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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  March 16, 2015 7:00am-10:01am EDT

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later, agriculture undersecretary talks about changes in the school lunch program. ♪ host: as talks resume in switzerland over iran's it clear program, one of the headlines out of washington, d.c. says republicans are demanding a voice. mitch mcconnell insisting congress will find a way to speak on the matter. secretary of state kerry says the letter that came from 47 senate republicans absolutely it was calculated to interfere with negotiations. a leading democratic lawmaker adam schiff says keep your powder dry on iran, let's see what is in the deal before
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deciding how to react. we want to get your thoughts about iran, the white house, and congress. what is next? what would you like to see happen? here are the numbers to call. if not by phone, way in by social media. on facebook or send us an e-mail. chock-full of iran-related headlines as the talks resume in switzerland. the washington post sets it up this way. a down to the wire negotiation to restrict iran's nuclear
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program, ready to kick off under the pressure of a self-imposed deadline. secretary of state kerry arrived in lausanne sunday and is to meet today with the iranian foreign minister. other members of the team arrived earlier and were seen wondering the grounds of the hotel where the discussions will take place in the lakeside city. after more than a decade of talks there is a last chance feel to the latest round. the discussions have been stalled over the pace of sanctions relief, inspections and a size of iran's nuclear capacity. there is the setup. the talks ongoing. late morning and early afternoon in switzerland. secretary of state kerry was on the sunday morning talk shows. here's one headline in "usa today." "the iran letter was meant to deal with the -- to derail the
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talks." here's a quote. he did his rounds reacting to this letter, which is still making news. he was on face the nation yesterday and here's what he had to say. [video clip] >> how do you clear the air? are you going to apologize? secretary kerry: i'm not going to apologize for an unconstitutional action by somebody who has been in the senate for 60-some days. that is inappropriate. i will explain clearly that congress does not have the right to change an executive agreement. another president may have a different view. if we do our job correctly, all of these nations they all have an interest in making sure this is in fact a proven peaceful program. it would be derelict if we allowed some gaping hole in this program that does not do so. let's see what it is first.
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i think this applies to everybody, incidentally, who has been trying to judge this before the deal if it can be sealed, is sealed. host: secretary of state yesterday on one of the talk shows. the negotiations resumed today in switzerland. here is "the washington times'" headline. mcconnell says obama should have used the letter for leverage not politics. we will hear from the senate majority leader in a moment. our first call from california, democratic caller. caller: i'm in alpine california. host: go ahead. caller: i really agree with kerry. i think that what the republicans did with the letter, i believe it was treasonous. i also, the reason why is, it is
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obvious to me that they were acting in an attempt to advance the policy of a foreign government. that foreign government was israel. i think that is very disturbing when we have people in our senate that would take such action on behalf of a foreign government. remember, they had just invited netanyahu here a week prior. then they further advanced it by sending that letter. and so i guarantee that if this were democrats who had done this to a sitting republican president, there would be taught -- talk of investigation resignation, and god knows what. i am just disturbed. i feel it was treasonous and they were acting on behalf of a foreign government.
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host: we will get more calls as time goes on. for about 40 more minutes we will get more reaction. here's senator mitch mcconnell yesterday, the majority leader from the cnn sunday morning program on iran. [video clip] senator mcconnell: the administration is on the cusp of entering a very bad deal that would allow them to have their nuclear infrastructure. we are alarmed, a number of democrats are alarmed. we will be acting, we will either be voting on a bill that would require the bill to come to congress, the president says he would veto that. or we will be voting on a bill that says the sanctions need to be ratcheted up. a number of the supporters of the president have said the choice is between this deal and war. that's not the choice. the choice is between this deal and tougher sections. let's focus on what is about to be done here, that is what is
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important to the american people. host: to facebook. joe speaks to congress, "take congress out and you see what should be next with iran. what should have been before and what should have always been." cornell from new jersey, democratic line. caller: good morning. yes, i agree with the last person that called. it is treasonous. it is unprecedented. we have rogue republicans. they're at an all-time low. they said fi -- democrats had done this, no comedy democrats would never do this. i have even shocked the republicans are doing this. they are setting the tone for history. when people see this republican party, they know what this republican party represents.
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and time in history is going to show the disrespect, the rog ue. the have taken the word gentlemen out of the process. "the gentleman from here, the gentlelady from here." there is no protocol. at no time in history has a real democrat -- rogue democrat or republican sent a letter to a so-called terrorists country. saying if you make a deal with our president, they will go down in history. . that is the good part. no lie can last forever. a time is going to come when people are going to realize that the republicans today took their -- host: all right.f
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from new jersey. let's get a republican. here's gary from tennessee. welcome. caller: thank you. i listened to those democrats talking about ethics. it is just unbelievable. we've got a president in there he can look you straight in the eye and lie to you. he let this thing in the mideast get completely out of control. he's like putin he controls everything himself. he does not what his generals and stuff to handle the wars and stuff. we would not be in this mess if he would let people he would let people who knew what they were doing handle this. and so the four democrats fall in line. we talk about racist. if he was not black comedy democrats would not hover under his wings.
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i feel sorry. i wish they could speak up and speak out. host: from "the wall street journal," obama's iran jam. they write that "obama is trying to make the iran deal a fait accompli before congress has any say." "the journal" goes on to write that mr. obama might have avoided the showdown if "he hadn't treated america's elected representatives as little more than a public new nuisance." the lead editorial in "the wall street journal." harry from pittsburgh republican caller. hi, harry. caller: hello.
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this is something. netanyahu goes to congress and they do not want to be there. they will negotiate with enemies of hours for the last 30 years. john kerry this guy went to paris during the vietnam war and called our soldiers murderers. then he did the same thing with the iraqi war. then you have dick durbin doing the same thing. what's going on with this country? it was not unconstitutional, i don't know where people are getting that. if anyone should go to jail for perjury or being a traitor, it should be the democrat party. they are calling you racist. if you ask them why, it is because obama is black. ask them to give a reason. host: ok. let's hear from sally, independent caller from washington state. what is the name of your town?
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caller: chewelah, washington. this is a comment, i think it is time for congress to get to people's business and get out of every little silly thing that comes along. like writing that horrid letter to another country. time to get money out of politics. we are being run by an oligarchy at this point. thank you for allowing me to comment. host: thank you for calling. we will get some other viewpoints in the next half hour or so. here's the letter that came out march 9. tom cotton, the senator from arkansas led the way on all of this. it had 47 signatories and has caused so much debate in
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washington. talking about iran this morning. the senator was on a morning show yesterday cbs "face the nation." he was asked if he had any regrets. [video clip] senator cotton: no regrets. if the president and secretary of state were intent on driving a hard bargain, they would be able to point to the letter and say they are right, any lasting deal needs to be approved by congress. when past senators like joe biden or jesse helms communicated directly with foreign leaders, past presidents like ronald reagan or bill clinton did that. the fact that president obama does not see this letter as a way to get more leverage underscores that he is not negotiating for the hardest bill possible. he's negotiating for a deal that will put iran on the path for a bomb. if not today or tomorrow, 10 years from now. host: we will check in with mike, congressional reporter for "the hill."
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guest: thank you for having me. host: the posturing in washington about iran how do you see things taking shape in town this week as negotiations continue? guest: this is, the letter started a fire. everybody is still talking about it. a lot of support for the letter and a lot of blowback on the republican side. senators who signed it seemed to be regretting or walking back some of their support for signing the letter to the iranian leaders. the question is how is this going to affect legislation on the floor? this goes back to the sanctions debate. this was always a bipartisan push. there were a lot of democrats on both sides of the aisle who want tougher sanctions and they are even ignoring obama's calls not to use legislation well he was
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negotiating. that changed when john boehner asked benjamin netanyahu, the prime minister of israel, to speak. wendy politics of that got involved especially in the senate, democrats said this is going to become so political. we are going to stop pushing for sanctions to allow space for obama to negotiate. mr. mcconnell is saying he wants to bring something to the floor. we are in the middle of the debate over human trafficking and the loretta lynch nomination for attorney general. we are not sure when that would have time to come to the floor. there is this conflict now between do we do sanctions, do we get obama the space, it has become a very partisan issue. in the past, it was not. host: you mentioned loretta lynch. we thought a vote or debate was coming this week. the majority leader changed course over the weekend.
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one of the headline says the human trafficking bill stands in the way of the pic for attorney general. first, are theese two issues related? guest: not at all. two different things happening. the fight over human trafficking, this was another bill that was bipartisan and supposed to sail through. everybody thought it would come to the floor and be a done deal and they could move on to loretta lynch. what happened late last week democrats "discovered" an antiabortion provision in the republican bill, it was not in the house passed bill. they say they were caught offguard. republicans say it was in there all along. there has been that debate happening. the crux of it is it does not seem like the bill now has the 60 votes needed to pass it through the senate and mcconnell went on tv yesterday and said we are not going to move to the
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loretto lynch vote until they can break the impasse over the human trafficking bill. so it is tough to say how that is going to end. are republicans going to pull the language out sit on it and hope they can get democratic votes to pass it? we do not know how that is going to play out. we will know soon enough, tuesday morning is the coach or vote -- tuesday morning is the cloture vote on the human trafficking bill. host: how are the votes lining up for loretto lynch? guest: the expectation is that she will be approved. 3 republicans voted her out of committee, a good sign. the fact that there is a lot of opposition is not good for her or the white house. in testimony before the senate committee last month, she was asked pointedly by a lot of republicans whether or not she supported president obama's executive actions on deportations and immigration and she said explicitly that she supported it.
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so the backlash from republicans has been pretty severe. we do anticipate a lot of republican no votes but probably not enough to sink her. we expect her to become the next attorney general is a question of when. host: mike lillis, let's talk about the budget. reading that the gop will lay out it budget priorities this week. re: looking for two? -- what are we looking forward to? guest: the senate is controlled by republicans for the first time is 8 years. over that time, they went after democrats for not putting forward annual budget. it became a talking point. and a lot of pressure to bring a bill that balances the budget over a decade to the floor and to pass it and unite it with e-house-passed bill. -- with a house-passed bill.
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two things, in 2011 they pass the budget control act and set caps on domestic and defense spending. there's a deficit reduction group on the republican side that wants to keep this caps on place and thinks they are important for the health of the economy. then you have defense talks on the republican side who want more money for the military. that battle is going to happen internally within the party. people who want to lift a sequestration caps on are ready to deal with democrats to do so, democrats want to lift domestic spending to other programs which is anathema to a lot of conservatives. house republicans in the past they have had control of the house in the past four years unlike the senate. they have put for these types of proposals, paul ryan was chairman of the budget committee and he made specific cuts to entitlement programs -- medicare and medicaid.
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that was part of his messaging strategy. he is the policy wonk and he was the vice presidential candidate. there were political reasons for him to do that. we do not expect senate republicans to do the same thing, they just want a topline number and date want to let committees who have jurisdictions make specific cuts. i think you will see a little bit of a division between the house and the senate in terms of how they go about proposing these cuts. this is a bill that just sets topline numbers, it does not go to the president. it is not an appropriations bill. we will see what happens but that is going to be the big fight this week. the start of the big fight. they want to pass these things before easter recess. host: mike lillis, congressional reporter for "the hill." guest: thanks for having me. host: more calls on iran and the white house and congress everything that is going on.
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what do you make of the entire situation with negotiations continuing in europe today? also the debate on capitol hill. gary in tennessee, democratic caller. hui -- hi there. caller: what i have to say is the letter -- when they sent the letter over there, that took diplomacy off the table. all they want is war, apparently. host: bob, alexandria, virginia democratic caller. what you have to say? are you there? one last chance, are you there? let's move on -- are you there? caller: yes hi. yes, i'm just, i'm sick and tired of all the republicans whatever you want to call them.
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whining. that is all they do is whine, whine, whine but don't come up with any solutions. it is going to show up. thanks. host: thanks for calling. robert simpson on twitter, "what about sanctioning countries that have not signed the iaea and have nuclear weapons?" back to "the wall street journal," a story talks about diplomats taking aim at a tentative iran deal. the say the deal would be a commendation of 12 years of nuclear talks. western officials have left themselves room to maneuver in meeting the goal. officials have not defined exactly what such an agreement should look like. western diplomats indicated a breakthrough on a political agreement could come late in the week. yet diplomat said it was not
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clear there would be a private agreement written setting out the terms of a political pacts. the march target is starting to look like a political hurdle that diplomats might want to ju mp to win time to reach a deal. todd from illinois independent. what do you say? caller: good morning. i've got a couple comments. i hope you bear with me, i will try to be brief. host: go ahead. caller: back in 2007, under the bush administration, i believe it was 2007. nancy pelosi went to talk to bashar al-assad. completely undermining the bush strategy in syria. i see, you know, a comparable type of situation going on right now with this letter from congress. i never voted for george bush. never once.
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i vehemently disagreed with his policies. i was never, ever called a racist for that. i vehemently disagree with barack obama's policies. and i hear every day that anybody that disagrees with him is called a racist by democrats. this is my point -- barack obama, in both of his elections to my understanding -- took 98% of the black vote. that seems racist. thank you for your time, have a great day. host: thank you. tony, manassas, virginia independent caller. what do you make of all this? caller: first of all, the letter in itself to iran, to the ayatollah, is undermining. it undercut the president. this entire congress, they are
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not doing the people's business. they are not doing our business. they are not passing bills that improve the lives of middle-class. all they care about is to undermine the president. when you have a negotiation going on like the way we have with iran, and p plus 5, all the international countries trying to make sure they do not have weapons of, nuclear weapons. that in itself shows the international community is working together. iran cannot get, i mean, the u.s. cannot put sanctions on iran. they need other countries to abide by the sanctions. undermining the president, sending a letter to the ayatollah undercuts the message. information that iran does not have a nuclear weapon. what they do they want us to
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bomb iran just what we did with iraq. a war monger. do americans remember how in 19 96 this guy perpetrated a war in iraq? do you see what a mess we have? host: thanks for weighing in. i want to return to the story about loretta lynch. we showed you the "new york times" headline, "human trafficking bill stands in the way of pick for attorney general." our guest said the two issues are not related pair chuck schumer said there is nothing stopping the senate from confirming loretta lynch except senator mcconnell's unwillingness to bring her up for a vote. here is what senate majority leader mcconnell had to say on cnn's "state of the union." [video clip]
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senator mcconnell: democrats are acting the same way as they did in the majority. they do not like the facts. this is a noncontroversial bill that came out of the judiciary committee unanimously. dealing which was in there. they voted for the same language in a bill in december. this is boilerplate language that has been in the law for almost 40 years. they all voted three months ago and another bill. we are not going to be able to finish the trafficking bill until this gets resolved. this will have an impact on the timing of considering the new attorney general. i had hoped to turn to her next week. if we cannot finish the trafficking bill she will be put off again. they need to come to grips with this. i offered a simple up or down vote if they wanted to take out language that they all voted for three months -- moderator: they cannot win that
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-- senator mcconnell: they all voted for the same language three months ago. moderator: democrats admit they did not read the bill. now that they had and we are where we are why not take it out and continue this bipartisan process? senator mcconnell: the majority of the senate does not want mcconnell: the majority of the senate does not want to take dealing which out. the democrats voted for the same language three months ago. if they want to have time to turn to the attorney general, we need to finish the human trafficking bill. it is important. moderator: sounds like you are threatening to hold up loretta lynch, who has been in limbo for months and months -- senator mcconnell: it is not a threat, we need to finish the human trafficking bill that came out of the judiciary committee unanimously. we need to finish that so that we have time to turn to the attorney general. the next week we will be doing the budget and the next two
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weeks after that congress is not in session. moderator: unless democrats give in, loretta lynch's nominations will not be on the floor. senator mcconnell: we have to finish the human trafficking bill. as soon as we finish the built we will turn to the attorney general. host: via twitter "it is not leadership but a lack of better ways to handle issues." looking for more of your comment s on facebook and twitter. here's another caller. this one from california. caller: i want to know when they are going to indict cheney and bush for war crimes for the iraq wars. host: connect this to the iran story. caller: it's all the same criteria. a war in iraq an atomic bomb and everything. it is all connected.
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host: ok. i think al left us. mark from maine, independent caller. caller: hi. thanks for taking my call. there's there's so much we can complain about. i don't know where to begin. so much as happened. i just want to call in and say america is frustrated. we have children in congress, and it's just like, my god. we don't know what's going on. i mean, it's like they have their own agenda not, we the people it's, we the senate and congress and we have our own issues to deal with. host: what would you like to see happen with the iran story next? caller: the iran story? i agree with everybody, what they're saying about it.
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i believe it is treasonous. i read the logan act. i believe that if they were not senators, if it was like you and me or any other person, we would be locked up right now. host: what about the broader issues with the nuclear talk? caller: i think we should wait to see with the deal is. i think they are jumping the gun here. nobody wants a bad deal. we don't even know what kind of a deal we have. host: ok. thanks for calling, mark. from "the hill" publication this morning. boehner reportedly set to announce clinton e-mail probe. set to announce an investigation soon. they could come this week, the story points out. republicans intend to make this a centerpiece on their attack against clinton as she moves to
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unveil her 2016 presidential bid. we have pat on the line from michigan. go ahead. caller: good morning. how do you decide who is on independent line? host: what do you mean? caller: so often, the people i hear talking on independent line talk about what fox news is talking or what the democrats are saying, not what i consider as independent thinking. host: interesting point. what are your thoughts is more a? caller: i fear that israel is interfering in these negotiations. senator conradtten received a lot of money from jewish pacs . i think that is a real attempt from netanyahu and from people in israel to interfere in what is happening in the negotiations. i think that is a shame.
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to allow other countries to put an or in, when we are in the midst of somethinge so delicate is a real problem, i think. host: ok, thanks for calling. bill kristol will be on the show and about 12 minutes. we will talk about these issues and more. dave is on the line from florida. hey, dave. caller: thank you for c-span. i think you're a great operation. i been a republican for, i don't know 50 years. i'm 60 years -- 69 years old and i'm really disappointed and what they're doing. one call to mentioned something about george bush and dick cheney. i have to agree with them. i think they should be arrested too.
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i thank you for your time. host: darrell. democrat line. caller: i was listening to benjamin netanyahu talking on tv, and i also saw the clip of him saying the same thing about iraq. when he got in front of congress, everything he said was a lie. my point is it seems like israel's of and why iran to do the same thing that israel did and that is live their way into nuclear weapons, and not admit anything. who is israel to tell iran what they can or can't have? iran doesn't have any nuclear weapons. israel has 600 or so nuclear weapons. another thing you will have william kristol on next. i would really like to get to talk to this guy. i wish someone would get close enough to have the flat that smirk off a safe as he has not been right about anything just
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like bb netanyahu. why you people keep kissing israel but is beyond me. they are not a friend of ours. it seems like it is a friend of yours and the media, not of the american people. i am a navy veteran. i'm sick of that country. they are over here talking to our congress. blowing up palestinian homes and taking more of their land, and not out of you in the media. host: that was darrell. again, william kristol will be on coming up. from twitter the iran talks is solely about nuclear armament. the latest episode of the secret service, making lots of news over the weekend. braun kessler writes in "the washington post" today, an op-ed these.
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mr. kessler has been on the show several times. he has authored a book called, "the first family." here's what he had to say, a little bit -- obama is in denial about the secret service. choosing clancy in february to perform the agency, obama ignored the chief recommendation of his own four-person panel. obama turned to clancy, a career agent who earned his trust as head of the president protective detail and who had been acting since october. clancy represents everything that is wrong with agency. there hasn't been any doubt about that. it should have been this held when clancy was stonewalled at a house judiciary committee on whether anyone would be held accountable for making false statements about the intrusion on the white house that happened several months ago.
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here is a elijah cummings, the congressman on "face the nation" about the secret service. [video clip] mr. cummings: it is externally frustrating to see an agency that is supposedly the number one lb agency protecting the most important person in the world, the most powerful person in the world, to operate like this. director clancy has come in and made many many changes. as a matter of fact, he has now gotten rid of half of the top folks in agency. clearly, this related incident shows that we saw a lot of work to get done. and you know, there's a culture of complacency and mediocrity taking place. we will have to take a deep dive. republicans and democrats agree on this, we have to put a high
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powered microscope on this and address some of these issues. reporter: does director clancy still retain your confidence? mr. confidence: -- mr. cummings: he does. i think he will begin to get rid of more people, certain people who should not be there. you cannot have supervisors telling the rank-and-file that they cannot do their job. the other night, they wanted to give a sobriety test -- give me a break. host: back to your calls on the iran story. we have a few minutes left. brad from the independent line. caller: eyman alumni from harvard, my study was general studies. c-span does better job at general studies.
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having lived in iran, i have listened to be few and far between iran he and diaspora that lives in this country. it is a tough call on how to deal with iran. i think what we don't know enough about is how technology for anti-ballistic missiles has been going. if you think about the conflict between the east bank, gaza, and israel. last time what we saw was most of those ballistic short range missiles fired at israel were probably based on russian technology. those all came from iran. unless we can control the arabian gulf, during the coming conflict if things keep going the way they are, israel doesn't look like they have a bunker deep enough to get rid of the sac effusion is we would need to get rid of. that is what the debate is
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underlying. it is kind of like the laredo lunch today. mitch mcconnell, in a way, is doing a smart thing. host: brad, you said you lived in iran for a while. what years of what were you doing their? caller: i was playing soccer. i saw a lot of little kids living entered huts. they have high mountain. lots of them. they can bury things very deep. most of the people, especially the ones during the green revolution, they don't like to have to wear full had jobs. there's still lots of satellite dishes all over the place. the broad number of people, as of five years ago, under 30 years old, they don't want to -- a lot of them have more western civilization focus. they aren't like most of the arabs.
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you have to be more friends with the sunni, although the persians are arabic. they have always had western tendencies. host: let's hear now from david from north carolina. good morning. caller: good morning. i just wanted to comment about this iran think. i think people should wake up and listen to what is being said. the republicans are whipping out the bush playbook. for getting us into a war. there's no doubt about it. i think jeb bush has already hired up the same crew that george had. i think it's a big mistake and we need to listen to what being said. that's free much it. host: thanks for calling. here's the voice of adam schiff on fox news sunday considering a letter f to iran. [video clip]
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mr. schiff: i figure is appalling. let's see if there is a deal what the terms of the deal are. i am shots. i think it is a terrible thing for the institution. host: secretary kerry making news and another way this weekend. "the new york times" -- carrie suggesting there is a place for a sod at the syrian talk. this is a piece out of switzerland. he still believes it was important to achieve a diplomatic solution for the conflict in syria, and the negotiations should involve president all aside. "we are working very hard with other interested parties to see if we can reignite a diplomatic outcome," mr. kerry said.
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that from "then your times -- the new york times" this morning. coming up, william kristol will be here to take your calls on various issues. later, we will take a look at some recent numbers from the congressional budget office showing cost related to the affordable care act. first, cia director on brennan on the cancel for -- council for foreign relations from last week. here's a little bit. [video clip] director brennan: we have been working with our allies across sectors. we have analyzed the threads in the cyber realm. just as we have improved our
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knowledge and capabilities, so to have our adversaries. they are skilled agile, and determined. watching them will require imagination and determination. in addition to counterterrorism and cyber security, across the globe, -- countries like iraq syria yemen, libya, pakistan, north korea and venezuela. in addition to monitoring development in these hotspots, stability. findings for 2014 confirmed the sense that we get from monitoring daily events that the environment is very complex. development last year continued a three-year trend of rising stability, marked by severe conflicts, and the erosion of state capacity worldwide. we saw more outbreak system ability -- outbreak of
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stability. matching the rates of what we saw in the 1960's. implications of this trend are well known. rising instability leads to a spike in humanitarian crises, and an emphasis on security over democratic principles. as cia tackles the challenges, we benefit greatly from the networks that we maintain with intelligence services across the world. this is a critically important and lesser-known aspect of our efforts. i cannot overstate the value of these relationships to the cia mission and to our security. indeed, to the security of america and its allies. host: to watch the entire event,
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go to our website at joining us of the table now is william kristol of "weekly standard." founder and editor. one of the many things you are writing is this story -- a shout of trey gowdy of the benghazi committee. you write, ripples of doubt. you go on to write that if brow furring were thinking, the republican establishment would be geniuses. what are you saying here? guest: sometimes these things read better than they sound. i was just annoyed last week by the worrying by some republicans and conservative pundits about
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trey gowdy. benghazi is old news. republicans look like they are obsessed with it. then, of course, there were goo was the e-mail controversy. how did that get exposed? trey gowdy and the benghazi committee. then, iran. we need a serious debate about the treaty and how that was provoked. the tom cotton letter. it was really forced to the center. the question is what is the status of congress. what did the iranis think they are signing? they like having the iran debate, but they don't like provoking people so much. maybe tom cotton could have sent
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the letter to obama and not iran. politics is like baseball and hardball. i think all those have also been willing to be tough. they have forced necessary debate that would have otherwise happened. host: you write that they have done more for republican principles and prospects then they had done in years. william kristol in "the weekly standard." this letter, the 47 republicans, what was your reaction? guest: i heard it was happening but hadn't actually read it till he came out. i think it is great. totally appropriate. an open letter. saying that they are secretly negotiating or going behind secretary kerry's back is totally ludicrous. all the republican senators, and
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i think democrats to, think that congress needs to have a role. congress gets a say on this. the iranian foreign ministers says international law, can't be changed. really? congress can't have a thing to say. i also think frankly it's what's out there. it has forced a big debate and allow people like bob corker who didn't sign the letter, come out and say i'm a reasonable guy, but what about my bike partisan -- bipartisan legislation. that has picked up sponsors. one of the conventional wisdom, the cotton letter has backfired.
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not at all. it has advanced notions out there that you can't let be president unilaterally negotiate -- not just negotiate but negotiate an agreement that binds future presidents and congress forever. host: the headline says -- senator behind the iran letter is latest freshman republican to stir things up. tom cotton is ahead of most of those. those thinking of running will sound a lot more like tom cotton then rand paul. guest: there's an isolationist wing or not into bridges weighing, one b will recall to call it, which rand paul is a champion. i have thought for a long time that the power of that wink is overstated. especially in the last year, he became clear they have a ton of republicans running. they did not run as ran paul --
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rand paul republicans, they ran as interventionist reaganite republican. i thought for a long while that the rand paul affect is overstated. the media like to play him out. i don't think you want of doing well in the primaries. i think the fact that all of these republican senators sign collins letter makes clear that the mainstream of the republican party is more hawkish. not in the case of rand paul. he tweeted over the weekend that he is against all nsa, the whole phone program. really? we are going to those of anyone anywhere in the world? is in the important intelligence to be gathering from terrorist that are plotting abroad. this wasn't the main point of because letter, but at i thought about when i thought about the relationship.
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who is this guy that has been in town just two months? he's a very bright guy service in vg officer in the army, harvard law school grad. knows quite a lot about the constitution, and i think the letter is an intelligent letter. i'm glad to see the younger senators taking leadership. the same about marco rubio, ted cruz, joni ernst, and rand paul for that matter. the republican party has been her for quite a while being thought about as the party of 70-year-old white guys. same old same old. they are often men. it was important to have a generational turnover in the party. i think cotton is that the attorney -- the cutting edge of that. joni ernst is in her 40's i think.
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a lot of young centers. the young as woman elected to the house, 30 years old. these are all republicans. people who say the uterus on the left, really? hillary clinton, joe biden nancy pelosi. it is the republicans who have the young aggressive leaders. host: our first call is from carl in south carolina. caller: good morning. mr. kristol, i have seen your tv for years and years. i have to give you credit. and give the republican party credit. i'm an independent. you guys, whatever you 54 believe in, you stand up and fight for. i did see you last week and i know is that someone had to come out later in afternoon cleared up when you said that the guys
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on the bus was using the n-word because that is something that they learned from rappers did i don't why everyone thinks that blacks created that word. i mean, we use that word, but we got it from the original people. host: following up on that story from oklahoma. guest: that was covered back and forth. i'm not sure, if it something that people took a little out of context. i certainly didn't mean to say that that was created by black americans, or the use of it from those students was based on gangsta rap, or something else. to the part broader question of pop-culture, and are there things out there that corporations are profiting on that are unattractive -- i think
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that was the context i was coming from, not just me, but also someone else on the show. host: let me bring it back to iran. there's a quote from "the washington post" from last week -- i made policy director for george w. bush. he writes, first it's obvious, the republican senators want to make the point that and i ran deal requires a tree. congress of the has no business conducting foreign policy with a foreign government econom, especially in adversary one. i think he went on to make the point that it is not a good move. guest: i think he is wrong. there's a bunch addition of leaders going to federal governments. letters to the chinese
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government in 2013 about some of the air defense. obviously, nancy pelosi met with al-assad into 11. the idea that congress needs to but out is ridiculous. what's unusual about this letter is republican senators are trying to tough in the american administration against the foreign government. president obama weren't serious about negotiated a tough deal, he would take this letter and say, i have hardliners back home. that was an advantage to president obama, that letter. there's so much hostility to the republicans. they took the letter as an impairment. if you have a hard letter back
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home, it should help. and he got outweigh -- the idea of the visits on president is a big deal. the foreign minister of iran said, congress has no role. once congress signs a deal and the u.n. security council acts, it is international law, it can be changed. secretary kerry testified and said this is not really biting then saturday, it was kind of binding. writing a letter is a matter form. it is an open letter. a of course, it could have been sent to president obama. it was necessary to provoke an important debate. i think was worth it. host: let's hear from beverly.
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caller: mr. kirstol, you just me a statement there that the republican party has been hostile to the president. they have been hostile to the present since day one. why don't you explain the million dollars that you donated to mr. cotton? guest: yeah, i'm happy to explain. i'm chairman of a very small organization called committee for israel which advocates for a pro-israel foreign policy. we thought that senator cotton would be a good contender. we raise the money and donated it, publicly obviously, not to mr. cotton but to an organization on his behalf. he didn't know need the money. senator boren, senator pryor who had been in office for a couple of terms, his father is an office. they thought mr. cottonwood have
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a tough race, and we help them out. has been disclosed. i don't think it played a big role in his victory, but if it did, i would be happy to accept it. host: should ideal happen in your view? guest: a good deal. a deal that genuinely stops iran from getting nuclear weapons. host: let's hear from brian from massachusetts. republican. caller: good morning. mr. kristol, and to questions. what do you think about the logan act, i guess from 1799? the other question i have is do you think ms. clinton has any boost from this show we see on sunday nights called madam secretary. i would just like your comments. guest: i'm never seen the show. i'm the worst person to comment on that.
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generally, i don't think these pop-culture things matter that much. at the end of the day, the presidential -- in the presidential election, people will be fairly serious about voting for the person they choose. hillary clinton has been around out for a while, she is long known. the logan act as a law that has never been enforced. it seems to prohibit private citizens from having contact afford government. i was on a delegation of people in japan about two or three years ago and the prime minister of japan had a meeting with us. liberals, conservatives, republicans, democrats. every prime minister does this. i don't think anyone has ever been prosecuted on it.
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since 1798. i did about 20 seconds of research on it, and started seeing that mr. cotton and others, including myself that support him, should be prosecuted. mr. logan went to france and had a conversation with the prime minister. had a conversation. he then got elected to the senate and served as senator from pennsylvania. he didn't exactly get distracted by what he did in france. in normal times, liberals and conservatives would say it is kind of a bad thing to have that act. i think it is a sign, a really important sign of the kind of mccarthyism on the left. people on the left think they can invoke something like that to shut off debate. next, they will be praising other things that have usually been thought to be examples
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unfortunate that, of american intolerance. the left is now seizing upon, apparently as models to be replicated. why they so scared of debate with iran. this is a huge issue with this terror sponsoring nation that has clearly been seeking nuclear weapons for quite a while. we have bipartisan policy sanctions on it against iran. the sanctions will be relieved if there is a deal, they have artie been relieved to some degree. they're are all kinds of abutting -- implications. henry kissinger inking that thinking that it would be a game changer. the bush and the obama administration have tried to get the u.n. to support unknown nuclear weapon program at all in iran. we backed off that position, we capitulated a lot of our positions because we seem desperate to get a deal. maybe there's a case for that.
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maybe a bad deal is better than a good no deal. let people to defend that policy rather than attacking others, senators are other citizens. host: we will talk about harry clinton and e-mail story in a moment. larry first from philadelphia. independent. caller: i want to ask bill kristol about this. i know saudi arabia is supporting isis. you have iran supporting -- this proxy war. then you have american allies with saudi arabia, and iran fighting next to the american
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fighters. then, you have people going over there and just fighting without understand what is going on. can you comment on this? guest: it is a very messy situation. there are bad guys fighting each other. maybe saudi arabia is not quite supporting isis, but certainly they have supported terror groups in the past. indirectly, supported sunni terror groups in the past. look, what is going on a in the middle east, basically -- they were trying to set up regimes that would not be sectarian. we had some success in that, especially with the serbs in 2007-2008. the worst actors have been emboldened. it has somewhat exposed -- the fact that they are killing each
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other. hezbollah hates isis. at the end of day, it is like gangs fighting a couple of neighborhoods away from you in the city. they kill each other and you think, good riddance of the both but then they think, we can kill on each other, but also pray on the neighbors next door. and while there are no cost around, at the end of the day the whole zone becomes divided between horrible gangs. that is what the middle east is getting to look like. it is really terrible, especially in an area that has always been a hotbed of terrorism. and countries now, especially iran, where they're trying to get nuclear weapons, it is a very dangerous situation. host: begin your reaction to this headline. this is a "washington post" headline. it is really leader says he may lose. he is facing a tough election. guest: i believe it.
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he is behind in the last polls. it might tighten a little bit. of course, this question putting together a coalition government. whether he can get more votes and other parties that are friendly to that party. it looks like a close election. netanyahu has been prime minister for six years. i was struck at how much the country is tired of him. he was in power for three years in the late 90's. i think he has been a good prime minister, but i'm not israeli. my sense is they have had pretty amazing economic performance over the last several years. pretty careful management of foreign.
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a couple of small wars on the border, but he has managed to keep things under control without letting things blow up and keep israel. apparently israelis are voting on other issues, they don't like the cost of living. we could end up with some kind of coalition. we could end up with all kinds of coalition governments. we will get the results on tuesday night or wednesday morning and then there will be some months when they negotiate. it is a pretty crazy system. all the different parties and endless negotiation and coalitions. host: let me get tony abbott maryland on the line. caller: good morning, c-span. first time talking with mr.
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kristol. i know you know to say. -- i don't even know what to say. i have been in service for 21 years. over total, 30 years of service. i am so sick of you trying to ask and expand. you did it with iraq and you are trying to do it again. it amazes me, c-span, the you have this man back on. terrorism is a business. a lot of you guys benefit from that. you pledge allegiance to israel more than this country. a lot of people in congress do. it doesn't make any sense. host: let's hear from our guest. guest: thank you for your service. i because unfortunate that you think i alleged my allegiance to
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israel. there have been american casualties. there are people buried in iran who died at the hands of iran. they died in lebanon in the 80's, and in iraq. iran has a lot of american blood on its hands. i don't think we need to fight a ground war with iran. we can use sanctions and sabotage. maybe the threat of military force. maybe an occasional airstrike to keep the threat of the iranian program under control. host: let's switch gears and talk about hillary clinton and e-mail story. i will show clip first from the una new york where she met with reporters to talk about all of this. [video clip] hillary clinton: the system we
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use was set up for president clinton's office. it has numerous safeguards. it was on property and guarded by the secret service, and there were no security breaches. i think that they use of that server, which started with my husband, certainly proved to be effective and secure. now, with respect to any sort of future issues, look, i just the american people to make their decision about political and outlook matters and i feel that i have taken i'm president steps to provide these work related e-mails. they will be in the public domain. i think that americans will find that interesting.
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i look forward to having a discussion about that. host: she trust the american people. guest: so do i. i don't know she really look for to have a discussion about that. it's pretty amazing. honestly. i was in government. i have been in washington for 30 years, but one week before becoming secretary of state, she set up her ul on the clinton family server to keep the you miles out of the normal chain in the state department in the obama administration. it makes them hard to access by media, congress, other than the administration. i think she really wide to keep her stuff private, even from people in the white house and other people in the state department. it's odd.
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some secretaries have made mistakes. use gmail when they should have used government e-mail, but none of them did anything like this. that is the bottom line. it is unique that hillary clinton did this. others who are secretary all went to meet with the councils and they said, look, if you want to have any lockout, this is how you do it. standard thing. when john kerry took over, he attends to a lot of sensitive things, he has a state department account, as far as we know. in a premeditated way, she took her e-mails out of the public domain. now, she decides unilaterally, which of the e-mails where on government matters, which were
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private, and she has deleted the private ones apparently. there's a lawsuit where some lawyer may need to go to the private wants to make sure they are private. she seems to have tried whether or not she has been successful, to delete them. host: a process has to go forward. you tweeted it, over the weekend, about a "new york post" story -- too good to check. talking about valerie jarrett the senior advisor to the president. "the new york post" came out and said, it wasn't really this way. where you surprised to see the story? link this to the election. guest: i was surprised by the title.
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too good to check implies that maybe it is not true. i think it is hard to know honestly it is unclear from the story, what role valerie jarrett played in the clinton e-mail story. i just link to it on a tweet. i do think -- here's what i would say, i don't think the obama white house love hillarys clinton, think valerie jarrett isn't a huge fan. leading to conspiracy theory, the president and his team can shape the decision-making of the presidential nominee but they have stayed out. i have said this for a while and people think i'm just causing trouble what i say this, i'm a republican and a conservative, but i think hillary clinton is more affordable and the democratic primary.
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if elizabeth warren words to challenge her, i think she would have a pretty good chance of beating her. maybe a three and for chance. if you look at the polls, people say she is ahead 46 point. that is not the way to think about it. it seems like about 40% of the democrats want anyone but clinton. i think they would consolidate behind o'malley, worn, whoever would be an a opponent. i think she is out of touch certainly on the populace to message. i think she is laudable politically. host: we will take more into the gop field in a few moments. by the way, state refuses to comment on the report that jarrett ordered the clinton
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e-mail clarity. raymond from arkansas, an independent here good morning. caller: good morning. i'll he have one thing to say. people in this country that want to join isis, why don't they -- give them an aircraft to see turkey to join isis. thank you. host: jack from oklahoma. republican. caller: good morning. it's an honor to speak with you mr. kristol. your you just a couple of my issues. one being the root treatment -- treatment of congressional officials. that was deplorable. my other question on this is what exactly do a lot of the callers think mrs. clinton was thinking that she doesn't
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understand the technology. she talks about the server being protected by the secret service, actual guards. that is not the danger, mrs. clinton. if you can hack into high level military websites -- excuse me service, and things like that that she really think a server in her basement is safe? thank you very much. guest: obviously technology and secretary clinton -- thinking that if you have two accounts, you have to have two devices. tens of millions of americans walk around with one iphone, or android and have three different or four different accounts. it is not that hard to manage. she has plenty of staff to help her with that. a little disingenuous.
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doesn't destroy her future, i doubt it. who knows. the actual explanation that she gave was so lacking in credibility that you are reminded of the whole problem with the clintons. you get the feeling that they are picking up arguments, which may be hard to absolutely disprove. they may be able to get just around the corner that they need to get around. you don't think you are dealing with someone who is entirely candid. maybe it was secretary carry on the con letter, i was struck by this -- kerry went on and on about the cause letter. then he was asked about the ayatollah issuing something. i don't think that was actually
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published. nonetheless, in his bending over backwards to be polite to the iranians, secretary kerry said, we have the highest respect for them. really? this is about the iranian leader. it is iran that has justified killing many people, not just in iran, but abroad. this is what happens with this kind of policy. you start off in a hardheaded way. probably the best thing we can do is cut a deal with them, then you start talking yourself into it, maybe they aren't that good of guys, then the american secretary of state is justifying american thought wa --
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caller: hello, mr. kristol. i was just wondering why you are so hard on present obama and democrats in general. you have a lot of the policy ideas. president obama expended on many push area policies, drones. i don't suppose you opposed him when he cut a $.7 trillion in food stamps last year. host: anything you want to respond? guest: i agree. i try to call these policies as i see them. i'm conservative, so i tend to agree with republican policies and not president obama, he has been a pretty liberal president. i would prefer if guantanamo were still open and we were still interrogating people. i have no problem killing people
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with american blood on our hands with joe and strikes. we have a pretty careful and lengthy process to select those. it would be better to interrogate. we have kind of move that out. i defend the national security agency, which the president sort of halfheartedly defense. rand paul, the we discussed this earlier, came out against that against the weekend -- over the weekend. host: back to politics. who is oppressing you on the gop side? we covered a bunch of people in new hampshire over the last few days. who do you like at this point? who has the best chance to eat hillary clinton? -- beat hillary clinton? guest: scott walker has been
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getting a lot of buzz. he has a good profile. it he is clearly a top politician. which i think you need in the presidency. i would say jeb bush has done fine. he has a good start. it's not clear if the voters aren't buying the bush come back, or the agenda, the bush name. the fact that the guy has been out of politics and two of the six. i think i his biggest problem is that he is been out of the fight. if you are conservative, you really worry about obama's foreign policy, the defense budget. various members of congress have been fighting these sites. governors have been fighting bit the domestic fight. where has bush been? i think that is the bigger problem than his last name.
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it may happen that he can win but there's not much president in history for some guy who is been out of politics for 10 years and winning the election. i think jeb bush is underperforming a little bit of a bush skeptic. he may prove me wrong. he may turn out to be a great candidate and be able to convince republican voters to lead the party against hillary clinton. it has done well. i think there's a certain mood for governor. bobby jindal is a little underrated. he is effective. i do think that rubio is awfully articulate on foreign-policy issues. he looks even younger. i don't know, maybe people want
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someone who looks a little older and has been through a little more. every time i see rubio, i see him in a tough situation, and he is calm and cool. he does well. i don't underestimate the others, ted cruz. i think rand paul will be part of the debate. the main thing i would say, i would just set a meeting where a lot of these guys showed up, a lot of policy people were there some donor types, and i saw these guys do some q&a's. it's a good field. 2012, you kind of would grimace when it would be a republican debate, who would say why, what would be the headline. i think of you look up at the stage and see rubio, cruise paul, christie bush, gentle, i'm sure i'm forgetting some, carson -- you with a, that is a
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pretty impressive group. i actually think democrats will be hurt a bit if it is just a coronation of hillary clinton. host: a couple more calls. caller: good morning. listen, as far as silly clinton goes, there is nobody in the democratic party that is going to even compare to her. however, the tate saying, the server. i'm not going to vote for him. i just tired of everything she has -- this is a holding the clintons have been doing. i'm a democrat. i was thinking of voting for her. i talked to mike for democrat friends last week. they said the same thing as me. you know what, she is scaring us with all this hidden stuff. forget about hillary clinton.
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the republican party will have the real careful though if they keep bringing this thing up. a lot of people will be like me and you start getting pity and involves, like they did with barack obama. once the pity comes in, you get mad the republican party. you have to be careful about that. guest: is a good point. i think republicans need to stay away. a bipartisan investigative committee will look into this, as they have to. other people at the state department will look into this. it is a genuine question as to whether protocols were followed are not. i think is much more important to have a debate on iran. a benefit of the column letter is a got people debating iran and not the imo controversy.
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if i were elizabeth warren, i don't think she will take my advice by vice to elizabeth warren is to run. why not? she is in the senate. if she runs and loses, she will not have another chance. she is an impressive woman. with all due respect to hillary clinton, she was first lady of the united states, she is an impressive lady to. elizabeth warren made it on her own. harvard law school. she was a professor. made to the senate. has a real agenda. not one that i agree with. i would worry is a elizabeth warren were a nominee. hillary clinton's problems, from a political view, you have to be careful what you wish for. martin o'malley others could be tougher candidate. host: let me get in a couple
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more colors. caller: hey there. i just wanted to thank mr. kri stol. he needs to be talking about this. we need somebody behind us. obama, he lies. hillary lies. we can't believe nothing. i what's news all the time and he is right on the money. i thank you, sir. thanks very much. host: last call here. mike from california. independent. caller: good morning, gentlemen. i would like to return to the ayatollah and use of all weapons. i'm a libertarian so i believe that the original supreme leader issued the same thing. on the other hand, they got a lot of credibility because during the eight-year war with saddam hussein in which he was
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using weapons on iranian cities, the ayatollah strictly forbid the development of weapons despite the fact that his military which are urging -- military was urging him. it seems to me the you must have other evidence that he is lying. could you reveal that evidence? guest: governments all over the world, and the international atomic association, have been saying for years that they have weapons. i suppose they can claim that this is of peaceful use, but they have also had hidden weapon progress in the past. there could be nuclear warheads. i don't think there's much question really, that iran has interest in being able to have weapons. maybe they will be stopped from crossing the line and iran, but no prudent leader here or anywhere else can depend on them
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stopping the next iranian leader from taking that last step towards nuclear weapons. what is so dangerous is is not just this administrationthen you are not just -- then you are in a whole different world. we underestimate how lucky we have been due to american policy and the policy of others, that we have managed to keep the nuclear threat sort of under control since 1945. this could be the decade where it spins out of control. that is why people like cotton and others are so aboard -- so aghast at the issue. host: thank you for your time. we are halfway through this monday edition of "washington journal." coming up next, according to the congressional budget office, the cost of the president's health care law is going down partly
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because of an roman numbers. we will talk with kimberly leonard of "u.s. news & world report." and we will speak with kevin concannon. be right back. >> tonight on "the communicators," fcc commissioner mignon clyburn on their net neutrality ruling, municipal broadband, and the subsidized phone and broadband program lifeline. >> i propose we overhaul the lifeline program making
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concurrent and in sync with the -- making it concurrent and in sync with the information age. the prices and opportunities have gone down, have been more explosive for the rest of us. it should be for lifeline consumers. get those providers out of the certification business. that has been the number one problem we have been seeing. it is a vulnerability in the system that we need to plug. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on "the communicators" on c-span2. >> "washington journal" continues. host: how guest is kimberly leonard to talk with us about the health care law enrollment and cost projections. thank you for joining us. guest: thank you for having me. host: first time on the show. we are glad you could make it. what should we know about the recent aca enrollment numbers? guest: there is another open
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enrollment that started beginning yesterday. 11.7 million americans have enrolled, but because a lot of americans might not know about the health insurance penalty they have over the tax period to be able to sign up for insurance and not get a penalty next year. host: cbo is projecting a decrease in spending. guest: a decrease in spending on the program. it will still cost the country $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. but the projections keep getting lower. in january the projections were 11% higher than they were found to be last week. host: what is the reason for the decrease in spending? guest: several different things, one of which has to do with lower enrollment numbers in the exchanges than had previously been thought. the congressional budget office had originally projected that about 13 million would enroll and as i said earlier, that
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number has been 11.7 million now. the department of human services said that the numbers would be close to 9.9 million. host: our guest is kimberly leonard of "u.s. news & world report." we will take your calls in a couple of minutes. democrats, call 202-74 8-8000. republicans, 748-8001. independents 748-8002. where were you writing prior to your current assignment? guest: the center for public integrity. host: tell us about what the cbo has had to say about the spending projections in the future? guest: one of the important factors to note is that subsidies are going to be -- are less expensive than had been
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projected. they have been projected to be close to 5200 or person per year -- 5 -- $5,200 per person per year. now it is closer to $3900. we're spending 20% less per person per year than we thought we would. host: one of the headlines -- a shot here of a man holding an obamacare sign in miami. "the controversial health care law will cost the cut -- will cost the government $1.2 billion." how often do they do these analyses? guest: several times per year, but typically after the president's budget, they reevaluate where the budget stands. host: white house officials may point to projections that the program is working, the price tag is lower because fewer americans will be covered than
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previously thought. do you think that trend would continue? if you can spread it out, what might you see? guest: it is so hard to make these projections. the fact that we have had fewer people and role in the marketplaces could be seen as a positive or a negative thing. it could be that fewer are enrolling because more people are getting jobs to provide health insurance. or it could be that they are simply choosing to go without insurance. obviously one of the major goals of the informal care act is to get as many people enrolled in health insurance plans as possible. guest: -- host: if fewer people are insured, how much would that reduce money paid by taxpayers? guest: about 20%. host: kimberly, a democratic caller. good morning. caller: good morning to both of you. my daughter, who is 27, a full-time student and had
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earned last year $9,000 -- when she called her republican senator and asked why she could not get into the affordable care act network because she did not make enough money, they basically told her to project upward. my daughter said, "well, i probably will not make any more money, i will probably make less." there is nothing for her. no insurance, no medicaid expansion in our state. to have republicans tell her to project up, knowing that she will not be able to make any more money, i wonder if there are any other instances of that. i was rather perplexed and dismayed, and my daughter is a very honest person and would never project or pretend she was going to make more in order to get into the affordable care act network. guest: this is something i have heard about. i am working on a piece that is
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looking into it, but i do not know all the details yet. if you have an income of $9,000, it certainly would qualify for medicare -- for medicaid through the states. host: what would you be trying to find out as you dig deeper? guest: how often is it happening, and especially if it is having -- if it is happening in states that do not have medicaid. host: democratic caller colorado springs, good morning. caller: i really enjoy your guest. i love reading "u.s. news & world report." guest: thank you. caller: my comment, because your answering everybody else's -- my comment is that our children were put on our insurance after the aca went through in college on account of the affordable care act. we appreciated it. it saved us a of money helped
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with college tuitions because we saved money. one of our children has a pre-existing condition since birth and after the age of 27, now he can afford -- he can get on any plan through our state with aca. he appreciates it now that he is on his own, out of college before which he could not have gotten insurance because of a pre-existing condition. we were afraid of this for 20 years. thank you, president obama. every day we wake up and thank him. thank you very much. host: anything you want to follow up on? guest: many more people have been covered under health insurance who would not have been covered before the affordable care act. we hear stories like this a lot. a lot of people are concerned about the supreme court decision
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that might do away with subsidies that would help people pay for insurance, and this is certainly a message i hear a lot. host: i want to ask you about -- with the impact might be on what the court says. dig deeper into that case have how it might affect all of what we are talking about. >> what it boils down to is whether the federal government can legally distribute subsidies through only 13 states and the district of columbia have created their own marketplaces. that means the majority of people have signed up through if the supreme court were to rule that subsidies are illegal the numbers vary based on what group is giving them -- the department of health and human services estimates that 7 million people could lose health insurance. host: let's go to add in ann
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arbor michigan -- let's go to ed in ann arbor, michigan. caller: i think i heard that we spend twice as much as a percentage of gross to mystic product, the gdp, on health care than any other country. we have private insurance, medicare medicaid. so if you compare our costs, we pay more for surgical procedures more for drugs. i think twice as much as canada does. host: let me ask you to hang on for a second and talk to our guest. is that true, what he is laying out? guest: yes, it is. we are still spending more on health care than most countries, and the cost is continuing to
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rise. it is rising at a lower rate than in recent years, but it is still rising. host: why do you bring all of this up? guest: the other thing -- caller: the other thing i wanted to say is that obamacare is the old republican idea of competitive health-care exchanges, private insurance competing with others to -- to require people -- the individual mandate that came out of the heritage foundation, and the republican proposal in 1992. they came up with an alternative to hillary care. a lot of people like me thought we would want a single-payer system, a single-payer system, medicare for all or -- so obamacare is really an in-between compromise/partly
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republican idea, correct? it was romney care in massachusetts. romney had it in massachusetts. guest: a lot of what you are saying is true but the former care act was passed without a single republican vote in congress. so it is not seen as a copper mines between the two parties. host: here is a tweet from jean in ohio. guest: medicaid is supposed to be expanded under the affordable care act, and states are concerned about how they will pay for the program in the future. whether they will be able to keep up with that spending, we will have to see. let any cuts to medicaid would make it difficult for states likely. host: where is medicare spending at this point? i read a story that it was level
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or declining a little bit. guest: this is something really interesting happening in health care. even though we have the baby boom generation aging into medicare, they are younger and healthier than previous groups. we are spending less on medicare than we have in a very long time, and the rate of medicare is growing at a lower rate than it has in the past. so even though this is happening now and it is considered good news because medicare takes up about 20% of health care spending, there is a projection that after the next decade the rates of medicare will fill back up here it -- will fill back up. host: let's hear from damien in woodbridge, virginia. caller: two quick questions. the first -- has the aca inoculated the insurance market to high-deductible plans? the second question is, is the
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reduced spending in health care currently due to what was built into the aca, cost-sharing measures, of people maybe putting off care or differing care in many cases because of the deductibles associated with it? guest: i hear from a lot of readers who are concerned about high-deductible plans. they sign up for premiums and think they can afford insurance for the first time, and then they pay way more than they thought because we are aware of the details of the plant -- because they were not aware of the details of the plans and how the deductibles play into all of that. in terms of whether the affordable care act has slowed the rate of spending growth, that is something that is being evaluated. it is unclear to what extent the four double care act plays a role in health spending rates at this point. host: what kind of changes or tweaks might you expect in washington on the health care law this year, in the coming
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years? guest: the supreme court case is by and large going to be the most important decision that could happen to the affordable care act. republicans have tried to dismantle the law several times and president obama obviously would not sign any law that aims to do so. so the supreme court decision is going to be the major factor that is going to play into the health care law. as far as other parts that go into that, the medical device packs is something that could potentially be repealed. i think that in terms of other fronts, i do not see anything moving very quickly. host: let's hear from john, st. louis, missouri, a republican. caller: i would like to ask the lady -- since they passed the health care law, there are still 30 million people who have not been covered.
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what the affordable care act was supposed to do, it did not do. i mean, i am sorry, but it just frustrates me to no end that the democrats push this through congress before the republicans had another senator in there to keep it from passing. pelosi said you have to pass it and then read it. to find out what is in it. mr. obama turned around -- and i do not know how many times he has changed the law which he does not have the right to do. congress passes laws. the president has to back the laws and not change them. i'm sorry. i will let you guys talk it over , and i will be listening to you. host: thinking about those 30 million uninsured.
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anything you want to add to what he said? guest: we have about 11.7 million who have signed up on the exchanges, and than 10 million have signed up on medicaid because it has expanded. the number of people who get insurance and whether they are satisfied with the insurance they are getting -- whether they are able to see the doctor and other health care providers that they want to see. because some of these plans are costing less because it is -- because the networks are so narrow. whether this results in better care i think is another thing to look closely at. host: let's talk about penalties for the uninsured. we have statistics we can put on the screen from 2014. the penalties back in 2014 -- $95, 1% of annual income, whichever is greater. currently this year, $325 or 2%. 2016, 600 $95, or 2% of annual
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income. give us some more perspective on those numbers. guest: if you did not have health insurance in 2014, this year is the year you will be paying $95 or 1% of income as the penalty. the reason the department of health and human services extended the deadline for people to sign up for insurance, they created a special enrollment period yesterday that goes through april 30. it gives people a second chance to look at their tax returns and say i did not know about this penalty. now it is too late for next year when the penalty is even higher. they are giving people a second chance to sign up for insurance if that is what they choose to do. if you do not make that choice, you will pay the penalty although there are exemptions. host: we will continue to take calls, like this one from ray in california. caller: thank you. you have great general a stick -- you have generalistic
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characteristics. are we dealing with the establishment of welfare states? [static] you know what i mean? they get health care, money -- so in respect to the wealth speed of the people -- what i am trying to say is -- [inaudible] i do not see that being associated with the workmen's comp.. that is one thing barack obama may want to do with.
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normally the thing is, if somebody gets hurt, in other words, through cal osha, it is assuring. obama down here could push the issue -- well, you do not need workmen's comp. because if you get hurt we will cover you. you could have a major injury, and through omission or error that would be one thing. i think obama is cool. he is great but i stand with him. he is an excellent president. host: the connection was not the best, but is there anything you want to respond to their bank? -- want to respond to there? guest: like most americans, he agrees with portions of it, if not the whole law. host: let's go to mike on the democrats line. caller: the original reason i
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was calling in, i am a florida resident. working in the u.s. territory of glom -- the u.s. territory of guam. the effect that obamacare has on the taxes of people in the territories that are not entitled to vote -- actually looking at my president, i will probably vote republican next term. the facts are here. hundreds of u.s. veterans, in puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands and stuff -- the lack of attention to those areas, to sit here and watch tv and feel like
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i am in a foreign country when i am in a united states territory is disgusting. another fact of obamacare -- and it is not one issue. everyone wants to talk about the mexican immigrant. i live here in california. it disgusts me to look and see how everyone wants to blame a mexican immigrant who comes here to work. or look at the somali immigrants who come in and want to create pride, and we want to give them benefits. or look at the folks in the territories who pay their taxes. what do they get for that? host: thank you for calling from the territory of guam. guest: the affordable care act is not explicitly address care
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for veterans. but for people in the country illegally, there are ways they can access care, but they are not eligible to sign up through the insurance exchanges. in fact, thousands of people who had signed up but could not show proof of documentation or had some issues with mismatching data, things like that, ended up not receiving subsidies for health insurance. host: here is a headline from "the new york times." you can see a graph here with some of the numbers. last year, 5.4 million in the federal run, 2.6 million in the state run. this year, 2.8 federal -- 2.8 million federal. guest: in any of the states that
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establish their own exchanges the people who live in them would not be affected by a supreme court decision. the fact that all of the exchanges are up and working this year and that we are not here talking about technical glitches today is a major accomplishment. and the fact that so many people have signed up is something that the administration has celebrated. as i said before, it depends on how the care turns out to be and whether people will be able to access the doctors and hospitals and providers that they want to be able to access. host: there is a tweet from wild and wonderful. wanting to go back to penalty waivers. why is the procedure for getting upheld the waiver so rarely explained? i guess he is looking for more information about how it works what the procedure is. he is not seeing enough. guest: forgetting a waiver for not having health insurance.
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there are certain ways that people can demonstrate that they can buy health insurance outside of the enrollment so, which is a three-month period. there is a special enrollment now, but having a baby is one example. changing jobs, losing your job getting married -- all those factors can give you an exemption for signing up later. waivers specifically have to do with religious objections and cultural objections as well. host: steve, detroit, michigan, on the line for kimberly lenard. she is with "u.s. news & world report." caller: the first question i have is, did obama lie about obamacare? host: what do you mean by that? caller: that you can keep your doctor, prices are going to go down, stuff like that. did he lie, yes or no? host: our guest is a journalist
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a health care reported. i am not sure she is in a position to answer that question. why do you bring it up, and what else would you like to ask? caller: does she know about the comparative research that is in obamacare? it is in obamacare, and other nations -- they call that the death panel because there will be a committee of 15 people. this is in obamacare. they would decide what health care you eventually get. guest: the clause in obamacare that addresses peoples end-of-life choices do with how medicare would be reimbursed heard many patients do not have end-of-life conversations with their families, so it was thought of as a way to incentivize doctors to have those discussions. host: anything else? caller: i am not talking about
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end-of-life. this is about surgery or anything you might need. the older that you are in these countries that have this, it is called death panels, where a panel of people -- some of them doctors but some of them government people -- make decisions on what you will eventually get not end-of-life. that is included in that, but it is much more than that. i can tell by the look on your face that you have not heard of this before. host: we get the point, steve. thanks for calling. guest: there has been a lot of information going on about the death panels. the portion of the affordable care act that deals with that has to do with reimbursement for doctors. host: good morning, however, on our line for democrats. what would you like to ask our guests? -- what would you like to ask our guest? caller: my first question is,
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does the guest have health insurance and why? and can she named the date that the health care price went down? that is the only two questions that -- and i will take the answer off the air. guest: i have health insurance through my employer. health care did not start to go down -- the rate at which of care spending was growing started going down, and that happened right around the recession. the recession had the largest impact on health care prices that we are seeing now. so even though health care has always grown at a higher rate than the economy, before the recession it was growing at about 2% higher than the economy, and now we are at about 1%. it is projected that will continue over the next 10 years or so. after that, they think it will go back up. host: how come? guest: because we will have a lot more people aging into medicare and social security and we will be paying a lot more for health care for that generation. host: from new jersey, an
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independent caller. caller: you were talking about the cost of health care. my area of interest is in the generic drug business. the one one example of bipartisan legislative action has been the implementation of the fda safety and innovation act, which was voted unanimously. every congressman that was available that they voted for the act. and what that act did was instead of politicians all the rising taxes to pay for the fda'd extended -- fda's extended service needs, it authorized the fda to charge fees. they standardized the fee based on the generic drug manufacturers.
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every generic drug manufacturer today has to pay a fee of $247,000. if you make one generic drug your fee is $247,000. if you are those other companies who make a thousand generic drugs, your fee is $147,000. can you see what this does to be small drug manufacturer? 67 generic drug companies have gone out of business since the implementation of this law. and what this has done is that has reduced significantly middle-class jobs because jobs at generic drug companies are very low-paying. but if you are at a small generic drug company and you have to come up with $247,000 that is four to five middle-class paying jobs. and then when you have these companies going off-line, you have the majors out there who are the sole manufacturer is of
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these generic drugs being able to charge whatever they want. this is collusion on the part of stakeholders within the agency where you have big industries controlling the cost of medicine in the united states. host: comment of barry there. guest: i am not familiar with that portion but i will look into that more. you for double care act does encourage the use of generic drugs. host: overall health care spending in the country -- we have talked about the affordable care act -- overall, what are the percentages of increase, and is it slowing right now back? guest: the rate of growth is slowing. we are still spending more on health care every single year. it is lower than it has been in the past. it is difficult to say at this time whether the affordable care act has much to do with the
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slowing of health care growth. the white house has taken credit for it, the administration has taken credit for it, and people see it as good news. health care is still growing though. it doesn't show any sign of being any less than it is now. host: you mentioned the website. glitches seem to have gone away -- guest: they seem to have. host: what are you hearing about folks, their experiences? where are things turning? are they generally finding good expenses or where are the biggest problems? guest: it is completely a mixed bag because some people are so grateful they can get health insurance for the first time because they had a pre-existing condition before. others realize that they are under the age of 26 they can still be covered under their parents' plan.
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those portions of the affordable care act are still very popular. but some people are finding that it ends up being more expensive than they thought because of high deductible plans, or certain services they think might be included might come with additional fees they didn't expect. everyone is still getting the hang of what it is they will get to the new plans. host: california, republican. it is run for kimberly leonard . caller: hey, how you doing today? i have couple quick questions but i have history we need to go over, and one is about hillarycare in 1992 where she came out and said here is the story. you should have regional health care and exchanges and what you should do is be able to transport health care across borders, across the state lines and lower the cost of this. the ama was directly against it.
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all of the republican establishment was dreadfully against it. they drafted everything they could to stop her from doing that. fast-forward now to obamacare. it is the same thing. now we have affordable health care, pre-existing conditions have gone away, so people who get diagnosed with cancer can still get a job, still get their health care, whenever it is. now we are left with interesting things that are happening in california particularly. the insurance commissioner of california just said you know what, united health care, you are charging double what you should be charging. in the old days, in the hillary days, we were double triple billing, hospitals were doing that. when you have an illegal immigrant going to a hospital, they charge medicare 1000% more than what they were supposed to. the outrage is not from the
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people. the outrage is from the government. the bottom line of this story is aca is a great thing, i'm glad we are able to save people's lives in the meantime, but where is the ama on aca and what happened to try care for our veterans? host: thanks for calling. guest: the ama meaning the american medical association? host: i would think so, yet. guest: i think the groups are trying to help people understand what they get under the affordable care act, and what the benefits are and the provisions -- a lot of people, for example, don't realize how many preventive services come with the affordable care act and most groups are trying to educate patients and what those might be. host: can you speak to tricare at all and what changes might be taking place?
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guest: there are sitting ways they are trying to help veterans and the way they do things but it is moving very slowly and people are frustrated by that. host: down to our last few calls here. pennsylvania democratic caller . what's on your mind pete? caller: we live in western pennsylvania. $179 a month for a 40-year-old man. that is less than i pay for my cable bill. i don't care how many we don't by next year, but this thing is going to work. the place where i work, i do not get aca health insurance. i get the employer thing. it is not gone up for the first time in the 15 years i've worked there. this thing is working. i don't care what it costs. republicans in this country have done everything in their mind to
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sabotage this. the governors have sabotaged it could be gotten -- have sabotage it. we got rid of one of our governors because of it. my congressman is saying this is wrong. let me tell you, he is wrong. this is working. host: $170 a month -- guest: sounds like it is through the employer. most of the people who are getting subsidies are getting -- most being about 86% of people receiving subsidies -- they're getting $283 a month. that is on average. 55% are paying $100 a month for their health insurance. this is through the marketplace. how much is paid through your employer is going to vary. as far as the health insurance marketplaces that is about the rate people are paying. host: you mentioned deductibles earlier.
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what are people paying in terms of deductibles? guest: i am not sure the exact figures, but a lower premium plan has a higher deductible. that means obviously, that you will be paying up to maybe $1000, $2000 in your own medical care for your health insurance company kicks in to take up the rest. host: let's hear from ed in m aine, republican caller. caller: thank you. i have been on disability, social security, for a long, long time. i am a severe diabetic. in maine they said i make $13 too much, so they took my medicaid away, and now i have no coverage to get my diabetic supplies or any of the other important things i need. who would i see or talk to? i gladly pay $13 if that would
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take care of that. i will take my answer off-line. host: jimmy lee leonard? -- kimberly leonard? guest: anyone who qualifies for medicaid makes 30% of the federal poverty level $50,000 -- 130 percent of the federal poverty level you could sign up for exchanges and you would receive a subsidy of about $283 a month on average and that could help you pay for your insurance. i recommend visiting with a navigator in your state you can help you pick what insurance you would like. you can do it over the phone or in person. we have great resources at u on how to choose up plan. host: how do people find these navigators? guest: you can find them through your state exchange website or host: other costs associated
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with that? guest: no. host: john in detroit. caller: i am enrolled in the aca and i have two accounts with them. i wonder if it counts as being enrolled because if they are they are double counting me. that is one point. the reason i can't access the one account is they unlocked it using the password they gave me. i still couldn't access the account. then they told me i can't cancel the account. now i have two accounts with them, which is a joke in and of itself. to say the glitches are gone into system is ridiculous. guest: are you in the state or federal exchange? caller: the federal exchange. and then i tried to cancel the insurance i had last year. i called the insurance company up and they told me i had to talk to people at the aca.
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they told me i had to do it to the insurance company. i had both of them on the phone and they were arguing with each other about who had to cancel my insurance policy that i had which is ridiculous. and then i also had to have my premium before the accaa was $292 a month with zero deductible and how it is $385 a month with $1000 deductible, $4500 out-of-pocket before i am done spending my money on it. so to say that this thing has driven down costs for everybody and that they are counting everybody loverly -- they are spewing numbers all over the place. it is ridiculous. guest: right, and when we talk about the cost of health care we're talking about national spending on health care all stop -- on health care. as far as how it affects us in
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our wallets, that remains to be seen. you should meet with a navigator in person to see if there is a way they can help you unin role. i'm not sure if you were able to meet the deadline on time or not, but going back in there and making sure everything aligns. host: independent caller named russ calling from michigan four kimberly leonard. caller: thank you, c-span. host: you bet. caller: i am 60 years old and i'm on disabilityk, and my life last year -- she works part-time for walgreens two days a week. she made $6,000. without income together it is about $24,000. --with our income together it is about $24,000. she tried signing up for obamacare and obamacare picture over to the state. -- kicked her over to the state could the state said she made too much money.
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obamacare sent her back up with some insurance company, and she got something in the mail a card with a doctor's name on it that is not from our area -- i cannot find it in the phone book. there was a deductible for an office visit on the card. and so they sent her the bill. well, she makes $6,000 and they sent her a bill for $439 a month. she got back and told him that she couldn't afford this. it would come out to $5,300 a year paying for the obamacare that they set her up with. they gave her something at the end of the year for the taxes and exemption. she went through this this year again, and obamacare sent her back to the state, she told him that the state said she made the same much money as she did the year before.
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they sent her back to the obamacare, and obamacare supposed to be sending her some kind of exemption. now, what is this exemption for? they told her that if she would have made more money she would have got subsidies and made less money she would've got subsidies. i don't know. i guess they consider us the new middle class or something. i'm just wondering if you could help us out with some kind of deal where she could get on some kind of insurance. host: all right, thanks for calling. guest: certainly. it is something i'm hearing a lot from readers, too, in terms of not being able to access doctors in your area. one of the ways insurance companies are spending less on premiums every year is by nailing the networks. they end up seeing a doctor that does not fall in your network and pay a lot more than you thought you would. host: our guest has been kimberly leonard, health care
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reporter at "u.s. news & world report." is the website. thanks a lot for your time, and for the information on the health care numbers and enrollment. appreciate your time this morning. guest: thank you. host: in our final segment today we will deal with school lunches, specifically the national school lunch program. a segment, "your money." our guest is the under secretary of agriculture kevin concannon plus your calls. we will be right back.
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>> tonight on "the communicators," fcc commissioner minion clyburn on their net neutrality ruling. commissioner clyburn: what i'm proposing we do is overhaul the lifeline program make it concurrent and in sync with the information age, challenge those providers to give more to their consumers. the prices and opportunities have been more explosive for the rest of us. get those providers out of the certification business. that is the number one problem we have been seeing. it is a vulnerability in the system we need to plug. >> tonight on "the communicators" on c-span2. >> "washington journal"
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continues. host: in our regular segment on "your money," we look at the national school lunch program. joining us is kevin concannon undersecretary of the u.s. department of agriculture. good morning, sir. guest: good morning. host: $16 billion spent in 2014 for the national school lunch program. what is the national school lunch program? what does it do right now? guest: the national school lunch program is available to all 50 million american students who attend schools from kindergarten to grade 12 across the u.s. each day just over 30 million students have lunch at school and about 14 million students have breakfast each day. interestingly enough, the program started at 1936 after world war ii when american leaders gather to reflect on that challenging period and said
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that we drafted millions of men who are struggling with the rigors of military training. let's do something to make sure american schoolchildren have access to healthy foods at school. that is the origin of the program in 1936. it has been upgraded subsequently and now we are in a period of time where, happily from my point of view, we have one of the strongest science-based yields programs in the history of the program. host: one of the reasons we had to come on is due to calls from some members in congress to make some changes on the requirements that were instituted a couple years ago. let's get your reaction to them. first of all, the nutritional requirements from usda are based on calorie content. guest: it is based on the calorie limits age-adjusted for the first time, and they are based on recommendations given to us by the independent
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institute of medicine. they reflect the latest nutritional science. host: we can see them on the screen. reduced amounts of whole-grain-rich foods, and of -- increased a massive whole-grain-richards and reduce the massive trans fats and sodium. guest: that started in 2013, the school year. plus the consumption of more fruits and vegetables. if there's any part of the american diet that most of us fail at, we don't consume enough fruits and vegetables in our diet. this is the new school meal patterns now and it requires rich investor balls the research -- it requires fruits and vegetables to be served every day. i was in oregon a few weeks ago
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and a few weeks before that in utah and this past week in maryland. i go to schools and i try to eat breakfast or lunch with students. when i'm hearing is that the program is making a difference. interestingly enough, the strongest advocates for the program are turning out to be classroom teachers building principles, as well as the school food service folks who seek kids every day -- who seek kids every day. we know it makes a difference in their ability to learn but we also know it is going to socialize american students into healthier eating. about one third of american youth are at risk of preventable disease conditions like diabetes principally because of their weight. we have a real public health challenge in the country with of the challenges associated with obesity. host: let me put the phone numbers on the screen and read them. we will do something a little bit different in this segment for kevin concannon. students and parents, call this
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number host: so we will be talking with our guest, kevin concannon of the agriculture department, for another 40 minutes or so. i want to ask you about the first lady, michelle obama. what is her role in all of this? sheguest: she has been a major champion. we would've not thought and the bill over the goal line with our engagement, her advocacy. she championed it and she continues to do so. i will be going before congress tomorrow seeking additional budget support for these programs. the white house has been a very strong advocate for us. host: this piece in "the hill"
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says "gop looking to take a bite out of school lunches." senator john hoeven has introduced a bill to relax the schools when it comes to serving whole-grain products and reducing sodium levels. he says "we have got to have flexibility. we can't have a federal one-size-fits-all mandate." guest: well, the program is anything but one-size-fits-all actually. there are a lot of misunderstandings that you seen some of these things made, sometimes by elected folks other times by folks who are less directly involved. first of all, the standards are science-based, based on the recognitions, ultimately, the dietary guidelines, professional nutritionists, public health folks. on the issue of sodium, most of the schools across the u.s. are meeting the current sodium standards and on the whole grain side, we said to schools that
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if you have a problem getting products that are whole-grain-rich, we will grant you a waiver in that regard, and we have granted 1900 waivers out of 2100 420 200 that have requested. my concern on congress to injecting itself in an enshrining something in law like that is that it is going to weaken the program, needlessly so in that regard. schools are doing a good job. more than 92% of schools across the country, 93% of all of all 100,000 public and private and parochial schools, our meeting these new standards. state of course is what i say. don't weaken it, don't cave in to the interest of industry or those folks who don't -- haven't quite arrived there yet. interestingly enough, the oversight -- you mentioned the $16 billion in the program.
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we have not financially penalized a single school in the three years. we recognize that some schools will have trouble getting there. let's not start injecting ourselves and putting elements in federal law that will become frankly, barriers to addressing the health and the nutritional needs of american students. host: we go to calls now for kevin concannon. fred is calling in on our line for students and parents. caller: hi. my question is i have two students right now in high school and middle school. they mostly now pack a lunch because they don't like the new lunch program. my question is, we have a lot of subsidized lunches for kids, getting free lunches or partial free, but a lot of those kids aren't liking the food and they are just throwing it away. has there been a study on the $16 billion, how much is going in the garbage? guest: yes, actually, that is a
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great question. there are several studies in that regard, one recently released by the right-center out of the university of connecticut . their study shows that one students are consuming more fruits and vegetables. two, there is less food waste than previously existed. food waste has been initial not only in schools but in homes that has been an issue not only in schools but in homes, in terms of people at the end of the month looking in the refrigerator seeing produce that is gone old and throw it out. there are a number of strategies with schools to reduce that. we have wonderful relationships with cornell university. they have a center for behavioral economics where they work with schools to promote the practice of something we call
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"offered vs. served."two weeks ago in oregon and two weeks before that in utah, when i go through the line and observe the students, we suggest the school urge them, don't pre-plate the item for the child. hand the trade to the child and give them a choice as they go through. it is human nature. if i produce it, i'm more likely to consume it. a child, for example, in the case of a piece of fruit, in portland if you're she doesn't want the fruit, we urge schools to have something called a shared table. as i stood in that elementary school in portland oregon, i saw a student put a tangerine or orange on the shared table. two kids beyond him, the next
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came along and took it, so he had two. there are ways to deal with that, very practical ways. we are very committed to work with students. we announced something about two weeks ago called teen sha -- team share, teaming up to share this practices. we are teaming up schools that are doing this that are extremely successful at it with schools that are struggling at it. we know that is a solvable issue. host: newmarket, new hampshire. good morning austin. caller: good morning, how are you? host: doing well. caller: i have a comment about school lunches. i think they are actually terrible. i am a student at the school and the should really improve their game because most of the kids that are getting their lunches are throwing it away because they don't like it, obviously -- host: what would make it better austin? caller: probably more of a
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choice, just like he said. probably something that is little bit more on the sweet side for the kids, something that is more -- not just good, because most of the school lunches don't have any type of desert. they give you one choice, which i find it because. -- which i find ludicrous. host: how are you with prison vegetables? -- fruits and vegetables? caller: well, i.e. most fruits and vegetables given to me by the school lunch but it is pretty terrible, like i said. host: he points to sweets as one way to make school lunches better. how does that sound to your years, kevin concannon? guest: well, a program or diet to consume less sugar -- as americans we consume too much sugar. for young people, again,
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everything in moderation, as a friend of mine, a cardiologist, recommends to me in the last few days. we would be happy to work with that student's school and the schools in new hampshire as well where they are promoting forreoffered vs. served, but make sure it is attractively presented and that students are encouraged to try different foods as well. sometimes cravability of certain food types -- a disputed is not familiar with it, they may not realize it is something they would enjoy. host: the school of program faces reauthorization this year. what length of time would go for? guest: typically major pieces of legislation like this are reauthorized for five-year periods. often in the past it drifted over to the sixth year.
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the farm bill that passed last year was passed a year later than it had been reauthorized on the five-year mark. typically they hold forth for a five-year period. host: senator john hoeven's legislation would allow schools to revert to the 2012 standards, which requires half of all grace served in school lunches to be whole-grain-rich. the standard now is 100%. it would prevent the usda from sodium reductions in cash further sodium reductions in school meals. --further sodium reductions in school meals. donna in a gusto, an administrator. caller: thank you for letting me speak today. mr. concannon thank you for your support of holding these meal standards. in georgia, in my district things are working beautifully. we offer lots and lots of choices every day and sometimes the kids take up too many fruits
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and vegetables. we are outsourcing local vegetables from college and sweet potatoes that our kids really, really love, and the fruits are going over tremendously because we are cutting them up and that makes it huge difference. what we see is that the kids don't have enough time to eat. it takes more time to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and we are giving them so many fruits invest vegetables on their tray and that is a big issue nowadays and i'm wondering if mr. concannon can give us any advice on how we can get administrators to make sure the kids have enough time to eat all this great food on their trays. if you do recess for lunch, the kids come in hungrier and more ready to eat. thank you for your support. i don't know if you have an idea of how we can get administrators to get kids more time to eat because that is what they want. they want more time and all the healthy food and they are eating it. it is taking them all while. -- a while. we make our homemade bread and all that, but a lot of school
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district don't have kitchens, either -- host: donna, how much time do the kids get in the school? caller: in our district close to 20 to 30 minutes. in a lot of districts they only get 10 minutes to eat lunch, and it really does take more time. we are doing well in our district i hear about other nutrition directors complaining that if the kids had what time to eat, they wouldn't throw the freeway. guest: i think donna makes -- thank you for the call -- she mentioned several practices that are important. fruits and vegetables, particularly younger children, those children that are consuming the apples that are sliced, for example, for young kids, or the pieces of orange or a tangerine cut up into quarters, it is easier for young kids in particular to consume it that way. the presentation can make a difference. but the point she makes about time is extremely important as well. i've have been to schools, especially large schools, where
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they may have to start the meal to accommodate 2000 students. the first may come through at 10:30 in the morning and runs until 1:00. and it may be 20 minutes from the classroom to the restroom to lunch back to the classroom, and the time crunch really creates a problem. logistics defined so many things in schools. what we recommend to schools, at the state, local health departments will allow it, i have watched kids eat the fruit and it takes a few minutes to say that the kid should be allowed to take it with him. there is no federal requirement from the food nutrition service side that the piece of fruit has to be consumed in the cafeteria. there are ways along that line. when she mentioned the practice at some schools, depending on which part of the country you
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live in, have tried recess first so the kids use of that energy but also racing out the door to be with their friends, and it may give them more time to consume the food. of her idea practices along that line. host: atlanta jermaine. caller: how you doing sir? guest: good morning. host: jermaine, if you could turn the sound down we will hear you better. caller: what i wanted to ask was if you can try serving orange juice instead of entering it will be a lot more better because the orange juice has a lot more oranges and entries mixed in. -- tangerines mixed in. guest: well -- host: he is speaking to the type
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of fruit tangerines versus oranges, orange juice. can you speak to the differences in the types of fruit you would advocate be served? guest: well, schools of the kids the best in different time that parts of the country. i have been to the school -- i was at a couple weeks ago in oregon, giving the choice of both tangerines or small oranges or cranberries dried cranberries in a pack. i have seen variations on that. given the school i was at, the elementary school in maryland, the end of last week, was serving both apples as well as tangerines. i set with some kids for breakfast and they were consuming that apple right down to the core. again, local schools, give
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choices, that is what we encourage. we have a separate fresh fruits and vegetables program for schools that have high percentages of low income elementary age students. and that special program is targeted at just familiarizing students with fruits and vegetables they might not otherwise get exposed to. host: how does it work these days? guest: the majority of meals prepared across the country are prepared by staff who work for the school district, but school contract companies have a significant number of schools that they service as well. we heard -- i think donna reference to the fact that in her school system, as is true nationally many more schools are purchasing locally, and we
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encourage that as well, because typically these are foods that may be fresher kids may be more familiar with them. i remember going to a school a year or so ago in the northeast where the child ahead of me was taking a green vegetable. i said, "what is that you are taking?" he said, "this is kale. we grow it here." it was a great example. host: mississippi now. marion for kevin concannon of the usda. caller: hello. i am a grandmother with two grandchildren in elementary school i'm extremely satisfied with the lunches. i go several times to have lunch with both of my grandchildren. i watched the agriculture committee with senator cochran this summer when they were having the discussion about the
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meals, and one thing about these people calling in and being dissatisfied and everything, i don't think their school program has gotten ahead as they should have. mississippi has turned out to be one of the leaders -- guest: yes. caller: in the school planning program. people say they are throwing vegetables away, throwing -- we need more dessert? i'm looking at our menu for today and they have the grill chicken sandwich, red beans and rice with sausage, southern collard greens, cheese, peaches garlic toast, vanilla pudding chocolate, and white milk. they always have two choices. here we have hamburgers, barbecue chicken. and they don't fry anything -- guest: right. caller: the hamburgers and french fries taste as if you did
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them in your own home. host: thanks for calling. what does mississippi -- guest: she mentioned senator cochran has been a longtime champion for the school meals programs, but in mississippi, it is also the location at the university of mississippi the national school-food service management institute. this is a very important adjunct, really, a center of support and education that helps educate school food service folks from across the country. mississippi itself, the state agency in mississippi gets it that it is important for us to promote and support healthy meals, because kids learn better . there's lots of research on that front. especially these days -- i mentioned at the outset, there are 14 million american students who have breakfast at school each day. that alone, as we often hear, is the most important meal of the
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day, can make a difference. i have heard it from classroom teachers principals, fewer kids missing school days, fewer kids complaining of headaches stomach aches, being disruptive in class, all associated with healthy meals. when she went down that list of today's menu, we encourage schools, by the way, to put their menus on the web so that parents and grandparents, as he was able to, can take a look at what kids are having that weaker that day. -- that week for that day. i'm confident that the meals provided in schools unquestionably are better than they were years ago and they are getting better. host: mike in oklahoma, you are on the air. caller: thank you for taking my call. my question deals with screening of foods such as whole grains, particularly gmo grains, herbicides.
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i'm wondering about how the fda goes about screening those foods. host: thanks mike. guest: well, i'm with the usda, and the safety of school meals is one of the priorities we pay attention to, as does fda. we have a network of notifications that goes out to schools one the purchase for schools, when there may be an issue with it. we purchase over $1 billion a year -- usda does -- for foods that go out to schools. schools have a choice of about 200 different food items. they can purchase it directly through the usda. we have a notification system of food safety, hazard alert system on that front. but also was a practice -- by the way, you should be aware that schools can purchase and typically purchased 80% of the
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foods that they serve in schools , they can buy them locally or through national distributors. the one requirement is that the foods have to have been produced in the united states. if we come across an issue, an aleart has been issued -- an al ert has been issued by industry, we pass that along as well. the state food agencies or the school agriculture department's where they oversee the meals. host: there is a tweet here. "what good is improving the school lunch offerings so long as schools still have vending machines offering soft drinks and junk food?" explain where this country is right now with vending machines. guest: well, you know, it is really some good news and it is a reflection on the ability of american industry to adjust and accommodate. that is why i would be really opposed to enshrining some of these weakenings and federal
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law. -- in federal law. the schools that have vending machines right now, the food sold must meet the new standards. of the 50 million-plus students to attend schools in the u.s. if those schools have been emissions, which is typically high schools and middle schools -- some have none, but those that have been our middle and high schools -- the food sold must meet the new diet standards. you're not going to find sugar sweets and beverages in those vending machines. they are verboten. you are going to find products that are -- have been formulated to meet the new dietary standards in terms of the amount of sodium or sugar in the product. the underlying rationale for that is why do we have authority to regulate those foods?
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in the past they have been referred to as competitive foods, the foods that compete with healthier foods. now if the school has those vending machines, they have to have healthy foods. i was at a school in rural georgia as well as in cincinnati where they used the vending machine for the meals so that the students can punch in their number -- pin number and they get a salad, a healthy sandwich healthy foods. the vending machine pe rse is -- per se mississippi a vehicle for it, and the vending machine industry has responded very well to say we will provide products that meet those standards. host: and administrator i maine. good morning, judy. caller: good morning, thank you for taking my call today. according to the usda guidelines, school-age children should be eating between two to
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three cups of fruits and vegetables a day. however, studies show that the majority of students are not eating nearly enough fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, especially teenagers. under the new nutrition guidelines, the percentage of students selecting and eating and our expense, fruits and vegetables, have gone up. we are really concerned that the if the fruits investable's requirement is removed from the school meal pattern, that would be a step backwards for the health of our nation's youth could we thank you for your support of keeping that half a cup of fruits and vegetables in the school meal pattern as a requirement. guest: thank you so much, and i'm very familiar with wyndham. i am from the state of maine. it is one of the growth areas, a very pleasant part of maine to live in, with access to the lakes and close to the mountains as well.
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the recent study out of the university of connecticut and the previous study out of the harvard school of public health -- i met a young researcher who works with the union of concerned scientists from the university of north carolina who found similar results, that exposing kids to these fruits and vegetables, serving them in ways that different choices and are attractive for them, all pays off. we want to stay the course, as i say. there is no need to let up on the gas in terms of the efficacy , the benefits of fruits and vegetables to these students. i really appreciate your comments on that, especially as someone who is engaged right on the ground in schools. host: what is the average school lunch cost these days? guest: you know, the average -- we spent nationally in the usda about $11 billion that we reimburse schools in federal funds. we reimburse those meals in
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three different levels. when we fully pay for the meals or a so-called free meal meaning the child's income or household income is so low they qualify for a free meal, it is just over three dollars. it can vary slightly but it is always at least three dollars. then for the so-called reduced price meals, it is $2.60, and then we subsidize so-called paid meals both through the usda foods and the cash subsidies of about $.26 or $.27. it is about six cents per meal in that regard. the schools manage this. they have to pay the staff that prepares the meals and they typically have about $1.25 $1.35 for the food product itself. it takes careful purchasing and management.
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they don't have limitless amounts of money to be sure, but a study done in preparation for the introduction of the act, we made a couple of changes. one, for the first time over and above inflation we added six cents per meal. that is times 30 million meals each day so it as a very quickly. as well as introduce a requirement that when schools are selling so-called all a cart meals on the side, the actual price of the eloquent has to reflect the costs -- actual price of the all a cart as to reflect the cost because in a number of schools we were subsidizing through the reimbursement the a la carte pricing, and this would have the effect of putting stress on the schools do not have as many resources to buy the healthy foods that kids deserve. host: 10 minutes left. bill is on the line in washington, d.c. it is undermined -- what is on
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your mind? caller: you guys just talked about the elephant in the room. it is amazing it took this long. you are talking about $1.31 with the extra six cents per meal. that is why school lunches are loaded up with carbohydrates just like foodstamp users because they can't afford to pay for protein, which is more expensive. it is a red herring to hear parents say "oh, our children don't like this or that." if they don't like this or that, the more well-heeled parents can send their students with their own food. it needs to be repeated that this is $1.31. how much food can you get for $1.31 after you pay for the staff? it is outrageous, and the fact that the republicans are talking about cutting this, they are doing the same thing with food stamps. food stamps got cut twice
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last year, once with that ridiculous cap and then an additional cut.before you start talking about nutritional standards, let's talk about the elephant in the room. $1.31 for a meal? come on, what can you get for $1.31? host: thanks, bill. kevin concannon. guest: i should remind bill that the $1.31, or that range, is the typical amount of the food product, the reimbursement for the meal typically runs in excess of three dollars for the fully paid -- the free meal, and $2.60 were in that range -- four in that range for the mill that is subsidized. but the point he is making that it is a challenge to buy healthy foods and stay within budget lines clearly is the case. i know we are very conscious of that. that is why we provided a lot of
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training, a lot of seminars, a lot of technical support individualized technical support, to school systems across the country to help them make sure they meet the standards but also that we assist them with managing the challenges of operating a program. when i go to the state of texas i often say to students when i meet with them students, uv lights in texas alone each day 3 million texas students have lunch at schools through the national school lunch program? how many restaurants would it take for us to line up on the interstate here to feed 3 million people within the same hour and a half? it shows the importance of schools and school meals program. we know that these new meal standards are working. we know, as i mentioned earlier we haven't analyzed a single school that might not quite be the area -- analyzed the singles
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-- penalized a single school that my not be meeting at yet. the administrators who work in those school lines from the so-called lunch ladies and lunch men, are very committed to this, very proud of what they're doing, and we are very supportive of the new standards that have just been announced in terms of professional standards to recognize the important work that these folks do. host: al in the district of columbia. good morning al. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i am a social worker, and in the last few years i was assigned to a d.c. public schools high school. there are three different areas i want to touch on. this high school had an evening program for adults where they serve food. i went to a basketball game in the evening, and when those
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adults were leaving, the leftover food was set at the front counter so that those adults could take the food home. during the day, i was assigned to two different lunch periods and i had a parent who work as a school lunch worker and had a student in the school. i would go back while they were preparing food. they would cook pizzas for the students. but if there were leftover pieces -- pizzas, they wouldn't let the students get a second slice. instead, they would throw them in the trash. on friday said the school, one of the most despicable things i saw was that on friday evening they would take all of the leftover oranges apples, bananas, and throw them all in the trash. host: do you have a question for our guest?
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caller: how can you explain throwing good fruits away if you are talking about providing nutrition to students? guest: you know, that is really unfortunate. thanks for bringing that to our attention, al. there are several ways we recommend schools dealing with that. on fruits and vegetables we recommend schools have shared tables. as i mentioned earlier in the hour, i deserve to students when i was out in oregon last week -- i observed students when i was out in oregon last week. take a piece of fruit and put it on the share table and other students can take that piece of fruit. i have seen it -- i have visited some d.c. schools as well and i have seen shared tables there. students can take that fruit home. at the end of the week, another alternative for schools beyond the individual share tables is we would recommend, for example
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with fruits and vegetables especially, we have a network of emergency feeding sites across the district and in maryland northern virginia, near here that serve emergency meals. those fruits and vegetables could be donated to the food bank network so they could go out into that network. the pizzas is a different challenge. the pizza is a prepared food. i would hope -- i know that pizza now has to be more whole-grain, less cheese, and the cheese has less fat, should say, in it. on the fruits and vegetables side, there are share strategies. share tables and the school is as well as sharing the food product with emergency food bank network. host: maine for kevin concannon . caller: thank you very much and i'm thrilled that you took my question.
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i have been a health teacher for many years and i remember the dark days of trying to teach kids after they had a lunch of sweetened drinks and ice cream and chips. it was terrible for their learning and health and i know that contributed to their childhood obesity. i see that those changes are working because when i teach nutrition, my students will learn about it and they will eat nutritious meals at lunch and at breakfast. i know my kids depend on those meals here. they are seeing healthier nutrition in action so i can say that those changes that started in 2010 with the improved nutrition guidelines are most welcome. really, i just want to say thank you. i see the change every day and i'm most grateful and i take you for your support -- thank you for your support of keeping those guidelines strong for our kids. thank you. host: let's take one more call and we will get a final comment for our guest. lynette is in georgia, another school administrator on the line. caller: hi. thank you so much for taking
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my call. mr. concannon i really appreciate the information you share today on behalf of the school attrition program and some of us who are working hard to provide the best for our student. i think that we are seeing great advances. i guess that is exciting to me that hopefully we can maintain that. i guess if i had any comment or question, that would be that we could continue to share success stories to help folks that are struggling in the field to better understand ways to engage their students so that they can start saving the success that are being highlighted with the school meals and the institute sharing. i think there is a lot of great things that are going on that are probably not getting as much media play as maybe some of the things that tend to be a little bit more negative. your information today is beneficial for our public to hear. there was a lot of really good things going on in schools all over the nation. guest: thank you so much for
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that comment, and i agree wholeheartedly with you. one of the budget items i will be proposing tomorrow before the house, a budget item that would allow us to support schools to be able to attend another school , attend in a different district. we have a provision for state foodstamp agencies to go from one state to another that are having the struggle with a particular issue. we don't have that same capacity in the school meals, and often particularly for smaller school systems they may not have the infrastructure to resource that person in charge of the program -- the person in charge of the program may be the chief cook or bottle washer, literally. we want to support, in addition to what the national school service institute provides, the opportunity for school folks to go and see a firsthand. don't take my word for it.
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visit with their peers and see how this is working. i concur with both of you, and the prior caller from maine in the southern part of the state in particular we have had great a pediatrician and her staff associate there have been highly some what of a going out to schools -- highly supportive of going out to schools in providing assistance. it is great to see. host: he is the undersecretary for food, nutrition, and consumer services. thanks for your time and information this morning. guest: happy to be here. host: we will see you tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. eastern time for another edition of "washington journal"." have a great day. we will see you tomorrow.