tv Washington Journal CSPAN May 12, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EDT
barton on offshore oil drilling and tax subsidies for oil companies. house intelligence committee member adam schiff discusses bill allison of the sunlight foundation -- on foreign government lobbying efforts in the u.s. host: with newt gingrich's announce the is running for president without we would take this opportunity on "washington journal" this morning to talk to republicans only during the first segment of the program and get your thoughts about newt gingrich for president. you can see the numbers listed there. republicans only for the first 45 minutes --
new talking bridge tweeted out yesterday that he is running for president of the united states -- new to gingrich. if you click on the link it takes you to the video of the announcement. here is the video, about two minutes long, and we will be back. >> i am announcing my candidacy for president of the united states because i believe we can return america to hope and opportunity, to full employment, real security, an american energy program, a balanced budget. i worked with president ronald reagan in a very difficult -- we got jobs created again, americans proud of america, and the soviet union disappeared. as speaker of the house i worked to reform welfare, to balance the budget, to control spending, to cut taxes to create economic growth. on an plan came down from 5.6%
to under 4%. for four years we balanced the budget and pay off $405 billion in debt. we have done it before. we can do it again. i want your help. there is no one person in the oval office to get this done. we americans are going to have to talk together, work together, find solutions together and insist on imposing those solutions on those forces that don't want to change. there are some people who don't mind of america becomes a wreck as long as they dominate the wreckage. but you and i know better. we all would to our children, grandchildren, and frankly, to ourselves. let's get together, look reality in the face, tell the truth, make the tough choices and get the job done. there is a much better american future ahead. with more jobs, more prosperity, a better health system, long a airlines, greater independence -- with power once again back of
the american people and away from washington. no one person can accomplish this. it can't be done from the oval office. we have to work together. we americans have to get it done. i hope you will decide to join me. let's work side-by-side. let's get this done for ourselves, our children, grandchildren, and our company. i hope you will come to newt.org and see what we have done and decide to join us to get america back on the right track. host: jackie boose image rights in "usa today -- jackie kucinish writes --
president. what do you think? jamal from indianapolis. caller: i am a member of the black republican coalition here in indianapolis. we would wish that may be mid daniels would throw himself in but newt gingrich is very divisive and if he were to remit -- when the primary, the black independent coalition would go democrat or independent. we have been through this in the 1990's. his ideas are the reasons he is in the position he is. anybody who commits incidentally and says he did it because he loves his country is a sham artist. he is the moral equivalent of farrakhan on the left. host: who are you supporting right now for president? caller: it depends on who is the nomination is for the republican party. divisive, undertone racist type
candidates -- i would have to support a re-election of the president who just went and got bin laden and bingm and done several things. actually i am ashamed of my party. i cannot leave it. we are led to believe that maybe we can change the party from within. until the republican finds out the resources it can have an african-american man in the, maybe they will be more objective. host: what you think of your gov. mitch daniels? caller: he is a joke. basicallykly -- planned parenthood to the right wing. if he continues to be divisive i will not continue to vote for him. he has done a great job in the state. getting the horses and order so he can run for president. throwing bones to the tea party and all of these people and i hope he does not compromise his integrity in doing so. as it stands our party has been taken hostage by the tea party. host: jamal, thank you for calling in this morning. this is "the wall street
he says he will decide within weeks. national, tennessee. dave, what do you think about newt gingrich? caller: i enjoyed listening to the democrat. when the call on the republican line. he could not throw off a single name of a republican he might possibly support. getting back to the question at hand, right now i don't believe most americans are as aware,
certainly as i am, how perilously close of -- to a financial cliff we are about to fall off of us -- of. our debt is now up to 100% of gdp which is right where greece and portugal and ireland were when their economies collapsed. host: that said, newt gingrich for president, what do you think? caller: newt gingrich, i followed his career from the very beginning. each heat -- is one of our best and brightest. the man has a proven record. he balanced the federal budget. he led the revolution of 1994. he got welfare reform passed, which until obama and all the democrats took over was very effective and kept the budget close to being balanced. he is a proven producer. we need confidence right now and we do not have that in the white house.
host: this tweet from affirmatively -- david corn from "mother jones" assembled newt in his own words. i just want to read a couple of these quotes from newt gingrich over the past 33 years. in 1980, on the house floor he said the reality is that the country is in greater danger than at any time since 1939. in 1985 -- upset with democrats foreign-policy stance, newt gingrich observes, it of hitler must somewhere be burning in wishing he'd lived two generations later so he could manipulate americans instead of englishmen. a few more from this article in "mother jones." newt gingrich takes to the house floor to the cry pretty much everything about the democratic- run house --
that is from "mother jones" this morning. washington. matt, what do you think about newt gingrich running for president? caller: the hypocrisy -- to find out that he was giving his wife divorced papers while he was having an affair with his secretary and in beaching clinton at the same time -- impeacing clinton at the same time is the height of hypocrisy. going on with a small government and all of this.
it just kind of amazes me that the farther they go -- host: who do you like it then? caller: ron paul has some good ideas. i do not agree with anything he says but he at least tells the truth. host: pennsylvania. hi, harry. caller: i think ron paul would be a good candidate. newt gingrich, he has too much baggage. i would like to make a suggestion to your show, if i could. i would like to see you do a show and ask the question, should social security be taken out of the general fund and put into its own fund like it should be. host: thank you for the idea, harry. eileen is a republican in oregon.
good morning. caller: how are you, peter? no, i could not vote for newt gingrich. i think he is a very bright man, but i don't trust him and i do think he is a hypocrite, like others have said. if i voted for republican -- and i am not sure about that -- i would probably pick mitt romney because he at least has a moral foundation and i think that is one of the most important things we need right now is a large dose of morality. host: lead in at eureka, california. what do you think about newt gingrich for president prism caller: definitely would vote for him over this guy we have in here. different -- talk about an empty suit. he would not be my first choice. host: who would be your first choice? caller: i am not sure. i think any of them could, and
you know, do better than obama. you know, this first guy got on -- they talk about newt's problems. he has baggage. but, man, look at the kennedys. running around on his wife. ed kennedy gets out of a sinking car and walks off. it happens both sides. newt -- one thing about it, he knows his politics from end to end. he would be a lot better choice than obama. host: a couple of more quotes from the "mother jones" article. susan smith murders her two sons --
in 1995, following the house gop's triumphant 1994 election victory -- this is all from "mother jones." carl from berkeley springs, west virginia. what do you think about newt gingrich for president question of caller: he is probably one of the smartest politicians ever in washington, d.c. i am sitting here thinking, i hard time ever republican has run for president when they have to not only run against obama but they will be running against the news media and. the first caller you had it --
he scandia big time and you sit there and let him go on. host: maybe he is a republican -- caller: come on, man. you know he is not a republican. anybody could tell that. i am not stupid. host: thank you for calling in, carl. the next call is from west virginia -- i am sorry, missouri. shannon, you are on. we are going to move on to brian in baltimore. what do you think about newt gingrich for president? caller: i think the democratic party would love nothing more to have newt gingrich as the nominee because he is a throwback of the past. he is another sound bite. just a throwback to old arguments that the democrats make against republicans. i am an evangelical christian. i guess what a democratic call
me -- christian, republican, conservative. but i am for a herman cain or ron paul because we cannot make more arguments if we do not have a strong country to make up that argument within. we need somebody who is going to throw social issues out of the window right now and spoke to the focus on some stability economically, policy wise. someone not afraid to attack the 60% to 70% of the government that is mandated spending -- with the defense spending, social security, medicare, medicaid. those are the things that they are not addressed soon we will not have a country for evangelical christians or progressives on the left to debate the social and moral issues because we would not have a country left. host: from "the new york times" this morning, another article about cheri daniels.
c-span will be covering this speech tonight at the indiana spring gop dinner. this from "the washington post." just a little bit of background on another one of the reasons why in this speech is grabbing so much attention. a rival gop campaign identified the first lady's reticence -- that is the first lady of indiana -- as a pressure point as -- before she steps in the limelight. the couple has a complicated personal history --
newt gingrich for president. chris in washington. caller: i personally find mr. gingrich very intellectually solid and probably has a really good history. i find it and little bit humorous and that people are pulling up his past -- what everyone to call it, moral indignation or what ever. it doesn't make sense to me. compared to all kinds of other politicians who i can name but i won't, i just think that unfortunately for him, he is not
getting enough credit for actually balancing the budget and creating a surplus when the republicans took control of the house under bill clinton. host: that was a cliff in washington. this is "the new york times" this morning. their second editorial. mr. gingrich's intolerance history. just to close it out -- republicans only for the first segment of "washington journal." we want to get your reaction. claudia in houston. good morning. caller: hi. he is immoral.
he was in politics and he cheated on two wives and it was even terrible that he tried to get his teacher to marry him and when she had cancer he dumped her. i feel mitt romney is a moral also because he is an -- is in a religion that approves of multiple wives. if i were a man running for president, i would leave any organization that is immoral, whether it is a religion or politics. most politicians are a moral because they have a little bit of power. and these young girls tried to snatch them because they have power or they have money. i don't know. i think america is getting to be a moral. host: who do you like for president? caller: i would rather have trump because he was a moral when he was not in politics. -- immoral when he was not in politics.
anybody in politics and a run for president, if they expect anyone to listen to them -- i don't listen to gingrich. he is a wonderful speaker because he was a teacher and trump is all mixed up in his private life but it does try to have ties to of the family members -- ex wives and anything. if we are in a more country anyway, let's get somebody who gets things done -- if we are an immoral country anyway. host: by the way, we are covering cheri daniels speech tonight and also covering mitt romney's speech live at 2:00 p.m. on c-span 3, speaking in an arbor, at the university of michigan cardiovascular center. "the washington times" previews this speech. the venue raises pro-life doubt --
what do you think about newt gingrich for president hersman caller: i would not support him at all. basically his immoral life. probably the one person i would look at on the republican side right now would be mike huckabee from arkansas. i feel like at least he has had experience in making executive decisions as governor. and i would think that he would be my candidate right now. and i believe the man is a christian. he was president of the arkansas southern baptist convention before he got involved in politics. i think he is a person worth considering. right now he would be my candidate. host: by the way, if you want to continue this conversation you
can go to our facebook page -- facebook.com/c-span. we are having a conversation about newt gingrich running for president there as well as here on the air. the front page of "the atlanta georgia -- "the atlanta journal constitution." c-span will be covering the speech live at 7:15 p.m. friday night eastern time.
the next call comes from a dock in that and rouge, louisiana -- dot in baton rouge, louisiana. caller: it is amazing hearing about liberal democrats talk about morals. you had the president doing his thing in all office of the white house, which is just amazing. also for killing millions and millions of babies. there was a liberal democrat senator from an eastern state that killed a woman in his car and got away with it. and they put him in office. it is just amazing the duplicitous nature of these people. host: that said, would you support newt gingrich for president as much caller:yes -- for president? caller: yes. absolutely brilliant. probably one of the most brilliant people we have ever had even attempted to run for
command of rhetoric. however, i do not think he is a friend of constitutional limited government. was onethe 1990's, he of the key votes that established the department of education. also -- protected lands and alaska, 2.2 million acres in idaho. i did say he led the effort for immigration amnesty. the also had china as most favored nations. stealing american jobs with slave labor. when i saw newt gingrich negative commercial with nancy pelosi endorsing cap and trade i know he is not a conservative. i would never support newt gingrich, even though he will tell everybody is conservative. host: who do you like in the republican field? caller: right now i really like ron paul because he is a fiscal conservative.
host: christine in louisiana. what do you think about newt gingrich for president? caller: i think newt gingrich has entirely too much baggage. he has brilliant ideas but i would not vote for newt gingrich. i'd like herman cain, i like him, and i like tim pawlenty. i sing both of them have very good content -- credentials, they have good experience, and i cannot believe that these people -- of course, i would take newt over what we have because i think what we have an office right now is the biggest crook that anybody could ever have. and i think his ideas are completely wrong. host: mike, garden city, kansas. lice -- last chance.
we will move on to texas. rick, what do you think about newt gingrich will present a question of caller: probably one of the best candidates the republicans have said they have not taken the election seriously and have not provided us with anything to look at. the only one not in favor of alienating half the country for a few republican votes. host: what do you mean by that? caller: he is more willing to come to the table the and the people light -- like gingrich who's political views, it would call everybody a trader and makes us look good in the polls -- host: rick, who are you supporting for president? caller: for the republican party -- gingrich? or romney -- host: naples, florida.
good morning. caller: i am 90 years old and i would vote for gingrich. they talk about his baggage. i read two of his books and he is the smartest person in the united states. i would vote for him and i would campaign for him. host: how long have you been a republican, all your life? caller: all my life. i was born and republican. host: where are you from originally? caller: tennessee. host: how long have you been in naples? caller: 10 years. host: how is your health at 90? caller: good, i walk every day. host: ron in kentucky. caller: thank you for c-span. i would vote for anybody other than obama. i am no big fan of gingrich, and
i supported bob barr and the last election and i prefer to see ron paul nominated. if it is newt, i will vote for him over whether the democrats decide to put in there. host: again, we are hearing from just republicans in this first segment of "washington journal" talking about newt gingrich and his announcement. by the way, if you want to continue the conversation you can go to our facebook page -- facebook.com/cspan. just republicans this morning for the first segment. 202 is the area code if you are a republican in in the eastern time zone -- harrison, ohio.
hi, john. what do you think? caller: i would not vote for newt gingrich. we should take a strong look at ron paul. host: what is it about ron paul that attracts you? caller: just his ideals. belief in limited government. caller: why would you not support newt gingrich? caller: he has too much baggage and he is still part of the maine republican party. as pop -- as far as the big news corporations like fox, msnbc, cnn, you will not have them talk about ron paul because they do not want ron paul to date a major candidate because they did not believe in the things he believes in. host: thanks for calling in this morning. in some other news, this is from nasdaq --
that is from nasdaq. back to your calls on newt gingrich for president. ron in hillsboro, ohio. caller: i would support newt gingrich, because everybody is talking about the baggage he has. listen, obama had worst baggage van newt gingrich and newt gingrich was part of the big economic growth that bill clinton did in 1996. newt gingrich was a part of that. i think he would better than obama. at least he would not about to our enemies. host: again, newt gingrich will be speaking to the georgia gop on friday night, 7:15 p.m. eastern time. c-span will be bringing it to you live. from "the washington post" this morning. obama urges his party to be flexible in debt limit debate.
cleveland, tennessee. byron, what do you think about newt gingrich for president? caller: i was hoping he would run long before he even made the choice. i like the way he talks. i would just hope that he would take on the democrat party because these progressives are actually marxists and communists and socialists and the they are hiding behind the progressive title. i hope he would address that. i would like for him to get some of donald trump's language. because he comes out and says exactly what he thinks. and that is what we need. i think nwet would -- newt would
i do not think we can find anybody better. he means what he says. you don't cut corners and gets right to the point -- to the point. host: sec commissioner meredith attwell baker will resign to take a job as a lobbyist for nbc universal. she served as the sec for two years. the story of a broken by "the wall street journal" yesterday afternoon. from "politico" -- gabrielle giffords to attend the rescheduled launch.
jacksonville, florida. keith, what do you think about newt gingrich for president? caller: i think he has too much baggage. i registered republican and in 2012 i will likely vote for president obama. young -- host: who did you vote for in 2008? caller: i voted for obama. i did not like john mccain at the time. i felt like he could not relate to me and my generation. host: did you vote for george w. bush? caller: i was not old enough to vote at the time. caller: -- host: and you still consider yourself a republican? caller: i do not like the way the republicans are running things in florida, gov. ridge stopped. it's giving you do not like many republicans? caller: me being young -- growing up i realize i have more
democratic values, i believe. i still have some republican values in me. i just not like the way things are running in the republican party right now. host: thanks for calling in. from "the hill" -- president obama will deliver a major speech on policy on the middle least in the coming days. now, there's a couple of articles dealing with osama bin laden, beginning with "the washington post" lead story. focus on u.s. and lead to rift.
host: that is a low bid from their lead story. this is from "usa today." host: gainesville, florida. bi9ll. -- bill. caller: i am from gainesville ga.. he is a politician. he has unaccomplished businessman. a businessman first and, reminiscent of the framers of the constitution that were businessmen first and they had their thoughts on creating a better government. i really think herman has a
host: that is from ""the wall street journal." coming up, intelligence committee member adam schiff will be here to take your calls and talk about u.s. security. up next, we will be talking with congressman joe barton, former chairman of the energy and commerce committee about the oil drilling bill that was passed by the house yesterday. >> fall the house and senate when you want -- follow the house and senate when you wanted. it is easy to find information about your favorite officials,
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you can see our signature interview programs on the weekends. you can also watch our program anytime at c-span.org. it is all searchable at our c- span video library. >> "washington journal" continues. host: joe barton is a republican from texas. he's still a member of the energy and commerce committee. we have invited him here to talk about the oil drilling bill. if we could start, we talked earlier with our viewers about newt gingrich, doing his announcement for president. you worked with him. what do you think? guest: i think he would be a
great president. i've talked with him and promised to help in his campaign and i would endorse them. he is an idea man. he is a battle-tested. d.s.l. the third most powerful office, speaker of the house. he has a great national networker i can see him sitting in the oval office, being president of the united states. host: now let's go to we invited you here for. this article in "the new york times." what did the house passed yesterday? if this spurs oil exploration, how quickly could further exploration take place? guest: yesterday's bill is out of the resources committee. it is about leasing and permitting of federal land in
the ocs. the basic premise is to get the obama administration to actually consider these permits in a timely fashion. if they meet the requirements and, we can allow and a drill. the was the big story yesterday that the alaska oil pipeline is about to have to shut down because they only put in about half a million barrels of oil a day through it. at its peak, it was shipping about two million barrels a day. the field is almost depleted and the have not drilled through any more oil, are not much more will up in alaska, even though there are lots of potential sites. if you're going to of oil production today, someone has to issue a permit 10 years ago. that permit had to be explored.
if there was production, they have to start the production about four or five years ago to make the oil available today. host: where are we now as far as a country in terms of the drilling? do you have an idea? guest: i don't know the exact percentage. we are ready last percentage that we should be. president obama's moratorium in the gulf of mexico has basically shut down any drilling for almost a year. officially it has been lifted, the heavily issued a handful of permits. in alaska, there haven't been many permits issued. the good news is in the lower 48, on state and private land, we're beginning to use this hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques for shell oil. -- shale oil.
that is the reason oil production went up. there are some bright spots. debate, westerday's had this to say about safety concerns. >> the republicans -- this is unbelievable -- are blocking any legislation from passing tell have a new safety rules for joint off of the beaches of the united states one year after the bp spill. they're blocking any new safety legislation. there are rules that have been put on the books to make sure the worst of all safety violators have those new safety rules. the republicans are fighting any attempts to take away the $4 billion in tax breaks, which the american consumer gives to the
auto companies each year, even as the auto companies -- gives to the oil companies each year. bp, $7 billion. for the last three months. that is how much money they made. the republicans think that is not enough money, even as people get tipped upside down and of money shaken out of their pockets at the gas pumps. not enough money. guest: ed markey is a good friend of mine. his office is right next to mine. we're working together on a promising bill for children. i am a friend of ed markey. in that sound bite, i would say he does not quite tell the culture of. we oppose the markey amendment because it was too prescriptive. it put in some items that we felt were too micromanagement oriented in terms of third-party
inspections and things like that. it is natcher that we're not going to increase safety in our drilling programs. -- it is not true that we're not going to increase safety in our trillion program. nobody wants to predict i paid $4 to 5 cents a gallon for gasoline yesterday here in virginia. -- i paid $4.35 for a gallon of gasoline yesterday. profits will be reinvested to find more oil and gas for america if the permits are actually permitted. you cannot have a drilling program if you don't have the profits to invest in the joint program. host: the oil executives are testifying at the senate finance committee today. this article from politico. four things to watch when big oil testifies. that hearing begins at 9:00 a.m.
and will be televised on c- span3. what do you think about the oil executives coming to washington? guest: i don't think it should be a pejorative. we have this mentality on the liberal side of our political debate. big oil, a big concerns, dig this, because that -- big this, big that. exxon mobil is the fifth largest oil company overall because the other four are owned by governments. it to be something of a badge of honor that we still love companies that can compete internationally. it is allowed upsetting that we try to at the beginning make it a pejorative. i think it is telling example for the senate and house to ask
the ceo's of the oil companies to explain their positions and things like that. we use about 20 million barrels of oil a day here in the united states. we are only producing about 8 million. we're importing about 12 million. i want the american-owned oil companies to be able to find the resources. i would prefer they find these resources in america. you cannot find oil and gas in america if you're not allowed to drill for it. i hope at some point in the hearing, that they make that point. host: will they be coming before the energy and commerce committee? guest: that is a decision the chairman upton will have to make. but i would assume that at some point in time will come before
not just the energy committee of the resources committee and probably the ways and means committee, too. host: you made a remark essentially apologizing. guest: i say a lot of things. my point that day was everybody in america is entitled to due process. the day before, the president had had the bp executives in the white house in some discussions where eventually they pointed out the creation of the $20 billion fund. i am very happy that some of that money is going to people in louisiana and the gulf coast. but i thought it was inappropriate to do it somewhat in the cloak of secrecy. not that bp had not done anything wrong. they are going through the legal
process and ultimately they will be held liable for all the damage that that oil spill did. any citizen and anybody in america should be entitled to due process. that was my point. host: this tweet has come in for you. guest: energy conservation is a good thing. we need to do it and we need to do more of thait. you can go on a diet and conserve, but you still have to eat. energy is the lifeblood of the american economy. we still have to import energy into the system. host: this tweet from a s
asha2000. guest: guest: he and i are in agreement that we need to have a responsible drilling program. his big issue right now is trying to use all of our natural gas resources for transportation. i am a sponsor of that bill. t. boone pickens does not say we should not drilling in the united states. host: if you like to talk with congressman joe barton, we are talking about the issue of oil drilling particularly here in the united states. john, you first up. caller: thank you for having me on c-span today.
how do you feel about repealing the -- the american people ir1 feel slighted when exxon gets huge tax incentives to go out and drill. in that same vein here in new mexico, bp bought up all of the land -- they did not buy it. they leased it all up about 10 years ago and they have not done anything with it. they have a lot of gas and oil. there are places where you control and there are beautiful spots where nobody wants to drill. bp has bought it up and there are sitting on it. guest: i am not sure what you
are referring to when you are talking about incentives. the oil companies have access to the u.s. tax code where you get the standard business deductions for doing business in the united states. there are not too many energy- specific tax provisions. there are some that passed in the late 1980's and early 1990's one of oil prices were very low, they gave some leases where you did not have to pay a specific royalty percentage based on the price. you had to pay a royalty based on the volume, and that was an incentive to get people to lease these out in the gulf of mexico. in terms of what bp is doing in new mexico, those leases at -- i am not familiar at all with the specifics, but if the bp is now
drilling them, eventually, they will lose the least if they do not show an attempt to drill on it. if they are not drilling it, they may feel is not economically productive. i do not know the specifics. host: chuck is from gaithersburg, md.. caller: how are you, sir? i spent 35 years in the retail business. last wednesday, gasoline went down 20 cents when the market took a crash. on friday, it went up 12. on monday, it went up 27 cents a gallon. on tuesday, it went up 9 cents a gallon. this is all based on -- if you look every day anywhere you want
on the futures market, everybody in the united states of america can watch it and they will see that gas goes up and down every day. at 12:01 every day, my price changes. it is all driven by competition and futures buying and futures markets. this all gets transported to the consumer. nobody realizes that. nobody talks about that. reformulated gasoline. 10% of it is ethanol, 90% is petroleum products. guest: you buy it at wholesale that goes into the retail gasoline. caller: is on the ticker tape.
that is what controls the marketplace. am i still on? host: yes, sir. what is your response? guest: he is the market. what he said is exactly true. he has to respond the price. he has to pay cash for the gasoline that he sells. when there is a tanker truck that delivers gasoline to his station, he has to pay for it, and that think he has to pay for it in cash. he is basically -- he is not setting the price at his pump. he is responding to the wholesale price that he was relating to. given all the speculation and hedging, the wholesale spot price in the united states has
been bobbing around like a cork in the ocean. the way to stabilize that is to get enough production worldwide that you have a surplus so that you can build and the feedstocks and you do not have to respond on a day-to-day basis so you get more stability in the wholesale market. in order to do that, again, as of the biggest consumer of petroleum products in the world, if the united states wants to drill more and produce more, we can increase our volume enough here in the united states that we could bring those prices down and stabilize the market. host: bob is on our independent line. caller: good morning. i have some comments for mr. barton. what the gentleman was just talking about is the speculation -- warren buffett said
[unintelligible] of the price will come down and it will stabilize. as far as up there in alaska, well, from what i understand, of bp owns the pipeline up there. any oil that is recovered up there in alaska, most of it is going to end up going out of the country. the power companies down here in virginia, they are raising their rates and they already get 100% back on their increases. they say they need to raise it $12 a month. [unintelligible] $90 million a
year paychecks. the republicans are like leeches. it just got to change. guest: i have a lot of respect for that caller. i have a condo in northern virginia, and i have two homes in texas. i pay 50% less for electricity in virginia than i do in texas. host: why is that? guest: most of the power they generate in virginia is generated by coal. it is less expensive than natural gas down in texas. republicans are not leeches. republicans care, republicans have a heart. we do believe in free markets and individual opportunity. we try to micromanage it at the state or local level.
we want to give people an equal opportunity. that means lower taxes, less government, less regulation, and there are people who disagree with that. they want a bigger government and more constraints on the economy. the good thing about america is people with different value systems and beliefs can work together. the caller and i both agree that we need to do more so more people can have a better life in america. host: what else can the congress to or what should they do to lower gas prices? guest: in the short term, it is very difficult because of all of the uncertainty in the oil market. oil is going to go where a to get the biggest price. you can move it anywhere in the world. there is not too much in the next month or next week, but a
bill that passed the house yesterday, anything that creates certainty that it gives and ability and opportunity to increase production and an economic that brings the demand down as you get more supplies to stabilize demand and increase that cushion and surplus between supply and demand, the market will drive the price down. we have had a gasoline at the pump in texas less than $2 for the last two years. it does not take a lot. it needs to be consistent. where we are now is we have almost no cushion. we are not giving many permits in the united states on federal lands. the supply is constrained. the price is going up. host: patrick is a democrat
from pittsburgh, pennsylvania. guest: is interesting, congressman, the way that you lie on the air about the so- called republican commitment that they have to the nation. when you look at the masterpiece of what our world is, the jerusalem bible is very specific about the destruction of all of our world, and god is very specific about the fact that you will be destroyed if you destroy this earth. when you look at the destruction in the state of pennsylvania of our water supply -- we are already seeing a massive pollution, you are a leech. you do not care about their country's energy paradigm. host: patrick, is that what you see as a partial solution, the
use of natural gas? caller: yes and no. here is the paradox. in pennsylvania and around the country, they are using these gigantic disel engines that are the size of my house in order to extract the petrochemicals out of the ground. to presume that they are going to use natural gas when natural gas extraction is more polluting than coal, and pennsylvania is being polluted, we are literally seeing skyrocketing asthma rates across the board. congressman barton and his cronies could care less. they don't care. guest: we just heard that gentlemen say some fairly hateful things.
he does not know me, and i do not know him, but i support his right to say what he just said. i believe in god and jesus christ as my savior. i have tried to adhere to the principles of jesus in my public and private life. it is somewhat insulting to have to listen to what he said, but i respect his right to be able to say it. there have been tens of thousands of wells drilled in or near my congressional district with absolute no negative impact to the environment because of hydraulic fraction. the water tables are much nearer the surface. in order to fraction the formation, you have to have a tight seal. you cannot do it if you made it possible to let the fluids which you are using to fracture the
formation further down get out into the water table near the surface. studies that have been done up in pennsylvania indicate that there is some natural gas in the water table, but it is naturally occurring or is from older wells that were drilled decades ago and were not properly cased. there is absolutely no evidence, none, that there is any pollution in the water table because of hydraulic fracturing. i think this is a true number. there have been over 5000 wells drilled in pennsylvania in these shale formations. they are providing a lot of natural gas to fuel the economy of pennsylvania and new york and ohio. there is no environmental damage.
when the gentleman talks about the diesel engines on the surface, that well could be ture. that -- true. that is to force the fluid down into the formation. they may be noisy or smelly, but that is a different subject. that is state and federal regulation under the clean air act. in texas, the drilling companies that drill comply with all of those regulations. g host: greg is a republican in ohio. good morning. caller: i wish that the republicans -- every time that democrats bring of the fact that we are giving $2 billion in tax incentives to our oil companies would bring of the fact that we
just gave brazil $2 billion to do offshore deepwater drilling off their coastline. the last time i looked, the environment was the environment. secondly, i think that we could do a public-private partnership. if there are areas where there is pollution -- you mentioned the fracture ring in pennsylvania and in ohio -- there are a water filtration companies that could economically and environmentally filter that water or fluids to make sure that they do not get into the water table. we do government contract in every day. that would be a good use of that $2 billion that we are giving to brazil. bring it back home, let's do things responsibly. it is for our public good that
we get the natural gas and oil for our country. guest: the industry is working to find more efficient ways, more environmentally-friendly ways to do the hydraulic fracturing. there are new techniques and new compounds that are being used. there is a closed loop system where all of the fluid deco down into the well are recycled and not put out into the environment locally in any shape, form, or fashion. the good news is with the development of these techniques, the combination of fracturing and horizontal drilling, we could double production in the united states in the next five to 10 years if we do the permiting. we have enough natural gas to supply all of the needs of the american economy. we are not a resource deficient
society. we have not yet developed the political census to develop our resources, but god has blessed our nation tremendously with the resource base, and i think we can develop it in a way that is feasible and environmentally friendly. it is congress's job and the president's job to try to find a consensus to do that. host: he referred to the water, but this tweet from linda -- guest: i agree with that. in texas, the water that comes up has a lot of salt in it and it is an issue to dispose of it. in pennsylvania, there are some issues whether they should send it to their waste water
treatment plants or separate it and use a closed loop system. i do agree with her is that that is something that the pennsylvania legislature needs to work with the industry on. it may be that they may need a separate system for that. host: the next call comes from ohio. hi, mike. mike, you're on. caller: good morning. i would like to break it down really quick. from the time that the oil comes from the field until the time it gets to the consumer and by the taxpayers, can you break it down a little bit on what taxes are charged on a barrel of oil? guest: the major oil companies,
when all is said and done, their tax rate is somewhere between 30% and 40%. by the time a guest to you, you have paid a state and federal tax, a per gallon tax. if you combine the federal and state tax in texas, it is about 38.2 cents per gallon. i do not know what it would be in your state but it would be similar to that. they pay a lot of taxes collectively. in terms of the profitability of the major oil companies, they pay about $4 in taxes for every dollar in profit. that may be a year-old number, but that is the number that sticks in my mind. they are paying a lot of taxes. one of the things that they do get as a company based in the
united states, an oil company that has earnings overseas like any other company can deduct the taxes they pay on their overseas properties from the taxes they pay here in the united states. host: this is exxon mobile's 2010 tax bill. $7.7 billion was their u.s. income before the attacks. -- before the tax. 18% in effective tax rate, excluding state taxes. what are the so-called tax benefits or tax breaks that oil companies get through the federal law? what is your view about changing -- guest: most of the tax deductions that an oil company gets our general tax deductions that any company that does business in the united states gets.
depreciation, things like that. there are very few that are oil specific. i already mentioned one. certain leases that were put up for sale back in the 1990's out in the gulf of mexico when oil prices were $10 to $12 a barrel, those leases did not have the provision to pay a royalty based on the price. that is one of the things that a congressman wants to go back and retroactively changed the contract. some oil companies dependent on volume -- the smaller companies get a depletion allowed. you can deduct a certain percentage of the cost of that beryl of oil because once the oil is out of the ground, it is gone. most people think that although
companies are the only companies that get in debt. there are a lot of commodities that get it. coal gets it. shale, sea shells. if you harvest oysters and things, apparently, there is a depletion that you get for that. it is not specific to the oil industry. if you want to reform the tax code generically and have a debate about taxes and businesses and manufacturing in the united states, that is one thing. i think it is wrong to pick out any industry where there is the oil industry or the automobile industry and say we should not give them the tax credits or tax advantages that we give other companies that do business in america. host: we have about 10 minutes left. tampa, audrey, democrat.
caller: i heard you defend yourself quite vigorously as you were offended by a previous caller, saying that republicans do not care. guest: he called republicans leeches and he said i was lying. i think you would be offended if i called you that. caller: [unintelligible] guest: i am not lying, ma'am. caller: i saw you apologize to the bp bid two years ago. you apologized to them. guest: i have led investigations against british petroleum specifically, so they should be accountable for their actions. if they have done wrong, which i think they have, they should be held accountable for it. they should be treated equally under the law.
host: waco, texas, our republican blind. caller: i am looking at all of this and what they think what we are doing is we are only looking at half of the question. i agree with the idea that i think we need to drill more of our own oil, but we are not pumping crude oil into the gas tanks. we are not using crude oil to package all kinds of materials and whatnot. all of this oil needs to be refined. it seems to me that part of the problem we are having with gas prices is the fact that we have not built a new refinery since the late 1970's, and yet we have increased the number of cars on the road. is there any kind of steps that have been taken to look at the production, to look at the
refining and of the production problem? guest: you are exactly right. we have lost approximately half of the refineries that we had. the only positive is some of the remaining refineries, we have increased the size and we have made the more modern and efficient. epa right now is in texas has repealed the flexible permitting program for clean air permits. if we cannot reach some agreement with the epa, i think there is a pretty to chance in the next five to 10 years that you will see some of those refineries in business today shutdown. we do not have 100% refining capacity in the united states. some of the products that we use have to be imported because we do not have the ability to refine the crude oil.
we do need to build some new refineries in the united states, and that is something in some parts of the country is politically controversial. host: how long does it take for oil to get out of the ground to become gasoline? guest: once it is at the service, you have to transport it to a refinery to run it through the refinery. it takes approximately a day or so. i would say from the time it is out of the ground, at the well head, i would say within a month, maybe a month and a half it is going to be processed into a refined product. different companies have different storage capacities and different business models.
host: is ethanol helping our energy need? guest: it depends on who you ask. i am not a big ethanol supporter. it is renewable fuel. if you come from a corn state, you tend to be an ethanol supporters. environmentally, i am not an advocate saying that the greenhouse gases are causing the climate change made by man. but ethanol does create a lot of greenhouse -- the creation of the ethanol does create a lot of the greenhouse gases. it just depends on what side of the fence you are on it. as a renewable fuel, the corn grown in the united states, that is a good thing, but from an energy efficiency standpoint, it
does not make sense. host: what to the chances of the bill passing the senate? guest: it is always more difficult to get things through the senate. it takes 60 votes. there is not a companion bill that i am aware of in the energy committee in the senate. i think the issue is something that the senate is interested in. i would expect senator murkowski senator bingaman to n least consider the bill and hopefully majority leader reid and minority leader mcconnell will bring it up for a vote. in needs to be done. host: the last call comes from missouri. caller: hello. i have a little bit of
disagreement with mr. barton when he was talking about less government being involved with companies. i think looking over the costs here, two or three years, and aig and all of the things, we do need the government to be watching these companies. you know, we just really got stripped by all of these big companies. i feel like the oil companies are doing the same thing. they are making a lot, a lot of money, and they can set the price whatever they want. guest: first of all, bless you for being polite. i appreciate your kindness. i agree with you on a i g. this credit default swap business, derivatives, very few
people in the congress understand what they were trying to do, but we did understand that when you work leveraging $1 100 times, if something goes wrong with your model, you are in real trouble. the people who picked up the pieces were the american taxpayer when we had to put all of our money into those companies to keep them from freezing up. i said less government. i did not say no government. there is a need for government oversight and regulation. it should be done in a way that allows individuals to have a reasonable opportunity to create products and services that they can provide to the market and people can choose to purchase were not purchased.
i am not a libertarian. i do not believe in anarchy. i believe in the clean air act. i want environmental laws that are based on real science and some sort of a cost-benefit analysis so we can make a decision with the cost of the benefit -- there is a bigger benefit then there is a cost. the good news is that people like myself work every day in a very transparent fashion in the united states congress. almost all of our hearings are televised. under john boehner's leadership, we are putting all of our bills up on the internet and we are trying to post them on web sites so there are no deals being made behind closed doors. i think that is a good thing, and that think this program is a
good thing, having people call in and hold people like myself accountable. host: icarus factor tweets in to you, congressman -- guest: and energy company is an energy company. they are going to put their resource development wherever they get the biggest return on investment. it could be finding oil production overseas or developing the shale in pennsylvania that one of the callers was talking about. the problem with natural gas is is a gas and not a liquid. the advantage of oil is that gallon of gasoline is very transportable. it is very compact, and you get
a lot of energy out of it. you can put 18 gallons of gasoline in your fuel tank, and most cars can go 300 or 400 miles on that tank of gasoline. natural gas -- to put enough natural gas in the same private vehicle takes a containment tank that is much larger and much more cumbersome. the transportability, the energy efficiency of gasoline is just greater right now for transportation purposes. over time, maybe the engineers can figure out the technology to compress the natural gas or use it in a way that makes natural gas a better deal. i think what you are going to have is a combination. maybe ethanol.
maybe hydrogen. president bush put a lot of research money into hydrogen. the emissions of hydrogen is water vapor which is a greenhouse gas. it is very benign. let the market operate and let the federal government serve as an honest referee and a benefactor in terms of doing the research. we will see what happens. host: what is the redistricting process in texas right now? guest: the state legislature has to do the congressional redistricting in texas. we expect a legislator in the next week or two to decide how to allocate those seats. texas is a republican state so i would expect three of the four seats will probably be a republican. we would pick up one hispanic
democrat voting rights the district and the other three would be a republican seats. i would hope that 25 or 26 of those seats would be republican and 10 would be democrat. host: congressman joe barton, thank you for being on the "washington journal." coming up, adam schiff, a democrat from california and. >> the white house is expected today to release its proposal, enhancing the nation cyber security. officials will outline plans for requiring the industry to better protect systems that run critical infrastructure. the administration also requiring companies to tell consumers when their personal information has been compromised.
one day after newt gingrich announced he is entering the 2012 race, mitt romney is set to deliver a speech later today focusing on health care. mitt romney will make clear he is opposed to president obama's approach to health care. meanwhile, the head of the democratic party speaking earlier on ""good morning america" said mitt romney has no convictions. when asked how formidable an opponent she thought mitt romney could be next year, she said a "what they think is unfortunate about mitt romney, that he does not even know who he is." you can hear mitt romney's speech today on c-span radio.
>> said this weekend, on c- span3, former massachusetts governor and presidential candidate michael dukakis on calvin coolidge and how he evolved into a popular political figure. and on sunday, live from mississippi for the 50th anniversary of the freedom riders. >> this weekend on c-span2, last year's deep water horizon oil rig explosion which killed 11 and released millions of barrels of oil into the gulf of mexico. he recounts his life. on "afterwards,," william
cohen. look for the complete schedule on booktv.org. sign up for alerts. >> let me be as clear as i can be. without significant spending cuts and changes in the way we spend the american people money, there will be no increase in the debt limit. >> followed the debate as lawmakers continued to work on economic issues, including spending, taxes, and the deficit, on line at the c-span to the library. -- online at the c-span video library. >> "washington journal" continues. host: on your screen now is congressman adam schiff.
congressman, thank you for being on the "washington journal." house intelligence chairman, now is the time to break the back of al-qaeda -- what is your reaction to that? guest: i agree with him that now is not the time to this invest in our intelligence agencies. they did a remarkable job in the hunt for osama bin laden. it was an incredibly elaborate long term plan. this will be increasingly important as we draw down our military efforts. i agree with that. i would love to see us breaks the back of al-qaeda.
it is a tall order, an organization with many heads. it is hard to find a single spine to break. we have had a lot of success in picking off high-value targets within al-qaeda. we have, i think, diminish the effectiveness of the central al- qaeda organism. it has very dangerous offshoots in places like yemen and somalia and elsewhere. that is going to be unfortunately it difficult, long-term challenge. host: is america more a risk? are there more risks? guest: i think america is at less risk of a spectacular attack along the lines of 9/11. we have seriously degraded al- qaeda's ability to execute
someone like that. still possible, but we are safer against that threat then we work. al-qaeda is now trying a lot less spectacular attacks but still very lethal. as we have seen from the underwear bomber and the shoe times squarehe bomber, they are trying one-off attacks that can still be devastating. on the whole, i think we are quite a bit better off in the world since 9/11. host: the newspapers have been reporting on the intelligence that was gathered at the osama bin laden place. have you been able to reduce debt intelligence? guest: we have been briefed on it. obviously, this is an ongoing
series of briefings. what we have been able to learn how involved he was in the continuing operations with al- qaeda, what leads can be followed, we are not at liberty to discuss what that shows. i think people were surprised by the volume of material and electronics. there is certainly a lot for us to chase down. host: an article in "political" this morning -- rather black-and-white. do you have an opinion on that? guest: at times, it is an excruciating relationship. oftentimes, we would love to cut the cord but it would be against our best interests to do that. while they can be frustrating working with the pakistan the government, we do derived
intelligence from the pakistanis. they have come at times, lost significant military campaigns to go against our mutual enemies. on aope they will take military campaign in the north. this is something that only the pakistanis and can do. they have suffered a lot of casualties. they have that very same fight that we do but they have a lot of conflicting interests. at times, they are fighting the same people. i do not think we cannot afford to have a major breach in the relationship, but i do think that we ought to have a change with a greater emphasis on economic rather than military support and with and military support we should focus our support much more acutely on anti-terrorism support rather
than the general building up of the military. host: is the pakistan the intelligence service -- what is it like to work with them? in a microcosm, it is the same as the broader government. a host: do you trust them? guest: not completely, no. we know they are dealing with people who are killing our troops across the border in afghanistan. at the same time, we know that they are threatened and being killed by some of the same al- qaeda and pakistan meet-taliban people threatening us. it is and often frustrating, sometimes confused, relationship. at the end of the day, pakistan is a nuclear power with a lot of nuclear weapons that has a radical islamic problem in its midst.
should the government fall, it would be a nightmare for this country. host: the numbers are on your screen if you would like to talk to congressmen adam schiff. you can also send a tweet or an e-mail. we are talking about u.s. intelligence, particularly when it comes to afghanistan and pakistan and the killing of osama bin laden. in the "in new york times this morning," an article -- have you seen the photos yet? guest: i have not yet, but i probably will this week. host: do you think they should be released to a wider audience?
do you think there will be some protests from other members of congress? guest: any members that want to see them should have that opportunity. i have concerns about not making photographs available, not just to members of congress -- my concern is we have killed osama bin laden but we cannot let the myth of osama bin laden go on. i think that has been mitigated by the release of footage showing him in the house, making it clear that he was there and was killed. at least he was present. but i think those concerns have been mitigated by al-qaeda acknowledging that he was killed. we have to see in the future if this will be a percolating conspiracy that needs to be put to rest. host: hi, richard. caller: good morning,
congressman. i am conflicted about one thing. 10 years ago, i called up c-span and it was just after the 9/11 tragedy. there was a lot of -- i said that these cannot be godless people. even though over three dozen people died at the trade center, -- 3000 people died at the trade center -- now, here comes down the plane on the hudson river. 25 miles north of new york city is the indian point nuclear power plant. they could of crashed the plane into that. look at the long-term effect on that. all they had to do was google to find out where the plans were.
four planes -- that could returned to the northeast, the mid atlantic, into a hiroshima. host: where are you going with this? caller: what did the intelligence community say about this? guest: i think al-qaeda's goal in attacking the trade center was a two-fold. they wanted to kill as many people as possible and attack the financial heart of america and cripple us financially. it did have devastating economic finances. i think that was a large part of their thinking. part of it was symbolic, but part of it was to try to kill a maximum number of people. osama bin laden had made it
clear that the way he views getting our attention is to kill as many americans as possible. host: this is week coming in -- guest: well, i think the president is following through with his commitment to reduce our troops in iraq. there is some discussion within iraq about the one to request some contingent of troops to remain in iraq. hopefully, that war will come to a final conclusion at the end of the year. in afghanistan, we are set to begin drawing down our troops. i think the killing of osama bin laden will have the effect of accelerating that. one of our objectives in afghanistan, bringing osama bin laden to justice, has been met. the other objectives, making sure afghanistan does not become
a haven once more for organizing and attacking us, that objective has not yet been met. i think we will see and are seeing a major drawdown in the military efforts that were initiated under the last president. host: do you support -- guest: highi do. i hope the drawdown can be completed on schedule. i hope the drawdown in pakistan will continue on schedule. i am eager to hear the reports on whether we see any light in the tunnel on afghanistan. the report, i think, have not banned that encouraging. -- have not been that encouraging. it is been a major, major
difficulty. it is my hope that the reductions can continue on schedule. host: how is the relationship between the congressional oversight committee and the intelligence communities? guest: it is certainly on a very high point right now. there is a lot of acknowledgement of the long, hard effort that went into fighting osama bin laden. i think there is a great deal of confidence right now. we still have a lot of work to do it though, in merging the work product of these agencies. it was done very well here. that organization is still ongoing. that part of the mission has not yet been accomplished. the dni structure is still problematic. there still is not the kind of information sharing we would like to see.
it has improved dramatically, but we still have some distance to go. now we have the reverse problem with wikileaks. we do not have -- we do not want to have some much information sharing so people have access to an amount of data to be compromised. host: north carolina, hi, pete. republican. caller: good morning. first of all, i would like to address your position. could you go more in depth about how you feel as former house speaker nancy pelosi's comments in regard to president bush's position when he was pursuing osama bin laden in 2005 or in the 2006 she stated it was too late and it would not do any
good at the time. now, to catch osama bin laden or kill osama bin laden or whatever, and then when president obama pursued that, and it was a success, suddenly she was praising it as one of the greatest achievements in intelligence history. guest: i do not recall the former speaker ever saying that it was too late to go after osama bin laden. there was great his apartment after bora boa that we did not catch osama bin laden. it took us a long time to find him after that. i know the prior administration tried to downplay the significance for the hunt for osama bin laden. i think there were strategic reasons to do that. the administration did not that want to be the sole litmus test
of how the war of terror was going. i think the former speaker feels that way. i think the current speaker feels that way. current and past presidents feel like this was a significant accomplishment. and frankly, it was an effort that spanned two administrations. if you look at the trail, -- host: congressman schiff servers in california, in the 29th district in southern california. a group of stanford and a law degree from harvard. los angeles, mike is a democrat. caller: thank you for representing close to where i live. granted we know that pakistan
has nuclear weapons, and that is a concern for us, but at what point is it going to take our government to be tough with pakistan? we know you have a close relationship with al-qaeda in the taliban. at what point is they're going to be that we have to say you have to have -- you have to stop your relationship -- guest: we are at a potential turning point in terms of our relationship with pakistan. one of the central questions we have in the intelligence community is how much did pakistan know? with a concealed him? did they turn a blind eye? what was the status of osama bin laden in terms of the pakistan the government? they have not been very helpful, not just with osama bin laden, but with other high-profile targets living within pakistan.
they are finding sanctuary most likely in pakistan. that is very frustrating. i think what we are seeing now is the crisis of confidence in our relationship could have very long term significance. at the same time, if we were to have and irreparable break with pakistan, that would not be in their interest either. i think we ought to shift our funding priority subject. we have such a long way to go in terms of the battle of ideas. there was a governor in a province that spoke out against the anti-blasphemy law, and he was assassinated by his own
bodyguards. if that was not discouraging enough that someone speaking out for more moderation was assassinated by his own bodyguard, tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people, took to the streets of pakistan to protest in favor of the assassin. that, to me, is appalling and it tells me that the financial effort we are making to win the hearts and minds -- we are a long way from our goal and maybe have to do a wholesale reassessment of our financial strategy. host: just for our viewers out there, that caller previous from politifact -- martin so, va., jeff, you are on
with adam schiff. caller: i am glad the previous caller came up with that question. you know that the government knew that osama bin laden was there. that would be like saying there were a methamphetamine laboratory is three blocks away from the d.a. and they did not know it. come on. people have to wise up. you have to be real every now and then. guest: i think that certainly a legitimate concern about that reason that you mentioned. it is hard to imagine osama bin laden giving close to some of their intelligence and military facilities. he was living in a house or a mansion eight times larger than
any of the neighbors. on the other hand, not only with the pakistan government, sometimes with our own and many others around the world, you can never underestimate the power of incompetents. sometimes, governments are incompetent. what we may have here is choosing between it incompetence or malfeasance. we are working hard to try to find out what the truth is guest: well, i think you have to realize just how difficult that task is in a couple of ways. we are talking about a very large region in pakistan, and the first time i went to visit afghanistan, not long after the outbreak of the war, flying from pakistan into afghanistan, going over this incredible range of
mountains, looking down there and seeing all the potential places to hide, it seemed like we were looking for a needle in a haystack, and indeed, we were. a particularly when you have somebody who is sophisticated about how we might be looking for him, who is using -- is avoiding the use of electronic communications, using a small circle of a very trusted confidants, it is hard to meet someone meeting that profile. it took an awfully long time and a times it felt like we would never catch him, although we always had hope and confidence .hat one day we would gue still, when and it is came, it it was a huge shock. his contact with the outside world had real limits.
host: you were elected shortly before 9/11. as the patriot act been effective? when portions come up for reauthorization this month, will you support them? guest: i think it was necessary, and depending on how it is modified, i will support it. i was a prosecutor before i was an elected official, and let me say how i thought the patriot act was an improvement over previous law. when i started as a prosecutor in the late 1980's, when we got a wiretap to go on a suspect, we made an application to go up on their phone at home and their front office -- their phone at the office. cell phones with these larger bricks, if they existed at all, and were pretty much end on issue. -- pretty much a nonissue
telecommunications has changed dramatically, and if you have to go in particular found, as you will never be able to maintain effective surveillance. the bill allowed a roving wiretaps were the wiretap followed a person a matter what -- no matter what phone they were using. it required us to do better scrutiny in congress, because one of the advantages of only going on that phone at home or work was that you are pretty confident about who was going to be using that phone. if you allow the wiretap to follow the present, sometimes you go on phones and they use once and now somebody else is using. we need to do better oversight to make sure that any compensations -- any conversations that were not the targets are minimized, and that
people's privacy is not intruded on unnecessarily. those things are important. a lot of the public focus has been on very small pieces of the patriot bill that are seldom, if ever used. i favor addressing those concerns, because the privacy interests of the american people are very real and tangible. but i think the bulk of what the patriot bill did was bring existing law up to the state of technology. host: next call for rep. schiff comes from a memphis, lowry on the republican line -- larry on the republican line. caller: how can you win a war and afghanistan and iraq when the people, and the way they live -- i mean, are you going to kill all the todd heap and -- all the taliban?
about thiserstand two wars, you know, because you have to kill the taliban. we want a war in japan, we wanted the war in germany -- won and germany,in japan but you cannot win there because of the way of life. guest: that is a very good question, and the literacy and the state of infrastructure and governance is much lower. we have a military mission of of fighting the taliban and a civilian mission of trying to build up the afghan government and trying to establish some rule of law. the first mission, the military mission, i have much more confidence in. our military is second to none and when we test them to do
something, they will get it done. the civilian peace seems to be a on a very different timetable for exactly the reason is you mentioned. it will take hundreds of years, maybe thousands of years, to turn afghanistan and their governance into what we now in the united states. we will not be able to do that within a few years, let alone decades or even generations. that cannot be our goal. our goal has been much simpler, to make sure that afghanistan is not -- our goal has to be much simpler, to make sure that afghanistan is not a haven for those who attacked us like they did on 9/11. that does not mean we get rid of the taliban. hopefully we provide an environment where some agreement can be reached between the karzai government and the part of the taliban that does not plug on its hands and can govern the country in a way -- does not have a blood on its hands and can govern the country in a way that does not threaten us.
host: the afghanistan government -- what is your current view of the afghanistan government, from the point of appeal of an intelligence committee member? -- the point of view of an intelligence committee member? guest: it very frustrating relationship, in which we don't think much of the afghan government is working the way it should. sometimes it works at cross purposes with us. the central concern is, unless the government is able to inspire confidence among the afghan people, unless the afghan people are willing to fight to defend their own government, we are not going to be able to prop them up indefinitely, and we shouldn't try. that is really going to be the hardest question that members of congress have your answer, and that is, is there really any prospect for this government to stand on its own at two feet for the foreseeable future? if it cannot, how long does it make sense for us to stay? host: the iraqi government has
postponed at their declaration of the u.s. getting out of iraq. what is your view of extending u.s. troops in iraq indefinitely? guest: certainly not indefinitely. i would have great reluctance to see happen even temporarily. there seem to be increasing signs that the iraqi government may ask some portion of our troops to remain in iraq. this is a very mixed bag. they would ask us to do so because it would be a stabilizing influence in the country. allawi is still struggling in terms of his governance, and with maliki, that could deteriorate at any time at. at the same time, the logger that we stay -- longer that we stay, the more we give credence to the argument that al qaeda >>
at we are an occupying power and have some long-term ambition to be present in the region, the more it impacts our negotiations and afghanistan with the afghan government and the way that the taliban if you that we want to be a permanent occupying force there. there are downsides for us, not the least of which also is that our military's are stretched to read them and our budget is stretched even thinner -- our military is stretched very thin and our budget is stretched even thinner. some reasons that iraqis want us to stay -- it may make sense to have a small number of troops there to advise on security numbers. i hope they don't ask us. host: greensboro, north carolina. hi, donnie. caller: i want to make a couple of a simmons, i don't have any questions. i want to commend the democrats
for the it operations and the u.s. military, navy seals. that was one of the hardest decisions obama had to make. republicans are at every turn trying to downplay what obama did, trying to give credit to bush. he said he was not even looking for him, he wasn't that important, averted everybody's attention to iraq for weapons of mass destruction, which he never found any of that either. 10, 11 years later, the job is done. these terrorists have been around before obama got into office, back to the reagan and jimmy carter era. obama is the only president who stood up to do something, from jimmy carter on up, in my opinion. guest: i appreciate your
comments. the intelligence forces community did a remarkable job, the seals did a phenomenal job, and i think our president did a phenomenal job. this was a tough decision and there are a lot of things that could have been done -- there could have been a decision made to bomb at the facility and not as sending troops in -- not risk sending troops in. the specter of what happened during the iranian hostage effort hangs over everyone. it was a tough and important call by the white house to go about it the way they did. the president deserves a lot of credit also for the timing, to have the diligence to make sure that all the prepwork was done, all the hallmarks it was done it. you can imagine what would happen if we had gone in there and found that it was some emir hanging in there with his wife and a girlfriend.
an incredible operation all around. host: a couple minutes left with our guests, congressman adam schiff of california, member of the intelligence and committee. mobile, alabama. caller: rep. schiff, shouldn't the crackdown on -- should we crack down on pakistan? if we do, what would that mean for the nuclear tensions between pakistan and india? could we perhaps a list -- enlist india to, i don't want to say bring pakistan to heal, but basically be a little more friendly to u.s. interests? guest: i'm glad you brought up the issue of india. one of the most helpful things india can do, and they had been trying to do this, is to reduce the tensions along the border with pakistan. we don't want to pakistani
military focus on preparing for war with india. that is not in india's interest, not in our interest. we want to pakistani military focused on going after the taliban and al qaeda in places like north waziristan. to the degree that there is an increase in tension in india, that will divert from what the central preoccupation of the pakistani military is, the very real and imminent threat from radical elements and from al wn taliban.heir o that is a constructive role for india to play. it is a top want for india to play, because you have elements of -- tough one for india to play, because you have elements of the isi trying to kill our troops, and also with terrorist organizations in india. it is tough to ask of india.
in terms of the caliber to our assistance to pakistan, -- recalibrating our assistance to pakistan, we need to look at very hard. we need to move to the us military support, m -- les military support -- less military support, more acutely focused on anti-terrorism. host: what is going on with iran that you can tell us? guest: what is interesting about the arab spring is that most people are looking at to be sure, where it all started, where that street vendor took his life and sparked the revolution. tunisia was the birthplace and the first successful revolution. but i think the process began in iran, with the uprising in iran, the protest against the fraud in that election.
it was not successful in iran and and has not been successful yet, but i think that was the real purpose of this movement, actually outside the arab world in iran. to watch the iranian regime go through all the contortions and hypocrisy over the last month has been extraordinary. as they defend what is going on in syria, where bashar assad is sending tanks against his own people, and they applaud what is happening in egypt, where they say it they support the right to demonstrate as long as they don't do it in iran or syria, either. they are going to seize whatever opportunities that they can to make additional mischief, but they have to be very concerned. if egypt can be successful in its transition to democracy in
the cultural heart of the arab world, what other excuse can they use for white they don't have democracy? -- why they don't have democracy? her pursuit of new -- i continue to have concerns about the pursuit of nuclear weapons and. we have to continue to, whenever we try to turn up the screws on our sanctions, and isolate the iranian regime and make them pay a real price in order to deter them from that course. host: are you satisfied with intelligence report you get on iran that they are complete and clear and accurate? guest: i think they are the best of the community -- the best of the community can do. our intelligence gathering is limited in iran.
that poses some very real risks, but within those limits, the intelligence community is giving the best information they can bring out they are not trying to sugar coat it or color it or skew it in a way to influence policy decisions along one line for another. host: there is an article this morning and the paper that the libyan rebels want aid and money, and as a member of the preparations committee, foreign operations subcommittee, would you support that? guest: i would, provided that we have a credible, organized group that we can be supporting. it is just tragic and difficult to estimate what gaddafi is doing to people in places like misurata and elsewhere. a great many people in america, myself included, watch that with great frustration and want to help, want to be more helpful.
we want to make sure that the group we work with can effectively use whatever assistance we might give them. i am certainly open to that possibility. host: last call for our guest, adam schiff, republican line c. caller: i know that when the russians occupied afghanistan, they were wearing miniskirts in kabul, with an educated as doctors -- women educated as doctors. brzezinski said it take over the whole ground level, that you are using the taliban to fight the russians. the dominant ideology in afghanistan -- 1000 years before they modernized -- well, they were kind of on a their way
before it is a lot of our policies have created blowback, and the bhuttos in pakistan, we were talking about a very modern political family that are dead now. it seems to me that it lot of our military policies have hindered and not helped -- host: we got the point. rep. schiff. guest: i don't know if miniskirts are a sign of advanced civilization, but i get where you are coming from. certainly there are forces we are operating against in afghanistan now that we had at hand in creating. when we armed with missiles some of the same forces in afghanistan that we are now fighting -- we did that,
pakistan did that, and we have created a part of the problem for ourselves unquestionably. i would take issue with the idea that afghanistan before that was on the road to modernization in the way that we know a bit here -- know of it here. afghanistan suffered countries -- afghanistan suffered decades of war, one of the most landmine-intensive countries . is the civilization that is going to take a very long time to have any functioning democracy of the kind we have in this country it. host: congressman adam schiff, a democrat of telephonic, a member of the intelligence committee, thank you for being on "washington journal" this morning. we will talk about how foreign governments lobby the u.s.
>> economic numbers this summer show that the number of people applying for unemployment benefits dropped last week, reversing all of the rise reported last week the labor department reported that the number of people seeking benefits dropped by four to 4000, the steepest fall since february 2010 -- dropped by 44,000, the steepest fall since february 2010. the commerce department reported a rise in april, but much of the gain due to higher gas prices. the labor department says that the producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, rose 0.8% in april due to higher energy and food costs. in the past 12 months, that food index has increased nearly 7%, the biggest gain in three years. those are some of the headlines
on c-span radio. >> this weekend on a c-span3, former massachusetts governor and democratic presidential candidate michael dukakis on at dolphin coolidge and how he bought into a popular figure -- on calvin coolidge and how he evolved into a popular figure. on sunday, may 22, american history tv will be live from mississippi for the 50th anniversary of the freedom riders. at the schedule emailed to you by pressing the "c-span alert" button. >> this weekend on a c-span2, last year's deep water rise and oil -- deepwater horizon oil rig explosion. gov. deval patrick recounts his rise to the massachusetts
governor's office. and william cohan on "money and power." get our schedule in your inbox. sign up for book tv alert. >> without significant spending cuts and changes in the way we spend the american people's money, there will be no increase in the debt limit. >> follow the debate on the debt ceiling as lawmakers continue to work on economic issues, on line at the c-span a video library where you get a search and watch and a share every event we have covered from 1987 until today. washington your way. "washington journal" continues. host: joining us is bill allison, editorial director of the solid foundation. de -- is here to talk to --
editorial director of the sunlight foundation. he is here to talk about how foreign governments lobby the u.s. guest: they lobby like any other special interest does, hiring washington firms, law firms, public relations firms, and then it these agents of there's -- agents of theirs go out and meet with members of congress, administration officials, put out position papers, most conferences, do all kinds of things that lobbyists and normally do for any u.s. company. host: which countries are spending the most on a lobbying and the u.s.? guest: one of the problems with the way they disclose this information is that it is very hard to answer that question. we are just tallying up what was spent in 2010. the most recent year we have is 2009, and the top spender that year was the cayman islands. the reason was -- probably people don't remember this far
back in the campaign, but in early 2008, when senator barack obama was out on the stump, he would tell a story about a building in the cayman islands where there were 12,000 corporations headquartered, and he said, "either this is the biggest building and it will with the biggest tax scam in the world." this caused them to hire lobbyists and go to washington and say, "no, we are not a tax stamp country." host: do you have the figures on how much they spent? guest: that year it was a little over $7 million. host: who are some of the lobbyists who might be done to the c-span-a viewing public? -- might be known to the c-span at viewing public? guest: not all of them are known, but bob dole, richard
gephardt, presidential candidate, minority leader of house democrats in the 1990's has represented foreign governments gues rober livingsto -- robert livingston, speaker of the house-doesn't -- speaker of the house-designate. one thing that is really surprising is that there are all kinds of different issues that governments want to lobby on. one of the areas most heavily targeted is former u.s. trade representatives, who worked his top trade negotiators for the united states not go back in the 1990's, the center for public integrity found that 40% of ex- trade representatives went to work on behalf of foreign governments in their deals with the united states. host: in your list for 2009, the top spender is the cayman
islands, then the united arab emirates, republic of congo. republic of congo, what are their excess and to either a lobbyist? -- what are their interests and who are their lobbyists? guest: there is an investment idea that sprung up sometime over the last couple of years dubbed "vulture funds." a government that has defaulted on its debt -- basically worthless, and they've borrowed from foreign banks -- these funds buy it up for fractions of a penny on the dollar. they go to international courts, and the u.s. is one of the best venues for it, apparently, to sue the governments. if they can get 5 cents on the dollar, is a huge win for the
vulture fund. they hired the livingston group, again, robert livingston's firm, and the wesley group, headed by a campaign adviser to john mccain, among other things, in the 2008 election. they have lobbied a lot of members of the congressional black caucus and got it legislation introduced to stop these of wa -- these vulture funds from suing in u.s. courts. this is how a foreign country can get something into the u.s. system by hiring these well- connected insiders who lobby on their behalf. host: is it all legal? guest: it is. all you have to do is disclose. in 1998, congress at the time was worried about nazi propaganda.
within 10 days of agreeing to represent a foreign government, for one political party, some foreign government-controlled organization, they have to register and disclose activities. on like u.s. lobbying disclosures, they disclose far more information -- all the contacts with members of congress, whether they discussed with a member congress a specific issue, any kind of information to disseminate, which used to be called propaganda, now called "informational matter," they have to disclose that. is a treasure trove of documents to show how the system works. host: why is it so hard to find this? guest: in lot of reasons. some of these are handwritten documents. some of them are typed. there is not really a standard way of presenting information.
some lobbying firms will list the actual lobbyists to contact. there is a huge problem of standardizing names. we look at 2009, and nancy pelosi and her staff were contacted as much as anyone. to identify all of the staffers, sometimes they are in there by name, sometimes -- they say it is part of the speaker's fallstaff. it is not always as accurate as it could be. there is a whole lot of massagin we have to do to make it available. there is a website where you can look up the raw forms. it is difficult to manipulate, but they are there. host: also at the sunlight foundation, you have a foreign lobbying in tracking site -- foreignlobbying.org.
guest: that is where we make it all to digitize -- all digitized and searchable, and we put up the latest disclosures that go to the department of justice. host: 202 is the area code. send a tweet -- twitter.com/cspanwj. with all the uprisings and goings-on in the middle east, are the libyan rebels -- there was an article this morning in "usa today" and of course i cannot find it now -- libyan rebels are looking for foreign representation in the u.s. this department or
representation, yemen, not -- etc. -- does egypt have representation, yemen, at sudbrook, colonel gaddafi -? guest: they have hired a group led by a former clinton administration official, and what is interesting is that the libyan ambassador, who has since left the libyan government, he actually had to register the foreign agent. diplomats are exempt from registering under the act, but because the rebels of not been recognized, he is recognized as a foreign agent. we are still up to date and a lot of times when government change -- governments change, and egypt is in flux. as far as we know, the livingston group is still representing the government of egypt, and there has been much more of a transition there in the sense that you still have
military figures. what is interesting is that the living standard and a lot of the lobbyists -- the livingston group and a lot of the lobbyists for the egyptian military, introducing them to defense contractors and government officials. there is a program of the pentagon were essentially u.s. taxpayers buy goods for the military. yes, a lot of these countries have a farm representation -- have a foreign representation. host: who is representing colonel gaddafi? guest: the livingston group, actually. we will have to wait for the latest disclosure to see that they are still represent him. there is another group, and my colleague broke this story -- affiliated with harvard business school, ranges all kind -- arranges all kinds of tours for
officials and they come back to write pieces in "the new republic." they said they are not a lobbying organization, but they are doing everything that a fara has to do. they have a contract with the foreign government and and they are going to have to file, but for about four or five years they did not register and disclose their activities. host: how much representation does pakistan have in this city? guest: their main a lobbying group has a former carter administration official, democratic party operative. he has been a very big lobbyist for pakistan. in the past, they have used ogilvy public relations, some
other firms representing them as well. when you look at -- not only do they have the democrats -- harriet miers, bush administration, it ill-fitted supreme court nominee, is registered with them. they have spent about $3 million over the last three years of lobbying in washington. host: here is the headline in "usa today." it says that the group bill allison was referring to burns "$75,000 a month from pakistan and." ron from miami, you are on the air. caller: argue a democrat or republican? .uest: i am an independent
caller: what i want to know is why are we giving money away to these countries like pakistan, who is hiding been allotted -- who is hiding bin laden, the whole time? money should come home to help people in our own country. the next issue is lobbying in our own country from a big industries and corporations. congress writes the laws on all this lobbying. a man on c-span, a reporter, said it took 20 hours to find one thing, what one congressman made it he said you have to go to 20 different things to find out. they hide it so well that you cannot find out what they make. guest: to answer the foreign aid question, that is going to be a huge issue. a number of members of congress have talked about aid to
pakistan. this is what pakistan will have u.s. lobbyists working on their behalf going to capitol hill and meeting with members of congress and stressing that pakistan was an ally in the cold war and has strategic significance. i will not try to reverse all the arguments and they will make, but that is what will be happening now. other countries lobby for aid and heavily. obviously, egypt was one that did a lot of lobbying around aid issues. i think the key is for voters to let your congressman and know how you feel. that is the power that the american people have. on a lobbying and members of congress, i actually did some research looking at a member of congress' land holdings. it took me weeks and weeks to get through it. the system of financial disclosure is broken. one of the things that the sunlight foundation tries to do is to make better disclosures.
we founded the center for responsive politics to digitize all the financial disclosure forms that members of congress file and put them on line at opensecrets.org. one of the things that some might want to do is make them much more digital and accessible to the american people. host: i mentioned that because of this article on your web site -- "for an agency lobbied on issues raised in -- foreign agents lobby on issues raised in wikileaks tables." guest: in honduras, when they removed the president, some called it a coup and some call
that a constitutional action. the wikileaks cables about what happened in that particular -- the u.s. ambassador was talking about that it was a slam dunk that it was a coup. you have a foreign agents contacting members of congress and going to great lengths to persuade them that this was a constitutional, orderly transition of power. it is kind of interesting. honduras did hire a number of foreign agents to represent them at point. there are other things we are friends in that as well. -- we reference in that piece as well. host: alan. caller: even though i'm a democrat, i am not a hypocrite. my question is, with regard to stature, can you tell me or do you have any idea of who the big players are, whether they are democratic or republican?
two, do you know how much these people actually bring in? finally, this is a partisan question -- can you tell me or pete falls in line? i know he is anti-government, but i know he was a lobbyist at one time. guest: the answer of whether it is republicans or democrats is yes. there are plenty of people from both parties who have gone into representing foreign governments. you have folks like richard gephardt, folks like bob livingston, bob dole. there are presidential candidates, senators, representatives, congressional staffers, administration officials. within that the findings, you find a lot of these folks. how much they make this something we cannot actually say. we now how much in fees that
they get before the firms compensate their partners. that is something that we don't know. one of the things about the fara filings is that there is a short form -- we don't do anything with those, but each individual lobbyist has to file one of these. it is a two-page form, and they list all the foreign agents they work for and at the compensation from the foreign entity that they get over the period that they file the short form for. in a lot of times these are just estimated, and it is not a hard and fast thing that this is how much they made. to get to the last question about dick armey, i have not followed him this closely. i believe he was a registered lobbyist, involved with one of the groups that was a splinter
from americans for prosperity. he is still very politically active, and if you can look him up to see if he is a lobbyist, opensecrets.org. host: which is another one of your websites? guest: is actually the center for responsive politics. host: we have mentioned a lot of websites. is there an overall website? .uest: there should be if you don't feel technically sophisticated, there is a website at sunlight does, a site that my mother can use. another is transparencydata.com. host: according to the foreign agents registration act, they
register with the u.s. government and they must disclose their activities and receipts and disbursements. it was enacted in 1938 in response to german propaganda pre-world war ii. in 1999, $60 million in fees, and outreach to lawmakers -- 2000 phone calls, 9000 e-mail's, 3000 face-to-face meetings. the top of spending the countries -- cayman, united arab emirates, rocco, the bahamas -- morocco, the bahamas. guest: you also have political parties, and in afghanistan filings, a lot of the parties have u.s. representation. some things we should be clear about -- not all 328 of those are necessarily government is trying to influence -- things
like the bahamas tourism bureau is in there, because it is a government operation and they have the department of tourism and and they have to register ads for the obama's. you will find that there is a lot of -- they have to register ads for the bahamas. you will find that there's a lot of -- japan has the external trade organization that has offices in the united states. that is what brings up a number of the countries. host: republican ally, you are on with bill allison of the sunlight -- republican online, you are on with bill allison of the solid foundation. caller: former elected officials are going to lobbyist firm is representing foreign governments.
i have no problem with foreign governments talking to the state department on a one-on-one basis and talking to elected officials. but former elected officials influencing this country that may not be in the best interest of the united states. that is really what the conundrum is. obviously, one of the things about lobbying is that the reason people hire lobbyists is that they are affected. foreign governments -- effective. foreign governments hire them to influence u.s. policy, and the only thing you can do right now is disclose it. i am not expert enough to say how he would reform the system to prevent this, but the revolving door is a huge problem in washington. in the trade arena, when we get
nafta, china with most-favored nation status, china would be regularly granted this as opposed to having a vote. there was a ton of lobbying out each of these issues, and it is foreign governments hiring former members of congress and trade officials to do it for them. i think that a lot of people are not aware that this is going on. i remember one of bill clinton's top advisers is somebody who came from a firm that did a lot of lobbying on nafta and other issues. this is the kind of issue that, when americans find out, they are upset. obviously, john mccain's campaign had a number of people who lobby for foreign governments. with the organization like sunlight, the best we can do is disclose it.
host: raleigh, north carolina . caller: i agree with what the republican john, and said earlier. do you fight your work to be dangerous -- find your work to be dangerous with all the foreign countries involved? there is a lot of things at stake. do you find your work to be dangerous? guest: no, i don't find my work to be dangerous. i will briefly say that i meet with the four journalists from time to time it. the u.s. is a very safe place to work and i'm grateful for that. as far as the issue of the money and how much is spent on these probes, 47 officials -- just the fact that you can document that shows that this is a safe place
to work. again, these are disclosures that are required by u.s. law. host: are the forms or information tough to find on purpose? guest: boy, it used to be -- what i first started looking at this, which was for "the philadelphia inquirer," and i took the train down here and there was an office on philadelphia ave and that was the only place to get them. now they are on line. they certainly don't advertise it very well bring o -- they don't advertise it very well. one of the things that the obama administration promised was a website with the disclosure. we have not seen that portal. in fairness to them, you ask me for what website that has all the -- one website that has
all the sunlight stuff and i had to give you two. the justice department is doing much better job getting this stuff out than they have in the past. they still have a long way to go. i think that the forms could be a lot better, i think they could give more specificity in how they report information so that it is more consistent across each different foreign agent. -- i don't think that don't know if they are hiding it, but they could do a much better job of putting out there. host: rick on the republican line. caller: retired united states marine corps. i have something that would assist america in identifying the problems in front spending. this is on the internet -- u.s.
programs and policies. 98-916.edde is pages 30-31 will identify how much money the united states has put in foreign aid and foreign spending from 1936 to the year 2004, and it breaks down year by year by year. i have two points to make. if you remember hurricane katrina, you have to ask a simple question, who paid for that? americans did and insurance companies did. throughout history, which provided a lot of the world with our money, and not one country it came to our waid assisting us in our dilemma. and we have the flooding in mississippi. if you add up all the foreign
aid, we could produce the deficit -- deficit --reduce the deficit by about $5.2 billion. if we took that money for foreign spending and put into our own nation's needs, in dealing with the floods -- host: rick, we have got to wrap up. caller: if we suspend foreign aid, we could reduce the national debt -- host: we got that point. any comments for that caller? guest: foreign aid is a tiny portion of the federal budget, not a huge line item. that being said, people can ask legitimate questions about where it is going and how it is being spent. the deficit is in trillions, and foreign aid is really -- amounts to tens of billions. it is not a huge line item. host: west virginia, richard,
independent line. you with us? caller: yes. host: please go ahead. caller: i was wondering why it is we are throwing so much money away across the seas when the people of the united states because of gas prices, drug and the costs of food up, drive it -- driving the cost of food and everything up. host: ok, not quite what we're talking about, but can you see a correlation between the aid going to foreign countries and the lobbying? guest: aid is a huge issue, and for the countries that do get it, it is something that always show up in the fair disclosures. you see that the libyan rebels right now are asking for $1
billion, last i heard, and i am not sure that the harbor group will bring this up with congress. the harbor group is representing them pro bono right now. this is something you see, at one of these countries need aid, they hire former elected officials and party for increasing -- argue for increasing aid packages. host: pettit, go ahead -- connecticut, go ahead ca. caller: a couple of points came up. number one, this aid to pakistan. i want to turn around and go to libya for a minute. i understand that people want to be free, so they want the united
states' help with freedom and all of stuff. but you know what, i notice that these countries in the middle east are not helping their own women. when a woman is sexually assaulted, she does not seem to get any kind of aid from her own country. they actually accuse the person that has been insulted instead of the people that have assaulted that person. host: you know what, we are getting a bit off topic here. did saddam hussein have someone here? guest: actually, he did. "spy" magazine, publication out 1990's,980's, early spoofed him by having a
german group that wanted to copper poland, and asked him to represent them. they did this expos a -- expose of "the world's worst lobbyist," and he actually had the article framed in his office. he represented saddam hussein, basically specialize in dictators. host: some of our allies are not on here -- saudi arabia, israel -- at least in the top five. france, canada, mexico -- do they have lobbying efforts also? china? guest: at times they do. countries that are friends or to have longer standing ties with the united states or bigger budgets or bigger embassies and
missions -- the diplomats or diplomatic corps can establish the kind of relationships with the u.s. and they know the political players and they can get in the door and they don't necessarily need foreign agents. when i was talking to a representative of the cayman islands, he explained that it reason they are hiring lobbyists is because they are at tiny colony and they don't have their own independent mission here. the only way they can have access to u.s. officials is to essentially rent a diplomatic corps, and the people that ithey rent or former government officials. this is why you don't have france. one saudis spend a lot f foreign relations. they're not in the top 10, but they are in the top 20. host: the money spent because of
fara -- guest: remember, the main purpose of it was to track propaganda. they also report on political activities, which we are more interested in than propaganda, but you can get both of them. host: joe is a republican and a california. caller: you saying joe? host: i'm saying joe. caller: there was an issue raised about how a typic -- how difficult it is to find anything. to me, that is delivered, so that the general public does not know anything -- to me, that is deliberate, so that the general public does not know anything about what elected officials are doing. guest: in a broad sense, i agree with the caller. the government has gotten better, but disclosure is basically how we keep the
government honest, and the only way you get these is to produce some basement somewhere and look through filing cabinets or look through computer monitors. now a lot of the stuff is on- line and available. one of the purposes of the sunlight foundation is to make that information more accessible to the american people. i do think government could do a much better job, but it has made some advances. i don't think that they are trying to hide fara, and fara has gotten a lot better, i should. at the same time, they could do a much better job than they are doing. guest: you know, the first
and amendment protects the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. i think it is covered under that. the united states abroad hires citizens to work in our consulates and embassies, foreign citizens to work at their. i agree with the outrage of it, particularly when you see a former u.s. official who goes and negotiates a much better trade deal for a foreign country that ends up costing u.s. workers in jobs per got a lot of that has been documented in the past. i am certainly not a policy guide, but i think that it is important for the american people to know about it, and that can lead to a discussion about how you address these things. host: bill allison is editorial director for the solid foundation and an ve
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