tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN December 14, 2009 12:00pm-5:00pm EST
we pretend that racism does not exist in america, but it does. people were so desperate to get their 401k's that they would have voted for anybody that they thought could save their 401k. clearly guest:, the economic meltdown in 2008 was the reason why barack obama was elected president. if you look back at the election cycle going into september of 2008, obama and john mccain were pretty much neck and neck in the polls. when the stock market crashed in september, that is when you started to see the spread open up between obama and mccain. mccain had some very uncertain moves. he announced that he was suspending his campaign, but then did not release suspended. said he was coming down to washington to fix the problem, but did not really fix it. obama did not make as many dramatic moves, but appeared to be a bit cooler under fire in a major crisis like that. that is when you started to see
the gap opened up. obama owes his presidency to the stock market collapse of 2008. . . now that he is president he does have to handle it. voters said we sent you their. voters are very impatient and sometimes irrational, but that is the deal when you get elected. host: i want you to tie that into this meeting today at the white house. diare the bankers largely opposed to that legislation? guest:ñi 2 large pieces of it. they do not like the consumer financial protection agency. it's still must go through the senate. it is viewed on wall street as potentially dangerous to them. it is because they make a lot of money off of credit card fees.
the agency would go after all those fees involved in the credit card world. there are many hidden fees in that world and it is very lucrative for banks who are desperate to raise capital. they don't want to be told those fees are inappropriate. host: there is a remedial action from the house on credit card fees, right? guest: yes, and there are all kinds of proposals out there. the banks don't want to see a new federal bureaucracy, full- time forever going after this. one of the things we're told the president will say today as he meets with the bankers is that they ought to stop resisting this consumer financial protection agency and the whole banking reform package moving on capitol hill. host: new orleans, good morning frank, a republican caller.
caller: the meltdown happen a lot of people were saying that there was a lot of blame to be given to the individual person who was taking loans they could not afford a. but when you really look at it you also see that congress was to blame for asking for some of this legislation that could have restrained bankers. bankers were to blame because they did things they should not have. going forward, some bankers are saying that the government is asking them to make loans again to people who cannot pay. in the look of the context of business owners, small business -- does the data show there are small business owners who are qualified but still not getting loans? what does the data guest: show
that is a good question. what the president says -- and i have not seen the data myself -- the president says there are small businesses better qualified for loans which can i get them because banks are too scared to land right now. that is a defensive posture that might be understandable, but the president says it is hurting our economy. host: it also comes at a time when the interest rates must be the lowest in history? guest: absolutely. presumably, the tail end of the recession is a good time to start growing in preparing a foundation for later. everyone assumes the recession will be ending soon. we might see the stock market continued to rise.
needed taxpayer bailout money, why did the executive said billion dollars, why did they not use their own money to get liquidity in into the back into their own company instead of using taxpayer dollars? or else break the company's down like they were supposed to. everybody knows it was fraud. guest: that is a good question, too. there are very few executives who have a personal net worth anywhere near the amount of the bailout. because there are very few executives, i cannotñr think of any, personal net worth anywhere near the size of the bailout. they needed a lot more money than anyone executive could possibly have in his own bank account. but this question of bank -- breaking up the banks is what we heard a lot. there were reformers is said these banks are too big, and the idea of too big to fail, if a bank were to collapse it would ruin the entire global financial system and therefore we have to inject it with money. reformers to say just right of
the banks. instead of having one's citigroup, let us break into 10 so if anyone makes some decisions and collapses, it will not recall through the entire system and the system will survive and u.s. taxpayers will \] >> again, that meeting wrapping up brain now. the heads of american express, jpmorgan chase, wells fargo, and capital one. along with administration officials from the white house. the white house chief of staff and the advisers and the treasury secretary among others. coming up in a couple of minutes, the president is expected to make a statement regarding the economy. we'll have that live for you on our companion network, c-span2. keep up with the latest on the senate health care bill.
watch live coverage on our companion network, c-span2, the only network with the full debate and edited in commercial free, with the bids for reporters and editors of the congressional quarterly roll call group. for iphone users, follow the debate with the c-span radio iphone application. it is free. you can listen to c-span, c- span2, and c-span radio. find out more at c-span's health care hub. looking at the u.s. capitol where both the house and senate will gavel in for work today, the house coming in at 12:30 p.m. eastern with general speeches. legislative work will start at 2:00 p.m. among bills, one managing federal grants and the grant process. you can watch the house live right here on c-span. in the meantime, the senate is in at 2:00 p.m. eastern for its 12th day of health care debate. things seem to be in a holding pattern. no agreement has been reached on amendments to the president obama would still like the bill finish by christmas.
you can watch continued live coverage of health care debate and senate on c-span2. join us later today for discussion on jobs and the economy. karen mills, the administrator of the u.s. small business administration, is speaking of the national press club. that begins at 1:00 p.m. eastern, and we will have a live for you here on c-span. a look at americans recently arrested in pakistan. this is about half an hour. journal" continues. host: matthew levitt is the counterterrorism director for the washington institute for near east policy come here to talk was about what is becoming known as homegrown terrorism, particularly in the wake of the five young men arrested in pakistan in the last week or so. reports from pakistan indicate that that country's judiciary will not release those five suspects to the united states. what is behind all of this increase, or is there really an increase and what is called homegrown terrorism?
guest: we are seeing the product of a radicalization process that for a while we were noticing in europe and has now come to the united states. for the past couple of years, people have been saying that europe is very different from the united states, larger and less integrated muslim population. but because of the internet, the ability of people to travel nowadays, -- of information to travel nowadays, we are seeing people being radicalized. we have seen fit to give in cases come in dallas, minneapolis, here, work people from the united states went to pakistan and did surveillance for the mumbai attacks. we are in the crosshairs of what we've been seeing in europe for some time, domestic radicalization of a radical islamist nature. host: in the u.s., a number of
these cases, the individuals are second generation, children of immigrants, and not so much in europe. guest: in europe they are second, third, fourth generation. here, we are just beginning to see what the trend is going to be. my real concern in the united states is that the way we are dealing with this as a government is by approaching it with the terminology of combat in the violent extremism. to me that is an hour late and a dollar short. what is driving them to this radical literature on line, what has been sending them to pakistan or somalia to carry out actual attacks -- we have two american suicide bombers in somalia -- is a radical ideology. it involves more than just law enforcement. we have to deal with the radical ideology that comes before the pilots. that is difficult and it -- that comes before the violence. that is difficult in the united states.
but you cannot scream a fire in a movie theater. this means dealing with a radical ideology, and competing with that narrative. host: matthew levitt is with us until 9:00 the eastern. we will get your calls momentarily. talking about homegrown terrorism. you were part of the presidential task force that released this publication, "rewriting the narrative -- an integrated strategy for counter radicalization." was as a counter to the -- was this a counter to the report released in march or was this an obama administration initiative? guest: it involved an equal number of democrats and republicans, people advising the campaign's of barack obama and mccain. whoever occupy the white house,
they should have good thinking about how to deal with this for a difficult problem. -- this very difficult problem. one of the things we concluded is that we have to deal with this radical ideology. but when we look at europe and the united states, how people were being radicalized, it was not only because of conflicts abroad. it was not only because of iraq or afghanistan or gaza or chechnya. is often because of some local grievance. you don't have a job, you don't fit in with your society, you don't feel comfortable in north africa where you came from, but you don't feel comfortable in the northern suburbs of paris. part is what is -- part of what is happening to people in gaza and his radical, violent narrative feeds into individuals and they feel the need to respond to the local grievance,
because that is part of the large global grievance. host: you used the term "radicalizer." talk about the people from the talk about the people from the northern what can you tell us about this case? guest: we know that there's one individual who speaks american jargon. we think he spent some time here in the u.s. it appears one reason the pakistanis are interested in holding on to these americans from northern virginia for a little while is to figure more but this individual, the radicalize our. you can see how powerful it would be to have so on -- to evzone who understands american society and can speak your slaying and can draw you in. individuals of somali dissent in minnesota area, radicalizing people on the street. there was another case on line
in north carolina. individuals were going the gaza, tried to fight people there. when they could not, they would try pakistan. cases in texas and illinois where people thought there were going to blow up federal buildings and not because u.s. law enforcement give them big bombs and arrested them, assuming they had the call button on the cellphone, thinking they would blow the building. host: were you surprised at the fort hood shootings? surprise is that major nadal hasan had not been called earlier? guest: you did surprised both ways. it is a shocking system. it is doubly shocking when you find out some of the details. we did not want to preempt the investigation, but we already know that he talked to colleagues about how you have to understand a suicide bombers and it is a legitimate thing. cide bombers was a legitimate thing. some of the reviews by supervisors, the fact that law
enforcement knew that he was in contact with an american yemeni cleric that had ties to the 9/11 hijackers -- there have to be alarms that go off, otherwise we see the consequences. host: democratic caller, go ahead. caller: good morning. thanks for c-span, first of all, and thanks for having the gentleman on. it is my understanding that he studies terrorism. please don't cut me off, but the way. it is my understanding that the city's tourism but it is that -- is that just terrorism committed by followers of islam, or perhaps all home from terrorists and the united states? for example, i would like to have him comment on the 45 acts of terror that happen within the united states within the last -- four or five acts of terror that happened within the united since the last 10 years of so. timothy mcveigh, the man who
shot up the holocaust museum, the man who killed three police officers because he was afraid that there were going to take his guns. the man who killed the doctor george keller just recently -- george tiller. it seems to me that there are far more acts of violence in america right now. i'm a white anglo-saxon got, but it seems to me that there are more acts of terrorism in america right now done by the far right wing and by christian terrorists than anything you see by islamic terrorists that come from the united states. i would like to comment on that. again, thank you for c-span. guest: the caller makes a good point. there's a lot of the violence out there. most of that the examples the caller said are not technically acts of terrorism. a focus on international terrorism, not domestic terrorism. we have seen a sharp rise on
threats against president -- which should be proud of the fact we have an african-american presidents, and that should be a great cause for concern. with that timothy mcveigh attack, many people assumed read what that was by muslim extremists, and was not. -- many people assumed right away that was by muslim extremists, and it was not. these cases to demonstrate, including acts coming from the united states and going abroad, or a tax being plotted abroad for the united states, predominantly by radical islamists. that is not to say muslims. the problem is that with islam. it is with a very small, violent, ideologically driven element. that is the big way that we are facing today. and, of course, does not mitigate against the fact that there are other types of terrorism and violence.
to deal with in this country. host: don from oklahoma, independent line. caller: good morning. my question is do they really think that moving these people from guantanamo to the united states for trial -- what either one of you guys want to serve on the jury? with the terrorist problems we have in the united states, that we know are out there, would you want to put your families in that kind of peril over the coming years, if you were to be on the jury to convict them? i mean, to me that is probably the silliest thing i've ever is moving up here. leave them down there and try them in a military tribunal and get them over with, were you don't know all the tourists are and that kind of stuff. -- who all the jurors are and
that kind of stuff but i don't know anybody with the people i talk to in my home town, this area -- i cannot find anybody who would say, "i would like to be on that jury." guest: since september 2011, we have had success prosecuting terrorists here in the best gues -- in the u.s. guest: we have proven that our system can deal with the terrorist threat. i've been an expert witness for the government in over a dozen terrorist cases but i've never felt a threat to my life. i never felt that there was a threat to the lives of those jurors. the question is whether or not it is spared to bring these people here for a -- military a -- it is smart to bring these people here for the military tribunal. i think it is a great tool to use for our counter narrative, that we are not allowing the terrorists to change our system.
a trial in an american court, not a military tribunal -- the cases that cannot be tried in a military -- an american card will be tried in a military tribunal. -- court will be tried in a military tribunal. i think it is a very powerful counter narrative. host: jim is next from florida on the republican line. caller: my name is jim. i want to first said i'm not an arab, and i have been republican for 20 years now. i think that the fellow there just talking about arab terrorism is a mistake. i don't think that -- i think that these people have a cause
that they are fighting for, and that is why we are not going to stop this. i think that causes the terror that the u.s. -- that cause is the terror that the u.s. is doing -- the u.s. government, not the citizens -- the terror that they are doing in other countries. they are fighting for a cause. for you to just call these people terrorists is really an injustice. i don't think they are terrorists. i think they are freedom fighters. this is coming, mind you, from a republican, ok? i have been republican a long time. so let me -- i would like to hear your comments on that. guest: first, i don't think i said "abarab terrorists."
i said islamist terrorists. the are driven by an extreme islamist ideology. i would disagree with the college of these individuals have the cause. al qaeda and -- with the caller that these individuals have a cause. al qaeda does not have a cause other than bragging about the global islamic caliphate -- then bringing about a global islamic caliphate. i wonder how the caller would explain what they did to us on 9/11. there is an ideology and needed to contend with and compete with that -- and we need to contend with it and compete with it. it is something different than your standard 1970's, 1980's freedom fighter terrorist group that is just trying to gain independence. that is not the case. host: back to the five arrested
in pakistan -- while it appeared to of and radicalized and went to pakistan and the nest to their families come in terms of offenses -- unbeknownst to the families, and in terms of offenses, it appears that they are the gang that cannot shoot straight. they could not find the way to the context, or al qaeda spurned them. would you know about that? guest: i do not know if we can call them keystone cops said. -- keystone kops yet. this guy saifullah was not significant enough to dodge for them on his own. -- to vouch for them on his own. they are careful about making sure that only allow people from the west to come in once the have a certain number of people to vouch for them. another thing to mention about this case that is very important is that their families went and
most american organizations went to the authorities and told that we did not know about these individuals. the muslim-american community came to the fbi and did the right thing you can imagine how difficult that must be for a parent. seen cases in the united kingdom where bomb plots have been thwarted because families came forward. that is extremely significant and to the credit of the muslim- american community. host: "the washington post" wrote that muslim american organizations and jolted by the spate of cases are abandoning their hesitation to speak out about the issue. two groups, the muslim public affairs council on the council on american-islamic relations, said this week that there would launch a counter-radicalization programs aimed at young people." guest: we want to make sure that
they did not just condemn al qaeda, but other groups committing terrorism in the name of islam and other things, such as hamas and hezbollah. it is not ok to blow up losses of civilians so long as they're not our civilians. iit is a very slippery slope. but these organizations have done is a very positive step forward. we need to start a serious dialogue where we find the baseline for agreement on what is and is not acceptable in pursuing political or other goals. for those groups that do not have political goals, like al qaeda, we need to deal with them through law enforcement and intelligence. intelligence. host: assuming they do come guest: there are two main possibilities. one is that they are seen as ne'er-do-wells were led astray by a radical laizer and instead
of prosecuted, they're given their. it said track -- a least two of them are to have been hard and individuals who actually radicalize the rest of the group. for those two, it is likely they will face charges of material support to terrorism. under those charges, going and providing yourself, funds, and more to a terrorist group is a federal offense. host: this is paul from ohio on our democrats line. caller: what do you feel the effect of the statement, a claim to bible and guns, have on this topic? thank you. host: hudson, fla., independent line. caller: good morning. the real terrorists in this world are the united states and israel.
you know, when you remove a democratically elected government and install the dictator and supports that the dictator with money and weapons, then people fight back against that, you call that terrorism. i have known people that have been to cause of -- that have been to goss of that have seen firsthand the oppression. israelis will not even let them have a food. they have to smuggle food in to feed people. and the people fight against that, you call it terrorism. israel has over 250 nuclear weapons. host: thank you for the input. you mentioned earlier that issues like guantanamo are not necessarily do -- the driving force behind radicalization of the american muslims. >> said they were not the only thing.
there is a larger global grievance. not to say that people are not motivated by the plight of palestinians or for the right reasons. but i cannot disagree with caller one more. the u.s. and israel are not the reason for this. again, these groups were with hamas or al qaeda and were attacking as before all these things that he is talking about. hamas is blowing of civilians in israel when israel and palestinian of 40 were about to sign a peace deal giving the palestinians this date they so rightly deserve. hamas wants to destroy all of israel. that will not be negotiated. al qaeda was targeting as long before we went to afghanistan or iraq. those are issues we need to be aware of. in terms of bible and guns, i do not think that is useful. in using words like crusade clearly feeds into our adversaries conception of who we are.
we need to be careful -- killing >> we're leaving this now to go to the u.s. house. members are about to gavel in for the morning hour of speeches. legislative work will begin at 2:00 p.m. among today's bills, one manager of federal grants and the grant process. another congratulating this year's major league soccer champions. now live to the u.s. house floor. ommercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, december 14, 2009. i hereby appoint the honorable donna f. edwards to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, nancy pelosi, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the
chair will receive a message. the messenger: madam speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: madam speaker. -time madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the senate has agreed to the conference report accompanying h.r. 3288, an act making appropriations for the department of transportation and housing and urban development and related agencies for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2010, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following enrolled bill. the clerk: h.r. 4217, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986, to extend the funding and expenditure authority for the airport and airway trust fund, to amend title 49, united states code, to extend authorizations for the or improvement program, and for other purposes.
the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 6, 2009, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to 30 minutes and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip limited to five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, madam speaker. this morning's "new york times" had a column by john harwood entitled "obama's potential quandary: creating jobs or reducing the deficit." it is potentially a dilemma but it doesn't have to be that way. the rebuilding and renewing of america should be one issue that actually brings us together where there are solutions that are clear and complementary in terms of creating jobs and protecting
the environment. we have serious needs all across america pro for water and transportation investment -- for water and transportation investments in every single community. there are estimates up to 20 million americans every year are sick needlessly from water- born illness. there are millions of hours and billions of dollars that are wasted as americans and american business is stuck in traffic. there are tens of thousands of unsafe bridges. there are transit systems in desperate need of repair and revitalization. what america needs first and foremost is a vision of investing in renewing and rebuilding america in this century. the plans for infrastructure for this century are available, and someone who has labored in this field for years working
around the country i know that the vision is ready to be incorporated into, for example, the re-authorization of the surface transportation act, or in new water trust fund legislation. and it can be done so not in years or months but in a matter of weeks. this work is ready. next, we must commit to extracting more value out of existing and future investments. luckily here, too, reform is in the works. i have been deeply impressed with the work of secretary ray lahood of transportation, housing secretary, shaun donovan, e.p.a. administrator lisa jackson, where the federal government is in the process of creating a new partnerships with our communities, businesses and families in terms of how the federal government does business and invests that money.
but even with bold vision and with more value being extracted, we actually are going to need to invest more money. the chinese, for instance, are investing about nine times as much as the united states in their infrastructure needs. we are losing the race for global competitiveness while we see conditions deteriorate here at home. the society of civil engineers has graded american infrastructure at a d and suggest that it require at least $2.2 trillion in the next five years to bring things up to standard. if we act now, there are in fact areas of broad support for more investment, from business, local government and the american people, if this increased money goes to rebuild
and renew our country. there is a danger that our current direction will not be as effective as it could be. i am heartened that there appears to be a consensus that we will be spending perhaps $50 billion or more in new infrastructure spending. but if this money is simply going to flow through existing channels with an imperative that it be spent as quickly as possible, it's not going to have as much long-term impact as it would if we do it right. doing it right means a re-authorization of the six-year transportation bill with a national purpose and reform specified. it means the creation of a water trust fund to give money where it is needed. it is the re-enactment of the superfund tax so that polluters actually pay to clean up dangerous areas that are found in every single state but would create tens of thousands of jobs while it reduces
environmental threats. there are many contentious, complex and partisan issues that understandably divide congress and the american people. but we nug and rebuilding america is not -- but renewing and rebuilding is not the only thing we need to do. it will strengthen our communities and protecting our planet. i hope we all start the new year with a commitment to invest in livable communities where our families are safer, healthier and more economically squre. -- secure. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. pursuant to clause 12-a of ru
>> karen millses the administrator of u.s. small business administration. she will be speaking at the national press club starting at 1:00 eastern. we will have that live for you here. until then, your calls and comments from today's." -- from today's "washington journal." sun" court our attention. diploma falls off as tickets to a job. many recent graduates and wait out economy by getting advanced degrees.
the results, two interviews, one in person and another by telephone, neither which panned out. it is not have enough work history to qualify for unemployment benefits, so he lives with his parents and kids around with mass transit tickets from his mom. the question for you this morning is about the unemployment situation for college graduates. is it worse?
what is your experience? the unemployment situation for college graduates. is it worse? what is your spirits? the numbers are -- senate passes $1.10 trillion spending bill. she writes, the senate passing a huge and of new york spending measures. 57-35 for the vote. the chamber was forced to work for the second consider the weekend after talks broke down thursday to move the massive spending package. republicans continue to filibuster it. senate democrats are can the opposition saturday when the senate voted to end the debate a clear the way for the final vote. this afternoon, they're resuming debate on the health-care bill. you can follow live senate coverage on c-span2.
you can follow house coverage here on c-span. first up is scott cleveland on our independent line. scott, cleveland, good morning on our independent line. caller: i don't think they are looking at the macro problem. you can have 1.5 million h1b these is and you cannot outsource all these jobs to third world countries. the e. leakey economists and business people believe in the model which is a comparative advantage model -- eat economist. it is explained in the book "how the failure of our politics undermine our prosperity." they believe in this model even though it was proven wrong by an mit graduate. we are not going to be able to compete with third world countries and these politicians just don't care and they don't get it. host: columbia, missouri. chuck on our democrats line. caller: i am on the wrong side
of 55. when i was their age and even younger, it was common knowledge the democratic party was the parting of the worker, the blue-collar worker, and the republican party basically management and upper-class. this has been kind of mottled and lost in the interim in that time period. but you have to realize that warren buffett came on here a month ago and said that this economic crisis we have is the equivalent of pearl harbor. so they ask, what of the solutions? one of the main ones was the senate, the congressman, need to get together and not be butting heads. and i think the young people today need to recognize that republicans in particular do not want -- not only not see
democrats succeed but they don't 1 bluecollar workers because they tend to be democrat and it is almost to the point of being traitors to me if they are just saying no to everything to force creation of new jobs in america. host: about 20 more minutes of your comments, unemployment, how it impacts college grads. a story on the death of paul samuelson, and i teach economics professor, no ball -- nobel winning theorist. the type of economics, the headlines in this morning's "wall street journal." paul st. alisyn, whose analytical work laid the foundation for a modern economics, died yesterday after a brief
caller: i am air registered republican, voted republican all my life. this year i voted for mr. obama. i cannot understand why it is that at 54 years old, after working my entire life, i cannot find a job anywhere. it is not just college students. it is teenagers, people my age, people's 30, 40. we are outsourcing everything in this country. why are we not working? americans have a backbone. host: what job they do most easily have? what was your career field. caller: i owned a bar and told 2004. i went to work in the restaurant industry which i had always been in. even that, people can afford -- cannot afford to go up to eat
anymore. you have to buy groceries again. do not get me wrong, i find nothing wrong with eating at home. but there is no excess money anywhere. what is going on? why is it that debt collectors -- let's say you owe a bill. they demanded money for you to pay in full. host: ares a front-page story about employment. this is courtesy of the newseum. some refuse to mix ships because they have no paid leave. others worry about job security. here is roger from alabama on our independent line. adducing college graduates have it worse? caller: yes, they do have it bad. but everyone does. i mean, everybody. but the kind of had it worse because there already invested
in school and everything a dream for. and they still have no jobs. but we also have to look at it like this. where is all of the money that the bailout went to? no one can seem to track it. i do not see anybody getting a job. we do not have any new jobs. all i hear is that jobs have been lost. i wonder if anyone had ever thought that perhaps all that money bailout and everything that went to make it look like we were going to get some kind of help has gone as a reinvestment for industry being moved out of the country, so maybe we're paying for that. has anyone ever thought that maybe we're paying for all the money to go out of the country to set up businesses in foreign countries to manufacture.
callehost: there is a look at stimulus spending. ding and the headline is about the impact of that spending locally in the denver area. host: clinton, maryland. the democrats' line. caller: can you hear me ok? i am listening to these people calling in complaining about the economy and this, that, and the other, yet they have representatives in washington who are there for the insurance companies, health insurance, banks. all of these lobbyists, they are not there to help them out. they will not pass any laws or bills to of the american consumer. forget it, you are out here on your own. get that in your head. these people, everything the president offers as an incentive to help the economy, people say,
no. you are out here by yourself. get it in your mind and realize nobody cares about you but yourself. thank you. host: if the jump page on "the baltimore sun." vancouver, washington. on the republican line, ethan. caller: my name is ethan. my thing is, where are the degrees we need to beginning for future jobs? everybody tells me, five years ago, what degree to get and now it is nothing. host: ethan, what was your degree in or what are you working on? caller: i am just a social transfer but i was thinking about nursing, but now everybody tells me in my state nursing is going down in employment. host: columbus, ohio.
elizabeth, independent caller. caller: as far as being more hard up when you are graduating, i have to say i majored in unemployment many times over the years and now i'm a mother with two daughters who are schooled online. they will graduate two years early at least. host: from high school? caller: they go to school. they have an online school, no black and mortar. host: what is the plan for college? caller: one of the things i wanted to bring up is the fact that one of the things i think would help people get a better idea of of the kind of -- i am sorry, the kind of political system we truly have and be educated more about the united states and what kind of jobs you
should do would be to reinvent programs like this the and programs that would be available for high school or even college graduates to give them real world experience in places where they are needed. as volunteers or for credits against their student loans or credits against future education. but so many high school kids come out and don't really understand the difference between a democratic republic and a socialist country verses the free-market. and the responsibilities that we have as a government to put money back into the economy. host: you said your two daughters will graduate two years earlier, they are 16 or so?
what is next? you talked about a vista site program. did you find them mature enough for those kinds of programs? caller: i do not think there are ready and up for college. because they are on line, it is fine -- according to their ability instead of the classroom. our plan is to take at least one year for each of them, travel, see the volunteer opportunities that are out, not just in our cities but other places. but the volunteer at the main library and help with the tutoring program. they have the experience being able to convert their free time in to something productive. but i think they need to see more of the world. i think it really would be a benefit to the united states for kids to go into college with a
better view of what we really do need instead of having someone on television saying, major and nursing. host: thank you for your call this morning. about 10 more minutes about but, situation -- employment and tuition for college grads. this is from "the baltimore sun." in this article, they " a woman what the university of pennsylvania saying i think this will be marginally slightly better next year, she says. she is with career services at the university of pennsylvania.
host: this is according to the woman here at the university of pennsylvania. about 20% of the class of 2009 reported going to graduate or professional schools, many of today's college students go on to advance betting that this recession intensified the trend as students sought a haven. peoria, illinois, michael, democratic collar. caller: i think the situation is actually worse. if i remember correctly in your earlier segment you mentioned about unemployment has not been high since pre-reagan administration. i think currently sense of the reagan ministration we embraced trickle-down economic theory and it hasn't shown to be -- as of right now if you look at what is happening with wall street and the bankers, we really need to worry about with that theory and increase in the future.
host: mesa, arizona. debbie on the republican line. go ahead. sorry. caller: i just heard a gentleman say republicans, i guess, they are all just people, they don't represent construction workers. my husband and i have owned are on contract in business since 1975, and i know a lot of contractors and a lot of people who were construction and they are all republicans. republicans are for small business, they are for lower taxes. the mortgage crisis, i worked for a couple of years at bank one, and i did a lot of collections. i was a very respectful collector. i know those banks could have written those loans -- re- written those loans -- and put
the payments a couple of years instead of foreclosing and putting people out on the streets. the banks will foreclosed, they put people out on the street and now the government is giving $8,000 to other people to buy those homes. and if those other people could have a for the homes they would not need the $8,000. we are going to turn around and get those homes back. the best thing this country could do is put a moratorium on foreclosures. in my home town there are 300 children without homes. that town has a population of 9000. i read in colorado there is a tent city. it is time we did it common- sense, quit foreclosing on people's homes, work out a deal
host: i'm going to let you go, thank you for plugging in. a couple of international headlines. i would caution you on the first one, difficult photograph. italian prime minister silvio berlusconi, the front page out of canada. his face bloodied by an attack at a rally in italy yesterday. a statuette was hurled at the prime minister. a bloodied lip, broken teeth and also a broken nose. if we will show you this morning's "guardian" newspaper out of the u.k. and british prime minister gordon brown and his visit to canada car. he was the first prime minister to stay overnight and either iran or afghanistan. a look at the british prime minister with black beard and helmet. -- flack geaar.
"new york *" on the -- "the new york times" on the british review of their involvement and the iraq war. it depicts nation as frustrated sidekick to u.s. juggernaut. witnesses depicted britain as little more as frustrated sidekick's to the american juggernaut with only marginal traction in the planning and execution of the invasion of march 2003, or in the way that mr. bush, his top officials at american general's conduct of the occupation that followed. in effect, witnesses presented britain as a disregarded a voice of diplomatic and military prudence, unable to restrain zealous american officials caught up in the aftermath of september 11 attacks. illinois, david, independent line. caller: i am with campaign for liberty. i think we need to recognize bill clinton signed nafta in the early 1990's and all of the jobs
that stayed were low wages and all the jobs that left, we lost. [audio breaking up] host: i think we lost you. britons and, florida. chris on the democrats' line. caller: a lot of problems these college students are having, with manufacturing going down. george bush turned fast food restaurants into being added into our equation of how many industry and manufacturing jobs we have. fast food, putting food together in a line is not manufacturing. that is how he made his manufacturing numbers looked so good when he tried to fool people. we spent $1 trillion in iraq and he said it would pay for itself with the oil we get back so really these republicans should not be complaining so much because they would get it back. thank you for taking my call.
host: a couple of last headlines before we wrap up -- fallen barrier in but little fanfare. the story about the new mayor in houston. newly elected mayor just happens to be a lesbian. i will pull this off and show you the front page of "the houston chronicle." a picture of the mayor-elect, how parker won and what lies ahead. "the houston chronicle" and their analysis of the election in houston over the weekend. 11 newspaper to look at this morning, inside "usa today." white house backed out for the holidays. photos from inside-the white house that will greet bankers today as they meet with president obama. last call, from rome, n.y., james an independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i wanted to comment in the but about the unemployment -- on the
unemployment. i was making $40,000 to $50,000 between salary and commission. what is going on now, with the amount of the economy and what is going on, the tree is getting shaken. these companies are taking commissions and your benefits and cutting them so bad that you can't even afford to live and pay your bills and then eventually you have to go look for another job which cost you more money. i ended up getting fired because -- host: what job did you get fired from? caller: i was going insurance selling, home and auto. i used to do mortgages, unfortunately. i caught a big brunt of this, maybe $1,200 a month i lost
almost instantly and i have not been able to recover for two years. in my hometown, there is one full time job in the newspaper. this guy is blowing money on construction jobs, which i know a lot about, i used to do that, but these things last a few months. this is not creating a job, somebody who is going to work every single day for the next 10 years. years. host: i think we lost you, >> karen mills is talking about efforts to increase capital, the potential impact of health-care legislation. live coverage from the national press club, here on c-span. >> doug harbrecht of kitchener.
rebecca gould, vice president of public affairs for dell. angeles from bloomberg news and the chair of the national press club's speakers' committee. debra, speakers' committee member who organized today's event. thank you very much, deborah. grace dittmarr. nancy weights of reuters. finally, paul marion, washington bureau chief of cranes chicago business. [applause] while the nation has changed its attention on the excesses of wall street, main street has suffered quietly. small businesses typically drive
job creation, but the news from main street has been dismal lately. banks have reportedly cut more than $10 billion from their small-business lending over the last six months. businesses with fewer employees cut another 68,000 workers in november. at president obama's job summit earlier this month, the message from small businesses was clear -- no jobs without growth, no growth without credit. as the recession continues and the rate of joblessness remains troubling, labor leaders and democrats in congress have suggested that the obama administration turn its attention and its bailout money to small businesses. the president prodded bankers today to make more small- business loans. our guest today is one of the administration officials charging with trying to fix the situation. karen mills runs the united states small business
administration. the sba is the single largest financial backer of small businesses. the espy was created in the 1950's when most banks did not -- the sba was created in the 1950 pause when most banks did not want to lend to small businesses. today, sba provides direct and guaranteed loans, technical help and training, a government contract programs, and even disaster assistance. karen mills, who holds an economics degree and nda from harvard, was a venture capitalist and business manager before she became -- before she came to washington from maine earlier this year to join the obama administration. she ran two successful capital ventures, investing in and guiding a range of businesses and serving as management consultant. in maine, she also served on the governor's council on competitiveness and the economy.
her challenge today is to help millions of small businesses get back on solid ground. we welcome her today from the small business administration to hear about the jobs come the economy for outlook -- the economy and the outlook for small businesses. please help me welcome karen mills. [applause] >> well, thank you very much, donna. thank you for that introduction. good afternoon, everyone. it is a great honor to be here. donna said i am from maine, and for someone to take the opportunity to help -- to thank the chef at the press club here for this main-oriented lunch. i understand we had main sea scallops -- maine c. scalps.
thank you. i know that many of you recognize that maine is the home to many small businesses. i was home, walking down main street, which will spell with an e, and i saw many people who are the reason why i come to work every day. they are the force that is behind the american economy. i'm walking down maine street and i was looking at henry and marty's restaurant. henry and marty retired three years ago and were able to sell their restaurant to their employees and continue in the tradition of great sobs, lobster, and main food on main street -- great scallops, lobster, and seafood on main street. then i went by an entrepreneur who was the school news -- the school nurse at the elementary school. she had an historical design for
an authentic maine porch swing. right now she makes those in brunswick and exports them all over the country and the world. so on main street, you can really feel the pulse of small business community, and even in tough times like this, it is easy to see how small businesses are the engine of our economy. so here are the facts. half the people who work in this country own or work for a small business. 64% of the jobs that were created in the private sector over the last 15 years came from small businesses. it is our entrepreneurs, the small business owners that are also going to be able to drive america's ability to innovate and stay competitive across the globe. you know, this week is an
anniversary for me. a year ago this week, the president asked me to come and serve with the small business administration. it was a tough time a year ago. we had just had a meltdown in the financial markets. we had a freeze in credit in both conventional and sba loans. but the new administration and congress got behind small business because we knew that they would be an essential part of the recovery. so today i want to talk about the progress that we are making in helping small business put the brakes on recession, and i want to describe how we are going to continue to build small businesses and create jobs in 2010. at the spla, our mission is to help small businesses -- at the splba, our mission is to help
small businesses start and grow. we do this tthrough developing entrepreneurs, -- through the three c's -- capital, contracting. small businesses rely on access to bank credit, much more than big businesses. at the sba, we have a portfolio of over $90 billion in loans and loan guarantees. these are helping businesses get the credit they need to grow and create jobs. we do this by partnering with over 5000 banks, credit unions, and other institutions. a year ago, credit had frozen. with the recovery act, we needed to get this credit flowing again, so we made two temporary changes to our major program,
the seven-day and the 504 program. first we reduced or eliminated our loan fees so we could let small businesses keep more of that money and put it to work in their businesses. second, we increased the guaranteed an seven-a loans to 90%. that let banks be more likely to lend. that formula worked. our average weekly loan volume increased more than 80% from the weeks before the recovery act. as of now, in the past few months, we are back up to higher loan levels than in 2007 and in 2008. here is the headline. we leveraged for hedges $75 million in stimulus funds -- $375 million in stimulus funds,
in the hands of landing to america possible businesses. not only is that a good return on investment for taxpayers, but it is $16 billion in the hands of the people who know exactly how to put that money to work. in addition, we brought more than 1200 lenders who had not made an sba loans since october when the credit markets froze until the recovery act. we brought 1200 lenders back to the sba lending. our goal in 2010 is to keep adding to this because we want to focus on having more points of access for small business to come and be able to get sba loans to the impact of this is very real for people like mike norton, who is sitting up here. and katie couric is here, too. his partner in the business.
they own a company called team critical care in maryland. it runs the ambulances that serve the local hospitals. i ask them before, did they ever drive the ambulance. i think they did at the beginning of the business. they started the business three years ago. everything was fine until -- they had a conventional line of credit and it was unexpectedly called in. so in june they had to find a new lender, and that lenders helped get them an sba loan for $300,000. now they saved $8,000 from reduced fees, and they have hired 18 more employees. so mike told us that this loan literally saved their business. [applause] so thank you for being here, thank you for coming, mike and katie, and also for the work that you do to save lives every
day. we cannot stop there. we have progress with our access to capital, but now we are working on small businesses benefiting from recovery act contracts, the second c. at the sba, we help ensure that small businesses get access to 23% of all federal contracts. now, i described this as a win- win because contracts are like oxygen. they are the revenue that small businesses need to grow their business and create more jobs. and especially at this time when revenues are tight, recovery act contracts are even more helpful. this is good also for the taxpayers because the federal government gets access to some of the most nimble and innovative small companies, sometimes with even a direct line to the ceo.
in august, the vice-president asked commerce secretary gary locke and me to make sure that federal contracts were heading to small businesses, especially those owned by women, minorities, and veterans. and since then, we have worked together, and our teams have created about 300 our reach events called matchmaking events. our goal is to put the right procurement officer together with the right small business. some people say that is like speed-dating. we prefer to think we are creating long-term relationships, maybe like matched.com. so far we are exceeding our goals in the recovery act. we are exceeding those goals. we have about $5 billion in recovery act dollars in the hands of small businesses, and we are exceeding some of our sub goals also, such as those with
service disabled veterans. we are also very focused on the women and minority-owned firms getting access to federal contracts, because these two sectors are some of the fastest growing sectors and all small business. so we have capital, contracts. the third c is counseling. many of you do not know about the extent of our counseling network. i call it the sba bone structure. the backbone is our sba employees. we have over 100 field officers all across the country where a small agency -- we are a small agency with a big indumission. our most valuable asset in achieving that mission is the people. we also have 14,000 affiliated counselors.
these include 900 small-business development centers. mostly located at community colleges, local universities. we have more than 100 women's business centers. we say that we have a counselor within 45 minutes to an hour of most small businesses that are out there, and we have 370 chapters of our mentoring program, which is called score. all together, these folks serve more than 1 million clients a year. this past year, they have been working particularly hard because small business owners have had to shift gears in order to survive. many of them have come in to redo their business plan, and these people are helping new entrepreneurs start up businesses. i want to point out nanc-- he ha
retired army that he has challenged them over the next five years to help create over 1 million small businesses. i always tell small business -- [applause] i come to these gatherings, do them all over the country, and there are small business owners there, and i always ask them to raise their hand if they have an sba counselor who helps them. if they do not, i tell them they should because our data shows that when you have a long-term counseling relationship, you have better sales, higher profits, and you hire more people. the best part of that is that all of these services are free. another tool in our counseling tool box is sba's partnership with the private sector.
on that note, i am very happy to be here to announce that we are launching a new online partnership today called strategies for growth, with dell, which is a company that knows something about growth. they started in 1984 with $1,000 in startup capital. some of the best advice a small business owner can get this from someone who has been in their shoes. that is what is in strategies for growth. it is video, it is on-line, and it shows you how to get contracts, how to export, how to create jobs. i want to thank rebecca gould, who is here from dell, for being here today. and grace denmattmar, who is he. she has a number of federal contracts and she is a star in the video as well.
and has anyone in this room ever eaten a cupcake from cake love? yeah? well, warren brown is here, and he started cake love. he told me earlier that he is expanding, opening a new location. i cannot tell you where yet. maybe he will say. and he will hire more employees. thank you very much. he is also a star of "strategies for growth," telling other people how to grow their businesses. so thank you, warren, grace, and rebecca, for being here today to kick this off. thank you. [applause] so we have covered capitol, we have covered contracting, and counseling. through those we at the sba has helped small businesses come a long way in 2009. but what about now? the president said -- i am going
to quote -- "we will not rest until businesses, small businesses are investing again, businesses are hiring again, and people have work." in each recession, we know that job growth lags behind the economy, so we are seeing the economy tick up, and we are focusing on how to make sure that small businesses have the tools and the incentives that they need to create jobs and to create them as quickly as possible. so what are we doing? well, the first thing we did is that we listened. some of you actually were in attendance or have seen that tim geithner and i held a forum last month of small-business lending. that in turn set the stage for the small businesses jobs summit, where he and i had another small business forum, small businesses, banks, and
that in turn contributed to the rollout last week of the jobs plan in which small business was a priority. this process has been a great way for us to get impact directly from small-business owners, so it is not surprising that this plan, this jobs plan, has very broad support from the small business community. because it is built on things that work. as i mentioned before, the waived fees, the increased 90% guarantee is an hour-long program, it did exactly what they were supposed to do. they worked so well, we ran out of stimulus funds before thanksgiving. small-business owners and our lending partners are very vocal about the need to continue these
provisions, and that is why the jobs plan calls for them to be extended through the end of 2010. in addition, we are asking congress to increase our loan size from $2 million to $5 million. based on what we have heard from small-business owners, as well as our own hard data, we know that demand exists out there for these larger loans, and there is no reason that we cannot meet that demand and help these small business owners create jobs. extending our recovery act loan provisions, increasing our load the sizes -- our loan sizes are good steps, but they are also complemented by the administration, who is working to encourage more conventional small business loans. in fact, i am sure that you know the right this morning, maybe not right at this very minute
but in the last hour, the president himself met with the top u.s. banks on this very topic. we are also not going to stop there. the small business community told us that tax incentives are critical. for example, you might remember that in the stimulus we had the carry-back provision for small businesses, and that has been actually renewed. the president signed legislation extending that to 2009 as well, and already i think it is accounting for about $5 billion in tax relief for small businesses. that is money right in the hand of small businesses this year. we are going to build on this in the jobs plan. calls for congress to extend the tax write-off, the seller did depreciation for investment and equipment, and eliminate capital
gains taxes for people who invest in small businesses in 2010. furthermore, the administration is talking with congress about a short-term tax cut that will accelerate new hires. with this tax cut we want to be able to say to small business owners, don't wait, go ahead, make that hire. go ahead and do it now. jobs plan benefits for small business do not stop there. the money for energy retrofits also helps many small businesses that specialize in whether a recession and in renewable energy. in fact, -- in weatherization. $100 million for businesses to
put solar panels on rooftops, that installed wind turbines, that provide energy efficiency and environmental services. this leads me to a key focus that i have set for the sba. we are focused both on creating jobs in the short term, and at the same time we are working to help those small innovative businesses that are the foundation stone for america's long-term competitive position. in fact, there are really two kinds of small businesses. there are the small businesses on main street, and these are the restaurants, the dry cleaners, the car repair operations that are part of the fabric of our avery gave lives. the sph serves those small -- of our everyday lives. the splba serves those small
businesses, and we will continue to do so. in addition, we have the unique opportunity to build america's future by investing in the high- growth, high-impact small businesses, sometimes called gazelles. there is one study that shows there are about 375,000 of these small businesses, and they are not all young, high-tech start- ups on one coast, the east coast or west coast. no, instead, they exist in every county, both rural and urban, all across the country. they are in every industry, including manufacturing. some are the young, high-tech start-ups in alternative energy and health-care information technology. others are 100-year-old, third- generation companies who have found a way to reinvent themselves for the 21st century.
at the sba, which are committed to helping these important job generators. i will tell you two quick ways to do that. the first is exporting. trade has been global for america's big companies for decades. but with the growth of global networks and communications, new markets have opened up for small businesses. since 2003, america's small- business exports have grown about 80%. they are nearly $500 billion now in stales -- in sales. the problem is, these exports are only 30% of the total exports in the country, and more than half of the small businesses that export only exports to one country. we are helping lead an interagency group across government that will change that. we will increase both the number of entrepreneurs who export and
the number of countries that they export to. i was just give you one quick success story. i love this company. southwest wind power was founded in 1987 in a garage, really in a garage, in flagstaff arizona. in 1995 they got an sba loan, and since then the company has made 160,000 small wind turbines, and a power offshore oil platforms and telecommunications towers and homes and schools in 90 countries. they have 100 employees, and they are hiring even more because they have a whole supply chain they're building up to expand. they saw the demand abroad. they are meeting in it, and we're going to create more export successes for small businesses just like this. the second quick idea is something i have worked a lot
with my friends from brookings who are here -- regional innovation clusters. several years ago, up in maine, we knew that our naval air station in my home town of brunswick went on the base closure list and we were going to lose a lot of jobs. the governor asked me to find some innovative small businesses who would help and goes there. so we looked around to see what our assets were, and we found that maine has been building boats for more than 400 years. and at the university of maine, there was new technology, cutting edge technology in composites, that meet boat hulls that were the fastest and the lightest in the world. so we formed a cluster of these independent made builders and leveraged this new technology, branded it main-built -- mai ne-built boats, and they are
selling as far away as shanghai. we did it again. there were all these suppliers in a hard-hit area, michigan. i went to detroit and kicked off this cluster. they had expertise in the state of the art area of robotics. this expertise was very interesting to our department of defense. so we put this cluster together. as i said, i went out, and it is extraordinary how when you get the universities with the expertise, the small businesses with the expertise, and at this time the department of defense, how many opportunities we are creating because these suppliers are now diversifying out of the automotive industry and supplying unmanned military vehicles and much more. in 2010 we're going to expand this cluster to other locations in the united states, and we are
going to establish even more regional innovation clusters. we are also going to push exports because we know we can help these high-growth small businesses turn innovation into jobs. so, in closing, we have three c 's -- capital, contracts, and counseling -- that are really part of the bone structure of the whole small business administration. at the same time, we're going to push ahead exports and clustering. we know if we can do this, we can give small businesses the tools they need to grow and prosper, create jobs, and drive our economy once more. i have been working in small businesses for most of my life. i have had the chance this year to see their resiliency, strength throughout the whole united states. i have heard the great success
stories here in d.c. we have had trusted mission solutions and team critical care, k. clough, many more. i have to travel all around the ashcake love, all of the country. he had walked into our development center with technology in titanium and fuse molds for the automotive industry. he had zero business experience, and now has a company that is providing state-of-the-art technology and has offices in ohio, michigan, wisconsin, and he is still growing. stories like these that inspire me. when i go home for the holidays, i am going to see the familiar shops on main street, with an e, and i am going to see all these high-growth businesses that are
operating all around the country. these are the businesses that inspire me personally, they inspire everyone at the sba, and they are the inspiration for all americans because they are the force that is going to create the jobs that we need and the innovation that is going to keep the american economy competitive all across the globe. thank you for having me here. [applause] >> we have all kinds of questions. we will get started right away risky lending as part of the reason the u.s. economy tanks. how do you balance the call for more lending with the desire to not repeat past mistakes? >> thank you. you know, right now, as you know, we are still looking at an
environment where there is not enough lending to small business. we know that there are still good companies out there that cannot get the credit that they need. our credit scores on our loans have actually gone up in this environment. they have gone up. so we are not making riskier loans. we are seeing more great companies out there, and this is why today across the administration we have urged banks to come back in this market and make the loans to those good companies, because without the credit, as the economy perks up and they need to expand their inventory and higher than next worker, they are going to need that capital to grow. >> so how does the sba protect itself against people who are irresponsible in getting loans, like the mortgage borrowers who cannot meet their obligations? >> it is very important, as you
know -- we work through our 5000 banking partners that are out there, and we have very strict credit standards about what is appropriate sba loan. when we go out there, we're providing access and opportunity to viable businesses that the market is not serving. we have fairly low default rates in our sba lending. what is important is we are providing an opportunity through 5000 lending partners who have strict credit procedures that we also oversee, because this is taxpayers' money. so it is very important that we not put it at risk in risky situations. that means find those viable businesses and make sure they have access. >> what leverage do you really have with the big banks?
>> well, these banks are our partners. we have 5000 banks and many community banks that are partners, but we also have sba operations in pretty much all of the large institutions. so we talk to them every single day. i have to say, they have stepped up, they have put more emphasis in their sba lending. we have told hundred banks that stopped lending who have come back to our program today, so we know that they will come back and serve this market. >> why did the banks want to work with the sph? >> the sba provides a very important function. the commission marketplace operates for most bank lending -- if you can get a loan from a
bank, why should the taxpayers subsidize your loan? you should just get that loan. but if you are viable with business and for various reasons the market is not serving you, that is where the sba comes in. so banks are able to get our help with a little more credit support to stretch for those viable businesses that for some reason they need some additional credit help with. that is why they want to work for us, because we expand their possibility, we partner with them so that we work very often through offices and procedures, and we worked -- will allow them to serve more problem -- more clients. . do you blame bank regulators like the fdic for the trends of tightening credit? >> we work very closely with all of the regulators. we were just talking to the fdic, who are trying very hard
to work and repair banks and the dislocations that we have had, which are very bad for small business, are put to rest and that we move forward with a strong and viable banking system. one of the benefits of an sba guarantee is that portion of it does not have to go against their balance sheet. so at the moment it is a very good way for banks to partner with us, stretch out, and make some of the credit available that they know the marketplace needs. so we have very good balance at this time. >> what conditions would need to occur for the administration to consider making direct loans to small businesses. >> once again, i want to mention
that we have a network out there of banks that we work through. so for us to be in every corner of every state as we are now, we have 5000 partners who haven't sba loan. we have about 3000, just under three -- who have an sba loan. we have just under 3000 who have made an sba loan in the last year. what we are advocating is to continue what works. we know that we are able to get 1200 banks back to lending who had stopped with the 90% sign guarantees. we know that if we can continue to do that and we can get, as the president is urging today, banks making conventional loans, and we can increase the size of our loan limits, which allows us to reach a broader group, we believe that that will be the right formula to serve the
marketplace that is not getting served today. >> is an access to capital threatened since we ran out of stimulus funds in november? >> yes. as i mentioned, the stimulus funds did run out pre we went to a 90% guarantee to a 75% guarantee, so we are still in business, and week-we created a cue for small businesses who want to wait for the guarantee if congress comes back with that activity. so if you have ever been to the airport and your name is on the standby list, it is a new technology. we think of those things combined with our current product is going to be able to serve the market. >> what are the prospects of s b-2869 passing before congress
adjourns? do you know that one? if you ask a question, try to avoid the acronyms and senate bill numbers. we will move onto a psychological question for you. do you feel misunderstood by congress? >> i absolutely feel congress understands our agency. when you are in congress and you go home to your district, they are hearing from our small businesses from their small businesses every day. so when i go to the hill, i know that each member is really focused on solving these issues. we have two terrific committees to oversee us. they provide enormous attention to solving these problems, so we
have quite a good partnership. >> many displaced workers look at starting a business as an alternative. however, banks are hesitant to fund start-ups. are there any plans to fund resources for start up businesses? >> having been in a startup business and fund start a business, this is very dear to my heart. we have terrific resources. we were able to get $50 million of additional micro loan money to put out into the communities through our network of micro loan lenders. so we are, every day, actively helping people start up their businesses. sometimes it is just a cookie store on main street, and sometimes is going to be the next del. so we also have our score counselors, remember? who are 12,000 of them out there with a mission to help create 1
million small businesses. these are people who have been in maybe that very business, and they also do their counseling online, so they are quite active right now from both a capital and counseling for small- business startups. >> small manufacturers say they have special hardships that make it next to impossible to get an sba loan. what specifically will you do to help factory owners? >> actually, factory owners are very much a part of the core sba lending, so i have to hear more, whoever sent that, about what issues. we have particular higher limits of our 504 loans so that they can buy their building with more equipment. and we have quite a few in our seve7a program. so sba is quite focused on manufacturing efforts. i am particularly focused on the because much of my small
business experience is in manufacturing. >> apart from financial institutions, do you see a deeper partnership with larger companies who are suppliers to small businesses? >> as you know, we are responsible for helping ensure that 23% of all federal contracts go to small business. very often, in all agencies, the department of defense, for instance, this happens to partnerships that we call mentor/protege. small businesses and big businesses partner in together. because big businesses, more than ever before, need a whole supply chain of small businesses behind them. they have really focused on this, so they have come to us and asked for additional help. this is for real partnerships. this is not for a big company masquerading as a small company. this is for big companies to make sure they have the best innovation, which very often happens in a small company, and
has a partnership with those small companies of that their supply chain allows them to operate with the best possible products. >> with the passage of the recent appropriations bill, how great a reduction in fees can bar wars in expect when obtaining an sba loan? >> in the recovery act we were able to fund the full elimination of bar where fees for our 504 and for our -- of our were fees the -- of borrower fees. we are hoping to have that feet elimination for borrowers continue through the whole of 2010. >> do you think the senate will approve the bill to increase 7a
and 500 for loan maximums? >> in fact, both senator snowe and senator landrieu has put in bills to increase the maximum to $5 million. we feel that this can actually bring a lot more small businesses into our network and allow us to fund, particularly in these times of tight credit. we will not let this big loans crowd out the small loans. we will make sure that we also keep taking care of our small customers as well. >> so congress was giving you love, but somebody else wants to ask -- what do you say to small business groups that argue the best way to help small business is for government to get out of the way? >> one of our responsibilities is to make sure that we watch out for small business and that small business does not suffer unintended consequences of other regulation. this is something we take very
seriously, and we have a great office of advocacy that operates independently and focuses quite a bit on this issue. we have an entire group that you may not know about called the omnibus none. their sole job is to help small business navigate through regulatory issues. so if you are a small business and you are out there, one of our main missions is to help you navigate these kinds of issues. >> what help can sba offer in reducing taxes on small businesses such as payroll taxes? >> well, right now we are in discussion to do some kinds of new tax reductions. the administration is talking to congress about all kinds of plants that might reduce various kinds of payroll taxes are other things to support new hires. in addition, the tax incentives that have been proposed to the
jobs plan are proven benefits for small businesses. i want to spend a minute on the decelerated depreciation. that is very beneficial. if you're going to go out and buy a piece of equipment, you are going to be able to write off much more of their right now. this is directly into small business to help them expand her the same with the tax-loss carry-back. very powerful -- $5 billion already out helping small business. it allows the small business to get immediate benefit, and when they file their taxes, they can write off losses against the last five years. so that can be cash right back in the pocket of a small business. >> the federal tax incentives are admirable, but our financially -- but are financially pressed cities and states going to hurt small business by taxes and fees and by reducing services?
>> well, this issue of what is going to happen in state and local governments is very much on everyone's mind. i know bruce katz is here from bronx -- from brookings. he really focuses on the 100 metro's that drive our economy. these are critical pieces of our economy. small businesses operate there. they depend on them. we need to make sure that they can operate so that small businesses can operate there. >> are there any particular parts of the country or industries in trouble that have really kept you up at night? >> i traveled around, really every week since july all the way through to quite recently. i have been in every region, every region. we have an economy in many
places that is in transformation. we have to make sure that we work in those regions to make sure that we have, for instance, a cluster of active -- the clusters of activity that are going to allow the companies and the jobs to turns to what will be successful in the next year going forward. we have a lot tools out there that can do it. we have great emphasis at the federal level on work-force training, and a lot of resources going down there. we have all our sba network and bone structure that lives in every one of these metropolitan areas in any of these states. we have universities and innovation creation of a cross these areas. that is one of the reasons why i am such a big fan of these clusters committees innovation hubs. lots of them will involve small businesses -- of these clusters, these innovation hubs.
i was in kokomo, indiana. 25% of the unemployment in that town as chrysler. but they already have an accelerator, they already have innovation. they have trained engineers. our job is to make sure we have all entrepreneurs starting businesses, creating environments where we can take the innovation, turn it into jobs, turn it into products that are competitive around the country. we are very focused on that. >> the small business investment company program as part of the spla. this is operating at only 20% of capacity, even $2.4 billion unused fy 2009. where are you doing to get this money out to small businesses? >> i want to point out brett polymer here and the whole sdi sebic, and i know you will be of the help of us -- you will be
out there helping us use this money. shawn green -- i do not know if he is here, but he has great experience in this area. what we're finding is our applications for these sbic's have gone way up. we are getting the highest quality people come in. we are experiencing tremendous -- he announced the fast-track program, and we are going to get your applications through much faster. i would anticipate that we are going to be very able to put that money to work over the coming year. >> with the increased focus in financing available, will you be able to hire more people to manage sbic's, and particularly the approval process? >> yes, there is a great community that we are partnered
with. we have folks at the sba with great expertise in this area, and there is a capital gap. there is a valley of death, and we are helping people at the early stages, and we are helping them get all the way through that area. we must fill that valley of death with -- the valley of debt with access to capital an opportunity if we are -- we are focused on it, and i think we are going to have the expertise and the partnerships with the entrepreneurs and the fund managers to allow us to do it. >> you often hear people say government should run like a business. since you have run a business, is this reasonable, and how are your challenges now different from when you were running a business? >> i have a great team at the
sba. when you are running any kind of operation, you know that your greatest asset is your people. when you look at what is available in the small business administration -- $90 billion loan portfolio, 14,000 affiliated counselors, 5000 banks who are network, our partners all across the country. and we have a relationship with all of our fellow agencies to work together in order to get small businesses these contracts. but i find in the sba that we have enormous assets, so it makes my job as a leader quite easy because i have only to empower these great people, and help us i think work together and not in silos but as a team to help our constituents small business. i also find that if you have a
great mission, it is pretty easy to get some passion and enthusiasm and energy against the problem. that is what we have got today. >> ok, we are just about out of time. we have a few more questions, but before i ask the last question, i have a few important matters to take care of. let me remind you of our future speakers appeared on december 21, francis s. collins, n.d., ph.d., director of nih, will discuss biomedical research, new horizons for human health. on january 11, richard trumka, newly elected president of the afl-cio, will discuss major legislative domestic initiatives. second, i would like to present our guest with the traditional and much coveted npc coffee mug.
>> i need this. thank you very much. i am delighted. thank you. >> something to wake up early in the morning with. so, here is your last question. knowing the economy was on the verge of collapse and you would be in the hot seat, what persuaded you to take this job? did president obama make any specific pledges regarding the sba and small businesses, and how did you get on his radar screen? >> well, i actually had a job interview about a year ago, maybe today. i was on the transition team, and what i realized -- and i told you the economy was in a meltdown. i have a passion for small business. this president really cares about small-business. and i was out at the -- in landover, maryland, we did an event where we were at a small
business and the present was talking and i was standing behind the president. he finished his prepared remarks, and i knew he was finished. so i did not know you what -- i did not know what he was going to say. he said this. he said, "to all the small businesses who are out there, i cannot imagine how difficult things might be and how tough it is to run your business in these times. but you should know this. this administration is committed to small-business because we know when you succeed, america succeeds. the president believes that, i believe that, so i am honored to serve. thank you very much for having me. [applause] >> i would like to thank you all for coming today. i would also like to thank the national press club staff
members -- more the cook, pat nelson, and joanne booze, for organizing this. the video archives of today's luncheon is provided by the national press club's broadcast operations center, and our events are available for free thadownload on by tunes as wells on our website. call 202-662-75984 an audio or video transcript. for more information about the national transcript -- the national press club, visit our website at www d. national press dot board. thank you. we are adjourned.
take to the floor for one-minute speeches where they address any issue. the house will then most likely going to resource, dice into recess, returning at 4:00 eastern. -- will go into recess, returning at 4:00 eastern. any requested votes will be postponed until 6:30 eastern. now we go to live coverage of the u.s. house here on c-span.
>> the requirements of the legislation that passed in a different time -- the president believes as i've pretty clearly stated here that banks have an obligation to take responsibility for what was caused, for their role in that, and to step up to the plate now and be part of the positive economic reform and positive economic recovery. >> what is their problem?
-- >> again, that is what the president wanted to push on. but i think that is why you see when they come down and talk about taking more looks at these loans, some banks -- not just at a record, but other banks in previous weeks, -- not just bank of america, but other banks and the previous weeks -- >> [unintelligible] >> i think the president believes that is a positive that step. this was not the first meeting. this was the least the second meeting that has been had. >> but why not tell the packers -- the bankers -- >> i am sorry? >> what does he have to convince the bankers to give the money?
>> the present was happy to let them know what their responsibilities are. -- the president was happy to let them know their responsibilities are. >> sounds like he did not get any commitment. >> again, i will let them make your own individual announcement. >> [unintelligible] >> i am supposed to respond to the media training? they made a commitment to, again, take second looks and hire more people and process loans, which in many cases they have done. again, to take those second looks. i have already mentioned at least one today and others in the previous couple of weeks. they've announced a greater commitment for next year. >> you make quite a point of support -- the forgoing of cash for stock, but that is only one institution. >> bill, did all the world's
problems with soft today? i can tell you know. the but for -- did all the world's problems get solved today? i can tell you no. this was going on for quite some time. making loans to people that should never have had loans. that is where the president has put in financial reform and called for a very strong consumer protection agency, the likes of which right now -- the responsibility is spread out among 10 to 12 different agencies to ensure the people are not taken advantage of. >> [unintelligible] lobbying against financial reform? >> the president appreciative of one of the table were able to tell -- appreciated everyone on the table was able to tell him
that they supported financial reforms. they just told the president that they are for financial reform. i can assure you this, that the president is going to get financial reform. it is through the house, he will see it through the senate, and we will lay the framework for insuring -- for e ensuring that the kinds of things that the taxpayers had to make up for as a result of risk-taking that culminated in what happened in september 2008 that that never happens again. >> given the president's displeasure with lobbyists, would he issued a moratorium from contributions from the financial industry -- >> we don't take contributions from lobbyists. >> i'm not talking about lobbyists, i'm talking about the financial industry. >> i did not talk to the president about that. i think the president has been
pretty clear in how he financed his campaign in 2008 that we don't take money from political action committees. the president's -- president's the president does that take money from registered federal lobbyists. -- the president does not take money from registered federal lobbyists. >> could he go for their -- >> i think the people taking contributions -- most the people taking contributions from lobbyists standing in the way of financial reform -- i read last week that hundreds of lobbyists were called last week to capitol hill by republicans to quash financial or corporate it was a good question to michael steele -- to quash a financial reform. it was a good question to michael steele this morning. >> with the president
encouraging more lending, banks are concerned about the creditworthiness of these small businesses or individuals, considering the loose lending practices -- >> the president was clear in the statement after the meeting and in the meeting -- the solution to this problem is not to give of loans to people who cannot pay them back. that is in many ways what got us into the problem that we're dealing with, certainly on the home side. and on credit cards as well. but the president gets -- what the president gets in talking to people and in the letters that he reads each day are millions -- not millions -- dozens and dozens of letters that i assume represent millions of people, small businesses telling the president that they'll always been able to get a loan, that they are creditworthy, and that they ought to be able to not get it out as the economy starts to make progress.
-- that ought to be able to get a loan as the economy starts to make progress. he wants to make sure that the bankers heard that message, on behalf of small business owners around this country, some of whom used to be able to get loans and now cannot. the president does not wish to meet the irresponsibility of what led us into that with future irresponsibility of giving loans to people either to pay credit-card debt, to buy a house, or any other type of alone in which they don't have the wherewithal to pay back. -- any other type of loan in which the don't have the wherewithal to pay back. >> you can force them to do anything. all you can do is jawbone them. what does that? >> you get specific amounts that
banks say they are going to lend to small businesses. i think $5 billion -- we will watch them to ensure that they come through with their commitment. that is something that i think the president believes is important. when one of the bankers says to the president that you caused us all to take a look at how we lend money and who we lend money to, the president thinks that this the positive thing. >> as president obama now believe that he is banking except -- he as banking executives banded when -- [unintelligible] >> i think the president's said that it was positive. the important thing is not what somebody says in a meeting, but the actions that follow. >> has he seen whether they get it? >> the president will evaluate
their actions going forward. >> on one other subject, how big an increase in the debt limit as the president's what? >> -- how big an increase in the debt limit does the president want? >> i can contact legislative affairs if there was more information. >> did he in this meeting to talk specifically about some increase -- did he said any benchmarks? >> i think it is important -- the president does not want to be the loan officer either. i think each of these institutions understands, or should understand from the president', would increase lending means. the president did not lay out a specific benchmark. >> are they meeting legal or regulatory remedies for the white pass down the road -- for
the white house down the road -- >> i would certainly have to talk to the lawyers about that. i don't know on the lending side. obviously, there are specific legal things that we think can be done on financial reform, the president is in the process of getting through capitol hill. >> the president in his meetings -- you mentioned that he took notes throughout. other not no takers in the meetings -- are there not no takers in the meetings to put these discussions in the memo? >> there were a least a few more of us who were -- if not sitting at the table, all taking copious notes, from treasury, ope, as well as the president, along
with secretary geithner, larry summers, dr. romer. i don't doubt there is a long list of what was talked about in specific terms. >> what is the president believes the banks have not been landing? -- why does the president believed that the banks of not been lending? >> that is what he wanted to hear from them. >> could you give us clues on that? >> i think there is probably a number of different things. what he hears from some is that was mentioned before, capital requirements. i think the president understands -- again, we take steps to ensure that what happened never happens again. i think the president also believes that the letters he gets from -- there are certainly people that have traditionally gotten those loans before, that ought to have the same access to the capital that they had when
all they have done is played by the rules. >> in other words, capital requirement is not a sufficient explanation. >> i don't think in and of itself, no. >> having strong loans under -- under now >> look, a major -- i don't think the president -- the president certainly does not want to see, acoming from this meeting, a series of loans to people who cannot pay it back. and the discussions have had with small business owners, there is some happy medium that can be reached where you meet your capital requirements, you are making loans to those who have a strong credit histories, and at the same time there are those that can and should be getting loans that for whatever he's -- but for whatever reason
they are not. that was one of the purposes, as i said, of today's meeting. >> is the recession over? >> according to who? >> your economic advisers. >> well, i think that if you look at -- >> no -- larry summers said yes. >> no, dr. romer talked-about turning the corner, when you start to go back up, and then she went on to say that we're not recover until all those people who want to work are back to work. she would know, because she sat on the board before coming to the demonstration, which dates the official beginning of the
end of the economic downturn. what christie talked about in this answer, and what an economist -- i am sure there are many on your network would tell you -- it is likely that the next time this board meets, they will fit the date to the end of the recession from a statistical economic viewpoint that they are charged to do. in the president's mind, in dr. romer's mind, in dr. summers' mind, as all that needs to happen happened to bask in the glow of economic recovery? obviously not. that is why they followed up the question with what the administration was doing correctly to address the job situation. it is safe to say that if we plead always good in america, we would not talking about increased -- if we believed all was good in america, we would not be talking about increased
ways to get the private sector to be hiring more. >> [unintelligible] an alternative approach that the house has taken. >> i'm sorry, said that all the time? >> the senate bill wants to provide access to medicare down to age 55. a different option than what the house is sticking to it which of these two approaches -- what the house has taken. which of these two approaches does the president think is better? it is a rather large systemic change to medicare. many budget analysts were not opposed to health care reform in principle said this is -- gu>> i don't want to get ahead of the cbo, because i know the cbo is working on that. they told you all for that
legislation -- told you all for that legislation bans the cost curve, that health care of t legislation would not add to the deficit but would help our situation. you have seen cbo talk about the extent of life to medicare trust funds, the legislation that the senate is currently debating. and in terms of the specific policy, that is what cdo is evaluating. i think that many on capitol hill await what they have to say. >> [unintelligible] >> the president is not a prostitute continuing to make progress on health care -- not agnostic on continuing to make progress on health care reform and getting it through the senate. >> how does the president understand it, that these bank executives have not come up with an effective way -- >> note, no, no, i'm sorry --
they know that given what the taxpayers of done, the extraordinary steps taken, the compensation in that in government is out of step with any notion of common sense. -- compensation in that environment is out of step with any notion of common sense. bachus any structure. the president was clear and picked up on what -- not just in structure. the president is clear and picked up on what -- it is not just ensuring that any compensation should be more directly tied to long-term equity versus short-term cash. you have to make a strong evaluation about the sheer level and size of your compensation and the environment in which we exist. >> the president believes that the bankers understand it is beyond just the public perception? the have a problem with the compensation system? >> yes. again, there are those that are taking steps.
this is something that we will be able to, as they institute different types of reforms, will be able to evaluate. -again, that is part of a financial reform that is moving towards capitol hill. again, whether they are trying more of the compensation to long-term equity that is not the best immediately to short-term cash. >> is there concern about a shift of leverage from washington back to the banks now that so many of them are exiting tarp? >> house so? >> if we could not get them to begin lending while we were bailing them out, how should we do so now? >> i think they are dependent upon -- they have been dependent
upon the goodwill of the american people, and the president wanted to voice concern and frustration with the inability to match what the people on the public had done with what their actions are. i think that the political but can be a powerful thing. -- i think that the bully pulpit can be a powerful thing. >> that is it? >> the next time the president jawbones you, i guess you will get the same thing they have to i do not know if he will do it in quite the form he did on "60 minutes." i think the president understands that the president was clear. -- i think the american people understand that the president was clear. >> by all accounts, most of the major issues are still outstanding. there is a boycott by developing countries. is there going to be something that he gets?
>> the president is committed to pursuing an accord. it requires countries to take meaningful steps to address the climate change problem. i don't think there's any doubt that there are still -- there will be issues that to resolve when he lands. -- issues left to resolve when he lands. developing nations are going to have to do their part, they're going to let recognize the part that they have to do -- going to have to recognize the part that they have to do. we have worked strongly and diplomatically to bring countries like india and china along to the point where it is possible to get some type of agreement. the president will continue to work throughout this week to see -- to make sure that that happens. there is no doubt that there issues that will remain outstanding for quite some time. >> is he working of --
>> he has meade -- made at least one call this morning and it will rupp said. -- and it will wrap up soon. >> prime minister gordon brown apparently decided to take a more personal in the negotiation. >> what the president takes up the phone to call world leaders, i would call that personally involved. >> as the president picked up the phone to call joe lieberman on health care reform? >> not that i know of. >> is it true that the white house is in purging the senator. to sit down with -- is encouraging senator harry reid to sit down with lieberman? >> i can only see -- i can only say that the president's wants
to make progress. it will sit down with democrats and republicans and independent -- we will sit down with democrats and republicans and independents. >> it is a problem with lieberman, will the president get involved? >> the president has been involved. we would not be sitting here at the 14th of december, when you all should be christmas shopping, if the president was not involved. >> merry christmas. >> merry and mara somewhat rhymes. >> what date did he record "60 minutes"? >> i think it was a week ago, monday. >> monday he expressed optimism on health care.
now we hear that lieberman and others saying they could not vote for various compromises. is the year not an option, or -- its failure not an option, or -- >> we have heard concerns for months. the senate -- the pride is -- the president still believes that the senate will act. >> does he believe that lieberman is acting in good faith, or is he just a spoiler? >> i do not know why the president want to get into that and speak for the motivations -- into the head and speak for the motivations of any political party? i think the president believes that it is incumbent upon all those in the executive and legislative branch to take the steps necessary to address the concerns of the american people. we know that they are struggling with high costs and the rising
costs of health insurance, that we have to do something about affordability and insurance reform. that was the president believes the senate is involved in right now. >> to follow-up on the question about what kind of leverage yes, you said that the bully pulpit can be a powerful thing. what results do you feel he has gotten so far without the use of the bully pulpit? -- with the use of the bully pulpit? >> financial reforms to the house of representatives. >> lending -- >> if he thought all was good with lending, he would not have had the meeting today. we will evaluate going forward whether their acknowledgement that more can be done, that their acknowledgement that the president's meetings themselves have caused them to look more closely at their lending practices -- >> what happens then?
>> well, we will evaluate that and make sure that steps are being taken in order to make sure that creditworthy businesses, small and medium- size, are getting access to the capital they need to grow to make their payrolls at to see our economy through this a dark night in to blogger economic recovery. thanks, guys. -- and into long-term economic recovery. thanks, guys. >> spokesman robert gibbs answering a number of reporters questions on the president's meeting with a group of bankers this morning. shortly after that meeting today, the president made a brief statement on the economy. is about 10 minutes. -- it is about 10 minutes.
>> good afternoon, everybody. i just finished a candid and productive meeting with the ceo's of called of our nation's largest financial institutions. i asked them to come to washington today at the end of this difficult year for the industry, butñr also for the economy, to discuss what we expect from them going forward and how we can work to accelerate economic recovery. our nation's banks have always played a crucial role in our national economy, for providing loans for homes and cars and colleges to supplying the capital that allows entrepreneurs to turn ideas into products and allow businesses to grow, helping people save for a rainy day and a secure retirement. it is clear that each of us has a stake in ensuring the strength and vitality of the financial system. that is why one year ago, many
of these institutions were on the verge of collapse, a predicament partially of their own making -- largely of the own making, oftentimes because they failed to manage risk properly but we took difficult and unpopular steps to pull back from the brink, steps that are necessary at just to save our financial system, but to save our economy as a whole. today, due to the timely loans from the american people, our financial system as sprung to life, the stock market has sprung to life, and a year ago, many doubted we would ever recover these investments, but we have managed the program well with this morning, another major bank announced that it would be repay taxpayers in full, and when they do, we will love collected 60% of the money owed within -- we will have collected
60% of the money owed with an interest. expected -- we expect to collect every last dime for the taxpayer. a message in today's meeting was very simple, that america's banks received extraordinary assistance from american taxpayers to rebuild the industry, and now that they're back on their feet, we expect and an extraordinary commitment from them to help rebuild our economy. it starts with finding ways to help credit or the small and medium-size businesses that the loans that they need. to open the doors, grow their operations, create new jobs. this is something i hear about from business owners an entrepreneur worse across america. but despite their best efforts, there are unable to get loans. at the same time, i am hearing from bankers that they are willing to lend but there is a shortage of credit with the individuals and businesses. -- shortage of credit were the
individuals and businesses. -- creditworthy individuals and businesses. given the difficulty this is people are having as lending has declined, -- the difficulty business people are having as lending has declined, we expect them to explore every responsible away to help get our economy moving again. i heard from these executives that they are engaging in various programs like second look programs, hiring more folks, raising their target goals in terms of lending, all of which sounded positive, but we expect some results. i am getting too many letters from small businesses who explained that they are creditworthy and banks that have had a long-term relationship with are still having problems giving them loans. we think this is something that
can be fixed. i urged the institutions today to go back and take a third and fourth look at how they are operating when it comes to small businesses and medium-size business lending. we also discussed the need to pass meaningful financial reform that will protect american consumers from exploitation and the american economy from another financial crisis of the kind which we just came out of. i noted the resistance of many of the financial sectors to these reforms. the industry has lobbied vigorously against some of these reforms on capitol hill. i made it clear that is both in the countries interest and ultimately in the financial industry's interest to have updated rules of the road to prevent abuse and excess. short-term gains are of little of value to the bank if they lead to long-term chaos in i have made very clear that i have
no intention of letting their lobbyists work the reforms necessary to protect the american people. they wish to fight common-sense consumer protections, and that is a fight i am willing to have. with the help of the american government and taxpayers, our banks have a greater obligation to the goal of a wider recovery, a more stable system, add eight more broadly shared prosperity. i urge them to work with us in congress to finish the job of reforming our financial system to bring transparency and accountability to the financial markets, to ensure that the failure of one bank or financial institution will not spread throughout the entire system, and to help protect consumers from misleading and dishonest practices with products like credit and debit cards, mortgages, and although and pay the loans. -- an automobile and payday
loans. i should note that around the table, all the financial industry executives said they supported financial regulatory reform. the problem is that there is a big gap between what i'm hearing and the white house and the activities of lobbyists on behalf of the institutions or a suspicious of which they are a member up on capitol hill. -- or associations of which there are a member of one couple mildred urge them to close that gap and i assume it will make every effort to do so. it is not to dictate to them or manage -- or micromanage their compensation practices. it is to ensure that consumers and -- my job is to ensure that consumers and the larger economy are protected from risky speculation and predatory practices that credit is flowing and businesses can grow and jobs are being created at the pace we need. some of the banks and financial institutions have taken small
but positive steps to improve lending, small and medium-size businesses, as i indicated. they become reworking mortgages that are under water because of a decline in home values. the have acknowledged that much more needs to be done going forward. many have begun to follow our lead, shifting from paying huge cash bonuses to awarding long- term stops -- stocks, which will encourage more prudent decision making. as i indicated at this meeting, they could be doing more on this front as well. these efforts reflect a recognition that the fate of our financial institutions is tied to the fate of our economy and country. these institutions can endure if workers don't have jobs and businesses can i grow and consumers -- these institutions cannot endure if workers don't have jobs and businesses cannot grow. we have a shared interest in
working to ensure a lasting recovery that will benefit all of us, not just some of us. i called today's meeting with this in mind and i told the group that i look forward to continued engagement and progress in the months and years ahead. thank you very much. >> the president shortly after noon today. the u.s. house in recess right now. they will return at about 4:00 p.m. eastern for legislative business. among today's bills, managing federal grants and the grant process, and another in congratulating this year's major league soccer champions. more live coverage when the gavel comes down on c-span. the u.s. senate gaveled into session today at 2:00 eastern the 12th day of health care debate. at this point, things seem to be
in a holding pattern. no agreement has been reached on the amendments. president obama has said he would like the bill finished by christmas. you can watch continued coverage of the health-care debate in the senate on the c-span2. you can follow the entire process on c-span's health care hub, c-span.org/healthcare. >> "american icons," 3 original documentaries from c-span, now available on tv. see the exquisite detail of the supreme court through the eyes of the justices. go beyond the velvet ropes of the public tours into those rarely seen spaces of the white house, america's most famous home. an explosion -- and explore the history, art, and architecture of the capitol. "american icons," a three-disc
de dede said. it is $24.95 plus shipping and handling. >> there is just about a month left to enter c-span's 2010 studentcam contest. the peak as a dollars in prizes for middle and high school students with the top prize -- $50,000 in prizes for middle and high school students with the top prize being $5,000. must incorporate c-span programming and show varying points of view. winning entries will be shown on c-span. don't wait another minute. >> earlier today, british prime minister gordon brown talked about afghanistan, and his meetings with the european union's council on climate change. he was speaking to the house of commons. this is just under an hour and a half. >> with permission, mr. speaker,
i would like to make a statement on afghanistan and report the conclusions of the european council and our global talks on climate change. first, afghanistan. on saturday and sunday, i visited our troops in helm and at kandahar, met with members -- met with commanders on the ground, including meetings with afghan army leaders, and i had a meeting on afghan security committee with the chief of defense and security services, and i talked to the knee through -- talked to the naval general secretary. by first -- a first day -- as i wanted to congratulate our brave armed forces, for the work they do day after day. i think i speak for everyone when i said that the thoughts and prayers of the house and will country are with them.
the british people are safer at home because our troops are fighting for our city this christmas in afghanistan. mr. speaker, i also wanted to assess the progress to reinforcing our campaign in afghanistan. in my meetings with president karzai, as they begin preparations for the conference on afghanistan in london in january, and then that i believe will galvanize the international effort on political and economic progress, to which president karzai as agreed he will present his plans for the countries future, our strategy is to insure that al qaeda can ever regain free rein in afghanistan bid to keep that, we must begin at the taliban and strength in afghanistan stage by stage, the district by district, putting afghans in control of their own security. we must first address the taliban's insurgency, with all
the resources and power we have at our disposal. yesterday i saw it to the deployed roblin helicopter. we have more than doubled helicopter flying hours. there will be further increases over the coming months. i saw the massive vehicles and the smaller but equally well protected vehicles. since the summer we have increased the number by more than 80%, with hundreds of new vehicles, hundreds from the treasury reserve, which are now every month saving lives in afghanistan. mr. speaker, aerial surveys help us track and target improvised explosive devices, that surveillance has been increased by over 20%. what they ask for and received assurance from president karzai -- yesterday i asked for and received assurance from president president about
detecting these improvised explosive devices. there will be more local police on the ground and we will be training 10,000 police recruits. there will be better intelligence from the afghan people about the source of ied planned attacks, and encouragement that to harbor those planning explosive attacks on british soldiers. -- encouragement not to harbor those planning explosive attacks on british soldiers. tomorrow, the secretary will announce plans for more equipment for the campaign, including a counter-ied support. the plans will include an extra 10 million for hand-held mine detectors, in front of the 12 billion that was set aside earlier for new disposable robots. over 1/30 of which are attracting i -- tracking ied's
print and new and enhanced facilities for training and intelligence, amounting to 50,000 pounds a year. mr. speaker, our strategy involves working with the afghan army and police so that they overtime will take security control could present karzai has assured that he is increasing the number of afghan troops in helmonand to 10,000. once the police attending college we are running their is up in the spring, we will be able to trade up to three dozen police officers every year. -- train up to 3000 police officers every year. the taliban will not give up easily. i am under no illusion that there will be hard fighting ahead, but i have great confidence from the in the
professionalism of our servicemen and women -- immense professionalism of our servicemen and women and a telling effect they are having already. i can report that 36 countries have now offered additional manpower to the afghan campaign. we know that the planned increase in american, british, and afghan forces over the coming weeks and months will allow us to you through the force ratios and the balance in helmand. the priority for the additional british forces is to shift the emphasis towards partnering afghan forces. i can report to the house that commanders on the ground told me what it had already in 2/3 of british bases, our forces work jointly with afghan counterparts. is by partnering in this way that we will enable afghans to step to the challenge of dealing with that taliban and with extremism, and went the
conditions are right, allow our troops to return home. i also saw from my visit and discussed with commanders and civilian leaders that we are seeing the beginning of the political process, which must complement the military strategy. elders are already providing the kind of effective, accountable grass-roots government which will be the foundation of any successful political strategy. the decisions we made in 2009 that a new framework for action on 2010. a partnership with afghan forces will turn afghanization from an aspiration into a real prospect. it will allow military actions to provide space for afghan institutions to develop at a faster pace pit 68 delegations will come to london for the 28 of january conference on afghanistan. all 43 powers engaged in the coalition will attend.
together with other regional and missing partners and international organizations and it will be led by the secretary general of the u.n. and nato. this conference will allow for any contact between afghanistan and the international community -- deliver a new contract to treat afghanistan and the international community. we expect nations to announced troop deployments build a of the total of 130,000 troops, it 20,000 -- promised for 2010. the balance between alliance forces and afghan forces changing as there are forces rise from 90,000 afghan army and defense forces to 135,000 next year, possibly 175,000 later, and on the future numbers, police intelligence services and local security initiatives in afghanistan.
inondly, in london, afghanistan. secondly, in london nato and isaf partners must set out a program for the transfer of lead responsibly from coalition to afghan forces and agreed a set of conditions and criteria to astonish the eligibility of provinces and districts for transfer. and i hope we can agree in london that the process begins subject to conditions on the ground during 2010. third, on reintegration, london must secure international support and financial backing for afghan led resettlement and reintegration programs. forth, uneconomic developer, as president karzai takes forward an anticorruption program, london must provide comprehensive long-term support to the afghan economy, including two farmers and working people in the towns and villages to offer them a greater stake in the future of their country. including providing afghans with credible alternatives to poppy into the insurgency. finally, london must address the issue of international efforts
on afghanistan. reaffirming the role of the un, announcing the new special representative of the secretary-general, and announcing stronger civil coordination and isaf. and it must encourage to a new set of relationships between afghanistan and its neighbors, and particularly better working with pakistan. mr. speaker, while afghanistan and pakistan are different countries with their own traditions and history, they are both at the epicenter of local terrorism. in our national security interests require us to deny al qaeda a space to operate across pakistan and denied them the option of returning to operate in afghanistan. and one of the biggest advances of the last year is the increased cooperation with the pakistan authorities in support of the efforts of the fight against the taliban and al qaeda. and we want to build upon this in the coming months. as part of our partnership with the pakistani armed forces, it is now underway with the new u.k., baluchistan training facility in which british
mentors will be working with pakistani training staff on building character insurgency capability for the lucas dan frontier corps. and as part of our partnership with the civilian government of pakistan, the new education task force focused on anthem and education reforms is meeting today in islamabad for the first time. 250 billion pounds a develop systems from britain to pakistan is directed towards education. and as i agreed with president zardari heard of this month, because nothing is more important in addressing the root causes of so many other problems, than building a strong universal state education system, free from extremist influence, and offering a alternative low-quality schools which include the poorly regulated and extremist. mr. speaker, i turned the european council, one of the first decisions was to reiterate its strong commitment to promote stability and development in afghanistan and pakistan. a second decision was to express
united europe a great concern over iran's nuclear weapons and changed it will recognize in a call from the kennedy that iran is so far done nothing to rebuild the confidence of the international community. while we agreed that our offer of renegotiation and negotiation remains on the table, our continuing concerns about iran's nuclear program mean we agreed to begin working on options for sanctions in the new year. the council also discussed the economic recovery, jobs and sustainable growth and how europe can move forward on a climate change deal in copenhagen. we reiterate unanimously that policy in support of the economy should remain in place and only be withdrawn when the recovery is fully secured. the council also welcomed the effort and determine action taken across europe to strengthen financial regulation and supervision. and it also agreed that renumeration policies within the financial sector must reward of
sound and effective risk management. following the introduction of u.k. of additional bank payroll tax, where bank and telling societies employees discretionary bonuses about 25000, the council encouraged member states to properly consider available short-term options to implement sound compensation practices. unfortunate, the council emphasized the importance of renewed economic social contract between financial institutions and the society they serve uninsured and the public benefits come ensuring that public benefits and good times can go to the people of their countries and are protected from risk. the council encouraged the imf in his review to consider the range of fees and funds contingent capital arranges in the global financial transaction levy. mr. speaker, there are very few moments in history when nations are together to make, decisions that will reshape the lives of every family, potentially for generations to come.
and our aim of the ambitious climate change deal in copenhagen that will enable the european union to make good its commitment that we have moved to a 30% reduction in carbon emission levels by 2020 compared to 1990. and the agreement in copenhagen must also include a clear financial framework of a short medium and longer terms. this financial agreement must address the great injustice that is climate change. that those hit first and hardest by climate change are those who have done the least harm. but in fact, 98 percent of those most severely affected, died in the countries account for only 80% global emissions that it is a sentient we honor our response before helping and adapting to and mitigating the consequences of climate change. i can report to the house that to assist in adaptation and mitigation, the united -- the european union must pledge
seven-point 2 billion euros over three years. that is six points 6 billion pounds. and that is money for each year, 2010, 2011, 2012. of 2.4 billion euros. this should enable the world to reach its aim of 10 billion a year in dollars for climate change help for each year until 2012. and let me say, this financial agreement could not have got off the ground without the strongest european cooperation. britain will contribute one and a half billion pounds. but there will also have to be additional and predictable finance in the medium term, 2020 and beyond. the figure of 100 billion euros has been set for the long-term climate change by 2020. and the council, the european council, reaffirmed its commitment to provide its fair share of this international public support. i can say to the house that from 2013, the u.k. will provide additional private finance over and above not quite 7% overseas
development commitment under the european council, we have official development assistance commitment in view of the impact of the economic crisis of the poorest. there is an urgent need to promote rainforest countries, 20 percent for early finance should be allocated to force protection. and to achieve a reduction of deforestation of 25 percent by 2015, leading to a 50% reduction in 2020 and a complete halt in 2030 will require global financial of around 25 billion. and a majority of this should come from the underdeveloped countries. so today we send a message to all of europe into the world there is work to do, we're only halfway there to an agreement. now is the time for developed and developing countries not to divide among each other, but to do what no conference of 192 countries has ever achieved before, that is to come together with a forward-looking program to advance our share of goals.
this week world leaders are gathering in copenhagen, and as i have indicated to the house authority and to the opposition leaders, i will join global leaders in go bag and starting from tuesday with meetings there with leaders of the african union and the european union, the un secretary union, and also representatives from the hard hit small island states. the agreement at copenhagen must be ambitious, global, legally binding, be consistent with a maximum global warming of 2 degrees, and ensure that there is a financial settlement of the poorest countries. mr. speaker, britt and our european partners and the commonwealth will continue to work tirelessly for the best result at copenhagen. and i commend this to the house. >> mr. cannon? >> thank you, mr. speaker. the european council covered in three main areas, foreign affairs, the environment and economic issues. i want to ask all three as was the fight of the issue of
afghanistan. on afghanistan, is the prime minister knows we supported the increase in u.s. and in the u.k. troops. and that christmastime as the prime minister has said, we should all be thinking of our forces and their families that i like to pay tribute to all those charitable organizations sending diffs and cards and presents to our forces in afghanistan. they should be on our minds for all they are doing. on strategy, we believe this is the last best opportunity to get this right. doesn't he agree that everything needs to be brought together, including having the right concentration of troops in every part of southern afghanistan? the prime minister talk today about thickening the true presence in central hellman. we look forward to hearing more about the. perhaps he can tell us when he will be able to update the house on what's being done specifically to make sure the british troops cover fewer areas, but in greater density. we believe that is absolutely vital. on the issue of the afghan national army, he like me saw it
being trained at first hand and it is an currently impressive. as he grew with me that we honor as fast as we can and to go any faster that is a danger that policy of recruit would suffer. can he tell the house about what is being done to make sure that those afghan national army recruits that are trained and then sent to the south of afghanistan actually go to the south of afghanistan, and the unit function properly? in terms of the london conference, about which he said quite a lot, could you clarify whether the new individual working on behalf of the un secretary general, does he still agree with us that it would be good to have someone over and above that to coordinate all of the civilian side rather than in the same way stanley mcchrystal is coordinating all of the military side? that is what we have been pushing for and perhaps the prime mister can clarify whether that is still the government's position. on iran, does the prime minister agree that the time now has come
for the u2 take a much stronger line? it's clear that talks with iran are not moving. but the summit just referred to considering as the prime minister said options the next steps. shouldn't these specifically included three things at the very least. a tough new inspections regime on iranian cargo, a ban on any new european investment in iranian on a gas, and serious financial sanctions like those which@@@@@@@@@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ that is full of legally binding agreement is no longer possible at copenhagen itself. if he is right about this, is not essential that we see a full
political declaration agreed to this week? is that not the minimum to which the world has the right to expect? and it is vital that any agreement is consistent with keeping global warming below the two degrees threshold. on funding, the prime minister give us figures, but can he tell us more about where the money's coming from? bit more about where the money is coming from. it wasn't the contribution was written 800 million. then 1.2 billion. then 1.5 billion. can he tell us where this is coming from. if the prime ministers said on friday, it is coming from the budget. and he tells whether this will have an impact on any other aid programs? turning to economic issues, this prime minister once described the u.k. budget rebate as an ipo, nonnegotiable. that was before he gave 7 billion pounds of that rebate away. when he did so, and the reason for asking the question today,
when he did so, t government han return a review of the u.e. budgie. that was to start in 2008 and was meant to finish by the end of 2009. but it is absolutely no where near finished indeed, in the conclusion, the deadline slipped to next july, and in the final conclusions, it slipped another six months to the end of the year 2010. at a time when budgets are being cut in the u.k., does the prime minister agreed that in reviewing the u.e. budgie, the main purpose should be to push for a real terms typed in that budget? and does he also think that while public servant in this country are getting low pay increase or in even some cases pay freezes it is completely wrong for e.u. civil servants pay rise? turning to the commission isn't it the case that prime ministers hold approach to this has been wrong from start to finish. he started by spinning tribal political capital on a
completely misconceived plant to make tony blair president of europe, and ended with britain having none of the economic. indeed, the government became so dysfunctional that at one stage peter mandelson tried to land himself a job of high representative. friends of the prime minister -- he shakes his head. did he try to get the job? is there anybody in there? he was frantically hitting the post appear that the rat was trying to leave the sinking ship but he is still on board. friends of lord mandelson, said he thought the whole thing, he thought the whole thing had been budge. those were his words but isn't that the right description for the prime minister's whole handling of this affair? on financial services, cross-border cooperation is clearly by the. however, will the prime minister confirm that britain's effectively given up its on blocking regulatory decisions in times of crisis when there's a disagreement over whether there
are financial consequences for the taxpayer? you didn't mention it in your state and. perhaps he can answer that. the summit conclusions also called for the restoration of sound public finances. and i asked the prime minister, did he ever expect to come back from a european summit as prime minister of 12 years stewardship with the biggest deficit of any european economy, with britain the only g-20 country still mired in recession, and with the worst public finances in a generation? is that what he meant by leading the way in europe? >> prime minister? >> mr. speaker, i am surprised that he spends most of his time raising issues that were not even discussed at the european meeting and i think it would be better that it would be better if he addressed all the issues that i put to the house this afternoon and addressed them in a bit more detail. the first -- the first i may say, is the issues related to
afghanistan. and i think it's very important to recognize that there is all party agreement on these matters. and not to exaggerate any difference between us about this particular sensitive time. when more trooper going into afghanistan, where we are persuading the afghan forces to increase the number in the helmand province and where we are trying to extend the civilian and military cooperation so that we can tackle effectively the taliban insurgency by weakening them and strengthening the afghan state. i did say to him that we were increasing our presence in hellmann's. but so too is the american presence increasing in helmand. and that was the american troop in helmand will go up something in the order of 20000 to 30000 over the next few months. that will include of course the afghan army and self making a bigger contribution in helmand. in overtime, the balance will change between the alliance
forces and the afghan forces. by 2011, across the whole of afghanistan the afghan forces will exceed the alliance forces and get on top of that of course we had afghan police numbers as well. and this is our policy for the gradual afghanization of security control, and in that way district by district and province by province, we can have a chance of afghan control. i have to say when i met the afghan forces that were in helmand yesterday, training on anti-explosive devices, the afghan forces that i talked to came from all different parts of the country, coming to helmand, supposed to be trained and part of the more effective army for the whole of afghanistan in the long run. i did say to him that we were reporting that humanitarian and civilian issues related to the coordination of effort in afghanistan was a main feature of the london conference. now that he has resigned as the
un representative, he will stay on ivy league until march. he is retiring after that and we will have to appoint in my view a full representative from iceland and one from nato. and i talked to the general secretary of nato this afternoon. so there will be a human appointment and it will also be a natal appointment. i think it's important to recognize that all these interest must be represented, but there must be greater coronation pier as far as afghanistan generally is concerned, i hope that members of the house will feel that the measures are being taken in to deal with ied's are important in protecting our troops, but also in destroying the morale of the taliban. i have to say that when i was in afghanistan yesterday, it was reported to me that 1500 ied's had been detected and dismantled by the expertise of our forces, and particularly the engineers who do such important work. and if we can continue to diffuse and dismantle, and
therefore disable these ied, that would reduce the state of tragedy that@r@'"@ @ @ @ @ @ @ tissot that the agreed in unanimous approach to what iran has done is one that can yield tactical results in sanctions that actually work. he also raised the issues of the european council. i will come to that now.
at the european council, we did discuss a timetable for resolving budget issues. we did discuss economic cooperation across europe. we did discuss the fiscal stimulus that has been necessary to bring the economy forward and to move economies out of recession. would be necessary to bring the economy forward and to move economies out of recession. there are 12 european economies still in recession. a number of economies, including germany, have suffered a far worse recession than we have. we have the highest employment rate in the g-7. unemployment is lower than in most of the other countries that are comparable to us as a result of the actions we have taken. i just have to say there is agreement that we needed to take a fiscal stimulus so that the economy could move forward. there is agreement that we should have taken action to restructure the banks. there is agreement that the fiscal stimulus should continue. there is agreement that we must
all take action against unemployment and to help small businesses in these difficulties by providing government funds to do so. the only group that seems to stand outside that agreement within europe and the rest of the world is the conservative party represented on the other benches. and i have to say to them on climate change, it is incredibly important that the voice of this house from all parties in this house is that we want the developed countries to work together to secure an agreement. that is why our offer of support is one that i believe is right if we are going to get to an agreement that shows to the developing countries that we mean business in tackling the issues that they face most of all as a result of climate change. that is why we were the leaders in a european agreement that is insured the very substantial progress, three-and-a-half billion dollars a year will go to helping the developed countries to adapt to and mitigate climate change
including action of forestry. we have a great deal of work still to do because we have to get an agreement about the longer-term as well as the short term. we have to get an agreement about its immediate targets and about the issues that we undertake. we, britain, have that the way, with the climate change act. we have led the way with an announcement that we will be active in providing long-term financing to help the developing countries. we suggested a figure of $10 billion as an initiative for both the european union and for the rest of the world to follow, and there is now a virtual agreement on that. we will continue to press for a just and fair settlement at copenhagen. why i want to go there tomorrow is to talk to all the parties about what we can do together, why i think the opposition should support is that we have led the way of developing goals, led the way of debt relief, led the way of international economic cooperation, led the way of the restructuring of the
banks, and we are leading the way on climate change, something that the opposition party could never, never do. >> speaker, i would like to thank the prime minister, of course, for a statement. i would, of course, like to add my own voices of gratitude in afghanistan. and with families, of course, across the country preparing to come together for the christmas holiday i also pay tribute to the families and friends of the servicemen and women, the enormous sacrifices that they are also making for this war are utmost in all our minds at this time of year. i am grateful for the prime minister's statement in afghanistan. i would just like to speak currently on two points. kitty could he clarify what he believes to be the role of china, russia, and iran? whether we like it about these nations are absolutely crucial in securing long-term stability in afghanistan.
i was not quite sure from what he said whether any or all three of those nations as will be presented at the london conference. if not could he perhaps provide us with some detail as to how we might be engaging with all three of them to help stabilize afghanistan, not withstanding the other major differences we have, particularly with iran at this particular time. the second point is this. we all know that the war will only be won in afghanistan if we win the battle of hearts and minds of the afghan people. that is heavily dependent in terms on that the legitimacy of president karzai and his government. the prime minister referred to the efforts against corruption of president karzai. could he just tell me how exactly he will judge progress on good government and against corruption in afghanistan by the time president karzai comes to the london conference in january? mr. speaker, given that the resources allocated to a strategy we are pursuing in afghanistan over the last eight
years were so heavily influenced by the war in iraq i would also like to know what the prime minister thought of his predecessors of mission this weekend that he would have invaded iraq whether there were weapons of mass destruction are not. the prime minister supported taking us to war. so people have a right to know. does the prime minister agree with tony blair that the invasion would have been justified even without the excuse of weapons of mass destruction? just a few hours ago we heard the talks in copenhagen were suspended. i am told just now they have been just restarted a few minutes ago because of differences between the developing and developed world in the international community. i'm sure the prime minister agrees with me that the i will if you will brinkmanship now needs to come to an end. too many players are making their commitments conditional only on the commitments others. will the prime minister now make a unilateral commitment to help
break that deadlock? the committee on climate change says that to meet the european union target of 30% cuts on the levels by 2020 this countrã+b@ b >> mr. speaker, first of all, let me deal with afghanistan. it is right that at a conference discussing afghanistan, not only the coalition partners should be present but regional neighbors. that is our intention. it is important to recognize it in the longer term, afghanistan's churches the bennett on non-interference by their immediate nato's and economic cooperation between afghanistan and the nato's. we will do what we can to advance that forward, difficult as it has been to get some of the neighbors to talk to each other. that will take place of the conference, and that world --
there will be discussion also on the role of pakistan. the conference, and there will be discussions also in pakistan. if we can have on both sides of the borders action being taken against al-qaeda and action also does the taliban we have a better chance of succeeding in our objectives. when president karzai comes to london we will expect that he will be able to show progress in the anti-corruption laws that he is proposing, the anti-corruption task force that he has set up. there were 12 arrests last week for corruption. obviously people will be appointed to his cabinet and district and provincial governments. he is holding a conference on these very issues tomorrow in kabul, and i hope that will show the determination to make progress. i assure you that president karzai is determined to come to london with a plan to deal with some of the problems that have been intractable over many years in afghanistan.
as for iraq, i would just say that there is an inquiry. the inquiry will hear evidence, and then the inquiry will make its report. as far as climate change is concerned i think the european offer of 20% to go to 30% if we can get an ambitious settlement where other countries join in in going to the ambitious ranges that they have set of japan and australia and brazil with their very ambitious ranges can go further. if we can see the movement to want to see from the other parties in the negotiation then our wish is to go to 30%. we will have to get not only intermediate targets as well as other countries and statements of national admissions, the developing countries. we will also, as i said before and have to get a financial agreement, a technology exchange agreement, and, of course, verification issues will be
raised. there is a lot of work to do at copenhagen. i feel that he was to get a most ambitious agreement as possible, and i am grateful for the support he will give us. >> mr. speaker, the prime minister referred to pakistan. he knows the great sacrifices being made by the civilian population and the military in pakistan. did he discuss with president karzai the importance of effective cooperation between afghanistan and pakistan, particularly in combating extremism in the areas on both sides? >> prime minister. my honorable friend, as you all know, we wish to work with the pakistan equipment not simply to work with the problem of the pakistan taliban as we have done with the small territory, but we want to work with them to work with whether those areas where there are problems also with the
afghan taliban in pakistan. so we want to see the maximum cooperation between president karzai and the pakistani authorities including president zardai and of course prime minister galadi. we want to see more effective corporations. in the end we want joint measures that will protect the border areas. operation in afghanistan and pakistan is going to be very much in more in future years and i am before we have the level of the issues we raised in my statement. we want to see further cooperation and security issues strengthened in the months to come. >> mr. speaker, it is good to hear that our groups in afghanistan are getting more equipment. at the expense of what? because a recent review set up by the former secretary of state says the defense equipment program is unaffordable. is that right? >> mr. speaker, we have
increased defense spending every year. we have given defense of nearly 10% over the last ten years. in addition to that we have provided for the equipment needs and the other additional needs associated with the campaigns in iraq and afghanistan. it is because we have matched additional money from the treasury reserve to pay for the equipment that are going in vehicles, additional helicopters able to go to afghanistan. we have meant all the requirements of the military forces on the ground to enable them to mount campaigns within afghanistan, and i am sorry the conservative members are trying to dispute that. the fact of the matter is that all urgent operational requirements of the ministry of defence had been met and will continue to be met.
>> a further 26 speaking to catch my eye. as usual i should like to be able to accommodate everyone. in order to be able to do so short questions and short answers will be required. >> allegation a few weeks ago. we are extremely grateful for the efforts being made by the country on their behalf. however, i can't say publicly what was told to me in private. women feel extremely vulnerable in that country. raised the question several times in the past. the u.n. has criticized the afghan government for not doing enough to protect women. this particular woman is in danger. i would ask the prime minister if he would raise this, in the situation of women during the afghan conference. it is one of the reasons we went
into afghanistan. >> you're right. we made representations about the family law that was discussed in the summer. the president insured the some of his parts were removed as a result of international pressure i realize that the rights of women are an issue we must devote at all time when we are discussing the future of afghanistan. it is true that as a result of what has happened over the last few years where no girls went to school there are now two-and-a-half million girls going to school. i believe for the future of afghanistan and that is a vital change that is happening and increasing the numbers. it is a vital part of the program. at the same time paternal mortality is among the worst in the world. one in eight births resulted in deaths. i am told the recent research
suggests that 100,000 children are now surviving to the age of five who would otherwise not do so as a result of the improvements in tackling infant mortality and child health. these are achievements as a result of bringing health and education to the people of afghanistan. she is absolutely right. we must never forget the importance of these issues, the social and economic improvement of the condition of the population and we are talking about the future of afghanistan. >> the announcement by the prime minister of the additional 50 million pounds with three years of counter ied intelligence is very well. will that money come as an operational requirement from the treasury or will it be within the existing defense budget? >> prime minister. >> the chancellor reported in the pre-budget report that expenditure on afghanistan from the reserve is something on the order of 600 million pounds three years ago. it will be nearly four-and-a-half billion pounds over the next two years. that is a result of additional money made available by the
treasury. >> very recently seven taliban attacked a convoy that would be protected by 300 members of the afghan army. the 300 almost all of them fled the scene immediately. one of their generals said that they have no motivation to risk their lives for an election-rigging president, their own country, or for the international community. the afghan police are a lawless bunch of depraved thieves. does the prime minister really believe that we can build a solid security service on these collapsing foundations? >> there are two views to take about afghanistan. he takes a different one from mine. the first view is that the taliban has a huge amount of support afghanistan, and the afghan people will not resist the taliban.
the second view, however, is the one i take, that the taliban have very limited public support and the people of afghanistan. all opinion polls and evidence that we have is that the public do not want the taliban to return. they know the damage that they did in the past. they know the threat to women's rights. they know the damage that was done to children's education, and they know that justice that was meted out unfairly particularly against women. our best estimate is that the people of afghanistan by a very substantial majority do not want the taliban to return to government. they want to be assured that there is security guaranteed by afghan forces and by the alliance forces working together. over time they will want to see the security kept by afghan army, afghan police, and afghan security services. that is what our strategy that we have been applying for some time is working toward. so i don't accept his initial premise that the taliban have anything like the support he
suggests. >> may i ask the prime minister, is it a responsible policy to find at least partial the cost of current operations by waging future defense abilities? >> mr. speaker, i think he has got to understand the total amount of additional minister on top of the budget that has been spent in iraq and afghanistan is 14 million pounds. that is on top of the defense budget. that is additional to a rising defense budget, and i think he has also got to understand that the skill of the investment that we made in equipment is on the order of 5 billion pounds. so i would say to him that he should look at the overall amount of money that has been invested in afghanistan. a billion alone in the new equipment for vehicles as well as the extra investment in helicopters and ied equipment. the total sum for equipment 5 billion pounds, much of it spent in the last two years to make for better vehicles.
we have allocated, as you know, in the pre-budget report of the chancellor, sufficient funds for afghanistan in the coming year. i don't think his criticism should be that we have spent to too little or invested to build and the safety of our forces. we have done whatever is necessary. >> jeffrey robins. >> his trip to afghanistan. in particular his direct conversations with president karzai. the number of troops they are committing is encouraging, but the quality will be very important. could be, perhaps, a stark progress by some reorganization of the kandahar future government. >> i talked to president karzai about the governorships of kandahar and also helmand and
about the appointments he is going to make to his cabinet in the next few days. my honorable friend is absolutely right. it is the quality of the local government on the ground and the quality of the afghan army and particularly over time the quality of the police in afghanistan that is going to be so vital to the success in the future. what i saw yesterday was afghan recruits training at a high level demand from the british trainers and acquainting themselves well. what i also see in helmand is a government that insures the content and resources directed to the people and build up a system of law. wherever that is not happening actions should be taken and we would give our views directly to president karzai. >> mr. speaker, the prime minister did not talk on the inappropriateness. does not believe the defense secretary's remarks were inappropriate on condemning war.
>> this is a statement on the european council. there is an inquiry that is being set up to look at all issues effecting iraq. >> the prime minister is well aware that all wars have to end in some kind of political settlement or negotiation. we are now in our ninth year of this war in afghanistan. billions have been spent. thousands of lives have been lost. >> i think he draws the wrong conclusions from his remarks. britain cannot be saved from terrorism unless we deal with problems that exist not just in britain but on the borders of afghanistan and pakistan. if we do not take on all k-fed and prevent them from having space in afghanistan with the freedom of movement to plan operations in britain, we are not securing the people he represents in london and people in the rest of the country that have had to suffer from terrorist spots that have been organized from that afghan-
pakistan border. yes, it is right that in afghanistan it is an offense -- infant democracy were problems existed during the election campaign. it is better for us to build afghan forces better under an afghan democracy and build security service is better under an afghan president that was elected by the people. it is better for us to build a local government in afghanistan and to allow those people that never wanted us to take the action that was necessary to win this argument. this is about the security of the people of britain. >> speaker, the prime minister is right to praise the brave troops in afghanistan. he said "he would provide more equipment and support to the armed forces." can the prime minister reassure the house the the future defense budget will be fully funded whilst explaining to the house who was responsible for the chronic deficit and underfunding for defense which
has occurred for a number of years and was highlighted in a devastating report by the nao, which has said lee embargoed until midnight tonight? the in nao which was sadly embargoed until '99. >> the time that the defense budget was cut massively was under the conservative government between 1992 and 1997. defense expenditure has risen in real terms by 10% since 1997. i keep repeating to him that the urgent operational requirements of our defense forces when they are in action abroad and have been in iraq and afghanistan are met by separate claims from the reserve. i think you should look at the arithmetic of what is actually happened, and you will see that extra urgent operational requirements have always been met by the treasury. i think it is unfortunate. i really do think it is unfortunate when he can see the additional resources be made
available, the reserve claims, the urgent operational requirements to try to tell the british people that our armed forces have not got the equipment they need. they have the equipment for the job they're doing. >> mr. speaker, the states are already suffering significant effects from global warming. they have produced national allocation plans, but don't have the money to implement them. will he ensure that money is available from the e.u. funds for this adaptation now? without that the implications of global warming will only continue to get worse. >> i know from my honorable friend's word that she knows her well the challenges that are faced. she also knows that some of the countries who are present at the commonwealth conference because she has very strong links with them, and i know very well that countries from the maldives to bangladesh look for answers at the climate change conference in copenhagen for the problems they
face as a result of immediate and urgent requirements due to time a change. the purpose of the european contribution, two-and-a-half billion dollars a year, 2010, 2011, 2012 is to contribute something on the order of $10 billion a year. the adaptation she wishes to see. there is a proposal that the island states have suffered most of all. they will get a portion of that fund to enable them to take action immediately. we know very well some of the problems that face our urgent and have to be addressed not just in the next few years, but the next few months. >> sir robert smith. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the prime minister, does he recognize that he does not need an inquiry to know that his thank you the british troops will be all the more stronger if it contains an apology to the british troops and the people of afghanistan for the failure to resource the war in afghanistan properly in the early years because of the folly of going to war to run on false present.
>> i am sorry the liberal party is trying to follow the conservative party in subscribing to a myth that the afghan campaign has been underfunded. this is totally wrong. i hope that the conservative party and the liberal party will, in the interest of the unity of our country in facing the terrorist threat, recognize that we are spending more on our armed forces than we ever did. we are spending more on making urgent operational requirements than we ever did, and we have taken a view and it is the view that is held i believe by the vast majority of the british people that you cannot defend terrorism by the extra money we are spending within our borders. you cannot operate a fortress britain strategy when you have problems arising in pakistan and afghanistan that bring terrorist plots to london and to our
country from the bases in afghanistan and pakistan. it is right to take the action that we did. that action has been properly funded, will continue to be properly funded, and i do say to the opposition, if they continue to perpetuate the myth that there is inadequate funding being provided for our resources this will mean the public will lose support in the effort we are making. that would be a very unfortunate outcome. >> sir nigel griffith. >> the great welcome for the additional money on climate change in developing countries on top of the .7%. does he also extend that anyone who believes there will be full legally binding agreements on climate change clearly comes very late to this subject and will be better persuaded the on the fringe in europe to stop climate change legislation? >> mr. speaker, i tend to think the conservative party are better at the opportunities that they are on policy on this
issue. they have no, they have made no commitment. [laughter] they have made no commitment at all. they have made no commitment at all for conditionality. they have made no commitment at all for conditionality. they seem to think the climate change debate as a joke. it is a serious matter and we're going to bring it to a conclusion. >> thank you, mr. speaker. will the prime minister accept the afghan peace is not made the same progress as the afghan army? just paid their lives because of a police incident. would he accept it will be irresponsible to accelerate their recruiting , vetting, and training? >> mr. speaker, the tragic incident where five of our soldiers lost their lives is something that must be properly investigated. we must get all the answers. that is right for the families and also right for the future cooperation between the afghan forced police and the military
and the british police and the british military. i have to say to him on the ground in afghanistan our troops are working day-by-day with afghan forces. they're working in joint exercises with the afghan police and the afghan military. he would be making a great mistake in just simply staying the status quo and did not move forward with partnering with afghan police and afghan military. i believe that the scaling up of that which is agreed as a result of the recommendations of general mcchrystal, something that we advocate months before that and something that president obama is now putting resources in is the right way forward for afghanistan. the other strategy, the one he proposes, would make us at a standstill and not get the progress that we need so that afghan forces could take direct control themselves over their own security. >> the european council discussed economic cooperation. was there any specific
discussion on what to do if they continue to deteriorate the way they are? >> mr. speaker, it is the intention of the european union to maintain the fiscal stimulus and to show that we have deficit reduction plans for the future. it is the intention of each of the countries of the european union to show that they have deficit reduction plans as well as a commitment to protect themselves against the recession. that was the base of the discussion in the european union. >> my nephew has just returned from a six-month tour in helmand with royal engineers and tell me what was particularly frustrating is they would spend all day detecting and disarming ied. the taliban would come out during the hours of darkness to reseed the fields again without ied. there is not going to be a
curfew. someone has to secure the ground. the taliban are taking back then ground engineers has been all day risking their lives retaking. >> i appreciate the difficulty. if he has specific information he wants people to look at i am very happy to look at it myself. the truth of the matter is, the truth of the matter is that there is enhanced surveillance of what is happening on the ground. where there is changes made in the land during the course of the week or the day we are able to detect it in many cases and there is security important security work being done to ensure that where ied are planted we have more information about them and more and information about the people who are actually putting them in place. i agree this has been a problem i think we have better security measures that we have before ..
nations involved in with the additional aerial surveillance we can get the european nations to secure that road so it can be won. so that it can be one? >> i don't want him to get the wrong impression. two generators are there. the third generator has not been brought into use. the decision has been made that diesel power is a better way forward to meet the gap that exists in that area. as far as my meetings with the people in afghanistan yesterday, i believe that the extra work that we will do on economic development, that is, getting the people a stake in the future will include not only the work we have done but also giving farmers the opportunity to benefit from the week to harvest and grow we. i think that will help around 40000 farmers over the next ye year. >> the european union council
meeting, there are many heads of governments who thought the recovery was now so secure, that it was the right time to bring in savage cuts. >> mr. speaker, every member of the european union that was present wanted to maintain the fiscal stimulus, and said that it should be maintained until the recovery was assured that only the conservative party is so arrogant to believe that it knows better than almost every country in the world, and every political leadership whether right or round the world. the answer, the answer of course, the answer, the answer of the conservative policy would be small businesses while more people losing their homes and a higher deficit and higher debt. >> we should salute the work being done by the pakistani army, it remains the case that a large portion of the pakistani army is deployed along their border with india. those troops would be better deployed going after the afghan taliban and pakistan.
does the prime minister have with the pakistani military to encourage them to redeployed their forces? >> prime minister,. >> he will know a number of pakistani armed forces have been operating in the squad i. you also know that about 3000 of the pakistani forces have been and are in waziristan taking on the pakistan taliban there. and therefore there has been a considerable change in the amount of effort that the pakistan authorities are making in tackling the terrorist threat within their own country. however, i do agree with him that if there were less tension in the relationship between pakistan and india, and if there was less need for troops to be on both sides of the border, then it would allow pakistan to do more and to tackle the terrorist threat within its own borders. that requires india and pakistan to work more closely together. we are determined to see what we could do to make that possible. i have both talked to prime
minister singh and president zardari about the. and of course, if we can get a closer working relationship between india and paxton, even after the bombings, it would help greatly the campaign against the top and also al qaeda in pakistan. >> i've read in a response to my colleague, about the plight of the island. the speaker of the island told as i left the plane, thank you so much for coming and thinking about a pic please do not forget as. and that's the message i would like to get to my right, honorable fred as he goes to. >> i am long-term interest in the problems that are faced operatively by those island states where the possibility is that we could be dealing with
climate change refugees and climate change in the not-too-distant future. and therefore, copenhagen is important because it can allow us to make a commitment to help@ wheat many of them are part of the commonwealth, and it is important that we, as part of the commonwealth, come to the end of countries when they are in need. >> why was the prime minister's statement completely silent on the types of agreements for a tangible eu's citizenship, a single eu judicial space, and internal security system, and what he calls a common asylum system by 2012? the labour ministers argue against all these policies during the negotiations of the lisbon and treaty. i like to offer myself and the european convention. does the prime minister regret having to support them now and
pretend he was always in favor of them? >> i do not think he has moved on since use of the european convention and does not realize we have secured all our red line on these issues when he negotiated the treaty. on these issues when we negotiate the treaty. the original plan for the convention was abandoned and we have a treaty that now needs the interest of the british people. so much so that the conservative party have abandoned their widely held policy and no doubt he will support them when they decide they don't want to be on it any more. >> in relation to copenhagen and climate change, can the prime minister indicate whether it will play a major part of the negotiations of the agreement reached at copenhagen because there is some doubt about that? >> it must be central to an agreement to copenhagen. and as we know, one of the great problems of the previous agreement was the number of countries who were not involved
in it. it is absolutely, it is absolutely crucial, it is absolutely crucial that china plays a part in the negotiations that they are one of the biggest if not the biggest now and it is crucial also the india which is also going very fast as a country, plays their part in the goucher should. i will be meeting the primary and hopefully also over the next couple days talking with the prime minister singh and we will try to work together to secure the agreement that is necessary. >> can the prime minister explained how there will be 30000 allied troops in helmand province when the hellman operation began there were 3000 british troops landed to 60 percent per head compared to 10000 british troops there today. but what lessons have been learned? >> the number of troops in afghanistan has risen substantially. but the equipment available to these troops has also risen
substantially as the needs of fighting a guerrilla warfare against the taliban have to be met. i do say to the conservative party, they're making a huge mistake if they believe that they can persuade the british people and it's in the interest of the british people that they need persuaded that our troops are underfunded and not properly equipped. that was a campaign run by a certain conservatives over the summer that it is a campaign that. everybody here -- everybody here knows everybody here knows the vehicles are far more sophisticated than they were before. them are far more sophisticated than before and that the helicopter support is available. and we are bringing in the best counter ied support to do with the new threat that has been caused by the taliban, and i hope the conservative party will rethink this position which i believe will do damage to public support for this exercise. >> i welcome the prime minister decision and indeed that of the
leader of the opposition lastly. i'm sure it will give support your true. can we also show some support for the afghanis who are taking to claim asylum in this country? is it really right that we should remove people to a country that is unsafe? >> the application for asylum is dealt with on its merits. and he knows that as chairman of the committee. and that is a position the government will continue to use. >> thank you, mr. speaker. thousands of families including raf, why is the prime minster not being up front about his preference for conventional defense cuts rather than scrapping to try nuclear program which would save 100 billion pounds? >> he knows that strapping the program would lose hundreds, a great deal of many jobs in england and scotland is what. so he should know that we have
funded the aircraft carriers which are being built partly and scott. we've increased the defense budget every year. and we have also, of course, increasing the urgent operational parts that are necessary for our airports as well as our navy and army. i think what he looks at the record of enhanced expenditure and investment in our armed forces, both in scotland and in the rest of the united kingdom, he would know that the government is doing its job. [inaudible] can i ask them also to support about -- >> mr. speaker, it's very strange that the conservative party automatically almost without thinking about it came out against the global financial transaction tax. is now being discussed in all
countries in europe that it is being investigated by the international monetary fund. the european union are going to do a report on it as certain people around the world who are esteemed in the academic profession as economies are supporting this. they are interested in one form of tax, and that is the tax avoidance. it's about time, it's about time, it's about time we heard, it's about time we heard whether the deputy chairman of the conservative party after 10 years has honored his promise to pay tax in the united kingdom. >> mr. speaker, with the prime minister join me in paying tribute to our armed forces, not just those in combat, but also those providing humanitarian work, working in areas where the agencies cannot operate, building bridges, building schools and so forth. can i ask the prime minister, does this work towards the
target in the gdp? >> it is international aid that is helping underdeveloped and low income countries, that it is possible that it will count to international aid and that is the right thing for to happen that the whole purpose of overseeing is to help the poorest of the world and allow them through better provisioned through health and education and economic development and to raise their living standards and to take themselves out of poverty. the achievement of the international develop an aide and all workers began with developing countries will be that many millions more people are taken out of poverty. >> next year the united kingdom will pay 4 billion pounds more to the e.u. than it did last ticket in the pre-budget report the chancellor announced that tax on jobs, that will raise 3.1 billion pounds. is it surprising that the people in this country are fed up giving money to the e.u. rather than protecting frontline services? >> mr. speaker, we are part of
the european union of 27 members. i know that many people on the opposition benches don't like that fact that one of the response of membership is that we provide the sources for all members of the european union did dependent on our ability to pay. that is the agreement that has been negotiated. and these agreements are in the interest of the country which trades 60 percent of its goods with the european union and. has 3 million jobs dependent on the european union, has 750,000 companies with a european union that if he wishes, then let him do it but i believe that all of the british nation sees the importance of our relationship in europe. >> could the prime minister say we are now training afghans and in the use of robotics and other equipment to do with the ied's? and it as we start to draw down and withdraw, if we leave the afghans with the necessary equipment to do that job?
>> yesterday i saw our british forces training the afghan forces in the hands of equivalent necessary to detect ied. most of the work we're doing with the robotic equipment on ied's is done by british forces. but over time, it must be our aim to train the afghan forces so they can take responsibility for the security of these districts and provinces. and that i believe is the proper strategy for afghanistan. and i hope that there will be all party support for it. >> given the disclosure today of documents confirming the great strides in developing its nuclear weapon capability, it is not the reality that the european union visits israel sooner rather than later, to repel direct assistance to? >> mr. speaker, i think he should reflect on the fact that the international community is attempting to show impunity in the face of iran. and we are looking to work with
china and russia and the rest of the power to do with what is a clear threat. the message to iran must be join the international community and renounce nuclear weapons, or face with the potential for sanctions if they do not. i think it is a stronger message by all countries and all countries to get a. >> i think sending more troops to afghanistan and france and germany combined. while this country is fulfilling his response was, others are not. >> i agree with him that it is right for us to do more in afghanistan. and we are doing our best to contribute to the forces. i hope that implication of his question is not that if france and germany don't come up with numbers that we should do less. i don't think that is the case took what i believe should happen is that all countries within the alliance should look at what they can do and look at
whether they can contribute more. as i said, not just eight countries that were following us that i announced a few weeks ago at the 38 countries are offering their help in afghanistan as part of the coalition. we should welcome the fact that many countries are doing so, announcements have yet to come from other countries and italy will come from some of the other countries over the next weeks or months. i just repeat, on equipment so that everybody is clear about the money were spent on the agreement of our forces. the chief of the defense staff, said the equipment people are >> a look at the u.s. capitol were the house is about to return from recess. that will be at 4:00 p.m. eastern, a couple minutes away. we will get an update of the health-care debate in the senate before the house returns. >> coverage of the health-care
debate for roll-call in the u.s. senate. you heard about senator lieberman. the pressure is on a little bit. your headline this morning is health care had eggs grow. pressure was also emphasized last night in the "60 minutes" interview with president obama, saying he expects this to pass before christmas. guest: that is correct. there is no score for the there is no scoring yet for this potential compromise to the public option. most democrats do not know what that compromises supposed to look like. so when they're asked questions about what they can support, they naturally will sort of default to the easiest and safest dancer which is, i will not support anything i do not like or which cost too much -- the safest answer.
host: what is the reality of when the congressional budget office will come back with a cross-analysis? guest: today, tomorrow, next week -- we really do not know. the other thing i just heard, politically the polling, public polling on the health care reform bill is not good. it just as everyone a little skittish. there is also a hurry, people tried to get this done by christmas. whenever you have a fast schedule a think it adds pressure. it makes it more difficult for senators to jump on board and do something big. they are always worried it will come back to bite them. host: let me ask you about the
comments of senator lieberman and senator nelson. what does that do to the debate? caller: it obviously makes it more difficult for harry reid to come up with 60 votes. politically republicans do not like it and see no reason to support it. as a lawmaker you do things because it is politically beneficial, or else because you believe in it. in this case the republicans have neither. that includes olympia snowe. this is who ben nelson has always been, but when democrats were in the minority it was less of an issue. joe lieberman is a little bit of a surprise only because on social issues, things like this he is usually more democratic.
he has been clear all the way through. he would not vote to get out of the bill if it included a public option. the reason he does not like the public option is because he does not like expansion of government. of all the members of the democratic conference who are threatening not to support, i believe him the most because he has been consistent. if he does not like something he tends not to go along with this. host: tell us a little about the mechanics of the debate. he said that at press time they were still working out an agreement on amendments. we read that there will go back to the dorgan and in them. guest: the schedule is up in the year. year. now that appropriations omnibus bill has been taken care of over the weekend it is really
about health care. there is the question of what amendments will give votes and which are not. i think that if harry reid got a positive score for the compromise to the public option that they might sort of try to move immediately go us fast as they can to close out debate and begin the budget process. >> you can watch the senate debate health care on c-span 2. they will be returning from their recess. members will take the floor vote for legislative business. among the bills is the federal grant process. another congratulating this year's major league soccer champions. the request in boats will be postponed. we go live now to the floor of the u.s. house here on c-span.
order. pursuant toe clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone votes on sprution. recorded votes will be taken after 6:30 p.m. today. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? mr. levin: i move to suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 4284. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4284, a bill to extend the generalized system of preferences and the andean
trade preference act, and for other purposes. mr. levin: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. .13 the speaker pro tempore: without objection. pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. levin: madam speaker, i now yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. levin: i rise in support of h.r. 4284. this bill extends two preference programs, the generallyized system of preferences, knowledge as g.s.p., and the andean trade preference program, known as atpp, for one year. without this extension, the two programs would expire less than three weeks on december 31.
preferences including g.s.p. and atppa is important in trade policy. they are means by which the u.s. can work with developing nations to help and capture the opportunities and to meet the challenges of trade and globalization. over many decades, the g.s.p. and andean programs have seen these results for developing nations. g.s.p. currently provides duty-free treatment to over 3,500 types of products coming into the u.s. from over 130 developing countries. the program provides duty-free access to even more products from the 44 poors or least developed countries. last year the g.s.p. program had over 43.4 billion imports.
atppa provided additional benefits to the andean nations to help address their special circumstances. in particular, their efforts to fight the trade in narcotics. under atppa exports grew from $97 million in 2002, the first full year after enactment, to more than $17 billion in 2008, including $4 billion of nonfuel imports. the program has been crafted carefully so that they know the complementarities of trade between the united states and the developing nations. the needs of the developing nations have been matched to the needs here at home. and as a result, both programs provided significant benefits here in the united states as well. atppa has developed an
important network for u.s. textiles in the andean region. and both atppa and g.s.p. has provided the options that many u.s. businesses, including many small and medium enterprises use to remain competitive in the global marketplace. in recent years, for example, the majority of u.s. imports, 75%, using g.s.p. were imports used to sustain u.s. manufacturing. including raw materials, parts and components and machinery and equipment. at the same time that they have fostered increased trade, the program is shaped to encourage developing countries to implement the kinds of policies necessary to increase trade, to achieve the goal of development. specifically, the preference programs have incorporated key
eligibility criteria including conditions regarding the respect of fundamental worker rights, rule of law, basic rules protecting innovation and investment, and policies to fight crups. the preference programs confirm what many of us have been saying for a long time. trade must be shaped so as to spread its benefits wisely. that is true when we talk about unilateral preference programs or bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. i do not mean to suggest, however, that our work is done when it comes to preference programs. far from it. we need to ask whether the preference programs are working as well as they should. this requires taking a lard look at all aspects of the -- hard look at all aspects of the programs, including how present
criteria are working. in addition to considering any improvements, we also need to look at whether there's a need to include additional eligibility criteria, including relating to the environment. this also means taking a careful look at those countries that are in a special vulnerable situation. one example is cambodia which has been hard hit by global economic recession. as many of my colleagues may recall, cambodia and the u.s. were partners in the pie nearing project called -- pioneering project called better factories cambodia. this sought to promote labor standards through our trade agreement at a time when many in the world were demonizing this. and the effort bore fruit.
significantly improving the conditions for workers which in turn can help expand our freedoms. however, that industry is now under siege as a result of global recession and competition, including from china and vietnam. according to testimony provided in the recent ways and means hearing, nearly one quarter, 80 of 340 of all exporting factories have been shut down. and nearly 80,000 workers, most of the women, have lost their jobs in cambodia. we need to know whether the preference programs are doing enough to help these enormous challenges. the extension we are voting on today gives us the time. we need to look carefully at these important issues. the ways and means committee and trade subcommittee plan to hold hearings and work with the administration next year in a
comprehensive review of our preference programs. today's bill also provides for a review in the middle of next year of the andean trade preference act and all issues relating thereto, with each of the countries covered by the act. i want to take a moment to thank my republican colleagues for working on this extension with chairman rangel and me. and i look forward to working with ranking members david camp and kevin brady and other colleagues on both sides of the aisle to review the preference programs over the course of next year as we together determine whether we can make them work better for all beneficiaries, both the citizens of developing nations and our citizens. madam speaker, i reserve the
balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. camp: thank you. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. camp: let me be blunt. we can and should be doing much more to advance our trade agenda and create much-needed jobs for american workers. this year america's trade agenda has stalled and has had a chilling effect on our economy and job creation and on global commerce. in some cases even weakening our national security interests. the delay in considering the colombian trade promotion agreement alone has cost workers over $2.4 billion in unnecessary tariffs. last week, the president said there would be a refewed -- renewed focus on trade next year. in the meantime, we still have valuable work to do.
although we aren't dealing with any of our pending free trade agreements today, we are considering important trade programs that protect our own interests and help advance developing nations, extensions of the generalized system of preferences and the andean trade preference act. make no mistake, the legislation before us is far from perfect, but it is a chance to ensure the trade agenda does not slide further backward. by supporting this bill, we're sending a signal to the world that america is ready and willing to engage. i'm a strong supporter of our trade preference programs. these programs are vital. particularly as we struggle with global recession and the collapse in international trade. allowing these preference programs to lapse would be a mistake that would encourage the rest of the world which is already passing us by when it comes to new trade agreements to increase their lead on us. and we cannot allow that to happen. as i noted, this legislation should have been stronger. to provide greater certainty to
american employers doing business in developing countries, something southerly needed in this economic climate. -- something sorely needed in this economic climate. i would have rather seen a two-year extension rather than the one-year extension before us. i think we would all agree, one year is better than no extension at all. i'd like to see the extension of the andean promotion act that would provide enhance oversight over ecuador's oversight over the criteria. unfortunately, this legislation fails to recognize the serious questions that surround ecuador's compliance with the eligibility criteria for this program. the 2008 bipartisan extension of atpa extended benefits for ecuador but required the administration to issue a report on ecuador's compliance with eligibility criteria. this report released on june 30 of this year by the obama administration highlighted
multiple concerns which i share. specifically, the report raised questions about ecuador's compliance with this international investment obligations. the report raised concerns about ecuador's decision to increase certain import duties above their bound levels and to impose quotas on imports. none of these issues have been resolved. in farkts they've gotten worse. . despite this failure, the majority has inexplicably stripped out last year's reporting requirement. for all the talk from the other side about enforcement and compliance, this legislation fails to address legitimate concerns our workers and employers face in ecuador. while the legislation requires reporting for all the andean countries, i am disappointed that the majority has decided not to engage in specific oversight of a country clearly falling short of our expectations. as 2009 comes to a close, there be will be many retrospectives on the year. one focus ought to be on whether washington advanced
pro-growth, pro-job trade agenda, and the answer is clearly no. we started the year with the passage of a new trade adjustment assistance program showing what can be achieved when there is a bipartisan, bicameral commitment. we should all be very proud of what we have done for workers who are trying to adjust to the global economy. but until today there has been absolutely no positive movement on the trade agenda since t.a.a. i am encouraged the authority decided to extend the 3r578s, the failure to make this legislation as robust as it could have been shows the need to return next year to this sort of bipartisanship we saw on t.a.a. i urge the majority to make that happen. i'm committed to doing my part. madam speaker, we owe the american people a better result. today's legislation gives us the first opportunity to build on the president's words to us at the white house last week in which he acknowledged the importance of trade in creating jobs. but it represents the bear
minimum. -- bare minimum. i urge my colleagues to support a robust trade agenda that creates opportunities for american workers. for that reason i support passage of this legislation. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. levin: now i'm privileged to yield three minutes to the very distinguished member of the committee and my colleague, jim mcdermott. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized for three minutes. mr. mcdermott: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mcdermott: madam speaker, i rise today to urge the passage of h.r. 4284, to extend the general system of preferences and the andean trade preference program for one year. i have called for an extension to our preference programs in the past. we need to make these programs long and stable. this extension is only for a year, and that's ok in this
instance because we need to force more action on a broader preference reform. in difficult economic times like today, developed countries sometimes decide to pull back. but i hope that in the globalized economy we need to push forward on improving trade with poorer countries in the world. our preference programs have done enormous good for the poor of the world and for american businesses, but now we need to make them even better. for development to really accelerated, we need to get more countries involved in trading more products. i have introduced a bill with the support of chairman rangel and congressman levin that will go far in modernizing our preference programs for american business and the poor in the world. now, while there are details to work out, there is broad agreement that our trade programs need to be stable, they need to be simplified, and they need to be more effective, and they need to help more people. i think we agree that the stability of our programs is
essential to them being effective. no one who has ever run a business would want to invest in a climate that is so unstable that goes year by year you never sure, can you plan on it next year, that simply is very difficult for business to deal with. and our programs, therefore, need to be long term. second, our programs are too complicated and hard to use. simply filing our programs and doing more to help our partners meet the important standards we set are keys to their success. an interesting fact, sort of clarifies it in your mind. cambodia pays as much tariff on $1.5 billion with exports to the united states as does great britain on $50 billion. if you're trying to up cambodia, you ought to think of those kinds of numbers. we need to address the compassion it building. we all know the rules of trade not aid is obvious.
preferences help our trading partners quite a bit, but without thoughtful capacity building, we can only help them so much. we need to pool these efforts together to help poor countries grow and give american businesses more customers. finally, we need to find a way to strengthen the programs we have while at the same time helping more people. trade is not a zero sum game. we can strengthen our credit programs while also helping other desperately poor countries who right now get no benefits. we can help countries like the philippines and cambodia statement. i think this is a good start -- at the same time. i think this is a good start and the house ought to pass this bill and next year we'll deal with a larger bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. camp: i yield two minutes to the distinguished member of the ways and means committee, the gentleman from washington state. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman from washington is recognized for two minutes. mr. reichert: i thank the gentleman for yielding. madam speaker, i rise today also in support of this legislation to extend our trade preference programs. trade is vital to creating jobs, growing our economy, and strengthening ties with key partners around the world. preferences are a bridge for developing countries to enter the global market, to grow, and to achieve permanent trade relationships with america. look no further than south korea and colombiaer for great examples of preferences done right. through successful preference programs, both allies now stand ready to enter into permanent trade agreements with the united states of america. the failure to pass pending free trade agreements like those with korea and colombia is costing america thousands of jobs and billions of dollars. president obama did recently speak about how growing exports creates jobs. i hope that congress will soon
prepare these agreements for consideration. because not only do these agreements create jobs, but business relationships and partnerships and friendships, it creates opportunities for cultural exchanges and the opportunities to help our friends across the global educate each other and educate us. it also even affects our national security and our environment. i'm disappointed we could not extend these preference programs beyond just one year, they are too important to our partner countries to let them expire. so i urge all of my colleagues to support this extension of a preference program and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. levin: it's now my privilege to yield three minutes to the very distinguished colleague and member of the ways and means committee from oregon, mr. blumenauer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for three minutes.
mr. blumenauer: i appreciate the gentleman's courtesy in permitting me to speak on this as i appreciate his thoughtful leadership in this area of trade and balancing the commitments that we have. the extension of the system of preferences was not merely related to trade but reflecting of a nation's social values. it was in that context that we have not weighted our program of preferences in 1974. it's more than a trade agreement. it's a statement about what policies we find valuable in our trading partners and which policies we feel drive the development of nations. for this reason it's often referred to as a tool of foreign policy as well as trade. we appropriately judge our trading partners on eligibility for this program on protection of american commercial interests. protection of intellectual property. preventing the seizure of
property belonging to the united states citizens or businesses. as well as protection of individual rights such as the protection of commonly accepted labor rights and the eliminate of child labor. madam speaker, the united states has, i think, at times fallen short in our dealings dealing with tariff barriers for poor nations and agriculture. my friend from washington referenced the difference between cambodia and great britain. how we -- i'm hopeful we'll be able to work in the year ahead dealing with some outmoded tariff dealing with footwear and outer wear that's no longer even manufactured in the united states. i'm of confident that we can work through in this approach. but i would hope as we move forward that we would add to the list of the criteria by which we are going to judge the extension of these preferences.
that we deal with environmental criteria. they are noticeably absent as we go through the list currently. making sure that agreements are required our trading partners to enforce our environmental laws already on the books. comply with various international environmental agreements. i think is absolutely essential. concern for the environment is a core element of development. it reflects an appreciation of civil law for protection of individual and often indigenous people's rights and concern for the long-term sustainability of a state and society. protection of environment is not merely what rich nation does after they become wealthy, but it's what nations must do as they become wealthy. madam speaker, at this moment the world is meeting in copenhagen, and i am pleased
the united states has not turned its back on these global climate negotiations. we are dealing with problems of energy demands and carbon pollution that may well be the most important for this century. mr. levin: i yield the gentleman an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for an additional minute. mr. blumenauer: which may be the most important discussions we are going to have on the survival of human habitation as we know it. for the economies of countries rich and poor. being able to deal meaningfully with environmental protections through trade negotiations is perhaps the single most effective way that we are going to be able to establish a basis, a criteria moving forward. i hope that we will be able to have a moreau bust conversation in this next year. i hope that we will be successful in moving the world and this country forward in
copenhagen, and i hope that as we move forward we can work together to strengthen the role of environmental protections that will be found as we extend these preferences in the future and our overall approach to trade. thank you for your courtesy in permitting me to speak on this. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. camp: at this time, madam speaker, i yield four minutes to the gentleman from california. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for four minutes. mr. royce: thank you. madam speaker, here we go again. another year, another andean trade frefffrens extension, and another year of the colombian trade agreement held up. another missed opportunity. let's be clear. the colombia agreement which the majority is not moving would be a job creator for americans. if we pass it, colombian
tariffs, the tariffs that they place on u.s. exports, would be cut. if you reduce those exports, that export tariff, it would create more jobs here in the united states. with the colombian f.t.a. we could get two-way trade between the united states and colombia. right now u.s. exporters send into colombia are mainly small and medium-sized businesses. a lot of them are in my area in southern california. they are our economic engine. let's help them. it's very ironic that many who routinely attack trade agreements are giving colombia preferential treatment here today asking enough in return which is especially galling when there is a good agreement sitting on ice which would help our exporters into that market. i think it's time to stand up for the american worker.
certain past time to get an agreement that's a two-way agreement here. of course colombia is our closest partner in an important region. it is locked in a very deadly struggle with well financed forces. in this case terrorists and drug traffickers that are called the farc. this bill today is better than nothing. but the majority is missing a good opportunity, an opportunity to help a friend in colombia and to help american workers by passing the colombia f.t.a. . ecuador, a beneficiary, it is far, far from living up to this program's conditions. to be a beneficiary of this agreement, there should be certain requirements, and yet
it haunt been cooperative in combating narcoterrorism, and ecuador is very close to the farc, which is waring against the colombian -- warring against the colombian government. its independent media has come under attack. its government has corrupted legal systems harming u.s. companies. just to go into some of the specifics, the president of ecuador, president correa, has dissolved the parliament there, the congress. he's refaced all the judges in the country. -- he's replaced all the judges of the country. he's seized control of the televisions there. the state department's 2009 human rights report cites concerns with what the state department calls corruption and the denial of due process
within ecuador's judicial system. transparency international ranked this country as one of the worst surveyed for 2008 in terms of its corruption perceptions index. one of the worst in corruption. and it has announced that it will withdraw from its bilateral investment treaty with the united states. this bill, frankly, would be better without ecuador. instead, the majority rejected using these benefits as leverage. i think that's also a missed opportunity. rejecting this bill would hurt colombia and our strategic interests there. let's pass it, but it should be noted that we should have done so much better for american jobs. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. royce area i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. levin: i now yield three minutes to a very distinguished
colleague and friend, mr. doggett of texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for three minutes. mr. doggett: i thank the gentleman. and i thank you for your leadership. i certainly support more trade where it most stands to benefit american consumers and to spur economic development in some of the world's least developed countries. during the last two years, there has been considerable talk about crafting a 21st century american trade policy that ensures we are not encouraging trade that depends upon degrading our environment and lowering labor standards. unfortunately, talk is often about all that we've had. upholding labor and environmental standards has been much more rhetoric than reality. today's renewal of this g.s.p. legislation does nothing to encourage participating countries to even enforce their own minimal environmental laws or to honor the multilateral and environmental agreements that they have joined. this is in significant contrast
with the european union. there to enjoy the benefits of the g.s.p. plus programs, they should implement major multilateral and environmental agreements. there's no reason why we shouldn't be doing the same and more. we should have led the european union on the environment, but we can now at least follow its lead. there are g.s.p. labor standards, but under the bush administration, naturally, there was very little interest in seeing them enforced. why, for example, should the thuggish government of uzbekistan enjoy trade preferences? in addition to being one of the world's violators of human rights across the board, we have ample evidence of widespread labor abuses within the uzbekistan area, including compulsory labor from children. for two years they have failed to act on child labor even
after the uzbeks failed to apeer at a pearg to -- appear at a hearing to explain their child labor. the uzbek case is all but one example of the significant problems with that enforcement mechanism of labor provisions in g.s.p. surely our trade policies here in the 21st century can aspire to do more than to bless practices that come right out of a 19th century charles dickens' novel. in the promisesing g.s.p. review as described by chairman levin i think we have considerable work to do if we are to give full and complete meaning to the promises of president barack obama that our trade policies will reflect not only our desire for more commerce but our commitment to uphold our environment and our workers. i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. camp: madam speaker, i yield four minutes to the ranking member of the trade subcommittee, the gentleman from texas. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas for four minutes. mr. brady: thank you, madam speaker. i've long been a supporter of our preference programs because they allow valuable inputs into the united states duty free, helping our manufacturers and their employees. at the same time the trade preference programs are important tool to help developing countries break into the international market. over many years, congress has worked on a bipartisan basis to develop trade preference programs that will provide a vital economic boost to many developing countries. but effective trade preferences are just one step on the developing country's journey to become a player on the international market which they receive through trade agreements with the united states. chile, sing apour and others -- singapore and others gave them full duty-free access to the u.s. market.
this is a significant benefit over the partial temporary access provided by our preference programs, giving a strong signal that it -- reciprocal trade is obvious. american workers and businesses are given a level playing field after they open their markets to u.s. exports. we can quickly realize similar benefits by implementing the trade agreements with colombia and panama, two more countries that are anxious to move from a one-lane area. i'm frustrated to once again be faced with extending preferences for these countries instead of voting on a more permanent relationship that benefits all of us. now, there are many countries that aren't yet ready to taket step from preferences to a free trade relationship. and for these countries, the preference programs are the right policy. to that end we must design a preference programs with eligibility criteria that
improves countries to improve laws while improving investment. it allows the u.s. on many occasions to use these criteria to prompt improvements and conditions in countries and further economic development. at the same time when a country does not abide by the criterion of preference programs, we must take notice. and even eliminate benefits, if necessary. otherwise, the effectiveness of the criteria is undermined. in this regard, i've been watching the situation in ecuador for several years. i'm deeply troubled from what i'm seeing. when congress last extended atpa in 2008, we had a statutory review requirement for bolivia and ecuador because of our concerns about the compliance of the eligibility criteria. this past union, the obama administration completed the review. the administration found that bolivia was not complying with the eligibility criteria in the atpa program, which is why bolivia is no longer eligible
for benefits. the administration also noted several concerns about ecuador. in particular, the administration cited ecuador's withdraw from the international convention on the settlement disputes anding with a door's decision is above the w.t.o. findings. since the administration's report, there have been further troubling developments in ecuador. the investment climate continues to be of concern. and korea has talked about ecuador. together with many other members, i remain extremely concerned about the situation in ecuador. therefore, i'm disappointed the bill before us today does not retain the requirement in current law that the president report to congress on the situation in ecuador.
i believe that this report provides us an opportunity to keep careful eye on ecuador and its compliance with the eligibility criteria. but just as important is the fact that the reporting requirement is enormously important as a signal to ecuador. a message that this congress is watching ecuador closely. mr. camp: i yield the gentleman 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 30 seconds. brade brey thank you, mr. camp. i'm disappointed that this bill doesn't do more to establish certainty for users of the program here and abroad who are -- when the extension is longer than a mere year. i and mr. camp have been seeking a two-year extension. madam speaker, i support this bill because i don't want the remaining preferences to lapse, but we can and should do better. with that, madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. levin: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan.
mr. camp: thank you. at this time i seeked a much time as i may consume for our closing statement. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. camp: i urge my colleagues to support the andean trade preference extension act of 2009, which will extend the andean trade preferences as we know as atpa, and also the generallyized system of preferences. we -- generalized system of preferences, we refer to g.s.p., for an additional year. however, i do think it's important to note my disappointment that we did not put a message special putting ecuador on notice that its behavior is -- and its receipt of continued benefits is at serious risk. there is a deteriorating investment climate in ecuador as well as the repudeiation of the bilateral investment treaty. i think it's very important that while it's understood in this legislation that there is language maintaining a review.
however, i am concerned that there is not specific language aimed at challenging ecuador's actions. i do think this is a change from current law, and it's a step backward. i think it's important to send a strong message that any -- that any central tenant of a preference program is that the participants uphold their commitments to the rule of law as well as their commitments to the u.s. on investment and other matters. also, so as a result of this, i believe preference programs should not be viewed as an entitlement. that they are based upon a meeting of certain criteria, as i mentioned. particularly as others have said, the observance of labor and environmental laws. certainly actions to prevent the destorgs of investment. -- distortion of investment, as
well as the support enforcement of intellectual property laws as well as reasonable access to markets. however, i do think that despite these concerns, this legislation is extremely important. it is essential that we extend this for another year. i think that this is an important step to take. and i will support its passage. i look forward to working with the administration as well as my colleagues on the ways and rangel and chairman levin as we continue to address trade issues in the coming year. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. levin: i urge passage and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 4284. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the
motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts rise? mr. lynch: good afternoon, madam speaker. i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to senate 303 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 303, an act to reauthorize and improve the federal financial assistance management improvement act of 1999. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. lynch, and the gentlewoman from illinois, mrs. biggert, will each control 20 minutes.
the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. lynch: thank you, madam speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to add any extraneous materials. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. lynch: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lynch: madam speaker, on behalf of the committee on oversight and government reform and chairman ed towns, i'm proud to present senate 303, the federal financial assistance management improvement act for 2009 for consideration. . it was passed by the united states senate on march 17, 2009, by unanimous consent. the legislation was subsequently referred to the house oversight committee on march 18, 2009, and approved with a manager's amendment on december 10, 2009, by a voice vote. madam speaker, the legislation will re-authorize and enhance the federal financial
assistance management improvement act of 1999. specifically senate 303 re-authorizes and makes significant enhancements to the website, www.grants.gov which serves as a central location for grant applicants to search and apply for federal grants as well as to submit the necessary financial reports. the website is a one-stop shop for grant recipients, alleviating much of the paperwork burden that has traditionally been associated with the grant application process. and allowing recipients to focus their attention on serving the american public. in addition to re-authorizes the grants.gov website, senate 303 corrects the office of management and budget to improve the administration of federal grants and submit corresponding reports to congress on its progress towards this end. i would also like to note that the gentleman from california, representative darrell issa, and the ranking member of the
committee on oversight and government reform join chairman towns in offering a manager's amendment to this legislation during our committee business meeting last week. the amendment makes a number of important technical changes to the bill. specifically it incorporates the provisions of h.r. 2392, the government information transparency act, legislation directing the office of management and bunt to adopt -- budget to adopt a single data standard for collection, analysis, and dissemination of business and financial information. the standard must be be common across all federal agencies and widely available to the public. this standard will also be applied to the data on federal grants making it easier to evaluate the use of grant funds. this will make federal financial information much more accessible to the public thereby improving the transparency of this data and allowing the public to analyze it more easily. it will also improve the availability and
interoperability of financial data reported to the government by private sector. addressing concerns that the committee on oversight and government reform raised in the -- their hearings earlier this year. madam speaker, senate 303 will help strengthen a great resource for federal grant recipients, as well as improve the public's access to important financial data. i would like to close my statement by thanking chairman ed towns, the gentleman from brooklyn, new york, and ranking member, darrell issa, the gentleman from california, for their work on this measure. i urge my colleagues to join both of those gentlemen in supporting s. 303. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from illinois, mrs. biggert. miss-- mrs. biggert: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. madam speaker, this bill will bring some much needed transparency to the federal government. senate 303 re-authorizes and improves the federal financial
assistance management act of 19 99 which sought to simplify the application and reporting requirements for federal grants. it requires the agencies to develop a strategy plan for streamlining federal grant processes and it codifies grants.gov, the federal government's one-stop shop for grant announcements and application submission. s. 303's new requirements driven by g.a.o. assessment reporting that o.m.b. and federal agencies have made modest progress towards standardizing grant announcements and applications. the government has developed a standard format for grant announcements. begins consolidating grant management systems and sets up a website. however it so far has failed to develop a common system for full-scale application management and reporting for financial assistance. madam speaker, i apreeshyamente chairman town's willingness to work with us to incorporate language from h.r. 2392, the
government information transparency act, which was introduced by ranking member issa. the provisions that were incorporated from the ranking member's bill will enhance the collection analysis and dissemination of business and financial information by the federal government through the use of a single data standard. currently the federal government mandates the closure of large amounts of information and -- in a multitude of ways. the format will be more transparent and animalized and critiqued by the public, media, and community. in addition it will require grant applications and reports to be made public and prepared according to a single consistent data standard. for the first time watchdog groups, journalists, and ordinary citizens will be able to see for themselves the promises and projections that grant applicants make in order to receive taxpayer dollars.
and then hold them directly accountable. a watchdog group publicizing waste or abuse of taxpayer money could put up a blue dog -- blog post linking directly to applications and reports saying how the money has been spent a citizen news reporter searching for the name after company might discover the company had received taxpayer money to complete a local infrastructure project. and be ablele to hold the company directly accountable for the use of public funds. information about the amount of money requested, the amount of money spent, and progress on taxpayer funded projects could be computed automatically and easily. turps could determine how much grant money -- taxpayers could be determined -- could determine how much grant money has been awarded and automatically compare performance of different grant recipients and recognize disparities. madam speaker, i want to thank chairman towns and his staff for working with the republicans on this important
legislation by incorporating bipartisan language to increase transparency in the federal government. i also want to commend senator voinovich for his hard work on this bill. i ask my colleagues to support this legislation. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. lynch: madam speaker, we have no further speakers on our side. i'll continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. mrs. biggert: we have no further speakers. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. lynch: thank you, madam speaker. in closing i would just ask all members to join with senator voinovich, chairman towns, and ranking member issa in support of this resolution. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass senate 303, as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to
reconsider is laid upon the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts rise? mr. lynch: madam speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 779, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 779. resolution recognizing and supporting the goals and ideals of national run away prevention month. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. lynch, and the gentlewoman from illinois, mrs. biggert, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. lynch: thank you, madam speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and add any extraneous materials. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. lynch: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. lynch: madam speaker, on behalf of the house committee
on oversight and government reform, i'm pleased to present house resolution 779 for consideration. this resolution recognizes the importance of youth runaway prevent and at-risk youth programs. house resolution 779 was introduced by my friend and colleague, representative judy biggert of illinois, on september 25, 2009 and was favorably reported out of the oversight committee on december 10, 2009, by unanimous consent. notably this measure enjoys the supports of 55 members of congress. madam speaker, according to the national runaway switchboard, between 1.6 million and 2.8 million young people run away from home every year. as additionally noted by "the new york times" in an october 25, 2009 article on this issue of runaway youth, this societal problem is growing. specifically "the new york times" reported that the number of contacts made by federally financed outreach programs were
run aways increased to 761,000 in 2008. that was up from 550,000 in 2002, the year that the current methods of counting began. notably the national runaway switchboard reports that among those young people greatest -- at greatest risk of running away and facing homelessness are those that have been expelled from school, those that have suffered domestic abuse, and those that have been discharged by state custodial systems without the benefit of an adequate transitionle planning program. additionally, young people who have been separated from their parents by death or divorce, live in poverty, or unable to access adequate medical or mental health services are similarly at risk of running away. the national runaway switchboard also reports that youth homelessness affects males and females equally although females are more likely to seek help through shelters and hotlines.
despite these concerning reports and statistical programs, there are efforts such as the national network for youth and the national runaway switchboard that provide effective support to runaway youth and assist young people and their families in remaining together by developing partnerships with families, community-based agencies, schools, and faith-based organizations. these two programs offer invaluable services including advocacy on behalf of runaway youth and their families, crisis intervention, and various forms of community-based support to address critical needs. in addition, the two programs have worked together to co-sponsor national runaway prevention month, which occurs in november and attempts to increase public awareness of the life circumstances of youth in high-risk situations and the need for safety, health y. enand productive alternative resources and support for runaway youth and their families. madam speaker, in light of the problems with -- prevalence of
the problem with runaway youth and homelessness, let us take this opportunity to join with mrs. biggert of illinois to pass house resolution 779 and recognize the important role that youth runaway prevention and at-risk youth programs play in addressing these issues. accordingly i urge my colleagues to join mrs. biggert in supporting h.r. 779. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from illinois. mrs. biggert: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise today in strong support of house resolution 779, the resolution recognizing the goals and ideals of national runaway prevention month. this initiative is sponsored by my good friends at the national runaway switchboard and national network for youth. as the gentleman from massachusetts mentioned, between 1.6 million and 2.8 million youth run away from home each year.
according to the national runaway switchboard, crisis calls citing economic distress have increased 200% since 2006. incredibly one in every 50 children will experience homelessness at some point in their lives and some youth will return within a few days of running away. others will remain on the streets never to return. in far too many cases these children will fall prey to the worst forms of exploitation, including the sex industry. in fact, 30% more youth are using the sex industry as a means of survival today than in the year 2000. there are many reasons why children run away from home. some are expelled from their homes by their families or separated from their parents because of death or divorce. in other case as child may be fleeing from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse at home. having runaway, these youths are now homeless without means
to secure their own basic needs and are often ineligible for able to access health resources. there are many individuals and organization that is are doing whatever they can to assist america's runaway youth by providing food, shelter, clothing, and counseling. others are working with families to prevent a child from running away in the first place. still others are intervening and advocating on behalf of children and giving them options other than running away. with congressional support, the national runaway switchboard provides crisis intervention and referral to reconnect the runaway youth with their families. it also helps link young people to local resources that provide positive alternatives to running away. founded in the chicago area in 1971, they now provide comprehensive crisis intervention services for at-risk youth. at-risk youth. nationwide, including a 24-hour