tv Washington This Week CSPAN November 2, 2013 6:00pm-6:31pm EDT
significant cuts to benefits and provide economic security -- house republican budget has house republican budget has significant cuts to medicare benefits -- those are the very benefits that provide economic security to millions of middle- class families and has zero dollars of revenues that could be used to invest and the essential pillars of economic growth like education, workforce readiness, science, research and innovation. i believe there are significant savings that can be achieved in our health care system without compromising the quality of care, and in fact, improving the quality of care. and without slashing benefits that seniors have worked so hard for and earned. former secretary-treasurer he paul o'neill has estimated we
can save $1 trillion per year without affecting health care outcomes by in acting smart, targeted health care delivery reforms. the institute of medicine estimated the number could be 750 billion dollars. no matter what the exact figure or proposal, these are impressive savings that would strengthen the nation's health- care system without shifting cost and burdens to seniors and states. these have the added benefit of improving quality, -- quality outcomes within the health-care system. so before we continue to obsessively but benefits on the table, i would hope to begin the dialogue about finding solutions that produce health-care cost savings. i am confident that if both parties do in washington what the people do every day in the
state of wisconsin, put progress ahead of politics, we can break the destructive pattern and make that progress. >> thank you. senator wicker. >> we need to find solutions. charts wereson's painful, but they make the point that has been made over and over today. that is that we have a debt crisis and we are still headed in the wrong direction. as senator sessions began, the deficit is down but on a temporary basis. it will soon rise again to $1 trillion per year. we are in a week recovery and have not turned the corner and should not approach the budget as if we can turn the corner -- we have turned the corner.
nobody likes sequestration. i do not like sequestration. but i can live with that. under sequestration, discretionary spending begins to rise after fiscal year 2015. it is not ideal, not the best, but it is the law and without replacing it with better savings we must keep sequestration. warner, i will support additional revenues. outas chairman ryan pointed ,nd senator kinsley made clear those additional revenues must come through economic growth. i think we can do that. i am equally certain republicans in congress will not support tax increases, either directly or indirectly. front door or back door. asking american workers to send more of their paychecks to
washington will hurt growth. similarly, taking more tax dollars from job creators will result in fewer jobs. i agree exactly with what senator grassley said, the $600 billion tax hike that came with the fiscal cliff legislation at the end of last year was our tax hike. we have gotten the tax hike, and we will not support another one. let's explore representative cole's idea of an expedited tax reform process to get us the pro-growth tax policies that will give us the additional revenue we need. lastly, let's explore enacting the mandatory savings contained
in president obama's own budget. president obama has outlined budget savings in the entitlement programs that were courageous, difficult, but they do not cut benefits. these proposals do not cut social security. they do not cut medicaid. no one is suggesting, as has been alluded to, suggested by some members of this conference committee that there is a proposal to slash benefits or cut benefits. all we're talking about and all the president is talking about in the mandatory proposed savings in his own budget is slowing the growth rate of these very important programs to save our nation from a fiscal and debt crisis and to save the very valuable programs.
i think those are the sweet spot. tax reform to give us economic growth and savings in the growth rate of our mandatory programs. i hope we can rise to the occasion and be problem solvers for the american people. >> thank you. senator kaine. >> thank you. good to be with colleagues on this. one thing i want to do is confound the cynics who have low expectations of us. there have been years of budgetary dysfunction and has not been a budget conference and a divided congress since 19 86. we start with a low expectation bar. the budgetary dysfunction has hurt us dramatically in virginia. the combination of shutdown and sequester are hurting defense and other key priorities. we feel it, i know you feel it. i want to focus on four areas where i think we are closer
together than we might think as an encouragement to finding compromise. first, we should acknowledge the 2014 budget numbers are not that different. the senate sets discretionary trillion.t $1.058 senate number is 1.508. the difference is about 2.5%. i think you would argue it is smaller, because the republicans would argue the senate numbers might be artificially high because we assume there would be no continuation of sequester. we assume the house number is artificially low. so i think the real difference is about 1.5%. i can't believe we're going to miss an opportunity to do something right for the nation,
for our economy, because we can't close a difference in 2014 of 1.5%. we are closer than we might think in 2014. number two, we should all agree that growing the economy should be the primary goal. the major test of a successful budget is not inc. on a page, or even the gdp to debt ratio. it is whether a government spending plan helps produce a growing economy where people in all regions and stations of life can have a path to economic success. that is what we try to do in the budget and look forward to talking about how it accomplishes economic growth. i think we can all agree the sequester is a bad idea. senator warner talked about this. those who voted for the bill said do not worry we will never get the sequester because we will never make a deal. those who voted against it largely said, i voted against it because the sequester is a bad idea. so everybody agreed at the time it was a bad idea. now in the senate, senate armed services bipartisan have said we need to replace it.
house bipartisan have said we need to replace it. everyone thought it was a bad idea at the time. everybody still thinks it is a bad idea. then there is no excuse for not finding a better path forward. i hear some people talking, we just cannot do anything about it. we should be able to fix it. fourth, we all want to replace sequester with reductions in spending. the senate has made a significant concession to the house. we don't propose increasing any tax rates. we think you are right. we need to make targeting cuts in spending on the discretionary side. we put in targeted spending cuts on the mandatory side, but we believe we have to be able to look at the tax expenditures. the recognition that tax expenditures have to be waned in is bipartisan. president obama, speaker , -- speaker boehner, all have
said we should do this. why would we reform medicare, affecting millions of seniors and not consider scaling back tax breaks to exxon mobil? alan greenspan said they are tax entitlements every bit as medicare might be. we ought to be willing to look at all the tax expenditures. if we just reduce the tax expenditures in the budget 55%- -- by five or six percent, it would create enough revenue coupled with an equivalent amount on the spending side. we could do significant work to draw the deficit down. all of my comments have basically been about one thing. i do not a view finding compromise impossible, just doing our job. when i was governor, i had divided houses for two years and two republican years. always passed very different budgets. but we found compromise that kept our government open and kept us with a aaa bond rating,
and other states do exactly the same. if bicameral state legislatures all over the united states can do this year in and year out, why can't we? we have not done a budget conference in many years. isn't this an embarrassment that we hear should resolve this behind us? our state legislators more -- are state legislators more talented or more public spirited than members of congress? that surprise people who say we can't do this. i know we can. >> fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. we of this congress and the administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. those were the words of abraham tocoln in a memorandum congress on december 1, 1862, almost exactly 150 years ago. i want to emphasize i think the comments have been wonderful. you have the essence of a solution.
but i want to emphasize this is a historic opportunity and responsibility. day, after hearing iran into an old history professor of mine i had not seen in 45 years, an american history professor. i said, professor smith, have we ever had a moment in american history with this level of on functionality -- un functionality and chaos? he said, of course. i said, when was that? he said, the articles of confederation. which the constitution, provoked the framers to write the constitution, was a time when government did not work. we are in a similar time. that is why what we are doing here today is such an important and very heavy responsibility. the best thing -- the importance of doing something. the best thing we can do for our economy is show the american people we can do it, that we can work together, that we can find a solution. two thirds of the american economy is driven by consumer
spending. consumer spending is driven by confidence. confidence is instilled by the government being at least modestly functional. which it has not been recently. it doesn't have to be a calmer henson solution, as chairman solution,mprehensive as chairman ryan and chairman murray said. at least needs to take us through september 30, 2014. my second point is the fiscal situation is serious. i know we are not supposed to do our own work, we learned that yesterday from the parliamentarian, but i could not a bitueling -- doodling about what would happen if interest rates went from 2% to 4%, which is not at all unexpected in terms of public debt. 4% would behe case, $680 billion a year, which exceeds both the defense budget and the intelligence budget combined. that is a dead hand that buys us
nothing. no schools, no head start, no jet airplanes, no defense, no nothing. interest on the debt exceeding the defense and intelligence budget combined. it crowds out everybody's priorities. conservatives and liberals alike, it crowds out everybody's verities. in addition, it is an amoral burden on our children. i want to relay one additional thought on that front. when i was governor, one of the rituals was to go to new york and kiss the ring and hope for a good bond rating and hope for a good rate for your state. i was doing that one year and talking about how prudent we were in maine, and how we did not spend much. our debt was paid off in 10 years and we were careful with expenditures. said,lyst stopped me and i want to remind you that not fixing your infrastructure is that -- debt. just the same as debt on the
books. if you are standing -- stinting on maintaining infrastructure, you are building a debt for your children and grand -- grandchildren just as if you were borrowing money. that is an important item to remember. we have seen these charts that showed exploding federal expenditures. it is all health care expenditures. that is driving the debt. not head start, not tell grounds, not the department of defense, not the cia. health care expenditures. , veteransmedicaid health benefits. that is what we need to be talking about. we are making a grave mistake if we cut those kinds of programs, whether on the defense side or the domestic side, because health care, like the interest on the debt, is going to crowd everything else out. what do we have to do? we have to deal with this debt problem, which i acknowledge is
important. but we have to do it in a way that doesn't compromise the economy. we have to do it in a way that is gradual and thoughtful and credible. but not all at once. we have a saying in maine, the path out of the woods is usually as long as the path in. it has taken us 15 or 20 years to get into this. we are not going to get out of it in the next two or three years. we have to have a credible plan that doesn't compromise the economy and the economic growth everybody has talked about. confidence, lower deficits, and make the necessary investments. i am not going to talk about tax expenditures, but they are expenditures. both sides agreed, in both budgets. the only question is, what we do with it. in the house budget they are used to lower rates. in the senate budget they are used to lower deficits. there is a compromise.
the rubicon of getting new money from tax expenditures has been crossed by all parties. let's talk about how the tax expenditures are allocated. finally, i will go back to president lincoln. december 1, 1862, talked about how to deal with change, difficult problems and how we have to clear our minds and think creatively. the best phrase i have ever encountered about how to deal with change. here is what he said -- the dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. the occasion is piled high with difficulty, and therefore, we must rise with the occasion. as our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. and then we shall save our country.
thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. i want to thank everyone for attending today's meeting. good closing. i love that speech from lincoln. i think we have had a good discussion. i think from both sides of the aisle we see signs of common ground. that is a great start. our next legislative schedule does not overlap until november 13. that is when we will reconvene at 10:00. with that, senator murray and i will consult on the next steps beyond that. at this time -- >> i want to thank all of the members for a very thoughtful statements today. i think we have a good committee here and look forward to working with you as we set in place the process of moving forward. >> this meeting stands adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
delivered the republican address. he focuses on the health care law. everybody. on thursday i addressed a conference for business leaders around the world. my pitch was simple. choose america. invest in america. create jobs in america. it speaks to my top priority as president, growing our economy, creating good jobs, strengthening security and opportunity for the middle class. over the past three and a half years, our businesses have created over 7.5 million new jobs. this week, the treasury confirmed that since i took office we have cut our deficit by more than half. but we have more work to do. we need to grow and create more good jobs faster. that is my driving focus, and i will go anywhere and do anything to make it happen. washington'se driving focus as well. i know what you often hear out
of washington can sadly charley brown's teacher, a jumble of unfocused noise out of touch with the things you care about. today i want to cut through that noise and talk plainly about what we should do right now to keep growing this economy and creating new jobs. it begins by ending what has done more than anything else to undermine our economy over the constantyears, the cycle of manufactured crises and self-inflicted wounds. i was glad to hear the republican leaders in the senate say they will not pursue and other government shutdown or threaten another default on our debt. we should not be injuring ourselves every few months. we should be investing in ourselves. one way to do that is through the budget congress starts working on this week. budgets can be a boring topic, especially on a weekend, but they can also be revealing. they expose what our priorities are as a country. for everybody to see. think about it -- we can keep wasteful corporate tax giveaways that working folks don't get, or
we can close those loopholes and use that money to pay for things that actually create jobs. we could keep harmful cuts to education programs, or we could give more kids a head start. hire more teachers in math and science and help more kids a four-day college education -- afford a college education. we can keep doling out corporate welfare, or we can invest in renewable energy that creates jobs and lowers carbon pollution. priorities, choices, that is what this is about. and the stakes for the middle class couldn't be higher. if we don't pick the right priorities now, make the right choices now, we could hinder choices -- growth and opportunity for decades and leave our children with something less. that includes the session with cutting just for the sake of cutting. that doesn't help our economy grow. it has held back. remember, our deficits are getting smaller, not bigger. on my watch their falling at the fastest pace in 60 years. fix oures us room to
long-term debt problems without sticking it to young people or undermining our bedrock retirement and health security programs or cutting basic research that helps us grow. here is the bottom line. congress should pass a budget that cut things we don't need and closes wasteful tax loopholes that don't help create jobs so that we can free up resources for the things that actually do create jobs and growth. building new roads, building new bridges and schools and airports. that creates jobs. educating our kids and our workers for a global economy. that helps us grow. investing in science and that keeps research our businesses and military on the cutting edge. that is vital for our economic future. the question is in between growth and fiscal responsibility. we need both. the question can't be how much more we can cut. it has got to be how many more jobs we can create. how money more kids can we educate?
how much more shared prosperity can we generate? because in america, our economy does not grow from the top down. it grows from the middle class out. as long as i'm president, and national mission will remain building in america where everything belongs -- everyone belongs, and everyone who works hard has a chance to get ahead. thanks, everybody, and have a great weekend. >> i am dan coats, and i have the honor of representing the people of indiana in the u.s. senate. it has been one month since the launch of the health care law's website, and many americans across the country still cannot enroll. the white house and congressional democrats have insisted time and again that the obamacare insurance exchanges would be tested, secure, and ready to go on october 1. the president even told the american public that signing up online would be as easy as a few simple keystrokes.
perhaps the president has not tried logging onto the website himself, because he and his political appointees are not required to join obamacare. let me repeat that -- the president and his team are not required to join obamacare. unfortunately, the rest of the country doesn't have that luxury. too many americans still cannot even access the online exchanges , and for the few that have, their experience is sticker shock. the president told us obamacare is more than a website. i agree. it is more than just a website, and the problems run far deeper than a few technological glitches. when middle-class families are getting hit with massive premium increases and outrageous to dr. bowles, it is more than just a website -- outrageous to dr. eductibles,is -- d it is more than just a website. when hard-working americans are seeing their hours cut and pay cuts shrink -- paychecks shrink,
it is more than just a website. when more people are losing them -- their plans that are able to enroll in new ones, it is more than just a website. take rebecca from muncie, indiana. she is one of the many americans who received a letter saying her current individual health care plan will be canceled due to obamacare. she discovered the premiums in the government-approved plans are double and triple what she is paying now. she wants to know why she can't keep her current plan, as the president promised. there are stories like rebecca's all across the country. and the administration knew this would happen. this week, the public learned that for at least the past three years the obama administration millions ofat americans will not be able to keep their health care plans. but the president has continued to promise repeatedly that if you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan, period.
tell that's over 300,000 people in florida who have received theellation notices, or nearly one million californians that may see their health care insurance plans disappear. tell that to the tens of thousands of hoosiers in my state that will see similar notices arriving in their mailboxes. this is about more than just a website. it will take more than an infomercial from the president to fix this. the failure of obamacare's launch is just the tip of the iceberg, and unless we act americans will be stuck on board the titanic. this is why republicans are going to keep fighting to protect consumers from the consequences of the health care law. despite all the problems, warning signs, and broken promises, the president and senate democrats have decided to use it with obamacare and continue to stick the american people with fines if they don't sign up.
in september, i introduced a bill to delay the obamacare mandate for a year. what would my billet combos? ?- bill accomplish it is all about fairness. the administration said they would delay penalties for employers who don't provide coverage to workers. however, the white house refuses to delay the individual mandate. as a result, families will need to demonstrate they have washington-approved insurance or face tax penalties. this simply isn't there. -- fair. delaying both mandates would provide all americans with the same relief given to businesses. if obamacare isn't working as promised, why should americans be forced to pay fine if they don't sign up? second, it is about giving americans control over the future of their health care. by delaying the mandate until 2015, americans will be able to weigh in on the health care
law's fate. until recently, many have not felt the impact obamacare would have on their everyday lives. but as paychecks fall and individuals face tax penalties in the coming months, people are rightly outraged, and they want their voices heard. americans deserve the opportunity to decide whether they want to keep obamacare or replace it with real solutions, solutions that bring down the cost of care and protect the vulnerable. the house is already taken the first step in passing similar legislation offered by my indiana colleague to delay mandates. 22 house democrats supported it. several senate democrats have reason we come out in support of delaying parts of the president's health care bill as well. there is bipartisan agreement that this law is not working. fixing a website will not fix the damage that has already been done.
americans deserve access to affordable, quality health care. so let's start over and do this right for the american people. thank you for listening. >> c-span -- created by america's cable companies in 1979. brought to you as a public service by your television provider. >> as we continue our series on "the communicators," talking with some of the telecommunications associations headquartered in washington, this week we are joined by shirley bloomfield, the head of the ntca. she is here to talk about some of the legislative and policy issues her association faces. what is the ntca, first of all? >> the ntca is a national trade association. we represent 900 small, local