tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN December 17, 2009 5:00pm-8:00pm EST
particularly about the dollar and inflation. his answer was that it meant nothing. it meant nothing. ask the senior citizens of this country that are on a fixed income if the dollar they had at the time ben bernanke took over as chairman and now it's worth 76 cents, if that means nothing to them, the reduction in the buying power of that dollar from $1 to 76 cents. i just don't see how he can make such an observation. . authority to purchase freddie mac and fannie mae securities is since they are not government securities as required by
section 14 of the federal reserve act. his answer was that the fed had determined by regulation that they are government securities. in other words, because i say so. in response to a question about the fed's decision to pay par -- now, this is a beauty -- to pay par on the aig credit default swaps, chairman bernanke stated that the foreign banks were prohibited, by their regulators and some foreign laws, from and some foreign laws, from taking haircuts. is that's just not true. as european banks have, indeed, taken haircuts on their derivative positions with other trading partners. in other question i asked him and secretary paul -- about secretary paulson's claim that the first nine banks that got t.a.r.p. money were all healthy.
when citigroup and the bank of america later needed much more bailout money. this is just my concern as the t.a.r.p. inspector general said later to paulson and bernanke should not have lied to the public about the health of those banks. chairman bernanke's response was that "healthy," they maintained that the banks were viable. and not in imminent danger of failure. based on the new definition of "healthy," he hope my doctor never tells me i'm healthy again. i also followed up on a question asked at the hearing by chairman dodd about the fed's claim that its banks supervision job helps with monetary policy. i asked for specifics about how
that has helped in monetary policy. but received only general talking points. in fact, the only specific examples provided about the bailout lending facility, not monetary policy. and those facilities, as was pointed out by a financial blogger yesterday, were not designed by the bank supervisor at the fed but by the market division in new york. i will stop going through the individual questions, because most of them his answers just ignored the question or repeated fed talking points. for this committee and the senate to do our jobs, evaluating his performance, we need real answers, not talking points. we have all heard chairman bernanke talk a lot about transparency. he brags about it. but, his actions speak a lot louder than his words.
he promised congress more transparency when he first became chairman and he promised us transparency when he came begging to us for t.a.r.p. money. while he has published some more information than before, those efforts fall short and he still refuses to provide details on the fed's bailout last year. it has become clear chairman bernanke is not going to open up the fed's action to review by the taxpayers. but, i thought he might at least provide more information to this committee as we considered his nomination. so, i asked for a list of documents for us to review, all of which i think are reasonable for congress to see. here is what i asked for. a transcript of all fmoc meetings, chairman bernanke has participated in.
transcripts of all board meetings he has participated in. transcripts of meetings of the board of the new york fed while he was chairman. details of any exemptions granted to federal reserve act section 23 a and 23 b while he has been chairman. details of all discount window transactions while he has been chairman. details of all transactions at facilities created under section 13-3 of the federal reserve act and legal opinions on the facilities. copies of any swap agreements with foreign central banks, legal opinions related to those agreements and any economic analysis about those agreements. economic analysis regarding the need for and effectiveness of any federal reserve facility created under the federal reserve act section 13-3.
economic analysis regarding the need for and effectiveness of unconventional monetary policy facilities or actions. and finally, other relative documents, the bailout of aig, bank of america, citigroup, bear stearns, lehman brothers, general motors, chrysler, cit and gmac. instead of those documents, what i got in return was a folder full of paper that printed off the fed web page. just in case anybody was wondering, those documents did not provide any new or useful information. that kind of response is not only disrespectful to the senate, but it raises the question of what they are trying
to hide. i think we should know the answers to that question before we move forward on this nomination and every member of this committee should demand the same. while it turns out we actually may have an opportunity to find out some is of the information. i hope every member of the committee listens to this. earlier this week i was informed that despite the fed's refusal to provide individual senators or the public with the information i requested, they have let committee staff of this very kesse some documents related to the aig bailout. when my staff asked what was in the documents, we were informed that we cannot be told because
it was protected. since when does staff have higher clearance than members of the u.s. senate? members. that is a tremendous insult to senators on this committee and to the people who elected us. mr. chairman, this committee should not move forward. chairman bernanke's nomination until he provides us with the documents i requested. and we certainly should not move forward until every member of this committee has been given the opportunity to review the documents your staff has seen. we must know what the committee staff knows but refuses to tell the senators. we must know what other documents they have seen but we have been denied. we should bring them before this committee today to tell us what they know. what they are trying to find out. and what the fed has refused to
tell them. i hope and ask every member of the committee will join me in demanding that we begiven this information without moving forward. we know -- we must know what the fed is hiding from us and from the american people. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator. let me just say to members here it's 10:20 and i know members are leaving because of other obligations. and i won't be rigid about this but i would like to at least tentatively schedule a vote for around 11:00, 11:15 if we could. we'll let officess know. obviously if that slips for some reason we'll let them know as well but give people an indication when we'd like to get to a vote, if we could. >> mr. chairman, i would object to setting a time certain. >> i appreciate that. >> thank you. >> is there a -- senator reed was out. is he going to come in? not going to come in. excuse me, senator merkley. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman and i appreciate the
opportunity to say a few words regarding the confirmation of dr. ben bernanke as chairman of the federal reserve system board of governors. i will be voting against this nomination and the reason is short -- in short, is that as chairman dr. bernanke failed to recognize orem dee the factors that paved the road to this dark and difficult recession. following the collapse of our economy, it apparent that dr. bernanke has not changed his overall approach of prioritizing wall street over american families. my decision is based on my belief that our economy cannot recover if we do not put main street first. our nation is just beginning to emerge from the greatest financial crisis since the great depression. and there is no guarantee we will continue on the road to recovery offer the long term or the short term.
unemployment remains far too high. credit is unavailable to far too many businesses. families are plagued by falling home prices and high foreclosure rates. even as we move forward with our efforts to get our economy back on track, it is critical that we examine what led us to this point. for too many years, federal regulators turned a blind eye to the signs of an impending financial crisis. tricks and traps proliferated in the credit card and consumer lending businesses, predatory mortgage loans exploded, fueling unsustainable housing bubble. regulators lifted rules requiring banks to keep adequate capital and a lay say fair approach to security taigs, derivatives and proprietary trading encouraged excessive risk taking on wall street. as a member of the board of governors, a chair of the council of economic advisers
then as chairman of the board of governors dr. bernanke supported each of these decisions. failing to take the precautionary steps that could have averted or mitigated financial collapse. these failures are relevant to the future. we need economic leaders who understand that the ultimate goal of economic policies and the key to meaningful economic recovery should be financially successful families, not oversized wall street profits. indeed, it should be recognized that while wall street prospered in the short term from the reduced leverage requirements, securitization of faulty mortgages, the explosion of derivatives, americans did not prosecute per. the expansion that occurred between 2002 and 2007 became the first expansion in which working families were worse off at the end of the expansion than they were at the beginning.
that is not a path we can afford to travel again. dr. bernanke is a dedicated and honorable public servant. i appreciate his willingness to serve. i appreciate his scholarship and, quite frankly, i appreciate his humble and engaged style in responding to the dialogue about economic policy. however, those factors, in my mind, do not outweigh my concerns on fundamental issues of regulation and rebuilding the economy. let me put this more succinctly. dr. bernanke's approach helped set our economic house on fire. that fire has destroyed the jobs, the health care, the retirement savings of millions of americans, working families. since then, dr. bernanke has
shown himself to be quite adroit with the firehose, helping to put that fire out. but as we look to the future and we look beyond the stage of putting the fire out, i think we need to look for leadership that will be e department at rebuilding our economic house. for this reason, i will be voting no on dr. bernanke's confirmation for a second term as federal reserve chairman. thank you. >> thank you, senator. snark corker. >> mr. chairman, thank you. i'll be fairly brief. i think this may be our last meeting of the year and i want to begin by thanking you, as chairman, and senator shelby as ranking member for the effort that's under way right now to have a bipartisan bill. i want to thank you both for the way your staffs are working with each other and the tone that's being set towards -- towards working to that end. obviously today is an important vote regardi
when anything is controversial like this, no is always a safe boat. when there is controversy, no is a good boat. did bernanke get all the calls right? absolutely not. did he make many mistakes? absolutely. did the tightness of our financial world make a lot of mistakes? absolutely. are there many major ceo's in the financial industry that did not make some large mistakes? nope. so i think there have been a lot of mistakes made. there are a lot of conspiracy theories floating around. we have changed a few of those, and i will say that while we are voting today on this committee, i reserve the right to the extent i find something different by the time it is to the floor, i may change my vote.
i may change my vote. but, so far, i haven't been able to find any end. in fact, as it relates to those theories or some of the discussions that have taken place regarding intended mistakes. so, let me just say, i want to sum up and say that i plan, i will vote for chairman bernanke for a second term today. i plan to do that on the floor unless something changes. i'm going to do it for a couple of reasons. you know, i was a young business guy, i think each of us can give experiences in our own lives like this. but, starting when i was 25 and built a company that grew to about 80% a year for 12 years. and some people talked about my business success during those days. it was modest, certainly, compared to a lot of people in this room. then i went through a tough time in 1990 where i laid in bed for about a year and a half, actually, trying to calculate my net worth at night and
understand whether i could pay everybody back. i did. paid everybody on time and made it through. but, was i a better business person before that event or after? i can tell you that after going through some incredibly difficult experiences, i was, by fr, by far, better equipped to deal with business after that event than before. my guess is that everybody in this -- in this dias could say the same thing. it's not those things that occur during good times that make you strong. it's those things that occur during bad times. do i think that there's anybody, anybody in this country that has been tested more and has the ability to be chairman of the fed right now than chairman bernanke, i don't think so. i know there have been comments about mistakes leading up to this, huge mistakes by many, many people. by the way, if we were going to basically fire all regulators
that made mistakes we'd have to start with a clean slate, right? i mean, i don't think there's any regulator that didn't make mistakes leading up to this. do i think that the experience that chairman bernanke has had over the last year and a half makes him, by far, of the people that i know of, the most well equipped person to lead the fed over the next several years, i do. i don't know of anybody i could think of that would be better after what has occurred. did he make mistakes? absolutely. the second thing, we've all watched what happened in this presidential race and i don't say this to be partisan t. doesn't matter which side of the aisle it happened on, it would have happened but what we've seen is a president, as you might expect, divorcing himself from the economic crisis that occurred. it's only natural. i think anybody elected would do that, if they came in and faced the ib kind of economic climate we had. i think the last thing we need right now is a fed chairman coming in and divorcing themselves from the balance
sheet that the fed has. i want -- i want somebody dealing with this expanded balance sheet that has the capabilities, if dealt with incorrectly, to create huge inflation in this country and create all kinds of other problems throughout our country and in relationship to other countries. so, have there been mistakes made? yes. is the fed balance sheet huge? yes. do we need to get it back to normal state? yes. but, i'd rather someone who owns that balance sheet and put us in that particular place manage that balance sheet back down than having another person come in who has no ownership of that and has the ability to maybe do some things and divorce them self from the results that i think might not be good for our country. so, look, i think chairman bernanke gets up every morning, i think he tries to do those things that he believes are best for this country, i believe that.
i don't think he has a political cell in his body. has he turned me off some trying to build an empire for the fed? yes. and does he need to stop that? absolutely yes and i've talked to him specifically about that. and i know that -- i know that this committee is going to going to through some reg reform that may clip back some of the responsibilities of the fed. and would i ask him, assume he is listening to this, my guess is he is, does he need to quit trying to expand the empire of the fed, absolutely. but i do think based on where we are today with the balance sheet issues, with what has been learned through this last crisis, i do think he is he is in a good position to make prudent decisions for our country as we move ahead, i do, i plan to vote for him and, mr. chairman, i thank you for the time. >> i thank the senator very much. senator mendez? >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, let me thank you for your leadership of the committee during -- throughout this year but particularly in this confirmation process. i think everybody's had the
opportunity to make their views very well known in an unfettered way and that process should be reassuring to the american people so i thank you for your leadership. let me also say i don't envy chairman bernanke's difficult position. he's served in what can only be referred to as one of the hottest seats in american government for the last year, make something of the toughest decisions that have come before the country in probably well over a generation. shielding himself from what has become a populace attack from both sides of the aisle. faced with an economic that was -- economy that was headed into the abyss, chairman bernanke and the fed had what appeared to be a series of hops and choices, take it or leave it, do something or do nothing. and i think we hopefully can all agree that doing nothing was not an option. whatever other disagreements we may have had, chairman bernanke took forceful action at a pivotal moment when the economy could have fallen off a cliff.
there may be some legitimate debate about changing the tools the fed has, as well as debate about the choices chairman bernanke made. we could debate both of those issues and i know, mr. chairman in the coming months, we will continue to do so but i believe in the end what we should not do is change leadership at the fed at what appears to be the very beginning of an economic recovery. having said that, i do believe there's more the fed could have done to mitigate the housing bubble, supervise the banks, enact consumer protections, and provide credit to small businesses. i believe in chairman bernanke admitted himself, he could have done more to mitigate risk and require higher capital standards. but, at the same time, i do believe, at this point, we are better served by someone who has learned from those experiences, someone who did bring us back from the brink of a depression.
i remember mr. chairman, november of 2008, after having been told that everything was fine in the economy and then that fateful meeting with the chairman and then secretary paulson saying -- painting a pretty dire picture and saying that, if we did not act between three and four weeks that we would have a global economic meltdown. a global economic meltdown. and you know, we constantly say now that we have the worst economy since the great depression. there are some who have short-term memory as to how that all came about but the reality is we've also undermined it what that means. i don't think the american people know how much -- how close we were to the brink of a major economic collapse in this country. that's what this president inherited. that's what chairman bernanke was dealing with. and so, as someone who made decisions that we can equivocate
with, maybe, but he did bring us back from the brink of a depression and with these experiences, i think he can steer us to fiscal policy that not only is safe harbor but sails towards economic growth. having said that, in the future, i hope the fed will be more responsive to the needs of main street in america, where there is small businesses developing something, selling something, innovating, creating the new products and jobs of the 21st century. i expect it will be more vigilant to prevent a repeat of the economic crisis we've experienced and we'll get ahead of the next problems we will face such as commercial mortgage market and credit card defaults. so, it is with that expectation, mr. chairman, they will vote for confirmation. i think he did what we needed at a time of crisis. i think he has learned from those experiences. and the final point i'll make, mr. chairman, which you have done and which needs to be a
constant effort of this committee, is that whenever we have a regulator, whether it be the fed or anyone else, it needs the oversight of congress to make sure that the laws we pass and that they are enforced to regulate that ultimately that we are at their heels making sure that that enforcement takes place. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator very much. senator hutchinson? >> well, thank you, mr. chairman. i left to go make a quorum at commerce where we're having a markup, but i did want to make a few remarks. i won't read my entire statement, but i am appreciative of many of the things that the chairman has done and i think that he has tried very hard to steer this ship in a very tough time. however, i am going to vote no today, for two major reasons. number one is the handling of
t.a.r.p. and, of course, he was very much involved in that. we were told that there would be one plan for t.a.r.p. and that was basically to buy the bad assets of financial institutions so that they would have the ability to lend with their good assets unfettered. before the end of the year last year, the plan had changed twice. and i cannot, in good conscience, condone that kind of behavior with so much trust that congress put in the group that put forward the t.a.r.p. and then, of course, we know that since this administration has started, it has changed yet again. and secondly, i am as concerned about the debt ceiling, where we are today, as any of our
financial problems. and i think the chairman spoke too positively about needing big stimulus without raising the spectre of a debt that is insupportable. and i think that if he were going to speak for the big stimulus, that there should have been a huge warning signal about the amount of debt that this country was incurring. and it is for those reasons that i will vote no. however, i will say that i respect chairman bernanke in many ways. i think he's very bright and i think he has worked tire lessly in every way that he saw fit to try to shore up our financial system. and i will say that he has been most accessible to members of congress, for which i am, also, appreciative. but, weighing all the factors, i
will vote no today. thank you. >> thank the senator very much. senator brown? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i -- anything that this committee does and anything that this senate does should -- should all be about jobs and i -- i -- and i think that we are in -- mann of you in this committee have heard me perhaps ad nauseam talk about the importance of manufacturing and that manufacturing jobs, of course, have a multiplier effect, 100 manufacturing jobs in a community results in hundreds of other good jobs created in addition to what it does for local tax base, for police and fire, all that. and i appreciate the comments of senator menendez about main street and my -- my concerns, my reservations about chairman bernanke is that he has not focused on job creation, understanding that's not the central purpose of the fed but he's not focused on job creation the way that i would hope he would.
this past week, i had breakfast with sandy penalta, president of the cleveland fed and i urged her to use her influence, particularly representing a manufacturing area, the cleveland fed includes pittsburgh, ohio, the northern panhandle of west virginia. it's clearly one of the feds of the 12 districts, it's clearly one of the ones most focused on manufacturing and i talked to her, as many have, using her influence particularly for the problem that senator merkley mentioned that, is credit, getting credit to small business, especially credit to manufacturing, especially credit to the supply chain for auto manufacturing as that supply chain begins to transition into alternative energy, those companies that make glass for automobiles can m so far, obviously the banking system has not done nearly as well as all of us hope in unfreezing that credit, xdespecially getting it to
manufacturers. i hope that chairman bernanke understands that. i think that he understands that. i hope that he understands the urgency of using the powers of the fed, using the powers of the cleveland fed and the others to encourage member banks to do what they tend to unfreeze credit and provide that credit to local small business especially. i am going to vote for chairman bernanke today. i think he does understand the urgency. it is a tough vote for me because i share some of the concerns, not quite the depth and breadth of them of senator bunning, but i share some of those concerns. i plan to vote for him today. i am not at all certain what i will do on the senate floor but my concern and my hope and belief is that he is beginning to understand that his job is the job of all of us, it is really about job creation and what he needs to do to focus on that. b creation and what he
needs to do to focus on that. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator. snart crapo? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i'll help us get a little back more on schedule and yield back my time. >> okay. let me turn to senator vitter. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> wonder how i'm doing this? i was given a list by the staff when people arrive. it's not an arbitrary decision. >> thank you, mr. chairman. before we get to the question of the actual nomination, i want to suggest that we shouldn't be moving forward with a vote and moving forward with this nomination today and i strongly oppose moving forward today for two, i think, compelling reasons. the first is something that i think is really important for every committee member, our role as senators and that's what senator bunning mentioned regarding the document request and how that has been handled with regard to aig and other
bailouts. there are a lot of questions yet to be answered about the loans that the federal reserve made to aig. some, quite frankly, firmly believe that the loans were made in clear violation of the federal reserve act. these loans were not adequately collateralized, resulting in the federal reserve bank of new york having to exchange debt claims on aig for equity stakes in two insofrl vent insurance underwriting units. now, senator bunning, as he mentioned, put in his questions to chairman bernanke for the record a number of document requests, all sorts of very relevant, very important things, transcripts, minutes, legal opinions, economic analysis regarding these specific loans and specifically federal reserve act action 13-3 and similar
actions with regard to aig and some other firms. the chairman declined to provide -- chairman bernanke, that is -- declined to provide senator bunning any new information in response to that request. instead, he basically provided a defense of further secrecy of the federal reserve decision-making process and a few links to their website. now, as senator bunning mentioned, it's my understanding that chairman bernanke has now agreed to allow certain committee staff in his office to review some of the material related to aig. but, some committee staff has reviewed that and will not share it with all committee members and our staff. now, i think that's clearly just untennable. completely untennable, as we are asked to vote on this nomination. the staff isn't voting on the
nomination. the staff that's gotten to see at least certain documents doesn't have a vote and doesn't have to vote one way or the other. we do. and i believe every member of this committee needs an opportunity to first, at a minimum, see whatever the staff has seen for ourselves with the help of our staff and then be open to requesting access to additional documents and additional information because, certainly, even the committee staff has not been given access to everything that senator bunning and others have asked for. so, mr. chairman, i would specifically ask that we postpone this vote today and come up with some reasonable bipartisan way to give all members and our immediate banking staff access to, number one, the documents that the committee staff has had access to, and then possibly additional
information and documents which we would request coming out of that. again, i think it's just completely untenable that committee staff has seen certain things that the senators on the committee, who are being asked to vote yes or no on the nomination have no access to. and i -- i trust and look forward to discussing this and hopefully resolving it in a reasonable way before the vote -- any vote on a nomination today. the second broader reason i would like this particular committee vote delayed is that this committee, under your leadership, is looking at major regulatory reform legislation hopefully in a truly bipartisan way and, as lots of different drafts, including your draft released suggest, that discussion involves possibly
fundamentally restructuring the role and the responsibility of the federal reserve in terms of the regulatory rejeechl. i think it's really putting the cart before the horse if we're confirming the chairman of the federal reserve before we're deciding the role of the federal reserve. and clearly, that role of the federal reserve is very much up for discussion and debate in terms of regulatory reform. and i think we need to come to a consensus and hopefully we are moving in a bipartisan way toward that first and understand what the federal reserve is first, or will be first, before we confirm a chairman of the federal reserve. moving on to the chairman himself and this nomination, i have strong concerns that have been expressed by other members. one which has been expressed is
that chairman bernanke was simply wrong on many, many different occasions on a number of key points under his authority leading up to the crisis. now, as has been said, nobody's been right throughout this. nobody's been perfect in predicting or resolving these issues. and certainly, i'm not suggesting we use that standard. but, some of the statements he's made, in terms of issues under his direct authority, really are pretty startling and worry some and i'll just repeat a few of the ones that have been mentioned. july 2008, fannie mae and freddie mac are adequately capitalized and in no danger of failing. june 2008, the risk that the economy has entered a stngs downturn appears to have diminished over the past month or so. may hey 2007, we do not expect significant spillovers from the
subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system. and on and on. the second specific reason if have so many concerns about the nomination is what senator hutchison mentioned, which is the whole rollout and presentation of the t.a.r.p. program, which the chairman was clearly a main architect and advocate of. and how that program was never used as it was sold, never executed as it was sold to the congress from day one. and i have major, major concerns about how t.a.r.p. was first presented to us and then used in several substantially different ways to really become a slush fund for bailouts, too big to fail without -- without end. so, mr. chairman, those are my two big concerns about
proceeding today and my two biggest concerns about the actual nomination. i look forward to hearing from our other colleagues and then i look forward to a discussion and some, hopefully, proper resolution of the issues i've brought up before any vote. thank you, mr. mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i cannot support the confirmation of mr. bernanke and i agree with some of my colleagues. i believe that it is irresponsible for us to proceed with a vote today. this is not a partisan move. we often dismiseach others' opinion here because of partisanship. but mr. bernanke was nominated by a republicanment.
i supported mr. bernanke. i have every reason to try to justify that support by trying to find good that he has accomplished. he is from my home state of south carolina and i like him personally. there is no reason for me to oppose his nomination except the failure to achieve the goals at the federal reserve and his own personal goals for his time in office. we can't overlook the fact that he has presided over one of the biggest economic ka tast if is that we have had as a country. certainly we cannot blame everything that has happened in our country on mr. bernanke. perhaps it has something to do with three years of democratic control of both houses of congress, but we will discuss that at another time. it has to be about performance.
to promote employment in our country. there is nowhere we can look to find that he has achieved the goals that we have delegated to him or his stated goals when he took office. we have expressed many concerns on this committee. many who are supporting him, including the chairman have expressed these concerns. but frankly there has been no commitment to actually make changes to increase accountability or transparency. i have met with mr. bernanke personally because i am one of the ones promoting a general accounting office audit so that members of congress and the american public can at least
have a general idea of what this agency is doing. i offered him to come up with his own prescription for what that audit should be so that he could protect the independence of the agency, yet i haven't heard back from him. that we are required constitutionally to do. because it is our job here in the congress to protect the value of our currency and we dell kated that to the federal reserve. we know that the world is losing confidence in our dollar, our ability to pay our debts, yet we are not hearing any changes from the federal reserve. we need to be clear here, we are not talking about another regulator. we are not talking about another
appointment. our economic system rests on our currency. the whole world economy in many ways, rests on that currency. our wealth, our prosperity as a nation, our savings, everything, rides on what they do at the federal reserve, yet we have very little idea about what hthy are doing. we know their mission has expanded well beyond what congress delegated to them. how can we provide the accou accountability and oversight and how can we find ourselves in a situation where we request documents that we, as a congress, should legitimately have the right to see. we are in a situation today where we know that some of the
staff has read part but we don't know what part and we don't know what it says. how can we wave this nomination by when it is such an important. we ignored it with fannie mae. we were encouraged and assured that it was well capitalized yet we now know they were the primary player in creating these toxic assets and telling them around the world. we now yet as we consider the confirmation of mr. bernanke, we have not heard from him one commitment to change those policies, one new idea. we have heard some of our members say he has learned from the mistakes. he is going to be better for
its. but we did not hear mr. bernanke say we are going to ease this loose monetary policy we have had, we are going to make changes, there will be more accountability. we did not hear that. if he agreed that he did not reach his goals. the constitution gives us the responsibility. it is not mr. bernanke's responsibility to protect the value of our currency. it is ours. we have delegated it to him. for us to waive this nomination by on a partisan basis perhaps today, although i think we have mixed responses from both sides. everyone expresses concerns. some are willing to overlook it to push this nomination through. we are told by time magazine and others that mr. bernanke perhaps save us from great depression. by many that we have
been saved by a great depression. that is impossible to prove. had told us that if we did not buy a trillion dollars of these toxic assets that the whole worldwide economy was going collapse. and we had to do it immediately. how can we say that he saved the economy when we allocated this money but we never bought one of these assets. forcing a lot of banks to take this money who didn't need it, didn't want it and didn't use it. that somehow that has saved oush country. what saved us is a very resilient free market system.
we have heard esspoused by mr. bernanke, mr. geithner, and others. mr. chairman and my colleagues, this is far too serious for us to take as another confirmation. for us to rush through by 11:45. we have yet to get to the bottom of what the problems are and how we are going change them. we may be on the verge of changing how the fed operates within this system, yet we want to move ahead with the nomination as quickly as we can before we consider it. we cannot have a federal reserve system that the americans no longer trust and that's where we are today. we cannot have a federal reserve that rating agencies are beginning to say that they no longer trust and we are on the verge of losing our good credit rating. ecan't rush through this when the rest of the world is looking at us and now doubting that we
will continue to be the reserve currency. i hope that we can look past our normal partisan bickering. and look at this as people who are responsible for the well being of our whole country. millions of people have entrusted us with their economic well being and they are counting on the value of the dollar to be sound so that the work and sacrifice will mean something. at the bottom of all of this is our federal reserve. folks we have literally failed to get to the bottom of the problem and we have nod heard the chairman say that we are going make any changes and we are hearing today despite the concerns, stay the course. it makes no sense. i think we are irresponsible in moving ahead.
let's make a better decision at a later time. i have a whole lot more i would like to say but i don't want to abuse my time or my colleagues so thank you for the opportunity to speak. >> thank you. i am -- as a new member of this committee, i was not here when this it is extraordinary to me to hear finger pointing and blaming as if one person or one political party is responsibility for the 20 year
plus over-leveraging of our economy. somehow to say that this was all down to partisanship is an extraordinary comment. i think there are no clean hands. i think we do need to get it right. i think working together to try to refocus the fed on its most important aspect, monetary policy, and that we make sure we create a 21st century regulatory system that never ever allows the whole notion of too big to fail. and the implications that allows the americans to take place again. i commend you who are diligent in trying to get that done in a
by partisan fashion. looking at this as somebody who spent 20 years around the markets there are a lot of things that you all did and the fed did that were extraordinary. most of them very politically unpopular. but i absolutely believe and basically every reasonable economist believes that without those actions we could have faced economic ka tast if i. monday morning quarter backing is, i guess, part of the job. i look forward to supporting the chairman in terms of his second
term. >> thank you, mr. chairman. are we ready to vote? >> i thought you had comments. >> oh, okay. that caused us to take a second look at what we do. we need to take a second look at whether we even need a fed. there are a number of people that believe that the fed is a mistake and should not have monetary policy managed outside of the congress. the monetary policy should be tied to some basket of goods whether it is gold or silver or soybeans or i don't know. i think we have to understand that the fed was developed for a
very distinct purpose as the result of the nation having been through a time when our currency was set arbitrarily and tied to commodities. when the bank after the united states charter was repealed and president jackson sent the money back to state banks. until the fed was formed there was no central banking in the item and we went through massive periods of disruption. we were on a tremendous roller coaster relative to the value of currency. then with the fed being created, we went to the gold standard and stayed on the gold standard. that worked for a fair amount of time. except for the fact that we had a great recession.
you know? we live for the next election. we are moved by the intensity of the moment. maybe not so much in the senate but certainly not in the house. you don't want monetary policy being set by somebody who is living by the intensity of the moment or the politics of the day or the moment or the next election. you want that independence. i think it is absolutely critical to the strength of our currency and the strength of our economy and it would be a huge mistake if we were to move away from that position. are there things that need to be improved in the fed? absolutely. the strong statements in this area, even a lot of what the house talked about is pretty darn good.
but we still need a strong independent fed. this is important moving forward because we are confronting a time when our debt is so large that our capacity to fiscal policy will be significantly prescribed. and an independent fed will be critical to us as we move through this period of trying to straighten out the debt situation or our nation. on the specifics of chairman bernanke, it is obvious that mistakes were made. monomoved out into congress
needs to take a fair amount of responsibility for this then of course we had a banking system that basically abandoned sound underwriting when it came to lending. bandoned the concept of sound underwriting when it came to lending. obviously there were mistakes made. i don't see them as being the primary drivers of what happened. when i hear the challenge to mr. bernanke, he basically made the
mistakes to cause this downturn, i don't accept that and i don't think history will accept it. no analysis will find that was the essence of the problem. how did he react in the middle of the crisis? he pushed the envelope. significantly. he took their balance sheet from 800 billion up to over $2 trillion. and he used those moneys to float thely k ll lillyl lly liq. this market had -- it would have had a much more who terrific economic event as a result of that. would it be a depression? i don't know.
the chairman has already set up the procedures and protocols for how they will do it and they have been fairl we certainly don't want the inflation effect if it is not done correctly. that is the issue going forward. i think on that issue that this chairman is out in front and taking leadership. that is the key issue for us as a nation, because that is the issue of whether or not we see this economy suffer massive inflation as we go forward as a result of the huge amount of money that was put into the economy to try to stabilize the financial system. i think he is on the right track, and i think he is the guy to carry that process out.
that is -- if i were looking around to hire someone to undertake that process, he is the guy i would hire, so that is why i am going to support him. >> thank you for the reminder of the history going back as well of the fed. let me respond to the questions raised by my good friends on the issue. i have not been confronted as chairman with the issue of access to documents at the fed before. having spent some time over the past couple of days and going back and talking with senators as to how these things have worked in the past, when the fed makes a request of the committee, historically they will not provide them unless the chairman or the ranking member sign on, and in this case we both did. . . ng member sign on. in this case we did.
what they did not understand at the time and i just want to say that i strongly disagree with and that is the idea that staff would have access and any member who wants to back this would who wants to back this would not. my point is to those of you who would be interested, there are rules. otherwise it would become chaotic. the process information is available. those kind of requests can go forward. and we also state the problem that i face here. come january 30th, if we do not complete this process then
chairman bernanke cannot serve as chairman. he can be a member, not a chairman. a member of the board. we are under somewhat of a tight schedule as wel -- something of a tight schedule as well. we are faced with the streets and problems i see. i want to go forward with a vote this morning. obviously, members will have an opportunity to consider this nomination between now and when we adjourn for the holiday season. so we do not come back until the 19th of january, sometime after that. upon the leadersh leadership. there will be ample opportunity. >> do i understand this will be
a commitment that we will adjourn for the holiday season? >> either that or we will be sitting around the fireplaces in the marble room singing jingle bells. >> mr. chairman? >> briefly. >> briefly. it's my understanding that what you said about the 30th of january is in correct. >> i was told he could be a member of the board but could not serve as chair. >> temporarily appointed as chair. >> vice chair would serve. if anyone wants to be heard on the matter. if not, people can submit comments on the nomination. i am deeply grateful. go ahead.
>> i want to respond since i was one of the members who brought it up. agai again. >> we can go on. there is always a request and i would go on indefinitely. this committee doesn't have such a rule. >> i would just offer one obvious alternative which doesn't delay the ultimate consideration on the floor one minute as far as i can see, which is simply we schedule a committee hearing for this vote, january 19th, so we can look at the documents before a vote and have discussion among members that could affect votes before and not after. and if we do that january 19th, which is when we are coming back
anyway, how does that change anyway what any floor schedule might be. >> i appreciate the recommendation but i will move ahead with the vote. >> can i ask the chairman how that would change the schedule, any schedule on the floor? >> i don't control the floor time. >> we have to move on. the clerk will call the roll. >> chairman? >> aye. >> mr. johnson? >> aye. >> mr. reid. >> aye. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. me nen dez? >> aye. >> mr. brown? mr. tester?
>> let me thank my colleagues. the committee will record this vote accordingly and i will let members know when we cançó talko the leadership about scheduling the vote on the floor. again, the invitation obviously -- we will talk about how we can do that. i would urge folks to talk to senator shelby. we can coordinate the efforts. i thank my colleagues for their patients and indulgence. we are adjourned. happy holidays. thanks. >> good job. >> all right. >> you are looking live at the senate. you can hear senator's waiting for a senate majority leader harry reid to come to the floor.
they're expected to recess. they will set aside health care legislation and work on the $636 billion defense spending bill for the fiscal year 2010. when the return to the floor, there is a possibility that after the vote, senators could be in session all night. you can follow the senate live on c-span 2. now house minority leader john maynard's year in -- boehner's you're in a news conference. >> i challenge -- they say we should not be spending or borrowing our way out of this recession. this morning, i have a statement supported by more than 220 economists to say instead of spending "more stimulus money," we need to get spending under
control in washington to create jobs and get our economy moving again. these economists know that we do not need to spend money on ineffective government programs like stimulus, and i think the people of america agreed. the white house has said the president next year is going to get real serious about reducing the deficit. mr. president, actions speak louder than words. all year long, the president has pushed budget-busting legislation and fiscally- irresponsible bills. the debt being piled up is being piled up on the backs of our kids and grandkids. frankly, it is unconscionable. including the $150,000 last night. speaker pelosi left town quickly yesterday, declaring she has already entered campaign mode.
tell that to millions of americans who are asking where their jobs are. right now, we have double-digit unemployment. we have red ink as far as the eye can see. permanent bailout. and no long-term plan to put any of this back in shape. so speaker pelosi and president obama, they continue to put politics before the interests of the american people. that is why they continue to push this dangerous government takeover of health care in spite of the fact that it will raise costs, increase taxes, cut medicare benefits, and pile more debt on the backs of their grandchildren. that is why they are flying off to copenhagen, so they can promote their national energy tax that is going to ship millions of american jobs overseas. that is why they are courting dangerous terrorists into the united states without presenting a real plan for how to confront and defeat the
terrorist threat. so instead of worrying about defending the indefensible, democrats should be working with republicans on bipartisan solutions that will help get our economy back on track and get the american people back to work. all year long, republicans have offered better solutions, and i am proud of my colleagues for standing on principle, promoting his better solutions, and i look forward to a very exciting 2010. i just got used to saying 2009, much less 2010. questions? bad here today. i am sorry. [laughter] >> you said the speaker is already in campaign mode? >> she said it. i did not. >> i was there when she said.
can you say the republicans are not in campaign mode, too? every day they are talking about the freshman democrats from swing districts. you say they will have a national energy tax. copenhagen, detainee's -- are you campaigning alsoçóçó? >> no. we're trying to promote freedom in america and put pressure on democrats to stand up against the leadership of the house -- the liberal leadership of the house and stand up for their country. it was amazing last night, the number of arms the speaker had to break to increase the debt limit. when it cameñi to theçó $150 bin set of stimulus, they were woefully short and continue to break more arms to get past. there are some very unhappy members of the democratic caucus. they have just had enough of the
liberal policies coming out of this congress. >> mr. boehner, there has been a lot of talk about liberals in this administration. is that something the republicans can or will exploit? >> they do seem to be having a field day with each other, tearing each other apart. i have read all of these headlines. all i know is republicans will continue to stand on principle. we are going to continue to offer what we think are better solutions to the problems americans care about. and if the democrats want to tear themselves apart, so be it. >> speaker pelosi said yesterday -- the president made a case for sending more troops to afghanistan. [unintelligible] does that mean he will have to depend on new?
>> i think the president made a responsible decision with regard to our plan to succeed in afghanistan. and i will work to make sure that our troops did everything they need in order to succeed. the nine the taliban and al- qaeda a safe haven in afghanistan from which to train, plant, and executed tax on americans here and abroad -- train, plan, and execute attacks on americans here and abroad cannot be allowed to happen. i will do everything i can to make sure they get all the help they need. >> does that mean you'll be asking for assurances from the white house regarding the plan in afghanistan? >> i told the president at the white house that i listened to his speech. i listened to secretary clinton,
to secretary gates, admiral mollen -- mullen, and general the krystle -- mckhrystle. i think there's enough flexibility with the so-called it withdraw. it will be based on -- i am comfortable that we're building a plan that has a reasonable chance of success. >> [unintelligible] are you comfortable paying for this if it is not paid for? have you talked to anybody in the white house about strategy, planning? getting the legislation moving? >> iñi do not bring bills to the floor. i do not design a legislative strategy. no one has talked to meçó about
kt. but i believeçó a spending bill that supports our troops in the field is vital and i will be there to support it. >> [unintelligible] >> merry christmas. >> it never stops, does it? >> never stops. >> just when i thought you were on vacation. or had a new job. [laughter] all right. yes, sir. >> a major factor in your decision was irresponsible spending from people who could not afford when the bills came due. is raising the federal debt ceiling to $12.4ñzñitrillion basically the same thing in your mind? ñror do you think that spending beyond one's means, that the
economic consequences will be similar? >> i said on the floor last night american families cannot spend more than what they bring in for 36 of the last 40 years. no business in america can exist that spends more than it brings in for 36 of the last 40 years. and certainly our government cannot continue to exist. if we continue to spend money we do not have. this is irresponsible. there needs to be a plan put in place that will bring our budget under control and in the green, and we need to find a way to begin paying down the national debt. this is probably the most important thing you are going to hear discussed in congress next year. how to get our arms around this. how to begin to make real progress, making sure our kids and grandkids are not stuck with all of our bills.
if you'll come over and sit down, i will be happy to answer your questions. [laughter] >> [unintelligible] as they try to deal the unresolved issues? >> i think 2010 will be a stormy year for the democrats here in congress. >> will you support a supplemental bill that includes money that will remove the detainees from gtmo to illinois? >> no. >> the administration knows that? >> they do now. [laughter] the speaker talked about -- >> the speaker talked about next year will be about selling -- >> i hope she does a great job of marketing of the garbage they passed this year. >> other than taking shots at the things they passed, will republicans need to come out with their own agenda to contrast with the democrats or is it just about pointing out
what is wrong? >> no, we have had better solutions on the floor all year. we are going to continue to be the party of better solutions. we have to stand up on principle and oppose our democratic colleagues. we will do so. we will also offer what we think is a better solution to the problem that is attempted to being fixed. he will hear better solutions next year. >> why one to support a supplemental with the gtmo? >> i am not going to support a bill that facilitates bringing guantanamo prisoners to the united states. they could be askingñi for as mh as half a trillion dollars. it will have to change law in order to allow those prisoners to come here. and so, there are least two
pieces of legislation that will have to go through congress before the prisoners can come here. i would not want to bet when those two pieces of legislation will pass, if ever. >> [unintelligible] >> id. >> last question. >> i think we have already had it. merry christmas. goodbye. >> mississippi gov. haley barbour joins republicans in their opposition to health care legislation being debated in the senate. the governor talks about parts of the legislation that would expand medicaid, which is partly funded by the states. this is about 20 minutes. >> i will step back a little bit. good afternoon. i am lamar alexander, and i am here to introduce haley barbour, the chairman of the republican governors association and governor of mississippi. we have three united states
senators and former governors -- from new hampshire, neb., and iowa. i was one time governor of tennessee. while we do not yet know what is in the democratic health care bill, we know this much. it increases medicaid by 133%. what that means is we will have a huge bill of $25 billion over 10 years. the federal government says it will pick up the cost for three years, but after that, states are on their own and the bill is big. here is what governor schwarzenegger of california had to say about that expansion. he said "this is the last thing we need. $3 billion of spending when we already have $20 billion deficits. i would say be very careful to the federal government before you go to bed with all this. let's rethink it. there is no rush. let's take another week or two
and come up with the right package." the governor from my state has called this "the mother of all unfunded mandates." this will cost $7 million or more for our state in the next five years. my own estimate is it will increase taxes, college tuitions, the cost to be released from prison. gov. barbara? -- governor barbour? >> thank you. of course, you're absolutely right about the effects. i am here on behalf of the republican governors. just look at what the democratic governors association chairman told the "new york times" earlier this month. the senate bill represents a $25 billion cost to state governments, of which means an enormous unfunded mandates on
state taxpayers. so the senators can pretend the health care bill does not increase the federal deficit. this is fraud and deceit against the taxpayers. my state will be hit for $1.3 billion over the first six year period. nebraska taxpayers will have to eat $450 million. indiana taxpayers will pay $1 billion per year. nd of the decade, according to their governor. gov. patterson of new york -- governor paterson of new yorkxd wrote that states do not have this money. i have cut mississippis budget by 5%ñi this year, with more -- mississippi's budget by 5% this year, with more cuts to come. ñievery state is cutting its current budget and recognize
there will be more cuts to next in my case, in addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars clearcutting this year, we have to cut $750 million out of next year's budget, as compared to the current budget. that will be more than 10%. indeed, i think this is very under reported. some states like our neighbors in tennessee have already tapped enrollment in medicaid. it is just the opposite of what the congressional democrats plan will do. but medicaid is one of the most difficult problems in state budgets today. as i said, senator alexander's governor has had to tap medicaid. -- cap medicaid. that means no one else can enroll in tennessee's medicaid plan. the other thing is that this is
no -- this is not only bad policy, the voters recognize it will increase state taxes. the state income tax and sales tax or both will have to be raised in my state if we are forced to pay $140 million more per year that we simply do not have. our governors have to balance our budgets. to us, this health care plan as like a mackerel in the moonlight. the longer it is out there, the worse its tanks. the tax payers agree. -- the taxpayers a great. i noticed in a poll published, 76% of nebraska voters oppose the health care plan. in colorado, 57% would ask their senators not to vote for it. in nevada, even, 56% said they would ask their congressperson
not to vote for it. as i say, the more people know about the bill, the longer it is out there, the fewer the number of people that supported and more people oppose it. thank you. senator? >> thank you. thank you for coming today to point out how the rubber hits the road when congress passes a bill like this. all of us conservative governors have experienced this before when the federal government and members of congress to great credit forñiñi some proposals tt out, and we -- as former governors -- have to pay for that. that is right to the bottom line of states and that is tax increases usually. they cannot create money or run deficits, in most instances. the medicaid expansion is pretty dramatic. you're going to have 15 million people in medicaid -- all the
people they intendñi to ensure o do not have insurance today. in new hampshire that will increase our costs by approximately $130 million. there's a hidden cost to everybody else. we know medicaid only reimburses 60% of the cost of care. the other 40% is picked up b people on private insurance. as you push more people into medicaid, that drives up private policies, premiums on private policies, and of course, that causes small businesses to drop policies so more people become uninsured. it is a death spiral for the private policy because it has such a disproportionate impact on the cost of private insurance. so the effects on our states are going to be significant. as a former governor, i certainly do not want to see as passing laws down here with
unfunded mandates on their states. this certainly is one. >> let me express my appreciation to haley barbour for being with us today. as has been reference, i was governor of nebraska for time. -- for a time. a term and a half before i became secretary of agriculture. medicaid is a great challenge for states. it is not only a financial challenge, but it relates to the service, actually getting the health care that you are promising. in nebraska, about 35% of the doctors do not take medicaid patients. nationally, that number is closer to 40%. it is a very serious dilemma. the problem is that it is not that they are cold hearted. they would go broke because the
reimbursement rates are so poor. so when i first saw the outlines of the health care plan, i must admit i was shocked. i could not believe that that was senator reid's approach in terms of providing some kind of plan to about 15 million people. the other twist to this, that again, just makes me wonder who crafted this policy and why were they not listening to small-town hospitals? the other piece of this is with the medicare cuts, the cms actuary last week in his report -- which i emphasize was an astounding report -- said 20% of the medicare providers are going to be in the red within 10 years. so think about that for a second. you have literally a situation today were people on medicaid
are having a very, very difficult time accepting medicare or medical services. we are going to aggravate the problem by adding millions more to eds. we are going to cut medicare by half a trillion dollars, and literally put medical providers under water to the tune of 20%. it is no wonder that the cms actuaries said there will be serious access problems because people will stop taking medicaid and medicare. our governor has done a very thorough analysis on the impact of this medicaid provision, and he wrote a letter to my colleague, senator dawson, and that was provided a copy of that. here is why the governor says. -- here is what the governor says. this was dated yesterday. "i am writing you today because
the current health care bill is bad news for nebraska. america's health-care system needs improvement, but this bill is not the answer. you are the 60th vote, and as governor ofñr the state we both represent, i urge you to vote against this bill and cloture. their analysis shows the impact of this on our state's is that federal reimbursement will fall short by about $45 million by fiscal year 2019, ultimately of $450 million impact over 10 years." ñii will wrap up with this thought. our state is a little unusual. we really do believe you should pay as you go. our constitution does not allow us to borrow money. we have three choices when we balance the budget. raise taxes, cut spending, or do
both. there is not another choice of borrow money. we have new debt in nebraska. no highway dead, no debt to build buildings, and no debt. we are very proud of that. our governor has made tough decisions, as previous governors have. for us here in the nation's capitol, to irresponsibly lay upon him and future governors and unfunded mandates and all the harm that would do to those good people being put on medicaid just isn't right. thank you. >> thank you for coming today. just very briefly, what we would like to do is tellxd you --xd 't listen to us. listen to the democrats government -- governors. listen to what they have to say. this is a plan that is a typical washington, dc solution to the
problem. what it does is here in washington, d.c., the way people spend money is they do not have it but they spend it anyway. they printed or they borrow it from the chinese. states cannot do that. i think senator alexander has said every senator who votes for this should be sentenced to go back and be a governor. there are a is a dozen of us -- there is exactly a dozen of us, six republicans and six democrats who have been governors. we know how this works at the state level. only a handful of states operate by going into debt. all me -- virtually every state has balanced budget requirements. the only way they can make this fight are either high, high tax increases -- the only way to make this fly are either high, high tax increases or deep cuts. ñrin ohio, two-thirds of the moy
the state spends goes to education. you will have to raise taxes or you'll have to dig deep into education to make cuts to balance the budget. states do not want to do this. finally, let me conclude with ñrthis and say the availabilitys another important issue. the states are doing various things to help people who are in this category, but if you bring in the federal program and increased the number of people on medicaid, it is very difficult to find providers who are willing to take medicaid patients. that is what you are sentencing the people of this state to do, in addition to causing serious, serious financial problems. thank you very much. >> question for haley barbour. do you think putting more people in medicaid would help state budgets with less bad debt for
hospitals? >> no. >> why not? >> first of all, what we're going to end up with is a huge unfunded mandate that is enormous. in my state, we're going to have 300,000 people added to the medicaid rolls. a 50% increase. what willçó happen there is the taxpayers are going to eat somewhere as little as $138 million a year to as much as $210 million a year, depending, and we will not make that up by any sort of production -- reduction, you know, swapping around to make the payments. for those of us who are governors, is unbelievable that senators would vote for this wind -- it is unbelievable that senators would vote for this when it is directly against the
interests of their state. i know they have been asked to support the president, but they need to know this is going to be a big state tax increase. >> he mentioned the voters. can you talk a little bit more about the political ramifications? >> ñiyou know, this is such a bd policy for the united states. it is going to be so bad for our health care system. it is going to make health insurance premiums go up, cut medicare by $500 billion. huge state tax increases. it is catastrophic for small business. but the depressed want to do something to help the republicans, i cannot improve on this. i have beençó looking for jim jones and where is the kool-aid. ñr-- and where is the kool-aid?
this is awful, awful policy for our country. and the people know it. the public already understands this. the longer the debate goes on, the more the public understands that they are going to end up paying more, and they will get worse quality health care. but politically, you know, if the nation can survive it, it will be a political windfall for republicans. ma'am? i am sorry. ladies first. chivalry is not dead. [laughter] >> i know you do not support generally what the democrats are doing, but if there were a choice between doing less to expand medicaid and putting more people into the private system of subsidies from the federal government and expanding medicaid, which you think would be better? >> i do not think you should expand medicaid at all as part
of a federal health care reform bill unless the federal government is going to pay for it. ok? why are they not paying for? it is the only way they can pull the wool over the people's eyes to make people think this is deficit neutral. it does not add to the deficit because they will make the states pay $25 billion. it does not add to the deficit because they're going to pass the doctor fix that will cost $250 billion in another bill. as if that does not count. there are clearly ways to reform and improve health care in the united states. this would not. this is a bad bill that would be worse than nothing. sir? >> thank you. you say if the bill passes in its current form that the budget burden would force you as a governor to make tax increases down the line. >> it would force mississippi to
raise taxes to pay for the federal mandate because we're already in the process of cutting our budget for next year by $715 million below this year. that is about a 12% cut. unless we're going to take another $150 million out of education, law enforcement, and i will just tell you -- wants to cut 12%, on top of the cuts we've already done, this pretty steep cuts. if this becomes law, mississippi is going to pay a higher income tax, or higher sales tax, or both. this is the only texas we have got that have enough size -- those of the only texas we've got that have enough size. >> give me an example of how you would improve health care and pay for it. >> the first thing is doing the
opposite about standards. one of the biggest groups that does not have health insurance in the nine states are people who are under 30. -- in the united states are people who are under 30. the reason they do not is because they are forced to buy health insurance to cover what people my age need. it has made the price of health care, health insurance in many states become so high that, frankly, a 25-year-old would be stupid to buy it. what we need to do is allow those people to buy a catastrophic policy. they could pay $120 a month, have a small health savings account to cover if they get a cold. instead, this bill will make this people subsidize people my age. to a huge extent.
because through community rating, they will not only made 25-year-old by benefits they do not want or need, they will make premiums close to the was 60- year-old pay. -- close to what 60-year olds pay. >> what about the ones who cannot afford it? >> first of all, there are tons that can afford. there's enormous body in the nine states to make more than $50,000 a year to choose -- there's an enormous body in the united states to -- to make more than $50,000 a year who choose not to buy health insurance. would i be in favor of subsidies for people who are making too much in time to be done medicaid? -- making too much in come to be on medicaid? i absolutely would.
is quite different from massachusetts. i have 136,000 people who do not have health insurance who are it employers of -- employees of small businesses. this would make it easier for small businesses to buy health insurance. it would make sure that employees who have to pay in also get tax and vanishes. there are a lot of things we can do to improve the system. a very few of them are in this bill. >> [unintelligible] >> you could pay for them out of the state treasury if you reduce the number of people on medicaid rather than increase the number of people on medicaid. >> [unintelligible] >> thank you, y'all. >> [unintelligible] >> that is all right. >> i wonder if you have reached
out to senator nelson at all? >> with senator nelson? >> senator nelson. have you talked to him? " we talk and a regular basis. just simply because we both represent the same state. we work together well. i have known him for many, many years. when i was mayor, he was governor. when i was governor, he was a senator. we have had an ongoing relationship. is not unusual for us to talk any given day, whether it is on the floor, walking back and forth or on the phone. i cannot offer much beyond that. i am always very careful about what we do talk about. our working relationship has been good. >> [unintelligible] >> better to go ask him. i would hate to ask anything to that debate. better to ask him.
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> now the new mexico -- mexico's senator on climate change legislation. this is 30 minutes. anybody what's doing on behind close doors. let's talk about maneuvers with the reading of senator sanders amendment. things got very heated. what's your thoughts on where the legislature stands and what will happen? correct. senator reid is waitint to hear rom the congressional budget office as to the final analysis and scoring they've done on the bill and then he's also trying to be sure that we can get 60 senators to s
-- to go forward with the amendment he is preparing to make changes and to accommodate some concerns of the 16 members that he hopes will vote for the bill. he would offer that and we will go through -- i think the republicans, of course, are trying to throw up all the obstacles they can. it would require is to go through cloture votes and this filibuster to keep us from getting to a vote on the managers package. and that will of course try to get us to a vote on the final bill. that would be another filibuster. we have to work our way through all that. we hope to get it all done by christmas. host: howard teens peace said that he would -- howard dean's peace in the "washington post "says he would not vote for
this. it's not everything i would like. i'm disappointed we're not able to include somethings in the bill that we would like to have in there. so called public option. i've supported that but we don't have 60 votes for that. that's simple reality. the bill as it now stands is going to do a tremendous amount of good for an awful lot of americans. congressional budget office says this allow us to bring down the growth in the cost of healthcare and in that significant accomplishment if we can do that, it'll also reduce the deficit and expand coverage to another 31,000,000 people in this country. so there's a tremendous amount of good that can become accomplished by enacting the legislation. it's not everything. i understand, i was reading governor dean's comment and he says it allows for the bill now
as it stands discrimination between older folks and younger folks, and that you can charge three times as much under the bill for someone who's older for health insurance as you could for a younger person and he's right. but today, there's no limit on the amount of addition charge that can be put on older in"ividuals in and some states, it's 20-30 or more times as much. so this bill moves us a great part of the distance to where we need to be. host: also showed tom coburn piece in the "washington journal" this morning said i will recq'tly suggest seniors will die$700 a month. we're both self-employed my wife and i and we make about $60,000 so you can see harry reed. my somacolleagues dismiss my con
as a scare tactic and they're wrong. every american not just seniors will and should know it will reduce they're quality of life and their life-spans as well. guest: the truth is we have a system of rationing in place today. nearly 50 million americans have no health insurance coverage. in my state, 26 percent of the people living in new mexico today do not have any healthcare coverage at all. now that is rationing by most definitions in that, they are not able to access healthcare except in an situation. so i think that this fear about rationing which is not justified and there's nothing the bill that calls for any rationing. there are no death panels as was earlier alleged. you know there's a whole raft of
scare tactics used during the course of this debate that really are not related to what's in the legislation. host: one last question and we'll get to calls. phone numbers are on the screens. republicans, (202) 737-0001, democrats, (202) 737-0002, independents, (202) 628-0205. with the $750 tax penalty if you don't go, tom writes other unintended consequences can wreak havoc. when savvy consumers realize it can be the defacto premium. it won't take long for younger healthier americans to realize they should pay the $750 tax
instead of the 5,000 premiums when coverage can't be denied when you get sick. guest: e well they say some people will purchase insurance because it's required even if you don't have a penalty because there's a require to purchase. if you do have a penalty, more people will purchase. you know there are going to be people that choose to pay a penalty rather than purchase insurance and then they will not have insurance coverage and they'll be able to go to a medical, emergency room and make the rest of us pay when in fact they get sick and need substantial medical assistance, but most americans will try to comply with the law, if the law requires that everybody who is able financially able, go out and obtain insurance and under this bill it says if you can obtain insurance, without
spending more than $9 point 8% of your gross income your required to do it if you can't then you're not required to do it. host: how are you reflecting as year ends on this many months of debate with the town hall meetings and all of the discussion nationally about it? how has this process worked? guest: i think the bill today has been a better bill than we were likely to be considering had we tried to pass legislation in july, example. i was involved with the pretty extensive effort that three republicans and three democrats got involved in with the finance committee. frankly there's been a lot of criticism of the process but we spent over 60 meetings of multi hour meetings and the bill that
emerged was a much better bill than the one we started with, at least in my opinion. that part has been constructive. some of it's been unfortunately because i do think some of the proponents of healthcare reform have resorted to scare tactics trying persuade seniors this will be a negative for their benefits and democrats will decide whether or not they beat medicine but those are not justified based on anything in the bill and i think that's been unfortunate. caller: virginia this is greg on the democrat line for senator bingaman. caller: good morning and i'll make it quick. one quick thing i wanted to tell you about. personal experience. we have a 6-year-old son diagnosed with baby asthma.
it's a temporary condition and it went away and because of that we've not been able to get any insurance coverage for risk respiratory since the con"ition went away. also, we pay about $700 a month. we're both self-employed my wife and i and we make about $60,000 so you can see how large of a chunk it takes from the budget and we still cannot get anything respiratory covered from this several insurance companies we've tried. my main question is, i know there's stuff in here about not allows insurance companies to cancel or giving pre-existing conditions and not allowing them to cancel policies when they get sick and insurance company decides your too much of a risk. i haven't heard on how you control them from basically defacto eliminating those people
by raising premiums and rates so high you just can't afford it. i'm wondering when the congress and senate will understand how bad things really are out here for the average americans and how bad does it have to get and it gets worse senator, i know you have served honorable bli and i appreciate it but therqrj going to be a huge wave from all incumbents on both parties if we can't get anything done, to be thrown out. we need new mood if you guys can't get it done for the american people. guest: i was going to say at least those of us supporting this bill are trying get something done. we may be here well christmas eve and christmas day trying get it finished but i think the concern, the example that he's given is a very real one and this legislation would correct a lot of that.
this legislation would require that insurance companies, do what we call guaranteed issue. they provide coverage and that they can't write into the coverage exclusion for particular problems they've identified. this should not be like title insurance. i used to practice law and entitle insurance was a deal where the title company would come out and check the records in the courthouse and if there was risk, they would exclude that risk from their coverage and would basically say we'll guarantee the title but assuming we won't guarantee this risk. unfortunately that's carried over to the healthcare area and you've got a lot of effort being done by the insurance companies now to say first, we will do what we call under writing which means we'll screen everybody we sell a policy too and if we can
identify anything that might go wrong or lead to an illness or exclude that from a cove range. that's crazy system and wq need to change that. ho host next caller? caller: i wasn't call together talk about healthcare. i thought he was going to talk about the global warming in copenhagen. host: go for it. caller: okay. hool man, cool. senator i have a question for you. i have - gosh, well for a while back, when i was ope'-minded about global warming, i was getting into some debates with people and really wanted to hear why they were supportinu$e whole global warming man made global warming stint and the um... eventually, the crux of the whole argument seem to
always rest on whether or not there was a medieval warming period of not and research i came up with is that there was a medieval warming period, of course that was way before the industrial revolution and all that kind of stuff and that would put a wrench into the works. man made global warming since it happened prior to what we call it today. host: william is your question what? caller: so my question is, in light of the fact that, you know that is the crux of the argument and those scientist e-mails even shju that they're trying figure out what to do with the medieval warming period, does that change your opinion on anything. are you so closed minded that new information doesn't even tap into your conscious at all? host: thank you. guest: hope i'm not that closed minded.
frankly on the issue of whether or not global warming is occurring and whether or not it's caused by human activity, on that issue i basically defer to the national academy of sciences and i think they're in a better position and they're better qualified to make that call than i am. they've concluded that global warming is o((u)ring and that it is a major cause of it rj human activity. the g)eenhouse gas emissions human -- nothing that is, in connection with these recent analysis change that position of the national academy of sciences, and i am sticking to that point of view. i am open to them telling me
something else did they conclude something ounce, but so far, -- if they conclude something else, but so far, adding there is a strong consensus that this is a serious problem and one needs to be addressed. >> it's good to the copenhagen summit. we learn that hillary clinton announced the united states will help raise $100 billion annually for developing countries said they can absorb some costs for enacting on a change legislation. do you think that is a good thing? >> i do not know. clearly is a good thing for us to be willing to cooperate with other industrial countries in assisting under developed countries to come to grips with this. i think she put several conditions on her statement. she said not just the developed countries, but even the
underdeveloped countries need to agree to targets, and need to agree to monitoring, so they have some way to say -- we are trying to help each other. industrial countries are trying to help developing countries. but we're also committed to making the necessary changes to make a more stable situation as far as greenhouse gas emissions. . . john kerry is on the ground in waiting for the presidents a rival. he's quoted saying yesterday, unless there is a successful outcome in copenhagen it will put the senate debate in peril. you agree with him? guest: i do think there's not that direct of a connection between what's doing on in copenhagen and the u.s. senate related to climate change. i think that we have a lot of difficulty getting a consensus in the senate as to how to
proceed and deal with why mate change. i think it's unlikely we can beat the support in the senate to do example what the house did from the marquee bill, but i think the truth is, we've got problems getting a consensus on what to do in the senate regardless of what happens in copenhagen. i think that if the agreement in copenhagen were such that people resisted it and critiques it in the senate, that would not help us either. >> back to nashville,jd on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. obviously, i disagree with you profoundly about everything you said whether global warming and especially the healthcare fiasco. why is it so imperative to have this bill passed by cross masss.
there a magic formula i've missed? you know you talk about scare tactics? this idiot president barack obama said yesterday if we don't pass a bill by christmas the government is going to bow bankrupt. you want to talk about scare tactics all you people do is try to scare the american people into believing this. nobody in this country wants this healthcare system. the overwhelming majority don't want what your proposing in this healthcare bill. you@@@@@@xd illegal aliens. host:let's get a response.
the legislation is specific there are no public funds to provide abortion services. the debate comes to the question of whether public funds can e used to provide a cost where the individual is paying the cost. so the portion the indiv idual is paying [unintelligible] i do not read the legislation the way the caller does.
and people pretty much, people in the senate pretty much know the issues and have settled on where they are. i hope we can get it completed. host: on to the politics. he said majority of americans are against what you're doing. two polls have shown this morning. one sites the c mark ndsango pole. 36 in favor of the healthcare and 61 percent opposed and new "wall street journal" poll said 44 percent want the bill to pass, 41 percent want it to pass and 44 percent, say don't pass it in it's current form. a number of pieces here talk about the risk politically to the two parties and in this legislation. what do you see as political consequences of passing a bill or failure to pass the bill? guest: let me address the
poling issue. we're in the middle of a campaign right now. you have ads running in many parts of country attacking this legislation. some running in favor but many more attacking the legislation and that's influencing what the polls are saying. i think that the more the american public understands about what's in this legislation, the more support there will be for it. so, my own view is that if we can go ahead and energy act the legislation, (retty much in the form we're trying to in the senate, i think it's responsible legislation and i think that the american public will come to recognize that it's a substantial step forward. host: if retaliation is used. political consequences to that? guest: the problem using reconciliation. many reforms we're trying
accomplish. the insurance market reforms and the prohibiting this exclusion of pre-existing decisions probably would not be able to be included in legislation if we included in legislation if we did it throu reconciliation process.% for that reason, it's a much less attractive way to try to proceed. i hope very much we can do it the way we're trying do it. host: senator bingaman will be with us five more minutes. jerry, democrat line? caller: good morning suzy. i hope all the newcomers watch your films because you do the best of anybody. next on the agenda. bingaman i'm glad to hear you work through christmas. i want you to work through new year's and get it to the president's desk and veto think thing. i can't say on t$e air what is.
it stinks. host: why is that, jerry? president got my vote for is not coming to pass. everything. everything on the healthcare bill is not coming to pass. next thing, he should freeze all of the insurance company's premiums at the rate when he took the office. you can't increase your rate on these poor people anymore. next thing, he should by presidential decree let us buy our drugs where we want to. all the drug manufacturers get over 70 percent of their ingredients from out of this country. nobody inspects it and they love you american people, just people senator i love being tribal nd i've been a slave in bal this country for 600 years. thank you. host: i don't know what the last comment has to do with
healthcare bullet as dres how disappointed he is with what the president promise and the healthcare bill. guest: well reality is if people need to compare what we're considering now as what we're going to have if we don't enact legislation and if we don't enact legislation we'll see premiums continue to go up. healthcare costs going u( and up. the deficit growing as a result of the growth of healthcare. and we're doing to continue to see 50 million americans without coverage. more every month i would point all th out. more employ my years are fi'ding it harder to cover they're employees and about 14 thousand people lose coverage every year.
trend is clear things getting worse under the cur >> elise hogue on the health care debate tomorrow. and tom coburn discusses health care in the senate and carolyn engelhard. live 7:00 a.m. eastern on c- span. harry reid has asked senators to come back in with a vote to limit debate on the defense spending bill. there is a possibility that after the vote the senate could be in all night. you can see the senate live on
c-span2. now from the un conference on climate change. speeches from the leaders of the leaders of germany, brazil, iran, and france. >> your excellence, you have the floor. >> to thank you. -- thank you. more than 100 heads of state have gathered. more than 100 ministers and thousands of representatives, many who together with us very much wishing, fervently wishing for a solution, wondering whether we will be able to come
up with a solution of the future issue, preserving the environment and finding an answer to the changes. will we be able to do that? not at some time in the future but in the next 24 hours, that is the time that we have at our disposal until the end of this conference. i am aware of the fact that all the world, there is a lot of good will. i am aware that some are somewhat disappointed at each other and of each other's position and this is why we have to do during this time that we -- remains during the conference to consistently and steadfastly worked to bring about the solution. when we go home and explain to our people why we have not been able to do something, this will be good for all those who do not want to do it, anything against climate change, who do not want to do anything against poverty or change their way of life. it will be a terrible signal for all those who are expecting
something from us for our world and want to give a good future to the planet. there is a broad consensus that we ought to follow. scientists advised to tell us global warming must not exceed two agree celsius -- degrees celsius. this means that to emissions have to be -- until 2050 relegated to the level of 1990. this is what everyone agrees on. as my capacity as chancellor, as a representative of what is traditionally an industrialized country, i say to you that to of course, our contribution as industrialized country has to be brought first and foremost to the table and the european union has to find its contribution.
we're willing to let least -- at least reduce 30% of emissions and we are ready for midterm target until 2020 to reduce 20% related to 1990. if other countries actually follow suit and made comparable efforts we will go up to 30%. this is the offer we put on the table. it is an offer to which many of industrialized countries have subscribed to. they have followed suit and i do hope that many of you here in this room will also be willing to put a little bit more on the table so that we get to where science tells us where we need to be. namely be on the path towards at least 25% in 2020. half of the 50% and we have already achieved in 2020.
and we're on the right path and will be able to do that if we were together but we also know the industrialized countries in and of themselves cannot shoulder this responsibility alone but they have to live up to that responsibility. the second part of that responsibility means for me, those countries that suffer most under the impact of climate change, the poorest countries, the small island states, the african countries, bangladesh as one example and many others we know of, those who have not been able to benefit from industrialization and have not been able to lift the their standard of living up to our level, they quite rightly expect us to help them in technology transfers and they also expect to earn us to give them financial support. this is why we very quickly have to start with $10 billion over the next few years, 2010 and
2011 and $100 billion in 2020. we have to make this a consistent effort over many years so the poorest countries in the world can give that contribution. germany is ready to do that. germany is ready to shoulder its burden. the eu is ready to shoulder its burden. i noted with gratification the u.s. too have made an important step forward to such a long term commitment. so the poorest countries may rely on this as well. if our reduction obligations are the ones to which we commit that we make them binding, we say in financing, we're ready and willing to make a binding commitment, then i think we will be able and particularly the emerging countries, step-by- step, shoulder additional responsibilities and will show themselves willing to bring this
commitment and to a binding legal framework. we need to be able to compare what we do. obviously, we have a common responsibility. a common responsibility that is differentiated for china such as china and india and other emerging countries. they have signaled to us that they are willing to give their contribution. it is important that all of this leads to the common legal framework that we enter into binding commitments. this is why financing reduction and also the question of commitments, also of the emerging countries in a different way and form are not yet reductions much more enhance energy efficiency, all of this leads to a package being brought together with which we can face the world public opinion
tomorrow with confidence. we will not be able to work out all the little details, legal details. we will put down a framework for a new legal framework for a new agreement to be agreed on later. i think we have that necessary strength and that necessary will. if everyone does a little bit and contributes more, we will do that. germany and the you are ready to do that, to go that little step further. under the proviso that would science tells us, 25% related to 1990 by the industrialized countries arsine and acknowledged by all of us and we have to stand together. there can be no doubt that this climate change agreement is a global agreement, because climate change can only be tackled globally. if we all -- we like to help each other but we need to stand
ready to change our way of living, our lifestyle. this is why renewable energy is so important. this is why we need to come to a common understanding that we live on one and the same planet. the party of one is the poverty of the other. it will become the party of the other after a given time. we need to stand together and act together and my urgent plea to you is germany and the eu are ready and willing to open their arms, to be open-minded in this negotiated process and to bring this negotiating process forward. we know in the past we contributed a lot to bringing us where we are in climate change. we are the main cause of it in many ways but we know going it alone will not be our way out to combating it effectively. this is a task for all of us. we need to show the world to work together as we did in the
economic crisis and the financial crisis. let us in this time work together over the next 24 hours so that tomorrow, we will be able to meet again in this hall and to say and show that we have understood the message. life cannot go on as it was. the world needs to change. in this spirit, let us work together frugally -- fruitful ly. >> the president of the islamic republic of iran. >> peace and blessing be upon us
and mohammed and his pure household. to his rightfulness. gentlemen, -- i thank the almighty god for granting me the opportunity to attend the support meeting. i have the pleasure of giving my sincere thanks and for making excellent arrangements to host this event. the ontario and efforts of the secretariat towards the success of this meeting deserves our utmost appreciation.
[unintelligible] in human life. any disturbance of the balance may cause negative implications in the entire human community. the ongoing devastating race in the world have seriously jeopardized this blessing. failure to protect its harmony and balance will leave dire consequences in our planet. allow me to draw your attention to the following facts. greenhouse gases have increased 35% in the past decade's rizzde. climatic conditions have been subject to drastic changes in the -- most parts of the world. destructive typhoons, floods, food crisis, and desertification
threaten various regions. change in a couecosystems that endangered plant and animal species. millions lost their lives every year as a result of pollution related illnesses and there has been a sharp increase in the number of people suffering from skin and respiratory diseases. if greenhouse gases increase at this pace, its concentration will exceed as much two times the concentration in the pre industrial era. it means that instead of having a 30% reduction, there will be an increase of 15% in greenhouse emissions. posing serious challenges in our life. excellencies, by listening to these facts and similar ones, you might come up with many
questions and other facts. the main question is, what is the reason? the answer is, the increasing use of fossil fuels and massive and destructive intervention in the functions of the nations. however, there is a main more serious question. what is the factor responsible for the growing demand for fossil fuel and intervention in the functioning of the nation? i want to analyze the answer to this question at two levels. the first level which is based on the general outlook is the phenomenon of climate change as an environmental problem, or an issue having cultural, behavioral, and economic dimensions? dear colleagues, social and
cultural developments at least in the past two centuries indicate materialistic thoughts predominate people's minds, behavior, and the relationship in the large part of the world. capitalism can only survive only through constant increase in the consumption of goods and widespread intervention in the work of the nation, the relentless race continues to provoke consumption to increase the wealth and influence of the large enterprises. development plans are based on consumerism and in some parts of the world, consumerism has become a social value. un banding campaigns to increase
production for more consumption -- unending campaigns to increase per section for more consumption have emerged as an endless cycle of devastation affecting the lives of a large number of people in the world. you have seen the serious problems they have caused in the middle of the global economic crisis by printing billions of worthless dollars as of real wealth -- unreal worth. maximum pleasures and individual balistic interests have changed to goals. efforts to monopolize the world and indigenous markets preventing self-reliance, and the global tendency to tighten controls on the production of
new technologies are the product and manifestations of such an outlook. there is an insatiable hunger and seeking more profit by provoking our race and conflicts, a leading to mounting demands for arms in the world. they are the product of an outlook on the premises of capitalist and liberal economy that needs to use low-price fuel and destroy the nature. the political level, the ambition to gain access and control energy resources in the world has always been the root cause of wars and major
international conflicts and energy has always been regarded as a major political and security issue. for about a century, oil has constituted the basic and strategic components of u.s. security for policy. the same role energy has played for the previous empires. during this time, oil regions of the world became the theaters of war and military adventurism that led to foreign domination of energy resources. the united states, having 5% of the world's population consumes 25% of oil and energy. more than 80% of wood and 14% of
water resources of the world. almost 40% of the motor vehicles in the world are moving in this country. by occupying and controlling [unintelligible] in other countries, the country's military budget is almost equivalent of the military budgets of countries altogether and it has an active presence in all dararmed conflis in the world. they consume 85% of world energy resources and therefore, they play a large part in environmental pollution. what will really happen if other nations follow the same policies and behavior? american leaders and their friends emphasize continued
increase of fossil fuel production while the resort to various coercive methods to hinder development of new technologies intended to promote the use of renewable and clean energy. at the same time these countries refrain from accepting international obligations and by making [unintelligible] frustrate the global determination to bring the unbridled concentration of gas emissions and pollution under control. clearly, the current climatic conditions are the outcome of the system of thinking based on egoistic and megalomania believes prevailing in some countries that seek to secure their maximum interests by maintaining their control on the wealth and the resources of other nations.
dear friends, but is impossible to imagine the situation that will lead to the disappearance of human life from the face of the planets will continue. the question is, what is the solution? on the basis of what, i have mentioned earlier the only solution is a return to humanitarian and divine values. god almighty has granted dignity and glory to humankind. he has shown to humans the path to perfection and love. got invited human beings to believe in his oneness and one of them to dedicate their lives to the cause of justice. our lord never wanted to see the world be tyrannized with injustice and discrimination. he has invited people to love
each other. he wants them to reap a fully the benefits of progress and development and to stand together to share with each other the moments of sorrows and joyce. god almighty wants us to consider justice as a criteria in our relationship with other humans. he wants is to be modest, never seeking supremacy or potter rents on others. -- preponderance on others. we have been endowed with all these blessings. if human societies of follow values and beliefs as spread by profits, we will be able to contain environmental degradation and we will have a chance to remake ourselves and provide conditions for life. we have been endowed with all these blessings. we must be julies our pastors and the resources in a way to
ensure thathere sustainability. we must avoid doing things that lead to the annihilation of our resources on the lands and in the sea. in this way, we would be able to create a better environment for the world. to do so, we propose that a working group be formed with volunteers from different countries from among dedicated and knowledgeable thinkers who will conduct a study on the criteria for happiness and welfare of human communities on the basis of the divine and to humanitarian world view, the teaching of the messengers of god. improved criteria can lead to a balanced consumption, thus contributing to the just
distribution of resources in the world. we can create a prosperous society where justice prevails and consumption overcomes unfair competition for supremacy. a new economic system based on justice and human dignity must be defined and a consumption model must be presented based on human real needs, and a model must be based on our real needs. industrialized or the so-called developed nations must accept their international obligations. while measures must be
undertaken to work out clear and effective mechanisms to impose economic punishments against the defiant countries or defiant economic agencies. it is said that $250 billion was spent for military action in afghanistan. 1000 billion dollars in the iraq war. isn't it possible to build and redevelop afghanistan and its economic infrastructures, $50 billion. is it possible to spend $200 billion to develop new technologies and appropriately use fossil fuels to reduce
pollutants to the level of the preindustrial era? greenhouse emissions cause massive loss of lives in the world and the number of victims is 1000 times more than the victims of terrorist attacks. can't we realize the goals of the convention by expanding only half of the military budget of the united states? all countries must gain access to new technologies to diversify their energy sources and be able to use clean and
renewable energy such as wind, solar, sea tide, and nuclear energy is. with low prices that could be accessible by all countries in order to secure. [unintelligible] of the convention. countries should commit themselves in the special funds to establisestablished for thisr their past role in pollution. it should be beyond the control of the country's that have a large part in the pollution. we also propose that a general disarmament can result in a sharp reduction in the cost of production and maintenance of
nuclear arsenals which can be used for development of new technologies and poverty alleviation. we also propose that the year 2011 be designated as the year of the change in the consumption models and reduction of pollution in the world. excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, article 50 of the constitution of the islamic republic of iran considers protection of the environment a divine value and a teaching of the holy koran. in this connection the government has taken the following measures. reduction in energy conduct -- consumption by promoting standards in industries and products for consumption and elimination of fuel subsidies in
a scheduled timetable. using cng and lng gas fuels and providing access to natural gas for 90% of populations and cities and villages. wider scale studies under way on the use of clean energy such as wind and solar energy as planning for using nuclear fuel to generate 20,000 megawatts of electricity. the islamic republic of iran stands ready to foster cooperation while supporting the kyoto protocol and it is ready to foster cooperation multilaterally or unilaterally particularly in the optimization of energy consumption and indigenous asian -- to
support offered by the world fund. and we are also ready to develop bilateral cooperation and share the results of research and experiences on the use of clean energy with other countries. we propose the establishment of a bank or technology center to be transferred to china or in a member country of the group 77 under the auspices of the convention's secretariat. we hope this historical meeting will be able to reach effective agreements and make concrete decisions to respond to the needs and requirements of the international committee. hopefully this meeting will provide the right response to
the requirements of the international community. let me express my heartfelt appreciation to thethose who express their sentiments through this gatherings and play a role in raising public awareness on tpublic warming. i[unintelligible] and in the protection of the environment under the leadership of the scent and noble people. i thank you very much for your kind attention. [applause]
>> luis dasilva, you have the floor. mr>> ladies and gentlemen, heads of government and state. first of all, a word of acknowledgement to the government of denmark for the very warm hospitality that we have received during this meeting. climate change is one of the most serious problems that humanity faces. to control global warming is fundamental to protect the environment, to allow economic growth, and to overcome the
unacceptable social exclusion. the human development report from the undp has warned us that in 2007 climate change could step backwards in history and we cannot allow this should happen. such a step to a backward situation. to concludcontrol global warming depends on a collective effort. the effects of climate change we can already feel them. mainly among the poor countries. we need concrete action and fair actions that will be supported by financial means and technological means. they should reflect this share of each country in the
last -- this goal should be updated in such a way that we can follow the advancement of scientific knowledge. the ambition to reduce in 50% global emissions of greenhouse gas effects in 2015 can -- in comparison with 1990 will help us to a short to reach this objective. this ambition will be empty and meaningless if there is no clear-cut commitment for the short and midterm. here in copenhagen, there is no room for conformity.
the developed countries should assume more ambitious targets for reducing emissions that will be at a level that they carry and the challenge we face. the reduction should be to 25 to 40% in 2020 in comparison to 1990. if we wanted to be truly ambitious, we should have actually sought 40%. i would like to speak clearly and frankly to all of you. this conference is not a game. where you can hide cards on your sleeves. if we just wait that our partners are placing our beds, we can discover this will be too late. we will all be losers. my dear friends, the preservation of the kyoto
protocol is absolutely necessary so that the international regime could keep its rigors. it cannot be replaced by [unintelligible] tools that are less demanding. developed countries should take it as a reference to defined targets for deep cuts in emissions. this is the essence of the concept of comparison of the body action plan. the developing countries should give their contribution to the global effort towards mitigation. many are deepening their action even in the absence of international financefinancial resources. brazil has one of the energy matrixxes the cleanest in the world. 25% of our electrical power comes from water resources.
47% of our energy is renewable. we're pioneers in the production use of biofuels. the amazon is a great heritage of the people that live there and that is why our commitment to reduce its deforestation by 80% until 2020. the brazilian national congress has just passed my draft bill that came from the executive branch that involves fighting deforestation, agriculture, energy, and steel industry. these measures will reduce the growth of brazilian emissions of greenhouse gas affect between 36.1% to 30.9% until the year 20/20. this effort will cost us $160 billion. that is to say, $16 billion per year until 20/20.
-- until 2020. this is a commitment as we are taking. other developing countries have presented proposals but such ambition can only become fully concrete if the international flows of technological and financial support should become just a promise or maybe just a mirage. to fight climate change cannot be based on virtual poverty. mitigation is essential. adaptation is a priority challenge for the developing countries, mainly the small island states that are subject to desertification especially in
africa. it is unacceptable that the countries that are less liable for climate change will be the first ones to be their main victims. the convention has established the obligation of the developed countries to offer technological financial support for the developing countries. it will be very difficult to deepen the mitigation initiatives or reinforce the capacity to adaptation mainly among the poor and vulnerable countries without the financial flows to carry a strong component from the public financing. market mechanisms can be very useful but they will never have the magnitude or the necessary predictability for the transformation that we all wish.
brazil participate in this conference with the determination to obtain ambitions and results. this ambition has to be shared by all. the fragility of some cannot serve as an excuse for moving backwards or for the misstep of others. it is not politically rational or justifiable morally to put corporal and sectorial interests ahead. history will not see those who have filled with the responsibilities of this moment. thank you very much. >> your excellency, you have the
floor. >> i would like to speak to you frankly. there is something we all agree on. that is that a failure in copenhagen would be a catastrophe for each and everyone of us. regardless of our starting positions. if failure here -- a failure here is just not possible. we will have to report back to world public opinion and to our own public opinion after this conference. scientists have told us what we need to do. they told us we are the final
generation, the last generation able to do this. we cannot fail. and the second point. we need to change track or we are heading for disaster. the copenhagen conference cannot be merely a series of statements without ever coinciding and converging. we're not here for a symposium on global warming. we are here to take decisions. and therefore, i would ask for us to have a meeting of the main leaders from all the regions of the world, a meeting of the main leaders to finally start negotiating seriously on a compromise text.
we have less than 24 hours remaining to us. if we keep on the way we're going, we are heading for failure. we need a real working meeting at the decision making level. a third comment. we all have to make compromises, all of us. europe and the rich countries must recognize that our responsibility for the pollution on the planet is more serious, is more significant than the responsibility of others and are committed snee to be stronger. -- are committed to be stronger. the world's leading power must go beyond the commitments they have announced.
even if those commitments signify a significant progress. china which is also making announcements cannot consider the transparency of efforts by all in any way undermines the sovereignty of each of us. finally, the elements of compromise are already well known. who would venture to say that africa and the poorest countries do not need money? the $10 billion in the first three years and a hundred billion in 2020. who would dare say that? who would dare to maintain that
position? let me say to my african friends. if we do not have an agreement, you will be the first to suffer from it. did not let this agreement you need so vitally be snatched away from you. who would dare to say -- who would dare to say that we do not need innovative financing? taxing, financial transactions to mobilize resources to save our planet from the looming disaster, who would dare to say that? who would dare to say that we do not need innovative financing? who would come up here and there to say from this podium that we do not need a body and we can discuss this -- we need a body in order to check their respect by all the commitments. who can say that everyone has to
be transparent accept me? who would dare say that? who would say everyone else has to be transparent but not me. who would dare say that two degrees of temperature increase will not require a reduction of 50% of emissions? who could challenge that historic responsibility? who could deny it? who would dare to state that of the money we have prepared to mobilize a significant part needs to be channeled to those countries that have this common universal good of forests and to enable themselves to manage the resources themselves, to manage and maintain their forests? who would dare stand appear and deny that?
who would stand appear and claim that the poor countries of africa and asia, india, who would dare say that they do not need the money? who would dare to say that they should not be treated in the same way as brazil and china? who could dare say that we should treat them differently? i hope you have understood my point. time is against us. let's stop posturing. let's really get down to negotiating. some people want to keep talking -- keep kyoto. let's keep cuba. -- keep kyoto. let us agree which will include the political commitments. let's negotiate hard tonight and tomorrow altogether.
we can adopt the agreement we have fleshed out. let's give ourselves six months after the conference in order to transform those political commitments into legal text. not a single one of us will succeed if we do not live up to the historic responsibility of copenhagen. that is a question for us to answer now, here, it is right now we need to start negotiating. let me tell you in any event that france and europe are prepared to negotiate. thank you very much. [applause] >> he was not an imposing figure. he was not a giant of his time but he emerged as a nominee at a time when the party was populated by