Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 13, 2013 5:00am-7:01am EST

5:00 am
[captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] what we grow for sacred greens grows to create meals for our tables. umple for 40 hungry neighbors.
5:01 am
honeybees are threatened by quality class disorder. a crisis created by humans, via pesticides, harmful bugs and climate change. hungry people are the most socially vulnerable of humanity. we design ourd backyard because f our trust in the holy one. we are to renew the faith of the planet. right now the planet is poor from climate pollution. there is a greek word for house or household. it is the root for the word ecology and economics. for christians of the ancient church, it is not limited to the private home, but referring to the planet itself as the whole house. od's home.
5:02 am
how to be a sacred neighbor? we are a shared household where all who are born belong. where humans and all of life live in each other's lives and die into each other's deaths. there is no way out or around our interconnectedness. it is the way of god and of life. the role of the epa is to regulate. at the church of the pilgrim, we are doing that, tending to our ecolocation. having no carbon limits for power plants suffocates god's planetary design. church of the pilgrim charges the epa to care for the household, the whole house, but regulating and reducing fossil fuel power plants. ay it be so.
5:03 am
>> good morning, epa leaders and staff. i am the treasurer and member of the board of directors of the building materials reuse association. it is the leading voice of construction. we are a proud member of the american sustainable business council. they currently represent over 175,000 large and small triple bottom line businesses in america.
5:04 am
it was extremely pleased to be able to host epa administrator gina mccarhty as a keynote speaker at its second annual keynote speaker. we are supportive of the epa's efforts to regulate read house gases from power plants. we have also urged the department to disapprove the keystone pipeline. up until mid-2012, i was also the ceo of community forklift. it is a mile outside the district of columbia. community forklift is a net negative carbon emitter. it has been documented in a research by a professor who teaches at a catholic university of america. in 2011, there was prohibited
5:05 am
the release of megatons of carbon equivalents in its annual operations due to the fact that raw materials were not extracted, nor energy used in manufacturing materials. i believe that building material reuse is a significant element of our future. in general, bmra is supportive of the proposal at hand. one problem troubles me greatly. i am against the inclusion of enhanced oil recovery and the types of carbon storage proposed. i do not dispute the science of it. i am dubious of what many proponents claim of the advocacy of such storage. i object to its use as a
5:06 am
mechanism to extract more fossil fuels from the earth for the more part will be burned for energy and contribute green gas into the hemisphere. it works against the epa efforts o reduce carbon pollution. i will quote from page 280 of the proposed standard. "the epa acknowledges that there can't he downstream losses of co2 after capture. a well selected and operated site is expected to contain co2 for the long-term. there is the potential for unanticipated leakage. expected to be modest. due to the marked use of co2 as a purchased product. the epa wishes to encourage
5:07 am
rather than discourage eor using captured co2 since the practice makes carbon storage itself more economic and promotes the use of the technology in which the proposed standard is based." i dispute this. market forces are a thin reed. in conclusion, i want to add, as a resident of capitol hill, i urge the standard to serve federally run facilities like the capitol hill power plant not far from us today. i thank you for the opportunity to share my views. [applause] >> my name is martin. i am the vice president for policy and legislation of earthjustice.
5:08 am
hank you for holding today's listening session. we have an obligation to protect our children and future generations from the effect of climate change. speaking as a parent, it is a paramount opportunity. to meet this obligation, it is critical that we reduce carbon pollution from the units responsible for 40% of u.s. greenhouse gas emission. to meet the president's goal of a 17% reduction in climate pollution by 2020, any rule for existing power plants must nsure a 35%-40% reduction from 2005 levels which is a 25% to 30% reduction from 2012.
5:09 am
to underscore the importance of achieving reductions, i point to california. according to the california resource board, between 2001 and 2011, and compared to an economy wide reduction of 6%. california's energy production increased during the same eriod. the epa's rule must set a very clear floor for the states with transparent guidance about what it will take for states to get their plans approved. it is important for both ensuring that the plants reflect the president's climate action plan and to get legally sound state implementation plans as quickly as possible. the majority of the dirtiest coal plants in our nation are operating beyond the intended useful life. the clean air act contemplates the epa and the states consider remaining useful and setting erforming standards.
5:10 am
here that factor weighs in favor of the standards. clean air act is a successful law that are helped to reduce the levels of many air pollutants and has saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of americans. much of this progress has been the direct result of successful enforcement of the law by both agency and citizens. making progress on reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants will be dependent on the vigor and enforceability f the rules and the state or federal implementation plans that will implement them. therefore it is vital that the implementation, the rule be measurable, verifiable, and enforceable in the subsequent plan. thank you. > thank you.
5:11 am
our next two will be jane and oel. >> my name is jane. i am here representing myself. thank you for hosting this session. your generosity is not lost on me. we like to add things up and evaluate the consequences. by my reckoning, you're going to be sitting through one or 2000 of these 3-minute testimonials. i hope you a deep bench. thank you for accepting mine. i'm a mother of two with a busy job. i work on tuberculosis and a search for a market that will help us better diagnose this disease. it kills people, mostly outside the u.s., but it is a great
5:12 am
threat given the advances of the drug resistance. i am up to my eyebrows with family and work and my community. every day i get up and wonder why else i should be doing to enhance my visibility as a climate activist. i have joined protests and media campaigns. i have hosted meeting and provided meals for young activists in town. i have walked and engaged in actions, including one that got me arrested. to be here today takes me so far outside of my comfort zone, you would not believe it. i'm here because we all need to do more. without correction on carbon emission and climate disruption,
5:13 am
curing tuberculosis will not matter. nothing will matter. i am scared. a couple years ago i arrived to the decision to be a climate ctivist. why was i shrinking from what i most feared? without a good answer, i faced it. i joined up. it has been better since. there are a lot of people like me who have engaged and many more who want to, but have not out of fear and uncertainty about what to do next. our capacity is huge. it is largely untapped by government organizations who could lead on this issue. please lead. i support the carbon emission standards proposed and i support policies that drive toward conservation and alternative fossil fuels. we need to leave the carbon in the ground.
5:14 am
i'm asking you to lead the likes of me and all of these people here. you can feel it. to engage, think, press, agitate, sacrifice, and demand results. > thank you. >> through inner faith, power and light, congregations work together on energy and climate issues. i am only one of over a dozen religious voices you will hear speaking out in support of safeguarding carbon pollution from existing power plants. we are joined by religious voices around the country who are participating in the epa's other listening sessions.
5:15 am
the teaching that informs myself on carbon polltion comes from a rabbi comic 14th-century scholar of jewish law. he wrote, "one is forbidden from gaining a livelihood at the expense of another's health." "one is forbidden from gaining a livelihood at the expense of another's health." simple, ethical wisdom. not bad for the middle ages. for too long, here and now, those who operate our power have been permitted to gain their livelihoods at the expense of people's health. there have been limits on other kinds of pollutants, but no limits at all on carbon pollution. here in d.c., we have one of the highest asthma rates, particularly among children. sometimes they struggle to breathe because of our dirty air. someone is making their living at the expense of their ealth.
5:16 am
we'll be hearing a lot from polluters today, saying it will interfere with their job. they have every right to make an honorable living, but it should be for bid and read to make their livelihoods at the expense of people's health. in the religious communities with which i work, people are heartsick about the role of fossil fuels in producing the gas that is producing climate change. they are working to reduce electricity use in their homes. they're climbing up on ladders to chain to more efficient light bulbs. they're working together to support clean energy through the energy bills. they have bought hard to bring wind power and they're willing to spend many hours and committee meetings vigor how to have solar panels. so often we are told that the changes we are trying to make is unrealistic and that clean energy is so expensive while dirty energy is cheap. who pays for dirty energy? who bears the cost of that air
5:17 am
quality, seniors having heart attacks and pregnant mothers with mercury in their body. who bears the cost of extreme drought and devastating weather caused by climate change? any energy people pay for through the further destruction of our climate, is not cheap nergy. it is intolerably expensive. on this morning, the epa stand poised to set national limits on our nation's single, largest source of carbon pollution. please proceed to issue and improve strong carbon pollution standards. > thank you. next up, we have dustin and robin. >> good morning.
5:18 am
my name is robin. i'm here wearing three hats. one of them is of a respite. community faith leader. another is that of the west virginia ohio valley environmental coalition. the third is that of an eighth generation, southern west virginia resident. why do i feel the need to travel all the way from southwestern west virginia to attend this listening session?
5:19 am
because i want you to hear that there are people in west virginia who support the epa's actions to established richter power plant regulations. desperately need this. s a member of the presbyterian faith community, i believe im called to be a steward of god's great creation and care for the most vulnerable population in all communities. as a member of an organization which actively seeks to preserve clean air and equal justice for all citizens in west virginia, i urge the epa to set strict standards for overall emission reduction while also working for states and utilities to prioritize shifting energy sources to truly renewable sources by geothermal and micro power. instead of shifting to lower costs fossil fuels such as shale gas, which in fact has huge hidden costs. west virginia, by the way he is the only state in the country
5:20 am
that hosted both gas fracking and coal mining going on. we are being ravaged. headwater streams of the eastern coast -- i urge the epa and the utilities to prioritize plans that will protect low income consumers for disproportionate and utility bills. i urge epa to move quickly with a final rule so that the u.s. can begin to adjust the increasingly urgent problems of climate change that threaten the mass extinction of many species in the health or well-being of existing human generations on earth as well as future ones. there has been a report titled a trategic plan for a dressing asthma in west virginia. 2010-2014.
5:21 am
i want to mention a few highlights from that. the rate of asthma has more than doubled among seniors in west virginia since 1996. really we have over 31,000 children on over 100 23,000 adult in west virginia who have asthma. west virginia adult females are nearly twice as likely to have asthma. the study concludes that west virginia's with low economic status and adults without a high school diploma and an annual income of less than $25,000 are significantly more likely to have asthma. in short, it seems clear to me that asthma related health effects are living near coal fire plants which we do through all our state, we have no other alternative. it can cost the people who can least afford it. children, seniors, women.
5:22 am
please establish stricter rules. >> good morning. my name is dustin. i'm here to represent a community that i feel is often not mentioned when talking about reducing emissions. i'm speaking about the communities where they mine the coal from these power plants. 'm from a community of the navajo nation to the basin. i'm from southern west virginia, i have been around coal mines my entire life. we had to talk about the human health impacts of carbon pollution. i support epa's efforts and leave me there are many more. i feel that you cannot realistically talk about emissions without discussing the extraction because they are indeed linked. the regulating the amount of oal that is produced by plants
5:23 am
hat are also helping the community's or the coal industry on a daily bases, let's call it hat it is. whole pollution. -- coal pollution. whether you're living with a power plant in your backyard or a mine site over to your -- your community, you and your neighbor are getting sick president impact to the air quality. the extraction process as well as pollution from power plants is poisoning our air, water, and land. i'm not a scientist. i'm a boy from west irginia. i can't sit here and quote
5:24 am
statistics. i do not deal with numbers or statistics. i deal with reality. the reality is that people are getting sick and dying from this pollution. we know this. and our numerous scientific studies that state this. i am however living witness to the death every day. i can spend hours telling you stories of people who suffer like in 19 old girl from my hometown who was diagnosed with multiple types of cancer and has been given two months to ive. am outliving people i played with as a child at 30 years old. this is all because they live around coal. i am sure the residents near it -- living near coal power plant to can tell similar stories. many die of this pollution. they simply do not care about my people. they only care about profits and
5:25 am
campaign donations. politicians, especially the west virginia delegation are say jobs are at risk. this is not true. even if that were true, let me be clear -- no one has a job that is more important than some else's life. contrary to what the politicians and industry say, we know that there are safer and cleaner ways to produce electricity. the must to come together and end the cycle of death. this starts with meaningful regulation. no one should have to live with us the tour issues and other human issues, human health issues, that coal is responsible for. for the sake of future generations, stop talking. epa, do your job. thank you. > thank you. next on the panel we have
5:26 am
senator mcconnell. >> thank you. pleasure to be here. appreciate the chance to come here on behalf of my state. it is my understanding that these sessions are intended to gather stakeholder input on what people think about future carbon regulations from existing power plants. i couldn't help but notice the sessions are scheduled only for states were coal does not have a large presence, like california and massachusetts. other regions of the country are well aware that coal provides nearly 40% of our nation's electricity. as such, to hold a hearing and
5:27 am
demsh kentucky to hear the concerns of coal country. since epa refuses to come i decided on the half of the kentucky coal miners and the families that i would bring their concerns to you myself. if the epa will not listen to us, we will come here to the epa. i know it is clear that this administration and your agency have declared war on coal. this means a war on jobs and on our state economy. the president has outright stated his intentions for the coal industry. this is what he had to say -- if someone wants to build a coal power plant, they can. it is just that it will bankrupt them because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all of the greenhouse gas that is being emitted. that is direct quote from the president of the united states. one of the first things he did mong taking office in 2009 was
5:28 am
to push through congress' cap and trade bill to try to push it through, i might add. back in 2009, the democratic party controlled both houses of congress. they held a super majority and a set of 60 votes. they could pass anything they wanted to. the bill only nearly passed the house and could never pass the senate. it idled away and ultimately did ot pass in the senate. it ultimately did not pass in the senate. at his own party said no. what this president cannot get enacted into law was trying to enact through the bureaucracy. he has unleashed the epa to fulfill the same extreme mandates that were part of his bill. before you do, you will hear from us. coal employees more than 13,000
5:29 am
people in kentucky. i think it is important to note that the beginning of this administration employed 18,000. we have gone from 18,000 down to 13,000. that is a depression and not a recession. a depression. for every cold job, there are additional jobs. this administration has declared war on coal. as far as my state is concerned, 90% of our electricity comes from coal-fired generation. we can anticipate our utility rates that has been one of the great ways we have been able to attract new industry. we are here to remind you that coal keeps the lights on. for kentucky and for the nation. i wanted to do sue to a man who will speak for kentucky coal miners today. as a fifth-generation coal man, he truly understands the central role that coal place and in our economy and in our history and es, in our future.
5:30 am
his great-grandfather was a coal miner in ireland. his father managed large coal mines in kentucky. today he is the president of service at a coal service company. he knows full well how kentucky coal miners work 14 hour days to bring affordable energy to the state and the country. he knows because he works just as hard himself. if you're truly interested in listening to the people whose lives you will affect the most, listen to the wisdom and experience. i would like now to call for his observations. >> thank you, senator. irst off, i'm president of the i es river coal service and very much appreciate invitation today from senator mcconnell to come speak with you.
5:31 am
as he said before, we have a depression in eastern kentucky. i left yesterday after a 48 hour workday, over two days. we furloughed or laid off for 200 employees. our company as a whole over the ast six months has had to do that for over 725 employees. these are communities of just 1000 or 2000 people or 3000 people. when you have that type of economic impact due to regulations, and many of which are regulations that come from washington, d.c., that have very little understanding of what the outcome is for the local folks, for folks who get up and go to work everyday, the impact will mean for their families, that is wrong. obviously we're having hearings
5:32 am
oday in d.c. this is not my first visit here. i have been here on numerous occasions. i very much wish and invite you to coal country. you have heard people speak that hey are from coal country. some of those folks are and some of those folks maybe visit. there are thousands of folks would love the opportunity to sit and discuss with you the issues that they have at hand. those issues are basic -- they want a job and go to work and provide for families and provide college educations and have a decent retirement. it could be as simple as they want to buy a bass boat. it is american dream. without coal, without the industry that provides jobs, we have very little left. there might be alternative fuel measures that you can pop out of
5:33 am
the wood work, but at this point, there is no alternative. so i ask that you consider the real people of an latchia. the real people of coal country. the people that really matter in this argument because if you take away our livelihood, i do not know what we have left and so again sh i invite you to coal country. thank you. > thank you very much. we will go ahead and take a 10 minute break. 10 minutes, and we will reconvene in 10. >> coming up on c-span, a look ahead to the 2014 midterm elections and on this morning's
5:34 am
"washington journal" a conversation on today's house budget negotiations. this afternoon, they will take up a measure on asbestos claims. >> i never saw anything like it when i landed. there was broken equipment. there was bodies all over the place. they hadn't yet to bury anybody, either the japanese or the american marines. there were bodies without arms, without heads, completely eviscerated. and there is a smell that you never get over, to this day. when i drive by a cemetery and especially start using recycled water, i really think i can smell the dead bodies. > one of the reasons they took
5:35 am
iwo jima, one of the big reasons is they had to go over iwo jima to get to tokyo. iwo jima forewarned them by radar. they also had planes there that injured t down the b-29's when they were returning. it got so bad that a froverpbed mine, general randall, who was there told me that they had submarines to pick up the flyers. >> the battle for iwo jima told by the men who were there. saturday at 5:00 eastern. part of american history tv this weekend on c-span 3. >> now a panel looks at the possible effects to have government shutdown and the healthcare law could have on next year's elections. charlie cook moderated this discussion hosted by the
5:36 am
national journal. [applause] >> thanks very much, poppy, for that introduction. i've had an association with national journal for 15 years and you said i did well for 13. there must have been two years that sucked somewhere along the way. sorry about that. it is great to see you all again. these are always a lot of fun. greg and i go back north of 25 years. he is a good, good, dear friend. technology has done so many wonderful things but we really enjoy this association. the cook political report will turn 30 years old next year. we have had 15 years in partnership with national journal. back in the first few years, i was the cook political report
5:37 am
from opening the mail and depositing the checks and everything in between. now we have a terrific six-person team. there was a time where i could have at least given or faked a cogent analysis of every competitive race in the country. that time has passed now. what you're going to hear later on is the expert's expert. jennifer duffy has worked with us. there is like a year gap in the early 1990's. she has seen every senate race and seat come through cycle after cycle after cycle and has an institutional knowledge on senate races that i don't think anybody else has. and david wasserman, who you'll
5:38 am
editor minute is our who came with us in 2007. i will tell a story about david. he was -- i used to have this routine that i would give in talks that -- again this was back in the 1990's or early 2000s where in terms of white ting patterns that you could tip off whether they were likely to vote democrat or republican as in proximity to starbucks locations versus wal-mart locations. it was kind of catchy. it was back before they were both ubiquitous. i got this email one day from larry sabito. he said that he had a student that heard that i had said that
5:39 am
and did a paper where he plotted out every wal-mart and every starbucks location in the state of virginia. this is down at u.v.a. lo and behold, it was actually dead on. so i told him, well, tell him, you know, if he ever wants an internship let me know. david came up and did his internship one summer. s soon as amy walter left to take chuck todd's job, we brought david over the take amy's spot and amy recently came back to help out some of the national stuff, the macro stuff with me and then we have two people, ashton berry and lauren fulton. yes. i just had a brief rick perry moment. [laughter] but anyway, let's gets down it to it. i'm going to sort of lay out the macro and then we'll have jennifer come first and then david second. have a little conversation.
5:40 am
have a little conversation about the senate and the house. as poppy suggested, i came up a year early this year. i was trying to think ok. what is this election going to be about? came up with sort of two theories, and the interesting thing about this heory is they are got for 2014 -- probably good for 2014, but probably also a useful way of framing up where the two parties will be in 2016. and that is number one, will the republican brand -- will republicans be able to fix their overall brand image? and very specific problems they have? with minority voters, young voters, women voters, self-described moderates or will 2012 problems just flow on into 2014 which would obviously be a bad year for republicans. the flip side is second term fatigue. we know from history that it is almost -- almost inevitable that
5:41 am
second terms don't go that well for presidents. that they incur real, real problems, which is one reason why in five out of the six second term midterm elections since the end of world war ii, the party in the white house got absolutely hammered. in either the house or the senate or both in that second idterm election. the exception is 199 8, bill clinton's second midterm election. the party in the white house was not able to win a third term. the one exception being 1988 with at the end of eight years of president bush, his vice president george h.w. bush won. let's stop and look at where we were on each of those. in terms to have republican brand, i think it is safe to say that that there has been no
5:42 am
improvement whatsoever in the republican brand since the 2012 lection. that we're seeing the republican party's unfavorable ratings in gallup and other polling at historic highs. i can't imagine why there would be any improvement in their problems with minority voters, for example, the senate was able o get a bill through, but it sort of seems to be pretty dead in the house. which is controlled by republicans. you know, there is a -- just some very specific reasons why republicans are having problems with latino voters, asian voters and african-american voters. there doesn't seem to be any improvement there. the same thing with women voters. the same thing with young voters and self-described moderates. with the government shutdown, there is certainly fault on both side but most people tend to fault republicans more than democrats on that, so no improvement whatsoever on that side. then you go to the democratic side.
5:43 am
and we're looking at just a classic case of second term fatigue. as of now, president obama's job approval rating, the gallup poll as of yesterday was 41%. actually it was 40%. 40.41% which is exactly where george w. bush was that the point when he had iraq weighing down some heavily on him, behind clinton at 58% and reagan at 63%. we have seen the president drop roughly speaking a point a month since the election. and it is all this sort of normal problems. if you think about when a brand new president comes in, there is an energy, there is a curiosity on the part of the public. there is an energy, a passion, a momentum, lots of new ideas, excitement, all of these things are sort of surround a brand new president. surrounding a brand
5:44 am
president. but as you go into year one, two, three, four and the reelection, after that stay wane and five and six are not good and seven and eight are worse. and that is what we are seeing right now. part of this is bad things happen to presidents in their second term whether it is unpopular wars or economic downturns or decisions from the first term coming back and biting them on the rear end in the second term. so we are watching that sort of right now. i think in the chickens coming home to roost the debacle of the rollout of the affordable care
5:45 am
act certainly fits well into that. so to say what is the worse fear each side had and i think both parties are seeing it. you say what happens then? i think what that means is that there is sort of this muddle that is there. and why we have been seeing more and more wave elections. it used to be a wave election of maybe once every four elections. one out of four or five. and that is when the all poli c politics is local doesn't apply. and micro-elections and that is when the elections are stove
5:46 am
piped and dependent on others. who are the candidates and what are the campaign and what are the local issues of how much money they have all of these things. each one is independent and that is the normal thing. but in 2006, 2008 democratic wave election. 2010 republican wave elections. and they were increasingly becoming more parliamentary as a country. i am not ready to say that is the new norm, but it is less of the exception and more of a pattern than it used to be. but if you have this muddle with both sides -- in fact i had a democratic pollster tell us voters want to punish republicans but don't want to reward democrats. i thought that was a good way of
5:47 am
saying it. the democratic ratings are lousy, but the republicans is worse. so that is where we are leading into this election. it really is a jump ball. i know a lot of people were saying a month and half ago and i heard journalist saying the house is in play. well the thing is most of the journalist i her saying that wouldn't know a congressional district if it bit them in the ass -- that being a political science term. and they were making this stuff up. it feels like it. well you know the thing is david is going to walk through all of the dynamics of why maybe that is not as true as it may seem to be.
5:48 am
even stipulating the republicans had time that did damage to their brand. and so that you know, and to me, i am treading carefully and not edging into the david's area too much, but for a wave to occur, an anti-republican wave to occur, i think it would require things that have not yet happen. maybe another shutdown or near default or something closer than 13 months before the election as the last one was. because all of these things have sell dates in every event. and there is a period of time that it starts to wane and only truly extrodinary events like
5:49 am
9-11 are ones that had the potentency to last over a year. i think a lot of people jumped the gun back then in terms of whether there is a wave out there or not. i certainly don't see it. could there be one? absolutely. and to tread carefully on jennifer's turf, when you look at the footprint of the where the big senate races are they are in states that any anti-republican dominant standpoint that is out there will be in places they matter
5:50 am
the least. in the six states i personally think are most likely to determine the outcome of the senate in terms of majority, mitt romney carried all six and that is a low bar. you look at that and say there is not quite much in the way probably. but we are seeing things like this is the recruiting period that is almost over. we were meeting with the republican senatorial committee. but the house season isn't over. so if you want to say something for democrats you could say things look good now and this is the time where people decide to
5:51 am
run. the democrats need to recruit more high quality candidates in competitive seat. and retirement is the other one. and tim griffin retired and another one in new jersey and both of those are competitive district. we would need to see more retirements in seats held by republicans. so are we there yet ? probably not. there is my 30,000 feet overview and i don't want to go in further. jennifer, why don't you come up and i will throw her a broad open ended question and let her do her thing. but again, i don't want to thank
5:52 am
you yet because we're not again. but anyway, let me move over here. >> charlie, i am going to do a quick introduction. >> before joining the cook political report he she was the press secretary for the national republican committee. >> the reason for that was that back in my sorted past i had been working on the democratic side before i became an independent and capitalist. i found they had a remarkable young woman who looked at raced with an objective eye and good insight. so as soon as i was big enough to hire somebody else, jennifer came on board in 1988.
5:53 am
how about the nationals? no, i started to say that. let's say we all landed from mars and what is this about the senate elections next year and let's do broadly. >> in that description of how i came to work for you you forgot what you said when you hired me: i have to hire a republican and you are really not a good one. >> i wouldn't want a partisan. >> that was the point. you didn't want a partisan and didn't get one. so, let's see, mr. martian, we will not start with the basics
5:54 am
of being a hundred members in the senate. but in 2010 the republicans were able to get the majority. they were hobbled by candidates in place like colorado and nev d nevada. in 2012 the republicans were in the position to pick up the majority and only needed four seats. not a big reach. once again, they ended up with candidates that were, you know, les than attractive to all but the most conservitive photoevot. but what they were able to do with them is sort of infect
5:55 am
other republican candidates by association. whether heather wilson would have won the seat in new mexico is debatable. but i have to tell you i doubt she would have lost by as much as she did because republicans were able to turn her into another conservative republican. here we are in 2014, republicans are in the fight for the majority again. but their hill is steeper and the path is more narrow. they need six seats to do that. they have things in their favor and worker against them. 21 democrats and 14 republicans -- that is helpful. as charlie said, we consider 7
5:56 am
of their 21 seats in play. and of those 7, six of them are in states that romney won by 14 points at least and as much as 27 points. north carolina romney won by two points. if you flip the map, you will find there is only one seat sitting in a state that oba obamaca obamacaobama carried. democrats have to defend open seats 5-to-2 over republicans. and montana, south dakota and virginia are states romney won.
5:57 am
so the math is tilted toward them in the open seats as well. and there is not a lot of places for democrats to expand the republican playing field. republican seats in red states very much so. we have three seats today we are tilting in republican favor. and that is in montana, west virginia and south dakota. democrats play a smart game and recruit wherever they can. and right now i think republicans are in the strong position in all three of those states. we have one toss up in arkansas
5:58 am
and pryor didn't have a race and there was no republican nominee. arizo arkansas has changed a lot. but they have a solid candidate and he has a great personal story and connects with voters. so i would say that is the one most in danger. we have five seats in a column called lean democrats. i am interested to know the general election opponent. there is a three-way opponent and for everything you hear about miller i don't think he is a big factor. i think it is between the lieutenant governor and a guy
5:59 am
name dan sullivan who left state government the make the race. the open seat in iowa and louisiana -- that state is more republican since last time she e was on the ballot. the seat in michigan is surprising. they have cleared the republican feel and she is going to face peters from the detroit area.nds going to have a race if republicans get the candidate they need to have the primary, but there is a clear front
6:00 am
runner with the speak of the house and tom tiller. i suspect three of the seats wi will end up in toss ups and whether the republicans can expand that field -- it something they are trying to do. but haven't succeeded yet. and you see democrats, only two of the target are realistic. mitch mcconnell is in the toss up and he is more than holding his own with the tea party. i wonder if any told matt what taking on mcconnell was going to
6:01 am
be like. he is his own best strategist. and in georgia there is another seat there. mitchell nun is great and spent much of her life riding the points of life which is a foundation she is well known. she seems to be a moderate. very strong fundraiser. republicans have a really crowded primary. georgia is a runoff state. the possibility of nominateing todd akin candidate is pretty substantial. as long as the republicans
6:02 am
nominate the right candidates they have a fighting chance. but the question is will they? what is working against the republicans? charlie talked about the brand and the problem with younger and women and minority voters. the other problem is the tea party still and where they are running primaries or where they are endorsing kaepernickecandidt the most electable. they have done this in louisiana and north carolina. i think this is going to be a particular problem in georgia and iowa. states are republicans should be competitive with the right candidate. i am seeing a different two party strategy.
6:03 am
despite the promise of leaving incumbants alone is happening but they are going after them in the red states. the three with the most to worry about is cochran and graham. the tea party can go in and nominate their own candidate and it will not matter in a general election. most of the time it won't matter. but if i am a democrat, i might be looking for candidates and in case lightning strikes it is something they have done in the past and i would not be surprised to say it again.
6:04 am
where does it stand? the majority is steep, but it is not impossible, i would put the chance of the republican getting the majority somewhere 20-30 percent. >> jennifer, before i ask any serious, enlighten us what the governor of alaska said? >> he came in about five seconds after reading the story and something that is important in alaska is whether you are from alaska. he has been there a while and we did he go to element school? sandy hook.
6:05 am
he lived almost all of this adult live in alaska and sullivan has been there ten years. and when asked about sullivan he said i have jars in my fridge that have been there longer than he has been there. which means i will take the comment i am not having lunch at sullivan's house. >> i thought that was fun. republicans, to win the majority in the senate, they need to knock off three democratic centers coming in. with michigan in the mix, it could be only two -- senators -- how many senate democrats have lost elections in the last decade? >> only three believe it or not.
6:06 am
tom dashal, russ lincoln and another one. they have a strong record of re-electing. and i believe republicans have lost 11 and not counting the ones knocked out in the primary. >> so you could say six out of the seven key senate races were in states that romney won. but with republicans needing to win two or three depending upon michigan they have to replicate or come close to replicating what has taken a decade to do. so that is why you would say with all of this exposure -- and at the beginning of the cycle i
6:07 am
thought the chances of the republicans taking the cycle were at least 40 percent and now i am in the same range of 25-30 percent and that is because you look at it and realize the challenge is greater. jennifer, if there is one more retirement in the senate where might it come? >> it might come in mississippi. zach hasn't said if he is going to run again. i have been told to watch the form bill conference committee. it is important to him and high he bumped pat roberts out of the ranking spot to have impact on what the bill looks like. and then he decides -- he has an announced opponent who has been
6:08 am
endorsed by the tea party. the theory is it might be easier to beat him in a primary than it might be for the opposite candidate to beat someone else in the race. >> if republicans had a bad night, pick up three seats, maybe? >> honestly if they have a bad night -- like a 2012 night? i see them netting one or two. >> and that would get them 46/47. if they had a great night what might it be? >> 51. they will get the majority. >> so the most likely scenario
6:09 am
you would say is? >> 3-4. >> 3 is 48 and 49. i would probably go 4-5. 48, 49, 50. if you were drawing a bell curve of probabilities in the senate. bad night is 47 or so. now in 60 words or less, 2016. in other words why is what happens here important in terms of senate control in 2016? >> you have to remember that in senate races what goes around comes around. in house races, the 2016 election cycle will be driven by the 2014 cycle and those were
6:10 am
driven by redistricting. 2016 is driven by 2010. and 2010 was a good year for the republicans. so they will have disperoportioa disproportionate results. 2016 is a steep climb. >> 24-10 with 7 of the republican seats up in states that obama carried. >> this is the game because it is little better in 2018 but not
6:11 am
by a lot. we will do the q&a at the end. jennifer is back up in a couple minutes. thank you. [ applause ] >> i want to introduce david weserman. he has served for many stations and charlie i will turn it over to you and david. >> now, i should add to the introduction in junior high in new jersey your parents gave you a subscription to a political
6:12 am
better that wasn't mine. >> i asked for the cook report because i saw you and jaime walter on c-span. my parent called and decided to get me a description to governing magazine because of the cost of yours. i thought i had the the last laugh. >> how do you see the house right? >> i want to take later on as many questions on house races and rapid fires we can fit in so think of districts that might come to mind. in the house there are 236 republicans and democrat said
6:13 am
need 17 seats to get to the majority. that doesn't sound like a lot of seats but it is. democrats are up against three problems. first is history. the average second term midterm election in post world war ii era is an average lost of 29 seats. terrain is second. the house is sorted out after the wave elections we have had. 96 percent of democrats sit in districts that obama had and 94 republicans sit in houses that romney carried. so there are not seats that would shift the house. there are only five republicans sitting in districts that lean democratic by the pass two presidential election results.
6:14 am
the third is turnout. democrats have a problem in midterm elections that i call the bust generational gap. and in midterm election the proportion of voters is 10 percent higher. this has been true for a long term. but it was as consequential in party terms because democrats and republicans were getting even shares of the generation votes. but when democrats are performing 15 points better the 18-29 group. older voters show out for midterm and the democrats have to overcome that by somehow. namely getting the independent
6:15 am
votes in house races. these structural barriers have been problematic. 6.8 percent is the estimate of the total votes that democrats need above what republicans get to win the barest majority. democrats are clustered in urban areas so their votes are not spread. obama won 52 percent of the college votes but only 46% of the district and 22 percent of the 3100 counties. so this makes winning the house a tall order. and if democrats won the total house vote by 6.8 percent that would be quite a bit and perhaps
6:16 am
put them in line for the majority. during the shutdown we saw ballot polling that showed the democrats near that and republicans in the danger zone. it has come back to earth since the affordable care act neutralized the damage and both fell. there are two types of races. the first is democrats against republican incumbents. democrats are recruiting and having success in district that they left on the table in last year's election. and if you think about those districts where democrats didn't play in 2012. they have them running against lee terry now and in indiana's second district and new york's
6:17 am
23 district and michigan's 7th district. so democrats are trying to compete where they failed to recruit top tier people in 2012. ask the other types of republicans we should keep an eye on are the republicans sitting in democratic seats. gary miller in california is one of the most watched. mike hoffman in colorado. david valejo in california. chris gibson in upstate new york. and then frank lobe in new
6:18 am
jersey might be a bell whether because he has survived ever bad election and democrats are never challenged but they are talking it now. democrats versus house republicans is the second. we have nine freshman democrats and one is a senior. the new epa regulations have problems in south virginia. third is open seats. and we need more republican retirements to say democrats have a sense of momentum. so far from the open seats where members of the house are running for higher house we have 17 of
6:19 am
them. and they are playgrounds for e ideaologlogy groups. 12 on the republican side and 5 on the democratic side. one on the democratic side we are watching and that is mike's district in maine's second. and john run's district in new jersey that just opened, new jersey's third and arkansas has a district retiring after two terms in the house. in the forth category of races we are paying attention to is incumbents in primaries. i think idaho with simpson face
6:20 am
ag faci facingthe challen the challenge. and then just finally special elections. and we have had three special elections brewing in the last several months. the first is in alabama's first district in mobile, alabama. which elected business mind stream people. but you had in that race bradley burn who was more of a button down chamber type of republican running against dean young who makes mitchell bachman look calm. dean young didn't have as much support from the conservative
6:21 am
outside groups other will. bradley burn won the it by 53-47 percent and that is a sigh of relief for the chamber but we will see more. louisiana's fifth district we will see a republican runoff between two republicans next saturday. and in louisiana's fifth district this isn't a clear case of tea party versus establishment. the more conservative candidate is neal who has the backing of bobby jendle who isn't the most poplar. running against vance mccalli e mccallister whose backing in the race is not from anything
6:22 am
political but more like the duck dynesty. and in florida's 13th district, bill young just passed away and there is a special election on the 11 for that. the special election is in a county she doesn't live in, but she is regarded in the district and republicans are struggling to come up with a candidate who can go toe to toe with her. heading into next year, what are we talk about in terms of
6:23 am
overall net gains and losses? i think a minimal shift in the house if the election were being held next week. during the shutdown you could say democrats might earn 5-10 seats but i think we are back down to the spear where we are not sure democrats or republicans have a better chance of gaining seats, but there is going to be a minimal single digit gain either way. >> down to the florida special election bill mcbride was the democratic nominee against jeb bush in -- >> 2002. >> i think that is right. where it was a close race until a meet the press debate and
6:24 am
mcbride was asked a question on education funding he muffed and then the race opened back up. but it was a close race for a while. what is the other interesting think about alex sink? >> he is a great grand daughter of one of the original siamese twins. >> and grow up in a house in new york next door to him. one fairly serious question and then another very serious question and then we will open it up to everybody. alabama won and we have is the business community/establishment versus the tea party and far,
6:25 am
far right of the party -- and some people write burn won therefore the establishment won. and this is the first battle to me that will go on for a while. in next year, who is going to be the two, three four, tea party republican incumbents who might face a primary from the center? a more established business charity. >> is tea party versus establishment overblown? i think so. but there is going to be few races where is an essential. people ask who are the 25-30
6:26 am
republican incumbents that are on the edge of being tossed out and i think we need to remember that most are not and that the ones that are become cautionary tales to discourage. in michigan's third district where justin is there, the grad rapids community is fed up and not comfortable with him winning the seat. and now they are getting behind brian ellis who is challenging him. in the detroit suburbs in thad
6:27 am
mccotter's district we have kelly who was the only person on the ballot whether the petition signatures were found to be forge. and she is facing dave trot and he is more in line with the crowd in suburban detroit. and michigan is going to be interesting to watch in august of 2014. >> let me ask jennifer to come up and i think there is going to be mick microphones floating around to ask questions.
6:28 am
>> >> let's go to the first question and who is the microphone person -- wait. it is coming. >> i wonder if you could talk about the economy and the outlook for the economy next year and how that might skew for or against republicans. and the second question is 2016 in the house, if the democrats narrow the margin a little bit, presidential turnout is there a chance they could retake the house in 2016 or is redistricting locked in that in 2016 there is not much a shot? >> i will take the first part and david you the second.
6:29 am
on the first, the pivot point in a midterm election is the president's party. and the notable exception was in 1998 with impeachment where that was the pivoting point. my hunch is that if the economy was still struggling or got worse but still struggling i think it would probably reflect more on the democrats in a negative way than it would hit the republicans. unless this downturn was triggered more by shutdown/default or something like that. the default setting is it would hurt the president's party unless the opposition party was seen as having initiating a
6:30 am
triggering event that will do it. and that is why i think if the election had been in november of this year it would have been affe affected by the shutdown. but 13 months is an along time. there wahas been talk about the virginia gubernatorial race. virginia is a classic swing state and that was punuatcuated looking at the state race and the attorney general's race was probably the best test of where virginia really is because you
6:31 am
didn't have a -- how should we say? a flawed candidate on either side. weird candidate on either side. that would be the straight up measure in where it was going into the yesterday a 17 vote margin. >> out of 2.2 million. >> and then there was a development -- >> missing voting machine in precinct 501 in richmond city. >> and what was the reference you made before the event? >> the jim wells county voting ballot box number 13. >> when lindin johnson was
6:32 am
elected to the senate there was an usual ballot in one county. if we are down to 17 votes or one voting machine that shows virginia very much is a swing state. next question. >> that is thinking a little bit far ahead. but i would say this: 2012 was a great turnout scenario for democrats all around. president obama boosted the minority share and even that couldn't get the democrats within 17 seats of retaking the house it would take something really extrodinaidinary to get
6:33 am
the house. 89 percent of house republicans are white males when 35 percent of the electorate are white males. >> next question? go ahead. >> you mentioned david and gary miller and i am with soerp southern california public radio. immigration is playing a role, but i wonder how big a role it will play? you have people stepping out pushing their party to pick up the immigration reform. and gary took down all of the referen references from his website. and can you talk about the
6:34 am
california gop congressional races? >> david and i are going to hold up one or two hands or one hand -- what percent chance do you think there is going to be a vote on immigration in the house before this election? go! >> i don't think there is any chance. but on the california races, republicans have an shrinking turf in california where they can still win. miller has had to twist himself into a pretzpretzel. >> explain the circumstances of how a republican won that seat.
6:35 am
>> the top two finishers on the june primary ballot advance to the general election. miller and another were the top two
6:36 am
>> there is a question over here. >> hello, looking at the long game, we have been talking about a lot of folks that poi gop, the more or less dominance is of the gubernatorial slot. what happens with the redistricting and can the democrats make it, or is that lock-in for 20 or 30 more years? >> please let me give an impressionistic answer and then let david give what will be a more thorough answer. when you have the first election after the districting, that is
6:37 am
the baseline. over the course of the decade there are population trends and some get more democratic and others get more republican. so the precision of redistricted can come undone gradually over a decade. you can argue about how much that happens where a district can be are off. probably not that much, but some why. and this includes two dozen 18, two dozen 20, it could be somewhat different than the partisan orientation. but that is just my impression over the years. >> the democrats cannot could not pick a worse year than 2010. because it really is a vicious cycle. if republicans when and we draw the line, then they are in great
6:38 am
shape for 2021. perhaps jennifer can talk about this. >> is interesting because i think that the year will be interesting is 2010, 25 open gubernatorial seats, republicans won a lot of votes, putting us up for a reelection in 2014, by 2018, the 24 or 25 open seats again. and this will be better when they draw this. you know, they need to be thinking about that cycle of the governors races. >> 83% will be on the ballot
6:39 am
next year. so in terms of who will be around in two 2021, it will be impacted by several between now and then. >> could you please comment on the implementation of the affordable care act? >> go ahead. we will let jennifer talk about it. >> it. >> okay, i'd like to tell you that last october i knew that we were not going to be able to keep the health care insurance that we like and what i found out ways with the district exchange that i remember calling to broker the next day saying, how could you let that happen.
6:40 am
but anyway i think that there are a lot of problems here, not just the website itself and the rollout, which draws a public relations failure, but i think that there's a huge confidence problem for the millions of people canceling their policies and a lot of these people end up with these policies and i think their problem is really trust. but the way to watch this, i have been watching this through the lens of a democratic incumbent, mary landrieu and others because since the beginning of the cycle i have wondered what blood pact they all signed to support it and mark prior is on tape is saying
6:41 am
that this is the best thing to happen arkansas. but now they are all searching for a lifeboat. including calling for an investigation. and it took him weeks to sign-up, he finally managed to do that very landrieu has introduced a bill to let some of these people keep their policies and if they are not seeing it, they are hearing it from their constituents. my feeling is that a fixed website won't solve the problems and as we get into 2014 through 2015, there will be some new problems like access. because they are putting lots of
6:42 am
people in the system that but they have not yet increased the capacity. and i think this will be a problem in urban areas. it's not going away anytime soon. >> with the winners obviously been people that have no insurance today or awful policies that will get something better, what is your impression -- your impression is that there could be a significant number of people with employer supplies of health insurance who may end up with policies that may be less generous or exchanges than what they had before? >> exactly. if you had a particularly rich plan, if you want to keep that plan, it will be tough if you don't want to pay for it
6:43 am
anymore. in the exchange does not let me shop and i'm not willing to do that quite yet. but what i have been told is that what we have we are not going to have next year. and it's either going to cost us more about the same, and i said what we have and it's most likely going to be hard with higher co-pays with less access to physicians and that will be part of the system. and we have a plan right now and the other thing is that i have been talking to people who work for large employers who have had their insurance changed as a
6:44 am
result or who have had choices of lands or put into one plan. so i think that this has greater ripples and people appreciate and people who thought they were going to be affected at all are finding impact. >> okay, there's one over here. >> okay, let's try to get a couple of more questions unless they were serving decaf over here. [laughter] >> hello, i'm wondering if you could talk to the impact of other government shutdowns and what lessons can we learn?
6:45 am
>> it will be under a john boehner's dead body. [laughter] >> many knew that this was a mistake. they just knew it. the leadership knew it, the experienced once knew it. many of those with skills to look at math knew it, and how many suits that the democrats have in the senate, they knew that and this includes those house members who didn't realize that. the question is how many of them see things differently than they
6:46 am
did pre-shutdown. and just from those statements, i'm not sure that that is that much more clued in than they were before and we will have to see. but for people saying why didn't the republican leadership.bat, it's because they couldn't. i would argue that speaker john boehner had brought to the floor , he would've been tossed out as the speaker and he basically had to wait until there was an equilibrium in terms of the number of people who set a shutdown was an awful idea where we are more worried about the impact on the economy than those that were more worried about a more conservative challenger and there's a lot more concerned
6:47 am
about that than there was for those that fear the result of a shutdown. and it wasn't until it reached that i think that speaker boehner could call for a vote. so speaker john boehner, kevin mccarthy, those guys on it. and some of the more exotic members -- i don't know if they've learned the lesson here in there is not out of some of them to suggest that they also have it. >> okay. >> hi, i am from the feminist majority and i would like you to speak to the gender gap and the negative growing impact on the republican party and members in congress and in the states as
6:48 am
they continue to push issues that really react negatively to women. >> okay, i think that the term gender gap was remembered back from president reagan's first term and initially i thought that it was sort of a half empty and half full -- it was that kind of thing. democrats have a problem with male voters? >> yes. >> however, two things have come to my attention. the first is that women live longer than the men do. and as a result they make up 53% of the electorate to 47% for
6:49 am
men. both obama and congressional democrats won by bigger margins among women than romney or congressional republicans said. and romney won by seven and obama won by 11. support republicans are talking about a smaller slice of the pie. so it just doesn't work for republicans. but i think that there will always be something of a gender gap because i think that if you were -- worried about stumbling into stereotypes, i think it was chris matthews who used to say that we have two parties in this country, a mom party and a dad
6:50 am
party and the mom party is very caring and nurturing. this includes education and nutrition and many said that fiscal responsibility -- and these gross stereotypes? of course they are. but the thing about it is if you're going to design a party specifically for the white male voters, it looks a lot like the republican party and if you were designing a party to look at -- looking after other voters, it would look like the democratic party. and so some of this is inherent and will be there no matter what. and i have to think that if republicans -- i don't think we
6:51 am
need to liberal parties in this country, but if they deemphasized and toned down and turn the volume down and lower the emphasis a little bed on the culture issues, i think they would have a chance to do a lot better. particularly as the millennial generation comes more in line. but they are on economic issues and they are very skeptical about the effectiveness of government. they are not pro-government like liberals, but in their life experience, government has not worked very well. they are more open to private sector solutions and other things than older voters. so you could look about at that and say that maybe republicans have a shot with these voters,
6:52 am
which would be true except for one thing. but the generation is also far more libertarian and libertarian -- those are the things that are keeping republicans from doing better among that millennial generation. some of it is a messaging in emphasis and volume. >> i don't disagree with anything he said. i just like to add that democrats have been very good at playing this card, reaching out to the women voters and looking at virginia, 16% of all have mentioned the word abortion. it probably doesn't sound like a lot, but it was over 5000 and there was a lot of radio.
6:53 am
it's a effective strategy for democrats in the swing states. it doesn't work so well in arkansas and louisiana. but you also see that republicans have a problem with women and especially with unmarried women. the other interesting thing is underperforming mitt romney among women. and that was one, democrats have really learned how to do this effectively motivate the vote and i expect to see more of a. >> one quick statistic is that there is a place in virginia where i can guarantee that can occasionally one over 90% of women and that contains where
6:54 am
kendra tonelli at 91.9% of the vote. and that set the precinct of ways is exactly the republicans problem as well. >> i believe there were several for terry mcauliffe. >> there is a surge for those 20, that's my guess. [laughter] >> last question. >> okay, there is one more back here. >> i am just curious. >> okay, go ahead. >> a big picture, you've seen a
6:55 am
lot of parties collapsed. now, do you think that maybe we're looking at a reasonable prospect that republicans are headed into collapse? >> i don't believe there is a real risk were either party collapsing. and whenever one party does really badly, it is inevitable that the other will overreach. they will get complacent and screw up and get taken back down a notch and it really is, there is a self correcting mechanism that is there. it takes some time for it to self correct. and to me the challenge is and
6:56 am
i'm really enjoying about chris christie running. i think he's kind of fun to watch. but the thing is tell me how a party that is seriously considered, michele bachmann, herman cain. newt gingrich, they move all the way over to chris christie in one single presidential election. and the only way -- whether it is chris christie or someone that's like a chris christie nominee, it would only be as if there is a crash and burn election in between for republicans where they get us out of their system and a moveon, and yet i think the odds of this being a crash and burn is pretty low because the democratic numbers are so bad.
6:57 am
i don't see that happening. but there is a history of 1964, he absolutely decimated and pops back up and democrats win four years later with jimmy carter. >> well, i wasn't going to use the year 1988. but 1972, george mcgovern, crash and burn, before goldwater, 68 nixon, 72 mcgovern and carter. in both cases there was a crash and burn election and the party went the opposite way and even if david said, losing the presidency twice in a row in the
6:58 am
democratic party shifting towards the middle. i think these things turn around and is a one term or two term -- i mean, it's inevitable that it happens because both parties have some terrific self-destructive tendencies. it will self-destruct although they can bounce back on the other side. >> on behalf of the three of us, we would like to thank you. we have had such a fun time today. >> thank you. we also want to thank you for making this event possible and thank you to our audience for joining us today. if you could please take a
6:59 am
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] try to come up with a budget for 2014. afternoon, the economic committee will get an update on the economy from the economic advisers. eastern.rage at 2:30 withg up, we will talk pennsylvania republican dent.ssman charles then, democratic senator ben curtis discusses the health care law. and then a look at a recent piece from "the atlantic."
7:00 am
we will also look at today's news and take your calls, e- ♪ails, and we -- good morning, everyone on its wednesday, november 13, 2013. we will begin the "washington journal" this morning talking about the health-care law. president obama -- president clinton says prez obama, honor your pledge and let people keep your insurance even if it means changing the law. the housebroken are readying a bill to do just that on the house floor this week. the house oversight government reform committee kicked off today a series of hearings looking at the rollout of the affordable care act. our coverage on 9:30 this morning. meanwhile, house and senate conferees meet this morning to hash out