tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 21, 2013 3:00am-5:01am EST
-- was you interpret there some other factor involved? >> i do not think it was the , a completely single model. in the case of libya and syria, the truth was the british prime minister and the french government and maybe a few others were more in favor of action than the united states were. i do not think we would've had the nato operation in libya without the prime minister and
without sarkozy. the prime minister argued for a --e active western european we had theink example of the use of chemical weapons in syria and it was the american president who had to persuade prime minister cameron. prime minister cameron already saw the need for action. in both countries, public opinion was extremely cautious. a majority was opposed to any form of direct military action, which is what came through here. that was ultimately the reason why american policy evolved as it did.
even before the american position eve alt, my immediate reaction -- evolved, my immediate reaction was that it the type ofange relationship we have with america in one go. watching the american reaction in the days ahead for the president felt it necessary to consult congress. had there been a congressional vote, it it would have been touch and go. numbers and the house looked to be negative. in terms of having the u.k. and ,he u.s. at a popular level there is quite a shared set of views in the world we are in after afghanistan. the house of
commons vote as having a negative vote on the u.k.-u.s. relations. the u.s. was in the same boat. their relationship would not be affected. >> i do not think so. for both countries, there is a long-term issue about the appetite to take action in the world and whether we are going to remain actively involved in world affairs. i do not mean a simple boots on the ground answer to the world's problems, but are we going to be actively involved. -- actively involved? there is a question mark about that in britain, whether our political leadership has the
stomach for those decisions and issues for the future. in thell come through next parliament. america is going through much the same debate. feels that we are in a transition, the shape of the post second world war open -- order is breaking down. is thereof uncertainty in both countries. it came as a surprise to the u.s. was the fallout from that influence the decisions in america as to what they would do?
>> i think there was surprise. i thought there was surprise in london, too. i think there was surprise in washington, certainly. the fact that the prime minister had a vote was one of the factors which influence the president. defensive. be less the fact is british policy on syria and the decision of the british parliament are consequential matters for the united states and it should not be shock horror for us. that is the way it is. impact.ave some nigel, the special
relationship was so special [inaudible] we perhaps enable the u.s. to gain goodwill to cheaply as a result? a tooo not want to make simplistic a distinction between the people who practice the relationship in the way our media describe it. i think our media have a tendency to portray the relationship too much in personal terms. to be so touchy about it and so sensitive to each raising of an eyebrow or a slight gesture one
way or another, that you can guess the strategic impact of it can be lost. i certainly recognize the thought that we, crossed to the americans -- we, crossed to the americans as overly defensive and sensitive about it. we need to be more confident about it. worry less about those small things which can sometimes be big media issues, but which are not important in the long run. if you look around the world, no one has supplanted the u.k. as the united states most significant ally. particularly in the areas we are talking about today. in the economic area, you could argue about the role of germany
as a partner. i do not think that we have sold our position short. there are lots of examples of where we have advocated our policy to the united states and won in the end. sometimes they have come round to our point of view after further internal deliberation. trend of yourhe question, which is that we should not be so hung up on the superficial aspects of the relationship. the relationship has to be in service of our national issues emma whether it is nuclear or
burma, or whatever it is. >> i would like to come back to business briefly, this about americans. i completely agree that we need to be more confident perhaps. that can be sometimes disagreeing with americans when we have to. can i dig down into more detail military role our capabilities play in the relationship? we know the special relationship is based on a variety of factors , two nations sharing military capability. to what extent is there concern cut into itss military capability? can you give us any more feelings on that?you listed it as one of the
, but can you be more graphic? can you give us any more detail as to the extent about the cuts to our military capability. -- our military capability? statess in the united and one of those involved in protecting the government's thetion when we published strategic defense and security review in october of 2010. remarks, in my opening the administration at that time, although there were some underlying concerns, they were persuaded that we were going to spectrum of full capabilities, that they were reassured that our defense spending would remain above 2%, certainly throughout the life of this parliament, and that the numbers we were talking about
for interventions in the future were scalable. they were not as great as we have managed before, but they were nevertheless militarily significant numbers for continuing operations and for large single operations. i talked also about the niche areas. they were reassured may be surprised we were putting an extra $1 billion with this parliament and that money was going to continue to go into in turgeon's special forces. thatnk we persuaded them this was decent work at the time, which would maintain our role. as i was saying before, i think certainly,orried -- a very senior member of the u.s. military said only a few months ago that there were worries about our ability to contribute to future operations.
come as aat government, we persuaded the administration in 2010 that we were maintaining a very high level of ambition as far as our defense capabilities were lifetime over the through to the 2020 horizon, but i don't think we persuaded everybody. if you look at some of the commentary at the time, "the wall street journal," it was much more critical on the decision about aircraft carriers. i think there is an undertone of concern. i think americans, the administration and others, are by and large sitting this out for the time being and waiting to see what the key decisions, what the symbolic decisions are going to be in the next parliament. i'm not sure they are expecting major further decisions from the current parliament. >> can you give us your opinion as to where we must go forward
before it really has a materially affect on that aspect of the relationship? i'm talking about military capabilities. >> it is difficult to give numbers. though, isbilities it our ability to join the u.s. in force military intervention, none of usarea? >> find it very easy to predict where we will be. i think i said i share a widely held view that we are not going to be engaged in major ground intervention for a long time. effectearly is the net of iraq and afghanistan. there may be moments where we need to. weging by the forces numbers have had to put in the field in iraq and afghanistan, they are going much below the 6500 and 7000 number we can deploy in a single operation over time.
it doesn't feel to me we can do much less than that. we have a significantly larger operation at the end of afghanistan. for some years in iraq, we were around the number. i think it would be difficult to imagine in the future, if we want to to, to have that capability. numbers are quite difficult to imagine him coming down. i think the americans will look particularly at those areas where we have important day-to- day capabilities, intelligence, ofer, special forces, areas obvious british expertise, and interoperability with united states and a great deal of experience in those areas with united states. there are a lot of other things, as well. i mentioned the anti-mine warfare element. it is one tradition where the united states has placed a lot of reliance on u.k. capability.
finally, the cynics, the skeptics with regards to the relationship with the u.s. would point to failures, in their eyes -- the balkans, our attempts at , thete change international arms trade treaty, etc. in your time when you were there, can you point -- i'm sure you can -- two successes and failures at the tempting to get the u.s. to agree to something that is in our interest where we have to make the argument? my examples are actually a bit of each. they are things where we did not initially succeed, but try, try, and try again, and sometimes you get it in the end. i hesitate to mention this with mr. stewart here, but on the issue of afghanistan and the
emphasis to be given to negotiation and reconciliation, that was something which the previous british government put some emphasis on, got relatively little traction with the bush administration, began slowly with the obama administration, but it did become a central part of the administration's policy from year one or you're too, i would say, of the obama administration. you can argue about whether it was as vigorous as it might have been, but that was something that was a very clear asked by the u.k. of the u.s. to adopt a different approach to that. i think we got there in the end. the arms trade treaty you mentioned. we hads something where initially quite a negative reaction, but where, not just british lobbying about lobbying by others, as well, brought united states around the
position which was adopted under the president. on climate change, i think you aed to look at this through complicated prison. under the bush administration. there was no way through in terms of getting our objectives met at the federal level. we had to concentrate on a very different strategy of trying to and agreement at the local and state level in the united states. we had some success in that, which is continuing in my time at the end of the bush administration and the beginning of the obama administration. for example, in the agreement between the u.k. and individual american states -- we had them with california, florida, virginia -- it was a way of herecting the political weat -- no pun intended -- without having to get at the most tricky issue, which was the absence of
federal legislation. with the obama administration, they started in a different place, but still were not able to get competence of climate legislation through. many of those activities at lower levels were important to us diplomatically. you were just talking with about theitnesses transatlantic trade and investment promotion agreement. this was particularly promoted by the u.s. chamber of commerce and by business groups in the united states. initially, the u.s. administration was a bit hesitant and cautious about it. u.k., i don't claim the was the only effective advocate, but i think we were one of those who very early on sunday advantages of this. we were pushing not just our partners in the eu, the commission, but also a wide range of voices in the united states to adopt this. eventually, that better the president.
he agreed. thing in thehat bp example of congressional legislation, which we were able to influence. another bit of congressional legislation that came in with the big package, the stimulus package into thousand nine, -- 2009, very i'm open to us, but we in the european countries were able to tone down the buy america provisions. it did not apply to you member states. >> very briefly, you listed a series of successes. perhaps the exception is afghanistan were others have contradicted to bring in the u.s. around. apart from afghanistan, is there anything else as a success we have managed to achieve and british interests without necessarily relying on partners? also, could you just highlight
one or two failures? you have outlined a lot of success but no failures in trying to sway americans. >> i wouldn't have given an example if i didn't think we had a significant rollback. others -- going back a bit, maybe going back a little bit earlier, i think on iran policy, i think it is another example where the u.k. -- not alone, and you've are very rarely going to be completely alone where the u.k. has over a decade had a continuing , inuence on american policy favor of the twin track approach, which was not an easy -- easy thing to explain and negotiate in the united states when our outreach
to iran began, but we were in the end a successful during the second bush term and since president obama has been in office. committee might want to put sailors to me if there are particular things you've got. >> falkland? >> you are talking about the course,-- i think, of the administration, to our ear, gave us inadequate support at different times over the past two or three years, but maybe just to put it in context, uncomfortable for us, not what we wanted, not what the embassy was advocating for with the state department and others in the united states, but this was unfortunately a moment where , which mayat stake
be seen by the rest of the world as an absolutely key, top issue for american foreign policy or even perhaps for hours -- ours. i agree with you that the language they used on several occasions was unhelpful. far as we would have liked. it would have taken a lot to have adjusted that. whether it ranks alongside some of the things we have been discussing today. thank you very much. >> one of the major countriesons into working side-by-side was a direct route this day, there are still questions. inquiries by this committee. currently, we have the chilcote inquiry. it has taken something like four years.
rumors are beginning to emerge that a lot of this delay is caused by the united states. is there anything you can out -- you can add to that? , mr. chairman. if there have been delays on the u.s. side, this would have been , not the time i was at post in washington. i'm not aware of those contacts on that issue. i think the cabinet office did put out a statement about this last week when the issue came up again. -- you i don't know don't have any inside knowledge, i hesitate to speak at all of it, but i would guess that there would be two sets of discussions here, obviously between the cabinet office and the inquiry it has been documented over a couple of years that there are discussions going on about particular categories of u.k., u.s. exchanges -- u.k.-u.s. exchanges
during the conflict. ,econdly, maybe more recently the issue was reached by the united states itself. u.s. mind isthe whether the early release of top-level exchanges between prime ministers and presidents were matters of war and peace. if they are released well ahead of the normal time in the political lifetimes of the people who are involved, would of thefect the nature trust and confidence in each other for future presidents and prime ministers and make them less likely to stick to each in futureidentially crises? i think that issue might
legitimately be a risk. is yes.nal view on the sort of issue where you are talking about the most fundamental issues. i don't want to terribly get with you.r direct i realize it will be a contrary view. -- there may are well be a knock on effect in the future. given that our country does derive advantage from the tandoor -- from the candor of american administrations, we american administrations derive value from our tandoor towards them. i think it would be a problem if there were some inhibition over the quality of future exchanges. >> thank you. >> i can't help reflecting on that hase of newsprint been devoted to the whole question of a special relationship with --
relationship. as quoted president obama described in relationship as being an essential one. i wonder if he did that because that would more closely coincide with your analysis of the relationship. an essential relationship is clearly different from a special one. is that more accurate? does that more accurately affect -- reflect how you think the relationship is and how it should be? >> i don't myself think there is a huge difference between the two when it comes to it. i think that your predecessor committee drew some conclusions about this when you did your report on u.s.-u.k. relations last time. as a practitioner, i'm very conscious people get very hung up on the adjective, whether the
relationship is special or not, and as a practitioner, whenever i used it, i didn't like it. i would spend the next two or three paragraphs explaining what i meant and defining my terms. during the statement in 2011, changing tack and putting the emphasis on this concept of a central relationship, which is a different phrase, as i said earlier, it was to emphasize the contemporary relevance and operational quality of it. you get away from this sense that it is swathed in nostalgia and the mythology going back to churchill and every big relationship. i think that was the purpose of it. i'm not sure that either david cameron or barack obama would decline to use the words of special relationship as well.
linguistically, we can tie ourselves up in knots over this. >> there is a risk. i'm pleased to hear you say that a should not consider this wave of nostalgia, but rather the coincidence of contemporaries. >> absolutely. >> last question. >> in reference to the less committee report, what struck me all academics, british diplomats serving and retired were advising us that it is not sensible to keep using this term because it does have all those contexts, which were referred to as nostalgia. i think what struck me recently is actually the americans seem more keen to use the words to reassure us than british people who -- british people do who talk about the practicalities.
>> you say that they are using it in and need to reassure us. i do not think that is always the case. i think they are using it because of a regard to the u.k. as a critical ally for the united states, with which they have a set of unique relationships, on which their security, at least in part, depends. the more that we can embrace defensiveecome less and relate our interests and 'slationship to each side interests of the day, i think it is the better. i agree with you. i have been in a lot of conferences in america where people volunteer it. they are not under pressure. they say it to please us. it means something to them. committee was looking at this a few years ago, it was very much in the aftermath of the first months of the obama administration, where i think
there was a feeling, more pronounced than today, that the obama administration just was not interested in allies. i think what i was try to save remarks, therks -- obama administration has realized that has gone too far. certainly, the practice of foreign policy in the last five years has shown they need to use allies around the world in order to get and achieve things in the world, unless they have that sort of functioning relationship. i think that the backdrop that the previous committee was operating under has changed somewhat in just the way the obama administration, not only in relation to the u.k., but more broadly, talks about the world and talks about the building blocks of american influence and power. >> the fact that you can describe not one inquiry but to inquiries by this committee much of a valuable
continues. host: we are back with congresswoman vicky hartzler. let me begin with "the wall street journal and the headline that senator mitch mcconnell came over to the house republicans for your weekly meeting yesterday and said we need to stand firm on the spending cuts on sequestration, and let it happen, even if it means cutting the pentagon budget. what do you think? well, he did not specifically address the defense. number, keeping a lower but we need to keep our priorities right for you -- the country. i would like to replace the defense cuts and reprioritize the budget and still keep it on a path that would get us to a balanced budget. host: keep the bottom number, but cut somewhere else, not at the pentagon at all? guest: we need to restore the
$20 billion cuts set to go into effective sequestration continues. defense makes about 18% of the budget, but has had to incur 50% of the cuts, and it is very damaging to our military, and i have implications -- concerns about implications to national defense. host: explained the potential damages or the damages that have been done so far. service am on the armed committee and the readiness subcommittee, and we have had readiness oft the our military. because of the cuts, we have seen a lot of the training that has been set aside, and the of ouris only to national of a bowl of over 42 army the grades is combat-ready 42 army brigades is combat ready.
we have had simulators rather than airplanes. themaybe have canceled -- navy has had to cancel five deployments of carrier groups and we now only have one carrier group in the mediterranean. the marines have to shift around the readiness dollars to provide for the training. we hear stories of airplane sitting on the tarmac come in not even having bullets for our soldiers to train with. so, this is very concerning, and i feel we cannot hollow out our forces. we have to be able to meet whatever challenge our nation faces had host: another -- faces. host: another $20 billion would do what? increase the training, and ultimately, if the trajectory continues, we will see an additional hundred thousand soldiers let go out of the army, and we would have the smallest air force ever in our country, the smallest navy since
army war i, the smallest since before world war ii, and that is just not acceptable in my book. host: do you have a military base in your district? guest: i have two. we have the home of the stealth bomber and a basic training site with a biological, nuclear and military police and an engineering school for our country. host: what impact have they have seen from -- have they seen from sequestration? guest: the b-2 bomber has been protected, so their training hours have been detected, but some are saying less training hours, and it's for letting .ould, it is concerning
it is damaging for the morale of the troops and for the community as a whole. host: if you do not cut from the pentagon, where does the money come from? guest: well, twofold when you try to balance the budget. i used to teach home economics. you can decrease spending or increase revenue. first and foremost, if we could put some revenue-enhancing opportunities for growth, and i'm not talking about tax increases, but getting jobs back, that would bring more revenue back into the country. something simple is to approve the keystone pipeline, which would provide more jobs. if we could provide more certainty for job creators, i know businesses would grow. he would hire. a part of that is to have certainty about our health care intem, which right now is
major turmoil. employers do not know what to expect from the president's health care plan and their implications, so they are not hiring and they are laying off workers. if we could get that right, that would make a huge difference for our economy. the other thing is to spend wisely. budget,60% of the mandatory spending categories, and that is driving up the budget. it is time to be smart and reform and strengthen the important programs. host: the cochairs of the committee have said a grand bargain is elusive. they do not have enough time, so to avoid the next round of sequestration cuts, what do you cut, specifically what programs? of thewell, i remember agricultural committee, and we have a farm bill that is now in conference and we are looking at making reforms there. the house version has $40 million in reforms that will
save taxpayer dollars, and to replace the cuts to the defense we need 20 billion dollars next year, so there are places where we could look. i am hopeful we can make it happen. is up first in albuquerque, new mexico. independent caller. caller: i was wondering, as a member of the budget committee, would you be in favor of means testing social security and medicare down to $100,000 a year and hope that that saves medicare and social security for another 20 or 30 years? guest: i think it is time to to start the discussion. social security is vital to senior citizens across the country, and it is scheduled to go bankrupt in 20 years. the disability portion is scheduled to run out of money in three years. -- we cannot keep kicking the can down the road.
it is time to have a discussion on how to preserve and protect this important program. i hope the discussion can begin because it is very important and we have to protect it. host: what you make of the thatine in "political" frank lucas said it was deadline week this week, that they need to come to a deal on farm legislation. great, if weld be could get it this week. it it is a good goal. we have been talking about this for three years now. we are at the conference committee stage, so that is encourage. there is agreement on most of the portions. there are three main sections they are discussing, and there are quite a few differences in that area, but let's get it done this week. >> do you think if that happens it becomes some sort of budget deal, because as you are saying, the conference committee is looking at farm subsidies as a way to lower spending.
does it get attached to some sort of budget deal? >> i have been -- guest: i have been visiting with some of the budget committee them at this point they say it is not part of the conversation. it seems like it might be a win- win for both sides. in fondue lake, wisconsin. independent caller. caller: good morning, ladies. happy thanksgiving. i have a question. i talked a lot of people in my hometown, and the question always comes up, who in the heck is really in charge up their? you do not have to answer that. my comment, though, is we are sending billions and billions and billions of dollars to foreign countries every day. they it about time that stop that, at least for a year? put a hold on that for a year and get america back straight again?
guest: that comes up at home as well. aboutn aid only makes up 1% of the entire budget, so if you were to cut that out, it would not balance the budget, but it is worth the discussion. it is time to quit spending money and send it to nations that do not like us and where we do not have a vital u.s. interest. the white house did pass some funding for some of the countries, and we put some stipulations on some others saying you need to follow these guidelines to get our aid. foreign aid is a tool, a diplomatic tool that is important. many times, we do have a vital u.s. interest in other countries . so, it is important that we work with those countries to make sure that they are advancing agendas that would be helpful to us, and spend those dollars wisely. so, i think we should examine each country and see if we have that interest there and either
to support isue wanted. ist: didi on twitter, or defense spending considered an impediment, or are we acting too much like an empire. james has cut the defense budget in half, and america might survive this debt problem, maybe. guest: it is a discretionary spending category, along with all of the other programs in washington, d.c., and put those together, and it makes up 47% of the budget, and i was shocked and i got here two years ago to see how sobering it is -- our debt situation, and the fact that we could cut all of defense, all of the programs in washington, d.c., and we still would not have a balanced budget. we cannot balance the budget on the defense. we have to address the other 60% of the budget, and get back to the constitution. there are only a few things we
should be doing, and the number one thing is to provide for common defense. we need to be smart and prioritize that. host: let's go back to the meeting "the washington -- the wall street journal" reported on with your talk with mitch mcconnell, what did he say, and what was the reaction? guest: he was outlining what he was seeing on the senate side in these negotiations, that we have to continue to try to hold plan, which is reducing the spending, and getting to a balanced budget. that is our ultimate goal. our house much it gets there in 10 years, whereas the senate budget never balances. it raises taxes by $1 trillion. hours does it without raising taxes. i voted against the budget control act that said
sequestration in motion, but it has enabled us to reduce discretionary spending for two years in a row, which has not been done since the 1950's, right after the korean war. it is not the best way to do it, but we preferred to -- and we would prefer to look at programs , but it has become percent goal of starting us on a path to get but it has -- accomplished the goal of starting us on a path to get out of debt. host: "the wall street journal" reports that if a deal is not reached between the budget committee negotiators, the house and senate conference committee, that overall discretionary spending would drop from 986 to 967 billion dollars for fiscal year 2014, with most of the cuts coming from the pentagon. culpepper, virginia.
democratic caller. caller: thank you for taking my call. i wanted to ask the representative directly on the line, i believe very, very strongly that within our lifetime we will end war. i heard her say -- her statistics that it would mean the troops are lower than in world war i, and for the air force and the other services, and i think that is great. democrats come together as strongly as the republicans are, even though they seem idiotic, they stick together. if the american people, the people of america, get together, believe me, we will end war. we do not need it. we do not need to what country. we are already stronger than all of the other major military
institutions of the world. we are already stronger. we do not need to spend this word we need to help the american people every any the american people -- this. we to help the american people. listen to me. host: all right. guest: i certainly wish that was so. i think he is hopeful, but i do not see that is going to happen. if it were up to americans, we would certainly live in peace with everyone in the world, but there are other people in other parts of the world who do not like us and do not appreciate freedom, and there are some real threats out there. we look at north korea, that is a threat. iran, that is a threat. said they groups have want to destroy the united states, and if they have the capability, they could. it is wise for us to be prepared and to be willing not only to defend ourselves, but also our allies.
we certainly do not invite work, but we need to be prepared for it. i think it is important that we keep the capabilities that we have, and are able to meet any challenge that might come our way. host: from twitter -- representative hartzler, you represent one of the poorest so don't in missouri, you want medicaid expansion, and why do you want to cut food stamps? a great question, because it is not exactly true. as far as the food stamps situation, we are not, in the farm bill, proposing to cut any food from anybody that qualifies, and it is very important to me that everyone in my district and in this country that needs food assistance, that they get that, because it is very important to families. what we do want to do is get rid of some waste, some fraud, and some abuse in the system and save tax dollars while doing it,
so part of the savings would come from just reducing some of those programs, such as right now we are going down into mexico, and we have programs to promote how to sign up for food stamps. we do not need to be spending money that way. lottery winners are getting food stamps. we also go back to the 1996 welfare reform law that was very successful and signed by democratic president bill clinton that said if you are an able-bodied adult without dependence, so a very small category of people, but in that category, you should be willing, in order to get your snap benefits, and be able to work for 20 my -- 20 hours a week were volunteer for 20 hours a week, or have some sort of work training for 20 hours 20 hours a week. we think that is very reasonable, and that would provide a lot of savings.
far as medicaid expansion, that is a state issue, so it is up to the missouri legislature to determine that, so they are the ones discussing that right now. host: as far as the food stamp program being cut, the senate wants to cut $4.5 billion. the house has a much larger units legislation. is that always, fraud, and abuse? all waste, fraud, and abuse? guest: no. forsenate is not allowing able-bodied dependence, and in the house we stopped categorical eligibility, which is being abused in some states, which basically says if you qualify for one public assistance program, such as energy assistance for your home, automatically, they are giving them food stamps, even though the qualifications are different areas we are just say --
different territory are just saying that everybody should fill out the paperwork for snap, and if you need it, you will get it, but if your income levels did not qualify, you should no longer get the benefit. host: house republicans want to cut the food stamp program by $39 billion over 10 years. guest: right. 10 years. keep that in mind. host: i want to go back to iran. this is from "the washington post." guest: i disagree with that strongly. i think the president of iran has come to the table because of the sanctions. they are starting to feel the impact of that, and if anything, now with the time we need to be pushing even harder and passing more sanctions, because the deal
that secretary of state kerry was willing to approve last week, and thankfully france was the one that said no deal, would have allowed them to continue to send their centrifuges and enrich uranium. it would not have stopped them. it was called a freeze, but it would allow them to continue that, and they are very close to nuclear weapon capability. you have pledged in the past that if they have a nuclear weapon, that they plan to use it to annihilate israel and the united states. i disagree with that. i think we need to be passing more sanctions, if anything, to force them to stop and sees , -- cease their program and make sure we are safe. this and your thoughts on emerging deal from afghanistan and the united states -- is the headline from "the washington times."
in exchange, the united states would apologize for harm that has been done to afghans. ow.st: w i have not had a chance to read that yet. we need a new security agreement for beyond 2014, one our troops will be out, and i think it is wise to have a presence there to assist the afghan security forces and help them maintain the gains that have been made, think, doesgize, i not make any sense at all because we have helped those people so much. i have had a chance to go there on a congressional delegation, and see firsthand the improvements that we have brought to the lives of the people there. i think, if anything, they should be thanking us for the sacrifices and the service, and the dollars and resources we have put into their country. "the new yorkhow
says" describes it -- they months of fraud negotiations guest: wow. aroundred of us going the world apologizing for things that we have done that have actually helped other countries, and we have used tax dollars. i hope that will not be accepted and we can work out a deal without that. host: lauryn hill wants to go back to the discussion about the pentagon, saying that half of the civilian jobs, and have the contractors, as they feed off each other using american money.
guest: it is important is he where cuts can be made, but overall, as we can tell, with training being sidelined, it is very damaging right now to our national defense. we need to replace those defense cuts. host: danny. nevada, missouri. republican caller. caller: good morning. i would like for you to address what i have heard reported very little, and we have done in conflict, which is as the afghan war is dying down, we are destroying billions of dollars worth of equipment that i feel could be recycled. i understand there are lots of things that can not be, but there are a lot that can be. in the past, they push things into the ocean just to get rid of it. a buchanan like me a little bit. -- maybe you can enlighten me a little bit.
guest: thank you for calling me. thank you for your question. i have dissipated in several hearings on that very question, the drawdown, -- participated in several hearings on that very question, the drawdown, and how they will do it. back a lot of equipment, as well as troops, and each piece of equipment goes through an assessment process to determine if it makes sense financially for the taxpayer to bring it home because they have to transport it out, drive it many times,, pakistan, and then put it on a ship or transport it by playing back -- playing back here -- plane back here. they need to do the maintenance, and bring it back to readiness to use. some equipment has been destroyed just in the course of the conflict. other equipment, which is too
expensive, they deem, to bring home, that is worn out, but , sometimesome use they are giving it to allies or working out an agreement with afghanistan, transitioning. i felt better about it after participating in that hearing. hearing the commanders explain how that is being done. they are doing it in a prudent manner. they are not destroying anything just for the sake of destroying it. it will be brought home, we fabricated, or given to the allies, so there will not be any waste. host: rake in mooresville, indiana. independent caller. caller: i have a question for the representative. host: go ahead. caller: isn't it true that in afghanistan and also iraq, we had duplicated spending? we have soldiers trained to
support our troops, and we have private companies like halliburton and kbr that are doing the same jobs our individuals are trained to do. now, if we're going to spend money here, how are we going to train our troops and duplicate the same spending? cut, by thes be a privatizing our military? that is question one. you mentioned the keystone pipeline. during the construction of the keystone pipeline, and i heard this in the senate and i watch the sun c-span, -- watched this on c-span. it would create 2500 jobs during the construction, but after the construction, only 45 jobs would exist after the construction. how would this help our economy, and does it not only benefit one group, corporate spending, corporate america? guest: ok. great questions. i know, and i have heard stories
about iraq. i've only been here two and a half years, so i have dealt more with afghanistan. this point of at private contractors duplicating the missions that are going on right now with our troops in afghanistan. primarily, we have the army providing grounds to -- ground troop support to the afghan security forces that are in charge of the security operations. the air force is providing air support with airplanes, and that is mainly the missions now. we are doing training of afghan security forces. those are the main missions right now. as we said, they are bringing out the troops, so to schedule they will be out by the end of 2014, the president has said. control tosferring the afghans at this point, as far as that goes. as far as the keystone pipeline, yes, it will provide a lot of jobs during the construction, and they will not be maintained
forever, but during that time, it will give a boost to the economy, and it is just one example of things that can be done. we have a pipeline going through my district now from another canadian company that had the authority already to do that because they were just connecting the current pipeline from illinois to oklahoma, that i could tell you it is six miles from my house, and the little town that i am from, archie, has seen a huge boom. economy, by having all those -- boom to their economy by having an economic peopleit is bringig boost. anything that we can do help set the time and certainly it would be very popular. we did a show from cushing, oklahoma, about the pipeline companies that run pipes all over our country, including canada, have been doing so for years, and how it
all comes to cushing, oklahoma, one of the largest facilities in the country. we interviewed the folks from ridge -- -- and embridge. i have heardr nothing but the same tired rhetoric from the 2012 elections . more tax cuts for the job creators. has it worked in 30 years of reaganomics? stamps, 75 per month in suit -- in food stamps, cut to $17. i'm a disabled person. i can literally get out of bed most of the time. cutblicans do not want to food stamps? you want to cut welfare? but corporate welfare. make sure they pay a rate comparable to those who work at walmart.
national security? how about you guys sign-up and do a tour over there. you are going to send one percent of our population to go fight? your heads time for to kick in. the bill that we were talking about, reforming the snap program, has not passed yet , so i do not know how in your case your food stamps have been cut, but that is not something we are talking about today. i am sorry to hear that. it is important that we provide for national defense and i appreciate so much the volunteer army that we have, the navy, the marines, the air force. we have such brave, courageous men and women willing to volunteer their service and defend our country. that is what our country has relied on for their security
since the beginning. we are thankful for the founding fathers and those who fought in the revolutionary war all the way through. it is important that we in congress support them and provide them with the tools they need in order to keep not only themselves saved to come home safe to their family, but also to protect the interests of our nation and make sure that future generations enjoy the freedom that we enjoy, that is what we are trying to do. balance everything and provide for defense. the story this morning in "the new york times," regarding syria and efforts to destroy chemical weapons, what do you think about this -- as a member of the armed services committee. unwilling to -- unable to find a country willing to destroy the weapons, u.s. is considering placing them on a barge where they would be dissolved or incinerated. the systems under review involved destroying the precursor material used to form withcal munitions
operational chemicals being destroyed separately. under one plan five incinerators operating at a temperature of 2700 degrees -- host: have you have -- have you heard about this proposal? what do you think? i heard about it in a classified setting and am surprised to see it in the news. but yes, getting rid of the precursor ingredients, it is not until they are combined that it actually becomes lethal. mechanisms to do that. i am encouraged by the progress that has been made. i very much opposed u.s. involvement in that conflict and was glad that the president did congressional opinion
and approval for that, because i did not see a direct u.s. interest. at first i was kind of skeptical of the deal, with russia willing to come in and broker the deal, but so far serious has cooperated. has cooperated. the international teams are on the ground, which was a huge acknowledgment, that they had them, and syria helped to identify the sites, the international teams inspected that. now begins the difficult part of actually dismantling the chemicals. with the ongoing conflict there, that is not going to be easy, transporting them out to do that. you are surprised this is in the news because you learned
about it in a classified briefing. is there harm that this is in the news? guest: i do not think so. you are just getting more into the specifics of how it would be done. it was only shared with us originally and a classified setting. tony, republican caller, california. youer: does it not concern about the legislation that republicans would send to the desk of obama especially after what he did with obamacare, just changing things at will and the whole country finding out that obama and all democrats are nothing but bald-faced lies -- bald-faced liars? they are not going to follow this. we need to wait until these democrats are gone -- believe me they will be gone by next november. our ---guest: -- guest: congress isoal in
to get the economy going, create jobs, address the concerns of americans. one of them right now is addressing the health care system. there are many national security and agriculture areas that we can work on. i am hopeful that we can find some common ground. this year in the house we are taking up energy bills. there is a lot of agreement that we need to remain and become energy independent in america on foreigny so much oil or countries that do not even like us. let's work on ways that we can increase our energy output here in our own country, hopefully the president will go along with that as well. we were sent here to work, not just sit around. for the future we are here to address issues and find solutions and that is what i want to do. richmond, virginia, thank you for taking my call -- richmond, virginia.
thank you, vicki. are the corporate military spending. the profit margins. i have not heard you mention that. we had a vice president who was chairman of the board of what i was told was the largest u.s. contractor at the time. why do we need black ops when we have rangers and navy seals? why do we need halliburton when we have privates to drive the trucks in and out of war zones? i do not understand this. i am an independent and i am concerned about my country. you were talking about sending the troops over and how grateful you are for them. i coached high school full all, a lot of these people do not have options. the military is their only option other than getting into debt with student loans and agrees that will not get them
jobs. when are we going to roll up our sleeves and get to the table? another thing i would like to know, how much time do you spend in a 40 hour work week getting to washington? time do you spend is speaking to your constituents? guest: you covered a lot there, we have a lot in common. i used to be a high school track coach and teacher for many years. i loved teenagers. i know you do, too. that is part of what motivates me to do the best possible to make sure our young people have as bright of a future and as much opportunity as we have had. as far as the defense contractors and their profit margins, i do not know, specifically, but it is done through a bidding process. each time there is a contract procured. so, they compete for the lowest price there. that is very important, that we keep that competition to get the
best bang for the buck as a taxpayer in that regard. so, it is important that we continue to look at that and make sure the money is spent wisely. as far as the 20 hours per week and lobbyists, i would say very, very little. maybe one per week that i see in the hallway or something that i say hi to, probably not more than half an hour, maybe an hour out of a 40 hour week. there is not as much of it as people think. mostly, intime, hearings on armed services. i have a lot of them every week. probably three hours or four hours of hearings every week on the budget committee and agriculture committee. visiting with constituents, we had a telephone town hall last are havingb and we another one tonight in different parts of my district with different constituents from home coming to visit.
we have an opportunity to visit with them. i could not say the number of hours, but certainly that is my focus. i work for the people of the fourth district of missouri. that is where the good ideas come from. i want to hear from them. together i think we can find solutions for our country. times,"he washington reporting this morning, the headline -- "the senate and house at odds over what to do with detainees in guantanamo bay." what would you like to see happen? i would like to see us maintain the status quo. i do not support bringing them to this country to have their hearings and trials. i think that they need to stay under military tribunal and we tried that way. not support releasing these detainees and sending them back home. the ones that happened, at least
a large percentage of them have backd right around, come and gotten involved in al qaeda and whatever terrorist network they are, implementing attacks against ourselves, our troops, or our allies. i support the house version. another contentious debate on the floor over this legislation, sexual assault in the military. there are two different proposals, one would take it out of the chain of command, the justice system. what do you think should happen? guest: i support keeping it in the chain of command, but adding the provisions that the house added, which gives a lot more protections and advocates for the victims and prevention programs. we added many, many different provisions there to address those concerns. if this passes the senate, the bodies have to get together in conference committee. what is the deadline for passing
the authorization bill? of the year.d this is a bright spot in washington, it has passed for 51 years in a row. even though there is gridlock on many other topics, this is something that is prioritized and is a bipartisan effort on defense. i am hopeful and feel confident we will get it done again. the senate will continue their debate, look for coverage on c-span two this morning. lori, los angeles, hello. i have a question to ask the representative. strongly about social security, medicare, and medicaid. my husband has cancer and epilepsy. if you cut social security, medicare, medicaid, my husband would literally die. first, know that many discussions on that deal with future programs and what they would look like.
we would not do anything to harm you or your husband right now. that. there about are some changes that can be made and need to be made to preserve it for the future. with the money in these funds scheduled to run out, depending on the program you are talking about, the three years for social security disability, 10 years for medicare part a, social security is more like 20 years, it is time and it is prudent to take steps to preserve them. we cannot just keep kicking the can down the road, but people need to rest assured whether you are a senior citizen or a person on disability or social security or medicare that the people here as we have these discussions are going to be very, very conscience of the need that people have and that is what is driving us to want to try to
i will have to quit in a couple of minutes. minute.top in two more you had written about progressive and conservative constitutionalism. please explain those terms and which of those terms -- describes your own views. i confess it is not entirely clear what those content those terms have. it is fair to say that in academic circles they give some label to what
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