Skip to main content

tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  March 17, 2010 6:00am-7:00am EDT

6:00 am
preoccupation with all of this proceeding in iran, certainly to find out on a side by side, something occurring in syria that was truly significant, maybe with the cases, and what have you, really was staggering. this, i know you will continue to pursue as well as the iaea and the international people but it is something that will not go away without there being much more international understanding of what in the wor the president and syria had in mind and much information that he hid some of that information from some of his own officials. . .
6:01 am
>> the questions are more focused on policy issues been whether or not you were qualified for this job. you are eminently qualified. i want to congratulate you. in your regiment -- in your resume, you don't list the peace corps. are you hiding that fact? [laughter] >> that is my failure of bread and a biography on such short
6:02 am
notice. >> i will not dwell on this particular point but we only have two peace corps programs in the moslem world. there is talk of indonesia. we have pursued the idea in egypt where you studied. syria is not necessarily on the -- i have a niece that will study their in a few weeks. >> really? >> she is a student. is encouraging to me that we have young people in this country to talk about syrian studies. they are pursuing the cultural and linguistic abilities in the arab world. we need more and more of that along the way. there is a broad range of issues. senator kerry and i had an interesting meeting a couple of
6:03 am
years ago. we made a visit to the region. i hope my opening comments will be put in the record, as well. one question i have is as i understand it, things have not changed much. the syrians in terms of their negotiations with the israelis would like to begin the process where things have left off. the isvr(áhr understand it, would like some preconditions, understandably. can you give us a sense of how you might square that circle. ? it was suggested that that avenue may offer more promise initially then the relationships between the israelis and palestinians. that could have a positive
6:04 am
impact in the region. give us some sense of how you square that circle, if that is a correct analysis of the two sides. >> let me share some thoughts on that. i really applaud your daughter for -- your niece >> i have a 5-year-old and 8- year-old were not quite ready. [laughter] >> with respect to and israel /syria peace agreement -- as senator kerry said, it would really change the region. it would be a game changer. it is very much in the american interest to have a comprehensive peace settlement in the region. my understanding is that the in direct discussion between syria and israel in 2008, conducted through turkish intermediation, made considerable headway.
6:05 am
however, they did not result in an agreement. the syrians are insistent on the return of the golan heights. on the israeli side, my understanding is that the israelis want to carefully understand a syrian commitment to what a peace agreement means in terms of normal relations and syria's role in the broader region with the stability question. that is a fair question. it is important, therefore, that we find a formula to get the israelis and syrians back to these negotiations so that we can see how for the syrian government is willing to go in terms of commitments with respect to normalization and
6:06 am
regional stability. >> that is more vague mitchell portfolio? >> senator mitchell and his team have the lead but our embassy in damascus would help and court made carefully with them. >> i tried to find the answer to this question and i should know it and i apologize for not knowing it. in baghdad, who has embassies in baghdad? iran as an embassy there? >> yes, they do. >> you talk about the iraqi difficulty with syria. given the history of i ran in iraq, given the production of weapons and the like along those lines, it seems to be somewhat of an inconsistency given the iranian involvement in undermining iraqi stability.
6:07 am
lay that out for me a little bit as to how this plays out. >> let me give you my read on that. i will bring in the syrian ankle thangle. the syrians in iraq have an active embassy. in addition, they have provided assistance, weaponry, and other resources to shia extremist militias. they continue to do that. they exert continuous direct pressure on some of the iraqi political parties. they actually get quite involved in it. their goal, as best i can tell, is to have a government which is largely dominated by one particular sect, at least at the senior level.
6:08 am
i do not think, frankly, that the syrians sure that objective. i don't think their interest, as they perceive it, is the same peri. the iraqis that are in serious are absolutely not shia. they are sunnis and they are not islamists. the push seems to be for a strong government that would ensure the unity of the state. they are not enamored of the idea of a more decentralized federal iraq. the two countries, iran and syria on this issue of iraq, do not share an eye to eye agreement on what is best for iraq. for the united states, we want iraqis to make these decisions.
6:09 am
we are very encouraged by the elections. this was the fifth election that has been held in iraq since the fall of the saddam regime. i am counting a referendum and that thought. the turnout was good, 62% according to the data. the. count is going the those of us who are -- the count is going slow. the iraqis have come a long way from when i first went there in 2003. they have a long way to go but in terms of developing a more democratic political culture, they have made real strides. what we would like to see now is for syria to understand that that government is not going anywhere. the constitutionally elected government of iraq will stay. it will not be overthrown. they have an interest in
6:10 am
shutting down foreign fighters. they have an interest in not helping groups trying to undermine the state. instead, syria has a real interest in consolidated relations with iraq. these groups that they allow freedom to run aground aggravate relations. they do not have an interest in that. >> thank you very much. and thank you for your service. i commend the obama administration for deciding to send an ambassador with a real diplomatic background. >> i appreciate the time you gave me yesterday on the phone i have two points or two questions. are there not still a great number of iraqi refugees in syria? >> senator, the numbers of v ary.
6:11 am
the syrian government has said the number is around 1 million. i have seen recent figures from the united nations high commission on refugees which says that the number of registered iraqi refugees in syria is about 250,000. that estimate is probably too low. it would be more than 250,000. it could be in the range of 500,000. in some ways, the syrian government could be -- has been helpful on the refugee issue. they have kept their border open so that people fleeing who are worried about getting murdered and killed at home have been able to take refuge in syria. in particular, a number of iraqi christians from northwestern iraq have gone into syria. they have provided things, some
6:12 am
assistance to the refugees there at the government expends and more recently, they've said that iraqi refugees would have permission to work which is a new decision and will help the iraqi refugees there. may i make one last comment on this? speaking personally, we have a real moral obligation to help the iraqi refugees. we have been so we fault in iraq. the congress and the american people have responded very generously. over $300 million in the last year's budget to help iraqi refugees. we have ongoing programs in syria. in fact, last year, syria was the destination from which the largest number of refugees came to the united states. they came through syria. there is more we would like them
6:13 am
to do. senator kerry mentioned -- senator lugar mentioned about the circuit riders from homeland security. we would like to see more of these is issued. it would help our processing and they could;ig issue more authorization for ngo's to work with those refugees. there is work there but i can make progress on that theme given the relative stability that you referred to with the iraqi government being in place, what is the residence for refugees today in syria that have not come back to iraq? >> we have done pretty detailed surveys of that. the united nations has as well. there are still security concerns among the refugee population in places like syria and jordan. as the security situation in iraq gradually improves, we think we will say more refugees
6:14 am
going back home. in the past year, calendar year 2009 saw a total number of other countries going back into iraq around 200,000. that is a lot higher than a couple of years ago. the second issue is, will they find jobs when they get back to iraq? absolutely, the iraqi economy needs to generate more job growth. >> on the question of israeli- syrian talks, was syria a convoy with four rockets going into lebanon that were fired against the israelis? is that a true statement? >> that has been true in the past, yes. >> have the syrians in any way pronounced hezbollah or renounced what they did -- with the do in that conflict? >> no, and in fact, just a couple of weeks ago, they hosted the leader of hezbollah
6:15 am
to dinner with the iranian president's. it was a three-way dinner which was widely publicized throughout the middle east. >> i took it that that was almost a sort -- a sort of conflict between iran and israel. is that a fair statement? the lebanese were used as a surrogate? that might not be a fair question to ask you. >> unquestionably, iran promotes hezbollah as does syria as a means of pressuring israel. the hezbollah fighters themselves are dedicated. they are serious terrorists. they mean to do harm to israel. >> you have a big job ahead of you and barry -- in a very dangerous part of the world and
6:16 am
i wish you luck. improvement is what we need and we needed desperately, thank you. >> centre casey -- >> we are grateful that you are willing to take on yet another tough assignment. we appreciate that, especially at this time in our history. we want to commend your service. >> thank you. >> i want to talk with regard to a serious nuclear intention or ambitions. how do you assess those ambitions? secondly, the related question about their failure to cooperate with inquiries from the iaea. i move back to some of the questions that senator isaacson raised about them giving asylum to hezbollah and support for hamas.
6:17 am
first the nuclear question, how and secondly on the iaea? >> we have a lot of concerns about this. we have big concerns. two things i would especially emphasized. number 1, syria is a signatory to the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. it is incumbent upon their signature on the treaty to cooperate fully with the iaea when it wants to do inspections. without speculating about what the syrian intentions are, i would just say that it is incumbent upon the syrians to cooperate. in addition, i would also add that the syrians perhaps want a nuclear energy program. i don't know but given that
6:18 am
there is an ongoing iaea investigation into the syrian nuclear program, we do not think it would be appropriate for any other country to cooperate now with the syrians on a nuclear energy program while this investigation is ongoing. the investigation is to be resolved first them. >> fundamentally, is there anything in the public record you could point to as evidence that their intention is other than peaceful or civilian nuclear intention as opposed to something that would be clear from the public record that it is an attempt to have military
6:19 am
use of their nuclear program? >> there are press speculations. you have seen it as i have with the respect to their one facility which the israelis destroyed. it is therefore all the more in the syrian interest to cooperate with the iaea on this inspection. if the program is as it was, the investigation would bear those facts out. not cooperating raises more questions. therefore, the syrians have an interest in terms of their own credibility with the international community in letting the inspectors do what they need to do. >> with regard to hezbollah and also with regard to hamas but especially hezbollah, obviously, the syrians would be enhancing
6:20 am
the likelihood that the middle east, some of the complex there could be moved forward, resolution in complex and the middle east could move forward if they were willing to change their attitude and their willingness to give asylum to hezbollah. i am asking you what your intention is with regard to the work you have to do on those questions? i am hoping that you would raise that. i think you should. i want to get a sense of your strategy with regard to approaching the syrians on the question of hezbollah. >> a couple of things on that -- e first, the syrians themselves would like to see a change in the sanctions that we apply to them. it will be impossible to do that while they support some o.
6:21 am
some of the sanctions are in direct result -- are a direct result to their support of hezbollah. we cannot change that until the syrians change their behavior. we have to be cleared with them about that. second, it is important now, when we are trying to restart negotiations between israel and the palestinians that the palestinians themselves unify behind the idea of negotiations and move forward. i think it would be very helpful if syria would press and use its influence with hard-line palestinian terrorist groups like hamas. to back these efforts and let
6:22 am
the negotiations, if we can get them started, get them to move forward again. the syrians should be helpful on that. with respect to lebanon and hezbollah, this is a serious problem. it is not a new syrian policy. it dates back 25 years. it is something i intend to raise regular because we're a conflict to break out again and we had a bad one in 2006, very serious, syria could be dragged into it even if it doesn't intend to at the beginning, the risk of miscalculation and second, it does not help their credibility with the broader international community to be seen as one of the parties facilitating the kind of conflict.
6:23 am
they have an interest themselves in being helpful on these things. one of my jobs is going to be to explain to them with their interests can be better served. >> thank-you very much. >> senator webb? >> thank you. ambassador, i would have to say that -- i would like to give a big congratulations to this administration for having matched someone with your background and your experience into this job. i wish you all the best. >> thank you. >> i would like to follow on something that began with senator dodd and a number of people picked up on this and your own responses, as well with respect to the relationship between syria and iran but also
6:24 am
to get your thoughts on the situation with respect to china in syria. it has been said many times that syria and a rum -- and iran are not real allies in terms of history and similar cultures and these sorts of things. some of your comments with respect to the situation in iraq to eliminate that. -- eliminate that. t7lit is a concern that china hs taken advantage in many different places around the world with opportunities that exist because of american policies with respect to sanctions or rigorous standards and places like iran.
6:25 am
, syria, cambodia, and a number of other places. what i would like to hear is your thoughts with respect to those two relationships and syria to the extent that the relationships between syria and those countries have been empowered by our sanctions and also to the extent to which perhaps they have come about simply because of the syrian government today. in other words, where can we go from here? >> thank you, senator webb. let me say a couple more things about the relationship between iran and syria. this is a relationship that is troubling, frankly. for 16 years, going back to the
6:26 am
previous syrian president, the syrian government has said that a peace agreement with israel, including normalized relations, could be in the syrian interest. i have never heard president ahmadinejad of iran say that. it is not clear where exactly that relationship, the syrian- iran relationship, how they would handle that. they perceive a difference in the states. there may be;yñ opportunities there. i don't know. i don't promise fast results and any of this. this is a tough one. i think there are certain questions there to explore and i think senator mitchell has been exporting it with his team.
6:27 am
they think there are prospects to work on and things we can try that we can work on. with respect to the relationship between syria and china, i have to confess that i am not at all well versed on that. with your permission, could i take that as a question for the record and i will get back to you promptly? >> i would be interested in your thoughts. maybe after you assume your position and have an opportunity to view it, that would be better. it is a wide ranging concern that people who are examining our own national policies ought to take into account when we are attempting to improve bilateral relations in these places where the relationships have calcified over the years. >i would also like to say that i very much appreciate the precision of the answers you
6:28 am
have given to all these questions today. >> i know you have just arrived but we welcome your participation. >> centre web ask you about relations with iran. i want to ask you about their relationship with a number of different countries, the usual suspects. the first one would be iraq. >> to put it short, to is a very problematic relationship but one where frankly we should be able to persuade them to be much more helpful. they have a real interest both economically and in terms of their own security to have a better relationship with iraq. the lebanon situation, as i have described, they have taken some
6:29 am
good steps but they need to take more steps. they need to implement this era of new relations which the president talked about when the lebanese prime minister visited damascus in december. and particular, terrorist transit shipments. relations with jordan, i think, are relatively good pretty to two countried. they are trying to provoke -- promote move and the people across borders. in the region's politics, people pay attention to the relationship between syria and
6:30 am
saudi arabia. for a long time, these relations were quite strained. in recent years, the relations have gone much better. the syrian president visited riyadh and they seem to be interested in talking more. they are talking to thes about how to approach the next iraqi government. i think they also share some concerns in other places like yemen and the rebellion there. >> how about turkey? >> all, yes, that is a relationship which the syrians have turned around dramatically. the relations between syria and turkey used to be quite difficult the syrians ended
6:31 am
their support for the pkk and in recent years and months, the relations have become quite warm. in fact, the turkish foreign minister was just in syria last week. the syrians would like to see turkey play a role again as an intermediary with israel. i am not sure if that would be acceptable to the israeli government right now. >> they said turkey was a better friend than iran. how would you analyze that? >> the syrians and the turks have a vision of -- if you take the syrian statements that they support the idea of a peace agreement with israel, that a peace agreement could be in
6:32 am
their best interest, then you can see how a turkish vision and a series envisioned line up in a way that, frankly, i do not see with the iranians. turkish interests in iraq, maintaining unity of the state, where all the ethnic and sectarian components of this society feel safe and feel they have a role there, i think that fits in with syrian interests, probably more so than iran, frankly. >> the difference between the president and the prime minister over the explosion in baghdad, that seemed to me to be larger than i would have expected. is that your feeling? how do you analyze that? >> we feel very deeply the pain
6:33 am
that the iraqis have suffered through all of this terrorism. the countless lives of iraqis that have been lost -- the pilots in iraq is much diminished from what it used to be dramatically diminished, as you saw when you came up to baghdad but it is still a constant problem. to the constant threat. -- it is a constant threat. the anchor of the prime minister and the anxious nest to put an end to those kind of the tax is entirely understandable. however, we need to work together, the united states and the iraqis, who have the lead on this, to take down the remaining networks. we have come a long way. we have still some way to go and
6:34 am
we're working very hard, senator. the syrians, by shutting down the remaining foreign fighter networks could help. >> this is a question i ask every ambassador --orl what do u do about freedom of the press and the internet? what are the things you can kind of due to further that it? >> thank you for that. i feel very strongly about freedom of the press. that is a big issue for me when i was ambassador in algeria. i do not see how these societies evolve peacefully without freedom of the press. we have included in the items which have a waiver from sanctions so that we can export them to syria, goods that are related to information
6:35 am
technology and the internet. we think the internet can play a very positive role, not just in syria but in countries around the world. secretary clinton has spoken forcefully about this. we will implement that part of the policy, absolutely, in syria. with respect to other freedom of the press issues, i would hope that we would have occasion to bring syrian journalists to the united states on things like international visitor programs. we have done so in the past. in a country where they have no tradition of freedom of the press and where the government does not respected, i do not think we will get change overnight from one day to the next. this will be a thing where we push it and look for openings here and there. we will find ways to promote
6:36 am
it, whether working with individual journalists or talking about human rights and press freedom policies with senior officials. >> good luck. there are opportunities there, i really do think so. reinstating the ambassador is a very good decision and they could not have picked a better person. >> thank you. >> i heard you talking about the foreign fighters issue and syria. did you talk about hezbollah, also? the flow of arms and weapons and bigger missiles into lebanon and the army of hezbollah, i would wonder if he would speak to that. could syria take steps that could curtail that or is that under the table and out of their control?
6:37 am
>> senator, we feel very strongly that syria could take steps and it should take steps. hezbollah has re-armed since 2006 and represents a threat to israel and a threat to regional stability. i do not see how instability asserts the syrian interest. with respect to the nature of the weaponry, absolutely, it is destabilizing if hezbollah has rockets that can hit farther into israel. it complicates everyone's calculation and raises the risk of miscalculations and the risk of conflict. it is destabilizing. >> is there any issue that you
6:38 am
might come across that you could contemplate coming across in the context of the ambassador to syria and that you would have to recuse yourself from? have you so notified anybody in the state department? >> i cannot think of anything, no. >> is there any potential conflict of interest? >> no, no, no,. >> we are grateful to you for another posting. this is an important one as they all have been. i think this presents particular opportunities and we wish you well. i am confident that the committee will move your nomination rapidly and we look forward to trying to do that before we break for the easter recess. thank you very much. any more questions? if not, we wish you well and we stand adjourned, thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
6:39 am
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> this morning on "washington journal," we will preview the day's action on health-care legislation. we will then have a look at the fcc proposal for high-speed internet access. also, we will talk about how military tribunals operate. "washington journal" begins at 7:00 a.m. eastern time, here on c-span.
6:40 am
>> which two presidents died in the fourth of july in the same year? john adams and thomas jefferson. find these and other presidential fax in our newly updated book," who is buried in grant's tomb? " >> it is a mini-history, biography of each of these presidents and you can tell a lot about people at the end of their lives. >> it is a resource guide to every presidential gravesite. the story of their final moments of insight about their lives. it is now available at your favorite book seller or get a 25% discount at the publisher's web site. >> house members spoke about health care yesterday in a series of one-minute speeches. here is 20 minutes of that debate. we will hear first from the
6:41 am
house minority leader, john boehner. minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman is recognized. mr. boehner: the american people are appalled by what they have seen in this health care debate. but the worst is still ahead. the bill's already failed. the american people don't want it and they are screaming it at the top of their lungs, stop. but yet congress continues to proceed. they want jobs, the american people do. but what's this bill do? puts the american people out of work. they want lower health care costs, how about a health care bill that's going to raise the cost of premiums? they want less government. yet this bill's going to create a giant bureaucracy here in washington. they want to protect life. yet the bill is going to force taxpayers to fund elective abortions. if that weren't enough, the majority plans to force the toxic senate bill through the house under some controversial trick. there is no way to hide from this vote. it will be the biggest vote that most members ever cast.
6:42 am
you can run but you can't hide. let's defeat this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? >> request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. schauer: madam speaker, health care is an issue of basic economics to middle class families, seniors, and businesses. during the health care debate my constituents have asked me to listen. i'm listening. the story i heard last week is from a college in my area. it employs 300 people. as in the case with many employers, the lion's share of their costs come from employee costs. 70% in this college's case. and their health insurance premiums this year went up 17%. 17%. what does that mean? it means job cuts or tuition increases or both. both disastrous for middle class families in our economy. 17% premium increases. the nation's five largest
6:43 am
private health insurance companies' profits went up $12 billion last year while they dropped 2.7 million people from coverage. our current health care system may work for the health insurance industry, but it's broken for middle class families and is hurting our economy. it must be fixed now. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. cantor: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, republicans have come to the floor today because we care about americans' health care. we just don't care for this bill. but still the majority seems committed to trying to muscle through a trillion dollar overhaul that will change health care for every man, woman, and child. americans have made it very clear, they don't like this bill. they don't want the government and the decisionmaking of their health care. they want to lower costs, and they don't want their government tax dollars going to fund abortion services. so why can't we start over,
6:44 am
madam speaker? we ask again. there's been a year and a half nearly of debate over this and still more questions than answers. that's why we are hearing reports that the majority will try and ram this through without a direct vote on the senate bill. madam speaker, we should take an up or down vote on the senate bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. >> i rise today to honor the sacrifice of american men and women serving our country overseas and to urge my colleagues to support legislation i introduced to give them a much deserved pay increase for facing dangerous situations. late last year i traveled to afghanistan and was privileged to meet members of our armed forces serving our country in a difficult and dangerous environment. two of those soldiers --
6:45 am
i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting their troops and families by becoming co-sponsors of this bill. thank you, madam speaker. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana rise? mr. pence: ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. pence: the democrat health care bill that's being brought through the congress this week is nothing more than a government takeover of health care and the american people
6:46 am
know it. come on. whether they want it or need it or not you mandate that every business provided, you create a massive government-run bureaucracy exchange, demands what's in insurance plans, you wrap that all in about $1 trillion worth of spending, that's a government takeover of health care. but what's really remarkable about this whole business is that not only the american people rejected this plan but democrats are so desperate to pass it that they're willing to trample on the traditional rules of the house and senate and even trample on the constitution of the united states to get it done. a bill becomes a law if it's passed the house of representatives and the senate. democrats actually don't have the votes to pass the senate bill so they've decided they're
6:47 am
going to try and pass the bill without a vote. well, that will be news to the founders of this country and a detrail of the commitment of every member of this congress to the american people. i urge the speaker, bring it to the floor. if not -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. pence: start over for the american people. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise? >> to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, at least 46 million americans are now uninsured. 7.1 million in california are uninsured and by the end of the day 14,000 more americans will lose their coverage, more than 2,000 of them in california. without health care reform, the average family premium in california will rise from 13,280 dollars to $22,670 by the year 2019. that's why we must pass a health care reform bill that brings down cost and increases competition. the senate bill with the
6:48 am
corrections, including better subsidies and insurance market rample will be the beginning of this. we must pass health care reform so that our nation's families have access to affordable, quality health insurance. i yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri rise? >> to address the house for one minute and ask permission to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. blunt: thank you, madam speaker. "the washington post" today, madam speaker, on the front page said pelosi may try to pass a health bill without a vote. may try to pass the health bill without a vote. i didn't even think that was possible, but apparently "the washington post" and the speaker of the house thinks it's possible. it's no wonder, madam speaker, that the country is outraged, not by the bill but by the process. it's like the speaker's statement that said we had to pass a bill so we'd know what's in it. madam speaker, this bill does not reduce cost.
6:49 am
it cuts medicare and increases taxes for 10 years and spends the money in six years. madam speaker, this bill throws the health care system up in the air and just hopes that the greatest health care system in the world is still there when it lands a few years from now. madam speaker, i hope we have a vote on this bill, a debate on this bill and we do not pass this bill with a vote. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from arizona rise? >> i request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. kirkpatrick: madam speaker, on saturday, three people connected to the u.s. consulate in juarez was brutally murdered by drug cartels in front of their young children. what more must happen to focus our attention on the serious threat along 2,000 miles of our southern border? for the safety of americans living in border states and traveling or working in mexico,
6:50 am
we must take this danger seriously and crack down on the cartels. u.s. citizens are at increasingly at risk of being victims of this violence, but the administration's budget would cut resources intended to crack down on cartels and to secure our borders. i call on the white house to provide necessary support for law enforcement at all levels. to track down their criminals and their networks. this is a fight we cannot lose. it is too close to home. my thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives in these attacks and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from washington rise? lum -- mrs. lummis: to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mrs. lummis: america needs health care reform but america knows this is not the right
6:51 am
approach. this is the wrong policy and it is the wrong process, yet the majority is willing to do everything possible to pass this bill. even over the objections of the american people. just recently cnn had a poll that showed 73% of the americans across the country would like to scrap the bill or start all over. yet now we're being told the democrat leadership may deem the bill passed without members of congress even voting on it. that's un-american. it ignores the democratic process. madam speaker, we need an up or down vote. if congress passes this bill without even a vote on it, the american people will be outraged and rightfully so. there's a better way. let's go to work on it and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from maryland rise? ms. edwards: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. ms. edwards: madam speaker, just when we thought we'd heard
6:52 am
enough, seen enough and paid enough, the big insurance companies are at it again. seniors are paying more for prescriptions, home values plummet, savings in retirement accounts disappear and millions lose homes, jobs and nair health care. but that didn't stop the big health insurance companies from announcing -- announcing premium increases of nearly 40%. these companies have some impotence. they have to be stopped. deny, deny, deny. they deny coverage, they deny claims and they deny care. and last week the c.e.o.'s came to washington. it's not something we have to dodge the lobbyists in washington, but they stayed at the ritz on your premium dollars and now they want to deny the american of quality, affordable and accessible health care. they know we are on the homestretch and they'll stop at nothing to keep us from clamping down on their practices, but we're going to stop them. let's deny them and vote them off the island. i'm ready to do it. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from -- the gentleman rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore:
6:53 am
without objection. >> words that strike every american is i'm from the federal government and i'm here to help you. well, we have a bill here that people can't read, they are not given the opportunity to understand, we have smoke screams every brand back room deals being made everywhere all from the federal government that's being here to help you. we are going to take over your health care, take over about 1/6 of the economy and we are from the federal government and we're here to help you. by the way, we're even going to pass this through the house of representatives without a vote so you don't have to worry if your representative stands up for your right or not. this is the kind of democracy we want? this is a bad bill. give us a straight vote. be straight with the american people and let's let the american people know that man says we're here to help you is not to get in your back pocket. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? >> to address the house for one
6:54 am
minute and to revise and extend . the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, madam speaker. we have been talking about health care for nearly over a century. the american people voted for and demanded reform. they deserve our support. health insurance reform is about cost. these reforms slow the growth of health care spending and make health insurance more affordable for everyone while reducing our deficit. health insurance reform is about coverage. these reforms will cover nearly all americans, including those with pre-existing conditions and will not drop you if you get sick. health insurance reform is about competition. it repeals antitrust exemptions for insurance companies and brings them into a regulated marketplace to bring down prices for families and small businesses. health insurance reform is about care. these reforms eliminate co-pays for yearly checkups and screenings and ensure that our seniors have access to prescription drugs that they can actually afford.
6:55 am
health insurance reform helps where it belongs, not with insurance companies, not with government. thank you, madam speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon rise? >> thank you, madam speaker. to address the house for one minute and top revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman is recognized. mr. walden: i support reforming the health care system. in fact, i offered up legislation to do that and supported other bills. but the way this this process is being mismanaged and misrun today is not the way to do health care reform. there isn't the transparency that the american people deserve. and is now being denied by those in charge. we're reading in the press that the senate bill with all of its barncals on it may pass this house without having a standup yes or no vote. that is outrageous. what does that bill do? it whacks medicare $2,500
6:56 am
billion, 38,000 seniors $it whacks medicare $500 billion. 38,000 seniors are hit. we should scrap the bill and start over on a bipartisan basis. i have two bills adopted unanimously in the energy and commerce committee both were stripped out somewhere between the committee and the house floor. and the democrats wouldn't even let me offer those amendments on the house floor again. stop this. let's do it right. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from philadelphia rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. altmire: madam speaker, i continue to hear my friends on the other side of the aisle refer to the stimulus bill as a failed policy. apparently in the believe that if you say it over and over again it will be true. but it's not true. not by a long shot. last year at this time the
6:57 am
stock market was at 6500 and today it's at 10,600. one year ago during the first quarter of 2009, g.d.p. came in at a staggering 6% decline, but in the last quarter of 2009 it rose almost 6%. and monthly job losses while not where we want them to be are literally 20 times better than they were a year ago today. some may say this would have happened anyway and that the stimulus had nothing to do with it, but i would ask my colleagues, madam speaker, to consider that would be quite a coincidence, don't you think, for all those economic indicators to begin such a dramatic turnaround at precisely the time the stimulus passed. quite a coincidence indeed. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? mr. dreier: to address the house for one minute and trox. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. dreier: it was interesting, when i woke up this morning i heard this is actually -- this week has been dubbed sunshine
6:58 am
week. meaning that there needs to be greater openness and transparency. we all agree that we need to do everything that we can, as my democratic colleagues have said, to increase competition and bring the cost of health insurance down. we all agree that that needs to be done. but, madam speaker, this measure will not accomplish that at all. we have commonsense solutions that i believe we can utilize and implement in a bipartisan way. so here we are in the midst of sunshine week and as my colleagues have been saying, what is it that's happening? we're seeing every effort made to try and avoid the kind of transparency, disclosure and accountability that were promised in that document, "a new direction for america," that then minority leader pelosi put forward. madam speaker, i'm convinced, i'm convinced that we can do better, but we need to make sure that as we proceed with this process we have the kind of openness
6:59 am
>> our public affairs content is available on television, radio, and line and you can connect with us on twitter, facebook, and youtube and sign up for our scheduled alerts e-mails @ c- >> "washington journal" is next live with your phone calls and that is followed by our coverage of the u.s. house. in about 45 minutes,


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on