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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 26, 2009 12:30am-1:00am EDT

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>> mr. leader, you play a large living policy initiatives against healthcare, immigration, energy bills. with all these priorities and the way your party comes at these things when you come to an issue -- senator henson, senator stanford, how does that get in the way? >> my job is to keep our members focused on the task at hand. the american people sent us here to represent them. and all they've seen this year is an awful lot of spending, an awful lot of debt, and an attempted government takeover of healthcare, national energy tax. and so we've got a lot of work to do. and my job is to keep our members focused on the work in front of us. and we're going to continue to do that. >> that's consumed the news oxygen in the past 24 hours. how can you stay focused on that if that's what people are talking about? >> if you noticed in my press
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conference this morning, i'm not talking about it. [laughter] >> i'm talking about the stuff that its at hand, the things that i've got to work on. >> mr. leader, i'm interested -- i haven't had a chance to hear your thoughts on the c.b.o. estimate. -- [indiscernible] focussing on that $3,000 per household estimate from boston university. c.b.o. announced it was $174 per household in terms of higher energy bills. -- [indiscernible] actually -- >> if you look at the c.b.o. score and you read it, it's only one title of the bill. but what is clear in the c.b.o. score is that every american household is going to pay more. listen. when you create this giant bureaucracy to impose this tax it's going to cost a lot of money. and at the end of the day when you look at everything that's
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happened this year from the stimulus to the omnibus to all the earmarks to the budget of the trillion dollar deficit, it's the american middle class that gets hit every single day. and this bill right here is going to hit the american middle class with higher costs and higher taxes. >> why would a member -- i know you don't answer for him but just in your wisdom as a leader, why would a member like mr. doyle from pittsburgh be out stumping for this bill now if he thought it was going to kill jobs in fuel country? >> you have to ask him. >> well, do you think he's under some sort of undue pressure of another kind? he was against it when it came out and he made pains to explain all the concessions he got yesterday that this would not hurt jobs in his steel industry. >> listen. import protections. think about this. we've provided tens of billions of dollars to bail out the auto companies. we're telling the auto companies
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the kind of cars they're going to produce. frankly, i think the car that most americans don't want to buy. and for them to succeed, they're going to have to find every way they can to whit el their costs. one of the big costs in producing automobiles is steel. and so if they're looking for the best price on a pound of steel, what are they going to do? they're going to look at the united states and go, "well, i'd love to buy that american made steel, but you know, it's 30 or 40% higher than the steel we could get from china, korea, india. and what's going to happen ." >> -- it isn't going to be more expensive. >> it is going to be more expensive. you can't produce steel without producing carbon dioxide. it's what's fundamentally wrong with us. that's not just about higher costs. this really is about shipping
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millions of american jobs overseas. and the idea that we're going to control the amount of carbon dioxide that goes into the atmosphere by ourselves i think is ridiculous. you got no environmental controls like this -- like we have today in india or china, our two biggest industrial competitors. and so here's what happens. we impose this tax on high-end energy use in the united states, we're going to ship jobs overseas. and when those jobs get shipped overseas, guess what? they're going to import more american coal. we'll sell more coal. they're going to burn that coal to produce energy. and when they burn that coal over there, they're going to produce five times the amount of carbon dioxide as they burn that coal than if it were burnt in the united states. this is the most convoluted idea i've ever seen. this is why our proposal to do more renewables, more
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american-made oil and gas, more nuclear, take the money from the royalties of the oil and gas and pump it back into renewables, so lar, geothermal, wind, and actually speed up the development of these, this will do more to actually clean up the air and bring down the cost of energy and help reduce the dependence we have on energy from overseas. it's the most common sense way to approach this issue rather than this. >> -- had a busy week not only with the energy bill, a couple of appropriations bills. do you feel as though the republicans [indiscernible] down or had any impact on your own or are they running over you? >> they're running over us. they're in such a rush to spend the american people's money, they won't allow us to offer our cost-cutting amendments to try to reduce spending in these bills. that's why they've gagged us, they've taken away most of our
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amendments. because they want to spend this money. they want to spend it as fast as they can before anybody notices. just like moving this crazy idea, this national energy tax tomorrow whenpeople -- nobody's probably read this 1201-page bill yet. nor has anybody really seen the final language from mr. peterson on his deal that he kept with mr. waxman that supposedly to help american agriculture. except i don't think anybody in american agriculture is buying the deal that was cut. >> -- to follow up on that, you said yesterday something to the effect of there was no bipartisan healthcare plan it wouldn't pass this year. if that's an implication you can stop it. if you're getting run over on these bills, how do you stop a healthcare bill you don't like? >> i'm suggesting if there isn't a bipartisan plan moving through the congress, it's not likely to happen this year. because i just don't think in the united states senate you can
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get a bill through there on a partisan basis that americans will support. run over us here in the house. they have all year. we've reached out, offered our better solutions. but there's been no attempt at bipartisanship. and it's unfortunate. the american people want this done in a bipartisan way, in a practical way. that reduces costs and gets them better care. >> if there was a bill that came to the floor now that looked like what the democrats are talking about would any republicans vote for that? >> i'll live the vote counting to the whip. but i'd have to stretch my imagination to think of one who would vote for the most bizarre plan that i've seen. i can't wait for the cost figures to come out on this one. >> mr. boehner when the energy bill does come out on the floor, whether it's tomorrow, will your side do what 2 can to slow it down and keep it on the floor
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for as long as possible? >> well, i don't know what action we're going to take. there's a lot of time between now and then for us to do everything we can to try to protect the american people' wallet from these colleagues of mine who want to raise taxes, spend more money and increase the debt. everything i came here to fight against. >> what do you think about shaq going to the cavaliers? [laughter] >> samuelson of environment and energy daily with us on the phone. what's the latest on whether house democrats are ready to pass a climate change bill on friday? >> well, they're not saying yet when the floor debate will begin on friday morning. the expectations are it will start friday morning. but they still trying to wrap up those last couple of votes. the question is will nancy pelosi gamble if she's short of the two, three, four, five, dozen votes that she's going to
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need and try to win them on the floor, or will they just go full steam ahead or will they have secured the 218 and head into the vote knowing that they're going to win? so we're waiting, watching, there's been a lot of lobbying happening off the floor, on the floor in the last couple of days. carol browner, president obama's top energy advisor, rahm emanuel the chief of staff have been working the phones in person. president obama making a plea in the rose garden speech, spoke about it at his press conference the other day. there's definitely a push there as well. >> tell us about house speaker pelosi and why is she getting so directly involved in talking to lawmakers to vote in favor of the bill? >> this has been one of her quote unquote flagship issues for as long as she has been the speaker of the house. she took over in 2006. this is one of her biggest issues. she's been the one kind of pushing the chairman of the house energy and commerce committee henry waxman all along this process from the get-go
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she's probably responsible for henry waxman sitting in the energy commerce and -- spot. that was a decision made right after the election last november that pretty much kickstarted this entire process to try to move this bill through. she's someone from san francisco who's been a big environmentalist her whole career. this is an issue that environmentalists have been trying to get on the agenda on capitol hill for a long time, for many many years. and they've faced opposition for eight years under the bush administration. this is poised to be the first ever house floor vote on cap and see -- cap-and-trade bill. >> the climate change bill itself, cap-and-trade and what else are the key aspects of this bill? >> cap-and-trade is probably the biggest piece. it's an overall cap on united states greenhouse gas emissions, the declines over the next 40 years allows companies to buy and sell permits that allow them
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to pollute more than they're required to and other companies that are cleaning up more get to sell to the dirtier companies. the other major provision of this bill is a renewable electricity standard that would push the united states to try and get as much clean energy from solar and 20 years -- and wind over the next 15 to 20 years. there's some wiggle room there that allows some states to do more and other states to do less. those are probably the two biggest provisions of this bill. and then there's been a whole bunch of other added mandates over the last couple of weeks and months including some green building incentives and some promotion to try and get sort of greener jobs. and we're hoping people who lose their jobs to transition into a greener economy would be the way the sponsors are selling this. >> we've heard from a number of republicans, republican leadership, against the cap-and-trade parts of this bill. who else is opposed to the bill? are there any democrats opposed
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to the bill or the cap-and-trade aspect? >> republicans are going to be largely unified. you might see about five or six jump over and then vote with the democrats, probably led by mary bono maxim from california. in the industrial world you got kind of a split. some the national mining association, for example, is working hard against this bill. you're seeing the american farm bureau came out yesterday against the bill. the american petroleum institute is against the bill. so some of the bigger trade groups are fighting this bill. a lot of the conservative groups you definitely have a large group of skeptics on the sides of global warming who don't believe that climate change is an issue and they're trying to stop this bill from moving forward. >> is agriculture committee chairman collin peterson onboard? >> he is onboard. he signed up about three days ago in a huge agreement that really jolted this debate forward. we started this week not knowing if this bill was going to reach the floor this week. and over last weekend, staff had kind of been just working hours and hours and hours into the
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weekend when they came back on monday and tuesday and actually wrapped up an agreement on a number of key issues that the farm state chairman from minnesota, collin peterson had been fighting for, probably the biggest two or three were dealing with the free allowances that are going to be given out to the electrical utility industry. and collin peterson demanded he wanted 1% to be given to rural cooperates spread out across the country. getting 5% of the giant pie distributed. the other thing collin peterson wanted was that united states department of agriculture will be in charge of the offset program as opposed to the united states environmental protection age ownsy. and that's important for collin peterson because u.s.d.a. he thinks is definitely more in tune with the farmers of america. and basically the offset program is something that will pay farmers and landowners to do environmentally friendly conservation practices, agriculture, planting trees.
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and collin peterson thinks that usda has a much more keen understanding of these things than e.p.a. >> darren samuelson of environment and energy daily. thanks for the update. >> happy to do it. >> there's still time to get your copy of c span's 2009 congressional directory with information on house and senate members, the cabinet, supreme court justices and the nation's governors plus district maps and how to contact commitees and caucuses. it's 16.95. online at or call 1-877-on-c span [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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>> there will be more from the newly released tapes saturday afternoon on c-span radio. >> now we have a hearing on stimulus spending. the house transportation committee heard from federal officials about airline, train, and highway spending.
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the committee will come to order. and this is the second of a series of oversight hearings that i have committed as to undertake at the outset of the recovery act. in december of 2007, when i proposed an initiative to get the economy moving again, programs under the jurisdiction of this committee, actually, we had bipartisan initiatives in this committee to move things forward with the administration at that time. the president was not keen in
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doing that. not much has changed. the current administration is not interested in the transportation bill. we are moving ahead of them. i have set forth standards. one is that there be accountability, transparency, and recording. priority consideration should be given to the areas of the highest unemployment as measured by the economic development administration's monthly report on areas of high unemployment throughout the country. we committed to openness and transparency and accountability.
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this section of the hearings this good on that commitment. only 20 days ago, the bill was signed into law. i have to give great credit to the federal highway demonstration, the department of transportation overall. today's hearing is only on the dot portions of our recovery act provisions. we will have another hearing after the july recess on the wastewater treatment, water infrastructure parchments, the members of a concerted others will report was at that second hearing.
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there was a report in the newspaper. there were several reports, actually. they misunderstand the way the federal programs worke. states have received only $132 million of the stimulus package of''s funding. that is accurate, but it does not accurately state the issue. they have reimbursed 130 two million dollars. the stimulus program works just like -- they have reimbursed $132 million. the stimulus program works just like this.
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state dot's advertise for bids, evaluate the bids as the command, and then the award bids. the contractor begins work and then builds the state. the built -- the state and then builds the federal highway administration. then they reimburse the state against submitted vouchers. that is the way it has always worked. a good comparison would be if you are hired on at a pay a $50,000 and your first month's pay is one 12th of that amount, $4,000, let's say, you do not
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complain that you did not get paid. you were paid for the first month work. states do not get the entire allocation all one time. they are paid against their vouchers for the work completed, it incrementally, by contractor s. all of the $27 billion was allocated by federal highway aid mission. states were told what their respective apportionments would be under the formula in. -- under the formula and. -- under the formula. the states then began their process. the reality is that there are -- here iit is.
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they have 4366 projects that have been approved from all states and three of the territories and the district of columbia, representing $14.4 billion. 54% of the funds in the highway and recovery act, 490 projects as of last week have been put out to bid. 2000 two hundred 94 projects have signed project -- two thousand 294 projects have signed contracts -- 2294 projects have signed contracts. the next 30 days will follow the trail. it will go upstream to the supply chain.
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i think we will hear from me sand and gravel pit operators. in anticipation of the money, they have called people back to work. some of the work of the recovery is ahead of the schedule. the numbers are not showing up in the accounting. others will follow as the contractors sign and construction crews are out on the job site. if we continue at this pace, we will be able to see, by the end of september, a quarter of a million construction jobs under way. the purpose of this hearing is to hear the reports from each of the modal administrators and also to hear any obstacle or any difficulties in the way of
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moving the finding out into the stream. i am confident that this program is off to a fast start, a good start. i think that the corps of engineers is lower. they did not get their allocation as soon. we will hear about that in the first week after the july recess. in my own state of minnesota, the state revolving loan administrators have taken $123 million of wastewater treatment and drinking water treatment and leveraged it into 500 two million dollars program.
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-- 500 two million dollars -- $502 million program. there are going to be some very exciting success stories as we move into the next phase. i will leave -- i will yield to the distinguished gentleman. >> thank you, chairman. [unintelligible] for our committee, when we pass to these $787 billion stimulus package, most folks thought that 90%, 80%, 70% of that would be for infrastructure and we would
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deal with hard nation's crumbling highways, bridges, ports, airports, roads that they go over daily, and that they would see a dramatic improvement. as it turned out, we were only able to get about 7% of that entire package for infrastructure. one of the reasons we could not get it was because they said it was -- the cbo escorted and said that they could only get out $63 billion in the time allotted. >> they said we could spend at a rate of to put 4%. and they were wrong. >> -- a rate of two 0.4% -- 2.4%. >and they were wrong. >> one of my concerns today and for the future is the problem
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of government red tape, bureaucracy, and hoops. we tried to send the money to the states to distribute it in an orderly fashion. the intent was not too big project winners and losers, but to do it in an orderly fashion. the problem is we are getting strangled, again, with government red tape, with bureaucracy. i've prepared a little minority report on the 120 days. where is the money? we have $48 billion given to the department of transportation. as of may 29, the amount obligated was $15.7 billion. i have gotten to a bit reports.
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-- i have gotten two update reports. i have the latest update. we will probably get it from the administrators to day. it is pennies on the dollar, fractions of a penny on the dollar on what we have made available. let me just give you a sampling, a commentary that i have. norwalk, conn. mayor said after a mayors' conference, that we really need to talk about eliminating some of the bureaucratic things that washington forces on the state's. he is talking about how he cannot move forward on


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