to get broad band to rural america. in -- i've argued that the return on investment to our economy and particularly to rural america of a one time capital infusion into the universal service fund would have a very significant payoff because it would allow us to accelerate deployment without turning the dial on the other side so fast that we hear more complaints and concerns from that side. it was in our national broad band plan that suggestion. i look forward to working with you on that. i think it would have a positive
1:41 pm
pay off in terms of increased economic activity in rural america and improvements in education and health care. >> commissioner, finally last question is for you. last month there was an op-ed i think that you wrote in "the wall street journal" on the internet. it was largely about the united nations potentially having more significant authority over the internet. can you -- this issue hasn't received a great deal of attention. i was hoping you could discuss for this panel just briefly what's happening in this arena. >> this is a very real problem. for the past several years there have been a group of countries throughout the world that have been pushing for international regulation of the internet. it sounds crazy. it actually happens to be true, unfortunately. in years past the united states or the uk and other allies have been used parliament tri maneuvers to table these actions.
1:42 pm
in dubai there will be a treaty negotiation or renegotiation. back in 1988, the countries in the world got together and negotiated a treaty that set up the trend for the internet to be not regulated by governments, but to be regulated from the bottom up in what we call the multistake holder model, which is the private sector, academics, nonprofits and such with engineers and academics and user groups and all sorts of folks to come and make the sort of bottom up rules for how the internet works and how it's going to grow and thrive and succeed. but in the past couple of years in particular there's been a bit of a gathering storm of some countries perhaps led by russia and china, putin himself i quote him in that "the wall street journal" op-ed has said and this is pretty much a direct quote he wants internal control of the internet through the international telecommunication union, the itu. which is an arm of the u.n.
1:43 pm
based in geneva. it does a lot of good things. it helps negotiate and manage international telecom traffic. it's been up to this point relegated to telecommunications and some international aspects of spectrum management. but not internet governance. so everything from cyber security and privacy to domain name administration to engineering which is currently administered by the innocent engineering task force again a nongovernmental group and other aspects, the technical aspects of internet governor-in governance through the internet society. another nongovernmental group as well as arrangements for the long haul internet backbone where they're privately negotiated traffic swapping agreements between backbone providers et cetera. all of that their proposals on the table to have that be assumed through the itu and give
1:44 pm
it jurisdiction over that among others. it's a real concern. the obama administration and i and others are all in agreement on this. there seems to be bipartisan support in this country. it's becoming a bit of an issue of the developed world versus the developing world. and actually the irony is that should a treaty go the distance and actually become effective, it would actually undermind political and economic progress in the developing world. the developed nations hopefully our own would on the out of such a treaty. but in the rest of the world that might not be the case. they see an opportunity to charge some websites or application providers google or facebook or whomever to charge them on a per click basis and have that money flow to state owned telephone companies in their country. there are a lot of issues there. i don't want to blabber on and filibuster here. it is a very real concern we
1:45 pm
should all be working hard to make sure it doesn't happen. i'm quite concerned about it. it just doesn't take place in december. there are meetings throughout the globe between now and december where positions across the globe will start to harden. i do want to thank the chairman for also voicing his concern over this. >> mr. chairman, i'll give you a second to comment. >> preserving internet freedom globally is of vital importance. it's important to the american economy. it's important to the global economy. it's important to the economy of developing countries. it's important to freedom everywhere. and it is important that we work together on countering proposals that some countries have made that would not be consistent with internet freedom and that would have the opposite effect of that claim. so it's very important topic and it's important that we all work together to preserve free flow of data and internet freedom globally.
1:46 pm
>> i want to thank both of you gentlemenly personally for your service to our country and being at this hearing answering these questions. i yield back. >> thank you. i think we all want to thank you both for your service. let me very briefly go back to what mr. womack to just follow up on what he said about the salaries. you're absolutely right there may be a very good explanation for it if there's a whole category of individuals that went up. however when you look at the change between 2009 and 2010 and 2010 and 2011 there's a rather large increase again. i'm sure there was an explanation, what give mess a little bit of reason to pause is the fact that -- by the way, i for one have no problem with if you need qualified people and you have to pay them well, if that's the policy, i don't have a problem with that. if that is a case. if that isn't is the policy, again, why are these numbers taking place. i think that obviously has to be
1:47 pm
answered and i know you will. but in kind of an almost technical question. in several places in your budget request you indicate that you expect to keep 1917 employees. again, that's keeping it flat. and then i believe the request was 245.9 million dollars to fund that staffing level. in other places there seems to be an indication that fcc expects to maintain only 1776 employees. what is the actual number? >> the number is the lower number. the flexibilitity is requested so that we can continue to look at more efficiency in the overall budget by for example moving from contractors to ftes. we don't have any specific plans on the table. but if it would save the government money by doing something in house instead of
1:48 pm
contracting it out, we should look at that as part of it. but the number in our planning is the lower number which -- >> 1700. >> what would the actual amount be -- if you're requesting the funding for 1776 versus 1917, what do we talk about money wise? i know that's not the case. some skeptics might say that sounds like a slush fund. the fact that you're going to have 1776 employees but you're asking for funding for 1917 employees. what's the difference in the money? >> if i may, it's the opposite. we're asking fundsing for the 1776. if within that funding -- >> you want flexibility of being able to get to 1900 within the funding of 1700? >> yes. exactly right. >> okay. could you give me the number the difference if it was 1900 and what, you're saying you might be able to save money. >> in the past we've reduced the number of contractors at the fcc fairly significantly over the
1:49 pm
years i think in general it's a better model either you need someone or you don't. there are some circumstances and the auctions may be an example where for a limited period of time contracting with an expert makes sense. for test tasks that are basic reoccurring tasks as a general rule it's more efficient to do it in house. >> great. thank you. >> i just have one more question and then i'll submit a couple for the record. okay? >> yes, please. without objection. >> mr. chairman, wrun of the fcc's ongoing goals is increase broad band oadoption. since this is a long-term goal and applications on the internet seem to be consuming more and more bond width and people move from check their email and checking news to reading games and doing more things online, how do you define broad band and
1:50 pm
does your definition change as people need faster speeds to fully use the internet? >> so over time i expect that our basic definition of broad i would note without being too theoretical, the challenge of universal broadband is different and harder than the challenges of universal telephone or universal electricity. telephone and electricity were binary. you had a dial tone or didn't. either you had electricity or you didn't. broadband is different. as you point out, you can have different speeds. so in some ways it's the first time the country is wrestling with these issues of how to promote broadband as a universal service everywhere in the country to all people when it can mean different things over time. what we've done at the fcc is two different things. we set goals for where the country should try to strive to on broadband. for example, we set a goal of
1:51 pm
100 megabits to 100 million people by 2020. one gigabit access in every community in the country. at the same time for universal service fund we have to decide what are we going to actually pay for, it doesn't make sense to say we're going to pay for 100 megabits for everyone in the country based on current uses. we defined that level as four megabits with an ongoing obligation at the fcc to look at the uses that were essential for participation in our economy, for small businesses, for looking for a job, for education and making adjustments to that over time as is appropriate. >> you know, let me close by saying that something that you both know already, but i think it merits repeating in public. you have one of the most important responsibilities in our society in our government. i mean that. because a lot of people who work
1:52 pm
in government and who head agencies who sit on boards, they affect certain segments of the population and they don't affect others. but the most important person in corporate america is touched by your decisions. and the poorest child in a classroom in a rural area in the inner city is touched by your decisions too. your challenge and what i think should be your mission is to make sure that while we don't interfere with those up here's ability to use the internet, to use technology, to move ahead, that we leave no one behind, and we're running the risk already of leaving a lot of people behind. you should always keep that in mind. also, something you're not allowed to comment on, i know. you have one of the greatest jobs around, you know before we know what's being tested out there. and we all would love to know what's next. but i know you can't tell us there will be a rush on the market tomorrow.
1:53 pm
for my part, i want to thank you for your testimony. thank you for your work. we disagree at times on some issues. in general we approve of the work you're doing and just keep doing it and remember that it's broadband for all folks. it's broad. not just for some. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. serrano. because he is probably one of the most tech savvy members of congress, and i think -- i don't know, you might be responsible on your ipad. you're probably consuming half the bandwidth in the entire congress, just on your ipad. >> just when i'm watching baseball. >> i didn't know the yankees were on more than one channel. >> the yankees are throughout the world. there's baseball and then there's the yankees. >> let me thank both of you for -- on that note, let me thank both of you for your service. i also echo the words of our colleagues. i also want to finish as i started.
1:54 pm
i want to thank you for being accessible to me and my staff. you always have been and i know we'll get to the answers of some of these questions that we've had. i think with that this meeting is adjourned. thank you. >> thank you very much. c-span's congressional direct oar is a complete guide to the congress. you'll find each member of the house and senate, contact information, district maps and committee assignments.
1:55 pm
you can pick up a copy for 12.95 plus shipping and handling at this afternoon republican presidential candidates mitt romney and newt gingrich will address the national rifle association's annual meeting held in st. louis. we'll also hear remarks from former candidates rick santorum and rick perry, as well as house majority leader eric cantor. you can see the event live today starting at 2:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. you can also watch online at or listen on c-span radio. >> i walked out after the iowa caucus victory and said "game on." i know a lot of folks will write, maybe even at the white house, "game over." but this game is a long, long, long way from over. we are going to continue to go out there and fight to make sure that we defeat president barack obama, that we win the house back and that we take the united states senate and we stand for
1:56 pm
the values that make us americans. that make us the greatest country in the history of the world, that shining city on the hill, to be a beacon for everybody for freedom around the world. >> with that announcement rick santorum ended his 2012 presidential bid, a process the former pennsylvania senator began in 2009. follow the steps he took along the road to the white house online at the c-span video library. with every c-span program since 1987. this weekend on newsmakers, we take a look at some of the most competitive senate races this year. our guests are the heads of the democratic senatorial campaign committee and the national republican senatorial campaign committee. at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on c-span. fbi director robert mueller last month testified before congress about his agency's $8 billion budget request for next
1:57 pm
year. he also talked about the automatic spending cuts that were part of last summer's debt ceiling agreement. he said $600 to $800 million would be cut from the fbi budget, causing agents to be furloughed and investigations to be delayed. good morning, everybody. the subcommittee will come to order. today we're taking the testimony and engaging in a conversation with our director of the fbi, the federal bureau of investigation, with director mueller. this will be a two-part hearing. one will be here in open and public session. and then because of the sensitivity of issues and budget involved for the fbi's fight against the global war against terrorism, we will have a classified briefing.
1:58 pm
so upon the conclusion of this phase, we will recess and reconvene in a classified environment at the visitors center. and all members are welcome. and this is where we can have an additional in-depth conversation. today the subcommittee will hear from the director of the fbi. we're grateful for director mueller's service and his agreement to serve two more years to work with our president in order to keep our streets, communities and country safe. we begin our examination of the fbi's 2013 budget request with this open hearing. as chairwoman of the subcommittee, when we look at the fbi budget, i have three priorities. national security, which is how is the fbi working to keep america safe. community security, how is the fbi working with local law
1:59 pm
enforcement to keep our families and our neighborhoods safe. and then also oversight and accountability to ensure that we're spending taxpayers' dollars wisely and ensuring that we get value for our dollar. today we'll learn -- i'm going to ask unanimous consent in the interest of time that my full statement be included the record. having said that, my oral statement to the point is that we know that we ask the fbi to carry out extraordinary responsibilities. keeping 330 million americans safe from terrorism and also violent crime. to continue their work to dismantle organized crime, which now has new -- many new faces, many new locations, and many new techniques. and then the despicable drug cartels that continue to exist in our country and threaten our borders. ls


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on