Skip to main content

We will keep fighting for all libraries - stand with us!

tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  June 11, 2010 10:00am-1:00pm EDT

10:00 am
>> bp is required to pay the government back. the coast guard has set sent the peak two bills the first of  was for $8.9 million d second bill has yet to be paid. the white house has invited tony he were to meet with president obama. republicans in congress have
10:01 am
criticized the president for not speaking directly with bp officials since the explosion more than seven weeks ago. the bp chairman is based in britain but will be here next week meeting with the president and testifying before congress. we will have those hearings live for you on cspan 3. the resident as a meeting this morning on the oil \ spell. he will make a statement about small business and we will have that live for you on sees that it also at 2:30 eastern today, the assistant attorney general for national security will be talking about u.s. counter- terrorism policy. that will be live from the brookings institution. prime minister david cameron will take questions on electoral reform and the british mission in iraq and afghanistan. you can see the exchange sunday night on c-span. this weekend, the chicago tribune lit fest.
10:02 am
two days of panels and collins. --call-ins. it the entire schedule at book- this sunday, cspan takes you inside the supreme court to see the public places and rarely seen spaces. the justices provide insight about the court and the building and all its history. it is home to america's highest court, this sunday at 6:00 p.m. >> good evening -- >> candidates debated for the first time yesterday held at the university of rhode island. this is about one hour and features candidates from four parties. this event is courtesy of w.pri tv. >> online, we will bring you an
10:03 am
extended coverage after the debate. we will continue on line with and we will have questions for our viewers. right now, let's get down to business with one minute opening remarks from our candidates. the order was determined by a dry. we will hear first from the republican candidate, john robitaille. he is the communications adviser for the governor and an army capt. it is a first-time candidate. your opening remarks. >> thank you. good evening. i, unlike many of these other candidates have never held office. i came back to this state to hold it -- to start a business. as governor, jobs will be my highest priority.
10:04 am
we need to get government out of the way to create jobs. we need to streamline permitting and regulations. the private sector does a much better job in creating jobs. i want to shrink government so that our property taxes are lower. i will also step up to the public employee unions and tell them that enough is enough. we need to sit down and save the state and reformat the pensions and benefits so they are fair to the employees and affordable to the residence. ts. many of you are out there angry enter legislators, you feel, are not listening to you. i will be your governor and fight for you, ttank you. >> patrick lynch is running as a democrat. he is currently serving as the rhode island attorney general and was sworn into that position in 2003. >> good evening and thank you
10:05 am
channel 12 and those that are assembled. i am running for governor because i believe that our government has to fundamentally change the way it is doing business. i was probably about public service is a good thing and to stand up for people. i have done that for eight years as attorney general, hold people accountable and fighting for what is best in the state. we need to move and have a line item veto available and move toward by annual budgeting and have a constitutional
10:06 am
convention, change the way our government works or fails to work for you. >> during q. mr. moffett is running as a republican and works as a tax accountant and is a former state rep. >> thank you. the idea for the opportunity to talk to the people of rhode island to die. i love rhode island and that is why i am running for office. i make common-sense guy with common-sense solutions. i am the only candidate who has come up with detailed plans to save our state. in my 30 years of experience in the financial industry and six years on the health of finance committee, i have a proven track work -- track record to work with the republicans and democrats. i believe i would make the best governor for the state of rhode island. when you elect me in november,
10:07 am
together we can fix rhode island now and make it a place we are all proud to call home, thank you. >> leslie chafee is running for governor and a former state senator. your opening remarks, please. >> these are very challenging times for our state. we have the fourth highest unemployment in the country. we have the 10th worst budget deficit in the country. this is unacceptable. as you look at who you want to have as your next governor, i believe you want to look at who has experience and vision. i am the only candidate on this stage with the executive experience of dealing with the legislature and dealing with negotiating contracts with the unions. as senator, you know i made a tough decisions under incredible pressure. that experience will serve us well as we get our state back to work. my vision for our state is to have health care-related jobs.
10:08 am
i want to have a small business and corporations moving to the station district in warwick. with us working together and my experience, we can get people back to work. >> thank you. we will now hear from frank caprio, a democrat serving as the general treasurer for the state of rhode island. he was sworn in in 2007. >> good evening. i am frank caprio and i want to be your governor. rhode island has 35,000 small businesses. they employ 60% of the people working today. i have met with and listen to over 1000 of those small businesses. assa result, i have a plan that will create jobs and protect the jobs we have rhode island. my plan focuses on expanding tax credits to those small businesses, investing in people, opening up roles for the
10:09 am
businesses of they can keep people employed and make sure those businesses can cut through red tape with online approval processes for their licenses and permits. this is the right way to get our economy moving. the wrong way is to raise taxes. senator chafee has a proposal to create new taxes on things like prescriptions and groceries. i hear you, i get it, and we need to get this state moving. together, we will get this done. >> thank you. finally, ken bloch, the founder of the moderate party in rhode island. he is a first-time candidate. >> good evening, thank you. i am the moderate party candidate for governor. i am totally on like every other candidate standing on this stage. i am a self-made entrepreneur. i work extraordinarily hard and i am sure to night in politics,
10:10 am
i started a new political party out of frustration with the political status quo, the destruction in our political system, and i realize that we need new people coming into government. we need people not beholden to special interests. we need people serious about addressing the problems that definitely affect our state. we aren't getting what we need as citizens from our elected officials and i am here to change that. my business back and allows me to know. i don't have to talk to business and owners, i know what does not work i will prove to you that i have the requisite skills necessary to govern and governor weld and fix what's broken in this state. i have to say hello to sam and an hour -- please be kind to the babysitter. >> let's tell them to some of the most critical issues in this campaign, 2010. i am turning everything over to my colleague, tim white.
10:11 am
>> good evening. we are looking to understand your philosophies and show a lot of voters were you differ on the issues. there is no strict format to the debate tonight. however, we want to cover a lot of ground. if i feel like you are going to launch are not answering the question, i will jump in. let's begin -- the big prize for winning the election this year is to inherit a punishing deficit. mr. moffitt, mr. chafee has proposed examining a 1% sales tax on some items currently exempt to help close the budget gap. what do you think of that idea and how would you address the current budget problems? >> i am against any type of tax increases. expanding the tax base, i would be against in my proposal, i want to reduce the sales taxes by 5%.
10:12 am
i believe if you reduce them, you will bring more revenue into the state of rhode island by increasing retail jobs, improving our retail and apartment, and also giving retail a competitive advantage over massachusetts and connecticut which they have not had since 1992. one major thing we would have to do is to cut expenditures. when i served six years of house finance, we saw many places where you could cut. the people in the general assembly to not have the will paper to make the necessary cuts. as the governor, you have the bully pulpit and you have to make the cuts that are necessary. >> and mr. chafee, mr. moffett things scaling back the taxes to 5% would make rhode island more attractive to consumers and businesses. would your tax plan scare off businesses? >> know, the facts are is that we are competitive nationally
10:13 am
with our sales tax and income tax. we are about at the national average with those two taxes per it where we are off is on our property taxes. this legislature keep taking the state's problems and passing and down to reduce the property taxpayer. that affects small businesses. we are way out of the national average on our property taxes. i propose a 1% sales tax on items that are presently exempt and that would generate $100 million. if you buy $50 worth of clothing, you spend 50 cents more. 50 cents more on sales tax for the experts say that the sales tax is the least harmful to economic growth. property taxes are the most harmful. we are going the wrong direction passing the state problems to the cities and towns. of course they want to make cuts but i did not read this budget deficit. as governor, i want to solid and
10:14 am
big businesses to rhode island. >> mr. robitaille, what you weigh in on this? you have been more specific about these cuts. you have said that we must eliminate feel-good programs that do not have measurable results. what are these programs? >> there could be many of them. i have been out talking with many social service agencies and programs in the communities for the first thing i ask each of them is what are your metrics? how can we prove to the taxpayer that you are getting positive results in the community? very few of them can give me results. when i am governor, i want to take a look at this. people come into this world developmentally challenged and we should be doing even more. we have created a social service safety net that in some regards has become a hammock. we need -- we need to make it a trampolines of the people bounceback. we need to look at every single
10:15 am
program that the taxpayers pay for enteral down and make sure that we are not an invalid people to stay on these programs 'feel-good' is a very specific term. >> that is a term that makes people feel good but does not have measurable outcomes for the population they are affecting. >> mr. lynch, can you wait on that? >> more specifically can you name two state programs that you can eliminate? >> lettme give a note of congratulations to the incumbent. i think most of us were in favor of the flat tax. i was outspoken about this. this was a gift to the wealthy by this administration propounded by people in the legislature. it did not do anything for small businesses.
10:16 am
>> if you ask about sales tax, you do not start by taxing people for what they eat and the drugs they try to buy. you get your priorities in order and when i talk about a system that is broken, you can go down a list. one of them is to get your priorities in order with a flat tax. it would have cost us $75 million. >> the system of government we have is fundamentally flawed and broken. we have to change the way -- we have to redo how we approach our government so that we can assist the businesses who are struggling to survive, particularly the small businesses in terms of priorities. we have over emphasized big businesses and have given them over $75 million.
10:17 am
>> mr. caprio, you released a five point plan for small businesses just this week. you proposed a series of tax incentives for small businesses to grow. where is the balance sheet for the state on this? what programs will feel the brunt of these proposed incentives? >> my plan will save money. my plan will create jobs by investing in people. we need to go across the state budget and cut out things that we cannot afford. i will give you an example -- as state treasurer, the first day, come -- someone came in from fleet services and gave me a car. i told them they could take that back. i will pay for my own gas and car and insurance like everybody else in rhode island. stop things like that and go right up the budget battle that is a pretty small example. >> the state spends over $3
10:18 am
million on gasoline alone. that is before you pay for all the cars. everybody in rhode island drivers their own car to work and pays for their own gas and insurance. that is something that matters. it sets the tone in state government that this is not entitled class of employees getting their cars paid for and gets paid for. that is the kind of government by will lead. people will be measured and be accountable and a by was -- and i've thought -- if i have a department director that comes and over budget, they will be a former department director. >> what is your reaction to the eight-page plan? >> the one part of the plan that would help small business is the availability of greater credit for small business. as a small-business owner, i agree-mortgage my house to finance my small business. >> is that just another bill that small businesses can afford to play right now?
10:19 am
>> businesses -- in my experience, struggling in rhode island to make it, what ww need are a few critical things. we do not have enough businesses and employees in any industry across the state that will allow us to have jobs grow organically. businesses come here because we have similar businesses. we do not have financial stability. for 20 years, our recycled politicians have tried to tax their way out of budget deficits and it has destroyed our economy. we have to get our tax burden under massachusetts. with the legislation just passed, we are still 12% higher. we have to bring down taxes, we have to squeeze waste and fraud out of government spending. our computer systems do not work well. >> let's move onto education. i pose this question to each of you. try to be specific.
10:20 am
many parents feel they are not getting the bang for their buck when it comes to public education in rhode island. do you feel the public education system is broken and if so, what would you do to fix it? >> absolutely, as an employer, it is difficult for me to find the trained staff that is needed to fill businesses. our schools are not graduate and of well qualified students to even enter college without getting the basic skills. our educational system absolutely needs to be refurbished and we have to bring up the level of quality of education we have. my wife is an educator. she is a seventh grade science teacher. my father is a college professor. i and steeped in education. it is the answer for lifting people up from where they are now. we're doing a miserable job and i believe the root cause of thaa is the fact that we have contract that are all about
10:21 am
widgets in the blue-collar assembly line but they have nothing to do with white-collar professionals teaching our children. i would like to see a revamping of the teacher contract. i think we can begin to change the system. >> mr. lynch, do you agree? >> no, it is a combination of problems in addition to the contracts pers. we are failing generations now. when you talk about education, that is an economic development. i think of the next generation of people in an economy that has dropped off so badly. we have to think. i put out a plan about educating the work force. we cannot forget that. you have to start with the school funding formula. there has been a great deal of work on that. they are almost they may be
10:22 am
finishing it now has the speed. that is historic the lacking for the last 15 years. that is something we have to revisit. there are a host of other steps we can take. we have to build teachers into the process as well as students to figure out how to provide the best education. the children are the focus who are coming through the ranks . >> what would you do to fix the system? >> we have to make big changes in rhode island. my wife is an 18-year-old public education teacher. we need every decision when it comes to education made in the best interest of the students. we have this new discussion where we have adults are growing with each other and not focusing on what is best for the kids. we need to get the waste out of the spending. we have a lot of money going into administration and not enough going into the classroom. we need to get the best new
10:23 am
models in education between the alternative schools or charter schools agree we need to listen to the teachers. i don't think we do enough of that. they are in the classroom every day and thhy know what works. we have a lot of administrators dictating from high above. i would listen more to the teachers. >> mr. robitaille, what do you think about philosophy when it comes to public education in rhode island? >> i think the whole thing mr. the reformat it. it is not working. his broken. why do we have the highest number of special needs students in the united states. the average is around 11% and we have 90%. our kids are failing. -- we have 19%. i agree with can bloch, we have industrial contracts. we have great professionals. we have to make sure that the curriculum that our teachers are
10:24 am
teaching match the needs of the 21st century jobs. we have to make sure that the teachers themselves are trained and have the tools to teach that curriculum and we do not have cumbersome security systems that do not allow us to put the right teachers in the right classrooms with the kids with the greatest needs. we have to change all of those planes. there is no one fix. >> mr. chafee, mr. robitaille's philosophy is in line with mr. bloch's and that is that some of that falls in line with labor contract. much of your budget went to education out of your control. do you feel that the education contracts are too burdensome on the community? >> yes, but before i answered that question, we skimmed by the education budget. they are proposing a cut in revenue. tax incentives are a cut in how would you offset that cut in
10:25 am
revenue. he talked about one car. this is an important issue for rhode island. we have one of the 10 worst budget deficits in the country. we need to solve it with solid answers to these questions. >> the education system is important to people as well. >> so is the deficit we are facing. i inherited one of the worst teacher disputes in rhode island history as mayor. i settled it and got our teachers back to work. when the economy returns, by funnel all the money back into the schools. the governor's responsibility will be to look at uri, rhode island college, cci, and aid to small cities and towns. that is the power of the state. before we started this debate, one individual was telling me about the auditorium and the
10:26 am
does repair it is in. this is a beautiful auditorium built in the 1960's but it needs repair. i want to fix up these colleges. >> mr. moffitt, you talked about pouring money back into schools on some of these rankings. rhode island ranks fifth in the country as far as how much money is spent in the education system. >> the problem stems from us paying a lot per student. we have 36 school departments and a small state with 250,000 students. this needs to be fixed. i have not heard one opponent talk about regionalization. we all know it needs to be done. i have a detailed plan i have talked about since 1998 to regionalize our school system into four districts. we need to unify our school system and stop competing
10:27 am
between our talent and cities. we can improve the quality of education by unifying our school systems and sharing and consulting services. this is the main problem. once we consult, we will save lots of money in administration. >> we may revisit this issue again. i will shift gears. i will ask each of you a yes or no question. i'm looking for just a yes or no. that might be physically painful. [laughter] our first yes or no question -- would do signed legislation authorizing passed by the general assembly but not put before the voters? mr. caprio? >> yes. >> >> yes,no, >> yes. >> no. >> would you signed an hour a
10:28 am
day -- which you signed an+ arizona-signed bill on emigration? >> yes. >> no. >> no. >> absolutely, no. >> yes. >> note. . >> would you join other states in their lawsuit against the federal government for the health-care format? >> no. >> no. >> absolutely not. i will publish a paper next tuesday against my colleagues. >> the first to break the rig yes or no [laughter] role] >> absolutely yes. >> note. >> absolutely yes. >> would you sign a bill like the one before the senate
10:29 am
committee decriminalizing possession of a small amount of marijuana? >> no. >> no. >> yes. >> no. >> would you repeat the question? >> would you sign a bill decriminalizing a small amount of marijuana. >> no. >> no. >> finally, i will allow a brief explanation after this one. massachusetts is movvng ahead with their plans for casino gambling. do you support full-fledged casino gambling at twin reverb and newport brand? >> i don't believe we have enough information to make that decision. conobody has studied the impact. we are asking the voters to vote blindly. we need more information.
10:30 am
i don't believe the data is there to make an intelligent decision. >> no no. >> no. >> yes, if we have world-class operators to run the facilities. we need a plan that works for the cities that will post best. host this. there were have to be a vote in their communities that would approve the facility. >> mr. chafee? >> twin rivers and the newport? newport is adamant they do not want this. >> no. >> the answer is yes. i filed a bill that i which had passed. this was about evaluating who is coming into this state. we need to be prepared for a
10:31 am
changing landscape. the attorney general fighting crime around gaming, i think the more we control this, the better we are. the answer is yes. >> we have talked about how you would like to change the landscape of rhode island. let's talk about how you get that done. mr. moffett, seven years ago, the rhode island's unemployment rate was 5.7%. it now hovers at 13%, we have a punishing deficit, why should rhode island look to a republican to lead this state? >> not all republicans are created equal. as far as unemployment, my plan is to reduce sales taxes to bring retail jobs back to rhode island. i have talked on the campaign trail about my economic development program to build a world-class aquarium in rhode island which would bring tourism
10:32 am
into our state. our first lady said we should consider building a science museum along with that. things like that -- the governor has to have vision for the future to take a potential ways to bring new jobs and new interest these -- and new industries into the state like tourism. that brings other money into the state instead of getting more money from us. >> mr. robitaille, it is different for you. you were director of communications for a couple of years. why should people turn to you? >> can you imagine what our deficit and unemployment would be like if we did not have he is term-limit it and i have a different approach.
10:33 am
>> how to you expect to get anything done? >> i am optimist and i know voters are angry protest member is a moment of truth. i believe we will get balance the general assembly or come close to sustain a veto. that is what i believe the people of rhode island want them mr. caprio,a wpri12 poll says that boaters blame -- voters blamed the legislature. how can you assure voters that as a democrat, you will not be a rubber-stamp for the legislature? >> we need to focus on small businesses. we are going to cut spending and not raise taxes. when you deal with the legislature, to as a matter of priorities. i know the legislature and how they work and i will get a lot done with them, not by rolling
10:34 am
over but by challenging them. we need to make this state friendly for small businesses. every decision that is made when i am governor will be made through the lens of how this affects small businesses. i will get the legislature there. they are like a board of directors. the governor is like the president of the company. you cannot have a situation where you do not interact with them. you need to make them part of the process and lay out a definite timetable. what is going on at the state house will not happen when i'm governor. in the first 100 days, we will deal with the major issues and get to the budget and adjourned. >> mr. lynch, i ask you the same question. >> i would used deepwater as the example. i was the only one there fighting for it.
10:35 am
that is something that promises many jobs. it may drive up thousands of jobs from rhode island. it is a pathetic proposal by the current governor with a horrible view of where our state should be going. we're more concerned with profit for one company. let us speak to the broken governmental system, specifically the legislature. with all due respect to mr. robitaille who has tried to give fine guidance, there is a void of leadership in the state house. we need strong leadership now. that is what people are looking to evaluate. his lack of leadership has exacerbated the problem that has come over the past few decades the legislature is never forward-looking enough. no one knows that better than mr. caprio who served 16 positions in leadership positions throughout that body.
10:36 am
what we need is someone who will stand up and measure somebody by background and back on. i stood up about jobs and the future and cutting back on the pain that everybody, every house and every citizen in the house is feeling because a bad decision making. >> mr. bloch, political scientists look at rhode island and say we have an extremely weak and governor model. we don't have any political cachet at the state house. how can you expect to get anything done? >> as a moderate, i don't have a dog in the hunt. there is no republican vs. democrat this is about communication and the absence of conflicts of interest. we don't have very good role
10:37 am
models surrounding me in terms of people who showed leadership and have been able to achieve the consensus we need. we have seen the legislature shut down in this decade because of leadership scuffles. we have seen council members who have been pursued over discuss sscufffes. we need someone who can focus on the most important issues like the economy and budget issues and is only motivated to fix the problems we have. >> mr. chafee, you face a similar problem. there is no love from either side of the political aisle. you left the political -- you have left the republican party. how would you get anything done at the state house? >> some might say that i have always been an independent. as mayor, i was a republican but i had a democratic city council but we were affected at moving our city forward. i have to get every initiative through that counccl.
10:38 am
i am successful at it. i was reelected by the good citizens and when i went to the senate, i was very independent and i did not vote with my party very often, but i was able to deliver the 195-relocation, able to deliver the $260 million train station, able to deliver the $20 million road improvement. i am effective at working with people. that is important when yoo look to the future. >> you often use the analogy as being an neighbor -- mayor of warwick. is that a fair assessment, the legislature versus you? >> the city council, the speaker is no different from the council president. they are citizens that have power and they know it. i have three different council president as mayor.
10:39 am
they are all very different but effective at delivering while keeping taxes down. >> mr. lynch, in january, we have a ball, 500 registered voters that showed that 57% of rhode island people feel that labor unions have too much to employ its on the state while 23% feel their employees is just right. are the majority right or wrong on this issue? >> i don't know if they are right or wrong begins have a boys. -- have a voice. getting to the table is an important component of our state going forward. we need to communicate with local and city town leaders and legislative leaders. what is reflected more deeply and all the polls is that people are angry. they are beaten them.
10:40 am
i go around the state and people are hurting. they are angry and scared and they're worried about the future. they want someone with strong leadership to step of. >> mr. chafee, is he right? is a perception problem for labour unions? do they have to much influence in the states? >> how do you change that? my view is that they gained their power incrementally, year after year. we need to reseeded that power incrementally. i saw the effects of trying to do it dramatically in my city. we had damaging effects and the city. yes, we need to get our concessions but get them the same way they earned them,
10:41 am
incrementally, year by year, hammering down on negotiate concessions and that is happening and i will continue to do it. >> the governor has said that union contracts have not been negotiated properly. >> senator chafee set the world speed record for a contract in warwick where he jacked up the we need to look at the towns and say that you cannot be handing out these increases and raises. there is a sense out there, i hear it loud and clear, that people who are paying taxes and working longer and harder for less field is a sense of entitlement for people to work for the government.
10:42 am
people who work for the government work hard, but we need to change the attitude and the structure of what is going on with the pay and benefits. that is why i came up with a detailed pension plan that will save real money. that occurred in a governor i will i will stand up to the leaders of the union and say the spending has to stop and we will not raise taxes. >> mr. chafee, he took a swipe at you. was that the biggest race? >> i inherited a an incredible teacher dispute. they did not known if clauses would be open that day and parents to know they should go to work for it was disruptive to warwick. i think the race was 18% over six years. the city council approved was a good contract and i was reelected that election year.
10:43 am
>> mr. bloch, you have supported an increase in the tax rate. will that trickle down to cities and towns? >> we see our recycled politicians kicking the can down the road. the legislature tries to push the pension mass of generalissimo it. -- pension off generally. we have to fix the problem. we are not getting the problem fixed. there is a frustration that we are not getting the problem seriously addressed. we have a chronic budget deficit for 20 years. we took stimulus money and many states have taken and created a venture fund and attracted
10:44 am
businesses with the venture fund. we took our stimulus dollars and spent them to plug our budget deficit. we're witnessing short-term solutions that are our undoing. no one is thinking long term and that is what i intend to change when i am governor. >> let's turn to the two republicans. democrats roll politically in rhode island. a wpri poll say about many people share sympathies with the tea party movement. are you deaths connected with the peoppe of rhode island? >> i don't think we are disconnected. the people of rhode island favored the republican i would -- ideology of conservatism with the budget deficit. the tea party represents a more broad group of rhode islanders, even though they are looked at as a conservative group. those people are fighting
10:45 am
pyrites of the people. they are looking for state's rights, they support the 10th amendment and the second amendment and they support our constitution. i am proud to say that i am part of the tea party. i don't know if this is proper but i did not get a shot of the union question. the union leaders have done a great job representing their rank-and-file members. it is error general assembly people who have done a terrible job representing us by not standing up to the unions. i think and it's to be changed in our general assembly. passing along taxes in providence where they pay up to $500 more for a car, we are supposed to repeal the car tax. >> mr. robitaille, is the tea party better scores of values over the republican party?
10:46 am
>> the republicans have had a branding problem. the core ideals of small government and personal accountability of lower taxes are synonymous with both movements. i have met some of the tea party "and they are angry and they are turning that anger into energy. they have constitutions in their back pocket and they will hold people accountable this november. i am not sure why there was a differentiation in the paul perry we are very alive in what we believe in. we have lost our way. they know it and they will make changes in november. let me make a quick comment on the card text being shifted to the municipalities. that was put in with a package of municipal relief tools. the savings was about $126 million. if the general assembly have the courage to give the cities and towns that complete package of
10:47 am
municipal tools to balance their budget, state what contracts and purchases, we would be able to fill that gap. they are always talking about revenue and not making the proper tools to make that cut them i want to tighten up on our answers. >> i want to tighten up on our answers. mr. lynch, you are not the only one to have a small business plan. you have a small-business bill of rights. one of the highlights was to make more loans available for small businesses. small businesses need customers and not incentives. >> we just gave them another hit on the electric bills that will go up year over year. the legislature bought into this to get the budget passed.
10:48 am
we have to look at every decision we make. every decision impacts a small businessman or woman trying to get started or, in this economy, stay alive. loans are not the only things in that the reason i put extensive work into it. i added comments about re- tooling and starting other businesses. laws are a component it speaks to what i have already identified. loans are a component. it speaks to what i haae already identified. we have lost our priorities in pushing small businesses upside. >> you are a businessman. do you trust patrick lynch if you were governor to promote growth and a small business? >> i don't because a only piece of his plan that makes sense is below plan. there's nothing else in there that will help small businesses
10:49 am
or cause me to hire people. the early thousand businesses will not just at people. we have to give them a reason. -- 30,000 businesses will not just hire people. we have to give them a reason. the way we get a healthy economy is how we do that. i want to turn rhode island into a good place for tech companies. you want businesses to reinvest. we need to do a smart tax policy to make sure we can get businesses to do something and add jobs. >> someone pointed out the stimulus monday it will run out in 2012. that is more than two to million dollars. how do you expect -- that is more than $200 million. how you expect to still fund the education level? >> by using common sense.
10:50 am
as state treasurer, i put together a strategic plan where we came in under budget every year and returned money back to the state general fund. you do that by holding people accountable, review them, they know what to expect during the year and every week of every year. >> does that add up to $200 million? >> i was always under budget 10% every year. too bad across every department and you will save more than that amount. when you get the economm going -- many of these candidates are ready to count rhode island out. >> how are they ready to do that? >> i heard someone say that my plan would not add jobs. when you put wind up the back of small businesses, i will stay focused on that from now until i finish my term as governor. you will get out of their pocket and out of their way and they know that rhode island is not their adversary. rhode island will be their advocate.
10:51 am
. everything toward helping those small businesses and we will get the state moving. >> mr. moffitt, how you address the two wanted million dollars shortfall in 2012? >> we will have to cut back. suggested that all departments in the state cut back 10%. some departments can cut back more than that and there are other departments that may not be ble to cut that much. i want to comment on the jobs. several of my opponents up here have talked about putting money into a loan fund. they have not said anything about where the money will come from. i put in a jobs bill about a week ago. i can say at least where i would get my $10 million. i would take it from the rainy day fund. my opponents say there would come up with $50 million but would like to know where the money will come from. >> we are running out of time.
10:52 am
mr. chafee, rhode island is the worst day in the country when it comes to structurally deficient bridges. we are about to run out of stimulus money. how do you expect to tackle such a devastating infrastructure problem with tape their wallet? >> -- with a thinner wallets? >> i would never have made those decisions and the legislature. the 1990's were bad, not as bad as today but) it we were able to keep our spending down, generate revenue, get our community moving anti-tax is below inflation. i'm the only one that has the experience of putting budgets before the city council and getting the past and keeping the ball low inflation. i am the only one who has that executive experience. >> i did not hear how you would address the bridges?
10:53 am
>> there was a significant amount of money that came through and there was only $100 million to plug holes. we will have to cut back on everything. i think $200 million is understated and i think it will be close to $400 million especially when the stimulus stops. we will have probably a $400 million or $500 million problem. i want to be different and shrank our expenditures by 13%. revenues will not increase. we cannot raise taxes. if government does not create jobs, the private sector does. new hampshire has the lowest tax burden in the country. their unemployment rate is 7%. we are one of the highest tax burdens states in the united states and our unemployment is pushing 30%. >> your final yes or no question
10:54 am
and we will go down the line -- is it time to do away with the master lever of straight ticket voting? >> yes, people are sharp enough. >> that is a yes? >> yes. >> yes. >> defilade, >> thank you very much, gentlemen and i turned back to my colleague. >> thank you and we are continuing to get in to some major issues. we will do that in our live web chat and live with coverage. we will continue that for another 30 minutes or so. our live television coverage, we will give each of our candidates an opportunity to make closing remarks. we remind you that it is not over yet. the debate will continue on, including questions we have from our viewers.
10:55 am
that will be on line from 8:00 until 8:30. we have a random drawing to determine the order. candidates will have 30 seconds to make their closing remarks. hold your applause until the candidates have made their comments. we will begin with independent lincoln chaffee. >> thank you channel 12 and everyone else. this is important decision. do we want more of the same or do we want to turn the corner? do we want someone with a proven record of honesty, a proven record of independence, a proven record of courage, a proven record of bringing people together? do we want more of the same or a new dawn for rhode island. thank you. >> republican victor moffett. >> thank-you all for the opportunity to speak to that. i want to remind everyone that the office of governor is not for sale to the highest bidder.
10:56 am
is about electing someone who has a strong financial background, someone that can lead rhode island out of the financial crisis, a common-sense person and that is what i would bring to the office of governor. i ask you to support me in the primary in september and then onto november. you can visit my website, thank you. >> democrat patrick lynch. >> thanks to channel 12 andiuri and the tournament to my left. i have continued to stand up and fight every day. i live ith a sense of urgency that is not just about the political moment. it is about the picture of our state. this is the most important election cycle we have faced perhaps ever in our state's history. we need strong ideals to stand up for. thank you. >> republican john robitaille.
10:57 am
>> thank you. rhode island is facing a moment of truth and we are in the worst economic meltdown since the great depression. seniors are leaving our state as well as our college graduates and small-business owners. they had given up hope. i will never give up hope. i was born here. we can change this state. i love rhode island like the rest of these candidates, but i am a fighter. i have been in labor relations for 10 years after i get out of the military bred by fought to keep small business alive for 20 years. i know how to do it. i will never give up hope. i hear what you're saying. i will fight for you, thank you. >> moderate ken bloch. >> our problems are self- inflicted and solvable. the answers do not lie in politicians who helped contribute to the problem all along. we need long-term strategic planning and thinking and we have not got that for 20 years. i represent the ability to do
10:58 am
that. i represent a new way of thinking about politics, a new way of interacting with the voters. most importantly, i have the drive and focus to focus on what is really important. i will bring that focus to this job and i can solve the problems on behalf of the state, thank you. >> finally, democrat frank caprio. >> thank-you for all the excellent questions. i want to be the governor for all of you. i will be the governor for all the small businesses. whether you own one or work from one, i will put that wind at your back so you can add that one employee. one thing is crystal clear tonight -- if you want to pay more taxes, support senator chafee. if you don't want to pay taxes, support me. i respectfully ask for your support, thank you. >> thank you, gentlemen. now to our wonderful audience, we would like to give you the opportunity now to applaud your candidate. [applause]
10:59 am
>> next week in the u.s. senate, they return on monday at 2:00 eastern too big -- continue work on the bill extending tax breaks, jobless benefits and other programs that expired or are about to spot -- expiry. during the week, members will work on a $30 billion fund to get banks to loan to small businesses and legislation to limit corporate campaign donations. coming up this afternoon at 2:30 eastern, a discussion on law enforcement and counter- terrorism live from the brookings institution here on c- span. sunday on the british house of commons, prime minister david cameron takes questions from members of law enforcement and the british involvement in iraq and have them stand which is at
11:00 am
9:00 p.m. eastern. >> this weekend, the chicago track -- l trackithe chicago tribune lit fest. get the entire schedule at book- we have three new cspan books for you. >. .
11:01 am
cuts the president is set to make a statement shortly here and we will have live coverage -- >> the president is set to make a statement shortly and will have live coverage when it gets under way. while we wait, this segment of this morning's "washington journal." journal."
11:02 am
11:03 am
that is "the new york times" editorial, their sikh -- bear take of the message from arkansas. "the wall street journal" has this to say >> part of this morning's "washington journal" which you can watch online at we believe this now to take you to the rose garden for live comments from president obama. >> good morning, everybody. i just finished a meeting with the small business owners and a few of their workers' and we talked about some of the economic challenges facing these folks. we talked about ways that our government can make it easier for smaller firms to hire and to
11:04 am
grow. thess men and women know how important it is because his courtly -- historically, small business accounts for two out of every three companies in our economy. if we have to make sure that small companies are going to be able to -- we have to make sure that small companies are going to beeable to open up and expand. small this is this will leave this recovery and that is why we will continue to stand by them. but ensuring that business continues to thrive is more than just about economic success. it is about who we are as a people. it is about a nation where anyone who has a good idea and has a willingness to work hard can succeed. that is the promise of america, the promise that has drawn millions of people to our own shores.
11:05 am
it is what drives people to be their own boss, to bring a new concept to market. that is what led two guys, bobbi pancake and steve wheat -- their real names -- to try their hand at restaurants. obviously, they would have to be restaurant doors to be pancake and wheat -- restaurateurs to be candid and wheat. they have just opened up their sixth load kashan. -- location. and terry sanney, one of their general managers is here. that thing that drove them to be your own boss is what led them to this country. podgy told me that when she
11:06 am
started she had just one employee. today, she employs more than 100 people, including her husband, who is here today. the fact is that small businesses across the country are hiring people, making a difference in their communities, giving back to their communities, but they have also been especially hard hit by the recession. from the middle of 2007 to the end of 2008, small businesses lost 2.4 million jobs. and because banks shrunk from lending in the midst of this financial crisis, it has been particularly difficult for business owners to take out loans to open up shop or to expand. it has been difficult to buy equipment or make payroll. the government cannot guarantee success for these government -- for these companies, but it can of down barriers for them.
11:07 am
it cannot create private-sector jobs, but it can create conditions like these for them to grow. last year, we enacted seven tax cut for america's small businesses. so far, the recovery act has supported over 68,000 loans to small businesses, which translates into nearly $29 billion in lending. more than 1300 banks and credit unions that have not made sba loans since before the financial crisis are now lending again. more than $8 billion in federal recovery contracts are now going to small businesses. in fact, a paunchy has been -- pachi has been able to add an additional 24 workers to their
11:08 am
payroll. when businesses hire unemployed workers, they are eligible for tax cuts. companies are also able to write off more of their investment in new equipment. and as part of the health reform package, 4 million small business owners have received a postcard in their mailboxes from the irs and it was actually good news. it told them they could be eligible for a health care tax credit this year that could be worth, perhaps, tens of thousands of dollars to these small businesses. these and other steps are making a difference. a little more than a year ago the economy was in free fall. today, it is growing again. a little more than a year ago the economy was losing an average of 750,000 jobs per month. it has now been adding jobs for five months in a row. even though we are in the process of getting ourselves out of this recession, we're still in a pretty big hole. millions of our friends and
11:09 am
family members and neighbors are still looking for work. credit is still less available than it should be, particularly to small businesses. to small business owners like pachi and bobbi and steve, we are recovering, but not recovered. that is why i'm urging congress to swiftly improved -- approve the legislation that is being debated right now. it would eliminate the capital gains taxes for investments in small firms, which will help move capital to these companies across america. it will provide tax relief to small startups to encourage folks to open up businesses as well. to foster more credit, the package would create the small business lending fund i proposed in my state of the union address to help underwrite community
11:10 am
loans through community banks. and we would create a state small-business initiatives because the states facing budget shortfalls are scaling back in lending to manufacturers. that is working against our recovery. i am also working to extend and expand successful sba loan programs. this is something that could benefit people like bobbi and steve. we have been hearing from small businesses that want to retain and hire more employees, but and we've been hearing from community banks that want to lend to small businesses, but they need additional capital. this bill controls both needs. and helping to create jobs without adding to our deficit is helping to pay for these proposals. i'm hoping that these measures will pass the house next week and that the senate will follow
11:11 am
as soon as possible with both support from democrats and republicans. i am eager to sign this tax relief and additional lending into law. it is how we will continue to move our economy forward, to continue on the path from recession to recovery, but also ultimately to prosperity. thank you very much, everybody. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> we are going to leave this press congress and take you live to capitol hill. speaker pelosi is just beginning her breathing. -- briefing. >> i think he stated that they
11:12 am
that they have the technology to prevent a blowout, and that they have the technology to clean upo and none of these things happened to be a fact. in meeting earlier this week with the chairman of the relic -- relevant committee, we talk about issues that relate to leasing reform and management service where we have legislation to split of -- split it up. the white house has already done that administratively. we want to do that as well. we're looking at the integrity issue. leasing reform, liability reform, protection of the workers, and cleanup. the private sector prepared this and research aninto technologies for drilling that
11:13 am
are better, again, to prevent and to deal with a clean up. and also, to be sure that the coast guard has what it needs to meet the challenges that it faces in these circumstances. these and other priorities are being reviewed by the chairman of the relevant committees. some have already written bills. a clear act from the natural resources committee talks about reform, talks about royalty, the adequacy of the royalty and the list goes on. that bill is already written. the oil pollution act in the 1990's did not fully take into consideration deep water drilling. that legislation has to be updated.
11:14 am
there will collect the facts and have a factual basis on how we -- they will collect the facts and have a factual basis on how we proceed. the bill from the 1990's, there was also strong language in how we relate to liability in whoever caused this, in this case, pp. -- bp. there is a 75 million-dollar cap if there is no negligence. that is why the attorney general is working to see if there is negligence. everybody understands bp has the responsibility to make good on the law in terms of its obligations to the workers and
11:15 am
to the region and to do it in a reasonable time. i have said that people are spending all of this money on advertising and boasting of their dividends that they are paying. they really have an obligation to first -- and i think it would be good public relations for them, if you ask me -- to pay these workers and these businessss. so many hearings have been held most -- and most recently on monday, and hearings continue in the congress. chairman conyers will be chairing the judiciary committee that will look into the deaths on the high seas legislation. the bill was first passed in
11:16 am
1970 and -- 1917 and was updated last in 1920. it will be updated to address the upgrade again. yesterday, as you know, the reform conference came together for the first time to make their opening statements. in the next week or more will be resolving differences between house and senate legislation. i think it is today that the $250 goes out to the seniors to help close the doughnut hole. nearly 4 million seniors benefit from that over the next four months. and that was going to pass -- be passed yesterday, legislation that keeps the money flowing and
11:17 am
makes sure that concerns are addressed in the gulf of mexico. there were four votes against, so very strong bipartisan support for the bill. at the same time, we're preparing to have a small business credit lending built on the floor, a very important commitment of this congress and this president, recognizing that they are the job creators. and of course, barney is at work with the wall street legislative committees, as are the other committees. this is what our week was like here. any questions? >> a question on the employment nondiscrimination act. how confident are you if that measure came to the floor there would be enough to overcome the
11:18 am
exports e were able to pass the bill was before the vote majority -- to overcome? >> we were able to pass the bill with a 40 vote majority. we were very proud of that vote. however, when the vote came the next day to pass the defense authorization bill, only nine republicans voted to pass it. this is historic. only nine voted against the defense authorization bill because of don't ask, don't tell was in it. of course, this will go to conference, but our work is not finished in that regard. one thing at a time. it is a point of personal priority for me and i will stay on focus for that. but because the defense bill came up now, we did it don't ask, don't tell first. -- we did don't ask, don't tell
11:19 am
first. five republicans voted for the repeal of don't ask, don't tell. only four voted for it. since it has been about a week and a half a can remember who have the last question last time. -- i cannot remember who had the last question last time. >> [unintelligible] do you have any plans to bring that up? course we have in our house -- >> we have in our house, a congressman from idaho has this legislation. he said anybody who wants to sign on to the bill to please call my office.
11:20 am
it is very important legislation. he is collecting sponsors for its and it will have support in the house -- sponsors for it and it will have support in the house. we will see how it goes, but it is certainly something i support. >> the five chairman of the oil companies are going to -- the five chairmen of the oil companies are going to be there next week. [unintelligible] >> well, what we want to hear is the truth. our focus has been on integrity, the integrity of the environment and ecological system that is there, the integrity of the economy and also the integrity of what they tell us. bp represented at this deep
11:21 am
water drilling have the technology to succeed, to have a blowout prevention, and if something went wrong, to have clean up. the fact is, it was not good enough. this is a big challenge. it is a big issue. the federal government is responding in a bigger way than it ever has two and environmental disaster. of course, this is probably the biggest environmental disaster. but we want to hear the truth from them because we think the evidence is clear from what happened in the gulf that we need a new energy policy. of course, we want to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but that does not mean we have to dig deeper into the plan that unless we know what we are doing. either they did not know what they were doing, or did not care that it did not know what they were doing.
11:22 am
but they represented that the technology was better than it was. instead, we should be looking above-ground to the wind and the sun and the soil and prepare for that. that will require a transition and we will always be using petroleum products. i am not saying let's stop doing anything else and just wait around for renewables. we have to transition to that, but we should be doing it -- should not be doing it in a riskier way. what we want to hear is, they are in the energy business. why are they -- and i do not mean to be the rest of them with the bp brush -- mean to paint
11:23 am
the rest of them with the bp brush. i think we need to do whatever we need to do to meet the needs of our economy, our planet, to create jobs, to have a national security policy and energy policy that reduces our need for foreign oil. the president has said, countries -- and he was referencing germany and china -- know that the country that leads a green economy will lead the global economy. i would like to see america be that nation. in the drilling, in the bigger picture, this should have led the way decades ago. >> the cost has been estimated at $37 billion for everything. you support not limiting the cap?
11:24 am
>> and limited? >> yes, unlimited. >> let me be very clear, bp is responsible for the cleanup. whenever we are doing in advance of that has to be compensated back to the taxpayer. this is bp's response ability. it will be capped at $75 million if there is no negligence. when others were proposing a $10 billion cap, and that is with each episode, that sounded like that might be ok. but looking at the size of the damage and the scope of it, why should there be a cap? bp is going to pay the bill for the cleanup, is going to pay the bill for making good on the loss of livelihood for workers and businesses in the region.
11:25 am
there will be no tax payer dollars that will not be repaid by british petroleum. i guess -- some people say, i guess they changed their name recently and some of us are used to the old name. in any event, i am for no cap. and just the original cap if there is no negligence involved. >> [unintelligible] yesterday was critical of that activity saying, what is going on in the gulf? >> is that when he said the taxpayer should be -- is that the same speech? that bp and the taxpayers to be footing the bill, is that the -psame statement?
11:26 am
>> i do not know. >> so, i disagree. >> is congress somehow getting in the way by calling officials in the coast guard and bp appear on the hill in dozens of hearings when they should be addressing the gulf? >> the fact is, we have to make decisions. it is either 53 or 54 days since the spill on april 20. very calmly people said, let us get the facts. we cannot act upon this until we know what is happening here. what we have learned in that timeframe is that bp represented what their technology could do and misrepresented -- bp misrepresented what their technology could do and misrepresented what is going on in the gulf, and continue to do so.
11:27 am
scientists have estimated the minimum in the gulf much higher than bpr originally said. -- saithan bp originally said. boni think is very appropriate t time is given to focus on what the parameters were, what actually happened, get the facts. one day it was halliburton did not do the some of rights. you remember the flow of rivers. i do not know what the complete set of facts are -- the flow of rumors. you remember what the flow of resource work.
11:28 am
we must move quickly, for example, to make -- to give comfort to the families that they will be taken care of. and we have to change the death on the high seas, which is now 90 years old. it needs revision. some of the people, whoever been traditionally -- some of whom had been traditionally republican as a matter of fact, have said that the less you know, the less you have to do. i do not subscribe to that. >> [unintelligible] >> i have said the responsibility is first to these families in the region who have lost their jobs, their businesses, their livelihood. if you are a shrimper or a fisherman, may and june are big months in the gulf.
11:29 am
the oil pollution act of 1990 -- and if you would like to have me read it to you, i can. they have a responsibility to pay these people. they have got to do it in a timely fashion. especially the reparations that i've -- that you have heard me use before. there are enough to store is an empirical knowledge about what is happening there that says they were not responding quickly enough. that is why i said, please, bring in homeland security and i think bp said they would expedite this. i know they have been advertising, saying they will pay every claim. they should pay the claims and they should do that before they go forward with additional
11:30 am
dividends. damages equal to the loss of profits or impairment due to the destruction or loss -- it just goes on and on. i refer to the oil pollution act of 1990, liability of responsible parties, page 7. >> do think it is good to package a series of bills, or to do a series? >> i do not know. we will see. the clear act, which is the bill from the natural resources committee, that bill was written a year ago and it addresses these concerns in anticipation. there is the recognition of the need to make these reforms to
11:31 am
royalties, royalty holiday and the rest. lynn woolsey has taken the lead on it and was presented by chairman gordon. some of this has been written. some of this house to be upgraded, updated. the transportation committee has a piece of this in terms of liability and the rest. we will just take a look and see what we can do. of course, the spill act, as i mentioned, mr. conyers is bringing back. we will see how that decision has been made. it will probably be taken how it is already -- for example, the spill act and insisting that
11:32 am
these people be made whole. they testified at the hearing on monday, -- a man testified at the hearing on monday. his man is in the fishing business. they have documented that last may, $27,000 was what they made. bp file the claim. they had all the documentation and all of the rest, and they send him a check for $5,000. this man is 63 years old. he has four sons -- five sons in the business, and five families depending on that -- he has four sons, five families dependent on that.
11:33 am
the law requires that it should happen before they pay any dividends. i did not know it does something that you paid off before you took care of your expenses. >> [unintelligible] >> my concern is that we have passed in committee legislation that talks about more unification to the united states congress beyond the high chair, the ranking member in the house and senate. in the house, congressman anxious has -- congressman esh es has worked on some
11:34 am
legislation to try to resolve that issue. >> [unintelligible] >> i'm saying that they shall not be paying dividends until they make these people whole, and make a better effort to do this in a timely fashion. these people are coming to us and saying, i have to take out a loan. you know the stories. i have to take out a loan which i can ill afford to repay because bp is now paying. bp has the money. they made $17 billion last year. they went up 12 points in the stock market yesterday. they made $17 billion in profit last year. these people have to struggle to get a few thousand dollars from them when they are on the margin and their livelihood has been destroyed or hard greatly by that. what i am saying is -- and i
11:35 am
respect the fiduciary responsibility to the shareeolders, but first and foremost they have the responsibility to pay their bills. these are their bills. thank you very much. speaker's raudabaugh her a briefing -- >> speaker: c routing of her briefing. workers will work on legislation to limit corporate campaign donations on monday. the senate is back as well at 2:00 p.m. they will work on tax breaks, long-term jobless benefits and other programs that are about to expire or have expired. they look now at the economic
11:36 am
stimulus spending of the $787 billion approved. more than half has been committed to projects. five of more about the stimulus, track the spending online at our website and a live picture of the oil coming out of the gulf of mexico. the white house has invited bp's german toomey at the oval office next week with the president. republicans in congress have criticized the president for not yet speaking directly with the president of bp since the oil spill and explosion seven weeks ago. thursday, bp-based ceo tony hayward will have his first appearance on capitol hill on this issue.
11:37 am
live coverage thursday at 3 on c-span3 -- at 3:00 p.m. on c- span3. >>, c-span, our public affairs content is available on television, radio and on line. and you can also connect with us on twitter, facebook, and sign up for all of our scheduled alert and e-mails at >> coming up at 2:30 p.m., the assistant district attorney talks about terrorism. live coverage from the brookings institution. this weekend, the chicago tribune printer's row lit fest.
11:38 am
2 -- two days of interviews and call in. get the entire schedule at >> one day after the white house announced a $400 million aid package for gaza and the west bank, the palestinian authority mahmoud abbas on your screen at the brookings institution. his first remarks on u.s. soil. he talked about the prospect of peace between the bosnian and israelis. it is just over -- the palestinians and the israelis. it is just over an hour. ng issues this is what we discussed yesterday with president bama and details, in addition to the fact that we have talked at length about what happened recely against the freedom
11:39 am
flotilla tat set out to help the palestinian people in gaza to end the unjust blckade on the pele there. here i do not denied that we are under other types of-- there are many iues in the west bank including the daily incursions, the roadblocks that saidthere. all of these fall under the name of a blockade that primarily the discussion focused on th blockade that has been going on for over the and a haf years in gaza. we discussed two main items in this regard. e first relates to the international commission tt has been talked about to conduct a full investigation ecause the
11:40 am
investigation should not be left in the hands of-- the investigation should be international as proposed the u.n. secretary general. this is the first item. the second item ishat they blockade is a blockade on the palestinian crossings in gaza ould and once and for all. in other words, all items needed by the people inthe percentages that they need should be allowed in. in other words, if they are getting 20% that is not engh. theyhould be geting 100% of wht, sugar, food splies, medines etc.. so our main demands how to and that blockade in gaza and i believe thathe world, the
11:41 am
entire world stands with us because ere are pele 32 countries that took part in this flotla a many were countries who sympathize with what happen, particularly since israel first of all attacked this convoy in international wate, which is unlawl, unacceptable internationally in addition to the fact that they attacked innocent people who had no weaps or aggressive motivations but were simply carrying humanitarian goods to gaza. these are the issues ahand now as i said, we talked with president obama on all thse issues and we will continue that dialogue in thnear future when mr. mitchell comes and we hope he will bring with him positiv
11:42 am
encouraging views tocontinue the dialogue. and here, i would like to express some concern that the situation is extremely difficult and that we ope in a two-state solution, a state with palesti independent, contiguous, living side-by-side in peace to say to israel this concept i fear is beginning to erod and the world is starting not to believe, to distrust that we are able to reach a olution. so, we are sein-- coming out that we do not approve of. we do not acept, but we cannot muzzle muzzled the mouths of people. there are people in the west bank saying tt there be a--
11:43 am
state. this is something we do not accept and on this ccasion, we are presenting to israel, to the arab peace inittive, 57 state solution, not the two-state solution. in other words all the arab countries tat sign the arab peace initiative already. if arab withdraws, if it withdraws from shabazz, these are te serious demands that the arabs are asking for. they are not really serious--
11:44 am
israel can do this within minutes. it c get normalization with 57 arab and islamic states. we published this initiative and the press. published it two years ago in the americ press and in various israeli medi we hope that it will be given attention. ite? because many are frustrated, are getting rustrated, for how long will this initiave remain on the table? we do not want toremoveit from the table, take it off the table. we have long discussions with those who are frustrated and tell them that we cannot ke it off the table becuse if we all call forpeace, the other option is war and we do not want war.
11:45 am
nobody wts war. no country is lookingor war, at leastpeaking on bhalf of the arab countries. what is left for us is only one path, the path o peace to a clear-cut, specific initiative, ambiguous initiative we hope, we hope that will find open ears among the israeli leaders. at one point in time i presented ito mr. olmert and he said t methere are many arab initiatives, but i brought him the same initiative signed by the arab league secretary general and the secretary general of the organization of the islamic conference and he told me at thetime it is a precious initiative and thats why we were initiating seriously with him.
11:46 am
we have not closed a the-- because primminister olmert was thsubject of an internal judicial investition and i am not at liberty to get into them, anhe lost the cabinet. kadima lost the election. kadima cld not form the government and that is why president netanyahu came to power. whether we like it or not prime minist netanya is the prime nister israel, electe by the israeli people. we have to negotiate with him, cause we do not choose their leaders nor do they choose te palestinian partner. i just want to convey to you these obseations so that this would be a good groundwork.
11:47 am
thank yofor liening. [applause] >> thank you very much president abbas. i would like to ge into the negotiations with you, but first ll i thought perhaps we should focus on gaza for a moment. what do you envisage the ro for your government, te palestinian authority, in this process of easing t bckade and the clure? is the something tha you see that you can work with the israelis on this? >> i think our government is a legitite representative of the palestinians and the west bank and gaza, so any procedures, any
11:48 am
efforts from israel or the international community should come through this govrnment and we are ready to do everything in our capacity >> does that mean you could have palestinian authority monitoring of the passages for instance? >> concerning the passages, okay but weave to return back to the agreement which has been signed in 2005 between the palestinians, the americans, europeans, swhen we return back, i think we will return with our presential uards to raw file, but this needsto talk about the reconciliation. we cannot put them-- they should return back through
11:49 am
reconciliation and we are workg on the reconciliation. >> what is holding that up? it has gone on for years now, and various states have tried to mediate this, but yu never seem to bable to reach an agreement does the crisis now over the flotilla create a better opportunity for you? >> there is an opportunity and only the egyptians are authorized to make the meation between us and haas, not any her arab country, according to an agreement in the arab league, and even according to a resolution here fom the security council talking out the role of egypt, and w egypt as you know or you don' know, iwil tell you, that egyptian articulated a
11:50 am
document in the beginning of last october nd theshowed this document to hamas. hamas and principles said yes, we will accept it. after that thesend it to me. and they told me take it or ave it, cause we don want to opethis document. if you want to sign it, send it to us by te 14th of october. i said okay. i sent somebody from our side on the 14th spe of all the pressures on us not to sign from here and there. i will not mention anydy, but there was pressure on us not to sign. but, we believ that the unity
11:51 am
of the palestinian people is over anything else. i sent my colleague to cairo at 12:00 in the morning over at the 15th. when he signed the document, hamas said we have our rervations. we don't wanto sign. bay rays three, for reservations and we told them, even the egyptians told them tat we cannot opethe document because if we op that we will en it for everybody,or all rervions and it means it will be open forever. we think we areat pushing hmas to come sign it. afr that i think we can go directly to the elections, the parliamentary elecon and they will return back to the
11:52 am
palestinian people. >> one of he things i think that is widely known and yu referred to it in an interview you did last nightith charlie rhodes, under the influence of iran, seems to be exercing a kind of veto of what the internal hamas seems to wa to do in terms reconciliation. is that fair? do you think this crisi will change anything? >> i don't know if it will change or not but >> i reported you curately? >> yes is accure. >> let talk a little bit about at you reported which i thought was very interesting, the negotiations wit walmart. andsrael, th episode is seen as generally speaking, as another example ofthe palestinians saying n to a very
11:53 am
generousoffer, so you are familiar with this narrave. >> yes, i am familiar. [laughter] >> what is your response to that? >> return to what olmert said. he sd we negotiated everything. i offed them awaand they offered me a swap. they did not reject they didn't accept which means that we didn't rejectany ofr coming om them. inhe time we were discussing, continue, so what is the stake we committed?
11:54 am
we ask netyahu trestart from the point on the border, n security, on everything, on everything. there is onquestion imy own mind about this. you have for years led the fortto engage with israel amongst the palestians. you were the first advocate of that. in fact one of your assistants told me how you hadirected all your- to go out and meet with the israelis and have dinner with the israelis. therefore, it is kind of puzzling because you so wanted to g into direct negotiations with thesraelis.
11:55 am
now you rely want to. >> in the beginning if you remember, president obama said there are all nds of settlent activities ncluding natural growth. we waited until he conversed with the israelis. he spent one more year and did not convce them. okay now we will talk about something, proximity lks. it is the first timein my life i have heard about proximity talks. proximity i d not hear about. >>ou were too young. [laughter] >> so i said what do you mean by proximity talks and they said i will in between the palestinians and the israelis and i will mak conversations
11:56 am
with them. okay, now we a waiting. it is written off so that when we achieve any progress, any progress we will go to that. >> who said that? netanyahu or president obama? >> psident obama. he says nothing. the palestinians do nowant to talk with me. [inaudible] commtalk to us. we have something that needs to bebridged andafter that we will talabout other things. what do u think about this pointethat poi? >> what is it you are looking
11:57 am
for from him? what are you looking for, some gn of seriousness? seriousness? >> exactly. we want for him to say these are two projects-- no projects-- n the security, on the border. >> issues. >> security and borders. look at it. is that acceptable to you? okay, let us talk, let us speak. everybody in the world talks abt the borders of a. security, we will ve you assurances, maybe0 years, 2 years, whateveyou want.
11:58 am
so that people are secure inside of their borders. at the same time i don't have--. >> that is the fear i think israelis have is that becuse of what hapened in gaza they withdrewnilaterally from gaza. they witraw from the west bank >> they should withdraw unaterally as they did in gaza. we tell them, pleaseet-- do it with us. they say with you, no. after six mont or one year mas took over the authority. now we are talking about an agreement to, anpeople give
11:59 am
them all the assurances. we are interte and now we are interested. we are incorping every movement. it is not sacred. some people cuse me that i am working th the israelis. no, we have been cooperating with them. that is to pvent any kind of terror acts or incidents here and we have succeeded. we haveucceeded. we give to pro to them. you ask the american administration, general jones, if you ask the raelis, the israeli side, what is going on in the west bank, some of the exaggerate it but there is
12:00 pm
security. >> the israeli general said to me in fact over the lst three years the palestiniasecurity forces have-- hureds of israeli-- so thiis the answer to your question to the israeli side. we can incorrate. we can do everything and we ar interested, we are eager to do mething because we want the region to be quiet, to be calm. we to live-- we suffered more than 62 years. i wants my grandsons, to live in pea, to feel that he belongs to something. now we don't believe we are belonging toanything. we want this date, 22% out of
12:01 pm
alpalestine, we accpted no more demands, no more-- conflicts. and the conflict. >> when you look at, you look at your grandson and you look back over the four decades that you have been struggling to try to achieve this. >> i don't want my grandson and-- i ant him to live a normal life. i didn't live a normal life. also i didn't have any passport, any nationality. now we are in palestine. we wt this independence day, not for me because after i pass away, i wan for my generation, my gandson and a- grandsons,
12:02 pm
for both. >> and daughters too. >> anne's daughters, of course. [laughter] >> do you think you are clo to achieving that now? >> i don't n but i certainly hope. somebody will ask me, ised to say i will keep the hope but i don't know. sometimes i feel i am-- am bitter but iwants to keep the moment him, to keep the momentum for our people because as i said here, some of our people now are saying okay we don't ant a two-state solution want a one-state solution. this is unacceptable to the
12:03 pm
majority of the palestinians. >> this president obama give you some hope? >>es. >> why is that? >> the hope that president obam started om the beginning , talking and working for peace, which means thtt is a good sign, a potive sign to us that this man is serious and yesterday he said that, by the end of this year we should achieve something. we should do something. he is determined. i hope everybody helps him, everybody and you knowho i mean. [laughter] speier let's go to the aience now. we have a couple of rules. e first hat you ask a question and not ma a stement, which means there has to be a question at the end o
12:04 pm
yo sntence. and the second is that you need to identif yourself, particularly for president abbas. >> mr. president president lcome to shington. >> i will listen to the translation now. >> after mating. you have to identify yourself. >> after meeting with president obama, do you think he is going to get engaged personally because in the past,. [inaudible] do you think is going to get h hands dirty? >> some people say that
12:05 pm
president bush did not commit himself to pice. i believe that, i am talking aboutpresident bush. president bush was committed, was serious. the last day in his office, he was working very hard to see the people rebuild everywhere. i can't say the same about president obama. >> mr. president you have--n the peace pcess and it is becoming wishful thinking and it
12:06 pm
isarming you othe grou and u are aware of thabecause people when it comes to the palestinian state. what i want to ask you is why don't you invest heavily o organizing the palestinian pushing so hard to work wit the reconciltion. as you said you care a lot about the next generation,this generation living in za. can you do something on what it is creating on the ground in gaza? >> we can say simultaneously we invest in peace talks and at the same time in reconciliatio i'd know how important iis for our future, for our people.
12:07 pm
wed the same efforts here, i am exerting all my efforts here. yestdayi was in a telephone call with some hamas leaders, theday before yesterday, talking about how can we start the negotiations. i sent envoys everywhere. now you heard about the mission. i instructed him to go with several palni leaders to work together. i id beforehand ma people from other ctions to go to hamas connce them hat our future is inhe reconciliation. we have to do it and without it weannot achieve peace.
12:08 pm
i am afraid that wheyou ask me about annvestmenin peace, why we should make an investment in war. i will not do it, of cou >> do you feel hamas is changing at all? >> some of them ha changed i believe. >> white? >> many of them noware under very severe conditions in gaza, and theyant to gout from this miserable life. the others and i'm talking openly. >> you are on the record here so be creful. >> on the record does not matter. severaof them, outders, we call them outsiders do n feel the same pressure, the same life, the same impression as the peopn gaza d. so there is a diffence, ther
12:09 pm
are differences between both sides, but we cannot say this because some people are trying to say okay you are trying to make differences between hamas and not doing anything. i want hamas to come withs o live with us. we cannot ignore them. they won the elections. they won it. i admit, and from the very beginning, from the first momt i contacted themnd told them, w you won the elections. hope you nominate to bprime minister. they said i expecteto fora government i cannot ignore that hamas is existing but they should come to the lections. the elections are not-- the
12:10 pm
election is a process. you win today and tomoow you lose. as you have here, deocrats and republicans, as many others. it is not one forever. they believe it is a choice forever. we won, that is it, we on,hat is it. our elections part of this reconciliation-- reconciliation process do you think electns wi be part of the reconciltion? >> of course. immediately, when we sign that we will fix the date and i already fixed the dates but i could not fulfill it now, when we sign immediately we will go to the election, parliamentary and presidential
12:11 pm
and i will be out. >> you will be out? that is a bad deal. [laughter] >> mr. preside good to seeou again. two questions. david mikulski washingto instute for policy. mr. president do you see, if y cod rh agreement on borders and security, bu some people believe jerusalemnd refugees, it will be harder. can you imagine a first phase agreement on borders and security and then having a metable to deal with the second phase on jerusalem refugees in the second question, we are hearing in washington all sorts of reports of tension ben the thoughts and members and the fayyad gernment.
12:12 pm
some believeeen fought the end americso focused on the peac procs that they don't care abou reform anymore on t palestinians. can you clarify where you stand in this tension between thout-out members and the fayyad government? >> there are some people who are against subseven. with hamas they will become mad, serious. i believe fire dodd god is a good man and i trust him. and he is my-- about the firs question, of course when we talk
12:13 pm
about borders and security it is the first stage, because if we comeo an ageement on se two issues, it doesn't mean the is isn't agreement because nothing agrees until everything is agreed is our slogan for 20 years. >> jerusalem is part of the occupied territory. not only the palestinians, even here in americ secretary rice who was the secretary, told us the occupied territories followi west bank and aza. i don't know whether you follow it or not. east jerusalem is unoccupied. i'm not asking to read abide.
12:14 pm
this is the eastern part in this is the western part of this is the capital of israel and th is the capital ofpalestine and there will be coordination between both parts. >> so it is a united city. >> we are divided now. everybody knows the orders, the palestinians and the israelis. this is ou, this is yours and this is good for t coexistence, right? concerning refugees an the other peace initiati, iop you will read it. we want anareed-upon solution. which means that this issue will be aeed upon. i cannot impose anything on
12:15 pm
israel to accept or reject, but we have to discuss because one of the items we stilated,one of the mor isss, how cn we find a solution for it? bodyan ignore that there are 5 million refugees reported-- derted from their houses. we will find a solution for them. what is the agreed-u solution? >> has to be agreed with israel you mean? it has to be agreed with israel? >> with him? [laughter] i have a question for you president abbas rom doha, from the brookings doha center. allow me to read it. mr. president you lieve in
12:16 pm
order fothe united states to have legitimacy to push iran to give up its nuclear program it must mke pgress on the palestinian sues first? >> that depends upon th palestinian issue. concerning our position, we hope that all ovethe world will free of nuclear weapons. if they would-- [inaudible] we will not ask for tanks. so, aother issue,his is our position but the americans are working on behalf of the-- it is
12:17 pm
the united nations, europe, the united nations and america. whenhey talk, when they exert any effort they are doing it on belf of the world. if the man who asked the question has another mediator to be no. >> yes, sir. >> mr. presint, some pople sethe conflict as it bigger one between the united states and i ron. you said-- is under the influence iran. how do you reconcile? [inaudible]
12:18 pm
the head of the political role of mas. he is the n. he is thhead of hamas, and we have to talk with him. we know his relations, but in spite of that, we have to talk him, to conveyo him that he can go to the reconciliation. he can go to sign the document and please don't ask me any questions about the nuclear-- because i don't unerstand the nuclear. >> let's take one more. >> please allow me to ask in arabic. [speaking in nive tongue]
12:19 pm
>> tnslator: is there a maximum percentaof territory that the palestinian side would be willing to swap. second question, the nepaper mentioned regardinthe meeting with rresentative-- thatou do notyou are not against the claim of the jewi and israel. [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: you will find that, they we here, they came, they went and cam back. that is what i sai. regarding the-- swap i say i know why do you asked the question. we were told, and take some
12:20 pm
citizens from 1948. we rejected that are go for us, when we speak of swap we are talking about a tiny-- in orde to make small modifications over the borderere and there and that iacceptable because from the begiing, from the u.n. resolution 242 there was references to this modification. this wasthe minimum level and weill put it on the table. let them discuss thawith them. why is this minimunot acceptable? you cannot do a swap with large percentages. that would destroy the unity of palestinian terriries. >> good morning mr. president. allow me to ask my questn and arabic too.
12:21 pm
>> translar: whyon't we see initiaves by arab leader as we have in the past by going to jerusalem and entering into direct negotiations with isrli leader do you believe that the arabs cept the con of normalization with israel, and how woulthis normalization be like? >> piece is very precious for any people, but also people are influenced by events. let's talk about peace and normalization in the-- that took place aboard the ftilla. they would have to take measures to eress their desire for peace, their intention to make peace.
12:22 pm
that the arab states were not on conscience when they signed the arab peace initiative. they knew very well what was the price. however, peace is more precious than anything else, more precus than any other thing. we see things go up and down. the attack on gaza in december two years ago in january made people reject-- killing innocent people. there e behaors that the israelis should resist in order to present ina positiveay. their people are n against these. when we find the initiative as the will of the people.
12:23 pm
we are going to he to close it up now. you have been very geneus with your time but i just want to follow-up on that remark because the arab peace initiative as he described it is a very important development, no doubt. all of therab states and iran is saying they will enthe conflict and normalize relations with israel, but what is missing, what is missing from that? >> a t countri will accept it. [inaudible]
12:24 pm
>> here is the thing mr. president, there is no mechanism for implementing this initiative. its a declarion of ntent, important one. i think that itis wha the estioner iasng, should there be arab engagement in a more active way from the ab states? you have brought the arab league into it b getting their mandate to negotiate. which i think is actually a potive development because as you and i know theyre always shing you out in front saying you makehe deal. but now thagis you momentum. >> first of all, for 12 moths and after that they ha created their pition. when i finish i will return
12:25 pm
back, which meas they relso committed to pea and bsically when you talk about the arabs, two of the arab countries decided acrding to a decision that cfrom the arab league- i memb the prime minister and th foreign mr. ofgerny want topromote the arab peace initiative. no response, no response. so, they didn't encourage the others to come andfollow-up. >> what you are sayingis that you are building the mechanism through this arab league mande is that accurate >> exactly b other people iticiz you. >>any people. [lauter] >> ty say abu mazen was the one who alwa promoted the independence of palestinian decision-making d now you are
12:26 pm
ginghe decision tohe arab states. >> there is noontradiction between the mandate from the arab league and the plestinian independence. i asked them to talk to them and take the mante and then i go to-- go to the plo and to decide whether i am wrong oar write nd to approach what i difor the arab league. both sides are participating in the samewhh s good for us because all the arabnow are committed. >> president abbas, as i said we
12:27 pm
first met when-- september 13 1993 and i wis that we will see u aa. ing the peace agreement between israel and the state of palestine. thank u so much for joining us. [applause] >> thank you very much. [inaudle conversations]
12:28 pm
>> this week, on prime minister's questions, david cameron takes questions on election reform and the british mission hill and iraq and afghanistan. you can see the exchange said sunday night. this weekend, the chicago tribune's live on c-span's booktv. get the entire schedule at >> with a confirmation hearing for in the neck taken coming up, we take you inside the supreme court. hear directly from the judges as they provide insight about the court, the building, and its history. that is this sunday, at 6:30 p.m. eastern.
12:29 pm
>> army investigators say arlington national cemetery has been in properly managed. heading is conference, they reported record keeping and organizational problems that led to wrong way marked -- wrongfully marked graves. this is about 45 minutes. i'll just make a few opening comments, and then go to your questions. on november 12 of last year, i directed the inspector general to discuss the following areas
12:30 pm
of inquiry. operational policy and procedures, management, administration and coordination, synergy of comeeand and coordination process is, and compliance of standards and protocols. it also focused on the following significant allegations -- hostile work environment, inappropriate hiring praatices, improper and tournament bridge the internment, non-compliance. and 4:00 p.m., tuesday, june 8, i received the inspector general's report. i directed that the reports be posted on line. they will be available in the following this conference. i would like to emphasize the
12:31 pm
positive aspects of the operations observed. as the report notes, funeral operations are performed by dedicated, caring staff that perform up to 27 funerals a day, often four at the same time. they include marching bands and firing came support. this ppce has felt the burden by the fact that arlington national cemetery is the number one a memorial in the united states with some four million visitors every year. it hosts dignitaries who participate in eight cemetery -- ceremonies today at the tomb of the unknown. supporting families is the priority mission.
12:32 pm
we will do what it takes to ensure mission success and accomplishment. the report observes personnel work outside of the scope of their job description, working extended hours and making a last-minute changes. in short, from the maintained roads to the solemn dignity of more than two dozen daily tributes to fallen american heroes, i think they have been overworked, and sadly, too often not recognized. for all its failings, this report is a tribute to their achievement. i think them for their devotion and hard work. more than anythinn else, the
12:33 pm
fallen warriors of fears and conflicts past, and their sons and daughters who add to that ehrlich roster -- because of them, the majority of findings in this report are troubling and unacceptable. there were 76 separate findings, attended by 101 recommendations, some f which are a repeat of the deficiencies detailed in a 1997 report. these are deficiencies that have apparently gone unaddressed for the past 12 years. it has been hampered by this functional management, a lack of established policies. improper interment and determining remains.
12:34 pm
and that all ends today. as a result of these findings, i have directed the following acting -- actions. i have charged this position with firm supervisory powers, pertaining to of business activity associated with army secretary it -- cemeteries. a copy of this order will be available to you online. i have appointed kathryn condon, one of the most experienced and respected members to immediately assume the position of executive director. in her previous assignments, she oversaw army andatatatlll command, one of the largest commands.
12:35 pm
more recently, she has been the lead senior executive. i have charged her to address the deficiencies cited in the report, and initiate the actions to implement the recommendations. as a result of this action, i have placed the current superintendent of arlington national cemetery under her direct supervision for the remainder -- for the remainder of his tenure in the army. i have placed his personnel file -- in his personnel file, written reprimand for his action. in addition, i have placed the deputy superintendent on immediate administrative leave, pending the completion of the
12:36 pm
personnel action. secretary of the army to review the reports and decide whether any further disciplinary action is warranted. i am enormously grateful to the secretary of the veterans affairs for his gracious support in this challenging time. the secretary has agreed to make expert personnel available to assist at arlington in the near-term. i particularly appreciate the secretary's decaling of the programs reaching the killing of the programs -- keeling -- detail in the programs. next, i have ordered the creation of the advisory
12:37 pm
commission to act as an independent oversight authority, providing a regimented review of a long and near-term activity. this body will act in than capacity modeled after similar authorities as such it with a wide array of organions, such as the three national service academies operated by the army, the navy, and the air force. i am deeply grateful that former senator bob dole has agreed to lend his expertise and assist in the proper structure of this new organization, so that it can effectively meet its muddle mission. these two gentlemen are true american heroes, men whose service is deeply admired. both the army and i are enormously grateful that these
12:38 pm
two individuals have agreed to step forward in service to others and to this nation once again. as to the negative findings in this report, there is no excuse. on behhlf of myself and dick armey, i deeply -- myself and the army, i deeply apologize. to the men and women that wear the uniform, to all citizens that believe that that arlington national cemetery is the most sacred place on this planet, the army goes better. i am not able to explain the past. i will promise this about the future. the army will take every step necessary to fully insure that clearly understood and effectively addressed.
12:39 pm
we will unissued the steps to correct yesterday's oversight, and meet tomorrow's requirements. for them, their loved ones, this nation, a better tomorrow for arlington national cemetery begins today. i would be happy to take your questions. >> secretary, most of the fixes seem to be perspective. do you have any idea how many people are either in unmarked graves, or graves with incorrect headstones? >> as i am sure you appreciate, i received this report on tuesday. -pcreation of the new position r this, then is to set a baseline
12:40 pm
of assurance to answer the question you just post. i think inspector general can find it can talk to about the findings that his report made, findings based on various sources and various bits of information that discuss 211 graves with issues of this identification or improper record-keeping. >> that is correct. we have roughly one dozen individual cases that were brought to our attention by family members, employees, and various elements of the media. during the course of the inspection, as the secretary laid out, we went through and spoke to current and former employees that identified primarily three sectionn, 59,
12:41 pm
65, and 66, that potential grave sites were either on marked -- not marked, and there were remains there. their great size that were marked, but we did not have the record. we did not follow through on each one of those cases. that will be left to that executive director. we could use x-rays, but that is as far as we have gone. >> dino with a loan to the ground-penetrating radar? >> we are not. >> just to be clear, they have
12:42 pm
used ground-penetrating radar before. the problem is that it only shows you somebody is there, but it does not show you who was there. my sources say the problem is that each casket has a name plate. if you go down and look, and had stoned does not match, you find out that those remains are over here. it is a domino effect. >> we recognize the complexity of the issue. our plan is to take it in its entirety, to assess the best way forward, to establish, as i said, the best line of accountability. we're not prepared to make a commitment as to what that means. we want to consider all possibilities. >> why did the army wait until
12:43 pm
november, 2009, when it was made aware as early as september, 2008? >> when i came into the building, in september 21 of 2001, i cannot account for the thought process prior to that. my predecessor had initiated a report. that was under way. i do not think anyone ignored or failed to respond to anyone.%+ the action i took -- one is the consolidation of the ongoing report, and an expansion on things that had come after the fact to our attention. beyond that, i am not sure what the answers are. there was already action under way in 2009, when i arrived in the pentagon.
12:44 pm
>> could either of you describe who some of these soldiers are? penney's civil war era graves, iraq? could you give us some background on how this could happen? >> they did not give the names. i do not have the names. >> are the recent? >> there were two wrongly marked graves in section 60 which primarily holds iraq and afghanistan service members. those reflect that -- nothing is administrative, but they were headstone issues. the other great sites are older. i am not prepared to say they go back to the civil war, but they are older great sense -- grave sites.
12:45 pm
we do have what information we have, which is based on this current system, where that we do not have, that is also based on this current system, and we will further take a look at this. in terms of how this could happen, in the burial sites, in the individual grounds, the proper procedures could be followed in terms of putting a headstone on a grave site, a lawn mower could back into it, damaged, and not replaced.3 kind of control. you could have multiple burials in the same site. a family has an option for a spouse or children to be buried concurrently.
12:46 pm
it is not necessarily stacked on top of each other, maybe position the coffins are around the center coffin. if that is not done in accordance with procedures, he might have the casket that could lead over into another site. you may discover a casket in what was thought to be an unoccupied site. if you did that did further enough, you might not realize it is only part of a casket. those are two of the ways that could have happened. >> this has been an active cemetery since the 1860's. i think your question is very appropriate. i think over 100 years suggests that there is no one answer.
12:47 pm
we need to do everything we can to understand the answers where they are discernible. equally, if not more important, we need to correct those errors and provide in -- provide assurance to the families. we will be doing that. that is one of the main charges the director will be dealing with. >> i want to be clear on the number -- 211 -- you call them graze where there are issues of accountability. are we talking about cases where you know remains have been misplaced, misidentified, or are you talking about places where the paperwork is incomplete or missing? >> i think i should defer to the inspector general. it is a matter of the question of insurance. >> it is both.
12:48 pm
in revealing individuals -- in reviewing individuals, they might have other support jobs. i know there were graves here missing headstones. there are headstones, and we cannot find the burial card that corresponds to that particular pot. we went back to each one of those to get a general feel for what the challenges and issues were. we did not take each one individually, at this point, and go through each case to confirm or deny whether there were inaccuracies, but it was a blanket shot. have been over 330,000 since%- 1864.
12:49 pm
there have been over 100,000 since 1990. 27-30 a day, just as a point of reference, there were 34 burials that took place in arlington turning back. . it is a continuous process. since 1990, there have been 100,000 interments. >> you said this stops today. when was the most recent error made? as to one of these 211 wrongly marked, or one of these and i'll meet -- ethanolamines -- and
12:50 pm
allan knee's -- i will defer to the inspector general. i do not know that. >> i do not have a precise date. during the course of our inspection, which started in august of 2009, we had several incidents that occurred during that period of time. it was brought to us by a family member or a burial that was improperly uncovered. the precise date, that is the currency of it. >> s to the first part of your question, -- as to the first part of your question, the intent of the steps that i have ordered today are designed to make sure that we do things absolutely correctly from this
12:51 pm
point forward. miss condon will focus on the administrative side. most of the accountability issues are administrative i have full confidence in her ability to ensure that we go in proper fashion on this day for. beyond that, we are bringing in a very substantial support for the folks from the veterans administration, who through the various the a cemeteries conduct some 6000 funerals a year. we feel very comfortable that they will ensure that proper procedures are followed and records are kept appropriately. >> did you look into the allegations that some employee'' e-mails work illegally hacked
12:52 pm
into and false statements might >> that is subject to a different investigation. it is still ongoing effort >> it is still ongoing. it is open. >> of these 211 -- and his final numbers, or could there be many more? >> i do not know the there could be many more, but there could, in fact, be more. >> i want to get back to the question about what era -- what were they were involved in. he mentioned section 59, 65, and 66. can you say whether there were
12:53 pm
any from the current conflicts that were mislabeled? >> what i decided it was that in section 60, there were 10 anomalies said were identified. you could have someone that died during the current conflict, and perhaps a day spas or a parent, -- a spouse or a paid -- a parent. those three sections are where we had the the conference of the and should -- the ponderous of the venture. >> are you able to narrow the
12:54 pm
numbers down to specific dates? >> not as of this point, sir. i think we will be able to go closer one we further look at it. >> the problems on record are on a clear. >> there was at hand back over here. >> i just want to clarify whether the deficiencies are current, or are they deficiencies from another era? >> which deficiencies? >> with the mislabeling of the graves as a result of deficiencies -- the deficiencies were found in the handling. since it appears that most of these graves were from an
12:55 pm
earlier era, i am trying to get a sense of whether the faults that you found where from an earlier era, or something more current? >> i can personally addressed the. and -- address this. a snow storm, that was 4 feet deep in 1943, you might slide to the right. that becomes an error that you cannot fix. i am not seen that happen, and but it may be an issue. we are still using analogue methods. the current system, and that was a substantial piece of one of our findings -- bringing it into the 21st century in terms of record keeping.
12:56 pm
we looked at battlefields. we went to several of the busier civilian cemeteries to assess how they operate. [unintelligible] what kind of techniques to they have in place? to answer your question, yes, i think it is all of the above. certainly, we found nothing that was intentional, criminal, or intended sloppiness b b bsesese this. there is not that kind of culpability and willful disregard for the responsibilities. but, as a secretary pointed out, this is a zero-defect operation. >> since the records are kept in analog fashion, you certainly
12:57 pm
remember that millions have been appropriated for the military management system. how much money has been a appropriated, and why the delay in implementing that? did you find anything in that regard. >> we of not integrated -- that was part of the findingg we did not have an integrating technology. dollars have been invested over the years. we have not had a workable and effective product to utilize. we did not get down to the specifics in terms of dollar amounts, will identify the problem, and again, that will be part of iss condon's analysis.
12:58 pm
>> sir, if i could, just to clarify. there were two separate methods. there was a comprehensive management review, if yyu will. those were the issues but the secretary laid out. the secretary, in august of 2009, passed us to look at three of them. he said i want to add two more, information technology, and contracting fees, and i want this to be a more holistic comprehensive review. separately, we were asked to do an investigation. there were allegations of misconduct, and, so, that was done by a separate team, a
12:59 pm
separate division that does that, and that does not look at criminal misconduct, but it is looking at allegations of misconduct, failure to comply with standards and regulations, and those things. we had, in fact, two. the investigation started in the november-december timeframe. >> is the separate investigation also looking into the contract and that was involved in attempting to put a computerized system in place? >> it is. the inspection identified problems with modernizing your it programs. the contract, those types of


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on