tv [untitled] CSPAN June 11, 2009 1:30am-2:00am EDT
refurbishment had been done. it is their responsibility that falls on the contractor to say hey, we are being asked to build a new facility when we have been doing work on the old one? is there a code of contact-- khan that that the committee abides by? perhaps it is not fraud, but it would seem to be some responsibility that lies in the contractor who had both contracts. >> i'm not familiar with the specifics of the case for garber about it for the first time in the commission's report last night. if it was the same contractor i would be surprised during the course of that work if the contractor did not at least raise to the supervisor or the contracting officer, i am doing similar work and on the same basis understand it, so what did they did or not i would hope the contractor would take that obligation and an initiative to do that. many times, because of the rotation assignments, because of
the resources it is the contractors to have the visibility into the activities of the facility and i hope they would take that initiative. i ten to eska ravan see what i can find out about the contract. i don't have any comments about the specifics. i would be happy to share anything ellen. >> one last question. i know we have votes coming on. i am just certain that in many of these cases where these contracts are not bid out or their sole source contracts that members of your association and community are upset because they would like to bid on these contracts. do you sometimes ask for these, or can you review the material and what form to you have to go to the agency and say, why wasn't this bid out? i am sure those types of situations come up. what kind of remedy to you have to make sure that the agencies
abide by their own rules in terms of contract thing things out? forbidding things of? >> that is a very important question and in fact, we hear a lot, where there is a lack of competition, our members tell us about that because as you said they do welcome the opportunity to compete for work and to compete aggressively. that would much prefer to have sole source work but they understand the importance of competition and the importance of a predictable procurement process. so, when those issues are raised, it is not raised frequently to us that when they are we ask that question. congress last year required the defense department, ish wing's allosource awards over $100 million to make those justifications publicly available so that process will soon start regulations that had recently been put into place. on the history, we don't have access to a lot of the government's decision-making but we do ask the question
frequently, why was in competition appropriate, why wasn't able to be undertaken? certainly there are national security reasons, certainly there are-- that my prohibited but even dating back to the original u.s. involvement in iraq we were strong proponents of phasing in. if there was a need for a sole source award because of an emergency situation or to support the troops that that necessarily need to have a nine year or ten year or even a five year contract. that could have been a better plan for the competition process. some of it is resources, some of it is a changing improvement in particular but we have been strong proponts of competition and that should be the standard that is applied. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> mr. chvotkin thank you for joining us today and giving your perspective on this. we are going to close the meeting in time to have the members vote. thank you for your time and
thank you for your patience in waiting for the first panel. >> thank you mr. chairman. [inaudible conversations] >> up next on c-span, senators meet at the white house to discuss health care legislation. >> aviation safety. this is in response to safety concerns raised by the crash of a regional airliner in new york in february. that hearing is coming up shortly. >> and later, a state department briefing on pakistan and afghanistan.
>> on tomorrow morning's "washington journal," congressman fred upton will take questions on the u.s. auto industry. after that, congressman steve scalise discusses a republican energy proposal. >> later, jared bernstein on health care legislation. >> and then mary landrieu tauks talks about oil drilling in the gulf of mexico. "washington journal" begins each day with the day's news. >> president obama met with the chairman and ranking member of the committees working on health care legislation. the senators worked -- spoke with reporters after wards. this is eight minutes.
>> the president wanted to meet to discuss health care rosm. the main point is, we have to act now together, which is probably one of the more important messages we wanted to make, to revamp the health care system, so that health care costs do not go up as rapidly as they have. so many person families are experiencing an uncon shunnable hike in health care costs. we have to reform the system, reform the health insurance system so people are not denied coverage based on preexisting conditions or health status. and all americans should have health insurance to make this system work, and it's just morally the right thing to do. we discussed various ways to get
a yes from the bipartisan bill. the president made it clear he prefers a bripe solution. we do, too, all four of us, and we're going to work as hard as we can to fulfill our obstacle gage as representatives of our people, and also pursue the cunts opportunity we have to pass meaningful health care op legislation. it was a gathering of the minds, if you will, and a collection of thoughts together, working together the president striving toward our goal to get health care legislation passed. we described a few issues somewhat at issue on the hill and various ways to make those work. a very open discussion and a practical pragmatic approach rather than drawing a line in the sands, one side versus the others and work with these. but it is in a spirit of
bipartisanship so we can get meaningful legislation passed. >> to echo senator -- the senator's comments, there is nothing more important than an issue like this. as mike enzi said, and i agree with him, this is one issue that affects 100% of our fellow citizens. every business, every provider, every consumer will be affected by the decisions we make. senator kennedy should be standing here in my place, but obviously he is struggling with a health issue, and my hope is that he will be back in the coming weeks, but in the meantime we are going to work forward. we have submitted a draft piece of legislation. inviting the finance committee to work on a single product in the coming days.
mike enzi has had a great relationship with senator kennedy. it is not only unacceptable the system exists as it does today, it is unsustainable, that we have to address this and get it right, and we're determined to do that. >> i thought the president was flexible except in one area, and that is get the job done. and we all want to get the job done. i believe that bipartisanship was spoken about a lot, and i would be unhappy if it hadn't been. i think the president wants to work in a bipartisan way. i expressed to the president that abipartisanship is it how senator baucus and i have done it for 10 years. we start with a blank sheet of paper and build a document. and that's the way we're doing it. bipartisanship is not a a democrat bill with five or six republicans going along with it.
we're restructuring 17% of the gross national product. in anything we do in health care. that's something that's never been done by congress before in one piece of legislation. it should be done thoughtfully, it should be done on a con tens senseous basis, and bipartisanship is about the only way you're going to get a consensus basis. i think the president with play a very important part in bipartisanship. he told us he wants a bipartisan bill. if he wants a bipartisan bill, he can do a lot of things to help make it bipartisan, and i look forward to that sort of cooperation. >> it was an opportunity for us to look at some thing the president is trying to do in a bipartisan way. this is the biggest issue that
congress has ever had to do because it does affect 100% of the american people. what we have to be careful to do is start with a solution in look for the problem. we have been looking in both of these committees at the problem and trying to figure out a solution that everyone can agree on that will solve that problem. i think we've done a good job of listening, and hopelopefully we can follow from the problem to the solution instead of picking up on some local solutions to make problems. i am hopeful that we can -- we're on the right track, there are a lot of things we can agree on. we have those core things together. now we just have to work on some of the other issues and get them resolved. i am confident we can do that. i am a little worried about the timeline, and i'm worried about how we pay for it. but i think america realizes we have maxed out the credit cards and it is important we have some ways to pay for this as well.
>> what areas did the president express flexibility on that have concerned you and 0 republicans the most? why >> well, i think he expressed a lot of flexibility, and i don't want to speak for the president, but you know, those big issues are out there, we discussed those big issues, and he expressed flexibility. when i say "he said" i'm speaking about an atmosphere that went op in the meeting. we have a problem, let's figure out how we can solve this problem. why did you resolve at this meeting whether or not to tax employer-based health benefits? if not, where does that stand? senator dodd, what are your thoughts? where does that stand? >> we all are flexible on all these points. we are and the president is.
we are working. that means we're working practically, practicing matcally, to figure out how to change those, work with them. these are -- and it's an awful term in this town -- dmple ialable. he can change something up here -- dmple ialable. dialable. they are all workable. the question is, how do we make these things work in a way that's approached practicing matcally. -- pragmatically. the whole meeting was positive. >> so nothing is off the table?
>> tomorrow morning, the c.e.o. of bank of america, ken lewis talks about his financial takeover of merrill lynch last year. the deal included billions in taxpayer coverage. live coverage begins at 3:30 eastern on c-span 3. later in the day, a war spending measure. that's also on c-span 3. >> how is c-span funded? >> private donations. >> i don't really know. >> from public donations. >> i don't know where the money comes from. >> federal money? >> the money comes from donors. >> how is c-span funded? 30 years ago america created c-span as a public service. a private business initiative.
no government mandate, no government money. >> now a senate hearing on aviation history. we'll hear about the sirvings surrounding flight 3407 back in buffalo in february. witnesses at this hearing include the federal ad aviation administration. this is an hour and 50 minutes. i want to thank you for joining us here today to talk about a very important subject, the subject of aviation safety. this is a subcommittee of the u.s. senate commerce committee. eight is the first of two hearings we will hold, once a day in one next week to discuss the aviation safety with a particular focus on the safety of regional airlines. in this hearing we will receive testimony from the federal aviation administration, national transportation safety board, the department transportation inspector general
and an independent safety experts from this flight safety foundation, mr. o'brien who i mentioned is not yet here. he is stuck in traffic that will be with us momentarily. at our next hearing on june 17th we will hear from witnesses including some of the airlines and some pilots. let me begin the subject of safety by saying in this country who think we have a remarkably safe system of air travel. the safety record is extraordinary and it is not my intention to a that alarm anyone about considering taking a flight on the regional carrier or any airline for that matter but i do think we of responsibility to examine airline crashes when they occur and insure we do all we can to prevent future accidents. we have all heard the story of the tragic crash in february of this year of continental connection flight 3407 from buffalo, a new york or rather in buffalo new york. this flight was operated by
colgan air. the plane was operated by captaining co-pilot, both of whom had committed fairly long distances to get to work and were found to have had little rest before the flight. the co-pilot revealed her experience in flying in icy conditions in the transcript of the voice recording that i fred and i am sure my colleagues have as well. the captain had previously failed a number of flight tests. we will hear from the ntsb which has been investigating but it sounds like the captain just made the wrong decision at the wrong time, flying in very difficult icy conditions. at i worry when i have looked at this, and read the transcript of the cockpit recording and all of the other issues, that there are issues here of fatigued, training, commuting and perhaps salaries that could have played a role. i am concerned about the airlines and the faa's ability
to prevent inexperienced pilots from flying planes they might be less familiar with than they should be organized the weather for example, when they are less experienced in icing conditions then you would expect them to be. we are supposed to be having one level of safety for both regional and major carriers. i want to hear from our administrative, faa administrator babbitt whether he thinks that is actually the case and whether the faa has kept up with changes in the industry and is able to insure one level of safety. this is standard exists of one level and is that standard in forced to what level? i sent a letter to the department transportation inspector general to ask that they review the faa's roll in the cert of training programs that airlines require for pilots, the extent to which the faa can verify that pilots are receiving a appropriate training and the ability of the faa to
verify the qualifications of pilots to operate specific aircraft and i am pleased that the inspector general is here with us today. have also sent a letter to the gao to ask the they study the safety practice in place to prevent and deal with the icy conditions. let me say the ntsb in my judgment appears to be doing a very thorough job, which is not a surprise to me, in trying to gain an understanding of this crash. we need to fully understand it and find out what changes if any are necessary to be made to insure it does not happen again. as i said this will be the first of two such hearings and are witnesses today will be randy babbitt, mark rosenker, the acting chairman of the ntsb, calvin scovel, inspector general of the department transportation and john o'brien who will be with us shortly, a member of the flight safety foundation. i indicated a protocol on the
ranking member of the subcommittee for an opening statement and the chairman and ranking member of the full committee and then call on the witnesses and have seven minute rounds for questions. senator demint. >> i particularly want to thank you for your diligence and your sense of urgency in having these hearings and i'm trying to get answers to the american people and all passengers. i appreciate the witnesses being here today. i am not going to give a full opening statement because i want to get to you, but just the possible weaknesses on the carrier side are obviously important and i agree with everything the chairman says but in interviewing some of the carriers, the one involved with this, there may be things on our side that we can do such as our privacy regulations that keep carriers from having accidents, to some of the records that we no fault the carrier for not responding to. i would like to hear more about that from some of you but
mr. babbitt as you know, and you met with me and some of the parents who lost loved ones in that crash, all they ask of you is once this report comes out in and makes recommendations, will we respond or will we make the same mistakes again? i hope we can talk about that today. if we can talk about theory is one thing but these parents are asking us what are we going to do about it when we find out what it is we should do? think us again for being here and i appreciate all three of you. i yield to the ranking member. >> the ranking member of the full committee, senator hutchinson. >> thank you. of course i have been the chairman of this great subcommittee in having been a vice chairman of the national transportation safety board, safety is always going to be the highest priority on my agenda.
and i will always remain interested, so get ready. i am going to be an active member of the subcommittee. but, seriously, having had the ntsb experience, we have made some great strides. as you know we still have two standards. for the regionals and the air carriers. but we don't anymore. we are now all together in the 121 category. but the fact is that some of the largest airlines have larger, also a safety programs and they have higher standards than even the minimum in 121. i know that is something you are going want to get, it is do we have the right minimum standard, or should we start stepping it up to be more in line with some of the larger air carriers? the troubling thing of course is
that, four of the last five accidents that we have had in our country have been regional jets, and clearly, we have-- or maybe they have not all been jets but i assume they were. anyway, the regional. carriers. and they think pilot issues have been a part of that. so, what i am going to want to hear and ask you to particularly look at is the obviously the pilot history, krueger's cut calculations, coppitt oversight, training paramount but also maintenance training. that is not probably in most of these accidents but i think we do need to look, just because we are beginning to see that maybe maintenance training and
oversight needs to be coming into the safety factors as well. i will just support what senator dorgan said. we have the safest system in the world, and we have had wonderful faa and ntsb involvement. our investigators are the best, and they come up with the causes and we have learned from those causes and we have made the adjustments by the faa through the years, so i think that we are a safe aviation country, but we should be now staying, let's take another look. let's see where we need to be more stringent and have more oversight just to insure that we are doing everything possible because i know there are people in this audience whose lives have been affected by some of these tragic accidents. so, i really appreciate that you
are holding the hearing. i do have a conflicting hearing so i will not be able to stay but i will give the testimony and when we are into the faa reauthorization and into the safety standards, i will be very active and i want to have the input. i will let get everything you let said and we will work together in what is in all of our interest. thank you. >> senator hutchison's thank you in thank you for your work on this subcommittee over the years. senator rockefeller is not able to be with this. with the three of you who are here with to make it one minute opening statement very briefly i would be happy to recognize any of the three of you. >> just very quickly mr. chairman because they do want to hear, we all want to hear from witnesses and we are pleased to have the new administrative-- administrator of the faa and ig. people have confidence in the experience and that is just what we ought to be doing, is looking
up the seat beside. people are anxious to go places. they still crowd airplanes. there are still huge delays, but the overriding concern is safety in mr. chairman i commend you for holding this hearing. >> as to recognize the witnesses let me make one final point. most consumers get on an airplane and all they see on the fuselage is the brand name of that carrier and they don't know whether it is a commuter or a major. bajis to the brand name and a question i think for all of us as we begin to hear the witnesses is, should passengers that the same confidence in the same capability, the same experience and the same judgment exists in that cockpit no matter the size of the airplane? because they don't know whether it is a commuter or a major carrier. does it exist today? that is what we are asking because a lot of that evidence suggested in the most recent crash, that was not the case.
let me commend the ntsb for the extraordinary work they are doing and i'm going to begin with the honorable randolph babbitt, administrator of the faa. i am very pleased to decided to serve your country in this way. you are new to that job but i recognize you and i would say to all four witnesses your entire statement will be made part of the permanent record and we will estey to summarize. mr. babbitt, you may proceed. [inaudible] i am sorry. chairman dorgan, senator demint and members of the full committee, thank you for inviting me here today to discuss the faa's role in the oversight of air carriers. let me start by saying that we faa more tragic loss of kuhlman air flight 3407 and as well as the families and crew members aboard the air france for 47. this is an agency that is
dedicated to air safety. and the loss is felt keenly by all of us and our sympathies go out to both the families of 3407 and air france for 47. as you noted senator this is my first appearance at a hearing since i was sworn in as at the eight administrative and i want to thank this committee again for both your support and your confidence in me. we do have an ambitious agenda and i think i have discussed some of that with you at the left confirmation, and i intend to work very hard to achieve the state the goals we have set forth in the challenge of the faa. since the mid 1990's there has been a requirement for one level of safety that all regional carriers must operate under the same rules and the same level of safety as their major airline counterparts and i am proud to say when i was president of the pilots association back in that time period i let out those efforts to work with the faa to make those changes.
all carriers that operate aircraft today that have ten or more seats are required to meet the exact same safety standards and are subject to the same level of safety oversight across the board. when the ntsb conducted its public hearing last month, and i commend them on that hearing, several issues came to light when they were investigating the colgan air crash. issues such as pilot training, qualifications, issues such as flight crew can-- fatigue inconsistency of standards and compliance between air transportation operators for good given the ntsb has not included this investigation i can't really speak today to any of the potential findings. my written testimony will provide details as to the current regulations and requirements with regard to pilot training, the pilots' .