tv Capital News Today CSPAN December 1, 2009 11:00pm-2:00am EST
>> acorn political project vote, all across the board. the reason why i came forward is because i've noticed some things that happened within acorn, such as in dealing with project vote. project vote violated its 501 c 3 status. that's something that i saw and testified to in pennsylvania in october of 2008. i also testified that acorn project vote and c.s.i. were operating as basic lit same organization and there was money being funnelled between the organizations through c.c.i. i also testified that acorn promoted a culture of dishonesty that was moat -- they didn't get
20 cards per day whether or not they'd be correct or not these people were fired. they also were forced to sign contracts saying that acorn would prosecute them. in most cases they did not understand what they were filing, and therefore acorn was able to throw them under the bus. i have the complete testimony here and i'll be glad to submit this and to answer any questions. >> thank you, ms. monkrief. the gentleman from california, mr.ist say, is recognized for his question. >> thank you, ranking member smith. ms. monkrief, i want to thank you for coming forth to take a moment to sort of define perhaps a bit further your past. you've worked with other nonprofits, microloans, other organizations to help the poor. isn't that true? >> yes.
>> and your goal in going to acorn is in fact furthering community outreach and community support to help aid the poor, isn't that true? >> that's correct. i turned down a higher-paying job to go to acorn because i felt like i was ideologically in line with them. >> and i think that's something i hope we all learn today and leave this forum knowing better is that there are people like you who care about people in need who go to organizations, other organizations and find that they're doing a good job or not. but in this case you went to acorn, the largest organization of its type, and found that they had other agendas. isn't that true? >> yes. >> well, let's go through a little bit of that agenda if i could. and i'm going to be fairly narrow because my time is short and there are many people who have questions who maybe haven't been through the answers with you as often. first of all, i've made the accusation this is a criminal enterprise. i'll set that aside for a moment and just talk a little bit about
the partisan nature. all of us on the dais except perhaps one knew albert winn, local congressman here, well-liked on both sides of the i'm. you watched agosh's involvement in his -- acorn's involvement in his primary, democrat to democrat primary. can you tells about that? >> yes. during 200067 acorn was working with the 527 organization called communities voting together. communities voting together was actually another affiliate of acorn run by jeff robinson. jeff robinson also was head of c.s.i. and he was part of the acorn political operations. he came to me and he wanted to do a powerpoint to present to funds and other progressive organizations. the name of that powerpoint was campaign for a new congress. when i saw it, albert winn was pictured standing next to george bush. and they tried to paint him in a light to make him seem that because he was friend with bush, he was seen laughing with bush,
and they said that he supported his invasion of iraq. they were trying to get rid of albert winn in favor of donna edwards. donna edwards happens to sit on the board of one of the foundations that had provided acorn money for the 2006 voter registration drives. so i put together that powerpoint using the door knockers that acorn had flooded into the communities. and i scan them in. and that presentation was used to get more money in order to beat winn in maryland. >> well, let's kind of go back to that. you're working for a nonprofit, a 501-c-3 at the time that is prohibited from being involved in political activities, right? >> correct. >> and a political arm comes to you with an overtly federal election, primary in this case, and has made a decision that al winn is not their kind of democrat and they want your help on behalf of one of your nonprofit donors that has helped you register voters in that very
district, and they want you to in fact help a presentation that led to his defeat in the primary. >> that is correct. >> mr. smith, i'm going to ask a couple more questions. but i think for here today, the distortion even in the democratic primary of "you're not the right kind of democrat" speaks legions about why for the sake of both parties this should be investigated further. and i appreciate your coming forward with that. because obviously we would like the attorney general in maryland to do something about that in a timely fashion. plus the u.s. attorney. but let me go through a couple of others. you're very familiar with the corporate shell. you yourself were operating out of at least three corporations. did they carefully pay you allocated based on your time between the various corporations? >> no. i was a sal rid employee through project vote. i was paid straight through the project vote payroll, though i
functioned more on the first year and a half for acorn political operations than i ever did for project vote. >> so in a nutshell, right there, the very way they hired you using charitable tax-free, tax-deductible contributions from private individuals and corporations who cared about the poor and who cared about voter registration in those communities, you were used for overtly political events. >> correct. >> it sort of -- even after all the year i've had of living with this, it still surprises me when we go through that. maybe my last question, if you were to summarize the most important thing that you said to try to change acorn and what the reaction was. because you were once a very
important employee. and virtually overnight, as i understand it, on what i would consider to be pretty trumped-up charges of some expenses that should have been reimbursed and not reimbursed, suddenly found yourself out. what happened to go from being such a trusted employee, so active in it, to where quite frankly even though most of the charges have been dismissed, they went after you with a vengeance, firing you and suing you? >> well, because i had access to not only the donor database but like i said the accounting system -- >> mr.ist say, i'm one of ms. moncrief's attorneys. >> i understand acorn continues to pursue her. >> this is an area we would rather not get into now although we'll be happy to share with with you when the issues in the ongoing case are resolved.
>> ok. last question, then. the various corporations, the affiliates around the country, what you saw in the way of nonprofit money being used for political activities, did you see those in other affiliates from your position? >> yes, i did. i saw them in acorn institute, aisj, american institute for social justice, as entities like working families party. they were all considered to be under the acorn umbrella. all of the money went into c.c.i. and was dispersed out for the political purposes. most of the money was not to help people, it was to run a political campaign. and it was an ongoing political campaign, even during a nonelection years acorn was still ramping up for the next voter registration drive or the next big push until 2008 which they considered to be the big one, the once in a generation opportunity as they called it.
>> thank you. mr. smith, thank you for your indulgence on a little extra time. >> you're welcome. thank you, mr. issa. ms. moncrief, let me ask you one quick question, that is given what you saw, the politicalization of acorn and project vote, and which you knew to be a misuse of funds and you knew that project vote was used for election reasons that were wrong, what made you decide to come forward? you could have resigned, you could have not said anything, you could have kept quiet. what made you want to go public? >> well, i tried to do this twice. in 2007 i contacted the employment policies institute. i spoke to a man named brett jacobsen. and we talked about some of the acorn's antics in relation to throwing people under the bus as i call it. too many people during election cycles were being sent to jail for things that acorn was
encouraging. and a lot of times they were targeting people that didn't have the best education, that didn't have a lot of resources. and these were the people that they were offering up like sack figures lambs. at the time he told me that i needed to find other employment because i had just had a baby. so i didn't do it in 2007. in 2008 i realized that i only had one opportunity to come out there and tell this real story because i knew what their plan was. i was at the planning meeting about what was going to happen with president obama. i had received a co nor list. i had received calls from the obama administration. so i knew what was going to happen if he was elected, that acorn would be like they are now, they're basically untouchable. things are kind of hitting them but they're sliding off. so i tried to tell this story before the election and the "new york times" killed it. after the election i've still been trying to tell it because it's important. they're making money off the poor. poverty is big business for acorn. and it's time to let the poor
people stand up instead of them standing on their backs. >> thank you for being willing to tell the truth. we appreciate it. mr. von spakovsky, given what you know and what you've heard, could any easterly tax or election laws have been -- any election laws have been violated? >> i'm not an expert on tax law, but i think it's pretty clear that they violated their tax-exempt status. and at the very least, they should lose that tax-exempt status and pay whatever fines are associated with having received partisan political contributions and money to engage in political activity. i think there's all kinds of potential, federal election campaign violations. mismoncrief herself has testified under oath in court in pennsylvania about the fact that when she was working for acorn,
they received a list of maxed out donors from the obama campaign and the instructions were to have acorn and project vote go to those people to raise more money so that they could use it to get out the vote for the obama campaign. i mean, there are so many potential violations of the federal election campaign act there that i can't list them all. >> ok. thank you, though. mr. roquita, a question for you. from what you've seen and firsthand, do you think the fraud was just limited to lower-level employees or was it top down? >> well, from what we've seen i think there is a mix. certainly one of the defenses was that these were employees that might have done these acts, if any acts were committed, and thereforth organization as a whole implicated. well, the laws of agency and
common sense refute all that. certainly these folks that were out on the streets, so to speak, collecting voter registrations had to have been trained somewhere. unfortunately they weren't trained in how to correctly do these things. they were trained in how to quickly get numbers. >> ok. thank you. and my last question, mr. caldwell, you've had some experience with a lack of adequate audits and accounting and so forth. you've heard other testimony. in your opinion, could acorn be considered a criminal enterprise? and if so, why? >> well, under louisiana law i think your question illustrates a problem that we potentially have with the prosecution of a corporation. you can't put a corporation in jail. so if you try and convict a corporation you're talking about levying fines against them for whatever criminal activity the statute provides. what we foe on are people.
-- focus on are people. the problem i see down the road is if you have someone and you do something to a particular corporation, nonprofit or otherwise and you've still got the same people then they just go and file under a different name. and so that to me is the real heart of the activity. in terms of an organization being a criminal enterprise, that can happen. now, you have different -- you have under civil law, you have civil -- a civil reco action and those -- ricoh action and those things that are filed. and civil i think is a matter of the degree of the burden. the problem that you have in these corporate cases is that the corporation a lot of times will put it on individual actors and say, well, look, we as a corporation as the brain center did not authorize this. it was this particular person. and they may throw that particular person under the bus. so that's -- i don't know if that directly answers your
question, but i think in terms of the actual people that's more what we look at, especially in a case like this. >> ok. that's sufficient. thank you, mr. caldwell. let me recognize the gentleman from north carolina, mr. kobul for his questions. >> thank you, mr. smith and thank you all for being with us. mr. von spakovsky, the attorney general recently told the "new york times" it is legal -- approved prior to laws that were enacted that prohibit acorn from receiving money. do you believe this is an accurate reading of the law? >> no. i've read the opinion released by the office of legal policy. i think it's quite a stretch to come up with that opinion. and it ignores, for example, the federal acquisition rules which specifically say that all government contracts have to have a provision in them that specifically say that all payments are "conditioned upon
availability of funds." and congress has said there is no availability of funds. so i think they are misinterpreting the law. >> i concur with that. mr. caldwell, in north carolina's early days there was a popular presbyterian minister who answered to the name of david caldwell. any relation? >> no relation. >> well, he would have been a good ancestor for you. >> then i might be related to him. >> on second thought a cousin, right? >> i'll have to investigate. >> mr. caldwell, one of you mentioned about the california acorn office dumping material into a dump that could have been related to a state investigation. is there evidence that this was done in louisiana? and if so, would you prosecute the offense? >> if we find through the course of this investigation that individuals have intentionally obstructed justice, that's a very, very serious offense and we take that very, very
seriously. what goes on in california i'm not quite as familiar. i know that there were some documents that were found in a dumpster. the argument is that based upon the scope of our subpoena, which was very broad, whatever the question would be then were those documents relevant to what we had or was it just something they were dumping out or clean house? i think it's something that certainly raises eyebrows. but the bottom line for us is that when we hear something like that, regardless of what the answer is, we want to know the truth, to find out to get to the bottom line. because we need to narrow it down and get to that part of it. >> i thank you for that. mr. rokita, assuming allegations that acorn has submitted fraudulent voter registration forms, does this constitute criminal activity, a, and b, should it be prosecuted? >> absolutely to both parts of your question. in my written testimony i have
nearly two-pages of what we believe to be our federal statutes and indiana statutes, criminal statutes that have been violated including federal and state ricoh statutes as well as -- let me quickly look. the national voter rental administration act violations, its indiana comparison and the conspiracy against the exercise at voting rights found at u.s.c. 241 and its indiana comparison. >> thank you, sir. ms. moncrief i was going to get into the iowa winn controversy but i think you fairly well covered that. let me ask you this question. in an internal acorn memo describes several instances where grants and donations intended for nonprofit use was in fact mixed or co-mingled with money used for partisan
political purposes. now, to what extent do these actions violate election and tax laws? >> well, i think there are definitely federal law violations. i mean, for example several years ago the department of justice set up a -- they called it a national procurement fraud task force, which is as broad task force with people from the criminal division, various attorneys offices. and they list the various things they're on the lookout for to prosecute. and one of them is grant fraud. and in fact, if they were receiving government grants, not using it for the purposes for which they applied and transferring it to other entities, particularly political entities, then i believe they engaged in grant fraud which is something the justice department should be investigating and prosecuting. >> i again concur. mr. smith, i want you to notice, mr.ist say, i'm yielding back prior to the red light
illuminating. >> i thank the gentleman. with that we yield to the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert, who can use that remaining time and five beyond it. >> i've often advocated that we ought to be given a number of words rather than time. otherwise it's -- >> would that help people with a southern drawl and the slow talk? >> it would be a tremendous help. >> ok. >> but mr. rokita, let me ask you in your report it mentioned that acorn had violated f.e.c. law. did the f.e.c. ever contact you regarding your complaint? >> no. you make allegations that were pretty brazen about violating the law in the federal election commission did not bother to get back with you? >> i don't know of any communication from the federal election commission. and again, we focused a lot on
the criminal statutes and put that to the u.s. attorney. and the lake county prosecutor as well. >> what u.s. attorney's offices responded to your request. >> the u.s. attorney's office for the northern district of indiana. and i've had numerous followup in-person meetings where i would travel to lake county in person to meet with him in his office and then now written correspondence. and they do assure that they are looking into the matter. >> how many from the u.s. attorney's office in maryland got with you? >> in maryland? >> right. >> none. >> ok. just indiana. >> just indiana. >> all right. mr. caldwell, did acorn actually share accounts with tax-exempt groups like acorn institute and
project vote to your knowledge? >> we're in the process of determining that. we issued subpoenas for bank account records early on, before all of the prostitution scandal broke. and we're in the process of obtaining that documentation. it's my investigator just handed me. this we have acorn-related bank accounts. we've got 89 pages, 700 plus accounts to analyze. and so part of the task that we have and any agency investigating this to determine what agencies are affiliated and to follow the money. so that's what we're in the process of doing now. but i will say that we had an issue with some certain agencies now saying they're not affiliated with acorn. that very thing came up when we issued a subpoena to the accounting firm for acorn and c.c.i. we got a letter which is filed in the public record back from
our project vote saying they're not affiliated with acorn in any way, and therefore should not be part of that subpoena. and that concerned us because you have a lot of organizations that are under the umbrella. and so if we have to fight every single one of those in court we'd be five or six -- i mean, we won't get anything done. so that was another impetus behind the search warrant. because now we have i believe the documentation and media that we need so we can do it on our timeline and other folks'. >> have you so far found evidence that those representations of no association were inaccurate? >> we do have account records. well, it depends on how you define "association." i think that's part of what the wiggle room that people are attempting. >> if it were defined as "receiving money from or giving money to" do you have evidence that they were associated in that manner? giving money to or taking money
from? >> which organization did you ask? >> well, either acorn institute or project vote. >> i believe we're on that track. i blown mean, i will tell you this. we're going to file a response in the public record to project votes objection. and it is our position that they are in fact affiliated with acorn such that we are allowed to review their documentation. if it takes too long we're just going to issue another subpoena specifically directed to them. i mean, for us it's about the fastest means to obtain what the truth is. so we're not really going to do a whole lot of legal wrangling with them. but to answer your question, yes, i do believe they're associated. >> what was the role of citizens consulting inc.? >> they as we understand it are the financial arm of acorn. so for example they process all the payroll for acorn nationwide. any of those organizations and entities. so that's where all the money
flowed through, or most all of it to our knowledge. >> thank you. mr. von spakovsky, how does robert bauers' appointment as white house general counsel jeopardize in your opinion a proper investigation into acorn? >> well, i mean, i have to say, i know bob boronia personal level. he's a very nice guy -- bob bauer. but he is a fierce opponent. and he was the acting general counsel for the d.n.c. and he's willing to do just about anything to win. and i mean, his letter last year in which he tried to get the justice department do a criminal investigation of anybody who really who talked about voter fraud -- i mean, his claim was if you talk about voter fraud you're trying to intimidate voters. and you know, with him now being the white house counsel, that gives me a lot of worries. i mean, i guess i should be looking in the mail for a grand
jury subpoena because i write about voter fraud, you know, quite a bit. but that concerns me greatly so far there's been absolutely no movement, no information whatsoever that the justice department or the f.b.i. are doing any kind of investigation. and look, you and i, we all know in this room that if for example a national real estate company, realtor, if there were five undercover videos of a realtor in five of their different offices around the country telling people how to engage in mortgage fraud by covering up what you actually do in the applications you're sending in, there would be a federal investigation going on and it would have been announced with great fanfare at the justice department. >> well, you say. that but it could depend on whether that group had made
loans to people in a particular party in congress perhaps. and maybe they wouldn't have announced it with fanfare. if i could just ask ms. moncrief with your indulgence. you. you mentioned previously about the communication that it was really more important to get 1.4 million voters registered than it was to worry about some of them being improper or false. who specifically would have communicated that? >> the political directors of senior management. we would have meetings of acorn political operations. and they would go over the types of things that were needed for this drive. and one of them was that they said they didn't mind if a few bad cards slipped through in order to get to the goal. it was all about getting the numbers. it really didn't matter whether the cards were correct. >> but who were those directors
that you recall communicating that? >> kimberly olsen, zach pollette was the head of acorn political operations, nathan henderson james was there, jessica angus, ben hana and claire -- i can't think. her first name is claire. >> well, and again -- >> claire crawford. i'm sorry. >> we appreciate so much your willingness to come forward. have you been threatened, harassed at all for coming forward as you have? >> when i first came forward i had some problems. but things are getting better the more that i get out there. and i just wanted to mention that we actually counter sued project vote under the alter ego theory so we may want to provide some of that information to louisiana. it may help with the claims. >> ok. thank you all so much. >> thank you, gentlemen. certainly part of the reason we're holding this forum today is so that we can shed light on the lack of fire corporations --
lack of firewalls for these corporations perhaps making the case these corporations do not deserve separate identity. normally piercing the corporate veil has to do with is it operating as a separate corporation or not. and with that i would recognize for his questions the gentleman who will probably be sundown as the acorn king -- probably be known as the acorn king. >> thank you, mr. issa, for pulling this forum together and working in cooperation with the balance of the people in this committee. first reflection is, i better come to the end and do that. i'd like to conclude with ms. moncrief. it really caught my ear when mr. von spakovsky made the statement about the now white house counsel bob bauer as and i would ask to the two parts of to the question, have you reviewed the letter he wrote to the justice department a year ago
that i referenced in my opening statement. you may recall in the last paragraph of that letter -- you may recall in the last paragraph of that letter that he requests a private, personal meeting between himself and the attorney general, the attorney general mull casey at the time. i never did find out whether that meeting took place or what might have been discussed that would have accelerated the fierceness of this. but i pose that question if you have some answers to that or any indication. then the other component is, is it a stretch to speculate that mr. bauer was hired at least in part to help scrub the links between the obama campaign, the obama white house, and acorn? >> i have read his letter. i don't know the answer to the question of whether there ever was a meeting between mucasey and bob bauer. i mean, i don't know the answer to the other question. i mean, that would be speculation on my part which i
don't really want to do. i do know he's a very good lawyer. and he would do whatever it took, i think, within the legal bounds, to do the best job he can for his client. and if that meant making sure that there are no problems in the connection between and the prior connections between the president and acorn of which there were many, i mean, i think he would work on that very much. >> i thank you. and then in turning to mr. rokita, and i wanted to say publicly here thank you for your valorant and successful effort to clean up election law in indiana. it's something i endeavored to do in the aftermath of the 2000 election in iowa and then i chaired the senate and state government committee. and many of the things you accomplished there was legislation i was able to push through the iowa senate that actually failed in the house. so this index is right down the
line and very well done. just -- and it adds integrity. as you said it's not a democrat or republican issue. and you mentioned that you're working with the u.s. attorney for the northern district of indiana. and that there have been a number of communications there. and i would just ask you if it is so that this panel knows how to recognize people that are working together, can you tell us the name of the u.s. attorney? >> oh, sure. his name is david capp. >> thank you. i want to watch the news as this unfolds. i'm looking for allies that care about our constitutional underpinnings and i want to be able to pat the right people on the back when the time comes. i know you're one of them. and i got to do that just a moment ago. and then to attorney general caldwell, that was a bold decision to go in and do the -- and subpoena that information and go in and pick up the 178 hard drives and the other documents that you talked about.
just out of curiosity, i haven't been down there since the first part of july. at that time there was a large -- we call it a barn sign campaign poster for obama in the front window at 2609 canal street there at the national headquarters of acorn. do you happen to remember if it was still there the day you went in to serve those warrants? >> i haven't seen. we've been by that location a few times over the past few months. and i have never seen that sign. i'm not saying it wasn't there at one point. so that's probably been for at least a couple of three months. i did not see any political campaign signs. >> put it on the floor in a poster often enough i imagine that was an inspiration for them to pull it down before you arrive with your subpoena. just a little aside for my own information. but you also mexicoed in your oral testimony that there were documents that you had formerlily subpoenaed in the blanket i'll call it a raid on acorn's headquarters in new orleans. are you at liberty to tell us
what documents they did not produce when they were specifically subpoenaed? >> well, we really to be honest with you didn't get that far. because we issued a subpoena. and this is all in the public record. because when they filed their motion for protective order we issued a subpoena for the accounting records. and we directed that to their accountant. the duponche firm. we heard back from them in written and oral correspondence. they said look we want to comply but our client is telling us to assert an accountant-client privilege. that's not under federal law. that's under state law. and so they filed a protective order. and as part of that protective order they put in a correspondence from acorn, the attorneys for acorn saying, well, we're going to comply with the federal subpoena but not with the state subpoena. and that caused concern, simply because with this amount and this type of massive investigation, i mean, if we have to litigate that before a state court judge who's got to review hundreds of thousands of
documents in camera it's just never going to get done. so that caused us concern. and now in discussing that initial conversation with acorn's lawyer, that's when she told me, she said, i just want to let you know that we've had a couple of hard drives that we're in the process of trying to get back but we weren't successful. and she did say those may contain information that would be relevant to you. and so that caused us concern. because while we had heard other things around the country regarding potential destruction of documents and that type of thing, all of that was to attenuate it. that additional piece provided us with probable cause. so we were not able to get -- it was very early on. as soon as we heard about it we executed that warrant two days later because we wanted to ensure. now, they have been making rolling production. and one of their responses other than the protective order to us is that, look, we'll provide you with stuff but your subpoena is very, very broad. so you need to tell us and we'll do a rolling production.
so i will say this. the lawyers have complied with that part of it. but they can't control an entire organization in terms of destruction of documents. if somebody wants to run off with something then they'd be able to, it doesn't matter what their attorney says. >> can i ask for unanimous consent for additional minute? >> without objection. >> i thank you. i promised i'd get to ms. moncrief. i wanted to make a comment i think everybody else in the panel has some kind of support team that they work with. i'm hoping that you have a support team as well. and i want to encourage you to continue to do what's right and speak for the truth. you've seen the films i will presume, at least some of them that were released to america by james o'keefe and hannah generals. and could you tell this panel, do you believe that reflects accurately the culture of acorn? >> honestly, i think it does. even though the videos were extreme, what happens is that
acorn allows for people to kind of blow the lines in order to get the job done or to help the movement. and eventually what happens after you've blown the lines so many times you have what you see in those videos where people are overstepping boundaries and they're very comfortable with it. unfortunately, those offices were like that. there are some offices where people are genuinely trying to help the poor. but usually those people do not last long and they end up leaving acorn. the ones that stick around tend to become jaded and they would give that type of advice. so i wasn't shocked but i was very saddened to see that's what it had come to. >> thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. thank the witnesses. >> thank you. and now we recognize a man who issued more subpoenas than any other chairman in his time and perhaps in history. and if he had the ability to seize documents before destruction before his tenure i'm sure he would have done it. the gentleman from indiana, mr. burton. >> i only signed 1209 subpoenas.
i did get writer's cramp, though. i just have about three quick questions. first of all, from mississippi moncrief, do you have any idea how much money was involved in all these things that you were witnessing? i mean, when you met with these people they were talking about allocation of funds and getting people registered and so forth. do you have any idea of the commingling of funds or how much was used? >> i know that just for the voter registration drive last year it started off at $28 million. by the time i left it was upwards of 33 to $34 million. and that's just on the project vote side. >> now, that $33 million, do you know where that money came from? do you have any idea of how it was split up? >> foundations. most of the money came from private foundations and major donors. very little came from the government because of it being a voter registration drive. they did have a couple of election assistance commission
grants, but the majority of that money came from private foundations. it was then cycled through c.c.i. and disbursed to acorn because project vote doesn't have the capacity to run the voter registration drives. they could not do them unless they were contracting out to acorn to get the people out there. >> but they obviously were working very closely together. >> yes. >> yeah. todd, secretary rokita, there's a couple of questions i wanted to ask you. the state attorney general and the u.s. attorney's office were contacted regarding these cases as well as the f.e.c. whatever happened with those? i mean, did the state attorney general do anything? the u.s. attorney? you said he has up in the northern district. >> right. at the time that we -- this was right before the 2008 fall election, we did send the report that we attached as record here to the indiana attorney general, u.s. attorney, federal bureau of investigation, and the letter we got back from a deputy at the
attorney general's office in indiana was that if the local aid county prosecutor or if the u.s. attorney want our help we'll do it but we're not going to get involved before that. >> you're kidding me. >> no. >> didn't they have the authority to go ahead as state attorney general and move on that? >> again in indiana, every state is different, of course, the state constitutional office holders are very limited in their criminal investigative powers. and those are reserved. and the prosecutors are very protective of this because i've tried to get a -- thank you for your compliment, congressman keene but i've tried to get criminal jurisdiction over elections and got pushed back very hard by the prosecuting attorney's council in indiana because they file criminal charges. >> but you said -- so the state attorney general really couldn't do anything without the consent of the local prosecutor? >> both of our offices could be deputized by either u.s.
attorneys or local prosecutors. >> but fe chose not to do that? >> not yet. >> not yet? well, there's still hope. and finally, i just want to ask mr. von spakovsky one question. you said there are many connections between acorn and president obama. i have heard of a few. can you enumerate some of those? >> i'm sorry. between acorn and -- >> and president obama. you alluded to connections. the only one i've heard of was he was a counsel for them or an attorney. >> well, yeah, he represented -- when the national voter registration act was first passed in 1993, he represented them in the lawsuit they filed in illinois. but my understanding is that there is video of him speaking at many of their conferences, that he was actually a trainer for them. also like i said last year they
gave a lot of money, i think it was $830,000 to one of their affiliates to do voter registration, get out the vote for them. there are many connections over the years between these two organizations that have tied him into them. i mean, they are supposedly community oers, something that he started off at -- as in his career. and i think he helped get training from them and then was training their people. >> mr. chairman, thank you once again for holding these hearings. i really appreciate you people being here. thank you very, very much. >> i thank you and i thank you for your good work here today and your patience. i'm going to do a second round for anyone that wants to remain. secretary rokita, in your state do the republican and democratic parties do voter registration? >> absolutely. >> and when they're presented with funds to the party to do
that registration, they're required, i assume, to take all registration that is come their way. they can't say, do you want to register republican? >> right. that's not based on any kind of funding, that's based on indiana law if you possess a voter registration, assuming it's valid or you think it's valid you should turn it in. >> right. so when you -- when the republicans and will the democrats in -- when the republicans and the democrats in indiana do voter registration they take all the registrations that are full and. >> yes. >> let me just presume they turn them in a little less at the last minute than acorn has tended to. >> absolutely. again we weren't responsible like political parties to do voter registration. >> i want to get into something that concerns me a great deal. when they take money it's not tax deductible, isn't that correct? it's campaign money.
parties are not tax deductible to individuals or corporations when you give to them. >> no. >> and yet acorn's voter registration division was getting tax deductible, 40% paid by state and federal tax deductions to those contributing. isn't that your understanding? >> yes. >> so let's see. here's an organization that i believe only registered -- let me rephrase that -- regsters and then turns out votes only for democrats even though they obviously accept all registration that is come in. but they turn them out for one party and yet they're able to have a 40% advantage in money. their money is charitable, tax deductible foundations very named foundations are able to give them money where they can't give the republican or democrat parties or libertarian or people for freedom money, right? >> i think that's the case and i believe it's ridiculous. >> well, ms. moncrief, from your
time looking at the accounting and so on, was that an advantage that was often sold? in other words, when acorn's fundraising went onto foundations, was that an advantage to foundation that is you can give us money where you couldn't give money to the republican or democrat or libertarian parties? >> yes. acorn was specifically targeting progressive funders or liberal funders. most of the people that they were trying to get the money from wanted them to go after democrats and they knew that if they gave money to acorn it was just like giving money to the d.n.c. or giving money to a candidate. >> so $38 million essentially given to a democratic movement around the normal restrictions on charities and charitable deductions for that. so rich progressives and progressive organizations could do this with a huge advantage. because this money cost them less to get. it was charity money. >> correct. >> amazing.
and if project vote, as you said, employed you and had you specifically doing things which were not allowed to a 501-c-3, and it was discovered, wouldn't they lose their tax-exempt status? >> you would think so. but there's been some hesitancy from the i.r.s. to investigate even though we presented some information to them last year. >> also amazing. you know, when you were giving your statements on the pattern, i couldn't help but think that as a freshman when i came to congress and we were in the heat of enron and worldcome debate and they talked about how enron cooked the books, how enron had to get certain numbers and the accounting essentially over time turned into a con conspiracy to get a number rather than get the truthful number and how outraged both parties were here.
and yet there doesn't seem to be much outrage or enough outrage that you had a group that created 1.4 million registered voters when in fact they had very little regard for whether they were legitimately registered. ms. moncrief, let me go into one last question on which you're an expert. acorn, i was on together with better that lewis. and she -- bertha lewis. she continually talked about the 400,000 members of acorn. would you run me through? how do you get to be a member of acorn? and i don't want to lead you excessively. but my understanding is that if you come to acorn for help you usually end up a member, isn't that true? >> that's correct. when they do their housing counseling sessions, they would have -- they used to have an option to where you could either pay $20 for a credit report or you could sign up to become a member of acorn. the membership dues equal about $110 per year. >> about 10 bucks a month,
probably. >> they were losing out on that one. but a lot of people chose to sign up. they also had what they called provisional members. you would tacted by acorn. they would come back and contact you and sign up as a full member. this is a lot what they did during the voter registration drive. they actually had an acorn membership card attached to the voter registration cards and they would use them to drive up their membership. >> so let's run back through. this the government and foundations and other groups contribute money to various acorn affiliates to do community work, to help the poor, to help the disadvantaged. and in the process of giving these briefings and so on on loan restructuring and other advice that they were paid by grants to give, they basically signed people up either then or immediately following to a $10 -- 8 to $10 a month membership so they not only got a pretty good amount of money when you aggregate it to 400,000
but they got to claim that they had membership of 400,000. is that basically true? >> yes. >> how sophisticated were these people? were they aware that -- my understanding is it's done by automatic debit. that the way you get to be a member is they get your bank account and then your bank account gets hit every month for the same amount. is that right? >> yes. >> so were these people sophisticated enough to understand that once they turned that over, they were essentially automatic members for as long as they had that bank account? >> i don't think so. i saw numerous times when i would go to the fax machine and there would be angry letters from people saying, please stop debiting my account. you're overdrawing my account. and acorn had a problem with actually going in and taking these people out of the system. sometimes they would have to request two to three times to stop the direct deb its. >> well, i'm fog to allow the other members to ask a second round. but thanks to the work of people who when the attorney general gave the san diego office plenty
of notice that they would be coming down to look for information, it all went in the dumpster. thanks to those who harvested it, our committee does have a number of those angry letters. this pattern of being put on when you didn't even know that it was going to essentially cost a poor person money for a long time being put on as a member in perpetuity. so we do have some of that evidence. and it's of particular concern to us. because again, this is an organization touted to care about the poor rather than make the poor poorer. mr. king, would you have another round? >> i would. thank you, mr. chairman. i would just comment first that a person with zero knowledge of acorn could walk in or could have walked in here off the street today and listened to this testimony and walked out of here wondering how a nation with all of the machinery that's here to provide justice in this country, cannot at the federal
level have a full court press investigation on acorn and all of its affiliates. i mean, this says there's a blind eye turned, there's a deaf ear turned, there's a frustration that's an undercurrent in the discussion here in this testimony that comes from people who are probably i look across essentially nonpart people that care about our constitution and justice. i was thinking here that attorney general caldwell, you testified that your i'll call it the raid on acorn headquarters was november 6, that was a friday, not that long ago. and four business days later, anita dunn, the white house communications personnel, stepped down unexpectedly. it wasn't predicted. she stepped down. and right then i thought, there must be some connection here because of the affiliations that she has. and then it was only three days after that on the 13th of november that bob bauer was named to become white house counsel. now, so i make that point, the
chronol sunny of this seemed to be too coincidental for me at the time. and i issued press releases that said so. this isn't monday morning quarterbacking this is real-time calling the plays. as i listened to the testimony of mr. von spakovsky, can you think of an individual in america that would be better positioned to defend the white house from the lines of investigation that could lead to tie acorn into president obama and this white house as well as the obama campaign? but that transition from election to elected office? can you think of an individual better positioned than bob bauer? mr. von spakovsky? >> well, no. and in particular because of one very specific fact. and that is that if you look at the testimony again that anita moncrief gave about receiving
this list of maxed out donors from the obama campaign and then using that at project vote and acorn to do basically further work for the campaign, you have potentially not only an evasion of federal campaign donation limits, you have potentially illegal coordination going on between the obama campaign and acorn. those are violations of the federal campaign law that the f.e.c. could engage in civil penalty against the campaign, and it's something that if it was done knowingly and intentionally would be a criminal violation of the federal election campaign act which would be normally investigated and prosecuted by the public integrity section at the department of justice. the leading campaign finance lawyer on the democratic side in this city is in fact bob bauer. >> thank you very much. and i would turn to ms. moncrief.
this is courageous testimony on your part. and on the part of everyone. but you're the one that i'm worried about your support network. and i hopefully it's formed and it's getting stronger. two things stand out in my mind as i listen to this testimony. this thing that echos as i read back through the narratives on the community reinvestment act and the shakedown of lenders and a lot of that that took place in chicago and that's been documented i think pretty well in the media, there's an expression used "get in their face." and we read articles about how acorn and their operatives bragged about going in and shoving a lender's desk off to the side and surrounding him and getting in his face. i remember during the campaign when president obama said about three weeks before the election to his supporters "get in their face." now, that echoed in my ear as something that maybe was lifted right out of the handbook of acorn. and there's another phrase that happens to come back and echo in my ear, and that is i left it out of the fox news report -- i
lifted out done by megan kelly on acorn, a special that was done a month or so ago when she was interviewing wayne rafke and she asked him about the script of the mission statement of acorn. and in that mission statement it said "share the wealth." share the wealth. exactly the language that president obama used when he was confronted by joe the plumber. so i bring you back to those two things that echo, get in their face and share the wealth. i'm going to say those are lifted out of the culture of acorn and put right into the public record by now president of the united states. and then the question, though, that i had for ms. moncrief, you said at one point in your testimony that poverty is big business with acorn. can you explain to this panel how that functions? how poverty becomes big business? and what their motivation then is? and i don't think i understand the flow of money. >> acorn receives money from like community block grants or
neighborhood revitalization grants. that money goes into the national acorn coffers. if they were to actually go out and fix the things they said they were going to fix that money would eventually dry up. but they've been able to draw this out for 30 years by saying that the people need a voice, the people need power. but they've taken all the power and consolidated it at the top of acorn. and that's also where all the money sits. so they're not really helping. they may have a housing counseling session. but it's usually run by a poorly-trained worker whose main goal is to get -- increase acorn membership. they're not really doing anything with the money that they're getting besides using it to fund the political machine. what little that they do use for actual programs is still not -- doesn't justify what they've gotten from the government and from private foundations over the years. and as long as they keep people poor, they will continue to get that money to fix the same problems in the neighborhoods. >> so it's essentially a perpetual motion machine that
swallows up taxpayer dollars and dollars from charitable donations through foundations that empowers and strengthens acorn and their affiliates for political purposes and that strengthens democratic candidates in the places where there are swing districts in particular across america. would that be a fair analysis? >> yes, it would. >> thank you, ms. moncrief. i very much appreciate all your testimony. i yield back. >> the gentleman from end. >> i'm just going to make a real short statement. that is i was chairman of the government oversight committee for six years. and i watched as the justice department was manipulated in many cases by the attorney general for political purposes. and now we have a justice department that's not looking into these things. and it really, really concerns me. not just about acorn but about justice and the freedom that is we enjoy. liberty and freedom. if our justice department
doesn't investigate corrupt activities on a scale like this, then what in the world do we need a justice department for? it's extremely important that the laws be enforced and people who break the laws be brought to justice. and i see right now here a huge hole that's being created during this administration that jeopardizes the liberties and freedoms that we enjoy. i'm not being dramatic right now. i really mean this. you know, our forefathers fought for, i don't know, what, eight years to defeat the british because they didn't want taxation without representation? and here we are right now seeing all these things just being frittered away, taken away because we're not enforcing the law. i just think it's -- it's criminal quote unquote to not really do what we should be doing or the justice department doing what it should be doing by investigating all these things that are obviously illegal.
and the president appointed the attorney general, and the attorney general's not going to do anything without the president's approval. and there we sit. and i think it's really unfortunate. i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. one last question before closing. as we've gone through the thousands and thousands of pages we recently got from san diego, we're picking up new information and perhaps a new pattern. and ms. moncrief, you perhaps could shed light. this document i have in front of me is only from this year from a san diego resident. but it appears as though -- and if you can't answer i'd understand -- but it appears as though information comes from banks to acorn saying, please reach out and help these people. and as they're reaching out, they're turning into members. is this happened during your watch with other banks? this bank probably wouldn't be. it's in california. but is that something that you
ability to protect the information that was thrown out, so security, information could lead to identity theft. i want to go on record explaining that the tens of thousands of pages we took from california, we made sure that a full, complete copy was given to the attorney-general's office and that the originals are here in washington and available to anyone else who wants to go through them. as i said, we will make a secretary, also your department, we will make these available as long as the protective capability of this. we have this so you can receive them digitally. -- we have discs so you can receive them digitally. we want to see an end to this practice in every state. at the same time, wheat, both the judiciary committee and this
committee, -- we are not law enforcement. it is for the various states in u.s. attorneys' offices to do what is right. hopefully today's forum, thanks to mr. smith and mr. commit -- our committee, we are shedding light. we are hopefully going to get additional whistle-blowers to help us understand the scope to see that this practice ends. and i would say one more thing on behalf of the government oversight committee. we are a committee of whistleblowers not just when it appears to be an organization that doing something partisan. our job is to look at waste, fraud and abuse in government, misuse of government agencies, funds anywhere. when we look at the private sector, we try to look at it in relationship to government, but our whistle blower lines are available always, so it does not have to be what people saw here today. we would hope that our committee does far more far reaching
activities related to the growth of government and the waste of the taxpayers' money. i will close by saying, acorn's amount of money they received from the government was relatively small. how they leveraged private sector money, we are only beginning to understand. hopefully an oversight -- oversight with both republicans and democrats on committee level, we will begin to see more of that. with that, if no one has any final remarks, i thank you for your service in your presence and this form stands adjourned. -- this forum stands adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> next on c-span, state department details efforts to
fight hiv aids around the world. president obama announces plans to send more troops to afghanistan. and a senate hearing on federal aviation administration rules on pilot fatigue. federal reserve chairman been bernanke has been nominated for a second four-year term. on thursday, his nomination comes before the senate banking committee. you can watch the hearing live on c-span.org and c-span 3. this weekend on book tv, we will tour arlington cemetery, including section 60, where soldiers from afghanistan and iraq are buried. see the comparisons and similarities in seemingly unrelated cultural situations. and sunday on "in depth," join
our conversation with joy hakim. for the entire schedule of this weekend's entire authors and books, go to c-span.org. >> on world aids day, today, the government outlined a new five- year plan. ambassador eric goosby, the global aids adviser talked to employees at the state department for about five minutes. >> how is everyone today? thank you very much. it is lovely to be here. good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. welcome to the state department this afternoon. we are with ambassador eric goosby, who is the u.s. will aids coordinator. his duties include running the entire u.s. government's
international 8 -- hiv-aids efforts. in his role, he oversees the implementation of the u.s. president's emergency plan for aids relief as well as the u.s. government engagement with the global fund to fight aids, tuberculosis and malaria. with that, ambassador eric goosby. >> thank you. it is a pleasure to have an opportunity to talk with you. i would like to begin to -- with acknowledging the efforts of many people from the state department,, usaid, cdc, peace corps and other agencies that all contribute their expertise and field headquarters to make this program work. it is a combination of people all over the world who support people in country to put the programs in place. quite an orchestration. i would also like to acknowledge the efforts of president bush
and members of congress from both sides of the aisle for creating and supporting this program. i have been working in hiv-aids for 25 years, both domestically and internationally, and i can remember the days before this program was in place. -- when patients were two-three and a bed, but under the bed, on the floors and the hallway and most of the sub-saharan african countries waiting for treatments that were not available. today the situation is markedly different. we have brought home to millions of people across the world with its treatment and care programs. in 2009 alone we have supported life-saving antiviral -- into retro viral care, and care to nearly 11 million people and counseling and testing for 29 million people. through efforts to prevent transmission, our program -- and
transmission from mother to child for 100,000 babies born to hiv-positive mothers in the last year alone, -- many more babies are born hiv-free over the past five years. we have gotten through approximately 1/3 of the population that is in need of care and the millions who are participating in high risk behavior is in the prevention interventions. there are an estimated 33 million people living with hiv, 2.7 million new infections occurring at ewing -- annually, approximately 2 million deaths occurring annually. if we are to test -- sustain the gains we have had and have made against this epidemic, we must work in close collaboration with country governments to support and mount a true global response to the shared global burden of disease. today, i am announcing the
release of r five-year strategy which will be filed later in the week by the release of several annexes with more information about specific areas within the document. let me give you a quick overview. first, we are going to begin transitioning from an emergency response to a sustainable one through greater engagement and capacity building with governments. we have already started this with this partnership for rework activity, which is a five-year strategic plan developed in collaboration with part of governments, but we need to do more, especially around supporting the creation of mid- level government capacity to oversee, manage and finance these programs. it is a good start. secondly, we are going to focus on prevention. we are going to scale up highly effective prevention interventions, like circumstantial and -- like
circumcision, and preventing mother to child transmission. we are going to work with were the new infections are occurring. mapping and understanding that demographic relationship to geography allows you to make decisions are around prevention programs, positioning so you can put your programs in front of that expanding movement of the virus to the population. with treatment, we will continue the strategic scale up of services to more than 4 million people. the focus is on the sickest, pregnant women, pregnant women it who are hiv-positive, in co- infected individuals. while we work with our partners in the international community to lower the price of commodities and distribute the cost of treatment among multiple funders. as we carry out these activities, we will do so with an eye towards out these activities strength in the
broader help system. we will work not only to continue our quality delivery of services and expansion of the treatment and prevention services, but we will also work to create a response that can benefit the entire health care system and continue the expansion and capability of services for what are often hiv- positive population. i look forward to working closely with partner governments and our staff in the field to implement the concept of this strategy. i would like to thank you, and i am open to any questions you might have. >> ambassador, this shift from the emergency response to be sustainable one is very controversial, as you know, in the aids community, because some people say it takes attention away from the people who need it, the people with aids and spreads it out to people --
mothers, children with other diseases. how do you answer that? >> i think that 60% of those hiv affected are women. that the person who normally shows up in the clinic visit our women. that our ability to access children comes to our ability to access women. our ability to access their partners, their husbands 90% of the time is coming from interface with the woman. the men come in to care very late, usually with an opportunistic infection, late- stage disease. our best chance of changing that dynamic is to target women at the earliest stages in prenatal contacts but also as they bring their children in for a while baby visits or immunizations. -- well-baby visits or
immunizations. we believe is justified to go through a woman conduit to the whole family. we are not talking about decelerating our activities and -- in care, treatment or prevention. indeed, our emphasis will continue a care focus, a treatment focus, where we have to and need to turn the volume up is in our ability to aggressively to get in front of the movement of that virus each population, the prevention activities. so it is not an abandonment. it is an expansion of those services. so the concern all round -- or around and in attentiveness to what is a burden of disease that is about 1/3 addressed is not part of our strategy. we are trying to address on all fronts. >> the money spent would be
apportioned differently? >> to say how much your prevent -- treatment prevention and care dollars go from a 30,000 foot level loses a whole lot in translating down to the actual reason, city, neighborhood within the city for how and where to opportunities present themselves. it is always a prevention and treatment continue on. some opportunities and prevention are always there. some treatment needs are always there. it is up to those who have -- in front of the epidemic to decide how to divide their resources to address the needs in front of them. we are not saying we are going to put x on mount into prevention and treatment and care. we are going to expand its services in all areas but we are going to become more efficient in our ability to prevent vertical transmission from mother to child. we are going to start targeting
high-risk populations. -- the absence, b facebook type of activity. -- the abstinence, the faithful type of activity. those needs are going largely unaddressed -- education needs. we need both. . the moving into other services are also logical, easy where the medical infrastructure that is in place to deliver the and the retrovirus should be the platform on which we give immunizations for the children who are coming into the clinic when the women are coming in for their care. we should not be afraid of immunizing children in that setting, looking for that kind of synergy is how we hope to expand some service constellations without dismantling the core functional
component that is in place. this will identify efficiencies that are considerable and our ability to move from a general population-based information system to hide targeting of high risk groups as the key shift in strategy. it is evidence-based, more effective and cheaper. >> still along these lines, some critics are voicing fears that because of what they interpret as a funding shift, it may mean it treatment interruptions in some african countries. is the u.s. committed to preventing treatment interruptions in countries where the program is already involved and what is the current u.s. understanding of this idea of universal access? are we no longer thinking about arv's as something that are universally accepted -- accessible with u.s. help?
>> we have worked tirelessly to prevent stockouts, which are largely not happening. we are also looking to lower t cell counts, those are co infected with tuberculosis, those who are pregnant on anti- retrovirals, as early as we can remove the that the founder of the virus and engage in therapy. to expand the capability, we know we are about 1/3 of the way there. you got that is no different than the other countries were in. -- ugana is no different than the other countries we were in. our commitment to universal coverage we have never stopped. we are a central component of that effort to get everyone who
needs these drugs on these drugs. we remain committed to that. but we also realize is the resources that are going to be needed for that need to converge at the country level to support the full realization of universal coverage. a bilateral program alone will not do that. we are committed to work with our country partners to engage in that dialogue, to identify resources and expand universal coverage. it is a core commitment of our efforts. >> yesterday's secretary clinton made strong statements against efforts by some countries decriminalize, such a relative. there is a bill pending in you got that. have you considered what you will do if that bill passes? -- a bill in uganda. how we work with some countries that harbor, fullbaomophobic te?
>> we had similar feelings in our country. we had legislation put up in the early days of ryan white that said that anything that promoted, such behavior was considered unacceptable and anything that did fall into that very large category, attacks were made to not have those funded within the ryan white context. things that promoted homosexual behavior. we are familiar with that type of mindset. from a public health perspective, it has no place in trying to engage and curtailed movement of the virus into the population. our collective experience globally, in every country, both in developed and resource-poor settings, has shown every time you target a population in a negative way and put
restraints, restrictions on their ability to avail themselves -- reveal themselves to society, you push that behavior further underground. when you push it further underground, individuals always come in later to care, later stage of disease. they continue in that period off of retrovirals to produce a paid in for their high risk behavior. our hope would be that in a respectful way, we can work with our colleagues in countries who are in a policy-making positions to understand the science of how the virus moves to populations, and that how you need as the public help responsible entity to position yourself in front of those each -- those expanding waves. until you do that, that remains a conduit for the virus to re-
enter the general, not high risk population. our hope is that the science will lead the way and that that dialogue can stay on that level and that the governments involved will realize that it is in their interest and in the interest of their larger population for them to develop strategies to address these populations. >> this disease, it affects also travels. [unintelligible] when the foreign ministers or another country -- do you talk to them about this disease? finally, what kinds of programs to you have, especially in india? >> we talk about policy
positions that discriminate against populations. that to turn our ability to identify and retain patience and care. all those types of issues that differentiate and separate, that discriminate work against your ability to identify and embrace and care for these individuals. -- in a very profound way. so we do talk about that. india's incidents is very low, but it at the same time it competes with south africa but is probably has more -- has more people infected than any other country. the decentralization of health care in india as well as the state configurations of government have put the discussion and responding to the epidemic almost as a separate discussion for each state. india has engaged in an effective strategy for
prevention and has moved well along the road to educating their positions and especially their nurse population and the private sector to create a cadre of health care worker, with backup from physicians and nurses, that is effectively identifying, testing and entering people and services. india is well along the road of engaging to prevent and block the spread of their epidemic. >> you talk about sustainable country programs. is there a list of countries that our first priority? there are about 30 countries altogether, i understand. >> yes. we are committed to engaging all of the countries in a dialogue that moves the country leadership, usually the
ministers of health or education, the finance minister, into a position with the programs where they take over management of the program and eventually, we hope, begin to increase financial contributions to the program. our commitment will not waver. we do not think many of these countries will be in a position to put resources towards it for many years. but we do think that the ability for the country to start to manage the program, to have a national office that oversees both the e;pi- and the prevention and treatment efforts will better enable the country to make rational decisions are round were resources are most likely to have the largest impact at any given time. the country needs to manage these programs. the population that these programs are serving are in the country.
the public systems need to be identified and supported an expanded, as opposed and ngo strategy where you are creating parallel delivery systems. we now need to move to more public-centered systems of care. -- in conjunction with ngo systems, kind of a hybrid. but in and amongst the public system of care that is their to serve the populations in front of them. that management shift and the creation and expansion of mid- level management capability will save resources and will also better and shore that these programs are there for the 25 to 30 years we need them to be long after our organization is a memory. our urgency to try to put these countries in a position of managing the program is predicated on our desire to embed the programs and medical
delivery systems of the probe -- the country so they are there for the duration. >> i was hoping you could talk to us a little bit about funding. i know people are saying that your organization has been flat funded for the next to the real years. how much is actually been given, what do you see as allocations coming from the next -- from the u.s. government in the next five years? how much more money will the u.s. put into pepfar? when do you think that the need foropepfar will dissipate? -- pepfar will dissipate? what are going to be the metrics that will allow us to say that? you are going to be saying, we have built the health system in the country which is a much harder thing to measure. >> those are all good questions. it is going to be in it.
process. we will not stop looking at numbers -- it will be in i terative process. we will look at numbers of prenatal women, patients that we have identified and tested and started on antiretrovirals. we will continue to measure and better understand the high-risk populations, the msm's, the sex workers, who frequently are the conduit's through which the virus moves into the general population. those metrics will all continue to be in place. and in partnered with countries, ownership of management, that will be a central piece that we will not stop because of that. our strategy is to intensify the technical assistance that we
give to countries to take over the role of both understanding throughout the survey systems there epidemic and responding to it. and we believe that there is enough in-country experienced now and other south expertise that can be tapped for technical assistance and mentoring relationships. we believe this is the correct way to go, because we believed it will build a stronger medical delivery system that is more durable. it is not a turning away from our conviction and commitment to the burden of disease that hiv- aids has presented to the planet. in that same context, it is also important that we realize that there is a responsibility that is shared by all countries on the planet to respond to the burden of disease, not just hiv- aids but all disease.
the more we work in this area, the more the issues are around human-rights have shown its head. that health care does impact a person's ability to not only prevent a disease process for themselves but also for preventing them from engaging in society, politics and contributing in a larger kind of societal sense. those efforts need to be a diet -- a dialog needs to be created where we begin to acknowledge the burden of disease, the unmet component of that burden, and that we need to convert our resources to look for synergies, complementing, cooperative coordination of those resources to meet that need so the universal aspects of care of hiv and other diseases can be realized. >> could you just tell us, you
mentioned were new infections -- where are they happening? >> they are happening everywhere, including washington, d.c. with in any given epidemic, there are many epidemics occurring. for people to think about responding to an epidemic, put into then -- it is not one shoe that fits all, even in washington d.c. you have many populations with different strategies to engage on the movement of that virus through the population to rest that. in terms of a general sense, to answer your question, the epidemic is moving mostly in eastern europe and southeast asia. eastern europe has a huge prevention opportunity. you have a population that is largely concealed and msm's and
injection drug users, and are participating in behaviors that may be illegal in their country. and there are consequences for revealing herself to the medical institutions that hampers the person's willingness to be tested. that has allowed this epidemic in those countries to move on checked -- unchecked, and the most rapid rises we are seeing are in those regions of the world. >> that is all we have time for today. thank you very much for attending. >> thank you. >> on tomorrow's "washington journal", we will talk about president obama's speech about afghanistan with congress joe sestak, and mike coffman. montana governor discusses tomorrow's meeting of the
democratic governors association. and a look at the documentary about the apollo 11 moon landing. it begins at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> the senate has started debate on the health care bill. majority leader harry reid has warned senators to expect evening and weekend sessions. see it all live on c-span 2, the only network with a full debate on edited and commercial-free. to watch a video on demand, go to c-span's healthcare hub. >> president obama went to the u.s. military academy at west point, new york to announce plans to send 30,000 more troops to afghanistan early next year. the president also discusses support for neighboring pakistan. this is 40 minutes. >> thank you, please be seated.
good evening. fellow america >> good evening. to the united states corps of cadets, to the men and women of our armed services, and to my fellow americans, i want to speak to you tonight about our effort in afghanistan -- the nature of our commitment there, the scope of our interests, and the strategy that my administration will pursue to bring this war to a successful conclusion. is finest about our country. to address these important issues it is important to recall why america and our allies were compelled to fight a war in afghanistan in the first place. we did not ask for this fight. on september 11, 200119 men hijacked for airplanes and use them to murder -- on september
11, 2001, 19 men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder innocent men, women, and children without regard to their faith or race or station. if it's not -- if not for the wrote actions of passengers on board one of these flights, they could also have struck at one of the great symbols of our country here in washington and killed many more. as we know, these men belonged to al qaeda, a group of extremists who have distorted anislam, one of the world's gret religions. al qaeda's base was in afghanistan where they were murdered by the taliban. this after it was ravaged by years of soviet occupation and
civil war and after the attention of america and our friends had turned elsewhere. just days after 9/11, congress authorized the use of force against al qaeda and those who harbored them. an authorization that continues to this day. the vote in the senate was 98 to nothing. the vote in the house was 420 to one. for the first time in its history, the north atlantic treaty organization invoked article 5, the commitment that says an attack on one member nation is an attack on all. the united nations security council endorsed the use of all necessary steps to respond to the 9/11 attacks. america, our allies and the rest of the world were acting as one to protect our common interests as one. and only after the taliban
refused to turn over osama bin laden we sent our troops into afghanistan. within a matter of months, al qaeda was scattered and many of its operatives were killed. the taliban was driven from power and pushed back on its heels. a place that had known decades of fear now have reason to hope. at a conference convened by the u.n., a provisional government was established under president hamid karzai and an international security assistance force was established to help bring lasting peace to a war-torn country. then in early 2003, the decision was made to wait a second war in iraq. the wrenching debate over the iraq war is well known and need not be repeated here. it is enough to say that for the next six years, the iraq war true the dominant share of our troops, our resources, our diplomacy and international attention and that the decision
to go into iraq crossed central substantial risks between much of america and the rest of the world. today, after extraordinary costs, we are bringing in the iraq war to run it -- to a responsible and. will remove our combat brigades from iraq by the end of next summer and all of our trips by the end of 2011. and we are doing so as a testament to the character of the men and women in uniform. [laughter] [laughter] thanks to their courage, grit and perseverance, we have given iraqis a chance to shape their future, and we are successfully leaving iraq to its people. but while we've achieved hard- earned milestones in iraq, the situation in afghanistan has deteriorated. after escaping across the
border into pakistan in 2001 and 2002, al qaeda's leadership established a safe haven there. although a legitimate government was elected by the afghan people, it's been hampered by corruption, the drug trade, an under-developed economy, and insufficient security forces. over the last several years, the taliban has maintained common cause with al qaeda, as they both seek an overthrow of the afghan government. gradually, the taliban has begun to control additional swaths of territory in afghanistan, while engaging in increasingly brazen and devastating attacks of terrorism against the pakistani people. now, throughout this period, our troop levels in afghanistan remained a fraction of what they were in iraq. when i took office, we had just over 32,000 americans serving in afghanistan, compared to 160,000 in iraq at the peak of the war.
commanders in afghanistan repeatedly asked for support to deal with the reemergence of the taliban, but these reinforcements did not arrive. and that's why, shortly after taking office, i approved a longstanding request for more troops. after consultations with our allies, i then announced a strategy recognizing the fundamental connection between our war effort in afghanistan and the extremist safe havens in pakistan. i set a goal that was narrowly defined as disrupting, dismantling, and defeating al qaeda and its extremist allies, and pledged to better coordinate our military and civilian efforts. since then, we've made progress on some important objectives. high-ranking al qaeda and taliban leaders have been killed, and we've stepped up the pressure on al qaeda worldwide. in pakistan, that nation's army has gone on its largest offensive in years. in afghanistan, we and our
allies prevented the taliban from stopping a presidential election, and -- although it was marred by fraud -- that election produced a government that is consistent with afghanistan's laws and constitution. yet huge challenges remain. afghanistan is not lost, but for several years it has moved backwards. there's no imminent threat of the government being overthrown, but the taliban has gained momentum. al qaeda has not reemerged in afghanistan in the same numbers as before 9/11, but they retain their safe havens along the border. and our forces lack the full support they need to effectively train and partner with afghan security forces and better secure the population. our new commander in afghanistan, general mcchrystal, has reported that the security situation is more serious than he anticipated. in short, the status quo is not
sustainable. as cadets, you volunteered for service during this time of danger. some of you fought in afghanistan. some of you will deploy there. as your commander-in-chief, i owe you a mission that is clearly defined, and worthy of your service. and that's why, after the afghan voting was completed, i insisted on a thorough review of our strategy. now, let me be clear. there has never been an option before me that called for troop deployments before 2010, so there has been no delay or denial of resources necessary for the conduct of the war during this review period. instead, the review has allowed me to ask the hard questions, and to explore all the different options, along with my national security team, our military and
civilian leadership in afghanistan, and our key partners. and given the stakes involved, i owed the american people and our troops no less. this review is now complete. and as commander-in-chief, i have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 u.s. troops to afghanistan. after 18 months, our troops will begin to come home. these are the resources that we need to seize the initiative, while building the afghan capacity that can allow for a responsible transition of our forces out of afghanistan. i do not make this decision lightly. i opposed the war in iraq precisely because i believe that we must exercise restraint in the use of military force, and always consider the long- term consequences of our actions. we have been at war now for
eight years, at enormous cost in lives and resources. years of debate over iraq and terrorism have left our unity on national security issues in tatters, and created a highly polarized and partisan backdrop for this effort. and having just experienced the worst economic crisis since the great depression, the american people are understandably focused on rebuilding our economy and putting people to work here at home. most of all, i know that this decision asks even more of you -- a military that, along with your families, has already borne the heaviest of all burdens. as president, i have signed a letter of condolence to the family of each american who gives their life in these wars. i have read the letters from the parents and spouses of those who deployed. i visited our courageous wounded warriors at walter reed. i've traveled to dover to meet the flag-draped caskets of 18
americans returning home to their final resting place. i see firsthand the terrible wages of war. if i did not think that the security of the united states and the safety of the american people were at stake in afghanistan, i would gladly order every single one of our troops home tomorrow. so, no, i do not make this decision lightly. i make this decision because i am convinced that our security is at stake in afghanistan and pakistan. this is the epicenter of violent extremism practiced by al qaeda. it is from here that we were attacked on 9/11, and it is from here that new attacks are being plotted as i speak. this is no idle danger, no hypothetical threat. in the last few months alone, we have apprehended extremists within our borders who were sent here from the border region of afghanistan and pakistan to commit new acts of terror.
and this danger will only grow if the region slides backwards, and al qaeda can operate with impunity. we must keep the pressure on al qaeda, and to do that, we must increase the stability and capacity of our partners in the region. of course, this burden is not ours alone to bear. this is not just america's war. since 9/11, al qaeda's safe havens have been the source of attacks against london and amman and bali. the people and governments of both afghanistan and pakistan are endangered. and the stakes are even higher within a nuclear-armed pakistan, because we know that al qaeda and other extremists seek nuclear weapons, and we have every reason to believe that they would use them. these facts compel us to act along with our friends and allies. our overarching goal remains the same -- to disrupt, dismantle,
and defeat al qaeda in afghanistan and pakistan, and to prevent its capacity to threaten america and our allies in the future. to meet that goal, we will pursue the following objectives within afghanistan. we must deny al qaeda a safe haven. we must reverse the taliban's momentum and deny it the ability to overthrow the government. and we must strengthen the capacity of afghanistan's security forces and government so that they can take lead responsibility for afghanistan's future. we will meet these objectives in three ways. first, we will pursue a military strategy that will break the taliban's momentum and increase afghanistan's capacity over the next 18 months. the 30,000 additional troops that i'm announcing tonight will deploy in the first part of 2010 -- the fastest possible pace -- so that they can target the insurgency and secure key population centers.
they'll increase our ability to train competent afghan security forces, and to partner with them so that more afghans can get into the fight. and they will help create the conditions for the united states to transfer responsibility to the afghans. because this is an international effort, i've asked that our commitment be joined by contributions from our allies. some have already provided additional troops, and we're confident that there will be further contributions in the days and weeks ahead. our friends have fought and bled and died alongside us in afghanistan. and now, we must come together to end this war successfully. for what's at stake is not simply a test of nato's credibility. what's at stake is the security of our allies, and the common security of the world. but taken together, these additional american and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to afghan forces, and allow us to begin
the transfer of our forces out of afghanistan in july of 2011. just as we have done in iraq, we will execute this transition responsibly, taking into account conditions on the ground. we'll continue to advise and assist afghanistan's security forces to ensure that they can succeed over the long haul. but it will be clear to the afghan government -- and, more importantly, to the afghan people -- that they will ultimately be responsible for their own country. second, we will work with our partners, the united nations, and the afghan people to pursue a more effective civilian strategy, so that the government can take advantage of improved security. this effort must be based on performance. the days of providing a blank check are over. president karzai's inauguration speech sent the right message about moving in a new direction.
and going forward, we will be clear about what we expect from those who receive our assistance. we'll support afghan ministries, governors, and local leaders that combat corruption and deliver for the people. we expect those who are ineffective or corrupt to be held accountable. and we will also focus our assistance in areas, such as agriculture, that can make an immediate impact in the lives of the afghan people. the people of afghanistan have endured violence for decades. they've been confronted with occupation -- by the soviet union, and then by foreign al qaeda fighters who used afghan land for their own purposes. so tonight, i want the afghan people to understand. america seeks an end to this era of war and suffering. we have no interest in occupying your country. we will support efforts by the afghan government to open the door to those taliban who
abandon violence and respect the human rights of their fellow citizens. and we will seek a partnership with afghanistan grounded in mutual respect -- to isolate those who destroy, to strengthen those who build, to hasten the day when our troops will leave, and to forge a lasting friendship in which america is your partner, and never your patron. third, we will act with the full recognition that our success in afghanistan is inextricably linked to our partnership with pakistan. we're in afghanistan to prevent a cancer from once again spreading through that country. but this same cancer has also taken root in the border region of pakistan. that's why we need a strategy that works on both sides of the border. in the past, there have been those in pakistan who've argued that the struggle against extremism is not their fight,
and that pakistan is better off doing little or seeking accommodation with those who use violence. but in recent years, as innocents have been killed from karachi to islamabad, it has become clear that it is the pakistani people who are the most endangered by extremism. public opinion has turned. the pakistani army has waged an offensive in swat and south waziristan. and there is no doubt that the united states and pakistan share a common enemy. in the past, we too often defined our relationship with pakistan narrowly. those days are over. moving forward, we are committed to a partnership with pakistan that is built on a foundation of mutual interest, mutual respect, and mutual trust. we will strengthen pakistan's capacity to target those groups that threaten our countries, and have made it clear that we
cannot tolerate a safe haven for terrorists whose location is known and whose intentions are clear. america is also providing substantial resources to support pakistan's democracy and development. we are the largest international supporter for those pakistanis displaced by the fighting. and going forward, the pakistan people must know america will remain a strong supporter of pakistan's security and prosperity long after the guns have fallen silent, so that the great potential of its people can be unleashed. these are the three core elements of our strategy -- a military effort to create the conditions for a transition, a civilian surge that reinforces positive action, and an effective partnership with pakistan. i recognize there are a range of concerns about our approach. so let me briefly address a few of the more prominent arguments that i've heard, and which i take very seriously.
first, there are those who suggest that afghanistan is another vietnam. they argue that it cannot be stabilized, and we're better off cutting our losses and rapidly withdrawing. i believe this argument depends on a false reading of history. unlike vietnam, we are joined by a broad coalition of 43 nations that recognizes the legitimacy of our action. unlike vietnam, we are not facing a broad-based popular insurgency. and most importantly, unlike vietnam, the american people were viciously attacked from afghanistan, and remain a target for those same extremists who are plotting along its border. to abandon this area now -- and to rely only on efforts against al qaeda from a distance -- would significantly hamper our ability to keep the pressure on al qaeda, and create an unacceptable risk of additional
attacks on our homeland and our allies. second, there are those who acknowledge that we can't leave afghanistan in its current state, but suggest that we go forward with the troops that we already have. but this would simply maintain a status quo in which we muddle through, and permit a slow deterioration of conditions there. it would ultimately prove more costly and prolong our stay in afghanistan, because we would never be able to generate the conditions needed to train afghan security forces and give them the space to take over. finally, there are those who oppose identifying a time frame for our transition to afghan responsibility. indeed, some call for a more dramatic and open-ended escalation of our war effort, one that would commit us to a nation-building project of up to a decade.
i reject this course because it sets goals that are beyond what can be achieved at a reasonable cost, and what we need to achieve to secure our interests. furthermore, the absence of a time frame for transition would deny us any sense of urgency in working with the afghan government. it must be clear that afghans will have to take responsibility for their security, and that america has no interest in fighting an endless war in afghanistan. as president, i refuse to set goals that go beyond our responsibility, our means, or our interests. and i must weigh all of the challenges that our nation faces. i don't have the luxury of committing to just one. indeed, i'm mindful of the words of president eisenhower, who, in discussing our national security, said, "each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration, the
need to maintain balance in and among national programs." over the past several years, we have lost that balance. we've failed to appreciate the connection between our national security and our economy. in the wake of an economic crisis, too many of our neighbors and friends are out of work and struggle to pay the bills. too many americans are worried about the future facing our children. meanwhile, competition within the global economy has grown more fierce. so we can't simply afford to ignore the price of these wars. all told, by the time i took office the cost of the wars in iraq and afghanistan approached a trillion dollars. going forward, i am committed to addressing these costs openly and honestly. our new approach in afghanistan is likely to cost us roughly $30 billion for the military this year, and i'll work closely with congress to address these
costs as we work to bring down our deficit. but as we end the war in iraq and transition to afghan responsibility, we must rebuild our strength here at home. our prosperity provides a foundation for our power. it pays for our military. it underwrites our diplomacy. it taps the potential of our people, and allows investment in new industry. and it will allow us to compete in this century as successfully as we did in the last. that's why our troop commitment in afghanistan cannot be open- ended -- because the nation that i'm most interested in building is our own. now, let me be clear. none of this will be easy. the struggle against violent extremism will not be finished quickly, and it extends well beyond afghanistan and pakistan. it will be an enduring test of
our free society, and our leadership in the world. and unlike the great power conflicts and clear lines of division that defined the 20th century, our effort will involve disorderly regions, failed states, diffuse enemies. so as a result, america will have to show our strength in the way that we end wars and prevent conflict -- not just how we wage wars. we'll have to be nimble and precise in our use of military power. where al qaeda and its allies attempt to establish a foothold, whether in somalia or yemen or elsewhere, they must be confronted by growing pressure and strong partnerships. and we can't count on military might alone. we have to invest in our homeland security, because we can't capture or kill every violent extremist abroad. . . we have to improve and that
record made our intelligence so that we stay one step ahead of scherwin networks. -- shadowy network. we will have to take with tools of mass destruction. that is why i have made a central pillar of our foreign policy to secure nuclear -- lucent nuclear materials from terrorists, to stop nuclear weapons, and to pursue the goal weapons, and to pursue the goal of world without them because every nation must understand that true security will never come from an analyst raised her for ever more destructive weapons. true security will come from those who reject them. we will have to use diplomacy because no one nation can meet the challenges of an interconnected world acting alone. i spent this year renewing our alliances and forging new partnerships. we have forged a new beginning between america and the muslim world. one that and recognizes our mutual interest in breaking the cycle of conflict, and promises a future in which those who kill innocents are isolated by those
who stand up for peace and prosperity and human dignity. finally, we must draw on the strength of our values for the challenges that we face may have changed, but the things that we believe in must not. that is why we must promote our values by leaving them at home, which is why i have prohibited torture and will close the prison at guantanamo bay. we must make it clear to every man, woman, and child on the world who lives under the dark cloud of tyranny that america will speak out on behalf of their human rights and tender for the light of freedom and justice and dignity of all people. that is who we are. that is the source, the morrill source of america's authority. -- the moral source of
america's authority. since the days of franklin roosevelt and our grandparents and great grandparents, our country has borne a special burden in global affairs. we have this bill american blood in many countries on multiple continents. -- we have spilled american blood in many countries on multiple continent. we spent our money to develop other countries. we have joined in the architecture of institutions from the united nations to nato to the world bank that provide for the common security and prosperity of human beings. we have not always been thanked for these efforts. and we have, at times, made mistakes. but more than any other nation, the united states of america has underwritten global security for over six decades, a time that for all its problems has seen walls come down and markets open and billions lifted from property, unparalleled of
scientific progress and advancing frontiers of human liberty. for unlike the great powers of old, we have not sought world domination. our union was founded in resistance to oppression. we do not seek to occupy other nations. we will not claim another nation's resources. or target other people because their faith or a net -- or ethnicity is different from ours. what we have fought for, what we continue to fight for is a better future for our children and grandchildren and we believe that their lives will be better if other people's children and grandchildren can live in freedom. and access opportunity. [applause]
as a country, we are not as young, and perhaps not as innocent, as we were when roosevelt was president. yet we are still heirs to a noble struggle for freedom. now, we must summon all of our might and moral suasion to meet the challenges of a new age. in the end of our security and leadership does not come solar -- solely from the strength of office. it derives from our people, from the workers and businesses who will rebuild our economy, from the entrepreneurs and researchers will pioneer new industries, from the teachers who will educate our children and the service of those who work in our communities at home, from the diplomats and peace corps volunteers to spread hold abroad, and from the men and in uniform who are part of an
unbroken line of sacrifice that has made government of the people, by the people, and for the people in reality on this earth. -- a reality on this earth. [applause] this vast and diverse citizenry will not always agree on every issue, nor should we, but i also know that we as a country cannot sustain our leadership, nor navigate this momentous challenges of our times if we allow ourselves to be split asunder by the same rank and cynicism and partisanship that has in recent times poisoned our leader -- leadership. it is easy to forget that when this war began we were united, bound together by a fresh memory of a horrific attack, and by the
determination to defend our homeland and the values we hold dear. i refuse to accept the notion that we cannot summon that unity again. [applause] i believe with every fiber of my being that we, as americans, can still come together behind a common purpose. for our values are not simply words written into apartments -- into parchment. they're a creed that has carried us through the darkest of storms as one nation, as one people. america, we are passing to a time of great trial and the message we send in the midst of these storms must be clear, that our cause is just come our resolve unwavering. we will go forward with the confidence that right makes
might end with the commitment to forge an america that is safer, a world that is more secure, a future that represents not the deepest of fears, but the highest of hopes. thank you, god bless you. and god bless the united states of america. [applause] thank you very much. [applause] ♪ [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] ♪
>> tomorrow, secretary of state clinton, defense secretary robert gates, and admiral mike mullen testified two congressional hearings. at 9:00 a.m. eastern, the senate armed services committee. and at 1:30 p.m. eastern, the house foreign affairs committee. you can watch both of these on c-span 33. >> the senate has started debate on the healthcare bill. harry reid has warned the senate to expect evening and weekend sessions. see it all on our companion network, c-span2, the only
network with the full debate on edited. to watch a video on demand, at the to our health care hub. >> dallas senate hearing on airline pilot fatigue. this is being held partly in response to a northwest flight that overshot its destination by 150 miles. and the crash of a continental airlines commuter flight last february. the teak has been cited as a possible contributing factor in both incidents. bridget fatigue -- fatigue has been cited as a possible contributing factor in both incidents. this is about one hour and 40 minutes. >> let me describe my concern about this issue and the concern
of a number of my colleagues. the issue of pilot fatigue is not new. he has been on emote wanted list since the list was created. by what it -- pilot fatigue has continually been an issue for the faa. the current flight rules have been in existence with respect to duty time had been in existence for 40 or 50 years. the ntsb investigations have found that pilot fatigue was either the probable or the contributory cause of 20 air carrier accidents in the u.s. and its cost to under 73 fatalities between 1989 and 2008. -- and it has caused 273 fatalities between 1989 and 2008. some safety regulations call on
a revision of duty times to take in consideration research findings on fatigue and sleep issues. while the faa also limits the amount of flight and duty time at paulette may work in a day, and these limits have existed for decades, commuting time, an increasing phenomenon in recent decades, is not factored into this requirement at all. the stories that we have heard are fairly frightening, and i want to say from the outset, my goal today is not to alarm the flying public. far from it. we have the safest skies in the world, in my judgment, but the issue of pilot fatigue is serious and merits attention. while the skies are safe, they are not perfect, and the two of
bands that focused more recent attention on pilot fatigue -- there was a minneapolis overflight recently, the incident that sparked much discussion of how two piles could have overflown their destination by 150 miles. there were speculation that the pilots were asleep and the pilots indicated that they were working on electronic devices. no one quite knows all of those answers at the moment. the sec is the tragic crash of flight 34 07 -- 347. the ntsb is conducting its own investigation into that tragic accident and has yet to report on the cause of that accident. we do know that both pilots committed from across the country earlier that day, one from florida and one from seattle to reach their duty
stations in new work. -- anin newark. let us begin talking about some things that most of you and i have heard and seen on investigative reports and official reports. this happens to be a "wall street journal" article about fatigue. an 18-year veteran pilot saying, take a shower, brush your teeth, pretend you slept. well, i do not know the man, but that kind of comment by someone in the cockpit makes you question the issue of fatigue and whether we have done all that is necessary to make certain that fatigue is not a
contributing factor to problems in the cockpit. another pilot -- and again pilots are not in a position to be able to speak very effectively or candidly about these things -- this is an anonymous pilot of a 737 jet flying to denver. e quote is, "i have been doing everything in my power to stay awake. coffee, gum, candy. but as we entered one of the most critical phases of flight, i had been up for 20 straight hours." fatigue in the cockpit by that pilot? perhaps. "new york times" report on fatigue. "by the time the captain parked his aircraft at the last gate of the night he was exhausted. but he would be due back at work eight hours and 15 minutes later. "at the very most, he says, if you're the kind of person that
could walk into a hotel room, strip and lay down you might get 4 1/2 hours of sleep." fatigue? seems to me probably so. and i happen to have heard this sort of thing from a lot of pilots coming in late at night to an airport. and by the time on a late flight flying around weather and so on, by the time they get to their hotel and get some rest and are required to report back, the question of fatigue is a very real and a very serious question. i also wanted to discuss just for a moment the issue of commuting. i showed this chart once again before. this was the colgan airport, colgan air pilots commuting to the newark base. this is a different issue than duty time. but you can see pilots commuting all across the country to the duty base. in this case the tragedy that occurred in buffalo, new york,
the person flying in the right seat, commuted all night long from seattle, washington to newark. next chart shows part of the product of commuting. it's a "watches a movie on his computer at a crash house in sterling park, virginia. the houses which can have up to 20 to 24 occupants at a time are designed to give flight crews from regional airlines a quiet place to sleep near their base airports. many can't afford hotels, so they use the crash house where rent is generally $200 a month for a bed. incidentally, on this issue i ran into a pilot about two weeks ago at an airport, a very young pilot, who told me that he had just started his career but was now quitting. and i said, why? and he said, because i'm going to work for a city police department.
and my salary will be twice as much as my salary flying the commuter jet. and it relates to this question of why can't someone afford a hotel and instead use this cash pad as part of their commuting across the country, in many cases across the country in order to reach their duty station? the f.a.a. announced earlier this year that they're going to revise the flight and duty time rules. so i'm glad they're here today to tell us about that work. the f.a.a. administrator babbitt has said the agency plans to issue those new rules by the end of next year. and given the history on this issue, i think it's important that they complete that work that was begun by soliciting the recommendations of an aviation rulemaking committee. another false start, and there have been several would really in my judgment be unacceptable. i hope this hearing will bring some renewed focus to the issue
of pilot fatigue, flight and duty time rules, also the issue of commuting. and i hope that we can take steps to remove fatigue as a factor in aviation safety. as i indicated when i started, there have been a fair number of accidents that the ntsb attributes to fatigue. with respect to commercial airlines in my judgment there's not room for fatigue in the cockpit. we need to have duty times and flight time so that we are not running into that problem. let me make one additional point. some will make the case i think today and perhaps in questions and answers we'll explore it more. there's a change in the way we fly in this country. a lot of smaller planes, smaller commercial airplanes, regional commuter planes that are up and down, up and down, up and down all day long. and the takeoffs and the landings are the period where pilots of course are straining
and actually straining is not the right word but paying a great deal of attention. there's no room for mistakes on takeoffs and landings. so there's a lot of tension in the cockpit and a lot of attention paid to the way that airplane is being flown. so that also creates fatigue. and i think this hearing can be a catalyst and hopefully will be helpful to the f.a.a. and to the ntsb in trying once again to put all the spot lights on the same spot when it comes to this issue of fatigue in the cockpit. mr. lotten berg, let me call on you for a cummins opening statement and then we'll begin with the witnesses. >> thanks very much, mr. chairman. when we look at the details behind the questions that are being raised here now, it borders on being shocking. too much is demanded of our pilots. too many hours on too little
sleep and operate complex machines with people's lives in their hands. the slightest tip in this risky balancing act can cause a disaster as we saw in the colgan flight number 3407. and i heard the chairman's review of that matter. and the stress that was on the copilot. and it's unfair to the individual certainly was disastrous for all of them including the pilots. but the full airplane travelers. and in this holiday season planes are packed. the last thing a traveling family wants to worry about is a sleepy pilot. it's an inchtation to disaster. now, we have a great system and it's been safe. but i think we're nibbling at the margins.
and that just the courage, the response of a lot of well-meaning people has averted some significant miscues. and whether it was over the hudson river where two planes collided, one landed in the river, no area -- and this is turning for a moment away from the pilot -- but turning to the rules that the f.a.a. lays down for pilot training. you wouldn't ask a brain surgeon to go to take care of your needs if he was up eight hours during surgery someplace else. and it's inappropriate with the system -- with the value that we have in our aviation system that we should ask pilots who make in
many cases barely above the minimum wage, the national minimum wage is $15,000 a year. they have pilots who are -- who are going to work at $20,000 a year. the incident that you talked about, mr. chairman, was a fellow going to a police uniform because he was going to make so much more money. a private in the army makes $16,800 a year. private in the army. and here we're asking someone who has substantial amount of training in order to get as far as they do to get a commercial pilot's license. and we're discarding what is fair and appropriate to keep that person in the best of conditions. athletes don't go out on the field without being ready to do it or should not. and we see the consequences of those incidents occurring. so mr. chairman, it's the right
thing to do. and i thank you for holding this hearing. >> well, senator lautenberg, thank you for your attention to all these aviation issues. as we've held hearings you've constantly come to these hearings and be very active and i know you spent a lot of time on them and appreciate that. we are joined by ms. peggy gilligan, associate administrator for safety at the f.a.a., mr. basil barino, captain john prater president of airline pilots association and mr. william voss, president and c.e.o. of flight safety foundation. let me as i call on ms. gilligan, say in response to what senator lautenberg said, we should not have to learn the same lesson twice or three or four, five times. we've been through this. this is, you know, groundhog's day we've had discussion after discussion after discussion about fatigue.
and the same has been true with the ntsb. and having it on a most-wanted list for some 19 years is unacceptable. and i appreciate the fact that administrator babbitt is now in the process of taking action. we're going to hear that from ms. gilligan. but this has to be a catalyst. this hearing has to be a catalyst for insisting at last, at long last after some 40 years or so, that we take a hard look at this and make the changes that are necessary. ms. gilligan. >> thank you, sir. chairman dorgan, and senator, members of the subcommit year, i'm pleased to be here today to discuss the f.a.a.'s efforts to mitigate pilot fatigue. as you know the agency his been involved in revising the current regulations on flute and duty time for some time. and we are all frustrated by the amount of time we've spent. but i can tell you that this time our efforts are different. administrator babbitt, himself a former commercial airline pilot, has made this a high-priority
issue for the f.a.a. in june he chartered an aviation rulemaking committee comprised of labor, industry and f.a.a. representatives to develop recommendations for a rule based on the current science of fatigue and review of international approaches to this issue. -- was chartered to provide a forum for the u.s. aviation committee to discuss the signs to fatigue, mitigating fatigue found in international examples, and to make recommendations to the f.a.a. so that united states could modify its regulations. the 18 members of the arc representing airlines and union associations were selected based on their extensive direct operational experience and their commitment to address this safety risk. the arc met for over six weeks beginning july 7th. and on september 10th the arc delivered its final report to the f.a.a. the administrator has committed to issue a notice of opposed
rulemaking early in 2010. but this effort is a difficult and complicated effort and it has taken longer than any of us wanted or expected. the events of the last 15 years are evidence of the complexity of the issue and the strong concerns of all the parties involved. those concerns are clear in the current rulemaking process as well. at the same time, our focused efforts since june demonstrates the high priority that administrator babbitt places on overcoming these challenges and updating these regulations to enhance safety. while we will need additional time to complete our analysis and make sure that we get it right this time, i am confident we will get there. chairman dorgan, members of the committee, this concludes my remarks and i would be happy to answer questions that you may have. >> ms. gilligan, we will have a lot of questions so appreciate your being here and your testimony. >> thank you, sir.
>> mr. basil is it barino? >> that's correct. >> vice-president of operations and safety air transport association. you may proceed. let me say to all four of you that your entire statements will be made a part of the permanent record and you may summarize. >> good evening. i am basil barino, vice-preside >> mr. chairman and members of the subcommittee, i appreciate the opportunity to join you this morning as you consider the impact of pilot fatigue on aviation safety. this demands a collaborative, the road, and science-based response. we participated in the park that ms. gilligan mentioned. it was a productive effort but we all must recognize that it operates under significant time constraints. it wrapped up its work in a six- week period. we may expand upon the views
this morning. we -- -- we report -- we support circadian cycles, time on task, activation two time zones, and our goal is to mitigate the teak risks by reducing the doody time of pilots, expanding scheduled rest opportunities -- that duty time a pilot's, an increasing awareness of fatigue and a personal role in mitigating that risk. success here will depend on data driven analyses, and rigor in a trellis -- in translating those analyses into action. we in the association's provided substantive and procedural considerations. we had five substantive issues. first, we recommended that any new regulation establish a minimum of 10 hours scheduled
rest before the beginning of a flat period, and 12 hours at an international station. appropriate for certain international flights. second, any new regulation should require each air carrier to adopt a f.a.a.-approved fatigue mitigation program. an advisory circular could provide guidance in the necessary flexibility to update fatigue mitigation programs as we gain experience. third, we urge that any new regulation account for the wide variety of operational environments just as the current regulation does. these include domestic and international passenger operations as well as cargo operations and on demand charter operations. science-based principles judiciously blended with decades of operational experience will allow the various air carrier models to continue to operate safely. fourth there also needs to be a focus on the individual in the
regulations. regulatory language should clearly prescribe the responsibility of the crew member to properly prepare him or herself for flight. no fatigue policy without such an admonition can be regarded as comprehensive. and fifth, the f.a.a. should endorse controlled cockpit napping, conducted in accordance with f.a.a.-approved procedures to facilitate alertness during the critical phases of flight. previous nasa research has shown overwhelmingly that controlled napping significantly mitt gates fatigue risk. on the procedural side, we had three issues. we're particularly concerned about the ultimate scope of any proposed regulation. extraneous consideration should not burden our efforts to improve aviation safety. the rulemaking proceeding is not the forum in which to resolve collective bargaining issues. second, we are also concerned about the effect of proposed duty and rest regulations on managers who are also qualified
as line pilots. if time spent on administrative duties such as checking e-mail or making a phone call count as duty, we risk losing line-qualified pilot managers. these pilot managers have played an essential role in safe airplane operations in the consequence of this rule on those management positions must be carefully considered. and finally, as in any major regulatory change, covered parties will need time to implement new policies requiring programming and training. that is particularly so here where crew schedules will be impacted. we therefore ask that f.a.a. provide a transition period of at least two years after the regulation is published. a.t.a. members are committed to using the best science available combined with proven operational experience to better manage pilot fatigue. we look forward to look working
with the f.a.a., the -- committee. >> thank you very much. we appreciate your question. captain prater, welcome. you may proceed. >> thank you. chairman dorgan, ranking member diment, member office subcommittee. thank you for having us here today to represent the airline pilots association international. pilot fatigue has loomed as a safety issue for our union since it was founded in 1931 during the difficult years following 9/11, these long-standing concerns have intensified with bankruptcy, concessionaire contracts and the layoff of thousands of pilots, forcing many of those who are still working to fly longer hours and more grueling schedules. it is a dire situation that i have experienced in my own cockpit. just one example from several years back. flying on the back side of a
five-day trip that took me from newark to japan and back to newark, my copilot and i were so fatigued from crossing and recrossing numerous time zone wake to make a pre-dawn landing during a stop in honolulu. at that time i was in command of a 767 with overly 240 passengers on board. while this segment was legal to fly with only two pilots, because it was a few minutes short of the eight-hour limit it would have been far safer had we had the third pilot to augment the crew as had been the case for every other leg of that specific trip. that would have allowed both me and my first officer to catch a couple-hour nap in the cabin. current u.s. flight and duty time rules date from 1954, when the d.c.-3 was the state-of-the-art. times and equipment have changed but the rules have not.
since 1989 the national transportation safety board has issued more than 70 fatigue-related safety recommendations. few would deny that modern science-based recommendations are urge endly needed. from our view from inside the cockpit a rule must be grounded on three basic tenets. one, it must be based on science. two, it must apply equally to all flight operations. no exceptions, no carve outs, no loopholes for air cargo or charter operations. three, a new rule must allow and encourage air carriers to implement fatigue risk management systems known as frms. during the past 60 years, scientists' understanding of sleep, fatigue and human performance has grown significantly. several recent studies have focused directly on pilot fatigue. this confirms that current rules can lead to fatigue that impairs pilot performance.
the 190-nation international civil aviation organization or icao, has mandated that flight limitation rules be based on scientific principles to ensure that crew members are well rested and alert. the united states is compel today comply with this international standard, but unfortunately we don't because the f.a.a.'s current rules are not science based. second, one level of safety in flight and duty time regulations is absolutely essential. the current f.a.a. flight time limit for passenger carrying pilots is 30 hours and seven days for domestic operations and 32 hours and seven days for international flights. but air cargo pilots can fly up to 48 hours in a six-day period or 60% more than domestic passenger-carrying pilots. no science exists to support multiple sets of flight time, duty time limits. no rational argument can be made for different fatigue rules for pilots based on whether they fly passengers or cargo, des.
-- if our industry is to truly address pilot fatigue. exceptions or carve outs would kill long overdue efforts to ensure all pilots are well rested. worse, carve outs would undermine the one level of safety principle that must remain our ultimate goal. finally, the new regulation must enable carriers to transition to a fatigue risk management system. a collaborative, nonpunitive environment where management and flight crews work together to ensure that crew members operate alertly and safely under all circumstances. it is also imperative that the f.a.a. require air carriers to implement fatigue education and training programs for their crews, their managers and their schedulers. i'm very encouraged that we finally appear to be on the verge of securing the modern science-based flight and duty time rules that we know are vital to enhancing aviation
safety. we will continue to do all we can to carry on this momentum. seven pilots representing all aspects of our industry worked on the f.a.a.'s aviation rulemaking committee. in october our executive board unanimously approved new policy that reflects our values of science and the one level of safety for all and it ensures our vision for ensuring pilots are well rested. we look forward to evaluating the f.a.a.'s proposed rule and we applaud efforts to create a final rule by mid next year. the current regulatory frameworks a fabric and wire biplane struggling to stay aloft in a supersonic age. i ask for your help in giving the flying public a new level of safety by ensuring that every pilot in the united states starts every trip alert and rested. thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> captain prater, thank you very much. we appreciate you being here.
mr. william are. voss is the president and c.e.o. of the flight safety foundation in alexandria, virginia. welcome. >> thank you. chairman dorgan, distinguished members of the subcommittee, thank you for giving us an opportunity to testify. fatigue in aviation has been in the headlines lately but it's been scientifically researched for decades as you noted. 1979 nasa first studied fatigue in decision making simulators. decades of research have followed by institutions around the world. it's taken a long time and a lot of data for the industry to reach consensus on this issue but the tragedy of the colgan air crash has pushed us along towards a conclusion. regardless of how we got here, the foundation supports the f.a.a.'s current effort to develop rules that reflect the scientific understanding of fatigue. in writing these rules. the f.a.a. is faced with a daunting task. the human fatigue is too complex to deal with just the classic approach of regulations and compliance. ideally we'd implement a comprehensive fatigue risk management system across the
whole industry but it's unrealistic to think that every operator could adopt such an approach. so the f.a.a. will have to write traditional, prescriptive rules, while also allowing large operators to take more comprehensive fatigue risk management approach. as a minimum, these prescriptive provisions should address the relationship between assigned duty and time of day, the cumulative effects of consecutive duty periods and the effect of multiple short-haul flights. these provisions will not be perfect but they will be a compromise. but for smaller operators they'll be practical. and they will significantly improve the level of safety. now, for those operators who are able, they should be encouraged to go beyond the basic rules and adopt the fatigue risk management system or frms. it addresses fatigue systematically and increases the responsibility of the operator and its employees to jointly manage the risk. broadly speaking, frms offers
three layers of protection that include prevention, which is the pro-active strategic risk reductions such as scheduling correctly based on science. mitigation, at the operational level, to make sure you execute the plan you've put in place and you have a realistic execution of that plan. intervention also, when everything else goes wrong you still need to have the ability to intervene and reduce the risk of a flight. no matter what you do, there will be times things don't go right. that brings me to the subject of one of the more controversy interventions and that's the control cockpit rest. no matter what rules are written there will always be timed when pilots become fatigued. when that happens, many countries have determined that safety is best served by allowing and regulating rest in the cockpit. revelations ensure this is done -- regulations ensure this is done safely, specify what happens during the crew rest, who is responsible for various actions and a post rest briefing. of course controlled rest cannot
be used to replace responsible planning and scheduling. every flight must begin with a well-rested crew. but when things go wrong, controlled rest is an important tool to keep things safe. there are some other fatigue issues that deserve consideration, even though much research has been done there are still some gaps. more research is still needed in the area of high frequency, high cycle operations. we understand the regional airline association is interested in re-- calls to the f.a.a. to consider these find, in the proposed rules. we focus so much on the flight crew that we overlook fatigue in the rest of the industry. last year the foundation published a long article about the danger of fatigue among aviation maintenance workers. this has been pad by -- fatigue among maintenance workers has been a trick factor. we strongly encourage the f.a.a. to consider maintenance personnel in future rules. a concerted effort should be
made for the f.a.a. industry and labor to educate the aviation safety work force on matters associated with fatigue risk. countless operators are in the process of developing fatigue training materials for their work force. if we -- just as regulators, labor and industry came together 20 years ago to deal with the problem controlled flight, we can come together again to deal with this threat. we are working with the regional airline association and others to make this happen. in summary, i'm gratified for the cooperation we are seeing around this issue and i'm optimistic that the f.a.a.-proposed rules will be scientifically based an will include all the latest research and experience. thank you for the opportunity to testify. >> mr. voss, thank you very much. let me begin with you. i think what i heard you say was that there should be two different standards of regulations or processes dealing with fatigue. one for the larger carriers
which can do it more comprehensively, and then a separate approach for the smaller carriers. that would not be very comforting to a passenger that gets on an airplane that is not )rab@ @ @ ,$r' safety, make a big improvement in the industry, but we need to pay attention to the fact that there are new processes out
there called fatigue risk management which allow us to take the data we get from everyday operations and see where problems are developing and implement things that even go beyond the rules. and so i'm saying that we need to put good rules in place, we need to also make provisions for us to grow beyond the rules thanksist. >> but again, maybe captain prater you can in recent years this system of the large front carriers and then the regional carriers. the regional carriers are a very important part of our system. they have one half of the flights and carry one fourth of the passengers every year. let me say it again. one half of the flights and one fourth of the passengers on regional carriers. they get on an airplane that has the markings in many cases of the large carriers but it's not the large carriers. it's a regional carrier. and it seems to me that the question of fatigue is a question that is not separate by
the size of the cockpit or the size of the airplane. captain prater, you described fatigue, you used the term "dire" unquote. what's your sense of whether there should be one standard or two? or as mr. voss suggests and i understand why he suggests it. i have difficulty agreeing that we should move in that direction. he says it would be more difficult for the smaller regional carriers to comply to more comprehensive rules. >> well, let me begin with -- i'll restate. we believe that there should be one set of strong underlying regulation that creates the foundation regardless of the size of airplane or the cargo behind the cockpit door. that would be the first. the second level then would say how do we enforce that and how -- and i think maybe bill was alluding to how can we improve upon that level of foundation? but the first foundation, the
regulations, should apply to all equally. it doesn't matter whether you've got one passenger or 500 in the back of your airplane. the frms would allow us to look at specific situations, just take one case. the ultralong-range. if i get in a 777 and go from newark to hong kong it's going to be about 16 1/2 hours. that exceeds the current regulations. but with a frms we could come up with the rules on how to conduct a specific flight like that. i think that's where bill is trying to go. >> captain prater, you said that the fatigue rules in the u.s. do not comply with icao standards. what do you mean by that? >> icao has called for the flight time, duty time rules to be science based. ours currently are not science based. the future ones, when we get them done, as long as someone doesn't try to delay this like they have the last several
attempts, will be science based which would bring us into compliance with the icao provisions. the last thing i would say on the first subject, sir, was the controlled napping. again, napping should not be seen or viewed as somehow keeping pilots on duty even longer. in other words, i can hear the scheduler now. well, i'm pretty tired. i shouldn't start this flight. don't worry. you can catch a nap en route. no, that's not a sound strategy for being alert on the other end. you are once in awhile going to be caught in a position where you need a nap. and you'll coordinate it with the other pilot. but remember at that point there's one pilot in the cockpit. our system of safety is based upon redundancy after redundancy. and now you want to say, well, only one pilot has to be awake. well, i can tell you right away, trying to come up out of a nap to make a snap decision or to make even a long-range decision is difficult.
it has to be well planned. >> ms. gilligan, can you respond? what is the agency's response to the difference between mr. barre know and captain prater on the one size fits all approach with respect to fatigue? i think that the ata argues that you don't want one size fits all. captain prater said, i think, that one size fits all ought to be the minimum standard. what's the f.a.a. say to that? >> well, sir, the arc actually presented us a framework recommendation that has one approach. and i think what the science does indicate is that things that contribute to fatigue are common across individuals, across humans. and it has less to do perhaps with the environment. there are some environmental issues that need to be considered. you yourself mentioned multiple takeoffs and landings is a little bit different environment than the ultralong-range flights for example that captain prater referred.
to and the rules need to acknowledge that. so the framework will be a common framework. but i think what you'll see in the proposal that the arc put forward is a bit of a sliding scale that allows us to take into account the time of day that the schedule may encompass and the number of takeoffs and landings it may encompass so that we can properly balance the contributing factors to fatigue. >> i'm going to call on senator lautenberg a moment. but one final point, we will have administrator babbitt in front of us i think it's next week or the week after. >> yes, sir. >> can you give us a timeline on fatigue. you're talking about the arc and so on. but as i said when i started, this goes back 40 or 50 years and then two aborted attempts in the 1990's to deal with this issue. what's the timeline here? >> well, the administrator had announced that we would have a final -- a proposal out boy the first of next year. unfortunately we have run into some additional analysis. what the arc provided was again
as i said a very good framework. but they did not provide particular recommendations on particular elements of the rule. and we are now having to fill in those blanks and analyze the effect of those based on recommendations that arc made but again without their specific agreement on what included. >> are you saying the first of the year is a time deadline that has been sliding? >> we will unfortunately miss the first of next year. we have agreed with the administrator that we will complete all of our analysis by the end of january. and then the rule will need to go through administration review. >> i'm going to ask a series of additional questions of you and others about this. but i want to have my colleagues have the opportunity. senator lautenberg. >> thanks, mr. chairman. and i must say that what we've heard from our panel here today confirms the view unanimously that what it is now is not
adequate. and that we'd have to make changes. and the rules are antiquated based on where the system is today, the number of passengers that come, the different types of aircraft. and i would ask you this. might we be looking at something more than just fatigue factor? there's stress particular tor that even as there's adequate sleep there are other things that can interfere with clear thinking. not the least of which is income. and i don't know how we get this across, but there ought to be some standard. what are the requirements now for commercial pilot's license, captain? >> about 250 hours of flight
time, instruction time in a single engine airplane. >> and how about -- are there any other educational requirements? >> there are no other educational requirements for even up to an airline transport pilot ratings. >> are there any physical? what are the physical requirements that must accompany the application for license? >> there are solid physical requirements. basically good health, correctable vision to 20/20, and most pilots twice a year have to meet those physical standards. once a year i believe if you're under 35. >> 40. >> 40. >> are there any prohibitions about alcohol use in advance of taking command of get into the
pilot's seat? >> yes, there are very strict rules both time-wise as well as blood-alcohol content. >> they don't give a blood sample every time they go. >> no. but we are subject to random events. i will tell you that the -- it's a rule that pilots take very seriously, obviously. and some companies even have time limits that exceed the safety limits that f.a.a. has established. >> because with all of these things that do exist, and you get back to the -- to the starting pay for a pilot or a copilot, second seat, when someone is in that seat are they fully prepared in your view to take over command if necessary?
>> that is one of the responsibilities of command in fact is to assess your fellow crew member. and whether or not it was as -- you cite the concern of alcohol. most of us watch that very, very closely in each other. and i'm proud to say that we have very, very good success in recognizing those individuals that have a problem. and we have very good success -- >> well, the problem is that doesn't suggest that that's a long-time thing. it can be a single episode. >> right. >> but the point i get to here is that the requirements even to the current standard are pretty heavy duty things. but still in all, we have these outrageous examples of pilots not responding to radio inquiry.
should there be a list of infractions kept that says if a pilot doesn't answer a radio call in five minutes or three minutes or something like that that that ought to be listed as an infraction and a record kept on that? .. we're very successful in capturing those, and we do catch those errors. in fact we take it to the next
level. when a professional makes an error, under the new systems, you turn yourself in. to me that is the height of professionalism, because you want someone else to not make that same error. those of the systems that we are trying to protect and they are working very well. >> when you hear a pilot say that we were distracted, that is not sufficient reason to apply for lots of minutes, more than an hour. without responding to the tower or a station along the way. it is shocking. there should be a role that is consistent with rapid response on the radio. the equipment is moving more rapidly than it should use to -- and used to.
we should demand of the pilot certain behavioral playing, so that the tower knows what is going on and can respond. thank you, mr. chairman. what is going on. >> think you, mr. chairman. what we have heard today is pretty distressing about the lack of sleep of of the people flying the planes. i think there is a longer trip -- a larger issue here beyond pilots. there is a petite and society. you only have to go to the back of the plane once the plane takes off, nearly everyone is asleep. we are all under increasing demand, on the blackberries all the time, when your staying up late with the kids, and everyone is tired. not odo
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