tv U.S. Senate CSPAN July 10, 2009 12:00pm-5:00pm EDT
for energy. i would call it my nip manhattan projects to help -- i would call it mini manhattan projects to help make solar cost competitive with fossil fuel so the use can be more widespread or with carbon recapture or for advanced biofuels from crops we don't eat to make that fuel more competitive with gasoline. or even with fusion and green buildings. these are the kind of things we should be doing. the republican energy plan which is based on 100 nuclear power plants is a cheap energy plan. it is cheap and clean energy. the waxman markey bill, the so-called climate change energy bill, the democratic plan, is a high-cost clean energy bill. now, let's think about the kind of america we would like to
have. we want an america where we have good jobs and that will take plenty of energy. we use 25% of all the energy in the world. we want an america in which we don't create excessive carbon so we can reduce global warming. we want clean air. we want, one, too, in which we are not cerealing renewable energy sprawl where the gigantic machines are spreading across the landscape and we have spent a century preserving. and, of course, we want the hundreds of thousands of green jobs that can come from renewable energy but we don't want to do it in a way that kills tens of millions of red, white and blue jobs that most of us work in. we don't want to run our manufacturing and technology, high tech companies overseas looking for cheap electricity because of the strategy we take for clean energy. well, the strategy that's coming from the house, the democratic proposal; a high-cost strategy,
$100 billion a year burden on the economy which is unnecessary. it's high taxes. and it's more mandates and a new utility bill for every american family. what republicans want to say is, there's a different approach. that will get us to about the same place and i actually think it will get us there faster. this approach starts with 100 new nuclear power plants. that means we'll have electricity that's cheap enough so that cars can be build in michigan and ohio as well as tennessee instead of mexico and japan. it means we would be producing more of our energy at home. it means our air will be cleaner. nuclear power is 70% of our pollution-free, carbon-free electricity today. while solar and wind, for example, is six%. and i -- is 6%. and it will do what we need to do to reduce global warming. in fact, our plan should put us
within the cooa kyoto limits by. so my question would be, mr. president: why would we adopt this contraption headed this way from the house? $100 bfl -- billion of taxes on the economy, giveaways, pay offs, surprises, cow taxes -- why would we do that? why would we raise our prices deliberately when we can deliberatelier ourdeliberately . we haven't built a new nuclear plant in 30 years but plans is 80% nuclear. european plants are moving to spain. france has among the lowest electric rates in the european union and among the lowest carbon emissions in the european union. india and china are building nuclear plants with our help. our technology, and we're
helping them do it. japan is building a nuclear power plant about every year. and the president has said iran can do it. why don't we get in the game? we know how to do it. we should be doing it. so on monday i'll be suggesting at the national press club on behalf of republicans but i want to recognize right at the outset we're not trying to make this a republican -- it's a republican initiative but we don't want to end up there. we know that several of our friends on the other side of strong supporters of nuclear power. we would like for more of them to be. we would like for the president to be more. i'd like for him to be half as interested in 100 new nuclear power plants as he already is in windmills. i think he would get further with a plan that included 100 new nuclear power plans. all this needs is presidential leadership. it doesn't need a lot of money.
the financing systems that we need to help get the first six or eight nuclear plants up and going are designed so the taxpayer doesn't lose a cent. the first 100 nuclear power plants built in 20 years were built by the utilities with ratepayer money, not government money. as far as safety, as far as what do you do with the waste -- we've come a long way in the last 30 years. our plants are safely operated. dr. chu, the energy secretary, said that to me in a hearing this week. we've operated safely our nuclear reactors and our nuclear submarines since the 1950's. we sometimes forget about that. france and japan and jerl any angermany andchina want clear ap energy for good jobs they have to use nuclear power. we need to do that. and the waste? call it used nuclear fuel and
scientists assure us that used nuclear fuel can be safely stored on site and there's not very much of it in mass, safely stored on site for the next 40 or 60 years. that's step one. step two is a mini manhattan project of the kind we had in world war ii to explore all the most important ways to safely recycle the nuclear fuel so we can use it again and never creating plutonium in the process. scientists believe we can figure that out in eight, ten, 12 years. we already have acceptable ways to do it. france is doing it that way now. but while we store it, we can figure that out. the united states is smart enough to do it. so that will be our proposal on monday. all 40 republican senators are united on it. wwe're looking for support on te other side. i think more support will come
because as americans look at this $100 billion economy in cap and trade, they will say, "i hope that is not the answer." let me give one example. the economy-wide cap and trade applies to fuel, the gasoline in the car or truck. one thing we know for sure, it will raise the price of your gasoline at the pup. you'll be -- at the pump. you might be paying 50 cents more but it probably won't reduce the carbon that comes out of it. gasoline fuel produces a third of the carbon we're worried about but they have adopted in the house a device called the economy wide cap and trade that won't do anything about it. we have had plenty of testimony about it because if it goes up 10 cents or 20 cents or 30 cents that is not enough to change behavior of americans. the best way is a low-carbon fuel standards that gradually reduces the amount of carbon as people shift to other fuels and that's why we're for electric
cars because we have so much unused electricity at night we can plug-in our cars and trucks at night until we've electrified half of them without building one new power plant. so why in the world would they go to the trouble of creating this 1,400 contraption of mandates and taxes and rules that raises your prices and doesn't reduce the carbon that they're aiming at? and, of course, on the coal plants, they're 40% of the carbon. if we can build nuclear power plants the utilities will probably close some of th dirtit coal plants so we can see 40% of our look from nuclear, maybe 25% from natural gas, a little more than we have today. maybe 8% or 10% from solar, wind, geothermal and biomass and another 10% from hydroelectric, the rest from coal, a
significant amount, still. hopefully, long that way one of these mini manhattan projects will have found a better way to take carbon -- capture carbon from coal plants. this is the real clean energy policy. that would get us to the kyoto protocol. what's more important is that we want to reindustrialize this country with cheap energy, cheap electricity. we don't want to run jobs overseas. and the final part of that is the dream of energy is that it's cheap. people around the world are poor. and the single thing that would help them most is to have low-cost or no hel no-cost ener. we are on the verge of that with nuclear power. we should be pursuing that instead of deliberately raising the price of energy in ineffective way toward a goal -- in this way war global warming -
that seems to be completely lost in the manufacturing of this contraption that came from the house of representatives that will give you a new utility bill every month. so those are three republican ideas that we have that we hope our debt colleagues will be interested in. we hope the president will see them as constructive suggestions. we hope they will provide a check and balance on the excessive debt and the number of washington takeovers that we're going to see in washington. first, we congratulate general motors on coming out of bankruptcy and a good way to celebrate is to give all the stock to the taxpayers who paid taxes on april 15th, stop the political medaling in the car companies, give them an investor fan base to cheer on the new shift. second, start over on health care costs. let's start at the right end. let's start with 250 million americans who already have health care and make sure that it's good health care and they
can afford it and when we're through with reforms they can afford the government they're left with that doesn't have trillions more dollars in debt. to do that, we have four or five proposals on the table which fundamentally say, take the dollars we have and give them to americans, let them buy their own insurance rather than stuff them into government programs. and, finally, we want clean energy. but we want low-cost clean energy. we watch clean air. we watch global warming dealt with. we want american independence. but we want energy at a cost that will keep our manufacturing jobs and our high-tech jobs right here at home and not overseas looking for cheap energy. and we have a way to do it, 100 new nuclear power plants, offshore exploration for natural gas -- that's low-carbon and oil. we will still need it so we might as well use our own but we will use less and several mini
manhattan projects and research and development on solar and fusion that will help us change the energy picture maybe after tweptd years. these are exciting -- after 20 years. these are exciting times. we hope the american people will listen and we hope our friends on the other side will join us and that even the president will take some of our ideas and make them part of his agenda. i thank the president. i yield the floor. i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. bond: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator missouri. mr. bond: i ask unanimous consent that the call for the quorum be dispensed with. officer without objection. mr. bond: mr. president, i rise today to talk about a very recent event that's important to the united states and should be -- should have received a lot greater publicity than it did. i know the occupant of the chair from alaska understands the importance of southeast asia to our economy and to security for the world, and this is where the event took place. on july 8, i -- the people of indonesia reelected democratically their first -- second democratically elected president, bon-bon houo. he's known by the initials s.b.y. he enjoyed a victory, according to preliminary results by the
national election commission, of 62% of the vote based on more than 18.7 million ballots counted. he needed 50% of the ballots to win in one round. his challengers, former president sucanoputri came in second with 28% and his previous vice president joseph calla finished third with 10%. we'll have an official result released by july 27, but i think it will very clear that s.b.y. won an overwhelming election. this would put him well over the 50% threshold to avoid a second-round runoff, and those who watched southeast asia believe that such an emphatic election victory for a man who came a democratically elected president five years ago will
cement his position, quicken the pace of reform, and strengthen the country that is very important to that region and, thus, to the united states. mr. yuhonio rose under the dictator suharto who was forced out more than three years ago after more than three decades in power to position in the army, where he was a general, but he -- when he became president, he set aside his military uniform and took on civilian garb. he is a liberal who's provided much-needed stability. despite the challenges of dismal infrastructure, 30 million indonesians living below the poverty line, a country that extends through some 17,000 islands at low water and 13,000 islands at high -- at high-tide level, it is a country that is
the largest muslim country in the world. a population of 240 million people make it the fifth largest country in the world, and it has 90% of its population as muslims. so this is the key to dealing with a muslim nation. mr. yudhoyono is credited with bringing economic prosperity with an economy set to grow even in the face of the global downturn. we expect it to grow by 4% this year. and independent observers show that the presidential election was largely free and fair despite accusation of fraud by his opponents. no evidence of that, and we believe it was a free election. it is key to our national
interest because it is the keystone for southeast asia. southeast asia includes a number of countries, perhaps better known to the united states -- thailand, singapore, malaysia -- and many other smaller countries. it is the fifth largest trading partner of the united states. on top of that, it controls the straits of malaka, through which about 50% of the world oil supply travels. it also is an area which offers tremendous opportunity for economic growth for them and increased trade and economic benefits to the united states. s.b.y. was a general in the national army during the last decade of the suharto years. during that time fortunately he attended the international military education training institute at fort leavenworth,
kansas. there, leaders of friendly countries come to learn from our military how a military should operate in the modern era, where military is under civilian control, where human rights and individuals are respected, where the army does not control the political process, where the army is subordinate to and protector of the population rather than one which runs the population. during his first tenure, as i said, he faced many challenges and they were successful. he chose as his -- as his running mate mr. bodiono, who we believe raises expectations of accelerating reform in the second term of s.b.y.
bodiono is a technocrate with no party affiliation. he possesses an impeccable track record for clean governance, he's an advocate, as s.b.y. is, of market-led growth with government acting as an impartial regulator rather than as a state actor. the pair, s.b.y. and bodiono, campaigned on a ticket of clean governance and reforms to promote broad-based economic growth. this was a vote by the predominantly muslim country for a moderate, pro-democratic path that indonesia has already taken. they still face many challenges, not just poverty, economic -- the economic problems in the country. they face a long tradition of corruption which has to be dealt with. s.b.y. has taken steps to deal with that, needs to take more steps. they also face the challenge from radical islamists who want
to establish a real law, government by theocracy rather than by a popularly elected, constitutionally governed government. i'll speak more about that in a minute, but let me just give you a little taste of the rest of it. his closest rival, megawatai sucanputri, was daughter of sucarno, indonesia's founding father. miss megawatai failed to impress voters during her term as president in 2001 and 2004 and she partnered with a general who was indicted for human rights abuse and was a former son-in-law of a previous authoritarian dictator. the camp -- they ran a nationalistic campaign that was rejected for -- by the voters of
indonesia. the third ticket, vice president joseph calla, a former -- and a former chief of the -- of the army, ruaranto, championed a similar ideological platform with the difference being that joseph calla was the link between big national businesses and the government which we thought that he would probably enhance. now, this sets up an opportunity for the united states. we're dealing with a very important islamic country. i believe that it is time for us to realize that this is an area where we can make significant progress if we learn how to work with and provide significant support to a democratically-elected head of an islamic country that wants to move on the path towards greater economic ties, freer from corruption, open to trade and
business. i happen to have laid all this out in a book called "the next front," that i coauthored with lewis simons, a prize-winning -- pulitzer prize-winning reporter. it will be published by wiley books in october. we call it "the next front" because what people did not realize until recently was after 9/11, one of the indigenous terrorist groups in indonesia, jemma islamia, which we will call j.i., was a close ally of al qaeda and still is. that is a -- that is a terrorist organization that has spread from indonesia into the philippines and potentially other parts of asia. the head of j.i., or a leader of j.i., hambali, was tasked by
al qaeda with carrying out the second attack following 9/11, which was to be on los angeles. fortunately, our c.i.a., by aggressive tactics, and military tactics have presented -- prevented that attack. we captured hambali. but there is still a real danger to -- not only to peace and stability and progress in southeast asia but to the security of the united states unless we ensure that a government like yudhoyono's manages to provide security and prevent the development of terrorist training areas and agencies where they are willing and able to carry out operations to disrupt terrorist organizations. in th"the next front" we argue,i have, that the best way to do
that is through significantly increased contact between the united states and those governments which are dealing with those problems, which are on the right track, which have the foacial provide securit pote security and peaceprosperity for their own homeland -- peace and prosperity for their own homeland. when they have too many young males who cannot find a job, they are often lured by the radical religious extremists and into the terrorist organizations and convinced to undertake terrorist attacks on americans, on democratically-elected governments. we believe that steps that were taken yesterday in the foreign operations committee, under the able leadership of chairman leahy and senator gregg, put us on the path to increasing significantly the assistance and the contacts we have with southeast asia.
we increased to $65 million the amount of economic support fund assistance. they also instituted other programs to provide more assistance for peace corps. an expanded peace corps is one way we can get american sandals on the ground now so we don't have to put american boots on the ground later. the smart power says that when you are faced with a radical, violent extremist group, like al qaeda or like the taliban, which we face in afghanistan and pakistan now, you have to use force to deal with them. but at the same time you're using force, you must build up the economy, meet the needs of the local leaders so that they will work with the forces who are trying to drive the extremists out. that was the secret to the
success of general petraeus in iraq. the counterinsurgency strategy said we'll not only clear an area, but we'll go in and hold it and build, looking to the local leaders to tell us what they're doing. my son, a marine intel officer who served two tours there, said the first time he was there, they couldn't get any support from the local government because they were getting no assistance from baghdad. they were sunnis in fallujah, the -- the -- the -- the government in -- in baghdad was not sunni, they were -- they were shia and they did not provide assistance. the second time, with counterinsurgency and the government, our government, working with -- through the popularly elected iraqi government to provide support and assistance to the sunnis in fallujah, they were able to cooperate, provide assistance
and make sure they kept that area safe. we're trying to do the same thing now in afghanistan. i'm proud that the missouri national guard is leading the way and ten other states' national guards are sending over agricultural development teams to take -- to help the local farmers develop more effective means of producing crops. we saw last year in mangahar province where the missouri national guard operated for one year. they started producing much more high-value crops. as a result, they no longer needed to produce the poppies that were needed by the drug lords to manufacture cocaine, dope, and opium. they were able to drive -- to drive the poppy producers, to put them into productive use, take the -- take the drug lords out and the taliban, who
normally followed them. this is working in afghanistan in areas where we have peaceful governments that are threatened by extremist groups. it makes sense that we increase economic assistance but primarily personal assistance, one-on-one assistance from american volunteers going there, economic assistance, encouraging american firms to invest there, to help them develop small- and medium-sized enterprises, opening up free trade so that their products can come into the united states, so we can trade with them, so they can build their economies. we need significantly to increase educational exchanges between our countries and theirs. i mentioned earlier that president yudhoyono had served in the -- had served in the imet program in fort leavenworth. i first met him as president --
i met him before -- when i went in after the tsunami in banda acea and told him about -- we talked about the work we were doing to help them recover from the -- from the tragic tsunami. but i also extended an invitation for him to come to webster university in st. louis, missouri, which -- from which he'd also gotten a degree. they gave him an honor pleased and i was pleased to introduce him when he came to st. louis to webster university university. his is just one of hundreds of thousands, millions of examples, where we have developed develop- developed leaders in countries which are our allies, they can take the learning and skills and provide them the assistance they need to strengthen their country and provide not only security but a good livelihood for their
people so there will no longer be unemployed young men who are willing to take the blood money from the terrorists in exchange for a pittance for their family to conduct terrorists attacks. we think we have a great opportunity not only in indonesia but following these steps, expanding on the smart power that has been used in iraq, is now being used in afghanistan, to show that people who work with the united states can expect not domination by the united states but helping establish their own free country, their own democratically elected principles, respect for human rights and a respect for religious differences so that we respect muslims and they respect christians and jews and buddhists and hindus. that was the original idea of
the country of indonesia when it was founded in the 1940's, they laid out the principles of recognizing the diversity, recognizing there are different religions and we will learn from and tolerate differences, particularly in religion. we have a challenge facing us in indonesia and others where extremists want to establish law which have mullahs and other ayatollahs who describe very harsh penalties for women who step out of place, who appear without total coverage in broad daylight, where anybody who commits a violent crime is either thrashed or has a hand cut off or is put to death. this kind of backward approach to maintaining law and order is a threat to civilized world and progress as we know it.
in indonesia we have the opportunity to move forward. i congratulate the people of indonesia. particularly i appreciate the president and vice president on their election, reelection on july 8 and we look forward to seeing final results certified on july 27th. i hope we'll have the support -- i'll have the support of my colleagues for robust foreign operations support for smart power, the wave of the future. mr. president, i thank the chair. i yield the floor. mr. bond: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. wyden: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to vacate the quorum and speak in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. wyden: as congress focuses on health care reform i want to take a few minutes to discuss one approach that has been documented by the budget office as producing significant cost savings in american health care. that approach is increasing choices in private-sector health care and r rewarding americans o choose their health care widely. today, 85% of american
businesses that offer health care coverage, offer no choices. now, mr. president, that is not because they wouldn't like to. quite the contrary. they would very much like to offer additional private-sector choices but, for example, if you are a small business person -- and i know the distinguished senator from alaska identifies with this -- you go out into the broken private insurance market with huge administrative costs very often approaching 30% and so you can't offer choices. without choices -- and this is what i really wanted to discuss this morning, mr. president -- there can't be real competition and accountability in health care. and as a result, costs go up and care for our works and our
employers, small businesses and others, becomes less affordable. now, some in america enjoy a better system, one where they have a full array of private-sector health care choices. and everyone here in this chamber knows what that's all about because it is the system that we have as members of congress. we get a menu -- a menu of private-sector health offerings, the private plans that are offered to members of congress can't discriminate, for example, against someone with a preexisting illness. you go into a large group where you have a lot of bargaining power which means you can hold down costs and you don't face
discrimination on the basis of able. and that's particularly important, mr. president, because it looks like under some of the approaches that are being discussed in the congress there would be significant discrimination. against, for example, the older worker. i believe, mr. president, that all machines shoul americans she opportunity to be part of a health care system where they have more private-sector choices and they are in a position to benefit from the wise election of those kinds of choices. i think that will lead to reduced costs and i think it will lead to more affordable health care coverage. i am concerned that some of the legislation that is being developed in the congress would
not allow most people to have the free choice of these private health care services. in fact, it wouldn't allow them to have free choice of health care services generally whether they're in a private plan or a public plan or, you name it. so i very much hope in the weeks ahead, democrats and republicans alike, will come to see what the budget office has documented. and that is free choice of an increased menu of private-sector health care where the insurance companies can't cherrypick, where they can't discriminate against someone with a preexisting illness, where people would go into a large group where you don't have older workers being discriminated against. i would hope that democrats and
republicans would see that kind of approach with expanded private-sector choices, would help hold down health care costs and make health care more affordable for our people. the reason i have focused on this question of holding down costs, making coverage more affordable by expanding choices -- free choice, as i would call it -- is in light of the discussion that we have held this week in the senate. and i note my friend from utah, senator hatch, is here, someone who has, in my view, done so much good work on health care for children, for community health centers, for a variety of needs in our country. he and i participated in discussions particularly in the senate finance committee about how to come up with additional
money to expand coverage, particularly for the more than 45 million americans who don't have coverage. the finance committee is going to continue to grapple with it. and i only wanted to talk about cost savings through private-sector choice today because i believe that's what most americans look at first. most americans feel very strongly they want to get all our people covered. they know it is a disgrace that in a country as rich and as strong and as go as ours that close to 50 million people don't have coverage. but they're also very concerned about the idea that when you're already spending $2.5 trillion
annually on health care, before you go out and spend $1 trillion or more to pay for expanding coverage, you better have a plan to save money -- through choice, through the kinds of approaches that i've been talking about -- in order to be credible. it's not credible to go to the american people and say we need $1 trillion or more to expand coverage, expand coverage and pay this huge sum, on top of the $2.5 trillion being spent today, unless you have an actual plan to hold down costs and generate savings. that's why i hope the democrats
and republicans will look at how the congressional budget office has documented that through choice you can generate significant cost savings and make health care more affordable. and am concerned that the point i made this morning has gotten a bit lost, as the focus this week has been on the question of paying this very large additional sum to finance coverage expansion. there is no question that at a time of soaring deficits the congress must pay attention to what it costs to pay for health reform. it would be fiscally responsible -- fiscally irresponsible to pay for health reform that's not paid for, but it would be equally irresponsible to pass a
bill that's labeled "health reform" that fails to put a lid on the skyrocketing costs of our health care system. so the two go hand in hand, mr. president. first, show that you can generate cost savings for all americans through increasing choice and rewarding those who make a wise selection of their coverage. that, in my view, ought to be built around the -- what the congressional budget office has documented, which is private-sector savings through an approach very much like what members of congress have. if you do that first, then you have the credibility, mr. president, to go back and say to the american people, here are the choices in front of us for expanding coverage to the
close to 50 million people who do not have it today. what i've tried to describe this morning is a way to keep faith with the small business owners who are across this country from coos bay, oregon, to oyster bay, long island. let's keep faith with them by showing that we're going to hold down costs, and then let's also, on a bipartisan way, come together and grapple with the question that senator hatch and i were discussing with our colleagues this week, which is how to best and most responsibly finance coverage for the close to 50 million americans who don't have it. i believe we can do it. i believe that the approach that i have outlined here this morning is one path to do it.
i have never said in the course of health reform debates, mr. president, that it is my way or the highway. but i think we certainly ought to learn from the constructive analyses done by the congressional budget office that shows it is possible to get hard cost savings -- not within a decade but within a matter of years -- by expanding choice in the private sector for our people and rewarding those who make a wise selection from that menu of choices. mr. president, with that, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: i know the
distinguished senator from utahe distinguished senator from oregon has to read some things. but i would like to compliment him. mr. president, i distinguished senator from oregon is one of the leading thinkers on health care in this congress, and has been in the past. he's thoughtful, he works very, very hard, he's one of the most scribing members of the senate finance committee, and i personally respect him very much, and we have a very dear friendship, and i appreciate the remarks that he has expressed about me here today. i just wanted to say that. mr. wyden: mr. president, i have a unanimous consent request to make, and before i do that, i just want to say again how much i appreciate the senator from utah and his involvement, particularly his leadership, on health care issues. when you look at the array of
important legislation that has clearly improved american health care, senator hatch's name is all over that legislation. you think about the landmark legislation for children. it could not have happened without senator hatch. he and i have written legislation together. one of the measures i'm proudest of is the fact that we found a bipartisan way to increase coverage at community health centers bylog their malpractice costs -- by lowering their malpractice costs, and i think it was an example of how senator hatch approaches that kind of legislation. he brought together add vow educate cats of -- advocates of low-income people, community people, trial lawyers. everybody said you can't find a common ground between those kinds of organizations. and with senator hatch's leadership we were able to do it. so i'm going to make a unanimous consent request now, but i just want to tell the senator from
utah that i am convinced this year we are going to be able to pass health reform and one of the reasons we're going to be able to do it is because of both the good will and the expertise of the senator from utah, and i'm very much looking forward to working with him on that. mr. hatch: i thank the distinguished senator from oregon. i appreciate his remarks. mr. wyden: mr. president, i would ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of h. con. res. 131, at the desk, and just received from the house. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h. con. res. 131, concurrent resolution directing the architect of the capitol to engrave the pledge of allegiance to the flag and the national motto of "in god we trust" in the capitol visits' center. the presiding officer: is there tokes proceed to the motion? -- the measure? without objection. mr. wyden: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the concurrent resolution be agreed to and the the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, that any statements relating
thereto appear at the appropriate place in the record as if read, without intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wyden: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of h. con. res. 135 at the desk and just received from the house. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h. con. res. 135, concurrent resolution directing the architect of the capitol to place a marker in emancipation hall in the capitol visitors' center and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: officer is there objection to proceed to the measure? without objection. mr. wyden: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the concurrent resolution be agreed to, and the preamble be agreed to, further that the motions to reconsider be laid on the table, enblorks that any statements relating thereto appear at the appropriate lace in the record as if read, without intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wyden: mr. leader, i ask unanimous consent that the
senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar 88, srz 1107. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 88, s. 1107, a bill to amend title 28, united states coarksd and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: snr objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. wyden: mr. leader, i ask unanimous consent that the bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table with no intervening action or debate, and any statements related to the bill be placed in the record at the appropriate place as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wyden: mr. leader, ask unanimous consent that the judiciary committee be discharged from further consideration of s.1289 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 1289, a bill to improve title 18 of the united states code. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection, committee is
discharged. the senate will proavmentd. mr. wyden: i ask unanimous consent that the bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, with no intervening action for debate, and any statements related to the bill be placed in the record tea ppropriate place a if read. the presiding officer: without objection. the presiding officer: the senator from utah. hatch mr. president, i rise today to talk about the richest -- mr. hatch: mr. president, i rise today to talk about the richest man in the world, the new king of the hill. you won't find this financial titan in "forbes"'s list of the world's billion yaimples he hasn't started a megacomputer software soft like bill gates, nor has he made shrewd investments or inherited his
money like wal-mart. the billions amassed over the years by these business magnets are chump change compared to that collected by our current system who has ascended to the title of the world's wealthiest manly collecting trillions of dollars in a mere 155 daissments he now owns two auto manufacturing companies, oil sands and offshore drilling leases, interest in several hundred banks, and enough real estate holdings to make donald trump envyious. in fact managing this vast portfolio has become too time-tomb sciewmg and too much to hand. he recently said, "i don't want to run auto cssments i don't want to run banks. i've got two wars i've pot to run already. i a got more than enough to do so the sooner weak get out of that birks the better off we're going to be." i doubt even john d. rockefeller, cornelius vanderbilt or william randolph hearst could ever have dreamed of having that amount of
control. but despite his confessed eagerness to divest himself of his newfound unprecedented wealth, the world's richest man, president obama, seems reluctant to relinquish his vast holdings. i'm beginning to think he actually enjoys this, what i call obamanopoly. when taxpayers pick up the yellow or orange cards from the stacks, they will have to dig deeper to find this high stakes of obamanopoly. okay i realize that our president does not really personally own all this wealth and while i'm speaking tongue-in-cheek, my remarks do point to the very real serious consequences of an ever-expanding united states government. we are moving to -- and i might add tha that i care a great dear the president and i don't want to person lail offend him, but i think the point is made. we're moving toward what i have referred to as the europeanization of america.
on the spectrum between anarchy and a centralized government invested with complete power and control, our current government is so far removed from the limited government that our funding fathers intended that they must be rolling over in their graves. there is method to this unprecedented meddling in the private sector. as the got acquires more auto manufacturers, banks, insurance companies and other private-sector businesses, we all become more dependent on businesses. the obama administration's answer to everything is to take control of companies, increase regulation and spend, spend, spend. i might add, they're now talking about taxing -- taxing, and taxing more. not only does the groft more control over the comirks but it has a freer rein to regulate and restrict free speech. modern political thought is in many respects based on a dwings tbeen the public and private
spheres. liberal democracies using the word -- quote -- "liberal" -- unquote -- in the classical sense have historically been based on the notion that there are realms that are ripe for government involvement, the public's sphere, and others that should remain unaffected by government, the private sphere. this is one of the central ideas behind the drafting of our beloved constitution in the founding of our nation. you indeed, the founding fathers were all too aware of the problems that could arise under a government that is too expanse and i have too powerful. as james madison, one of the main architects of our constitution, argued, all men have power -- having power ought to be -- ought to be distrusted to a certain degree. let me say that again. all men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree. because of this inherent distrust of those holding power, our nation's founder devised a government that was allowed to exercise its enumerated powers.
as alexander hamilton said, "there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." that's one of the great founding fathers, alexander hamilton. well, when it comes to framing a desiring government, you must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place, oblige it to control itself. that's what hamilton additionally said. indeed, the genius of our constitution is that it provides an effective government that is to strict limitations. but it isn't only the constitution that question observe -- in the constitution that we can observe the reel rel veeps of approximate public-private distinction during the founding fathers' generation. the beliefs, practices and culture of that era further demonstrate just how separate and distinct our nation has traditionally viewed the public
and the private spheres. for instance, political philosopher alexis de tocqueville, in observing the uniqueness of american government and culture, described how private citizens in america address needs in their communities. now, he stated -- quote -- "when a private individual mediates an undertaking, however directly connected, it may be the welfare of society, he never thinks of soliciting the cooperation of the government, but he publishes his plan, offers to execute it himself, courts the assistance of other individuals, and struggles manfully against all obstacles. undoubtedly, is he often less successful than the state might have been in his position, but in the end, his private undertakings far seeds all that the government could have done." i believe this spirit of private determination still exist in our beloved -- exists in our beloved country. i've argued many times that the
american people are the most inventive and innovative people in the world. however, in an era when the president can impact huge portions of the american economy, that spirit is given little opportunity to work its imagine nick the private secto sector -- maiming i can in the private sector. indeed, james madison argues that -- quote -- "there are more instances in the abridgement of people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." i wonder how madison would have viewed some of our current president's recent decisions. mr. president, ours is a ghost from thgovernment that from they beginning has been limited in what it can do and how far it may encroach into the private sphere. those limits are not defined by the nation's economic circumstances or political whims. there is not an exception in the constitution that allows popular presidents to exercise more power than unpopular ones. ours is the oldest functioning constitutional republic on the
planet. not because of change, hope, or adaptation, but because of consistency and respect for the limitations imposed upon our institutions. i believe many of the times we have struggled have been those in which we have strayed from the principal obligation that our constitution imposes on the federal government, the obligation to control itself. one such example, one often cited by the administration and my democratic colleagues to justify the steps the president has taken, is the great depression. some may say the great depression was the last time we saw such an expansion of government power. it came in the form of f.d.r.'s new deal. as you can see, the former "time" magazine. it came in the form of f.d.r.'s new deal, which is now the model for how the majority and the president intend to make the federal government and our economy. they credit the new deal with ending the depression and claim that this new expansion will
cure our current economic ills. i hope for our country's sake that they're wrong. what new deal proponents don't mention when making their case is that even with roosevelt's policies in place, the depression lasted for over a decade and, in fact, deepened in the late 1930's. coincidentally -- and i use that word sarcastically -- the new deal's supposed effect wasn't fully realized until the united states entered world war ii. now, i don't mean to argue that our current situation is directly comparable to the great depression. i would say it is far from it. but i do hope that the democrats' long-term plan isn't to keep expanding the federal government for several years, wait for an unforeseen outside calamity to take place and rescue the economy and then credit -- take credit for the recovery *78. to be sure, roosevelt's new deal
was not without some success, but it largely failed to restore prosperity to the american economy because, instead of implementing policies aimed at fostering economic growth and expansion, it was designed as a top-down restructuring of the economy, making the government the major decision-maker in economic matters. the results were labor policies designed to preset wages at levels preferred by unions, regardless of market conditions, trade and manufacturing policies designed to set production at levels other than those set by supply and demand, and taxes on business that -- or businesses that stifled growth and prevented them from hiring new employees. sadly, the president and the majority leadership in congress have apparently decided that despite these shortcomings, the new deal should be repeated. we've seep it in the president's efforts -- we've seen it in the president's efforts to seize control of auto companies, only to hand it over
to his labor union supporters. we see it in proposals here in congress to use the bankruptcy code to basically preset interest rates for lenders. and at a time when credit is already harder to come by, that's what they're doing. and we're seeing it in the proposals to raise taxes on small businesses despite harsh economic times and rising unemployment. president obama may be the richest man in america these days, but is he doing so on the back of the american taxpayers. if history is any indication, his efforts will not leave anyone else in america any richer or better off. it is not hard to find examples of the government growing at an exceptionally fast pace. just by looking at the number of government employees as a percentage of america's population, one can easily see how we've increased the size of government. in 1815 -- in 1815, the u.s.
numbered 8.3 million people. 4,837 of which were government employees. in other words, only about 1/20th of 1% of americans worked for the government. in 2007, our nation numbered 281 million americans, 2.7 million of them government employees. that is nearly 1%, or about 20 times the numbers of government employees in 1815. 1% of the population or about 20 times the number of government employees than 1815. that percentage will certainly increase given this president's budget, which contains 121 new government programs. another indication of the growth of government power can be illustrated through the amount of government spending. the organization of economic cooperation and development figures show that government spending in the united states is
on the rise. comparable with that of many european countries. in fact, government spending has decreased in most european nations while it has increased in the united states. in france, for instance, the government spending is close to 50% of g.d.p. while england's government spending is roughly 44% of g.d.p. now, this is all spending, government spending. germany's is 45% of g.d.p. in the u.s., federal government spending has been around 20% historically. however, to accurately compare the u.s. to european nations, it is necessary to include state and local spending. once that is factored in, and much of that is driven by the federal government and the programs that we're coming up with here, but once that's factored in, u.s. government spending exceeds right now 37%, the second bar graph above, 37%
of g.d.p. and that is before president obama's stimulus package and budget for this year are taken into account. thus, it is almost a foregone conclusion that by the end of this year, total government spending in the united states will approach that of many european governments. we've jumped way ahead from the 2008 figure to the current figure on that chart, just barely behind the european countries. now, if you take a look at president obama's past five months in office, you will see the largest proposed ten-year spending increase in our nation's history. we have a stimulus bill worth $787 billion or close to $1.3 trillion if interest is taken into account. we have nearly exhausted the $700 billion troubled asset relief program, and we have a budget proposal estimated to create a $9 trillion deficit
over the next ten years. according to the congressional budget office, that's what's going to happen. to put that another way, federal spending would be nearly 24% of our nation's g.d.p. government spending alone in 2009 will reach 27%. now, that's federal government spending alone in 2009 will reach 27%. now, when you add in state and local spending, that will put us nearly on par in total government spending with germany. as you can see, we're almost right there. the american people, especially utahans, are speaking out against this increase an in the size of government. they are organizing tax-enough-already, or t-rallies, around the country and they are fed up with the government bailout after -- bailout. they correctly wonder when or if this government expansion will ever stop. that's why i have introduced two
pieces of legislation to reduce government spending. one is limitation on government spending act, the logs act, limit government spending to 20% of g.d.p. the second one is stop the tarp asset recycling act, the star act, and that's to prevent perpetual bailout and to repay national -- our national debt with returned tarp funds. don't just take them and spend more. give them back to the taxpayers. give them back to the government so that we can pay down some of these deficits and some of these problems that are going on. they're two very important -- important bills. let me just discuss them again. the limitation on government spending act would limit government spending to the national historic average of 20% of g.d.p. while i believe government spending should be much lower than that, the least we can do is ensure that government spending does not get out of control like the way it is currently headed.
further month, the stop tarp asset recycling act would require all funds paid out of the troubled asset relief program or tarp -- and that amounted to $700 billion -- all those funds that are returned are paid back, they must be placed in the general fund to pay down the anything's debt instead of being recycled back into tarp or more spending. otherwise, tarp could become a revolving slush fund for the treasury department to bail out or seize companies. now, it's a time that we put an end to that. the obama administration's honeymoon is over. more americans than ever agree that we need to rein in this administration's runaway government spending, and i might add, we better be prepared for massive taxation too. their belief is to spend and tax and build the federal government at all -- at all costs. more americans than ever agree that we need to rein in this
administration's runaway government spending. according to a "washington post"/abc news poll, barely half of americans are now confident that president obama's $787 billion stimulus measure will boost the economy. think about it. barely half of all americans. furthermore, a "usa today" poll reveals that a 51% majority disapproved of the job he has done in controlling federal spending. even president obama agrees with this. after the massive amounts of government spending he has signed into law, president obama had the audacity to proclaim in an april 18 weekly address that we need to restore responsibility and accountability to our federal budget. who are we kidding? the president cannot put us on a course to a $9 trillion deficit and then tell us that we need to be more fiscally responsible. that is akin to someone killing their parents and then complaining about being an or
orphan. in the same address, the president continued this hypocrisy by saying -- quote -- "we are on an unsustainable course and we need to restore the people's confidence in government by spending their money wisely." but, wait, it gets even better. after signing into law a $787 billion stimulus and a $3 trillion deficit, he nobly stated -- quote -- "if we want to spend we, need to find somewhere else to cut." now, if you doubt the hypocrisy, you do not have to look further than the current health care debate or the cap-and-trade program he proposes to pay for by leveling -- levying even more taxes and the closest he has come to cut spending is calling on the department heads to find $100 million in savings -- $100 million. i guess you would call that "pocket change," that we can believe in. mr. president, enough is enough.
no more spending. no more taxes. no more government expansion. we are not looking for a new, new deal. we are look for smaller, more efficient government. we are not looking for another government bailout. whatever happened to ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country? where obam obama monopoly is concerned, game is over. as former president gerald ford said, a government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away. mr. president, i'm really concerned about what's going on. i admit that president obama is a very, very attractive human being. i personally like him. but i think this tax-and-spend set of policies that we're seeing is taking our country
down to the point of ruin. and we've got to stand up and stop it. i got to trillion you, if we don't do it, our kids and our grandkids and our great grandkids and elae and i have all three, they're going to be paying a huge, huge price. with that, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum be dispensed. .the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: mr. president, are we in a period of morning business? the presiding officer: yes, the senator is correct. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to executive session to consider calendar number 195, 196, 261, 262, 269, 270, 271, 272, 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, 278 and 279,
the nominations be confirmed en bloc, and they be laid on the table en bloc and any statements appear in the appropriate place in the record as if read and the president of the united states be immediately notified and the senate resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent when the senate completes its business it adjourn until 11:00 am on monday, july 13 and following the prayer and pledge the journal of proceedings be approved, the morning hour be deemed expired, time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day and the senate proceed to calendar number 89, s. 1390, department of defense authorization bill. provided for under the previous order. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: on monday, the senate will begin consideration of that bill, the defense authorization bill and i expect next week to be a busy week as we work through amendments to this bill. under previous order, at 4:30 p.m. on monday, the senate will
there has been a lot of talk about the staffs the judiciary committee not potentially having enough time between the time the documents have been submitted and the hearings take place. it did you feel when you were staff director during the alito and roberts nominations your staff had enough time to go through the records available to you? >> it's difficult, even with a fairly large staff if you've got somebody who sat on the bench for example as long as justice alito had, it is difficult to
make it through all the cases. when your not only going through the cases, you're going through somebody's record like in his case when he was u.s. attorney in new jersey and you look at some of these records when there were actually practicing law in some of the government so it is difficult to get all that information digested. you have to rely to a certain extent upon with the media does and reading newspaper accounts and newspaper stories it's impossible to figure everything out even with a fairly large staff especially given the fact you're focused more on the person's legal record and frankly the way these nominations have gone, there is an expectation sometimes the expectation isn't fulfilled but there is an expectation if you are republicans for example and you have a republican administration nominating somebody that you're going to be principally responsible for defending that person when he or she is nominated. any other role the democrats play, they are the loyal opposition but they require to be much more searching in terms of questioning and more concerned about the nominee's
would truman would do. there was a press conference the day before. what are you going to do if the jews to clear state as the said they are going to do, truman said i don't know, we have to see. but he already decided and had told only weizmann i am going to support a jewish state when they announce its creation. next to london for prime minister's question time. every wednesday while parliament is in session british prime minister gordon brown takes questions from house of commons members. because he's attending the g8 summit in italy deputy labor party harmon is standing in for him. this week the topics were economic. the half hour session begins with a tribute to british soldiers killed in afghanistan. >> order, questions to the prime
minister, malcolm wicks. >> number one, mr. speaker. >> mr. speaker, i've been asked to reply. before i take my honorable friend's question i am sure the whole house will wish to join me in sending our sincere condolences to the families and friends of the servicemen killed in afghanistan and the last week. they were lieutenant commanding officer of the first battalion in the welsh guards. the trip joshua hammond, second battalion, the royal tank regiment. lance corporal david dennis. private robert laws of second battalion, the mercy in regiment. lance corporal day nelson, first battalion in the welsh guards. captain benjamin brown of 22nd engineer royal engineers. and the soldier from the light tribunes killed and helmand province yesterday. we owe these men and all who
lost their lives in service our deepest gratitude. they serve our country and the people of afghanistan with distinction and desperately difficult conditions ahead of the very important august presidential elections in that country. they will never be forgotten. mr. speaker, i hope the house will understand if i take a moment to also offer my condolences to the families and friends of those killed in the fire on friday. in answer to my right honorable friend, the government plans to publish a paper on the care and support shortly. >> malcolm weeks. >> mr. speaker, i know all members of their condolences to the families who've suffered such losses in afghanistan those brave men, but also closer to home and the honorable navy's constituency. given that the costs and the care associated with the aging of our already elderly population is in many respects
an unfinished chapter in the history of the modern welfare state and in fact affects many families in croydon and all constituencies. what the leader of the house agree with me that we now need to develop quickly a robust social policy that would allow the spreading of both risks and costs? >> i very much agree with my right honorable friend. since he was in the family policy center study has done the attention of the house to these issues with an aging population the number of those over 85 is set to double over the next two decades. this is a major challenge for families and it is a major challenge for the government. we will bring forward a green paper which will have the objective of insuring that there is independence into place in the provision of services, that there is the highest quality of services available to everybody and that is affordable for both the and vegetable, the families and the public. >> mr. stevan.
>> mr. speaker may i first associate myself with the remarks the right honorable lady made for those that lost their lives in afghanistan and an camberwell. but mr. speaker is it not the government's policy on funding of long-term care accurately summarized as being to procrastinate and to delay? can the right honorable leader confirm tony blair promised action, action on this subject to the labour party conference in october, 1997. since then we have had the review, zero base review, we've had several comprehensive spending reviews and we have had a royal commission. but we have had no action. when will the government deliver the action the prime minister promised 11 and a half years ago? >> this green paper is going to be a very important next step,
but it is not true that we have taken no action since we've been in government. we've recognized the importance of family care. those who go to work as well as care for older they're like to request flexible working for those who are caring for older relatives. that is action. that is why we have increased resources for the health services for the many older people who need health care support. that's why we've increased resources for social services, so that there is a summary care available to people who remain independent in their own home as well as social services residential care. yes, we will take further steps. we will consult on the challenges ahead but it is absolutely not true to say that we have made no progress over the last ten years. we have. >> mr. delroy. >> thank you mr. speaker. i join offering condolences to those who lost their lives at
home and abroad particularly joshua hammond who has a very large family in plymouth mourning his loss. i have a large number of hard working public sector workers, cleaners, cooks, health care workers, administrators, public sector workers have a pension of 7,000 pounds a year. it was my right honorable friend understand their anger and concern windows rather more pensions under modest pay come under attack as being somehow unfair or unreasonable? >> i agree with my honorable friend. we are strongly committed to public services. we are strongly committed to the work that public servants do particularly those who work part often for very modest incomes and we make no apology at all for pensions, public service pensions remaining an important part of the reena reaction package of public sector workers. >> william hague.
>> mr. speaker, on behalf of the opposition, may i also send our condolences to the families of the six people including three week-old baby and to other children who died in such tragic circumstances in the right honorable lady's consists constituency on friday and was deeply into her constituency. i join her of course paying tribute to the seven servicemen killed in afghanistan. in the last week. the soldier killed on tuesday and from the royal engineers killed on monday. lance corporal dan ellison, lance corporal david dennis, private robert laws and schricker joshua hammond both aged 18 and left colonel rupert who was the commanding officer as she has said on the first battalion welsh guards. given these casualties this week should we not particularly remember this week that our forces deserve our gratitude and admiration. and is the government satisfied that everything possible is being done to provide the best
possible protection and mobility for our forces including the earliest possible increase in the number of helicopters and armored vehicles? >> the right honorable gentleman is absolutely right, that we must do everything possible to ensure the greatest protection for our troops in the field. and there is no complacency on that. we have increased the number of armored vehicles that have been procured and brought to availability for our troops. but we are not going to be complacent, they're must be more. we've increased the number of helicopters by 60% over the last two years, but we recognize we should do more. and the reason why we want to do more, not only for personal protection but in recognition of the importance of their mission in afghanistan. not only to that country, but to the region and also for the sensitivity of this country as well. >> william hague. >> mr. speaker, we all recognize it is important to do more, and
we will hold the government to the commitments she has made. moving on to government policy more broadly, what she put into play and english for every one the prime minister's assertion last week that total spending will continue to rise and will be 0% rise in 2013? [laughter] >> well, the right honorable gentleman will know that all of the figures are set out in the budget book. [laughter] and our commitment is very clear. we are investing now public investment to make sure that we held back out the economy get through this recession to make sure that the recession is shorter and shallower than it would otherwise be. and that means backing up businesses. it means protecting people's jobs. it means helping the unemployed. and it means ensuring that people don't face repossession. and we are taking the action, and he wants to concentrate on numbers because he wants to of wheat facing up to the fact that
they have got proposals to cut public investment now exactly when -- mr. speaker, they have proposals to cut public investment this year, just when the economy needs it most. and i understand that chancellor has revealed last week that he spends 40% of his time thinking about economics. it is amazing that he spends 40% of this time thinking about doing absolutely nothing. >> william hague. >> well -- perhaps the leader of the house could spend 100% of the next minute trying to answer the question. [laughter] -- that she was asked about what the prime minister meant by a 0% rise. is it not now clear that every single word of the assertion that he made last week is wrong? that total spending is not going
to rise? and that there would not even be a zero sum% rise as he bizarrely called it in 2013 about figures he mentioned in the government's own books show that there would be a full and since so many supporters of the government are now calling for honesty about spending shouldn't she finding herself to do with the prime minister refuses to do, which is to actually admit the fact of the government's own figures, will she come down on the side of reality and so on the government's own figures total spending is set to fall. >> welcome our honest and committed you -- [laughter] is that we need -- is that we need to invest now to back up the economy in order to make sure that the situation, not only for individuals who have worked hard to build up their businesses, not only to protect them, but to make sure that the situation is not worse in the longer term.
and how telling it is that they only want to talk about figures in five years' time to distract attention away from the action that they do not back up that we are taking now. >> well, there's no need to talk about the figures in five years' time. since the government's own figures show that capital spending will fall from 44 billion pounds this year and fall every year to 22 billion in four years' time. isn't the point that capital spending is being kafta and absolutely indisputable fact? >> i think that the right honorable gentleman knows full well that the reason for the figures is because we are bringing forward capital spending. we are not cutting capital spending. we have increased it, and we are bringing it forward because just as, for rick sable, the private
sector construction industry is facing dire times, we think is right to bring forward the capitol investment in public construction not only for the sake of the children's centers and schools and hospitals and homes that will be built, but also because of the jobs that it will create. and the truth is that it is a big distinction, because whilst we are investing in bringing forward the capitol investment, they would actually pull the plugs on the public sector just when the private sector is struggling. >> mr. speaker, the statement by the leader of the house that we are not cutting capital spending, when the government's own figures show capital spending declining from 44 to 22, is exactly the sort of statement that damages the credibility of politics and credibility of the government. it is no wonder they are abandoning the strategy when they won't admit 22 adis half of 44. [laughter] is she aware the figures from the studies show that the level of capital spending from 2013 as
a proportion of national income would be below the average for the whole 18 years of the last conservative government? that is the capitol spending that they are intending to deliver. and isn't it also true that the huge increase and in debt interest and the rise and on employment on the government's own figures mean that it's also an indisputable fact their projections lead to a departmental spending falling heavily over the next few years? why can't she admits the facts? >> he mentions capital spending and wife made it clear we are bringing it forward. he mentions on employment and we are taking the action to protect people's jobs and unemployment would be growing if we would have made the cuts that he's suggesting. and when it comes to the estimates of unemployment let me say the estimate is if we hadn't taken the action we've taken to back up business and protect
people's jobs there would have been 500,000 more people who would have lost their jobs if we hadn't have taken the action and once again, he talks about figures in 2013 and 2014 and let me say to him that the action that we are taking now will make sure the public finances are in a better position because we will prevent the recession being deeper and longer. >> mr. william hague. >> the right honorable lady says capital spending is not being caught and unemployment isn't growing. it is no wonder the government is deeply out of touch with the people of this country and with the condition of the economy. isn't it the case that any government elected in the next election is going to inherit public finances and an unbelievable mess after 12 years of a prime minister who spent everything in the boom who fought the boss would never occur who believed it abolished the economic cycle now capital
spending is being caught, total spending is being cut, departmental spending is said to be cut, those are the government's own plans and aren't those labor cuts being brought in by a labor chancellor made necessary by the actions of a discredited labour government over the last 12 years? >> we have rebuilt hospitals over the last 12 years. we have rebuilt schools. we have paid down debts, and we are now facing the challenge -- yes, yes -- >> that is simply far too much millrace. the honorable members need to call down. leader of the house. >> and yes, we have paid down debt so that we have the second lowest debt in the g-7. and we are responding to the challenge of this recession. and the truth is it's the opposition that are embarrassed about their past, failing to face up to the challenge of the present and have nothing to offer the future.
>> dennis brown. >> thank you mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i associate myself with the words of condolence for the professional soldiers who've given their life in afghanistan the last week and also those who lost their lives in that durham dreadful incidents in the constituency. mr. speaker, thousands of people in scotland, six societies the scottish parents, scottish enterprise have joined in supporting the work force in my constituency and the johnnie walker, 700 of them and those who work in the distribution plant in -- seeking to persuade have been joined by members across the house from all parties in scotland. seeking to persuade not to discard loyal, hard-working,
profit making contributions to their business in the name of improved shareholder volume. what my right honorable friend join them for government support to that campaign? >> i know that my right honorable friend, the scottish secretary, is meeting the chief executive today and will be urging him to think again about the proposed closure of their kilmarnock plan, as my right honorable friend requests. this announcement is very bad news for the workers and their families and will be a body blow. my right honorable friend will also be seeking assurance to commit to looking seriously at alternative options, the workers and scottish enterprise come up with. >> could i add my condolences to the families of the servicemen who died in afghanistan and also the victims of the fire.
welcome the minister back to her temporary job running the country can i express the hope that when she was briefing the prime minister for his talks with his friends she remembered to enclose an eye italian translation of her progressive views on gender equality. [laughter] my question is about public sector pay. how does the government expect low-paid public sector workers, which she has slightly just defended, to accept restraint in an environment where the government is allocating management, senior civil servants, large salaries, generous pensions, and very large bonuses and reaching 10,000 pounds a head. see restraint at the top of the public sector. it's very important in difficult
times that those in leadership position in the public sector take responsibilities and are responsible. >> why is it that two-thirds of all senior civil servants expect to receive bonuses to get out of bed in the morning? it's a principle. and can i address the issue of the most highly paid public servants which are those who are work inpublicly owned and guaranteed banks. why this the government simply not stop bonuses within those banks. these are publicly owned banks. owned by the taxpayer. why doesn't the government simply say no? >> well, the government has made very clear indeed that we want to see an end to >> thugged government has made very clear indeed where people have enriched themselves while gambling with other people's money and has given a themselves big bonuses as
reward for failure. we expect action from the financial-services authority or the chancellor will make a statement about that shortly. >> mr. speaker until recently i have the honor to be part of the u.k. use parliament to bring together proposals for a consultation to bring together 1 million at people between the ages of 11 and 18 to get their views on democracy. what helped me with the use parliament to get the consultation to make sure this project is as successful as we needed to me. >> i agree. we need to do everything we can to increase the involvement of young people in politics and i congratulate her on the consistent work she has done on this issue. it is important that at last the house has decided when the house is not sitting the u.k.
it youth parliament can use this chamber and when we see the way they conduct of their proceedings we may learn something from them. >> phase-in mr. speaker. satisfying the government's strategy is by growing faster than anything else, more than doubling the stock in the last 40 years be at the people have gotten dramatically worse. rather than going on for another 20 years of a failed strategy which is turned into a developer's paradise, can the government give the power to concentrate on beating the now desperate needs of local families? >> i think we went to make sure his region has not only the power but the resources to make sure there is more affordable housing for rent and for people to buy part of that is why in the budget this
year we have 400 million pounds to provide more homes to rent or to buy. and the program we announced last year we put further another 1.5 billion pounds over the next two years and we can have 20,000 energy efficient affordable homes for young families some of which will come to cornwall. >> there was some concern to celebrate the 20th anniversary with a guest speaker. but jobs will be ended on the casual is setian of the board. when the lord was minister in this house there was an insurance grumpy a return. but to encourage the employers
to return to the negotiation table to secure the future so that we can continue employment for the future. >> i know my honorable friend fights heart for the workers and those industries dependent on the constituency and i will raise the question he is asking with my right honorable friend in the department and say they should be you to take that for hour. >> this several soldiers killed in afghanistan that were given board at the beginning brain 170 killed since 2006. many people work of questioning the wisdom of the war and can you could tell the house precisely what is our military objectives in afghanistan? >> the teenine gentlemen it
makes eight important point* indeed. we don't want anyone to be in doubt of the importance of this mission in afghanistan. it is important to make sure in the mountainous region around afghanistan and pakistan we do not have a crucible for the development of terrorism that not only threatens those people and of the region and of the whole world. i think this mission is important for the education of people. there are 6 million children in school in afghanistan where an early 2001 there was only 1 million. our troops have paved the way working with other international forces to make that possible. there paving the way for economic development, a more secure democracy as well of security in the region and of the world and i think we are very clear we want to make clear to our soldiers and their families and people in
this country we have no doubt about the importance of the mission in afghanistan. >> as my friend is aware we have hard-pressed families and businesses struggling to pay the price of fuel at the pump. it has gone up substantially. from the conversation from the prime minister and chancellor can she defer the duty increase come to come due in september? >> there is a real concern about the increase of fuel prices not only that cost of petrol at the pump but also the effect of people in their homes and businesses with the increase in oil prices. we have to make sure there is fairness that we protect these people from the increase from proper transparency and there is help for those who struggle to make ends meat. >> thank you mr. speaker over
300 members have signed the motion on equitable life for policyholders the mast a majority are part of the groups seeking justice for equitable life which i chair. unfortunately chad waite two has been appointed to review the compensation scheme refuses to come before us. would she use her good offices to ask him to reconsider so he can be accountable to us and the british people? >> we all believe strongly there should be just as with the equitable life policyholders who have fallen victim to mismanagement that stretches back to the 18th and also failure as the regulatory system which the government has apologized and recognizes the need to set up extra compensation. in order to establish how we should do that following the
ombudsman's report we asked him to report on making progress on setting up the framework for compensation and the chief secretary of the treasury has had debates in westminster hall and we will make sure the house is notified. it is an important issue we will make sure it is for equitable life policyholders. >> may i welcome the plans and funding is set for word last week to enable local authorities to build 150,000 homes over the next 10 years? does she have plans to ensure that those houses will be built to the highest standards and highest possible codes of sustainable homes? will she ensure a new local authorities house building is sustainable and low energy housing for this country? >> my honorable friend is
right. the new affordable home building program is not only the homes it will provide, not only the jobs that will thereby be created, but also these will be homes that help reduce carbon emissions and help people who live in them at curbing their fuel bills. that will be addressed in the future program. >> and march the prime minister told us to expect compensation than the justice secretary said to have a recess that is a few weeks away can we have a statement in the next few weeks without further delay? >> we do want to make sure that there is a statement over the question of compensation for those who have developed plans part of this is one of the many diseases that can be
terminal that come on people through the results of the work they have undertaken we want to make sure they have proper compensation following the lord's judge 1/2 to view the compensation system to make sure it is fair to all. >> fell last question. i am very disappointed the victims have not done compensation unfortunately of the scottish parliament [inaudible] make a statement? >> i think my honorable friend has made the position absolutely clear they think this is a question of fundamental justice. they want the government to get on with that. >> thank keira.
[laughter] [laughter] >> about one year ago i remind you know when has left -- left office than when they started. the response is it would not happen on his watch for is the government still holding two w.? [laughter] >> the government has actually faced a the global economic crisis that the government is ensuring the country comes through and no labor government has done more to protect people from unemployed member of the is concerned about unemployment then why doesn't he backed the public-sector that would create jobs? why doesn't he back the investment of job centers which we're taking action on and his party would cut it? >> with the shortage of
affordable housing that many young people are being priced out of their own city. i welcome the prime minister's announcement for an extra 1.5 billion pounds four affordable and energy-efficient bulbs. will he speak to halls of the community agency and also discuss how the additional money could benefit our city? >> i will ask that head of the housing and community agency to be your counsel. and is in a telling mr. speaker that across the house from the limbo -- liberal democrats and labor benches across the house we have had people calling for more affordable house building but we have the total silence. they would not only be not putting in the extra investment they would be cutting back on the investment in which it is sorely needed. i can assure we will be taking action to ensure there is more
in chicago scheduled about 45 minutes from now 3:00 p.m. eastern. he was appointed by rod blagojevich to finish our obama's term in the u.s. senate record today he is expected to announce he will not seek reelection. when his term expires in 2010. live coverage from chicago when the news conference starts on c-span2 birkenau a conversation on health care from today's "washington journal". >> joining us is julienne we have been talking about c3 sotomayor, what is your thoughts? >> the supreme court nominee is in a unique position because the obama administration has clearly pictor without too many problems and a senator could democrats rallied behind heard calling her the next light at the bench but in reality i do not know her qualifications
are as good as some of the early years republicans are trying tube raise a stink that she is far more liberal than justice souter but i am not sure she has done anything invesco. >> host: should they? >> guest: i don't think so. many republicans disagree they think they should fight their battles and it is important to protest the things that they don't like. i do not like a lot of her decisions either but the numbers do not add up in terms to launch meaningful opposition. soap pick your losses. >> host: health care is going on in. do like the direction of the senate? >> guest: what do you think, peter? [laughter] i am not a big health-care plan of the legislation proposed. or the way it is being done. they are sliding it through
with no bipartisan consensus and it is frankly disappointing for an administration a promise to me as open and transparent as obama did. this week when republicans held a round table on health-care there were the only was there and taking messages from twitter and on-line universe as well as dr. anders is. i was there and they got heated response is. this is the kind of thing is that i like to see the and the staged town halls other than predetermined questions. >> host: when was this? >> guest: that was on monday. >> host: if you have a maturity with the house and the senate than what's is the purpose? >> guest: good will. why not? just lock them all because they do not have enough? in reality they do need some support. i know that they and the 60
votes but that is not the end of the world to form a coherent consensus in our nation's most legislative a body. it would be nice to bring all bets to the table. >> host: why are you a conservative? >> guest: because limited government is a priority for me. the more government you have less freedom that you have. it is important to maintain basic human services rhodes, a police forces, emergency care, me up but stop there and let me live my life. >> host: we have been talking with our viewers this morning if you want to talk to jillian bandes from town hall.com.
>> politically what position end? >> guest: generally or specific? >> host: just generally to one al franken taking the seat is the last job but not really because we still have to be diligent in terms of putting new policies out there and making sure our voices are heard in the senate and elsewhere. the house was lost long ago but we still have some fight and it is important to keep up. >> host: another new poll shows amount republican voters and mitt romney is currently leading with sarah palin and then mike huckabee is third. >> guest: the most interesting thing is sarah
palin in the second place. i have a soft spot for her but i would imagine not everybody does. she has been highly controversial and i think for latest move with bewildered not just your critics it bewildered people like me who are thinking where you doing? your bowling out now? i did not understand and there goes our hero with no job lined up with a shady press conference but i think at the end of the day we can trust her political decision -- decision-making then what her critics differ. she wanted to do what whether or not it is because of a great political scandal that will break tomorrow or because she needed more time with her son. you cannot predict that. i will try not to go there and say i trust you. >> host: our public in line
from charlotte north carolina. >> caller: good morning. i want to make a comment in regard to the health-care debate. i found my representatives yesterday and say somebody should bring to the floor the idea that every senate or congresspersons should go on record the upper down those stating they will read the upcoming bill that comes out the matter what it looks like and not a staff member or a quick version should be put out for them to read. i don't care if it is 15,000 or 20 pages. we're talking about turning our health-care into something that looks like canada and in my opinion that is not too much to ask and we need to have the up or down vote that i promise to read the bill, not my staffer. we need to hold president obama to his transparency with five days having the bill up
there so every american can see what we're getting and not trying to put 300 north 500 pages up in the middle of the night. that does not count. i do not trust them. >> guest: when you read the bill will you call it and let me now what is says so i don't have to go through the 1500 pages that i agree it will be? yes. transparency is crucial and i wish, republicans in the senate are getting 72 hours to read the bill after it has been penned by careered democratic staffers. you tell me if that is transparency? i am on board. >> host: you have generated a couple of quick tweets :. >> guest: no.
i believe the demographic that is coming over two hours team is the hispanico and they are one of the fastest growing populations in the united states. we have a number of religious african americans signing on or converting this bill especially now that obama's poll numbers are dropping slightly it does not bode well for future elections it shows a trend toward smaller government and less government programs or more transparency or leased some length of time between the proposal and the implementation of the proposal. you need greater access and that is what republicans are promising. >> host:. >> guest: that is a great question.
i am more human life, black or white, that is when i will jump on board for i don't think maintaining a pro-life position is and i will men in the slightest. >> host: the next call comes from alexandria of virginia, a democrat. >> caller: good morning. does a guest think the republicans would be better to court the media? sino it sounds like something we should not have to do in a free society, but the reality is the media is the element just like any other. right now they are down on the g.o.p. but certainly when george bush was rushing us into war, they were up on the g.o.p. and they basically, i think the government, i mean the and media is trying to make sense for what they did getting us into the iraqi war.
they admitted they did played a role that we're not scrutinizing the president like they should. another question is it a recent phenomenon that congress does not rebuild or is that always the case? if so, how did we get things done in the past if they never read bills? >> guest: in response to your first question, no, you do not have to court me i would prefer that you would not. i also don't believe i am paying penance for the iraq war. maybe that is a little selfish but i think the media follows trends so when we all jump on board of and is a weapons of mass destruction that is a herd mentality and you can certainly fall for indicting courage twitter and evil you can shoot me an e-mail at town hall.com and saying this is
what i should be covering and i will follow your suggestion but in response to your second question congress does not always read bills to be completely honest i am not entirely familiar with the history when they stopped but i would imagine it happened some time when the bill number every 25,000 and 6,000 pages would probably be the upper limit of their ability to read them. >> host: and virginia, independent line. >> caller: i have two questions. she said earlier that sotomayor is not smarter than all of the supreme court justices. so to compare her background can she name one or two of the judge's that compare to her background? number two question, when the
republicans are in the majority, democrats [inaudible] pass at 95%. can you tell me with the republicans cooperating with the democrats concurrently? thank you. >> guest: that was not entirely clear with the first query but the second with regards to co-operation i am certain they have made overtures. i know for a fact they readily go to house and democratic or senate leadership and it tries to make their own policy proposals. in terms of cooperation with this congress vs. the last, call me a cynic but i think it is generally about the same. they do what they can then throw in the cards. >> host: we're in your view can the republicans siphon off
support for the democratic party and president obama? >> guest: republicans are making strong inroads with cap-and-trade and the economy. that is demonstrated by their successful attack on the gitmo detainee release where they o or obama's was going to release the guantanamo prisoners into the united states and republican leadership successfully launched a media campaign to stop it that they are releasing terrorists into our streets probably can follow that model and explain the problems of cap-and-trade and the problems with future stimulus we may be successful in it chipping away at what began as one of the most big is a part of history with the obama waste. >> host: how is michael steele doing in your view? >> guest: i am loath to criticize too strongly but
there is certainly room for improvement. he made a few verbal blunders and quite frankly the last election when he was promoted, i am not sure as to the mechanics of that. there is a lot going on behind the scenes but it would be better publicized headband kept in the dark. but i do think it is essential to have his face on the republican brand right now and i am looking forward to see what he does in the future. . . good morning. caller: good morning. my question is, today, they plan on pushing through on healthcare. i have seen it on c-span. they are telling people to call through to their senators today.
they are not going to have time to read it. they will pass the stimulus and everything else. the republicans are not even going to be able to read it. what i don't understand is with us being in such a crisis and the economy being so bad, how come they have to fight so much, i don't comprehend it. to me, they ought to be trying to solve the problems and help the people. the people. >> guest: well, i think that's part of the problem with forging ahead with health care and the like is that we are in such a bad deficit and there is so much spending on already. that simply ramming things through is certainly not the answer. a little more time and patience
and review would benefit the legislation. and in turn benefit you. so asking why they are stalling and why they are launching opposition, well, it's important to take your time and consider the options and voice your concerns to your local representatives. >> host: where did you grow up? >> guest: i'm originally from camp of florida and i am an alum of north carolina at chapel hill. go heels. >> host: how long have you been with townhall and where else were you writing prior? >> i have been with townhall for about four months but before that i was at an ill-fated but very enjoyable obligation called culture 11. and previously i was with rollcall under the esteemed columnist there. >> host: and were you active in politics during school? dash i was always active in journalism. politics not as much but commentating is more fun. >> host: next call and again
once again the pronunciation of your last name? bandies trantwo. day, democrat. >> caller: yes, i have a question about to make sure the comment about al franken and now, you know it didn't look like by your expression that you are happy that he was in. and i was just, how do you feel about what's going on with senator in c. and a governor from south carolina? and also one last thing, do you want less government and i was just curious if you voted for bush last election? you know, when he was in. i will hang up and thank you very much. >> guest: date, there is no fun to be had in republican stands that unless you are a democrat. so i guess that means it's a ton
of fun for you. it's been embarrassing. what am i going to say? i mean, instant bank $96000, despaired a $96000 to pay off his mistress? >> host: should he resign? >> guest: oh, yes. tomorrow. get him out of my house. >> host: what about governor sanford? aspect i think sanford should go to. honestly, i'm willing to give the republican leadership to the benefit of the doubt if they haven't kicked them out yet. the south carolina legislature has censored him but didn't ban him from his job. if they trust in sanford then by golly, i guess i will sign on also. >> host: why do you think private behavior, or is it not private behavior by a public official, should be cause for resignation? aspect like to be a delightedly that it that it should be? especially on the republican side, this is sort of a pillar of our party which is, you know,
faith and family and we have coveted these things for so long. i'm not to say democrats don't have those things also. of course they do. but with the level of emphasis we place on those issues it seems like we can do a little better job making sure that there are no skeletons in our closet. >> host: next call for trantwo. livingston, montana. john, independent. year on. >> caller: you know, there's a lot of transparency. what i didn't realize, the dod, the military has a lot of transparent to. i wouldn't believe, i went on the computer. if you go down to contracts awarded on a daily basis, they have for the last three days, i was so shocked, i can't believe the money going out. it's just shocking. i would invite you to go on that website. and i just can't believe the money that's being awarded on a daily -- let me give you the
last 30 days of who got contracts, where basically arms manufactured. it's very interesting site. i can lead you right in the technical, but my gosh, that's hard cash, of course. >> host: plymouth, indiana. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. i appreciate that i've been a lifelong republican. i have been one of those extremists who believe in the bible and guns and all that stuff. so i have already been labeled. i believe that the republican party has to go back to its roots. george bush was not my kind of a republican. i am a very conservative, small government, strong defense, strong for the minute secure secure the border because our republican party is trying to appease everybody it's almost like a chameleon. when you mentioned earlier the hispanic vote or the african-american vote. those are all racist statements that we don't even be. let's not try to pander to anybody. let's not try to put on a happy
face or a mass for this party or that party. let's should be true american spirit let's say that our borders must be defended. let's say that we must follow the law of the land. let's say we must not spend money we don't have. let's tell people the word no, we can't afford a. syrupy and would be a perfect example. and i also think newt gingrich would be an absolute wonderful republican nominee for president. and the one question i wanted to ask your guest and it'll agree to have her on, is why in the republican party that i sat and voted for for eight years allow the borders to be open and millions of illegal immigrants pouring across the country, why did they fail us by not defending our borders? if you can answer that question, that's the million-dollar question for the day. thank you for your time and patience and have a good day. >> guest: thanks. i will look for your check. thanks for chastising me with regard to the demographics. at the point i didn't bring up with peter earlier, and i think it's important to recognize that it doesn't matter where you are bases coming from. and now he is giving me that
grin. [laughter] >> guest: i do, i do agree with you that it's important to recognize where your principles are and not really were as much about who your people are. yes, sure. republicans have had a history of encompassing nonminority demographics. but at the same time, you know, that doesn't mean that our ideas are any less valued. secondly, on the immigration question. no, i don't have an end-all solution. i can tell you that the developmedevelopment would increasing the border fence have been a welcome element in my view, and that if we continue on the track and create a meaningful program to register and track the immigrants that have already crossed into our country, then we will be a lot better off than we are now which is it pretty bad place. >> host: tiebreak couple more calls and eight-week. this is from small government is
what big business wants. we need government big enough to protect all the people from the greedy rich. >> guest: i would like to ask the greedy rat -- cosmic rat. that was a jump of a gun. i would like to ask the cosmic rat where he gets his paycheck from and who pays his rent. because it is the federal government, i think it says it all right there. governments don't make money. people make money, and the way the people sustain themselves and carry on their day-to-day lives is into cold, hard cash. if that's appalling to you, then, well, i don't have much to say. yeah, sure you need some common in some situations. but the degree to creating new regulation and overburdening our economy with it is just obscene. i can't understand who would say at this point in time that we are under regulated and that we don't have enough private industry. >> host: a couple other tweets that came in.
just go right to the. what does she know about c. street and washington? >> ncc? >> host: house on c. street. are you familiar with that? >> guest: billy and. may be refashioning. >> host: we will keep going. that's a house where christian conservatives are leading. >> guest: all right. i've heard about this, and i'm not familiar with the name c. street but i was familiar with the idea of this convent, if you will, of republican men in congress who, you know, and established themselves as a home away from home. i think that's really fine if that's what they want to do. i know that there's been a few jokes made about it, but i don't think on the surface you have to assume there is any wrongdoing. >> host: susan, tell us one positive issue that our country received from eight years of republicans. >> guest: well, i'm going to go on a limb here and say iraq. how is that? >> host: why? >> guest: because i think we have done more in that country than the media gives us credit
for. we have instilled democracy, maybe not fully in practice yet but in spirit. sponsor developments that are going to be a net benefit to the iraqi people. >> host: last call for our gas comes from chester connecticut. gene, independent. >> caller: how are you today? it's interesting to listen to your logic, and i've been watching the republican party self implode on their great plan. i mean, they came up with the most brilliant plan in the 1980s, if he does go around telling everybody there was god, jesus. democrats are going to take your guns away. and you're against abortion. you get all these votes. but as they have failed on the front, and especially with their own moral character, it seems like it's become more of an
achilles' heel. and now i think the party is ruined. i don't see how anybody could trust them. i don't trust the democrats either, so that's why i am independent. [laughter] >> caller: you know, i think they should all go. >> guest: well, maybe they could all go. i think i would be on board with that for a while. for obvious reasons i think they could go permanently. you seem to be pretty cynical towards the washington establishment. and i could justify. i think that crimes are committed by both parties, and i can't agree that we are going downhill fast. you know, and things aren't that bad. well, things are pretty bad. i think that oversampling that does a really coppers my. i think you have to work from within the establishment and within your organization to try to sponsor change. so if you're an independent, sign up with your local independent party or your local republican party, whatever you want and make the change
with for a public advocacy is that as far as i understand it, i have never argued. i am told that the house of lords takes as long as they need to decide an appeal. and hear arguments. that sometimes arguments there can go on for days. what's unusual here is that both in the circuit court and in the supreme court, there are time limitations as to how long you are permitted to argue. and they are usually strictly enforced. at the supreme court, i'm told although i've never had opportunity to argue there, they are routinely enforced. the circuit court sometimes, they will grant you more time. but you know in advance that you have 10 minutes or 12 minutes in the case that has taken years to get to the point of an appeal. so you have to figure out a way in preparation to get your
argument down so that you get your point across to the judges. this is where judge sotomayor's reputation as a pepper of questions comes in. because sometimes she could take the full 10 minutes in asking questions. now, that was not my experience, but i'm told that she takes -- she will keep asking questions until she really understands the answers that are given. and in those circumstances sometimes the judges give you more time to finish. i think that's a plus. because if you know what's bothering a judge and maybe bothering the other judges on the panel, you have to focus on the argument. i think that's what is so important about having a dialogue as opposed to just standing there and arguing for 10 minutes. so i prepare by really just knowing everything and trying to
anticipate obviously what the questions are going to be. and responding to them. >> so now with the nine justices there, and she would be one of nine asking the questions in that short period of time, it is likely that there will be even more give-and-take versus less give-and-take than there would be now in the court. >> i don't know. i don't know whether justice souter was a pepper of questions. i don't think he was. i think certainly from what i have heard and seen, justice scalia is. and my sense is just as, if she gets confirmed, so the mayor will also. and i'm not sure whether any one of them will dominate the entire proceeding. but i think that you can expect that she would ask, you know, a serious number of questions. if she had some problem with the case and problem with the
issues. >> illinois senator roland burris has a new conference scheduled in about 10 or 15 minutes. the democrat was appointed by former illinois governor bob rod blagojevich to finish out president obama. he will announce to not seek reelection when his term expires in 2000. will have live coverage from chicago when the news conference start here on c-span2. in the meantime a conversation
on clean air regulations from today's washington journal. she is on your screen and she is an assistant administrator of the environmental protection agency and recently testified to congress about the obama administration's plan for clean-air reregulation. what are those plans? >> it's good to be here. well, we talked yesterday about a plan that congress is looking at to try to clean up the air. as it relates to the emissions from power plants as an industry sector. they are looking at doing something fairly created, which is to look at how you combine regulations to look at the sector as a whole instead of doing individual pollutant by pollutant regulation. so we were there to talk about that and about their initiative. and also to talk about what the obama administration in particular, the environmental protection agency is doing to try to advance the same goal through regulations.
>> host: how stringent our current regulations in your view and would the obama administration's position make these regulations more stringent? >> guest: the clean air act when it passed in the 1970s and it was updated in 1990, really established a good framework to move toward cleaner air. i don't know if people realize it, but just because it's a blues guys out it doesn't mean that the air is clean. it's one of those issues where we have made tremendous progress since the 1970s. and in particular over the last decade in terms of reducing the kind of pollutants that contribute to everything from asthma to heart attacks. there is still a lot of deaths every year that results from the kind of air pollution that we breathe every day. and this is across the country. so we had maybe two minutes am of progress but we need to make a substantial amount more. and i think our challenge is really to do that wisely and to understand how to do that in a cost-effective way. and i think the regulations
allow that to happen in the obama administration is really interested in moving aggressively to try to continue to reduce and make progress in the pollution and do it in the smartest way that we can. which means that we do it quickly but we do it cost-effectively. and we recognize the tremendous benefits from that. >> host: how do you -- what you mean by cost-effective? >> guest: what i mean by cost-effective is to try to find literally the cheapest way that we can get the reductions that we are looking for. epa begins with what we do a regulatory process. we do at what kind of air pollution is actually acceptable. what kind of pollution would be okay and still allow us to breathe clean-air antigo about our lives and not to have the deaths and illnesses that currently come about from breathing dirty air. but once that sort of scientific basis for what we are looking to achieve comes into play, then when you are doing the individual regulations you
actually look at cost. you look at how quickly we can make those reductions without losing jobs, and hopefully in a way that allows economic growth and job growth in particular. and i think we have been able over the past 20, 30 years to find ways to continue to make incremental improvements, and also to allow the economy to grow. but we know we are at a pivot point. we know we are at a point where for the past eight years we have not made tremendous progress. inelastic ministration on air quality. in fact, in many ways a lot of the regulations that have been passed had been remade back to us or vacated by the courts. they just simply were not meeting the test of law. and so our challenge is a bit of ketchup. we need to run quickly to stop the backsliding and to move forward. but again to move in the smartest way that we can recognizing that we are in a difficult economy now, but that doesn't mean that the cost associated with deaths and
illness art uppermost in our mind, because they are. >> host: out of these regulations fit in with president obama being at the g8 talking about climate change, the congress passing cap and trade bill? >> guest: that's a good question. you know, at the epa we have to keep in mind both the challenges of the past, the current challenges we have as well as the challenges of the future. and what we are trying to do is understand what we are looking for and to accomplish to clean up our air for what we call criteria pollutants which are the plumes that caused asthma and heart attacks, and immediate health impacts. and also find ways to deal with those that also allow us to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases. because that's the current challenge and that's the challenge of the future, which is how do we address climate change. but we believed if we look at it as a multi-pollutant strategy,
which is what congress is beginning to demand and what we have been trying to do and we will really work hard on, is to look at doing things that make sense, not just from one pollutant but from all of them. so we can be smart about how we move forward. we can give the right signal to industry as well as individuals on how we all can behave to clean up the air to reduce greenhouse gases and meet the challenges of today and the future. >> host: is the air cleaner in u.s. over all that was in 1970 and 1980? >> guest: without question, yes. is a cleanup? no. >> host: how did you get from mitt romney's governor's office in massachusetts to president obama's administration? >> guest: that is a good question. believe it or not, the first person who appointed me to state government was governor dukakis in massachusetts, in case i accept full view, i am from the boston area. and that was quite a while ago. i will not admit how long. and i got into state service than, and i was working on
environmental issues. i happened to be one of those that sort of kept my head down and plow forward, and in new england i think we look at environment very much as a bipartisan issue. is close to home. it means a lot to us. and so i lasted through, i think, six changes in administration wrecks the last of which was governor romney, and i worked in his governor's office working on environmental issues as well as housing and energy and transportation as a smart growth initiative. and then i ended up working for governor in connecticut as the commissioner of the dep there, and she is a republican. but i think the kind that works well in new england, the kind that really sees the environment as a necessity to economic growth and to the health of the regent. >> host: gina mccarthy is our guest and she is with the epa. we are talking about clean air. stephen cottonwood arizona, you are on first. >> caller: good morning.
yeah, this cap and trade bill is to me the biggest debacle i've ever seen. i mean, it's going to destroy our economy and everything in this country. and i've been a heavy equipment operator all my life. and i've been saying the regulation the epa put out and some of them are so ridiculous. and it costs, you know, i used to own my own construction company. and it cost me money on a lot of money on just some of the foolish regulations. and a specially the democrats, they are complaining about, well, all these jobs are going overseas and all this. well, i'll tell you right now, if it wasn't for all these regulations, we probably would have a pretty thriving country right now. the epa, you guys are driving us right into the dirt. >> host: steve, you mentioned you were a heavy duty equipment
operator. what kind of regulations you face personally from the epa? >> caller: well, okay, you've got a machine and you're working on, you know, a big job. and if it's dripping oil just a little bit, maybe you lose a court, they will take that machine off. they will come in and say wait a minute, that machine is dropping a couple of drops on the ground that it puts thousands of dollars to put a seal in the machine. if it was just blowing oil all over i could understand that. and there was a time that i drops of oil, we were working in grand canyon, and up there in the grand canyon. south rim. one of the oil plug in my glitters came out and we were on a dirt road. and i didn't know this but i track about a block oil and epa made it to the gig to the dow, to the y., put it in a dump truck and haul it off to a hazardous waste dump your and two weeks later, i don't know if people know what, let's see what
is that called? they come in with a big dark truck and a car that whole road and put chip seal down. and it cost the company thousands of dollars to move the oil off and then we come in and paid it with chip seal. >> host: thank you for those examples, steve. >> guest: steve, i don't know where to begin, but let me give it a shot. i think the environmental protection agency as well as the regulatory agencies at the state and local level, we tried to do a pretty good job at working with industry, whether it's a large industry or a small industry, to try to not just regulate, but to have teaching moments. to make everybody understand that the environment isn't something to take for granted and that we all have to work together. and when you do a job like you are doing, which can generate hazardous waste, and actually provide opportunities for that waste to go into the ground or
into the drinking water, i will readily admit that we take that job seriously. but that's the mission of my agency. but we try to do it in a way where the regulations are onerous. you have the ability and the understanding of how to prevent those leaks from happening. and what we tried to do is to work with you in advance of being in a confrontational situation of having to respond to a leak or spill to tell you that you should be sealing that equipment beforehand. that the loss of any waste means you are losing product as well. so we think if we do a good job at this and we do some compliance assistance and we teach you how to operate your business so that you are saving money, you are not leaking material, that you're not having to have the cleanup cost up afterwards that economy will be afterward your business will be better off. and certainly individuals will be better off to live in and around the work you are doing, as well as your own employees. >> host: when you hear him say they had to dig 2 feet down and
2 feet wide, for what he described was dripping oil. does that surprise you? do you think that's the right response? i know you don't know the situation gasbag no, i don't know the situation. but i will tell you that when we respond to a bill like that, what you want to do is identify the extent of the contamination. it's not unlike, what the health care industry does. if you have a growth, you don't just go right around the edges but you clean it up sufficiently so that you know that it's not going to recur again or cause a problem. so when we are in a situation like that, the major cost is responding to it, having the barrels of there. it's not how much you take out of making sure when you do want, cleans it. you walk away, everybody can leave that situation knowing how not to do it again. and i think that's the big thing is when you respond, we want to make sure we do it well without overkill. but it doesn't surprise me at all that you are going to move beyond the extent of what you can visibly see because of the
contaminant, the contaminants in oil spread and you can't always see it and it's there and you serve don't want it to get it into tricking water. . . speaking of drinking water, a tweet has come in for you. guest: that is a good question. yes, it does. yesterday, when i testified in front of a congressional hearing, it was senator copper and senator bidders -- vitter'' subcommittee. they're looking at legislation that would set the power plant industry with a certain pollutants, noxon s02 and mercury. with the noxon s02 it is the thing that causes acid rain and
other toxins. but the mercury affects our waterways. over half of the mercury that is emitted in this country is emitted from power plants, i will be the first to recognize that coal is an energy source that we need in is going to be around for awhile but our challenges how you economically stock to do things in the opposite -- pollution and those facilities. in mercury when emitted it has local impacts, actually goes to the ground pretty quickly but also travels broadly. gets up into the atmosphere and actually deposits into rivers and streams. and the mercury from those power plants and other sources get into the food chain by getting into the flash. actually deposits into the soil, it gets taken up by the fish and then it ends up being consumed by individual so that is a toxin. it is an extremely potent toxin
and has whish advisory's author out many of the areas of the country. pregnant women don't eat fish, that is, from certain rivers and streams. that is the situation we want to stop so without question what comes out of the power plants and other air emissions eventually gets to ground and that will have an impact in our waterways and streams and the food we eat and the water we drink. >> is there such a thing as clean coal? is the phrase an oxymoron like those tv ads attacking and say it is? >> guest: that is a very good question. right now we know him that there are opportunities available through current technology to make the burning of coal a lot cleaner. that was one of the issues that came out yesterday that was joined by john stevenson from the gao who had just recently done a report on mercury
reduction strategies, technologies of coal-fired power plants, and what he found out is in the dozen or more states including massachusetts and connecticut i might add that have -- >> we leave this record apportioned to take live to chicago for a speech by illinois senator roland burris was expected to announce he will not seek a full term when his current term ends next year. live on c-span2. >> [applause]
>> run roland run! >> thank you so much, i appreciate all that energy. they you for joining me here today. i am here to talk about some import issues about the importance of representing the one of the people of illinois and how important the united states senate is to the future of our country. when i was named to the senate back in december, i stated that i would serve a two-year term. i felt strongly at that time that illinois needed to full-time senators and i still feel that way. i have served to the good people of this state for 30 years, public service means working, advocating and the fighting for
your constituents and their needs. day in and day out, that has been my commitment. i have tried to do that every day of my career. and i am honored to be a member of the united states senate and such a critical time in our nation's history. we have a new president with bold ideas for programs dealing with health care, the economy, jobs, schools, and the environment. all important issues for the people of our state and our nation. i am proud to follow in his footsteps in the senate and i look forward to continuing the work with him on the pressing issues of our times. the united states senate will be at the center of debate before
all of those issues. i have been a member of that body now for seven months and i have been seeing firsthand that my colleagues are thoughtful, dedicated and americans -- democrats and republicans alike. it is my hope that we can come together and work together in a bipartisan manner to address these important topics. now let me say this. the last point of my remarks given my future plans and ladies and gentleman, life is about choices. make no mistake, i love serving the united states senate, make no mistake about that.
i love serving the people of illinois, make no mistake about that. >> we love you too! >> we love you! [applause] >> i am the only african-american in serving in the senate. i believe that adversity and representation of all segments of our society is essential two who we are as a nation. the reality of being in the united states senate today requires not only a significant time commitment to performing the job, but almost equal commitment to raising funds to run competitively for the office. political races have become far too expensive in this country.
[applause] and i am making this decision i was called to choose between spending my time at raising funds or spending my time raising issues for my state. i believe that the business of the people of the state of illinois should always come first. in the business of our state. it should come first and so is his day i have returned to the place where my political journey began back in 1978. back to the south side of chicago, back to my community and my constituency. and to announce my friends, that i will not be a candidate in the 2010 election. and that i will not run for united states senate seat.
last january the same month that i was seated president obama and vice president biden swept into the office sending our country on a new course and reaffirming the truth of the american dream. the obama administration and the democratic lead congress is bringing transformational changes to this nation and is an exciting time to be in public service. more exciting and more fulfilling with hope and possibility that any time that i can remember. and so i say to the young people, i see a young people in the audience today, that this is a world in which you will grow up, this is a world then you will shape and change. i made a decision as a young man, probably a little bit younger than a few of the wall in that room today, to get involved in public life never
imagining that i would have a great honor to serve the state and this country for as long as i did. now, young people, it is your turn. now it is your turn to decide how you will serve your community because you look in this room are the next generation of leaders, all of you have the potential to rise to any level you choose. i am encouraged and what the future holds and i look around this room as a future at kidder's, senators and maybe even a future president of the united states right here at this room. serving in public life is not easy friends. it is a noble and rewarding calling. and for the reminder of a high -- remainder of my senate term i am committed to working hard for
the people of illinois and fighting for health care, education, and green jobs, and safe communities. i will stand up for our veterans, the security of our country, and the need for our men and women in uniform, and as i have done in the past three decades i will keep fighting for the great people of the state of illinois. [applause] so the time we have been successful, i want to thank each and every one of you for making it possible. as i look around the room and see how long you all have been with me. with all the progress we have made together, i am grateful for the partnership and grateful for the leadership, i am grateful with the help all you all have given me during my political career and i think my family who have been with me all these
years. my friends who have always been my core of support. and whose encouragement and support i will never, ever forget. i am proud of everything we have accomplished together. and most of all i think the people of illinois whom i have had the honor of serving public service and private service in the past 30 years. thank you all very much and may god bless you. thank you. [applause] [cheering]
on monday supreme court justice judge sotomayor gao's and to begin her confirmation hearing. free former law clerks talk on her judicial philosophy and temperament. >> as soon as she was nominated, of course, a lot of commentary started happening in the media and by different groups. at what is one criticism that you felt was unfair. >> i thought of the whole opera or if i think, that about the ricci decision was --
>> what was the ricci decision? >> the case of the white firefighters in connecticut's, the judge sat on that in the second circuit, as with other judges and hearing an appeal from a a lower court judge and i thought the whole issue with rush limbaugh throwing out the words racist and a reverse discrimination and things like that i thought was really truly absurd and i am used to hearing absurd things in politics but that was beyond the pale to me. >> i think the initial jeffrey rosin article before the nomination for the most part with the whisper campaign of she is not that smart or she is a bully, it is is completely untrue. but something that really takes a huge group of people to rebut. it was clearly intended to try to keep her from being nominated. >> and i think for me one thing
that seems really unjust and unfortunately has taken a lot of hold it is questions about judge sotomayor's temperament. we all talked about the way that she prepares for oral arguments and may be in a way that many justices don't. she is very searching from the bench. she asks difficult questions and has very high standards for lawyers to answer the questions that she feels like she really needs to know the answer to to make a decision, but i have never seen her be bullying in any sort of way and i think that her colleagues who have sat with her on the courts including judge caliber asean have really responded to that and said that is not at all who judge sotomayor is. >> c-span brings lots of ways to keep up with judge sotomayor's confirmation process. when the supreme court justice nominee goes before the senate judiciary committee to begin her confirmation hearings are cameras will be there bringing you complete live coverage.
now i house subcommittee loss of the political situation in honduras after the recent overthrow of the president zelaya, witnesses include a former supreme court justice who also served as foreign minister. this hearing is about two hours and 10 minutes. >> a quorum being present the subcommittee on the western hemisphere will come to order. i want to thank my colleagues for being here on a friday. we usually don't have hearings on fridays, but due to the urgency of the matter and of the fact that this is something that
we could not look the other way and just pushed for a couple of weeks i am very glad that we were able to call this hearing and i want to thank my colleague mr. mack for his cooperation in expediting this hearing. let me start by saying that i am deeply concerned with the recent events in honduras and have called on today's hearing is to focus our attention on the crisis. i must say that we have asked the state department to participate in the hearing and i must express my dismay that they chose not to come. i think that congress being a coequal branch up government has every right to expect the state
department to send a representative when we requested to, and i understand that there may be things that they would not want to say or could not say and we would respect that. but i must say that they need to respect congress and the wishes of congress and this better not be a pattern of any kind. i realize they are in delicate negotiations going on and they don't want to jeopardize those negotiations and neither do we, but frankly i think they could have, and we would have understood and that certain things cannot be said so i just want to make it very clear for the record that if this is some kind of pattern it will not be tolerated by me as chairman or by anybody else on this subcommittee. we intend to have the state department responded positively to us when we asked for their
appearance and i want everyone to take note that we expect them to appear when we invite them in the future. and i and many other people are deeply concerned with the recent advance in honduras and we have called today's hearing to focus our attention on the crisis. i issued a statement shortly after the evidence have been in honduras and let me say before delving into the details i would like to state very clearly that it is my strong belief that the military should not have to oppose president -- president zelaya and wisdom out of the country. we can all discuss the events leading up to the removal of president zelaya and i intend to do just that. i think there are many good points to make on all sides, we have excellent panelists who will testify on different aspects of a situation and will agree or disagree with each
other, but in the end our hemisphere cannot tolerate what is essentially a military coup. we don't want to go back to the bad old days when that was commonplace in our hemisphere. and i think that in this certainly has the remnants of it and is not something that we should tolerate. but that being said and as you say on the other side of the coin, president -- president zelaya trying to hold a referendum on constituent assembly to change the honduran constitution is also very troubling. it is my understanding that the honduran constitution contains several clauses which cannot be altered among those provisions are those limiting the terms of presidents. according to one interpretation even trying to amend these causes or propose an their reform automatically and immediately and did manuel zelaya presidency for a least 10 years. as for me i'm not a scholar of
the honduran constitution and will not pretend to be an arbiter of the honduran law or these clauses and that is for the course of political institutions of honduras to decide. but as an observer of the region and having watched the run-up to the recent crisis, i think it was clear that virtually all major honduran political institutions and actors of post president zelaya's efforts. not only with the supreme court, congress and it zelaya's owned attorney-general against them, i am told in members of his own political party and the influential catholic church were hostile to zelaya's at riss to change the constitution. i do think this matter is when the entire political establishment spinks and expresses their concerns when the president needed to listen. from everything i can see he did not. this is not to say that those who opposed him a rich angels either, not only am i deeply troubled and the removal of the president zelaya end of the whiskey him out of the country,
but i have also heard credible reports of human rights violations in the aftermath. if a deal facto government wants to live up its assertion that it was defending that democracy there is no better way to do so than to respect the views of those with whom you disagree and the claims on fundamental freedoms affect all peaceful the centers. moving for that i was like to now discuss the ongoing diplomatic process. as i mentioned before, there are negotiations going on. president obama went to the summit of the americas in trinidad and tobago and many people in our subcommittee and myself for their pledging that the united states would be a true partner of the countries in the region and which read our neighbors with respect. i think the administration has taken a giant step for it and the feeling that commitment with its excellent diplomacy and mediation and press on the honduran crisis. our administration and the obama
administration condemn the removal of president zelaya and called it illegal. they stood with our partners in the hemisphere by supporting a resolution that the organization of american states calling for president zelaya's restoration to office and as i mentioned the secretary clinton has just started a mediation effort led by the nobel peace prize winner winning president of costa rica oscar area, with his very strong at u.s. diplomatic effort in the background, president zelaya and defacto president nicolette they have begun meeting in the auspices of president area and costa rica so i am glad that the secretary of state and her team are navigating the diplomatic waters at this time. and i hope that a compromise will come about. however, as much as i defend to
the oas and you all know is a day on the house floor i strongly opposed removing money from the oas, i must question and the expelling of honduras from the oas. i'm a strong supporter of the oas and i said i spoke on the house of floor of representatives last night on the floor talking about not removing money from the oas, but i am concerned about the actions to suspend honduras. i thank you have to be consistent in what to do any time we drop the suspension of cuba and suspend the honduras that i think it sends an inconsistent message to the world and i think a consistency is important here you have credibility. i must also saying an increasingly troubled by everett's throughout the hemisphere to change constitution so that leaders of certain countries can say in power after their terms and. we see a pattern here with many countries and it is a dangerous
pattern. it is not a pattern that we should support. i think we need to shine a bright light on the dangers of this anti-democratic 10 -- trend and well as a the oas rightly condemned the removal of president zelaya in honduras and should also criticized mr. two-way respect to the constitutionalism and the normal chance for a democratic power in the constitution in any country says that a president cannot on for a second term i think that's the spending the constitution was done in many different countries enabling a leader to continue is a troubling trend. so i would like to conclude the same i began. i believe what took place in an honduras was wrong and deserves to be condemned, but the complicated story doesn't begin or end there. it is my hope that this hearing will draw on many of the issues surrounding the removal of president zelaya which has color and depth to our understanding
of the crisis with the hope that such a series of events will not repeat itself and with that i would like to invite my friend at the ranking member of mr. mack to give his opening statement. >> thank you mr. chairman. i want to thank you for holding this hearing today. it is very timely and i also want to thank the witnesses for making yourself available and being here. in we are very interested to hear of you have to say and to maybe pick your brain a little bit so thank you for being here. let me to start off by saying this -- this was not a military coup in and if there was any fault here it is on the mr. zelaya. he is of the one that every turn turned his back on the people of honduras and his own constitution which he pledged to uphold. as we hold this hearing, praise
from all sides are meeting in costa rica to negotiate a peaceful and democratic resolution, but it's important to look at the whole picture. where are the main players? how did we get here? and who is meddling from the outside? now mr. chairman, we have mr. zelaya, a man who refused to listen to the honduran supreme court, a man who refused to listen to the honduran attorney-general, a man who refuse to listen to the honduran congress. mr. chairman, this is a man who tried to undermine the legislature, the judiciary committee attorney general, the human rights commission, business associations, and for of a live political parties represented in the national congress including his own party. and i am interested to hear what our panel has to say on this. not only that, mr. chairman, this is a man that told know by the courts took it upon himself to storm the military base in seas and is to be balance for an
illegal referendum. ballots that hugo job as fingerprints are all over. it seems to me that the more we look at mr. zelaya mre's i'm a man who believes he is above the law untouchable and clearly a man who has no respect for democracy. i also look forward to hearing from our panel on the links between it hugo chavez and mr. zelaya. since he was exiled, mr. zelaya has been blown around the hemisphere on venezuelan jets. the ballots that were going to be distributed for the illegal referendum were printed and flown from venezuela. furthermore, there are reports that mr. zelaya has been involved in drug smuggling from venezuela and other places in south america. ..
had the opportunity to speak against the motion to recommit, talking about the oas and honduras. i have a different opinion. i believe the oas is a dangerous organization, that is not -- that is not fighting for freedom or democracy. but instead standing in the way and giving an opportunity for people like hugo chavez and others to use the oas to undermine democracy in the western hemisphere. i hope that as we move down the road, that we can have a hearing that's more focused on the oas so we can have a lengthy debate on whether or not the oas is still an organization that should be supported by the united states. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. mac. and you know i am always open to having hearings on other issues. we can survey discussed that. because we have seven very
excellent panelists and i want to hear from the. i'm going to restrict opening statements to two minutes for each person will go down the line. i will start with mr. meeks. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i will try to do in two minutes. virtual i think we have come a long way in the united states from where we were in 2002. where there was a coup d'état in venezuela and within 48 hours we supported the coup d'état government. we've got to make those improvements and i think we made that with this administration this time. we clearly cannot turn back the hands of time. we had the opportunity at the inauguration to talk to several heads of state who say we cannot allow coup d'états, and this is the governments of other areas to try to figure out how we make sure that we don't turn back the hands of time. that's what this is really all about. so i'm nervous as the chairman is, at the hands of time is not turned back. that whether mr. lee elia has
done, whatever he is undoubtably the military has a right to come in and pull him out. it would have been the equivalent, i would think, of at the time that went president nixon, who had violated laws and constitution of the united states, had we not conducted a process in which he would have been impeached him having in the middle of the night the united states army going into the white house and taking president nixon out and having him exiled. clearly, there is a violation, but there is something that has to be done within the democratic process to make sure that those who committed that violation in that office is a democratically removed. in my estimation. also, i think it is also important that when you talk about the oas, and in this particular situation, there are 33 nations there and we talk about democracy. it took them, i know it was over
24 hours, here in washington, d.c., working and trying to come together as an organization in a democratic process to decide what to do with honduras. it's not just the united states acting in a unilateral manner as the president has said that the united states acting in conjunction with others in the region to make a difference. we've got serious concerns here. i want to hear the witnesses. i wish i had more time, but i am being gaveled already by my friend, the chair. and i will yield back the. >> thank you. thank you mr. meeks. mr. mccall. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i will be very brief in my remarks, but i do want to make a few comments here i look forward to the testimony. i agree with the ranking member that this is not a military to. this was ordered by the supreme court, the president was in violation of his own constitution. he disregards his own attorney general. and what's most disturbing to me
is that, these are ballots that is aiello printed, ordered at least on the information i have came from venezuela. this is the same type of thing that hugo chavez pulled off in his country. and it seems to me that that's the same pattern that mr. zelaya is in relating. i would like to know from the analyst, and what i am most interested in and i think the ranking member indicated is what is the connection between mr. chavez and zelaya? what is the connection between venezuela and honduras? and with that i will yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you, mr. mccaul. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the event and honduras are both shocking and frustrated on one hand you have a president who overstepped his constitutional bounds. on the other hand you have a military that exide exiled a
democratic elected government. now our government is condemning the removing of president zelaya. look at the company we keep. we are supporting a man who plotted to hold any legal blow to circumvent the constitution. and the debate of whether president zelaya acted undemocratically or whether it was military, the military who acted undemocratically. although it appears they are both at fault, it is important to remember that just a few weeks ago president zelaya proudly led the movement to readmit cuba into the organization of the american states. the oas resolution of the cuba did not mention the charter. and now he is calling on honduras and the international community to uphold this charter. these events make me seriously question the ability of democracy, not only in honduras but in latin america. governments throughout the region have made remarkable progress since the day of military to.
and the opalescent regimes. by the actions and honduras obstructs the progress. unfortunately this is not the first time we have witnessed dresser uncheck our. is currently democratic principles continue to be at risk in this atmosphere. and i would like to thank the panelists that are here and i look forward to hearing what you have to say. >> thank you. mr. smith. >> i appreciate the chairman's disappointment that the administration is a wall today. congress has a right and an obligation, duty to know what the administration is or is not doing during this crisis. mr. chairman, the world is slowly awakening to the reality of what first might look like a military usurpation of democracy, courtesy of very sloppy news reporting. it was actually the culmination of the democratic process, a process that began months before. the branches of the government of honduras, the supreme court, the congress and the military performed just as they were
intended to buy the wise writers of the honduras constitution. mr. zelaya was removed from his office was unconstitutional and illegal attempt to alter the constitution of honduras for purely selfish reasons. latin americans are rightly sick and tired of president of violating the rule of law to ensure their own presidency in perpetuity. article 239 of the honduran constitution explicitly says, and i quote, no citizen who has already served as head of the executive branch can be president or vice president. moreover, the constitution also makes clear that anyone who tries to alter the term limits of the office of the presidency, of the president is guilty of treason. the honduran supreme court has stated that the military acted on its orders and the honduran congress overwhelmingly passed a decree removing president zelaya from office and replacing him with the president of the
congress. the military has not retained power. upcoming presidential elections continue to move forward on schedule. finally, the argument is that what happened in honduras was a two. but that view, in my opinion, belts under any serious scrutiny. rather, democracy and the rule of law triumphed over mr. zelaya's lawlessness. i congratulate the people of honduras for their foresight and the writing of a constitutional, and for the courage to take action in support of the rule of law. i yield back the balance. >> thank you mr. smith. mr. green. >> thank you, mr. chairman for holding the hearing and coming from texas and our relationship with both mexico and central america and latin america, this is a very important because we have a number of honduras americans who live in our district. went president zelaya announced asking honduran voters whether they wanted a constituent assembly to establish them in
the constitution, the situation in honduras started to deteriorate. the issue culminated on june 28 went honduran military surrounded the president's residence and arrested him and through him to costa rica. just hours before the polls were to open. president zelaya has since monday night returned entry, but in the honduran congress approved two extended overripe's issues and constitutional rights that i have concern about. while i don't agree with president zelaya has done in his administration, the restoration of democracy in honduras is critical. and for its ability and i applaud the organizations like the oas and u.s.a. are for quickly condemning honduran military's action. but i also know that we need to have him partial negotiation and i'm glad secretary clinton announced that former president array is a ghost arica will be that mediator.
and have democracy restored. again, like my colleagues on both sides, we see that in our administration and our hemisphere a return to a strongman in military government in usurping the constitutional authority, whether it be in honduras or in other parts of the hemisphere, including venezuela. and i would hope that we would see our company providing the leadership for democracy and not necessarily just for whoever happens to have a strong power at that time. i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you, mr. green. mr. burton, our former ranking member and chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i will take just a couple of seconds here. first of all, i talked to some people at the state department yesterday. and they told me that they wanted to give see get the central system headed by mr. arias a chance to try to resolve this by getting all of the facts. and i think the facts are no clear of course.
another nonetheless they want to give him some time and that's why they said they wanted didn't want to appear today. they should be here today nevertheless that was the reason they gave. i just like to reiterate what the ranking member said and i said he thought it extremely well. and that is that the arrest warrant was issued by the supreme court that ordered the armed services to arrest mr. zelaya. now in the united states, if an arrest warrant is issued, the police go out and arrest them. and they put him in handcuffs and they take them to jail. in this particular case, the military was told to do it. and they did it. and so when everybody talks about this being a military coup, i just don't get it. there was an arrest warrant issued by the supreme court. the president had violated the constitution. and had not paid any attention to anybody that was giving him the proper advice.
and so i don't see that this was a military to. and with that with that i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you, mr. burton. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm going to keep it real brief because i know we will have a vote soon and we have a distinct panel here that i think it is important to hear from. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman for convening this hearing to help us to come to terms with the developments in honduras, and understand the dynamics and potential outcomes of this very serious leadership crisis unfolding there. i believe it is vitally important to take a deep breath here and just simply look at the facts, understand the objective truth about honduras is simple democratic institutions as well as the scale and scope of abuses of power attributed to mr. zelaya. i would also implore our panel to assess the policy, judges
made by the administration thus far in this crisis. the oas, as well as other key and regional, regional as well as international players in this situation. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you. mr. payne. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman for calling this hearing. i think that as you have indicated, i think it's a bad trend when we have people try to alter the constitution of countries. i mean, to extend terms of office. however, by the same token, i can't see where anyone can say that if you take somebody out with an army and guns, put them on a plane and as he tries to come back, you got the military at the airport saying if you come any closer we will shoot you down. that's a military something. i mean, it's like a duck.
so it's a very complicated situation here. and i., you know, think that because venezuela was supportive of the president there doesn't mean that we should therefore condemn that country. if we start doing that we will have to look at every country in the world and who they associate with and that certainly would make any sense. so i think it's very complicated situation. i hope that we can get to the bottom of it as previous member mentioned. we have had presidents who didn't take the advice of their attorney general. as a matter fact, mr. peabody, the attorney general was fired by the president back in the nixon days because he wouldn't give him the judgment that he wanted. not saying that it was right to do it here, nor was it right to do it there.
so this isn't really a complicated situation. and i hope we can come up with a solution, but once again, in the african union when a country is taken over by the military, that country is suspended from the african union. they do not tolerate. because once it happens here it will happen there and it will happen at the next place and you will have that way to take up residence. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> this hits home with me because my honduran american constituents are particularly concerned that president is alive was slowly stripping away the rule of law in honduras. they fear that honduras was going to turn away from its democratic elected and constitutionally based institutions and evolve into a hugo chavez type of otto track. i think what is particularly disconcerting for me is the fact that no american official at the
u.s. embassy in honduras or the state department has spoken with the current president of honduras. the obama administration has made it a feature of their diplomacy efforts to listen to all sides, and have even displayed a willingness to talk with and about enemies of the united states. and yet the administration has refused to speak with the institutions in honduras, like the supreme court, the congress, or even the president, to fully understand what happened and why mr. zelaya has been removed. i look for to hearing from the witnesses as to why the administration continues to ignore the will of the honduran people and the rule of law. and what can be done to facilitate regular order in honduras. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. muesli. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to welcome our witnesses and just let me say a couple of
things very quickly. a coup is a coup is a two. a military coup is a military to it and i'm really disturbed by us talking about almost beginning to set new standards for what constitutes a military to. just as i was opposed to the coup d'état in haiti, which the united states enabled and supported under the bush administration, and that is what happened. you know, i don't see how we can continue to allow these coup d'état to take place and get away with it. and so i say to you today, to the committee and to you, our witnesses, that for me and for many of us, a coup is an unacceptable way to resolve any dispute. and i'm glad that the international community has been swift and infirm in condemning the military's action. and i also am disappointed that our administration is not here today, but i am pleased that they are moving forward to try
to bring parties together to resolve this. and hopefully send out a message that military coups are unacceptable, regardless of the circumstances because i think that we are walking down a slippery slope and begin to set new standards for what we consider military coups. thank you. >> thank you. let me have everybody make opening statements and we will listen to the panelists. >> yes, a coup is a coup and what happened in honduras is not a two. a coup is when a military replaces a democratic government with a military leader. what happened in honduras is a victory for democratic government and the rule of law over idealism. it was not a coup d'état but a defeat of a left wing to. led by a corrupt elitist who has been implicated in the drug trade. this would be a deal was engaged in an anti-democratic power
grab. his intent was to be a strongman in the mold of whether castro or chavez or whatever strongman it was, but he was trying to seize power for himself. it was a power grab. he was leaving a street mob to give himself that unlimited power your stopping someone like that is a victory for democracy. we don't need latin america sliding back, whether it's left wing is a more right wing -ism, in terms of the deal is a reflex. that should've been left behind a long time ago. and his defeat in his defeat of that power grab, as i say no matter how it was accomplished, is a great victory for democracy
in central america and latin america in the long run. we all know that. we all know what he was trying to do. we should be happy and a plodding that he was stopped from that horrible power grab which would have ended real democracy in his country. >> thank you. >> i thank the gentleman. you know, i don't think you can put a shine on the snake. common sense tells you that it's a coup whether it is a military coup, but it certainly was an unconstitutional removal. you know, i'm just concerned about not what's happening in this room in this hearing, but the message that is being received all over latin america at this moment in time are what you are hearing, of course, this is about hugo chavez. well, i want my colleagues, particularly my friends on the other side of the aisle to stand
with rebate. to stand with the president of chile are to stand with all of the other democratic elected presidents in latin america, who have condemned this, who aren't trying to pass -- i never realized how many experts we had, by the way, on the honduran constitution. it's amazing. there must be a class somewhere. i haven't taken it yet, so i have to acknowledge my own ignorance. but of course it's a two. and who are these people? i don't know who they are. i really don't. i do know however that the current provisional president attempted the same thing that president is a did in 1985. but i bet there wasn't a peep out of this institution at the time. he attempted to extend the term
of some president in the mid- 1980s by two years, according to a report. i find that interesting, but that's irrelevant to this. i'm sure some other people are well-intentioned, but i did know and i think it's important that, and i haven't heard outrage expressed by anyone, including members on the other side about the statements of the provisional foreign minister whom they had to dump. but let me tell you what he had to say about the president of the united states. i like the little black sugar plantation worker. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate you letting me sit in this hearing. i congratulate you for calling it i'm going to pass an opportunity to make a statement, a prepared statement, and
listened with great interest to what i can learn about the situation in honduras. thank you. >> thank you. and now i am going to introduce our distinguished witnesses. i think the toughest thing about being the witness is you have to listen to all of us before we can listen to you. that's the price you have to pay. i'm sorry. let me ask our witnesses to please keep their testimony to five minutes of peace. you do not have to read your statements if you don't want to. you can ask that they be submitted into the record, and they will be as if they had been repeated. and you can just summarized, and that might be better. i will leave it up to the witnesses. let me mention to all of our witnesses, michael shifter of vice president of the policy of the inter-american dialogue. welcome. transport is a former honduran foreign minister and supreme
court justice. and currently serves as professor of international law in honduras at national university. welcome. joy olson is executive director of the washington office on latin america. welcome. cynthia arnson is director of the latin american program at the woodrow wilson international center for scholars. welcome you. lanny davis is a personal friend of mine, but partner and is here today representing the honduras chapter of the latin america business council. welcome. and sarah stevens is the executive director of the center for democracy in the americas. we welcome you. and last but not least, otto reich is president of otto reich associates and a former assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs. welcome. and we will start with mr. shifter. >> thank you very much, mr.
chairman. i would like to submit my statement for the record. i want to commend you for all of this hearing. the honduras situation poses a real critical test for the u.s. government and for the hemisphere. what happened on june 28 in honduras was a rupture of the democratic order. the democratic process. that i think was probably censored by the united states and the hemispheric and international community. president zelaya has more than his share of blame for promoting the crisis to begin with by defined supreme court and congress. and all the legal procedures have been followed before his ouster. but the forced removal from honduras was a clear violation of the constitution and basic democratic norms. having rightly condemned what happened, the main task was to
calm the tensions and try to work out a solution. i'm not sure that opting for a more punishing stance more quickly to issue an ultimatum for the return of president zelaya and suspending honduras and the oas was the wisest course. the attempted unsuccessful return of president zelaya last sunday was particularly counterproductive. as a result, all sides became more entrenched in their positions. today, this crisis has moved to the face of negotiation onto president. this is an encouraging sign. but caution is in order. the first day showed it will be difficult and may take some time to work out. there is tremendous bitterness and distrust between the two parties. still, one can imagine elements of a formula that will hopefully be agreed to. it is crucial that conditions of honduras or make fair and credible elections that are now scheduled for the end of
november. it is welcomed at the united states is discreetly supporting this initiative, announced by secretary of state clinton last tuesday. the honduras crisis has posed to difficult challenges for the united states. the first concerns how to deal with the interruption of democratic process in the region, balancing legality and legitimacy against maintaining social peace and government ability on the ground in honduras. a second challenge involves finding an effective multilateral approach that engages with latin american partners while also being active in helping to shape a favorable outcome. the idea is to try to resist the temptations to impose a solution or dictate a solution, but alternatively not to withdraw and be passive either. in general, i think the obama administration has struck the right balance on both of these challenges. it was important to bear in mind from the beginning how decisions
that followed rentable stand on the queue, the suspension of honduras for example would either exacerbate or diminish the polarization, which is after all the root cause of the crisis. this is a case for combining principles with pragmatism. the u.s. is now seen as an important and honest broker in the region. as i said, the oas to the right stand on the crisis, but might have avoided an export other measures before resorting to such a confrontational response, which did not work and in fact seem to only have hardened positions on all sides. the oas might have also tried to anticipate and prevent the heated situation before it reached a boiling point. other mechanisms are difficult. and they are sensitive questions about sovereignty. but this is an essential function of program for regional body like the oas your .
eventual cool. unfortunately power grabs and fines of democratic norms and institutions are too common in america saw the charter member of oas governments need to take that disturbing tendency into account. finally it would be surprising the united states without having to deal with similar situations and that america and future. the region is on settled at least several parts of the region and i hope this case shows the wisdom of working in concert with original partners to seek solutions that reflect common-sense and pragmatism but are anchored in the rule of law. i look for to your questions, thank you. >> the gentleman's time is expired. guillermo perez-cadalso. >> chairman engel, ranking member mac, and the other distinguished members of the
subcommittee, thank you in for inviting me today. and i will not provide a summary of my prepared statement which i request to be included in its entirety in the record. my name is guillermo perez-cadalso. in the past i have served my country as the minister of foreign affairs, as a supreme court justice and as the president of the national university of honduras. today however i come before you with a title of concern honduran citizen and not as a government representative. i have spent this week as part of an ad hoc diverse delegation of other concern honduran citizens visiting with many members of congress. while we have made some progress in creating greater understanding of the history and context of what has happened in my country, i want to share with you some facts and observations
that have been lost or confused in the intense media coverage. one, the military is not in charge of a honduras. in the constitutional order of honduras remains intact. our government continues to be led by a civilian executive branch, a duly elected congress, and our judicial branch to identify our 1982 constitution and the rule of law. indeed, it was the proper application of our constitution, the rule of law and presidential succession that initiated the recent events in honduras. two, many have confused the timing of key events. for example, mr. zelaya was charged against treason, abuse of authority and use of power
and the supreme court ordered his arrest before it was taken out of the country. three, there has been a failure to separate the issue of of mr. zelaya's removal of the country versus is proper removal from the president's office according to our constitution and a result of a very serious criminal charges against him. i can only speculate as to what the military did and why. taking mr. zelaya out of the country could have been the result of a terrible dilemma. is possible that the military which was properly order to arrest mr. zelaya by the honduran supreme court to uphold the constitution thought it would be more prudent to take him out of the country rather than hold him in custody in the honduras and risk greater civil unrest and violence. after all the military faced the
person who had already been used his stature in citing a mob and using the threat of violence to storm and air force base. fourth, there has been a great misunderstanding about the extent of support for mr. zelaya. there is a broad consensus in honduras and that's b5 piloted the long and our constitution. the honduras -- the honduran supreme court voted 15 to zero that he broke zoloft. the national congress voted 124 out of 128 that he broke the law including every member of congress from his own party. the attorney general, the supreme electoral council and the human rights commissioner all agreed that mr. zelaya broke the law. others to agree include four out of five of the political parties representing more than 90 percent of the congress including mr. zelaya's own party. many labor unions, the private sector and the catholic and
evangelical and other protestant churches. meanwhile tens of thousands of honduran at march for peace and democracy and to express support for the constitutional succession including one in 50,000 people on july 3rd in tegucigalpa. before concluding, here are several spots in hopes for the future. first, the facilitation of the mediation by -- we praise secretary clinton's endorsement of the dialogue process which is to work toward a solution that includes a fact-finding. we also appreciate that the u.s. government joined last week with other governments and the organization of american states and advising mr. zelaya in that it was not the right time to travel back to honduras. second, and believe that this oas did not live up to the letter and. of its charter in this instance. it was too quick to accuse, too
soon to judge into eager to condemn. the oas could have had acted to prevent the situation, but sadly stood silent in the face of months of misconduct by mr. zelaya. after the constitutional succession occurred, the oas did not engage in fact finding and if it had done so the burden to post a dialogue would not have fallen on president arias. third, we hope that the interim governments earnest efforts to engage in the dialogue are proof enough that the restrictions on credit flows from international financial institutions should be vested and that the bilateral and multilateral preparation in aid programs should continue. these restrictions only exacerbate the act of the international economic crisis both on and honduras and honduran pour and shortchanged u.s. house honduran efforts to combat drug trafficking and organized crime.
and finally, the dialogue can succeeded in both science refrain from personal, emotional reactions and stick to constructive discussions about the issues. each side can find common ground and solutions if there is a willingness to act in good faith and higher interest of our country. thank you and i will gladly take your questions. >> thank-you. miss olson. >> thank you mr. chairman for the invitation to speak today and i would request that my written statement to be submitted for the record. >> without objections award and. >> thank you. i must say i have been paid to watch the conflict plan and honduras the past few weeks, it's a country i love and respect the formative years of my professional life. i am not going to spend much time talking about the tax of what happened because there will be a lot of that. i would like to make a couple of observations. one, it's not only the u.s. to
identify this as a coup. every country in the hemisphere has identified it as a coup so it's not something we're standing alone on. second, it seems like there was plenty of violating of the law going around on all sides and those are import issues, but again i think there was plenty of it happening. also back to the coup issue for a second, when the military takes the president by force in his pajamas to the airport and put them on a flight out of the country that is a coup. if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck is a docket. and we also say a few things about the situation is not. it's not about venezuela. it is not about -- no matter how much president hugo chavez i wanted to be or his opponents do, it is not about venezuela. it is also not about liking mr. zelaya or how popular he is.
that with the standard former president toledo upper ruth never would've made it to the end of his after his approval rating bottom out at 7%. while the immediate crisis is around zelaya's return there is more of a mental crisis in honduras, a crisis in the party system. many poor people don't bother to vote. during the choice between parties as meaningless. over the last 20 years of democratic transition they have done little to address the political and economic marginal this nation experienced by the majority of hondurans. i like to say a few things about the and mr. shipp handling of the situation. i think it was good year it was with to defend it -- it was with to condemn the coup, the decision to use the oas in its diplomatic efforts to address the conflict was a welcome change from our historic interventions in line america which are well remembered in the
region feared the administration and had talked about changing the u.s. government's modus operandi in working to multilateral institutions and in this case i think they walk the walk. with that said, the days following the coup were riddled with mixed messages from the state department about whether a coup had actually occurred. i'm not sure of the state department lawyers have yet made this determination the issue seems to have been in the administration wanted to use in as a leverage to get the two sides to the table. a noble goal, but the law is clear that u.s. aid to a government must be extended if there is a coup. of the military sending a president into exile in his pajamas doesn't qualify as a coup than what does? i want to just leave you with one quote from the state-run press briefing -- i was calling them the past two weeks and their responses about the issue and it's section 7,008, the coup
language in the foreign assistance act, their statements were incredibly convoluted. on the sixth of this month the press spokesman at the state department had this to say: we are suspending as a matter -- policy matter assistance program we would be legally required to terminate in the events in honduras i have to have triggered sections 7,008. if congress moves or to ride warned assistance act i would suggest that you consider further clarifying section 7,008, the coup clause. defining what should be suspended and the process by which the suspension is determined. i would also suggest making it clear that military assistance provided to the defense department and not to the foreign assistance act to be suspended as well. being wish you washy about applying 7,008 to well over a week after the coup i think it's a bad precedent. on a roll of at the oas,
generally drawing lines is fairly easy for it. but it is the kind of situation that makes clear the need for this before. in the immediate aftermath of the magoo, no other body could have dealt with this crisis. a unilateral intervention on the part of the united states or saint venezuela would have been disastrous. and that fact that government and of all political stripes reunified in their condemnation of the coup and the suspension of honduras promise before did two things -- to make clear that no matter how many people dislike the president, who is on all of your accepted in the region and also helped push this crisis toward mediation. the another critical role the oas plan in the last week was a monitoring human rights. the inter-american commission on human rights followed up on reports of violence, compiled a detailed lists of individuals at risk for missing, unmonitored restrictions on freedom of the press association.
in conclusion, there is a mediation process now in place and i think we should all be supportive of the president arias as a pressman for an apparent and there can be opportunity in prices. the question is will the end result of the mediation be limping along up democracy until the next election or some religious passion on both sides about the market until prices of honduran democracy and existing political parties? thank you. >> thank you. cynthia arnson. >> thank you very much. and thank you mr. chairman for this invitation. i would also like to ask that my remarks be submitted for the record. i'd like to say -- >> without objections awarded. >> i welcome this of committees focus on central american continuation of this dark world this committee made during the central american wars in the 1980's and a subsequent resolution in the 1990's.
as the opening statements demonstrated, mostly by the members of the subcommittee as well as by members of this panel every crisis in every conflict reflects deeply contrasting narratives regarding relevant facts. what i will attend to do in the short time that i have it is not so much to rehash those facts, but perhaps to provide a broader context for understanding these disparate realities. the prices of governance reflected in the coup against president zelaya as both a proximate and deeper antecedents. the proximate cause as we have heard several times this morning was zelaya's insistence on national referendum that the honduran congress as well as supreme court considered illegal and unconstitutional. the endgame of that referendum and would have been to prevent changing the constitution for mr. zelaya to extend his term and eventually wants opposes to convene a constituent assembly
to draft a new constitution. should these changes have taken place, honduras would, indeed, have embarked on a path similar to those taken in venezuela, bolivia, ecuador and to a lesser extent earlier in nicaragua where the elected presidents have spearheaded processes of constitutional reform that you wrote checks and balances, strengthen the power of the executive branch, and create alternative participatory mechanisms for the exercise of so-called popular democracy. quite apart from the animated sequence of events, the honduran crisis has deeper roots. bake in a town precisely in the bignesses and limitations that make the populist temptations and then america of not only attractive but also said it feasible. the weakness of the honduran democratic institutions, the inadequacy of mechanisms of
representation, and that the failure of a honduras economic growth and international insertion in the last several years to overcome the country's endemic poverty and inequality the coup in the military's role in throwing mr. zelaya at of the country reflects the honduran political system's inherent weakness and the absence of mechanisms and illegal to remark to resolve a political conflict through political means. overcoming this basic prices of governance must be in a central feature of any long-term enduring solution to the current and highly unstable impact. the acceptance of a president arias as a mediator in the crisis is extremely positive even though the events of the last few days have shown that this will not be an easy mediation. president arias has brought credibility in the region as well as the world recognized experience in brokering peace and i think it is worth
mentioning and underscoring that the central american peace plan that he devised in the 1980's meant the end of civil war into an internal democratic reforms as an essential ingredient of peace. the obama administration i believe has acted properly in even admirably in response to the crisis. they have on other commitment of the summit of americas to work in partnership and a signal bilateral solutions to reach -- regional problems. the support for the efforts at this before and now pour president arias reflect an understanding of the value of partnership over unilateralism. i also believe that the obama administration has been appropriately restrain and prudent with respect to the elimination of u.s. economic aid in response to the two. it's a example of haiti should stand as a sober reminder of of the harsh economic -- of the consequences that harsh economic
sanctions against a desperately poor country can have. am i to conclude by saying that the honduran crisis should serve as a wake-up call to the extent that it might still be needed, that despite huge a advances in electoral democracy in latin america over the last two decades, the quality of democracy and the scope of social inclusion remain deeply flawed and at times fundamentally compromised. supporting the capacity of democratic institutions and fostering strategies for inflationary growth remain of the central challenges even more urgent and a time of economic hardship and reversal. thank you. >> thank you. mr. davis. >> thank you mr. chairman and ranking member mac. i'd like to first say that is a pleasure to be here at the presence of friends on both sides of the aisle. as the congressman delahunt who i knew before his hair was gray
and is a great public servant, a great public servant and i see congressman dan burton who at some point in my past career i was at times an adversary but always friendly, always civil and, of course, my friend chris sneath will i consider it very close personal friend and chairman -- chairman engel and i also happen to be personal friends feared that the reason i wanted to start out that way is that this issue calls for bipartisanship, calls for civility and calls for dialogue. i represent a client so i'm not speaking for myself. there are days when dan burton and i debated on television where i was speaking for myself, but i am spivvy on behalf of the honduran chapter of the business council of what america policy eal. and unlike justice pressed i am here to talk about solutions and as our great president reminds
us looking forward rather than looking backward. and i believe chairman engel and ranking member mac have essential agreement on two things -- one is mr. zelaya and didn't follow the law. and with respect there wasn't a lot of lawbreaking going on. the supreme court voted 15 to zero that mr. zelaya broke the law. that included eight members of his political party elected justices. the congress, 12424 including all the members of his political party noted that he violated the law, his own attorney general, the human rights commissioner that is as independent of the government as the gao is has supported the finding that he had to be removed from office because he violated the constitution with the self executing costas says if you try
to extend your term in your automatically removed from the presidency. having said that, my clients believe that looking back with the wisdom of hindsight it could have been done differently that night that the army decided to risk him out of the country. and i am not afraid to say that with the wisdom of hindsight it probably should have been done differently. as long as those of you and i know congressman delahunt shares that view, are also willing to share that this distaste for an president that regarded himself as above the law in every institution in honduran society from the church to the civil organization into business organizations to the liberal party to the national party to the supreme court and the congress -- every institution founded this president as putting himself above the law. if both tax our stated by my friends on the democratic side
where i am affiliated and my friends on the republican side, we can then look for the as president obama and secretary clinton wants us to do and not argue about past history so now let's look for together. the secretary clinton, secretary clinton did a great service in turning to president arias nobel prize winner and saying let's have dialogue and was fined a solution. one that is going to take time that doesn't involve immediately parachuting mr. zelaya back into honduras. one that recognizes that there is a compromise necessary on all sides and my client favor such a compromise. and that is about dialogue. and finally, what ever the solution cannot be imposed by the oas, the united states, by my friends who are democrats and friends who are republicans. it has to be a honduran
solution. right out every institution in honduras and every public opinion poll taken supports and the civilian government. there is no military running this government. supports the civilian government but also want a peaceful solution, but it has got to be a honduran solution between the leaders of the honduras as well as mr. zelaya and under the auspices of present -- president arias and his secretary of state clinton i can see no better way than dialogue and ultimately a peaceful solution. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. ms. stevens. >> does that work ok? >> yes,, you can pull it closer and that might be easier for you, what is ever easier for you. >> thank you chairman engel, ranking member of mack and members of the subcommittee for
holding this hearing on the crisis in honduras tonight. i like to begin by simply expressing my sympathies to the people of honduras for the violence and political turmoil and have experienced since june 28. it is understandable and perhaps inevitable that their prices has triggered a larger debate about policy and politics of a democracy and diplomacy. but need -- the their military dignity should be forgotten as we discussed the implications for the coup for all of us inside and outside honduras derrin and back to their interests and hours are in alignment. in that context let me make three basic points. first, i believe the goal of our policy and our diplomacy should be resolving this crisis in a matter that restores the constitutional order to honduras and returns president zelaya to office. second, we need to stand with the region in saying loudly and clearly that military coups cannot be regarded ever again as
acceptable alternative two democracy. third, we need to understand that there is a principled debate occurring in the americas about democratic institutions and the constitution's would protect them. at times some nations will make choices the democratic means that minister of and discomfort as deeply, but our long-term interest in democracy and stability in the western hemisphere can only be vindicated in by our words and actions we are seen as respecting rather than undermining their sovereignty and their decisions. while we may disagree about some of these issues i would hope that we could speak with one voice on whether it was appropriate for military force to be used against the presidency of the manuel zelaya. after all, the top legal adviser for the honduran armed forces told the miami herald we know there was a crime there. and i would say so do we. similarly and congressman who served as it against mr. antar resigned days before the coup
because he believed mr. zelaya was breaking the law, wrote congress this week that president zelaya ouster was illegal and that he would refuse to take his legislative seat until mr. zelaya was reinstated in. the stress on the most important theme of the recent advance in honduras. regardless of ideology or was opinion of president zelaya's behavior prior to the coup, can't we say this with clarence a.? coups are wrong, they're undemocratic and maintained the hands of every one it touches them when violence becomes a substitute for politics everything falls apart. that has been a sad story in many places across latin america and that is why so many people in the region are as proud as they are today the having try to put that history behind them. as president lesson recently what we have achieved in these years was in truth the result of the deaths of many people, many young people who decided to take up arms to bring down authoritarian regimes in chile,
argentina, uruguay, brazil and almost all countries. they died and we are doing what they dreamed of doing. and we have won this by democratic means. none of us want to see that progress rolled back which is why being clear about why this coup is unacceptable is so abhorrent to the region and to our national interests. against this backdrop it's extremely brand that president obama has taken the position from the inception of the crisis that reversing the coup and returning president zelaya to his station an office for political and diplomatic priorities for the u.s.. as he said just three days ago during his trip to russia, america cannot and should not speak to impose a system of government on any other country even as we meet here today america supports now the restoration of the democratically elected president of honduras even though he has strongly opposed american policies here come against the expectations of some of the reason the u.s. has reacted with prudence to these events and
that strengthens us and our long-term interest in the western hemisphere. the crisis in honduras came in a particularly crucial moment. there are debates taking place in latin america about the role of the state and what democracy should do with their institutions fail to deliver what the people need and want this is hardly a new phenomenon. governments of all ideological stripes every written constitutions in latin america for decades, for centuries. this is not a question as someone had simply of leftovers is right. colombia is discussing right now whether president yuri they will have a chance to run for a third term. nor is it only a debate about centralizing power of the executive. nations to this to improve governance to an exclusion an open opportunity. as jennifer mccoy of the carter center potted recently, does democracy and allow for its own renewal living within the rules of the game? there are real and legitimate questions about when that does it have hand but we have to be very careful in light of the
region's history and hours about how and when we ask those questions, either serious issues and replace a lot of at risk if we treat them lightly. we should support democracy in places like honduras not only one we like the choices people are making but also when they use elections rather than violence to make the choices for themselves even when we disagree with the outcome. we share a common border with this region and confronted common set of problems -- diseases, criminality and security, environmental challenges and proliferation, non candice of the bus but good partners not by imposing but by listening and operating multilaterally. if we identify with their democratic aspirations our country would be much more successful in the region moving. is that interest of those concerns which i believe are at stake for us in the crisis in honduras tonight. thank you. >> thank you very much. otto reich. >> thank you mr. chairman and members, i appreciate the opportunity to speak with you and i like to submit a complete
remarks of the record parent without objections awarded. >> the current battle for political control of honduras is not only about the small nation toward what happens in honduras may one day be seen as either the high water mark of a speed of an attempt to undermine democracy in the hemisphere or as a green light to the authoritarian another guise of democracy. removal of president zelaya has been referred to many outside of honduras as an attack on democracy in contrast for prominent honduran tourists and scholars were not members of the government described exact opposite fashion. as illegal and a sensible measure of to zero equal branches of the honduran kevin against autocratic intent of the executive. many honduran insisted these actions save democracy by preventing manuel zelaya from establishing 24 century socialism been establishing countries of latin america under something called the alliance
invented in by castro and financed by president chavez. we must find a bipartisan way to defend the two democrats in honduras. i respectfully suggest to this congress that one way to do so may be to ask the elected representatives of the people of honduras and, there congress why they voted i had 12523 but turns out that i hear is 124 to possibly four. the removal of manuel zelaya. either way the equivalent in this house of representatives would have been about 415 to 11 with a few abstentions you our representatives in congress more than anyone know that when nearly all through the elected members of the nation's congress if such bipartisan support to such a momentous measure there must be an unusual reason. in honduras the reason it was genuine fear for the future of the country. i really admit that i'm not an expert on the honduran law and therefore not qualified to judge the legality of this action.
i also point out however, that most of this country and other countries who have rushed to condemn his removal or at least equally unqualified to judge him. how can the so-called democratic community allow cuba, venezuela, bolivia and other countries that of either destroy the self-rule or in the process of doing so the determine if the standards of democracy in the region, there's a consistent modus operandi, subvert self-rule such as free elections and referendum coming gain power, concentrated in the hands of the executive steadily diminishing civil liberties and then changed the rules and even definitions of democracy that remain in power indefinitely to any means necessary including force. in my opinion that what took place in honduras on june 28 when the military route removed and that should have been handled differently. and as an american i would like to have seen this charges better publicized in advance of the rest, seen civilian authorities and on military forces to arrest
zelaya. at whydah not have expelled him but detain him and give the opportunity to do and his actions like any other accused felon. but i'm not a honduran. and did not feel threatened by zelaya's increasing the authoritarianism as is that the honduran congress, for example. i did not hear the undermining of my country's democratic institutions by zelaya as the scent of the honduran supreme court. i did not know the extent of interference by venezuela, cuban and other foreigners in the internal affairs of my country as did the honduran armed forces. had i been a honduran not living peacefully in the u.s. as most in this room to come my way for the exceptional denunciations' of the catholic church and the protestant churches protesting zelaya's abuses of power and at the same time however one does not have to be a honduran to understand the anger of the average citizen as documented in repeated instances of gross dishonesty by zelaya, his family and members of his cabinet.
i cannot excuse the zeal with which the military broke into zelaya's house but it may be explained by zelaya's in legal this use of the police and military that they take over private property is, denied access to rival owners and thus benefit is extended family. the use of forces of the law to commit unlawful acts as that may also spend a churches condemnation of zelaya appear and commendably the legal adviser to the honduran armed forces admitted that the law was broken in expelling zelaya, an action justified as taken to prevent violence. when was the last time the legal adviser of hugo chavez assuming they even have such a position admitted criminal error in handling a case? i will summon the balance of my remarks for the record a mr. chairman but in conclusion let me say that it is always an honor for me to be asked to testify before the congress because i have never taken the freedoms of this country afforded me for granted.
i'm an immigrant, a cuban-american who lives under to dictatorship and is now a country, then silence led by mormonism. i've been privileged to serve our government in and out of uniform for over 50 years. i fervently exercise price will rise because i was lost those rise and how precious they are. irish this congress not to condemn honduras for defending theirs even if we may not approve of the one mistake to which the military have already confessed. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. let me say that we can see that our very distinguished panelists an excellent testimony composed of ny and range of views on the subject and i think that we have heard a lot of good points a lot of different people.
fermi i think the question i like to concentrate on is where you go from here. obviously there is negotiation going on with president arias and the united states as mentioned as been instrumental in putting together those discussions as secretary clinton has been very helpful in doing this. if i could close my eyes and say when kind of a possible solution or compromised i could come at of these negotiations, i would bet that of the most probable than to come out with be a return to power of the mr. zelaya to finish out his term which i believe is four more months and then having election as was scheduled in honduras in
november an election where he would be barred from running for a second term as was mentioned and stated by the honduran constitution. i would bet the house that that would be the solution that would come out. i would like anyone's comments on that -- would that be a viable compromise and is is something that you think would be likely to come out of these discussions? anybody want to try it? mr. davis. >> mr. chairman, the first thing out like to say is i would rather not offer advice to the party is as to how to solve this, but i can offer some principles that are in alignment with one you just send a and what my clients believe. the one principle most important is the rule of law needs to be upheld a so in a solution that
involves the return of mr. zelaya and that is the choice -- >> will you hold for a minute breaks unnoticed in the audience there are some signs now please ask the people to put those signs down because it is inappropriate. thank you very much. mr. davis. >> so in alignment with the really most of the remarks are on both sides of the aisle and surly with yours mr. chairman and there are two principles that i certainly believe that mr. zelaya, president micheletti and president arias are in to discuss some. one is that the rule of law is very important, mr. zelaya these technology that and certainly news to the knowledge the supreme court, his own party and the congress and all the other institutions have found him to have violated the law and has to be held accountable. as to the people who may have violated the law by sending him out of the country in the middle of the night. so there may be a solution that is equal handed about forgiving
both of those violations in return for certain commitments but the principle is the rule of law and the second principle is democracy and security that goes with the democracy and the elections as you mentioned the must take place. there must be a new president, someone from his party is running and some of the opposition party, national party and three other parties are running, so those two principles. the rule of law and some agreement on how the rule of law is to be applied equally and democracy and security, i believe that president arias can bring the parties together to achieve those two principles. >> thank you. dr. arnson, you had your hand up. >> once again, i think the interpretation of what constitutes illegal solution in honduras is a contested issue. i would share mr. davis's
reluctance to define as a u.s. citizen and how honduran politicians and how the honduran public should resolve this crisis, but i frankly find it improbable that a resolution to the crisis could be found that this not include president zelaya's return to honduras, at the same time and what he attempted to do that the supreme court and congress have found in violation of the constitution should not be allowed to take place. i think it might be entirely reasonable to prevent deepening polarization between now and the month of november to a time to move up those elections, make sure that they are fully observed not only in the time of the balloting but before and the time after words to guarantee that the political process goes for the in an open and
democratic fashion without intimidation and without violence. i would think that there may be some role for an international observer mission and the auspices of a cela or the united nations to establish itself in that honduras and as an international mechanism to help honduran overcome polarization. i believe the country is deeply been divided probably equally in favor and against president zelaya. i think and i disagree with what was said earlier, i think that a majority of honduran but a plurality oppose a the way in which he was removed and i hope that when mr. davis has described is a need to look for and not to become entrenched in the positions and principles that have been articulated up until now will be possible because adherence to those
deeply entrenched positions will lead to a continued stalemate and i think what is needed is a way for both sides to be flexible in order to break this impasse. >> i think that one of the things i hear again -- people are arguing that president zelaya's removal of power was constitutionally inappropriate and a troubling thing and even people who in the panel who are saying that president zelaya violated the law -- can anybody tell me where in the honduran constitution a guest of the military the right to remove a president from power at gunpoint and with -- whiskey out of the country? i don't think that anyone to riss with me on that. i don't think there is anything in the honduran constitution that would give the military that power. i see people nodding their heads in minnesota i think that is something that is troubling. but i do think that the united
states can play and should play a very positive role in trying to mediate these results. mr. mack. >> thank you mr. chairman. you know, first of all i appreciate the testimony from everyone. it is such an import hearing because what we are trying to get our arms around is democracy in america -- latin america. not all constitutions are written the same. but is clear and you don't have to be an expert as someone mentioned, one of my colleagues mentioned earlier, to understand the honduran constitution. you just have to read it and it is clear in article 239 of the
constitution of honduras than by the order of the supreme court which we have which we can read it which says to arrest the president that the military was just acting out the constitutional responsibility passed to them by the supreme court. is not that hard to figure out. you don't have to be a scholar -- you just have to read it. this idea that this is a coup is so disturbing to me, that you could say with a straight face after hearing the testimony from the panelists and the members that set up here. the military is not in charge of honduras. therefore it cannot be a
military coup. the military acted on the rule on the order of the supreme court so someone needs a paradigm shift, people need to understand and stop calling this a coup. the negotiations that are going on right now at the base of that a that this is a coup, it is going to be very difficult to get to a solution that follows the constitution of honduras. and anything the other than something that follows the rule of law and the constitution of honduras sets a horrible precedent. mr. davis, i was very interested in your testimony and i understand it is on behalf of your client so i want to ask you
this. it does your client believe that this was a military coup? >> my client wants me to into that question based on the facts and that blacks are there is no military person in charge of this government, the government is now the facto being run by the successor under the constitution the president of the congress so the word military would be inappropriate as far as my clients are concerned it. on the other hand, i think my clients would agree with the chairman that there is nothing in the constitution that allows some to be shipped to that of the country in the way that it was done so the wisdom of hindsight is not about his removal as president. that under article 239 as he said is expressly stated as an automatic -- automatically loses office of the wording of that constitution and my colleagues here to talk about democracy seem to want to ignore the constitution adopted after
military governments in honduras ruled in 1982 and that constitution did a 6% to honduran as ours is so the constitution said he had to be removed, the supreme court 15 to zero agreed and so that all the members of his party. but the issue of whether he should have been whisked away in the dead of night by the army is what is troubling and it is not an easy issue to this mess. for my client's standpoint they are troubled about that and i can only say that when i'm authorized is the wisdom of hindsight statement that i made -- to should have been done differently but just remember the context. the president of honduras led a mob, the president himself, you can see it on youtube, led to the mob that overtook the army guards into the barracks to seize ballots that have been shipped in by hugo chavez. that is just a fact in the atmosphere was fearful of other physical safety.
it was that context that i believe that the wisdom of hindsight something was done and should have been done differently can i think mr. davis and i agree with that. i agree with your statements. i would say this, that if the supreme court, the congress, the business groups, the churches -- if all these groups came together to say that the removal of the president was the right thing to do, certainly they could also come together to say we don't think he should have been blown out of the country and that honduran could have the right course to go to make sure that that didn't happen again. other constitution was fallen and the role of wallis fallen but to also make the statement that in the future there will be flown out of the country. >> thank-you.
you're time is expired. mr. meeks. >> thank you mr. chairman. i want to thank all of the witnesses for being here at what is a very important hearing and i think that it gives us a lot of food for thought. i don't want to jump ahead of myself because i do believe that what president arias is doing and sometimes try to look at the prism of whether the glass -- glass is half full or half empty. some people are saying the democracy to of the south and central america is being threatened. well, democracy in the honduras baby but the reaction of the countries in central and south america who are upset about what is taking place which has caused them to sit down and side to resolve this so that we do not turn back hands of time it showed that we still have come a long way and that shows that post in the region want to work together to make sure that
democracy is raining and hope we will also show that those democracies will soon mean that those who have not had for such a long time because the bottom line here are still those poor people in it honduras. one of the poorest nations on the hemisphere who no matter what the system of government has never received anything. so the hope is that we learn something in that we move for in and i think that also what is different here and one of the things that the prior administration had been criticized and looked about all over the world in the wrong ways acting unilaterally, i think the fact that this current administration acting in a multilateral situation with other nations with concern in this region is a positive step toward to try to make sure that democracy does remain and prevails three of this hemisphere especially throughout the world now, i do have and not just like to ask some questions
that i don't know just to get your opinion in this scenario. because of concern about those poor people have also concerned because you see some human rights groups talk about the individuals or after demonstrating with the interim government, there have been some things going on with them. but we have decided as far as the u.s. is concerned to suspend all foreign aid to honduras. including the millennium challenge account and other things. i am concerned about the poor getting hurt more. i don't know, i like to hear your opinion whether or not we should continue the suspension or whether we should do something differently so that we can make sure that those who are caught in the middle here, the poorest of a poor are not hurt. what do think that we should do as united states in that regard and? missiles and. >> just to clarify because i have looked into this matter.
in 2002 the coup language, the 7,000 a cause i was referring to was changed so that the suspension is not to the country but it is to the government so all eight is not with honduras right now. the only aid is a portion of the aid given directly and because of the way the u.s. gives foreign assistance with much of it being executed by nongovernmental agencies actually the total amount is not that large. i think there's a very legitimate and important concern. could i address one previous issue very briefly? >> go ahead and. >> i think that if the scenario have played out and the supreme court order in a bit of rest of president zelaya the president was arrested by legitimate authorities' task with the arresting people and that he was put in jail and proceedings taken against him that would have been -- legitimate. >> absolutely. >> in for me the issue is not right now does the military run the country, the question of a
coup is not who's running the country entirely at this moment, the question is was a the president illegally deposed. actually the 7,000 a language of section 7,008 talks about a military coup or decrease so it sees the coup concept beyond just the military taking over. so the other thing is if you're going to talk legality and illegality come into legally remove the president of the country that aren't the people taking over in some ways by letting the law as well? so a that was my point about it seems like there are a lot of things that could it have questionable legal -- >> i agree and that is what i use the hypothetical earlier in my opening statement that had we not have the process of taking place and i have 30 seconds -- we could have taken or someone could have said president nixon was violating the law just taking them out of the country but generally if you violate the
law, you arrest someone, place them under arrest and therefore there is a proceeding that takes place so that one can be found guilty or innocent, not just america. that seems to be more of a democratic in their way to go that did not take place here some my estimation by any stretch of imagination a coup did take place. >> the journalist time has expired. mr. mccaul. >> i think the chairman. i think we have reached some consensus but not entirely. clearly the president violated the constitution. the supreme court held slow, held that he was acting against established, government. we have an order here to the military to arrest him. he was ordered and -- found to be in treason against his own country. abused his authority and usurp his power. as mr. davis pointed out very eloquently and article 239 cell
executing, once that is my land in which it was in this case is out of power. he is no longer the president of honduras. i think that the real dilemma here is how does this order implemented and how did the military response to this order to arrest him? and does the definition of the rest include deporting him to another country? i know there are some concerns certainly when we have the intervention of hugo chavez into the process and the intervention of it these ballots from venezuela, a tremendous concern of the safety and the danger that is posed by keeping him in honduras. we have been throwing a round of the word military coup pretty loosely, but as mr. links points out it is actually very important because onto this appropriations act that we have passed, if it is defined as military to than the funding to
honduras by the united states congress. so i think that the definition and i think again this has been thrown around very loosely, but the idea that there was a violation of the constitution, the supreme court held some, called for the rest, article 239 cell executes. he is now a private citizen in my view. the real issue lies with a remedy that we can provide to him in terms of at this point going for it, but he is no longer the president under the rule of law in honduras and other constitution. and former supreme court justice mr. perez-cadalso i wanted to call upon you and perhaps mr. davis as well to help us and the administration in terms of whether you define this as a military coup.
>> thank you congressman. back in the '60s and seven days -- seven days latin america was full of coup-detat. i myself lived through many of them. but reading any text of political science one finds that the coup-detat have some characteristics. one, the military seizes power and they take power or they do a civic military junta. second, they abolished the other powers or the branches of government. certainly congress and sometimes even to the judiciary. third, the constitution is
abolished or is subject to whatever military regime wants. fourth, usually there is a bloodbath that occurs with the takeover of the military. in this case, we have a very atypical situation. in one, the military are not in power here and there is a civilian rule in the country, the military have returned it to the barracks. second, the three branches of government are functioning. the congress that was elected four years ago with president zelaya, the judiciary with its 15 members, and at the branch of government executive branch of government that was elected by congress in this case.