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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  December 15, 2009 6:00am-7:00am EST

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structure of afghanistan makes it a top-down approach, not a bottom-up approach. we should focus on is having -- if you've got a good district government or a quite capable leadership with the support of all the coalition forces for the last 12 months, you see a huge amount of acceleration and the development. .
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>> if you give the afghans the responsibility, my experience is that they will not lead to denver if they will live up to your expectations because they are loyal, very hard-working people. and they have showed a couple of times, not only at the district level. if you look at elections, there was fraud in the elections, no doubt about that. the way they were organized and secured by the evidence, we have never been in a position"(árpá e
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thought we had to play a more active role in supporting the evidence. it was organized very well and was secured burwell. the second issue is that security in the city is led by[e police and army. there is a lot of influence in this city from the surrounding areas, within the city, it is fair to say that over the last 16-80 months, the evidence national security forces showed increased capability in the city. we saw a lot of interaction, absolutely. the insurgents still have an
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influence. overall, we saw an increase capability to deliver security to ghana city. if you bring the afghans to a point where they can take the lead in security, my experience is that they will not let you down. i think it is a key issue to have a bottom-up approach regarding governments and r &d. >> how long do think it will take to degrade the taliban to a point where they are no longer influential? >> that is a great question. i could talk for hours about that. the first question is, who is the television? ñi-- who is the taliban? they will always have an influence. they were never reconcile or read the great. on the other side of the spectrum, you have the $10 per day taliban who are paid to work
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for the insurgents. it is easy to reconcile them. they protect the narco trade. the key in the counter insurgency is that to deny the support for the insurgents by the locals. iqet think we're moving toward a position in which that is more and more the case in afghanistan. there is increased pressure on the leadership of the insurgency. we saw more and more signs of in-fighting and it leads to a situation where you see, a couple of years ago, the insurgents moved from a conventional approach towards asymmetric tactics. there were quite effective in that. especially the use of ied's
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which has a huge impact. intimidating the afghan people will have a very negative impact for the insurgency by the evidence. ñi-- by the afghans. if you're able to protect people from the insurgents, that is where you need these additional forces. you will be in a situation where you will relatively soon see the effects of a degrading capability of the insurgents in afghanistan. >> you talk about the need to merge the formal government and the informal government. how is that possible? >> if you cannot find any proof or evidence that the informal government structure is like with criminal activity or a markerxd trade, report narco trade, we can only successfully
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govern afghanistan if you take a tribal structure, the local tribal structures into account. 95qmjáp&ways be a true representation of the tribal structure in that area. what we see is that power brokers are mostly tribally based. most of the governors are appointed by the president. somewhere, you need to merge the two systems. taking the local tribal system into account, you have to appoint your people in a way they can have local support of different tribes. >> you said the taliban are intending the local people and it will be a matter of time before they get fed up with that. how much time do you think that
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would be? it has been a significant amount of time now. did you see a degrading of that relationship between the local population and a taliban? >> yes, we did. it shows you how important that the concept is implemented the right way. once you start a shape in a clearing area, you cannot leave any more. you need to stay there. need to be able to deliver 24/7 security to the people. we cannot come into a village at 8:00 in the morning and leave it 5:00 in the afternoon because the insurgents will come back. counterinsurgency means supporting the people from the insurgents, delivery security 24/7 together with the afghans. that is what we need to do.
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the 30,000 additional forces deployed to afghanistan will have a significant effect in a relatively short period of time on security overall. that will be better. xnsecurity will only last temporarily if it is not followed up with governments or restructuring. that is the key. i think we can clear most of the areas in afghanistan. we need to have the capability in place in the civilian area and the coalition forces to do the whole thing. that will be decisive. >> you mentioned the had taliban or the ones who will not quit. there is discussion about expanding the drawn attacks into
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queta. is that something you have heard of? can you discuss that and your thoughts on such a plant? >> i have not heard of that. it is a pakistani issue. it will not deal with the elements of the insurgents who arexd inside afghanistan. this will not be an end of the insurgency overall. we cannot overestimate the importance of the queta. they moved toward thisxd ied campaign. ñiuuthese are small cells actig independently.
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that is why it is hard to identify and destroy the network. and it is hard to coordinate operations what we see clearly is that the insurgency is locally organized but it has great difficulties in synchronizing and coordinating their operation in at a provincial and regional level. because of the cabal leadership in these areas, you will see a huge amount of progress because there is no cabal leadership in certain areas. they are under a huge amount of pressure by special forces. that space is used by the test force to expand their footprint.
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there is a clear link between the fighting in central helmund and other developments. >> the obama administration will review progress one year from now to make sure they are on the right track. xdñiwhat would constitute succe? what do you think realistically can be achieved in the next year that would give the administration, the american people, the people of nato, to all proceed with this approach? >> i think is realistic to expect that in one year from now most of the areas in southern afghanistan are under the control of nato. if we are able to have thesemtal
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have a significant impact on security and show progress. how do you measure7wx progress. the best benchmark is the amount of shops open and the bizarre. -- in the bazaar. ñrfrom a security point of view, clearing these areas is key and hopefully we will be able to project military power to be able to do so within the next 12 months. >> we have heard plans like this before. we have heard counterinsurgency, billed the event capacity of the military and civilian side, we have heard about these things for years. what is different this time that you think will make this plan work and the others have not? >> regarding the time line, we
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are only there for three years, in my view. people try to tell me that we had a war for eight years. from our point of view "we just started this three years ago. what has changed is that we have realized that southern afghanistan needed a counter insurgency. that means that you have to deploy the force to be able to do so. i think we got the concept right from the start. i think we got a good idea how to do that. if you do not have the forces to deliver counterinsurgency and secured 90% of the population, if you do not have the civilian capability to bring in an effective government for redevelopment in support ñrinunama, then you will not be successful. we realize thatçóxd what we didn
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the first couple of years, clear and the area and then leave from the conference is a point of view, was not affected. we realize that to be able to be successful, you have to pay a price and the price is secured most of the people, deploy the force to be able to do so, coalition forces and civilian forces to implement a comprehensive approach. i think that emerged a couple of months ago, clearly. it has eventually led to the deployment of more forces. by the way, not only more forces but that led to the first decision made in december, 2008, to deploy an additional 20,000 forces in afghanistan. >> you spoke about the progress
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that the task forces can expend our footprint. do you need more forces to build if they are just maintaining their forces. >> i would not say we need more forces, we need marketability. from a coalition force point of view, we have enough coalition force down there. from a conceptual point of view, and it should not be only nato forces. the african national army should be in the league. there should be an afghan leader - flag. we need after a national security forces to secure areas. we need better police to do community policing within these secure areas. they need a civilian capability
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to work with the governors that is key. if you show progress across the lines of cooperation from a security point of view, you will move toward a situation where coalition force assets will move from a position where they have the lead in the planning of operations to a more supportive, mentoring support role. >> how long will that vision -- how long will it take for the vision to be achieved? >> i paid -- i think we need an overarching plan. we need to step up and increase our mentoring. it is successful and it is key. we need to implement more of it. we need to look into the current organization of the african
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national police. i think they should focus;#í on recruiting at a local level. it is recorded on a nationwide system presently. if you do it only on the local level, there are many tribal influences. if we are able to do that, if we have the overarchinggcg afghan security plan right, if we can bring in the mentoring capability, it will take a couple of years before they can take over all the areas. where you have success, look at certain city where the u.s. marines are. you can see a significant result in a short period of time.
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>> you had mentioned marja. it does been referred to as like fallujah. >> from an operation point of view it is important. marja is not fallujah in a way that it has the symbolic meeting that fallujah had. the all infrastructure is different. -- the whole infrastructure is different. knowing the insurgency and the way they have operated, i think you will see some heavy connecticut by the mayor. -- kinetic fighting there.
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i'm not saying -- i am not saying that we will see no intensity but from a geographical point of view, i would not call it fallujah. it is important, though. >> tells about the counter-ied effort and what shortcomings' you have in terms of troops. >> we need to get better in our counter-ied peppers. -- efforts.
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if we do not get better, it will have major implications. you can only be successful in this if you do not focus on only one approach. we need to train the afghans and have a better system in place and so on. let me focus on how we looked at this situation and how we want to improve it. we shifted the focus from the use of the assets ahead at the regional level, especially forces in the south, from finding and destroying the leadership of the insurgency towards focusing on finding and detecting and destroying the ied network. we also made progress on the use
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of biometrics indeed ied campaign. every ied use is exploited by us. we take the biometry debt and store it in a database. we worked between the six countries involved on how to share the biometric data in a common database. that is what we did. this helped us move toward a more pro-active approach to get the data from the afghan people. if we move to a village, we ask the papal -- we asked people if we can take their data and combined with errors. that is a long-term effect.
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ammonium nitrate is banned as a fertilizer throughout afghanistan. 98% of the ied's in the afghanistan are made up of this. there are huge stocks out there and this will of a long-term effect. its peoples feel secure -- if people feel secure and they know we can deliver security, they will come forward with more information on the ied network. in the city, more than 70% of the ied's are turned in by the
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afghans themselves. if people feel safe, the amount of ied's reported buildup to go up. -- reported will build up. >> let me follow up on your suggestion that the momentum has shifted against the taliban in kanduhar. can you talk about when that started to happen? and what triggered that? >> it changed when we deploy the additional 20,000 u.s. forces and additional civilian capability that can with it. that was in july. that's significantly expanded
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our footprint around kanduhar and the kabul province. the insurgent realize these forces were not their only to secure the elections but they were going to stay. that had a huge impact on the insurgents because we put much more pressure on the leadership and their chain of command, their logistics, they're safe havens which made it difficult for them to concentrate and project their power. they are more in a survival mode now than they are able to gain the initiative. i think that is one reason we did not seek well-synchronized attacks happening in southern afghanistan and the last 12-16 months. -- in the last 12-16 months.
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>> general mcchrystal talked about an 18 month schedule. >> he is taking a regional approach including pakistan and the whole of the afghanistan. i am in the position that i took it regional approach focusing on southern afghanistan. we proved that the concept is right. if you deployed more forces in july and august, you will see the effect that you expect to say. that led to the initial assessment that we need more forces to complete the process of counter insurgency in afghanistan with our main focus in the south. it is a different scale and different perception.
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>> you talked about the afghan police earlier. what were you saying about recording them of the local level? you say there's an increased chance of corruption? >> yes, because they are more well known to local tribes. when we brought them in during the process where we take them and train them for eight weeks and replace them, the people were very satisfied with it the way they behaved. they saw what the police can do once they are properly trained and they are seen as independence. that has fueled our thoughts about how to combine a locally- recruited system with a counter- police force.
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>> how would you characterize how the locals see their afghan police and army? >> it is clear to all of us that the ana is seen as independent and is quite capable and respected by people. the real question is why the analysis? when you go back to the lack of an overarching security concept, that is one of the reasons. look at afghanistan. because we have so few african -- afghan national army, we use the police to back them up. they are not trained for it or equipped for. it. that shows you how important it
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is that we define what the role of the african national army and the afghan national police. salary is an issue. it takes time to develop the leadership there. in iraq and other countries where i have been, you have the existing structure of police that you could use and generate while in afghanistan. we are building a plane while we are flying. it takes time to build that leadership an institution to support that leadership in order for the anp to sustain itself over time. we should realize what kind of difficult position we are putting the anp in because they have to fight every day to the last. >> do you consider the city to
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be secure? >> absolutely not. ghana city is interesting because the perception there will define the perception of security and the future. that is a battleground. -- that is of vital brent. ground. there is a balance of power there between criminals, tribes, economic power brokers pouring in a huge amount of coalition forces will not have a positive effect. i think we passed that stage. we handed over most of the security to the ana and we should focus on mentoring.
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the key is securing the approaches to ghana city. the insurgents have safe havens. they intimidate people within the city. what we should do from a military point of view is try to secure the approaches toward the city. we need to secure these places. by doing that in an indirect way, you will significantly increase a good situation within the city, especially if you go to marja. there's a clear link between marja and ghana city. >> you talked about in xbox.
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-- ink spots. how much are you worried that about the more rural areas where you are not focusing and whether those could be used as a safe haven for the taliban but also al qaeda where the american approach is to prevent afghanistan for being a safe haven for al qaeda? >> that is the reason why we should not exclusively focused on the cities. if you look at the current force, we did not do so. this is a rural insurgency. people tend to forget that. that means that he who can project the power and protect the people in the rural areas will play a key role in securing
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a afghanistan. i agree with you that it is not just focusing on places where most of the people live in the city that might need a more indirect approach by securing the cities but maintain the current forces. >> you say you are still maintaining a footprint but some of the outputs are being closed down. how are you maintaining the footprint? in the rural areas? >> we were in a process or a closed down outpost while establishing other outposts. as soon as an area is quite secure and the security is led by the afghans themselves, there is no use having a coalition
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forces deployed there. we should reinforce the ana and the anp to reinforce security. every time we deployed forces, this is not a fixed approach. we're constantly trying to adapt the deployment of deployed -- coalition forces to the security situation on the ground. you will see less coalition forces in certain areas because it is relatively stable in those places. we can transfer the lead of security to the afghans there. you'll probably see more security established around the city. overall, the tendency is the zero -- other way around. you will not find icef sheltering. most of the coalition force in the south will live together
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24/7 with the ana and the anp along with the people. that is the key for counterinsurgency. you have to live, train, get together with the afghans among the afghan people. that is what you will see in the south in the next 12 months. >> where is that fall into what you just described? >> we need to project the whole build. there are three main areas. we have a footprint now in certain cities. there is no coherent footprint. these are four isolated areas we are in. we need to shape the whole build
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on the regional level, link these together but we can only do so if we have the coalition forces. >> thank you, general. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> in a few moments, republican national committee chairman michael still on the gop strategy regarding the senate health care bill. "washington journal" is live at 7:00 eastern on the health care bill and the economy. the houses in general session for speeches and legislative business at 10:00 eastern. a couple of live events to tell
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you about today and are companion network, cspan 3. a house subcommittee looks at preventing terrorist attacks and protecting civil liberties. that is the 10:00 a.m., eastern. at 1:30, eastern, republican senators will lead a rally against the health care bill on the senate floor. they'll be joined by radio talk show host laura ingram. republican national committee chairman michael steele says his party is committed to stopping health care legislation making its way through congress. he spoke with reporters for 20 minutes. >> good afternoon.
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i thank you all for coming out this afternoon. i want to take a moment to bring you up to speed on how we see the debate right now on health care in the country. and to share with you if you thought of actions we are hoping to take at the grass-roots level to more involved the american people and their voice that i think has been lost in translation over the last few months, especially. we will go to that and we will share a radio spot that we're launching today. i want to thank the leadership in the house and the senate, senator mcconnell and senator behner in their efforts under some difficult circumstances to get in front of the leadership, nancy pelosi, harry reid, and
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certainly the president, a series of proposals that we thought would go a long way to addressing some of the concerns that individuals and communities and business owners have. respect to health care. they have made several attempts to stop this madness that is lurching toward a government takeover of our healthcare system. i have heard about the bipartisanship issue and have not seen it. instead, what we have been met with legislatively is a lot of whining and complaining and noise about republicans obstructing and blocking health care reform. we have been talking about creating a patient-doctor- centered bottom of thex
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more reflective of the concerns with regard to costs and other concerns that the citizens have out there. in case there has been any confusion about where the republicans in the house and senate are and have been for four or five months now if not more on health care, i have here a list of 10 steps that we had proposed, reform ideas that we thought were common sense- oriented and based on the reality that a wholesale makeover of our healthcare system is not what was called for but folks one of these incremental steps taken and we get back to the business of dealing with what is really at the heart and soul and the minds of the american people. we want to lay that out to reiterate what we think are the appropriate bottom up responses
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to the concerns on health care. we have been rebuffed again, bill after bill, amendment after amendment, over the last few weeks. some folks were surprised last week when i sent a strategy memo around to the leadership and republicans across the country in which i stated clearly that we wanted to stop this lurch toward nationalized health care and wanted to stop and slow down and prevent a takeover of our healthcare system, that this experiment was not the way to do it. the bottom line remains -- that is exactly what we want to bury this is not in the best interest of the american people. it is not in the best interest of small business owners in this country. i still find that it is amusing to the point of being sad that here we are some 12 months into
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this year and this administration, and we are just now beginning to have a conversation about the one thing the president ran on that said he would address and that was a jobs. the health-care battle is before us and the congress right now. the american people, some 60% of them, have stated clearly that they do not want this. this is not my opinion. it is not the opinion of elected officials. is the opinion of the american people. i think they have been very clear going forward about what they want us to do. they do not want washington to spend $1 trillion that they don't have. they don't want washington to create debt that their children and grandchildren and their grandchildren cannot pay back. they want washington to focus on the fact that a neighbor had
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their home foreclosed on the my relative just lost their jobs, or their own small business is shrinking and cannot access the very capital and credit that the president is talking about today and beating up the banks for to deliver because the weight and the burden of this economy, the regulatory burden, the tax burden, before we get into what they want to and health care, is too much. creation of a new entitlement program is not in the best interest of this country. it is not in the best interest of the american people. cutting $500 billion out of medicare is not in the best mlñinterest of the country, notn the best interest of seniors, certainly, not in the best interest of those who will be relying on the system in the next three-five years, let alone the next 10-15 years. increasing premiums on health care and driving us further into
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debt is not in the best interest of the american people. as i have travelled around the country and spent the better part of this year and well over -- in a well over 35 troops -- 35 states, talking with people who have been expressing how they feel, i have come to find that the one thing that matters most to them is leadership that is listening and paying attention to what they were saying. those town halls were about something this summer. folks coming to washington on september 12 was about something. when a grandmother leaves her home in the middle of the day or a business owner shuts down his or her business or an employee, r is risking lost
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wages to meet a congressman or senator and tell them face to face what their concerns are and what is in their heart, with their peers are -- what their fears are, it is about something. they want their leadership to listen to them. they want the people they have sent to washington and their state legislators to listen to them. there has not been a lot of listening going on. we have seen the arrogance and power displayed in some amusing and not so amusing ways this past year. the american people have taken note of that. they are just a little bit tired. they are a little bit fed up. they are a little bit disappointed. in this leadership.
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peter orszag, the president of budget director, said we don't know enough to produce results right away with respect to the health care bill. the key is to can encourage continuous improvement through pilot programs and demonstration projects, cost containment will actually take years to decades to address. i labeled this from the very beginning in experiment. if that does not sound like an experiment to me, i don't know what does. there is more. there is no master plan of dealing with the soaring medical
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costs, only a battery of small- scale experiments. you don't think the american people are concerned? you don't think the american people are borate? -- are worried? small-scale experiments? is this where we are taking health care? i don't th;ñink the american people want that. they want their stores to be part of a solution. they want their experiences to be part of the solution. they do not want a government to experiment. t their health care. the real story is not just about left-wing ideology or some frankensteinish experiments on our healthcare system.
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the real story is about a party that is consumed by their own monopoly of power in town. democrats control house, senate, white house. they have the lever of power in their hands and get at every turn they look at others to blame. they look at others to call out , to embarrass, instead of addressing in an honest way what the american people want addressed. they believe they can trample the system of checks and balances. and that they have protected themselves so their rhetoric and a shield they throw up, calling people out of touch, calling people un-american, calling
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people different. the american people are not different. they are unique in that they are a cross-section of many attitudes and many experiences and all they are looking for in their leadership is to appreciate that their neighborhood is different than another. the want to go create something that allows both of us to achieve what we want. it is give-and-take. the arrogance of unbridled power that has us at the press economy. our situation is simple, as a party. we cannot force the democrats to listen to the american people but we can certainly help the american people lived there voice of. up to be heard by those in washington. i am announcing today this launch of lake national "listen to me" effort.
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we want washington to do something different for once and that is listen to the american people. we will be deploying staff to six states to help lift the people's voices in north dakota, nebraska, virginia, arkansas, louisiana, and connecticut. we are focusing on senators who have not made it clear how they will bovote. the people elected them would like to know that, as with the rest of us. the american people certainly have a right to ask the senators and all members of congress, to listen to them. in the states, we will do everything we can to help people get their elected representatives to listen. , to pay attention, to hear their voice. we will be hosting town halls.
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we have two that are scheduled for today. we will have others scheduled throughout the week. our state parties will be very active, as well in creating opportunities for the citizens' voices to be heard. we are offering up a multi- faceted internet campaign providing people with a platform to express their opinions, letting voters be listened to and speak directly to their members of congress. we have several coalition calls to action that are going out today and throughout the week and into next week. this bill touches to a cross- section of the community, doctors, health care professionals, business owners, those who are involved in the health-care industry and those who are ultimately affected by it. certainly, a grass-roots
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activist campaign that will allow for those voices that are oftentimes the dismissed or taken for granted to be heard so that as we get close to a vote of some sort on this bill, those members of the u.s. senate will know exactly what their people are thinking about it and will have heard directly from them. finally, we're launching a nationwide radio advertisement that will very clearly defined what this is all about. with that, i would play the ad and we will be ready to go. >> this is a message from the republican national chairman, michael steele. >> the democrats are accusing us of stonewalling health care. they are partly right. republicans are trying to stop this disastrous takeovers. republicans are trying to keep the liberals from creating
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another entitlement program. spending another $1 trillion. america has seen the results of the spending by the democrats. our economy is in deep trouble and their jobs or evaporated. democrats want a health care bill that will raise taxes, cut medicare, and increased premiums. democrats know america does not want this health-care takeover but they are hard in trying to jam it down our throats. this is our last chance to stop contact your senator and make washington listen to you. log on to and make washington listen before it is too late. >> the republican national committee is responsible for this advertisement. >> great writ i will take questions. >> you said you were surprised by the reaction in the last week and the democrats make the argument that you are trying to stall.
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[unintelligible] >> we have not been stalling for a long time for the republican leadership in the house and said it has been very much engaged in trying to get the leadership in the white house and congress to come to the table over some ideas that we have which are listed here. the fascinating part of this for many of us has been that while nancy pelosi or harry reid would talk about the republican stalling, you have the votes and the bill but they seem to have a small problem with that. they cannot pass the bill. a 60/40 at the edges of the senate, you are looking for republicans to either blame or
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to provide you with the votes you need, tells me there is something desperately wrong with the bill. , when you can i get your own people on board. -- when you can't get your own people on board. when we are saying to slow this down, it makes sense with what i am saying. let's create an environment where bricken to a doctor- centered approach to this that is bottom that focuses on some key things. you have a menu of choices that could be very easily introduced and not as complicated as the 2000-page behemoth that they have running around the senate now. there are real challenges, yes, in terms of getting all this
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through the senate and the house because they want to block it at every turn despite those challenges, i think the leadership has been fairly consistent in making sure that every turn, people knew what we were arguing and what we were arguing for. when i have been out in the committee to -- community talking to people and getting feedback, these are just a few of the things we can do right now. to begin to address this issue and not have to turn this thing over to the federal government to make decisions about health care. that's the reality. >> will the republicans vote for health care bill in the house and senate? >> i feel very confident right now, given in the house and the senate where the republican leadership has laid out a well- founded case to stay together on
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this and i think we have seen it. many of the members in the senate who certainly have different perspectives on health care have all come together around the idea of what the reform should look like. this is something that everyone can come to the table on. as we have seen those who have worked with the senate leadership in particular, they had been rebuffed by that leadership. they were not serious about health care reform. i feel very good, as the leadership does, that republicans are unified on this because we believe that it is not with the u.s. senate wants. it is not with the u.s. congress wants, it is what the u.s. -- american people want. they have paid a lot of attention to the american people. i think that is reflective in
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the isup, common-sense approach to health policy as opposed to a top down, government-centered bill. i'm sure there are more out there. i think you guys very much if you have any further questions or follow-up, please let us know. you know our website and there will be a lot of information there, i look forward to seeing many of you out on the road as we continue to talk to the american people. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] [no audio]
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>> as senators debate health care bill, there are still a number of issues to work out including medicare, abortion, prescription drugs, and the public option as the congressional budget office puts the price tag on may revision. follow the debate from the senate floor with late nights and possibly another weekend section, live on our companion network c-span to. -2. you can hear the debate on iphone with a new app. >> when the senate returns this morning, they will continue
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debate on health care. they will vote later in the day on a number of amendments on the drug importation and liability. the senate returns atomic clock a.m. eastern. live coverage on c-span 2. in a few moments, today's headlines and your calls, "washington journal live washington." the house is in session for legislative business at 10:00 eastern. .


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