tv Washington Journal CSPAN May 19, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EDT
about the middle east and live coverage of the senate homeland security committee hearing with the director of national intelligence. in about 45 minutes, a look at the gop presidential field with tom davis of the republican means street partnership. consumer product safety commission chairman. and national journal reporter on u.s. border security. host: add 11:40 a.m. eastern time, the president will be at the state department to deliver his vision of u.s. middle east policy. most newspapers have extensive previews of the speech. it will be live on c-span. that is what we want to talk about this morning on the "washington journal." what would you like to hear from the president? what policies would you like to see the u.s. pursue in the middle east. 202 is the area code for our
numbers -- remember to leave 30 days between your calls. and you can also tweet us. from the c-span website is this preview of the speech. obama to address shifting mideast policy. in light of the arab spring pro- democracy movement and the killing of osama bin laden, president obama will provide an update --
texas on our democrats' line. what would you like to hear from the present? caller: good morning, peter. i have nothing but total confidence in this president. i leave it totally up to him. i just have never been so proud to be american before. i just have nothing else to say but that, peter. i am just tickled pink. host: in and day out, virginia. andrew, another democrat. caller: i would like to see our president say he is going to close the syrian embassy. this is a country which he has renewed diplomatic relations with and since then they have been shooting women and children in the street. they have been shooting the dead bodies to make sure they are dead. they have been driving people out of their country and they have been running away to lebanon and turkey and and were that they could find. i would like to see the president take a stand instead of waiting until the arabs do
caller: thank you for c-span. i wanted to follow up what the other caller said -- i am also proud american. never more proud as i am now with president obama representing america. as far as him talking about the middle east, i would like him to reiterate the is going to keep america safe and we will have strong defense. but also in our travels, that we will have safe travel, including greyhound bus and amtrak and continued air travel but that all middle eastern will be treated with dignity. i would also like to remind america that the election should not give us too much diversion that we are all americans. and after that, a lot of was good i reached out to every person who was different for my views and said tonight we are
american and i would like to continue in the spirit and not be caught up in partisan politics while al qaeda is plotting the next block. line,on the democrats' leonard from ohio. caller: thank you, c-span. how are you all today? host: good. caller: our president has been doing wonderful but you always have your conflicts in any job trying to get things done right. but i think it is time that our present stand strongly on the foreign policy of getting out of their government problems, political problems. i understand they want -- we need to bring these boys home from there and let it go. and i thank you for your time
out there. host: the numbers are a little bit different this morning. rose is a republican from louisiana. caller: what i would like for the president not to do is apologize for america and i would like for him to stand with israel. thank you very much. host: from "the wall street journal" this morning, this article.
that is in "the wall street journal" this morning. in "the washington times" is this article. what do you want to hear from president obama when he gives his middle east address at 11:40 a.m. this morning? crystal river, florida. it's hot on the independent line. what do you want to hear? caller: i like the last article
saying he wants to be stricter with israel because israel is really one of the big problems over there. syria needs to be fixed as well. thank you. host: the next call is brandon, florida. linda, democrat. caller: i and a first-time caller. -- i'm a first-time caller. i would like to hear the president talk about the energy issue. i believe the energy issue is what is basically driving a lot of this unrest in reference to food and water scarcities in the middle east. all around the whole globe. i would like to hear him say something in reference to that, take a firm stance on energy, the environment, and really what is at stake for the global humanity in reference to the energy issue. and i would like to also hear him say something about tunisia and people being gunned down in the street and to say something in reference to the israeli
policy that america has. host: that was linden -- linda and brandon, florida. last night at the white house there was a press briefing and here is a transcript of the press briefing. it was done by "senior administration officials." here is just a little bit of how they previewed the speech. a senior administration official as identified in this press briefing.
that is a little bit of a preview from a senior administration official last night at the white house. amherst, massachusetts. normal on the independent line. what would you like to hear from the president regarding the middle east? caller: what i would like to see the president bring up, what i would like to see him do is stop the double standard. coming down on syria and yet yemen and bahrain are doing much worse. in bahrain, 56% of the people are slaves from india. that is what the u.s. fleet is defending, this slavery regime. not only that, 85% of the people
who are not slaves are shiite muslims who have no rights, a protest of for the rights. shooting them, torturing them with tear gas. and the doctors who treat these people are then being persecuted and prosecuted. i would like to see the obama administration end of this double standard. host: dallas. denise on the democrats' line. caller: good morning. i wanted to make sure that -- i want to let the president know i am proud of him and i will be voting for him again. hello? ok, thank you, peter. could you please set up a democratic only line like you always do republicans when we are taught about republican party -- when we talk about the republican party? host: thanks for the suggestion.
charlotte, north carolina. alice on the independent line is no longer there. we will move on to darrell on the democrats' line. caller: how are you doing this morning? i would like to see my president stand up to israel. i would like to see my president tell israel to stop the illegal settlements or we should discontinue foreign aid which we should be -- doing anyway. we have been funneling for 50 years. when are they going to get up and have their own economy? i am sick and tired of giving israel $3 billion a year and we have people unemployed in this country. host: can i ask you a question? it has been previewed the president will forgive $1 billion in loans to egypt and offer another billion dollars in aid. what do you think about that? caller: i think the same thing. it is crazy. we are broke in this country. what is happening with israel is just atrocious. how they can come in this
country and dictate our foreign policy because they own all of our congressmen and senators, i think it is crazy. we need to stand up to israel and what they're doing in palestine is genocide. host: robert a. democrat in philadelphia. caller: item only -- i am only 19 years old. and the times we are today we are in a serious national debt. besides social security, medicaid, and medicare -- a lot going to defense. i would like to hear obama give an effective plan but also efficient plan as well. i feel in terms of extra missions -- further going into debt. i want to feel secure but i don't want to feel our money is being wasted going on these missions to "police the world." host: what you steading? caller: i am studying political
science and penn state. host: what do you want to do with that degree? caller: i plan on going into congress myself but that is further down the road. just trying to work my way up and interning at city council. host: annapolis on the republican line. tim, you are on the air. caller: regarding the president's speech, he has provided this funding but i want to know what we get for this funding for egypt. it seems the president is a horrendous negotiator. he took the missiles out of poland and got nothing in return. we are now giving funding to egypt. i do not understand what we will possibly get in return. it seems to me that he is enjoying this bit of an uptick an upswing in popularity because of the osama bin laden thing,
but in terms of his ability to be able to promote democracy in the middle east, promote american initiatives, he has been awful at it, absolutely awful. i am amazed at the callers this morning. number one, i did not know if it is your fault or not, but practically 10-1 democrat and independent to republican, and number two, they seem to be fawning over our president that a middle east and foreign policy. our president's foreign-policy -- and one other thing i would like to talk about is this arab spring. i am not sure this arab spring is really something that is positive. is it truly promoting democracy or are we promoting the muslim brotherhood? the interests of the people in these arab countries, is it really going to be pushed through or is it another group
alice in charlotte. caller: i have four points i will make quickly and succinctly. number one, i would like to hear mr. obama say he is firing dennis ross and replacing him with charles freeman, replacing him. clinton with hillary -- leverit. i would like to see him close the holocaust museum in washington until israel stops killing peaceful protesters, palestinians. i would like him to the rest benjamin netanyahu when he enters american airspace for the murder of rachel corey, a peaceful activist in israel. host: those of your fear -- four points. thank you for calling in. john, another independent.
caller: it has been a long time since i called in. america has got to stop watching the regular media and start going to -- hello? it is about the president. one other thing i found out by watching free-speech see me, democracy now, was that remember this last week when the guy came in -- from the arab emirates. this guy who owns black water and just moved in with them and they are setting up a small army to quell all of these prison camps they have over there, where they make the people work for almost nothing. this guy moved to the united
arab emirates because we don't have where the united states can arrest him. these guys are going to build an army there -- what do you call, the guys who work for money? host: we are going to leave it there. we appreciate you calling in. i think he was talking about the black water founder. in other news this morning, this is from "the hill" newspaper.
here is what the cover of the book looks like. again, this is an "the washington post" this morning. back to your calls on the middle east and u.s. policy. alabama. when is a democrat. caller: good morning. i am going to wait and hear -- listen to the president's speech when he comes on. it will be 10:40 a.m. my time because i am on central time. i think the president will speak to the young people in the different middle east countries because they have a lot at stake with what they are going through right now. some of the know evidence that came out of the bin laden the different things. we do not know why he is making
the speech today. he knows more than we did. i think it is very, very important what is going on in libya, what is happening in syria. we have also seen where the breakdown came between the palestinians and israelis. i believe he needs to come out right now and speak on the middle east because it is very, very important. it does in fact the u.s. also. we need to wait and listen and see what he has to say this morning. host: that was gwen in birmingham, alabama. mark, a republican from minnesota. caller: it seems to me our president is a little bit late, as usual, on this stuff. i agree with the earlier caller on syria. over 1000 dead and the secretary of state is saying that bashar
al-assad is a reformer. it does not make sense to me. host: that said, what would you -- caller: i would like the u.s. policy to stand for the people. in 2009 he did not stand with the green revolution in iran. he missed the boat on tunisia, egypt, through mubarak and the bus and in libya we still have no coherent strategy. i would like to see him support israel. he has never liked netanyahu. it is chaotic. there is no cohesion. there is nothing that makes sense. host: let's leave it there. by the way, prime minister
netanyahu will be in washington next week and will be delivering an address to congress which, of course, will be live on c-span. monty1041 tweets in -- from abc news -- iran could play a role in al qaeda post bin laden. osama bin laden placed in new focus in what role in iran but may play an al qaeda's feature as intelligence officials analyze reports.
something to do with the main type of economic format that we are going to depend on to start bringing in new jobs and new revenues and new growth to our economy. he had mentioned that there was going to be some new formats and all i have heard from newscasters is the emphasis on budgeting -- making a budget plan or something. i would like to know what the new framework is. host: the next call on u.s. middle east policy and looking at the president's speech that will be later this morning is terry, a republican in cedar springs, michigan. you are on the air. caller: thank you. the thing i want mr. obama to remember as a christian is what god says about israel and how he warned anybody that takes a stand against her, he will curse
we will talk with tom davis, former congressman and former head of the national republican congressional committee when he is here. we will talk about the issue of medicare and politics. back to your calls on the middle east. democrat in washington, d.c. caller: i think that as long as they don't spend another trillion dollars on an unnecessary more, that is one thing we need to do -- or not do. i like the way the president handles a lot of the issues. he does not just jump every
little thing that happens over there. we can't police the world. and i think that letting other countries like europe and a lot of the arab nations, let them handle their own affairs, is what we need to do. but i do think he should clearly define our position. you for calling in. this tweet. now, from "the washington times" is our story. in the "inside the ring" column --
ring" column in "the washington post." buford, georgia. sherry on the republican 9. >> good morning. i just wanted to make a couple of quick points. i think america should stand with israel. i think as a judeo-christian country and we are getting on the wrong side and i think people should read the bible. we should remember the holocaust and remember how the whole world stood by as an entire race was toward extinction. i say no to a muslim caliphate and socialist one-world aren't policies of this administration. i think we are americans and we need to wake up and stand up and stand with our friends. thank you. host: sherry on the republican line. talking about the president that a middle east speech which he will deliver add 11:40 a.m. eastern time this morning at the state department. it will be live on c-span. from "the washington post," remarks by cornell west sparked
this is cornell west talking about the president. and georgia, nick, democrat. what would you like to hear from the president was more caller: hey, listen, i appreciate c- span. first of all let's talk about our rain. people are really not putting this thing together. in bahrain you had a little but a revolution, and obama needs to address why he has not been on the side of the people there. if you look at what happened, we trained the bahraini army, was she demonstrators. what they do, after the doctors tried to treat them, they are put under arrest or kidnapped. i kid you not. if you look in the internet under bahraini doctors in prison that is what you find. i think that is a horrible thing. president obama needs to address
that. i know we have the gulf fifth fleet in bahrain, but that is just not a good policy to let that happen and for hillary clinton not to say anything about it. they are prosecuting doctors for helping people shot in demonstrations. if you get behind the new egyptian leadership, not just -- that much different as mubarak. power in the same hands. still shooting demonstrators. he needs to talk to them and say if you are going to have democracy you have to let the people rule. you cannot just say there is an arab spring and not get into the real substance because the people there are still poor, still oppressed. i did not think seriously -- and i will close with this -- to be honest, i do not think president obama wanted democracy in the middle east. because it all the people mistreats rule, they would not
be with america of the time and not be with israel all the time and we would have to pay a lot more for oil. we do not want these people we see on the streets to have power. and president obama does not either and neither does hillary clinton. host: from "the new york times" -- ross is just a little bit from
"the new york times" article about the fed meeting in april. you are on the air. caller: three quick points about israel. i am an american jew and most of the jews i know are not for israel just willy-nilly making sediment everywhere because the people who think that the bible says you should stand by israel, by then making settlements you and up with an apartheid status instead of the two-state solution, which jews like myself seem to be for because then it would be a destruction of israel if they do not do that. the second point i want to make is -- even in syria, or even in the palestine they have this show about, has to do with the blood libel, the not see --
nazis showed it, about taking muslim blood and putting it into the matzah the host: tie this into what you like to see the president say today? caller: unfortunately when discussions are held today about the status of palestinian refugees, the largest number of jewish refugees forced out of arab countries are ignored and few people even think of them as refugees because of like the arab world, it is not always successful. host: what would you like to hear the president say? caller: i hope the says something about a two-state solution because that is really what we need. host: that is laurie from largo, florida. the president, 11:40 a.m. eastern time at the state department, his speech on u.s. middle east policy live here on c-span. that is the end of our first segment on "washington journal."
in about 45 minutes, inez tenenbaum will be out here, the chair of the consumer product safety commission. coming up next, it discussion on republican politics in 2012 with former congressman tom davis. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> no one succeed in life by themselves. you must be willing to lead others, listen to others, and, yes, love others. >> watch 2011 election speeches on c-span memorial day weekend and search more than 800 pass commencement addresses, from politicians, activists, authors, president, and other world leaders and more on line at the peabody-award winning season in
the library where you can search, watch, click, and share every event recovered from 1987 through today. washington your way. >> history, as you know, is much more than just politics and soldiers. social issues. it is also medicine and science and art and music and theater and poetry and ideas. thingsshouldn't lump into categories. it is all part of the same thing. >> samuel morris, and james that more cooper, harry beecher stowe, thomas edison, henry adams -- sunday night on q&a, part one of two weeks on david mccullough, americans made the greater journey to 19th century paris. american history tv on c-span 3, from
lectures on history, cleveland state professor virginia williams on the music of duke ellington. on american artifacts, a look at the smithsonian's efforts to exhibit the jefferson bible. live sunday from jackson, mississippi, the 50th anniversary celebration of the freedom ride, when 13 men and women, black and white, boarded two buses bound for new orleans. their goals to integrate. get the complete weekend schedule at c-span.org/history or press the c-span alert button to get the schedules e-mail directly to you. >> "washington journal" continues. host: former republican congressman and chairman of the national republican congressional committee tom davis. if you were running the nrcc today, would you think of the medicare plan that paul ryan has put out would be a liability for republicans? guest: i think it will be fine but a lot of people think it
over -- if it goes and answered, you are in trouble. it does not apply to people over 55, their benefits are guaranteed. long term the do nothing approach jeopardize is it for everybody. the difficulty is when you get attacked -- either side, democrats have the same problem last -- is you tend to grow up in a ball and not defend it. it is further complicated in this new your special election by the fact you have a third- party candidate taking votes away from them. but at the end of the day, the deficit is the issue of our time. it may not be front and center for most people -- but this is the next bubble that is going to burst if we do not do something. host: have the republicans in your view effectively answered to democrats? guest: no, they are running for cover. that is the difficulty. look, the ryan plan may not be the perfect plan for anybody but at least he is addressing the issue. everybody else is putting their
head in the sand. this is the fastest growing program in government, growing 7% a year. we have a federal government borrowing 41 cents on the dollar. that is just unsustainable. you've got to look at all of these programs and i think everybody is going to have to take a haircut. host: who will win the new york special? guest: it is complicated because it is a three-way race. i will tell you one thing -- it is close. host: they picked up the massa seat. guest: but we lost two other specials. it did not portend anything for the next november. medicare will help the democrats with their base vote, but at the end of the day of the democrat wins it she will be well under 50% with a tea party and republican candidate taking up the ball. this is a republican district. this is jack kemp's district. host: is corwin a strong
candidate? guest: an excellent candidate. the problem is the candidates lost control. you have outside groups running ads. what the parties and candidates spend is dwarfed by that. medicare is front and center and it is a question of getting information out. host: if you were running nrcc, would you be spending money up there? guest: they are spending money. i think they will spend a few hundred thousand dollars but you have to put on the ground. by getting your base vote out at this point, some of information across the airwaves, just adding a little bit more mike beebe value added. host: reid set to force a vote on gop medicare plan. set to vote next week on paul line that a budget but is this a smart political move? guest: it looks good today, but you've got to look ahead in politics. it is not where you are today. wayne gretzky used to say he was great because he skated where the puck was going to be and not
where it was. reid and the democrats are skating where the puck is and that is trying to scare seniors. it has traditionally worked for both parties. but the debt issue is so overwhelming something is going to have to be done about medicare. what ever you. rtyan's plan, at least republic -- whatever you think about ryan's plan at least a republican the stepped up. i think a year from now, i do not think medicare will go unscathed. host: tom davis served as congressman from 11th district of virginia, republican congressman. he was chairman of the national republican good rational committee from 1998 until 2002. he is here to talk about the 2012 elections and republicans at this point. 202 is the area code --
please allow 30 days between calls and you can send a tweet -- c-span-wj is the twitter handle. and you can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. politically right now the debt ceiling debate that is going on, who does a favor, in your view? guest: what it is, is is an opportunity for both parties to come together and make tough decisions. nobody wins on a debt ceiling vote. this will be politically poisonous. this is like tarp. i saw one pundit described as park on steroids. i voted for tarp in the congress. you did not have much of an alternative -- not doing it could have caught the economic meltdown. but because we back it and became law you did not have a meltdown so you are second guessed by a lot of people. i got out and defended the vote
and did not have problems doing it. this is more poisonous. polling shows people do not want to raise the debt ceiling. host: if you were chair of nrcc today, where what resources be? republicans went from 178 seats to 240 in the 2010 midterms and democrats went from 257 to 192. are the republicans going to hold congress, and you you -- in your view? where would be spent resources? guest: we have seen in three straight nationalize elections anything can happen. all but seven house members will be running in different districts because of redistricting. host: than all but seven? guest: and they are the seven who are at large. you have to remember the key battle is over redistricting, shaping member districts, trying to make members who are maybe a little weaker have tougher districts and tried to
strengthen their districts. there will be pluses and minuses. republicans control more seats at the redistricting table than in any time since 1920. and they have the lead so you have to take -- say, advantage republicans, at this point the. secondly, president obama is still on the white house and usually a voter animosity goes toward the party in the white house. they have to have another nationalized elections under those circumstances to be the to win and a national election that works in their favor. trying to think what would bring about a fourth straight nationalize the election? voter discontent. republicans would have to nominate somebody who is really radioactive. it is possible -- i will not given to names, but it is possible republicans could nominate somebody of the goldwater strike -- and for the record, i was for goldwater and thought he was great. but 62% of americans didn't. it is important for republicans to nominate somebody who will be competitive on main street.
not doing that could cost the house. host: would jon huntsman be in the main street christmas guest: i tell you why, because he would appeal to the swing voters and the middle of the road. i think he holds the base because i think against president obama you are going to hold the base. the animosity is there, and to the age where the administration -- their policies, the attacks on any republican candidate would help drive the bay's home. but there is a swing element in this electorate that one heavily democratic in 2006 and in 2008 -- it came back to the republicans in 2010, not because they like us but -- but because we were the alternatives in the efforts to balance the budget. huntsman -- you look at his persona, he has a sweet spot in that set of voters. not a set of voters, however, who will be nominated but they are the kind who can give you elected. host: from this story -- can a
republican moderates abide about -- about jon huntsman. guest: i think so but it has to be the right circumstances. there's a lot of folks out there who are not given choices they want in elections. if you take a look of the polarizing factors in american politics today -- number one, the parties are ideologically sorted. if you are a conservative today you are a republican. when you were growing up there were conservative democrats and liberal republicans. now the most -- most liberal republican in the senate is more conservative than the most conservative democrat in the senate. ideological sort thing which means primary process dominated by more conservative democrat -- members. secondly, a very polarizing media -- c-span accepted. but if you watch fox and msnbc they are different planets talking to different constituents, opinion makers within the different parties. you saw, glenn beck was able to
assemble 100,000 people on the mall. republican leaders did not do that. they are speaking to an electorate and giving them information and political leaders lost the ability to do that. the same with the left with rachel madow and some of the spokespeople on msnbc. the third factor and almost as important is the fact with campaign finance reform coupled with the citizens united decision, the money has moved away from the political parties. that is what campaign finance did. but out there on the wings. moveon.orgs, club for growth, if you look at the special election in new york more money is spent by interest groups and parties and candidates combined. that is in the future and that is a polarizing factor. parties are a centering force for american politics. but interest groups are not. we are where we are -- this will be a good test. but huntsman as the pedigree, i think he could raise the money and it will be an interesting test.
host: what do you think of your old speaker newt gingrich's ron? guest: off to a rough start. we love them -- those who work with them. toe to toe in a debate nobody is better. if you get him in a room with people and talk about issues of the day he has a sweet spot. we will see if he can recover. he starts out with more negatives than a lot of republicans. if you look at the head-to-head polling, huntsman is kind of the blanks late because he is not as well known. gingrich has engrain feelings about him and significant negatives. they could be overcome but he is off to a tough start. host: if you do name names, who are the two most endangered congressman at this point? guest: you do not want to name names. you can take a look at the districts that obama performed very well in the.
if you have a high number of minorities in a presidential year turnout, that district is going to change its behavior patterns and be more difficult. let's look until redistricting is done and that will give you a better feel. the last congress, it would not have been hard. joseph won a great race. he won because his opponent was indicted and convicted. we do not have that circumstance. in theory, -- >host: have you had a chance to meet with reince priebus? guest: i have not. the money is now with outside groups. a lot of these other groups are putting more money into this.
host: this week for you, tom davis -- this tweet for you, tom davis -- guest: you can have a lot of ads going back and forth. there is a budget agreement that includes medicare. what worries me if the democrats win the special election in new york, i think they will dig in hard on medicare and be reluctant to deal with the fastest growing program in government. bar with 41 cents on the dollar is unsustainable. -- borrowing 41 cents on the dollar is unsustainable. interest rates are going to bounce up at one point. it will bounce up with a vengeance. this is a serious problem and
you hope serious members consider across the table and come to some agreement on this. host: tom davis is also president and ceo of the republican main street partnership. the first call for him comes from brooklyn, new york. caller: good morning. i have a question for you. i am very curious. the republicans have been portrayed as anti-women, anti- grandmothers, but what is very interesting is you have been portrayed for the very rich and against the middle-class and against the poor. can you explain to me how you get elected? guest: let's look at new york city.
some of the wealthiest americans live there. these areas overwhelmingly went for president obama. you get into some of the more middle n come precincts in new york, that is where john mccain performed best. some of the poorest counties in america voted overwhelmingly for the republicans for president, while some of the wealthiest counties in the country, fairfax county, montgomery county, md., these are where the wealthy elites voted for obama. the portrayal of the rich is just plain wrong when it comes to voting turnout. politics has been largely a cultural preference as opposed to economic preference.
if you look at it the way it has evolved over the last 10 years to 20 years, republicans are not all rich. it is just rhetoric. host: this street -- guest: that is a supreme court decision. you have the case which undermined campaign reform. it defines free speech, and corporations get free speech as to individuals. in the law that you consign has to get around supreme court decisions and is the law of the land at this point. the court defined freeze preach broadly. -- free speech broadly. unfortunately, you have a lot of
people going back trying to work around these decisions. i think disclosure is the best -- right now, people can give large amounts of money and not have to disclose this. this was far worse than it was before you had mccain it-a fine gold. the bill has been decimated. they know now it was a mistake. it made the situation worse. it has empowered interest groups. some who voted against it -- it is a disaster at this point. it is a constitutional issue. host: tina tweets in -- guest: i appreciate that. that is a prevalent deal. i respect that. to let me give you an alternative. how do you resolve budget issues
and the fact that we are borrowing 41 cents on the dollar? 10,000 people today are entering medicare. as my generation retires and becomes eligible for these benefits. if you do not change the structure in some significant way, he will not have medicare for the next generation. we can put our heads in the sand. politically, we know where the politics of this has been traditionally, but that is not where the country is going or where the budget deficit is going. you have to make these changes. if congress and the president cannot come together, keep pointing fingers, the bond markets will make the change for us and it will be hard. host: hi, bonnie. caller: it is strange when deficits only matter when there is the republican nod in the white house.
we had a perfect solution for medicare. instead of medicare part d, we should detonated -- created medicare part e for everyone because a larger pool would lower the risk. my healthy 24-year-old and i would've brought down the cost. instead, the solution is the same solution that republicans always seem to have -- let's privatize it. if you are 55, or under 55, you can look forward to be given if dra voucher. of those with pre-existing conditions will very gladly give a 65-year-old with health conditions health care for the voucher that you are going to
give. your solution for the health delivery system and our problems is ari operandi. guest: i was there and supported medicare part d. i am not particularly proud of that vote. we have to remember there was a competing bill that would provide a much larger benefit which i do not think we could have afforded. to me, it was the question of medicare part d or a larger entitlement that we could not afford at the time. we decided to have competition that was more likely to drive down cost then to let the government negotiate cost. the government has not been a good negotiator when it comes to the private sector. we think the marketplace will do more for competition. if you take a look at the way it has performed, the deficits are
far below what was originally projected by the congressional budget office and we think that is the result of competition. you really do not have competition. you have a third-party payer system. if you could shop and it was your own money, we think costs would go down and people would be more price-oriented. there is a doughnut hole in the bill. you cannot have it both ways. i think republicans have been terrible on the deficit just like democrats have. they decided to try to come in with their stimulus package and the like and to put deficit up to an all-time high. faced with the overwhelming economic problems, that was their antidote.
i think voters in history will judge whether it's at work or not. we can look across the pond and see what other countries -- they are going in a different direction right now where they are attacking their deficit issues. time will tell. i look back on this now and i do not have to worry about what anybody thinks except my wife. we are going to have to tackle this deficit, and the sooner the better. you cannot patchwork this. everybody is going to have to sit around a table. republicans and democrats. it is a hair cut for everybody. host: tom davis served as a supervisor in fairfax county here in the washington area. last night, the president in boston said this.
guest: again, i think it has to be shared. if you take a look at the bush tax cuts, the wealthy part of that was less than 20%. if you really think there is a revenue issue, you probably have to spread its more than 2% and may be let everything expire or look at it more broadly if you really want to increase revenue at this point. it is easy to go after the rich. this year, the irs announced 51% of households paid no federal income tax. what is fair on this thing? if you over-taxed at the top level, capital goes elsewhere. rich people mover. you do not attract capital.
you have to be careful. will we end up with an agreement where everybody pays more? probably. that is going to be difficult given the fact that a lot of members have signed tax pledges. we will see where it goes. going after the rich does not give you that much money. but we will see where it ends up. right now, we are at the rhetorical stage of this debate. we are an airplane flying into the mountain, and we need to steer a different course. to do that, both sides are going to have to go after their base. host: tom davis, if you were in charge of the national congressional committee, which democrats would to be targeting? guest: first of all, i would be
focusing on redistricting. in indiana, the have picked up a seat. -- they have picked up a seat. you look at redistricting because the map is going to be completely different when this thing is over. they got rid of the low hanging fruit in the last campaign. instead of saying i am going to go after this democrat or that democrat, you do not look like what -- you do not know whether district will look like at this point. it is a little bit early to take a look at which democrats we are going to target. host: the next call comes from san antonio, texas. caller: good morning. obama made a speech the other night, and everybody picks up on the same thing.
shared sacrifice. government employees that do nothing in the formation of wealth. the only format debt. the private sector seems to format all of the wealth around here. how do you sacrifice if it always has the be the private sector that has to sacrifice anything? guest: federal employees right now -- there is a five-year pay freeze. the obama administration has put a two-year pay freeze on this. i think everybody gives on this. if you are taking a look at your governmental employees and your cancer researchers, scientists, he won the best people you can get in these
jobs. you do not want to take the dreg. to do that, you have to pay them and treat them appropriately. the reason we have what we have is we have layer after layer of reporting requirements and the bureaucrats that congress are the ones who have authorized these and put them on. many times when we have a crisis we add a new layer of government. he won the best and brightest people going into government. -- you want the best and brightest people going into the government. our greatest asset was not our buildings. it was not our computers. it was our people. we understood to be successful in information society like we have today you want those people coming back every day.
you have to appropriately incentivize them. they are your food inspectors, your safety personnel, your faa people in the tower keeping to save on your airplanes. you want to pay people well that are doing their job. given the budget deficits we have, shared sacrifice means federal employees, taxpayers, everybody has to come to the table. we have let this deficit go on and on and on to the point where there are no easy solutions and nothing that is politically palatable. they are going to have to step forward and take some risks. there is nothing wrong losing an election if you are there trying to do it for the right reasons. that is what we get into public service. host: have you ever lost an election? guest: no.
host: the next call for him comes from fort worth, texas. caller: thank you, guys, for taking my call. there is no question that the spending on medicare has to be addressed at some point in time in the near future. however, wouldn't it been more politically advantageous to the think theys if the perso focused on was national defence? that is what we spend the most on in our government. we have military bases all around the world that have nothing to do with national defense. guest: if you go back to the 1960's, which were spending over 60% of our budget on national defense. now it is only 20%. that has gone steadily down at this point.
it is basically congress's budget. the congress and sometimes uses the department of defense as a jobs court. when you take a look at entitlement spending, entitlement spending is almost three times what it defense spending is, 2.5 times anyway. you have to look at everything. defense spending is not going up at the rate that entitlement spending is. the reason why you want to start addressing these changes is because you have 10,000 baby boomers a day retiring becoming eligible for these programs. if you lock in 15 years from now which will not give you immediate savings but at least make the out-year projections more palatable, people will be able to make arrangements in their lives and in their retirement plans so they know what they are eligible for. if you make the changes very
quickly which some other countries have had to do, it becomes more draconian. that is why it is important to address the medicare and social security. from a cash flow point of view, social security is now generating deficits. we are going to have to address these issues. a medicaid has to be addressed. so, that is a huge burden on state governments. what we found is that is crowding out money for education in state budget. when you take a look at federal pensions, veterans, interest on debt, medicaid, medicare, and the social security, almost two- thirds of the budget we are spending on retirees. we are not spending it on
research and development or infrastructure. our global competitors are focused on the future. they are not investing in the past. we look over our shoulder and we are no longer going to be number one. we are not investing in the future. we are running huge deficits that are going to cost us. host: this tweet coming in for you -- guest: you know, we are not tea partiers. i think the thrust of what the tea party is looking at, i think we all share that. the teap party has done a service to the country by identifying the national debt as an issue. people usually are not looking at the future. i think they have done us a huge
service in addressing this issue and focusing on this issue. they are in pretty an eclectic group of people that are out said the box and recognize that it needs to be a coalition and not a private club. we have pro-life, pro-choice, some very strong conservatives, and we have some that have links to unions. we are main street. we are not wall street. host: the next call comes from chicago. caller: [unintelligible] --you just lose some people. listening to you and knowing about your politics, you have progressed from that. when you say that, you just lose some people. anyway, tom, you all missed a
golden opportunity. does make some sense, however there was no agreement to raise revenue. you cannot talk about cutting programs that hurt a certain segment of society without saying at least raising taxes on revenue. i think you all missed that opportunity. guest: that is a good comment. what shared sacrifice is is different to different people. the ryan plan does talk about closing some of the loopholes. there is going to have to be a revenue component. i think those that have looked at this recognize that. i love goldwater. he would be considered very
moderate today and libertarian. he was also president of the -- a member of the naacp in phoenix. it was a different time and a different era. as i like to tell my class, you had a higher percentage of republicans to vote for the civil-rights act in 1964 than democrats. it passed with republican votes. the vast majority of the filibustering was from democrats. that is history. parties have involved a long time from that. host: where do you teach? guest: at george mason university. i teach a three-hour class once a week. i also have to do with me and jim grant. we get to go at it in the class. host: have you talked to paul
ryan or john boehner? how are they both doing? guest: i think they are both doing great. this is not easy stuff. you have to give paul writing credit for attacking a problem. people will probably tell you that medicare is an issue that we have to address. people recognize that it is an issue. to his credit, he came out there with a budget proposal. the challenge for the administration is to come out and saying here is the way we would address it, said across the table from each other, and at the end of the day if nobody is happy with a, at least you have addressed the problem. we cannot agree on energy policy. we have not had a good energy policy in 30 years.
we have not solved the issues along the border and what we are going to do because people are afraid to take a tough vote. just kick it down the road. i will tell you this. if we do not do it, the day is going to come when markets react and things start going downhill very quickly. everything the government is doing will hurt the private sector. where were you guys? i was on c-span trying to sound the alarm. host: give your impressions on scott walker and the recall election. guest: it is going to be very interesting. they have basically been a cultural. this puts a big fisher with your
blue-collar union workers and sympathizers. for the record, mass. the did something similar without a scratch. it was more collaborative and less confrontational. wisconsin did not have collective bargaining for public employees until 1959. for the first time, they come in and reward their base. in virginia, we do not have collective bargaining for any public employees. federal employees have fewer rights and collective bargaining. if it is such an outrage, the president and congress can try to change it. it is not what you do but how you do it. they were itching for a fight, and it is going to be bloody. host: are you done with
electoral politics? guest: i am done with electoral politics. it is going to be an interesting race. they have some solid attributes and some solid bases. allen's problem is going to be northern virginia. in a presidential year turnout, the turnout is going to be very high in nova. the minorities are going to turn out very, very high and will be overwhelmingly democrat. northern virginia is a hodgepodge of people from all over the world. it can be pretty affluent. they are a base for many caribbean and hispanic voters. they are swing voters -- korean
and hispanic voters. in the urban areas, it is where allen will have to center and hold down the margins. host: who are some of the senators? guest: i could go back to rorschak. you have to go back a ways. voters make up their minds, it is tough to come back. on the other hand, tim kaine was the democratic chairman. i think he is very intelligent guy who would be a good campaigner. host: "roll call" this morning --
guest: the dynamics are different. you have an economy now -- last time, the republicans are owned it and you were in an economic meltdown. you were coming off of the republican president whose members were in the high 20's. obama at that point at 8221 spending advantage. it is a different dynamic going into this next round. these tend to be referendums on the president. if he gets unemployment under control, and continues for policy, let's face it, the osama bin laden killing has helped his foreign-policy, giving him a little bit of a boost that he did not have before. it is going to be the economy,
peter. it will be a referendum on that and to a lesser extent of who the republicans match him up with. if the republicans need to do what they have to do, it will not matter. if things are in bad shape, there may not be anything he can do about it. host: we have about five minutes left with our guest. indiana, james is a democrat. caller: i have a question. you talk about entitlements and social security. social security had a lot of money before the guys like you starting giving i.o.u.'s for social security. we take every year and borrow $6 billion. we pay interest on that $6 billion. we give that money to israel. they bring it back and we pay
the interest. that is absolutely ludicrous. their income is $2,000 a year more than spain. they have free health insurance. why don't we wised up? nobody has the nerve to stand up to them. guest: it is not going to solve your deficit problems. you can make the argument that we are spending money abroad that we should not be. everything needs to take a hair cut including foreign aid. look, what was happening is you are generating more revenue through your taxes than you are paying out in benefits. what do you do with that money? do you put it in a shoebox? the government ended up borrowing that with treasurys. we are having to pay it out of current account. when i left congress, social security was dinner and $100
billion a year in surplus money -- one unless congress, social security was paying out $100 billion a year in surplus money. what it has done to your current account and your budget is you are paying out what you are taking in. i've fought for a lock box and a lot of other issues to put a fence around that so it would not be spent on other items. that is what happened. i was also there for the signing of the balanced budget act in 1997. we had four years of surplus. i did what i could. i appreciate the call. i think he is a part of the problem. peter, everybody needs to take a haircut on this. it is a shared sacrifice.
these are tough issues. i do not think you can pass a balanced budget of any kind unless there is a feeling of a shared sacrifice. that is the problem of doing it piecemeal. it is not a sure thing. you look at where the retirements are and the fact that 22 democrat seats are up. i think they can pick up three or four seats. nothing is automatic. " we have seen -- what we have seen, elections where people are going one way or the other in block because they are not happy with anybody. traditionally, when presidents to get reelected, congress gets reelected.
1972, nixon carried 49 states. the year due but unpaid an incumbent, democrats picked up senate seats in that year. you take a look at 1984, virtually nothing in that election as well. host: what happened in to the fore with president bush? didn't he poughkeepsie to in the congress? guest: they picked up three seats but five of them were texas in his district. basically, it stayed where it was. but i am talking about massive landslides. these were huge republican landslides that did not bring in republican congress's. regime changes, 1980, 2008 -- those intended to bring in the
coat tails. there are exceptions. kennedy was elected in a very close race. we could have a lengthy discussion. by and large, if voters are happy, they re-elect the president, the reelect the congress, they do not give the president what he wants. mitch daniels would be an excellent president. he is the total package. intellectually, from an experience point of view, he is the anti-obama in the sense that he is not charismatic. but he is on performance and has done very, very well in the indian act. he understands the budget, foreign policy, a very class guy. host: this tweet -- guest: the texas budget has its own issues right now. i think the governor is taking himself out of the presidential
consideration. texas has a a dynamic economy. if you take a look at job growth in this country, but it has huge budget is used right now. i don't think he is interested. host: tampa, you are on the air. caller: it is like a breath of fresh air to listen to you. the republicans have become so extreme over the last several years that it just makes me crazy to hear how they are not reasonable. they shun science. if you care about the climate or pollution, they try to make two out to be crazy. -- they tried to make you out to be crazy. it is an issue. we are not allowed to even
address it as republicans. guest: we ought to be looking at these issues. republicans have a different way of addressing these issues. instead of cap and trade, there are other ways to address these issues. the epa started under richard nixon. i think we got a bad rap on that. both parties are to some extent just a collection of interest groups. we join the parties to advance their interests. sometimes, the interest groups speak a little bit louder than the party as a whole, but i think there are a lot the republicans who are interested in the environment. and what we are always nervous about boris huge mandate that do not make any -- what we are always nervous about our future mandates. these are conversations worth having. the inability of republicans and
democrats to get across the table and say we have a problem and to argue the thing out and come up with a solution. instead, they read their talking points and kick the can down the road and go on to the next issue. if there is wanting to take away from this morning, i would say we cannot continue to do that on the budget cycle. time is running out. nobody knows if it is tomorrow, or three years from now, but we 10-yearave a five-o- or span to get this figured out. it is not easy. everybody is going to take a hit on this. host: finally, this tweet -- guest: nothing. ron paul brings a lot of energy to it. ron is out of the traditional
mainstream of were the party is. i enjoy serving with ron in the house. i find him to be very engaging and intellectual on this. one of the few members to vote the way that he wanted to vote. party leaders could not twist his arm. i found ron pollack refreshing and i consider him a friend -- i found ron paul refreshing and i consider him a friend. mitt romney is the front runner right now. but it is a long way to go. front runners get attacked, that is the problem with being a front runner right now. he is going to be hit from 10 different sides. host: thank you for coming on to the "washington journal."
coming up next, a discussion with the chair of the consumer product safety commission after this news update from c-span radio. >> u.s.-pakistan relations continue to be the focus of talks between the two countries following the raid that killed osama bin laden. the deputy head of the cia and the special envoy are in the country today meeting with the pakistani counterparts. the relationship is said to be the key for the u.s. a fight against al-qaeda and the taliban. internet access is the focus of a new report. government tax cut user access to the internet are violating a basic human right regardless of the justification provided. the report to be made available today urges governments to decriminalize all forms of defamation and injure web users can express themselves
anonymously. the report will be discussed by the u.n. human rights council next month. donald rooms filled having written a best-selling book tells "politico" that the plans to write a second book. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> this weekend on "book tv," the gaithersburg book festival. plus, a panel discussion on the book industry. on "afterwards," -- look for the complete schedule at booktv.org. >> history, as you know, is much
more than just politics and the soldiers and the social issues. it is also medicine and science and art and music and theater and poetry and ideas. and we should not lump things into categories. it is all part of the same thing. >> sunday night on "q &a." at 8:00 on c-span. "washington journal" continues. host: we are pleased to welcome thehe "washington journal," chairman of the consumer product safety commission, inez tenenbaum.
let's start with something that tends to pop up with the cpsc -- baby cribs. what is it about them that generates a recall action? guest: we have not had a new crib standard in 30 years. in 2010, we cannot with the first new cr -- we came out with standard.t new crib it has to undergo a test that will challenge whether or not is strong enough to be moved in a nursery without coming apart. what has happened in years past, we have learned of a number of deaths where the dropside became detached forom the crib. we recalled millions of them, the various manufacturers, to get them either of the market or
either have a retrofit kit to it would keep the dropside form moving and keep the cribs safer. we now have a new standard in all the cribs sold after june 2011. the new cribs will be on the market in june. host: when there is a recall issued, is it always voluntary? guest: almost all of the hours are voluntary because we work with industry to issue these recalls. if manufacturers or retailers know of the defect, they have 24 hours to notify us. most of the time, we will have industry work with us so that we can get the product off of the market quickly. therefore, most of them are voluntary recalls where we work together.
host: water some products right now recently -- what are some products right now recently that have been under scrutiny? guest: you can go to our new web sites, saferproducts.gov, and you can see all of our recalls. we recall products daily. if you go on saferproducts.gov or our app, which is cpsc.gov, you can see the number of products that we recall. we are always looking at children's products -- lead, cadmium, those toxic metals -- we make sure they are removed from the market if they are hazardous to children. host: we are going to put up the numbers on the screen if you would like to talk to inez tenenbaum, chairman of the consumer product safety commission.
please allow 30 days between your calls. you can send a tweet to -- or an e-mail to -- how is it that lead has popped back up as an issue? i thought lead paint and products had all gone away at some point. guest: what made lead such a prominent issue was the number of recalls in the children's products and in toys in the 2007. these were high level, high profile recalls that received a tremendous amount of attention from the media. congress voted on a new law.
that was in 2008 in the past almost unanimously in the house and in the senate. everyone was behind this law because it set limits on the amount of lead in children's products. 300 parts per million for lead content. this august, it will go down to 100 parts per million of lead .ontent in children's products manufacturers must submit their products to a third party laboratory and have them tested before they can be sold in the united states, and that was a major step forward to making sure that lead did not exceed those limits set by congress. it also required the consumer product safety commission to come up with new mandatory regulations on infant durable nursery equipment like cribs,
bath seats, baby walkers. it was a very positive thing in terms of the safety of children. host: jim tweets in to you -- guest: well, for children's products, they must be tested before they make it to market by an independent third-party laboratory, or you can have your own firewall laboratory if you are a major manufacturer, and several do. they have to be accredited. host: a couple of tweets along this same line have come in -- this is from linda. guest: well, that is a good question.
manufacturers in china must have the products tested as well. host: by american laboratories or testers? guest: they have to be tested by laboratories approved by the cpsc. there are over 300 of these laboratories in the world. children's products must be tested before they are imported into the united states. manufacturers and importers have this requirement before we will allow them to be sold in the united states. host: inez tenenbaum is our guest, chairman of the consumer product safety commission. guest: our budget is now $114 million. host: the first call for her comes from the white lake, michigan. caller: i wanted to call in about the non-drought side baby crib. i am a five-foot tall woman.
there is no way i can hold a sleeping baby who is a year and a half old and put them into a crib without a dropside. we are too short. the option i have is to climb on a chair and then put a baby in there. i understand. i read the report that came out. the real issue here is they were platic, not metal. they did in to save money, but the plastic wears. we cannot put babies at that level. how'd you get your baby in there? he will not be able to do it. guest: thank you. i can emphasize -- i can empathize with you because i am just over 5 feet myself. it is a challenge for people who
are not taller. here is the answer to your question. a first of all, we have not outlawed all dropside cribs. by traditional, we amend the ones with the plastic hardware. you are absolutely right. it was the plastic card where that was not durable enough to withstand the motion from the dropside. they must be made of higher quality. we are seeing more designs when it comes to cribs so it is not the dropside. it folds down the gate. so you can fold it down and put the baby in. you know what? most people my age had dropside wass, thebut the hardware
metal. they have to meet these new standards and also go through a rigorous testing to make sure they are going to not come apart when the dropside is moved up and down. thank you for that excellent question. host: patty is a republican. good morning. caller: i have two questions. what about those mercury light bulbs? they are highly, highly toxic. if you break one, you have to practically call in hazmat. are our children vulnerable? secondly, peter, i wish you could quit clicking your pen. it is a recent phenomenon. i wish you would not. host: i got your point. caller: during the last guest, you did it over 60 times.
host: patty, i apologize to you. you are absolutely correct. let's hear from inez tenenbaum on the mercury light bulbs. guest: of light bulbs that pose a hazard that contain mercury, we would like for you to report it to us. . is saferproducts.gov. -- our website is saferproducts.gov. you can give us information about it. also, i will go back to the consumer product safety commission and ask our scientists about the prevalence of mercury light bulbs in the marketplace to make sure we are doing everything we can to make sure children are not exposed to mercury. host: have they been addressed or is this something that is on your radar? guest: we certainly address
mercury light bulbs than any other light bulbs. our mission is to protect consumers from a product. we are constantly looking at the marketplace, and any reports of harm, or if we look at the product and realized it could cause harm, we can work with the manufacturer and recall the product. lightbulbs, batteries, we do look at products like that. host: are you a passive agency? do you wait for people to come to you with complaints? do you go out and research? guest: we go out to research. we have coordinators' the go into retail market. we are also moving more into prevention. i do not think it is enough for the cpsc to wait until we recall
the product. i want to be proactive. that is why we just opened a new office in beijing. it is our first out of the country office. our mission is to work with manufacturers in china to make sure they know what our standards and our rules are so they do not manufacturer products and then we have to recall them or destroy them after they get into the market. a way of preventing harm to consumers -- we work with industries and the standards to come up with voluntary standards. our law requires us to work with the industry voluntary standards a first. but we should not wait until somebody is hurt and then first learned about it. we have to be proactive and move more into prevention that we have in the past. host: inez tenenbaum got her law
degree at the university of south carolina where she also served as the state superintendent for education until 2007. this tweet coming in -- a guest: well, recalls are when we learn about a product. we can be prevention-oriented to work more aggressively with the standards making organization so that we can build 60 into the product so that manufacturers in china and elsewhere understand our regulations, and that is where we are really focused. we also have increased our surveillance at the core. let me talk to you about the history of funding at the cpsc.
when we clear -- when we were created in 1973, by 1980, we had almost 1000 employees and their budget was $150 million. by 2007, we had 373 employees and their budget was $63 million. we went through years of budget cuts. you cannot be affected when you get cut year after year after year. over 75% of our budget goes to employees. our people make the difference because they are working with the standard-making organizations, surveying, holding seminars for manufacturers, both in the united states and outside of the united states, to make sure safety is built into the product. host: the next call for inez barbara.m is from are brough
caller: i saw a show last night that had erick kanter on and he was making sure that the people he was talking to knew that he was in the battle against all of these past the regulators, the faa, at the fcc, the epa, the cpa, because they really bog down production and business. he wants to get rid of all of those agencies, including yours. what do you have to say about that? guest: we are reasonable regulators. we balance the need to protect consumers, which is our mission. we cannot ever not fulfill our mission. it with being reasonable about our rules. that is what we try to do. we try to work with industry up
front to help design standards that produce high-quality products. we also are working with the chinese. we have a memorandum of understanding, a work plan that requires the chinese to recognize that their best manufacturing practices, and it is the chinese government's responsibility to make sure their manufacturers adhere to those practices. maybe it is popular to say that regulators should be getting rid of, but the consumer is the one that would suffer, and we are here to protect the consumer. host: this e-mail coming in -- guest: well, you may have bought a pillow that is violative of
rules, but i either would you to call us on the hot line to tell us what the manufacturer is, and if you have a computer, give us information at saferproducts.gov and we can look into it, or you can call us on our hot line. if you will call us and give us the information, we will look into this. host: next call comes from bakersfield, california. caller: what i have is -- it is not letter toxic, heavy-metal. i have led products here from china that says "do not use for human consumption,"
that contains lead. i bought it water rose made in china, and the one made in the u.s. cost almost $50. how to american companies compete when and they are strangled by over-regulation? why is it allowed to come into our country and threatened the health and safety of the american public? the strangling his killing american domestic industry. guest: well, thank you for calling in. first of all, american and a cheap chinese manufacturers must follow the same rules. the rules for lead in children's products are the same whether you are an american manufacturer or a chinese manufacturer. second, one of the reasons many factors have gone to china is the cost of labor is so cheap. i have been in chinese factories where children's products are
made, and the average pay is $1.50 an hour. that is not true in the united states. we believe that -- we are here to protect consumers, particularly children, from toxic metals and other products that are not well made at. we fulfill our duties, but at the same time, but we make sure all manufacturers, domestic or foreign, miti's rules -- meet these rules on lead. host: preparation material i was given says that little rubber duckies are under review. joe barton was quoted about those, saying that if a child were to get poisoned by one of these, he would have to eat 7000 of them. guest: ok, congress passed the
consumer product safety act in 2008, and outlawed th threeree -- three permanently until an advisory panel could reduce the folate and advise on whether they should be permanently banned or not at all. it is the ingredient that goes into a plastic to make plastic pliable. they are harmful for a number of reasons to children. phthlates, if you are looking it up for your computer -- on your computer. that is why we are looking at those. congress passed this law, and our product as it advisory panel is looking at all of them and
will be writing a report to us that we will use to determine which are permissible for children's use and which are not. host: next, barbara in savannah, georgia. caller: i have a question about the light bulbs with the mercury in them. they are only made in china, i have heard. i want to know if that is correct, because they will stop having regular light bulbs made, which they are completely safe, and these others have the mercury in them. i want to know why would we take an industry that makes light bulbs in the united states and send it off to china. host: any response? guest: right. american manufacturers and american retailers determined where they want to make their
products and from whom they want to buy their products. we don't send it to china. these are choices made by manufacturers. the cost of labor is so low in china that that is where some manufacturers have gone to make their products. for rules apply to everyone, whether domestic or foreign. we do regulate light bulbs. we have in the past recalled light bulbs that are fire hazards. the mercury is a toxic metal. i will go back this morning and speak to the staff at cpsc to look at this issue, and if it is a hazard, we will work with the company to recall the product. that is how we operate. you know what is so good about having a website and hot line is we can hear from consumers. please let us know if you have products that you have
experienced harm from, and we will look into those products. we want to hear from you. we are here for the consumer. host: according to the consumer products safety commission, a 403 products were recalled in 2010. is that correct? guest: that is correct. host: this tweet comes in for you -- guest: consumers union, safeforkids.com, keeping a baby's safe. there are a number of organizations that your research and are available as advocates for consumers. we have an number of what i call citizens inspectors. these are people who for years have gone into stores and bought products, used their own money to test their products, and they let us know if they find something.
we have university student who do this. i applaud these efforts. there are over 15,000 a consumer products that we regulate, and we have an agency of 550 people. i am always glad to hear from people if they find something that they believe of violets the rules. -- violates the rules. we have citizens inspectors and great advocacy groups who work for ross. i have revisited manufacturers, and the manufacturers that are successful in selling products in the united states have high- quality safety programs. they do everything they can to ensure that the products are safe. i want to applaud these industries for going the extra step to make sure that the consumer is safe. no manufacturer wants to see their product recall, because it hurts their brand. there are quality assurance
programs that a good manufacturer will in force in the company, and there are many that deserve credit for developing and keeping safe the product. host: next call for inez tenenbaum comes from nashville, democrats' line. caller: good morning. i am interested to know if the commission recall has the force of law, for one thing. guest: yes, it does. if we recall the product, it has the force of law, and we can stop the sale of a product. we have the ability to levy civil and criminal fines -- civil fines and work with the department of justice to bring a criminal sanctions. we have the legal authority to remove products from the market, and also to fine individuals and companies that violate the
rules. host: what else, randy? caller: packaging of products factor into your consideration of the product as safe or unsafe? guest: i did not understand -- i did not hear all of your question. would you rephrase the question? host: is still there? caller: yes. does the packaging of the product factor into whether the product is safe? host: are you referring to anything in particular? caller: the point i am trying to get to is that we are drowning in a sea of plastic packaging everywhere i look. it seems to me that this is the number was if the issue -- number one at a safety issue with regard to products in america. host: all right, we got the
point, i think. guest: packaging would have to present a harm to the consumer. if the packaging presented harm, or risk of harm, we could recall the product and talk to the manufacturer about the packaging. any product must pose a risk of harm to the consumer before we can engage in a recall. host: inez tenenbaum several tweets have come in along the same line. i think a little bit sarcastic -- there have been some others along the line of, well, isn't there parental responsibility, a big brother-type -- guest: well, there is no question that over the years we have learned more about lead
and that is why congress established levels of lead in paint and a children's products. when i was a child, lead was found in pains. states passed lead poisoning control act, because the blood was used in baby cribs -- in baby lead was used cribs and on walls of homes. we know more about lead, cadmium, mercury. we continue to do research, and that is a good part of living in a country that values research and science and the protection of the consumer. host: 10 companies appeal your -- can company's appeal your -- guest: sure. companies can go through the court system and appeal our recalls. we have a new testing facility. we are happy to say.
we all moved in this year, this week. we have a brand new testing facility. we test products. we have engineers, scientists, a pharmacists. our decision on whether or not to recall a product is based on scientific findings. we stand by the scientist, and that is how we determine whether or not a product is recall. there are three types of recalls. you can have a recall repair, where the company will send you a repair kit. you can have every call refined -- a recall refund, where you get the purchase price return. are you can have a recall replace. there are various ways in which consumers are compensated. we work closely with industry to develop voluntary standards and work with them if we have to
have a mandatory standard. host: last call for our guest, inez tenenbaum, pittsburgh, lisa, you are on the air. caller: i am and a grandmother, and i have difficulty obtaining over-the-counter medicinal products like tylenol. it's kind of shocking to me. host: white do you think -- caller: every day there are new products that are not being manufactured or made available to large pharmacy stores. guest: the consumer products safety commission does not regulate food or drugs. that is done by the fda. the food and drug administration would regulate over-the-counter drugs and what you could purchase. we do regulate other children's products, but we do not regulate
over-the-counter drugs. that is the food and drug administration. you can go on usa.gov and find out more about other agencies and maybe have your question answered there. host: inez tenenbaum, this tweet -- guest: no, i do not by myself decide whether a product can be sold banned -- or banned. the commission was founded in 1973. it is a five-percent commission, two democrats, two republicans, and the chair by statute is always the same party as the president of the united states. there are five commissioners and we vote on the rules. also, our scientists and epidemiologists, our engineers
look at products and advise us on recalls. most of the recalls are voluntary, so we don't have to vote on it. the industry comes to us, or we go to the industry and we work together to voluntarily recall the product so the consumer can be safe. did you happen to know what you're still tipped darts -- guest: long darts? those are what the products we actually banned because there was nothing we could do to make them safe. we find people selling them on the internet. we also surveyed the internet. if you have any, don't try to sell them -- host: you survey ebay for those things? guest: we look on the internet, we got options -- host: really?
we look to them up yesterday. it is something we were all familiar with. guest: one of the few products we have actually banned. host: inez tenenbaum, thank you for being on "washington journal." guest: thank you very much, peter. host: we will continue our series looking at the department homeland security after this news update. >> unemployment numbers in this hour show the number of people applying for benefits fell sharply for the second straight week. it suggests that the job market is slowly recovering. the labor department says applications for benefits dropped by nearly 30,000 last week. an update on at dominique strauss-kahn. he is expected to appear in a new york city courtroom today to ask to be released on bail. last night, he resigned as chief of the international monetary
fund, and with that position now taken, the european commission is insisting that his replacement, from the european union. dsk was addressed last saturday on charges that he sexually assaulted a hotel maid. the commander of the u.s. pacific fleet says the u.s. military would consider sending officers and cadets to china on the study exchange programs if relations between the two countries improve. patrick walsh, speaking to reporters at a naval conference in singapore, says the u.s. is seeking to improve its ties with the chinese military. this just crossing the wires -- russia says that an israeli military attache has been expelled for spying. we will keep you updated throughout the day. more from the middle east. the syrian government is announcing a new u.s. sanctions, calling them "part of the u.s. regional policies serving
israel." president, is expected to defend the sanctions on the country of syria and president bashar assad today speech, airing at 11:40 eastern. you can hear it on c-span radio or watch it on the c-span television. those are the latest headlines from c-span radio. >> know when succeed in life by themselves. you must be willing to lean on others, listen to others, and yes, love others. >> watch 2011 commencement speeches on c-span memorial day weekend, past commencement addresses from politicians, activists, presidents, and more on the peabody award-winning c- span a video library, where you can watch and share it every event we have covered for 1987 until today. washington you're right n -- washington your way. >> history, as you know, is much
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continues. host: day for our look -- day 4 of our look at select operations of homeland security. our first look at airport security. so rights and liberties on tuesday. on wednesday, which looked at critical infrastructure, electricity grids and that kind of thing. tomorrow, bioterrorism and preparedness. today, the topic of border security, the articulate the technologies that are used in securing the southern and northern border -- particularly the technologies that used in securing the southern and northern border. chris strohm of "national journal" writes about national security issues. what role does technology play in border protection? guest: over the years it has played more and more of our role.
what they are trying to do is have a mix of personnel, technology, and infrastructure. a major component of that in the technology peace -- had been the technology piece. the department is reviewing how going forward it will use technology. over the last few years, there has been more emphasis on money that has been put at the border to blankets mainly at the southwest border with technology, which includes surveillance cameras, which includes an unmanned aerial vehicles, aircraft, sensors, and the communications and equipment to help the border patrol. host: in this case, what can technology do that physical boots on the ground cannot? guest: technology is viewed as being and has been to a personnel are able to do. -- as being an enhancement to what personnel are not able to do.
the agents on the southwest border is not enough to be everywhere all the time. technology is used to be the eyes and ears for the border patrol to alert the border patrol when there are incursions, the kind of look and figure out using radar and cameras what kind of activities are taking place along the border. there has been a major technology program that was called "the secure border initiative" that has been going on for the past five years, and homeland security department has just put an end to that program because it wasn't being as effective as people wanted it to be. it is a debate over how much technology you can really have versus the other issues that need to be addressed for dealing with border security and immigration reform, which is the bigger issue. host: it was early may that
secretary napolitano addresses the issue of border security, where she lay dead issues regarding technology and, as our guest -- she laid out issues regarding technology, and, as artists said, where it stood at the time. >> we have completed at 3 miles of the fencing has called for by congress, and we have deployed thousands of technology assets along the border. for the first time, dhs on manned aircraft aerial to belize cover the entire southwest border from california providing critical aerial assistance to personnel on the ground. actions taken at the southwest border are being supplemented by critical security improvements at the northern border, including additional border patrol agents, technology and infrastructure, as well as strong, serious, and strategic enforcement of immigration laws in the interior of the united states. as someone who has lived most
of for life in border states as worked as a public official dealing with border-related issues since 1993, i can say from personal experience that the steps that have been taken constitute the most comprehensive and dedicated effort to strengthen border security that our country has ever deployed. host: chris strohm, the secretary mentioned steps she had taken. he mentioned a program that started during the bush administration -- you mentioned a program that started during the bush administration. what were the reasons for the secure border initiative? guest: delays and cost overruns. the government spent $1.2 billion on this program. it was sold as being the program that would cover the entire southwest border and also the northern border. most attention focuses on the southwest border.
technology and infrastructure. there were consistently problems with rolling out the technology and how it was being used. eventually, through congressional criticism, for independent reviews of the technology, and by the department itself, there was a decision made not to continue this program. now the government is evaluating how we should approach using technology along the border in terms of going into individual areas and making decisions on what is needed in those individual areas. we are in a period of seeing what comes next with regard to this. there is technology that was pursued under the secure border initiative that is being used right now, but the department is trying to have a different look at how to go forward from here. host: before looking at what is being used as far as problems, could you describe one that they
had major problems with as far as what was being done about it? guest: one big problem was that the border patrol was not involved in using technology at the beginning. the department reported a contract to the boeing co., and the department set about developing technology without enough input from the border patrol. there are components of the overall program that were not working. there were mobile surveillance systems, essentially towers that are put into the border areas with day and night cameras and radars. they were producing a lot of false alarms. they were not reacting to -- there weren't able to discern between illegal activities taking place and that kind of natural events that were occurring on the border, whether it was whether or animals. the technology itself was sold as being as big integrated plan, but it was not working at way.
to the department's credit, they have stepped back and said that we are not going to pursue that huge investment anymore. we are going to look at this on a case by case basis and make decisions on how to go forward. host: chris strohm with us until 10:00. here's how you can participate this morning. for democrats -- if you want to send us an e- mail, that is journal@c- span.org, and if you want to send us a tweet, cspanwj. if there are elements that from the bush administration as far as technology is concerned, what is carried over anin what the current secretary wants to
employ? guest: mobile surveillance systems, fixed into granite towers that were put along the border -- fixed integrated power to report along the border, and efforts to increase the number of border patrol agents that are operating. over the last five years, the number of border patrol agents has been doubled and there is about 21,000 border patrol agents. ultimately, the big question is how much is enough? when is it going to be determined that using technology and infrastructure along the border has reached the point of enough capability? the government accountability office came out with the report a couple of months ago saying that only 15% of the southwest border is actually under effective control. the department disputes that, and they say that there is some issues in terms of how you define control. not every area of the border needs to have the presence of fencing or technology if you are
using other forms of technology, like unmanned drones to watch what is happening along the surface. how do you address the issue of border security through other means which include reforming the nation's immigration system, which include addressing the problems taking place in mexico with the warring drug cartels and the drugs coming into the night to states and have to address the drug issues within the country. host:the gao about a graphic of some of the issues involved. it shows towers like you had described. if these towers are currently in place or were replaced, they have problems, what makes the current use of towers any better? guest: currently, the level of
going toward the use of these towers -- it is not being pursued at the level it was. the homeland security department is trying to look at individual sections along the border and determine what is the next best technology use of personnel. the secure border initiative itself produced technology that could be used in a certain way. that is what the department is trying to figure out is how to use these powers -- towers and where they will be affected combined with other resources the department has. there is about 40 mobile's of balance systems that are along the border. the border is 2,000 miles. >> these are trucks with technology in them? >> yes, they have towers in the back and day and night cameras. they feed into a central computer system that operators can look at. they are being used.
more and more, the homeland security department is looking at military technology. these are big balloons that they put down along the border. they are being used in arizona, texas, and new mexico. host: like blimps? guest: yes, and a flood and look at what is happening and they run unmanned drones. i have about seven zones that are flying along the southwest border -- five along the sorts -- southwest border and two along the northern border. the drones have cameras and radars to be able to communicate back to the border patrol. what is taking place along the surface. they will look at the movement of people trying to sneak illegally into the country and the movement of a unauthorized aircraft coming across the border from mexico into the
united states. they will relay that information back to the border patrol. there is a debate over how effective you can be with unmanned drones because they don't actually secure anything. if you're going to capture people on the ground, you will have to send border patrol agents to do that. the drones can alert the border patrol in terms of what is going on but they are also expensive. the predator b model costs about $20,000. there is a debate over whether the public is getting enough bang for the buck when it comes to uav's. host: macon, ga., democrats line. caller: the problem with the security cameras and the things they put up at the border was not of it worked. -- none of it worked. i was wondering why they let these programs go on and on.
the reason is they securitized them and it goes into wall street and they bet against it. even if it is a bad program, we have to pay out on what wall street is betting on. boeing could not make video cameras that worked. radio shack makes better cameras. are you afraid to say that? guest: about government programs not coming to an end, that has been a problem with government contracting. you have these massive programs even when the government tries to stop them, there is this an arch of the keep them going. -- there is this inertia that keeps them going.
as far as the problems with the secure border initiative and the cameras, that has been the criticism all along is that these cameras are not operating the way they should be operating. the department originally said it was going to buy these off the shelf commercially available technology systems and use them because there is technology now that can be used. the department is trying to create technology that is being used in very rugged and difficult environments. while it had this vision of using commercially available technology, it found itself having to try to integrate technology together that was not working together. now the department is trying to go back and say that they will
kind of scale down what they are doing and use these available technologies in a more effective way. it remains to be seen if they will do that. , to money will be spent on this. host: charlotte, north carolina, republican line is next. caller: in addition to physically monitoring and insuring our borders, how closely does, security work with the ins and the irs? my boyfriend has worked in construction for a long time and recently the only jobs he can get is with illegal mexicans. the thing that they tell him is that they spent -- they send a lot of the money back to mexico. the worker for 10 or 15 years and they have $100,000 back in mexico and they go back. guest: that is all other side of
the problem in terms of the maquette for illegal immigration to come into the country which are jobs. the ins no longer exists. they were merged into how much security. you have the immigration customs enforcement which is part of the homeland security department. this is a huge debate in terms of how you address the illegal immigration population inside the united states. the homeland security department has been trying to go around and audit companies and look at their i-9 forms and determine which companies are hiring illegal immigrants and placed binds on them. there is a lot of criticism that the department is not doing enough on this front. at the same time, people inside government will say that we have this huge problem with our immigration system not being as
up-to-date as it needs to be. there's a need for congress to reform the nation's immigration system and create a way for immigrants, people looking for jobs, to come into the country legally and work. people who are working at these jobs from other countries, will send money back to those other countries. it is a very difficult situation because especially in the construction and retail and hospitality industries, you have u.s. workers competing with workers from other countries. the government has not figured out a way to update our immigration laws to deal with that problem. host: gao laid out a map of the southwest border. does it indicate technology that is used in arizona? guest: it is different based on a geographical region you're dealing with.
in desert areas, you generally see the same kind of approach in arizona as texas but in urban areas, you see this same kind of approach regardless of what state is in. in urban areas, you will see more fencing because the government believes that fencing can be used as. deterrent.e an effective you can see people come over the fence and get to them very quickly. in the middle of the desert, building fencing in the middle of the desert is not as effective as using unattended ground sensors and drones to watch a wide swath of land. the type of technology and infrastructure at the border varies depending on the geographical region. >> we are talking about standard metal fencing? guest: there's nothing special about the fans and technology but some of it is double layered.
there will be double layers of fencing with a road in between for the border patrol to go back and forth. there has actually been a push by republicans in congress to build more fencing. there is about 650 miles of fencing along the 2000-mile southwest border currently. there are people in congress to say one more fencing. fencing is also really expensive. you can spend up to $4 million per mile of fans. fence. when do we as a government make the decision that we put enough technology and infrastructure at the border? part of that decision making will be reforming the immigration system and addressing the other issues that are leading to the problems along the border. host: hearst, illinois,
democrats line, go ahead caller: if we spent $1 billion for security, what happens when when illegals are captured? are they sent back for sent to prison for 10 years? i think they are sent back. my question is -- what is actually happening there? guest: it depends on the situation. generally, people come from mexico into the united states illegally are sent right back. if they are found out to have a criminal record, they can be held in u.s. jails. there's also the issue of people coming from other countries beyond mexico. that is a much smaller percentage but it is still a concern. the government's has a
recreation programs with other countries but there -- but people will be incarcerated in u.s. jails. as part of the government's approach to dealing with illegal immigration, one thing they have emphasized is going into the u.s. presence and finding people who are in the country illegally and especially trying to find the people who are in jail because of major serious crimes and identifying those people. when they serve their jail term and they're done, they get deported. host: california, republican line. caller: finally you are speaking up to the fallacy of this year among this new layer of barack- acy, this national security. this so-called high-tech
hardware that does not work shows how big these experts are. they don't look beyond their nose at the people who have to use it whether it works or not. the biggest thing of all is the federal government is not enforcing the immigration laws. anybody who is breaking the law should be sent back immediately. how the boeing respond to the technology developed? guest: they were put in the position of taking on most of the criticism about this program. as the government contractor, they have kind of taken on that criticism. the changing requirements of the program, a program that was originally envisioned, was
changed by the government and that put burdens on boeing to be able to try to respond to what the government wanted. it was kind of this call acquisition program that went awry. there was finger-pointing between the government and a boeing but both of them tried to keep as civil as they could. now the department has released itself from boeing. it's still says that boeing will be able to compete for these other contract opportunities they will have down the road. host: the caller mentioned money and the house appropriations committee recently marked a bill concerning border security that proposed for f y 2012, five other million-dollar -- for $500
million. what is the story behind the numbers? >> guest: the spending on border technology has come down. it has not come down that much. there was about $800 million that was being spent a couple of years ago and now they will spend $500 million. that is the latest figure they are proposing. overall, congress is still giving the homeland security department about as much money as it wants to have. especially when it comes to some of these front-line border patrol and customs operations, but congress is still giving the department is sizable amount of money. there is about $12 billion that is being proposed for the next fiscal year for doing this for the level of money that is being spent on the technology is coming down and we are probably not going to see any major
border security acquisition program go forward any time in the near future as a continuation of what they are doing now. it is important to mention that there are people who come into the country legally, they fly in or come for the ports and a overstay their visits. they are on a visa and they don't leave. the government accountability of us put out a new report saying about 40% of everybody in the country illegally, about 40% of those people came into the country legally. then they overstayed their visit. there's a question in terms of how you go after those people who are in the country and get them out of the country. host: nashua, new hampshire,
independent line, go ahead. caller: set up a website to allow technical experts to propose an debate alternatives. you said you had a solution that was not working. we have a lot of bright people and we can fix those ideas with open source solutions. people could vote and the different ideas and the ideas that you rise to the top you can implement. the department of all land securities says they release illegal because they cannot deal with them. if they don't have the resources, we can step up ourselves. we could allow somebody to contribute to the deportation of anyone caught within a certain radius of their home. also, we need to go after the employers. we will not solve the problem unless we get rid of a magnet. the magnet is the employers.
we need to reestablish the rule all block. host: as far as the employers and technology, we have this from twitter -- guest: e-verify is a program the government implemented for employers mainly for them to voluntarily check the legal status of their employees and the people i want to hire. it is a database that is operating between the social security administration and the homeland security department. about 120,000 employers use it but that is a fraction of the total number of employers in the united states. some states have mandated the use of e-verify but overall the federal government has not mandated this. it is a debate in terms of whether it should be.
there are people who say they don't know if this program is ready to be scaled up on national level for a national mandate at this point. there have been signs that the program is working and able to accommodate increased usage. the bush administration, actually put a requirement on all federal contractors to use e-verify. there is still a debate whether it should be mandated. host: what about having other people having input on technology used to it? would the administration grasp the concept like that? guest: i don't know but i agree with the caller. if they look at open source technology, that would benefit the administration and help lower costs. there's always the issue of dealing with the government bureaucracy when you're dealing
with these acquisition programs. even though people might have great ideas, once you get into the government bureaucracy, you could run into problems. the other point that the caller made was allowing private individuals or private groups to go out enforce immigration laws. i don't know that would be such a great idea. you kind of lose a degree of accountability in terms of what private groups are doing. i don't know if having private contractors go into u.s. cities and poor people is something we really want to see inside this country. that is definitely a big debate on how to deal with it. it is still unresolved. host: abilene, texas, independent -- republican line. caller: this problem will not go
away until the government realizes that we are on the border of a third-world country. we are being inundated with all kinds of drugs. and thugs. they found an armory of weapons a couple of weeks ago across the border that were anti-aircraft grenade launchers with grenades and many, many ak-47s and a lot of ammunition and that is not even talked about. they say that al qaeda is training now in mexico and recruiting in mexico. in texas, we have a standing do not go to mexico mandate because it is unsafe. until we realize that we are on the brink of war on our border, it is on safe and the government
refuses to do anything about it. there has to be something behind it. i don't know -- i don't think it is just the bureaucracy. it is a matter of somebody not wanting the borders closed. host: let me throw in one twitter -- guest: people will make the argument that you can build the best thing to one and have all the technology and border patrol personality one and people will dig underneath it or go where they can through water routes. technology in and of itself is not going to secure the border. this is a combination of using technology and personnel and infrastructure but also directing -- addressing these larger is is like what is going on in mexico. -- larger issues like what is going on in mexico.
the mexican government has launched an aggressive operation against the drug cartels inside mexico. it has led to tens of thousands of mexicans being killed and also u.s. citizens being killed but not nearly to the scale of people inside mexico. it is the issue of how you address those kind of problems that are taking place. there is a lot of tension between the united states and mexico. there's also distrust that takes place. the u.s. government can only do so much to conduct operations inside mexico. the government is providing drones and in mexico. there is a whole u.s. assistance package that goes down to mexico. largely, that assistance package has been focused on military hardware and technology.
when there is a criticism that you need to focus on building civil society and judicial reform and building civil institutions that can address the problems that are taking place in mexico, there is no easy answer to that. there is a lot of concern that the violence in mexico is spilling over into the united states. that is continuing at this point. host: here is an e-mail -- guest: the actual predator is only $5 million but when you add in all the other costs with
radars and cameras and the ground stations to feed that stuff back to border patrol operative stations and of the personnel training -- and the personnel training and a staff level and the operational cost of maintenance, this is the estimate the government gives which is about $18 million. when you factor everything in, that is the cost that is out there. host: california, democrats line. caller: i appreciate cspan very much. i believe we should not give foreign aid to mexico. we should use that money and bring our national guard home. we should use air national guard to guard the borders, build defenses and deport people that are here illegally. we have immigration laws and they should be enforced. the e-verify law should be
mandated. the national guard should be used to do something about the drug's and we should be taking care of the people of our own country. host: tennessee, republican line, go ahead ca. caller: right up. morristown, tenn., there is prostitution. they were bringing these women in enforcing them into slavery and to see 30 men per day. that would move them every so often so i would not know where they were. last time i was there was last fall and i was amazed at the signs in spanish. somebody up there is hiring those people and the federal agents need to check out who is doing that. host: you can address those
issues but i want to point to another thing that the gao pointed out. there is unattended ground sensors along the border. how do they work? guest: these are sensors that are on the ground or actually on the towers along the border and they pick up motion. these will alert the border patrol and send a signal back to the border patrol operating the station and allow the border patrol to know there was some kind of activity. how much as the border patrol responding to false alarms? that was one of the problems with the secure border initiative. this fall into grid system was having too many false alarms and was not working properly. i want to mention one thing
which is the use of the national guard. under the bush administration, the national guard was sent to the border. it has been continued by the obama administration. currently, there is only about 1200 national guard soldiers that are operating along the border. they don't actually do apprehension. they are able to do monitoring and repair infrastructure. they are seen as being a force multiplier to the border patrol. the things the border patrol agents would have to do in terms of operational maintenance the national guard can do which frees up the border patrol to do more patrols. the mission for the national guard in july -- ends for the national guard in july. there's a question as to whether they should continue along the border. host: does the technology along
the border match what goes all along the northern border in canada? guest: the southwest border as much more technology. there are two drones operating along the northern border and there are centers along the border. certainly, the focus of border security has been along the southwest border. that is largely because of the problems that are taking place in mexico and the concern about the illegal immigration and activity. there is porter technology and operations along the northern border, as well. host: as far as the future, is there a sense that there will be some type of all encompassing technology plan? will it be done piecemeal going forward? guest: it looks like they will not have any kind of