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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 8, 2014 9:00pm-11:01pm EDT

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the attack on benghazi was a tragedy. but here we are once again, riling up the community and the country and causing again grief to the families of the four people who died in a pursuit of some kind of truth that they were unable to find in two years of hearings over four mmittees, 13 congressional hearings, 50 briefings, five reports, 25,000 pages of documentation and waste of millions of dollars and that's just in the house. the senate has held hearings, the state department did a thorough report and yet now, after all that, we want the truth. i mean, what does it say about the house of representatives and whatever that was going on where they did not get to the truth. this is some reminiscent of what we have done in the house of representatives by doing over and over and over again, like
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trying to repeal health care and keep doing it until we reach whatever it is you want. we know what it is you want with a special committee. we understand that thoroughly. earlier today, i want to make a comment that one of my friends on the other side of the aisle, i deeply regret this, signed a report claiming that the democrats were fundraising off of the class republican fundraising off benghazi. we looked into that because i was very concerned because i was the one making the charge about the fundraising and it's absolutely false that democrats are doing that. the report was from a conservative web site and all they found was that the chairman of the democrat congressional campaign committee posted a statement on his web site condemning the republican campaign committee to fund raise off the tragedy in benghazi.
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so let's stick to the facts here. we are going to continue as i understand it, several reporters asked the leadership do they intend to stop fund raising off these people's deaths and the answer is no, they don't. what we are doing here again and the awful waste of time is looking for another answer to something that unless you get some answer that you want, i guess we will go on yet even another year or so. now, one more committee as we majority,favor of the will do absolutely nothing. i have an amendment to this bill that was based on a simple premise that the investigations and reports on the tragic attack in benghazi produced by the house committees so far have been nothing but partisan and political. my amendment would have made membership on the committee equally divided between the
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majority and minority and minority signoff on depositions and subpoenas and equal distribution of money, staffing and other resources and certainly ensured that the witnesses who come before the committee unlike the other witnesses that the government oversight committee has had who were totally ineligible to speak on the subject, one of them knew about the details of what happened that night but he happened to be in germany at that time. we could have worked to ensure that the tragedy never happens again but it's clear that this majority will not allow that. so we have seen all the reports and we know what everybody thinks and we know once again we will be going into this because you are the majority and you have the votes to do it. i'm appalled by this postering. to use the tragedy of those four deaths for political and financial gain is shameful and contempt i believe and i reserve
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the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, i would like to yield one minute to the gentleman from virginia, majority leader of the house of representatives, the gentleman, mr. cantor. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia. mr. cantor: i thank the chairman. today in , i rise strong support of this resolution to proceed with the select committee to find out what happened at the american consulate in benghazi libya, on the night of september 11, 2012. mr. speaker, it has been two years since a terror attack claimed the lives of four brave americans in benghazi. ambassador jay christopher stevens. u.s. foreign service information management officer sean smith,
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dougherty sale glen and foamer navy seal and bronze star recipient tyrone woods. and over the past two years our committees in the house have aggressively investigated what happened that night in benghazi and the obama administration preparedness and response to those terror attacks. unfortunately, the white house is engaged in a pattern of obstruction consistently ignoring subpoenas, redacting relevant information and stonewalling investigators. this obstruction gives cause to the grave concerns expressed by countless americans across the country. mr. speaker, what's worse, as the white house refuses to turn
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over documents, they go in front of the american people and claim to be transparent. those in the administration claim to be cooperating. they claim to be focused on bringing the perpetrators of this attack to justice. attacks in the benghazi for the first time an american ambassador was killed in the line of duty since the 1970's. and to this day, not a single perpetrator of the attacks has been arrested or brought to justice. we should be using every tool necessary to find those responsible and bring them to justice. after ignoring for nearly a year a lawful congressional subpoena, the white house, under court
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der, finally released emails showing that administration officials deliberately and did he accepttively misled americans claiming that the attack in benghazi was the result of an offensive internet video rather than a failed policy that allowed islamic terrorists to flourish in post-gaddafi libya. this object fuse occasion and refusal to come clean to congress have left us and the people of this country wondering what else is the white house hiding. my colleagues on the other side of the aisle want americans to believe that this investigation is motivated by politics. no. this investigation would not be necessary had the obama
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administration come clean. this investigation would not be necessary had the obama administration complied with congressional subpoenas. this investigation would not be necessary had the obama administration not misled the congress, the american people and the media about what happened in benghazi. the american people deserve the truth. and most importantly, the families of those four brave men deserve the truth. this committee will build upon the excellent oversight work conducted to this date and ask questions and demand answers. constitutional check and balances were intended to ensure that each branch of government conduct itself with the utmost integrity and do so within the law. that is our duty.
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and we will solemnly and jishously carry this out. today we have the opportunity to stand together and take another step closer to accomplishing that goal, to finding the truth and i urge my colleagues in the house to support this resolution. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: mr. sessions: we reserve our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida will control the time. mr. hastings: i'm pleased to yield five minutes to the distinguished the gentleman from maryland, my good friend and member of the oversight and government reform committee as its ranking member, five minutes to mr. cummings. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for five minutes. mr. cummings: i rise in strong opposition to this resolution. benghazi was a tragedy.
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we lost four brave americans that night. and i extend my deepest sympathies to their families. in my opinion, we honor their memories best by bringing the killers to justice and by working in a bipartisan way to strengthen security for all u.s. personnel overseas. as family members of ambassador stevens has stated, and i quote, what chris never would have accepted was the idea that his death would have been used for political purposes, end of quote. unfortunately, that is what house republicans have been doing for the last year and a half. n april 23, 2013, republican five n of dive --
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different house committees issued a staff report with no consultation or input from a single democratic member of the united states house of representatives. their report included a reckless accusation that secretary clinton authorized security reductions in benghazi. chairman issa then went on national television and said secretary clinton, and i quote, outright denied security in her signature in a cable, end of quote. when we located the cable, however, we discovered that the republican report distorted the facts. the cable had only a printed stamp of secretary clinton's name, the same stamp that appears on hundreds of thousands of cables sent from the state department every year. this report was issued under the direction of the speaker. it was posted on his web site.
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and it was prepared only for members of the house republican conference. how is this a bipartisan search for the truth? house republicans have also excluded democratic members from fact-finding delegations to libya in violation of the rules issued by the speaker. democratic members have been denied access to witnesses and republicans have cherry picked transcripts of excerpts without any official consideration. somehow that bipartisan? republicans have also been doing something worse. they have been using the deaths of these four americans for political campaign fundraising. i call on the speaker of the house to end that process right
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now. for example, on february 17, chairman issa traveled to new ampshire to attend a political fundraiser where he spoke about benghazi he suggested during his speech that our military's response on the night of the attacks was deficient because secretary clinton ordered defense secretary panetta to, quote, stand down, end of quote. that was a shocking accusation and he had absolutely no evidence, none, support it. in my opinion, his statements were reprehensible, not only to the secretary of state but to our brave men and women in uniform. and so today, we are here to consider a resolution to create another partisan committee to investigate what the speaker and his five chairmen have already been investigating.
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with all due respect, if the republicans want to fix the problems with their partisan investigation, they need more than just a new chairman. i have tremendous respect for mr. gowdy and i'm glad he said that the fundraising should not be done on the deaths of these four people and i hope that the republican conference will finally agree with that. we are better than that. one that is truly bipartisan and one that seeks the facts before drawing conclusions, rather than the other way around. and so, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. sessions: today is a historic day. as a result of the obama administration's unwillingness to openly work with house republicans in our ongoing effort to uncover the facts
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surrounding the events of the 2012 terrorist attack on the american diplomatic mission in benghazi, lib yarks the united states house of representatives is left with no option except to select -- except to establish a select committee on benghazi. as the author of this resolution, i would like to take the opportunity to provide the american people with a sequence of events that have led taos this point to explain how the newly formed select committee will operate on their behalf. immediately following the attacks on benghazi on september 11, 2012, that took the lives of four brave americans, including then-u.s. ambassador to libya jay christopher stevens, four house committees began investigations into the events prior to the attack, those that occurred during the attack, and the administration's response
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afterwards. i want to thank our house chairman and the committees who did what i believe was an outstanding job in supporting this effort. chairman darrell issa of the oversight and government reform committee. chairman buck mckeon of the armed services committee. chairman ed royce and the foreign affairs committee. and chairman mike rogers and the intelligence committee for their excellent work that has advanced this issue and brought up new facts without their dill -- new facts. without their diligent work, we would not be where we are today. but mr. speaker, that work was thwarted and by this administration not proactively in an open and i believe transparent way addressing the issue equally themselves, they have placed us where we are today.
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it comes as a result of their -- of -- of their being an unwilling partner. it comes as a result of many, turns, the administration has put up roadblocks to the congressional incarery -- inquiry. whether it's not meeting with congress, delaying the delivery of important document, heavily redacting critical information and retroactively classifying previously unclassified files, this administration earned exactly the title that has been placed on them today. uncooperative. mr. speaker, this will not be tolerated. and this is what has brought us to where we are today. i will tell you that many of the
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things which you have heard on the floor today are accusations pitched our way, and i will tell you that the american people, through this process, will find out exactly who is after the truth and who is exactly for hiding the truth because i believe that it's not just mismanagement at the top but bad decision this is a they should and will be embarrassed to have uncovered by the select .ommittee the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's reserves. the gentleman from florida has 20 minutes remain, the gentleman from texas has 24 minutes remaining. mr. hastings: i yield myself one minute before yielding to the gentleman from missouri. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: last night in the rules committee, ms. slaughter
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offered an amendment supported by the democrats on the committee. it would have allowed that membership on the committee be equally divided between republicans and democrats. it would guarantee minority signoffs on subpoenas and depositions. it would guarantee equal disposition of money, staffing and other resources of the committee. it would require the committee to establish written rules, specifically including rules about how documents and other information may be obtained, used , or released and i'll offer a caveat there about the intelligence you're about to get into with this committee. guarantees equal access, provides for transpatientcy of the committee's expenditures and budgeting and it would ensure quorum for taking testimony or receiving evidence includes at least one minority member and finally it would ensure that the minority has a say in decisions about extended
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questioning and staff questioning of witnesses. that would produce a bipartisan result that would be credible. i'm very pleased at this time to yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from missouri, my good friend a member of the committee on oversight and government reform, mr. clay. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. clay: i thank my friend from florida for yielding and i rise today to oppose this misguided, highly partisan, select committee that seeks to exploit the tragedy of the attack on our consulate in benghazi for purely political purposes. here have already been eight reviews of that terrible incident. there were legitimate oversight questions about benghazi. and we explored them in exhaustive detail. more than 25,000 documents have
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been produced and dozens of witnesses have been interviewed. millions of tax dollars have already been spent responding to repetitive and partisan congressional requests. the majority has alleged multiple conspiracy theories, each of which has been dispeled by the facts. -- dispeled by the facts. ambassador chris stephens, tyrone woods and glen dougherty are american hero who gave their lives in brave service to our nation but instead of honoring their memory, even before it convene this is sham select committee, it's already being used for blatantly political purposes. evidence of that comes directly from the congressional republican campaign committee which created an online
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fundraising solicitation esterday and it reads in part, you're now a benghazi watchdog. let's go after obama and hillary clinton, help us fight them now. so this is not about discovering new facts about benghazi. this is about creating a partisan vehicle to exploit this tragedy to raise money. and to prvide the majority's ex-- and to provide the majority's echo chamber on cable tv and talk radio with read red meat. i urge my colleagues to oppose this resolution. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, judge poe. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for two minutes. mr. poe: i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, on september 11, 2012, terrorists stormed the
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american consulate in benghazi. four americans were murdered. 19 months later, the killers are still running loose. one killer was even interviewed on cnn but this country cannot capture him and his fellow outlaws? why? what's been the problem? today there are more questions than answers. americans are still not really sure what happened that night and the days following the attack. several house committees launched investigations were -- but were stonewalled. subpoenas were issued but ignored. last week a white house email was disclosed that indicated there may have been coordination to purposely deceive congress about what really happened. did the administration deceive america? if so, why? let's find out. we have no choice but to establish this select committee, ensure that the full story is
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told even if the evidence reveals an inconvenient truth. shine light on what happened when americans overseas were murdered in the darkness of the night. and those that oppose this bill, i ask the question, mr. speaker, why don't they want to know all the facts? let's find the truth. the good, the bad, and the ugly truth. justice demands it and justice is what we do in this country. and that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentlelady from new york will control the remaining time for the minority. the gentlelady is recognize. ms. slaughter: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from vermont, a member of the committee for government and oversight reform, mr. welch. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. welch: 30 years ago, america suffered an incredible tragedy. 241 marines in beirut lost their lives when terrorists bombed the barracks in which they were living. at that time we had a president whose name was ronald reagan, we
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had a speaker of the house named tip o'neill. different parties. that was an enormous tragedy. an investigation needed to be done and it was dobe of. it was done on a bipartisan basis. one investigation was done. and there was a presumption that no matter how tragic this was and no matter how important it was to hold people accountable and that was done, that everybody involved had the best intentions for america's future strength. and there seems to be a premise, at least to me, that this president of the united states has any less commitment to protecting the lives and safe i have to the american people than any other president. i'll tell you, i was an opponent of the war in iraq. and i was critical of the policy and the decisions of our then-president george bush. but never once did i question that his motivations were anything less than what he thought was best for america.
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e're going off the rails here. this is a tragedy, but there's a real question, at least on the part of many us and i think many americans as to whether we're doing this right. how is it that there's such glee that the decision is made to go forward after seven other committees, 25,000 documents, more work could be done but how sit that there was such glee on one side where they turned it into a fundraising opportunity? who would do that? and mr. gowdy won't do it, he's a good man, but you know what if we're going to proceed it's got to be on the level. we've got a 7-5 committee that's being organized, it's not evenhanded. you can't have these tough decisions that not only have to be made right, they have to be made so that there's credibility with the american people that they're on the level and not political where you don't have a bipartisan approach. you don't have everybody
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weighing in on subpoenas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: thank you very much. there are lots of questions, the first is why didn't the military come help these men when they were in need over this fire fight for several hours. we'll just start there. at this time i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from arkansas, mr. cotton, a member of the foreign affairs committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two nutes. mr. cotton: couple lessons i learned is you moved at the sound of gunfire and supervise the execution of the orders. when americans were fighting for their lives in benghazi, barack obama did neither. he sent no quick reaction force and didn't stay in the situation room to see the execution of his orders. we expect more from the lieutenants in the army than our president gave us that night. for two years he has
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stonewalled. not anymore. we will now get to the truth. what did our colleagues on the other side of the aisle say? hey express great outrage at politicizing this manner. men and women that were being shot up by al qaeda, where was the outrage as they fundraised. where was the outraged as they viciously attacked our commanders and outrage when they said soldiers were war criminals and where is the outrage when they said only high school dropouts join the army. forgive me if i don't join my democratic colleagues in their fake outrage. ur america cons lost their lives. they deserve justice and the american people deserve the truth. one lesson i learned in the army, we will not leave these four men behind. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york.
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ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, let me yield myself 20 seconds. i would be be outraged do any of the things he has accused of us doing and i don't believe a word of it. and i yield to mr. schiff 2 1/2 minutes. mr. schiff: i come to the floor to urge my colleagues to vote against the creation of this select committee because this is not a select committee to investigate what happened in benghazi, which has been done many times already. it is not a select committee to investigate what we can do to better protect our embassies and consulates and diplomatic corps. it is not even a select committee to hunt for those responsible, which involves classified information and done in close sessions. no, this is a proposal to create a select committee on talking points. i have been involved with the
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investigation into benghazi from day one as a member of the intelligence committee, because like every other american, i wanted to know what happened, why it happened and keep it from happening again and i want to bring to justice those who perpetrated this horrible attack. after 18 months later and reports from house and senate committees and the questions that this select committee purports to investigate have been asked and answered time and time and time again. there is no question that this select committee on talking points will waste potentially millions of taxpayer dollars in a purely partisan exercise and serve as little more than a fundraising vehicle for republicans. the speaker of the house resisted the call from his base for yet another wasteful committee. here's what he said a month ago. there are four committees that are investigating benghazi, i see no reason to break up the work that has been done and take
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months and months and months to create some select committee. i agree with the speaker's previous assessment. democrats made a proposal to structure the committee so that equal numbers of members of each party so it required cooperation on subpoenas and depositions and material collected by the committee. in each case, we were rejected. if this isn't a fair investigation and select committee, there is no reason for democrats to vote for it or participate in it. let's end the political circus and focus on efforts to prevent another benghazi and accelerating the hunt for the murderers of four americans including ambassador stevens. thank you, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: i yield three minutes to the gentleman, member of the foreign affairs committee, mr. fortenberry. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. fortenberry: when pressed
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last week by a reporter about the tragic events on september 11, 2012 in benghazi, the former spokesperson said, dude this was like two years ago. this juvenile and unprofessional response has only added to the concern that we still do not have a full understanding of what occurred that night. what we do know is that our ambassador, chris stevens and three other americans are dead. several from the congressional committees have looked into this question and concluded different things and there are many lingering questions still unanswered. they reached different conclusions. but the lingering questions are made worse by the fact that we now know that emails from the administration may have been withheld from congress. this is the reason that we need a select committee. to probe deeply and get clear
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answers with a singular goal in mind, to restore the public trust. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from virginia, ranking member of the oversight and government committee, subcommittee on government operations, mr. connolly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. connolly: thank you, mr. speaker. we don't need a select committee because a particular chairman who is subpoena happy can't draft a subpoena to capture the emails in question. i rise in strong opposition to house resolution 567 which represents another unfortunate chapter in the majority's commitment to wasting taxpayer dollars after round after round of benghazi political theater. there is a reason that state slogan is diplomacy in action, to effectively represent our nation, american personnel and
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families make sacrifices. ambassador stevens' family issued this. chris was not willing to be the kind of diplomat who would strut around in fortified come pounds. he walked the streets with the lightest of escorts, chatting with people. there was a risk to being accessible. he knew it. and he accepted it. what he would never have accepted was the idea that his death would be used for political purposes. there were security shortcomings, no doubt, both internal and outside investigations have identified and publicly disclosed them. steps are being taken to repair them. chris would not have wanted to be remembered as a victim. he knew and accepted that he was working under dangerous circumstances and did so just as so many of our professionals do every day, because he believed the work was vitally important. that's the statement of chris
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stevens', deceased murdered ambassador to libya -- his family. i deeply understand the demands we place on our foreign service and i know the stakes are high. as a member of the senate foreign relations committee staff from 1979 to 1989 i advicebly recall shortly after i returned home from a visit to the u.s. bar racks in beirut a truck bomb was detonated killing 241 u.s. members of the marine corps. our embassy was blown up twice in beirut. the democrats didn't pile on. the democrats didn't call for a select committee to investigate ronald reagan and his administration for incompetence. we didn't darkly hint there was a conspiracy by the reagan administration to hide the facts to deny terrorism had occurred. we were patriots and came together and mourned our losses and worked with a republican
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president to make it better. that's the spirit in which we should approach this issue. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: at this time, i would like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from nebraska, mr. terry. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. terry: thank you, mr. speaker. this bill is absolutely necessary when we look at the facts as we know them currently and we look at the information that we are uncertain about. number one, we have lost four people in an attack that we now know is a terrorist attack. now know that some things could have been done, but for some reason, to save these people, but they weren't done. now beirut has been raised a couple of times showing the ooperation between speaker tip
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o'neill and ronald reagan when we lost those soldiers. i remember it vividly. the difference is how the leadership between then and now reacted. so the leadership at the white house responded to this attack by developing a false narrative, probably we don't know why they came up with this fake story ad gone imprompt tue bad. we talked about in beirut, as my friends from the other side of the aisle had mentioned about all of the documents that were received in the beirut investigation. well, that's because they were cooperative. the documents we received, despite from the gentleman from virginia just said that they were subpoenaed incorrectly.
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the documents we received were heavily redacted and purposely not providing that information. it was redacted. now, why was that redacted? why was it we had to find out some of the truth about the cover-up that occurred on that narrative about a protest gone bad by an outside group that provided the unredacted. so now what we have before us is an email that was redacted from the white house and another one that was obtained through an outside source, provided us the same but unredacted that says now that the white house was telling us something different. when you have a white house that has gone out of their way to over up the truth, it is incumbent on both sides of the
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aisle to fight for the truth, so that the four people that lost their lives, one of which an ambassador for god's sake, they are the ones that deserve justice by this select committee. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: for rebuttal, i'm going to yield two minutes to the the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. connolly: it's amazing that he claims the white house is covering up when the white house gave an unredacted version to the judicial watch. i'm rebutting what i just heard. mr. terry: you are proving -- mr. connolly: mr. speaker. the gentleman says this is about getting at the truth. really? because there have been so many falsehoods propounded on this subject by the other side of the aisle. there was a standdown order.
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there was no such thing. we could have mobilized the military to intervene and the military did what it could but not enough time frame to intervene in the tragedy unfolding in benghazi. the secretary of state knew and deliberately covered up. there were talking points that avoided the word terrorism even though the president of the united states did use terrorism. the islamic video had nothing to do with happened in benghazi. mr. terry: would the gentleman yield, because that's absolutely wrong, and you know it. mr. connolly: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. let me remind the other side, the gentleman controls the time. he has been unwilling to yield. mr. connolly: i thank the speaker for returning us to regular order. these are falsehoods used to justify a needless taxpayer's
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dollars to beat to death for political purposes the tragedy that occurred in benghazi. and the invocation of the name of the deceased ambassador, chris stevens, even though his own family pleaded that he not be used as a political pawn in a political partisan game is something that is beneath contempt. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, the eason why judicial watch received the information they did in an unredacted basis is because there are criminal penalties associated with that act. those criminal penalties do not exist in the congressional inquiry. the administration is simply taking advantage of that and they know that. and so do all members of congress.
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this administration was playing games. they're taking advantage of the structure which has been established in the relationship of trying to have the three co-exist.f government . that's where the speaker said enough is enough. when we recognize that the documents we're getting which are heavily redacted did not could he inside or agree -- coincide or agree with because they asked for it under foia, which has criminal penalties associated with it which meant that those lawyers knew exactly what they were doing and could be held to that criminal penalty point. but in providing them to congress, they would just
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redact it and then claim might security and we not ever know the difference. we're not stupid. 've been deliberate, we've been cautious, we've stayed after it, but redax after redax -- redaction after redaction and trying to lead us down a path is exactly where this administration has been and they deserve what they're getting. they are the ones that brought this to congress. we are simply properly carefully responding. mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from the foreign affairs committee, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for two minutes. mr. smith: i thank the gentleman for bringing this important legislation forward. and also to congressman frank wolf which has been tenacious in insisting there is a select committee. there are serious gaps, we all
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know it and the people who lost their lives, who died unnecessarily, their loved ones and the american people deserve to know the truth about benghazi. you know, when secretary clinton came before the foreign affairs committee, i asked her point blank, you have said, madam secretary, that you take full responsibility, so i asked her, how do you define full responsibility? she defines it from the day of d all that preceded benghazi is precluded in that definition. despite the fact there was one cable after another suggesting there was serious gaps in security, all of that seemed to have not made its way to either her or her senior staff, that is a very, very much of a lack of attention to detail and that needs to be -- light needs to be brought to that. i asked the two -- two of the people who headed up the a.r.b., the accountability review board, why they did not interview secretary clinton. they had no good answer. i asked them twice, no good
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answer. back in 1998 when we got hit in nairobi, i chaired the hearings of the accountability review board and we looked painstakingly at all the gaps that existed and i wrote the secure embassy construction of 1999. there was lessons learned. those lessons were not applied the way they should have been to benghazi. again, requests were made for help. we still don't know the truth. the new select committee will leave no stone unturned. it will get answered. again, those who died, their loved ones and the american people deserve to know the truth. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, may i inquire if my colleague has nor requests for time? mr. sessions: in fact i do. ms. slaughter: you do. then i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: thank you very much, mr. speaker. if i could inquire back to the gentlewoman, are you through with your speakers? you expect to close? ms. slaughter: i am.
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mr. sessions: mr. speaker, i'd like to yield to one of the newest members of congress, the tampa bay, om florida, the gentleman, congressman jolly, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for two minutes. mr. jolly: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of this resolution, a resolution necessitated today by a crisis and trust, a crisis in trust between this congress and this administration. this body has the article 1 constitutional authority to provide oversight over the administration, an authority that has been repeatedly ignored by this administration. and ignored with an audacity rarely seen in modern politics. today with this resolution, we confront that audacity. here are the facts, mr. speaker. we have a president that rules by pen and a phone. we have an attorney general that selectively enforces laws when he wishes to and which states he wishes to. we have a veterans affairs administration who is withholding documents about the death of veterans. we have agencies that legislate by regulation and we have an i.r.s. that has targeted organizations and refuses to
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testify about it. so is it any surprise that last week additional information comes to light about benghazi? no, it is not. this administration has kept information from this congress, and they have refused to recognize the gravity of this obstructionism. they've done so in the context of a loss of american lives and a loss of life that is personal for a family in my district. that family deserves answers. so, yes, we have a crisis in trust between this congress and this administration, but this is not political theater. this has not been brought upon this house by this side of the aisle. this has been brought upon this house by the stone walling of the administration. it is a rightful execution and proper execution of the article 1 oversight authority of this congress. i urge my colleagues to support this resolution. thank you very much. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, thank you very much. mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to yield three minutes to the government and oversight committee, the gentleman from
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florida, chairman mica. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for three minutes. mr. mica: mr. speaker and my colleagues, i'm going to ask a couple questions. first of all, i have to give a disclaimer that i was one of the members on this side of the aisle that did not favor a select committee. i actually took my name off of the request from mr. wolf and i thought we could handle this manner in regular order. four committees proceeded to investigate the matter. i'm the senior member of the -- chief investigative panel of congress. i've been through many investigations. i've never in my life seen the stone walling -- stonewalling, i've never seen the contempt for congress displayed by this administration and then last week to make a mockery of the entire system we saw from an
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outside party getting information that four committees of congress had never received and requested. i have never seen anything like this. why are we doing this? the other side has brought this. the administration has brought this upon themselves. let me ask a fundamental question. what difference does it make? what difference does it make? i want you to tell that to the state department employees who every day go to work, sometimes put their life at risk. four american officials were killed, murdered and no one's been held accountable. no one's been brought to justice, and to have an official come before committee of congress and say, what difference does it make, ask that to the families of the
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state department, people who work for the american people. what difference does it make? ask the military. oh, there's no evidence of order to stand down, but we know our military had the ability to save those americans . we know that the state department had the ability to keep those americans safe, and no one acted. what difference does it make? what difference does it make to those four families? what difference does it make? we don't have to investigate anything. we don't have to hold anyone accountable. no one died in watergate. four american officials lost their lives, and under our systems, individuals, whether it's the secretary of the state or the president of the united states or any official at any level needs to be and must be
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held accountable and responsible under our system. otherwise, we make a mockery of this whole business of a government of and for and by the people. mr. sessions: i give the gentleman one additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one additional minute. mr. mica: what difference does it make? people were asleep at the switch. they need to be held accountable, again, regardless of rank. this is the united states of america. this is the congress. people sent us here. they are out there trying to make a living, provide for their families, pay their taxes . they sent us here to keep this government responsible, accountable. what difference does it make? it makes a great deal of difference, not only to the men and women of the state department, our united states military, the families of those
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slain, but it makes a big difference to the people of the united states who sent us here to keep this a responsible government and accountable no matter who must be held responsible or accountable. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentlelady from new york continue to reserve? ms. slaughter: i do as long as my colleague has speakers. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, thank you very much. we are now through with our speakers. i'll close so the gentlewoman may proceed. ms. slaughter: i'll close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york is recognized for the balance of the time which is 9 1/2 minutes. ms. slaughter: how much? the speaker pro tempore: 9 1/2 minutes. ms. slaughter: i think probably the best way for me to close is another vote from a man who is fast becoming my favorite member of the house of representatives, congressman buck mckeon, republican chair of the armed services committee. he said to the associated press
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on april 10 last month, quote, i think i've pretty well been satisfied that given where the troops were how quickly the thing all happened and how we kly it dissipated, probably could not have done more than we did. at some point we think we'll have as much of the story we're going to get and move on. mr. mckeon, it is long past time for us to move on. i really appreciate so much hearing from mr. connolly, the statement from ambassador stevens' family, and i've heard it before. and the eloquence which they talked about him. remember, he had been there in benghazi, basically been there for the day. and everybody said and all the things i read, he was the kind of man, he spoke the language, he wanted to be out with the people. he would not want to be behind
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the walls of compound. and he knew what he was doing and he made his choices. but the thing that rang so strongly with me was the one thing they said he would not have wanted was to become a political pawn. and that's exactly what we're making of ambassador stevens and the other three americans who died in that tragic event. without any question we are also causing once again to those four families, people who oved them most, grievous hardship to try to deal with all this again and it's being done for politics, it's being done to raise money. and so i want to close to paraphrase another great american at another time and ask the majority, have you no shame?
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at long last, have you no shame? i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back her time. the gentleman from texas is recognized for the balance of his time, seven minutes. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, thank you very much, and i do want to thank the gentlewoman from new york, the ranking member of the rules committee, my dear friend, who presided over a very long hearing yesterday where we went through in a meticulous fashion the understanding of why this committee, who this committee might comprise itself of and what their mission would be. we intervened into this process as a result of a real problem, mr. speaker. we've intervened in this process because the administration and these standing committees here in the house of representatives were unable to quickly and thoroughly accomplish their goal of providing not only
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proper oversight but getting a fair and transparent answer back. hiding the ball is one thing. deception is another. and this administration has gone out of their way. they've lawyered up to make sure that they could, i think, mislead congress to where they would make sure we really couldn't ever get involved in anything but a goo ball and then they would try to explain them self in such a way that they would blame our insistence upon getting the truth as a political witch-hunt. mr. speaker, that must mean there's a witch somewhere, and i don't have any clue what that answer is but what i will tell you is this, is we must get to the bottom of this without it being a political witch-hunt. . . so
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yesterday i went through with the committee an understanding and i stated three important parts of what this resolution is about. the select committee is authorized and directed to conduct a full and complete investigation and study and to issue a final report and its findings to the house regarding all policies, decisions and activities that contributed to the attack on the united states facilities in benghazi, libya, on september 11, 2012. as well as those that affected the ability of the united states and to prepare for these attacks. and number three, in particular, that information related to lessons learned from the attack and executive branch activities and efforts to protect the united states facilities and personnel must be understood.
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mr. speaker, john boehner, the speaker of the house, has announced that the gentleman from south carolina, a distinguished federal prosecutor , a reliable person who serves in this body is not the least bit interested in the political outcome. in fact, he's interested, because i know him and know him well in doing the things which are under the charge that we at the rules committee and that this house today, i believe, will give him. that he will well and faithfully discharge those duties that have been given to him as the chairman of the select committee. and i believe that the speaker of the house has met with former speaker pelosi, now the minority leader, to ask the minority leader to please offer him the
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ames of those five personnel members of congress who might represent the democrats or the minority in this case an opportunity to be a full and forthwith member of this committee. it is our intent that these 12 people will work together, not apart, that they will work with a mandate that is clear and that provides them the necessary information and the discretion to the full extent of the law. but it is also understood by this that these members of this select committee need to be met forthwith by the administration of the united states of america and that is the office and the executive branch of the presidency. and it is a full request that i would make at this time for the
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american people to understand that we are asking this administration to lay down their sword, to lay down those things to have been have been things that have been transparent and information that would allow us to get to the bottom of this. we have heard over and over how people accepted that the buck stopped there and they took full responsibility. but in accepting full responsibility, we have not learned enough about what those mistakes were if they're willing to accept the responsibility. this is not going to be wished away, mr. speaker. our young chairman gowdy will not whitewash this investigation. our committee is not empowered just to go off and twitter away
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the time. there will be serious members of this body. i look forward to finding out -- former speaker pelosi and appoints to the committee i will be intensely interested to see who speaker boehner apoints and i think they will represent the very best from this body, that they will be young men and young men -- women who have been part of an understanding of how to carefully look for the facts of the case and not an inch beyond, how to ask questions that are fair and those that represent the very best of only learning the truth and not an inch more. and i have confidence that this house of representatives, through the leadership of mr. gowdy, will bring not only
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excellence, but will stand as a model of how the house of representatives should conduct itself when they have a problem with an administration, whether it be republican or democrat. and i i will predict today that those people that former speaker pelosi brings to the people and we bring to the table will be prepared to do exactly that. with that, mr. sp then supreme court oral argument . a case that looks at whether law enforcement can look at cell phone content without a war and. warrant.without a
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later a look at data collection by the nsa. hungers meant john delaney on the highway trust fund and a find a new funding source. and then legislation to provide emergency unemployment insurance. washington journal is live every morning on c-span. you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. house foreign affairs committee takes up several policy bills friday. legislation includes combating sex trafficking of children and condemning the abduction of nigeria and girls by oh boko haram. >> c-span's newest book sundays at eight.
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>> this country was built on people who have immigrated to this country. andme with no documentation no ability to get a job or an education. one i first came into the united , i crossedhe 1980's the border and ended up coming into the san joaquin valley to work as a migrant worker. it was no challenge to find a job. with the very same hands that are doing brain surgery i was pulling weeds. 8:00.pan, sundays at now available at your favorite bookseller. >> a house judiciary
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subcommittee heard testimony from comcast and time warner cable executives on the proposed merger. this hearing is about four hours. >> good morning. the committee hearing will come to order. without objection the chair is authorized to declare recesses of the committee at any time. i don't did we anticipate a recess unless it goes fairly long, and then we will have one for everyone's convenience. i recognize myself for the opening statement. today is for a proposed merger. the purpose of the hearing is
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not to determine whether the merger should proceed as proposed, the modified or denied. that responsibility lies with the other branches of the federal government and involves the department of justice and communications division. here to provide a public for the american consumer and competition that could emerge from a merger between the two largest cable companies. in doing so the committee will perform an important function that has historically provided pursuant to antitrust jurisdiction. the transparency that accompanies an open hearing serves as a vital role in any of valuation of a proposed merger's potential impact on consumers.
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one of the issues of the examination of the proposed merger is how the size of combined companies will impact in the video and broadband markets. as separate entities, comcast and time warner cable now reach most of the country, although they do not compete directly against each other. companies were to combine, the joint venture would be the largest pay television and 37 of the top viewing markets, serve nearly a .hird of tv audiences size alone does not necessarily do harm to competition. companies work everyday to invest in emerging technologies
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and achieve efficiencies of scale. in its filing with the fcc, comcast stated it would deploy rock band enhance speed, expand the diversity of its programming content, and increase the diversity with which consumers can access content. there have been cases in our country's economic history of companies which have achieved dominance to exercise monopolistic powers. various parties have raised concerns about potentially negative implications of this merger, and we will hear from some of them today. the first -- the purpose of my statement is not to fully lay out the pros and cons of this proposed merger.
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that is what this hearing is for. let me conclude by saying there are those who remember when you can count a number of television channels you could choose on your fingers and the number depended on the strength of your antenna. you might recall struggling with rabbit ears to try to improve picture quality. we are long past that. if there is any industry in america that has had a in years, it is the telecommunications business in a broader sense. have gone from broadcast television to cable and satellite and now to mobile streaming. consumers have multiple choices. there are some people only getting their content on the internet. there are some channels only available online.
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of structure and economics the industry continue to rapidly change. the challenge for policymakers and antitrust regulators is to determine how the consumer's interest is best served in this exciting environment. today's hearing will give our witnesses an opportunity to share their perspective and experiences, to face each other and ask the question of members of the committee. aid the public record american consumers will be able to pursue and help the committee as we continue oversight of antitrust laws and their application by the antitrust enforcement agencies. with that, i look forward to testimony from our panel of witnesses and turned to the ranking member for his opening statement. >> i would like to take a moment to think -- to thank you and your chairman for the bipartisan
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approach of the hearing. this discussion is a fresh opportunity for this committee to continue its long history of promoting dynamic competitive marketplace and protecting public interest through strong antitrust oversight. the twin objectives of antitrust law are to promote competition in markets and to protect the public interest. the twin objectives are very important. comcast is not compete directly with cable for broadband or video subscribers. there is evidence this will increase comcast concentration in any single market. networkse building out within the competitors territory, there is little to
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suggest either company had planned to compete directly in any local market. it's plainly clear the proposed merger occurs at a time of immense disruption in the market .lace consumers have more video options. more than ever. these companies recent success in original programming also suggest competition between online video distribution and television will continue to grow and benefit consumers, though increased choice in quality and video programming is implicated, i believe it will offer more choice and more quality. though still in its infancy, the broadband marketplaces undergoing staggering
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disruption. broadbandone the marketplace grew 29% to 126.6 million subscribers globally according to research. and according to findings earlier this week by bernstein, and equities research firm, google fibers herby -- early success in the kansas city market demonstrates their make it to 30 million homes over the next several years. i am encouraged by the prospect of this expansion, especially considering google's announcement earlier this year it plans to roll out service in atlanta and parts of georgia's --rth can rational district congressional district as well as other cities, combined with the rollout ofs,
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all networks across the country promises more and better options for consumers online. it's my strong believe technology is one of the most for empowering all levels of society. keep an eye to protect future innovation within this inketplace but also keep mind disruption already occurring in the video and broadband marketplace. i encourage the department of justice and the federal communications commission to keep this in mind as it considers the effects of the merger upon competition of the video in broadband marketplace. before i yield back to the chairman, i would note earlier this week the wall street journal reported the proposed merger of comcast and time warner is already having a video andect in the
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broadband marketplace. many companies already are looking for new ways to compete for customers. it's my hope that the groundwork we lay in today's hearing will serve as a strong foundation for future hearings on competition in the communications video and rock band marketplace. with that i yield back. >> i would like to recognize the full committee chairman. antitrustttee on regulatory reform and commercial law is a subcommittee or judiciary committee. recognize the chairman of the judiciary committee for his opening statement. >> the cable television and the internet have become as american
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as baseball and the apple pie. we have watched the nation cheer on our favorite teams, and on occasion glimpse history changing before our eyes on television. the internet is used to connect family and friends to students vital world and components of the economy. today the judiciary committee will provide a public platform proposeds the combination of comcast. given the importance of these services to our constituents and the economy, the transparency integral to the overall consideration of the merger. we discussed the proposed .erger we should be mindful
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the rapid technological developments that have taken place in the cable and broadband markets have been remarkable and unpredictable. we have seen the growth of cable from a nascent industry that only offered a few dozen deliversto one that hundreds of channels, now even in 3-d. gone are the days of rushing to the living room to watch the news, sports, or a favorite show when it starts at 7:00 or 8:00 or 9 p.m. now consumers can watch content woulder and whenever they like. these have not come without a cost. cable bills have risen at nearly twice the rate of inflation over the last 17 years, including a six percent rise just this last year. consumers who have grown tired of rising cable bills have begun
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cutting the cord and are looking to new, emerging ways to create content. that's how the free market is supposed to operate. greater choices. today's hearing will examine whether the proposed merger would impact competition in the cable and broadband markets and explore whether consumers would benefit from the combined scale of the joint venture. proponents of the merger argue it would spur innovation, and improveoices, service. critics raise concern regarding the influence of the post merger comcast and key aspects of the cable and broadband markets. we will hear the views of both sides of the debate today and allow the panelists to test theories about the future of the industry. i look forward to hearing about this important issue. i yield back the remainder of my
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time. >> i would like to recognize the ,ull committee ranking member my friend from michigan for his opening statement. >> thank you. when was the last time -- we ran out of tables. i'm sorry. we only have eight here today. we consider the proposed of theseon corporations, and if consummated, it would enable the combined entity to control approximately 30% of the national cable market and at least 40% of the high-speed broadband internet market. 19 of thelso dominate
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20 largest geographic markets in , including new york and los angeles areas where comcast currently is not -- is not present. comcast owns the nbc , 10 owned andwork operated television stations, network,undo spanish , and nine networks and thetropolitan areas motion picture studio universal. sizeurprisingly, the sheer and scope of a proposed merger, which would extend well beyond
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cable television have raised concerns. groups,consumer including the public knowledge free press, the american antitrust institute, and consumers union have raised concerns about the proposed merger, and i ask unanimous to offer a letter from consumers union dated may 7, 2014 for the record. >> without objection. >> neither we nor the competition enforcement agencies .hould prejudge any deal there are a number of issues concerning competition and consumer welfare but i would like as many on the panel to ddress as possible. witnesses should address whether
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the combined comcast time warner cable would have such market power that it could discriminate against rival content providers, because according to critics, the merged company would have the ability and incentive to discriminate in favor of comcast , including content nbc content. it would have only almost 30 mn subscribers being unable to distribute on the video distribution network. it could potentially be fatal to non-comcast affiliated programmers. ultimately, this could give enormous sway over the kind of available to the
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public. the witnesses should also address whether the combined comcast time warner cable could emerge as a gatekeeper of the internet and might be able to as some have already alleged. recently netflix signed an thatment with comcast would allow netflix to directly access comcast customers rather companies to carry traffic between its servers and comcast customers. on the one hand this could be seen as a simple, straightforward reddish transaction. paying comcast to connect directly instead of sending
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mayfic to other companies simply have been categorized as a smart business decision, but its concern,s asserting it was forced to pay comcast for reliable delivery to comcast customers. the netflix ceo reed hastings thatavid wells explained the internet is a long-term for themselvesit and cost for everyone else. mergercast time warner
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is approved, the combined company would produce even more anti-competitive leverage to interconnection tolls for access to their customers. not whatquestion is affects the merger may have on but on the next netflix that might emerge as an alternative to comcast video distribution business. be ablecombined entity to use its potential leverage over high-speed internet access to stifle potential competition in this way? i conclude on this point, to the extent there may be competition concerns, i would like the that choose to discuss
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whether imposing behavioral .evenues would be sufficient as a condition for approval of the comcast nbc universal transaction, the fcc and the justice department require comcast nbc to take affirmative competition,er including volatile compliance with net neutrality as well as steps to get the public has indicatedast it would extend the same commitments to its proposed of time warner cable. additionally, comcast has toered into an agreement sell 1.4 million subscribers and to invest another 1.2 9 million
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subscribers to form a new rival cable company. nevertheless, some observers are concerned that behavioral anddies were ineffective unenforceable to the extent comcast might not abide by them. we should consider whether such commitments should be strengthened and made enforceable to better protect the public interest with respect to comcast proposed acquisition of time warner cable. to the testimony. thank you for your time. >> i recognize the vice-chairman hishe subcommittee for
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statements. >> i will be brief. as a free-market conservative, i am on the record as stating i don't think government should theyfere with the extent don't violate antitrust laws. i don't think it should be destroyed by government intervention. there are some concerns we think should be cleared up. howfinal one will be programmers are able to compete in the marketplace and gain access. ways that may make this moot, but they are probably 10 years out. demande video on delivery by google, amazon, microsoft, yahoo!, and apple. is a concern these compete
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with video on demand services native to cable providers. i am concerned also about the percentages of spanish-language market this merger would have been the overall national crisis. even though comcast and time warner don't compete and any markets to speak of, there is an overall accepted pricing as there are more layers in the internet game than people expect to pay on -- and what people pay on an average basis is based on that. blessed in corpus christi, texas, by living in a community served by two competing cable
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providers. the capital cost is high, but as we are seeing in investments by google and other companies, multiple options are becoming available. it's the short term i'm worried about. of the witnesses will address short-term versus finally, i think we should talk a little bit to distinguish about what is delivered in real time in what is important to be delivered in real-time. news events. as opposed to entertainment content which is shifting to an on-demand or pay-per-view model. netflix orvices like itunes store. i have been looking forward to this hearing for a long time. i hope we can get it cleared up. >> we have a very distinguished
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panel today. a remark about the table been so long. this was an attempt to balance the witnesses. when you add a witness, you have to balance them on the other end. fine. that balance is the first witness is david cohen, executive vice president of comcast corporation. he has responsibilities that include corporate communications. legal affairs. community at -- investment. in other words, everything. inor to joining comcast 2002, he served as a partner and chairman. hundred largest law firms. prior to that, he served as
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chief of staff to ed randel, of philadelphia. welcome. >> thank you. >> i will introduce all the witnesses. then we will go back. witness is chairman and ceo of time warner cable. capacityrved in that since january 1 of the year. he first adjoins time warner in 2005. since that time, he has served the company in various capacities, including president am a chief operating officer, chief financial officer -- prior to joining, he held various positions at time warner inc..
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vice presidentr of mergers and acquisitions. before joining, he practiced law . his ba in received magna cum laude from brown university and jd from columbia law school. he was editor of the columbia law review. welcome. our next witness, mr. matthew polka, is president of the american cable association and 850 member nonprofit associations whose members serve subscribers in small rural markets. prior to joining the association, he was vice president and general counsel for star cable so see its. --
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associates. he received his jd from pacific -- pittsburgh university school of law. of the lawpient school's most distinguished graduate award. welcome. witness waste this -- of columbia law school. professor where his research examines the balance between innovation and competition set i antitrust law, it intellectual property, and other forms of regulation. from 2011-2012, he served as chief of the antitrust bureau in the office of new york state attorney general. before joining columbia's faculty, he served as a law clerk. on the u.s. court of appeals for the seventh circuit.
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and to justice scalia on the supreme court. of harvardduate college in the heart -- london school of economics. he studied as a fulbright scholar. we welcome you, professor. witness was mr. alan, an antitrust lawyer at the law firm -- he advises on mergers and acquisitions, provides counsel on non-merger matters, and -- prior to joining the law firm, he spent more than one decade at the united states department of justice and had justice -- antitrust division. investigations in
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industries including radio, television, and motion pictures. fromceived his ba dartmouth college and received his jd from rutgers camden school law. he holds a degree from new york university. the next witness is mr. patrick. ofis founder and chairman rural media group, inc., the largest provider of multimedia content dedicated to rural and western lifestyle. he doesn't wear a tie. his representative asked if he should. we said we wanted him in his natural state. [laughter] if you are saying he does not have a tie on, it is the prerogative of the chairman. >> thank you. group is a parent company of a number of multimedia companies including
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24-hourthe first television network dedicated to the needs and interests of rural america. for that, he was director of sales for superior livestock auction. prior to joining superior started a he was -- company in nebraska that introduced 2000 satellites to the midwest. before that, he worked on the chicago mercantile exchange as a commodity broker. he graduated from sam houston state university in huntsville, texas. we welcome you. our next witness, david shafer. -- schaeffer.
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he is founder of cogent communications group prior to he worked in a variety of businesses. schaeffer's business successes have allowed him to build management teams that -- he received a bs in physics from the university of maryland where he was also a phd candidate in economics. we welcome you. witness is dr. craig level it's -- liebowitz.
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deep field networks. he serves as ceo and president. he's an expert on infrastructure and cyber threats. prior to founding deep field, he served as chief scientist for annr networks based in arbor. his research and work is used by more than 400 service providers and more than 70% of the internet backbone transit productsomes from perfected by his research. he also served as one of the original engineers for the nsf backbone. that is where the internet as we know originated. one of the six universities -- was that?
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he received his masters of science and engineering and phd from the university of michigan and his bachelors from the university of pennsylvania. we welcome you as our final witness. mr. cohen, we welcome your testimony. the written testimony can be entered into the record in its entirety. i ask that you try to summarize shirts -- summarize your testimony and five minutes. shock ifno electrical you go past that time. [laughter] a traffic that as light. ?r. cohen >> thank you chairman baucus. we appreciate the opportunity to discuss the substantial benefits
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that will arise from our merger with time warner. over the last 50 years, comcast has grown from a small cable operator in tupelo mississippi into one of the most innovative media and technology companies. we are an american success story. in a nutshell, this transaction will give us the scale to invest more innovation and infrastructure so we can impede largerfectively with our national and global competitors, including the bells, dish tv, and others. when we invest, so to our competitors. at&t has said that this transaction puts a heightened sense of urgency on competitors to invest more in their networks and improve services. the ultimate beneficiary of this enhanced competition and greater
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investment is the american consumer. bringically, comcast will residential customers faster internet speeds, more programming choices, more robust x1 operatingr system. business customers will expand. it has connected 1.2 million americans to the internet, more than any program of its kind. we will expand many benefits. including our commitment to diversity and an open internet. more investment. faster speeds. better technology. more americans connected. even with these compelling benefits, we recognize that questions arise whenever to big companies combine. let me address them briefly.
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americans are benefiting from robust competition. america areomes in in census tracts where at least three competitors offer fixed or broadband services. 99% of american homes have access to at least three multichannel video providers. objectively, this transaction is very straightforward from an antitrust perspective. said,king member johnson are two companies do not compete for custom errs anywhere. it is a fact that every customer will have the same choices among broadband and video providers after this transaction as before. undoill comcast again power over programmers. last week, we announced a transaction with charter to divest almost 4 million customers, thereby reducing the number of customers to approximately 29 million below
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30% share of the multichannel multichannelber -- video subscribers. the fcc has concluded that a 30% ownership cap was justified to prevent a single operator from wielding undue control over programmers. but the federal courts twice rejected that cap, saying no cable operator could exercise market power 30%. will remain we below that level which is essentially the same share of the market we had after the at&t broadband and adelphia transactions. we keep our promises and play fair. since the transaction, we have successfully negotiated dozens forgreements with -- carriage of nbc universal content without withholding
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content from consumers and no arbitrations have been meted under the provisions. we also playfair in the exchange of internet traffic or what are sometimes called interconnections. the two markets should not be sometically conflated as will do. we have successfully negotiated very common business arrangements with thousands of companies that connect to our network, including direct interconnection agreements with content providers such as comcast. other isps do the same thing. the interconnection market is fiercely competitive with dozens of substantial players. evidenced by the fact that prices have plummeted in that last 15y 99% over the years. nothing in this transaction will
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affect the competitiveness of that market. comcast wants to bring more investment in technology and new services to more american homes and businesses. incentivize our competitors to invest more, which will benefit more consumers. we have a track record as a fair competitor and a company that over delivers on its promises. thank you for the opportunity to appear. >> mr. marcus, you are recognized. >> thank you. chairman baucus. members of the committee. i have -- appreciate the opportunity to testify. i agree that the company should of our two companies will create a dynamic company week for the 21st century -- poised for the 21st century. this transaction will give the combined companies greater scale
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, which will drive investment in r&d, infrastructure, software, and talent. which will bring more consumers next-generation technologies, or secure and reliable networks, faster broadband speeds, enhanced video and voice beads. the commendation of the companies will bring competitive choices to business cards -- customers. not only will emerge are driving investment and innovation, it and also drive investment innovation from competitors. consumers will be the beneficiaries. as david explained, this transaction will achieve these benefits without reducing competition in any way. comcast and time warner cable served distinct geographic areas. to be clear, consumers will have the same choices of providers after transaction as before. and voice broadband,
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businesses have never been more competitive. in every market, consumers have at least three and in many cases four or more choices. , the satellite providers, directv and dish, have offered video nationwide. videon and at&t now offer and a significant portion of our footprint. google has announced video and has expanded -- announced plans to expand. players offer competing services. there are an increasing number of national providers. over 33g netflix, with million customers. google video websites come which attract 157 million unique visitors each month. because of this increase in competition, programmers have more options for reaching consumers than ever before. time warner cable and comcast
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kerry scores of independent networks.g -- as for larger programmers, their ability to impose price increases every year demonstrates their extraordinary costs willleverage. rise 10% this year. i have no doubt that large programmers will continue to negotiate from a position of strength after the transaction. broadband markets are dynamic. cable faces competition from large players. google fiber. mobile wireless broadband services. recent announcements by both at&t and google underscore how quickly this marketplace is evolving. just last month, at&t named 100 candidate cities for broadband
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speeds up to one gigabyte per second. google announced it has targeted cities for its service. anile is becoming alternative to broadband. voice is also flush with competition. with landline, mobile, and a number of over the top services such as skype. as new entrants into the voice contributed tove the competitiveness of this market and will continue to do so as a combined company. this transaction will increase to new and enhanced competition. byvices have been dominated incumbents such as at&t which leverage their scale and scope. ame warner cable has gained
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foothold, especially with mall and medium-sized businesses. our ability to compete the business of serving larger regional businesses has been constrained. this transaction will boost competition for commercial services by giving the company greater scale, a broader footprint, and efficiencies necessary to meet the needs of business customers. especially superregional enterprises. and every, the dynamic evolving marketplace presents challenges and opportunities. enabling the new comcast to compete with greater scale will yield better competition and benefits for consumers and businesses. thank you for the opportunity to testify. >> thank you, mr. marcus. let me say this. here when i on in
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arrived. i have asked them to turn on the air conditioner, which i understand is now kicked on. but if any of the witnesses, particularly if you have completed your testimony, or prior to giving your testimony, if you want to take off your coat, you may save yourself a lot of shine. [laughter] i would invite and encourage anyone who wants to do that to do that. you all look-- great, but as this wears on -- >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> this is a hotter hotseat then normal. that was not intended. issa sometimes turns
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it up, but we do not do that on this committee. it is not stress. it is hot in here. >> thank you, sir. of proposed combination comcast and time warner cable with later divestitures and swaps is a big deal. singular point that i want you to know is this is a complicated deal that will negatively impact your constituents. it should not -- be approved. to begin with, it is important to realize that comcast is more than just the largest pay-tv provider. it is a large programmer through its ownership of nbc, 10 nbc owned and operated stations, 13 regional sports networks, and many popular national networks.
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time warner cable is also a large cable operator and a large programmer through its ownership and control of 16 regional sports networks, including those in new york and los angeles. i wish i could simplify this deal into a single component to there are three separate elements to consider. first, the combination of the two companies programming. second, the combination of comcast ramming with the new -- comcast programming with the new cable systems. combination of the cable systems. the first two are similar to the concerns about the comcast universal transaction that doj addressed through conditions. the third raises new and significant concerns not present in the comcast previous deal.
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regarding the first component, by merging its programming with the regional sports networks and selling them in a bundle, comcast will gain greater bargaining power against all pay-tv providers in all regions where time warner cable's regional sports networks are carried. it will be syria -- severe in new york and los angeles where a television station and sports network. all consumers will be affected by this harm, and clipping many members. aca members.many there will be a disincentive -- this by either withholding comcast programming during negotiation impasses, or by demanding higher prices for this programming. the competitive harm will not be limited to comcast pay-tv rivals.
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providers obtain their programming through the n an incentivell be to charge higher prices for programming. this will harm the 900 pay-tv providers that pay comcast through the buying group. component,he third it does notat -- compete locally against them. --ever, this ignores the over video programmers. the merged entity will have about 30% of all pay-tv subscribers nationally. this level of market share has traditionally raise concerns with antitrust authorities. it will have greater market share because of the deal. become alt, it will
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must-have distribution outlet for national and regional programmers. demandshort run, it will even larger volume discounts than rivals. thereby weakening the rivals' competitive positions. they may leverage their dominance to increase orchid chair in the video programming industry, ultimately reducing this industry's competitiveness. higheral result will be prices and fewer choices for consumers. conditions are designed to mitigate the first two conditions. requiring them to abide by these conditions is insufficient because they are flawed. in particular, arbitration remains too expensive for smaller providers. andover, the conditions
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completely describe how bargaining agents for smaller providers could avail themselves of the conditions. lastly, the department of justice and fcc will need to fashion new remedies for the harm arising from combining distribution assets with distribution assets of time warner cable and charter, which did not arise. the doj and sec have some big decisions ahead. forward to working closely with congress and the agencies as conditions are fashioned. thank you very much. .> thank you, mr. polka you are recognized. >> mr. chairman, ranking members . thank you for the opportunity to testify about the antitrust invocations of the merger.
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noted, a number of anti-trust concerns have been raised. these concerns are generally based on mistaken analogies that don't generally apply. critics have charged this merger is just like at&t t-mobile and be there be -- therefore expected to raise prices. this is nothing like that. buy a wirelessto service where i live in new york city. i can choose from at&t, t-mobile, or other providers. take one of these away any remaining firms may be able to raise prices, which has the effect of squeezing consumers of the market. compare that to video service. in west village, i could choose among time warner and other options. but comcast is not a choice,
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unless i am willing to move to philadelphia. not competedoes anywhere. >> critics offer a second analogy that comcast is like a grain buyer acting in a predatory way against farmers. if the two buyers merged, they have an opportunity to reduce press thein order to price. this merger is nothing like that. programmers, companies like espn, are nothing like farmers. when espn sells programming to .omcast, nothing is used up espn and is free to other video providers. when there is no rivalry in the use of the