tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN December 28, 2009 12:00pm-5:00pm EST
designed to look carefully at those who are vaccinated and those who are vaccinated in a different way. that is when we get into ethical problems. i cannot stress this enough. >> she just mentioned someone in chicago. i have no idea who she is. i am interested in now. she mentioned thousands who have not been vaccinated. are there places like that? could you set up a study like that? . .
>> ms. boyd? >> of all senators, -- centers, this is where there are many people in the medical community, and i mentioned to the doctor that feels like this issue has not been appropriately evaluated, particularly also looking at some populations of the artisan community to look at whether there are -- are to some community to look at whether there many issues involved with that. she has articulately made those things out that are missing from the studies right now.
-- played of those things out that are missing from the study is right now. i think it is imperative that we look at those particular studies. we already have populations of families that are not doing this anyway. absolutely, we should look at whether or not their children develop measles. but quite frankly, senator, measles and autism? >> if you have a choice? i had all those diseases when i was a kid. we have mums and measles and chicken pox and i had everything like that. >> [inaudible] >> i did not have it. i do not think i did. i may have. >> many of us were exposed to those illnesses and did quite well. there also fatal in a proportion of children.
i grew up as a position watching children died from meningitis. and watching children die from ramifications of measles because we were not preventing those diseases at that point in time. i was loath to go back to those days. to think that we have been able to finally succeed in that sphere and to go backwards and invite that to come back, i think we are just better than that. the science tells us that we are better than that. >> i would still like to see the science done. i know we are better off in that regard, but i have talked to a lot of professionals about this, as to whether or not we need all of those vaccinations in the first two years of life or should they be stretched out longer? that is an open question. i do not know the answer to that question. >> i would like to point out also that vaccines to not work
all the time. my son is a walking example of this. the chicken pox vaccine was brand new when he was 2 years old. my doctor said that i should get it for him and i thought, great. i had chickenpox as a kid. it was not a big problem, but i missed a couple of weeks of school. six months later after being immunized, my son developed a full-blown case anyway. that was my first clue that i was not necessarily going to choose immunizing my daughters for chickenpox. i did not know at the time that i was going to have two more daughters. because i was pregnant at the time that my son developed chicken pox six months after his vaccine and had i not had it as a child and had lifelong immunity, my baby could have been at risk for birth defects, as i understand it. there is more to consider than just a blanket statement that
the vaccine is automatically going to protect. it does not always work that way. >> mcvet -- ms. dawson? >> i want to say that in many ways i agree with the doctor that we had to answer some questions definitively. it does not appear that thimerasol accounts for this large increase in prevalence of autism and the introduction of the mmr vaccine does not account for the prevalence. i think there are important questions that remain to be addressed that have not been addressed by the large epidemiology studies that have been conducted so far. in particular, i think is important to understand role of underlying genetic and medical susceptibilities and whether they may lead to an adverse response to either a single vaccine or a set of vaccines
that are given over a short time frame. we know that the era of personalized medicine is beginning to confuse our practice of the -- of treating infectious disease. but our understanding of variation in genetics has not been studied in the context of responses of vaccinations -- responses to vaccinations. in terms of our funding in this area, our focus is trying to understand those medical or genetic vulnerability is whether it is mitochondrion disorder, channel genes that can affect responses to vaccines and seizure disorder and so forth, they may account for some minority cases of autism. the other thing i would like to suggest is, i agree with dr. ensole that it randomized study
that we ask parents to forgo getting vaccines is not ethical or feasible. we could, however, study the potential role of vaccines in the context of at least two ongoing nih studies. one is a steady the but nih and autism speaks are finding, which is following a court of @ risk infants. these are infants that have a higher chance of doping autism because they have a sibling with autism. we know that -- of developing autism because they have a sibling with autism. we know that there are parents that are choosing to vaccinate and those that are not. it is important that we leverage those studies to know how vaccinations affect the outcome for genetically at risk infants. the other study is the national institutes of health national children study. this is a cohort of 100,000
children that are being studied from conception through adulthood. keep in mind that 600 individuals in that court will develop and autism spectrum this order based on current estimates. one of the weaknesses in the design and autism speaks is -- and artisans beach is overseeing the cattle that i is devising the national study -- and autism speaks is overseeing the study, but one of the witnesses that is in the design -- weaknesses that is in the design is they are not collecting medical records on how parents are vaccinating their children. and again, with many parents choosing not to vaccinate their children -- and again, this is another opportunity with the collection of records that we could leverage the ongoing study to address this important question our position at artisan
speaks is one that is very evidence based. we are agnostic with respect to whether vaccines play a role or not, but we believe that by addressing parents questions, that this will increase confidence in the vaccine program and a ultimately lead parents to be more likely to vaccinate their children, which we think will be critically important for public health. >> i did not know this and i have been a big supporter of the children's study. i have used my position in this committee to make sure that we continue the funding for it and keep it going. i think it is vital. it is one of the most vital, longitudinal studies that we have ever done and you are telling me that of all the money we have put in for that -- and we continue to do this for what, 20 years? how many years is this? >> [inaudible] >> yeah, 20 years. they are not keeping medical
records? >> they do not have the funds -- it is true they have questionnaire data, but they do not have the funding to go back and actually obtain the medical records and extract the information that they need. this not only affects our ability to address questions about vaccines, but it also affects our ability to address critically scientifically based questions like what is the effect of a mother having the flu infection during pregnancy, the specific medications that she received from any kind of prenatal and. it'll events these are all -- and perinatal events. these are only obtained her medical records. this is a key component. the reason for not doing it is strictly financial. they just do not have the funds to do it. >> doctor? >> i just want to make sure you do not go away with the idea
that they do not have medical records. they are not able to obtain the original records with the current budget. they have looked at the possibility of getting supplementary funding that would allow them to obtain the records from the physician of referral. that has not been done. dr. dawson is right about that. i know we are running out of time and i think it should be said by someone here that's there will be time in the future that we will have been much better understanding of the causes of autism one concern that many people have is that if we get stuck by looking at one thing over and over again, we are going to miss the opportunity to look at what may be a much more important calling. i think dr. lawson and i agree that whatever the store with the vaccines, it does not explain very much about what we know about autism. we may never be able to fully
eliminate -- illuminates a very rare event that could be put in play that could connect the two. but this is not the main story. the question for us is, where is the main story? where should we be looking? i hope that the focus on this topic, particularly in this conversation today, does not obscure the fact that there is probably something out there that is truly important and that we need to be focusing on very quickly and move into very quickly. my hope is that the kinds of studies that dr. lawson suggest that are agnostic, that a broadly at a lot of prenatal factors also include some postnatal factors and we will begin to see a pattern emerge. but so far, we do not have that. >> we will explore the whole idea. i wrote that down. i have to find out about the medical records. so, again, i know we are out of time.
we have got three things i think -- let me see if i can capsize this. the one, the research that we are doing to find the causes and what is happening -- what is causing this, that is the basic research. and there's the other element of interventions and helping families right now -- and we know families in the next several years are still going to be having kids with autism. it is just going to happen. we have to think about what we do on early interventions and how we structure that better. and the next thing is, we have a group of young people out there with autism and they will be adults pretty soon and what is happening to them? and how you work on transition programs for independent living and things like that. is a big task. but it is one that we cannot
shirk from trying to address in multiple ways. that is what this committee is going to try to do. i picked up some good ideas this morning. it is good to be refreshed on all of the information. i wish i had a simple answer. i do not. do you have anything to add? well, thank you. does anyone else have one last thing they want to get across or not before we leave? ms. alderson? >> thank you for your interest. >> thank you for your leadership mrs. robertson? >> i would continue to encourage you to talk with more independent researchers. i really take issue with dr. insel's statement that all of the evidence says this is not a connection. if you do not look he will not find evidence that does say that. i would encourage you all to talk more with people like dr. lucere, who is seated behind me,
dr. boyd haley, i could name a bunch of scientists that you could clean a lot of good information from. >> well, i believe in open inquiry. as i said to a group last night, i do not believe in closed lines are closed doors or closed inquiry. but again, if something has been looked at a scientifically and the vast majority of the scientific community after looking at this says there is no correlation, then you have to move onto something else. but again, i'm always for open inquiry. >> today on c-span, a senate hearing on the national debt with the former congressional budget office director, the former comptroller general, and other -- the formeto discuss ree debt and possible ways to reduce it in the coming years. >> all this becoming a rare
glimpse into america's highest court threw unprecedented on the record conversations with 10 percent -- 10 supreme court justices. >> quite office -- quite often, of many of our most famous decisions are the ones that were very unpopular and is quite foreign to have a -- and what it means to have a country under the rule of law. >> tonight, interviews with supreme court justices at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. and get your own copy of our original documentary on the supreme court on dvt. it is part of c-span's american icon selection. one of many items available at c-span.org/stohr. >> tonight, expanding broadband to whirl and other -- underserved areas of the country. -- to the rural and underserved areas of the country. that is on "the communicator's"
on c-span2. blogger, columnist and author of four books takes your calls, e- mails and tweets. three hours with michelle malkin, part of a three day new year's weekend starting friday. >> education committee chairman george miller and others recently introduced legislation aimed at preventing the appropriate use of so-called restraint and seclusion techniques at schools. the committee will be hearing -- will be holding a hearing on the subject. this is about two hours. >> today's hearing is the first ever on the abuse and seclusion
rate -- some restraint of children in schools. last year, we held hearings to examine allegations of the debts of teens in treatment programs which led us to pass h.r. 91 earlier this year. this bill establishes basic health and safety standards passed by overwhelming bipartisan support. when we are talking about keeping our children's sake, it is not a partisan issue. sadly, we are here again to talk about the reclusive -- the seclusion restraint. but this time it is about the nation's public and private schools. in january, i asked the accountability office to investigate whether the deadly use of seclusion and restraint was in our schools widespread. the answer was yes. what they found was alarming and will send shock waves to every corner of this country, as it should. the gao will tell us very shortly that hundreds of students in this country have been victims of abuse in school.
in some cases, this abuse has been fatal. though it is not limited to students with disabilities, it is happening more often to these vulnerable children. we will hear today from two parents whose lives have been devastated by teachers and classmates who went too far. i thank them for having the courage to speak publicly about the trauma that they have experience. federal law restricts the seclusion and emergency restraints to hospitals and other facilities supported by federal dollars. yet these rules do not apply to public or private school. this means an untrained prep -- an untrained medical professional is forbidden from inappropriately restraining a patient and if they do, there are laws specifically targeted to address such behavior. but unclean -- untrained claustrum staff are abusing students in schools without any
accountability because of the lack of oversight. our children are bearing the burden of a system designed to fail them. many states have no laws and specifically governing the appropriate use of seclusion and restraint in schools and parents are often unaware of the use of these abuses until their child comes home with bruises, or tragically, cannot come home a lot -- at all. community's trust teachers and school administrators to keep children safe. yet some combat -- but some educators are misusing interventions intended as a last resort for discipline or in non- emergency situations. last year alone, in my home state of california, california districts reported more than 14,300 cases of seclusion, restraint and other emergency interventions. we do not know how many of these cases were real emergencies. recent news reports document appalling teachers -- appalling stories of teachers trying
children to chairs, taping their mouths shut, using handcuffs, fracturing bones, locking them in dark spaces and sitting on them until they turn blue. one might wonder what could possibly cause a teacher in a classroom to abuse a child in this way. we know that -- we know what these children did. they fidgeted in their chairs, were unwilling to follow directions, or in some cases left the room or avoided a difficult task. these papers are often a sign of a child's disability. -- these beaters are often a sign of a child's disability. the vast majority are caring professionals who on a daily basis are making a difference in the lives of the children that they teach. but teachers and staff who abused the children must be killed -- held accountable for their actions. i know educators are struggling with managing student leader on many levels. school violence is a difficult
issue that must be addressed. the teachers and staff need to feel safe themselves, which is exactly why they -- we must support ways to reduce problems in schools. schoolwide positive behavior support can help establish a social culture and a positive and are meant that uses data driven decision making to improve academic achievement. such practices have been shown to reviews -- reduce office discipline referrals and problematic behavior. this must stop now. families must never be left wondering where their child is safe in the care of their school and teachers should not feel compelled to use emergency interventions to manage behavior on a regular basis. congress must step in and fill the void that has resulted in the scars that may never heal for the children and families that have been victims of abuse. i feel the next step will be to
enact a federal policy that ensures the tragic stories we will hear of today will not occur again. i want to thank you very much to all of the witnesses that have agreed to appear here today. and i would like to acknowledge the ranking member. >> i would like to begin by thanking our witnesses for being here to share their stories and experiences here with us today. today, we will hear testimony about the improper use of seclusion and restraints in our nation's public schools. all students, but especially those with disabilities, have a right to attend a school that is a safe and rich learning environment. in cases where students with does oppose these have a serious discipline problems and may be a threat to themselves, it is important that teachers and classmates use interventions that are both physically and emotionally safe for the child. while it is important that
special education and general education teachers have the tools and skills that they need to maintain an orderly in youleg in our and to respect themselves and the students to the classroom, there should never be justification for secluding a student in a room without proper supervision or restrained so that he or she cannot read -- breed. this is child abuse and has no role in our nation's schools. with that said, we know that certain techniques can be used to maintain order and protect students without harm. the safety and well-being of these two must always be of the highest priority. once you reject the port -- the extreme procedures and techniques that we will hear about today, there is a gray area that schools must grapple with. perhaps the greatest lesson from these tragic stories is the need for greater training and understanding among teachers and classroom aides to prevent the
stories from being repeated. this is not a pleasant topic for any of us, but especially the parents that have lost so much. thank you, chairman, and i yield back. >> i would like to briefly introduce our panel of witnesses. mr. greg quds is the current managing director of the government accountability office special investigations unit. since joining the gao in 1991, he has investigated abuse of children and teen residential facilities. 7-year-old page was restrained and secluded routinely by her teacher. she is here now with her mother today. and a mother from texas would tell us about her foster son, cedric, who will learn what they have become a loving child,
tragically lost his life while being physically restrained by a special education teacher. i want to thank both of you for taking the time to come and share your stories with the committee. i know it is not easy and i appreciate your courage in doing so. dr. reece peterson is the professor of special education at the university of nebraska, lincoln, and his work has spanned three decades in conducting interventions for students with emotional and behavioral disorders, school violence prevention and has also conducted analysis and policy analysis on procedures in school. >> it is my pleasure to introduce beth henselmann. j.n. -- she attended the university of illinois for her
and a record work university of springfield for graduate studies. for the last three years she has served as special superintendent and in this capacity she is responsible for the intervention of more than 300,000 students with disabilities in the state of illinois. [no audio] that maximize academic achievement of all students, including those with emotional, behavior problems and other disabilities. p currently. bis is implemented -- currently pbis is implemented in many schools throughout illinois. we are working to expand it throughout the state. thank you for appearing before the committee and i look for during your testimony. >> thank you very much and
welcome to the committee. we will begin with mr. koontz. there are three lights in front of you that will go on when you begin speaking. the green light and then when you are four minutes into your testimony, an orange light will come on. and think about dropping it up, if you can't. we want you to complete your testimony in the way that you are most comfortable, but we have a lot of members here and we want to allow for questions. but again, we want you to do it in the way you are most comfortable. mary keeley, assistant superintendent of view -- of people services was originally tested -- scheduled to testify today. she will not be here, but burke written test we will be included in the record. we look forward to your testimony. >> mr. chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss seclusion and restraint of children. there are allegations of the abuse of use of seclusion and
restraint in public and private schools. my testimony today addresses these allegations. my testimony has two parts. first, i will be -- i will provide you with a brief background and second, i will discuss the results of our investigation. first, there are no federal laws restricting the use of seclusion and restraint in public and private schools. at the state level, laws and regulations vary widely. for example, 19 states have no laws or regulations to restrict the use of seclusion and restraint. at the other end of the spectrum, eight states specifically prohibit the use of restraint that restricts breathing. although no national data is available for california and texas alone, it was reported that there were 33,000 instances of seclusion, restraint, or other interventions during the 2008 school year.
moving on to the results of our investigation, we got -- we identify hundreds of the allegations of the abusive use of seclusion and restraint in public and private schools. at least 20 of these cases resulted in death. most of the allegations related to children with disabilities. some of the more troubling allegations that we identified include a 3-year-old boy being strapped to a chair and secluded in a timeout room. a 5-year-old boy having a -- his elbow fracture from a basket hold restraint. a teenage boy being repeatedly locked in a 4 foot by 6 foot timeout room and then being forced to stay there after defecating. a 13-year-old boy hanging himself in a seclusion room with a chord that teachers provided to him to hold up his pants. and a 17-year-old girl that jerking to death in her own vomit -- choking to death in her
own vomit after being held in a face down restraint. we took a look at 18 of these children between ages 04 and 18. the purpose of our work was to evaluate the facts and circumstances for each of these cases. this included interviewing numerous people, along with reviewing police reports, autopsies, court records, and other evidence. the facts and circumstances we found for these cases were similar to those for the hundreds of allegations. let me briefly describe three of these cases. first, the monitors show a picture of christina kilmer at the age of aid. christina was born with cerebral palsy and later diagnosed with autism. at the age of for her mother noticed that she was coming home from her preschool class --
preschool class is in west virginia with bruises on her arms, chest, and legs. it turns out that she was being restrained in something that looked like an electric chair. this chair had a high back and leather straps across the arms, chest, and legs. the teacher had restrained her in his chair because she was being uncooperative. kristina wet her pants while being restrained in his chair. according to a mother, christina would act in an uncooperative way when she needed to use the restroom. second, the monitors showed a picture of jonathon carry at the age of 13 with his father. jonathan was intellectually did- disabled and artistic. at the age of 11, a private school in new york secluded him in his room for extended time frames.
he was also denied 40% of his regular meals for behavioral problems. his father removed him from the school after finding him lying naked in his own urine. although hard to believe, things got worse for jonathon when he was transferred to a state school for children with disabilities. while on a field trip, jonathon became disruptive in the school band and was restrained by an aide. jonathan died after this aid sat on top of him until he stopped breathing. third, the monitors showed a picture of christopher smith at the age of eight. christopher was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. when he was 9-year-old he was secluded 75 times in the time out room uc shown on both monitors. although this room was unlocked,
a staff person would hold the door shut so that christopher could not leave. you might wonder what this boy did it to be secluded in his room 75 different times. i have in my hand copies of the 75 locks that document these incidences. the monitors show excerpts from these logs. as you can see, christopher was being punished for making noises, waving his hands, chewing on his shirt and fidgeting. he teams from our 10 cases include, first, as i mentioned, most of these children had disabilities. the second, prone or the restraints the restrict breathing can be deadly. third, staff were not properly trained, and fourth, those found responsible for the abusive use of seclusion and restraint
continued to be licensed and work with children. for example, one teacher was found to have physically abused the boy by restraining him until he died. this teacher was placed in the texas state registry of individuals that have abused and neglected children. today, she teaches at a public high school in northern virginia, just a short drive from where we sit. in conclusion, there is no way to determine how widespread the abusive use of seclusion and restraint is in our nation. however, many of the 18 children from our case studies, including four preschoolers, were clearly abused and tortured. this disturbing evidence makes this issue worthy of the attention of this committee and parents across the nation. i look forward to your
questions. >> thank you very much. miss gaithos? welcome again to the committee and thank you for being here. >> chairman miller, other distinguished members, this is my daughter paige. i'm here to discuss what happened to page in the hope that now that the national of a child has to suffer the way she did. the from infancy, she was a voracious lerner. she was a night and -- an early leader and to develop strong interest in astronomy and geology. in early 2001, n.h. -- at age 7, she was tentatively diagnosed with bipolar disorder, since discarded, and as birders' syndrome. we researched -- and asberger's syndrome. we researched different methods and we enrolled her. at no time was restrained ever discussed. within a week, she came home
brews and said that her teacher heard her and she couldn't breathe. the teacher claims she could not have caused the birth. we were shocked that we had not known of this use of force and that it could be used for something so trivial. in june, has been run into a former aide from her classroom, who warned us that the teacher had forced page face down on the floor and sat on her. we immediately called a meeting with the teacher and principal in which we agreed that paige would no longer be restraint and we would be called to the school should any thing develop. she could be subject to lengthy time out, some over three hours in length. the new school year seemed more promising until 2001 when she was heard on two successive days, including being roughly forced into her chair.
the principal eventually suggested a meeting. my husband and i look for an alternative placement, but nothing suitable was available. we insisted that she could not be restrained, heard or bruised by this teacher. it was agreed that we would be called immediately if she was having problems. for a short time, this helps to change the classroom from one that was more punitive to one that was more therapeutic and humane. while attending summer school in july of 2002, i was called to fetch page. as we were driving home, she burst into tears and told me that she'd been heard all day. she had a severe version on her upper right arm and a large bump on her head. i called the principal, told her page was not to be returning and stress how upset i was then no one told me anything about what happened. we would later know that something in t.a.r.p. -- in the teachers demeanor that day had terrified page and she fled the school grounds. she was returned to the school
safely, but the situation escalated for several hours until the teacher took her into a separate classroom. she took her right arm and lifted it up between your shoulder blades and her left arm of and forster to the ground. pages norah psychologist reported the incident to job productive -- near a psychologist reported the incident to child protective services. the matter was referred to the police, but it was not a ultimately prosecuted. only one board member ever responded to our complaint and his advice was to sue the district. unable to trust the district with page, we placed her in a private school for a special needs children. we met another job that had suffered great trauma at the same school. the savoy, then 6 years old, was kept in seclusion time out for the entire school day, six hours for 19 successive school
days. he was denied food, water, and gothard access during this entire time. he, too, also came home with unexplained injuries and his mother complained to the district, cbs, and the police about these instances. we're horrified and after receiving a response to our repeated complaints, we launched a lawsuit, after which we learned of more complaints about the same teacher. after weeks, the teacher and principal were found liable for damages. i wish the store had a fairy tale ending. the teacher was simply returned to the same rostrum after page was heard. she finally left the school, however, she went to work for another school district in california where we learned there were for the complaints of abuse. there was no central database is douglas or requirement for
schools to check for police or cbs reports, so the district had no warning. to this day, she still holds a california teaching license. page is now 15, but has never recovered fully. she lost her former at enthusiasm for learning and has never been a stellar student that she was. she is still a friend at school, but she does not hide any lager under dusk as she used to do at your old school. these incidences delayed an accurate diagnosis for years and delayed opprobrious services and supports for page. i love my daughter with all my heart and i believe she will achieve great things with her life, but i am saddened at the tremendous loss of potential she has suffered. i hope you can help children like her. again, thank you for the opportunity to testify today and i will answer any questions that you may have. >> thank you. welcome, thank you for being here. >> thank you, chairman miller.
>> ms. price, if you could pull the microphone a bit closer to you. >> thank you, chairman miller and the committee for holding this hearing today and inviting me to share my story. my name is tony price. i'm a father -- foster mother. by the time cedric came to my home at the age of 12, he had been through a lot in his short- lived. his parents neglected him and his siblings and abuse them both physically and emotionally food was withheld from them cedric, the oldest, used to rummage for food for himself and his siblings. he was caught stealing food from a grocery store. he never knew when he had his next meal. cedric became very sensitive about food. starting at the age of 9, cedric went to many foster homes, but struggled.
after placement, said the epicenter a good camp facility north of killeen where he experienced more abuse. he had a permanent scar on his face after being beaten by a a a supervisor with a shovel. despite his experience,, sater came to me with a smile. he was very jovial and truly loving smile. he liked to go bowling and feed the ducks in the pond near our house. when he had extra energy, he loved to run to the end of the driveway and back. he got along well with the other children in the house, particularly my son, because he always wanted a big brother. they played a lot of basketball. at church, he wanted to be in a play, but there were no more parts for him. he got the biggest smile on his face and said, no part. and the director said, ok, you can play an angel.
i knew he was sensitive about food, so i told him he could have any thing in the kitchen, just let me know. he had be your problems, but they were never physical and he was never aggressive. -- behavioral problems, but they are never physical and he was never aggressive. once he stole a bag of chips from the kitchen. i made him pay back so he learned his lesson about stealing. but it was the consequence that did not bring any of the previous abuse of to the service. even though he was well fed at my home, food was a trigger for cedric from the trauma of his childhood. cedric enrolled in a public middle school. his first year of school in seventh grade, he had no problems. i did not get any phone calls and he did well in school. his eighth grade your was a different teacher and he would
always say to me, i do not think she likes me. i reassured him that she did. i got frequent calls from his teacher about verbal aggression, though i never got calls about physical aggression. i could ask the teacher to put cedric on the phone and say to him, you know you need to your work and he would say, yes, ma'am. sometimes he would get in trouble at school for stealing food. but i learned later in his class from he was being withheld food as punishment for acting up. the morning of his death, cedras was put on what the teacher called "delayed lunch." because he stopped working about 11:00, this was apparently a common punishment for him. he got in more trouble when he still had not eaten lunch. he was caught trying to steal candy. at 2:30 p.m., he still had not been allowed to eat his lunch and got up to leave the classroom. after cedric attempted to leave the classroom, he refused to sit back down in his chair.
the teacher forced him into his chair and restrain him. she is roughly 6 feet tall, weighs over 230 pounds. cedric was short. he was a little boy. cedrics troubled -- cedric struggled as he was being held in the chair, so the teacher put him face down and sat on him. he struggled and said repeatedly, i cannot reabreathe. if you can speak, you can breathe, she snapped at him. naturally after that, he stopped speaking and stop struggling he stopped moving the teacher continued to restrain him. finally, the teacher and aide
put said it back into his chair and wiped the dual from his mouth and set him up, but he slumped over and slipped out of his chair. precious moments passed before a nurse was called. i received a call at work but cedric was not breathing and an ambulance had been called. i rushed to the school, not completely clear of what was going on and what was happening. when i got to the school, my son was laying on the floor with a paramedic behalf -- beside him. i kneel down and said, cedric, get up. you are not going to be in trouble. but cedric did not move. instead, the paramedic said -- stood me up. my son was dead. i did not know that my -- of the school was practicing restraint
techniques on cedric. i did not know they were withholding food as a punishment. in fact, when i initially enrolled in him as is " i told the administration that he had been withheld food as a child and it was traumatic. when the teacher was having trouble with cedric, i told her about the techniques with helping him at home. i tried to help her because said it was not a bad kid. he had come so far and had so much success in the seventh grade. i knew that he could be successful. the school never held meetings with me to address behavioral problems aside from calling his teacher. i did not know that such reports -- the extent that cedric was getting in trouble and what they were doing to him. his teacher to a trout live, but she said also -- but she also caused a lot of damage to his classmates, many of whom were victim of trauma already.
his parents -- parents were forbidden to talk to me. but for many of the children, it was so traumatic for them, and they spoke and in turn their parents spoke to me. after i read the report, i was taken aback by how much the school can get away with. cedrics death was ruled a homicide. the school's policy allows therapeutic floor rules when a child has engaged himself and others, the setup was not endangering himself or anyone that day. -- but cedric was not endangering himself or anyone that day. no legal action was taken and as a foster mother, i did not have the right to press charges. a judge found the teacher's eyes -- teachers oxen's to be reckless and his step not -- a judge on the teachers actions to be reckless and his death not an accident, but i have been told that she now teaches at a public high school in northern
virginia. her virginia license shows for accreditation to the kindergarten through 12th, special education. if that teacher was just doing her job, then something is very wrong with this system. if i had treated cedric that way, i would be in jail. i want to make sure this does not happen to anyone else's child. it was awful the way cedric died. he was a good kid. this should never happen. the morning cedric died he was boarding the bus and he turned around and got a big smile on his face and said to me, mom, you know i love you. thank you. >> thank you, miss price. dr. peterson? >> my name is reece peterson. my role is that of a researcher, who along with other colleagues around the country are attempting to understand the use
of restraints and seclusion in school settings. i have been an educator for more than 30 years. my purpose is to share with you what we know, or maybe more accurately what we do not know about the use of restraints and seclusion in school settings. there is virtually no research about the number of situations which occur in schools where student leader poses -- were student behavior poses a danger to themselves or other students and staff. similarly, there is no information on how these situations are addressed, whether physical restraint is used or an adult physically old system and prevents them from moving, or whether seclusion procedures are used and a student is placed in a special environment and prevented from leaving when they are alone. i believe there is agreement among knowledgeable professional educators that physical restraints and seclusion procedures should be used rarely in school settings, and then to prevent injuries. only when there is immediate
danger of physical injury to someone. does, that is an emergency situation someone suggested that both restraint and seclusion can be used to change certain behavior, there is virtually no evidence to support the effectiveness of for that purpose. seclusion should be distinguished from time off for positive reinforcement, which does have evidence of potential value in changing behavior, what -- but which need not entail seclusion. there is also controversy as to whether this should be employed when students are causing damage to the school environment. most would say that those procedures should not be used in most situations because of the risks of injury from those procedures being larger than the risks without such strategies. nevertheless, there are isolated studies and anecdotal evidence that these procedures are using -- being used for a variety of other situations that are not
emergencies. in one study, i found that these procedures are kerr forster and noncompliance, leaving the learning environment, and other student leaders similar to what we have heard here today that apparently did not entail danger of physical injury to anyone. similar instances of non- emergency use have been in the media reports that we have all seen. according to anecdotal reports, these procedures have also been implemented inappropriately in other respects. the restraints by people without trying to do so, ignoring some terms of distress, such as restricted breathing, or were conducted well past the time that the student has regained control. seclusion in and armistead are not safe, without close monitoring of the students, and for extended or inappropriate lengths of time. all of these situations the fight, and lakes of the professional guidelines for the use of these procedures. since these reports are often
the result of parent complaints or meteor result, we do not know how many times these procedures are employed inappropriately with students. yet there do seem to be a substantial number of situations and they appear scattered across the u.s. however, we must the knowledge that there may be set -- many situations across the u.s. where these procedures are being used much more appropriately and there being little or no adverse affects because of their use in those situations where there are true emergencies. the state's very substantially in their provision of these procedures in the schools. as alluded to earlier, in a recent study that my colleagues and i engaged in, we found that there were 21 states that have policies regarding restraint, 10 more with guidelines or technical assistance documents in place, 14 states reporting no policies or guidelines at all.
for seclusion, there were about 17 states that have policies and the seven more with guidelines we could identify. as you can imagine, these are changing continually. most of the time, both types of policies and guidelines were included in special education policies for these states. all of these policies vary widely in their terminology, definitions and content. it is important to note that the use of these procedures is not strictly related to students with disabilities. most of the procedures have been with students with disabilities, but some have not. the school and staff members to engage in restraint and seclusion in of the special education staff. we currently do not know. there is concern from knowledgeable professionals regarding the deaths and injuries resulting from these procedures, concerns that reasonable guidelines are not being followed and concern for violations of human rights. there are several recommendations that could be
made having to do with some things already been addressed, such as prevention and positive support, adequate staffing of school programs, a corporate and specific training, developing a common framework as to when these procedures could and should be used, and more consistent emergency and safety planning with parents regarding those students who we can predict might have serious behavioral episodes. and, in the briefing and reporting to some outside agency to some -- or other agencies would be helpful, i think. there is a set of recommendations that is currently being developed by the council of children with behavioral disorders, which is -- those reports address many of these issues and are available. i would like to see some of those kinds of recommendations be implemented to address these very serious problems we have heard about. thank you very much. >> thank you.
>> good morning, mr. chairman and members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to speak to you on this important topic today. in 2001, illinois enacted legislation to specifically address the issues of seclusion, known as isolated time out in illinois, and physical restraint in public schools. the state border cover -- the state board of education in collaboration with other groups around the state, developed guidelines for isolation and restraint. our rules became effective in january 2002. these rules apply to all students in illinois, not only those with disabilities. they want the employment of isolated timeout and physical restraint to be used only to preserve the safety of self or others. and to prohibit the use of it -- of seclusion or restraint for the purpose of punishment or exclusion. illinois rules imposed time limits, require continual
digital monitoring of and communication with the student. they can only be used when a student poses a physical risk to self or others. there is no medical contra indication to its use and staff have been trained in the save the application in accordance with the roles within the past two years. further restrictions include prohibiting use of chemical or mechanical restraints, and declaring that the students who communicate with simon which or augmented devices have their hands -- with sign language or augmented devices have their hands free to communicate. the majority of behavior's which result in the use of seclusion and restraint can be prevented by early advocation and intensive interventions. -- early identification and intensive intervention. for the past 10 years, the state board of education in illinois
has invested in the implementation of school-wide behavior intervention support. ppis is a systems approach to his publishing and culture needed for schools to achieve social and economic gains -- gains while minimizing bigger problems for all students. key to the implementation ppis is the recognition that we need to teach and be roscoe's just as we teach academic skills. -- behavioral skills just as we teach academic skills. drs. robert horner and georgia segai of the nationalppis center, offer guidelines. personal established if out --
>> the show improved academic outcome as measured by our assessments. and it provides students with the most complex needs. the schools have a reduction in the number of instances of that require intensive intervention, including seclusion and restraint and increase the effectiveness of individual behavior will support plans. illinois data shows that schoolwide, ppbis can have a positive impact on school programs, including a reduction in the use of restraints and separate facilities for students with emotional disorders by more than 50% with the first year. it shows a reduction in the occurrence of critical instances by more than 60% following implementation in correctional
centers. based on our experiences, which urged the adoption of national voluntary standards and model policies on the use of seclusion and restraint. this can only be effective when coupled with a strong commitment and investment in the training and ongoing support of staff and the use of evidence-based strategies has supported by the positive behavior for effected schools act. thank you for your support and attention to this important topic -- important topic. >> and thank you. thank you to all of you for your testimony this morning and your participation. thank you it very much for being here. it is difficult for us to imagine the sadness and loss that you have suffered at the system that is currently in place and we hope that we will be able to demonstrate to you that we can change that.
thank you very much for being here with us this morning. it is a pleasure to have you. mr. gregory kooks, -- kutz, if i look at a goa report, it would seem at the face in texas and california, it says the we do not know anything about them but only the number. it would appear that will have a protocol in place that a lawyer is trying to put into place -- that illinois is trying to put into place, it shows that there are thousands of cases of restraint and seclusion that turn out to be an unnecessary and could be prevented. is that a fair assumption? >> it is likely there are thousands. the numbers keep rising as we speak from what comes in. we know there are hundreds.
given those two states with 33,000 incidents, it is likely it is a bigger number. >> i did not know what you had in place before this with reporting, but you talked about the number of incidents is that you believe have been avoided by the use of the positive system. >> yes. we have seen with all of our schools that had and to -- that have implemented it, a significant reduction in the number of referrals and utilization of restraint or seclusion. >> mr. kutz, in the report, you highlight the deaths that have taken place from a face down restraint or restraints that blocked the airways. if this is a reoccurring problem, with the use of this
restraint, and in some cases it is argued that there is training that takes place but from your report, it is difficult to determine if that training is adequate in terms of protection for the safety of the children. >> that is correct. the face down restricts are responsible for a least three of the four deaths and possibly the fourth. there are some accounts but the fourth child was down when there were sat on on the school band. you may recall from our a report that there were many deaths from face down restraints. anything that blocks or restrains the breathing as high risk. >> i would think that the cumulative evidence would suggest that perhaps that is not it restraint that you want to continue to reduce on young children.
given what we learned in the residential facilities and what we are seeing in schools, this is a high risk restraint, especially in the hands of those who do not have training or awareness. i the want turning to be a green light for this. even with training, this is a high risk restraint. >> it would seem to be the highest risk from what we can say. >> it is hard. it is very hard to figure out how you use this and what is happening to this child, most of kobe are 15 -- most of these children who are under 15. we have been discussing and listening to a lot about what
her -- waterboarding and you create the perception of drowning. you start to think that you are losing your breath and your ability to brave -- the ability to break. you are creating that same psychological impact on that child that they will suffocate. in fact, there were and they died. even if you use it successfully, the fear, humiliation, it is almost incomprehensible that we would think that this is some kind of proper therapy to use on very young children. you do not need to respond. i am just taken by your report that this would be so readily
turned to and documented in the report that in many instances, this was not about a child being a danger to themselves or others, it was about trying to restore order or the teacher did not like the behavior. the tired rigid the child's life was threatened even though there were not threatening anybody else's life. i think when you think about the age-appropriateness of the seclusions, 75 times locked away in a dark room, people walked away for hours, wedding themselves, defecating, knowing how sensitive children are about their peers and themselves, this punishment is way out of bounds. this behavior by people imposing this is out of bounds of what i believe are the social norms in this society.
i do not understand that we have this patchwork state regulation or states are taking a look at this and it appears that the states that take a look at this realized not only to jeopardy they are in but the jeopardy they are putting children in and they tried to have some system to check this. if they would just pause for a moment and think about what they're doing and look at the goa report, a male aged 11 through 13 was being abused. a male 15, a female-4 years old, a male under the age of 6, five students aged 6 and 7, a male, nine years old. these are very young children. >> for out of our 18 were four
years old. they were preschoolers. >> this is just unacceptable. it is unacceptable this would be a policy within a public institution with respect to the care of these children. everyone on this committee is fully appreciative of the difficulty is that teachers engaged in on it daily basis of trying to teach and create an atmosphere for learning in the classroom but the various mixes that we have. we have processes and protections in place, clearly insufficient. none of that justifies this kind of behavior. i have to tell you, i must believe that in many instances,
these teachers are victimized almost as much because they did not have the kinds of resources necessary to deal with this, of that they need additional training just and how they react and respond to students but when we get into an incident that requires something beyond that, it seems to me they are left to themselves. that is probably not a good situation. we will get into that more so. that their testimony mr. peterson, -- i am running out of time. but very quickly, you started to talk about the of the parents that this makes sense -- the evidence that this makes sense. >> there is no evidence that we are effective in changing behavior. >> your microphone is not on.
>> there is no basis that they change behavior. many people believe that there are maybe necessary and these emergency situations to prevent injury. it is a simple pattern of the teachers obligation to defend the other kids in the class and even the target students from their own behavior. >> my concern would be that i did not think the report shows this is only done in emergency situations. >> absolutely. we need to find a way to correct the abusive situation but to also provide the support you mentioned to teachers who are struggling to do the right thing for kids. >> mr. mckeon. >> thank you, mr. chairman. these types of hearings are very difficult to sit through. no comparison with how hard it is for you to tell the stories
that you have to tell. or to lift to the experiences you have had to live through. many experiences come to mind. you said that 31 states have laws in place. >> correct. >> what one of the states because of robert? >> if you give me a moment -- would one of the states be colorado? >> if you give me a moment i can find out. >> i would like to know because you're experienced happened in colorado? >> we actually moved colorado after this happened in california. >> it has some lost in place but there appears to be absolutely no way of enforcing them. we went to the district, the board, and the police. our only recourse left was a lawsuit. >> this same thing came up in
the other hearing on the abuses that happened in these camps and other schools. apparently, nothing can be done there, either. what good would more loss baker if there is no way -- what good would more laws to be if there is no way to enforce them? the teachers are apparently untouchable. i'd remember member had the incident where children died in the camps at other schools and no enforcement took place. when you will homicide and yet nothing seems to happen, teachers are still working, is this because of labor laws that protect people to extremes? is it labor unions that protect
people from extreme situations? what is it that causes these types of problems when these people's lives go on unaffected? >> i believe it is because the teacher was in texas but she was able to go to another state. when a teacher does something and in this world of homicide and there is bad thing that has been done, that teachers should be put on a worldwide registry. >> a colleague of mine that used to be on this committee pursued for several years and i think it was signed into law finally were fbi records can be shared in the case of child abuse in schools. it teacher -- a teacher had to
be convicted of child abuse but then they went on the registry and the fbi records could be shared from state to state or school district to school district which is very important. however, that was a conviction. what you are talking about is a claim or in the case of your foster child, the death was ruled a homicide but there was no action taken so there would not be any conviction on any person's record. if you go to another state, you would not even have to live under application. there is not a spot birds you rigid spot where you have to say if you killed a child actor last job. >> it is true.
she was involved with child abuse. if the school would look at it to say what kind of abuse it was then dive into that more deeply to see what it was and find out it was a homicide and take action. >> we probably have laws that protect people's privacy and protect them from others that makes it difficult to do that. >> if the teacher is teaching and this registry is set world wide were those individuals are able to go into their records to say because you are putting other childrens' lives in danger. >> the problem is, when you employ somebody, you cannot even ask them how old they are. you cannot ask them about so many things that would help give
somebody a clue as to what is going on. i understand the registry you are talking about. it just seems to me that these cases are so extreme and yet nothing can be done that we're talking about more laws and i think the states have laws with this happened and nothing happened. i do not know what good and other law will do. i understand the importance of training the teachers and administrators who may be involved in these situations so that they can better cope and handle without abusing children like this. >> i have a question. do we have pedophiles that have to report where they moved to? are their employers able to look into their files? >> i do not no.
excuse my ignorance, but what are they able to look into a pedophile's file but it teacher that killed somebody, she is it? >> it sounds like wisdom. >> is the texas registry a public record? >> she was initially placed in the texas registry. then it disappeared from the registry. we are not sure if virginia checked or not or if taxes dropped the ball. we do know that the public school in virginia was not aware with the situation. >> but we do not know if anybody checked. >> we do not no. >> i referred the case to beat virginia department of education on friday. they are investigating it. the committee will ultimately be informed about what happened. something broke down in the system, clearly. >> yes, clearly.
i do not know if there is a system for that. if the texas registry was a public record, the question would be did you check with a person was last employed to see if there was anything on the record. i do not know if there is a system in place to do that. what is the point of the registered? >> they do ask your last job employment. >> i would assume you want to know where somebody came from. >> mr. killdee. can you suggest how the federal government could implement or impose a federal standard a lot were rigid relating to restraint. in the illinois system, would
that be of some guidance? >> i certainly think it is worthy of a look at the federal level. i believe the other witnesses have more knowledge than i do. >> very often when we spend federal dollars for a program, we put some standards in that program for the expenditure of those dollars. is there anything we can do, is there a federal role that we should have to try to make sure these things do not happen that we have heard happen i think there should be a federal law when we are spending dollars to hopefully help kids to make sure they are not hurt. >> one example we talked about is some sort of a registry that people can go to determine if this teacher was found by an
administrative law judge guilty of at least abuse of children. there was a registry set up but we do not know if a state should do that or something national or at there is an ability to tap into that to do checks on people would be useful. for example, i am sure there are other things you can examine but that is something parents would be concerned about. do we really know who the teachers are that are teaching our children? >> dr. peterson, did you have a response? >> i think the registry may be of value. i think the larger issue is the issue of schools. there would be the outer to some common definition, terminology, common expectation across the state for when these procedures should or could be used, if at all. that would help a lot whether it was a lot or some sort of federal guideline that would direct states for help them implement better policies.
the think we have to remember that we have many more kids in school with serious mental health issues, serious but several issues, that we have had in your -- that we have had 20 years ago. as a result, which have to provide better support. the preventive things that we mentioned could be built and by requiring districts to show their preventive plans to show how they are implementing positive behavioral supports rather than just relying on some of these. i think there are some things like that that could be done at the federal level that would really assist states to become more uniform and moved practice further ahead. >> most of us up here, like myself, the father of three children and grandfather of seven children.
i can just imagine how devastated i would be if something like this would happen to one of my children. i have that same killing of devastation for any child in america. if there is a goal that the federal government can play -- if there is a rule that the federal government can play to eliminate this, we would like to arrive at that with your help. thank you. >> i apologize for missing the testimony. i was in another meeting. so many things go wrong in this world that we cannot know about and this is one of them. i am shocked by what i heard and the evidence that i have heard since i have been here. i wanted to ask mr. kutz, in
your testimony, you talked about there being no website to collect comprehensive information on the issue of seclusion and restraint in public and private schools. and 2003, the mental health services administration began promoting the implementation and a guy you ration of best practice approaches to reducing and preventing restraint and seclusion for mental-health cases. there were implementations to reduce this. did you look at those activities and see what parallels there might be that we could learn from this that would
make it feasible to do the same thing that's the bill we passed some years ago for mental-health surroundings, had the had the chance to look at that? >> not in any depth. we were looking at something that was more comprehensive but it could have some relevance to a bigger picture going forward. >> i am curious as to what the experience was and that they found that it was a successful approach are not. these are terrible event. my heart goes out to the parents here. the question is not how could we punish schools but how could be prevent these things from ever happening. that would be useful to know if there are other situations that are quite simple such as the one i mentioned or there may be others that we can learn from. we can find out what works and
what does not work. do you have any comment on that? >> does anyone wish to comment? >> i think the initiative was one that was voluble. i am not clear what the -- one that was valuable. i am not clear what the details are. i think there would be about you in doing that. >> does anybody on the panel know whether there are other programs that might be similar to that that we could look debt and compare and see what is effective in what is not? >> no. i am not immediately aware. there are some individual situations where individuals have taken a leadership within schools in various settings to do that. i think the committee may be aware of some of these. one of them was in the
centennial school and pennsylvania and a colleague of mine and kansas city assisted her district to try to reduce the use of these procedures. i think they could be found. there are some good examples out there and we need to identify those and may be shared the wisdom they have gained with others. >> i am interested in going beyond just that parks but getting into the question of reporting and how there has been a problem. both aspects are very important. may i suggest that is a good thing for the staff to look at. i am feeling a little bit at sea as to how to begin addressing this. i am looking at other instances where this has been addressed that we could learn from.
>> thank you. mr. payne. >> thank you. this is a an important hearing. it is shocking to hear what happened and these 10 cases. my first prayer -- my first career was as a public-school teacher. i taught in public school systems in new jersey. although i was primarily in secondary schools, i did have a stand and an elementary school -- i did have a stint in an elementary school. i cannot fathom how abuse like this could happen. it seems like rather than things improving, because we always heard that time would take care of everything, but it seems like this is going and the opposite
direction. we hear stories that we did not hear about years ago. being in the system, there were investigations. being and a school, we would know. that is perhaps a question to both of the parents. did you find any of the other teachers or school personnel or administrators, was there anybody that said they would like to tell you the person as abusive or maybe you should report this? this is worse than the police. this is the silence of the educators. what has been your experience? >> my experience with the school-it was that there was a very strong code of silence which was very strong. we were warned by an aide that
the teacher was abusive. she was treated terribly. she held two meetings to discuss the dubious -- to discuss the abuse but the issue was put on administrative leave and was threatened to be fired if she spoke to parents. she was most upset about was that she warned parents. becker credibility was trashed. this woman was the bravest person there. the conclusion she came to completely dovetailed with those of our expert witnesses. she was head and shoulders above everybody else in that district. there is a strong code of silence and the district protect itself. we feel very strongly that uniform compliance to the district should not be investigated by the prime culprits. it is the fox guarding the hen house.
the only unsolicited call i got about this was it larry -- was a very unpleasant call from him trying to undercut our credibility and trying to intimidate us. they can do that because they have enormous amounts of public money to pay for their legal defense and can be generally outspend and exhaust the plaintiffs. they are not the one to be much help. i agree about the important -- importance of a central repository for information. they could keep some sort of central record. if i had three complaints against me by three different people including two professionals, one of whom who was in the classroom and witnessed an incident, my children would be removed from my care. this teacher was allowed to continue. >> how about you, mr. price?
did find any help? >> i found some help from teachers that called me. they told they they were not allowed to talk with me but they did call and brought me some other evidence that when she was marching on his trade that the food came. she was -- they were told not to converse with me. some teachers did. it is more of the administration trying to cover themselves after they made a blooper and not wanting to be and that spotlight. >> before my time expires, what was your reaction when your people went around to ask the questions? were you welcome td?
was it sort of the same kind of defensive thing? >> the parents and attorneys and law enforcement were willing to cooperate. we got autopsy reports, court records, and so one. if we did not attempt to speak with teachers. that was something we felt was not necessary. but we had sworn statements from all of them. we did not want federal agents to show what for some people that have not been found guilty about anything and raised questions about themselves. overall, we got cooperation from the schools. i cannot think the virtu interested in telling us too much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i am sorry i missed the testimony. i have a couple of questions.
miss hanselman, of this lookinggao through the report -- i was looking through these gao reports. one student was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. a substitute teacher and restrained the child in a chair with masking tape and tape his mouth shut because the board would not remain seated -- because the bullet would not remain seated. the substitute was found guilty of aggravated battery. she was sentenced to two years' probation and a psychological and direction. however, it also says that the substitutes still possesses an illinois substitute teaching certificate which expires in june of 2009.
it seems that that would probably be the first thing that the state would have done is to take away that certification. are you aware of that case? >> i am not aware of the case until this report. i have not had an opportunity to investigate. it is something i will be following up with our department. individuals with them as light have certain enumerated defect -- enumerated offenses but preclude them from maintaining their certificate. i will have to review this to determine whether or not this case will warrant that type of action. at this time, i cannot comment. >> i understand you are one of the first states in the country to enact legislation governing the use of seclusion and restraint. does the state require parental consent before using restraints on children with disabilities? >> if a child with a disability
has gone through the process the behavior intervention plan would indicate what types of techniques could be utilized. the focus would be on positive interventions and supports cover provided and the best friends would come as issues became more severe. >> could you tell me a bit about you think about the pbis program? >> are other states coming to you and asking you about? how many states have come and how many birds using this program? >> the law has been recognized for our data on positive intervention. we have been asked to speak on many conferences with regard to the success our schools have had. the expense of the program --
the expense of the program to our numerous schools as good for us. we have made huge strides with regard to the coaching and training that we provide our teachers. where providing technical assistance and information to other states. >> do you think all school districts should be in this program or is this something that should be a choice that there are other programs, are there not? >> one of the other programs we are working on is to align all of our discretionary projects for students said that we can ensure success, provide healthy learning environments, and make sure that we have qualified staff. those are our three goals. we have a scaling up initiative. pbis and our reading first malkin are reaching all of our discretionary projects.
that is to ensure statewide coverage of all of our project so we can ensure a more qualified teachers in our schools. >> does the state of illinois or the school district require it background checks to teachers coming into deeds -- into this? >> thank you, mr. chairman. it is great to have here with us this morning. mr. price, your words were moving and i hope it will save the lives of some other child. kutz, -- mr. kutz, could walk to the facts and cedric cost case? i understand he was killed in
2002. is that correct? my understanding is that the individual who was responsible for this had her name placed in the texas central registry, a listing of the individuals found of abuse and neglect and children. is that correct? >> that is correct. >> what then happens is that this person's teaching certification expires but there is no evidence that it was revoked because of the homicidal conduct. is that correct? >> she was supposed to have gone on the registry but at some point she came off of it. we do not know when. >> if i've read this correctly, your conclusion was there was no causal link between her teaching certificate expiring and her entrance onto this register. >> and several of these cases, that is correct.
>> problem number one, it is texas. the texas government has actual knowledge that somebody is involved in a homicide such a bit put them on this registry but did not take action to revoke their teaching certificate. right? >> yes. " the next thing that happens is that at some point, this individual comes to northern virginia. i have a letter that you wrote on may 14 to the assistant superintendent of the commonwealth of virginia department of education, putting that department on notice that this individual that you discovered is now teaching. is that correct? >> that is correct. >> we have a letter dated today written to the chairman in which it explains that one of the witnesses that was going to testify is employed by the same
system and thought it would be inappropriate to comment on the case without knowing all the facts. i completely understand that. that letter from the american association of school administrators reports that the individual in question here was immediately placed on administrative leave pending investigation by the loudoun county schools. there is the next problem. i assume that we cannot know whether or not the loudoun county district had knowledge of this individual's background. is that correct? >> we do not no conclusively but we believed they did not. >> if your assumption is true, another problem becomes obvious. there was no interstate reporting. somebody can sort of jump into
that an indian could disappear from the registry which is interesting. -- that an individual could disappear from the registry which is interesting. i would use the phrase murder because it is appropriate. somebody who murdered somebody is on the registry and then is not. there is no suggestion there is a cause and effect between this person's teaching certificate and their presence on the registry within texas. correct? >> yes. >> the third problem is that we are assuming, although we did not know, that the first time any authority in virginia and new that one of their teaching employees had been involved in a death in texas was when you notified them on the 14th of may at the conclusion of your investigation. >> we do not know about what the loudoun district did or did not know because you did not ask them.
>> correct. >> i know that one of the reactions to federal legislation and this area, should we not leave this to the states? aren't there enough laws to prevent this? i would say emphatically no. state laws are not working. they are not working because there is proof positive that there was no communication between texas and virginia. it could bid texas and any state. -- it could have been texas and any state. >>i would like to see what this person evaporated from this registry. i hope to look at that question. if people to not have notice when they are going to hire new teachers, they are going to hire people they should not be.
it is baked into the cake and the debates around here. let the states end of this. i did not think the states have done a good job doing that. their lack of communication between each other is extreme. there are responsible for the death of a little boy who is now -- this person is responsible for the net of the little boy who was now back in a classroom. either virginia did not notice which is a problem or they ignored it which is a bigger problem. it needs to be addressed. something that comes to mind, once is enough to do something about this. beyond that, but i think many of these cases are not reported. it is very difficult to think of that person less powerful and
the american legal and political system than a little boy who has been in foster care his entire life, who has been abused everywhere he has gone except for your love and devotion for him, this price. -- ms. price. there is nobody was politically powerful than that person. it is very unlikely those adults are going to make much of an impact. and i would say to those that seem to imply that these cases are infrequent, one is enough and there are a lot of people that are not reporting these claims because nobody is listening because they're so voiceless. your testimony was very powerful, ga mms. gaydos. i am hearing that your concerns were blown off by school
officials because you were just an annoying parent. there's something wrong with that. i appreciate the testimony. i hope your tenacity continues because the blood to find out what really happened. unfortunately, thousands of these cases are happening out there. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in my second month in office, i had the opportunity to go to a school in my district that had pbis. the principal took me around. i was incredibly impressed with how the program was working and how the kids liked it. cooper talking afterwards and the principal said something bridget we were talking afterward and the principal said something to me. it is not easy to be punitive
but that is what they were talking about. he said that their truancy rates dropped significantly. behavioral problems have dropped significantly. i introduced a bill for the positive behavior for effective schools and hopefully we will be moving on that. it seems to me that you can be punitive toward you could do something that could be positive to reinforce them. this bill does another thing. i commend illinois for doing this. it trains teachers. it works with them on the standards. they have the opportunity when the plan is implemented that they understand what is involved. there is respect and different things are incorporated. it is an incredible plan and we
should have it nationwide. this could be the entire solution. after hearing what i heard today, the two witnesses with their children, we cannot put up with this. as my friend from new jersey said, one is to many. listening to the numbers, they are scary. we know there are other young kids that are getting this type of treatment. what type of investment are we talking about on this pbis thing? what can we do to stimulate other states to adopt this system? i think it could be something i would like to see us do across the country. i have yet to see anybody that has a and it was a miserable failure. >> certainly, training is the key. provided the external support to the teachers into the schools so
that they can utilize the data about how to manage behavior's by positively interacting with the students said they have more instructional time. we have seen huge increases and the academic outcomes of students and reductions and they suspensions -- reductions in the dropouts and suspensions. we need to invest in the dollars to the schools so they have an opportunity to do the training. they need to receive training and ongoing assistance >> -- . >> it did not get much support from the principle or the other school teachers and things of that nature. a teacher's aide had the courage to come forward and say something at the went after that person.
what did you think the were thinking of? they worked with this person. the have probably heard there had been other instances. what was the problem? >> this teacher had worked with the district for four years. there have been vociferous complaints. one mother was threatening to sue the district. they wanted to shut down all complaints. this say it is difficult to get a special education teacher. it is easy to get rid of the aids or people that can plan. i cannot completely understand their lack of response but it seems to me that they would rather have sat by and watch children be abused than admit that they made mistakes. they have had so many complaints and they got into a power struggle with the aid. they did not have the integrity to come forward and admit they
made a mistake and that's the problem. >> this price, were there other complaints about the teacher? m -- ms. price, were there other complaints about the teacher? " there were no complex prior to the murder. this is just my personal opinion, but i think it was because he was a foster child. people lookit foster children in a different way. people have said that foster children are throwaway children. i believe the eight stood by -- i believe the aide stood by because she thought nothing would come of it. >> my time is up. i want to just say one thing. if that is the attitude that people have about foster children, that is the most shameful attitude that somebody can have. these are god's children we're talking about. it does not matter.
that would be a tremendous disrespect to these wonderful young kids. but you going to -- are you going to look into this texas bring about how this person got off the list? will somebody look into that so they can get back to the committee? that concerns a lot of us about how this person's name mysteriously disappeared from the register. >> we will try to get to the bottom of that. >> thank you. >> mr. courtney. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we went through a long struggle -- we went through a long struggle in dealing with the child abuse. it's incidences' are reported, the law requires them to be reported to child protection agencies. i am astonished at the
testimony that an incident which clearly falls into that category ran into a stone wall with the child protection system. in your research and a lot of different states, is there -- indeed lot of different states, is there a statutory framework that excludes schools or is it custom or is it an agency deferring to other arms of government? what is the legal explanation for why she ran into that barrier? >> some states have a requirement that parents would be notified in advance of a seclusion or restraint and other states require them to tell them after and some require nothing at all. >> child abuse is child abuse. whether a happens in a home or a medical setting, if a health
care provider was accused of this kind of conduct, the child protection agency would be empowered to spokesmen and do the job. it just seems that this should not be some job protection agency-free zone were complaints cannot be faulted. you described the fact that you tried and did not get anywhere. was there a plausible explanation they did you? >> we were told child protection services had no jurisdiction over school teachers and the preferred to complaint to the administration or to the police. -- end date referred to the complaint to the administration or the police. and the police reports were taken in different cities with
the same district. ours was the second one. this that there but have prosecuted if they knew about the first one but they did not cross check. as far as i understand about child protection services, they did not have jurisdiction or control. >> that takes my breath away. many police departments are not equipped to handle this type of investigation. they differ to child protection agencies because they have interdisciplinary teams that know how to interview witnesses and to diagnostic investigations. it seems like another area where we need to figure this out. these types of legal barriers should not exist in terms of giving parents and children a remedy. >> i absolutely agree. the cases were reported with the tip of the iceberg. when there are 33,000 cases, i expect there are far more. those of the documented cases.
our district said not to any documentation at all. >> if you then proceeded with private counsel, why did it personal injury case that the avenue she followed? >> yes. we have a special education lawyer. it was a very open ended case. you were pretty much on your own on having to underwrite debt. >> yes. there were several parents who wanted to file lawsuits but did not have the resources to do so. at the same time, we are trying to pick up the pieces and clear up the mess that these people made up our children. the district suggested nothing and offered us no help. >> looking at your case studies, it seems there is m#ño[;ñç somebody actually went to prison on a manslaughter conviction.
>> to people went to prison. two -- two people went to prison. it was not consistent. there were 10 cases. four pled guilty and to individuals went to prison but the other convictions were just probation. and the other cases, there were no charges filed. it seems the more egregious cases never made it to the criminal side. i cannot explain that. >> we have to achieve a parity level and how you treat an injured child and not create a special category to exempted from the normal processes. thank you, mr. chairman. >> in your investigation, did
you get a total of the number of deaths that were caused by these restraints? was there were at least 20 out of this hundreds of delegations we mentioned. there could be more but we could document at least 20. >> is there any requirement that the death of reported anywhere? -- kreuz you have a sense of how many children are dying? >> we are not aware. >> is there any evidence that the restraints circa a useful purpose rigid restraints served a useful purpose? is there any evidence they serve a useful purpose? >> i cannot answer that. in many or most of our cases, there was no threat to individuals. four out of the 18 children were only about 40 pounds.
i cannot imagine what kind of threat the imposed to anybody. >> is there any useful purpose to the restraints if there is no imminent threat to somebody say? >> bill. but there is no research evidence to support that. >> is there research does suggest there are other strategies that have useful purposes? >> yes. i believe many have been mentioned already. >> are there any situations where restraints may be appropriate? >> it is worth mentioning that schools are in a bind. . .
it is a delicate balance to try and find the right response to specific kids, specific situations and behavior. i think it comes back to training. schools feel responsible for the kids that they serve. they try to protect those kids, as best they can. i do not condone the abuses we have talked about. >> using restraints to cover just about everything. are the levels of restraints? >> yes. there are different types of restraints in different degrees of pressure, at so on. >> our restraint could be
holding someone by the arm and it could be suffocating -- a restraint could be holding somebody arm and it could be suffocating them to death. >> yes, that is one of the things that i think is needed -- a clear definition of restraint. we do not want the situation where teachers cannot touch kids at all, and yet some would consider any touching to be inappropriate. there is room there to define that. >> mr. kutz, do you know the outcome of the various lawsuits that have been filed on in these cases? >> at least nine of the 10 civil suits were settled. >> homage was the settlement? >> financial settlements. up to $1.3 million or more. >> enough to get the attention of a school system? >> yes. >> ms. hanselman, you mentioned
the value of national standards and training. i thought you put in their the word "voluntary." why should national standards and training be voluntary? >> our thoughts with regards to the voluntary standards are we already have standards in illinois. if you're looking at minimum standards, he said the minimum standards shuls should impose. -- you should have the minimum standards schools the should impose. >> so there should be mandatory minimum standards? >> yes. >> mr. kutz, is that something you have found people will want? >> i do not know what people want. standards are all over the place around the country. >> would there be of value to have national standards and training? >> yes, there could be value to having standards for training.
dealing with these restraints, for example, there were various types, and some that caused pressure on breathing seem more deadly. prone still more dangerous, from what we understand. >> have you studied the idea of national minimum standards? >> we have not studied it. i would support that concept, and possibly also training to go along with the standards, yes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate this hearing. i am sorry to say the testimony to me back to the 1970 doing so were we had a horrible situation in this country -- 1970's so we had a horrible situation in this country.
we had almost every sort of problem with the special needs of a child. wilbur comes to mind. an in-depth study of children being chained to walls, naked, not being fed. we closed all those mental hospitals because we found from the studies that it was better for the young people to try and stay in the home setting. open up our school so they could be more inclusive. with that comes a lot more work. to hear the testimony and see this is still going on is just -- in my opinion -- criminal. one of the other things, too, and then know what may not fit into this, mr. chairman. there are still 13 school zone in this country still doing corporal punishment -- schools in this country still doing corporal punishment by paddling.
we know violence to a child only begets more violence. even thinking back to my nursing days, where they all restrains patients and patients died because they were restrained, we are having the same situation here with our children. we have found that we do not have to restrain our patients, 90% of the time. sometimes that causes more staff. i did a lot of private duty in my life. i would take care of a patient mainly because they did not want to see their loved one restrained. i did not have to restrain my patient at all. it was more of a matter of sitting there calmly, us holding someone's hands -- holding someone's hand, trying to get them to stop being agitated. mr. chairman, i do not know
where we're going to go on this. obviously, we have an awful lot to do. one of the things i would like to ask mr. patterson and mr. kutz -- boarding and spanking. that is corporal punishment. are we in the day we still have to have those kinds of things done to children? >> are you directing that to me? i personally do not believe we should continue to use those practices on new schools. i think we have alternatives. this has been a controversial area. i would like to see this practice is eliminated. >> i hope that we, as we saw dealing with our education, i am
hoping that we can put safety issues in there so we do not have parents here in this kind of testimony, because i have to tell you -- for one child to die, it is one child too much. but the emotional scars on children to reason we put children in the settings of schools. because they have a better opportunity to learn as much as possible. the training has to be a big part of that. teachers that are in these glasses, and we see -- classes, and we see we're going to have more and more children diagnosed with autism. i know a couple schools in my district have full classes of children with autism. if we do not deal with this
issue now, we will unfortunately see more injured children. that is wrong. how do we put federal guidelines on to this? i would suggest training will be a very big part of it, but also the idea of somehow, some kind of data that follows these teachers. that should be a federal law as far as i am concerned, that if any teacher hearts of child, they should definitely lose their licence. -- harms a child, they should definitely lose their license. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for this hearing. this is the 21st century. we live on in the united states of america. why is it that our children continue to be of use? more than a used. they are murdered, means -- named -- maimed, and tortured.
to we need anti-torture legislation for our schools? or do we need a commitment, a commitment to the future of our nation, and that means a commitment to every single child in the united states of america, and really worldwide. i am so frustrated by this. i will be working with you on any way we can make this better. i was wondering what the training memo would have had to say to cedric jennings teacher -- cedric's teacher. "der heavy teacher -- i wanted to say fat. i just knew she was big. "der heavy teacher, do not throw any child on the ground and
certainly do not sit on that child, because that child deserves more than that from you, the teacher, from the school, from this country, united states of america. that child deserves to live and learn and needs extra care and help, not to be killed, tortured, or abuse. -- or of used -- abused." i am working with you on this, mr. chairman. this is an embarrassment. these are our children. we must protect them. thank you. >> thank you. thank you for your testimony curia clearly, the facts that have come to light today have -- thank you for your testimony.
clearly, the facts that have come to light today have startled the public which is not aware of this. in some instances, this behavior does look like torture of young children. certainly abuse. it is so inconsistent with our beliefs about our public institutions, that it is hard for people to come to grips with. i think we see the good work of the gao, and this is not all that uncommon. the tragedy -- we do not know the numbers yet. but we must look beyond that to children who are put in dark rooms for hours every day, children to -- who are repeatedly put in restraints on a regular basis, were in seclusion on a regular basis. that is abusive to those
children. we would also like to know the policy considerations of how that continues. if you put a child into seclusion 75 times, you might want to think it is not working. you might want to think about how else you should deal with this and at what point, would you -- and at what point would you tell the parents? we have a process for the children with disabilities were parents and others are brought in to work out a plan -- where parents and others are brought in to work out a plan for the child, so the other students can continue to have opportunities to learn and we can in fact had to kick the greatest number of our children. -- and we can in fact educate the greatest number of our children. we continue to see the significant number of these cases involve children with disabilities. i think we have to look at
whether that is in fact working. when you go through the various state regulations on some of this, some have consent. some do not have consent. some it is clear that it is written consent. some have training. some have training that is not regular training. it is not systematic. so what we really have is a system that has failed to protect our school children. certainly failed to protect some many of those children who bring their disabilities to school. we've made a decision as a nation that those children are entitled to go to school, entitled to receive the education, and we are better for that, as are those children. so many of them have been able to participate in a much wider range of activities, both in employment and in general society as a result of that
decision we made as a nation. but this treatment of many of these children stands up to that decision -- a stance that decision on its head because clearly we are not providing protections. many members have asked what we're going to do. we will sit down with the committee. we have additional questions for the gao. we want to be on solid ground here. we want the corporation of the states. the situation is unacceptable and cannot continue in the manner in which it has. i want to thank you very much for your testimony. mr. kutz, i want to thank you and your fellow workers for the information you brought to life here. ms. gaydos, ms. price -- thank you so much. i do not think i can thank you enough for having the courage to come forward and tell the
stories and what happened to your children and to your families. page, -- paige, thank you for coming here. i look forward to seeing what your schedule. if it is me, we will have to discuss it. [laughter] thank you for being here. you have given us consideration about the positive things we can do. i want to thank the state of illinois for leading the way. you can develop an alternative policy that can save children's lives and stop the abuse of these children on an all too regular basis. thank you. i understand we have another family here, the kerrys. i want to thank them for joining us today. the extent the same sympathies
to the tragedy you had to -- i extend the same sympathies to the tragedy you had to suffer. the members will have the usual time to submit statements for the record. the committee will stand adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> well members of congress are back in their home states for the holiday -- while members of congress are back in their home states for the holiday break, worked in the senate continues. chairman max baucus of compromise to begin by phone this -- expects a compromise to begin by phone this week. the house returns january 12,
and the senate will be back january 20. today on c-span, the senate hearing on the national debt with the former congressional budget office director, the former comptroller general, and others discussing the possible ways to reduce the debt in coming years. does that four-o'clock 10 eastern, right here on c-span. -- that is at 4:10 eastern. >> tonight, an update from blair levin on c-span 2. >> thursday, a tribute to world leaders -- including ted kennedy, rahm reagan, colin powell, robert byrd. and then a look ahead at the new year. vladimir putin discusses his
future. austin goolsby on the global economy. the creator of the segway and the inventor of "guitar hero." >> macdill last spending bills of the year requires the president to get -- one of the last spending bills of the year requested president to get congressional approval for any cuts to space programs. this is about an hour and 15 minutes, a hearing on manned space flight. >> good afternoon. this is an exceptionally prudent topic. i think that buzzer might tell us that a vote is starting. [laughter] no. it is not. it is a quorum call. hallelujah. we really want to peel back the
onion and get into a lot of the specifics of the extraordinary work you have done, mr. augustine. thank you for the public service you have rendered to this country over a lifetime, that you have in government in -- in government and in these private sector. you have paid an enormous public service. we are looking forward to hearing from you, and i want to thank the ranking member of the full committee, senator hutchison, and i want to turn to her for her opening comments. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. augustine, you'll come through for our country one more time. the rising before the gathering storm report has been the bible
for those of us who want to promotes science education, now, engineers to graduate from our colleges. we thank you for that. we have done a great study about -- you have done a great study about the future of nasa and space exploration. i want to commend you. now that it was senator nelson and myself who had the space station designated as a national laboratory. we did that because we saw so many funding shortages, and in new if we had it designated in that way, -- and we knew if we have it designated in that way, others to come in and do research. universities, federal agencies, corporations in the future. that is beginning to happen. we are on the cusp now of realizing the capabilities of
this enormous investment we've been making in the international space station, and we're just beginning to realize it. and yet, now we are talking about shutting down the shuttle's and not being able to fully equipped -- shutting down the shuttles and not being able to fully but with the space station. i commend you for the report that says we must utilize it in order for our investment to pay off. you also point out that with about $3 billion -- that was the suggestion of the committee -- without the increase of $3 billion, we are facing great shortages not only in being able to use the space station correctly and allowing it to reach its full potential, but also the gap in our ability to but humans in space, for the
space station and for our national security. it will definitely happen unless we put money in. i think i can speak for myself and say that i am hoping you will be able to narrow the gap. i thank you for the great effort you have put in. i thank you, mr. chairman, for holding this hearing. and also, mr. chairman, for your conceits commitment -- for your complete commitment to nasa and space exploration. without your commitment and the vigor you have shown, i think congress would have lagged behind in making sure we are doing what we need to do to stay in the forefront of utilizing space.
by thank you for calling the hearing. by thank you, mr. augustine, four leading the panel. i look forward to questions. >> as you give us your report, mr. augustine, i think is going to become increasingly apparent -- it is going to become increasingly apparent that the moment of truth for the nascent's human -- nasa's human space flight is here. there is only one person who can lead america's human space flight program, and that is the president. so the work that your panel has done is in preparation for the president making a decision. kay would like to lead it. i would like to be the space program. the senator cannot do it.
the administrator of nasa cannot do it. the human space flight program of this country can only be led by the elected leader of this country because he sets the priorities. so, as a result of what you have said -- if he is going to be wanting to increase and continue human adventure into the cosmos, he is going to have to pony up in his office of the management and budget more money. it has been stated from this davis -- dais over and over in the last decade that nasa was not getting enough money. that is apparent now. we are about to complete the space station and shut down the
shuttle, but we do not have the next rocket ready. it is only so -- if we are going to have a program, it has to be the president. he is going to have to put the juice to the program. the second thing is the president is going to have to articulate to the country the vision of what it is important for us to go beyond low earth orbit. a subject for panel has broached, but only the president can articulate. because a majority of americans do not even remember when we landed on the moon and what an extraordinarily -- what an extraordinary accomplishment that was. why do we want to venture out?
only the president can articulate, as we move from here -- severely underfunded nasa that is way behind the timeline and does not have another rocket ready as a follow-on to the space shuttle -- to what ever that vision is that the president wants us to go on, beyond low earth orbit. he is going to have to say how we take care of that workforce. this extraordinary work force that is so talented and has some much historical memory, and not all ready to retire. the president is going to have to set priorities of hope we -- of how we not only keep some of them in work, able to get to the
vision that i hope the president will articulate, but providing the means on a daily basis. i would hope that when the president lays the vision mount -- alps -- lays that vision out, he will not only talk about what nasa has done, but what has happened on the face of the planet earth as a result of the space program, the technologies that have been developed in health and medicine and transportation and public safety and the lifestyles that we live better at home and at the office as a result of the nasa spinoffs and microminiaturization. and what it has done for the
environment. and that is not even to speak of what it has done for computer technology and industrial productivity. you can say it until you're blue in the face. i can say it. administrator bolden can say it. but the american people are only going to listen to the president. what you have laid out is a blueprint, and then you for the president to make choices. ended is mine fervent hope -- and it is my fervent hope that he will say we are going to put its -- the juice to it, we have a of vision beyond low earth orbit, and we are going to nourished that work force so we have them ready when we to the
next huge leap for mankind. senator vitter? >> thank you, mr. chairman, for convening this really important hearing, and thanks to you, mr. augustine, for all your important work and the work of your committee. you undertaken a big challenge, and we appreciate your work and those of your committee members. i look forward to reviewing the full final report when it is available. i appreciate the summary and your testimony today. we thought it was important to start this discussion in earnest sooner rather than later. that is what today is about. i appreciate you being here. you've made it really clear and underscored what so many of us have been saying, that the funding profile has been inadequate, and it would be
virtually impossible to sustain with the funding profile included with the original 2010 request. i think that is one key point we all want to mention and amplified. -- amplified. -- amplify. our other focus is defining what tools we need to implement and excepting what financial resources are required to make it all work. another of the key messages of your committee, i believe, is that if we intend to have a viable scheme and space exploration program, we need to step up to the plate and provide funds necessary to make it work. that is important, because i believe one of the key elements of our decisions must be having a path forward that makes it
possible to retain our highly- skilled work force and not lose some much of that human capital and to sustain our aerospace industrial capacity. a lot of that is human, but it has other elements as well. i look forward to exploring all the key issues with you. thank you again for your work. >> mr. augustine, your written testimony will be submitted into the record. you're going to share for us in a brief way some of your comments so we can get right into the questions. a lot to say for our audience that mr. augustine has quite a pedigree. -- i want to say for our audience that mr. augustine has quite a pedigree. he has been a research engineer, a program manager, he has served in the office of the secretary of defense.
he was assistant secretary for the army. he has served in academia, on the faculty of princeton. everybody knows him as the former ceo. he has every advisory committee in the world that he has been on. so, mr. augustine, with that pedigree, we are honored you are here. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. senator hutchison, senator vitter, members of the committee -- i appreciate this chance to appear on behalf of our committee and describe our results. i will submit for the record my prepared statement in briefly summarize it now. you provided the proper opening, and that is that the human space
flights program in america is at a tipping point right now. probably more so than at any time when president kennedy to the leadership to say that we should have such a program. before it began, i would like to acknowledge the enormous effort and dedication of the members of the committee i have had the privilege of serving with. i have rarely worked with people who put in the hours and effort this group has. i would like to take note of the fact that the support we received from nasa was extraordinary. extremely competent people, very open and candid. very hard-working, very responsive. further, we had hired the aerospace corp. to work for us independently to provide us with a separate view of problematic issues, technical issues, and so on. they, too, have been all we
could have hoped. as you know, our committee consists of 10 members. it includes scientists, engineers, educators, a former business executives, astronauts, former air force general officer, a former presidential appointees, and so on. all with a background in space. we were given 90 days for our efforts. that was not a great deal of time to address such a difficult issue. on the and hand, are members did not start from zero. we did have some background. i call that to your attention. there are limitations for what we were able to do. the committee should have that in mind as you review our work. i need to emphasize this.
our committee was asked to provide options. that is very important because we tried to abide by that and be very balance in our assessment of our options. we have not endorsed any particular option. we have said it seems clear to us that the ultimate destination for the next step is a human landing on mars. we have concluded, reluctantly and with disappointment, that in our judgment it would not be safe to attempt such a mission at this point in time. we have included the direct to mars mission is not something we should undertake for safety reasons, let alone the financial impact that would have. the various parameters below that needed possible to define over 3000 options we could have
offered. we try to narrow that down for obvious reasons. we inherited to five families. and i say families because it is important to move one item from one family to another and adjust them if you want to do that. the representative families we believe -- one member is the existing program as it is being pursued today by the nation through nasa. let me define for you what would be the existing program. it is the basic nasa plan that nasa has provided and this is the budget we were given by the office of management and budget. i will not describe ceo the four integrated options -- i will not describe for you the four integrated options. you have them. to save time, i will not do that.
the bottom-line conclusion at which we arrived -- a disappointing one, frankly -- is that pursuing the existing program is not executable and will not lead to a satisfactory outcome for america's human space flight program. the reason for that is the mismatch of goals and funds. there's more work to do then there is support to carry out and make it work. that is always dangerous, but it is particularly dangerous in hazardous for undertakings like human spaceflight. if we were to continue on the path to the existing program -- which is one option. certainly, we could do that. let me cite a few of the outcomes. first, you would have to launch six shuttles in the next 12 months. one could question whether that would be a safe thing to do.
secondly, there would be no funds to enhance the existing technology program, to provide the basis for the existing program, and there would be no substantial funds to make use of the space station during the next five years. it would be in your neck. thirdly, we would have to de- orbit the space station after spending two decades building its and putting some 9,000 pounds into orbit. we would complete the development of ares i two years after the space station was last in the pacific ocean -- splashed into these pacific ocean. the heavy lift launch capability -- which is the thing this
nation really needs -- would be delayed until emitted too late -- the mid to late 2020's. çóthere would be no upper stageo put on it or anyone else did -- lunar surface on which to use it. we're looking at the mid 2030's before we could do any recommendations. that is the path we're on. we have a program that lets us, for example, circumnavigate mars, land on one of the moons of mars, to dock with an asteroid. with a large number of events
over the next 15 years. the problem with the programs we offer -- the only programs to unable to find that we thought were viable require, roughly speaking, an additional $3 billion per year to carry them now. our nation is in a position where human space flight goes on hold. we can develop launch vehicles. yes, we can do that. there will be no significant human space flights in this international space station -- human space flights and the international space station will come to an end five years from now. i would like to close with several observations. we have been relatively conservative in our estimates. we do that, frankly, to reflect
our dissatisfaction with our record as a profession in that area and in the past. secondly, we believe that not only are we at a current situation where it ends and means you not match, but we believe nasa has been in a position -- in its and means do not match, but we believe nasa has been in that position for decades. it is unfair to the people of nasa to continue in that circumstance. if we have to change the objectives to fit the means, so be it. lastly, as this committee would know so well, and mr. chairman, he would -- as human spaceflight inherently involves a risk. we must do everything we can possibly think of to make human spaceflight safe. we have tried to propose those
things. at the end of the day, there still remains non-trivial safety risk. any nation that helps to be a space fairing nation has to face up to that. -- space faring nation has to face up to that. finally, i wish to thank the administration and you for the trust to put in my colleagues and myself to address what is one of the great examples of america's leadership. with that, mr. chairman, i would be happy to answer questions. >> since we have of votes and have five and a half minutes left, we will -- since we have a vote, and we have 5 1/2 minutes left, we will recess and come back for questions. thank you, we are recessed. -- thank you. we are recessed.
>> the committee will resume. we were able to get two votes done on the floor. please excuse the interruption. let me turn to senator vitter. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. augustine -- upon finding it impossible to identify a viable program with the budget we have now, your committee suggested an annual increase of roughly $3 billion in nasa's top line,
adjusted for inflation adds 2% -- at 2% in the coming years. can you tell us how you arrived at those numbers? >> the first of all analyzed the budget with today's baseline, of course. we ran excursions -- the first excursion we ran was one that builds up from today's budget to $3 billion by 2013. we ran an excursion at $1.5 billion and found it means very little difference compared with the baseline case. we ran an excursion at $4 billion, in this case somewhat more latitude for financial conservatism and the $3 billion case. but it does not like you to anything significant. from the various cases we ran,
the $3 billion a run-out, with the 2.4% inflation rate seem to be a sound program. >> ok. one of the consistent points made up till now about the retirement of the shuttle is you take those funds and ship them over to the next generation. that has always seemed to be the rationale for the whole idea of a clear retirement date for the shuttle. your committee seem to have a very different conclusion in terms of the actual amount of financial wench that would bring about. can you describe -- in terms of the actual amount of financial wedge that would bring about. can you describe what brought you to that conclusion? >> yes.
our committee determines the could have several launches through the first six months of 2011. so we do not have this pressure sometimes called "launched fever -- "launch fever" in the vernacular. i lost my train of thought. >> the idea is -- explain the very different conclusion you all reached compared to the mindset of stopping the shuttle by a something that is more or less date-certain? >> the common thinking up until now has been that stopping the shuttle would free up as substantial -- a substantial sum of money.
there are offsets one has to consider. i do not think they have been considered adequately in the past. one of those offsets is, if you were to continue the shuttle operation, you would not have to presumably paid for the rides on the russian launch vehicle. there is an offset savings. in addition, as one looks at the cost of operating nasa. if the space shuttle program stops, unless you make a major cut in nasa's overhead -- and i should say, fixed cost rather than overhead. unless you make a major cut in the fixed costs of nasa, then you have a situation where those
costs have to be transferred some more. the likely place will be to the conservation program. this is just a bookkeeping shift. when you go through these various nets, it looks like the savings by shutting down the shuttle at a fairly hard stop is on the order of $2.5 billion a year, which is significantly less than some numbers quoted. >> ok. i think i understand your reasons for saying that, as of now, we should not plan on mars as the way, going to mars in the way that has been described. we cannot do it safely in that way, based on our knowledge now. my concern is the way that will be interpreted is to basically take mars of the table, and in doing so, stop most of the oxygen out of the room in terms
of general -- suck most of the oxygen out of the room in terms of general interest in manned space flight. to the man on the street, what is the point? do you have our response and how that would be interpreted -- to have a response and how that would be interpreted? >> we share the same concern. we have discussed it at some length. the reports, when it is released, i think you will find the great seal of emphasis on the fact that mars is to be the destination we are in the nafta. there is home work that has to be done on the way to mars. that includes things such as the effects of long-term effects of
humans in less than 1g environments, the effects of cosmic rays on humans, various operational things that one might need to do to go to mars. we're just not ready to go there directly today. morris is still the goal. we intend to get there. -- mars is still the goal. we intend to get there. >> i would not argue with your analysis or what you intend to communicate. i am arguing about how it may come across. let me go at the same issue another way. what, short of mars, in this list of possibilities is there that is new and different and can really excite a lot of
people that we have not done before? >> to the point of your question, we define a flexible have the option. i think it is option 5 in a report. the concern we had -- even if he were to set up for mars' today, you have about a 15-year period during which we do not get to mars. how you hold the interest of the public? in 20 years we will put a flag on mars. we defined this flexible have a program that has intermediate milestones, where he would have things that not only engineers could point to, but the average citizen will look at and say it was significant. we think this an immediate mouse fans would include -- we think these intermediate milestones would include circumnavigating the maoon, possibly landing on
the moon, circumnavigating mars with humans. to dock with an asteroid, and not only for scientific interest, but to begin to figure out how you conduct operations like that. should the final large asteroid flying in the direction of the earth, it would be nice to know how to dock with it. then there is the possibility of landing on a mars moon, phobos or genus -- deimos. not only would that be an interesting place to land from a scientific standpoint. it would be interesting to conduct robotic exploration of
mars. resolution have is that we would send additional explorers to mars before humans to explore mars. it is difficult to operate a robot on mars, in part because of the time transit -- the transit time for communications, even at the speed of light. you are talking about tens of minutes. with that, it is very hard to operate a rover on mars. the notion has been put out that if you have astronauts on one of demons -- mundus -- moons, that the astronauts on the moons could operate the explorers on the planet and learn a great deal before you committed to landing a human on mars. this is a much greater task
probably because if you think about space having gravity wells, once you hit one of them, it takes a lot of energy to get out. the earth is a very deep gravity well. mars is a very deep gravity well. the moons of mars are quite shallow. that is promising. another place of interest -- there are points of space for you have two large bodies, three bodies, where at that point -- if you put the spacecraft there -- it will essentially remained fixed on a relative position to the two large objects. some of those points are stable in the sense that if you put the spacecraft there, it will stay there. others, it will slowly drift.
you have to put it back. those are interesting for refueling stations in space. we can fly to one of those. it is our belief a lot of exciting things can happen along the way. >> the case. thank you. mr. chairman, let me defer to someone else for now. i have other questions. >> mr. augustine, right out of the box, the president is going to have to answer the question whether or not the cost of its human space exploration is worth it. -- cost of its human space exploration is worth it. i think i said in your opening hearing in washington months ago that the report of your committee is going to be very decisive and influence the -- in influencing the white house. why do you not just state for the record what your committee feels about the cost of human
exploration being worth it? >> is a question we have obviously address -- it is a question have obviously addressed, and one i wish we could provide a better answer than i am able to. the reason i say that is our committee was not in a position to compare -- it is a question, where would you spend that money? there are other places you could spend it? we do not have background in health care or any of the other things you face. i will try to answer the question with the caveat that it is only the president and perhaps yourselves that can really make that judgment. we think the argument about human spaceflight being worthwhile because, for example, the science it gathers has been an unfortunate argument to make.
we do not think he can justify human spaceflight based on the cost, based on the benefit it is to science. nor do we think you can justify it purely on the basis of the impact on technology, or the impact on education. all those things are important. it indeed is a positive impact. we have trapped ourselves trying to justify its human space flight by the benefits to science for what have you. we think the justification has to be an intangible justification. the purpose is to prepare a path, to put human beings into the solar system, which shows america's leadership. the benefits of the american system. the leadership of our technology. it provides inspiration to our young people, so that they go
into math and science. it can have a final impact kind -- the final impact like apollo 11 had during a time of travail in our country. these are intangibles, but we think they are important. we do not diminish or minimize these other benefits. they are real. they are there. but by themselves, they do not justify the human space program. i will stop in a moment here, mr. chairman. the question arises -- should you spend money on human spaceflight for cancer research? i would argue -- human spaceflight for cancer research? i would argue that is an unfair question. we spent $7 million gambling on the nfl last year. he spent $32 million on videos.
it is clear to need this nation can -- it is clear to me this nation could afford a strong spaceflights program. it is simply a question of priority. >> as your committee discussed these intangible benefits, no doubt you noted some of the tangible benefits. what do you think they are, as we continue to push forward? . .
>> they have some would dwindle away because of the slips in the program and the lack of funds. but given funds, though scientists could have a significant microgravity were to be done, a significant biosciences work to be done we have done some amazing things in terms of technical operations. vehicle activity has become -- i'm not going to use the word almost routine, but certainly more common. we know how to doctors routinely. -- know how to dock routinely. there are spinoffs that you get where you learn how to develop technologies for the space station or other products. >> will come back to this
hearing after hearing live from president obama in hawaii. he is expected to talk about the attempted bombing of the northwest airlines flight on christmas day. >> the investigation is ongoing i spoke again with attorney general are colder this morning and a homeland security secretary nepolitano and homeland security advisor, john brennan. i asked them to keep -- continue monitoring the situation, to keep the american people and members of congress informed. here is what we know so far. on christmas day, northwest airlines flight 253 was in route to -- from amsterdam to detroit. as the plane made its final approach to the detroit metropolitan airport, a passenger allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device on his body, setting off a fire. thanks to the quick and heroic actions of passenger and crew,
the subject was immediately subdued, the fire was put out, and the plane landed safely. the suspect is now in custody and has been charged with attempting to destroy an aircraft. a full investigation has been launched into this attempted act of terrorism and we will not rest until we find all who were involved and hold them accountable. this was a serious reminder of the dangers we face and the nature of those who threaten our homeland. how the suspect succeeded in bringing down the plane. it could have killed nearly 300 passengers and crew. innocent civilians preparing to celebrate the holidays with their families and friends. the american people should be assured that we are doing everything in our power to keep you and your family safe and secure during this busy holiday season. since i was first notified of this incident i have ordered the following actions to be taken to protect the american people and to secure air travel.
first, i directed that we take immediate steps to ensure the troubling safety of the public. we made sure that all flights still in the air were secure and could land safely. we immediately enhanced screening and security procedures for all flights, domestic and international. we added federal air marshals to flights entering and leaving the united states and we're working closely in this country with federal, state, and local law- enforcement with our international partners. second, i have ordered two reviews because it is absolutely critical that we learn from this incident to prevent future acts of terrorism. the first involves our watch list -- watch list system, which the government has had for many years to prevent known and suspected terrorists from entering the united states. apparently the suspect was in this system, but not on a watch list such as the so-called no-
fly list. so i have ordered a thorough review, not only how information related to the subject was handled, but of the overall watchlist system and how it can be strengthened. the second review will handle all screening policies, technologies and procedures related to air travel. we need to determine just how the suspect was able to bring dangerous explosives aboard an aircraft and what additional steps we can take to avoid future attacks. we do not get have the answers about this latest attempt, but those that would slaughter innocent men, women, and children must know that the u.s. will do more than simply strengthen our defenses. it will continue to use every element in our national power to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat the violent extremist that threaten us, whether from afghanistan and pakistan, yemen or somalia, or anywhere.
anywhere they are plotting attacks against the u.s. homeland. finally, the american people should remain vigilant, but confident. those planning to undermine our security, but also the open security and values and that we cherish as americans. this incident, like several that have preceded it, demonstrates an alert and courageous citizenry and far more resilient than an isolated extremists. and as a nation, we will do everything in our power to protect our country. we will be guided by our hopes, our unity, and are deeply held values. that is who we are as americans. that is what our brave men and women in uniform are staying for as they spend the holidays in harm's way. we will continue to do everything we can to keep america safe in the new year and beyond. before i leave, let me briefly
addressed the events that have taken place over the past few days in the islamic republic of iran. the u.s. joined with the international community in strongly condemning the violence and unjust suppression of iranian citizens, which has apparently resolved and intentions, injuries, and even death. for months, the iranian people have sought nothing more than to exercise their universal rights. each time they have done so, they have been met with the iron fist of brutality, even on solemn occasions and holy days. and each time it has happened, the world has watched with deep admiration for the courage and conviction of the iranian people, who are part of the iran's grade and in during civilization. what is taking place within iran is not about the u.s. or any other country, but the iranian people and their aspirations for justice and a better life for themselves. the decision of iran cozy leaders to govern through year end tierney will not make those
aspirations -- through fear and tyranny will not make those aspirations go away. along with all free nations, the u.s. stance with those who seek their universal rights. we call upon the running government to abide by the international obligations that it has to respect the rights of its own people. we call for the immediate release of all who have been unjustly detained within iran. we will continue to bear witness to the extraordinary events that are taking place there and i am confident that history will be on the side of those that seek justice. thank you very much everybody, and happy new year. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> president obama making the statement in hawaii where he and his family are vacationing
through january 3. a little more on the attempted bombing of northwest flight 253- 253 from the associated press. the albanian gonzales claimed responsibility -- peninsula has claimed responsibility saying that it was in retaliation for activities against a group in yemen. we will return to the activity on the manned space flight, including a provision that requires the president to get congressional approval for any cuts in the space flight programs. >> following up senator duchess' question on the commercial, -- senator hutchinson pose a question on the commercial, you are the looking at the cargo capability of the current -- of the commercial, because the next step of the question of safety for human capability, what did your committee come up with on that? >> it would be our recommendation that as nasa
develops most new launch vehicles that it would make arrangements that they could be human rated at an appropriate time. we think it would be wise to begin addressing how you would read those commercial vehicles. >> did your committee have a time at which you think it might be ready for human rated commercial vehicles? >> we did evaluate that. i can remember the time. is about with the next six years or so. i will provide that for the record high. >> to directly follow up on that is to say that you would agree with thes.a.p. in the 2008
report that it is unlikely that it would be done in time to minimize the gap. >> that is our view. >> going back to the gap and extending the shuttle, if you extend of the shuttle at least slightly into 2011, as you have talked about, simply to ensure that there is no launched fever, but not beyond that and you accept a gap verses extending the shuttle beyond that to close a gap -- let me put it this way, how much do you sacrifice in extending the shuttle beyond that to close all the gap in terms of pushing forward toward next generation activity?
>> i am doing this calculation mentally, but it would probably be about $18 million to close the gap, by using the shuttle. it would be the incremental cost. >> and what does that translate into in time in terms of otherwise using it to pull the next-generation ford? -- forward? >> i guess the way i would charge that is if it would let you go on the $3 billion additional profile for six years. these are not precise numbers. i think the most important thing is not so much the time it pulls forward. you would have the development on top to go somewhere. >> wouldn't you also presumably develop the new launch vehicles
somewhat the summer? -- somewhat sooner? >> i do not think it would be -- if you spend the money, for example, on areas 5, you could clearly brought it forward. i do not know the amount, but obviously, significantly. >> i am not asking for a yes/no answer. how would you suggest we analyze that difference? in other words, extend the shuttle and close the gap verses accept a gap, trying to minimize it, but be able to use that moment -- use that money to where we are ultimately going? >> we do that analysis and we will provide it. it is our conclusion that continuing the shuttle to close the gap is a viable option and it is one of the options that we offered. i'm trying very hard not to make a recommendation here, but it
runs into the problem that the more money spent in the near term, the less you can do in the exploratory program. to us, the cost of contingency to operate the shuttle is quite high. >> that is where i was going. you would certainly agree with my reaction to those figures that is a lot of money? >> bindi. >> to continue the shuttle. i represent -- indeed. >> to continue the shuttle. my concern is that once you start putting off the next generation that much, you threaten ever getting there. news threatened really building a consensus -- you threaten really building a consensus and a reality that people think we are ever going to get there. so, we do not. do you have a reaction to that? >> i think you are coming back to the fundamental problem of nasa, and that is, with the
budget constraints that it has had on it, does not have enough to build the next-generation system while operating the current system. the consequence of that today is the gap which most of us are not to delay happy with. -- particularly happy with. the other problem is that when we complete the area's one, there will be the other data. and what we complete the area's five, there will be no lunar excursion module, if you will, lunar lander, nor the surface system to use it. this may be the first of three or four caps. >> just to be clear, this concern of mine in terms of this trade-off is not solved by the extra $3 billion. i mean, that mitigated, but the trade-off is still there even at the higher funding levels you
are talking about. >> the programs that we have that ad on the $3 billion, one of them includes the shuttle and it does have the problems we just discussed. the others do not include the extension of the shuttle beyond mid 2011. mexican, that is all i have right now, mr. chairman. -- >> ok, that is all i have right now, mr. chairman. the >> i want to ask a series of questions around the major themes of your report. the fact that if we are going to have a robust human space program, then we're going to have to commit the resources to it. you have specifically talked about $3 billion per year. your architecture is various. and the engineers such as yourself and nasa leadership are going to have to determine that architecture.
but the goal that the committee has set is to get out beyond low earth orbit. that nassau ought to be exploring the heavens with the human space program. -- that nasa ought to be exploring the heavens with the human space program. and in the meantime we have to worry about the work force. i want to pick up on those three teams, which i think are going to be the major themes that the president is going to have to make his decision on. you came up with this idea of $3 billion per year. if you had additional resources, what would you do? >> beyond the $3 billion ta?
the primary things that we think need to be done in the near qsfuture are largely covered in the $3 billion figure. if you had a additional funds, you would be able to probably move forward somewhat. some of the work on on -- some of the worker on areas one, but i think it would be a modest amount that you could accelerate that. you could move areas of 5 forward, or an alternative areas 5, which would be very important because beverley is the long pole in our space exploration tent. -- because that is the long pole in our space exploration tent. >> so, you have come up with the idea of consensus that you feel like the $3 billion is enough in
order to support a robust human space flight program in the near term without having to shortchange other missions in science and aeronautics. >> we believe that is true. we of course, assuming good management of the additional moneys that we would have presumably. and we have also proposed creating a fire wall between the human space flight funding technology for mutual support and the science program. because as we all know, the human space flight program is so large that when it has problems, it tends to cannibalize a certain size program. >> you feel that nasa, in order to maintain the most robust human space flight program, do
you feel like that the realities of this gap are unavoidable? and the fact that we are going to have this gap with that $3 billion that you can keep things going by developing new technologies on down the line? >> to eliminate the gap or significantly reduce it would have a significant negative impact on the long term exploration program. i think the gap is something that we are presented with based on decisions that we have made in the attack -- in the past. perhaps good decisions, i do not know. but i think we are to a considerable degree stuck with a gap. >> did the committee look at taking the consolation program as it has been defined -- constellation program as it has
been defined and see what it would cost to execute the constellation program. -- program? >> we did, and there is a profile that permits by their consolation or several other options to be carried out. -- that permits either constellation or several other options to be carried out. >>, according to one of your charts that you showed up here and what you call the less constrained budget, the first one under the moon first operations right in the middle of the page, the less constrained -- or in other words, the $3 billion additional each year -- with areas 5 as the heavy launch and with areas 1 and 0 ryan as the crude a leo, which is the consolation program -- constellation program
as it is now, under the funding scenario, lo and behold, the space station is going to go in the drink in 2015. your committee also said that is unacceptable. i happen to agree with you. i mean, why would we spend $100 billion building the space station and then put it in the pacific? but that is what the funding profile is within that $3 billion within an extension of consolation, is it not? -- constellation, is it not? >> option 3 was intended to take the baseline program and apply a less constrained budget to it. the program of record, as you say, splashes the iss in 2000 -- early 2016. complete the flight -- or use of it in 2015.
>> how would you explain the omb budget -- in the so-called constrained option, and yes, what you just said is very important. what you just said, i hope, from your lips to the president yearears. option number one, constrained. you could do that. no $3 billion extra. you are still putting the iss in the ditch in 2015 and then you've got areas 5 and areas one. so, what are you buying extra from option 12 option 3? and in -- from option 1 to
option 3? in option 3 you're getting an additional $3 billion. >> option one is the program of record, of course, with the current funding. and with that, you basically get launch vehicles with nothing to put on top of them. i am oversimplifying here, mr. chairman. with option 3, you are able to develop the area's five at another time, the space station for an additional five years. we've also provided the additional amount of funding that one needs to orbit the space station. and we've also laid the framework for the exploration
program, and one gets funding for carrying out the science and technology on board the iss over the 10 year time frame. >> right, and i think that is the answer. it is the additional science and technology that you get under that. but let me just point out that under the charge, and maybe the chart needs to be refined before your final report comes out, option 1 and 3 are a difference of $3 billion and yet it looks like a produced the same result because in option 3 you are putting the space station in the pacific in 2015 under this. the difference with option four is that you have replaced aires one and orion with a commercial
vehicle to get to orbit. >> your point is very important with regard. there is also the matter that the day's change when things become available. for example, under option 1, you are probably in the 2000 30's when you can conduct with -- in the 2030's when you can conduct the space exploration. whereas, under option three you could do it considerably earlier. but since we have a consensus of opinion that we need to get -- >> since we have a consensus of opinion that we need to get nasa out of leo, do you have a preference on the architecture? i know you said you are not in the business of recommending a specific course, but do you have any personal feelings that you have to share with the committee? >> mr. chairman, we have all tried very hard to not put your
the president in a position where we have come out and endorsed an option. even if you do not agree with it after word but that, so, my answer is -- i think i can speak for the committee on options 1 and 2, we just deemed them to be nonviable. the remaining three primary options each have some advantages and disadvantages. our committee has never discussed what our personal preferences are, by intent. i have no idea what my colleagues believe. i would go so far as to say that these particular path options are interesting to me because i am concerned that if we are committed to going to the moon, there is an action -- there is a
primary objective. many people's reaction is, that we did that years ago. why do that again? if we take down the iss so you do not have things happening between 2015 and 2020, you have the problem that you just described, mr. chairman. and if you say, we will go to the mars -- go to mars right after the moon, there is such a long time frame, how do you excite engineers that want to commit their career to that? how you excite taxpayers to pay for that? to me, there are interim milestones along the way to mars, still going to mars ultimately, but where you can point to the technical, engineering, scientific if you will, accomplishments.
clearly, option 5 carries that opportunity. you can marry that opportunity but some of the other options as well. and indeed, we have done that with option 5a, for example, which ties into the area's five. >> at the end of october this year, nasa is well on the way to doing a fall on flight test into the area's one what they call x. what is is the four segments of existing solid rocket boosters with a dummy fit the segment on the top with a dummy orion on the topic. and did your committee hoped discuss any attitude about that particular test.
that is right down the pike six weeks away. >> the committee did not discuss it. i discussed it myself with the administrator of nasa. it is, of course, his call to make. i have enormous respect for his ability and judgment. were it my call, i would fly it. the reason is, i think we will gain technical knowledge that we have paid a great deal to get. we should get it. if we continue with the area's one program, it is an important step. if we do not continue with it, it is an important relationship to have. is there are committees view that area's one, while it has technical problems, some not insignificant, there's no reason to believe that good engineering and sufficient funds will not make the area's one a very good vehicle in time.
but let's talk about my third major category that i think the president in making his decision is going to have to look to, and that is, how will he keep this extraordinarily talented workforce operating? share with us what your committee deliberated about that. >> that is a very key part of this whole question. needless to say, this is a rather esoteric business and it takes years, i have observed, to begin to understand some of the subtleties and to gain the culture that goes with launching rockets. one of the reasons being bet this is such an unforgiving business. we generally do not get recalls in this business.
nasa has, without question, the largest town based in the world today to conduct activities, both human and robotic. that is a national treasure to us. the options we have offered beyond the two that i have suggested that are probably not viable. all have the same overall -- that are probably not viable all have the same overall budget. overall nasa employment should stay about the same. however, the mix of that employment will certainly change. for example, if we terminate the shuttle in 2010 or early 2011, the people that have been focused on launching shuttle's will be different people than
those in areas one or areas 5. there will be changes in skill. we looked at two kinds of assets when it comes to human talent. one is the overall work force, namely, jobs. on either hand, it is our view that it would be tragic to view nasa as a jobs program nasa has so much more to offer than just creating jobs. the other we looked at were those critical skills that only those people in nassau or in the industry are likely to h those we think are very important to preserve and that we need to consciously do that. one answer would be a large segment of solid rocket motors -- it is an art as well as a scientist to build those things safely. if we lose that capability, it
would be hard to get that back. building with liquid hydrogen or the " oxygen. we would like to see that in space as well as on earth. those special skills we have to find a way to preserve, for sure. one last comment -- nasa has, as i said before, a very high cost base. it makes it very hard to create new opportunities and options when you have that fixed cost base. part of that is the work force, the facilities and it would be our hope that the president and the congress would give the administrator @ nasa a great deal of latitude the resources to manage what he is responsible for. >> and i want to underscore that, as a very important comments so that these locations -- with dislocations of the workforce, albeit as you
said, with the more robust funding is going to keep nasa at a fairly level amount of employment, that is going to change among the different centers according to what their particular work force does. needless to say, in consideration of if we're not launching humans on an american vehicle, there a point to be fewer launches that, for example, the kennedy space center even though we might be building the new rocket with the new technologies and the new money that you have laid out. i hope the congress will give the administrator just exactly what you said, the flexibility
so that he can use that with different missions the so as to minimize the economic devastation. and in this regard i will put on my career cute -- parochial high at -- athaparochial hat. if, indeed, the president were to pick that option of a commercial, that can come in and make some amelioration of the playoffs. but it is not going to step in. we need to give the administrator of nasa administrative flexibility.
what if you had more time? if you have 90 days, if you have more time, using the results would change? >> the first thing that would have happened is my wife would have divorced me. [laughter] >> i understand. >> you have regular jobs, so to speak. when we began, i questioned whether 90 days was adequate to take on a task of this type. we clearly could have done an analysis, but it is also my belief that if the differences are small between the new options in the current program, we should stick with the current program. i think we are not discussing the small differences. there need to be significant differences. those are the kinds of things that we try to identify and our
conclusion was that it would have been easier for us and we would have been able to get in third significant figure more accurately, but in terms of the thrust of the offer of our assessment, i think we can stand behind them. >> you had testified earlier that your panelists recommendations are -- do not rush the shuttle, fly out, keep safety paramount, which by the way parenthetically, i assume will be a theme that will run throughout your report once it is produced publicly, all of these items that safety has to be paramount, given the very tragic experience that we have had in the past.
you indicated in your testimony that you saw it -- that is realistic to think that at least part, if not all, of fiscal year 2011 would be consumed by the flat of the shuttle on remaining missions to the supply and equip the space station. did you attach a dollar figure to 2011? in that fly out? since the president's budget right now, and i will refer it to the omb budget -- and i say that sarcastically -- only provides for fiscal year 2010 on the fly out of the shuttle. did you attach a cost to it? >> we did. and we have spoken with omb about it.
we are aware of the number. i cannot speak for omb, obviously. my recollection is that the number is like a billion and a half dollars. -- is like $1.5 billion. but the german traject to be exact. -- the chairman and should check to be exact. the problem with it not been there is that it introduces pressure on getting the launched off by a given time. i reserve -- referred to that as launch fever. it is a subtle pressure. the challenger spoke to that pressure as one of the causes, they thought, of the challenger accident. having said that, the people watching the six remaining shuttles, they are very conscious of this.
they are taking the attitude that they will not be hurried. i think they are doing everything right. the problem is, they are born to run off a budget cliff 12 not -- but they're going to run off a budget cliff 12 months from now. we've got to fix that and i think they will manage things very properly. >> i have been amazed. i have watched this entire space team knowing that the space shuttle is likely to come to an end and they have not missed a beat. with the still high morale. to me, i am amazed and very appreciative. >> i say, too, i never cease to be amazed. but when having to close a plant, terminate a program, the commitment of the people to doing just what you said -- and that is particularly true in
the space and defense agree now. at what they're doing is building widgets. >> that is correct. thank you for putting that on the record. i think it is important that the white house and omb hear what you said. the congress has provided to in its budget for the hard year 2011 and additional budget operas it -- authorization of $2.5 million -- $2.5 billion in order to fly out the space shuttle in the year 2011. but that is in the budget planning document. it has to be put into reality and there is only the white house to do that. with the congress concurring. let me ask you as you look to the future, do you think -- let me ask you, what is your opinion about a constant source of
funding and an adherence to a defined plan once the option is chosen as a key success for nasa's future? >> that clearly would be a key factor to success, particularly if that number included a reserve to account for the unforeseen. the reserve of time, a reserve of funds, a reserve of technology. it is almost impossible, as you know, to manage a program that goes out to the year 2030 when you do not know what the funding commitment is. the program each year. this is a program that probably involves tens of thousands of 8gcontracts and subcontractor agreements. when you change the budget, you have to renegotiate those. the rarely do they go down.
stability of funding would have enormous positive impact. that, i also recognize the difficulties that you face in your chair and you do not know if the economy is going to -- and he did not know that the economy was going to collapse a year ago and that the government receipts were going to drop. it is not clear to me how one can guarantee a program budget for the kind of time frame that it takes to undertake these major pursuits. but anything that can be done by the congress and the white house to put stability in the funding and to let the nasa leadership talk about what that funding is going to be, so they do not have to guess, that would be one of the greatest contributions to any space flight program. >> let's talk about these options in 4a through the
bottom. the crew in low earth orbit is by the commercial provider. instead of the nasa vehicle. you know the history of developing spacecraft. do you cink that -- think that seven years, that you really could have one of these commercial operators be able to have a human crew up to the space station? >> i think that if he were to -- if you were to have several paths with several operators, several commercial firms, not only necessarily with the smaller farms that are very quick on their feet, but also some of the larger, more experienced farms that are less quick on their feet, but more
scar tissue, if you have several firms involved through competition, the chances would be very good that one would have a success. i think back to earlier in my career when we had icbm's as launch vehicles. i speak to the type in the atlas. icbm's in those days were designed to liabilities that do not even approach the liabilities that we talk about today for human rated vehicles. and yet, we did find a way to -- we called it manned rating in those days. we did find a way to mandrake those vehicles and a performed very well. -- man rate those vehicles and they did very well. it is not without risk.
there are back -- backups that one could consider. other launch vehicles, including a form launch vehicles during that timeframe. >> when it comes to a u.s. commercial cargo capability, your committee felt pretty confident of that capability. >> i think that is true and nasa has come of course, embraced this idea, provided nasa technical oversight and nasa help, which gives me greater insurance and these firms have some very talented people and there is every reason to believe that they can be successful. >> do you want to talk to us about the differences between areas of five capability -- have the capability and your discussions as an alternative to an area's five like?
-- airries 5 light? >> i would be happy to talk about that. but we have been a bit delayed in starting aries 5 and things that might go with it. the aries 5 light is fairly similar to the area's five. -- aries 5. but as you know it is 150 -- 140 metric tons, i guess, and there is about 820 metric ton difference in terms of payload throw away.
the five light basically has one less engine, has half a segment less on solids and can be designed to have more margin and that is important to us because the aries 5, even today has very shallow margins. if there is one thing we have learned, i think it is having margins is the blessing of the space program, to be able to be range things. the areaaries 5 would be used in companion with an aries 1, referred to by nasa as an aries 1.5. whereas the aries 5 lite would be used as another aries 5 as
its companion. you would use two aries 5, which -- the numbers are skinny at the moment, let me just check. -- the numbers are escaping me at the moment. let me just check. >> it is 143 metric tons. >> that is why i could not make it work. and you have 300 metric tons for a thorough way for two aries lite's and you have substantially less throw weight with the aries 5 combination. we think there is a good deal of merit with a series of -- with aries 5 like approach. the only disadvantage is the one
is developed and the aries 5 is not. >> according to your more complicated chart you could have the aries 5 lite ready to go in the early 2020's if you went to the flexible pasth, if you went to the moon first. it would be the early 20's. of course, you remember that the president said in the campaign that he wanted to be on the moon by 2020. that is pretty much out the window, according to our panel, isn't it? >> that is true. >> so, you are talking early 20's you could have aries 5 lite ready and you would have a scenario in which you could get aries 5 up with a crew, but
also with a lunar vehicle and do rendezvous perhaps in lunar orbit? >> we are speaking to the larger budget level, of course, and the answer would be, yes. >> yes. do you want to give any comments about the alternative on the eelv's? the expendable launch vehicles. >> yes, the expendable launch vehicle family is one that has been with us for many years. it traces its history to the ic bm family, in fact and traces its roots to the department of defense. these vehicles have been used in various forms, some not caring
people throw weight that would be needed for this mission. -- not carrying and the full throw weight that would be needed for this mission. uwthey are not human rated. they would require additional development. they are for -- they offer an additional -- a legitimate alternative and something that the department of defense and intelligence community might find useful. we could have some savings there. it offers the disadvantage of having to coordinate a vehicles coming down the line of who gets what and who gets first priority. but it would be our committee's view that the family is a viable option and worthy of consideration. we have not attempted to make
specific choices here. in part, because it would corporate and a great deal more analysis of the position of wanting to take up that position. it is a choice thatóz could engineering could make. earlier years of accomplishments is under using an eelv going to be flexible path and you are looking at the years 2015, 2016. can you comment on that? >> yes, the reason for that, of course, is that the goal has changed. the goal is a much less demanding one under this flexible pass option. >> that would still get you out on things like asteroid or one of the martian moons utilizing
an eelv? and you could do that within a span of 2015, 2016? >> no, it would be well beyond that. i do not have the numbers with me, but it would be well beyond that. >> ok, i was looking from this complicated chart. >> yeah, i do not have that chart. >> right. well, under the plan on this same charge you would be late 2020's at doing it actually a landing on the moon. >> that sounds more correct. >> the document -- committee discuss delta's? >> we did, they are certainly both plausible candidates. >> how did your committee of
drive up the cost estimates for the different options? >> the committee, as i mentioned, hired the aerospace corp. to assist us in this regard. we also had a good deal of help from nasa. we obtained the nasa estimates that they have and the probabilities and confidence level to go with them. the models are based on a large number of prior programs. i believe it is 77 prior space programs. and those models show correction factors account for real-world experiences compared with estimates that were made at various points. we took the work break the structure down line by line and
considered what was the maturity of the work under the line item. it was this a component that exist? in which case, the factor they would add it was 1.0. if it was a component that was just beginning, depending on the kind of components average, they used a factor of about 1.5. if you go through that whole set of items, the average is about 1.25 factor they have used in estimating costs. the factors, as i say, way in the maturity of the item in question -- weigh in the maturity of the item in question, so that tends to reduce it somewhat more. nasa -- some of these factors,
many of them were included in their original estimates. aerospace has taken this step where they have double counted. the aerospace corp. believes that is not the case, and even if it is the case, it is unlikely that we have been too conservative. i will give you one reason. if you look at the set of programs that the aerospace corp. uses to hide the factors, for the whole set of programs they have a given factor. if you take only the human space flight programs from that set you have a factor that is almost twice as great. even if we have double counted, the chances are we have double counted on the order of 10% or so. experience would suggest that is probably not a bad thing to do. >> how do you answer this
question, that we have spent $8 billion thus far on the present architecture, which includes area -- aries 1 and now we are going to abandon that, having spent a billion dollars? >> my answer is that we are offered a set of five options. the we are not suggesting abandoned aries 1. so many options do suggest abandoning it. we could continue aries 1 , no question about it. we could continue the space shuttle, the iss lumber, but you do not get to build things like aries 5 or a heavy lift vehicle, which we think this nation -- that is badly needed. aries 1, in our mind, we have
not recommended that it either be continued or abandoned. if it were to be abandoned, we ought to -- we think there ought to be compelling reasons to abandon it. from the sock -- the strong sentiments that i have arrived in my career, constantly changing is not a good idea. you ought to offer compelling evidence for changing. there are liabilities to continuing with the aries 1. one of those liabilities is that under the current program plan, as i mentioned at the outset, we will not even get it until two years after the iss is at the bottom of the pacific ocean. by our estimate. if we extend the iss, we will only be able to use the aries 1 for about three years to support
>> if you pick another option, you can always complete the area's one -- the aries 1. i think is $1.5 billion or so. pretty soon, you had at these things. we try very hard to scratch for money so that our profile was $3 billion and not $6 billion or $5 billion. >> what about promoting the development of orbit refilling? >> that is an interesting question. some of of on ron's writings pointed out the -- some of von braun's writing is pointed out to the possibility. we have begun to look at the subject, but not really carry them to any fruition.
primarily for financial reasons for cost reasons. it is our belief that on-orbit refilling will ochre one day. we are currently not ready to undertake today. we do not know enough. it is too dangerous. from an engineering standpoint, when can do it. we would like to use some of the money that we propose spending under these option 3, option 4, and option 5 to run tests, first on the ground and in the general vicinity of the iss. once that has been done, it could have a significant impact on some of the options. some of the shuttle options benefit substantially from refueling.
that is something we think is ready for a major technology effort to date, but not anything further. >> in your discussions, did you have any ideas of the time in mind as to when we should try to target for on-orbit refueling? >> i would like to provide that for the record, if i could. >> we will keep the record open for any of the members of the committee. i know senator pryor was tried to get here. he was with his father, the former senator frier. i am sure he will have one. can you give me an estimate of how much it will cost to continue flying the shuttle until aries 1 or a commercial
solution is available in that range of 2010 and 2017? let me complete the station, because it is one of your options. that would also support the iss until 2020 and maintain the development of a heavy lift capability by the early 2020's. >> if we were to continue the shuttle to support the iss 32020 -- >> that is right. >> you would probably have to had -- >> just until a commercial human-rated vehicle would be created. >> human-rated. of course. >> that does not appear to be one of the options.
>> what staff is pointing out is what would be the best of both worlds. you would continue to fly the shuttle and what is going to cost. you had a human rated ability on commercial. he would keep the station up there until 2020 so that we have the value of that. at the same time, you do technology development of a heavy lift technology by the early 2020's. >> my estimate would be that the additional cost would be of the order of $10 billion, probably a little bit more. >> over that entire time? >> yes. that is above the $20 billion
over that time. >> exactly. you have to add to that. if you take it that of the $30 billion, it would slip it out of the of the things we're doing. o the then closing the gap, the benefit -- other than closing the gap, the benefit is making the options much more interesting. if you still have the shuttle operating and in production for that amount of time, driving from the external tank becomes a much more plausible option dee. the problem is that we only have three shuttle's left. you start to worry about safety. >> that would be more like a
option 5 c. >> it would be like that, except -- >> the shuttle life would continue to service the space station until the commercial human capability were ready. >> you describe a derivative of option 5 c. you'd continue the shuttle operation. >> all right. any further questions from the staff? ok, the record will stay open for a couple of days. again, i want to thank you for what you have done. this was very unselfish work. i think the president really has a major decision here.
there is nothing like a president making a bold decision to focus the nation on where we ought to be going technologically. he is at that point. you have laid out a lot of parameters for it. i think is going to be up to the president. we will certainly advise him, but it is his decision. this is that a tough, tough time because of what we're facing with the budget deficit. just look at these gyrations that we're going through right now in the senate finance committee trying to come up with a consensus on trying to meet the health care problems trade ostraight on. but i believe that the president is a visionary. i believe that the president is going to make a bold stroke, not
>> all this week, a rare glimpse into america's highest court to unprecedented conversations with supreme court justices. >> quite often, our most famous decisions were ones that the court took an were unpopular. the idea that we should appeal to the public protest is is quite foreign to a country under the rule of law. >> interviews with supreme court justices, at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. get your own copy of our original copied. -- original documentary. this is one of many items available at c-span daughter works/store -- c-span.org/store.
>> there is less than a month left to enter the 2010 student cam contest. the top prize is $5,000. just create a video that is five minutes to 8 minutes. it must incorporate c-span programming and show varying points of view. open before januarmidnight januy 28. >> under a recent agreement between senate leaders, a bill creating an independent commission for the budget process comes up for a vote when the senate returns in january. last week, the senate passed a measure to increase the debt limit, allowing the treasury department to keep borrowing for a couple of more months. next, a recent budget committee hearing on the national debt. it is about $two hours and 45
representatives cooper and wolf author to their own bipartisan process proposal on the house side, which is very thoughtful and very constructive. all of your proposals are similar to what senator gregg and i have offered in many respects. most importantly, we all agree that some kind of special bipartisan process is going to be needed. the regular legislative process is simply not going to get it done. our second panel includes david walker, the former comptroller general and now head of the peter peterson foundation -- excuse me. doug holtz-eakin, the former director of the congressional budget office and now head of dhe consulting. william galston, a fellow senior at the brookings institution.
before we turn to the first panel, i would like to highlight the situation that we face. the health care reform effort has the potential to improve our long-term debt outlook. but it will not be enough. we must also addressed the democratic challenge we face in social security and the revenue challenge we face from an outdated and inefficient revenue system. ideally, these problems would be addressed through the regular order. that would mean that the house and senate committees with jurisdiction over health, retirement, and revenue issues would individually take up legislation to redress the imbalances in their particular areas of legislative reonthey would then move that legislation through congress. the simple reality is that that will never happen. i want to go to our first slide.
i want to remind everyone the dramatic deterioration we have seen in our nation's budget picture. the final deficit total in 2009 was 1.$1.40 trillion. but that should sober us all. $1.40 trillion. looking over the next 10 years, we see a sea of red ink. the deficits have led to an explosion of debt. under the 10-year outlook i just described, gross federal debt would rise to more than 114% of the gross domestic product by late 2019. that is approaching the record 121% gdp debt level reached at the end of world war ii. we need to remember that to
finance this debt, we are becoming increasingly indebted to foreign nations. last year, 68% of our debt was financed by foreign entities. here is the latest tally of the top 10 foreign holders of our national debt. when el 0 china almost $800 billion -- we now owed china almost $800 billion. we now owed japan almost $800 billion. because of the weak economy, the social security trust fund is temporarily cash-right now. it is projected to go personally cash negative and insolvent by 2027.
the medicare hospital insurance fund is in even worse shape. it went cash negative last year and is expected to be insolvent in 2017. we also have a severe revenue problem. we have an outdated tax system that is in desperate need of reform. here are some of the reasons i believe we need to go through tax reform. number one, our tax system is simply out of date and is hurting u.s. competitiveness. second, we are hemorrhaging revenue by offshore tax havens. third, the alternative minimum tax continues to threaten millions of middle-class taxpayers and has to be fixed. fourth, we have a long-term fiscal imbalance that must be addressed. fifth, simplification and reform
can help keep rates low. here's how the congressional budget office on but the need for action in our long term fiscal situation. this is what they said in a hearing. "the difficulty of the choices notwithstanding, cbo's long-term budget projections make clear that doing nothing is not an option." doing nothing is not an option. "legislation must be adopted that raises revenue or reduce spending or both. delaying action simply exacerbates the challenge." i think there is growing consensus that the only way we are going to get this done is through the enactment of a special bipartisan process. this is what house majority leader stanley hoyer said before this committee in 2007. "i would like to believe that congress could address these issues through the regular
legislative office. however, the experience of recent years expresses that it is difficult in the current political environment. i have concluded that a task force or commission may be the best way to bring this to the place where we can spur action on this issue and reach agreement on a. solutions" -- on solutions." here is what lee panetta said at the same hearing. "it will never happen. the committees of jurisdiction will never take on the kind of challenges that are involved in this kind of effort. if you just leave them under their own jurisdictions, that will never happen. earlier this year, the treasury secretary said "is going to take a different approach if we're going to solve the long-term fiscal imbalance. it is going to require a fundamental change in approach. i do not see how we will get
there through the existing mechanisms." a washington post editorial last month said the same thing. "the medicare payment formula is one of a number of fiscal time bombs that will need diffusing soon. the alternative minimum tax, the bush tax cuts, other expiring tax provisions are the norm practically and politically. it requires a solution that cannot be achieved within the existing political framework but will require some kind of bipartisan commission to craft." finally, let me conclude by reviewing the highlights of the conrad brigid proposal. yesterday, senator gregg and i reached agreement on the composition of such attacks forcetaskforce. today, we wanted to hear from our other colleagues before we
reach a conclusion. many of the components of our task force arsenal to the proposals of the members on the first panel. it would -- are similar to the proposals of the members of the first panel. everything would be on the table. the panel's legislative proposal would get fast-track consideration. congress would have to vote on the proposal. it would be designed to ensure a bipartisan outcome. the last point, i believe, is key to any proposal. the only way that changes needed will be adopted is if we have a bipartisan outcome. no one party can and will do this on its own. the record is as clear as it can be on that. both parties must be invested in the outcome and committed to its success.
with that, senator sessions, did you want to make a statement on behalf of your side would like to wait for senator to greg? >> i would be happy to wait for senator gregg. i know this commission has potential. i do believe, from a political sense, that this debt limit extension provides an opportunity that would not happen any of the time. we have to recognize the interest on the public debt today is $170 billion this year, according to cbo, under the obama 10-year budget. we spend $100 billion on
education, $40 billion on roads, and to go from $170 billion to $800 billion, is going to crowd out spending. it is the most dangerous thing in the budget submitted. in the 10th year, but the deficit is going up and it is over $900 billion, almost $1 trillion in one year. there's no projection that shows the deficit going down. i think this kind of fundamental effort that we have talked about is important. transportation increased 23%. interior epa increased 17%. that means the baseline budget
would double in less than five years. those things in the budget bill indicate that the american people would like to see as do something, mr. chairman. at some point, we have to stop these huge increases in spending. thank you. >> thank you. we will turn to our distinguished panel of guests. welcome, senator lieberman. we appreciate the effort the u.s. and senator voinovich have initiated to make a proposal.
welcome to the budget committee appeared >> thank you, mr. chairman. i am honored to -- welcome to the budget committee. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i am honored to be here. i thank you for convening this hearing. i thank you for your leadership on this issue. you and i talked about this a lot. i will put my statement in the record. i want to add a few points to say to you personally that the two of you have given extraordinary service to our country. but i honestly believe that, if you can leave the senate to finally do something about our fiscally irresponsible ways and the skyrocketing national debt, you will have done the greatest service that anyone can do for country today to protect the american dream, to make the country is full of opportunity for children and our
grandchildren as it has been for us. when i hear you say that by 2019 i guess, $800 billion will be the interest payments on the debt. i think about my daughter. she just got married. she and her husband are going to have to pay their share of $800 billion interest payments that will not buy them anything, no service, no security, no better environment, no health care for those who cannot afford it. this is an outrage. you have made the statement of the problem. $12 trillion debt today, commitments that are in law already that will add $9 trillion to that in the next 10 years, $21 trillion. is, as we said, and sustainable. but what does it mean when we say that?
it means that we have reached a tipping point. if we do not do something, america's economy will go over the cliff. unsustainable means that, at some point, we will have to raise interest rates higher to get people to buy our notes. that is going to bring about inflation and then hyperinflation in its wake. we will start printing more dollars. the value of the dollar will fall and perhaps collapse. the overall effect of that may be that the country will be back in a recession or worse, deeper than the recession. we have to get together across party lines and do something to secure america's future. second senator voinovich and i have introduced this proposal.
the basic idea is that we have proven ourselves as an institution, congress, political leadership, president, incapable of dealing with this problem, of stopping the indebtedness. a towering capability does not originate from bad intentions. -- our in capabilitincapablilitt originate from bad intentions. if looks like we will be asked again to commit ourselves to over two hundred $50 billion in so-called str -- over two hundred $50 billion -- $250
billion in so-called str. we simply have to start saying no. as an institution, as the regular course and the regular order, we are not capable of it. that is what the record shows. so we need an extraordinary position. we need. in regular order, if i can put it that way. it needs to be taken at of the political process. most of the members of congress, maybe some executive branch people, hone into the process and set them on a mission that is as important as any they have ever been asked to perform for their country, which is to get us out of hock and back into fiscal balance. we are not trying to stack this commission so that one side wins and the other side loses. we are trying to organize it so that, in the end, there has to
be a bipartisan agreement. i also feel very strongly that, in the end, we have to break out of the regular order and not allow the normal amendments to the presses. does this job is presented to us, it is going to be very controversial. it is going to be very unpopular with interest groups. the tendency will be for our members -- for amendments to be introduced and passed. then we will be back in the same tipping point and real problems. i think the american people, even though the debt is the worst consequences, they see it coming now. i think they felt it with a
particular intensity through this recession. so many middle-class families are tightening their belts. they're putting money in the bank that they normally spend because they are worried about the future. and then they look at washington and we just keeps spending. there is nothing in the bank. i think they want us to act in this way and they understand how important it is. on october 14, 10 members of the senate, all members of the democratic caucus, wrote to leader reid and describe the problem and said, in conclusion "we strongly believe, as part of
the debate to increase the debt limit, congress needs to put in place a special process that allows congress and the administration to face up to our nation's long-term fiscal imbalances and allows for the liberation and a vote on a comprehensive package addressing these issues." as we all know, we will have to increase the debt limit in december. i hope that is the moment that we will also do something as we have to do, create a commission such as you have described that would restore fiscal balance and hope for better economic future for this great country of ours. thank you. >> thank you, senator lieberman. thank you for your leadership. we appreciate the sense of purpose you have brought to this task, to be part of the group of 10 that wrote the letter. i did not sign the letter
because it is supporting something that we were going to be talking about at this meeting. >> understood. >> i completely agree with the contents of that letter. i told the group that, any subsequent communication, now that we have had this hearing, i would feel free to sign as well. with that, senator gregg has joined us. we do like to make an opening statement now? >> just a brief statement because i want to hear from the panel. the membership of this panel is so strong and expert and represents such a cross-section of the congress. it is a good sign for this effort, which is absolutely critical. in the context of the health care bill, we are looking at a massive expansion in the size of government that will create a new entitlement of immense proportions that will be and pay for, i am sure, over time.
-- be unpaid for, i am sure, over time. the debt will be so high and unsustainable that they will look able to bring it under control about massive tax increases or significant inflation neither of which will lead to a better nation. i think we all recognize that, if we do not to join together, we will never get anything done. we have proven that the regular legislative order does not work. i have further statements that i would like to put in the record. i want to hear from the panel. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> i also turn to senator warner
for any opening observations he might have and then we will go to senator voinovich. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i am pleased to see your leadership on this issue. senator lieberman mentioned thhe letter. one of the important thing about the letter is that many of them were new ones. i am glad to be one of the signatories of the letter. as we wrestle with health care and try to get it right, taking on this issue with the deficit in this bipartisan fashion is terribly important. the newer members who may not have been as entwined in the system bring perhaps a fresh view. i came from the governorship where we had to balance their budget each year and maintain
the aaa bond rating. i commend your efforts. there are legitimate questions about the structure of this commission. my only hope is that, as a new member, is that we not only have it bipartisan, but that those members, whether members or outsiders, this is so important that they would have to come with an approach that everything truly is on the table, that no program is sacred, that, yes, they have to look at cuts and we cannot rule out revenues, all of us have to be up for grabs. my only hope is that, if we move down this path, people on both sides will not come with entrenched views whether sacred cows on one side or ruling out revenues on the other side. that would defeat the purpose before we get started. i think the leadership on this. there are new members on both sides of the al that want to be
-- both sides of the aisle that want to be a part of this effort. >> thank you. senator voinovich has been as committed as any member to the need to deal with our long-term debt. he has not just talk about it. he has talked of a talk and walk the walk. -- he has talked the talk and walk the waled the walk. we especially welcome you before the budget committee. >> thank you, senator conrad. >> at 10:00, we will observe a moment of silence for the big thumbs uvictims at fort hood.
i wanted to give you a heads up. >> i thank you, mr. chairman and senator gregg for holding this hearing on this issue. you have spoken eloquently over the years about the need to deal with the debt, the deficit, and tax reform. i think it is important that, finally, the american people are realizing the fiscal crisis our nation faces. our federal spending is out of control. as a result, our debt continues to skyrocket. we have projected deficits as far as the eye can see. it doesn't take an economist to realize tthat our future is unsustainable. we are putting everything on a tab of their children and grandchildren. at a time when american families are taking a close look at their
own budgets and credit card statement, the federal government is turning a blind eye to the statements on our out of control federal debt. internationally, and our credit and credibility are on the line. since 2006, i have introduced the save america's economy say fact to reform social security, medicare, our tax code, and to provide a process for consideration of legislation. i am pleased that senator lieberman and others have joined in this effort and congressman cooper and congressman wolf. it is similar to the base realignment commission. it would create a bipartisan and bicameral committee. it would go before congress for
an up or down vote. i know that some members questioned why congress cannot pass this through legislation. mr. chairman, you pointed it out in your opening statement and senator lieberman has been eloquent in pointing it out also. congress is not willing to take short-term pain nor long-term gain. that is why we need a commission to provide the solutions and the expedited procedure for an up and down vote so the proposals do not die in committee and become an exercise in political messaging, which we have too much of around here. i hope this committee and my colleagues do not make the mistake that we too often make around here of letting the perfect get in the way of the good. in the 110th congress, i was a
co-sponsor of legislation for a bipartisan task force for action. i would do anything to get bipartisan support from our congress. i am pleased to said, also, that it appears like president obama is finally starting to get it. in an interview with "the washington post," the president endorsed a committee that "you probably have to set up some sort of commission that reports back with the prospect of locking in a pledge fraction." mr. chairman, we must find -- in a pledge for action." many people believe that this generation of americans will be the first two standard of living is less than those before them. our failure to act now will
guarantee that they are right. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i am told that the senate's moment of silence will actually be at about 10 no 3:00 a.m. a stafford will come in once the moment -- at 10:03 a.m. a staff member will come in once the moment is initiated. senator feinstein, you were an early advocate of a process with senator de medici. now you're working with senator cornin. we appreciate your willingness to testify. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman and ranking member grade, senator warner, and senator sessions. i think for those comments. senator cornin would be here if
not for the ceremony at fort hood. i know that he would want everyone to know that. as you mentioned, this was introduced by senator domenici and i in february 20107. senator cornin and diane reintroduced this year. because i am a mayor, i am -- and i reintroduce it this year. i have been tracking outlays. the entitlement outlays run between 50% and 56% of everything the federal government spends in a given year. the august 2009 figures are 50%. there would have been higher except for the financial crisis numbers, which are 11% so far of
everything we spend. interest is 5%, discretionary defense 18%. everything else, everything that senator sessions talked about, transportation, interior, education, just 16% of white is actually outlaid. so the intimate picture looms use. of course, it is medicare, medicaid, social security, veterans' benefits. it is those things they you can control that just keep going year in and year out. what we have put together is an entitlement commission. this commission would be an authority. this commission would handle social security and medicare. it would do so in the mode of the greenspan commission. we took a that model, 15 members, some professional
outside members and some from the house and some from the senate. they will have independent actuaries who will actuarially survey these two systems on an ongoing basis and will send to the congress legislation every five years with how to keep the system in balance. this is ongoing. it is not just a temporary commission as the others. the reason is that the changes and tweaks that have to be made are really going to take time to do it. if you do it in one fell swoop, it is huge. actuarially, the system is serving during every five years, it is sent to it --
serving. every five years, it is sent to the senate. the problem comes if their taxes, of giving an independent commission, without the elected body, the ability of doing that. >> if i may interrupt, senator feinstein -- i am advised that the senate is observing the moment of silence for the victims at fort hood. we would ask everyone to stand for the purposes of this observance.
>> we thank you all for this sign of respect for those were the victims at fort hood. our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends and the colleagues of those who were wounded and killed. i apologize to you, senator feinstein, for interrupting your testimony. >> that is quite all right. thank you so much for doing it. so there recommendations of the commission would be sent to the congress every five years. there would be an expedited procedure of 120 days. only germane amendments are acceptable. this is where i would prefer
black. -- prefer brack. our current proposal does not have that because there was concerned that the tax levied would be by people might elected. the commission would be made up of 15, including the chairman and ranking member of the senate finance committee, seven members of the commission chosen by the president to include three democrats, three republicans, and one independent. eight members of the commission would be chosen by the congress to include four selected by the senate majority and minority leaders. they would concur. the process would be that they would agree in tto prevent games. they want people who are knowledgeable andand four
selected by the speaker. the goal would be to bring the program into fiscal balance and preserving its liability for future generations. that is essentially it, mr. chairman. i will vote for this. i will not vote for raising the debt limit without a vehicle to handle this. i agree that this is a moment -- the only thing that i would implore is that this be an ongoing process and that we take it up every five years with a bill that hopefully will find a way to beebe accepted or reject.
is painful. but i believe that it needs to be done i believe that the committee, with only members of the congress, but they will be subject to so much importuning by various groups that it will make it difficult. that is why we have put this hybrid commission of independent people outside of the congress with key members of the congress. so i thank you for listening. >> thank you. and thank you for your description. it is very helpful to the committee. senator bayh is the author of the letter that went to the majority leader. >> very well written. >> head was very well written. [laughter] -- it was very well written. [laughter] >> you said that with such surprise. >> please proceed. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
there has been such eloquent statements made by everyone so far. i have a statement that i would like to submit for the record if that is acceptable to the committee. >> without objection. >> first, who would have thought that the budget committee would be the site for the beginning of an institutional insurrection? but here we are. looking around the witness table and the members of the committee are present, many of us consider cells pragmatists, not ideologues. yet here we are, asking for a change in the with the business is done in washington. i think that is pretty ill and testimony in and of itself of the magnitude of the problem and -- pretty eloquent testimony in and of itself of the magnitude of the problem. diane, you describe yourself as a mayor. senator warner described himself
as a governor. you have your roots in state government. senator gregg, of course, is a former governor. we are no strangers to having to take difficult positions. because it is in the long-term interests of their stake in their country and those who put theirof their responsibility in s. -- in the uus. the path to least resistance now is the path to national weakness. we must have a special process to help correct the problem. this has its roots in basic human psychology. some in the congress likes to spend more than we can afford and some like to cut taxes more than we can afford the easy path is to simply borrow until the
credit markets will no longer allow that. interest rates will go up and economic growth will go down. our children and grandchildren are left with the bill. this violets -- this violates something fundamental and our american character. everyone has been willing to do the difficult work and the occasional sacrifices so that those who follow will inherit a better way of life and a stronger country. we're putting that at risk if we're not willing to do the same. so now is the time. i agree with the comments of my colleagues, particularly those of senator feinstein about raising the debt limit. i will let this unless there is tangible evidence that we are beginning to head in a better direction. it would be deeply irresponsible. there are rare moments of leverage in this institution where you can implement fundamental change. this is one of those moments. we must seize it.
i will conclude by saying that we are all aware that they're good people who will raise objections to this for reasons that are satisfactory to them. that is why i have been for a slight modification of the conrad-greg proposal. i would say to our colleagues who said that the regular order would produce a better result, give them 60 days. but the to the test. they will see, despite their best intentions, but they are incapable of doing what is in the best interest of this country. so i salute you for your leadership, senator gregg, who is someone i have immense respect for. we must press on here and use this committee for change that washington needs and that future generations will fica's for. >> thank you senator biden for that the eloquent statement -- generations will thank us for.
>> thank you, senator baide andr that eloquent statement. we have had leaders in the senate and in the house, no to more dedicated than cooper and wolf, who have advocated a special process for a long time and have gone to the hard work to produce an agreement of how one would be structured. welcome to you both. we will begin with representative cooper. welcome to the senate budget committee. we very much appreciate your leadership and thoughtfulness on this issue as in many others. >> thank you very much, chairman konrad. -- german conrad -- chairman
conrad. it is very important that we seize this moment of opportunity, this moment of truth, to do the right thing for the country. i believe that there is no more important issue for the strength of our nation than facing up to our long-term fiscal imbalance. sadly, the long term is not very far away any more. in the 2008 fiscal year, the treasury department, and its financial report to the united states government, reported that the present value of unfunded obligations for our united states is $56 trillion, almost four times the gdp of america. this is a larger number than some of my colleagues have used. this is the present value, using real accrual accounting.
it is important to use real numbers in washington. the federal government is the only large entity left in america that gets away without using real numbers. every for-profit and non-profit entity of any size in this country has to use real numbers, accrual accounting, except for the federal government. sadly, i still cannot find any major business group that will advocate that the federal government use real accounting as they have to. the 2009 report is coming out on december 15. it is likely that the unfunded obligations of the u.s. will rise from $56 trillion to $60 trillion, a rate of worsening or sinking of $11 billion a day.
that is hard to wrap your mind around. every citizen needs to do that. the results of all of this is that we have fiscal cancer. it is metastasizing at a rate where no surgery, no chemotherapy, no radiation will be able to cure the problem. albert einstein is a poster of said that the greatest power on earth is not nuclear power. in his compound interest. if you are a debtor nation, that works against every citizen of this country. the bulk of our budget problem lies in the health-care area, the area of health care entitlements. that is why the proposals make an effort to reduce the deficit now and in the future.