tv Washington Journal CSPAN February 26, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EST
again, bill frist right thing in "the wall street journal." leesburg, florida. republican line. caller: the republicans had a lot of good remark and everything, the democrats just sat there, ignored them, and here in florida medicaid is eating up 26% of our budget. where are they getting the money? another thing i would like to say, they keep harping on the $40 million -- 40 million not in short. think about 85 million that are not insured. these -- this is just another vote-getter for the democrats. he has not accomplished anything in his first quarter or first year as president. it is just a waste of their time and the taxpayers' money -- not the government money, but the taxpayers' money. host: peggyç in new castle, indiana.
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should be? caller: i am independent but i am progressive liberal, i would like to see single payer, universal health care. host: how politically viable is that right now? caller: i watched that meeting yesterday and what i saw was that john boehner had a smart move, he bought that thing, i guess the house bill, and it is 2 feet high, 2500 pages. i am looking at that and saying, what the heck is and there?
who can interpret that? they need to start over again and make a list, somehow, like 20 items that i can understand. host: this is "the wall street journal" lead editorial. you would think john mccain had won the election and the bill had been drafted by paul ryan, tom coburn, and the scholars at the american enterprise institute. yet the reality is there is a vast philosophical and policy golf in health care in washington. everyone agrees there are severe problems of the health-care market. the disagreement is over solutions. this is the conclusion -- in the end, after bipartisan to wing, the president's closing argument explain where the debate really is. democrats won the election and the ongoing to do what they want to do, starting next week and are not a partisan vote if they can shanghai and of members.
the point of yesterday's session was to give a soothing moderate political gloss to the government health care takeover that will raise costs, greatly expand the entitled -- entitlement state and reduce choice and competition, the opposite everything mr. obama claims. "the wall street journal," lead editorial. caller: my interest in calling today is i hear all of these different opinions from democrats and republicans and independents, and many of them are the talking points you hear on radio and television and get off of the internet. i think every individual should start doing research and figure out what really is going on. it appears to me that both democratic and republican senators and congressmen are accepting huge amounts of money from lobbyists that are working for the health-care industry,
and the insurance industry. and the reason why the mandated insurance will probably go through is because the insurance industry is behind this. you don't need to be a rocket scientist to begin with. it appears we are being controlled by corporations and special interest groups, and the common person is not being listened to. i'm all for fiscal -- being conservative fiscally and whittling down the debt but we are in big trouble with this health-care thing. host: thank you. a tweet -- of yesterday we had a hash tag up.
if you want to follow a lot of the twitter comments, go to hash tag c-spanhc on twitter. another discussion is on our facebook page, facebook.com/c span, no dash in cspan. philadelphia, steve, what is the next step? caller: the next step is this bill should be passed. something has got to be done. my son went into the emergency room for a couple of stitches on his lip. we have health care through my wife's job. now, the bill came, ok? it cost like to thousand dollars to get three stitches. after the doctor stitched up my
son's lip, he said, if it looks any worse,, and in three days and i will take a look at it. in three days we came back and because it did not look like. first thing, we went to our own family doctor -- host: could you get to the conclusion? caller: the conclusion is i think hospitals are a lot of the problem by charging, overpricing the insurance companies and sending them these kinds of bills. i have one more point. jim bunning of the senate is holding up unemployment extension insurance because he did not get to look or read the bill and the senate yesterday. host: all right, thanks. again, we are talking about what is next following the health care summit. what do you think should happen next, if anything? although we did not set aside a special line we would love to hear from health-care
professionals as well. upper marlboro, maryland. independent line. caller: i watched the health care summit yesterday, and i would like to say that if they use reconciliation, i would never, ever vote for another democrat. i used to be a democrat until the immigration debate and i changed to independent. i do not like one party ramming through anything. these democrats are set on doing what they want to do. if they ran it through, i'm done. people want to say or talk down to the republicans, and they had done a lot of things that has not helped a lot -- have not help the middle class. but to take health care and just
ran it on everyone -- host: what kind of health care do you have now? caller: medicare and blue cross- blue shield. they will not let you out of medicare. i don't want anything from the government, and you can't give it back. i will pay. my husband has that blood transfer and he has insurance. he is on a drug that costs $9,000 a month for 28 capsules. the insurance company, blue cross-blue shield, has been paying for his medication. he just turned 65 in january. i told him, cannot go anywhere near -- don't try to get your so security, don't try to get medicare. stay away from the social security medications -- administration. host: thank you every much.
constitution says this is a representative republic. the united states guarantees every state to have a republican form of government. i was born in rhodesia where robert mugabe has done what seems to be happening in the united states. the people have spoken that they wanted to start again but it is not happening so they are trying to force it through. is it possible in any election coming up in november, if of the united states, if the people speak louder, if the democrats push it through, it is it possible for a super majority vote in the house and the senate to rewrite the law to force obama to do what the people want to do? that is my question, sir. host: we will consider it a rhetorical question. roanoke, virginia. bob, a democrat. caller: how are you doing?
i believe there will be an artist -- bipartisan bill. the next up is to single out the more remote republicans who are more willing to get a bill done. scott brown, susan collins, columbia snow -- olympia snowe. and the republicans to sit on their hands are the losers. look at the senators who were not called to the senate by the republican majority leaders? host: paul krugman's colorado in "the new york times." -- column in " the new york times." david brooks also writes about
for an answer. they feel like -- the progresses do not take no for an answer. they feel like as long as they can get it done. they don't care if they do it under the table, over the moon, or how. they will try to do it because they don't care -- don't care. host: of a picture from "the new york times." joe on the republican line. caller: you are a great american. i love c-span. this thing is to be scrapped. the american people are firmly against it but the only long- term solution is to let free enterprise conservatives and today on my radio show i am not endorsing its -- people like mitt romney. host: two things. mitt romney is going to be on book tv.
what kind of insurance do you have? caller: i am over 65. i have a supplement, of course i have the medicare and i do have a supplement. host: are you happy with medicare? caller: no, not completely. i think the best government is leased government. that is why i and dedicating the rest of my life. i love the job you do on c-span. i walked all the time and you do an incredible job. host: we will talk to you in 30 days. the lead story in "the washington post." another call from georgia. this one from albany. caller: i am from georgia also. i heard the guy from georgia saying he had medicare. i'm a 63-year-old person who does not have any health care at all, not medicare or anything. he already has medicare.
and he is doing much better than i am. i think the republicans are thinking that they can still make a fool out of the president by saying scrapped the bill and start all over again so they can just to destroy him. host: " the philadelphia inquirer -- this is " the philadelphia enquirer" this morning. caller: i am very pleased and proud of the president. he has done a good job showing where they agree more than disagree, and it is time for them to come on line and put this bill through. there are too many people without insurance. so, i think the president and the democrats, if the republicans did not come on board, they should go ahead and put the bill through.
host: here is "the washington times" frontpage. and they have a sidebar below the picture of the two senate leaders. it says -- steve from philadelphia. it helps to push the button. go ahead. caller: i was watching this thing yesterday and i really, really feel emotional about it. this health-care thing, i think president obama did a great job in bringing all these people together to talk about this. what is on the ground now is about the people, not democrat or republican. i am a republican for so many years. i think the republicans should just let go and let this thing passed. let us see what the future holds.
my concern about this thingñr is -- they should just let this thing go. they already adopted some of their proposals. let this thing go and let's see what comes out of it. host: another tweet -- here is how "the daily news" played yesterday. two-page spread. here is " the washington post" lead editorial -- "the washington post" lead editorial.
that reconciliation is ok for them to pass bills. if you look at ronald reagan, all of those spending bills during his time was passed by reconciliation. president bush used reconciliation four times. both of the tax cuts and the medicare part d, and one more time that i can't think. but the health care bill has already passed the house, it has already passed the senate, so the bills have passed. the reconciliation would be to get those two together. and in order to do that, the house has to pass the senate bill, and then they need to reconcile the differences between those two bills. host: "usa today" -- that is their lead editorial. here is "the daily news" editorial --
last call, wisconsin. go ahead, andy. caller: i watched the summit yesterday. i can't understand how both parties claim to speak the voice of the american people, when it seems like anything each party had to say, that the president was not interested in hearing -- unless it was something he was specifically interested in. he took the republicans to task for actually having the nerve to bring the bill to the meeting and " certain passages and ask for clarification -- and quote certain passages and ask for clarification.
i thought that was the purpose of the summit? he was more interested in forming his own agenda than listening to what anybody else had to say. host: we are going to continue to take your calls with congressman rod andrews, democrat from the jersey, who was at the summit. here are some other articles you might find of interest. i want to point them out quickly. both "the new york daily news" and "the new york post" call for the resignation of governor paterson. and end up "the new york times," house panel punishes charlie rangel for taking trips and gifts. if you watched this morning, you saw congressman rangel's press
conference and it is available online at c-span.org. "the washington times" lead editorial this morning is a little complicated and a little hard to read, but if you are interested in this issue -- this is identifying the gtmo 9. attorney general will not list lawyers names. we will. "the washington times" talk about some of the terrorist trial and some of the lawyers involved. in case you would like to read that, you can go to their website. 998 fatalities currently in afghanistan. this is in "the washington post." renowned harvard law professor joined justice department. that is an " the washington post" in case you want to read more. two quick items.
mark sanford's very public divorce will be opened it to tv cameras. finally, here is a quote by joe biden that was picked up by a microphone at the summit. it is easy being vice president. you don't have to do anything. that was vice-president joe biden in a bit of casual chitchat during a break in the health care summit called live on a c-span mike. he added -- it is like being the grandpas and not the parents. ms. representatives said the vice-president -- his representatives said vp was obviously joking. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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is buried in grant's tomb?" >> it is a travelogue, if you will, but also a many history, a work of biography on each of these presidents. you can tell a lot of -- a lot about people at the end of their lives. >> a resource guide, the story of their final moments, and insight into their lives. now available at your favor bookseller or get a 25% discount at the publishers website. >> "washington journal" continues. host: congressman rob andrews from new jersey. you were at the health care summit yesterday. we have been showing the viewers headlines. what is your headline? guest: people can work together. i thought there was a lot of sincere, meaningful give and take from republicans and
democrats. i was really humbled and honored to be a part of it. host: you are probably the only one who has written that headline. "the new york daily news" -- after seven hour debate, health deal is doa. guest: i disagree. i heard ideas both sides could support, like selling insurance across state lines, letting small businesses and individuals pool together to buy health insurance, creative ways to stop nuisance lawsuits. i heard things people want to do. let me say something about the headlines. on the evening news, the sports guide covers the crashes in nascar and not the successful trips around the track. if there is cooperation, it is not headline-worthy. host: one of the issues our
viewers are bringing up, particularly the democrats, they are saying it is now time to forget about the republicans and move forward with the reconciliation-type legislation. guest: i do not think it is time to forget about the republicans. i think it is time to take all of the good ideas, whether republicans or democrats, put them in the bill, put the bill out on the floor and take a vote. i do agree with that. look, it's the only way to do this is by majority vote, -- if the only way to do this by majority vote, like reagan did with his tax cut, like president clinton and the republicans with welfare reform, then using the majority vote procedure is fair and reasonable. but first, let's get the good ideas in one bill, let us put them out for debate and consideration and take a vote based on that. host: are congressman is
congressman andrews, democrat from new jersey. -- our guest is congressman andrews, democrat from new jersey. long island, new york. randolph, republican. caller: i am a social security recipient and planned d what a great success -- plan d is a great success. but i am worried about how we pay for all of the 30 million extra beneficiaries as well as the cuts in medicare for me and anyone else who is on it. i'm a conservative republican. in that respect, i tried to be very judicious in expenses. my doctor, he only gives me generic prescription, and if i cannot get generic, i don't want it. and my doctor, he would prefer a single payer system, which would be streamlining and less
overhead for him. is there a possibility of having a private, not-for-profit corporation that could be encompassed in a single payer system and yet not be a government organization? guest: one of the things in the bill that the senate passed is a pretty good idea, is there would be at least one plan available all across the country. it would be run by a nonprofit group on a competitive basis. who ever wins the competition gets the right to do this. that plan, that would be available to everyone, would provide health care without the profit motive. if you wanted a for-profit company, you could choose one. one thing i wanted to say to you, nothing in either bill cut your medicare benefits. the medicare reductions in that bill are, you know, taking
payments away that are part of the one-third waste and abuse that senator coburn talked about yesterday, payments to medical equipment suppliers for supplies that are not needed, payments to hospitals for care that really was not justified or not properly delivered. so, i don't want you to have the impression anything in those bills would reduce in any way your medicare benefits, because it would not. host: the politico reports a senior democratic leader in the house said reconciliation will not start next week, as reported by other outlets. guest: i will talk actually to the real democratic leaders today, the speaker and others. as a caucus we will collectively decide. host: will we hear what that decision is today? guest: i'm not sure about that. i think today people will kind of assess what went on yesterday. we listen to our constituents, and we listen to our members. i am sure that process will
begin today. i did not know what will happen next week. host: next call. moses, a democrat. guest: good morning, moses. caller: i have two comments. host: moses, please turn down the volume on your tv and just go ahead and speak. we can hear you. caller: i have two comments. my first comment is, i have been watching the summit yesterday and a caller earlier said the president was trying to push his own thing through and not give republicans a chance to speak. that is wrong. he did give them a chance to speak. he gave them a chance to bring up their ideas. they kept saying, let's start over. we can't start over because it would take too long to do what needs to be done. it seems to me they are just trying to hold up until the 2012 election. that is not helping the country. secondly, i had a mother who
was laying on a table, having a balloon stent put in her chest. she woke up in the middle of the procedure and went into cardiac arrest. they had to rush her to another hospital. this idea of not being able to charge the doctors with things like this i think is wrong because of these doctors are paid to do these procedures correctly. host: you have a law degree. what do you think about malpractice reform? guest: anything that cuts back on suits without merit is a good idea. i don't favor damage caps because, as moses said, what they do is take people who have legitimately been injured and deprive them the right to be made whole. the other thing about malpractice reform i think we ought to remember, it is an important factor but it is a very minor factor. the congressional budget office,
our neutral referee, did a study that said malpractice reform can save one half of a percent. we put that in some perspective. if we did everything the republicans want to do on malpractice reform, we spend 6400 dot -- $6,400 per person port -- per year. it would save $32 of the 6400. now, it is worth saving money if we can, but when john boehner sat there and said that the single best for the single most important idea to cut health care cost is part of reform -- it is $32 out of $6,400. the best way to cut health-care costs is to keep people well, it is to prevent insurance companies from charging exorbitant prices, and it is to reward doctors and hospitals for following the best procedures that have the best outcomes. host: virginia tweets in --
guest: on the profits, it is more like 30% profit and 70% claims. we have a provision in the bill that says health insurance -- insurers will have to spend at least 85% of the money that comes in on taking care of the people and only 15% on overhead and profit. on malpractice, i think we should weed out the nuisance lawsuits but someone like mosess mother should be able to be made whole. host: after we are done we will talk to the insurance commissioner of kansas. what are the reservations about doing that? everybody seems to be for it. guest: i am for it. what i don't want to have happened is that the insurance companies will rush to the states with the weakest consumer
protections, operate out of there and we have a race to the bottom. utah does not help the law that requires insurance companies to provide mammograms for women. not part of their standard benefit package. presumably they could offer insurance a little bit cheaper. it is conceivable that everybody would become a utah insurance company and sell in new york, new jersey, and california, and a woman who thinks her mammogram is going to be covered will wake up and find it is not. i'm for competition across state lines with some standard of consumer protection. look, if you sell an insurance policy anywhere, it has to cover mammograms, it has to say that when a lady has a baby by see section -- c-section, she has to be able to stay to the hospital
until her doctor says she has to go. host: meridian, mississippi on our independent line. rose, good morning. caller: i wanted to tell you, mr. andrews, americans, we do want this bill. you need to work and work your tail and off for people like me to get this bill pushed through. as far as tort reform, i lived in texas for many years and i know they had a form of tort reform and there are 1.6 million people in texas without insurance and the rates are probably the highest in the country in taxes -- texas. i have a husband who this january was diagnosed with hereditary liver cancer. he just had surgery, he spent over a month in the hospital due to complications.
i have a 30-day caught off for my insurance that a paid for so i am looking at thousands of dollars in medical bills. if you'd think this cannot happen to you, it can. guest: just for the grace of god for any of us. you are the reason we need to pass this bill. i don't hear you saying you want free health care. i am not hearing you say you want a handout. i am not hearing you saying you want a government takeover. what i'm hearing you saying is your husband's got really sick and you should not lose everything you had because he got really sick. we agree with you, and we think there should be reasonable were rules that say that insurance companies can't cut you off from most of benefits. we think there should be reasonable prices so you can afford to continue to have those benefits. rose, we are committed to using the best ideas from both parties and getting this done. host: would you be in favor of a
series of small bills to achieve what you would like to achieve the rather than the all or nothing approach? guest: i don't think a series of small bills would solve the problem. let us take rose's case. her husband now has a pre- existing condition, this cancer problem. if we passed a law that says you could not deprive her husband of care or could not raise his premiums because of that, it does not work, it would raise everybody else's premium unless there are a lot of people in the insurance pool. the only people -- way to get a lot of people in the insurance pool is to get a lot more people covered. the only way to get a lot more people covered is the controversy report of the bill -- to come up with the funding, either through reductions in wasteful spending or new revenues would cover other people. i thought one of the most telling part of the summit yesterday, at the very end of the president said to everyone,
look, do you agree or disagree that we just -- have to get just about everyone covered in order to reduce the costs for people who have insurance? the republicans had been quoted frequently throughout this debate saying getting everyone covered is essential to reducing cost for those who have insurance. he turned to them and said, what are your ideas? they kind of went mute. the last part of the debate we heard a couple more speeches about what they did not like about the bill but the fact of the matter is, the one plan the republicans put forward to cover people only cover is 3 million out of the 47 million uninsured people. i think rose and her husband are the reason we need to get it done. host: do you think the democrats and the house or senate have procedurally or politically made any mistakes -- guest: sure, we have. i think we should have had a session like yesterday at a lot
sooner. i think we could have incorporated some republican ideas a little sooner. sure, we have made mistakes. but i think our mistakes should not be an impediment toward making the situation better for people like rosa and her husband. as john dingell said yesterday, the only perfect piece of legislation in human history was handed to moses on mount sinai. i think every other bill that any of their legislative body in the world has passed is flawed and imperfect, and so is this one. host: senator john mccain on "good morning america" said congressional republicans are willing to negotiate changes in the health-care system with president obama but only on a step-by-step basis. he went on to say it is time to start over. guest: that is what we heard all day yesterday. i think it is time to take the best ideas of both parties, put them in a bill, put the bill on the floor, have an honest and open debate and let people take
a vote on it. i guess the question i would ask, which steps does senator mccain want? what steps does he want that would cover the 47 million uninsured? what step does he want to reduce the fraud and waste in medicare? he offered an amendment in the senate debate that would have taken all of the medicare reductions out of the bill, as i understand it. his own party, -- he himself has said getting the fraud and waste out of the medicare system is an urgent priority. it seems like the urgency has fallen by the wayside lately. host: houston, chris, republican. guest: good morning, how are you? caller: good morning, congressman andrews. thank you for taking my call. congressman, i understand the democratic position regarding health care reform and i also understand the democratic plan is to tax the american people
for 10 full years and only providing health-care coverage for a fraction of the time did i and an insurance agent in -- and if i told the client i would make them pay for 10 years and only give them six years of coverage, i would get laughed at. secondly, what are we going to do when the treasury bubble bursts and china wants us to repay our debt? furthermore, what will happen 10 years from now when medicare is bankrupt and social security is on a similar path and we need even more funding to continue on with all of these entitlements? where will we get the funding from that? from god or moses? guest: those are good questions. let me try to answer them. the plan is a permanent plan, not just for five years or 10 years. the congressional budget office has looked at this over a 20- year period and said that there will be about $1 trillion of deficit reductions over a 20- year period. in other words, the cuts and revenues will offset the new
spending by about $1 trillion over 20 years. this five-year and 10-year, all of those add up according to the neutral referee. secondly, as far as the bubble bursting, you are right, the bubble will burst if we don't get entitlements spending under control. and the plan that we have on the table takes almost a half a trillion dollars of reductions in entitlement spending and get them under control. and i think that is the way to get this done. and it is the way to put ourselves in the position where the medicare trust fund will be replenished. finally, i've got to say that our legislation extends the life of the medicare trust fund by seven or eight years. a pretty good start. host: senator barrasso yesterday at the summit said 50% of government expenditure on health care can be attributed to 5% of the population.
guest: that is true. host: diabetes, smoking, etcetera. guest: that is true. something we have to do. who has not what to their mother or father in the last eliot -- natomas of their life in a hospital for seven attendees? the senator can say that, but what is he suggesting? that would limit and of life care? we want to do the opposite of that. of course, it is true, that in medicare, most of the care is end of life care because that is when people are really sick and they are on a ventilator oregon sun -- or some other kind of machine. it is an interesting fact but i would never want to support any a lot or any decision that would limit and of life care. i think that decision should be made by families and doctors and religious advisers -- priests, rabbis, whatever. host: stickley bill, new jersey,
marie, a democrat. -- sicklerville, new jersey. caller: thank you so much for fighting so hard for us. guest: she is my employer. i represent sicklerville. caller: i want to say how impressed i was with the president. the two times i have seen him what the republicans, he is head and shoulders over the republicans and that is why he did not want to go to this particular thing and calling it a set up and everything. he gives as good as he gets, and he is smart and gracious. i was very impressed with him. host: what would you suggest as a next step? caller: reconciliation. guest: murray, first of all, i
am very impressed with the president, too -- marie. i think he treated everyone with respect yesterday and i think he was treated with respect. i am proud of the way he conducts himself. i think it is great we have a president, who without notes, can sit there and talk in great detail about policy problems of the day and the president was the graciousness and strength of character to listen to pretty tough attacks on him and take it in good spirits and nature. i think that is a great trade for a president. host: congressman, could you give us a little sense of what it was like off of the dias, behind-the-scenes? did you talk to any republicans? guest: i talked to senator mccain. i have true respect for him. i think he is a great american hero. it was almost like a conference or a convention of people all in
the same business, or a retreat. you ever have those retreats where a company would have, they would have the will sales force go out to a resort over the weekend? it had the same field to it. we all road the same bus, bipartisan bus. they had a lunch. it was actually a lot of fun. and a lot of the people use all going at it over the issues, on the bus they were talking about the olympic hockey team and talking about their kids. one thing people really need to understand, is as intensely as we sometimes disagree over the issues in congress, most of the members most of the time are very friendly with each other on a personal level. that is why the institution can function. i have great affection for most of the people with whom i served. host: carl, independent line from missouri. guest: good morning. caller: about the summit
yesterday. i am a small business owner in st. louis, i employ three or four people sometimes part-time. my biggest complaint is, i cannot afford insurance for them, so it is hard for me to keep help. i watched the summit. i kind of think that obama had his mind made up before he went in there. he looked like he was listening to the republicans, but i don't think he was. and as far as but senator keeps putting got into the picture, he has nothing to do with it, -- as far as the senator who kept putting god into it. guest: what we are trying to do in this plan for your small business is to give you the ability to buy health insurance, if you want to -- we are not requiring you to do this for
your employees as a small business -- but if you want to, we are trying to give you the same buying power that lockheed martin or microsoft or the federal government has in the health-care market. so that you will get a better discount and a better deal. a business your size with three or four employees would not be required to do anything. so, if you wanted to provide health insurance with your employees, you would, and if you didn't, you did not have to. if you decided to do it, we wanted to assure you had the same buying power of a big business would get. host: that was one of the issues you discussed yesterday in the summit, insurance exchanges and small businesses. the last call, erie, pennsylvania. alex, republican. guest: good morning. i last family is from -- pennsylvania, if you know where that is. caller: that is nice to hear. guest: right in the neck of your woods. guest: of --
caller: that is nice to hear. i just one of the congressman to clarify the number 47 million. i'm not sure where you get your information but according to a lot of information i found in the public domain, there are about 12 million in legal people that are not american citizens yet, 2 million in between jobs looking for work where there is a lapse of two or three months, 6 million under the age of 13, and 14 million better eligible for medicare who do not take advantage of it. so that leaves about 15 million uninsured. and every time i hear, even during the summit, the democrats talk about it it sounds like people are down by the river dying in the streets without medicine, and i don't think it is true. guest: alex, let me sort of
walking through my understanding. there are eight or nine undocumented people and my plan does not cover that -- our plan does not cover them. there are a number of people who are between jobs, i think it is more than two or 3 million, and they are uninsured and are plan helps them with health insurance at a reasonable rates. there's about 4 million or 5 million who are older kids, 22, 23-year-olds, and our plan and the republican plan would let them stay on their parents' plan if the parents opt for that. that doesn't leave you, if i am counting right, 34 million or 35 million hard-core -- that makes 30 million hard-core uninsured, and that is the " our plan tries to address, according to the congressional budget office. .
serious problem host: coming up, weevil talk about campaign finance. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> i come from latin america. i was never expecting to find this kind of poverty in the capital of the u.s.. >> a photographer and filmmaker about "in the shadow of power" sunday on q&a. >> he is best known for his novel 1984 and this weekend, george orwell with george packer and christopher hitchens, part
of c-span2's book tv weekend. over 157,000 hours of c-span video now available to you. it is fast and free. try it out at cs down video -- c-spanvideo.org. host: joining us from kansas city is sandy praeger, the c- span -- the kansas city insurance regulator. we want to talk to her about what her job is. commissioner praeger, if you would explain what a state insurance commissioner does. guest: we regulate all of the insurance sold in our states, but policies, the companies and individuals making the sales. we are there to be a voice for the consumer if they are having difficulties. insurance is a legal document, a
contract and a promise to pay. we are essentially there to make sure the promise to pay is upheld. host: is there anything unique in kansas lot about health care insurance? -- in kansas law about health care insurance? guest: we have numerous statutes that have been put there by members of our legislature. insurance, especially health insurance, is prone to consumer activism. people that think certain disease states or certain procedures should be included, come to the legislature and ask to have those mandated in their insurance policy. each state varies somewhat in the things that have to be covered by their health insurance policies. it is different than property and casualty.
host: one of the issues that was discussed a lot yesterday at the health care summit was selling insurance over state lines. in fact, secretary of sebelius, your former governor and insurance commissioner of kansas had this to say. >> the exchanges have a lot in similarity with health plans that have been talked about in the house and senate. there is a big difference, and it is not a washington difference. it is a state difference. the state insurance carriers across the country have unanimously oppose health plans for decades. they feel that it takes people -- it is not the pooling that is objectionable. it is the fact that there is no consumer protection. there is no ability to apply common sense rules. we have the drive by deliveries where people were being kicked out of the hospital 18 hours after having a baby in kansas, only to be readmitted with
jaundice and dehydration. it is not a particularly good idea. getting rid of pre-existing conditions, getting rid of caps on a yearly benefits and longtime benefits, allowing kids tuesday on plans are ideas -- allowing kids to stay on plans are ideas that give small- business owners and individual choice and competition. host: that was not really about selling insurance over state lines, but she did make some points that we would like to hear from you about. guest: if i could go i will talk a little bit about selling across state lines. host: absolutely. guest: as she pointed out, insurance regulators across the country are opposed to this, and this is the reason. we're there to protect consumers. we are there to be a voice for consumers in this insurance industry. if a company is allowed to go to
a state with the least amount of consumer protections, get their policies approved there, and come into my state, i cannot regulate that company because they did not get that product approved in my state. they will seek out those states with the least amount of consumer protection, and when a consumer has the vehicle to getting something paid for, who do they go to? the commissioner in the state where the product was approved? probably not. they will come to us and our hands will be tied. the other issue is, who wants a limited benefit, low-cost plan? somebody who thinks they probably do not have much in the way of health care needs. those are the younger, healthier folks. they will opt to buy something like that. the rest of the plant in my state have to comply with the laws that our legislature has put in place. those plans will quite
necessarily attract the sicker population. it destabilizes the market. in need that help your folks buy the cheaper policy -- it means that healthier folks buy the cheaper policy. and as they become less healthy, they will have to look for others and those policies destabilize the market. it takes away by a protections. host: senator feinstein has proposed of almost a federal commissioner to oversee insurance companies. what is your reaction to that? guest: have not seen the language of the proposal, but i know we have talked with hhs and with secretary sebelius. i think one of the things they're looking at is the potential for some great oversight. -- rate oversight. if we work together with hhs for some baseline standard for rate
approval, that could be helpful. but you do not want to remove rate approval from the state regulator, who also has insolvency rights. it is inextricably linked to the company's right to remain solvent. the low premium me just the company does not have sufficient free -- though premium means theñi company does not have sufficient freedom of funds to stay solvent. we are certainly willing to work with hhs in terms of setting some minimum standards that states should have in place to oversee rates. that means going to the state legislatures and asking for that additional authority in the states that need it. host: 202 is the area code for
all of our phone numbers if you want to call in and talk to the kansas insurance commissioner, sandy praeger. xññiour first call for you, commissioner praeger, is from dallas on the democrats line, david, please go ahead. david, are you with us? caller:ñr yes, i am. thank you, c-span. i first want to say hello to the insurance commissioner there. i am an independent democrat. my wife is from bogota, colombia, and we had a marathon watching this thing yesterday. i'm in medical sales and i work for pfizer here in dallas. we have over 600 physicians. i took at a day off just to watch this. host: david, could you get your
point? caller: yes, my point is that in medical sales we do collection and going at my office and, even at my office, i do not have insurance. we have over 600 physicians at our office. i cannot afford our insurance. host: what would a state like kansas do for someone like david or someone who does not have insurance? áe)q effort here market place is directed at people like david. we need to get everyone into the system. the whole issue of insurance is pulling. the more you have -- the whole issue of insurance is pooling. the more people you have, the more affordable unstable they become over time. there has been discussion over
helping people who cannot afford their insurance with subsidies. i do not know if david would qualify for those, but there are a number of provisions in the legislation that is being looked at that aims to address the rising health insurance premium. the next step in health reform, though, is going to have to be looking at health care costs because that is what is driving all of this. the premiums are a reflection of the increasing health care costs. it is the wonderful drugs that pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies develop that keep us out of the hospital, and that is great. but as we develop newer technologies and drugs, we have more people utilizing those and the cost does necessarily go up. finding ways to bring those costs under control and not damage the quality of health care is the next challenge. host: does kansas do anything ibarra pooling to and what is
your -- do anything about pooling and what is your attitude towards it? guest: most agree it needs some new rules. in our individual market, we still have difficulty with some people that have a pre-existing condition not been able to afford the coverage provided. we have a high risk pool in kansas that does provide good coverage. it is expensive. it is subsidized by the insurance companies, health insurance companies that sell in our state. we have used the high risk pool mechanism as a way of providing coverage for those folks that cannot afford it, but really need it because of pre-existing conditions. ñihost: and we have a tweet here just to further this line of questioning.
guest: i like the idea of state- based exchanges. we like the senate version because it does allow states to develop their own exchanges. the exchange commission is the way for individuals to do comparative shopping. that means making sure that the information that is on the exchange is apples to apples comparison. we are looking a greater standardization of the language around medical loss ratio. how much does a medical company paid out in medical claims verses what it reserves for profit and administrative costs? i think that is important to know when you are buying insurance. getting greater standardization of the insurance information that would go on the exchange is going to be really important. but the exchange could be a
valuable tool in doing comparative shopping, and the more comparati/- shopping you can do, the more competition you are encouraging. and competition can, in fact, keepok rates at an affordable level without artificially trying to drive them down and putting companies in economic peril. host: but again, you see that competition on a state-by-state basis, correct? ñiguest: yes, i domy because of health insurance today is really moreçó about prepaid medical and fámanyg# health insurance planw hav/ networks of providers. organizations. those networks are local. it would be very difficult to buy a planñi that relied on network contract iing. if you're buying a policy, you would want to make sure that your hospital is in the network.
it works best at the state level. health care delivery systems vary across the country. the cost of health care varies across the country based on labor costs and the like. the health insurance and health care is really local. that is why we think it is so important that we retain the ability to regulate those plans and policies for our consumers. host: cal in cookevilleñi, tenn. caller: i am an insurance agent and the reason i'm calling you is, there are a couple of things that have happened in tennessee that i think you may want to have happen, too. our former governor created a program that they thought was going to be the end of all ends, but found out they could not afford it. that is the problem i have with this federal program. i think we are getting into
something that could bankrupt this country. that is another thing i want to talk about is pre-existing conditions. a lot of companies have pre- existing conditions and the reason why is they do not want people not buying health insurance. it is just like you having homeowners insurance. if you have it, of course you are covered in case of a fire. but i do not have to buy hancocthe insurance. i think there should be some changes and proposals. -- in another proposal. a lot of people want to be covered for 18 months or a certain period of time. host: sandy praeger? guest: i remember when 10 care was rolled out and it was an ambitious program and i think
they did try to enroll too many people too quickly. they have struggled with 10 care in tennessee. i am not as familiar with the program today, but i know in the early years when they were getting 10 care started they tried to do too much, too fast. i think that is a good caution in trying to get the uninsured into the system. there is concern that if we get the 30 million that is anticipated in this senate proposal, if you get that many new people into the system, will we have the primary care providers to provide this service? i think caution going forward is certainly warranted, and making sure that whatever reforms are implemented are implemented over a certain time frame. the pre-existing condition issue is a big one.
it is in the house and senate version. i think there is broad agreement that it would be great to get rid of the pre-existing condition exclusion, but as the caller pointed out, you cannot buy homeowner's insuranceñi when your house is burning. to wait until your sick to buy health insurance would mean that health insurance is very costly because you would just be ensuring -- insuring sick people. you have to mandate coverage and then you get everyone in the pool and he could manage the costs. a -- and you could manage the costs. the first part of pre-existing condition exclusions, i think there is broad agreement. it would be great. the next two areas would be perhaps more complicated in trying to get everyone covered and getting those subsidies in place. we currently do have the pre-
existing condition situation where there aren't look back -- are look-back periods. there are ailments that you disclose on that form that will not be covered for a certain time frame, as the caller mentioned. i think it would be great if we could get rid of the old pre- existing condition exclusion altogether, but i know we would have to do the next two things, require everyone to have coverage and have meaningful subsidies for those who cannot afford it. host: the next call for sandy praeger comes from don in dayton, ohio. caller: i am a former small business owner and i actually wrote the checks for health insurance for my employees. as i tried to reduce costs over and over again, there was always a roadblock set up. i was born in 1945, and lo and behold, i googled why you could
not sell insurance across state lines and it was the mccarran- ferguson act of 1945, which let insurance companies not come under the sherman antitrust act. if you were to take this curtain down, i could see war in norfolk -- i could see warren buffett starting a geico for health insurance in this country as well. there cannot be any competition as long as this lot is up there. host: commissioner praeger? guest: actually, the mccarran- ferguson pre-emption for insurance companies has -- may already be a thing of the past. it has been voted on in one chamber of congress already. but the mccarran-ferguson act exemption for insurance companies was really more about sharing data and the concern
that companies were colluding on price setting and price-fixing. first of all, we do not think that is happening. and if it is, we currently have the authority to regulate against those things. but the issue of selling across state lines, as i said earlier, is more the issue of having a company go to a state with the fewest consumer protections and get their product licensed there and then come to my state and compete unfairly because my state companies have to abide by state laws, which are going to be more consumer protecting them a policy that is approved in a state with fewer protections. it is a race to the bottom. we saw what happened when financial service companies like aig able to pick their own regulator enand they probably dd
not have sufficient regulatory authority over a large conglomerate like aig. we are fearful that the same thing could happen in health insurance, that lack of oversight could lead to companies not paying claims and consumers left holding the bag and state regulators not been able to do much about it. it is all about christopher -- all about consumer protection. host: christopher in brooklyn. caller: i really have two points, and one is concerned with removing professionals from these business concerns and making it a purely political matter. mickey mantle received a liver transplant after being a lifelong paulick and being well into his 70's -- lifelong
chocoholialchoholic and being wo his 70's. that cannot be a rational decision. who pays? we all look to retirement. we do have things like medical payment accounts that allow people to defer medical costs in society that they would otherwise incur. i will take my answer off the air. guest: first of all, i agree that we do not want to remove insurance professionals from the decision making process, and especially the agent community -- the aging community. one advantage of having those exchanges is that those will also be available for your local
insurance agent to assist u.n. to your agent in making -- to assist you and your agent in making comparative shopping decisions. we do not want to remove insurance professionals from this part of the equation. things like liver transplants, there are things like tumor registries and boards that make decisions about who is eligible for transplants and i do not see anything here that is going to change that. held savings accounts -- health savings accounts and setting up plants to help pay for expenses, nothing in the plans i have seen would eliminate the age as a -- the hsa in helping to afford -- provide affordable coverage. host: do think state run insurance boards would create an
inefficient system when it comes to health care? guest: you mean high risk pools? host: because there are 50 different boards addressing the issue, in essence. guest: there have been concerns expressed about the fact that insurance companies have to go to each of the states to get there -- they're products licensed -- to get their products licensed. but their legislatures -- but there are legislators with in the states that get the kinds of products that there constituents want -- that their constituents want. some states might be adding benefits. the four other states, it would be eliminating benefits that those state legislatures have beeput in place. the senator from wyoming who was
the chair of the health, education, and pensions committee before the leadership change, he is a republican, senator lindsay worked to try to create an opera 74 small businesses -- to create an opportunity for small businesses. it has been an issue for state legislatures to retain the authority to determine what is sold in their states. there are ways to create standards. we do that through national associations. we develop models and encourage things for state regulators to take back to their states and get enacted, things like internal health decisions and a whole variety of models that can help standardize the process. but again, it comes back to the state legislators and state legislatures that determine what
kind of health insurance policies they want sold in their states. i believe we have tried to address that with standard benefit packages. it has been difficult. host: madison, miss johnson -- madison wisconsin, mike, you are on with sandy praeger. caller: i cannot thank c-span enough. for over a year i have been telling people, name the federal law that prevents insurance companies from selling state law across -- from selling insurance across state lines. this is the first time i've heard that is the 10th amendment. thank you so much for letting the people know that there is no democratic law that makes this happen. thank you for bringing that to our attention. i do not understand why small- business is not on board with reforming the system? -- with reforming the system.
i have never come across anyone who said, i do not want to pay for health care. all i want to have happen is that the $163 and i spent a month on my premium, like i did two months ago and i go to the doctor for the stomach flu, it cost me $1,200 for tests. after paying $163 for two years after never going to the doctor, i still have to pay $1,200. guest: the caller just emphasizes that health insurance is the way repair -- the way we pay for health care. and as a health care costs go up, the ability to pay for it just becomes more difficult and more of the cost of health care is being shifted back to the individual because it is not comprehensively covered by the insurance policy. as we try to keep our insurance premiums low, unfortunately,
some employers do that by shifting more of the burden on to the individual through higher copays and deductibles. that is what our caller has experienced. host: the last call for sandy praeger comes from texas, tony, independent line. caller: my question is after watching yesterday on the health care summit, and they were talking about subsidies, especially medicare and medicaid, things like that, what is going to happen to the qmb's, things like that? host: what are those? caller: qualified care that helps keep the elderly out of the doughnut hole. it also helps pay 20% of the
medicare part. guest: i think congress is looking at these medicare advantage plans because there is concern that perhaps the companies that sell them are reading in -- are reading greater profits and not providing the increased quality of care that they were designed to provide. they're looking at structure and what is closing the doughnut hole that exists in the prescription drug plan for medicare managed plans that include the prescription drug plan. so, closing the dawn of whole -- closing the doughnut hole is one of the goals. bringing some more cost- effective ways of delivering services without cutting benefits. i do not think there is any discussion about reducing medicare benefits to the
beneficiaries. it is just looking at how those benefits are paid for through the private insurance companies to make sure that money that they are receiving is going to pay benefits and not just going to increase profits. host: sandy praeger is the kansas insurance commissioner. thank you for being on the "washington journal" this morning. we guest: appreciate it. it has been my pleasure -- we appreciate it. guest: wit has been my pleasure. host: coming next is thomas hoenig from the federal reserve bank. >> your some of the latest headlines. president obama highlights the role of historically black colleges today. the president will make remarks and sign an executive order for the white house initiative on historically black colleges and universities. that event takes place later
today in the east room of the white house. also making remarks, vice- president biden. he will propose retirement savings. the safeway to protect workers from conflicts of interest in their dealings with at financial advisor to manage their accounts. the white house will also consider policies of giving of contracts to companies that offer good benefits and generous pay. but others say it would shut out smaller businesses to compete for contracts. unions say too many jobs financed by government contracts come with low wages and limited benefits and support companies that violate employment laws. more violence in afghanistan today. afghan president hamid karzai is conducting suicide attacks in the capital that killed at least 17 people, including indian citizens, saying the strikes will not heard afghan-indian
relations. today's attacks started two guesthouses in kabul where most of the guests were indian. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> i come from latin america. i am accustomed to see poverty. i was never expecting to find this kind of poverty in the capital of the u.s. >> it photographer and filmmaker on a different side of the nation's capital. "in the shadow of power," sunday on c-span's q&a. >> he is best known for his novel "animal farm" and "1984." kordell -- george orwell on afterwards, part of c-span2's book tv weekend. >> "washington journal" continues. host: on your screen is thomas hoenig, president of the federal reserve bank of kansas city. dr. hoenig, what is the role of
the federal reserve when it comes to regulating banks? guest: the role of the rhetoric -- federal reserve is a multifaceted in the regulation of banks. first, it does have a an oversight for financial stability, and that involves all of major financial institutions in the country. more specifically it has a supervisory authority where it actually oversees the activities and the books of all the major bank holding companies in the country, and state banks that choose to be part of the federal reserve system. this gives us a hands-on information about conditions in the financial and banking industry. i call it the eyes of the federal reserve as we deal with the banks across the country, not just on wall street, but in other parts of the country like in our region, in the center of the country. is the central two-hour role in
ensuring the financial stability -- is thessential to r role in ensuring the financial stability of the country. i considered an essential function of the federal reserve. host: what is the legislation being considered by the senate banking committee that would alter that role, and what is your opinion of that legislation? guest: i have not seen the legislation yet. but i've learned through conversations with individuals in the senate and, of course, with the media, that proposals contemplate taking the federal reserve out of its supervisory role at this time, or in the near future. i think that is a tragic mistake. as i said, it takes the eyes away from the federal reserve and knowing what is going on in america. not just on wall street, but middle america -- for example, right now, we know that federal banks have issues in our part of a country with commercial real
estate. we're also concerned about small business lending. by having examiners involved, we are gathering intelligence information on what is causing that and it is partly the recession, partly pressures on these banks because they are dealing with -- partly capital pressures on these banks because they are dealing with loans. we're looking at ways to allow them, for example, to restructure loans that does not allow them to hide the problem, but the with the problem. you cannot do that from a distance. you have to be involved on an ongoing, daily, what i called "de" basis. that is what i hope the senate would not -- what i call "deep" basis. that is not what what i hope the
would not do. i think that could have a very bad outcome for banks in the country. host: ben bernanke referred yesterday to short-term political liability for this. guest: i think he is absolutely correct. people tend, under these kinds of conditions, to one to blame someone. the problem with that is there are plenty of people to blame. we deregulated the industry. the congress deregulated the industry. there was a culture, if you will, of deregulation. and this encouraged some of what i call speculative activities that led to the bubbles and then the collapse. yes, you had this reaction. i think it is an overreaction, and the outcome would be -- as you try to blame someone you get
worse outcomes rather than better outcomes, and i think that is what the chairman was trying to communicate. host: does the banking committee and the members, are they right to be angry at the fete at all? guest: if they're going to be angry, i think they have to be angry at everyone, including themselves. they allow these organizations to get bigger and more risk oriented. and yes, and regulatory agencies because of this culture -- the regulatory agencies because of this culture kind of backed off, if you will. but i also will say that in that kind of environment -- one of the things that i propose is that we need to have clear rules of the road. and that is, we need to reintroduce a simple, understandable rules around capitoal and liquidity and we
need to be able to say, these are the standards. if you tell a supervisor that generally we want things to be good and you go into a bank and you look at the bank's books and you say, this looks like a concentration of credit, could be a problem in the future, they will say, look at the performance of this portfolio. it is paid off. and we can sell these assets because they are in the expansion phase. if you have clear ratios, you can say, no, you cannot have -- if your boy to grow your balance, if you also have to have more capital, specifically in this ratio. and then you say, over that you make adjustments, that becomes counter cyclical and the outcomes are less advantageous under those conditions. those are the things we have to go back to. we have to diagnose this problem correctly. and rearranging who is the
supervisor and take away from the federal reserve and who is going to be in their place? those are the kinds of questions you have to ask and answer before you take this responsibility away from the federal reserve. host: we are putting the numbers up on the screen if you would like to talk with dr. thomas hoenig, president of the federal reserve bank of kansas city. e-mails and tweet as well. we will put those addresses up. what is your job as president of the kansas city federal reserve? guest: as president of the kansas city federal reserve, i have multiple duties, like inacio would have. i am involved in monetary
policy. -i am a voting member every third year, as i am this year. that is a major responsibility for me. secondly, i have responsibility for oversight and supervision activities, although, those activities are vested with a board of governors in washington. those employees report the information on the governors, but i manage the operation, if you will. >> for your -- host: for your region? guest: for western missouri, nebraska, kansas, oklahoma, wyoming, colorado, and new mexico. and thirdly, our bank processes payments. we are, in terms of wire transfers, large money transactions. we processed small electronic transactions through our bank. and that is a major operation.
we also distribute cash for our regional banks. so, multiple responsibilities with that job. host: is it necessary in your view in the 21st century to have the fed divided into regions anymore? guest: absolutely, more important than ever. i tell people in 1913 when the federal reserve was formed, there was no need for a 12 region system. the federal reserve system is the third central bank of the united states. the first two were monolithic organizations and they failed because they were not distributed across the country. the federal reserve is a product, if you will, of main street's distrust of concentrated financial power. they were very uneasy with it concentrated in washington. or just concentrated in wall street. so, the compromise in order to
give confidence in the central bank and to address fears, if you will, they distributed power across these other 11 banks aside from the federal reserve in new york. we have boards of directors that come from all walks of life and across every region, from agriculture, technology, from labor. that is essential to the input and feedback that goes -- it is more critical in these trying times to have that network and the communication stream, up and back, then it has ever been. i cannot emphasize that enough to the american people. host: this was in the "financial times" this morning. guest: i think that is a bit
extreme. i am very concerned about the debt levels of the united states. i'm very concerned about the federal deficit, very concerned about the total debt, as has been noted by others. depending on your assumptions about the economy, the federal debt will grow at an unsustainable level starting immediately or in a very few years. we do have significant private debt. so, that is in place, and what worries me about that is that it puts pressure on the federal reserve to keep interest rates artificially low end to deal with that debt. that will only make the problem worse. are we necessarily going to have a crisis in five years? no, there are actions that we can take. the administration outlined with the congress -- i know they have a commission they have set up to deal with the process. secondly, we will have to
systematically increased our savings rate so that we can find our debt and, therefore, bring down debt over time. we do not want to do it too quickly because it will reduce the great -- the growth rate in the economy, but we do have to do it. the longer we delay, the more likely that prediction is to come true. host: one more question before we go to phone calls. how much -- how independent are you and how much is ben bernanke your boss? guest: the reserve banks are set up to be independent, but the board of governors does have what they call a general oversight responsibility of the 12 banks to make sure that we are operated correctly. we are autonomous. the chairman of the federal reserve is the chairman of the board of the governors of federal reserve, and that gives him a lot of authority. but i also have a board of directors for my region, and
they are my boss as well. or, they are my boss. and they can fire me or fail to reappoint me. i think is important to have this board of directors because that brings the independent you to the open market committee, and that is why we were designed the wehrli we were -- the way we work. host: you have the longest tenure, don't you? you have been at the federal reserve since 1981 in various positions. the stake to first call. your honor with thomas hoenig -- you are on with thomas hoenig. caller: it sure is a misnomer to say that they have federal oversight of them banks when you are not even federer. uri private bank. i'm working -- you are not even
federal. view are a private bank. i'm working very hard to make sure that you do not have a job. the esteemed representative ron paul wants to audit the fed, something that you will of course, be vehemently against. after all, you just said that if you go into a bank and you audit and you find things that do not add up, you try to fix them. host: we get the point. the gao, ron paul, etc. guest: i get these questions often. it is interesting because of the information that comes forth because of this kind of a call -- let me just explain, first of all, representative paul has a right to his opinion.
certainly, you have a right to that view. i would say, number one, if it is caused -- if it is auditing the fed that you are interested in, the federal bank is harvested by the government accountability office. it is audited by a major auditing firm. it is audited by the treasury. our bank is actually examined by the board of governors. there is an enormous amount of auditing that goes on within the federal reserve, and if the exceptions are found, we are held accountable for that and we correct them. in terms of allegations against the chairman or anyone else, they will not be, i think, found to have any substance to them. but we welcome that review, and i think it federal reserve has encouraged the gao to take a look at it.
i understand your frustration. it is unfortunate, but also misinformed. host: are those of its public? guest: the g.a.o. audits are posted on our website. the public accounting reports are very public and are on our website. i would invite you to go to the gao website or to go to hours and look at those audits. host: have you ever had a conversation with ron paul or read his book? guest: i have not had a conversation with him. i have seen parts of his book. i know you would love to see the gold standard. -- he would love to see the gold standard. i know it is a monetary system and was thank you -- bitterly opposed by many people at the time the choice was made because of its deflationary impact.
and those are choices that the congress can make. i would not recommend them. i would encourage ron paul to look beyond his goal of ending the fed. host: georgia, your honor with dr. thomas hoenig. caller: as opposed to the first caller, i'm kind of a along some of his mind said, but i do know that you are probably one of the more same members of the fed and some of your -- one of the more sane members of the fed and some of your recent remarks have been in disagreement with mr. bernanke and his loose money policy. but the question i would like to ask, does the fed relies the terribly destructive impact you have had on sabrevers in this country by reducing interest
rates, waliñrfraudsters in this country are being rewarded? guest: i understand your frustration and one thing we're looking at is how to bring interest rates back to a long- term sustainable level from the extremely low levels. and there are differing views. i do share a different view. i think we should go back to a more normal level sooner rather than later, as i've said in my public speeches. and i think -- you know, my concern is in terms of the last time i voted, i voted on the usage of the word "extended period" because i think the economy will continue to improve
modestly. we will be ableñiçto move back o more normal rates sooner rather than later. and i do not consider necessarily our interest to ensure the markets that rates will yield play because that has the effect that also invites and sometimes excite speculative activity. that is what we have to be careful of. as we debate this, i think those are important things to bring out. in the end, hopefully we will come to the right solution at the right time. host: dr. hoenig got his master's and his ph.d. at iowa state university. how important is your relationship with congress? guest: i think they are ultimately responsible for our
being in existence. i think there is a very important relationship there and in need to be responsive to the congress of the united states. now, congress knowing that if you put the printing press with the spending, you are going to get bad outcomes, gave the federal reserve a certain degree of independence anthem structured it in a way -- of independence and the structure did in a way so that you could take a longer-term view of things from a policy perspective. it is a very important relationship, but somewhat independent from the daily pressures of politics, so that we can hopefully, over time, come up with answers for the right kind of stability for the u.s. economy. and for that matter, because our economy is so in portland -- is so important, it affects the world.
host: on a professional level, is health care reform important to you? guest: on a professional level, is certainly is. and it has to be looked at because of the future liabilities that come with medicare and with the baby boom population and during their retirement years. those are important because they will impact the budget, the fiscal deficit, and the total amount of debt outstanding that will affect monetary policy in the long run. a solution there is extremely important for all of us from a long-term economic perspective as well. as far as how and what, that is up to congress and the administration. but it is important that we solve it. host: bruce from knoxville, tennessee. caller: who is on your board of governors?
guest: on the board of governors in washington? caller: in your area. guest: oh, the board of directors. we have nine members. we have an individual from omaha who is with the labor unions, an individual from kansas city that is in the grain business, a food processor, we have a bookseller from oklahoma, a rancher from wyoming, a banker from denver, and a banker from ashland, neb., and a banker from kansas. it is a very diverse, both in geography and professions. host: why do you ask the question? caller: the reason for the question is i wanted to know if someone from the financial side, how many financial side individuals were in there. the next question i have for you, sir, is that you had
mentioned you are against what was going to be happening today, but you did not say anything about the role and the accountability of the federal bank. and another quick question -- host: we are running out of time. we will leave it right there. thanks for calling in, though. guest: the first part of your question, there are three bankers on our board of directors, and they are very important to us because they have insight into what is going on in the banking industry and they are very helpful to us. they are separated from supervisory activities. i think that is important for you to know as well. as far as accountability goes, the board of governors in washington has general oversight of our federal reserve bank and, also, the congress of the united states can change the structure, as is being discussed in one
dimension ran out, if it should decide to do so. there's a great deal of accountability of the federal reserve banks to its board of directors, that is, those people who live in that region, to the board of governors, those people who live in washington, and to the congress, those people elected by the american people. host: lake placid, washington. caller: the federal reserve is nothing but a big scam, created in 1913, to stabilize and help prevent inflation and unemployment. it has failed at both of them. what it really does is usurps money from the working class, puts it into the banking system, and does that by inflating the economy and in deflating the economy. guest: i'm sorry you feel that way, but the federal reserve's mission, as a sign by congress, is to look to the long-term
stable growth of the economy and to maintain stable prices. the economy has a lot of moving parts and we are one element of that. the nation is affected in terms of was going on fiscal policy certainly affects it, and those will all play roles. the reason you have these 12 banks across the country, and one in the center of the country, one in the south, one in the north of the country is to gather information from the broad population of those regions and feed that into the policy-making. and also, to be able to communicate back. it would be a tragedy to give that up. an economy has to have money and you can go to the gold standard, but if you look at the history, you will find they still have deflationary. i'm sorry you feel that way, but the federal reserve is really a necessary part for an
industrialized country like our own. host: there are some rumors are that he might be the next treasury secretary. do you know where those started and what do you think about them? guest: those are always fun to hear about. my job is to do a very good job as president of the federal reserve bank of kansas city. and i think to be independent- minded in that role and to put my views forward. part of that came because someone agreed with one of my views and, therefore, said i should have that job. i think a couple of callers might not agree with that as much. host: you work with the treasury secretary's? guest: i do not work closely with them. we are independent. although, i do know the secretary and i do talk to him on occasion. i do think is more important to keep the independent you out there. host: kc.frb.org is the the website. the the house is now in session.
thanks for being with us. washington, d.c., february 26, 2010. i hereby appoint the honorable henry cuellar to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, nancy pelosi, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father coughlin. chaplain coughlin: lord, our god, you award the just and hate injustice. you forgive those who repent their sins and stir compassion for those who suffer. once again, lord, during black history month you have brought to mind pitiful stories of slavery and the deep yearning of people to be free. with the craft of mass communication and the skill of good teachers, you have brought to life again powerful stories of african-american heros, scholars, artists and outstanding leaders throughout
our nation's history. much of this artistry, delightful spirit, strong determination and hard work was inspired by religious faith in you and the promise of the holy bible. peaceful resolution changed this nation forever. lord, we praise and thank you for the african-american communities across this landscape who have shared our past, bless our present culture, laughter, memorable music and so many contributions to our common good. may the african-american people continue to be a blessing, lord, upon this nation now and forever. amen. the speaker pro tempore: the
chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentlewoman from massachusetts, congresswoman tsonga. ms. tsonga: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain up to five requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio stand? mr. kucinich: good morning, mr. speaker. i request permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from ohio is recognized for one minute. mr. kucinich: "the washington post" reports that nearly $1 billion in cash suspected to include opium trade receipts or
both is moving to dubai where friends and family of president karzai has multimillion dollar villas. a number of crooked enterprises connected to the karzai family has cronyism. nearly 1,000 u.s. soldiers have died, and for what? hundreds of billions spent, and for what? to make afghanistan safe for crooks, drug dealers and crony capitalism? next thursday i will bring a privileged resolution to this house so that congress can claim our constitutional right to end this war and to bring our troops home. please support the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition?
mr. wilson: i ask permission to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for one minute. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, yesterday the president missed an important opportunity to restart the national debate on health care reform. americans who turned -- tuned into this health care summit were disappointed that they were left with the same big government health care takeover. the american people are facing waves of groundhog day as they have already rejected this type of government takeover. there are substantive alternatives to consider. republicans have offered 70 different health care bills to the washington liberal majority. with 14.8 million americans out looking for work, congress should not be taking over a health care system that will destroy jobs which the national federation of independent businesses will kill 1.6 million more jobs. it's time to come to consensus on responsible health care elements that both parties agree on and then move on to
focus job creation policies. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. best wishes for the continued success of the historically black colleges and universities of south carolina. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mrs. dahlkemper: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. dahlkemper: i rise to recognize two members of pennsylvania. harry was a world famous musician. burly was the first african-american composer claimed for his concert music and he wrote more than 200 american art songs. after his death in 1949, harry burly was largely forgotten until reverend charles kennedy of erie revised his memory. reverend kennedy, a minister and a musician, was a
distinguished community leader and president of the harry t. burly society. he championed a legacy of burly's incredible talent. sadly, reverend kennedy passed away this november. harry burly and charlts kennedy made unforgettable -- charles kennedy made unforgettable contributions to the african-american community and for every society. for black history month and every month we honor their legacy. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. poe: i ask permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. poe: the new unemployment benefit claims jumped last week to 496,000 americans. more people out of work, more people looking for those promised jobs. meanwhile, a year later we're bogged down debating the administration's $1 trillion government-run health care bill, a bill americans reject.
we need to get government off the backs of small businesses, the real creators of jobs. john marshall said an unlimited power to tax involves the power to destroy. there is a limit beyond which no institution and no person can bear taxation. tax hikes for the more federal boondoggles won't create any more jobs. leave money in the hands that earn it, the american public. meanwhile, 15 million americans are unemployed. and that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from massachusetts seek recognition? ms. tsongas: mr. speaker, i ask permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman from massachusetts is recognized for one minute to address the house. ms. tsongas: mr. speaker, americans have long demanded reliable consumer protections for goods and services. much -- led toys once found in
the marketplace, hidden fees and skyrocketing interest rates are shamefully common today with little oversight on behalf of the consumer. this failure has had the devastating -- has had devastating consequences for our nation and was one of the principle drivers of the financial crisis that resulted in a deep depression. a strong, independent consumer financial protection agency would have the ability to rein in the worst practices of the big credit card companies, banks and other large financial institutions. placing the consumer on a level playing field. it would also help responsible institutions like community banks and credit card -- credit unions by requiring their competitors in the market -- unregulated shadow banking rule to play by the same consumer rules. i call on the senate to follow the house's lead in including a strong consumer rights agency and financial reform. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i rise to
address the house for one minute and to ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute to address the house. mr. olson: mr. speaker, i rise today to discuss nasa funding. the president's proposed budget would end the constellation program and shift funds to private companies. effectively killing united states human space flight. this shift to the private sector is not a taxpayer savings. the federal government has already spent $9 billion on nasa's constellation program. the new budget proposes to spend an additional $2.5 billion to kill the constellation and billions more will be spent on un-- private sector entities. so we're wasting $11.5 billion to ensure that america's 50-year reign as the global leader in human space flight is over. the president's budget does not
even cut nasa's funding. it simply shifts funds dedicated to actual human space flight to unproven commercial entities, forcing us to re invent the wheel on human space flight. it's not good for america's future. i urge my colleagues to join me to support efforts to restore constellation funding. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute to address the house. mr. baca: thank you very much, mr. speaker. one year ago last week, the president signed the recovery act, a comprehensive bill that reinvested in the american's work force, an event that my colleagues on the other side have rallied against since president obama took office. the facts simply don't back them up. in the first quarter of 2009, our economy was losing 726,000
jobs, and i state, a month. and now it's largely due to the recovery act, the number has been reduced to 35,000 last quarter. the fact is the c.b.o. states that the recovery act created, i state, created 2.4 million jobs for the year of 2009. the recovery act also provided, also provided $120 billion in tax cuts for 95% of working families. that's 95% of working families and that's a tax cut. going forward we must continue to build off this recovery act. that includes passing meaningful job creation legislation that will help small businesses and reduce the unemployment. it also includes continuing focus on the infrastructure projects and promoting energy efficiency initiatives. finally, that means we must pass meaningful health care reform. i yield back the minutes i have left. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from west virginia seek recognition?
mr. rahall: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from west virginia is recognized for one minute. mr. rahall: mr. speaker, the bible tells us for everything there is a season. surely that includes time to work and a time to rest. since 1979, i've had the privilege and indeed the honor of working with the west virginians who has had an extraordinary time for working with me for the people of southern west virginia. vicky was born in our hometown of beckly, west virginia, came to our nation's capital three decades ago. she began her long career serving the state she loves. this week she retires from her career serving as my deputy chief of staff. vicky, as we say back home, was raised right by her parents. but the truest power her parents gave her was her active faith. far from being left at the church steps on sunday mornings, vicky's faith never tires. she has carried that throughout her career working on my staff and working for the people of southern west virginia.
our mission, of course, is larger, filling the giant void in vicky's absence. i'm sure that we will have a hard task to do in our office, but we will do it for the people of west virginia and for vicky's continuing legacy of working for those people. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. cardoza: by the direction of the committee on rules, i call up house resolution 1113 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 165. house resolution 1113. resolved, that during furg consideration of the bill, h.r. 2701, to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2010 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the united states government, the community management account, and the central intelligence agency retirement and disability
system, and for other purposes, pursuant to house resolution 1105, amend number 1 printed in house report 111-419 shall be considered as modified by striking the matter proposed to be inserted as section 506. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for one hour. mr. cardoza: thank you, mr. speaker. for the purposes of debate only, i yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. dreier. all time yielded during consideration of the rule is for debate only. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. .7 c16 c13 the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. cardoza: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cardoza: the resolution provides for further consideration of h.r. 2701, the intelligence authorization act for fiscal year 2010. the rule modifies amendment
number 1 printed in house report 111-119 by striking the matter proposed to be inserted as section 506. mr. speaker, the intelligence authorization act provides much needed policy guidance for the 16 agencies that comprise the intelligence community. at the same time, this bill improves accountability and helps to prevent the often disastrous consequences that faulty intelligence and misinformation to congress can have on national security. this bill is vitally important because it recognizes the fundamental reality that solid intelligence is our nation's first line of defense against terrorists. this congress has not re-authorized the intelligence bill in four years. but funding in this bill provides our intelligence agencies with tools, resources, and authorities they need to keep us safe. for example, it increases funding for humint intelligence selection and
counterintelligence activities. it makes significant investments in cybersecurity safety while also improving language capabilities in the intelligence community. furthermore, it fully authorizes the president's budget request for the intelligence community programs and operations. the rule we are debating this morning is the second rule the house has considered. yesterday we heard impassioned arguments from both sides of the aisle regarding an amendment from mr. mcdermott on actions of the intelligence community officers in the field and their criminal liability. today we are moving ahead with the authorization bill without that language because it's important to keep this bill moving forward. the president has issued guidelines on this subject. it deserves to be considered by this body. however we are four years overdue on re-authorization and our intelligence community cannot wait any longer. i urge my colleagues to support this rule so that we can continue the business of protecting america's families. no american should ever face harm because this body could
not do its job and this bill needs to move forward. thank you, mr. speaker. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. dreier: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i want to begin by expressing my appreciation by my -- from my rules committee colleague, the gentleman from atwater, and i yield myself such time as i may consume. as we proceed with our customary 30 minutes. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized. mr. dreier: mr. speaker, my friend has just gone through as was the case yesterday when mr. hastings, the gentleman from fort lauderdale, was managing the rule on his side, the importance of dealing with our nation's intelligence. and we obviously have since this bill came to the forefront last year in dealing with a wide range of very serious challenges. the shooting at fort hood which
the speaker pro tempore understands very well took place in his state of texas. the great trip that existed on christmas day when abdue ma tala posed a threat and thanks to the fact that his device did not go off and even more important than that the fact that we were able to see these courageous passengers come forward and prevent this man from posing a threat to all of those onboard, and then, of course, the arrests of those who posed a terrorist threat. azazi and david hedley and there are many other instances that have not been in the headlines, but those three which i have just mentioned have developed since last summer when this bill first came forward. mr. speaker, what is happening
today is, unfortunately, a very disturbing trend. we have had some records set by this congress. and frankly since speaker pelosi has been leading this congress and the last congress. last year we went through the entire, entire calendar year, the first session of the hetcht congress, without a -- heaven -- 111th congress without a single open rule. never before in the now 221 year history of the republic we had that take place. we in fact in the last three years have, save the appropriations process in the first two years of speaker pelosi's leadership, we have had a grand total, mr. speaker, of one open rule.
and now today we seem to be establishing another very disturbing and unfortunate record. it seems to me as we look at legislation in its first stage, which is where we are right now, in its first stage we are now considering not the second rule as my friend from atwater has said in his opening remarks, but in fact the third rule because this legislation last july was reported out of the rules committee. we had a rule. on july 3 we had a statement that came forward from the administration that leveled a very, very harsh criticism of the bill itself. now, we have gone through a wide range of measures that have been very important, and many that are less than important in the last eight months, and yet we have not considered this very important intelligence bill. my friend from atwater has
talked about how critically important it is. if that were the case in the eyes of the majority it would have seemed to me last july we would have dealt with this bill since it's been four years since we had an intelligence authorization measure. now, the language which has just been stricken from this bill, it was one of 21 amendments, mr. speaker, included in the manager's amendment. and the message that comes through to me over and over and over again, my friend from atwater just referred to it as a vigorous debate on both sides and attempt to continue to move the legislation forward, this language was taken out. well, the bottom line is it meant the votes weren't there on either the democratic or the republican side to move ahead with the intelligence authorization bill. why? because one of the most outrageous amendments imaginable was incorporated in this measure. and that is the mcdermott
language. yesterday mr. lungren and mr. thornberry and mr. hoekstra and i and i know others during the debate throughout the bill talked about this language. and i think that probably this was best put when the special election took place in massachusetts and we saw our new colleague, scott brown, elected to the united states senate. and he gave an entertaining and rather lengthy victory speech that night. but the message came through that was loud and clear was that when he got to washington, he was going to do everything within his power to make sure that we expend our hard-earned taxpayer dollars ensuring that we defeat the terrorists and not defend them.
and the language that was included not allowed for on debate on the house floor but actually included among 20 other amendments, all by democrats, in the manager's amendment, the manager's amendment is usually a relatively noncontroversial measure, mr. speaker, that comes to the floor and there's often a very brief 10-minute debate and it sails through with bipartisan support, but the manager's amendment included this mcdermott amendment and it provided a circumstance which could have seriously jeopardized our men and women who were courageously engaging in intelligence carrying. when we talk about, as now senator brown mentioned the rights of those individuals who have perpetrated terrorist acts against us and our interest around the world, the notion of
using the word phobia, which was actually included in the mcdermott amendment, it would mean that an individual could be imprisoned and they could claim that for religious reasons it's absolutely essential that they have a knife with them at all times. everyone can say that's silly, how could that possibly take place? one has -- could that ever even happen? and yet there are individuals who interpreted that language which was included in the manager's amendment, mr. speaker, as language that would have allowed a prisoner to say that for religious reasons it's absolutely essential that they have a knife in their possession. obviously posing a threat to everyone around them. and so again it's difficult to comprehend that that could take place, but we know how ruthless
these barbarians are who have been perpetrating acts against us and other freedom loving peoples around the world. so, mr. speaker, it to me is very disturbing that we are here dealing with what has been, once again, a major management problem which has taken place in this institution. the american people want us to focus on job creation, economic growth. we of course yesterday saw the seven-hour summit take place at the white house on the issue of health care. but of paramount importance is our security. it's the single most important thing that we deal with. and to have it mishandled in the way that it has, that has led us at 9:25 friday morning to be on the house floor with the third rule dealing with the intelligence authorization bill , i think is a sad commentary on where we are.
and i have to say that this rule actually included several other provisions which should not have been included at this point. i discussed this last night up in the rules committee when we met into the evening. and that is we understand, i mean i was privileged to serve as chairman of the rules committee and we understand that moving the agenda and ensuring the process of getting that agenda passed is very, very important. and yet, mr. speaker, what this rule did was it put into place so-called martial law rule. mr. speaker, martial law which basically means something can move immediately to the house floor usually takes place, i see the distinguished chairman of the committee on appropriations, my friend, mr. obey here, he knows very well that martial law rule usually takes place at the end of a session when there are very,
very pressing needs that need to be addressed and when we are dealing with those issues, we can see martial law imposed. i understand that. recognize that sometimes it's necessary. but, mr. speaker, we are in the second month of the second session of the 111th congress and yet we have imposed so-called martial law rule here. so the most important thing is dealing with the intelligence authorization bill. but underlying all of that are very, very serious management flaws which have taken place. so i just want to voice my concern. i know we are going to have a number of my colleagues who are going to want to speak and address the issue of the intelligence authorization bill. so with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. cardoza: thank you, mr. speaker.
i would submit to my colleague from california that he said that we must get this legislation done. i agree with him. he agreed with me. this is very important legislation. it's critical to the country. then he said, well, there's no real rush. we are doing martial law rule. i submit to you we need to get this done. it's very important for the country. and we have taken a long time -- in just a moment. and i would also submit that the majority of the congresspeople speaking to us all, republicans and democrats, as i said in my opening statement, thought that amendment wasn't appropriately included in the manager's amendment. we agreed. that's why we are here today striking it out. i realize what the gentleman saying was it should never have been there to begin with. that may be truly. but the reality is we are fixing and correcting that error today that's why we are here. mr. dreier: would the gentleman yield? mr. cardoza: i would be happy
to. mr. dreier: i thank my friend. let me just say interestingly enough the measure we are addressing here is not being considered under martial law rule. the martial law provision in this rule was to deal with any other issue that would have come to the floor either yesterday or today. and so the idea -- mr. cardoza: the gentleman is correct. there are other measures like the jobs bill which is critically important to our home state. like my district it's got 20% unemployment. so there are other pressing matters that we have to get to. and that's the point i was making. . i reserve the balance of my time. mr. dreier: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. dreier: i yield myself such time as i may consume to simply say that obviously job creation and economic growth is a very, very important priority, but the notion of saying that all of a sudden this has to be done under martial law which basically undermines the
legislative process is not only not necessary but we're all focusing on job creation, and we want to do what we can. we have very strong feelings as to what we should do. let me at this point, mr. speaker, yield four minutes to the very thoughtful, diligent and hardworking person from texas, a member of the select committee, mr. thornberry. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for four minutes. mr. thornberry: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, since a number of our colleagues were watching the events happening at the white house yesterday, like the gentleman from california, i think it's important to review briefly the history of this legislation. the intelligence committee referred -- reported out h.r. 2701 out of committee on june 26, 2009, by a party line vote of 12-9. the rules committee first reported a rule out for its consideration on july 8, 2009. and from july 8, 2009, until
february 24, 2010, it just sat there. no action. meanwhile, there were at least eight attempted terrorist attacks or plots under -- for which arrests were made against our homeland. meanwhile, events changed in afghanistan, yemen, somalia, iran, all around the world things are changing but we couldn't find time on the house floor to deal with the intelligence authorization bill. we had important things to do. we had post offices to name. but then on february 24, 2010, rules committee reported the second rule out which included the mcdermott language as part of a manager's amendment that was 31 total amendments combined into one. and that mcdermott language would create a new crime and penalties only for our intelligence professionals. if they did things like deny
terrorists a proper amount of sleep or if they did something that would violate a terrorist religious beliefs however the terrorist chose to define those religious beliefs. there was no standard of reasonableness there at all. and so throughout the day yesterday, as most people were watching events at the white house, we argued against that provision and yet it was defended on the other side of the aisle throughout the day. some people said, oh, it just restraints current law. mr. mcdermott said my amendment would have expanded on the president's executive order to define what constitutes cruel, inhumane and degrading interrogation and have penalties for those that use those kind of interrogations. people say it restates current law is just mistaken. some says it reflects american value. i don't know when it was our
value to treat terrorists better than us. they went back to the rules committee a third time on this bill. and now this rule strips out that provision that the majority spent the whole day yesterday defending. now, i heard what the gentleman from california said. i'm not quite clear that i've understood why we've had this amazing turn of events. why the rules committee on wednesday night would say this provision is so important it must be in the manager's amendment but on thursday night they say, no, we're going to have a rule that does nothing but strip it out? maybe they didn't know what the mcdermott language did. maybe they voted the way the speaker's office told them to vote. as a matter of fact, there's a report in "the washington times" today that says a house democratic aide told "the washington times" leadership supported the amendment and told them to put it in the provisions. maybe they were just persuaded by our ell against on the floor
-- eloquence on the floor yesterday and decided it should be removed. i don't know. but this decision is deplorable. it needs to be scrapped. but it's a symptom, i would suggest, of a deeper sickness that some in this body, some in thed a mfrlings on how they review -- some in the administration on how they view our intelligence officials. their first action is to blame the intelligence community first. they are appointed to go after our intelligence officials. we see it when classified interrogation memos are released despite the protestation of five former c.i.a. directors. can you yield five minutes? mr. dreier: i yield. mr. thornberry: when someone as distinguished as the speaker of the house under political pressure just accuses them of lying all the time. that's the sort of mentality that gets a provision made in order that mixing up the good
guys and bad guys and goes after the good guys and puts a higher standard on them than any county sheriff or state trooper in the country would have. mr. speaker, this is serious business. terrorists are plotting and planning to attack us every single day. it doesn't do our intelligence professionals much good if we give them nice words and then enact new crimes against them. what counts is our actions. standing up for them and what they do to protect us. and i would suggest this bill needs to go a long way further in doing that but that strain that goes through this house and some in the administration to attack them first must be stopped at all costs. i thank the gentleman for yielding and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman from california reserve? mr. dreier: do i reserve? i think -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california, mr. cardoza. mr. cardoza: continue to reserve my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman continues to reserve the balance of his time. the gentleman from california, mr. dreier. mr. dreier: i'm happy at this point to yield four minutes to another hardworking member of the select committee on intelligence who brings his great experience having served in the federal bureau of investigation, the gentleman from brighton, michigan, mr. rogers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for four minutes. mr. rogers: thank you to my friend from california and, mr. speaker, yesterday i think was a very, very important symptom for all of us to understand. when you -- and it's easy to get confused, by the way, in who the good guys are and who the bad guys are when you take the fight on the war on terror from a proactive intelligence approach to a law enforcement approach. things get pretty murky in a hurry, and everything slows down. and information exchanges slow down. and what we've done is what they tried to do in the middle
of the night is sneak in a provision that would actually when you read the entire thing treat terrorists with a special carveout that not even white-collar criminals, organized crime members, extortionists as american citizens would get. that your interrogator could be brought up on charges for what you believed might be incidences that offend you. unbelievable. but that's exactly what happens when you're confused about who the bad guys are. this bill should be known for what it doesn't do. right now they're getting ready to bring through the administration policy in support of this congress hundreds of some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world to the united states. do you know about over a dozen times where these terrorists have been held overseas in
places like great britain that terrorists have tried to break in to break them out? and guess what, our policy is to bring them to the united states given a serve carve out and treat them like american citizens at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. you know, we had the opportunity to do disruptive activities to al qaeda, and some speculate that between the fort hood shooting and the christmas day bomber there were activities, there were messages and activities that we as a nation didn't engage in because we were confused about being proactive on intelligence against terrorism or treating it like a law enforcement matter. there is a lot to be accountable in that decision. but it can happen when you get confused who the bad guys are. we have never had a full vetting of what was known at one time as the global justice initiative where you send
f.b.i. agents around the world, including to the battlefield, to mirandize foreign-trained terrorists who have declared war on the united states. that can happen when you forget who the bad guys are. there's nothing in this bill that protects the very courageous c.i.a. sbarefwators for following -- interrogators for following department of justice guidelines in the interrogation and the development of information that will have saved lives in the united states. and by the way, it was brought to our attention that approximately 70% -- by the way, the same -- the same interrogators who gave us about 70% of what we know about the logistics and operations of al qaeda are subject to criminal investigations. and you know why that happens? because it's easy to do when you're confused about who the good guys are and who the bad guys are.
yesterday was that symptom, mr. speaker, that when you make that decision, there are serious consequences. now, folks want to say, oh, that's just politics, you're trying to interject. this is serious business. khalid sheikh mohammed will come to new york. some estimated as high as $200 million just for the security of it. that city said no. michigan said no. kansas said no. americans are saying no. we ought to stand together in this bill -- mr. dreier: i like to yield my friend one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. rogers: we ought to come together in this body and say no. this bill falls short of addressing the serious debate we better have on going from a proactive intelligence approach to a law enforcement approach. this is not about you have the right to remain silent, and if you can't afford an attorney one will be appointed for you at the expense of the u.s.
taxpayers. this is about aggressively pursuing terrorists where they live, where they train, where they operate. if we let a terrorist -- if our whole new plan is a law enforcement approach and we are going to catch them at the airport, we are going to lose this fight. and that's exactly what this bill fails to address. you cannot let one stand in the line with any american citizen and hope to god your last defense works. and that's what happens when you go to a law enforcement approach and you treat c.i.a. officers like criminals and you treat foreign terrorists like high status american citizens. you can get confused on who the good guys are and the bad guys are in a hurry. i would recommend strong rejection of this bill. we need to start over and we need to start asking hard questions about what this policy is doing to the national defense of the united states. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from california, mr. cardoza. mr. cardoza: thank you, mr.
speaker. i yield five minutes to the gentleman from texas, the chairman of the intelligence committee, mr. reyes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for five minutes, mr. reyes. mr. reyes: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i'm grateful for the opportunity to speak in support of this rule. it provides us with the opportunity to advance the intelligence authorization act to conference and then to the president. this bill provides essential funding to the intelligence community and improves and updates critical legal authorities and enhances important oversight authorities that will empower the congressional intelligence committees to carry out their constitutional responsibility to monitor the work of the intelligence agencies. i take, as everybody knows, i take this obligation very seriously. the work of the intelligence community is of critical importance, but by its nature must be done largely behind closed doors. as a result, the intelligence
committees exist to ensure that the work of the intelligence agencies is being done in a manner that is effective, that is legal and that is without waste. h.r. 2701 provides the guidance necessary to provide that function. first and foremost, this bill will dramatically improve covert actions. over the past several years, democrats and republicans have both had complaints about the notification process. for reasons in the manager's amendment, we will require notifications in writing, insist that the president certify the need to restrict briefings to the gack of eight and compel -- gang of eight and compel the executive branch to have legal authority under covert action is being conducted. as i have said before, this bill was truly a team effort. we received input and drafting assistance from a variety of members. the manager's amendment also
includes contributions from many of my colleagues. representative giffords from arizona crafted a provision that would require the d.n.i. to report on intelligence cooperation between the federal government and state and local law enforcement. representative boccieri airy asked for a report on counterterrorism information from the intelligence community to local law enforcement. representative bishop introduced language to require the d.n.i. to submit to congress a report describing the strategy of the united states in balancing intelligence, collection needs with the prosecution of terror suspects. representative harman, the former ranking member of the intelligence committee, submitted an amendment that will require the inspector general of the united states community to report overclass
-- and to address those problems. the manager's amendment also contains language from representative hinchey requiring a report on previous intelligence community activities in argentina, an issue that has long been a concern of representative hinchey. . one was drafted to require the congress to submit the networks of the federal government. finally, representative markey of colorado drafted language that will require the director of national intelligence to submit a report to the congressional intelligence committees assessing the threat posed to allies and interest of the united states in the persian gulf by the iranian missile arsenal. beyond the manager's amendment, the base text of the bill makes several important improvements in oversight of intelligence
activities. first, it establishes an inspector general for the entire intelligence community. this provision will help eliminate fraud, waste, and abuse and it will also keep a close eye on the protection of the rights of americans. the bill will also require the d.n.i. to establish a plan to increase diversity within the intelligence community. as is very clear, this is a measure that's important to all our members, to meet permanently, and the committee's vice chairman, mr. hastings. for the intelligence agencies, diversity is not just about virtue and equality, but both are important ideals. it is about making sure that we have a clear, complete understanding of the different languages and cultures around the world. in the world of intelligence, diversity translates directly into improved operational capability.
mr. speaker, as the chairman of the intelligence committee, it has been a privilege to work with both sides of the aisle to craft this bill. it's important to keep in mind that all of these issues are vital and important components of making sure we do our work. with that, i urge all my colleagues to support this rule and enact these critical provisions into law. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the chair will receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the senate concurs in the house amendment to the senate amendment to h.r. 129 9 cited as the capital police administrative technical correction act of 2009. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. dreier: i yield myself 30 seconds. i do so to congratulate the
distinguished chair of the select committee on intelligence, my good friend, for his service in the border patrol and we worked together on a wide range of issues. i thank him for that. i have to say that i'm very concerned, though, about the fact that we unfortunately have not seen what is best described as a forward leaning policy when it comes to dealing with this threat of terrorism. we all know that law enforcement by its nature is reactive. and we need to have a policy that is more proactive. and the inclusion of language like the mcdermott amendment in this measure, in the manager's amendment, unfortunately creates a scenario whereby we are not focused on being the forward leading entity we should. with that, mr. speaker, i'm very happy to yield five minutes to the distinguished ranking member of the permanent select committee on intelligence, my friend from michigan, mr. hoekstra. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for five minutes. mr. hoekstra: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the -- mr. dreier from california for giving me the five minutes. here we go again.
this bill could have been done in july, but it was pulled. this is the third rule that we have had on one bill. it's almost unprecedented. i'm not sure i have ever seen this before. but it was pulled in july because of the controversy surrounding the speaker's remarks saying the c.i.a. lies, the c.i.a. lies all the time. so it sat dormant as this country was under attack. when we went to rules committee this week, we had a lot of amendments that we thought should have been put in order. an amendment that would direct the d.n.i. to establish a panel to review the capabilities of iran. it wasn't important enough to debate that when we went through the debate on this bill yesterday. an amendment that would require the c.i.a. to release publicly unclassified versions of documents related to the use of enhanced interrogation techniques. that wasn't important enough to debate. the -- what we are going to do with the folks in guantanamo, that wasn't important enough to
debate. what the intelligence community did after fort hood and in between fort hood and christmas day, that wasn't important enough to debate. the process for authorization and notification of covert action that is may result in the death of a targeted u.s. citizen, that wasn't enough -- that wasn't important enough to debate. but then we see that there's an amendment to be offered by the manager of the bill, the chairman of the committee, 22 pages. including an amendment from mr. mcdermott. here's mr. mcdermott's own words. my amendment would have expanded upon the president's executive order to clearly define what constitutes a cruel, inhumane, or degrading interrogation so it is unmistakable what kinds of techniques are unacceptable. it also creates criminal penalties for those who use those kind of interrogationings . -- interrogations.
not a single minute of debate on this amendment. not one hearing on this amendment. and we dump it into a manager's amendment. along with 22 other amendments. sloppy work. how do we know it's sloppy? because we are back here today for a third time with a third rule pulling it out. it's not because the leadership on the other side believes this is a bad amendment. they believe it's the right amendment. that's why they put it into the manager's amendment. that's why the chairman put this amendment into the manager's amendment because he agrees with it. he defended this yesterday. expansion of criminal penalties. only to the intelligence community. on the floor defending this amendment saying it was the good thing and the right thing to do and it was consistent with american values. in it's -- if it's consistent with american values, why are they pulling it out?
because they know it's unfair to the intelligence community. we asked a question yesterday, what are you going to say to the men and women, the frontlines in the intelligence community, when you go and visit them and say you create add special set of penalties only for them? these rules, this new criminal law, you wouldn't even apply these to your county sheriff or your state trooper. but they wanted to sneak them in in the middle of the night with no debate, no hearing, saying this is the right way to go. they are polling it today because they recognize tharl their leadership on this issue that when they turned around they had no followers. they didn't have enough votes to pass this. it jeopardized their bill. it was sloppy work to put this in in the first place and it's an indication of how this bill has gone through the process.
this amendment was put in without any consultation with the other side of the aisle. this is a partisan bill. it's my colleague said earlier. it creates a real confusion as to whether we are in the law enforcement business, whether we are in the terrorism fighting terrorism business. and i'm glad that this is coming here today. but we could have dealt with this yesterday. it should never have been in the manager's amendment to begin with. if they wanted to put it up, put it up for a separate vote as a separate amendment. but they knew they couldn't do that. we asked questions yesterday that they didn't answer. why does this amendment define a criminal offense that only intelligence community personnel would be guilty of? they wouldn't answer that. they wouldn't engage in that debate. the amendment would make it a crime for depriving the individual of necessary food, water, sleep. how does the bill define necessary? participate in acts intended to violate the individual's religious beliefs. is there an objective standard? then it gets into phobias.
exploit the phobias of the individual. we asked the other side please define this for us, and they didn't. another minute? mr. dreier: i yield additional 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for additional 30 seconds. mr. hoekstra: i thank my colleague. they weren't willing to answer any of those questions or even have a debate or discussion on what the amendment meant. so that's why we are back here today. the bottom line is it's a symptom. it's a symptom of the confusion on the other side. the loppiness with which they brought this bill to the floor. and -- sloppiness with which they brought this bill to the floor and i'm glad they have taken this lousy amendment and they are going to trash it today. it should have never been in there. it jeopardized and attacked our men and women on the frontlines keeping us safe each and every day. the mcdermott amendment was an insult, an insult to american men and women in the intelligence community. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california, mr. cardoza.
mr. cardoza: thank you, mr. speaker. i would like to inquire how much time we have remaining on each side. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 21 minutes on this side. and 3 1/2 on the other side. mr. cardoza: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i now yield such time as he may consume to the chairman of the committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. reyes: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding time. facts are pesky things that sometimes we have to keep reminding those on the other side of the aisle. they are entitled to their own opinions but they are not entitled to their own facts. when the ranking member made reference to the speaker and her comment about being misled by the c.i.a., it's important to keep in perspective that we are talking about the last administration who repeatedly, the policymakers misled the congress. he himself complained dit bitterly many, many times about those kinds of issues.
one of the amendments, the amendment on the issue of peru, is a direct result of complaints raised by the ranking member and others on the committee. he asked a rhetorical question, what will we say to the men and women of the intelligence community? my message has always been consistent. we appreciate their work. we honor their professionalism. we depend on them. the safety of our country relies on them doing the job that they need to do. it's interesting for me to note that over the course of the last few months because of a -- an issue that the minority has with miranda warnings, that they have been repeatedly questioning the proficiency of
the federal bureau of investigation. i have 26 1/2 years experience in federal law enforcement. i have had an opportunity to work with the agents of the federal bureau of investigation. and i know they are the best we've got. you know why
i say that? because they didn't need to resort to waterboarding. they didn't need to resort to enhanced interrogation techniques. all they did was conduct interrogations professionally. all the tools to bear that they have traditionally relied on, and they have gotten information from the individual that tried to take down the airliner on christmas day. i know it's a tough contrast because some would like to take short cuts. some would like to subscribe to the last administration's of
anything goes. well, facts and rules are pesky things. i know the constitution that they'd like to quote is pesky because it provides protection to anyone here in the united states. whether you are here legally, illegally, in the car, plane,
or other type of conveyance. the federal bureau of investigation understands that. and that's why once they determine that there was a violation, they gave the miranda warning the other side would like to mischaracterize that as say we got -- we are in favor of the f.b.i. going around the world giving the miranda warnings to those that would seek to harm our country. well, the difference between us and the rest of the world is or shoulde