tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN December 30, 2009 5:00pm-8:00pm EST
we will find out soon enough. to answer your question, i'm not sure how it will play hopyard -- play out. >> the provision that was put in for nebraska and what happened with mary landrieu, is that more of an individual member because of the need for their 60th or 59th and 60 the vote? or is that more the work of the lobbyists as the whole manager's amendment? >> there is probably some correspondence, but my sense is that it is probably more the view of the individual lawmaker. hughley long in louisiana, probably more famous than his son, russell. he was more famous when he was governor and senator for saying every man is a keen -- every
man is taking. when you need 60 votes, every single senator could be the king or queen, if you will. the leader has to bear that in mind. there is no margin of error of whatsoever. you have to have 60 and you have to hold at 60. it is an additive process. if you are close, and you do not have quite 60, what you'd do? you go into negotiations and use whatever outside allies you can to persuade this individual lawmaker. . .
[applause] >> come back a little bit before 15 to 11. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> all this week, a rare glimpse into the nation's highest court. tonight, we talk with justices stephen brier and clarence thomas. justice thomas discusses how his approach to oral argument different -- it differs from his colleagues. this week at 8:00 p.m. on c- span. for more reformation, go to c- span.org.
as well as this week's interviews with the justices. this week, notable books of 2009. it will look at the best books of the year as listed by number of publications. the author of "the audacity to when." the book "culture of corruption." "horse soldier." and the author of "the good soldiers." >> c-span thursday, a look at tributes paid to world leaders, including dalai lama, colin powell, walter concrite -- cronkite. and the creator of the segue and
the co-founder of guitar hero. and the art of political cartooning. >> letters to michele obama and this year's book awards. afterwards, new york times columnist gail collins talked about women's history. and best-selling author. malkin -- and best selling author michelle malkin. >> abraham lincoln, great american historians on the sixteenth president. from 56 scholars, journalists, and writers -- abraham lincoln, in hard cover of your favorite bookseller.
available when digital audio downloads are sold. >> on his first day in office, president barack obama signed an executive order implementing rules on lobbyists access to the executive branch. now, james therbur who worked on lobbying reforms in 2006. this is part of a lecture series hosted by american university public affairs and advocacy institute. it is about an hour and five minutes. >> welcome back, ladies and gentlemen. as many of you know, i am jim therber. [inaudible]
i want to talk about the politics of lobbying reform. the politics of lobbying reform really served heavy in 2005 when there were a series of controversies and problems. not only on capitol hill, but with the american public. it resulted in 2007 in a major reform that occurred on capitol hill with respect to lobbying. but also other reforms internally. procedural reforms, ethics reforms, and some reforms related to campaign finance. there are also efforts to reform redistricting which creates a problem in the house of representatives, because we have
the real action being the primary in most cases, and primaries generate low turnout. people on the far left or far right are nominating people. it there is, effectively, no middle. some of the controversy stems from there being no middle. as most of you know, the house and the senate these days looks like this. redistricting has occurred in a way -- from left to right. there are very few people in the middle. when obama or bush before that tried to move to the middle, is steep -- it is destabilizing. when you have incumbents reelected each cycle,
frequently, they don't have a big incentive to move the metal. what has happened since 2004 is that we have had 53 new democrats elected, many of them have picked off people that were in this area. the endangered species are moderate republicans, not the polar bear. these people in 2010, the blue dog democrats and others may be in trouble. several of them have already been signed -- resigned because they are behind in the polls. one of the reforms is redistricting reform that is not occurring very actively on the outside. if you look at reform on the hill and efforts to -- there are
these strings of reform, congressional lobbying reform the stems from controversy associated with staff members on the hill that were associated -- tom delay, the majority leader at one point, accused of using corporate funds illegally in texas to redistrict to get rid of blue dogs and bring in more republicans to the house. william jefferson that had $90,000 worth of cold cash in his freezer for bribe that occurred. he is in jail right now. he got reelected in 2006 when there were 19 people in 2006 that were up for reelection that
had some controversy associated with them related to lobbying or ethics. of the 19, william jefferson was the only democrat. the rest for republicans. nine of those 18 republicans lost those elections. there was duke cunningham. the dexter. -- the dukester that earmarked money for corporations in his district in san diego, calif. for work under the black budget. that is a budget that is for the intelligence community. these were contractors that did not have a long track record, but he received things. the contractors had his house directly under market value.
he received bribes. that became part of the picture of the problem in washington. that he received bribes for earmarked. he is in jail. he is in jail because he broke the law. there is the k-street problem, a symbol of where most of the lobbyists were. they're all over town now. it was a project that was created primarily by tom delay, but also republican senators to make sure that when staff and members left, they would get jobs. there is a revolving door thing. they would get jobs and associations as well as with tears -- specific firms.
the press made it sound like this was the first time this was ever done. i did notice that from 73 on, many of the staff members and former members of congress did not want to go back home. they went into the advocacy business. it is formalized and more efficient. that was a problem that was attacked with the reforms also. there were 15,000 earmarked stressed before the earmark reform went through -- earmars just before the earmark reform went through. there were many other investigations going on. about 20 or 30 investigations of members of congress as well as
staff members for illegal behavior b. that is different from ethical behavior. this is a problem also, whether the house and senate ethics committees were doing their job. there were no hearings on many of these issues by the house ethics committee. there was the senator stevens problem, receiving gifts from contractors that had received federal money. the actual federal court case associated with it later. they did not come to a determination about that. there is the iron law of reciprocity. write that down. in my opinion, one of the strongest in one's life is
reciprocity. and we have talked about this before. on capitol hill, reciprocity is a very strong norm. when you leave capitol hill, it is a very strong norm. i will help you if you help me. if you're the staff director and hired lots of people for the chair of that committee in believe that committee and go to the private sector and become an advocate, d.c. the people on the staff are going into your telephone calls? of course they are. a the going to give you information a feature of the committee says it is ok? of course they are. lobbying is strategically intervening at a stage during the process to try to get things changed or move things along. it is important to keep these relationships. they became very formalized.
they also became very public when tom delay and others objected that the association's hired democrats. they move off and work for a particular association related to the issues that they were dealing with on a committee on capitol hill. when you're the head of an association, what is a lobbyist? related to all of these reforms, we have to think about the actual definition of what a lobbyist is. a lobbyist, according to the 1995 lda of the lobbying reform act that actually changed the 1946 act before that says, "lobbyist is one employed or retained to make lobbying contacts to or for a client."
if matters exceed over a certain monetary threshold. more than one lobbying contact and lobbying activities must amount to 20% or more at the time. there is more than one contact. and a 20% time over a three- month period. it used to be an annual report, the three month thing is new. there is a -- about how much money you spend. if you have made more than two contacts. many firms have very careful
accounting systems for everybody in the firm that is supporting the individual making those contacts of senators and representatives, a senior staff , committee staff in the house and senate, and also appointees and the senior executive service appointees in the executive branch. probably about 5000 people part of the lobbying reform that occurred was a reaction to those problems that i mentioned. it was driven, to a great extent, by mccain. i appeared before the house and senate rules committee, working with senator mccain on rules then. it did not pass. in 2007, after the 2006 election
when the democrats for the majority. the leadership gave him the leadership of reform in the senate. they got along very well, pushing the reform in 2007. it got past in september to thousand seven. i will talk about some of the provisions for a period it has caused quite a reaction in washington by advocates and lobbyists. one of the central purpose of reform according to now president obama, then senator obama, with respect to his reforms internally is more transparency to the system to know who is doing what, and how much they're getting paid for it. and also to encourage participation by everybody, by
citizens, and not be scared away by the organized lobbying or professionals in washington. he wanted to change the way washington works then. the stem from his experience in illinois where he pushed lobbying reforms before he came to the senate. another string of reform is what the president has done. he has had several cents. there are ethics reforms internally. when i appeared before senator mccain's committee on reform, i had a statement. they say, could you summarize your remarks? i did. they say, that is fine. what is really the problem? if they say professor, watch
out. if they say jim, it is a little better. i leaned over and said, your the problem. he smiled and laughed. he shook his head. yes, your the problem in the sense that members and staff were breaking existing rules. -- you are the problem in the sense that members and staff were breaking existing rules. many years ago, in 1976 with congressman toby -- obe, it is about this thick. members and staff were constantly breaking the rules. there is no enforcement of it. why? one of that is because the iron law of reciprocity. if you're the chair of the ethics committee -- part may, the ways and means committee --
pardon me, the ways and means committee. it is day begins at investigate you -- if they begin to investigate you, they are a very weak member -- no offense to the ethics committee. how people try to avoid it. people remember. they don't get mad, they get even. they remember if there is a censorship, and my opinion, of an individual. they remember who wrote it what way. if they want to get a tax provision in or they want an earmark of an appropriation bill, and you have taken them on, it is a problem. one way around that, senator obama had, and i supported this, the office of public integrity. 31 states have offices of public integrity.
it is an outside board. the recommendation was to have judges and former members of congress not involved in lobbying serve on this. he got an overwhelming vote of 36 votes. he was ultimately pressured by junior members. new members came in. they haven't office of public integrity. it was chaired by former member david scaggs from colorado. it is a committee made up of former members that real institutional supporters, not lobbyists. it is made up of the ethics committee in the house and the office of public integrity. some people think the office of public integrity is pushing,
through their investigations, the ethics committee to do more in the house. in fact, there are several investigations going on. the database was shared with the public, reading about the investigations because a staff member somehow got into a public space and became an article. the ethics reforms internally had to do with gifts, the use of aircraft to go to -- sponsored by special interests, i will go into those details later. it had to do with spouses and family lobbying. it had to do with your marks -- earmarks to an individual. there is this whole body of law related to the outside
lobbying, that places burdens and restrictions on lobbyists. there is the ethics reforms, rules, and procedures that are really internal. it is a case of internal procedural reform. earmarked reforms was pushed by obama and the senate. others were involved, of course. they called for all earmarks to be transparent. you have to have your name associated with it. there were no names associated with your mark -- earmarks. there were geographic descriptions as to where the money should go that were normally and west virginia or alaska, i don't know why.
the internal reform has reduced the number of earmarks, and there have been a number of rules set by davde obe, by the way, where not only is it in the law, you may not benefit from earmarks. that led to a confrontation on the floor, a physical confrontation between maxine waters and dave obey. i had lunch with david obey afterwards, and that did not happen. there was a theoretical shoving match because of the earmark for the school system in l.a. it was named after her, and those against the rules of the house.
-- and goes against the rules of the house. and of course, the bridges to nowhere. how many of you remember the bridges to nowehre? -- nowhere? it was a bridge in alaska to an airport where there is land of their being developed by the sun that may have benefited -- by some that may have benefited by this. there were also the ferries to nowhere, under the under security appropriation. -- under the homeland security procreation -- appropraition. -- an appropriation. then there was campaign finance
reform that was another stream, and part of the media stream of reform in 2007. it was restrictions on lobbyists from bundling. how many of you know what bundling is? somebody help me out. i forgot what bundling is. justin? >> giving campaign contributions, where you're limiting the amount that you give. but you can put their name on the check, and write the maximum amount of the check in their name in do the same for the rest of the members in your family. an individual can give more than the allotted amount even though it is not in your name. >> you have broken a law the way you have described it. it is bundling, the maximum you can give as an individual.
corporations do this, they get -- they encopptt corporate officials to give the maximum that goes to a political action committee. if a lobbyist bundles more than $15,000, they must report all of the transactions associated with that. and their contributions also. redistricting reform is really at the state level. california tried to reform that. the united kingdom, canada, and australia have commissions that do this. it is more nonpartisan, and you will get more competition. the objective is not only equal population, contiguous competition -- contiguous
population. you add the fourth variable of maximizing competition. maximizing competition, the theory goes -- if you have competition in a general election, candidates move geologically more in the middle. they have more stability and less partisanship going on. this has changed from 30% -- actually, 33% moderates when i was on the hill in 1973. it is down to about 2% right now. it is really very difficult to get 60 votes or get people from another party to be bipartisan. that means that somebody is at the table at the beginning, negotiating things and
contributing to a bill, not just announcing what the bill is after the majority party presented. there was more bipartisanship with moderates in 1973. i worked with hubert humphrey in 1973. he reached out to goldwater and the minority leader, the republican quite often on much of the legislation. including the question of impeachment of nixon and watergate. and recently in 2009, starting with president obama's first executive order, a series of reforms that obama put in action in this administration. it stems from his experience in illinois, pushing 2007 reforms. most importantly, it stems from
promises in the campaign. we have data on this, the campaign in both cases, mccain and obama, the issue of changing the way washington works, cleaning out these bad lobbyists. there has been an attack on lobbyists from the campaign to today by obama. they said they had no lobbyists in their campaign on their campaign staffs. i did an analysis, both campaigns at over 35 well-known lobbyists. also, many people in the advocacy business that were not federally registered lobbyists. it is quite common that have people working on campaigns that do advocacy on issues. it is almost impossible without having people that do both. he will do both if you go out and become a lobbyist.
he will be involved in campaigns and vice versa. almost half the class has been involved with campaigns. he probably saw people in the campaigns that were advocates. he is making it sound very bad. he passed, at the very beginning, executive order 13 490 that will be discussed in greater detail by other speakers. what did that do? it established restrictions on lobbyists coming in the government and going out of government. the coming in the government was new. it going out of government, there was existing law as well as executive orders to keep people from revolving from a position -- the order required a
full-time political appointee. the ethics pledge to agree on existing law of the gift ban, and restrictions on revolving door in and out. they have been criticized for this because it has been difficult to get people to serve. some people were registered. they did not need to be registered. what they did not need to 20%, 2-contact rule. they did it to be overly ethical or safe. the registered and were intelligible -- ineligible. it bans people leaving government for two years to deal
with issues that they dealt with in the executive branch. there is existing law that bans you for life in certain kinds of activities related to national security and intelligence. some part of political appointees, it wavered in terms of federally registered lobbyists going in. it has to be reviewed by the head of omb. there also restrictions on people lobbying the stimulus package. this happened in a memorandum on march 20, 2009. people that were federally registered lobbyists had to do it in writing. one way that people have gotten
around that, of course, is that the federally registered lobbyists will take their client, educate them, physically take a client to see the person to advocate for spending the recovery act funding. there has also been restrictions on similar -- there have also been similar restrictions on lobbying tarp. there is restrictions in the sense that there is a web site set up for every agency to say who is coming in, what they are therefo for. some agencies have not updated their web sites very well. they're supposed to do that with the stimulus package and tarp.
the white house has a website that says it comes to the white house and why they're there. is associated with energy lobbying on the bush administration and the energy task force that was set up by president -- the vice president at that time. it took a court case to figureo ut who a -- figure out who actually came to the white house. i was invited to the white house to try to persuade me to change my mind on this. i am very proud, i am on the list for coming to the white house to advocate for -- for what? i felt that the rhetoric as well as the actions had unintended consequences.
at one hypothesis is the registrations. -- de-registrations. people decide they do not need to register, they did not know they were registered. they're a very large firm, about 120 people registered with -- they did not think of this threshold. others say that it is because of this attack on lobbyists. at lobbying against some of these rules, a review by the american bar association has created a special commission to look at a series of reforms that may bbe should be made because f the senate and the consequences. there are 2920 since the
beginning of the year through september. we don't know the fourth sector. 4003 under and 73 in 2008. that may have been -- 4373 in 2008. with almost double the number of lobbyists from 1995 to 2005. since the reforms in 2007, we have dropped from 24,000 approximately to about 20,000. these data are obtained by going online. this was something that i advocated for in 1995, and also
in 2007 leading up to it. we need a common registration form. we need to have that accessible through the internet. 2007, finally we have that. it is a great area of research, actually. if you want to figure out who is spending what and how much. as you will see in one of the later slides, the spending has gone, even if you control for inflation, $1.40 billion in 2008, 3.18 $6 billion in -- $3.186 billion. the advocacy industry is about 120,000.
that many people in the metropolitan area, i have that in my handouts. whereas we only have about 20,000 people registered. were they doing? they're spending a lot of money on television advertising, print advertising, the internet, a grass-roots organizations, the grass tops organizations, commissioning papers, funneling money to think takes. -- thinktanks. with support for them, is $3.10 billion. if you accounted for all of those activities including marketing for products to the executive branch and a lobbying the federal regulatory process where vague bills get defined
, you may have $9 billion. it is a good business. it is a business that needs more transparency. when i went to the white house, the head of the ethics office there took me to lunch. i was very impressed with myself. he said, what would you do differently? i said, we need more regis -- transparency. you need more people to register, and you need enforcement. there are some many referrals from capitol hill to the justice department over the last five years without a single investigation of prosecution. we not only need transparency if what is going on -- i think it helps the democracy. secondly, you need enforcement.
the hill leads enforcement to the ethics committees. i think they're not doing their job right now. the house is being pushed by the office of public integrity, and that helps. if you look back to some of the data that i throughout, 16,000 general registered lobbyists -- 27,000 that drop down to 20,000. the number of registered lobbyists in five years doubled, and went up 30% in spending in five years. it is available on-line. some of the problems i mentioned before are specific problems. people became very concerned about increased expenditures on lobbying. the regulated side versus the
invisible, unregulated side. i mentioned all the types, you will learn all about it in this class. it also lacks enforcement, and that is a problem. there is still a revolving door going on. no one wants to leave washington. the favorite occupation from surveys is to stay in washington and become an advocate. there are ethical traits of gray -- shades of gray. 43% of members of congress that left between 1988 and 2006 that were eligible to lobby -- and we had a one-year cooling-off
period, now we have a two-year cooling-off period -- 43% became registered lobbyists. not even just advocates. the senators became lobbyists, house members became lobbyists. trent lott resigned from the senate about a month before the new two-year cooling-off eriod, -- period, so he could have a one-year period. when the one year was up, they had a party. it was very popular, a very good firm.
members are very aware. there was a speech on the floor of the house, a member said to put a two-year limit on me when i leave the house is limiting my career options. i found that a little strange, because i thought the career option was there to represent the people, not as a steppingstone for lobbyists. that was panned in the press. what happened in 2007? you will hear about the honest leadership of open government act of 2007. it amended the lobby disclosure act of 1995, the act of 1946, the federal election campaign act, mccain fine gold -- mccain-feingold.
it amended that as well as others related to pension. it is in the handout, you may not be able to read this on the screen. it required lawmakers to have job negotiations for post congressional employment. what is that about? remember, we had a chairman of the energy and commerce committee that is negotiating for a job with the pharmaceutical industry and he ended up with that job versus the movie industry. they have jurisdiction over the committee -- the committee had jurisdiction over the issues they were dealing with. they were dealing with the prescription drug bill under medicare. a huge conflict of interest. nobody knew about it, he was
going to be paid $1.50 million. one of the reforms is that now you have to reveal it immediately to the ethics committee. it looks like people are abiding by that. both staff members, and members of the house and senate. it bans them from lobbying their colleagues for two years instead of one year. that was quite controversial with the senators and staff. a lot of staff left early, an unintended consequence, to get around that banned from the senate. -- ban from teh senat -- the senate. it prohibits contact from anybody that is a spouse of a lawmaker and a lawmaker's staff. there are several spouses that did this. we will go through the list. it sort of clean that up.
an option for some firms as well as corporations, businesses, to hire somebody from the family to lobby for them. some families, it was not the rule that it would not contact anybody associated with thea(sp. or if it was the son or daughter, with the daughter work -- with the father or mother. they put a ban on jet travel. let's talk about that. a lobbyist may not be in the airplane if ha corporation is flying in individual out to an
educational event, like in aspen. i have spoken out there. if you have been to ask ben in times of events, -- to aspen in times of events, there were 57 private jets. during the time of a recession, that was sickening to me. they would come to hear me or other people. a federally registered lobbyists may not be in the jet with them. the ceo of a corporation can, or the vice president who is not a federally registered lobbyist can. they can share their opinions about particular issues if they come up. it is a major loophole. as i mentioned before, there are
details that you can read later about the revolving door. if you look at the k-street projects, it for his staff from hiring on the sole basis of partisanship -- it prohibits staff from hiring on the sole basis of partisanship. there are other ways of dealing with that. most firms, when the majority party is the democratic party and it has primarily been a republican firm, they try to balance it out. the balance the firm with people who are democratic. they do it for strategic reasons, the iron law of reciprocity.
they do this naturally. it is. a k-street -- iti s not a k- street project. what really got the attention of lobbyists or the penalties. you can be fined $200,000 if you violate this act, and you do not -- you knowingly and willfully violate it by not completely reporting what your doing. $200,000. and also five years in prison if you knowingly go against the rules of the act. this really got a lot of attention. it got people focused, and there are a series of seminars around town to educate people on how to
abide by the act. they will keep track of time, the staff is very worried about this. there is also a gao audit. if you want to do a dissertation, the gao audit, the government accountability office audit -- they look at whether people are abiding by the actor not. it is a good aact o -- act or not. it is a good source of information. in terms of requiring -- sorry. new transparency in terms of requiring lobbyists that bundle over $15,000 semiannually in
campaign contributions for any federally elected official have to report it. they have to disclose to the secretary of the senate and the house clerk, any contributions to libraries, inaugural committees, or entities controlled, named for, or honoring members of congress. the consequences of these reforms that are listed here -- we will talk about that in great detail and historic context, the history of lobbying reform. they have created a certain amount of unintended consequences in my opinion. the revolving door restrictions, in my mind, have created a situation where we have de-
registrations. we also have the lobbying and stimulus restrictions. there are advisory groups, frequently people that are on a commission related to the issue that they were dealing with. it or not. now there is a restriction from the executive branch, from the president, to restrict people from participating on these government advisory boards. they have been criticized for this. what do you think? these rules of i have described them so far, are they too strict? are they ok? what would you do? yes? >> it is not that they are too strict, but it very much tender's the process. especially getting together the
economic team very early on in the administration because of their ambivalence to hire people that were lobbying. it really hurts them when they don't want to bring in people that may be experts on the field because of their ties to lobbying or industry. it also ends up hurting the way they are able to function as an administration. >> to summarize, they're limiting the expertise of people coming in the government. many people there really know about energy, environment, transportation, financial sector, in order to make good decisions. yes? >> the rules and regulations they add on, they find loopholes to it. and so, maybe there needs to be other approaches. they need to find other ways that might have a better effect on, you know, having the effect
of people knowing what is going on. hopefully that will sway public opinion and help members of congress they away -- >> you will have more transparency, have that more accurately reported. one of the proposals by aba commission, the committee that i serve on, is that you make these reports done monthly. most of the firm's keep track of it monthly. why not keep the electronic and monthly. what do you think about that? in terms of the money being spent. >> i mean, it is like a good idea ando, but my concern -- and all, but my concern is the start encouraging people to register, if you have it on line, people are still de-registering -- >> it will drive people out of the business? >> not driving people out of
business, but going underground. saying they are not lobbyists, but they really are. >> they would have less transparency as a result of more restrictions. ok. other reactions? steve? >> generally risk -- generally speaking, the more transparency, the better. >> you have heard the expression that transparency for democracy is like oxygen for fire. it is absolutely necessary. >> as far as the scope and enforcement of these lobbying laws and rules that they are still quite limited compared to what they could be. you could talk about how infrequent actual enforcement is. there is not that much political will to do that, unless i miss reading this, and these are partisan referrals to the justice department and they were ignored on that basis.
>> the referrals under democrats and republicans are either unified or did divided party government. no action was taken. one thing that does happen, from what i understand, a justice lawyer that was an advisor on this committee that i serve -- there is not people reporting people that are actually breaking the 20% rule. there are probably quite a few people that for one reason or another break the 20% 2-contact rule. there have been no referrals that way. there have been referrals and other aspects of the law. there are people that feel that we should prohibit contingency lobbying. what is that? it is the idea that if you get something through an earmark,
you get a particular -- you get some money. rather than paying a firm a given amount of money, lobbying for these issues, they will say, ok. we will give you this amount of money if you stop it. what is your reaction to that? what do you think about contingency lobbying? do you like it or not? is it ok or not? is it ethical or not? >> i don't know. it is a double edged sword on a lot of lobbying. it only takes one person to abuse the rules to make nobody liked it. >> there is that. a couple of bad apples comes out and tars and fetters everybody. i've been following the polls on attitudes. it keeps going down and down. almost as low as the attitudes on congress.
it is an easy target. except, you like your lobbyists for the boy scouts. for the church, for the local city hall. you need roads, schools, whatever. you do not like all the other stuff, but you like what you want. what happens is, these bad apples do that. contingency lobbying is a very specific thing. it is not done very often, but some people do it. what do you think? . .
>> it looks so bad that it outweighs whatever benefits it would give to either a lobbyist or client to say i want a specific focus. i don't know why you just couldn't pay a monthly fee and say i have some goals for you to do. the quid pro quo is a little iffy on that. >> for a variety of our speakers, -- [unintelligible] >> i think the contract that can
be construed that way -- it is similar to tell a client attorney relationship is. you do not pay an attorney if he or she wins your case. >> if you get hit on a bicycle and there is bodily injury, you can get a lawyer and he will take your case and we will page you 30% if we win. >> perhaps a better example is in current law, you do not say -- most attorneys at least will not say you are only paying me if i win your case. they are investing hours, time, staff, resources into the case. if you say you didn't win my case, i'm not paying you, then that's not fair. that puts an unfair pressure and burden for the attorney, same
for the lobbyists. they're spending millions of dollars of resources and staff investing in your specific issues. so it is unfair and especially in this town, the changing political climate -- it's who would have thought certain things would happen like the tea party movement and things like that. it is not prudent to do that. >> i heard there is a problem with commission-based lobbying as there can be with any commission-based job. would that not encourage blissful ignorance with these minor rules in trying to push for reform if we're just focusing on paying lobbyists to get the job done? what tactics will they get to to get the job done? what are we opening this up to?
>> so a question of how they're paid but also the tactics? the question of should grass- roots lobbyists be registered? it was suggested that they should be dropped. what do you think? should we [inaudible] >> i don't think so. i think there is a disparity between -- i cannot hire a lobbyist because someone else can. pushing grass-roots lobbyists to register [inaudible] >> for churches or other organizations. your initial phrase, the problem
is money. the power elite, publishing in the late 40's, mills said things with [inaudible] so you feel that money is a problem and may undermine maximizing with it is in the public interest. >> yes. i think grassroots lobbying is an example. it's almost more egalitarian -- that is the wrong word. but it's something ordinary people can do and participate in more easily. >> said the nra and their grass- roots efforts -- you should not register what they're doing. >> that's an extreme example, but something like -- >> aarp? >> i don't know. >> a church? >> you might have a problem with
the separation of church and state. if you regulate churches and what they do -- yes? >> [inaudible] >> people who have clients -- if you're paying them to do grass- roots. >> if you are doing well being and following the general rule or the more specific definitions of lobbying and you are doing essentially the same thing, why shouldn't you be registered? yet to follow the same rules and transparency guidelines if you are an upper-class, elitist person doing this for a big-name organization. if you are doing the job, you should be under the same rules as everyone else. >> if you are going down to grass-roots lobbyists, you might as well done to any individual trying to change public opinion.
>> maybe there is an expenditure threshold, but they were paid to do that. >> [inaudible] >> me telling my brother, i don't get paid by anybody. but somebody getting paid some amount of money to talk to someone about something related to public policy, you have to regulate them. >> last question before we take a break. do we need more transparency and regulation of the industry? >> how many say we need more regulation? one. how many do not know? how many of you are awake? [laughter] how many of you think we should have fewer regulations? why do you say that?
>> i think there should be fewer, better regulations. >> maybe regulations that are enforced? >> a lot of the regulations he mentioned are going and enforced. some of the research you have done regarding people de- registering. maybe there should be other reforms as far as people going off the rolls. >> we do have freedom of the press that covers this. by the way, there is a publication called " the influence" by the national journal that follows this. as well as the -- they usually focus on big controversies, but there is a lot of focus right now on how much money is being spent. there is a great deal of money. i think it's wonderful and helps
our democracy, this money being spent on health care and cap and trade and financial industry. i think it is good because all of you can get jobs more easily. with that, we're going to take a break. thank you very much. >> congress is on its holiday break, but behind the scenes, negotiations have begun urging house and senate health care bills. the house returns on january 12th and you can see live coverage here on c-span. it said it will meet again on january 20th with live coverage on c-span2. >> all this week, get a rare glimpse into america's highest court threw unprecedented, on the record conversations with 10
supreme court justices. >> once we hit the oral argument, we get to conference room and sit around a table and talk about it. no one else's in the room. then we vote. >> tonight, our interviews with an associate justices stephen briar and clarence thomas. interviews with a supreme court justices, at 8:00 on c-span. get your own copy of the original documentary on the supreme court on dvd. it is a three disc set, including programs and the white house and capitol. >> one of the many items available at c-span.org. >> tonight, on c-span2, "book the" looks at the best books of the year listed by number of publications. tonight, the author of " the audacity to win." and others.
that is at 8:00 eastern. you can see the various lists at book tv.org. >> on thursday, a look at world leaders including the dalai lama, ted kennedy, walter cronkite, and robert byrd. on new year's day, a look at what is ahead for the new year. the russian president discusses his future from its annual call in program. austan goolsbee on the global economy. the creator of the segway on innovation and entrepreneurship. plus, political cartooning. >> michele malkin is our guest on "book tv." she is the author of the best- selling "the culture of
corruption." this is part of a three-day new year's weekend beginning on friday. >> there is less than one month left to enter the 2010 student camera contest. $50,000 in prizes for middle and high school students with a top prize of $5,000. create a five-eight minute videos on our country's greatest strength or a challenge the country is facing. it must incorporate c-span programming and showed different points of view. winning entries will be shown on c-span. don't wait another minute. >> u.s. officials are investigating any possible links between the attempted christmas day airliner bombing and a similar incident in somalia last month. officials will not speak on the record about the probe. this morning, "washington journal" spoke with a fox is national correspondent about the investigation and security precautions being implemented. this is about 45 minutes.
one of the many items c-span.org available. /store. -- >> "washington journal" continues. host: the president's statement yesterday, what does it say to you about intelligence? guest: the president essentially said eight years after 9/11 there was a systemic breakdown, people were not sharing intelligence and the one not connecting the dots. what we know now is the 23- year-olds suspect's father went to the embassy in nigeria and it specifically with a cia officer. after that meeting, the cia had the suspect's name and that information was passed to washington and then he got on this very broad base of about 500,000 people. people i am speaking to on the intelligence side of the house said that there was not one single piece of information sitting on one computer in langley, virginia, that would take this 23-year-old name and
magically kick upstairs so he was on the no-fly list. certainly there is a difference of opinion as to what the quality of in for mission was and whether it truly could have been connected to sort of prevent him from getting on the flight. host: with the reviews he is calling for, what is he looking for and what specifically from the intelligence community? guest: there are three sets of lists. the 500,000-name database, a very broad database. the way you get on the database is, for example, if a terrorist is picked up overseas and have his address book or his own or calendar and let's say your name happens to be on the list, for some mysterious reason, your name would end up on the broad database. someone who at least have had some type of contact with a known terrorist. it could be as simple as, you delivered and a pizza -- i don't know. but it could be a very loose connection. then there is another this, the select list. there are certain hurdles you have to cross from an intelligence point of view which
people are not at liberty to discuss for a variety of reasons. that takes you to the secondary list of 14,000. you have to have -- he was not on that list. and the no-fly list is the higher threshold that would prevent you from traveling into the united states. when it issues to review is how was the information handled and where the thresholds appropriate. are they too high? do they need to be no war? if information has been better fish -- were better shared, what we have known, -- nigerian the al qaeda people were talking about was the same # then there was a retraction or backtracking -- that stuff for
any secretary in this position, seeming to take one position than another. i found it interesting that last night that president obama has backed up her second statement that there was some kind of systemic failure. i would emphasize people i speak to privately in the intelligence side of the house just do not think there was one single piece of information that would have magically kick him upstairs. host: wasn't the point of the 9/11 commission, part of that was to get better communication between agencies? guest: i certainly think there is better communication between them now than there was eight years ago. they knew that there were troubles with the nigerians, but there were a lot of nigerians that a profile of a young man. until you have the name, how to keep the information together? until you have that name, how can you put all of that in permission together -- and we had the name in november. the other point i would make is if you have a population that is
sufficiently radicalized that they are going to get on a airplane and kill themselves for their cause, this is really the type of attack that could be virtually impossible to prevent. as a part of the balancing act has to be, what kind of measures are we willing to have here in the united states -- a country that really prides itself on its liberty -- versus trying to come back and any, individuals -- individuals willing to sacrifice their lives and all circumstances. host: catherine herridge is with us until host: talk a little bit about the current status of the head of tsa and customs and border patrol. a lot of calls about senator jim demint's role.
guest: those positions have been hung up. one could certainly argue that without real leadership at the tsa is hard to make any type of systematic changes in terms of how that is run. what i heard from people privately is, if you will, the leadership vacuum has been very difficult for morale. i think we all understand is within these intelligence community's or even within the airline screening community, morale is a very important part. host: by extension, talk a little bit about what this whole incident does about the future of guantanamo? guest: early this week before even we have the specific connection between the suspect and al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, the al qaeda branch in yemen, an official familiar with the process said it was a disconnection -- maybe the final nail in the coffin on clothes in guantanamo bay, and if not, it would at least lead to some
strategic pause to stop and take a breath and look at the review. for context, when half of the detainees left at guantanamo bay are yemeni and it is documented that some of those from guantanamo bay, two in particular, were transferred under president bush into doubt in seven to the saudi rehab program. they were considered low risk. to they went through the rehab program and return to the battlefield and not only returned to the battlefield, but part of the score leadership of al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, not only claiming responsibility on the attempt on flight 253 but recently claimed irresponsibility for an attempted assassination of a saudi prince. the reason i mention that attack is that sources are telling me that investigators are looking very hard at the similarities between flight to give the three and also this attended assassination in saudi arabia. for example, they both used
petn. they had bombers who acted like mules -- either concealed on the body, like flight 253, and in the saudi incident, concealed in a body cavity. host: a lot of republicans -- peter king, frank wolf -- others have said we should not turn over any more guantanamo detainees to yemen. any talk from the democrats' side? guest: it is interesting because the chairman of the house homeland security committee thompson said -- i am paraphrasing -- take a breather here. we will have hearings and look specifically at events that led up to flight 253 but we also have to look at the many questions. and the other side of the garden, the obama administration said despite this week's events is still plan to continue these transfers to yemen because until they can solve the yemeni question, military officials
call it the long pole in the tent, you cannot effectively solve the guantanamo question. host: the first call is from miami on our republican line. robert, go ahead. caller: good morning. i just want to state that i believe the reason why he was able to slip through is because he had a visa. the reason why i say that is that foreigners to travel into the united states have to go through a rigorous application process. they have to send documents, they have to be fingerprinted, the half to send pictures weeks before the departed flights. i know this for a fact and your guest probably can confirm this. however, if you have a visa, it could very well be a possibility that these rigorous guidelines are overlooked because of your visa, you may be placed in a different category. i think that somewhere they need
to look at. people with visas are probably slipping through the cracks easier than the foreigners to travel here who don't have pieces. guest: an excellent pundit. what we know about this particular case with umar farouk abdulmutallab is he already had a visa to enter the united states. if my memory is correct, he obtained last summer, about six months ago. if you look of the time line, he already had a visa. at this point of his father had gone to the embassy in november. as you point out, he was already clear to come into the united states. the question is, once the father went to the embassy, was that really sufficient for the state department to take another look at that be set and decide whether it is still going to be good or ought to be canceled. host: new iberia, louisiana. daniel on the democrats' line. caller: good morning. this whole conversation -- the
fortress america attitude. hello? guest: yes, go ahead. caller: no one has asked the question why people are willing to die and are so dedicated, what have we done to them? now, with this guantanamo situation it is basically to keep it so they could never testify in court as to why they did it. and the republican party mainly represents corporate america. corporate america and our military industrial complex has been so egregious to these people and i am all-american, a decorated vietnam veteran, i have my ancestors actually signed the declaration of independence and fought in the american revolution, both sides, i am american through a through, but before i hunker down and start giving up rights and spending my money and send children to war i want to know why and the fact that they want -- the livestock, it is not
accessible. we are rather down and losing rights. i want to see one of them testify and why do they hate us so much just as a thinking man. guest: an excellent point. well, one of the issues may be finally flushed out if the 9/11 conspirators' come to a federal court in new york is why they were motivated to attack the united states and why they hate this country so much. i would say that there is not really an easy answer to that question because when you talk to intelligence officials and analysts who study this question, it is really a complex mix of characteristics and experiences that made -- these people to this place. it is not so much about the united states it is more about these particular individuals. for example, this 23-year-old nigerian, this is someone who it would appear was on facebook, on the web, was talking about his deep sense of loneliness, isolation.
these are the type of people are tied once to recruit. ripe for the picking, if you will, because they are looking for a sense of community, looking for family, looking for and the -- a religious identification and once they are pulled in the effectively become brainwashed and are willing to carry out these missions. your other point is excellent which is, we want to combat this enemy but we don't want to in the process lose all of the rights and that are so special to this country. it is interesting that you point this out because one of osama bin laden's primary goal is to create an ideology, one that would destroy the very rights this country is founded upon. that is kind of the conflict, trying to preserve our rights but also try to preserve our security at this time. host: peter king talked about the taliban -- about the suspect. expand on how this works?
guest: in the case of the 9/11 conspirators, for example, once they were picked up i am told there was a decision we wanted to get intelligence from these people. weink when it, in effect, at least in the short and medium- term forgo criminal prosecution. we would try to get as much intimation as possible because the thought another attack was in the pipeline. the argument i believe congressman king is making is this young man has real time contemporaneous information about the structure we believe of all tied in yemen, also their mode of operation, the recruitment, training, bomb materials. he is saying, let's make him a prisoner of war because this is a war we are fighting. let's try to get as much information as possible from him so we can thwart future attacks, so we can find out if in fact there are other people like him in the pipeline. but what the administration has done in this particular case is to say, we are going to have a criminal prosecution. we will put him into federal
court and as a result one of my sources told me that he is not talking anymore. it is not incumbent upon him. in fact, he has the right to say nothing now. he has an attorney and will be treated in our system just like you or i would be treated in the system. . caller: i'm curious to know if there are any extra measures they're taking in coordination with the whole -- with yemen to make the situation of a little better? i am supportive of the obama at a ministration and i think he's doing a very good job -- the
obama administration, and i think he's doing a good job given the extremism these people are exhibiting. i don't think anyone should ever imagine anyone could do that. my question is, do you think he has put a lot of extra measures forward or is trying to put them in place to make this any better? i would also like to wish my friend and happy birthday. guest: what we have seen in the last couple of weeks as it has been a series of air strikes in yemen. there were two strikes targeting the al qaeda leadership in yemen and also on american citizens. you probably remember this name from the forehead shooting -- he was an american citizen born in mexico and fled the united states. he was a prisoner in yemen and is now effectively free.
he is a spiritual leader, some people call him the dear abby of the islamic world. one of these strikes was trying to target him. that tells me that the u.s. is trying to back up the government in yemen and give them the ability to take out these al qaeda cells and taking them out at their root is where the problem is. it is a cancer and trying to address new screening and procedures in these things -- while they have merits, they take a long time and their symptoms of the problem, not the cancer. what we have seen is the support of the u.s. to the government of yemen through various elements, military, intelligence to try to help them put the nail in the coffin of this group. host: is the government aggressive in its own right? >> i don't pretend to be an expert on the government of yemen, but what i do understand is there between a rock and hard
place. they have to insurgency's they're trying to get a handle on and it has been very difficult to not take these detainees back because they are their own citizens and it's a matter of pride. but it is clear as the saudis have been very aggressive in pushing al qaeda out of their country, these individuals have gone into yemen, which had become a collecting pot of groups because of its geographic location and proximity to east africa and somalia. this is where manyjihadists are coming. senator joe lieberman said last week pakistan and afghanistan is the war today, but the war of tomorrow will be yemen and as we get it under control. host: how would you rate home and security despite this operation?
how what others rate it? >> i first started covering it when tom ridge was the adviser to called lan security and a small office in the white house. white house advisor to full advisor and then secretary chertoff and then secretary napolitano. from where we started to where we are today is really dramatic. as you know the government moves slowly and you can't turn things on a dime. i think this episode shows that there can still be better intelligence sharing but i wonder whether we're trying to set a standard where you can prevent all risks and what you hear repeatedly from homeland security is you can't mitigate all the risk. you can't pre or the.
it's the risk management. and as your earlier caller pointed out, you want to do it in a framework of who we are as americans. do we want to become a defensive state all the time where a lot of our rights are lost. host: and the idea of turf, of protecting the individual turf. do you find that sense of turf for homeland security still? guest: not as much as in the early days when all these agencies were brought together, one individual said to me, you know, this is a type of person who is working for the f.b.i., not the same type of person who joins customs and border protection. it's not the same are type of person who goes into covert intelligence. when you bring them all together there is a culture clash, so to speak.
we did some reporting earlier this month on the f.b.i. director and the homeland security director over some intelligence on the case in new york where the apparent target was the 9/11 anniversary. it was described to us as just a healthy and lively debate about how much intelligence should be shared. do you remember there were a number of leaks related to the case and the f.b.i. was concerned that these leaks were going to jeopardize the criminal investigation because we had the new york component and the denver component. remember, he was the airport shuttle bus driver from denver. host: right. guest: it was to preserve as much intelligence as possible. the homeland security posture is we need to get out the
information. there is an inherent conflict of where the intelligence is. host: doris on our republican line. go ahead. caller: good morning pedro and catherine. guest: good morning. caller: they threatened them with lawsuits and they now have to be politically correct instead of working to save america from terrorism. just like they deal with that jihadist terrorist over at fort hood for two years, they weren't able to stop him, but they promoted him. those murders could have been prevented if the f.b.i. was able to fulfill their job. and this stupidly law of miranda rights on the battlefield, thank goodness we didn't have to do that world war i, world war ii, korean war, vietnam war, how would they have ended up. i think congress needs to look
into this c.i.a. bit. they've been saving america. they saved us for eight years and we also heard they pulled a lot of them back from overseas. maybe could have checked this guy that just got on the plane. thank you. i'll hang up. guest: well, thank you very much. you raise a point that was really at the center of a debate earlier this year. you'll remember in the august-september time frame this long awaited c.i.a. inspector general report of what was called the enhanced interrogation program. this was the secret prisons overseas that held the 9/11 suspects. also, these tactics that included waterboarding. this was finally released after a multiyear lawsuit under the freedom of information act. after that document was released, the attorney general did announce that he would do a review to see if some of the individuals in that program had crossed a threshold and may have engaged in criminal
behavior. now, at that time former agency officials told me that there had already been a review under the previous administration and that only one individual was prosecuted. and that effectively to launch a second review of people who had already been reviewed by career prosecutors would have a chilling effect on people who work at that agency. i don't want to use some of the language that was shared with me but certainly the feeling was that people would be running for their lawyer more than they would be running for the mission because they had been given legal advice under the bush administration that they were able to carry out these tactics. as one person said to me, no one went into a waterboarding session smiling and looking forward to it. it wasn't that kind of situation. the counterpoint is the department of justice feels they have to understand the extent of the advice that was given to these people, whether they followed it, and whether they willingly disregarded it
and stepped over the line. but your question is an excellent one -- how do we create an environment whether the intelligence community is very forward leaning you need in order to prevent these types of attacks? caller: yes, my question is whether or not the director of the group of this over the airport security, is it called the t.s.a.? guest: yes, t.s.a. caller: i was watching the program, i think it was "the edge" show, maybe, and they were talking about the fact that it's been 11 or so months and they still don't have a permanent director. with that impact, would we be in better shape as far as detecting? and just like "the edge" said on the show last night, why
can't the law-abiding citizens, the people that fly on a frequent basis, why can't they have some sort of identification so they won't have to go through all that hassell? -- all that hassell? -- all that hastle? guest: well, we're discussing this earlier that anytime -- and this is just common sense -- anytime that you have a job that is empty, you have an effect, a leadership backing even if you have a very confident person. and there is a competent person at t.s.a. who is trying to effectively do the organization. but any may scombror changes you want to make, just like a major corporation, is hard to make until you have a person at the helm. the reason that the appointee has been held up, some republicans feel he wants to unionize some of the workers, particularly some of the t.s.a. screeners, and this is something that they are
against. they believe they want to have people in face who are effective and they don't want to have the constraints that can come with union membership. did i -- i think i answered both points. the second point? host: the associated press reports that the government says it's going to start using full-body scanners on flights to the united states to try to prevent what happened last week. tell us what's going forward? guest: there has been a real industry that's grown up around the technological end around airport screening. for instance, in this case the bomb was made of pten. it's an explosive if you concealed it on your body you won't find. you will only pick that up in the -- you see the claws on the sticks. the body scanner has been controversial because it's very revealing, i guess. you can see everything in
privacy. advocates have been against it and there have been others who said, i don't have a price tag for it, but it is the most expensive piece of equipment. so it is, can you justify the expense to equip airports, not only in the united states but we also have to ask foreign airports to do the same, can you make this expenditure to put these in place? now, there's real cooperation between these airport authorities because they want to be good partners with the united states and they want to keep people flying. and in order to keep people flying is constant change. host: ask the on our independent line. scott, go ahead. caller: good morning, pedro. good morning, catherine. guest: good morning. caller: when i look at the situation with the guy who got in there, he seems to just -- we don't have the right system put in place. and being that i'm an independent, when you see the president going around and kind of downplaying terrorism and
then you have a white house walking, someone just walks right into the white house, a week later i heard iran jump on the newspapers and say, you know what, we're going to decide to build 10 more nuclear facilities. they see how easy it is. when i go through airport security, catherine, and i look at t.s.a. workers, they look tired, they look angry, they look unmotivated. and they can't see under your clothing. so we need to implement things such as a dog. even though people, i don't want a dog smelling me. too bad. either a dog or air chute where you pick up any drugs or any bomb-making material. and the no-fly list. first you have a no-witch list and then a no-fly list. if they are watching them how do they get to fly? this doesn't make any sense. no pointing fingers. both presidents make mistakes. but we need to get tougher as a
country. and to not play around because these countries see when they can walk right into the white house, what kind of security do we have when we see the motivation of the t.s.a. workers, what kind of motivation do they have? guest: well, the t.s.a. workers, they have a very tough job. you can imagine yourself spending several hours doing something very repetitive and i'm sure some of them will say a thankless job because -- at least my experience, people seem annoyed when they get extra screening or have to take their computers out. you're right, it is a tough job. and perhaps more needs to be done to, you know, incentivize them and improve their morale. you make a good point about the symbolism. and interested to hear him bring up the salah he affair -- salahi affair at the white house. what kind of message this sends to other countries. now, that's an extreme interpretation of it but i
think he makes an excellent point. host: from the president asking how the review works, do people at the homeland security committee thinks there needs to be a review? guest: i think there will be a revisiting of how this intelligence was shared, when they got it, how they got it, where it went, how he got onto the list, how he didn't jump on the list. we'll find out whether these claims from people on the intelligence side are true that there wasn't some sort of magic piece of information that was out there. will we see a review as exhaustive as 9/11, i doubt it. host: has anybody on the commission chimed in on it? guest: i could have missed it because i've had a lot of stuff going on. host: fort myers, florida, republican line, chris. caller: hope y'all had a great christmas and a very happy new year.
guest: thank you. host: go ahead. caller: they are talking about obama making this a police action, everything has to go through the federal courts and everything. well, isn't that -- isn't that defensive? i mean, if i walk into a bank and i don't rob a bank or if osama walks into a bank and doesn't rob it they can't do nothing to you. if he goes in there and robs it then we can come and find you. isn't that the same thing that's going on here? isn't when you have to read miranda rights to terrorists, isn't that the same thing? you have to do a crime before you do the time. they let this guy on the plane and he didn't do anything until he was over the ocean and then everyone jumped on him. isn't that what obama once, to bring everything to federal court?
guest: you have two points there -- i think what you are getting at is we want to have a strategy which is pre-emptive. we have to identify people or extremist groups before they act so we don't get into a situation where they're getting on airplanes with bombs in their underwear. that's a very simple explanation, but getting to that point is very complicated. it's not an easy thing to do. often in these situations, when you speak to people within homeland's security or the intelligence community, let's think about how many times we stop things and never hear anything about or get a pat on the back. but then when something does not go right, everyone comes down on us like a ton of bricks. the average you that you raise is the issue of military courts, which are for those to will not go to federal court and
supporters of military courts are people who see this as a war against extremists as opposed to the criminal court or federal court. in november, the attorney general announced the 9/11 conspirators would be going to a federal court in new york. that means they will have the same rights as american citizens. it will have lawyers, they will have access to information in this cases, they can see the change of venue and argue that new york would be impossible to get an impartial jury. cases that was sent to military courts and said, why is it that, mr. attorney general, you are sending these to the federal court and not military court? because they were military targets. here's the message we just sent. if you hit soldiers overseas we'll put you into a military commission. but if you actually come to the united states and hit americans you get the full rights of american citizens. now, that's obviously a very political interpretation of the
decision, but you can see it's a really thorny mess when you get into the issues of prosecution. military commission versus federal court. and giving people who there are allegations but who allegedly hate this country the full rights of citizens is very controversial. host: the message on twitter, somebody asked, how much do t.s.a. people get paid, minimum wage? guest: wow. i don't want even guess how much it's paid. maybe in the neighborhood of $40,000 to $60,000. i don't know exactly how much they're paid. but these are not -- these are not high-paying jobs. and i think what we can see is that these are very demanding jobs in the sense they're physically demanding, they're mentally demanding because they're highly repetitive. it's not easy work. and i think when we're often in these lines we know that people
can be very aggravated, very difficult. not always cooperative in the lines. so i think we have to really sort of give them a pat on the back for doing what they're doing because it's not easy work and it's not work that everyone wants to do. host: we have about 10 more minutes with our guest. nick on our democrats' line. caller: good morning, c-span. good morning, america. guest: good morning. caller: c-span, it's kind of tough. since 2000 i've been listening to you guys. and lately you guys are -- your republican blood is showing. we had a heritage foundation girl on. and then what i call fox fascist, all they do is tear down the president and the united states and you have her on. host: sir, we invited her as our guest so why don't you ask the question? caller: why does she hate
america? i guess that's the sean hasity line, why does she hate america and every democrat? guest: i don't think i've been accused of that before. i take a critical approach to things i discuss. host: linda on our republican line. caller: hello. hello. guest: good morning. caller: i wanted to ask your guest how it was possible that when the politician is giving a speech they manage to find the person who died because they didn't get a letter or the person who -- because their feet was turned off and they're mentioned prominently? when in this case there was a father who was extremely credible and also somewhat of a prominent person in nigeria who
went to two embassies and got no reaction whatsoever, i just find that incredible. and i'd like to hear the comments -- her comments on all of that. guest: sure. it's definitely worth noting that within the last month alone we've had two cases where family members have come forward. in the case of the nigerian suspect to an embassy overseas. you'll remember a case recently of washington, d.c., of five young men who disappeared into the tribal areas of pakistan and it was their family members who alerted the f.b.i. because a suicide tape was left and this was clearly a red flag to them. so on the positive side we are at least seeing people come forward. they're going to the authorities. they're saying, we got a problem with someone within our family, we need your help tracking them down or finding
them. and these people take tremendous risks doing that because of the potential fallout of the member of their family but they feel it's the right thing to do. the second part of your question is, why was it when this very prominent nigerian, he's a banker, former government person, when they went to that embassy, was the response appropriate? did we do what we needed to do given that he was credible and he was a person of significant standing? well, what i know about that particular case is that he did meet with the c.i.a. officer. that's when they got the name. though at that time he didn't say, i think my son is going to seek to blow up the united states, but he did say that he had extremist views and he was in yemen. the fact that theñr father felt his son was at risk and in a country that is known for harboring terrorist groups, was that enough to kick it upsares? we know the information came back to washington, it got the boy's name on this very broad
database. but should more have happened after that? and in this review, what we will find, at least that's the administration's goal is, what happened to all of that information? and was there enough there that should have been kicked upstairs faster? host: long island, new york. independent line. caller: yes, good morning. what is secretary of state hillary clinton doing, is she waiting for an opinion poll to come out? thank you very much. guest: oh, wow. i certainly can't speak for hillary clinton but it's true. i don't think we have seen her publicly since this has unfolded. can you recall? no, i don't believe so. we certainly had briefings at the state department, but you are correct. the two people who have been at the forefront of that, this public face, wasñi initially th secretary of homeland security and then president obama. i can't speak as to why hillary clinton has not been more visible. there may be a very legitimate reason for that.
host: oklahoma city, oklahoma. democrats' line. caller: we have caucasians in america that join the ku klux klan and join these military militias because their mindsets is against the government. we have people from inside america, americans that want to destroy the government from within. and most of those are republicans. now, another thing. if the terrorist or with the shoe bomber or the guy came from the mexican border and blew something up, then the republicans would try to blame him coming through the borders even though the borders have been opened up for eight years under the bush administration, would they still try to blame that on the obama administration? all right. in eight years the only thing that george bush has been able to do with the airplanes is to lock the cockpit doors. and you republicans want to blame the -- you republicans want to blame the democrats on something like that. eight years and the only thing
that george bush can do is lock the doors, but now -- now this is the obamaed a -- you know, the obama administration's fault? please, every democrat addressed president obama as president obama. these republicans will disrespect him and call him obama but we know he's the president. there's nothing they can do about it. they hate it when we do it. let's address president obama as president obama. host: the point of t.s.a., i'd like to quote from twitter, nigerian and dutch security's fault wasn't ours. if he was in our airports the t.s.a. would have gotten him. guest: that's the other side of the argument. it raises theñi point, we have partnerships with other countries and we have to rely on them as well. these countries work with us, as i said. they have a vested interest in maintaining the confidence of the flying public. but they are their own bosses, so to speak. they do what they feel is
appropriate and what they can financially afford. just a point that your caller raised. the radical islam gets a lot of attention in the news. there's no question about that. he makes the point and it's certainly true earlier this year the government hadxd assessments about left-wing extremism and also right-wing extremism. these are very controversial but these are two areas considered by the intelligence community. host: what's the next angle in this story? guest: my prediction is that yemen, which is sometimes referred to as the poor man's afghanistan, is really going to come to the floor how for a number of reasons. this group al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, or al qaeda in yemen, has clearly gained confidence. it was seen largely as a regional player. if it is true they were behind flight 253 they have now branched out to attacks in the west and the united states. secondly, this american cleric
in yemen, anwar al-awlaki, i was told yesterday by u.s. officials that they believe he has gone operational. in other words, he's crossed a threshold from propaganda to operations which makes him extremely dangerous. and he's a very crizz mat hick individual. he's american. he understands the west. and some people see him as the rising star >> all this week at 8:00, a rare glimpse into the nation's highest court -- tonight, we talk with justices stephen brier and clarence thomas. just as briars gives a tour of his private chambers and justice thomas discusses how his approach to oral argument differs from his colleagues. interviews with supreme court justices, this week at 8:00 on c-span. for more information about the court, go to c-span.org where
you will find a virtual tour of the building and a photo gallery of its construction and interviews with the justices. >> tonight on c-span2, notable books of 2009. "the td" looks at the best books of the year as voted by several publications. tonight, the authors of "the audacity to win" and "the culture of corruption" and others. you can see the various lists at book tv.org. >> c-span on thursday, a look at tributes to world leaders including the dalai lama, ted kennedy, ronald reagan, walter cronkite, colin powell, and robert byrd. on new year's t -- on new year's day, a look at what is ahead for the new year. the russian prime minister discusses his future from his
annual call in program. austan goolsbee on the global economy. the creator of the segway and the co-founder of a guitar hero. plus the art of political cartooning. >> is a three-day weekend on "book tv" with new biographies on mali ivans. also letters to michelle obama and this year's national book awards. a "of new york times" columnist talks about five decades of history. find the full schedule at the tv.org. >> now available -- "abraham lincoln: great american history's -- from a lincoln's early years to
his life in the white house and its relevance today -- it is in our coverage of a bookseller and now in digital audio to listen to any time. available where digital audio download or sold. learn more at c-span.org. >> while congress is on recess, key members and staff are working on a house-a senate compromise on health care legislation. the house returns on january 12th, the senate meets on january 20th. this morning, "washington journal" talked with a national public radio correspondent on those decisions. this is about one hour. rovner of n.p.r., we keep hearing when congress meets again to talk about the health care bill, abortion is going to be tackled. what will have to be meated out when these two bills meet together? guest: well, a lot of people think is how these bills will be financed. remember the president said he
will not sign a bill that is not paid for. they are in fact paid for. the senate bill would reduce the deficit over 10 years by something in the neighborhood of over $130 billion. they are paid for very differently. both of them, of course, has thee reductions in medicare spending to -- these reductions in medicare spending. the other half of the money comes from very different places. the house bill would basically tax wealthy. they have a surtax. they call it the millionaire surtax. it's half millionaires for individual people. the senate bill goes basically taxes health care providers. makers of medical devices, pharmaceutical makers, the insurance industry. then, they also have separate from a tax on insurance plans, they have this cadillac insurance plan tax. these are plans with very generous benefits. of course, there's a policy reason for that. they want to -- they want
people to be cognizant if they have these very generous generous tax because they believe it leads to the overuse of health care services. it's not to get the money from the tax but to get employers who offer generous benefits to stop offering such generous benefits. that's the deal behind that tax. that's the debate if that cadillac tax will be there. and basically whether they will go for sort of taxing the health care provider, taxing the wealthy. that's going to be a big, big fight. host: so, if you have those different philosophies on how to pay for it issue, who are the ones to watch as discussions about how those things -- and who gives in this case as far as who gives to whom on how it gets paid for? guest: i talked to the president last week and he said
he thinks it will be a little bit of both. bit of both. when dealing w there could be a smaller surtax on the wealthy and a provider tax. you split it. you do some of both. that's a distinct possibility. i mentioned in the senate bill there is an increase in the medicare tax for the wealthy. and that's another possibility. that's sort of a theme that you have, sort of a different way to tax the rich, have them pay a little bit more in their medicare tax. so that's another possibility that could be thrown out there. i think that is -- the conferees have not been named but you expect them to be the key leaders of the major committees would be the finance committee and the ways and means committee and the ners committee. and the education -- the energy and commerce committee and the education and labor committee. and i think the leadership, obviously, will play a key role in the house and senate, harry reid and nancy pelosi.
host: are there conversations between the two? guest: certainly. the staff is not off this week even though the members have gone home, the staff is putting together the paperwork that needs to be done. there's an enormous amount of paper that needs to be prepared for a conference like this. i think people understatement how much work it takes just to -- underestimate how much work it takes just to put a bill together. we talk about the big issues, abortion and the public option and financing. but there are smaller issues that are different that are going to have to be worked out. and those two take some time even though some of these things may never rise to the member levels to actually members but staff is going to have to work out differences. in the end it has to be one bill. these are 2,000 pages. it takes a lot of work. host: is there confidence from democrats on both sides that a package will come together?
guest: there really is. the structures of these bills are very similar. there are these -- you know,ñi the idea of these exchanges where people would go to get their insurance although that's another point of contention because the exchanges are state-based in the senate bill and they're sort of more nationally based in the house bill. that's something that will probably rise to the member level that the members will have to talk about. again, there are these thresholds. there's a lot of insurance regulation. again, it's fairly similar in both the house and senate bill. there would be -- medicare changes and these are sort of important changes in medicare. a lot of trying out different ways of trying to save money in medicare that they hope would then run to the private sector. ways like budget director peter orszag, slow the growth of health care spending. those are our in both bills. they are not exactly the same. it would be work outable type
of things. those are things that can be put together relatively easily. it can be tedious and time consuming to actually write the bill. that's what took so long. that's why it's taken 11 months to get to where we are today. host: we have our guest until 9:30 today. your question about the details of both of those if you want to talk about it. 202-737-0001 for republicans. 202-737-0002 for democrats. and 202-628-0205 for independents. again, you can also contact us two other ways. if you email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or if, again, there's a website -- the web address there. and then if you follow us on twitter. it's cspanwj. did you speak to the president? guest: well, one of the interesting things that jim
weir says he expects people down to the white house to actually be in the middle of this conference process which i thought was interesting because he's taken a very hands off -- personally a hands off approach to this. there have been white house officials in -- you know, every time you walk around the capitol you run into one. you can't turn around without running into somebody from the white house. they have definitely been involved. but they have really wanted to leave this -- it's been very difficult for both the house and senate to work this out. obviously, both bills passed with not a vote to spare, you know, in the house even know there's a large democratic majority. you had three dozen democrats who did not vote for the bill. in the senate, obviously, they needed every single member of the democratic caucus and got it but it was not easy. clearly there was a lot of arm twisting and deal making and that happened. but i think now in the conference process the president, jim, expects to have the negotiators down from the white house.
theñr -- there was not -- there was one republican in both houses, a total of one republican who voted for this bill. so i think when you see the conference process there will be republicans appointed to the conference. now, in 2003 when they did the medicare prescription drug bill, the democrats were basically shut out of the room in the conference process. i don't know what's going to happen in terms of whether republicans will be invited to be at the negotiating table or not. that will be something that will be interested in seeing. host: were you asked why the president would take a more direct role? guest: it was not a question we were able to get to. it was something i was interested in. i think i was deprived -- the president was so active leading up to his speech in the fall on this issue and then when
congress -- when the house and the senate were actually doing these bills in the fall the president had really personally sort of moved on to other issues, to afghanistan. i was kind of surprised the president wasn't more out there talking about health care. i mean, yes, his staff was up on capitol hill but it was more a behind the scenes role and i was a little bit surprised that the president wasn't more pushing it and leading a vacuum from all of the republican complaints about the bill. while the republicans were out there complaining about the bill the polls were really going south on this issue. host: julie rovner our guest. let's start with the phones. bloomington, illinois. karen on our republican line. caller: good morning. i want to be respectful because i am a respectful person. i feel like my heart is in my mouth. let me step back just a minute. this issue is extremely
controversial. and i would appreciate it -- c-span, if and when you have a guest who is speaking on the issue that you would now and would have in the past had those that represent the full spectrum of ideas and concerns. one myth i want to dispel is that republicans are not for health care reform or don't care. that is an absolute untruth. and they have been very -- i just lost my -- i want to say full of void. i watch c-spans in the evenings, many, many evenings when the doctors who are in the house spoke about all of their ideas and plans. and i doubt that a lot of people were watching. they were effectively shut out and have been shut out. and they have presented many, many amendments that have just been dismissed.
the truth of the matter is a lot harsher than what i'm speaking. this president wants this. it's more about control than it is about health. and he has used, abused and manipulated many people to bring it to this point. host: we'll leave it there, caller. just in case, we have a lot of different perspectives on this issue. if you want to check out our c-span siteñi for our health ca hub, as we call it, legislators and other viewpoints on this issue and find it all in one place at c-span.org. ms. rovner. guest: i don't want to say that the republicans don't care about health care. what i've learned from my own reporting, there are a lot of republicans that is upset about the strategy that the republican leadership has taken on this which is to basically say no to this bill. there are a lot of republicans, particularly in the senate, who
really wanted to find a bipartisan bill, to come up with a deal. and basically their leadership was saying, you know, no, our position is going to be that we're simply going to oppose this bill and, you know, and we're not going to really try to make it better, to improve, to come up with something that we can support. and i think that was really a decision that was made by the republican leadership. now, i think the house members -- house republicans have -- do have legitimate arguments. i think both the house and the senate, there were a number of republican amendments that were adopted in committee in both the house and the senate that were later basically dropped out of the bills that came to the floor. i should point out. this happened -- this is sort of the problem being in the minority, this happened to the democrats when they were the minority. i was listening to c-span yesterday talking about the plight of the minority. i'm not saying that two wrongs make a right but i was thinking
having covered congress long enough to have seen both parties now in the minority and switching back that neither party treats the minority very well when they're in the majority. it's really too bad. i think when i first started covering congress in the 1980's the parties got along considerably better than they do today. host: minority leader boehner on the bill on health care. >> now speaker pelosi is pressing ahead with her $1.3 trillion government takeover of health care. we believe that her health care bill will destroy 5 1/2 million jobs in our country. according to a methodology developed by the president's senior economic advisor. the congressional budget office has estimated that our plan will lower health care and make it more affordable and create jobs in america. in contrast, the speaker's bill
includes job-killing taxes and mandates that will hurt small businesses. and for the sake of our families and small businesses, this job-killing bill needs to be defeated. host: and that was from november. we have someone on twitter who asks this question about medicare, specifically. identifies himself as old sarg, how can the medicare savings pay for for new programs, e.g., reduce deficit and extend medicare trust fund at the same time? guest: you can't double count that. one of the things about the medicare savings is that those medicare savings are not being used to cut benefits to seniors. those are medicare savings that sprosedly if they work right being used to make the program more efficient. the idea, particularly in the long term, is that they will change the way that medicine is
practiced. this is the great hope. this is the new -- we've had great hope over the past 20 years of how to change the years of how to change the trajectory of health care >> there are a number of those. some would say that is the same old reduction in payments to the health care providers. and most of the cases, they have made bigger cuts without great harm to patients. although every time you make cuts, the people whose incomes -- the people whose incomes are cut will scream and yell. it does not seem that that is the case. in general, many of the more experimental things in the bill are things that the health economist experts say are the things that need to be trapped like accountable care associations, making groups of doctors and other health-care professionals and giving them
their responsibility for keeping people healthy rather than paying them for doing more things to people. the hope is there that you would get better care and cheaper care rather than paying. basically, and for health care provider it gets more money the more you do. and that is inherently inflationary. the incentive would be to keep people healthy instead. you could get better health at less cost. medicare being the biggest pair of care in the system, if you try it out there it will spread to the private sector. there are a number of experiments like this built in to the bill. everything that you could conceivably do to hold down costs is in this bill. if should be tried. that is what they're saying. there is also in the senate bill a difference in the
medicare committee. it is controversial how they get paid. this is one of the things that many people say is wrong with congress. they would give a lot of additional responsibility to this independent commission. n the senate bill. it's not in the mouse bill. there will be a big fight over it. host: there is another fern on twitter that says in 2010 the social security benefits will not get a pay increase. will the medicare premium stay the same? guest: this passed the house with six no votes and tom coburn put a hold on the senate so it did not pass. i am pretty sure it never passed. most people have their medicare premiums taken out of their social security checks. there is a law that says if you don't get -- that your medicare premium -- your social security check cannot go down as a result of your medicare increase. so, therefore, if there's no
social security cola, the medicare increase cannot make that check go down. for everybody who gets their medicare premium withheld from their social security check you will not see any increase. now, there's about -- i don't remember the number of people -- new beneficiaries and number of the few people. it's only a few million people who don't have their medicare premiums withheld from their social security check. they will be affected. as i said, congress was trying to hold them harmless as well. but i believe that bill didn't pass. so just for a few million beneficiaries they will see that increase. host: our independents line. caller: happy new year to all of you. i'm a cuban -- americanized cuban. i'd like to say something about the medicare deal. we've going on -- 68 years old, been in america 48 years and
i've been through hard times like most of us have been through. we have to stop these politicians. they are working with us because we are the majority. the poor, the retirees, we are the majority, ok. and that is the intention of medicare, to help us out without insurance coverage. and that's all we have to do. we talking so much nonsense, saying this, political group or this other political group, and work for what we really should work. the insurance coverage for the american people. and at the same time i want to say this, as long as we keep this a.m.a. running the business and this big -- that is building the h.m.o.'s -- i mean, one of the h.m.o.'s in
miami, the money is -- more have been given to them. host: we'll leave it there. ms. rovner. guest: again, the caller talks about the medical industrial complex, as most people likes to talk about on capitol hill. that's one of the things that this independent medicare commission would take some of the -- you know, give something of a buffer. it would be the base closing commission. now, there are arguments against it. they would say that the lobbying would go to the commission instead of to the congress and that you would get a different kind of commission. there's already a medicare payment advisory commission. and it makes recommendations and congress routinely ignores them is basically what happens because the commission's recommendations have no teeth. and obviously now the commission would be much beefed up. its recommendations would have teeth, but there are arguments from people who have served on that commission, who serve on that commission now that that commission, the makeup of that
commission would change. obviously, there would be a lot of politicking to get on that commission. it would go to the commission instead. that's a distinct possibility. certainly at some point you are going to have to make that's decisions. you cannot continue to have this kind of medical inflation going forever. as want president said, as controversial as this is, i think everyone, republicans and democrats agree, that at its current trajectory, health care costs will consume the rest of the economy and that's where it has to stop. host: where has aarp done? guest: they have endorsed the senate bill. i believe you will be talking to one of their lobbyists. they endorsed the house bill. and the a.m.a. in fact endorsed both bills which was a big deal i think for the democrats because, of course, the a.m.a., which used to have a lot more power than it does now, but still a force to be reckoned with, they basically killed
almost every effort in health reform going back to the 1930's. doctors were the only porgd medicine for years and years. basically called medicare, you know, socialism. stopped it in its fracks from the late 1940's until it finally passed in 1965 and stopped every effort at every kind of national health insurance for years and years and years. so getting the a.m.a.'s endorsement was also a pretty big deal. host: david sloane is their senior vice president. mr. slonee, what are you watching specifically as the conference committee will be collected on this issue? >> well, we have two co-horts within our membership. those that are in the medicare program today, and those that are either, you know, have insurance through an employer or don't. and obviously the ones that don't and are left to defend
for themselves, so we want to make sure that the affordability is there in the program at the end of the day. if you have shushes you can't afford, no matter how wonderful that insurance is, it doesn't really help. that's a critical piece for the medicare population, obviously, we are supportive of eliminating the co-pays for any of the preventive services. we are concerned about closing the doughnut hole that notorious doughnut hole that almost four million seniors every year fall into and which is growing at the rate of medical drug inflation which means by 2016 if it's not closed it will double in size. so those are some of the big issues that we will be watching. host: so as far as affordability is concerned, what needs to be done? guest: well, the house bill is
probably more generous on the lower income side of things. the senate more middle income. we'd obviously like to see the house bill literally provide more in the way of subsidies. it's a more generous plan. the other thing is the house bill -- and we did come out preferring the house bill over the senate bill. the house bill closed the doughnut hole for one thing, which the senate bill did not, although we have pledges that they would work to close the doughnut hole in conference. the president pledged to close the doughnut hole by 2019. and then in addition, we will be looking at age rating. age rating is a very critical piece of affordability. the senate bill would allow an insurer to charge three times what you would charge a younger person for insurance today. the house bill two times. so age rating is a key issue.
so between the -- it's really several moving parts that affect affordability. certainly you have to have adequate subsidies and we have to get an age rating proposition and scheme that is as limited in its discrimination as possible. host: julie rovner, do you have a question for him? guest: what's the single most important thing that you are looking for? if you could only pick one of these things in a final bill, what's your absolute most important thing? >> closing the doughnut hole. if you look at the polls, and i hate to say that people look at polls to make determinations about their policy, but get used to it, world, they do. and what you find is that it's a 65-plus ovulation that has the most skepticism about health reform and what it will mean for them. we believe that closing the doughnut hole will be an important ingredient in improving their health
security. host: david sloane of aarp, thanks for your time this morning. >> thank you for having me. host: the concept of this doughnut hole, we heard this before, what's the likelihood that somehow this will be closed by the date he mentioned? guest: i think it's fairly likely. congress looks at polls and they know particularly in mid term elections, which is coming up, seniors vote in disproportionate numbers. they are more likely to vote than any other age groups. seniors have health insurance already. when you go out and say that 30 million more people will get health insurance under this bill, what does that mean for me? i have health insurance. when they hear that half of this bill is being financed by reductions in medicare, they're going to want to see something in it for them. so the main thing that's going to be in it for them is the closing of the doughnut hole. i think it's entirely likely that will be included in the final bill. host: miami, florida, bob on the republican line. caller: goorm, ma'am.
merry christmas and happy new year if you can afford the taxes. hello. host: go ahead. caller: when the bill comes out of conference and goes back to the senate, will it will be debated and take 60 votes to get out of debate or go directly to a 51 vote? and my second question is, you made a big speech about the leadership of the republicans not stopping them from working with democrats. in september a senator, which escapes my name, he came out with a bill with senator biden, they came out with a bill and had an amendment which was shot down, how can you say that the leadership doesn't want to work to get a good bill? guest: i think you're talking about the wyden-biden bill, and it's been around for several years now.
and that is -- i think that's being acknowledged by leaders on both sides as being a really big change to the system. it would basically get rid of the employer-based insurance system and say that everyone would have -- would go out and get their own insurance. it's a very popular bipartisan bill. i think it's gotten about 20 co-sponsors. 10 democrats and 10 republicans, and there are a lot of people who are -- a lot of academics who hailed it as a really very far-reaching idea on the congressional bodget office said it would pay for itself. it's still a popular concept but i think it's not been given such a chance because it would be such a big change to the system and i think there's been an acknowledgment, really, on leadership on both sides it would be a big change for people to swallow. .
what is in there? my opinion is that if everybody is in medicare, and it starts getting cut, it means less payment for the doctors. if it is cut each year or whenever it is cut, slowly, like the last one, there could be less applications to the medical profession. that is what happened last time. now we have fewer doctors. we have physicians aids. reimbursements -- we have physician aides. reimbursements will be less and less. that is my opinion. thank you. guest: there are no cuts to doctors pay and this bill.
there are in fact, large sections that would increase the number of doctors and dentists and mid-level professionals. the idea is if there are going to be 30 million more people, there will be a much larger demand for medical care, particularly primary care. there's already a shortage of primary-care practitioners. there are several programs in the bill to increase the primary care work force. the point about medicare pay for doctors is a point of contention. that has to do with a separate issue with this formula to was passed in 1997 that has been automatically cutting pay for doctors since 2001. congress has been coming back every year to make those cuts go away. the problem is to break the made them go away is that the stack them into future years.
doctors are looking at a cut of 21% starting january 1. they delay that cut by two months. they have two more months to do with that. cut of 21% starting january 1 cut of 21% starting january 1 could be delayed that by tw l, all bills. congress knows it will have to deal with it, but it will cost another $200 billion. they know they have to deal with it, they know they have to deal with it separately, but there is not any anticipation that they are going to cut. they know they have to fix it and pay for it. it is just a matter of when and how they are going to do it but there is not any thought that they are going to cut doctors' pay. host: also from twitter -- guest: maybe, maybe not chris still public option in the house bill, -- maybe, maybe not.
there is still a public option and the house bill, but anyone who saw that senate debate, as nasty as it got, and those cars probably not room in the senate -- knows that there is probably not remind the senate. you will have to sit down ben nelson and joe lieberman in a room and see what you get for that issue. there are countries that have universal coverage that don't have a public option, including the netherlands. the massachusetts plan has a mandate and close to universal coverage, does not have a public option. there are ways, if you regulate the insurance industry, to an extent that does not let them go out and charge whatever they want, which is built -- which this bill basically does come you don't necessarily need a public option this is one thing we asked the president last week, and how you can keep the insurance industry from counting
the public it if you require people to buy insurance, how do you keep the insurance industry from gouging of them? host: 4 democrats and the house, is this a wind-in-the-sand issue? -- line-in-the-sand issue? guest: for some of them. we heard from some members of the house saying, " we hate the senate bill because --" but i don't think they have worked this hard and gotten this far to let this bill go even howard dean, who came out right away when the public option got dropped to say let's till the bill and start over, has already backed off. host: conservatives for patients' rights -- we speak with their policy director, kerri toloczko.
as for this house and senate bills being reconciled, what is your role in this? guest: our role is the same role we have had since we started in march -- january of last year. we want to make sure reforms that are passed -- we are pro- reform -- but we want to make sure that they benefit consumers and the medical community. we don't see this in the bill, either the house or senate bill, and we will continue to advocate for senate -- patient reform, and educate the public about these arcane and confusing terms really mean. host: you have run an advertising campaign about this issue. what kind of results can be seen from that? guest: it is amazing to me. i have gone out and got a lot of radio and television and tea party events and health care reform and defense, and what amazes me most is how much the
american people really do know about this stuff. folks who do not live inside the beltway bubble like the rest of us and not spend time all day studying health care reform really understand that is going to raise the cost of their premiums, and of their taxes are going to go up, and they may be facing taxes on their insurance plans, and they know, as your last guest mentioned very articulately, that i of the house for the senate vote, no matter what you want to call it, and exchange or public option, is a move towards a government takeover of medical care. that is one thing we want to make sure we do not see happen in the united states. host: aside from the advertisements, how are you kidding those who have questions about it? -- how are you educating those who have questions about it? guest: we have blogs, a daily digest that informs people about health care, creeps across the
country sharing information and facts -- and facts groups across the country sharing information -- groups across the country sharing information and facts. every time we run a new set of advertisements, our website is flooded with inquiries from people, questions, and "thanks for getting this out there," because for a long time, conservatives for patients' rights was pretty much the only group out there running advertisements about what was coming down the path. we were very grateful to take that will prepa-- role. guest: there is a push already about going for appeal. is that something you would support if this gets passed into law? is there a particular provision that you really oppose the most that you would like to see not enacted? guest: it is really too early to say what we would do if this thing passes.
our position all along has been at the public option or exchange, the one asking -- in massachusetts, which has really heard the health care consumers in massachusetts, bankrupting the state, people getting knocked out of coverage already -- we don't want to see any of that in there. but we want to see our reforms the will of the 50% or so -- 15% or so and the country who are uninsured to -- be it a government subsidy irs mechanism or whatever -- we will never support anything that has to date we try to single payer, which both the house and senate will have. -- that has the gateway drug to single pair, which both the house and senate bill have. i think we will wait for it to follow before we make a decision, but there is no question at all that anything past or not past that has a
public option or any kind of government controlled health care there, we will oppose, today, tomorrow, next. host: kerri toloczko, thank you. guest: thank you, anytime. host: the tea party rallies -- how influential with a cut in this process? -- how influential or they in this process? guest: they were among the first running advertisements. it was at first hard to tell how much was genuine, and how much was been ginned up by the insurance industry, other things. but august was not a good month if you are supporting this bill. this debate has gotten very,
very polarized, for better or worse. you have basically got people who really want this and really don't want this, and without any deep understanding, if i can say so, of what is in this bill, and i know that to be the case, because if you go back and look at polls, saying "do you want this bill," and they say no, and then you go over what is in the bill, and they say yes -- people who clearly don't understand what is in the bill, i just know what they are here in. host: republican line, robert. caller: good morning. i've been holding a long time. my comment really is somewhat of a criticism upoof ms. rovner's reporting this morning. urofsky pin word -- you have used the word basically 40 or 50
times this morning, and the words "sort of." could you explain to the seas and audience what you mean when you say -- to the c-span audience what you mean when you say "basically" or "sort of"? guest: these bills are extremely complicated, and not having the bill in front of me at the moment, it is hard for me to say what it would you word for word. having spent more than 20 years on this issue, i am trying to break it down into partly understandable anguish and to -- understandable english and to answer what i can remember. i apologize for being vague in some cases. host: next caller reportr. honçcaller: i am a retired
i support universal system, not necessarily single payer. but i realize we have lost. what i really -- let me make one statement about universal, government-run system, which is that the evidence is okoverwhelming that it is just more efficient hall other industrialized countries have one. xdthey get better health care. all the outcomes, and they do it at half the cost. that is a fact. what i really want to talk about is the quality of the debate we have. it seems to me that the basic facts like this never got out in the debate. for years and years and years and years, nobody would discuss it. ezra klein has written eloquently on the fact that people would attend the meetings and there would be ignored by the media. he wrote this story on the death panels controversy, which was
covered 24/7. and win health care was being discussed, a single pair was off the table, he would be arrested if you tried to talk about -- you would be arrested if you try çto talk about i understand tht npr has had a program on this kind of stuff, but any reasonable person has to admit that this was never debated the pixies and, of whichç is part s pictured -- c-span, which is about as fair as you can -- i wrotexd to them for years, and they know i sent them dozens and dozens of emails a day -- they had karen ignani, and finally they had someone w hen it was way, way too late. one of the special interests that finally won. it is a failure of our system.
guest: i have been hearing this for as long as there's been a single payer on the table, and i will defend npr, because we have done a number of stories -- i and others -- on single payer. but i feel for all the single payer supporters, and it is not just single payer. there are those on the right to say there has not been enough coverage of some of their issues. this was the problem when i was talking about feet wyden- bennett bill, also. there is a place in the media, it is towards things that are most -- if there is a bias in the media, it is towards things that are most likely to happen. the more purely consumer-driven ideas -- things like wyden-bennett that have a lot of
changes are nonstarters, because part some -- did they have so many changes to the system. for most people, this would not be much of a change at all. at is starting to be of some concern to people. for a lot of people who would like some change and there is not very much change. not very much change. >> they are considered political nonstarters and that is why they're not covered. it is not just the single payer people but the people that may be on the other end of the political spectrum. the bill is a more middle ground bill but it could be a huge of people in the system. i can only say mea culpa. i share with -- a share the pain
of those people with interesting ideas to do not get as much attention because they are not taken seriously by the people that are actually doing the legislating. i was there when the single payer people caught up and max baucus actually apologized. he said that they should have at least had a hearing. the idea that these are not the things most likely to happen and the media is likely to focus on what is likely to happen. caller: -- host: here is senator reid. >> deliberation and issues necessarily acquire predict necessarily require debate. we did not even discuss one of the greatest issues of our generation and indeed one of the greatest issues this body has ever faced. whether this nation will finally guaranteed the people
the right to live free from the fear of illness and death which can be prevented by a decent health care for all. in the coming weeks, we will finally put people, not insurance companies, in charge of their lives. host: a question was asked if a senator can filibuster a bill in congress? >> there is no filibuster in the house. a conference is basically a committee. in the end, if they go to a formal conference, there is a conference report and you need a certain number of signatures on the report to get it out of conference. report to get it out of conference. you can block a bill from coming out of committee, and not one individual to a unique a majority opinion -- not an individual. you need a majority of conferees. host: next caller.
caller: good morning, pedro, how are you? julie, during the campaign, barack obama quoted the 21-30 -- motivated the 21-to-the-year- olds in our country, and he said he was against any kind of mandate. all that has changed. i am wondering about the polling. have you seen the polling for the group of people? are they for it or against it? guest: that is a good question. he did say he was originally campaign he kind of shifted on that. that was sort of at the beginning. by the general election, he was coming around to seeing that a man it was probably necessaryço getting to recover -- a mandate was probably necessary to getting everyone covered. i cannot look at polls
specifically about what young people think about the mandate -- i have not looked at pollsters agree about what young people think about the mandate. plus you charge older people, the more you will and charge -- the less you charge all the people, the more you end up charging young people to people just starting out may not have a very high incomes, and they will be healthy and have low health care expenses. if you charge them more, people resented all the market on the other hand, the less you charge them, -- people resent it all the more. on the other hand, at the less you charge them, the more you have to charge older people in some states, you have enormous variations between the young people and the old. there is a lot of people who think that is really unfair. but it is a very delicate balance about how you charged to young people compared to the
older people. caller: pedro, sometime ago i called in complaining -- this is a call-in show, and sometimes i call in complaint about the twitter -- american hero -- these people are getting done two or three times a day. i made a suggestion of the 30- day rule, and let us to just have added. has there been any serious discussion about that? it is just not fair. if you could tell me what is going on behind the scenes about it. host: we are talking about the issue, and that is all i can say about it. we appreciate the call and the comment. we are talking about the issue. montana, jeff on the republican line. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. the politicians received their health care as a perk for their service.
their campaigns are paid for by lobbyists of the health-care conglomerate, the pharmaceutical companies, and wall street bankers. but i would like to know is where is the impetus for change? all we are is fodder for the system. it's really too bad. thank you fort( taking my call. host: ms. rovner? anything to add? guest: not too much. the congressman received the same health care that every federal employee receives. host: cleveland, ohio, read on our democrats' line. -- marie on our democrats' line. caller: i think most of the people don't even understand, as far as the government insurance -- i think they have the same
argument when they were trying to get medicare in. today know that -- i'm 74 years old. if i did not have medicare, i cannot even afford to go to the doctor, because medicare pays for most of my medical bills. with the secondary insurance, they to pay a very, very small amount -- kate just pay a very, very small amount. -- they just pay a very, very small amount they are scared from the rhetoric that has been going on from these tea parties and everything else. the need to sit down and read it themselves exactly what this medical bill is all about. the president is just trying to get everyone uninsured and the ones who do not have any
insurance -- to they know the ones of us who do have insurance are paying for the ones who is going into emergency for the doctors and everything else? guest: as to the callers last point, i think a lot of people don't understand that people who do have insurance are in effect paying for people who don't have it now, through higher premiums and taxes to support public hospitals and community health centers for people who do not have insurance. people who don't have it just had later at a later point of çóillness. it is not very efficient a group agrees that it would be aw3 more efficient systems -- everybody agrees that it would be more efficient system if people could get health care when they need it rather than later on prepa.
host: somebody who identified themselves as -- ç guest: the deal is if everybody is -- this mandates on, if everybody was required to get insurance, it would have helped people to pick for that sick people. -- healthy people to help pay for the sick people. there is an argument from the insurance industry, concern from politicians, and particularly in the senate bill, that they are worried about the backlash from a penalty. they have low or penalties, and the penalties are soç low, in e first yearç only $75, help the people will simply pay the penalty and you will not get enough people see people getting insurance, and will not have enough people premiums --
enough healthy people getting insurance, and they will not havet( enough premiums -- they want the entrance to be affordable enough. they have this veryç complicatd scheme in here and they need to make sure that the entrance is a portable, there is enough subsidies for people with low incomesq and so that they can afford it. it is a very complex sort of matrix toç make this work. but you need people to not pick forced into buying something that they cannot afford and for the federal government to go broke providing subsidies and an insurance policy that is not so expensive. but yes, the insurance industry has agreed that it will not have exclusions and will not charge more for pre-existing conditions, as long as everybody agrees to be covered. host: how to both bills street exchanges?
i]-- both bills trb-á exchanges? guest: they are quite different, and it is complicated. but in general, the senate is on a state-by-state basis, and the house is on a more national basis but that needs to be worked out in conference, and it will be complicated. host: richard on our independence line. caller:ç yes, i am here. ms.ç rovner. a and 79, a veteran of the korean war, and i refuse to go out to the veterans administration hospital in philadelphia. i've had nothing but negative treatment from them. what you get is a medical student, perhaps a resident learning to look at you, scratched their heads, saying, "take a little of this and go on home."
the resident expert awful lot of the urology department -- there has been a big kerfuffle about the urology department, things like that. that is what scares me the most about the government involvement. they are certainly involved in the va. as i drive around new jersey, i notice that about half the people are obese. god help us if they started charging extra premiums for people who are obese. i smoke. i am almost 80 years old, so it is not -- it does not worry me too much greed va-type -- medicine to a -- and not worry me to -- doesç not worry me too much. va-type medicine -- forget it.
w3>> the vmt is a different type of system from what most peoble are -- guest: the va is a different type of system from what most people are talking about. whenç people talk about single payer, they're talkingu! about medicare, which is government- funded, but there are private doctors and hospitals that simply get paid by the government. the va is more government involvement. no one is talking about a system that is like the va. there are problems in places with the va, but the va also was one of the countries best systems of electronic medical records, which other countries are trying to emulate, they have pioneered systems about medical errors, a lot of medical advances that other places have not done. the va has done a lot of good and exciting things, too. also, as i mentioned, there have been a lot of complaints appear
government bureaucracy -- complaints about government bureaucracy. i will not say that they are to be all and end-all of medical care report. there are bad things about the va, but there are good things, >> the top prize is $5,000. create a five to eight minute video about the country's greatest strengths or a problem with the country is facing. enter before midnight on january 20. winning entries will be shown on c-span. cannot wait another minute. -- to not wait another minute. >> this week on c-span, it
looked inside america's highest court. we spoke with the nine supreme court justices about the role and the history of the supreme court. coming up next, our interview with justice stephen breyer and clarence thomas. john mccain talks about -- coming up later, a strategist talks about the john mccain campaign. >> on thursday, a look back at tributes paid to world leaders including the dalai lama, ted kennedy, ronald reagan, walter cronkite, and colin powell. a look ahead of the new year. vladimir putin discusses the future of this country from his annual call-in program. the crater of segway and the -- the creator of the segway.