tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN February 9, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EST
power and innovating down that road and to be able to walk those streets to go to the grocery stores and where my office is located, you hear people talk about main street, that was the main street sinclaire lewis was talking about when he wrote his novel and collaborate together and listening to those folks talk about the national debt, how we invest in our infrastructure, how do we keep our schools strong and care for our veterans and keep this nation safe by adhering to our ideals of freedoms and liberties and being that beacon. we are seeing improvements in an economy that no one would argue by early 2008 was the worst economy we had seen since the great depression. and for those who said, i guess we should have done nothing, i'm here to tell you today, i'm glad
we're not repeating the great depression. i'm glad we aren't seeing our markets collapse and i'm proud of the work we have done. . we've seen the economy grow but i have to be honest, those people who came to see me in the grocery stores, those don't matter if you don't have a job. if you don't have a job to get groceries and put gas in your car to get to work, it doesn't matter. their ancestors went to the plains of minnesota and carved out not only a living but world class agriculture production, world class delivery of health care, world class innovations in manufacturing and energy on the premise that this country provided incredible opportunities, but we couldn't do it alobe. we needed to do it in a
collective effort to view the future and bring the best out in individuals. as we face these challenges and as we pay down debts that have been being generated for decades and when dick cheney sat in the vice president's office and said we proved deficits and debt don't matter, he couldn't have been more wrong. they do matter. but we can't be penny wise and found pool -- pound foolish with our children's future. it makes no sense to talk about paying down the debt if we're going to collapse our education system, our investment in science and tech knoll if we're going to let our infrastructure deteriorate, we will never pay the debt down because what's happened is the revenues have slunk. the pie has slunk. instead of trying to figure out how to carve up a smaller and smaller pie, let's bake a bigger pie. let's get a handle on our energy needs. let's create home deproun energy and quit sending $1 billion a day to foreign nations who hate us. they'll hate us for free.
we can keep the money at home and create jobs. we can create the security we need to make sure that when great revolutions on democracy rise up in egypt, we're watching it based on what's best for human rights, what's best for the stability of the world, not worrying about what the price of oil is going to do when we can fete that right out of the midwest with our innovation. so -- >> may i have one moment? mr. walz: sure, i'll yield. mr. lewis: i do this only to suggest when ronald ray begun was being considered on the floor. mr. walz: absolutely, i yield time to the gentleman. mr. lewis: i ask for one minute to suggest to my colleagues was to serb with ronald reagan as governor of california, as president of the united states. reagan meant it when he said there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the
credit. president reagan's cricks on behalf of freedom around the world are unparalleled since the end of world war ii. there's no more cold war, there's no more berlin wall there is no worldwide threat of communist dictatorship because of the leadership of president reagan and with that, i would ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks and place it at the appropriate place in the record. i thank my colleagues. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. walz: absolutely. i thank the gentleman for his words and i do think there are lesson to be learned there. the folks who sit in this constitution, we get enamored. i had no illusions, when i was elected in 2006, no elected experience, i didn't know my county chair, my students didn't know my affiliation, they knew i served in the community, served in the national guard, i wanned to get
things right. i knew people didn't elect me because of democratic ideology but because they wanted to hear about sloughs. when the country swang back in 2010, i think my colleagues, mr. speaker, need to realize the american public wasn't talking about critiques on obamacare. i heard my colleague saying we need to rip the cancer out. the real cancer being treated is the young boy who didn't have coverage but now is treated at the mayo clinic and the mayo clinic says this is a great bill. so can't we get beyond the things that aren't imagined about ourselves and find the 90% of things we share in common? we should never give our passions on differences,
western never compromise on our core principal values but we should recognize the thing about the great country, the previous speaker's district borders mine. you might think we're on opposite sides of the world. we are not. neither are our constituents. but we need to come together with the recognition that the things we do here are meant to lay the framework and that framework is the thing that's always made this country great. opportunity. yes, there's safety nets when we're down. yes, those things need to be there. we talk about those things in a tough economy. but what the middle class cares about is opportunity. no one guarantees you success in this country. but we should guarantee the opportunity to achieve success on your own. an the way we do that is by ensuring we have world class educational institutions that no matter if you're in windham, minnesota, new york city, or tampa, florida that child has access to it. not only is it the right thing to do, it strengthens our
nation. we can bring those things together. we can continue to innovate. the can-do spirit that has been here since the inseppings of this country understood that's how we needed to move forward. we need to find those common grounds. we need to lay the groundwork. unfortunately, that rung of opportunity, that ladder of opportunity, by having safe and quality schools, by having transportation systems that serve all, by having affordable housing, by having access to basic health care, those were the rungs that allowed a person to pull themselves up and achieve success. i think of my own family in this case. when my father died and my brother was 8 and i was a young man out of high school, social security survivor benefits were there for my mother and my young brother. when people say in this country, you should pull yourselves up by your boot straps, i agree. we just didn't have any boots. they were lent to us by social security and we have paid it
back ever since. my mother going on, becoming a nurse, my younger brother going in and becoming a teacher like myself. i used the g.i. bill that was afforded, that was not just about enticing people to serve their nation, it was the idea that those who are willing to serve are going to be assets to our community and to our country. if this -- at this time of tough economic solutions, the easy thing to do is say, posture. we're going to have spending freezes. here, that's fine. we have to get a control on spending. but don't leave the other side of the ledger out. the economy slunk. and don't tell people, if you freeze those numbers, be honest. you've froze programs that should be cut to zero and you've just froze programs that provide opportunity. we've got people now that seem to think after they climb that ladder, after they believe they built that ladder themselves, they want to pull it up behind them. what we're talking about here is creating those opportunities, unleashing the american spirit, and winning
the future. and i've seen it. i heard it in my district. there's a cup company called angie's kettle corn, some of you might have seen it. my colleagues here, mr. speaker. it's scold in costco and across the country. it started as a mom and pop business, literally in a garage in minnesota an this last week they were on martha stewart. that started with a passion, with a dream. it started with the ability to have local input and local ability to entice businesses to be there. it started by investments in transportation that allow you to move goods made and manufactured in minnesota to the coast as efficiently as possible. that's how we always competed. that's how we always out produced the rest of the world. at this tough time when people are saying, we can't spend any money now because we have a national debt, i agree we need to get a handle on the debt but if we make the mistake and don't invest in infrastructure,
don't invest the correct way in the future of providing opportunities, we are going to make drastic mistakes that will be hard to overcome. there's another great company in my district called peerless chain. this is fascinating. i think these things people forget about. the idea that you can no longer compete and manufacture in america because other countries simply are going to pay their workers less. i'm not interested in a race to the bottom. we're probably never going to be age to pay low enough wages to compete with china on wages but we can beat them on innovation an quality products and moving things to market. peerless chain is one of the top producers of all forms of chain in the world. they provided all the chain to the booms after the oil spill in the gulf coast. that was a company founded by immigrant veterans by world war i, who are now hiring veterans, manufacturing large, heavy duty steel chains in minnesota,
stamping them made in america and shipping them to china. that's a future that makes sense. that's a future that key ates jobs. that's something we can embrace. i've got to tell you, the people working there, i don't give a dang if they're democrats or republicans, they don't care either. they're american jobs, american securities, living the american dreams. that dream is having the chance for an opportunity, maybe own your own home, maybe be able to buy a boat or a snowmobile and be able to put your kids through school and know the children have that opportunity. it's not good enough for us in this place to make policies to incentivize works to goover seas to give tax breaks to those companies and make it harder for peerless chain to produce right here. those are the things we doing to and can agree on. small businesses are the thins that make it in america. they've provided the jobs, done the things that need to be there. what you're hearing here, the
false dichotomy of choices here is the government can't do anything right. the government is us. it's the school teach from my trick, it's the construction manager in iowa, it's all of us together trying to decide. no we're not going to do everything right but together we can create something that is bigger than any individual person here. and i think as we move forward we're going to have to be willing, all of us, myself, looking in the mirror first, to be able to reach across and find demon ground, to find those things that create opportunity and have the courage to go forward and talk abinvesting. i want to give a couple of examples of this investing and how when the government says people can't do anything right, the trick is not to have the argument about big versus small government, the government is about effective government. does it do what the people want, at the most efficient, effective cost available? anything less an now the police don't respond when you call 911. now we aren't correctly making sure we're managing the
ingredients in food as people eat and have contaminated food or lead in our children's toys. anything more will hamper growth. when i watched the president sit up here where the speaker's at and say let's get smart reform, it's not an either/or, it's getting regulation one way or adding regular leg. an example of what we can do together to make things work. one of this nation's major banks, for whatever reason, will be determined in time, was foreclosing on the houses of service members who were deployed overseas. this congress has determined that one of the things we will do if you're willing to serve this nation is give you protections while you're there serving in a war zone against excessive interest rates, foreclosure and things like that because that's the -- since the beginning of this country, we've understood if you're fighting in a war zone and you're worried about your family, your wife and child,
being thrown out of your house, but they continued to do it and continued to make it happen. today that young marine and his wife came to testify in front of congress, democrats and republicans, of saying no, there needs to be safeguards over that. there needs to be oversight and yes a horrible word i'm hearing here, there needs sob -- to be some regulations in force that we don't do that to our members. this is not hampering business growth. that's coming to a checkive decision that if you're going to serve this nation in war, then we should have a business ethic that says, we're going to do the right thing since it's law. and i have to tell you, those are compromises we can come to. investments. we have a project in southwest minnesota. it's a combination with the gentleman who spoke before me and our friends in south dakota. southwest minnesota, northwest iowa, southeast south dakota. about 800,000 people all together in this area. a large number of them do not
have access to drinking water. in 2009, i met with a woman who gets her drinking watter from collecting it in a cistern when it rains and snows, still today. it's not poverty, it's necessity. there's no well. so a project was designed, an incredible project of bringing together local municipalities, states and the federal government federal government to divert water from the missouri river to the lewis and clark rural water project. this is not a nice to have thing, if you think it's an amphitheater or something. this is drinking water and water for businesses. i have communities in my district that cannot add up with single home because they don't have capacity for water to hook up to the sanitary sewers. . >> i have some of the largest packing plants in the country that can't create jobs because they don't have access to water. we came together on this. here's what happened. the local municipalities and the states agreed in concert with the federal government to pay their taxes ahead to
accelerate a project with the promise that the federal government would fund the program. and those promises were made. and then they were broken. and what ends up happening, then, is as a member of congress, and those who posture on this floor, we certainly can't have earmarks and that means an elected representative of the people of south dakota, minnesota, and iowa don't have the access to redress the grievance that we've invested millions of dollars, our citizens paying ahead with the idea there would be some help. yes, those tax dollars will come from across the country but my state is one with a net return on tax dollars. we send more to the rest of the country. but i understand how that benefits us all. we can create food and export it elsewhere. manufactured goods are created elsewhere and sent to my district. that's the idea of the 50 united states. that's the idea of federalism and not having, in many cases, i think some of my colleagues get confused between the articles of the federation and the constitution of where we're at. that's a project where people
say, we can't spend a penny on that, now we will end up spending more money, stopping economic growth, making sure that people in this country don't have access to drinking water, all with the idea that we're going to be fiscally responsible. it will do nothing but add to the debt. it will do nothing but deprive people of a basic commodity in this country you'd like to believe you have access to, which is water, and paid for ahead of time locally. those are the types of things we need to have honest discussions about. there's no doubt that we've got budgeting situations. if we do not handle the national debt, our children and grandchildren will pay a heavy price. they will pay a price in some very simple things. as interest rates begin to climb, their buying power will become less, the ability and the dollars they make are already shrinking for the middle class. our real wages are declining and they will have a lower standard of living. it will be harder to go to college, it will be harder to buy a house and harder to buy a car. that all translates to the american dream slipping further away. we have a responsibility, pay
our fair share. that's why when the bill came up in december, asking for changes to the tax code or whatever, i don't think it's that bad to ask that 140 million people needed to get the tax cut in a time of economic downturn that had to happen. that cost us money, no doubt about that. that will add to the debt. the idea behind that is that money will be spent. businesses will only grow if consumers spend money and there's a demand for goods. the problem many of us had were the other half of that money went to 6,600 families. 154,166,000. we'll slice it down the middle. there's always been fairness. we don't say we don't applaud success and people who achieve greatness but keep in mind, if you have a large business and you're employing a large number of people, we're happy for you but keep in mind we're educating those children in our schools and getting those
people to jobs on our roads we're paying for. there's always been an assumption there would be a fairness to the tax code you would pay back. all those things create a balanced budget, they create economic growth and done the one thing america has done better than anybody else, provided innovation and opportunity of growth for the middle class to continue to achieve. so what we're going to see over the next couple years is a turning point in this country, i believe. are we going to get it and figure out what the american people said on november 2? i tell you, they didn't say in 2006 do it all the democratic way. they didn't say it in 2008 do it all the democratic way. i can tell you they did not say on november 2 of last year do it the republican way. they said, solve problems, get together, move us forward, create the infrastructure and the opportunities for the middle class, and then get out of our way. stay out of our civil liberties, stay out of our personal business, allow us to do that and create the type of country that we were founded on, one that understood. that constitution was not a static document. that constitution was one about
the birth of a new nation, the idea that individuals, the audacious idea that you could take a high school teacher from minnesota and plop them down in the very place where abraham lincoln spoke, plop them down and say go and speak. i will tell you when you sit down on this floor, mr. speaker, and you wonder how in the world did i ever get here, the good thing is you meet all our other colleagues and say, how did they get here? and you understand the great diversity of this country. you understand that our strengthwise and our ability to have difference and competing opinions with a common goal, a strong, fair country with equal opportunities that awards hard work and treatment and understands you can't always control life's circumstances. at times there will need to be a safety net and the saying we'll rip out obamacare -- i don't want to go back to the days 47,000 people don't have
health insurance. it's not ethically right. i know i'm paying for it anyway when they go for the emergency room and it's more expensive. why not get the best preventative care and deliver that care and quit spending twice as much as any other nation and start using that money to invest in innovation and job creation? that's how we pay down the debt. that's how we move forward. that's how we start to get a handle on what the core values of this country are and the things that's always made us great. so we're going to have an opportunity. we're going to have an opportunity to discuss these issues. i'm disappointed when i was back home and heard people talk about these things, jobs, jobs, jobs, the economy of the future. i came back last night to a bill that was never debated. you heard about this new open rule, well, here's the fact, not a single debate on it. not a single amendment. not a single minute of discussion on the floor. you know what that bill was? the patriot act, determining if you as the american citizen the government can listen on you. i don't know about you but i
hold those values, i'm very nervous when someone is listening to my conversations. i don't buy this you don't have anything to hide, you don't have anything to worry about. that's nobody's business. there are legal ways to go about this. we can keep the country safe with laws to do that. but the first time we had the patriot act up on the floor, we debated it for weeks. we talked about it. it was discussed. last night it came in on a suspension calendar and i'll have to tell you this, i applaud the people here who said no. and those people didn't say no to national security. they didn't say no to stopping terrorists. what they said no to was we are not willing to sacrifice our liberties for a little bit of false security. we want that balance to be struck and talked about here and agreed upon. as we talk about jobs and we talk about what's going to be going forward, bringing in the patriot act on tuesday evening with no debate and voting for it on the floor just that quickly when a member of the republican majority, a new member, somebody who i know because they ran against me on
this, did you read the bill, did you read the bill? he said he hadn't read the bill but voted yes anyway. and he said, we'll have time to work it out. that's what america was tired of. that's what america, if they were speaking out on november 2 was. and here's the thing, we have a choice. and i say "we" being me. we have a choice that said on this floor, are we going to be part of the solution or continue to push problems forward? i think the american people deserve better. i think that listening to that soldier today who did his duty, he needs a government that's speaking for him. it doesn't matter how big that bank is, to get it right. and then here's the thing, i'm not saying that bank can't do good. in this instance they did not. and i simply don't want to leave it to them to make the decisions. so together we've got some opportunities. we're going through some growing pains but here's the thing, our grandparents and forebearers made it through civil wars and the great depression. they made it through the civil rights movement.
we are the products of all that struggle. we are the ones that now have to rise to that challenge. we are the ones that have to get beyond the petty political bickering that can provide us for short term political gain but not looking towards the next generation. we have an opportunity, i saw it everywhere across southern minnesota last week. i saw republican and democrat come together. and those people coming in that grocery store, one man came to me and said, at least i have the courage to come up here and tell you, tim, i didn't vote for you. i go, that's no big deal, almost half the people didn't vote for me. but you're here and expressing your citizenship and solutions that we can go forward and that's how the country gets back together. we shook hands and talked about things that can be better and we walked out of that grocery store thinking tomorrow can be a better day. that's what the thought in the country has always been, the future and the ability for our children can be better than we're at today. we can handle our energy needs and we can create those jobs at home. we can make health care accessible, pay for it, continue to innovate.
we can manufacture and make it here at home and outcompete any nation in the world if we choose to invest in our greatest natural resource, our people. so now is the time to be smart on budgeting. pay the debt down. get a handle on things. get a handle on spending. make taxation fair but don't shortchange the next generation. invest in education, invest in infrastructure, invest in research. and i'm looking forward to the next two years, and i said the american public deserves nothing but the best we have to offer here, the voices across this country offering up solutions, debating them in a fair manner on this floor, voting for them and then realizing that just because you disagree with someone doesn't mean they don't love this country. just because they don't vote the way you want them to doesn't mean they're a communist or a socialist or un-american. what it means is we have the golden gift of being able to disagree, to debate on this house floor, and to take that
debate to the american public in a civil, respectful manner with the understanding our neighbors love this country as much as we do. i thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson, for 30 minutes. mr. thompson: thank you. thank you, mr. speaker. this evening i want to take
some time to talk about how business gets done here in washington. now, this has been, i guess call this the lessons of a rookie. i'm starting my third year here, my second term. and during this -- my first two years in the 111th congress, you know, frankly it was like it was politics as usual. and i think the american people have had enough of that. the american people are at a point where it's not about republican, it's not about democrat, but they're looking for problem-solvers. fundamentally, i think what's most important is we go forward as problem-solvers because we know this country is facing some tremendous issues. we are at record unemployment, the highest sustained level of unemployment since the great depression. we have a national debt that has amassed to over $14 trillion. impacting our children, our
grandchildren's future. we have all kinds of significant issues facing this nation. and we need solutions. but the solutions -- they have to be solutions, i believe, they're not politics as usual. they need to be solutions that are frankly based on what i call principle leadership. it's the very foundation of how we make our decisions, not based on a political agenda, not based on the whims or the will of a few or many, but frankly based on principles. and that's what i want to spend some time this evening talking about, principled leadership. in all my time in congress, i've seen -- we make a lot of decisions, an awful lot of decisions, and many of those impact not just the nation but the world. and i see decisions made by different members using different methodology. for me, i really do fall back on principled leadership. in fact, i fall back on values,
principles that i learned as a youth. frankly, i take them from my experience in scouting, 41 years. this is my 41st year in scouting. it's a great organization. it serves boys and girls and develops them into fine, young people, productive, active citizens. and when i make a decision, i ask myself four questions, and it may sound a little old-fashioned for some folks, but frankly, it works for me and it works consistently. i ask myself four questions, principles, they come from the scout promise, actually. the first question i take from that scout promise, the first question is -- when i'm making a decision, i'm faced with an issue and i need to decide, the first question is, what is my duty to god? is the decision i'm making, is it right according to god's word? is it according to my faith? frankly, if the answer is no, i don't go any further on to
question two, three and four. if i do go on, the next question is, what is my duty to country? and that is, frankly, what does the constitution say about the decision i'm about to make? is it according to the rule of law? is it according to those liberties, those freedoms, those rights, and the distribution of powers that are outlined within the constitution? . there are certain things the federal government is supposed to do, according to the constitution. that amount of responsibility is literally very tiny, though, compared to what the states have retained for rights and that is small compared to what we as individual citizens have and as all those rights have provided through our creator. and so my second question is ask -- to ask is what is my
duty to country? the third question i ask is, what is my duty to others? others for me are what i call the 660,000 really smart people i work for in the pennsylvania fifth congressional district. it's pretty easy to determine what the intended cons again is and the intended impact -- intended consequence is an the intended impact that i serve and all my colleagues serve. on the ferspame of any bill, i don't care if it's a one-page bill or 2,000 pages, that intended consequence is pretty easily and clearly articulated. it's the unintended consequences, however, that you have to work at. it's the unintended con quenses that can are the most impact on the lives of the people we serve. that's why communication is such an incredibly important responsibility with our constituents. including why we're here in washington, using different
methods and the oach door policy and -- and the open door policy and receiving, soliciting input and feedback from our citizens. -- from our sits. when we're back in the district and in those communities and we're communicating with people, talking about the situations they're in, an how the federal government, the things that are going on are impacting their lives that is tremendously valuable information when we're back in the district. that's what district weeks are all about. it's about communications and feedback with your employer. it's the people you work for. finally for me, the fourth question i ask myself in terms of principles and principled leadership has to do with duty to self. i know from scouting, my years and decades in scouting, i ask myself, am i prepared to do my best on each and every decision i make?
have i worked hard to get all the information i need? have i worked hard to reach out to my constituents to find out, as i read a bill, make sure they have access to it so they understand and i can determine and solicit from them their feedback on what the unintended consequences are. am i prepared to do my best? those are principles that have served me well these first two years. i certainly continue my commitment to follow principled leadership going forward in serving both this country and the citizens of the pennsylvania fifth congressional district. another set of principles i'm pleased to share tonight came from a group of citizens within the area of the pennsylvania fifth congressional district and this was -- these are principles outlined by citizens who are concerned. they were concerned over the past two years with the things that they saw going on in their
nation. in their country. they came together because they were afraid. they were afraid of what the future held. and this was in a county in the pennsylvania fifth congressional district. these are principles i have seen put forward by everyday citizens all other the nation, actually, certainly throughout my congressional district. i appreciate the fact that they took the time they put these together and i have a scroll here with -- i'm not going to roll this out to its complete length, it would definitely be a hazard. it's a wonderful scroll with over 4,000 names on it of individuals who have put their signature to standing for principles and expectations from government.
the principles as put forward, people in the city of williams port, the commonwealth of pennsylvania, the united states of america, we declare we are free and independent citizens and -- and that we are entitled to inherent and inalienable rights for which are our -- for which our ancestors fought to protect and for which they established governments to ensure in the charters of those governments our rights have been clearly and undeniably established to the exclusion of any encroachment by the civiler is vans. however, a long train of abuses and usurpations has evingsed a clear trend which if followed to its logical conclusion would reduce the people under the -- under a absolute despottism.
we protest these encroachments upon our rights and liberties and demand they be redressed. they outline seven principles. these are issues that have taken front stage in terms of our national debate. starting with taxation. taxes have grown, both continuously and geometrically both in the number and stroke, such a greater than half of one's income is claimed by the government. taxes is something we battle on here. it's a fundamental decision of, first of all, the scope of government, what government should be in the business of doing what constitutionally are those issues that should be funded where we're going to be engaging in significant debate through the rest of this week and certainly next week as we look at a continuing resolution of what is the role, proper role of government and what is certainly looking at how we
fund that and the amount of taxes that are levied on individuals. we had that debate at the end of the 111th congress. 111th congress, this country was facing the largest tax increase in its history. it would have been devastating. we raise -- would have raised taxes on every american, on individuals on families, on job creators, on small businesses and i'm pleased that in the 11th, frankly, the 12th hour, we were able to at least extend those tax, let's call the bush era tax cuts and that's been good for america. frankly, we should have been able to make them permanent. that's something that i think we need to obviously continue to work towards. but at least by extending those, we were able to restore some certainty, some certainty for families, for individuals, and fankly for job creators. so that they could do their
business plans and at least restore some confidence going forward in this economy. confidence that, allow small businesses to be able to invest their resources, to invest in capital, expanding a -- building a new business by expanding a product line or service line and hiring, creating jobs. frankly, many of the individuals over the past year and a half, as i've traveled around in my congressional district, and talked with folks , other job creators. these are individuals that every year would take their resources, their profit, that's not a bad word, that's a good sign of good economic times, and they'd reinvest a good portion of that profit back into the businesses. and they would create jobs. in the past two years, because of uncertainty, much of it
around taxation, we have -- we've been -- they've been sitting on the sidelines. they didn't know what was coming. the health care, the obamacare that was raising taxes was putting mandates, if you're an -- if you're an employer with more than 50 employees, that means more financial burdens are going to be placed on you, more mandates. so there's no encouragement to grow your business. but taxes are something that, i was very pleased when we were able to extend those tax cuts. that's the american people's money, we've had that for almost a decade and so we need to continue that. we -- the second principle that these good folks have identified is national debt. then the public credit has been tapped beyond any reasonable ability to repay within the current generation. i think our national debt is somewhere around every man,
woman, and child, i go out into schools and i like to read to kindergarten kids, but i love getting out to the seniors, they're getting ready to go out into the world. they're just on the thresh hole of life. i usually open up by saying that first of all, i work for you. i'm your member of congress, i work for you and each of you owes $43,000. and i don't take -- owes $14 ,000, and i don't take checks. that really is how much each of them, each of them, owe toward our national debt. and so we are approaching over $14 trillion at this point. what that does, i think, is -- frankly, it's probably our largest threat that we have to national security. the fact that we have that much debt accumulated and that 60% of that debt is held by foreign
countries. our number one lender is china. and i think that just puts us in a very, very dangerous situation for the future. so i think that i'm joined this evening by a good friend of mine from -- lives in lycoming county, if you want to step up and talk about your thoughs on national debt and what that means going forward, go ahead and join me at the podium, this is a great member, tom marino, he represents a neighboring district of mine,
we share two countiesering i've known tom for a long time, i worked in health care for 28 years, i was a former -- tom is a former district attorney there, a native son. i was glad, proud to see him come to congress. i yield to the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. marino: mr. speaker, i come
to the floor this evening to applaud my good colleague and friend from pennsylvania. in fact, our districts border one another and we have the same philosophies because we're so close, our districts overlap, we share a couple of counties and we both share the sentiments of our constituents. the people who voted for us. the people who didn't vote for us. we have a job to do. we've been
hired an directed to be sent to washington and very clearly told what we need to do. and that is to continue to cut taxes, cut the spending, downsize washington, which combination of those three will create jobs. like my good friend from pennsylvania, we need to get
back to a simple time when we look at the constitution, we apply the constitution, we follow the constitution, an in doing that, i'm confident that we are on the right track. i know our constituents from williams port may be watching us and -- williamsport may be watching us an around the district. i want to tell those individuals and those watching around the country that we work for you. we know what the message was. and we have started that process. i look forward to, as my good colleague does, us reaching across the aisle, working with our colleagues there, to improve the quality of life for people in this country, to make sure that our children hopefully have a better life than we do, and to certainly make certain that we do not
strap them with this unbelievable cost in debt that i'm afraid if we do not take control of this now, we will absolutely lose total control of it and we just have no idea of how far our finances can be plunged into total chaos. so again, i want to thank my colleague for having me here, i'm going to sit and listen to more of this debate. i appreciate the time. i want to say hello to my friends back in my hometown of williamsport, pennsylvania and the people in the 10th con fwregsal district an also my friends in the adjoining district of my good colleague from pennsylvania and mr. chairman, i yield my time. mr. thompson: i thank the gentleman for joining me tonight on the floor to kind of -- to share about principles and the needs we have there that we're faced with.
these are difficult times. one of the things in terms of this much debt that's out there, it reminds me, we just hit a kind of milestone of being married for 30 years not long ago and soon after my wife and i were married, we bought a house. and it was a time where the country was facing similar situations, such high unemployment. frankly, high inflation. s that tremendous concern that i have that with thall borrowing and this debt, that inflation will naturally follow. and in fact, at the, frankly, this was at the term of president jimmy carter, we were looking at real estate, it was a time of stagflation, both high inflation and high unemployment and my wife and i bought a home, we got a great deal because real estate wasn't selling, much like today, and we thought we got -- we got a first-time state mortgage rate
and we thought we were just doing great because we got this interest rate, i believe it was 18%. . which was pretty good because the banks at this time of inflation that comes from this borrowing and spending, the banks were lending at 20%, 21% interest. it's something that we have a responsibility not just today's generation, but our children, our grandchildren, to get this national debt under consideration. the next principle i wanted to touch on was national defense. and the principles as presented here talks about, frankly, the placement of troops without formal acts of war. and the concern with that. but it also goes on about the fact that we put so much into fears of war -- i happen to
believe -- i have a son and daughter-in-law in the united states army. they were just married yesterday, actually. they're in washington with us for a couple of days. i'm very proud of our troops and what they do. i believe that constitutionally the national defense is really our most important job. it's up front in the constitution that that's what we should do. within the principles outlined here before you, it also -- this is the finer print. it's hard to read. but it talks about the fact is we can't ignore national defense here at home. we've got threats here. we know that. when you look at the southern border in particular, and just the unchecked illegal immigration into this country. and i realize many of those folks are coming in search for a better way of life, but frankly, there are folks coming in here that i think could easily come across the borders and probably seek to do us harm
and the things they can carry across that border. we need to make sure we're secure on the border. we should be doing everything we possibly can. i think that this principle speaks to that. and i think that this country has been failing the -- failing at making sure our ports and our borders are safe. this is a different day. this is when our enemies don't wear a uniform and don't march under a specific flag. we have to take the measures and the precautions to make sure that the american people stay safe. that is our number one job in this country is safety and security. the fourth principle here to be addressed is political corruption. you know, that is something that, you know, frankly we need individuals at all levels of government that are public servants, that approach their jobs with a servant's heart as
opposed to be self-serving. and i know that mr. marino, who is now in congress, has that servant's heart. many of my new members, new colleagues, and certainly folks i served with for the past two years have that focus and commitment, frankly, of service and sacrifice to our constituents. and so i think that is something that i respect the fact that that is on here. that's certainly something that is important, that the people are here serving not just at the federal level but the state level and local level for the right reasons. central banking and money. i'll have to switch these charts just to be able to read them a little better. just to be able to reference a little better. you know, the fact that the u.s. congress really has
delegated, and i think legally delegated taxation, regulation of commerce, making treaties, appropriating public money, all things that the powers of the house, in particular, in the legislative branch. we have three branches of government but they're not equal. they're co-sovereign but not co-equal. we've dell grated as much as -- not as much as two years but many years, much of our authority, much of our responsibility as the legislative branch to the administrative branch. and frankly, much of that has been very inappropriate. and i think it's a time of going back to our roots and make sure we go back to the founding principles and looking at what is it we're supposed to be doing that we have deferred, that we have designated and allowed the administrative branch to now do.
certainly principle number six is central planning, the cost intervention of economy through regulations, subsidies, tariffs, taxes, policies have altered the fabric of the nation's free market economy. just the past two years. and we're dealing with it now. we voted to repeal the patient protection, affordable health care act. the media sometimes refers to that as the obamacare plan. and we voted -- we passed in a bipartisan way to repeal that bill, for that very reason that -- that top-down approach. washington is famous for a top-down approach, a cookie cutter approach. i've seen it with my service on the education committee where it's a cookie cutter. no child left behind believes every child should go to college. that's great if that child has that aspirations and those attributes, that's wonderful. i'll be dedicated to make sure
it's as affordable and accessible as possible. but not every child is on that path. some children will be technical training, some children will be going into the military and learning a skill or trade there. some will be going right into the work force. we need to be empowering through education, not top-down from a central planning way from the national government. we should be empowering our best resources for making sure that every child's individual potential is developed. you know who that is? that's the parents, the teachers, the administrators, it's the local school board members, the governing body in the local school boards. that's the way the founders intended it. because they know what our -- the way in which it would work best. i'm joined by another neighbor of mine across the state line to the north, mr. tom reed from the great state of new york.
mr. reed, thanks for joining us tonight. >> thank you very much. thank you, mr. speaker. mr. reed: i stand today to join my colleague and applaud my colleague for coming to the floor of the house to articulate what are truly our founding and our core principles. we should be going back to our constitution on a regular basis and always recognize that what our founding fathers envisioned for america was a limited federal government, not an america that guarantees everyone's success in life. but rather a government that guarantees that every american, every man, woman and child in america has the opportunity to succeed. we do not, at the federal government level, pick winners and losers. what we should do is always guarantee that the opportunity in america is there for our young men and women and children of the generations of today and the generation of
tomorrow have the opportunity to succeed and control their own destiny. i see an america right now, my good friend from pennsylvania, who is articulating here today the concerns that the nation of america truly is fighting for its existence. we see a national debt that is at $14 trillion in publicly held debt. you talk to people about the unfunded liabilities puting that national debt at $200 trillion, plus or minus. that's $242,000 for each man, woman and child in america. that is not sustainable. that will not protect this nation for generations of today and of tomorrow and for generations that are not even contemplated as we sit here tonight. we have an obligation to stand for this wonderful nation, and i'm proud to join my colleague
from pennsylvania and come here tonight and cry out to america to say we need to stand once again. we need to fight for our very existence because that existence is threatened from the financial insecurity that's brought on by this national debt. and i am so confident that when we stand together, when we come into this chamber, and we have the open and vigorous debate that we are going to have and that we will have, america will prosper, we'll make the hard decisions, and we will stand proudly as one nation for many generations to come that will be the beacon and the light to the world for so many who so need us and who so want us to succeed. and we are committed to that effort, and i yield back the time to my friend from pennsylvania. mr. thompson: i thank my good friend for joining us tonight. the last principle is one i'm proud to say we've taken some action on here.
it has to do with legislation. common practice for congress to , you know, to shortcut things, shortcut the process, not follow regular order, open rules, allowing all members of congress to offer amendments. and i'm proud that we're -- you know, my first two years in congress i never experienced one open rule. i didn't know what it was like. i was shocked to to find out that's how you did business. i was shocked predominantly it's open rules. some things we put in place with a rules package requires bills to be published ahead of time so not only us as members of congress but our constituents can read them. and we have that chance to solicit input from them to get that feedback on what the unintended consequences and how it may impact them. the fact we're now requiring you have to give some evidence, some documentation of where the constitutional authority is for doing this bill, trying to keep germane ness in terms of what we put forward ners these
thousands of page bills that are just a mismatch of different topics. so i thank my colleagues tonight for joining me in this. i certainly thank the patriots like those in wanes port, pennsylvania, who join -- wayne sport, pennsylvania, who join with the patriots all over this nation and are so appreciative for what they do for this country as well. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following communication. the clerk: the honorable, the speaker, house of representatives, sir, i hereby give notice of my resignation from the united states house of representatives, effective 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time, wednesday, february 9, 2011, attached is the letter i submitted to governor andrew cuomo, signed sincerely,
christopher jay lee, member of congress. the speaker pro tempore: under clause 5-b of rule 20, the chair announces to the house that in light of the resignation of the gentleman from new york, mr. lee, the whole number of the house is 434. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? mr. thompson: mr. speaker, our business being completed, i move to adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly, the house stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow for morning hour
also listen to it on c-span radio. again, coming up in a half an hour at 6:30 eastern. and later this evening, it's the annual washington press club foundation dinner schedule. scheduled speakers include congresswoman debby waserman chicago bulls. our live coverage begins at 9:00 p.m. eastern. that will be on c-span 2. we're going to take you to a briefing next with john boehner. he set that -- said that he and president obama want to find
common ground on issues including education, the tax code and spending cuts. the speaker and other house republicans spoke briefly after their lunch with president obama today at the white house. it's under five minutes. is >> we had a very nice lunch with the president and the vice president and the president's chief of staff. clearly our number-one issue is getting the economy going again and getting people back to work. we believe that in order for that to happen that we need to cut spending, we need to stop unnecessary regulation that's hampingering small businesses' ability to hire people. we also talked about trade.
some place where i think we can find common ground to address the needs of the american people. but it was a very good lunch and we were able to find enough common ground, i think, to show the american people that we're willing to work on their behalf and willing to do it together. >> we did have a fairly robust conversation about the need for all of us to work together to send a signal that we're serious about cutting spending. we had agreement on that, i guess the particulars and the details will be where the disagreements may lie. but we're coming out of this lunch committed to trying to do that. because the economy so desperately needs us to work together, to send a signal that we should start growing again as america. because that's what america does best, it innovates and leads. and we talked about ways that
perhaps we can begin to lay the foundation so that entrepreneurs and small businesses can begin to grow again so, that we can see an economy that will be one that is still here in a very healthy way for our children and theirs. >> i would say the main portion of the entire lunch was talking about the economy. ways that we could grow the economy, a lot to deal with regulation, reform, to unleash those shackles that government holds, especially on small business where 70% of all the jobs were created. we look to places that we could work together on, from jobs to cutting government spending. and it was a beginning and a start and we look forward to having the president on his word, where we can move legislation, where we can create new jobs in america. >> mr. speaker, you can he elaborate on what you said about trade. did you reach any agreement on panama, columbia -- colombia,
moving anything forward? >> i've made it clear that the house would like to consider all of these bills. there's a lot of support for south korea, there's also quite a bit of support for colombia and an pa -- panama. and i think it's clear that there is an interest of move all three. i would just hope the sooner the better. >> mr. speaker, you can talk about the effort that you're going to put forth tomorrow in terms of the spending bill? -- [inaudible] the leader today cut off funding for implementation of the health care bill and is there a possibility of a grand bargain over the course of this year -- [inaudible] spending cuts and tax reforms? >> listen, we talked about the need to cut spending. and we did talk to the president about the fact that we are moving forward tomorrow with the continuing resolution that's going to cut spending. we've got a lot of work to do. but the american people expect
washington to cut spending in order to grow jobs in america. >> did you discuss any specifics in his budget? >> no. >> are you getting the sense that the president is more serious about reaching out to republicans in a more significant way than he has in the last few years? >> i thought it was pretty clear today that the president wants to try to find some common ground with us. there are areas that we are going to disagree about. but i think all of us know that there are some issues that we can work on together. whether it's education, whether it's tax policy, whether it's trade or even cutting spending, i think we can find common ground and show the american people that we're able to work together. thank you all. thank you all. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
>> republican leadership from earlier today at the white house, we're going to bring you more from the white house in just a moment with robert gibbs and a bit more on the meeting with president obama. we did want to give you a bit more on the apparent resignation of new york representative chris lee, was announced by the speaker pro tempore at the close of the session, representative lee represents the 26th district in new york and the speaker announced that at the very close there. politico is also reporting or confirming that he has stepped down. he has resigned. and as we get more information on that resignation we will pass that along to you as well. again, back to the white house next with robert gibbs. he talked about the meeting between republican leadership and the president earlier today and more during his hour-long briefing.
>> thanks, robert. i wanted to ask about the meeting with the president and something on egypt, too. so speaker boehner and majority leader cantor both said that there was agreement at the lunch on the need to cut spending, on the need to do it together with the president. is that how the president sees it as well? >> yeah. i just came from talking to him about the lunch. he thought it was very constructive, that they agreed on -- expand a little bit on cutting spending and reducing our deficit.
that we should have a broad discussion about with the american people the size and the scope of the problem that we face and getting our fiscal house in order. they discussed issues like trade, as areas where we can work together. obviously our trade representative testified on the house side today saying that the administration would soon send out the language around the south korea free trade agreement and intensify our engagement to address both colombia and panama in hopes that those negotiations could be concluded this year and agreements could then be sent to congress thereafter. they agreed that education, an issue that we have worked on in
a bipartisan way over the first two years of the administration, continues to be one where democrats and republicans can and should work together. regulations that are outdated and don't work was another topic. they also talked some about foreign policy. particularly managing the transitions in iraq and afghanistan. but i would say obviously reducing the deficit and growing the economy were the things that were most discussed. >> in the area of spending and the deficit, did republican leadership and the president reach any specific agreement on anything? >> no. i don't -- not that i'm aware of, no. >> ok. was that something that you -- was ever part of the agenda for this meeting? >> no, look, this is going to be a long discussion on all the
steps that we need to take to reduce our deficit. and -- bless you. i don't think that people looked at this as a negotiating session. >> while this was happening, or earlier the house republicans saw that some proposed cutting -- spending cuts that the president obviously wants to invest more money in, and in some cases conservatives -- [inaudible] what's your reaction to that? >> i know that not long ago we saw parts that have list, i know they're taking a look at that. there's broad agreement that we have to change the way washington works, particularly as it relates to spending. we have to do so in a way that protects important investments so that we can win the future. so i think the president looks forward to working with and working with republicans and other democrats to make progress on these issues.
>> one question on egypt. the israeli defense minister is coming here to meet with secretary clinton and gates. you can say what the mission of that meeting is and whether you think the president might stop by? >> let me -- i don't know the answer to the latter question. i think he's in town for some regularly scheduled meetings. i think we'll have a read-out on some of those discussions afterwards. >> do you think it's fair to say that you think he will be pushing -- pushing the message about concerns of mubarak stepping down too quickly? i'm not going to presume what somebody from another government might say to us. that's not my role. >> on the republican heating and egypt. what if any specific -- [inaudible] >> the president didn't give me any details on that. >> did the president at any point ask the republicans not to use as a political football the threat to not lift the
national debt ceiling? >> i didn't get that level of detail from him. i think our position on that's fairly well known. >> ok. on egypt, the egyptians -- the egyptian foreign minister is telling pbs that vice president biden called for an immediate lifting of the emergency law in egypt, he was amazed by that and he felt that the egyptian government could not make such a move until the unrest had been put down and confidence was restore. what's your response on that? >> in the readout from vice president biden's call to vice president suleiman that an orderly transition must begin now, that that it must produce without delay immediate and irreversible progress and i think it is clear that what the government has thus far put forward has yet to meet a minimum threshold for the people of ejiment.
that's why many of you all reported the crowds in yesterday's protests were bigger than even those on friday. we all have been struck here at the diversity of those that you saw in the street yesterday. diversity of age, diversity of lifestyle, diversity of ideas. and i think it is clear that the egyptian government is going to have to take some real , concrete steps in order to meet the threshold that the people of egypt, that they represent, require from their government. and i think unless or until that process takes hold, i think you're going to see the continued pictures that all of us are watching out of cairo and of other cities throughout
egypt. so i think the best way to do that is for vice president suleiman, as the head of this process, representing the egyptian government, is to expand the size and scope of the discussions and negotiations with those that are not in power. and to take many of the steps that we outlined yesterday. one of which is listing the emergency law -- lifting the emergency law. one of them is -- are constitutional changes so that we get toward free and fair elections. but i think it's obvious that they've yet to meet the threshold that will satisfy most of the people. >> has anybody in the obama administration reached out for consultation with anybody in the leading opposition group in egypt, the muslim brotherhood? >> not that i'm aware of.
>> in erm its of your read-out of the president's meeting with the house republican leaders, you said, you made a reference to intensifying our edge gaugement in the colombia and panama free trade agreements. republicans say those free trade agreements are good to go, what do you mean when you say intensify -- >> i think there are some, and as ambassador kirk said today, there are some outstanding issues, these free trade agreements have been -- haven't gone anywhere in congress because there continue to be some outstanding issues, particularly around internationally recognized labor rights that i think many believe must be addressed. >> i think the model that we
used for south korea is one that ambassador kirk and the president believes can result in an agreement that will capture broad bipartisan support, hopefully as soon as we can get some of this worked out. but there shouldn't be -- once the agreement gets on, i don't expect there will be a lot of delay in getting that done. we had again outstanding issues as it related to south korea, particularly on autos and beef. we worked that out and stakeholders from both sides of the political spectrum, business and labor, now endorsing that free trade agreement. >> does it need to be renegotiated? >> we need to address them -- some outstanding issues like we did with south korea. >> with south korea you renegotiated the deal, right? >> we addressed the outstanding issues. >> you can explain what that means?
>> there are issues that need to be addressed and that's what we're going to do to address them. >> i don't know what that means when you say you have issues that need to be addressed. is the trade agreement renegotiated with the south korean government is what you did. >> there were shortcomings in what needed to be addressed on issues relating to autos and beef. which had prevented an agreement from being voted on. as i said in my earlier answer to you, outstanding issues related to colombia and panama that also need to be addressed. >> is it safe to say that vice president suleiman's vision for the transition process is not entirely in line with u.s. tradition? >> i think that his -- the process for his transition does not appear to be in line with the people of ejiment. and i think -- egypt. and i think that we believe that more has to be done and i think more importantly the people of egypt think more has to be done. i think that's why you continue to see the size of those
gathered to express their concerns about their lack of recognition in freedom and opportunity, why those ranks continue to grow. i think the vice president was clear with vice president suleiman on some steps that needed to be taken to address the concerns that we see. >> and is the white house still confident that he's the right person for the job? i know over the weekend there were a lot of positive comments made by this administration about support for him and what he's been doing. >> no, again, vice president suleiman, we've done this about four times, but i'll try one more time. vice president suleiman is in charge of a process in representing the egyptian government to negotiate with those not in government in order to get us on a path toward an orderly transition that ends in a free and fair election. it's not for us to determine
who's in charge of that process with the egyptian government. it's not for us to determine who sits in a room representing the opposition, except for us to understand that when unrest grows and the size of these crowds grow, it's clear that the threshold of meeting a broad-based coalition that represents a broad-based coalition of civil society, that that's not been reached. >> what continues to be -- what continues to be the problem. >> but if it's not for you to decide then why is the vice president essentially putting pressure and offering up some demands, some things that need to be changed? so clearly, you know, there is a position, there's something that you want to be done in egypt. right? >> there's something that the people of egypt want to be done. >> but the administration does as well. it's not what egypt, it's what the white house wants to happen there. >> i think it's what everybody in the international community understands has to be done to meet the demands of those that
are protesting in eye row. again, -- in cairo. again, it's obvious, you're reporting it, what people are looking for. and we've talked about lifting the emergency law for quite some time. we put out a statement last year that going backwards almost three decades this was not something that we thought was in any way helpful, that happened -- you see people believing that that should be rescinded just like we do. but again it is not for us to determine the outcome, it's not for us to determine all of those participants. the participants on the government side are -- is vice president suleiman. that's why the vice president of our countries that talked to him about broadening this process. quickening the pace of this
process. again, what we see happening on the streets of cairo is not altogether surprising when you understand the lack of steps that the government has taken to address their concerns. i think that's what we see happening. >> the white house feels it has a full understanding of all of those participants and what their motives are? >> it's not for us to determine. it's not -- we're not going to pick which seven people represent egypt. >> i'm not saying picking that, i'm saying -- you're not understanding. what i said was, do you think that you have a full understanding of all of these players and what their motives are? i'm not saying whether or not you're supporting them or picking them. do you think you have a good understanding of them? >> again, this is something for the egyptians to work out. i think, again, i think what you saw yesterday was a very broad coalition, represented a
very broad coalition of grievances and concerns by the egyptian people. again, one of them, i think somebody that stirred a lot of passion yesterday is somebody who worked for a silicon valley company. i think again that there is a broad array of -- you saw families, you saw older people bring their children, you saw -- there's a broad cross section of egyptian society that seeks the types of freedoms that many have sought for quite some time. and the government is going to have to be responsive to those concerns. and if not, you're going to see , as i think everyone anticipates, the size of these protests certainly as we get into friday, get bigger and bigger.
>> we talked about suleiman, but i just want to -- some of his quotes recently are, there will be no ending of yesterday and today. there will be no ending of the regime, we absolutely do not tolerate this, meaning the civil disobedience. we cannot bear the situation for a long time and we must end -- must end this crisis as soon as possible. people on the ground there think what he's cre threatening is a violent crackdown of these protests doubt agree? >> i think first and foremost we will reiterate and we have at every discussion we've had at all levels with the egyptian government that the demands of those protesting cannot be addressed with violence. and should not. i think, again, i think if you layer what the government of egypt is saying, if you put that on one side of the ledger and then on the other you put a growing number of people out seeking redress of those grievances then you understand that what he's saying is not
assuaging the concerns of those in protest and they're going to have to do more. it's clear. >> that's why some former state department officials said that it's conceivable we're moving toward a tiananmen square situation because the rhetoric, the tough rhetoric is increasing from suleiman in spite of vice president biden's call, and the protesters are getting tougher on their side by increasing the size of the crowd and having a stronger statement about -- [inaudible] >> i don't think anybody believes and i don't think anybody wants in this government that believes that, well, i'm not a spokesperson for their government, but i think that our strong belief is that the process, again, i think if the process is expanded, if a broader group of those not in government take part in this process, it's
clear that the government is going to have to do some changing. some immediate and some irreversible change. and i think -- >> that could mean a crackdown in the eyes of suleiman. >> again, chip, i would simply reiterate, as we have said from the very outset of this, that it is our -- we strongly condemn any violence that we've seen. that is not in any way going to meet the concerns of those that you see in the street. >> your message today is very consistent with yesterday's. but -- >> i try. >> first vice president biden had that call and put out the press release yesterday in which he said that he had called on suleiman to end the arrests and the harassments and the beatings, immediately rescind the emergency law, broaden participation in the dialogue and invite the opposition to participate in
discussions. but is anything from his statements of yesterday and today, he's moving in the opposite direction. so isn't it time for the white house to ratchet up or do something else? >> and the crowd's getting bigger. >> but what about the white house response? if you're saying you need to do x, y and z and he's moving in the opposite direction, doesn't the white house need to do something else? >> i think what the white house can do only -- we're not in charge of and we can't -- we're not going to be able to force them to do anything. but i think if vice president suleiman continues to pepper his statements with, as he had two days before that cheryl asked me about, that we're not ready to move toward democracy, we're not going to see anything change, it is clear, as the president has said, that egypt is not going back to where it was. nobody believes that.
and unless or until the government broadens the negotiations with those in the opposition, unless or until that happens the pressure for them to do so is only going to get greater. i don't -- i think if there's some notion on the government side that you can put the genie back in its bottle, i think that's gone a long time ago. quite frankly we saw what happened in the middle of last week when violence was entered into this equation. which is why the p.m. came out the next day -- prime minister came out the next day and talked about what a fatal error that had been and i don't think that -- nobody here believes that the grievances are going to be met with -- that the grievances will be dealt with through a violent response in a way that helps move toward change.
>> has the administration said that suleiman that if there is violence again then we will cut the aid package? >> well, we have been clear from the beginning of this that we will evaluate their responses to and their level of restraint will be evaluated as we make decisions on our aid. >> so on aid it's still the same answer as it was two weeks ago? >> we are watching quite closely to see what those responses are and the response of the government will determine what that aid looks like. >> does the white house have a timetable for getting these free trade deals done? >> obviously i think ambassador kirk said today that our hope is to get south korea done in the first half, through congress in the first half of this year. and it is our hope that we can
resolve outstanding issues with colombia and panama this year and then move language to the hill soon therefore. >> any thoughts on senator webb's announced retirement and the impact it may have on 2012? >> i think the president had an opportunity to talk with senator webb earlier in the morning. and thanked him for yet again for the service that he has displayed on behalf of his country. obviously the impacts that he's had on things like veterans through a post-9/11 g.i. bill represent his mark on this country and the people that have served it. i think virginia is going to be a very competitive state as it
was last time in both presidential and senate elections. i wouldn't serve if i was appointed. [laughter] senator webb, i think the president called senator webb but i think that was -- >> before it was made public? giving you a heads up? >> yes. >> are you done? >> go ahead. after you. >> do you have anymore? >> bipartisanship. i mean between networks. [inaudible] >> not negotiating, i know. it won't last very long. if it was not a negotiating session, what was it today?
what was lunch about? >> as i've said yesterday and as the president said at the end of last year, we needed to do a better job in reaching out and, look, i think we saw what happened in the lame duck session of congress, that when we can sit around a table and talk about what we agree on and what common ground is there, that we can get things done on behalf of the american people. so i think this was an opportunity to listen to each other and to figure out where that common ground is. look, -- >> [inaudible] >> the common ground you both -- [inaudible] >> i don't know if that came out of the lunch on their side. i know that that's -- again, that's what the president said in a room of both representatives of the house and the senate. last year. that he needed to do better and
we're resolved to do that. >> it's pretty remarkable position you guys -- [inaudible] the vice president's call to vice president suleiman. quoting our policy out there of what we consider acceptable -- [inaudible] even if you're not going to tell us what the consequences are, did vice president biden make it clear to vice president suleiman the consequences in the u.s. relationship? if this policy isn't met? >> again, i think the greatest consequence -- the greatest consequences are continued distribute continued protests that we see and the increase in the size of those protests. as you heard the president say very early on this in this, that every government has an obligation to represent its
people. and i think that while some had thought, and maybe we can wait this out, maybe we can set up some committees and some commissions and life will return to normal, i think that's largely been answered by a greater number of people representing a greater cross section of egyptian society. who have come out seeking their grievances to be addressed. and i think those are not likely to dissipate until the government takes some genuine steps. some of which we outlined. but only they can solve this problem. only the government of egypt can enter into a serious process here and again i have no doubt that as we get farther and farther into this week you're going to see more and
more. >> secretary napolitano said in no uncertain terms that -- [inaudible] in yemen that -- [inaudible] is a bigger threat than osama bin laden. or anything coming out of afghanistan. are we pursuing a new policy in terms with yemen? does this alter our afghanistan policy? if the number one threat to the united states is now yemen, a question a lot of americans may have is why are there so many troops in afghanistan? >> let's understand that one of the reasons why, as you heard the president say in the state of the union, one of the reasons why the breadth of the type of attack that we saw on september 11 of 2001, why that is harder to take place today is because of the fact that in afghanistan and in pakistan the
leadership of al qaeda is under the greatest pressure that it has seen since september 11. look, we came in and, to be honest, we, as we had said during the campaign, we did not think the central front for al qaeda was in iraq. that we believed it was in afghanistan and pakistan and we shifted our resources accordingly. >> now you guys are saying it's in yemen. does that mean we shift our resources again? >> i can assure you our cooperation with and our relationship with the government of yemen is incredibly important in addressing the counterterrorism threat that exists there. i think it's clear that in the past 10 years, as we come up to
the anniversary of september 11, 2001, that the threat has evolved. as our response, too, has evolved. we put greater pressure on afghanistan and pakistan, al qaeda leadership in afghanistan and pakistan. and we have increased our cooperation with counterterrorism exercises with the government of yemen. >> does the president have confidence in margaret's ability? >> great confidence. >> you can tell us if she is -- is she the lead envoy now or is there any thought of sending somebody like ambassador back to -- >> i think ambassador wisner was sent to have one conversation that he had, he reported back on that, ambassador scoby was well aware of that and she takes part in
the daily deputies committee meetings in the situation room run by the n.s.c. in order to assess the situation on the ground in egypt. >> and is the president aware that the iranian opposition has requested -- or give a sympathy protest, does he have message for the iranian leaders on that? >> i think the iranian leaders mentioned something around watching what was happening in egypt and i think i challenged the islamic republic of iran to show its responsiveness to its citizens by allowing such a march to happen and we'll see if the government of iran is confidence enough in its meeting the demands of its people to let its people show the demands that they have of their government and we await
their response. >> do you know if -- the patriot act extension came up in the meeting? >> i don't know. that i should have asked that question and i don't know it. obviously as i said here yesterday, we're supportive of that extension, we actually i think as you'll see from our statement of administration policy, i think it went out a couple of days ago, we support an even longer extension to take any of the uncertainty around extending these out into 2013 rather than just the 8th of december of this year. and we hope that that gets figured out soon. >> do you think that's possible? >> i do. >> you have more common ground with republicans on that than democrats. >> well i think there's been some concern on the democratic side about seeing an extension go of, i know at least in the
senate, making sure that that extension extends longer than just a little more than 10 months. but my sense is that that will get done. >> you can get an answer on whether the obama -- [inaudible] >> i think the transcript yesterday, it should have said that they received their ballots but at least as of yesterday, about 5:00 in the afternoon, had not filled them out. i will check again. i will check again and see if they voted. i'm resisting making a joke. >> before you leave, you can tell us what they're really digging for out there on the north lawn? >> i told you, they're moving the monument. they're going to do it at night, everyone's going to wake up and go, where'd that thing go and they'll look behind them and there it will be. >> the answer is no. >> they've erected this gray wall in front of my office that i've threatened to go spray
paint and make it a little bit more aesthetically pleasing. >> do you know what they are? do you even know? >> i haven't asked. i probably should given the pounding that i hear in my office. maybe it is the monument. >> all of the options the administration is considering on fannie mae and freddie mac essentially meant to cutting government support for that market which would either raise fees, end or lower the amount that could be borrowed with government guarantees. is the obama administration going to backtrack on support for working middle class families buying houses? >> let me address your question in a couple of different ways. obviously the financial reform legislation that passed a little more than six months ago required a process for
reforming the nation's housing finance market. on friday secretaries geithner and donovan will unveil what some of those options are and i will wait to -- wait for them to do that. >> would you favor anything that made it harder for middle class families? >> i would favor both secretary it's rolling that out on friday and answering -- secretaries rolling that out on friday and answering all of your questions. >> one of the elements of the republican proposal in the budget is to eliminate -- [inaudible] now, i remember -- eliminate funding for americorps. i remember in iowa, standing there in the audience while ted southernson stood by barack obama, talking about service and support for americorps figured prominently in his campaign for president.
would he consider signing a piece of legislation that eliminated americorps? >> i think we're a long way from getting a piece of legislation to sign. as i said earlier, you know, we look forward to seeing what republicans have put out, will you see on monday what the president puts out in a budget that over the course of the next five years will freeze spending levels resulting in cuts of about hds 400 billion and roll -- $400 billion and rolling us back to a spending level of a percentage of our economy that we haven't seen since eisenhower was president. i think we all agree that spending has to be reduced. and i think we're going to spend a lot of time in the next several months working to see what investments need to be made to address the challenges that we have in the future and i think that's what some of
that debate is going to be about. >> you can ask ann the question on eliminating americorps? >> i appreciate your theories. >> can i ask you a question on egypt? what role has the advice chief been getting from friendly arab governments in the play of the recalibration of the administration's policy over the last couple of weeks? >> what recalibration do you speak of? >> just the main recalibration -- the meaning of now, in calling for an early transition. >> i haven't spoken to any of those governments but i interpreted now the same way the president did and that was both when president mubarak said he was leaving and when the president said that that transition must begin now. i think that was a week ago monday. but it's clear, mike, that the
government has not taken the necessary steps that the people of egypt need to see. that's why more and more people come out to register their grievances. but our notion of when the transition needed to have started hasn't changed. what the people of egypt seek in those grievances hasn't changed. what has to change is the posture of the government in addressing what the people of egypt need to see. >> was there much staff in the lunch or was it just the four principles? >> i believe it was on our side, the president, the vice president, the chief of staff, speaker of the majority leader and the majority whip, total of six. >> so -- [inaudible] >> no that i'm aware of, no. >> and the associated press came out with an investigation showing that several different c.i.a. officials who were involved in some of the worst
abuses during the bush administration and even some incidents in this administration have been promoted to leadership positions and consistently not disciplined. is the president comfortable with the system of discipline and accountability? >> the president has great confidence in the men and women that do the very difficult jobs at the c.i.o. i have not looked into that and -- c.i.a. i have not looked into that and i would point you over to c.i.a. for that. >> is friday your last day? >> still is, yes. >> still is? >> technically i will be here until sunday but my last brief something friday. >> i'm wondering if you might share with us what advice would you give to jay and any questions he might have. >> i tried that just yesterday. it ended -- >> i was having lunch with the first lady yesterday. >> ooh. >> ooh. >> oh, my gosh. >> name dropper. [laughter]
[inaudible] >> you didn't answer it yesterday. how about today? >> i did answer ann. i didn't catch ari eambings. >> just keep asking. >> as i said, look, i'm not going to give you everything that i've talked to jay about for a hole host of reasons, much as i'm sure you all have talked about what jay's going to bring and our discussing those with myself and jay. but, look, the advice i have for him is i think the advice that i got from the people like mar lon fitswater and other who have done his job so well. and that is, obviously first and foremost, regardless of what you know and what you're asked, your solemn obligation is to always tell the truth.
and while that may seem readily obvious, obviously in the past it's not always been the case. i think that, as i said yesterday, i think it is remarkable to watch transspiring halfway around the world a fight for a freedom of speech and a way of life that we have and we participate in each and every day here. i think the universal values that this government espouses, one of those is a healthy freedom of the press and a desire to have an informed public because, based on sessions like the one we're having. and i'll say this, while we're on the subject of halfway
around the world, these sessions have been broadcast thousands of miles away and interpreted for billions of people. they watch your questions and they watch this government's answerses -- answers. i think it reminds us of the seriousness with which we all approach our jobs each day. and the seriousness with which the world watches the example of this country, as an example for all the world. so, that and a lot of other things. >> you didn't give him a does yea. >> i didn't say that. [laughter] >> can i follow up on that. the president and his relationship with the opposition is something that's watched around the world, too. in the luncheon today you skirted around about what was talked, didn't get much
specifics. does the a lunch like this in a the bigger picture of things have much impact? is there a relationship between the president and the speaker that takes root in something like this? >> i think that -- i don't think this can only be a one -- i don't think the president believes this can be a one-time only affair. i think that in order to particularly in a government that is divided in its control, obviously the requirement is -- the requirement for something to get here means it has to go through an entity that's controlled by the republican party and an entity that's controlled by the democratic party. so we know without the type of dialogue and seeking of common ground that something like today's lunch does, we're not
going to see any progress on behalf of the american people on the issues that they have concerns about. reducing our deficit, an atmosphere for creating jobs, continued -- the continued safety and security of the american people. so i think all of those require that we try on both sides a little harder to understand where the other side is and more importantly to understand where we all agree and i think that continues that process. >> the president foreswearing the sharper political rhetoric he used in 2010? >> i think each entity would say that what is said in a campaign is different than -- we have campaigns for a reason. right? we have people make choices and then after those campaigns we get about to governing the
country. i think what -- certainly what this president hopes is that we spend the next many months leading up to something that's far, far away, in 2012, and we spend the next many months addressing and finding that common ground and addressing the challenges that we know the american people want us to address. there will be plenty of time to get back to a political campaign and i think it's important that we spend time focusing on what's on people's minds. >>ky follow up on that? tomorrow i believe the republicans in the house will be unveiling about a half a trillion dollars worth of specific budget cuts they want to enact. relatively immediately. did the president in effect get a preview of that? did they get that specific? >> not that i'm aware of. again, i think they talked
broadly about the need to cut spending, but i am not aware that they got a preview of what they'll unveil tomorrow. >> on the subject of the transition, is jay going to brief on monday or dive right? >> -- in? >> i believe he will. >> [inaudible] . >> purple tie. >> maybe a couple of purple ties will do him well. >> there's going to be -- [inaudible] you can talk about what the president's going to be saying tomorrow? >> let me wait for that. i mean, obviously the president is, he'll get into some policy specifics on this, but obviously what the president -- what the president outlined in the state of the union wp an agenda how to invate, educate and builds the competition, we're focusing tomorrow in
marquette, the portion of building the type of infrastructure and wireless networks that are needed to attract the jobs of tomorrow. and to help train students to continue to be the most productive work force in the world. so we will highlight that tomorrow in the trip and they'll have more details on that. >> robert, does the president think governor cane would make a pretty good senator in virginia and does he think that jim webb might make a good secretary of defense? >> i should answer both those questions on monday. [laughter] no, look, without getting into who would be a good candidate for either one of those jobs, obviously i think senator webb has great experience.
i mentioned his continued service to this country and obviously his service in the navy has been important. and obviously i think -- i particularly -- somebody like governor cane was the governor of the state or commonwealth that i'm from and i think did a terrific job as governor, is doing a terrific job as it's chairman of the d.n.c. >> one other quick question. the president obviously watches you, i presume he watches you. has he ever -- what was the most interesting piece of advice he had after observing one of these? >> i can't recall necessarily that. i mean, look, i will say this, i think one of the things that i think will continue not just with jay but press secretaries
that come after is the type of important access that each individual has and needs to do the type of job that you do. each of the last several days, particularly i've gone to talk to him about egypt. and to talk to him about what our continued public messaging has to be. and i know that jay will enjoy the same type of access that i've had and that others before me have had, in being able to go in and get from the president his thoughts directly. and i think that will be a great benefit to you. >> robert, i asked you a question -- >> [inaudible] [laughter] >> all right.
robert, i was going to -- i've been asking you a question for last couple of days and i hope you have an answer. >> is this the calls? >> yes. >> i will get this for you tonight. i went into ask him about voting and i got the answer and i came back and about 15 minutes later i went back to try to get the second answer and he had gone to have incidenter with the girls and i did not get an answer. i will get that as soon as i get out of here clfment thank you. i look forward to getting it from you on friday. now also, $350 million will be touched for the community service block grant. what do you say to the graduate community that benefits from these community block grants as they -- [inaudible] >> he does understand the importance that -- the importance of this funding, but
as jack said in his op ed, the president and jack have talked about in the construction of the budget, we have reached a point where we have to do something about what we take in and what we spend and the great divergence in those two numbers. and that this process is not going to be an easy one. it means that on each side we're going to have to give a little on things that are -- even that are greatly important to us. and if we simply exempted everything that was important to everybody in this process, we would simply continue the process of spending much, much more than we have. >> but in that september 10 press conference the president had, he talked about his efforts as a community, someone who is in the community, who works for the community. and how far -- and he
understands, he said he understood what it meant to be an active force for grassroots organizations and communities. but how far did the president go to spare the $350 million cut to these programs? >> well, look, obviously we had to make a series of decisions. i think when you see the budget come out, you'll see very little that was spared in the tough decisions that had to be made to construct a budget that gets us back on a path toward fiscal responsibility. it's not that he doesn't care about the grassroots, it's that all of these decisions are going to be tough and quite frankly all the easy decisions have been made. those decisions are going to not just impact the type of discretionary spending in april that you're talking about,
you've seen the secretary of defense has made it one of his priorities to get rid of weapons programs that even those in the military don't want. there are a series of tough decisions that will be laid out both in the budget that the president has and in going forward that even make changes to things that we believe are priorities. yes, sir. >> thank you, robert. i have two questions, brief ones. one on american politics, one on egypt. we know what you think of chairman cane. since his conversation with senator webb, has the president had a phone conversation with chairman cane or former congressman parillow? >> not that i'm aware of on either one. when i had come out here he had not spoken to either one of those. >> regarding egypt right now, we know very much about the conversations the vice president has with vice president suleiman. you've spoken of contacts in levels of government. is the administration in touch with dr. al baradei or with the former egyptian foreign
minister who sounds increasingly like a canned -- candidate for president? >> let me check and see if the embassy has any more guidance. i know that the embassy reached out and talked with mr.al bar die. i want to say -- al baradei. i want to say, sometimes a lot of days run together, i think sometime early last week. let me see if i can get a better sense of when that date was and whether we've had other contact with each of those individuals. .
i think the opposition also has to come up with -- a whole host of the opposition need to come up with a path for it as well. i think that, that conversation and those negotiations have got to take place or we're going to find ourselves in a largely intractable position. >> go there and then i will go
to you. >> thank you, robert. >> on egypt again. i just came back from cairo. you don't hear about them as much but there are major demonstrations. can you hear more and more from the first day to the last day. people screaming, u.s. stay out of this. to which point is the administration worried by supporting the pro-democracy movement, it will fuel more dangerous anti-american sentiment? >> again, this is not for us to decide or determine. i don't think that -- i think what we see happening is what we see in terms of the growing number of crowds, people protesting. the demands of which can only be met by the government. they can't be met by us.
that's not for us to determine. as i said before, we can't provide the definition of what those freedom looks like for the egyptian people. i think you heard us say from the very beginning of this that these are challenges that only be solved by the people in egypt on both sides of this. that has been our posture the entire time and that will continue to be our posture. >> what about the young people in egypt in the street, calling to reports some of them have said yes we can, we're ready to die for democracy, what do you want to tell them? >> what i want to tell them as the president said in his remarks after president mubarak
stepped down, that we hear your call for it. we respect your cal for the universal rights that we advocates that the government of egypt pursue. and that it is clear to all of those that watch that unless or until progress is made, it's not likely that any of the crowds are going away. i think that's why it's incumbent the government of egypt without delay proceed in a process that provides this sort of immediate irreversible progress that vice president biden talked about yesterday. >> thanks, robert. two quick questions. first of all on egypt, over the weekend sarah palin said of the administration's response, we need to know what it is that america stands for so we know who it is america stands with. do you think that's sort of a dog whistle to the birthers? and is that -- >> you know.
i think dad asked me this -- dan asked me this question on monday. >> wait. >> no, i'm sorry. fair enough. fair enough. i'm sorry. let me rephrase that. let me rephrase that. dan had asked me to respond to sarah palin, i think my response was that after having read what she said several times, it was hard for me to discern what she particularly was saying. so therefore i didn't really have an immediate reaction to -- nor do i have upon reflection any greater understanding to what she said or reaction to it. >> are you questioning the president's americaness that you do not have a reaction? do you agree? >> i read that answer probably four times and still don't know what -- still don't know what she said. thank you. >> thank you. >> i'm sorry.
secretary of the navy but obviously a marine. sorry. >> republican representative christopher lee resigned today after numerous media reports that he had sought dates with women on craigslist. in a statement this afternoon, the married congressman from western new york said, "i regret any harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents." thus mr. lee was re-elected s to a second term last fall. right now be live at booktv.org,
former defense secretary donald rumsfeld is talking about his new memoir, "known and unknown" at the national constitution center in philadelphia. he's being interviewed by historian michael beschloss live as an exclusive book tv webcast. go to booktv.org right now to see it. this weekend on "book tv" on c-span2, george freeman, founder of "next decade" and also donald rumsfeld sits down with michael beschloss to talk about "the noun and unknown." and abbas milani on the shaw of iran. find the schedule at booktv.org and get our schedule e-mailed to you. sign up for our book tv alert. >> this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, voting discrimination in the south and
kennedy's administration's strategy to overcome it. also the look at the beliefs of our founding fathers and role of christianity in our nation and senator norway with his service in world war ii with the 442 &ed remptal combat team. experience american history tv on c-span 3. all weekend, every weekend. go to c span.org/history and click on the c-span alert button and have the schedules e-mailed to you. >> the u.s. role in egypt continued to be a major topic at today's state department briefing. spokesman p.j. crawley also denied reports that the u.s. has cut off all contacts with pakistan because of the detention of an american in that country holding a diplomatic passport. this is about 45 minutes.
>> i don't want to start before everyone is comfortable. good afternoon and welcome to the department of state. just two things to mention this afternoon, secretary clinton will join national security adviser tom done lynn and secretary bob gates at the white house for a meeting with israeli defense minister ehud barak. they will discuss a range of issues. i'm certain that egypt among them. and ambassador robert king, our special envoy for north korean human rights issues is in seoul today and met with national security adviser wu and members of the national assembly of various parties. they had valuable discussions on north korea human rights related issues. tomorrow he will also meet with the minister for unification.
>> that's it? >> that's it. >> on egypt, before we get into the breadth, have you seen the interview mr. gate has done with pbs? >> i have not. i'm aware i think our friend and colleague margaret warner was there today. >> in that interview he's pretty angry about what he regards as interference in the u.s. -- u.s. trying -- the administration trying to dictate to the egyptian leadership how and when they should do this transition. do you -- what do you make of those comments? >> i haven't seen them so i'm reluctant to comment specifically. i think from our stand spgs point, what's important here is not how we view things s we're not trying to dictate anything
as we said and emphasized many times, there will be egyptian solution and egyptian actions within this orderly transition. but it's important that what egypt does do is is -- is seen as credible in thize of the egyptian people and it's our view that what they put forward so far does not meet that threshold. >> so when you or when the vice president calls the vice president of egypt and says, you must repeal the emergency laws and you must stop cracking down on protesters or intimidating the opposition, that's not telling the egyptian what's to do? >> well, we don't see that as interference. as we evaluate this process, we evaluate what's going on, it is our view that the egyptian government needs to show that
it's serious about pursuing this transition and what the vice president outlined in his discussion yesterday weapon vice president suleman from our standpoint are the kinds of very specific and irreversible steps that we believe the people of egypt are looking for. >> but whether or not you think it rises to the level of interference, quote/unquote, interference. isn't telling the vice president that the emergency laws need to be repealed and protesters should not be intimidated, are you telling them what to do? >> no. what we're doing is commenting on unfolding events in egypt consistent with both our policies and our values. go back and look what we advocated from the start. there be no violence, universal rights be respected and that there be political change in egypt.
and what the vice president outlined in his discussion yesterday is fully consistent with our values and our policies . >> but you still told them what to do, right? >> ultimately what happens in egypt will be -- >> i understand that. but it's more than commenting on this. the vice president of the united states called up the vice president of egypt and said, do this, do this and do this. i don't see how that -- how you can possibly say that isn't telling them what to do. >> these will be egyptian decisions and we are providing our best perspective on what the government needs to do to meet the aspirations of the egyptian people. >> i really haven't seen the transcript of those remarks, but he said that he regards this as the united states trying to impose its will on the egypt. he said he's amazed at the call for an immediate repeal of the
emergency law because he points out or he says that they are dealing with 17,000 escaped prisoners who are on the streets. and they need to get the situation under control and then they will look at this. are you disappointed that within 24 hours the vice president's foughts whether you regard them as dictating or not have been rebuffed so quickly and vehemently by the egyptians? >> with all due respect, it's less about what we think. it's more about what the people of egyptian thinks, what they think. there have been pledges made by the government. there have been commitments that have been advanced by the government and now it's important to have real actions that are consistent with those.
with all due respect to the foreign minister, he should not be amazed if that's the word that he used at our call for rescinding the emergency law. we have been calling for that for years f. not decades. again, let's go from back to front, what we want to see for egypt. we think it's viablely important to egypt's future with free, fair and credible elections. and we want to see a broad based open process that allows egypt to move forward and advance to reach that objective. and we continue to advocate for the kinds of actions that first show that the process that is unfolding is credible and second that it is an inclusive process where opposition figures,
members of civil society have a real opportunity to participate in this process. we think these are the kinds of actions that get to where free, fair and credible elections are legitimate elections are feasible. >> from the other perspective, there are those who say that the united states did not quote, interfere enough. that the u.s. basically didn't do what was warned and this is, of course, that article by jackson beal quoting the experts of the working groups on egypt which he says contacted the secretary or others in the administration numerous times saying that things were crumbling, a turning point and the administration should change its policy. that they were in essence predicting precisely what has happened. did the secretary pay attention to that? was there discussion about it?
>> i don't see how the -- what the working group aspires to or differs from what the secretary advocated in her doha speech. she said very clearly that the status quo that applies to egypt and other countries in the region as well is unsustainable. i think we have been encouraging for a number of years these autocratic governments reform. i think there have been many, many speeches going over months that have advocated for this throughout the region. i don't remember anything in the most recent letter or in past letters that said on january 25th this will happen. we understood fully that the vulnerabilities that have existed within these governments
as the gap emerged between what they were delivering for the people and what the people were aspiring to, that anybody could have predicted had the conversation of very specific, unique events that started in tunisia and have continued in egypt, no one predicted that the spark that everyone recognized the vulnerabilities. >> they were saying to pursue this a little further, they were saying this a year ago, at least ten months ago. and what they were saying also is that they were in no uncertain terms saying it was a turning point and secretary clinton's speech which we were at is just a month ago, maybe, i guess correct. but just a month ago. the red flags were out there, they would say. a year ago. >> i think we fully agree with the red flag. but it's interesting the red flag and events that have unfolded over the past few weeks
, i mean we have invested in civil society and democracy programs in egypt for some time. so i just don't see the criticism as being valid. >> are you aware of the statement by the -- made by the vice president just a short while ago today that it's either mubarak or a coup basically is what he said. are you aware of that? >> i have seen that perhaps in one press report. >> doubt have any reaction -- do you have any reaction to that? >> no. in fact, what we're encouraging egypt to do is a -- i believe vice president suleman said it himself yesterday that the goal here is a peaceful transfer of power. that's everyone's aspiration for egypt. but now that there is an orderly transition under way is vitally important for the government to deliver specific actions, congress crete actions, irreversible actions that
demonstrate to the people of egypt that this is a credible, real process. >> is there a schism involving between the united states and egypt as close frank and ally and that's why in fact the leaders in the region are running scared and scurrying about in trying to pressure the administration to stick to mubarak, is that -- >> again, as a former boss of mine would say, you're looking through the wrong end of the telescope. these are events folding in egypt and this is a process that the egyptian government needs to lead with full participation by opposition figures, members of the civil society and to engage the egyptian people. it will be the egyptian people who ultimately decide about egypt's future. they should have that opportunity to participate in and influence how this will
happen. which country in the regions will draw their own lessons from this. but president mubarak already announced he will not run in a free election. his son will not change so there's going to be change in egypt. now will come the hard challenge of working through what we hope would be a credible, real process to bring that change forward. >> expanding on that point -- >> hold on a second. hold on. >> have plenty of time. >> could this statement be interpreted as a veil threat for the military? >> it's not for me to interpret that. >> getting back to the second question there, not the last one, the second one, on the idea arab leaders are telling you to take it easy, is that take it easy on egypt and take it easy
in calls for mubarak to leave or him to not run, is that correct? >> we at all levels from secretary clinton under secretary bill burns, assistant secretary jeff feldman, we're proudly engaged with countries in the region. as the second meeting with defense minister barack, we will hear a variety of views of what's unfolding in egypt. countries will study what's happening there and learn their own lessons and apply those in their own context. it's not for me to characterize, country by country, leader by leader is unfolding and we will draw their own conclusions. >> have you heard from leaders
in the region that perhaps it will be best to go slowly? >> again, i'm not going to characterize what we are hearing from other countries. >> you and the white house have been saying that they are calling for irreversible steps. can you give me an example of what a irreversible step? it seems any step they take is reversible, short of someone killing themself, i mean, they can repeal the emergency laws, but they can reverse it and put it back in place. what's an irreversible step? >> irreversible steps i would associate with real fundamental and lasting change. >> what does that mean? any country can go from -- any comment can transform itself into a democracy, even perhaps a model democracy. matt, i think it relates to the relationship that the government
has with its people. once the people have the ability to participate fully and once a government is acting on behalf of and in response to the will of the people, then that is a fundamentally different environment than -- then a government that is serving for the benefit of the elite and not for the benefit of the broad population. so we're talking about real fundamental change and there are concrete actions that are necessary to help achieve that. >> i just want to seek one clarification. the timing of that in doha, it was the strongest statement i think that the secretary has made sinking into the sand comment. why did he do it at that particular point? because we know very quickly
after that, we did have tunisia and did have egypt was there an indication this would happen? >> no. but it is why we have supported the forum for the future which brings together leaders to help them understand and see the regional and clear demographic challenge that is under way. but it is a forum like that that brings together gloft leaders, entrepreneurs who can be agents for change to bring about the demeck and social reform that the secretary called for in her speech. >> she did not have any indication something was brewing, something was going to happen? >> i think it was a fortuitous coincidence. >> on pakistan -- >> can we go back on egypt for once? >> sure. >> it's been 16 days since the
revolution started in egypt and it seemed the egyptian government was not happy with the point of view of the administration. on monday president obama talked about progress that he is seeing happening with negotiations. do you still have the same view today that you see there's a progress or do you see the egyptian government on the right path? >> again, the president has offered his perspective throughout these past two weeks and as we continue to underscore , there is a making of the process that is under way. there are steps the government has taken. and our advice in the present call with president mubarak and the vice president's call with some haven't suleman and secretary's call with not only
the vice president but also foreign minister abu gate is now within this process you have to open it up. you have to invite in all of the relevant political actors. you will have to find ways tone gage with the people who are in the square. you have to bring in business leaders, all of whom want to have the ability to help join in this process and shape egypt's future. and what's compelling even as steps being taken, as they are being offered publicly, they have to translate into concrete and as i said, it's not our perspective what has been advanced so far meets the test in the eyes of the egyptian people. >> but on monday the president said he saw progress. today is wednesday.
do you still see progress? >> the president's words speaks for themselves. >> is that just a smoke screen gi the boston? >> well, we want to see the government translate into concrete, meaningful and lasting actions. so far what they've done while useful falls short of the standard that we think the egyptian people are saying. >> the egyptian military, several officials so far are hinting that the government might use the military force to protesters and future events. you think these kind of comments are helpful? >> again, we respect the role that the egyptian military
played so well -- so far, and we continue to encourage them to show the restraints they have shown in recent days. >> there were at least two days last week when their soldiers withdrew from tahrir square and pro-mubarak activists came in and started throwing stones and using clubs and in some cases tossing molotov cocktails at the anti-mubarak demonstrators, and there are -- have been plenty of interviews on tv of people saying they got beat up by pro-mubarak demonstrators with solders standing just a few feet away. surely you are aware these things happen. do you not think maybe they are restrained in that case just to worsen the violence?
>> well, obviously, it depends on your starting point. if your starting point is in the very first days of what happened and the ineffective actions or even destructive actions of the egyptian police. i think when the military stepped in, the situation did stabilize. now, i do think that after the unfortunate violence for those couple of days, the egyptian military did adjust its presence and adjust its tactics on the ground. again, that has helped to sustain where we are today. .
>> we are supporting a process that allows the government civil society. business figures and other key figures a vital role in this process. and how this unfolds will be for the the egyptian people and the egyptian institutions to determine. again, we continue to encourage this. we have ongoing programs within egypt. we will continue to evaluate how to make our ongoing programs applicable and official as each goes through this process. we are doing what we can.
i understand that this is an e egyptian process. the decision on how this unfolds remains in egypt. >> he called on america to do much more to get the peace process moving again. he called on them to drop the belligerent language. were you surprised at what he said and you agree with him? >> you know, it is not for me to characterize his comments other than to say he remains a key partner and working toward a two-stage solution. we will continue to work in the context of the quartet. our focus is on the framework of
the core issues. i have no doubt that this topic will come up in the discussion with barak this afternoon. we continue our efforts. they are ongoing. this follows a meeting that he had with israeli negotiator last week. we are going to continue to engage the parties in the coming days and weeks with our continued efforts to work on the process. i do expect this will be an issue discussed this afternoon in the meeting at the white house. i expect the white house will read out the meeting.
>> are they bilateral? >> well, today at the state department, i am not aware if there is an israeli delegation here. i am not aware. >> as far as you're concerned, there are no scheduled meetings? >> barak will be at the white house. i know of no other interactions. >> [inaudible] >> american samoa i just said, i would not be surprised if the peace project -- as i just said, i would not be surprised if peace projects come up. >> how exactly are they a key
partner or a member of the quartet per say? >> they feed into the eu positions. he has had a number of interactions with the parties. the united kingdom is its own player in this process. >> it seems there is no credible report, and but 300 people killed by egyptian security may be. you have a prediction about how
many were killed? >> this is something our embassy is monitoring. i am not at a position to cooperate -- i think it is the unirhgt's number. >> do you -- >> what we have advocated from day one is that all sides to refrain from violence. all sides respect universal bodies including the right to assembly and so forth. that is fundamental to our advocacy to an orderly and peaceful transition. >> what about the people who have been killed so far? whoever is responsible for the killing -- >> we express our concern about the ongoing and we want it to
stop. >> i had a couple of questions. first, what is the status -- has the u.s. suspended any talks? has in the u.s. suspended any talks because of the case? >> could you be more specific? the reports that we have suspended all contacts with the pakistani government is not true. we continue to have high-level contacts in both pakistan and here to be able to express to them the importance that we attach to resolving this issue in this case. we will use every opportunity in our engagement with the pakistani government. >> has there been any contact
since monday at a high level? >> i believe today the ambassador had at a meeting with the interior minister. >> specifically about this issue? >> yes. >> is he actually a u.s. government employee or is he a contractor working for the u.s. government? >> i will just repeat what i have said all along. he is a u.s. diplomat. he was assigned to the embassy in islamabad. he has immunity. we call for his release. >> if he has immunity, that would mean he is not a contractor, right? contractors are not eligible for immunity? >> i do not know if that is correct. >> like black water and i rock, they were subject to prosecution. -- like a blackwater in iraq,
they were subject to prosecution. >> he has diplomatic immunity. >> you said you have reports that suspended all context with pakistan, have you suspended any? have you not had at meetings or have you let pakistan is no that certain people or officials will not be able to meet with pakistani officials? >> again, if you have a specific question, i will be happy to answer. >> did you tell pakistani he would not be able to meet with them? >> he did not show up. he chose not telecom -- >> prior to his decision not to come to munich, did you let him know that the secretary would not be available to meet with the foreign minister? >> let me take it from back to front. there was a meeting in munich.
>> yes. >> the foreign minister was not there. as for the reason why the minister was not -- >> i am not asking why he did not come. i am asking if you told the pakistani. >> there was not going to be a meeting in munich. >> there was never a scheduled meeting? >> all i can tell you was that there was not a plan to be there. >> back and ask you one more thing. immediately after the shootings, there was a u.s. vehicle that rushed to the scene and hit a bystander and killed a civilian. what is the status -- were the people in that vehicle american citizens? >> to be honest with you, i have receive different information on that. it is a matter of under investigation. i will see if we can find out if it was an american citizen driving the vehicle. >> was a u.s. embassy vehicle?
>> i will take all the questions around that. >> they do not accept the fact that he has immunity. are they telling you exactly why? >> i am not sure that is a correct statement. i know there are lots of things that are put out by an unnamed official. we did notify pakistan of this diplomat's arrival. we do not believe that there is any ambiguity about that. >> is that all it takes? the just notify them? do they not have to accept that this person has diplomatic immunity? but i say this country tells us this and the country x says he has the media.
as he did it or does the country say we accept that. >> you are waiting to end -- >> is it possible to find out? >> yes. >> and the other thing directly relates to this whole thing is the upcoming supposed to be held on the 24 of this month. i know there are still plans that these meetings are still being planned. >> true statement. >> is it possible that the meeting could be postponed if the case is not resolved or that it might be held at a level lower than anticipated at the moment which is a ministerial? >> pretty trilateral meeting at the end of this month, it is currently scheduled. if we make any changes, we will let you know. >> it is possible that it can be downgraded or part of? >> we want to have a productive meeting.
there is a reason we do not think the meeting is productive, we are prepared to make adjustments. we will let you know. >> are resolutions to this case ilat to betty try las productive? >> can we go to -- >> i am not sure i would characterize it in that way. it is an important opportunity for north korea to demonstrate its sincerity and willingness to engage in dialogue. and understand when delegation walked out today, >> we are putting an official sang both the talks have collapsed. they have not agreed on a date
for their next meeting. are you suggesting that the meeting went well? >> i am not suggesting that the meeting went swimmingly well. we have been briefed on the meeting by south korea. we will assess what it means and what korea needs to take meaningful steps to improve korean relations. meetings like this accomplished that and reduce tensions that have arisen between north and south korea due to north korea's provocative actions. we will continue to evaluate what unfolds going forward. clearly this was an important opportunity for north korea to demonstrate its sincerity. >> is a missed opportunity then? >> you could call it that.
>> north korea, they continue to deny any involvement and repeatedly apologized which the south korean side demanded. do you think the specific actions should be included when north korea shows there a concern? >> again, the talks were between north and south korea. i think the first judgment as to what transpired over the past days, we certainly believe north korea has to take responsibility for its recent actions, the shelling -- and
then demonstrate that it is going to take steps to reduce tensions. this was an opportunity to do this. clearly having north korea walking out puts it in the category of a missed opportunity. >> was not prompted by harsh weather conditions in there and has raised new concerns. >> let me take it beyond the context of ambassador king goes the discussions. we continue to monitor the situation and career.
we have provided food assistance in the past. we had a program that i believe was under way through the early part of the 2009. it was abruptly ended. we have no plans at this point to resume food aid into north korea. we have made it clear what will be needed if there was going to be restoration of food aid which includes an assessment. the ability to manage the program and it to monitor the program on the ground to make sure the food gets to those who need it the most and not diverted to to those within the government. >> do you agreed that the it and whether is extremely harsh, that
would prompt -- >> it could be weather related. it could also be related to failed economic policies of north korea. probably more than one factor. >> can you add any details to .esterday's's daily brief wasn't this visit -- was there any urgency to this a visit or was it planned all along? >> we are hurt that you called our trip announcement date. -- our trip announcement fake. why do we not do this. we will give you a readout undersecretary's trip to moscow. he has known the country a very well. when he goes there there is a
broad range of issues. also in the context of our work with russia as part of the quartet for example. another thing is clearly the exchange of instruments on saturday and at munich between secretary clemson. we have work to do to see where our mutual arms control agenda move up from here. we have ongoing work on the bi national commission efforts that were instituted to president obama last year. there is a lot on our agenda and for russia. >> in what has your message been
all along to the haitian government about this? >> iowa 8 think he has been issued a passport. as to what kind of passport, that is a matter for the government of haiti. >> what is your reaction? >> again we do not know any travel plans that he has. he still remains in south africa. our focus is on in the next six weeks and that they run up to the march 20 election. we would hate to see any action that introduces divisiveness and to this election process. >> are you encouraging him -- discouraging him?
>> we would be concerned if he returns to haiti before the election. it would prove to be an unfortunate distraction. the people of haiti should be evaluating the two candidates that will participate in the runoff. i think that should be their focus. >> does not mean you are ok with the returning afterwards? >> what he ultimately does whether sooner or later is a matter for the former president and the governor of haiti. i think we are concerned that if he returns sooner, it might alm that is needed for the elect a process. >> have you communicated that to his people? did you discourage haiti from
issuing a passport in the first place? >> i do not know what conversations we have had with the haitian government. all i can tell you is that we are weary of any distractions that can complicate the ongoing election process. >> what about south africa? have you told them anything? >> i will just leave it there. >> on that point -- is he a prisoner of south africa? >> our concern is making sure the kind of environment that will lead to a credible election and as a result that the haitian people will accept. any action by any player that we think distracts haiti from and getting the kind of government and they need to carry forward
the rebuilding of haiti and we think would be unwise. >> may i just point out for the record so the next time you use what i am about to say for not asking something this comes back to haunt you, you just answered and a hypothetical question. the next time you are presented with an "if" question, i hope you will remember. >> there was a meeting today with the japanese official. do you have a readout of that meeting? >> i do not have a readout per say. i would tell you that i believe assistant secretary campbell was a part of that meeting with the director general. so was ambassador to moscow
worth. tomorrow -- so was ambassador bosworth. and other japanese counterparts from the foreign affairs and defense called security subcommittee meeting. i think the focus was on north korea. >> are they talking about how to go forward? >> again we regularly consult with japan, south korea, russia on these issues. >> [inaudible] >> that is not true. we have begun the process. there is a lot before they are taken off the state sponsored
terrorism. where is this weekend on book tv on c-span2, he offers his predictions for u.s. foreign policy over the decade. also, former defense secretary runs field sits down to talk about his memoir "known and uknown." find the complete schedule on booktv.org. set up for our book tee alert. >> this weekend on "american history tv,"a look of the elite of our founding fathers and christianity. the senator on his military service in world war two
experience american history tv on c-span3. all weekend, every weekend. go to cspan.org and click on the alert button to have the schedules e-mail that to you. >> today in the house, members debated the measures and overpayments to the united nations on. the measure brought up as part of the republican program failed to receive the majority to pass. here is what homeland security peter king of new york had to say about the bill. ng and i rise in opposition to this legislation and i say that as one who has voted continually for reform at the u.n., has been
critical of funding procedures involving the u.n. but i'm here today to save lives. the fact, is contrary to what's been said, i don't want to be caught in a fight between democrats and republicans, between the obama administration, the state department, the u.n., between chairmen and ranking members, i am here because of the fact that this is not something that started three months ago or four months ago or five months ago. this has been an ongoing matter between the new york city police department and the u.n. and the state department. the results of an attack in this area would be catastrophic. i'm not going to go into details. anyone who wants to check, the series of correspondents going back long before this became an issue here in congress, about how vital it was to have this $100 million in construction changes and the first avenue or the perimeter. the fact is, this is a disaster waiting to happen. and i would say to members on both sides, if there is an attack, if there is a vehicle bomb, if there is an attack in these areas that have been designated by commissioner quelly and we see hundreds of
lives lost, thousands of lives lost, we're going to come back and say, well, that could have been taken care of but it was in this account rather than that account, authorized but not appropriated or it was spent by the u.n. at the direction of the state department and congress didn't have time to act in time. the fact is this is a matter of life and death. this is a serious matter. i was on the phone late last night with the heightest ranking people in the new york city police department and i was listening to them. we can have our debate back and forth. we can go back on forth on who was hiding what. the fact is i'm concerned about saving lives, not just for new yorkers but all the tourists who visit there. the impact this would have. after people are concerned about saving money, think of very harsh economic terms, what this would do to our economy if a car bomb went off in the i have tinity specified by commissioner kelly and we saw people being burned to death, buildings coming down because we felt the money wasn't done exactly the money wasn't done exactly the appropriate way as far as
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