tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 16, 2012 1:00am-6:00am EST
illions of dollars looking at by a metric entrance and exit systems. that is still, i believe the wish of a lot of us that somehow we should perfect this and make it part of the system. the uc that happening at some point? -- do you see that happening at some point? >> i think it entry is a possibility. but exit is a different kettle of fish. one reason it is up the ports are not designed to have biometric equipment and the exit lanes. that will be a very expensive process. to compensate for that, we are as you know, making a visit to cbt. we want to get greater leverage out of those resources that we
have but cbp at the exit stage with ice but we have also combined a number of different data bases for a very layered and robust biographical information at the exit stage. it is not the same as biometric but it is very close to the same and we think that will be a good bridge until ultimately biometric becomes feasible to do. >> the gentlemen yields back. with some trepidation i yield to the gentle lady from texas one question. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate your courtesy. madam secretary, i sit on two subcommittees that both deal with the issue of cargo, the transportation security
committee, and the border committee that deals with land and the ports. i am frankly disappointed and concerned about what we have come to, in light of the situations dealing with not doing it 100% cargo inspection. my question, i heard an earlier answer but a clearer understanding -- my question is with the concern as it relates to air cargo and the lack of 100% inspection, can we and will use at actual time frames with which we could work together as a committee and department to see what the alternatives are or, in fact, to see whether or not on how to% cargo inspection is still viable -- whether or not 100% cargo inspection is still viable even if the deadline is pushed back? that i was talking about the
maritime environment. with respect to air cargo we are at the stage of 1/2% of cargo put on passenger planes, leaving from u.s. domestic airports whether they are leaving on a domestic flight or international flight. >> that is what i wanted you to clarify. >> yes, and we did not do screening at international airports so we are working with the international airports for foreign flag carriers to cover the higher risks from abroad. >> and the other aspect, you will work with the committee? the other aspect of screening? >> screening and/or scanning. at all right thank you. i yield back. >> madam secretary thank you for your testimony today. thank you for accommodating our schedule. sorry for the like, we were on the floor voting. thank you for your testimony and if members of the committee have additional questions, we ask you to respond to those in
house debate on offshore oil drilling. transportation secretary ray lahood testifies about the president's 2013 budget request. then president obama talks about manufacturing jobs in his visit to milwaukee. >> congress has scheduled several more hearings tomorrow on the white house budget. at 9:30 in the morning the senate energy committee hears from energy secretary stephen chu. at 2:00 eastern, timothy geithner testifies before the house committee. watched both of those meetings on c-span3 and c-span.org. >> "book tv" is live saturday from this a fan out book festival. at 10:45 what it is like to go to war and the u.s. army's first lot active duty officer at
noon. at 1:30 eastern the change in israeli-palestinian conflict. itand look at who was afraid. and at 5:15, the rise and fall of the comanche, part of a three-day presidents' day weekend on the c-span's ""book tv." >> the house today debated in energy bill that would encourage offshore oil drilling, oil exploration in the arctic national wildlife refuge, and the development of oil shale. here is part of that debate, beginning with doc hastings, the chairman of the house resources committee. this is one hour, 10 minutes. chairman, i rise today in support of h.r. 3408, which contains t energy provisions in the american energy and infrastructure jobs act.
this is an action plan to create jobs that will vastly expand american energy production, lower gasoline prices, strengthen our national economic security, and generate new revenue to help pay f infrastructure. mr. chairman, all without raising taxes or adding to the deficit. in this year's state of the union speech, president obama proclaimed his support for expanding american energy production with an all of the above energy strategy. sadly, m chairman, the president's actions while he has been in offi, has been anything but pro-energy. in fact, his rhetoric, i dents say this slightly, mr. chairman, is 180 degrees from his actions. since taking office this administration has repeatedly blocked u.s. energy production. the offshore drilling moratorium and theeystone pipeline are just the tip of the iceberg. he's canceled withdrawn
scheduled lease sales, blocked mining and mineral rich areas and issues countless job destrong regulations. mr. chairman, actions do speak louder than rd the bill we are considering today is an action plan that clearly contrasts president obama's anti-energy policies with the pro-energy, pro-american job policies of republicans. while president obama has closed off new areas for offshore drilling, this area -- this bill will open areas known to contain the most oil and natural gas resources in the atlantic, pacific, and arctic oceans. as a result economic analysis has shown that well over a million jobs, long-term jobs, long-term american jobs, can be created. while president obama opposes energy production in anwr, this bill will open less than 3% of the total area to responsible
and safe drilling. anwr, that issue has been around a while, mr. chairman, and anwr represents the single greatest resource of onshore area production in the united states. this is one of the reasons that way back in 1980 when jimmy carter was still president and the democrats controlled the congress but ty specifically setaside the north slope of anwr for energy production. safe and responsible energy production in anwr will protect the environment while creating tens of thousands of jobs and providing upwards of 1.5 million barrels of oil today. by the way this is more than the u.s. imports daily from saudi arabia. while the president has delay leases and withdrawnver a million acres into rocky mountains toil shale development, this bill will set clear rules and require additional oil shale leases to be issued. according to the governmen
estimates, this region may hold, mr. chairman this is a significant number this region may hold me than 1.5 trillion barrels of oil equivalent. that's six time sai arabia's proven reserves. and enough to provide the united states with energy for the xt 200 years. i'm just talki about oil shale. robust oil shale development can also create hundreds of thousands of jobs and that should be self-evident. finally, while the president refused to approve the keystone x.l. pipeline, this bill would require the federal energy regulatoryommission or ferc to approve it within 30 days. the keystone x.l. pipeline will create more than 20,000 american jobs and displace less stable ergy imports with millions of barrels of safe and secure north american oil. since this president took office, mr. chairman, gasoline prices have climbedy 91%. meanwhile, iran is threatening
to close off the straight of hormuz which is responsible for transportation -- strait of hormuz which is responsible for transportation of 17 million barrels of oil today or 20% ever all oil traded. price also own climb higher if we don't take action now to increase our energy independence and develop our own energy resources. today, mr. chairman, republicans are moving forward with a plan to create more jobs and create more american energy. with at, mr. chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from washington reserves his time. the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. markey, is recognized. mr. markey: i thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he wishes to consume. mr. markey: unfortunately according to the congressional budget office, these drilling measures the republicans are bringing out on the house floor today, together, would only
raise $4.3 billion over 10 years. less than 1/10 of the revenue shortfall needed to fund our highways. in reality this bill amounts to little more than a give away of our public lands to big oil under the guise of funding our nation's transportation ojects. and most estimates are that no new revenue will be produced. that is usable for this transportation bill. under the united states -- acro the united states oil production is at its highest level in nearly a decade. natural gas production has reached levels we haveever seen before in the united states. oil production on public lands offshore is higher than it was during each of the last three years of the bush administration. according to industry analysts
by this summer there will be nearly 30% more floating rigs operating in the gulf of mexico than there were prior to the b.p. spill. yet the rublican bill would threaten the tourism and fishing economies of coastal states by allowing drilling off of our beaches in florida in california up and down our east and west coasts and as well in an area extensively used by the military where even sectary rumsfeld said quote, drilling structures and associated development would be incompatible with military activities in this area. this congress has not enacted a single safety improvement since the b.p. spill. the billwould allow for drilling in the arctic national wildlife refuge in alaska, ripping out the heart of the crown jewel of our natnal
wildlife refuge system. the arctic refuge is america's serengeti. it is one of the natural wonders of the world like the grand canyon, niagara falls or the great barrier reef, and it should be protected. if we allow drilling in the arctic refuge, it will set a precedent that will allow the oil and gas industry to place a bull's-eye on each of the 540 wildlife refuges across this country. d this legislation would rush to give away 125,000 acres of public land in colorado, utah and wyoming to big oil for oil she development. however, there is no commercially viable oil shale technology and oil shale developments could have significant impacts on water quality and quantity in the west if there was a commercial viable technology available, which shell oil and the department of
interior says does not yet exest. in fact, the -- exist. in fact, the government accotability office says the impact of oil shale development on water could be significant but are unknown. what's more, this provision has been included by e majority despite the fact that the congressional budget office says th it would not raise any revenue over the next 10 years to fund our highways. unrstand that. . c.b.o. says raises no revenue in the next 10 years. it's just stuck in here. oil and gas industry would like to see it so they toss it in. nothing to do with funding transportation. and the majority's drilling bills wouldn't even ensure that american natural gas stays here in america to help our consumers. natural gas prices are six times higher in asia than they are right here. they are more than three times higher in europe than they are right here.
low natural gas prices have been driving the economic recovery of the united states. we have far more natural gas in our country, and it's very low priced than we have oil. and what the republican bill will allow to happen is for this natural gas to be exported around the world and exportg of our natural gas would eliminate our competitive edge by driving prices up by as much as 54%, according to the department of energy. not ensuring that the natural gas stays here in the united states ensures that the majority, the republicans, have imposing a de facto natural gas tax on american agriculture, manufacturing, chemical, steel plastics by allowing our gas to
be exported. here's what t. boone pickens says about the idea of exporting american natural gas. here's what he said. "if we do it, we're truly going to go down as america's dumbest generation. it bad public policy to export natural gas." our natural gas is six times cheaper than asian. it is three times cheaper than european. what are we doing exporting it? we should keep it for our own farmers, for our own industries for our own consumers. that's how we put ourselves on a path toward energy independence. i agree with t. boone pickens. we should keep our natural gas here. we should not be following the republican energy plan of drill here, se there and pay more. if we sell this natural gas
around the world the partment of energy says the pry's going up 57% here because -- price's going up 57% here. the same dynamic exists in the keystone portion of the bill where republicans have failed to include any assurances that even a drop of the oil or the fuels will stay in this country. when i ask the president of transcanada, the pipeline company from canada whether he will be willing to commit to keep the oil that passes through this pipeline in the united states, he says no. and why? because the oil companies and the refineries want to export the fuels to the highest bidders around the world leaving the american people with all of the environmental risk and little or none of the energy or economic benefit. so drill here, sell the, pay more, that's not the republican
mantra. drill here, sell there, pay less. now they've morphed into what the oil and gas industry want and all e economic indicators point to the conclusion that our consumers will be harmed by that. d on the question of the totality of the economic benefits for our country, they are simultaneously proposing to kill the tax breaks for the wind industry which isow creating 85,000 jobs in our country in the face of the wind industry saying that they will have to lay off 40,000 people over the next year unless the production tax break for the wind industry stays on the books. so all of this is basically upside down as an energy policy. my strongest admonition to the
members who are listening to th debate is tvote no on this republican proposal. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves his time. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i am pleased to yield three minutes to the former chairman of the natural resources committee and the former chairman of the transportation committee, the gentleman from alaska, mr. young. mr. young: thank you for yielding. thanks for yielding and i rise in support of 3408. i am really here to talk about anwr. you know, i just wrote a little poem that's not too good. lo and behold none was there. lack ofction by this congress beware. an still lace bear. time to drill for the people of -- still lays bare. time to drill for the people of america. the gentleman from massachusetts says no use for atomic power, no use for anwr. we're in good shape. but look at the price of gas,
mr. and mrs. america. it will go to $5, $5. you say this won't solve the problem. i've heard this before. if you want to add money for transportation i pass this bill out, t it to the senate side. this is the 12th time. president clinton vetoed it. we would have saved $4 trillion if we had anwr open at that time. $4 trillion. think of the highway bill we would have had then. that's something i think the american people should recognize. we do have the fossil fuels in america. we do have the oil. we do have the gas. but we haven't had the will to develop them because we brought them overseas. we are dependent upon the mideast and, ye venezuela our good neighbor venezuela, chiefs. it's time for america to wake up. we need the supply of fossil fuels, and it's going to stay here. not wind, not solar because fossil fuels is still the
cheapest way to move an object. it is the commerce of this nation. it moves our trains, our planes, our automobiles, our trucks and our ships and it will continue to do that. that's what keeps us moving in this country keeps our economy strong and as long as wwill have that foss fuel within the united states it is criminal to continue to rely upon the foreign countries. we talk about big oil. pick on big oil. big oil this, big oil that. big oil does help the united states of america. it keeps our trucks and planes flying. it keeps our economy strong. so i am urging you to vote on this aspect of anwr. vote on it. let's provide for this nation. let's do what's right for the people of this nation. it covers dulles airport. 19 million acres less than 3,000 acres will be developed. let's think about 3,000 acres will be developed to divide us
for probably 39 billion barrels of oil, 74 miles away from the pipeline. a pipeline that can deliver two million barrels a day to the united states of america as we have done in the past. we've had one shipment of oil go overseas, heavy oil. all of the rest has gone to the united states of america, it's gone to our refiners. it's time for us as congress to act responsibly. all due respect to my friend from massachusetts, against nuclear power, against oil. in fact, i questioned the wind power because one time he was against th. i am saying, wait a nute, what are we doing to run our country for power? how do we get our economy ing again? it's the key to our economy, energy. good, cheap energy. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. markey: yes, i yield myself two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. markey: when the democrats
controlled the congress in 2009, we passed a bill out here on the house floor that created an advanced energy technology bank that included $75 billion that the nuclear industry could have qualified. $60 billionor the coal industry for clean coal technology. although we also built in incentives for wind and for solar and for energy efficiency, we did it all. we did it all. we gave everyone a running head start. we didn't say nothing for nuclear. no. what have the republicans sent over the past year that passed on the house floor a bill that zeroed out the loan guarantees for wind and solar but they left in the loan guarantees for the nuclear industry. that's not an all-of-the-above strategy, and you all voted for it unanimously. no. here's where we are. this oil above all strategy
that you have, not all of the above, this is basically at the heart of what this whole debate is all about. last year the oil industry in the united states made $137 billion. this year they're going to blast right past that $137 billion. every person watching this debate is looking at the pump right now at $3.50 $4, $4.50 that they're paying and it's going straight up. they're going to be reporting profits of upwards of $200 billion. the republicans continue to keep in the $4 billion a year for tax breaks for the oil industry. over 10 years that's $40 billion that would pay for the transportation bill. subsidizing the oil industry in 2012 to drill for oil is like subsidizing fish to swim or birds to fly. you don't have to do it. the coumer is already doing
it at the pump. they're being tipped upside down. and so there's an easy funding mechanism here. take away the oil company tax breaks. that's the -- i will yield myself an additional 30 seconds. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. markey: that is the only way that we can substitute the money that stays within that sector. ok. these guys are going to cut back on the pension plans of federal retirees in order to pay for a transportation bill when we should be keeping the funding stream within this energy sector because that's why we have tires on the road, in order to use this petroleum, and the oil industry right now is having it both ways. they're getting tax breaks from the taxpayers at the same time they're taking the other pocket of every american as consumers and taking money out of their pocket as well.
that's really at the heart of what this debate is all about. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves his time. the gentleman om washington is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. speaker -- mr. chairman, i am very pleased to yield three minutes to the gentleman from colorado, mr. lamborn. the chair: the gentleman from colorado is recognized for three minutes. mr. lamborn: thank you, mr. chairman, and i thank the chairman of the committee, doc hastings. i rise in support of h.r. 3408. this legislation does three vital things. it will open up land in the west to oil shale development, open up one of our most promising areas for energy development in the united states, the arctic national wildlife refuge, and increase offshore production as well. these provisions will create hundreds of thousands of amican jobs and ensure the continued production of new domestic increases in our energy security and decrease our reliance on foreign oil, a goal the administration has professed to support time and time again. oil shale is one of the most
promising new sources of american-made energy. the u.s. geological survey estimates that the western united states holds more than 1.5 trillion with a t barrels of oil, six times saudi arabia's proven resources and enough to provide the united states with energy for the next 200 years. opponents to this legislati will argue that this legislation attempts to promote technology that isn'troven. however, while the american oil shale industry is forced overseas due to regulatory uncertainty and burdensome federal regulations here, other nationare profiting right now from this technology. cotries like jordan, china and estonia. just this morning we heard from secretary ken salazar who expressed the administration's support of emerging technologies. you would think that would clude oil shale. unfortunately the obama administration's support
amounts to offering leases with such extremely restricted terms that it attracts hardly any industry support at all. as a result, countries overseas which get over 90% of their total energy supply from oil shale, like estonia, have robust oil shale industries. i asked secretary sal czar how this administration -- salazar how this administration can stifle this prodtion of oil shale and he had no good answer. now, this legislation also opens up energy in alaska, specifically the less than 3% of anwr that the bill deals with. this area was set aside by president carter in 1980 precisely for oil and gas development. the arctic national wildlife reserve holds the single greatest potential for new energy source in the united states. offshore this legislation would increase drilling in federal
waters while ensuring protection for our offshore military operations and fair and equityible revenue sharing for all coastal states. this energy legislation will create consistent policies to move the domestic energy industry forward and create good-paying american jobs for thousands of americans. people say all the time to me, why don't we have a better energy policy in this country? this legislation does exactly that. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 3408. thank you, mr. chairman, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman -- the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: may i in-- mr. markey: may i inquire how much time is remaining on both sides? the chair: both sides have nine and a half minutes remaining. mr. morekey: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. garamendi. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for threeinutes.
mr. garamendi: thank you mr. speaker. my good friend and colleague asked a good question, why don't we have a good american energy policy? you won't get it with this policy. this may be the worst american energy picy i've seen. oil shale? there's no way you'll see oil shale developed within the united states in any time probably in our lifetime. it didn't work in the 1980's, it's not likely to work in the next two decades. so what's this all about? by the way, if you hpen to be from colorado utah, arizona california, new mexico you'd want to go whoa, wait a minute, oil shale? that takes a lot of water. we don't have enough water and you want to use it for that? i don't think so. let's get real here. we do need a real energy policy. you're going to open up anwr? there are some very special places in this world. d anwr happens to be one of
them. the arctic national wildlife refuge happens to be one of those places. you're not going to open it up and by the way, those of us from california, my good friends on the republican side are always talking about state rights. always talking about state rights. and your little piece of legislation here strips away the right of california to take care of its own coastline. it's not just authorizing the offshore drilling you take away californ's coastal zone management powers. stripping away from california -- californians, all 38 million of us, our ability to take care of our own coast. something's terribly wrong with this piece of energy legislation. and you're going to fund the transportation with this? while stripping money away from the land and water conservation fund? how does that work? how does that work? and by the way, the money won't be therenyway. this is not an energy policy.
this is a stupid policy. and it ought to be 435 reasons each and every person in this house is affected in a negative way by this piece of legislation. 435 of us ought to say, put this aside just as we have discovered the underlying bill on transportation has found little support and has to go back and be reworked because of its insufficiencies. this is no way to fund a transportation bill. this is no way to treat california. this is no way to have an energy policy for america. yes, we do need an energy policy. we do need to have many different elements to it but we don't sacrice those specia places. like the california coast. like the arctic national wildlife refuge. like bristol bay. like the coast of florida. like the east coast of the united states. we do not sacrifice that for an energy policy that doesn't
solve the problem that this is purporteto solve. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from california yields back. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm pleased to yield three minutes the gentleman from tennessee, mr. duncan. the spear pro tempore: the gentleman -- the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. duncan: thank you mr. chairman. i thank the gentleman from washington for yielding me this time. i thank him for his leadership on this bill. i rise in strong support of this legislation. this administration, mr. chairman, has a secretary of energy who told "the wall street journal" that we should be paying the same price for gasoline as they're paying over in europe and at the time he said that, they were paying $8 of $9 a gallon. i know that most environmental radicals come from wealthy or upper income families and perhaps they can afford gasoline at $8 or $9 a gallon but most people can't. in fact, mr. chairman, many experts are predicting we're
going to be at $5 a gallon by as soon as this summer. i can tell you that's going to hurt a lot of poor and low income and working people if we go to $5 a gallon and it's going to hurt a lot of small towns and rural areas because people in those places generally have to drive longer distances to go to work. i represent, mr. chairman, a large part of the gre sky mountains national park. that national park is slightly under 600,000 acres. we get between nine million and 10 million visitors a year. anwr and i happen to be one of the few member who has been to anwr twice, it is the most barren place i have ever been to. mr. young, chairman young, estimated there's 100 miles without a tree or bush on it. anwr is 19.8 million acres, 35 times the size of the great smoky mountains. "time" magazine said they get 200 to 300 visitors a year and you have to be a survivalist to go in there.
now we want to expand our energy production there with just a few thousand acres, a min us kuhl portion of anwr, to help our own people. if we don't do that who we're helping is foreign energy producers but wear hurting a lot of poor, lower income and working people in this country. some have said before wi when we passed anwr in the mid 1990's and it was vetoed by president clinton, it was said it would produce one million barrels a day coming into this country. but president clinton vetoed it. they said at the time it wouldn't help right away. well, it would be helping now if it hadn't been vetoed. and if we start now, producers would have to bring the prices down and i think this legislation would start helping right away or at least in a very short time and we need to start putting our own people first once again instead of just helping out foreign energy producers. i yield back the brans of my time.
the chair: the gentleman from tennessee yields back. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. markey: i yield myself one minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. markey: here's the reality. the republicans need money. to build roads. and so they want to drill in the arct national wildlife refuge. which senator inhofe from oklahoma has already made clear doesn't have the votes to pass in the senate. the same thing is true for california, florida, off the coast of massachusetts, and new jersey, they want to drill there as well. and it's very clear that the votes aren't there in the senate to accomplish that goal either. and if the gentleman from -- as the gentleman from california just said, the likelihood of finding revenues fromil from shale is at least two decades away, so there's no revenues there. this is another bill, by the way, that's going to come out here on the floor and in order to fin the revenue do you
know where they're going to drill? they'll drill into the pensions of f.b.i. agents, they're going to drill into the pensions of the researchers for cancer at the national institutes of health. they're fwoipping to drill into the pension -- going to drill into the pensions of the border patrol agents down on the mexican border protecting us right now. that's where they're going to find almost all the money for this bill, the pensions of those people. is that really the way we want to build the roads of our country? i reserve thbalance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: i am pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman, mr. tipton. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr.ityton: thank you chairman hastings mr. speaker. clearly an interesting position from our democrat colleagues they say we need roads, they say we need job, they say we -- mr. tipton: thank you, chairman hathesings mr. speaker. clearly an interesting position
from our democrat colleagues. they say we need roads, we need jobs. but not here, not now. this is something well stand together for. we're looking at developing oil shale as a potential resource for this country right here in america to be able to create american jobs on american soi using american energy resources , let's explore ts. from the republican side, we have clearly stood for an all of the above policy. why is there such reluctance from our democrat colleagues to embrace developing technology to be able to create certainty for america's energy future? to be able to help strgling young families, senior citizens on fixed incomes, to make sure their utility bills gas bills don't continue to rise. that's what we're proposing. when we're talking about protecting colorado, my home state, many of our colleagues -- may i have one more minute? mr. hastings: yield the
gentleman another minu. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for an additional one minute. mr. tipton: thank you, mr. speaker. when we're talking about colorado, many of your democrat colleagues joined the amendment i put forward stating that the secretary wouldn't consider but shall address local concerns. if you understand colorado water, you can't just take it. it's a priority-based system. you have to actually own that water to be able to develop it. we have a reasonable plan that we're trying to put forward. to develop americaenergy certainty. but our democrat colleagues, their solution of having no, not here, not now, not anywhere is not a solution that will work for america. let's get our people to work. let's create ceainty for america and stand up for the american consumer for a change. i yield back, mr. speaker. the chair: the gentleman from colorado yields back his time. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized.
mr. markey: mr. chairman, i yield myself one mine. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. markey: just two weeks ago president obama stood right there in this chamber and he said that he was going to propose opening up 75% of the oil and gas resources off of the coast of the united states. that's a great plan. he doesn't want to drill off the california beaches, he doesn't want to drill off the florida beaches or off of the new jersey or massachusetts beaches, but the rest of it, he's pretty much saying he's open to. but they're not happy with it over here. the president has a real plan and a plan that can be implemented. what they do is bring out proposals here that try to build real highways with fake oil revenues that are never going to materialize. so rather than working here in
the real world, with the real transportation needs of our country are dealt with with real revenues coming in, they talk about oil shale which shell oil says is 10 years away. i yield myself 30 seconds. not some shell collector along the beaches, shell oil says it's 10 years away. jim inhofe in the senate says the votes aren't there to drill in the arctic national wildlife refuge. that's zero dollars as well. and the likelihood of drilling off the coast of florida lifornia, massachusetts for oil is zo. so why are we going through this facade of trying to pretend that real highways can be built with fake oil revenues? we should be taking up the offer of president obama, where he says he'll open up 75% of all the drilling possibilities off the astlines of our
country that is what this debate should be all about. the chair: the gentlem reserves his time the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. olson. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. olson: i thank the chairman of the natural resources committee for the currency of speaking in suppt of h.r. 3408. mr. chairman, i rise in strong pport of h.r. 3408. the pioneers act. and by doing so, i'm standing up for american inmoe vation, american jobs, and renewed american prosperity. shale oil is a game changer. and you don't have to look any further than my home state of texas to see the economic benefits of this stable american energy resource. this past sunday, when i went to the area, there were 171 oil
rigs and 93 natural gas rigs drilling thousands of wells, more rigs are coming. and major pipeline projects are under way to support production that will go to 420,000 barrels per day. let me say that again. 420,000 barrels of oil per day. what my friends on the other side of the aisle said oil shale, no way. i've seen with my own eyes at the eagle shale and i say oil shale, yes way. eagle ford shale job creation is now in full swing with scores of new businesses opening up to support the boom. more than 10,000 jobs have already been created and 58,000 more are on the way. the economic recession is a thing of the past -- past in this part of our country, of my state. as we have noted, the world is
changing in front of our eyes. our long-established dependence on imported energy could be a thing of the past if we harness america's energy resources. h.r. 3408 will get us one step closer. i thank the gentleman for the time and yield back. the chair: the gentleman from texas yields back, the gentleman from washington reserve the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. markey: i yield myself one minute at this time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. markey:, you know, the republicans over the past year have betrayed their agenda. they have pretty much voted out on the house floor to gut the budget for wind, gut the budget for solar, gut the budget for plug-in hybrid vehicles, and at the same time kept in the money for the nuclear industry, kept in the tax breaks for the oil industry. so that's pretty much what the debate is all about.
it's about the past versus the future. in our country, right now the american people want to know that we're embracing a future-oriented, technology-oriented, advanced technology-oriented agenda for our country. that's what all the republicans keep voting against out here. all of the new technologies that allow us to move on from the fossil fuel era, and it will be one thing if they didn't jusvote far, but then they have the at the matr to stand up -- at the matter -- at that matter to stand up because they wouldn't vote to kill wind and solar out here on the house floor over the last year. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i yield myself two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recoized for two minutes. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, senator inhofe's quote has been thrown around here recently.
let me give another quote from senator inhofe. "as i have said we can make great strides by developing our own domestic resources. we can do this and support millions of american jobs produce affordable energy for consumers and reduce our dependence on foreign oil." he said that march, 2010. i think that's important. mr. chairman, i want to make one other point. there's been implication here that it's the policy of this administration to increasoil and gas supplies. but if you look at the president's own budget that came out this week, there are two aspects of revenue coming in from oil and gas production. you have the lease sales and you have the royalties. if you look at the president's own budget this year it came out just two days ago, you will see that this year and in the outyear money coming in from lease sales decreases. that means that the policy of this administration is not more
energy production on public lands. it's less. he's taking advantage of the situation that's going on, state and private lands and taking credit for it with what's happened in north dakota. this plan here puts together a solid footing r america energy production on public lands. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from washington reserves his time. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognize mr. markey: i think it would be helpful for both sides to understand what the time situation is forhe conclusion of debe. the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts has three minutes remaining. the gentleman from washington, a minute and a half. mr. markey: does the gentleman intend to conclude debate with his next speaker? mr. hastings: my intent is to hold that minute in case you say something that needs to be responded to. mr. markey: all right. so what i'll do, i will -- i will yield myself the balance of the time so that i can utter the sentences that will need responding to by the chairman
of the committee. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. markey: i thank you. i thank the chairman. so again, let's go back a little bit to this issue of natural gas and what this republican bill calls for. more drilling for natural gas in our country. ok. we can look at that. we support natural gas. we think natural gas is the best story that's happened in our country in the last 10 years. we love natural gas. democrats love it. and it's half the pollutants of coal, it's domestically produced, we have to make sure that when we're extracting it that we don't shoot chemicals down into our surface so we pollute the water that children drink, but we think we can work through those issues if people
of good faith are willing to work together. otherwise, it's a fantastic story. why is that? because natural gas is not a world market. the world market is for oil. $116 a barrel in china. it's $116 a barrel in the u.s. global market. however -- and that's what allows opec to hold us hostage, because they control all that oil coming out of the strait of hormuz. they control all of that oil that they can basically hold the rest of the global -- globe's economy hostage. but natural gas, not true. here we've seen a 30% increase in our natural gas reserves over the last five years. what does that mean? well, in china it's $16. japan $16 per million cubic feet of natural gas.
what is it in the united states? $2.42. six, seven times cheaper in the united states. that means it's cheaper for every manufacturer, cheaper for every farmer, cheaper for every consumer. what do the democrats think? we love natural gas. let's keep it here. let's not be setting up terminals all across our country to export the natural gas across the planet with the department of energy saying that if we did that the price of natural s in the united states would rise 57%. how can that be good for consumers? isn't that our advantage? saudi arabia is the saudi arabia of oil. we are the saudi arabia of natural gas. why don't we use that to our advantage? why don't we use that to inoculateurselves against what saudi arabia of oil does to us, by jacking the price of oil up and down? why don't we become iependent
of them? why don't we move to all natural gas vehicles? why don't we use naturalgain the generation of electricity? why don't we use natural gas in the production of all of our products? why n't we use natural gas in the homes of our country and the factories of our country, in the industries of our country? it's six times lower than china and japan. three times lower than europe. that's what we're calling for here, an energy strategy that is all-american. if we can get to that -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. markey: i think the american people will be the nners. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: i just reserve my minute and a half until the intend of the overall debate. -- until the end of the overall debate. the chair: the gentleman reserves his time.
>> mr. chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. >> i rise today in support of h.r. 3408, which is known as the protecting investment in oil shale, the next generation of environmental, energy and resource security act. this is primarily about the keystone pipeline. the keystone pipeline has been a topic of discussion in america for the last three or four years. when it came to the attention of congress which this pipeline which is promised to create tens of thousands of jobs and increase our access to safe and secure supplies oil was experiencing an unreasonable level of delay congress decided that we needed to step in.
we have in keystone pipeline a company willing to invest $7 billion in private funds at no expense to the taxpayer. they would ultimately bring nearly a million barrels of oil per day from canada to thu.s. additional oil per day. even the president's job council agrees, they suggested that the pipeline is a win-win-win for job creation modernizing the nation's infrastructure and helping ultimately to lower gasoline prices in america. mr. woodall: i would also like to point out that five major labor unions support the buding of the keystone pipeline. a few years ago secretary of state hillary clinton was in san francisco giving a speech at the commonwealth club. in response to a question about
keystone pipeline, whether or not they would issue the permit to build it, secretary of state clinton said, we are inclined to do so. this project has now been studied for over 40 months by seven or eight agencies of the federal government and normally to build an oil pipeline in america, it takes on the average of 24 months. and when the department of state issued their fin environmental impact statement back in august, 2011, they concluded thathere were not any significant environmental issues and they also said that when they looked at the option of either, one building a pipeline or, two, not building a pipeline, that the preferable
tion was to build the pipeline. of course, the rationale for that if you don't build the pipeline and you bring oil in from other countries, you either have to do it by truck or by rail, which certainly emits a lot into the atmosphere. but despite all of these positive reasons to build this pipeline, president obama made a blatantly political decision when he said, i don't want to decide until afterhe presidential election. and that's when congressot involved and said we'd like a decision by february of 2012, and the president said, well, i don't have enough time to study it so i am not going to allow it even though it's been studied for 40 months. this is a 1,700 mile pipelin the only issue left relates to about 60 miles in the state of nebraska, and the governor of nebraska supports building this
pipeline. so this is a win-win-win situion for the american people, and i would urge our fellow members to support this legislation to require ferc to make a decision on this pipeline and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california, mr. waxman, is recognized. mr. waxman: mr. chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. waxman: mr. chairman, colleagues, i rise in opposition to this legislation. last week the republicans filed this bill, this transportation bill that the secretary of transportation calledhe worst transportation bill he had ever seen. the republican leadership realized not even republican members would vote for this monstrosity of bad policy. so they've chopped the bill up into three parts and hoped to get a separate majority on each part. this way the house republicans
hoped they could pass the bill and give their members the deniablity at the same time. now, that's not a transparent process or a fair one. it's a way to hide what is really going on from the american people. some republicans don't want to vote for drilling in the arctic national wildlife refuge. others don't want to vote for the money for the highways because some of the right-wing groups in this country are against it. so we have this shell game going on. the bill before us, h.r. 3408 contains the text of a very bad bill that came out of the energy and commerce committee. we considered that bill earlier this month. the bill provides a legislative earmark that would direct the federal energy regulatory commission or ferc to issue a
permit for the construction of the keystone x.l. pipeline within 30 days of receipt of an application. now, existing law requires the president to make a determination whether this pipeline is ithe national interest. serious questions have been raised about whether this pipeline is in our national interest. it is being built with steel imported from south korea and pipes from india. the oil it transports, i believe, will be exported to china. meanwhile, the risks of spills from that pipeline could contaminate drinking water which will be borne by american families. these are factors the president should take into account, but this law ties his hands. it requires, it mandates that the federal energy regulatory commission approve the pipeline
without addressing any of these issues. in fact, it requires approval before we even know the root that the pipeline will take. this followsome keystone cops activities on the republican side of the aisle. they worked tmselves up about this pipeline, so in order to get unemployment insurance or middle class tax break they put in the extension for two months of those areas and a requirement that the president decide the issue within two months or three months. two months. and the president said i don't have all the information. i can't make that decision. so he said i'm not going to approve it within two months. i'll consider it later but i'm not going to approve it. suddenly the republicans realize they were outsmarted, hoisted by their own petard. they forced the president to make a decision and he made a
decision against them. they don't want to take that chance againthis bill would put in an exemption from all the laws for one pet project from the ordinary permitting requirements that apply to every other oil pipeline crossing our borders. during the committee process, we asked a simple question. who benefits om this unprecedented congressional intervention into the regulatory process? many media reports said that a private oil company coke industries -- koch industries, is, quote, one of the big winners, end quote. but the committee refused, even though the democrats asked them, to even inquire from the company, koch industries, whether it had a rect and substantia interest in the pipeline. they wouldn't even ask that question.
could you imagine, they talk about they're against earmarks, then where there is an earmark that they want, they won't tell us who benefits from it? under this bill, the oil industry gets a couit for exporting tar sands, products from canada to china. india gets the opportunity provide pipes to build it. south korea gets a market for its steel. but what do we get? mid western farmers and ranchers will have their land seizedhrough eminent domain and may lose vital water supplies to an oil spill ithe oglala aquifer, oil pric will increase as fuel supplies come into their area and we are left with a dirtier, fuel -- a dirtier fuel supply and higher emissions of carbon pollution, worsening the climate change that is already starting to afflict our nation.
i urge all members to oppose this legislation and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. >> i yield three minutes to the gentleman from nebraska, mr. terry. the chair: the gentleman veck niced for three minutes. mr. terry: the language we're discussing at this time is allowing the keystone pipeline a path forward. it's based on the bill i introduced back in september, which is 3548. keep in mind the president of the united states killed the keystone pipeline. we think that was kowtowing to the environmental extremists, some of which may be in the house of representatives, or represented here today, but the
reality is it s a wrong decision. it is in the best interest of our nation to have the keystone pipeline bringing oil from alberta oil sands into the united states where it can be refined and used in the united states. offsetting imported oil from venezuela and saudi arabia. it creates keystone pipeline would take these supplies from canada use them in the united stes, creating tens of thousands jobs over a two-year to two and a half year construction phase with permanent jobs thereafter to maintain the pipeline and its pipes ong the 1,700 mile pipeline. as far as the environmental objections to the project are concerned, i wish more people would have read the administration's own final environmental impact study.
it found that not building the keystone x.l. would lead to more oil being transported by skier means such as tankers trains, and trucks. for this reason, it concluded the ad-- it concluded, the administration's folks concluded, that the building of the pipeline is environmentally preferable to not building the pipeline and that its route was safe. then the nebraska governor requeste that it -- that just for a little bit of nebraska, that they do a 30 or 40-mile loop. the path was set except for this little loop. it would take a long time to dispel all the myths that have been perpitch waited by the opponents in the environmental community but it's worth noting that these are intra-state issues well on their way to being resolved and in fact were carved out in the previous bill
mentioned by the gentleman from california but the preside ignored the nebraska exemptio giving nebraska time to work throh its change of route for about 40 or 50 miles of the 1,700. never mentioned that. and killed the pipeline system of we give a pathway forward to transcanada to refile its permit with all of the environmental documents that it has gathered over the last three years presented to the administration last year and give time to nebraska to resolve their issue. now, 30 seconds more. mr. whitfield: i yield the gentleman one minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. terry: politics of the extreme put us in this position. but let's ask, who benefits from this oil coming into the united states from our partner, canada, and being refined and
used in the united states of america? if we have this, everyone benefits fm our nation. if we don't have this pipeline to displace the oil who wins? venezuela continues to send us 900,000 barrels per day. saudi arabia. our reliance just grows for these nations' oil supplies. that's who wins. saudi arabia and venezuela. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from nebraska yields back the remainder of his time. the ntleman from kentucky reserves. thgentleman from california, mr. waxmans recognized. mr. waxman: i'm pleased to yield to the ranking member of the energy subcommittee, the gentleman from illinois, four minutes. mr. rush. the chair: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for four minutes. mr. rush: i want to thank the ranking member for is time
and thank him for his leadership on this issue. mr. speaker, i find it remarkable that we are here today debating a bill that essentially a regular lair to -- regulatory earmark for just one company and that company is lled transcan ka. -- transcanada. we are debating whether to build a pipeline through the heart of our country without allowing the appropriate state and federal agencies to completely conduct their due diligence and their oversight responsibilities. mr. speaker, this legislative gift wrapped in fine gift wrapping to transcanada on behalf of my republican colleagues will completely
circumvent the state department and the other state and federal agencies those agencies will have the -- who have the know-how and expertise to thoroughly examine this process and will require, mr. speaker they will require that first the federal anti-regulatory commission that they issue a permit for the construction of the keystone x.l. pipeline within 30 days of the receipt of the application. and if they do not issue it, then it shall be considered approved automatically. mr. speaker, how insane can insanity get?
how ridiculous can ridiculous be when we are allowing an agency federal agencyhat if they don't pass this permit within 30 days, if they don't do all the investigation within 30 days, then this permit will automatically be approved. mr. speaker, the keystone x.l. project is toobig, too consequeial, too important to the american people, so this country, for this congress, rather, to completely ignore all the established protocols that have existed prior and exist now and set a precedent by bypassing state and federal oversight procedures. the very people whose lives
will be most affected by this piline deserve to have the responsible agencies complete their review process to ensure the american people that this project has been thoroughly exined and vetted. mr. speaker, even my colleagues, who may support the merits of the keystone x.l. pipeline are appalled and should be appalled at the majority party's attempt to hijack the process, circumvent the appropriate state and federal agencies in order to hastily irresponsibly green light this project. this sentiment can be summed up by letters sent to me on february 9 by a a citizen of
this nation, a nebraskan rancher by the name of randy thomas who said, and i quote, the short circuiting of the process leaves those of us who live and work along the proposed pathway of this project with many lingerin doubts about its safety and the impact it could have on our livelihoods. may i have 30 seconds? mr. waxman: iield the gentleman 30 seconds. mr. rush: the american people deserve better than this shoddy attempt to give transcanada an earmark that allows them to bypass the established rules and procedures we ve in place. i can't support this and i ask my colleagues to join me in not supporting this particular bill and i yield back the balance of my time.
mr. waxm: i would yield the gentleman another 30 seconds if we how o yield to me. on the other side of the aisle, the comment was made that extremists are pushing opposition to this pipeline. and from whai heard from mr. rush and what i understand the case to be is that those who ordinarily make this decision should have all the facts. and i don't think that is an extreme position at all. thank you for yielding to me. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: how much time do i have. the chair: the gentleman has two minutes. mr. whitfield: i recognize myself for two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. whitfield p: we are here today because it's time to decide. president oba and his administration made a decision not to decide. even though his own secretary
of state, in their final economic environmental impact statement made the decision that if you looked at two options, one build the pipeline, or two not build the pipeline the preferable route was to build t pipeline. one million more barrels of oil a day coming to america ultimately. we're facing ever-increasing gasoline prices. there's only 60 miles at issue at all in this pipeline out of 1,700. five major labor unions support this pipeline. there's not one dime of federal dollars in this pipeline, unlike the millions and billions that this administration have given to wind power and solar power and battery companies, many of which are in bankruptcy just like solindr of a which received $538 million from the
taayerof america. s that private company willing to put in $7 billion to bring 100,000 more barrels of oil a day, willing to provide 20,000 additional jobs to construct this pipeline, and so i think the decision here is very easy for the american people and that's what mr. terry's legislation does. since the president won't make a decision, mr. terry dires the federal energy regulatory commission to make the decision. we have all the data necessary an it's the right decision to make and with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlem
the house will continue debate on thursday with eight amendments to be considered. also possible, an extension of payroll tax cuts set to expire at the end of this month. our live coverage resumes when the gavel in at 10:00 a.m. eastern time. >> coming up next, a transportation secretary ray lahood testifies about the budget request. president obama talks about manufacturing jobs and his visit to milwaukee. then janet napolitano's testimony before the budget committee. >> in 1966, and julian bond was prevented from taking his seat at the georgia state house.
>> i was sitting in the court just behind the bar with the lawyers in front of me. i was sitting next to my lawyers partner. the attorney general of georgia was making an argument that georgia had a right to throw me out because i had said things that are treasonous and. the judge said "is this all you have? i said, we are winning. >> discover more about african- american history during black history month on c-span3.
>> the president's budget request for fiscal year 2013 includes transportation spending. ray lahood testified about his department's budget at the senate budget committee. separate ones are in consideration at the house. >> the hearing will come to order. i want to welcome everybody to the senate budget committee this morning. this is secretary lahodd's third appearance before the committee. i want you to know our thoughts are with your son. sam was one of the 16 non governmental workers banned from leaving egypt.
he is with the international republican institute. one of my constituents is also among those barred from leaving. both the ira and the ndi were created by congress to foster and strengthen democratic institutions and around the world. ira and the ndi were created by congress to foster and strengthen democratic institutions and around the world. the fact that egypt has taken this action is beyond the pale. it is mpletely unacceptable. these young people are doing the fact that egypt has taken
this action is beyond the pale. it is completely unacceptable. these young people are doing the important work that is supported directly by the congress of the united states to support constitutional governments and a democracy. i was on the phone with stacy a month before yesterday just after they received the formal charges. i was on the phone with stacy a month before yesterday just after they received the formal charges. they are farcical. i do not know any other way to put it. i reached out to the egyptian ambassador to express my concern about these charges. the urge the egyptian leaders to drop them against stacy sam and all of their colleagues. we will be taking additional steps to register our very serious concern about these actions that are absolutely out side of the boundaries of the relationships between countries that respect each other.
i wanted to begin that way. now, i want to turn my attention -- >> mr. secretary, this is a very troubling matter. your son and the others that are held there in egypt to trying to help egypt -- to help them and work with the people. it is deeply distressing that we have a nation that i have supported relationships with, believe it has been good for egypt and the united states. we want to see egypt prosper and do well. i have been briefed on this subject yesterday. i take it very seriously.
if i have the opportunity, and maybe i will in the days to come, i will be looking forward to doing so. i take it very seriously. it is important. it is your son and we know and respect you. it is also a matter of national interest to the united states. this is unacceptable. we have to make that clear. we will not accept it. >> thank you senator sessions. >> thank you for your clear statement as well. we hope people are listening and they understand how seriously we take this. i graduated from high school from the american air force base right next door in north africa. i have lived in that part of the world for several years.
i know senator sessions may be traveling to that region in the days ahead. i hope that in a combined effort, we can send a clear message of what is acceptable behavior and what is clearly unacceptable. it is completely unacceptable to be detaining young people who are there to try to help the people of egypt. with that, i want to go to our hearing this morning which focuses on transportation. i believe the strength of the nation's transportation infrastructure is one of the most important factors that will determine the future of economic success. transportation infrastructure is really the foundation for our economic growth. it is critical to keep up with our global competitors. even as we look to cut spending to bring down the deficit, which
we must do, we need to ensure the transportation funding remains a priority. yes, we have to cut spending. we have to be smart about it. we cannot afford to cut areas that are vital to future growth. that would be counterproductive and will worsen our long-term budget outlook as well as our long-term competitive position. investment in transportation can also play an important role in strengthening the economy and creating jobs in the near term. i am pleased the president has called for significant up front investment and infrastructure as part of his economic recovery effort. investing in infrastructure right now also provides a good value to the american tax payer. interest rates are low. in my state of north dakota, investment in our transportation infrastructure is not keeping pace with our growing needs. you have been to my state.
i appreciate you going there. we have an energy boom that is unparalleled in the united states. the formation that has made in north dakota the fourth largest oil producer in the country. we are close to a time we believe we will be the second- largest oil producer in the country. that has created a demand on infrastructure that is truly staggering. i have just been in that region of my state in the last few weeks. for every well that is drilled it takes 2000 truckloads for equipment, for water, four mud. 2000 truckloads for every well. mr. secretary, the major highways in that part of our state are at two lane roads. we have chaos.
i met with law enforcement throughout the region just weeks ago. they showed me what has happened to accidents, what has happened to waiting times, what has happened to people trying to get on the highway to get from their farm or ranch to the town. i had a guy come and tell us that there have been times he had to wait one hour at his road getting onto the main highway because of truck traffic. no stop signs, no stoplight. we have an absolute critical need that really is a national priority. developing this resource is a national priority. our road network simply cannot handle the extraordinary increase in truck traffic as a development.
our reserves can only benefit the nation as significant investments are made to upgrade the roads. i believe there needs to be a national energy corridor funding as part of the next transportation bill. there are places that are simply a national priority, and we have to make them a national priority. it is clear there is a need for infrastructure investment throughout the country. the american society of civil engineers created a report card on america's infrastructure. they give our infrastructure a grade of d -- d as in "dumb." that is dumb.
infrastructure is the foundation of our system. the united states ranks 24th in the world in the quality of its overall infrastructure. we even right behind countries like barbados. i would note we fall in one spot from our ranking last year when we came in 23rd. u.s. investment in infrastructure has been falling as a share of the economy. according to the congressional budget office, a total spending of infrastructure has fallen from 3.1% of gdp in 1961 to 2.4% in 2007. we risk falling behind our chief global competitors. already we see china and europe are investing for more in infrastructure as a share of their economies that we are as a share of hours. according to the economist magazine, china is spending 9% of its gross domestic product on transportation and water infrastructure. europe is spending 5% of gdp. as i noted, the united states
is half of that amount at 2.4% of gdp. there is widespread in bipartisan agreement on the need for further infrastructure investment. last july, there was a study on the nation's infrastructure. it was spearheaded by former senator bill bradley, tom ridge -- somebody you know well. and david walker. they concluded in their report the following. integrated efficient and cost effective transportation are the foundation of a 21st century economy. if america is to remain a global economic power while advancing our common aspirations for a better quality of life, we need to reinvest in america. especially in our transportation infrastructure. if living within our means
includes good husbandry of our existing system, we need more, not less investment in transportation. that means more revenues that are wisely spent to meet obligations for ourselves and future generations. i hope people take a look at this report. they make the compelling case. here is what the obama here is what the obama administration has proposed for transportation. let me just say parenthetically that when we were in the debate over recovery package, i argued for $200 billion package for infrastructure. that did not happen. i regret that it did not. the argument to -- the chief argument that was made against it was it would take time for the infrastructure money to get to the economy. well, it would be coming at the right time. it would be coming at the right time.
beyond that, i would say -- i ask those who opposed it, how long did it take to build the pentagon? they were not sure. nine months. we built the pentagon in nine months. we have to get back to the american spirit. they said we have got a lot of regulations. i said it is time regulations need to be waved. i understand the need for regulations. i think all of us do. there are times when you have urgent demands and needs when there has to be some common sense applied. i hope very much we are able to find a way to do that. the second piece of the president's proposal is $476 billion for a six-year surface transportation reauthorization. that includes 318 billion for roads, improving safety, 100 a
-- 108 billion dollars for transit, $47 billion for high-speed rail, and $3 billion for tiger grants to fund high priority transportation projects. i must say, we were the recipient of a tiger grant in north dakota. for minot north dakota,it is right in the heart of the energy boom. it is to have a bypass for that city. it is going to make a world of difference. that is the same community that was hit by the devastating floods. we had 4000 homes destroyed in that town. this bypass, you should know, mr. secretary, not only did it make a world of difference for energy traffic, it is going to help the recovery of the town from the devastating floods because it is one of those things. serendipity. that bypass is going to make the
recovery for that city go much more efficiently. it is almost as though some greater power were looking down and got you to make the tiger grant for that particular intersection and bypass at just the critical time. it is a godsend. the president's budget proposes to pay from savings from reduced overseas contingency operations. that is from camping war costs. that is controversial. we all know that is controversial. we need to talk about it. the budget also calls to reclassify transportation spending as mandatory, subjecting it to rules that is a proposal the administration offered last year. there are people on this committee who are strongly opposed to that. they will unfortunately not be here this morning to register
their views, but i am sure they have registered those with you directly. i look forward to hearing more from the secretary about these proposals. with that, i turn to secretary sessions. i have taken a fair amount of time. feel free to consume a like amount of time in your statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we have a spirited committee but you have presided fairly. you have treated us right, if we cross the line sometimes, the chairman has the right to get us in line. i appreciate that. i appreciate your fairness. thank you for joining us today as we examine the president's budget in his transportation funding request. first of all, i would just first repeat that your family are in our prayers and we intend to be as helpful as we possibly can in that situation. you know, america is faced with
a growing fiscal crisis. we are borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend. we are facing our fourth straight deficit. annual deficit in excess of one trillion dollars. we have never had this kind of debt before. all across the country families are tightening their belts. cities and counties and states are doing that. the federal government has got to do the same. our severe fiscal challenges presented opportunity to make government leaner more productive, and less expensive to achieve more efficiently and effectively. it is a chairman saidwe have to set priorities. priorities be making choices. i am prepared to support and choose transportation as a high priority. unlike so much of what washington does with the money good roads are tangible, long-term, quality of life improving matters that make the
nation more productive not just for one year two years but for decades it does that. it creates american jobs. -- it makes the nation more productive not just for one or two years, but for decades. i think it is a way to create jobs and permanent improvements in productivity. the tragedy is that there was a great opportunity as you alluded to to advance the highway system as far as the president stimulus package. instead, nearly one trillion dollars of borrowed money was suck away on failed notions. i do not think it made an improvement on our economy. i know you and i would disagree and good people can disagree on
that. certainly more people are out of work today than when the bill passed. but the president said his stimulus would be used to repair the nation's crumbling infrastructure. it was sold on that basis. repeatedly we were given stories that the infrastructure is crumbling. at the last minute, i noticed how little of the money was actually going to infrastructure. it went to state aid and social programs. it went to all kinds of things. here in the los angeles times just a few days ago, tax payer money used to maintain millions dollar yacht. the yacht of the city -- over $500,000 went to that. we have had those kinds of stories time and again. too little of it went to roads and bridges and crumbling infrastructure. now, the president's it budget will further undermine the american's feature for using for
a lot for costly and unnecessary projects in the infrastructure. the present budget includes another $47 billion for high-speed rail, which congress has already declined to fund. we cannot justify a massive nationwide high-speed rail system at this time. there may be specific projects that are justified in certain areas, but not nationwide. not the kind of program that would utilize $47 billion. it launched amtrak into the highway trust fund where it would further destabilize a fund that has already been weakened by a lot of gimmicks and difficulties we have in making it funded. the highway reauthorization proposal increases spending $231 billion above in come revenue. that is a lot. $231 billion above the revenues we have been operating under for the trust fund. last year the president proposed
to pay for a similar increase in transportation spending with his famous not gas tax and tax. a tax that somebody was supposed to pass but it would not be a gas tax because people would not like that. no such tax was passed. of any kind to, fund highway. cbo scored to bring in $0, and they were correct. it brought in $0 of this mystery tax. this year, the president offset the cost of the new spending program for imaginary money that would be obtained from long-term plan reductions in our military operations abroad. i think we should talk about that. there is no dedicated source of funding for the war. the war was funded with borrowed money.
we talked about it. we debated it. some people said there should be a tax to pay for the war. no tax was raised to pay for the war. it was borrowed money. when the war comes down, we simply do not have to borrow as much. i was taken aback at the state of the union when the president said we're going to use half of the war savings to fund infrastructure. there is no money there. it just means we're going to borrow -- continuing to borrow half as much as we were borrowing before, if you assume his assumption is right. this is the kind of gimmick that has put america in this fix. we know there is no money there. we know you are saying when you say we're going to spend were money, we know you mean you are going to borrow the money for the road program. we need the road program on a sound financial basis, not on borrowed money. we have to reduce that.
ultimately, as we have established the present budget is a big gimmick. it is not going to save a four trillion dollars. it is not reducing the deficit. it does raise taxes by almost two trillion dollars. to my knowledge, none of the two trillion dollars and new taxes is spent on roads. if it is a priority, why do we not use some of the new tax revenue at least for roads? if we raise taxes, they should be used for reducing the deficit, not for new spending. if we are to strengthen america, we need to create growth productivity, create american jobs. we have to grow the economy fundamentally and not grow the
government. we have to prioritize and control federal spending and create an environment where hard-working taxpayers can thrive in their own private sector jobs and where their livelihoods come from. a smart road program, however, can be an asset to that. i think it can help the economy grow and create some jobs, real jobs in the short term. so i look forward to discussing this matter. i'm just deeply disappointed, mr. chairman, in the bill that is moving today, i think there are some gimmicks in it. finance committee that is on the floor today. we were promised that there would be selling -- legitimate pay for its and the bill was on a sound basis. i am afraid that is now entirely accurate. we are looking for $6 billion or $12 billion. now we walk in and we are goings
theto borrow another 250 out of thin air to spend on infrastructure without any source of income. now, we're also talking about $250 billion, $300 billion borrowed for the tax holiday. the government gives a person making $300,000 a $2,000 check. by the way, we do not have to pay for that either. not in the short term or in the long term. i am really worried that our people have not gotten the message that this world is dangerous. our financial world is dangerous. our chairman is on the deck commission, he came back a little word, were you not? i still think congress thinks business as usual. we just borrow, borrow, borrow for the programs. cities, counties, and states are thinking differently. i like to blame the president, but we have some things going on
in both parties that are not as good as they should be, that is for sure. thank you. i appreciate the opportunity. >> thank you senator sessions. i notice, mr. secretary that you have chris bertram with you chris is the assistant secretary for budget and programs and the chief financial officer for the department you so well know. until august 2009, he was here as a senior professional staff member of the staff committee on commerce, science, and transportation. i know in his previous career, he also was at the faa in an important position and also served as staff director for the house of representatives subcommittee on highways and transit. he certainly comes with a tremendous background and somebody who is respected here. we are delighted that he is with you at the witness table. mr. secretary, please proceed. >> mr. chairman and senators sessions, thank you for the opportunity to testify on
president obama's 2013 budget proposal for the department of transportation. as importantly, thank you for the kindness and your kind words about my son and what is happening in egypt and your interest in that. we appreciate that very much. as you know, transportation has been in the news very much lately. that is a good thing. this week but the house and senate will debate long stalled legislation. as i am sure you heard president obama and i are strong supporters of the bipartisan approach. i congratulate those who serve on the epw committee for the work that they have done. at the same time on monday, the president detailed his plan for a six year surface transportation reauthorization proposal, which is part of his blueprint for an america built to last.
here are the facts. our budget proposal has three broad goals. number one, creating jobs by investing in the infrastructure. spurring innovation across the infrastructure system. and maintaining our laser focus on safety. all of this would be fully paid for. president obama's proposed to cap the funding for the overseas contingency operations over the next 10 years. everybody is saving hundreds of billions of dollars. then, we would use half of the savings to pay down the debt and the other half on the six-year transportation bill that lets us do some nation-building at home. let's take these goals one at a time. number one, an america built to last needs a strong transportation infrastructure. that is why the budget will improve america's highways, railways, and transit
networks. it will continue to ensure the systems are safe. of the president's $476 billion proposal, $305 billion would fund road and bridge improvements. a 34% increase over the previous authorization. the president's plan will modernize and simplify the power plant structure by consolidating more than 55 programs into five programs. of course, investing in our transit systems is another critical need. the president as a budget includes $108 billion over six years for transit, 105% increase. it will prioritize projects that rebuild and rehabilitate existing transportation systems and include an important new $45 million transit safety program which we believe is critical. we have been talking to all of you about that for the last couple of years. the president was a budget provides $2.5 billion in 2013 as part of a $45,000,000,000.50-year
investment to continue the support of inner-city -- $45 billion 50-year investment. the president's 2013 budget will invest in research and technologies that our grandchildren and children will be to boost american oppose economic competitiveness. for example, the federal aviation the administration as you all know is in the midst of the largest transformation of air traffic control ever. the 2013 budget request, $15.2 billion to support faa programs. more than $1 billion of these funds will be used to advance the modernization of our air traffic system through next gen. the next generation of air
traffic control technology come much we have all talked about for a long time through the use of satellite surveillance and the new methods of pilots, plants, and landing procedures next gen will change how american's flight. it will significantly reduce travel times and delays. our proposal will also elevate the vital research place in transportation decision making by moving our research and innovation technology administration into new office of research and technology under the secretary's office. the change will provide a prominent centralized focus on research and technology, which is very important to the president. it will improve collaboration and coordination along the the department's operating administrations and their research. keeping our transportation system safe will always be our
top truck -- will always be our top priority. president obama has proposed a record level investment in safety. it will provide $7.5 billion over the next six years to the national highway traffic safety administration to promote seat belt use, get drunk drivers off of the road, and reduce distracted driving. this will help insure the traffic fatality numbers continue dropping from the current historic lows. in addition, we will nearly double the investments and highway safety infrastructure by promoting $17 billion to federal highway administration safety production -- construction programs. it will also dedicate $4.8 billion to the city administration. this will ensure that commercial trucks and bus companies maintain high operational standards and our dedicated safety professionals can get high risk drivers off the roadways. finally, our city focus must also include the transportation of hazardous materials in our network of pipelines.
that is what the 2013 proposal requests $276 billion for the pipeline and hazardous safety administration to help ensure that families, communities, and the environment are unharmed by the transport of chemicals and feels on which our economy relies. with that, thank you for the last three years for allowing us to come and talk about our budget. it is a privilege always to do that. not every committee affords us the opportunity. we are grateful to your committee for that. >> we think it is an absolute priority. i think senator sessions and i are joined in that. transportation has got to be a priority. it is good for the economy. it is good for jobs. it is good for the competitive position of the united states. let me go right to the question.
i have heard a number of rules of thumb for how many jobs are created for each billion dollars of transportation investment infrastructure. you have a rule of thumb you apply to the numbers of jobs created for every $1 billion of investment? >> let me just say this. you all give as $48 billion in the economic recovery plan. $48 billion. -- six-year as we rebuild we can no longer continue operating our transportation system the same way we did 50 years ago. top priority. we spent every penny of that. what we did -- we created 65,000 jobs with 15,000 projects. we started with high-speed rail initiative that the president wanted. we started the tiger program. we give $20 billion to roads and bridges. $8 billion to transit. all of the money was spent the congress said it should be spent. you have not read any bad stories about any of the $48 billion that we spend. but what we did, we put 65,000
americans to work building roads, bridges, transit systems around in america. if you use that as a gauge, -- >> how much money could you have spent effectively? >> a lot more. >> i argued strenuously for $200 billion. we have done a great deal of due diligence on how much money could be spent, and it would not have ended when it did. we would have actually spread it -- it should still be going right now. we believe we could have spent $200 billion more effectively than some of the money was spent. we all know that package was put together as the president was coming into office. a lot of it was putting -- a lot of it was put together before he was ever in office. he was at a disadvantage.
i remember that debate so clearly. the arguments be made it would take too much time. my argument was, if you tell the states there is this money, and right now and the economic downturn there was a lot of contractors available at very favorable rates. did you find you got very good -- >> we got bids below what we anticipated, which give us additional money. and also, jobs were done way ahead of schedule also because there was a phantom demand with contractors and availability of workers and the great partnerships that we had with the states. whether it is the governors or the the ots or the commissioners were ready to go. -- whether it was the governors or the state dots. there was not one bad story. know your marks any of that.
-- no earmarks, any of that. >> i want to join in and say i made several speeches. one of my prime concerns about the bill was it did not do enough for highways. our basic bill is about $40 billion a year. to have $200 billion could have bought -- could have been a transformation -- transformative act for our infrastructure. nobody would listen, they just move forward as they did. but i thank you. you did say that at the time, mr. chairman . i thought crourp right. >> well, i appreciate that. as i look back, it is one of the things i regret the most. i was not able to persuade certain people who had this idea. i know the economist. i have heard it 100 times. it takes too long for infrastructure to get into the bloodstream.
the second question i wanted to ask you about this, do you have any measures for how improved transportation strengthen america's competitive position? >> we know now that we are being outcompeted. your chart shows that by a lot of other countries. china is right now building roadways, airports, runways, high-speed rail, transit systems. 10 years ago that would not have been the case. today it is. we are being out competed by lots of other countries. you look what is going to be happening in brazil with rio -- what they will be doing there with the infrastructure. we need to keep pace. we do not keep pace by extending the transportation bill. we keep pace by passing a 5-6-year bill for what is a blueprint for what we do to put americans to work. build roads. build bridges.
build transit systems. that is what america has always done. congress has always done that. >> i want to go back to my first question. you gave an answer. the thing that is in my head, i have been told many times that for every $1 billion of rhode expenditure, it creates 18,000-20,000 jobs. is there some rule of thumb like that that you apply? >> i will get that for the record. i would rather do that and say a figure that may not be accurate. >> let me go to the next. on my list which is a high-speed rail. you have $47 billion for high-speed rail. what is the status of high-speed drill? where is it being taken up? what are the prospects? what does it offer us in terms of enhanced competitive position, jobs, economic activity? give us your view of this
expenditure of $47 billion. >> will start from the premise that anybody who has ever gone to europe or asia and ridden the trains over there and comes back and says, why do we not have this kind of transportation in america? we have never had anybody with the vision or the willingness to put money into it. president obama stepped up really early in to his administration. put $8 billion in the economic recovery plan which jump-started our opportunity to implement high-speed rail, which, by the way, many of the states were way ahead of the federal government of. california has been working on a high-speed rail for two decades. we know along the northeast corridor, people have been using passenger rail for decade. what we did, we took the a -- 8 billion and did like we do for all of our partners and partnered with groups around the country that have been working on high-speed rail.
we have invested $3.5 billion in california. i just that one week in california. i met with the governor. he is totally committed and is on board. i met with stakeholders. i met with people in agriculture. i met with small business people. they have a good plan. in the midwest, there is a good plan. the governor of michigan governor snyder has accepted almost $1 billion for a connection to fix up the tracks between detroit and chicago. the governor of illinois and missouri have a very good plan. we have invested more than $2 billion in the midwest. we just made significant investments in the northeast corridor. not just between washington and new york but further north in other states that want to get into the high-speed rail business. so the president had a vision. he put the none the economic recovery. you all gave us some additional money. totally we have invested over $2 billion. but the important point the make
here is there are a number of companies that were building high speed rail in europe and asia, in california, in illinois, along the east corridor that want to make investments. t corridor that want to make investments. i have said all along, there is not enough money in washington to do all we want to do with high-speed rl. we need private investment. the private investors are in america. they are in california. they are in illinois. there are along the northeast corridor ming investments in partnering with states in order to make the kind of investments. this is the next generation of transportation. this is what we are doing for our next generation. the last generation left us a state of the our interstate system. thank goodness they did. it took us 50 years to build it. what we are going to do for the next generation is leave them the next generation of transportation which is passenger rail. >> i personally believe we do need high-speed rail in this
country. i have some other countries have done. i see what japan and china have done. i see what europe has done. we cannot fall behind in that area either. any boy it travels in the northeast corridor knows we are way behind. -- anybody that travels in the northeast corridor knows that we are way behind. you mention overseas operations. there is a fair amount of skepticism here with respect to that. let me try to capture why there is skepticism. there are many of us that believe while we understand the cbo says this is a savings we understand that. here is what troubles me. it just strikes me that what we commit in terms of war funding has very little to deal -- it has very little to do with will write down on a budget tabled.
we commit to more funding as a nation is guided by the national security interest of the united states. -- what we commit to war funding as a nation is guided by the national security interest of the united states. i understand that the cbo says if you cap overseas contingency operations because we are drawing down in iraq in afghanistan, the register's savings. i understand that. i have always been reluctant to use overseas contingency operations to pay for something. i always thought that was a bonus in terms of bringing down deficits and debt. i have always been very reluctant. what is your position? >> my position is this.
the last two years that i have appeared before congress, i have taken a heap of criticism for bringing proposals forward better not paid for. that is over. we were criticized roily for that. -- royally for that. the president said debate it, figure it out. no more excuses about not being paid for. we have one. we take the higay trust fund, which is $230 billion, and we take half of the money from the iraq bank afghanistan fund and we pay for what we are talking about here. -- iraq, afghanistan fund and we pay for that year. -- that here.
>> i have exceeded my time. >> you do not have it paid for in any realistic sense. weere basically told that there is no real money in the war. the way cbo scores matters, if you had $100 billion for the war last year, they assume it will continue for 10 years. if you reduce that trend, then you have saved money under their scoring. it is unrealistic in terms of the debt of the united states. it is totally unrealistic. there is no money there. there is no kind of money there. it is not paid for. this money you say is going to be paid for from the war funding is going to be borrowed. it is money we no longer are borrowing for the war. instead of having to take a deep breath and relax, you propose to spend half of it on the roads.
that is just not common sense. it is the reason the country is going broke. i remember asking . hellman door on the eve of the health care vote -- i remember asking him on the eve of the health care vote, what we counting $500 billion to justify the health care bill and make a look like it will make money for the government itead of cost money for the government? he said, yes, you are double counting. i asked them, will you put it in writing? he said, i will put it in writing. he put it out the next morning. he said, you are double counting the money. i am quoting here -- even though the conventions of accounting would suggest otherwise. i will say to you, if you may say you have paid for this.
it is not reality even though the conventions of accounting might suggest that it is. this is important. you indicate in your remarks that it represents a 34% increase over the previous authorization. that is a pretty substantial increase at a base level is it not? >> center, america is one big pot hole right now. we have not paid attention to the roads and bridges. we have not. >> i know that. if we were not buying motors for yachts, we could fill a lot of pot hole >> i agree with you. it is significant. it is billions of dollars. we are way behind. >> with regard to california, i
see now the numbers are coming in that instead of the early estimates of $30 billion for this plan, it will be $100 billion more. this is a program that is being rejected by governors all over the country. we are not going to start out a massive nationwide high-speed rail program. its a debt -- it is dead on a rival. we do not have the money. we are noteeing any numbers that would justify the traffic count -- we are not seeing that the traffic count would justify such a program. there may be some areas of the country that could certainly benefit from gh-speed rail. they need to be justified item by item. with regard to consolidating the 55 programs, i think it is a good step. it is mainly your headquarters. your administration as i understand it, it would be improved. it could save money. i think that is important.
what i am hearing is, the real problem out there is the long arduous expensive regulatory federal planning process. it is driving up cost for the state, county, and local officials when they tried to execute a project that is now from planning to cutting the ribbon as much as 13 years. the chairman made a reference to some of that. how can we reduce that time? you have any plans that you believe could actually reduce the time and any statistics that would back it up? >>es, sir. on the highway side, we have a program called "every day counts." was implemented more than two years ago. it does speed up highway projects. we have had lots of mpliments and kudos from our partners in
that program. the transit administrator just announced a way to speed up new starts program. it is on our web site. we reduced the amount of time dramatically from which somebody submits a new starts to when it is approved and to when we cut the ribbon. both of those programs are certainly -- every day counts has been in place. new starts is just being implemented. i lieve it will speed up dramatically. >> we have seen run programs take too long, i think. some of that may be unwise management by certain state and local governments. i do hear a lot of complaints. i am glad you are focusing on that. i think it will be a great way to get more highway capability sooner and less cost. that is one of the things that would make the taxpayers happy
instead of spending more money. on high-speed rail, wisconsin and ohio have given back their money. they have realized it is too costly for them to participate. florida, the tampa to orlan project was rejected by the governor. they calculated it could be cost overrun as much as $3 billion. gov. kay sick in ohio rejected a $385 billion passenger rail to connect cincinnati and cleveland. the governor of wisconsin rejected a hundred 10 million to connect madison and milwaukee. -- the governor of wisconsin rejected $810 million to connect madison and milwaukee
$5 billion was awarded for the first segment to connect them to bakersfield basically in the californiaesert. estimated cost of grown from $33 million in 2007 to as much as $100 billion as estimated by the state review board. -- $100 million as estimated by the state review board. the writer should members according to the review board to justify the projects were overblown and costs were wildly exaggerated to make the line of better. i know it sounds good to have a nationwide high-speed rail project. at this point in history, we do not have the money. we do not have the possibility of anything close to paying for
thatlan. i wish to say to you, i think that is the reality you will face in congress. we do understand there are traffic jams and cities. some cities could use mass transit. some cities could use improvement to the interstates. most of them could use high- speed interstate improvements throughout. i will give you a chance to respond to that. thank you for your commitment to the program. we should have a person in this office that is committed to transportation. i have to tell you, when you are talking about these kinds of increases and these kinds of programs where we are running the largest deficits in histor you have to understand congress is not going to be able to agree to everything. >> having served in congress for 14 years, i know that.
during the 14 years, five of those years we had balanced budgets. thank you to the work of senator conrad and others. we still had priorities. you have priorities. one of the priorities is pay down the debt. that is what we did during the five-year period. one of the priorities is implementing passenger rail. we had $10 billion worth of requests. some of that came from republican governors. one in michigan that we just give almost $1 billion to so he could fix up the tracks from deoit to chicago so people could get to higher speeds. we have invested in the northeast corridor. a lot of people inhis townse it from washington to new york to get to higher speeds, to fix up. we will continue to make these
investments. this is what america wants. the one the next generation of transportation. >> use it to fix of the -- >> detroit to chicago? >> in the northeast corridor. >> we have invested about $1 billiojust recently. >> will that do? >> it will buy new cars, and the tracks in a position where they can go higher speeds. >> catenary. >> that is the electrification. >> fixing up tracks, identifying systems that are cost-effective. i say do that and report to us and we will see if it can be justified. what you are talking about is major rail system's rigid new ones across florida or some of these other areas. governors are running the cost totals. the costs are coming in much higher than projected.
the writer ship and income is below of what is projected. it would be a massive colossal error to try to build a nationwide system right now when the cannot be possibly justified in my ew. >> can i just one thing? >> yes. >> america has always been about vision. particularly when it comes to transportation. no i am glad when president eisenhower signed the interstate bill, there were a few visionaries here in congress and in subsequent administrations. what they did was they built larger chunks of concrete that did not really connect for a while. there was a vision. there was a vision to connect america. 50 years later we have a state of the art at interstate system because of visionaries like eisenhower, members of congress. that is the kind of vision that esident obama, some governors so people in america have for
getting to the next generation of transportation -- to protect -- to connect our kids and grandkids and they can get out of cars and congestion so they can ride in a train that does a decent speed. if we do not have that vision, we are going to short circuit our ability to get what other generations did for us. >> to have a vision, it is just not connected to reality in my opinion. thank you, mr. chairman. >> we are doing 7 minute rounds today. we have a few members here. we can do seven minutes around and still get done by noon, which we have promised to do. >> thank you for being here. i join the chairman and the ranking member sending our best wishes to your family. we hope becomes home safe and
sound and soon. -- we hope he comes home safe and sound and sen. we were one of the states that were able to rapidly to use some of the $2.3 billion that florida declined. that will expedite the speed of trains coming through rhode island and serving our boston and new york markets. the northeast corridor does go north of new york, and i appreciate your recognize that. i think the boston to washington corridor is an area heavily used, and it should be a national priority to bring it up to speed. there are still many areas where the orioles need improvement. i want to appreciate my pre -- i want to express my appreciation for that. i know you are coming up to a rhode island to speak at brown university. we will probably be stuck here so i will not be able welcome you in person. if you have a free moment, i
would love for you to have a lot just down the hill from brown university. it is a quarter mile long the bridge that goes through the middle of providence right by the big providence place mall where people come to shop and joy the wonderful new shopping mall that we have. it was built in 1964. when you go underneath it, you look up and you will see there are planks across the beams. the plants are there to keep the road which is falling in from landing on the car's driving underneath it to go into the mall. if you go to where amtrak shoots down underneath the highway same thing. they have the plans under the highway to keep the road that is falling in from landing on the tracker from landing on trains. this is a really important project to get rebuilt. it is way overdue. rhode island is a small state
with significant budget issues. there are zero -- there is a zero shot the state will be able to pay for it. in the bill a kid out of the public works committee is a provision of projects of national and regional said significance. -- regional significance. i have no doubt it will be able to compete successfully for the funding in the authorization. we do not presently have funding for it. i would urge your assistance, if you could i would request your assistance to locate funding for that project of regional and national significance. >> first of all, i will be happy to visit the bridge. we will work with your office on that. i will also be happy work with you and your staff on may be some opportunities to jump- start this project.
we will pay attention to it when we go there. >> i appreciate that. let me also just say i think the budget committee reflects a variety of different economic views. my economic view is that when home corporate municipal and state economies are shrinking and collapsing, that is a good time for the federal government to spend to avoid adding to the negative economic cycle and worsening the situation. i have seen reports that say if we had a balanced budget act of the time being proposed now and had been in place in the recent meltdown, we would have lost 17% of gdp. we would have been in a serious cataclysmic depression rather than just a recession.
i do not think it is so easy to throw keynesian economics over the side and pretend there is no truth to it. austerit is the way to help people when in the economy is in recession. in particular, it seems to me it makes sense to invest at infrastructure at that point. unlike spending that goes out the window, you are left with something. you are left with a hard, tangible assets. if you have been smart about it, america is actually richer for having an asset -- some assets are more valuable when they were built and the money that went into it. that is how people make money investing into tangible assets. i think the notion that if it is spending, that is the only thing we can look at. we can never look at the positive side of the balance sheet where you end up with a highway system so that everybody can get to visit their grandmother, to get their goods to the market, to travel safely and smoothly, to have a train system that can be equalo what
is developed in asia and europe. i think it is a misguided economic theory both with respect to the countercyclical value of spending and with the national value that solid infrastructure creates. we have not talked about it but one other place to look at as water and wastewater. we have $600 billion worth of water and waste water infrastructure needs in this country. that is clean drinking water for people. proper disposal of sewage. that is reaching to meet the growth in our population. we are simply behind the ball on that. i agree with the chairman about this, i think weave $6 billion and waste water out of the need that we have. thank you for agreeing to me that stop in rhode island.
my barry that -- best wishes to your family. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator white house. >> we are praying for your son and appreciate what he had done for democracy. we hope he comes home soon >> i wanted to ask if you would follow up on the question of high-speedail funding. in other areas of the world where there is a high-speed rail, including where we have rail in the united states, has it been able to sustain itself? >> certainly the northeast corridor has. last year they made money. ridership is up on amtrak this year. >> between boston and washington, does it make money?
>> i will put this in the record -- amtrak on the northeast corridor ridership was up and they made money last year. quite just to be clear, that will sustain itself without any federal subsidies? >> if it is subsidized by the federal government about 43%. >> that is my question. where can you tell me we can sustain rail by what people pay to use the rail so we do not have to continually federally subsidized it? >> we subsidize transit. we subsidized highways. >> my simple question to you is can you tell me where we have a trail where we do not have to continually provide federal subsidies to sustain it? >> no, it has not. >> there are only two lines in
the worldhere that happens -- tokyo and paris -- where the result can pay for itself. >> you are right about that. just to be cleared we are going to have to continuously subsidize -- >> just like we do transit and highways. >> i just want people to derstand. you cited california as an example of productive -- example of where we should build high- speed rail, yet the estimated cost for the program, which would be the line that connects medeira to bakersfield has grown to at least $100 million estimated in 2012. erefore, the cost of building
it has a triple top -- tripled pre times what it was estimated when this issue was put to the voters in california. there are serious questions that have been raised by california by independent individuals who of look at it, including the state auditor, who has said that the california bullet train project has become increasingly risky because of fiscal issues. with respect to california, the californ high-speed rail peer review group, and export -- expert body mandated by state law, and expressed serious doubts and concluded that it cannot at this time recommend that the california legislature approved appropriations for the bonds because the project represents an immense financial risk. why would we designate
additional federal dollars for something that in california, is designated as an immense financial risk? >> because the governor supports it. the elected leaders support it. i just met with the president which is called the protests of the senate, and also the speaker of t house. i just met with the two u.s. senators from california. this is what the elected officials in california would like to do for the next geration. they would like to have passenger rail in california because california is one big traffic jam. they want to get people out of cars and into passenger trains. >> you are asking the rest of the country to put up billions of dollars or something that has been described as an "immense financial risk?" we have to look at the entire hall and i do not think we
should provide taxpayer dollars to something we will have to continuously provide federal subsidies for, number-one. second, we are taking immense financial risk. that is the issue with high- speed rail. if you look at those that are up right now, one in the house, one in the senate, neither body included money or th purpose. congress is concerned about, i think, this issue as well in terms of what is the financial measurement, what are the outcomes we are going tget from the investment? i think the fact that it is in neither bill speaks volumes in terms of where we are on this issue. that is my concern with it. i do have a question for you -- but the president believe we are going to be fighting the wars --
we have taken ourselves out of ir. does he believe we are going to be fighting in afghanistan for the next 10 years? >> that is not in my portfolio. i never talk to the psident about this. wethe criticism for the last two years from this committee and committees on the other side of this capital was where is the pay for? we provided one. >> you assume we are going to be fighting wars or the next 10 years. in the absence of some indication that is reay going to hpen, -- >> we are not in iraq. >> we were not planning on being in iraq. how is that? the notion that we were going to be somehow having a full contingency in iraq for the next
10 years, i do not think anyone would come to that conclusion brigid but particularly in afghanistan, the notion you you vote -- you will use savings from something we were not going to spend in the first place -- groups that have looked at this called it to take credit for a policy that is already funded at -- i understand that you do not have a pay for but the pay for in this budget is a budget gimmick. it does not solve the problem. to take credit for savings that were never going to happen, i cannot go home and tell my constituents with a straight face that this is paid for. i hope that we will be working on a real way to pay for the fundg. i know that you said we are
certainly facing a situation where you are concerned about the infrastructure in this country. i respect that. i think that is very important. we also have great physical challenges here as well. we have to look at these things in a serious fashion. >> senator begich. >> thank you are coming to alaska as you did. we had a conversation. i wish your son the best. my brother did work over there also to try to create stability. he has been there maybe five times. as we think about your son, we hope it all works out. >> thank you, senator. >> absolutely. >> i came in a little late. i apologize.
>> the pay for as the highway trust fund. in addition to the iraq money. >> this body has a habit -- if you do not like cbo -- i have a lot of problems with cbo, but when they score something, they score something. it brings value to it. i am at allor the pay for. we have no intentions of being in afghanistan for 10 years. that is a poor policy. if we get out by 2013, great on that. again, i want to make the point that cbo has scored the project. i missed it. the paraphrase the country as
onbig pot hole. i agree with you. there is no greater investment than the infrastructure of this country. we built more roads in 20 years when i was mayor. also, the work we did on the recovery money -- i was on the body here that did not do anything. i can show you where we put that money to work building roads. roads that cleaned up ingestion, which in turn made people more productive. they get to work or school on time. they are saving fuel. it is a winwin. cbo never scores that, but that is the value from my perspective. i am a builder. i'd love to build everything. rhodes verticals, whatever it takes to improve and economy. i think it is important. let me ask you specifically, you
noted the integration of unmanned aircrt at in airspace. e defense authorization bill, an element we offered, was making sure there is language in their designating these areas. the faa had the role to designate. i assume the two are coordinating. >> absolutely. >> there is no better airspace in the country than open air space, especially for unmanned aircraft. what is your timetable? -- timetable faa is looking at at? --ooking at that will be analyzed? >> i will get it for the record but -- >> just a schedule.
the university of alaska fairbanks is doing some incredible research. we have an enormous amount of air space that no one competes against and no neighbors to complain. i will be looking for that schedule. the senate bill did not have the $100 fee. we've had this discussion on general aviation. general aviation -- i want to differentiate between leer jets, big jets, and small general aviation. most general aviation folks i talk to understand they have to participate. but creating more permits does not seem logical. they have all volunteered in the past to adjust. they need a betr mechanism to deal with revenues than a another system.
i wonder% agree with them. i tried this when i was mayor. i got my head kicked in i worked with the general aviation to come up with a better sex -- at a better solution. do you have any comment on that? not the fee, but the method? $100 versus the tax on the gas? >> in terms of the $100 fee, that was never proposed to be applied to general aviation. that was for commercial aviation. we never proposed that for the lower end. >> your budget that you propose -- can you give for the record
-- will probably have some issues but we can have that conversation another time. >>in the transportation bill that we are now starting, in theory, as you know i was one of a few who voted against moving it forward. there is a reason. we need road components. it takes alaskan roads and cuts them in half. it is hitting the most impoverished area of this country, which has the least ability to for the development and an infrastructure. we are workingow with the chairwoman of the committee and others to try to get something rational. we recognize budgets are tight but ap% reduction is severe for our system -- but a 50% reduction is severe for our system.
i am sure your folks will be asked a lot of questionsbout the distance and the variety of things. senator boxer's bill. we are working with them at. the tribes in minnesota are now concerned. we know there is some rorm that needs to be there, but we need to do it on the right kind of path. >> we will get in touch with the committee to provide some technical assistance on that. >> excellent. let me close and say mr. chairman, just to make sure- i have some views on high-speed rail and the efficiency of it -- but i want to emphasize your point. i know all the bombs i passedthe objective
was to create a system a network tt moves people from commerce to individual people. i understand the senator's concern about high-speed rail, but the point is -- we subsidize all of it. raged -- trains, roads, ferries -- you name it, we subsidize it. when we get goods delivered, we can pay for some of those with federal dollars. >> senator johnson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. good morning. i also want to express my concern for your son. it sounds like you has some pretty capable individuals going over there to resolve the situation. >> congratulations on your bridge by the way. >> thank you for that.
thank you for your help in breaking the logjam. >> absolutely. >> that is a prime example of how important infrastructure is. i would just start out with that. government is the only entity that really can provide certain types of infrastructure. in the case of still water, we had to break through a log jam. the question really is who should pay for the infrastructure? should it be the federal government state, or local government? stillwater is funded by the state of minnesota and the state of wisconsin. when we talk about subsidizing what senator begich just said is if we do it right. that is the main question -- who is making the choice of subsidizing things when we are running a $1.30 trillion deficit? i think these are legitimate questions. i want to throw that over to you. in terms of a highway spending
what is the percent the federal government provides in funding for basic infrastructure versus state or local government? >> i am t sure of the current percentage, but i believe generally off the interstate, the majority of funding comes from state and local governments. most of the federal money goes to interstates and federal highways. >> part of the concern isn't when we -- is when we make these decisions, we really are subsidizing one state at the expense of others. how effective do you think that has been going on over the years? >> it has helped, i think, build an interstatsystem. it did not start in all 50 states. you know that.
was one state disadvantaged over another when they started in new york and not my home state of illinois it? maybe temporarily, but over 50 years, we ended up with a state of the art interstate system. when you look at transit systems in ameca every community has some sort of transit -- buses, light rail, or street cars. a lot of that was subsidized by the federal taxpayer. when one committee got one and another did not have one, does that mean one was disadvantaged? over time, i think it has pretty much even it out. -- evened out. eventually, i think the country has benefited from a national transportation of view which almost every president has had and it really congress has had.
we passed o transportation bills. 400 votesn the house and 80 votes in the senate. it was bipartisan. >> a lot of that is bipartisan pork going into differentreas. in terms of wisconsin -- >> if it did help the development of transportation systems for america. >> i am supportive of infrastructure. >> i know you are. >> the question came for governor walker in terms of a hi-speed rai the annual operating costs were about $15.50 million. the estimates were you would cover about 9 million of that by fees and fares leaving money to be subsidized by the wisconsin taxpayer and they rejected it. the articles i have read on the california high-speed rail, we
have airlines. we've already invested in that infrastructure. air travel can take care of some of that. how long can governmt subsidize operations is something -- in something that will never be economically viable? there are real questions as to whether or not this will ever be economically viable. >> governor walker decided he did not want high-speed rail, probably for the reasons you just stated. but other governors have said they want it. they wanted it in michigan. >> elected officials do like inging bacon home to the state. they are not going to be around to be paying the bills in four a, or 12 years. there term is over. that is a basic fact. >> my point is this senator we
did not show of high-speed rail down anybody's throat. we did not. when governor scott, governor walker, a governor case it made their decision, we said, fine, you are the ones who got elected. there is a pent-up demand in america from the governors. "i would say for bringing home the bacon and respected of how economically viable this project will be long term. we would have liked to have seen that money in wisconsin go to deficit reduction. let's talk about, general the transportation bill we are arguing over right now. in terms of the level the gas tax is not funding it, what is that amount that is being covered by the lco? >> about half.
$230 billion. >> part of the reason our gas tax revenue is down is because of fuel efficiency is up. it is politically poisonous to consider increasing theas tax to refund -- increasing the gas tax. why not look at utilizing energy resources as a funding mechanism? >> when the president puts out a pay for, i assume that is what the debate is going to be about. that is what they are debating over in the house. they had to split the bill into three. one is transportation and one is energy. they are trying to figure out a pay for. >> to you think that is a good idea? >> i like the idea the president put out. i like half highway trust fund and half iraq money. i think it is a pretty good formula. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
>> i thank all senators who ever participated. i think the secretary very much for being here. you ought to give seminars in how to justify. i have been here 25 years. i do not think i have ever seen a more able witness than secrety lahood. we have anotr hearing tomorrow. i hope my colleagues will paicate. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
bill that calls on the tsa to setup expedited procedures for active duty personnel. i would like to present the bill for signature. [applause] madam secretary, i would now recognize myself far an opening statement. time flies when you're having a good time. thank you for meeting with our side of the aisle. ranking member thompson and his members as well. i also want to thank you for the level of cooperation you have
had. i know you spoke with commissioner kelly earlier this week. i thank you very much for that. today, we are going to be looking at the president's request, which is almost the same as last year. in this time of budget austerity, i commend you for getting that amount. i believe all the money is required. these are difficult times, but the budget is still there. obviously we have now an emerging threat with hezbollah which i will discuss with you later. anyone who looks and its debriefings note it is a dangerous world we live in. it is important the department has the funding to do the job it needs to do as well as work with local and state governments.
i also note that budget money is being cut back is a burden on you. it makes it more difficult to allocate the money. everybody wants some piece of it. your job is to allocate it to the areas with the most threat. i know the extensive effort you have put into that. i commend you on that. i know you've changed the funding system this year. i will have questions on how that will implement the united states government, city governments, etc. i know you are trying to fine- tune it and make it more responsive. again, i want to make sure that as we do that, things do not fall between the cracks. also, we have the cyber security legislation, which this committee -- committee will be marking up before the end of march. senator lungren has been working on that.
we will try to move that this spring to get a line bill to go to the floor. we will work with the department and the administration to assure that we handle it as well as we can. in your appearance before the subcommittee this morning, you had an exchange with congresswoman on the department's uppercuts -- efforts on working with the financial services industry. the financial-services industry is vital to the state of new york and the nation. we could do more to create a better relationship. one area many of us have concerns about is the decrease in funding for the coast guard. approximately $600 million for fiscal -- from fiscal year 2012 funding levels. i do not know of any agency in
the federal government that has had to respond more after september 11 that the coast guard. by all accounts, they have done an outstanding job. i am really concerned that cut which would eliminate over 1000 personnel and the commission numerous units and have significant reductions in operational hours could have a very detrimental effect on our security. i will not go on with a long statement. i want to hear your priorities on combating radicalization, strengthening a budget -- border securities, avoiding duplication, and also discussed with you the eminent threat from hezbollah which some see as being annette, and what the dog -- eminent, and what the department will do on that.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. good afternoon, madam secretary. it is good to have you back before the committee. it has been a while. welcome. i expect you will answer a wide range of questions today about fiscal year 2013 budget request. i certainly am quite a few questions myself. but before we turn to fy 2013 request, i take it is important to acknowledge your starting point. that measure which many of us oppose in a number of ways. it was predicted that we can demand that dhs carried out a wide range of homeland security and non security missions without providing the resources. from my perspective it was tantamount to congress running up a long path, ordering more
robust homeland security efforts, particularly with respect to water security, immigration security, and then stiffing you when the bill right. when this -- with this backdrop and the prospect of an even less favorable budget for 2013, i can understand your desire. the fact that you are able to do so and come up for the first time run the disaster relief fund at $6 billion is really remarkable. i do not imagine that doing so was an easy task. i also expect that getting all the components on the same page without cutting expenses and resources was not easy either. it seems unlikely, however, that this is a savings account for the full $1.60 billion
reduction. we need to know which programs are going to be losing capacity or capability under your request. if you are not going to have the resources to fully implement programs within a mandated period you need to tell us. we have a stake in seeing programs like the coast guard fleet and modernization implemented. we need to know the time lines will have to be adjusted or more resources will be necessary from the appropriations process. i am concerned the budget does not seek enough coast guard fleet modernization acquisition to keep pace with the decommissioning. i am concerned the budget seeks to consolidate state and local grant programs into one small pot. i have trouble understanding how $1.50 billion will set to
sustain and develop new core capabilities. i am concern that while new resources are being provided in ppd, the other side of the house, the infrastructure protection side, seems to be shortchanged. given the problems at cpac, it is troubling to see that the budget is asking for less money in fy 2013. i have to acknowledge that the budget proposes a number of organizational changes. while the rationale behind some of these changes is not as yet clear, i commend you for taking the committee's advice and finally transferring the u.s. visit program. it floundered. i believe this border program may actually be positioned to
achieve its mission and finally allow us to identify and prevent overstays. thank you are appearing today. i look forward to discussing the budget proposal and work with you to ensure we keep our nation secure during the conduct -- during the difficult economic times. i yelled back. >> thank you, mr. thompson. opening statements may be submitted for the record. i will also remind our witness that your entire statement will appear in the record. we will ask you to summarize your statement at this time. we now recognize the secretary of homeland security, the net napolitano. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for the opportunity to discuss president obama's fiscal year 2013 budget for the department of homeland security. 10 years after the september 11 attacks, america is more secure
today thanks to the strong support of the president and the congress, thanks to the work of the men and women of the department of homeland security and the local state and federal partners. while we have made significant progress, threats from terrorism, including but not limited to al qaeda and al qaeda-related groups, persist and continually evolve in the demands on dhs continue to grow. these threats are not limited to any one group or ideologies ander not contain by international borders. terrorist tactics can be as simple as a homemade bomb and as sophisticated as a biological threat or cyber attack. we have had success in thwarting numerous plot, including the attempted bombing of the new york city subway in times square foiled attacks against air cargo, and other attempts across the country. nonetheless, continued threats
from abroad and at home demonstrate how we must constantly remain vigilant and prepare. the 2013 budget for dhs allows us to continue to meet these evolving threats and challenges by reserving authorities, the redirection of a hundred $50 million in basic resources from administration admissive -- administrative and mission support areas. this proves we are committed to fiscal discipline, which has led us to reductions of over the past three years through efficiency review and other -- through efficiency review. dhs is approaching these partnerships in new and innovative way. for nine years, we have been supporting state and local efforts across the homeland security enterprise to build capabilities, awarding more than
$35 million in funding. as we look ahead in order to address evolving threats the administration has proposed a new vision for homeland security grants through the national prepared this grant program to create a robust national preparedness capacity. using a competitive risk-based model, this program will use a comprehensive process to assess gaps identify and prioritize capabilities work quickly and require grantees to regulate their progress. my written testimony includes a comprehensive list. today, i would like to highlight a few of them. one, preventing terrorism and enhancing security. this remains our top priority today. the 2013 budget safeguards the
transportation system through a layer of protection system focused on wrist as based screening, and that targeting and information-sharing efforts at the earliest possible time. the budget supports the administration's global supply chain security strategy across the air, land, and see modes of transportation, by stripping efforts to prescreen high risk containers before they are shipped to the united states. we continue our strong support our state and local partners for training pugin centers intelligence, analysis, and information sharing on a wide range of missions. second, to secure and manage our borders, this budget continues the administration of the unprecedented focus on border security travel, and trade by supporting our board -- our border patrol agents on the front lines as well as the continued deployment of
effective surveillance technology along the highest traffic areas of the southwest border and continued improvements along the northern border. to secure the maritime borders -- including the six national security centers of -- cutters fast response cutters, and the renovation and restoration of short facilities. third, the budget request continues the department's focus on smart and effective enforcement of our immigration laws. in 2013, we will complete nationwide implementation of secured communities. through this initiative and our continued collaboration with the department of justice, we are expected to continue to increase the number of criminal aliens who aren't identified and removed. this budget provides the resources needed to address this change in population while continuing to support
alternative detention reforms and immigrant immigration efforts. the budget also caucuses on monitoring and compliance, promoting it parents to workplace laws with criminal prosecutions of a egregious employees -- employers. next to safeguard and secure cyberspace this budget makes investment in cyber security, including funds to expedite deployment of einstein iii an increase federal network security, and continue to develop a robust cyber security work force to protect and respond to national saba security threats. in 2011, the department responded to a record number of disasters. to ensure continued resilience are disasters the president's budget focuses on a whole committee approach to emergency
management. it includes resources for the disaster relief of fund which provides significant portion for victims and is funded largely through a party provided under the budget control act. the budget also continues to provide support to national and economic security by supporting the coast guard's operations in the polar regions and continuing to support international property rights and collection of customs revenue. the budget proposal reflects this administration's strong commitment to protecting the homeland and the american people through the effective and efficient use of resources. as outlined in my testimony today, we will continue to preserve frontline priorities across the department by cutting costs, sharing resources across components, and streamlining
operations wherever possible. chairman keane ranking member thompson, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to be here today. i am happy to answer your questions. >> thank you for your statement secretary napolitano. we now begin a round of questions. we have been faced with a series of threats party passed him. five years. the threat of has a lot has emerged. we -- the threat of hizbollah has emerged. we have had indictments in washington. now with the increased tensions in the middle east, i believe there is a growing threat from hezbollah. can you tell us what the department is doing to address the spending or possible threat
from hezbollah, specifically are you reaching out to religious and institutions? >> yes, mr. chairman. we share your concerns about hezbollah. we are constantly monitoring their activities around the world. we are working very closely with the fbi and the intelligence community in this regard we are reaching out to, particularly jewish communities across the country that have been the intended targets in the past. just this past week, which convened a very large conference call with leaders of the jewish community from all around the country. we remain in constant touch with them. right now we have no specific or credible and threat against any organization or target in the united states. but this is certainly a situation that bears watching. >> thank you, secretary. you've referenced this in your opening statements, but the grant system it is basically
taking 16 former programs and merging them into one. the national prepared this grant program -- preparedness grant program. ollie states and territories are mentioned as recipients. urban areas, transit authorities -- will they be eligible to apply for this funding? >> what we have put in the budget documents is our vision part how these grant programs could be consolidated and organized. we work with the members of the committee in terms of how you see the appropriate recipient. right now, we do not envision any changes but because this is such a major alteration in how we handled grants, we probably need to work with the committee on that. >> i would take so. there are large states like
teleport and new york. it is important we -- like california and new york. all could have unique problems to their state. as it goes forward, i would ask that you have a "ray to work with all of those entities. >> to accomplish our vision, we will require legislative change. we will be working with the committee on that. >> also, i am pleased to see that the security city's program is being fully funded this year. -- secure the cityies program is being fully funded this year. >> we saw a securing the cit ies -- it was a pilot program originally in new york. what the budget has money for is
to add a second site to it. i think there are a lot of good lessons learned from the experience in new york. we can begin the process of expansion. >> back to the point i raised before about the grant system -- we were contacted by a number of local organizations international association of emergency managers -- cities that are concerned that the funding may be too state center. we've been contacted in the last 24 hours about groups that have a problem with that funding. >> it is our intent that the funding be consolidated to streamline, remove administrative costs. we want to focus on the national preparedness goal. how do we make sure there is a
basic homeland security net, so to speak building on the $35 billion of capability the congress has already invested in. my view is that this should be -- that we ought to continue to inform grant decisions by evaluation. >> she has real security concerns of the northern border. we have security concerns in the new york city area. both are legitimate. i do not know at the state is fully equipped to differentiate the differences. keep that in mind as we go forward. with that, i recognize the ranking member. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as well as other states in the united states other than new york we join in the concern.
with respect to the referenced the chairman made of a letter from the national association of counties u.s. conference of mayors international association of fire chiefs, and others i would like to have it added into the record. also, with respect to the fema grant, there is some concern these stakeholders have not been included in the process of developing guidance from grants and its consolidation proposal. will you commit to the committee that if it has not been done that you make your best effort to work with those groups? >> yes. we have had a lot of discussions with stakeholders over the last year. some of them have actually, i think, said they support the
vision. the question is going to be the details. how do we spell it out? that will be something we will work on with the congress. >> we have the record and i will ask also that we provide you with a copy of the electors. -- letters. your best guess as to when we will have the guidance for the readers? >> they are right on the verge of the guidance for the readers. i am putting pressure to get these out. we want to avoid the situation where people are having to renew cards. >> if we get to the deadline and
it is time to renew, do you see yourself extending the card rather than having people come back and pay $133.50? >> i asked my staff to give me a set of options of what we would do if that were to happen? >> there are a lot of committees -- communities that are hearing from a number of people that paid money for the card. it is no more than a flash card right now because there is no reader. i would encourage you to look seriously if the department does not meet the time line for producing the readers that that period be extended until the readers are in place. the other point is, we would like for you to look at not
requiring people who apply for a quick card to come back and pick it up. that second trip for a lot of individuals cost a lot of money. some people have to take off of work to pick up the card. there are some alternatives out there. we understand the security challenges. but it is a concern. we would like for you to look at it. >> i would be happy to. i share those concerns. we will work through all available options within the department. >> for the sake of the record, is the problem with the readers -- where have the breakdown been for the last 4 + years?
>> it is hard to say where in fact. there have been a lot of operational issues with some of the test readers with respect to their liability and their ruggedness and the like. there have been things tested that have not played out. it has been a real process to a finally arrive at something that will be good guidance. >> your testimony escapeis -- in >> i would like to get her best guess as to when we can expect something from the department. >> we can make that request of the secretary right now. >> i will be happy to get something back to you. >> i yield back. >> mr. hagen is also a from new
york. how could we ignore him? >> there is another new yorker there, too. [laughter] >> we do not always agree on the ny0pd. i now recognize mr. rogers. quite a would like to offer for the record at the alabama delegation delivered to the secretary yesterday. >> without objection. >> thank you madam secretary for being here and thank you for your service to the country. i know it is not a 40-hour a week job. i want to talk to you about secure communities and 27g. my understanding from looking at the memo on the budget is these programs were reduced by 25%
which basically a halt additional training of additional communities going forward. is that correct? >> for task forces, yes. we began this migration last year. we are moving forward as we install secure communities throughout the country. that is the preferred way to identify those in the country illegally and get them removed. >> i agree secure communities is a great way, but the 27g has been great and it is relatively inexpensive. i hate to see no additional committees being added. >> in terms -- communities being added. >> in terms of task forces, we have task forces in the country that have picked up maybe one or two illegals. when we actually calculate out the average cost of removing
some body, which is picked up by a 27g task force it is 10 times more expensive. there is a cost factor involved, you are correct. >> michael -- i know we retold in alabama that the remaining 37 counties were to have it installed by november of last year then it was back up to december of last year. now i am told it has been stopped. it is that the case? >> it has been delayed, that is correct. >> why? >> several reasons, but one reason is, as you know, the alabama state law is in litigation. it is at the 11th
where it is turned off and covers seven buys certain -- 75%. we decided to hold off on the remaining quarter. it is our intent to complete a by the end of the year. >> why was it relevant? my understanding is that you have not altered it in arizona or georgia and have similar legislation. >> it was already turned on before the litigation commenced. we left it there. >> talk about procurements. i have a lot of business groups come into my hearings and we've had open sessions off the record
where different groups come in and talk about their experience. uniformly i hear of a cult it is to work with -- how difficult it is to work with procurement. they're saying there's never any interaction. that often creates a circumstance where there is unrealistic expectations about what can be done. are you familiar with the problem of the concerns the private sector has? >> a sum in the same people have visited with me as well. -- some of these same people have visited with me as well. we need to center like it more. one of the problems has been agents agencies. we're used to dealing with a
different category of vendors. with taken steps to have an acquisition approval process and to reach out with the private sector. we just held a procurements fair undersecretary for management to improve the channels of communication that we need. we are on it. >> my time has expired. i yelled back. -- yieldf back. >> thank you for being before us. i recently was on the mexico border. from the mexico site, they have built more roadways to come over to make another inland port ---
land port. it was agreed to by both sides. the funding has not come where the cuts in the budget are making this happen from our side. it is amazing to see it happening. the first thing would be the locals ask me to come and take a look at it. what is going on? what can we do? they tell me it is three hours standing time if you are a pedestrian to go across that section right now. i happen to know because i have a family there.
they said it takes away too long two or three hours. sometimes in the summer it is 130 degrees with the cover. what you're doing with respect to that? this january the media reported that two tourists from the united kingdom were denied entry to the united states bybecause of comment on twitter. do you know anything about this incident? is this determining their admittance to the u.s.? >> i can look specifically here. the ports come through gsa. we give the northern ports but not the southern. did this does not fare well.
it has slowed down in number of important projects. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captions performed by the national captioning interests tute] what is the mechanism? >> the question is trying everything we need to do within the confines of the budget control act. we are all dealing with that. the all recognize that. because gsa is governed by a different set of committees, it does become a little bit too ships passing in the night. we are in constant touch. they know the priorities but only have so much money.
>> thank you. >> then the question of a foreign national from england. >> about getting too much in the weeds, we are not sitting there monitoring social media looking for stuff. that is not what we do. in that instance there was a tip that led to a secondary inspection of the individuals. that govern the judgment of exclusion not just the tweet. >> was the tweet taken into account when they're thinking about whether to let them and are not? >> it was but i am not at liberty to say all of the reasons. the impression was left that they were just sitting around wondering the blob is they're looking for things. that is not what they do.
they do have an obligation to follow tips. >> thank you. >> the gentleman from texas. >> thank you. it is important to note that today marks the one-year anniversary of the birds go killing of an agent and shooting of another. it is appropriate to remember that event and remember them here today in this committee. there has been some speculation that the weapons used to kill him may have been linked to the operation fast and furious. do you have any information that would indicate a connection? >> i have no information to that
effect. >> i do not know one way or another. >> you cannot conclusively say one way or another whether there is a link to these weapons? >> that is true. >> we know the weapons were used to kill brian. >> they were found at the scene of that murder. >> i know that the organized crime enforcement task force had an ice.c.e. agent participating that was participating in fast and furious. can you tell us the role that agent was with respect to a fast and furious? >> my understanding is that it
is very minimal. this is all learned after the fact. this was an atf operation. >> and you believe the atf may have led your organization? >> i hope they did not. >> do you know he was informed about the operation? i do not. i do not know whether the full extent and the number of guns being allowed to walk on supervised was disclosed. i believe the size and management of that operation had lot of serious mistakes made. >> i certainly agree with you. the next question i have is a long management. we had hearings -- we heard from
several secretaries. itthe idea of the model you'll actually said the have a book on this. it seems like there are always lessons learned from events in the past and the federal government. there may be a lot to learn from the growing pains and mistakes of the department of defense had in consolidating their efforts as you are trying to consolidate 22 different tasks. there are high-risk operations that had performance problems. as you testified earlier it seems to make a lot of sense.
you have made some progress. can you tell me your thoughts in terms of looking at the model? >> i do have a volume on my desk. it shows you what they read in their spare time. theit took about 40 years from the creation of the department of defense and the consolidation of management that they represented. we're going to be that hard to appear in. we also have a much broader set a missions that we have to perform. how you manage procurements, and
things like looking at how you buy the software, how you buy vehicles. >> i do want to mention the hearing. out of all the agencies, dhs only gets 50% of the funding. that is important. i think perhaps we can change that. >> i will say these are the kinds of efficiencies that we can encourage and grow. >> the gentlemen europe'syields back. >> thank you. it is good to see you again. i believe you're going to my district next week. i will be in the same area you are. thank you.
in dealing with the budget is always hard. i thank you for looking up here. i have several questions. the first has to do the reports that came out on march of 2011 that talks about a $639.4 million of an audiblyon obligated accounts. it is been going on since 2008. there is no authorization. that is a lot of money that is available. why can we get that money out? >> i do not know.
>> we're holding a for a particular reason. i will be happy to get back to you. >> you can use it as authorized for a lot. it can get back to the committee, the budget is not as from any officers. -- does not ask from any officer spirited they would even get our talk to you about long lines. at the same time we're opening up new ports of entry. we've always done a good job. especially since you're also cutting it over time by $20 million. how are we going to handle tha
ose lines that we had? >> that is one of the reasons why i'm going back to the border, to talk to people who live there about problems they see. the problem withis twofold. it is often a lane availability issue appeared to the ports are not big enough to handle the amount of traffic. we have to work on both of those things. the overtime pay issue congress that what that last year by allowing us to use the league system among other things. it will allow us to manage the situation and keep it under control better. the president has analyze officers that were put in in fiscal year 2012. they are being hired and trained now. there should be released in net
-- relief and that. >>-- in that. i think have more bridges and any other congressmen and a country. i look forward working with you and looking at alternatives as we go up there. the private sector and local governments are willing to do that. they want to step up and do that. did they want to put in some of the local incomes. i will ask you to work with the. the last thing is over time. -- i'll ask to work with you. the last thing is over time. we had $1.4 million in daily overtime. especially now that we have the
lowest border crossings i understand the whole argument. you never know when they have to try for one part. it included your 250 agents signed at the border control headquarters were they made a combined $4.8 million -- $4.8 million. i can understand border control but to have to enter 50 agents in washington and to pay them overtime is something i do not understand. my time is almost up. i have been trying to get that information. i said i would directly talk to you. i think members of congress want to see them at the border and said of having them wrapped up -- rack up millions of dollars. >> i share that concern with the number of agents. it is something i am talking
about with the commissioner. it makes sense to have border control agents get some rotation so they get an appreciation of how the system works and what is going on, particularly those that are moving up the ladder. >> i am in full agreement. 250, we can work with you. thank you. i look forward to working with you. >> the gentleman from minnesota the author of the bill. >> i have a great staff. >> thank you. thank you for being here today. in the president's budget cuts from $25 million down to $12.5 million is approximately a 50%
decrease. in includes volunteers that pay more out of their pockets and it cost them to be to protect our nation. to provide the protection for each officer each flight cost the nation $15. it that is how efficient the program is. i have to believe that it is one of the most cost-effective programs. they basically volunteer their time and money to be a vital deterrents to our country. there the last line of defense when it comes to air piracy. my question would be what prompted this tax?
>> it is not risk-based. you will have its whether someone is on a flight or not. we are moving to rest base systems. those are the ones we will put money into. >> i fully agree with risk of a system. i also fully believe a $15 per flight deck officer is a last line of defense on an aircraft and is essential. would you agree that the officers would be the last line of defense? >> there are many layers of defense. it is before people even get their ticket. one of the things i continue to emphasize is the checkpoint at the gate which has caused some concern is only one of many other layers. the ffdo's have been useful. and not know about the $15
million figure. as we look around, we have to find places to cut. that is one of them. it is not risk base that was put on the table. >> i understand risk-based. again i will ask the question period is the flight deck officer the last line of defense for our traveling public? >> i think the armed cockpit door probably is. >> speaking as a pilot, and also as a a federal flight deck officer, i know about the cockpit door. i will tell you speaking from the position i have flown as pilots and as a federal flight deck officer, you may think it is the line of defense but it is the armed pilot in the cockpit that will be the last line of defense. thank you for your comments ago.
is your intention that this program be phased out? i think if the budget request shows, it is our intention to reduce it. we have not predicted its demise. we just do it with less. >> what kind of message do you think it sends it to pilots on there on time, i take personal vacation pay for their own lodging to train for the honor protecting their fellow citizens how you think it will affect the program? >> obviously, in a difficult budget we have to make difficult decisions. this was one. >> going for the last line of defense in the program that you have i would strongly encourage you to reevaluate that position. also it does come to my
attention recently that they have proposed alert sites to be eliminated. there were chosen to be active association where active duty combined with the international guard there. now they're pulling a vital mission from thisese two fighter wings. how will this affect you? after 9/11 they were flying 24/7. they deployed a lot of different places. i see my time has expired. >> there are several other similar things are rounds the northern border.
these operations can be covered elsewhere. >> thank you. i will yield back. it's>> thank you very much. we forgot to add mr. turner to our discussion about upstate/downstate new york. it is one of our newest members here. there is no doubt in my mind that your commitment to partnership and cooperation with our local law enforcement has been extraordinary. we are truly grateful for that. we had an opportunity through having been the no. 1 terrorist targets in the nation to have
those partnerships strengthened over time and build up searching capabilities and los municipalities and would have no reason out of necessity. i wanted to raise a couple of issues with you. is there a point where the department of common security looks at the implementation of various policies and its impact on the municipality? dollars that we have provided for home and security have been over reaching in terms of their usage and what the impact is for
the local municipality. there have been a number of practices that have been highlighted most recently an hour zealousness to apprehends the lone actor or anyone who has been radicalized that may be in the population. that has extended its seven to the live of average everyday new yorkers to do not fit any profile under any circumstances. it clearly, there is a profile out there. there are individuals who mouths are open to surveillance, where individuals sit there just to observe whether there is a terrorist tendency. we have even seen videos produced that have high ranking officers of our city.
there have been some things that i think have gone askew. i am wondering what role it is in the collaboration that we have the conversation about civil liberties. i hope me raising this to you is that there needs to be some discussion. there needs to be some serious discussion. when you are a new yorker, the town of diversity our police department has become so empowered to the civil liberties become something that is secondary. i wanted to share that with you and hope that you will look into that. my question is that when you
testified before the committee actedat the congress, you testified that it is they must tighten state since 9/11. it is a basis for many hearings on radicalization and recruitment but then the muslim community. a recent report issued by the center says that concerns about the potential wave of a homegrown terrorism have not materialized over this and those with and the communities. do we remain in the same posture given what we know? given the intelligence are we
tightened the? >> we live in a very volatile world. we are dealing with threats. they can be from al qaeda related groups. terrorism and extremism is not let him by national boundaries. it is not limited to one ideology. to itit requires us to look at it in a number of ways in order to minimize risk while incorporating the inc's that our nation has under the constitution. we want to make sure we
incorporate those. >> thank you. >> i like to stay for the record that general petraeus testified that the inspector general to the full investigation and found a relationship between the nypd and cia to be legal. it involves any dealing with the cia. they said the nypd is at full compliance with the law. >> thank you. thank you for being here today. we have seen a wide range of reports from the gao and from the house a transportation infrastructure committee
identifying hundreds of millions of dollars in annual waste and inefficiencies at tsa. in your proposed budget, you are seeking to triple the $2.50 a passenger security tax to ultimately $7.50 , would you say would generate $25 billion over the next 10 years. they have a $100 user fee. it seems to be costing more and more for americans to fly which affects all sectors of our economy. government taxes make up around 20% of this. this is more than any other title out there.
we're singling out the airline customers and possibly even discouraging travel. how do you balance that with the need for security? >> you have to do both. travel trade and tourism are important economic values and not to keep this economy moving to repel the recovery. they're always looking for ways to look for travel of trade and maintain security posture. we are doing it a couple of ways. one way is as we move to more risk-based approach, expanding the traveler type program
global entry for international travel. it is called rodentia say -- tsa recheck. as we do that, that allows us to prescreen passengers before they get to the airport so they go and a separate line and we can expedite the processing. as we go one it is our intention to be able to do more and more in that direction. we are going carefully and slowly because we do not have room for mistakes. our pilot projects had been very productive. >> i per numerous concerns from folks in and around the industry concerned with the
exorbitant taxes on flying out these days. with my remaining time, when and how are you looking at the other aspect of the equation the millions of potential waste and inefficiency right now that have been identified within tsa? >> we have already identified $850 million worth the administrative efficiencies. we believe we can take and put that money redeployed into operational activity. that is along with the $3 billion via found already. we're constantly looking for ways that we can meet their obligations and do it more quickly. any avenue we have of doing that sir our employees have ideas. we have no monopoly on good ideas. if people have them we will
listen. >> thank you. >> the gentleman yield back. >> thank you very much. thank you for being here. i want to ask you about two things. one is the beyond the borders action plan that was announced by the president of canada. it has one pre inspector. this is very important border crossing for commerce and for our shared communities. i wanted to urge you to consider the bridge for the pilot project. to the other issue is the urban areas security initiative program.
and fiscal year 2011, your department removed 32 high risk urban areas including buffalo new york. these communities and not used to be goneon that program. they met a criteria that it posed a considerable threat. they were given the resources to work in a collaborative way with other law enforcement agencies. you have a new program. i asked that these 32 communities be there. toronto is in close proximity. niagara falls is the destination for a million people all over the world.
the community produces the cheapest electricity in all of new york state. all of which become high impact targets for potential terrorism. i think it is very important that the department consider allowing these community the resources they need to sustain the capabilities they have established. i want to echo something the chairman made reference to. that is the threat of hezbollah. they are a shia group committed to violence geoid -- jihad. they have a presence that is growing. there are four major cities in canada as well. it was indicating the response to the chairman as well.
you are working with the fbi and intelligence committee. we have had previous hearings here. witnesses said we should not be that concerned. hezbollah is present in the western hemisphere. north america is really limited to a fund-raising activity. i do not much see the distinction. i think that presence is a very severe threat. i think it means to be addressed. >> i believe we are constantly monitoring hezbollah and we are in touch with the fbi. it is where it is appropriate. we are conducting a lot of outreach to tardivetargeted communities.
we are working with canada on the identification of staff to do the pre inspection. a strong case has been made for the peace bridge but no final decisions have been reached. >> i want to associate myself with the perspective comments of my colleague and asking to replace the outdated niagara falls borders station with a new facility at the niagara falls air reserve station. i am sure my colleague will be talking about that later on. the two centers have joined us. we thing that is a very important move for a lot of reasons including the good work that the border patrol does. >> i should warn you that you
would be double teams. the gentleman from prince of the pena is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you for appearing with us. i want to thank you in advance for the cooperation of your agency. tomorrow they will be working in to further inquiry of the social media. i am grateful for the work you have already done in helping us understand. i want to take a moment to follow up on some issues that mr. mccall raised. you testified today that fast and furious was an atf operation. what does that mean with respect to the cooperation are coordination of d.h. espns.?
>> that is where it is. >> that is where it is. i know from your experience, you understand what it means. this implies and requires that there be a collaboration among multiple agencies. it has been identified. to what extent are there reporting requirements for the participation of your agents on most of the cases? >> if you are asking is there every porting requirements that any participation has to be
reported all the way up to and including washington headquarters, no. there is way too much action for that to be feasible. if you are asking how they enter agencies are handling it, my understanding is that there is a lead agency that is running the operation. in this instance it was the atf. >> there is participation. we have agents who are out on matters of all types. i think we all recognize the serious mistakes that were made that should never be repeated.
this was an atf operation. >> that was the question. this included the participation. do you know who lane france is that >> i do not. >> he was an i.c.e. agent. >> i did not know this was a fast and furious hearing. >> i did not come to get into it. >> i think there the issue is to make sure that it's in my shop we are not running gun walking cases with under supervisedunsupervised policies. emphasize the policies. we do not want that happening. >> do you know what was happening from your agent to was a co agent on this case with the
anticipated activities? >> let's not confuse this with co lead. you can have people on the task force. they may be listed as a co-case agent and have no contact. this is the guy who does this and a particular office. i cannot speak with specifics to the question. i did not know this was a faster furious hearing. >> have you done any participation yourself in the fast and furious? >> when i learned about fast and furious, i instructed our
department to make sure that we were not running gun walking cases and that our policies were clear and that there is a common understanding. >> have been investigated the activity that took place tax -- have you investigated the activities that took place? have you looked independently of what is going on in the department of justice. >> i believe the director of ice has. this implies that everybody was equal on this. >> how do we know if you haven't lived into its? >> there have been enough hearings. >> have you spoken to attorney general holder about this case? >> no.
it has been under investigation. >> my time is up. >> the gentleman from louisiana is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. >> let's go back to the grant program in louisiana. is it your expectation that the jurisdictions that receive the bulk of the money pursuant to your risk assessments would receive the same or even more support under the program? >> it is difficult to prejudge. what we intend is that we want to look at what the $35 billion that we have already spent on home and security grants, where that has put us so that we can
look across states and regions across the country and identify where we have gaps, critical and richard sure that need hard mean -- infrastructure that meets hardening. >> they have an identification of risk assessment that will have a large parts in devising a new formula. that analysis will go into who receives money. >> yes. it is intended to be a risk base, consequence based evaluation. there still will be retained some base level of funding dependent on population. we believe that we ought to be building and sustaining a national capacity for terrorism and disaster prevention and mitigation and response. if that is what we are combining
these grants to achieve. >> where you give them the ability to comment or challenge or appeal their assessments in the event that they feel there are some things left out or were not considered spend their risk assessment? >> i think our relationship is such that there is just an exchange all the time even as a potential grantees are preparing their applications. >> this is a little bit outside the realm. since we have departed, i might as well do it. i am getting from my mares and school boards and everyone a disaster loan issue we have in louisiana.
the vice president of the united states came down to say the disaster loans would be forgiven in those municipalities. many municipalities are not getting loan forgiveness from those disaster loans. and do not know if you can comment about it, but can you at least advocate on our behalf that the of the commitment was made. it would be the right thing to do to the up to the commitment to wave the repayment of those loans. >> i will take a look at that. >> i will yield back. >> i now recognize the gentleman from texas for five minutes. >> thank you.
hopefully the microphone will pick me up. >> i can hear you fine. >> as he pointed out, this is the one-year anniversary of the death of the agents. before i get to the budget, i would like to take a moment to thank you for what you have done for the family. we're starting to recede and consistent information from various agencies about how it progresses -- receive inconsistent information from various agencies about how it progresses. with respect to the budget, i know he talked about the fact and despite the overall budget decrease we are looking at doubling the feed passengers pay for the tsa. i applaud you for cutting spending but i'm concerned about raising taxes, especially when we are not really saying a need there. the we have the tsa working
better than it has in the past. we have a lot of our technology expenditures under control. why the need for increasing that the? >> thank you for your kind words about them. they have made a lot of progress. it it is a fee and not a tax. it does not increase since 2002. they have been incorporating dollars so we can make sure we have technology. we have increased costs since 2002. just a pure facts for -- just the seat for checked baggage
has caused them to load on their carry-on. >> if i had my way, they would charge for the carry-on and not the checked bag. >> like i said, you are experts on airplane travel. we think it makes screening more complicated. that probably offloaded about $250 million of cost on the tsa. we think it is time to probably properly raise the fee but not to do its per in plan meant -- but to do it per one way trip. if the have to take different segments it is still only 1 feet. then this go but up over the next years to a maximum of $7.50. we think that will take weight
off the general taxpayer and allow us to sustain what we have done. >> and other efficiency i would encourage you to look at, it regards a high lag time in supplying the equipment when it comes to getting out to the airport. i would encourage you to consider the model was some technology companies. it included installation as part of the process rather than having them shipped to a warehouse. >> that is a procurement issue. we can take a look at that. a lot is it should be shouldattributed to reconfiguring lanes and new construction at the airport
itself. that has to be done before the equipment can be installed. i think the issue is something we can take a look at for some. >> i will yield back the remainder of my time. >> thank you. i recognize the gentleman from michigan for five minutes. >> thank you. it was great seeing you first of all as a frequent traveler. i wanted to thank the daily commitment. people have lost their home property values. as a result, many local units of government have had to lay off vital first responders.
my question is, how can the department of common security work with prior year safer grantees to help make sure the new firefighters and first responders that they hired with the federal grant money can keep these employees on and not have to lay them off when we really need them. did they are from mind defense against any other emergency. >> week released the grants and that particular area for do we released the grants in that particular area on a -- we released the grants and that particular area. we have for those grants anf d were made retroactive
able to grant a waiver to the cost than they previously have been allowed to do. the reason it is important is because it helps do this. >> it is gun to make a difference. thank you -- it is going to make a difference. >> thank you. i recognize the gentleman from virginia. >> where do we have common ground of? the topic today for me is the 287g task force.
when you mentioned earlier that a program might have been in existence for a year and led to one apprehension, you have my full agreement that the program should be reviewed and most likely terminated. some are being continued. can wedo agree to me that some are affected? >> they are relatively affected. i would suggest that secure communities is more effective and cheaper. >> i would not say it is affected. virginia represents the second district parent -- i live in
virginia and represent the second district. i know the governor and his administration have been very clear on this matter. they intended to have 24 state troopers who are not just booksfolks to stop people on the road, but the targeted task force of violent crimes drug dealers rapes, murders, those areas. they believed and i do as well that way 287g task force would work for them. i am expressing my disappointment here. in the spirit of transparency in government may i see thethe data
that supported your decision on this? >> yes. this request have been pending for some time. in the meantime they can deploy more agents into the areas where we were told the task force would primarily be focused on the theory that full-time federal agents would actually be more productive. i will be happy to see you briefed on that as well. >> we thank you for that. i know you have a lot of things on your plate. can you describe for us generally what those expenses would be and what savings are being realized by discontinuing the program? >>
training is a big expense. travel for training. some overtime in those areas. there are buckets, but they add up to a substantial number when you reduce it to a cost per removed individual. >> it is still difficult for me, and i cannot fully reconcile this. maybe it will take some additional work here. a good governor is saying we can help you hear, and yet under the administration, not one task force application has been approved, at least to my knowledge. it is difficult to reconcile house a force multiplier, just thinking about the value of a highly trained virginia state trooper, for example his or her willingness to assist in a key law enforcement area, and we
have turned down that help. >> we work a lot with state and local law enforcement. i have had several discussions with the governor in the past about the 287 g task force. i think in conclusion, we believe in making sure you have the right number of full-time federal agents and that we have a secure community turned on and we just turned on for more states last year for secure communities. that is a much more effective way to go and helps us target appropriately the population that we want to prioritize and removal, which are criminal aliens. >> i think you for your testimony and your service. >> i recognize the gentle lady from upstate new york. >> thank you for all your service to our country and everything you do to protect americans and keep us safe.
we appreciate your efforts to put together a budget during these very challenging times. a few initiatives, some of them mentioned by my colleague. thank you for including $10 million for northern border technology which will help implement the be on the border action plan. a second request to have the pre inspection station. this is such an important issue for us with our proximity to canada and toronto. we are the source of commerce everyday. this could be a huge boost to the upstate economy which is not faring so well. we appreciate all the attention you get to that as well. we are sending a letter urging to find the funds in the budget for this idea of a station at
the niagara falls area station. we have been told it is a joint area but the guard station will be leaving. this is an ideal opportunity to have a federal -- the proximity and collaboration that already goes on with our canadian partners is already going. we are just looking for approval from yourself as well. you'll be getting a letter from us on that. there was an amendment proposed that i was grateful to my colleagues for accepting it. it was proposed that the department only purchase uniforms that are made in america. the bigger picture is to ensure that our national security and economic security are tied together. i had this conversation this morning during a hearing with secretary panetta who shared my belief that we do much better
when we rely on our national suppliers not just for military but domestic protection as well. this has not been enacted but i am wondering if there are voluntary steps you can take to help us do this for the jobs it would create back here in america. and economically secure nation is better for all of us. can you speak to that issue as well, and what can be done on your end? >> i agree and economically secure nation is better than one that is not and we are all interested in making sure we maximize job creation in our country. i will have to look into what we are doing on the procurement and availability of uniforms. i think you make a valid point. i don't know of steps have been ta to lead in that direction or not. >> i want to echo the request to