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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  March 16, 2016 9:00am-11:01am EDT

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don't come home until a bit later so you really always have to be on your toes in order to guard against this sort of underpricing and rapid growth. given that context, it made sense to really be on top of enrollment. i was puzzled as things rolled out, i was very puzzled by the lack of public discussion, the lack of commentary, about insolvency risk whatsoever in this market. it's as if no one understood that insurance companies do fail and those that fail often have underprice rapidly. that background, that context, as well as the lack of incentives for safety and soundness given the type of government funding should have altered the environment, be one of much greater caution about how these things would be permitted to grow. >> again, just to be clear, as compared to some of the testimony we heard earlier, there was information. we had monthly and quarterly reports including on enrollment, an issue that you talked about. let me just ask you this, and
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it's kind of speculation on your part, but why did this happen? it was so obvious that the underpricing and overrelment and the other business factors were problematic and there were reports and there was plenty of data, why did they keep putting money out the door and not take the obvious step which is to cut the losses to the taxpayer and cut the losses to all these families to ended up losing healthcare insurance, some of whom now are facing the risk of actually having providers have claims against them even though they paid their precede yums, did everything right, the providers weren't paid because these companies went insolvent and now these consumers are told they might have to pay for what the companies did not pay when they were required to do so. how did this happen? >> i think in part what happens is even though you're getting information, the amount -- the accuracy of the information about claim costs wasn't there.
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so there will be a much bigger bill than what had been anticipated. i have to speculate, but there was -- there was a strong -- it seems there was a very strong commitment to the co-op program, a very strong belief that this new model would work in an environment where insurance companies were viewed as making excessive profits with excessive administrative costs in markets that were regarded as not being sufficiently competitive. it seems to me there was an ideological commitment to the program and to the success of the program. having said that i will also point out that once you get information that a company might be in trouble, there always has been a fine line that regulators have to draw about doing something that definitely will put the company over the edge or giving it a little more runway to try to work things out, but in those scenarios when you give a little more runway to let companies try to work things out you want to make sure that they grow, if at all, at a very orderly pace. you want to make sure that you have the speed limits. the last thing you want to do is to provide more funding to
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enable greater growth, especially when you've got maybe soft information about claims experience at that point in time. >> look, given your academic background here and lots of experience, i respect what you're saying and i think you're right, there was an ideological commitment, your quote, and i think it blinded some of these folks who otherwise would have seen these warning signs and, as you say, it was a commitment maybe to co-ops or maybe against the insurance companies who thought as you said were making excessive profits. i think it was also to get enrollment numbers up under obamacare which was part of the desire by the white house at the time and continues to be. so i do believe that we have to learn from this. i mean, we have to come up with ways to ensure that we aren't going to lose even more, hemorrhage even more taxpayer dollars, at a minimum $1.2
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billion appears to be lost. we talked earlier about that and couldn't get hhs to acknowledge that, but when you look at it the companies who would have to repay that actually have assets that are far lower than their liabilities, even taking out the loans, forgetting the money that they owe the federal taxpayer and not a single one has paid a penny in principal or interest. so i appreciate your focus on this, i hope you will continue to work with us on trying to figure out moving forward how we avoid this problem even growing further and how we deal with this very real problem we have now in some states where you have consumers who actually might get tagged with additional costs, so they lose their healthcare, they have this dislocation, hopefully they have now found healthcare, but they are now looking at the possibility that these claims might come back on them. do you have any final comments before we go to our vote on that or other topics? and again, i want to thank you
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very much for your willingness to come before us, dr. harrington. any final thoughts? >> no. thank you for allowing me to testify. >> thank you. thanks for your good work in this area. it's been very helpful to have you. we are now going -- do you have any additional questions? >> just to thank you for holding this hearing. what this underscores is literally what a spectacular was. you had states that know how to do these things, know how to regulate, know how to prevent insurers getting in too much trouble, if they start getting in trouble know how to resolve those things and you have the arrogance of a federal government walking in here, spending at least 1.5, probably $2.5 billion in support of these things. no, this was an incredibly important hearing. we are just not getting the press attention to what a spectacular failure obamacare is. how couples lost healthcare plans in high risk pools that they could afford, the premiums have skyrocketed, out-of-pocket
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maximums have skyrocketed. i hope this hearing gets a lot of attention and i hope your testimony gets a lot of attention, i hope we actually learn lessons. i'm not convinced we will. but thank you, mr. chairman, excellent hearing. >> thank you for your attendance today and, again, to our witnesses thanks, particularly here at the end, dr. harrington, thanks for your expertise. i want to thank also my colleagues senator mik cass skill for her hard work on the subcommittee, we missed having her here today and look forward to her return school and her good health. i will say we've talked a lot food about how this money was lent to these dozen co-ops that failed, others, as you have said, dr. harrington, are in big trouble and at a minimum we're talking about $1.2 billion of taxpayer money that's going to be lost, it will be more than that at the end, we all know that. while this happened there was not corrective action taken. in some cases not at all, in other cases it took more than a
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year and what we were looking for today is someone to take accountability for it. we heard a little of that, i appreciate that, but this was not the fault of these consumers, this was not the fault of the states, this was the fault of hhs, the way the program was structured and then each once it was structured the lack of adherence to the basic requirements in these load agreements. so i would hope that we will learn from this and that we can avoid further disruption in this case to over 700,000 consumers in addition, again, to them having the possibility of actually having to pay out-of-pocket more than their premiums because there are claims and from our analysis could be brought against the consumers, which would be, you know, adding an additional insult to the taxpayers who have already been out so much money. so this hearing record will remain open for 15 days for additional comments or questions by any of the subcommittee members. and with that we are adjourned.
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the obama administration is seeking -- >> this is outside the amount of power and with that power comes greater responsibility and the idea that you have individuals sitting on the court for an unfettered for 30, 35 years is just not -- just doesn't have the smell test when it comes to a modern democracy. >> sunday night on q & a gabe roth talks about changes he'd like to see at the supreme court, including opening up oral arguments to cameras, imposing
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term limits on the justices and requiring justices to adhere to the same code of ethics that other federal judges follow. >> the supreme court's decisions affect all americans, all americans are aware of the third branch of government and in the last 10, 15 years the third branch of government has become so powerful. the idea that issues on voting and marriage and healthcare and immigration and women's rights, pregnancy discrimination. i mean, i could go on and on. these issues that maybe 20, 30 years ago congress and the executive branch would get together and figure out a compromise and put together a bill, that doesn't really happen anymore, the buck stops with the supreme court in a way that i feel is unprecedented in our history and given that the supreme court is making these very impactful decisions in our lives, the least we as a public can do is press them to comport with transparency and accountability. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q & a.
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the obama administration is seeking $19 billion for nasa's 2017 budget, about 2% less than this year's level. nasa administrator charles bolden testified about his agency's budget at a senate appropriations subcommittee hearing. this 50 minute hearing is chaired by senator richard shelby. >> the committee will come to order. mr. administrator, welcome to the commerce justice science subcommittee hearing on the president's 2017 budget request for nasa. you are no stranger to the committee. last year congress provided nasa with $19.3 billion in the 2016 omnibus that maintained a balanced space program, ensuring that nasa's priorities are able to move forward. we hoped at that time that this administration would leverage the solid financial foundation we provided to move forward on
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all of nasa's exploration goals, but i think that hope was short-lived. the budget that nasa has presented to us claims to include a total funding level of $19 billion, but we have to look at this closely. this overall amount is achieved through a combination of discretionary spending and an unprecedented amount of funding disguised as mandatory when it's, in fact, is not actually mandatory. since the budget rollout of february the 9th, nasa has used rhetoric to mask the fact that $763 million of agency's requested funding is offset by proposed tax increases, such as a new $10 tax on each barrel of imported oil that congress has not yet considered, nor do i expect that we ever will consider. the truth is that nasa's request
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is only $18.26 billion, a cut of $1 billion from what this subcommittee provided in the last fiscal year. these cuts if enacted would erode ongoing science missions, jeopardize core operations and delay exploration launches. i'm sure it's no coincidence that most of those proposed cuts target programs that are supported by this committee and other members of congress in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle. the simple fact i believe is this, that the administration prioritize funding elsewhere in the government's budget and it could not find enough discretionary fund to go make nasa whole. once again, nasa has failed to propose, i believe, a truthful budget that can be accomplished -- accomplish the agency's goals. in order to move forward in '17, 2017, the subcommittee, i believe, must set aside those so-called mandatory spending gym
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mix. instead, we must provide honest funding that is necessary to advance our nation's space program using discretionary spending that does not bust the budget cap's agreed upon last fall. this proposed budget represents staggering reductions that would lead to a nearly $1 billion reduction to nasa's discretionary budget compared to last year. those proposed cuts could have been both near term and long-term -- has both implications if not corrected will delay ongoing work and will drive up development cost, outcomes that this subcommittee has worked hard to avoid. i look forward to -- particularly with the concern the consistent lack of support for nasa's human exploration efforts to go beyond lower earth orbit. the space launch system sls is proposed to be cut by $770 billion and its crude vehicle
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orion would be cut by $717 million. in addition the proposed funding and development path for sls ensures that our next crude exploration vehicles would not even meet nasa's far from ambitious target of launching in 2023. surprisingly, nasa has not proposed a single dollar for the development of an upper stage engine that is absolutely necessary for a crude mission that is only seven years away. the request would not allow nasa to stay current on its own orion production and launch schedule. administrator bolden, you've traveled around the country in recent months touting nasa's strong support for sls and orion missions while this budget will delay any mission to nasa's led mission to mars or anywhere else.
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if this weak budget plan for exploration is what the administration calls strong support i hate to imagine what the request would look like if there was only a professed marginal commitment from nasa. other missions across nasa will also feel the detrimental consequences of this request level. planetary science missions such as mars opportunity, mars odyssey and mars express would be totally relying on imaginary funding to continue operations and, therefore, effectively cancel in this budget. under this year's proposed budget request the spectacularly successful new horizons mission to pluto, which had its mission ex end tended will essentially have to depend on a tax increase that has virtually no chance of being enacted. even the recent high profile announcements of aeronautics experimental flight vehicles will become greatly dependent on budgetary gym mix. many other activities across nasa are open to additional risk
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caused by budgetary uncertainty. both the inspector general and the government accountability office, gao, have cited the risks from funding uncertainty as a top chronic concern at nasa and this budget has borne out those concerns even further. in fact, this budget creates more problems than it solves. i find it disturbing that nasa's true priorities are not better reflected in an honest budget. i look forward to hearing your views on these matters and ask you to work with our subcommittee members to address our many concerns in the 17 bill, but before i yield our vice-chairman senator mikulski i want to recognize that today is the last scheduled cgs budget hearing for this year. this could be senator mikulski's final hearing as a member of this subcommittee which she has helped to lead as chairwoman or as ranking member since 2005. senator mikulski, you have been a great champion for all of our federal science agencies over
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many decades, especially nasa, and you have also served as a vigilant steward of how tax dollars are spent. you've consistently challenged nasa to be better and because of your leadership nasa has better served america's drive for exploring space and making new discoveries. extending the life of the hubble space telescope, rebooting the james web space telescope program, returning the space shuttle to flight after the columbia stent, these are just some of the very important activities you fought so hard to achieve and did over the years. you are a true and valued partner and it's been a great pleasure and honor to work alongside you these many years. i look forward to one last year writing this subcommittee's appropriations bill with you together and it's my hope that we can get nasa's budget right again this year. senator mikulski. >> thank you very much, mr. shelby. and i appreciate that warm
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introduction. yes, this is for me my final scheduled hearing of now what is called the cjs committee -- cjs subcommittee. the budget of such a inspirational agency, the national space agency. i came to the appropriations committee in 1987 and was one of the first women to serve in this committee. now there are so many able on both sides of the aisle who continue to serve. when i came to this committee or subcommittee it was called the va hud subcommittee. va hud, an independent agency and i wanted to be on it because i so loved america's veterans and wanted to help them the way i could. i wanted to be on a committee that funded hud because i come from the gritty streets of baltimore and had worked as a
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social worker and knew what a powerhouse hud could be for economic development and job opportunity. then there were those independent agencies, one called nasa. i didn't know a lot about nasa, i knew we had the space telescope institute in baltimore, it was just the beginning of it, and of course in my campaigns i'd come to hear about something called goddard. well, goddard and me from early on to now this fabulous place for the study of science. so from va hud to cjs we've been here and i'm so proud of the men and women that have worked here. though i knew little about the space program, i certainly learned a lot to get started. today i want to pay a special tribute to senator jake garn. when i came to this committee, this subcommittee, it was chaired by senator garn, a republican from utah, a senator who himself had flown into space.
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what a wonderful human being. he was gracious in her welcoming and patient in his tutorial. between he and john glen i learned so much about the american space program and what it took to be great, not only great to be a great agency and in space flight, but how great men can make great things happen. since then we have had a forged bipartisan relationship. i'm very grateful for what senator garn did and then i could work hand in hand with my colleague senator kit bonn and there was a unique friendship that i was aefl to develop with kate bailey hutchinson. and then you, senator shelby. we know each other from energy and commerce house of representatives days, there was an incubator of senators. there were a lot of people on that committee that saw rising stars, there were a lot more glamorous, there were all the editorial boards and they were on their way to be president,
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but we were on our way to being very solid senators and from you we have had such a superb relationship. i appreciate again the gracious way that you've governed, to get to know your wife an net, to get to know huntsville, alabama, where it's the only community in america that has its own foreign policy and if you've ever been to the paris air show you know it. but because we have worked together having this zone of civility, mutual respect, we've been able to do mutual accomplishments. i've been proud of this committee, i've been proud of the way we've helped transform the fbi, modernize the weather service, focusing on violence against women and making sure that we have more cops on the beat and that they have the right equipment. we fought waste and fraud from $5 meet balls and $16 bagels to reducing the patent backlog. we certainly have done a lot. we've seen great accomplishments
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and great challenges. when i came to the committee it was days away from the terrible, terrible, challenger accident, at the same time whether it was the challenger, whether it was the columbia, there it was the hubble telescope that needed the most expensive contact lens in american history we were able to solve that problems because we worked together. we've seen great discoveries, but i will tell you within of the greatest discoveries was getting to know the american space program from the astronauts who dared to go where no one has ever gone before to then deliver the greatest discoveries in science to all those who work in space science and in air naught iks, i'm particularly proud of them. i'm grateful from goddard to apl to the space telescope institute, the greatest discover has not only been what's out there but the wonderful men and women who work right here and i look forward to hearing your
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appropriations, probably your last appearance before here, and all i can say is may the force be with us. >> thank you, senator mikulski. administrator bolden, your written testimony will be made part of the record in its entirety. you proceed as you wish. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman and members of the committee. i am pleased to be here today to discuss with you president obama's $19 billion fqy 2017 budget request for nasa. it's been my honor to serve as the nasa administrator throughout the obama administration and as we submit what is likely my final budget, i'm proud of the many things this agency has accomplished on behalf of the american people with the resources the president and the congress have committed to us over the past seven years. i also wish to personally join you, mr. chairman, in recognizing senator mikulski for her leadership throughout her service in congress and her dedication to a robust balanced
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and bipartisan nasa program. senator mikulski, as i told you earlier, you will be sorely missed. together we have nablngd our nation to continue leading the world in space exploration and scientific discovery. last week american astronaut scott kelly returned home from the international space station after 12 months working off the earth for the earth. his year in space will pay scientific and medical dividends for years to come. helping pave the way for future astronauts to travel to mars and beyond. commander kelly significantly advanced our journey to mars and i trust that you all join me in saluting his service to our nation. nasa is closer to sending american astronauts to mars than at any point in our history and this budget will keep us moving forward. the support of this committee and congress is essential to this journey. the international space station is the cornerstone of our exploration strategy. thanks to the determination and
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ingenuity of american industry we have returned space station cargo resupply launches to u.s. soil, in source jobs and helped establish a new private market in lower orbit. american companies are ferrying supplies to our astronauts on the international space station with or tall ttk set is to launch and space ex-target ago reply mission in early april both from the kennedy space center. in july orbital will return to its home to conduct a return to flight mission from the wallops flight facility. thanks not administration's decision to invest in american industry and to this committee's full founding in last year's budget boeing and space ex-continue to make certification in 2007 so transport or astronauts ending our sole reliance on russia once
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and for all. nasa is making significant progress on the journey to mars, developing our most powerful rocket ever built and the or ion crew vehicle as part of a sustainable deep space exploration vehicle. in 2018 and a crude flight by 2023. with the additional funding provided by congress, the teams are working toward an earlier launch date for the first crude mission. the budget also increases funding for habitation systems development, a key component of our stepping stone strategy to send humans to mars. the president's budget funds a robust science program with dozens of operating missions studying our solar system, the universe and the most important planet in our solar system, earth. this coming july 4th, independence day the juno spacecraft will orbit june ter
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when another orbits saturn. ocirus rex will launch to an asteroid to get a sample and return toed earth. in 2017 and 2018 nasa will launch seven exciting science missions including the james web space telescope. before we send humans to mars robots are paving the way with mars insight now targeted for launch in 2018, another mars recovery set to launch in 2020, joining the curiosity and the opportunity rovers now exploring the red planet nd work is under way to define the next mars mission for 2022. we are formulating missions to explore jup officer's moon and are accelerating the building of land set 9 as part of our sustainable land imaging architecture to continue our 40-year record of high quality measurements of earth's land cover. nasa technology drives exploration.
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with this request nasa will continue to conduct rapid development and incorporation of transformative space technologies to enable future human and robotic missions, increase capabilities of other u.s. agencies and address aerospace industry challenges. space technology investments will ensure that we continue to lead the world in exploration and scientific discovery. nasa's aeronautics program advances u.s. global leadership by developing and transferring key enabling technologies to make aviation safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly. with this request nasa air naught iks is ready to take the next step to develop and fly x plane demonstrators in partnership with industry and academia, including ultra efficient sub sonic transport experimental aircraft and the world's first low boom super sonic flight demonstrator. mr. chairman, we appreciate the
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support from this committee during my tenure and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much. administrator bolden, the discretionary budget request proposes -- that i mentioned in my opening statement -- to cut sls by $770 million and orion by $217 million. that's nearly a billion bucks. these funds that nasa proposes to cut i believe are absolutely necessary under a constrained budget profile to continue progress toward a crude launch as early as 2021. without these funds i believe nasa's ability to reach far beyond earth's orbit is at risk of delay and cost escalation. the discretionary amounts being requested by the administration in '17 do not even meet the agreed upon funding levels in
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the agency's decision documents. asking for less invites delay, increased cost and inefficient program management, i believe. a couple of questions to you. why is nasa not even asking for the discretionary funding needed to achieve results at the confidence levels set by the agency in their planning agreements, and secondly, how can you justify, if you can, the financial risk nasa has taken with its exploration program? >> mr. chairman -- >> i know you don't make all those decisions. >> yes, sir. actually, nasa in my estimation or from my -- where i sit, we're asking a $119 billion budget for this coming fiscal year and i know that may sound trivial but i leave it up to the budget ears and folk to determine where all the money comes from.
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my agreement with the director of omb and subsequently the president of the united states is that we're requesting $19 billion for the nasa program. >> i want to get into another aspect. there's been a lot of debate over whether to limit the number of or outright ban the russia engines that are used on rockets launched in the u.s. there are some who threaten to enact a total ban, which if enacted would seriously impact missions and capabilities for the national defense. what is rarely discussed is the impact such drastic measures could have on nasa. contractors for both commercial crew and commercial cargo missions intend to use the atlas 5 rocket which uses, as you know, the rd 180 engine for resupplying the international space station. science missions are also currently being designed with the intent of using the reliable capabilities, the ula rockets.
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a couple of questions to you. if a comprehensive engine ban on purchasing russia engines regardless of being designated as national security and scientific missions were sucks session flee implemented what would be the impact on nasa, and secondly how confident are you that the number of rd 180 engines currently available will allow nas so to continue with its planned flights? >> mr. chairman, i will answer the second question first. well, let me say this, i am in full agreement with the testimony that secretary james has given on numerous occasions. we commiserate with each other on a regular basis, she and i both agree that while we want to rid ourselves of dependence on russia -- on the russian rocket engine then it should be done in an orderly -- >> we all want to get rid of them but we have to be measured in how we do it. >> exactly. i agree with that sentiment exactly.
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and that's -- that's the plea that we have made. we are counting on ula being able to get the number of engines that will satisfy the requirements for nasa to fly the dream chaser when it comes around in 2019 but most -- more quickly to fly the boeing cs t100 star liner. we have -- i think american industry has arisen to the occasion, when you look at blue origin and jeff bezos and what he is doing with the team there to help develop a new launch system, i think you've heard far too much that we don't gain by developing a rocket without a full system in which its integrated. so we support what secretary james has said which is to -- we preach -- >> so the position of the secretary of defense is it not? >> that is absolutely right. >> and also the national director of national intelligence? >> that's correct. >> and others. >> that is correct. and secretary james in her new capacity as the executive agent
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for space. so she speaks for all of us in one regard, although she doesn't speak for civil space, but she and i are in lockstep in what she has told the committees. >> in the area of getting into nondiscretionary funding. >> yes, sir. >> i will bring it up. nearly 5% of nasa's budget proposal is comprised of funding gym mix, i believe, which are contingent upon tax increases and other legislation that is yet or maybe will never be enacted by congress. with such a reliance on nondiscretionary sending nasa would face difficult funding choices if the agency were to only receive the $18.26 billion in discretionary dollars that it's requesting. significant impacts, i believe, would follow nasa's vehicles that enable the exploration plans of traveling to mars. other missions across nasa would
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likely be shut down, severely cut back or not started at all. my questions, a couple of them. what specific legislative language you're sharing with the authorization committee that if enacted would provide nasa with $773 million in funding? >> mr. chairman, i -- that's -- i will just say -- >> that's a tough question. i know it is. >> it's not a tough question at all. it's out of my league. >> well, it's a tough question to find the money. >> well, my hope is that we will be able to continue to work with this committee and the committee in the house, as we have always tried to do, to come up with a way that we reach an appropriate amount of money for nasa's budget. as i said again, my submission to this committee and the appropriations committee in the house is $19 billion. >> well, i think we have a lot of work to do in the committee, but with senator mikulski's experience and help maybe we can work through it, but it's going
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to be difficult. senator mikulski. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. yes, i, too, have concern about the mandatory funding because it sounds like it's mandatory, you know, for the folks back home or don't understand washington speak and budget gripping goe and the way words mean what they don't mean in washington, they either have no meaning or they have a different meaning. mandatory means it's mandatory if we get the revenue and that's going to be a stretch in the short time allocated. so what i believe that the hallmark of this committee has been the b word, bipartisan, working together, and also here a balanced space program, assuring human space exploration, space science, aeronautics and a reliable going out into space transportation system. i think if we stay on our
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balanced system i think we can be able to get through it. mr. director, i know this, too, is your last time before this subcommittee or last scheduled time. i'm going to thank you for your service, both as a marine corps officer, as an astronaut and now the leadership that you have helped provide nasa. you've literally been in the line of fire and going where no people have gone on many occasions now. i want to get to the question about space science and the james web telescope. it's got to be right. you know, this committee was able to fix the hubble and it performed in a stunning way. the hubble telescope not only brought us great science, it brought us great prestige and it also was an inspiration to young people, but we don't have the money now to go back and fix the james webb. so my question to you is number
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one are we on track for the james webb to go because if it makes it and i believe it can and it must, it will secure america's space in astronomy for the next 50 years. so are we managing the project to maintain a 2018 warrant risk, do you have adequate resources to prevent problems and include a scheduled reserve? because if it breaks i'm not so sure we can fix it. >> senator, as i promised you when we met some years ago when i came behalf this committee or i came before you to admit that we had james webb in trouble, that we were underfunded and we had overestimated our ability to deliver i think it was a 2014 launch then. the agreement that we made was that we would go back and take a look at it and bring you what we thought were reliable numbers. we are now well on course to deliver the james webb space telescope to orbit in october of 2018, we have about a 7 1/2
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month pad is a bad word to use but contingency reserve in terms of time on the schedule so that means that we have the funds available to get it off on time. so in a simple word, yes, we will deliver james webb to its position, you know, a million and a half kilometers from earth in october of 2018. >> well, maybe we will go to that together. >> hopefully we will. >> it's got to work. it's got to work. on a very bread and butter issue i want to bring up the issue of satellite servicing. as you know this is being developed at goddard space agency. last year the -- we provided $138 million for satellite servicing to support the restore it mission to demonstrate the ability to bring forward an on orbit government science at lights, which would be not only us, but for things like the weather satellites where all they take is either a new nudge
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to an orbit where they've drifted out or to refuel. i'm concerned that we have reduced the funding for satellite servicing in fiscal '17 and we're also going to rely on a mandatory request. could you tell us where we are in satellite servicing because it would be important for one, jobs at goddard, you know, open and transparent here, and the second, though, is it will really help refurbish all our government satellites and also could be an opportunity for lucrative and productive private sector work. those companies in maryland that build satellites say if we could refurbish we could save money and yet maintain productivity. could you share -- >> yes, ma'am, i can. i think what you and i have discussed before is a program called restore l that is being headed up by the goddard space
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flight center. it is in formulation right now and we have put $130 million toward the restore l program. we have moved it out of the human exploration and operations mission directive and into space technology which is a place where it probably better fits. we have had to make some sacrifices in space technology with some of the programs that we are now not able to do or won't be able to do on time, but we are well on the way to delivering restore l and the space satellite mission. the other thing we're getting from it is finding synergies from asteroid redirect mission which is a part of our journey to mars, if you will. in working with industry and academia and entrepreneurs that we are learning a lot and we are gaining a lot on working on restore l. it is another thing that restore l has done when you look back on the lessons that are learned from previous shuttle missions some people will remember a
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mission where we attempted to go and save a spent upper stage rocket using a probe, if you will, it looked like a jousting stick to go up the end of the rocket and bring it back to the shuttle and eventually back to earth. as a result of the work that -- preliminary work we've been doing on satellite servicing, orbital atk now÷iuz working wit company called vivaset right out in bellsville, maryland has developed a satellite servicing device that we think when teamed with restore l we will be able to recover -- industry will be able to cover -- >> that's my whole point, it's government and industry together in this country. >> yes, ma'am. >> thank you very much. mr. chairman. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much for the excellent job you're doing as chairman of our committee and i especially want
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to complement barbara mikulski for her outstanding service on this committee and how much we're going to miss her. it won't be near as much fun and probably not near as effective as it has been, but we will all work together and try to live up to the stature and credit you've reflected on this committee. we appreciate the good work of the administrator of nasa as well. i think this is one of those situations where our committee has the opportunity to learn more about these programs under the jurisdiction of the committee that have such long lasting and far reaching consequences. we need to get it right. we need to be sure that we
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understand the best that's in our national interests and that we provide funding that is needed for the important programs that come under the jurisdiction of this committee. i really don't have any questions except to come here today and congratulate barbara and thank our distinguished witness for her service. thank you. >> thank you, sir. thank you very much. >> senator caputo. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i, too, would like to add my voice of admiration and gratitude to senator mikulski. she is a wonderful champion for many things, one of which is nasa. so thank you for the inspiration that you provide for us and the future in this senate. general bolden, first of all, i'd like to thank you for coming to west virginia state university and delivering the graduation address, it was very much appreciated. >> and i discovered a new nasa
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hero in ms. catherine johnson who was the res decent of the presidential medal of freedom this last year. >> right. >> and it was absolutely incredible having the opportunity to meet a real american hero like that. >> great. thank you. thank you. i wanted to follow up on one of the questions that senator mikulski was asking on the satellite servicing capabilities. some of that work is done at the -- obviously most of it is done at goddard but some of it's done at the west virginia robotic technology center in west virginia as the lead academic institution. you know, i kind of didn't hear in your answer, there is a small cut to this program. no? >> no, ma'am. that was a point that senator mikulski asked, were we funding it to the level that had been requested, which is this year i think it's $130 million -- no, it's $130 million in the next budget. but it is fully funded. >> okay. >> it's in formulation right
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now. >> uh-huh. >> and the center at west virginia, at bare is also -- because that's an extension of goddard and the robotic lab at the goddard space flight center so the team there brings -- it enables them to bring in college students and others to work in that field as part of the program. >> thank you, too. also i'd like to say that i was honored to attend the sample return robot challenge winner level two which again was at wvu. they not only achieved a victory but received $100,000 which they are going to put back into scholarships for future students and to enhance their capabilities there. so you and i have talked about how do we inspispire future generations and i think those challenges are always i think very inspirational. now i'm going to go way out on something i need you to educate me on. the president has proposed an increase in the area of helio
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f physics. don't ask me to tell e. tell you what that is but can you tell me what the benefits of this program will be. again, west virginia university faculty members are involved in this program. i know it has weather implications. >> helio physics is the study of the sun and the big implication is space weather, something you and i never heard of probably before two years ago or maybe real smart people like some of you did, but not me, but it is the study of our sun and it's really trying to help us understand what potential impact solar flares, phenom in a called coronal mass ejections which are business mass ejections from the sun, what would be the affect on our communication systems, on all of our met works since most things are space based today. that kind of energy made it through to the orbiting satellites it could have an adverse impact. so understanding the energy that's coming from the sun, we know how to harden satellites
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now, things we probably didn't think about before. so it's critically important to essentially the satellite infrastructure of the nation. >> i noticed in the explanation in your testimony that it involves some of the technologies that's been developed getting closer to the sun, being able to explore in a more detailed and innovative way. you've convinced me. that's good for me to know more about the sun. >> that's what they told me. >> especially when it's shining. yes. thank you. one last thing, you and i talked about again, i know it's a parks of yours in education, we are still falling short in our stem education. i know nasa has been working with education resource through ep score and your space grant services. i would ask a rededication from your position and certainly nasa's position to inspire that next generation. we talked about the low percentage of minorities and women in these fields. we talked about partnership
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working together. so anything you can do or you think we can help with that, please make sure that we are there on the front with you. >> senator, i think the -- one thing that is absolutely necessary is continued emphasis from people like you who have a voice to help us understand several things. the critical importance of stem education in this nation, i am not trying to be funny or trivial, but i believe nasa dead dates $19 billion in its 2017 budget to stem education and some people say but how can that be? >> well, when we aurnd orion last year it actually had a student experiment on it. that is something that a student normally would not get in a classroom. there was not a dime that came out of the education, the formal education budget, it all came out of our exploration budget, but that's stem education and that's what -- we are the only agency in the federal government, i think, that can say that every dollar of our expenditures contributes to stem
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education. the other area that we need help is just really encouraging people to take seriously the critical need to increase the numbers of women and minorities in the stem fields. >> right. >> we're challenged and we think we have some answers, but we don't have the answers, all the answers. >> well, as a zoology major in college you could do other things with a science degree besides be the administrator at nasa. so there is hope. thank you. >> thank you. >> senator boozman. >> i'd just like to follow up on senator caputo's question about the funding for the science. the reality is i appreciate what you're saying what you do and things is viewed by a lot of people and things and that's an educational opportunity, but the reality is that you're still cutting the office of education and the ep score budget.
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so can you talk a little bit specifically like that, in a state like west virginia and a state like arkansas that really does make a difference. it's not very many dollars at all, but it really is getting involved young people who are going to be the future, you know, of nasa as we go forward. and so like i said these are minimal dollars, i understand what you're saying in the other regard, but comment a little bit about the importance of the office of education and epscore and why we are cutting back in a very -- you know, like i say, those aren't very many dollars at all, especially for states like arkansas and west virginia, our rural states. >> with funding being limited the way it has been since i became the nasa administrator, it's essentially decreasing, it's not -- you know, as we have level budgets that means it's decreasing so we have had to try to find innovative ways to fund
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education in the manner that we did before and one of the things that we have done at nasa is we consolidate inside the agency the science mission directive is a good example. rather than having every project responsible for managing its own little education program, those funds are consolidated in the office of the -- of the science mission direct rat and then it's the science mission direct rat head that decides. so we're getting a more efficient application of your funds toward education, trying to do more with less. i hate saying that because we're trying to be more efficient with the fewer dollars that we have. >> no, i understand the budget constraints and things. again, i -- and i understand what you're saying in efficiency, you know, certainly we want that, but i think in this case the reality is that
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there will be less programs, you know, in the states that really are very important. it's not -- it's not a lot of dollars, but i think it's one of those things when you look at dollars spent versus return, you know, to society, return to your program, it's something that really is important. so we do appreciate your hard work and appreciate the agency and all that you represent. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator mikulski. >> mr. administrator, we could go through a lot of the line item questions, but i'm concerned about america and its future. i'm concerned about where are the jobs going to be, where are our young people going to work, are these going to be jobs that pay living wages and, therefore, this is why i'm a big believer in american innovation. you and i talked about what generation we are from, we have seen great discovery, great jobs, but i will tell you the
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anger we see in america right now is directly tied to the loss of jobs as well as the loss of confidence in our constitution. so my question to you is how do you see this budget closing the innovation deficit? or the innovation -- how are we -- what is it that we're doing? senator capito's question is is this science or science sake, which is a worthy goal, but where is it all go going to take us? >> nasa, goddard and the space telescope institute, we have dr. giaconi, dr. goddard, dr. adam reese who just won the nobel prize in physics. we win the nobel prizes but i want to win the markets. i want to win the markets. so where do you see two things, what are we promoting in innovation and essentially what
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is in this budget and what is in your strategic plan for transfer to do in this administration and transfer to the next, whoever that might be? tech transfer so we win the prizes but we win the markets and our young people see that they have a future where we are going to continue to make something and make something of ourselves. >> if you look at the budget inside the human exploring mission direct rat there is a line item called habitation systems and under habitation systems are a number of lesser projects that are all technology development, innovation to help us be able to get humans to mars. another one of those things in that is called next step and that's i want to say 12 individual contracts that we let over this last year, among them, as a matter of fact, is some work to shore up the laboratory
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for dr. diasz with an advanced engine so we're talking about advanced space propulsion. so we're making small incremental investments in american industry but more importantly in small businesses and entrepreneurial entities that will keep us on the cusp of being the innovation leaders in the world. i mentioned to you earlier and hopefully every member of the committee has a copy of our little flier on the future of flight or what we call new aviation horizons. this is all fueling the engine of innovation in the aeronautics community. the reason that we are so excited about this, the reason that american industry is so excited about it is because it's returning nasa to the position where we are the leaders in aeronautics research and development and we are, again, going to provide for more jobs, fuel the economy and keep us in front of everybody else in the world. >> thank you very much. we have to stand up for the
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future. >> yes, ma'am. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator mikulski. there are no further questions senators may submit additional questions for the subcommittee's official hearing record to the nasa administrator. i would request if those questions are sent to you, mr. administrator, they be answered within 30 days. >> yes. >> we appreciate your appearance today. we look forward to trying to work with you on putting this appropriation together. >> yes, sir. thank you very much. >> thank you.
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president obama took the unusual step today of sending an e-mail saying, i've made my decision in the subject line. he says he will, quote, announce the person whom i believe is eminently qualified to sit on the supreme court. he goes on to say as president it is both my constitutional duty to nominate a justice and one of the most important decisions i or any president will make. we plan to have live coverage of president obama's supreme court announcement from the white house rose garden at 11:00 eastern. after that we will get your reaction through phone calls, your tweets and facebook posts. later on we will take you live to capitol hill and join the white house -- the house budget committee as we go through the proposed 2017 federal budget, republican written plan promises to balance the budget within ten years, that meeting expected to last throughout the day. and tomorrow we will have
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live coverage of the house oversight committee and their next hearing on the flint, michigan water contamination, they will hear from geena mccarthy and rick snyder. our coverage beginning at 11:00 eastern here on c-span 3. this weekend the c-span city's tour hosted by our charter communications cable partners takes you to montgomery, alabama, to explore the history of the city's literary culture on book tv. >> we show you a house that was the turning point for scott and zelda. when they moved here the idea was to regroup. what this house was was a landing pad. it was a regrouping, as i've said, stage and it wasn't the sort of place where you're going in domestic activities, if you will. it was the sort of place where we were going to be planning their next move. >> and on american history tv. >> so what happens in the 1958
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campaign is, you know, wallace really does try to reach this racial moderate and really tries to campaign for the poor and working class alabamaians, campaign for progressive improvement and gets the support of the naacp in this initial campaign, but unfortunately he loses by a pretty significant margin to john patterson and he completely is devastated by this loss. wallace, you know, all he wants to be is governor and he is really upset by this loss and he considers it, you know, a failing. so, you know, when people ask him what the take away from the 1958 campaign is, he says, you know, i tried to talk about progressive improvements, i tried to talk about good roads and good schools and no one would listen, but when i started talking about segregation, everybody stopped and started listening to me. >> watch the c-span cities tour
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saturday at noon eastern and sunday afternoon on c-span 3. the c-span cities tours working with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. just in from the "associated press" they are reporting that the president has picked merrick garland the chief justice for the d.c. circuit as his choice to replace the last justice antonin scalia. that announcement coming up at 11:00 eastern here on c-span 3 and ahead of the president's supreme court announcement at 11:00 we will show you a institution discussion on the constitutional role of congress and use of executive power on today's government. the panel consisted of experts on constitution in alism as well as legislative power, it is hosted by the hoover institutio
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thank you sh everybody. i guess we will begin.everybody. i guess we will begin., everybo. i guess we will begin. i'd like to welcome everybody, thank you very much for coming today to the hoover institution for a discussion of conservatism and executive power. this seems the ideal moment to have such a conversation precisely because we don't know where we will be a year from now. this is a veil of ignorance, the republican party and the democrats don't yet know who their nominee will be for the presidency and neither party knows who ultimately will occupy the white house a year from now. and so behind this veil of ignorance we can sit back and more objectively discuss how conservatives should think about executive power, how conservatism and principle relates to the idea of executive power and legislative power.
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i looked back where we were about this time in the last major presidential election cycle in 2008 and came across a quote that gets repeated back from time to time from president obama, march 31st, 2008. he said to an audience in lancaster, pennsylvania, the biggest problem that we're facing right now, the biggest problems that we're facing right now have to do with george bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through congress at all and that's what i intend to reverse when i'm president of the united states of america. it may not have quite turned out that way and it might have something to do with the fact that where you stand often depends on where you sit, but i happen to be seated with three widely esteemed experts on constitutionalism and on executive and legislative power and so it's my pleasure to convene this conversation with them. i will introduce them beginning right here at my right, james
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caesar is a senior fellow at the hoover institution and harry f byrd professor of politics at the university of virginia and director of the program for constitutionalism and democracy. he is the author of several books on american politics and american political thought, including "presidential selection, theory and development" and he is a frequent contributor to the popular press. in 2015 he was awarded the prestigious bradley prize. seated next to him is professor jonathan turrin who holds the is that peer row chair at the george washington law school where he teaches and writes on a range of subjects including constitutional law. he is a nationally recognized scholar, but also an active practitioner representing clients in a number of significant cases raising fundamental questions of constitutional law, constitutional checks and balances. in 2011 he filed a challenge to the libyan war on behalf of ten members of congress. in 2014 he became lead counsel
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to the u.s. house of representatives in its constitutional challenge to president obama's modifications of the affordable care act, the case that's still pending. the litigation was approved by the house of representatives to seek judicial review of claims under the separation of powers. your bio also represents that you represented workers at the famously deek receipt area 51 air force base. finally to his right founding editor of national affairs, he is the author of several books most recently "the great debate -- edmond burke, thomas pane and the birth of right and left, his next book on what he has described as or fractured republic, when is it due out? >> at the end of may. >> offers a vision of how as he put it how america can overcome nostalgia, revive civil society and thrive in the 21st century. he was awarded the bradley prize in 2013.
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please, everybody, let's welcome them. [ applause ] >> now, let's begin one at a time. we will begin with jim and then you have all -- and jonathan on the most open-ended of questions. how should conservatives think of executive power? >> well, i'd like to thank you and hoover for everything this afternoon. except perhaps for the title of this session. conservatism and the executive power. because there is or at least there should be no conservative view of the power of the presidency. there should only be a constitutional view of the power of the presidency. if the views of the presidency derived from conservatism, whatever conservatism may mean, rather than from the constitution, if they're meant to promote conservative goals or cover up for conservative errors or the errors of conservatives, they really hold no interest for
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me and i don't think they should hold much interest for you, either. or if they should hold maybe a little bit of interest it's of the sort that interests intellectual historians who like to waste their time and ours cataloging such views. these views, that is, what people have said from the point of view of conservatism really are -- can't be genuine and they can't be normative for what we think. i went only to this degree if some conservatives should happen to have a few of an executive power different from that of the constitution. you know, some of the conservatives i know really prefer a medieval king with pomp and circumstances and urban roads and all of that, it might be worthwhile as an intellectual exercise to present a
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conservative vision like that, but don't try and sneak it in or any other conservative view under what we mean by the u.s. constitution. it's only the law, i think, that counts. now, fortunately if pressed i think most conservatives would agree with this. because of their commitment to the constitution and because of the concept of the rule of law they generally believe that these concepts are normative. and if conservatives stray from this standard, they do so from human frail tee or times from exuberance, they allow principals to be shaped by the politics of the moment rather than vice versa. but conservatives for the most part can be called back from this press miss and meant to
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feel a sense of shame or remorse if they base their views only conservative ideas and they repent by going back to the constitution, trying their best to figure out what it really means. their agony has produced elaborate doctrines of interpretation like the union tear executive or the fed ra lists society certainly will step in to spend considerable money and give considerable weight, agonizing over the meaning of the constitution and that's proper. i'd like to be able to say the same thing about progressives and their view of constitutionalism, but i cannot. for what we know about progressivism by its own admission is that the constitution is not considered normative, at least the constitution in its original sense. progressives take their bearings from certain higher sources, could be progress, equality, cosmo poll tan community or whatever and shifting ideas
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about institutions if they promote these higher goals and values are welcome without any sense of remorse. so whatever the president in lancaster i don't think he held necessarily held to it as a progressive. constitution in a lists have been amazed and dismayed at president obama's expansion of executive power, especially in a domestic sphere. he has pronounced no real doctrine for doing so other than something like we can't wait and we have to change these things. or he has relied on the conventional wisdom in washington which says that governments are dysfunctional and dysfunctional means that it's not progressive and, therefore, under this emergency of dysfunctionality he is required to step in, but really there hasn't been much of a doctrine. what he has, perhaps, done as president is brought this idea of governing by decree into the light because when this was done before usually it was done with all sorts of explanations, it
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was hidden when it couldn't be justified, but now it's promoted openly to the cheers of progressive partizans. that's probably a danger of a change in our whole constitutional structure. but this has to be said about the progressives. in their tactical maneuvering they created one doctrine in the 1970s that has shaped a great deal of thinking not only of those on the left but has influenced those on the right as well and it comes from the term and it becomes synonymous with concern about the presidency, namely this term the imperial presidency, comes from a book by arkansas thur schlesinger published in 1973. what's interesting about this book despite it coming from the progressive side, it poses and in fact proceeds in an entirely originalist way. it's amazing in some way when you look back that this party
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that generally is very loose about relying on the founders and constitutional thought presented its most important idea by relying almost exclusively on a version of originalism and tried to argue by looking at the founders, the constitution and whatnot, trying to argue for a much more limited role for the presidency in the area of national security. interestingly when you read that book it's very nice, it talks all about the founders' views as they understand them, schlesinger and his followers, for foreign affairs and never mentions very much about domestic affairs except nixon's several excesses. the other part of the presidency, the activist part, the roosevelt part, is generally treated as fine and not causing any constitutional dlem mass whatsoever. so it was a version of
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originalism that has stuck with many in american politics, as i said, has turned this discussion from the left on this point very frequently into legal terms. now, this brings me to my final point and warning for conservatives who are obviously today alarmed at an executive that they fear has grown way too strong and then they make the mystic of using this term imperial like everyone else, they would be flying into the schlesinger line. the warning is that conservatives -- and here is the warning -- is that they are falling prey to the disease of con flags ietist. con flags itis overlooks an essential distinction in the constitution and in constitutional thought in favor of speaking simply and simplistically of a strong or weak president. it makes the discussion about the executive one-dimensional. so by this logic it overlooks
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the fundamental distinction which i think is deep in the constitution and deep also in constitutional thought between the zone or the empire of law, the area which people understood that human affairs could be governed more or less by statute and laws, precise ideas of what we should and shouldn't do. this area or this power is vested in the congress plus the president in his veto respect, but there's another area inside constitutional thought, which you could say is the realm of discretion. this is an understanding of the realm of human affairs that can't be governed or governed easily by legal norms and laws, decisions about what to do tomorrow, who to recognize in a foreign country, when to threaten, when to woman bomb, things like this, i don't think that this can be governed by laws, i don't think the founders thought that this could be governed by laws in the same sense as they are in domestic affairs. so this distinction between the empire of laws and the empire of
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discretion is crucial to the constitution and constitutional understanding. the president obviously has a much greater degree of control in the realm of discretion. this is what the executive power at least for many meant, the realm of law is more clearly in the congress and the president in his veto capacity. now, by forgetting about this distinction and adopting this con flagsist view conservatives risk today embracing the idea of accepting a weak presidency and a weak executive across the board and they're ainxiousness o get obama, in the realm of discretion and national security they are only too happy today conservatives to bounce on obama for all the things that schlesinger spoke of, namely a
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president who is overbearing and going too far by his view in foreign affairs. constitutionalists should take a different view. in the zone of law they should be firm in restoring the rule of law. in the zone of discretion they should pocket many of the president's claims and practices. no matter how much conservative constitutionalists might disagree with how obama has used his discretionary power in some instances in national security, what matters from a constitutional perspective is that he used them. let progressives be tied to this mast head in the future. >> thanks, jim. before i move on i just have to say about arthur schlesinger, there was a new book out recently by neil ferguson, a biography of henry kissinger and there is an episode early in it where kissinger is hanging around the kennedy institute and
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schlesinger is complaining that the bureaucracy keeps getting in the way of all these things that the president wants to do and if only bureaucracy stepped back and allowed president kennedy to move forward everything would be fixed. >> he never included that really within the imperial presence. that was the trick of the book. it's a limitation of presidential power almost exclusively in the realm of national security and foreign affairs. that's the part that stuck and as i said to reiterate the point it strikes me that conservatives are so anxious using the word imperial to take the president down that they're going to swallow that and accept the other part of schlesinger. >> thanks, jim. now, having been embarrassed by the faulty premise of the conversation i'm tempted to just conclude this conversation and we can head back to the bar, but unless you all if you'd like to offer any thoughts. >> well, let me say i speak keenly aware of the most basic
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rule of constitutional argument which is to the extent that you disagree with jim caesar you are mistaken, i'm going to try to limit my errors here, but i do think that the question of where to draw the line between the realm of law and the realm of discretion is really another way of describing the question of presidential power and congressional power and that that presents us with the great challenge of finding a balance, which is what -- i think as a practical matter friends of constitution always have to try to do, to lean against the system where it threatens to fall over and to my mind the question of conservatives in the executive now is that question, the question of constitutionalists and the executive now is about where to find that balance. which way is the system threatening to fall over and which way should we push and lean against it. i think we're meeting at a moment where maybe more than at any other time in the modern era it should be clear to conservatives that enlightened states men will not always be at
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the helm. after eight years of seeing what pernicious effect the use of executive power can have in the hands of liberals who are dedicated to overcoming the boundaries of the constitutional system and now in the course of a presidential campaign where we see before us the possibility of really a kind of pernicious dem going taking over the executive power in our system we should be most able to resist the temptation to think about executive power only in terms of how it might be used aggressively to advance our policy objectives and we might even find an opportunity to think about executive support in how it might be limited to advance our policy objectives and how it might be appropriately balanced. it seems to me that over the past several decades the powers in our system of government have fallen out of balance, especially in the executive -- especially in the domestic arena where it does seem to me that
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the executive has taken for himself an enormous amount of power that is not properly his and i don't just mean president obama, i think this has happened over a nnl of decades and it's happened thanks to presidents of both parties and even more so i would say thanks to congresses of both parties. congress has willing ceded power, because people don't want to make hard choices and be responsible for them and because members of their own party think will be better able to advance their policy objective than they themselves will, we've seen again and again congress ceding power to the executive. we've seen in the last two president sees a number of instances in which the executive just kind of abjectly shames the congress. we have had and occasion where president obama puts out a statement of administration policy saying he agrees with
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what congress is trying to do, this is in one of the obamacare instances where the limitation of the individual mandate, he agrees with what they're trying to do but he thinks it would be better if he just did it himself by executive action and then being praised by congressional democrats for doing that. i think that our system of government assumes that the people occupying all three branches will be ambitious and that their ambition will counter act the ambitions of the others and we have seen in the past few decades a failure of congressional ambition, one of the results of which has been a kind of inflated executive in our system that, again, especially in domestic affairs has gotten out of control and to the extent that friends of the constitution want to step in and help the system work better, they will need to step in to empower congress and to somewhat weaken the executive, especially in domestic affairs, so that if as jim says conservatives are friends of the constitution in our system, then we do need to be thinking about that balance
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now and it seems to me that we do need to look for ways to relatively strengthen the congress and relatively weaken the executive. now, the natural response to that as jim suggests is to say that, well, conservatives are out of power in the executive and they have been in power in congress more commonly in the last few decades and so we have just come to the view that congress is better because we're just more likely to run congress. i think there's no denying that some of that has happened and it has to be separated from the actual constitutional argument, from the actual looking at the circumstances of the constitutional system, thinking about where it's fallen out of balance and why and i would not argue that congressional power is inherently friendlier to conservative ends or to a conservative vision of the constitution, but at the same time i would not argue that falling for strengthening congress now in relation to the executive is merely a kind of politically useful argument to make because of the current
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state of our elected branches. i think that it has to do with the circumstances of our constitutional system, the goal to be served is a balanced system in which the branches counter balance one another and work effectively together. i think the way in which the system is now out of balance requires us to push back against executive power, especially in the domestic realm. now, what that ought to look like, i think reformers have to think about pasta temts to do this. so maybe especially the attempts made in the 1970s to reign in executive power and strengthen the congress which i think on the whole did not succeed. those attempts had to do with a kind of consolidation of congressional power, trying to make the congress look a little more like the executive branch. so to give the congress its own administrative agencies, to defensive it a much more consolidated budget process, i think today's reformer should think in the other direction torques make the entire process play to congress' strengths more and play less to the president's
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strengths, to make the budget process less central eyesed, to break it up into smaller pieces so that what's happening in washington most of the time is legislation rather than the kind of reversal of the process that we see where today's budget process is a reversed constitutional process. the president as first mover has enormous control of the agenda and congress once a year gets a veto over one big budget bill. yes or no? it seems to me that the way to get back to a more functional constitutional system would involve breaking that process up a little bit with an eye toward a stronger congress and at this point a weaker executive. i think friends of the constitution should not be afraid to think in terms of contemporary challenges rather in terms of an absolute principle and an absolute distinction between where the realm of discretion begins and ends and where the realm of law begins and ends. our system inevitably will push too far in one direction or another at any given time and the friends of the system have
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to be friends of a balanced constitutional process, which does seem to me today to suggest that we have to be more critical of executive power and domestic affairs and more friendly to a stronger congress. >> thank you very much. >> jonathan, you are not somebody who normally self-identifies as a conservative. is that fair to say? >> which is why it's been particularly interesting and impressive to watch your work in the last several years where you are representing the u.s. house of representatives in the lawsuit against president obama. so we're very interested to hear your thoughts on the subject and about executive power more generally. >> thank you very much. i should say at the outset that which should be obvious that i'm speaking today as an academic not as lead counsel for the house of representatives in the acaa lawsuit, so all of the mistakes are my own. i come to this with a different
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perspective certainly. i don't view this as a matter of conservatives versus liberals. i never have. you don't come to washington for principles. in fact, you need waders most days to get through the streets because of hypocrisy on issues such as constitutional law. that's the unfortunate life of someone who teaches constitutional law in this city is that your allies change fairly continually. but there are people with principles in the city, there are people with principles in congress. so i view the division between constitutionalists and tunists. >> constitutionalists knows that the meaning of principle is to sometimes do things that you don't want to do because you have to do them and that means going back to first principles framers and in that sense i am a
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dinosaur. i'm a scholar, i believe strongly in the mission that james madison laid out and i believe that if anything our current chaos and dysfunctional politics have vindicated james madison. the system worked better when you stay within the lines. the primary principle that the separation of powers is based on is to avoid the concentration of power in any one branch or in any one hand. that's the reason even though i voted for president obama in his first election and i support many of the things that he works for, i think he's wrong and i think that what he's doing is dangerous for the system because this entire system is basedz:gf the idea that the concentration of power is a threat to personal liberty, to individual rights.
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also separation is powers is not there to protect the branches, the framers were very clear, they wanted to protect individual rights from the concentration of power. so what you see around you is in many ways the vindication of what they talked about. you get a better result in terms of government when it is divided, when it's divided between the branches. things get worked out. there is no option as the president suggested to go it alone, that's the very antithesis of our system. when you are facing a hostile congress you have only two choices, one is to change congress, the president tried that and failed, the other is to compromise, to convince people. those are the only two options you have. for a madison yan scholar one of the things that i withnessed in my life is when president obama spoke at the state of the union and told congress that he intended to circumvent them,
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that he was tired of waiting for them to do what he requested. now, that's not anything new, presidents democratic and republican have tended to go in that direction, but what was a bit odd was what followed that statement which was rap tour rouse applause from half of the body. you had these democratic members wildly applauding the concept of their own on sal essence, they were widely applauding a president saying that he would effectively become a government unto himself. in that sense perhaps we are worse than madison anticipated. we challenged his idea that was discussed earlier that ambition would fight ambition. madison truly did believe that regardless of who was president that the legislative branch would fight for its own protection. the interestingly thing to me about presidential power is even though every president has gravitated towards the
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concentration of power, it is -- it has tended to work badly, it has tended not to reach good results. that when presidents succeeded in concentrating power they tended to make mistakes and they tended not to bring the american people with them. you could see that with president obama. these unilateral actions haven't really moved the needle at all in terms of how people feel towards immigration, towards climate change, towards any of the issues that divide us. there is a reason why congress hasn't done much in those areas because we're divided as a nation and when we are divided less let's done until somebody convinces somebody else, but when you muscle through on unilateral action what you get is raw unvetted and usually substandard work. a good example of that by the way is what actually went through congress which was the aca. no matter how you feel about
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national healthcare, and i happen to support national healthcare, but the aca wasn't ready to be enacted. i don't know anyone, democratic or republican, who believes that was a good piece of legislation. i mean, it was in horrendous shape and it largely was pushed through in muscle play because of the debt of senator kennedy and he couldn't go back to the senate, but the result was terrible. fdr had the right idea about one aspect of being president. he refused to get a vote to go to war until he could get as many people as possible to support it. that should have been the approach of things like healthcare. when you adopt something that massive, something that significant it's not enough for a president to say i can muscle it through on three, four, five votes, it's not enough to say i could do it alone because what you leave is that unresolved political question that core roads the country.
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so in terms of how conservatives should respond, i say we should respond as constitutionalists not as conservatives and perhaps, perhaps we should actually try principle for a chance. where it's interesting is i think president obama would have been a successful president if he had stuck with principle. he might have gotten less done on something like the aca. maybe the aca might have been broken into five pieces but what he would have gotten done would have been a better quality product and it would have had the support of congress. but the sirens call of every party that comes into power is to go it alone because you vindicated. another confusing moment that i experienced and i must admit i've lived in confusion for the last eight years or so -- actually more than that because i was pretty confused under george bush -- is when attorney
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general eric holder went to my alma mater, northwestern and announced the kill list policy. now, he was speaking to a group of judges and lawyers and law students and law professors and he told them that the president had come up with a formal policy that he would have the right to kill any one of them on his sole discretion without a charge, certainly not without a conviction and what met that statement was not opposition, it was applause. a group of lawyers and judges applauded the concept that the president of the united states could kill any one of them if he felt that they were a national security threat. that's the concentration of power and it's also a lack of principle. the idea that we can't live within the constitution and facing national security threats is as close as we get to constitutional defamation. the one thing we can recommend our country and our constitution for is that we're still here. you know, you want a beautiful
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constitution? look at any of the one of the constitutions written by the french. those constitutions are beautiful and they're plural because they fall so often -- >> all of that event at just a quick programming update. i want to remind you president obama set to nominate merrick garland as his nominee for the supreme court, that's coming up at 11:00 eastern from the rose garden. we will have live coverage over on c-span. here on c-span 3 meanwhile we're going to take you to the house budget committee, they came in about a half an hour for what's expected to be a day long meeting on the 2017 budget resolution. live coverage, c-span 3. >> -- have not worked to this point to revive the economy. in fact, this is the worst economy recovery on record. granite stators and americans need more opportunity, more jobs and higher wages, more freedom to make their own decisions in their best own interests. they expect the federal government to spend their hard
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earned dollars wisely and to produce results, to be effective stewards of their money, but wasteful spending on overregulation seems to be this administration's focus and prescription, creating economic opportunity is at the heart of the budget we're considering today. this committee wants real economic growth, good jobs, higher wages and greater access to capital for small borrowers and small businesses. regulations like those in dodd-frank have made it harder for the community banks and credit unions to serve their customers. families that want to start a business or buy a car or a home are finding it extremely difficult. in new hampshire alone we lost 20% of our small community banks since dodd-frank was enacted. record number of regulations under this administration have led to less financial innovation and fewer choices for americans seeking affordable credit. just a couple of reasons for low economic growth. today's budget i believe changes that course. it empowers our constituents and our communities, keeps washington accountable to the
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taxpayer and most importantly makes economic opportunity for all americans a top priority. i want to thank the chairman and the entire committee for the hard work and i look forward to working through this mark up and this process and hope to see a budget again restored for america and i yield back. >> thank you kindly. now recognize the gentleman from arkansas, mr. womack. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for yielding the time. budgeting for expenditures of our nation is one off our most fundamental congressional duties and i thank you for your diligence and bringing us together today to consider this balanced budget for a stronger america. mr. chairman, every single one of us upon our election took an oath of office that says, among other things, that we will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic. there's not a greater domestic challenge to our country than a death that is eclipsed $19 trillion and an america that is
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increasingly under threat of a looming fiscal crisis is less able to ensure the safety and security of our people, our allies and our interests. so not only does this budget provide an essential roadmap to lead america off of our fiscally reckless path by cutting $7 trillion in spending, repealing obamacare, making critical reforms to mandatory programs and ultimately balancing in a decade while raising no new taxes equally as important it ensures that our nations capacity to defend itself remains uncompromised. mr. chairman, america is engaged in a confrontation against terror around the globe and looming threats interest iran, russia, isis and others we face new earn sernts and new threats daily. american military strength and leadership have become the incidence i believe global stability and relative peace throughout the world. now is not the time for us to be
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weakening that concept. as we look forward to a stronger america i km end this committee and you for your leadership from leading from the front. this budget is essential to our safety and security and i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this vital resolution and i yield back my time. >> gentlemen, now pleased to yield to the gentleman from virginia, mr. brat. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you for all of your hard work on the committee. i'm a little a letter geed up, i apologize for the baritone voice. i was sleepy until the gentleman from maryland provided the motivation for my talk this morning. so this budget is very symbolic of where the country is heading, what direction we want to head in and in context makes all the difference. we heard comments on trickle down economics and supply side and all that, lifting all boats or justouts and all that, unfortunately i think everybody knows now if you read the newspaper all theouts are heading over to ireland.
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our corporate tax rate is so high we are not competitive, we aren't doing our job on education and getting the kids competitive because half the politics is calling the business clad bad. i don't know where the kids go and i don't know what kind of education and moral tone you're setting for them to be motivated to spend their whole life all of you every waking hour is in business. business is the only entity that creates revenues for this government. and so either we're going to change our tune and create opportunity for these kids or we're not. we talk about vulnerable kids, right, and i think there was a little reference to some of the drama at the presidential level on both the right and left. there is a little drama going on and it appears the middle class is very upset about something and so we have had an executive in charge of the country for seven years, the country is going in the wrong direction and there is a lot of upset. i wonder why that is, because we're going in the wrong direction. how do you cut through the
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baloney and see who is telling the truth and who is not? let's talk about -- we heard talks about cuts and sequester and all that. let's provide the context. the context is this year the deficit is going to be up another $105 billion, to $540 billion this year's deficit. that's half a trillion dollars. adding to the debt every year the debt is at $19 trillion in a decade 2026 it will be at $30 trillion. i go to a high school every week back home, tell a little girl you have $30 trillion in debt and $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities, your generation medicare, social security, et cetera, are both insolvent in 2034. that's the direction the country is going in. so i went to a fifth grade class last week, even fifth graders, i wrote up $19 trillion on the board, they said that's a lot of zeros. i said, dear fifth grade class do you think if this is the problem you ought to do more debt or less debt.
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guess what the fifth graders know. which direction should we be moving in. so this direction gets us moving in the right direction, there's no perfection down here on, you know, on the planet, we are not achieving utopia in a year but we are moving in the right direction, the democrats unfortunately don't have a budget that ever balances in the history of civilization and so i pushed them to try to get them moving in the right direction and with that i yield back. thank you. >> i thank the gentleman. i'm now pleased to yield to the gentleman from michigan, mr. mole nar. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as we've been discussing our country has more than $19 trillion in debt. even while it is collecting record revenue it is spending more money than it is taking in. the american people want to restore the interest u.s. in government broadly and also in critical government programs. spending for unsustainable government programs has increased dramatically. crowding out funding for core functions like national security and protecting our great lakes.
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these programs need to be reformed so that they will be there for our children and our grandchildren and this budget secures these programs, including medicare for current and future retirees. this budget also promotes affordability in patient-centered healthcare by permanently ending mandates requiring americans to buy healthcare policies with premiums that makes it to expensive to maintain their health. it ends the tax on devices that help americans live longer healthier lives and the health insurance tax which eliminates choices in the marketplace and costs employers hundreds of dollars a year per employee. in conclusion this budget addresses our country's fiscal problems in a responsible way and puts our nation on a brighter path for our children and grandchildren. thank you, mr. chairman, and i yield back. >> thank the gentleman. please now yield to the gentleman from ohio, mr.
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renassi. >> thank you, mr. chairman. when my constituents in northeast ohio send their hard earned tax dollars to washington, d.c. it is their labor that has produced those resources. that money belongs to those people and ought to be returned to those people through efficient, effective and accountable government. as a business owner for nearly three decades and a mayor who is required to balance a budget just like hard working american fanl lease have to balance their finances, i understand the importance of gassing a fiscally responsible budget that promotes efficiency, effectiveness and accountability. what i also know from my time in the real world that when you set a budget you need to abide by it. too often here the annual budget process is not even completed, appropriations bills are not finalized. this means congress essentially gives up managing the government's fiscal practices and opens up the appropriations and authorization process to more wasteful spending. that is why i support the budget resolution call for a complete
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overhaul of the congressional budget process to impose that enforcement, transparency and oversight. this would help congress -- this would help ensure congress budgets and therefore governs by setting priorities and respecting its fiscal limits. a budget is meaningful if not followed while american families shoulder the responsibility of balancing their checkbooks and living within their means, washington continues to spend money that it simply does not have. mr. chairman, i look forward to working with you and other members of the committee on budget process reforms so we can better ensure policies set out in the budget resolution become a reality. i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. now please to yield to the gentleman of wisconsin mr. grothman. >> thanks. some things have been said about, you know, who this vision benefits more, does it benefit one part of america against another part of america. one thing that jumps off the page on this when i compare it to barack obama's budget, in the
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next ten years we will wind up with a balanced budget, he does not. but even more he seems proudly to introduce a document that will increase the total debt over $6 trillion over the next ten years as we work towards a balanced budget the overall debt will only increase by $1.5 trillion. so i think this is the party that cares about the children and grandchildren the other party is the one who seems more for instant gratification. the other thing i like about this budget where not only is the government spending too much but there are horrible incentives in government programs today. we are much more in favor of this budget for work requirements, for a variety of welfare programs. we realize the value of work and self-worth whereas the other party seems to be content to continue along down the path of having people not work. we make an effort to solve the problem we had with the marriage penalty. right now in this country, supposedly a country where we
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are all created equal we have tremendous penalties on people who decide to raise their children while married an that's got to end. i'm proud in the republican budget we are doing that. we also look at people who are trying to break the laws in the system, we are going to require social security numbers for the child tax credit so that we make sure that money is not going to people who are cheating to get that money. the total amount spent on means tested spending over the last ten years has doubled. that has got to end. so in conclusion i'd just like to say that i think this is a pj particularly the children and grandchildren, both our policies on welfare and our policies on the increase in government debt. thank you. >> i thank the gentleman. now pleased to yield to the gentleman from ohio, mr. johnson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm really proud of this committee's work to present a budget that not only balances within ten years without
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raidsing taxes on hard working americans, but also achieves $7 trillion in deficit reduction. american families have to balance their budgets and live within it their means, it's pass time for the federal government to do the same. the foremost responsibility of the federal government is to ensure the security of ds citizen citizens and provide for their common defense. that's the primary element of the oath we swore to when we took office. i'm proud that that budget provides $574 billion to our national defense which is consistent with fiscal year 2016. we are living in a dangerous time, mr. chairman, we're gathering interest, gathering threats to our homeland, our allies and interests abroad. now is not the time to question whether or not to provide these funds to our military leaders. what we cannot allowed to do is jeopardize the strength of our national defense. we owe it to the men and women who put on a uniform in our
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defense to ensure that they have the resources that they need to be successful in their mission and return home, doing so will also provide needed assurance to our allies and send a strong message to our enemies enemies that america will not lead from behind. rather, we will remain the global force for peace and stability. the budget would provide necessary resources for our veterans and address the bureaucratic mismanagement at the department of veterans affairs. america has an obligation to insure that our nation's heros are receiving the care, benefits and services that they have earned and are entitled to. and it's our responsibility in congress to insure vigorous oversight to force the va to do their job in an accountable and transparent manner. i encourage my colleagues to support this responsible budget and i yield back the balance of my time. >> i thank the gentleman for his comments. i thank all of the members on our side for their thoughtful
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presentation of our budget. as the minority side has, we've got a lot of conflicting scheduling items this morning and there are a number of members who have not been able to make it here to make their opening remarks. so i'll close with a few remarks to just kind of summarize. i think that the sense from our friends on the other side that folks will hear is that basically everything is just fine, except we aren't spending enough money. and that the only way we could improve things is to, is to spend more money. and as many of my colleagues have said, we believe that it's important to measure the output of government programs. how do we lift people up? how do we get people out of poverty? how do we make certain that folks are receiving the kinds of services that they desire and that they need in the health security area? as opposed to simply measuring the amount of money going in. if all we're doing is measuring
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the amount of money going in, the sky's the limit and if you're not spending more than you spent last year, then you ought to be spending more. it's the only rational response. so the american people know that's not true. they know they can't do that in their own personal lives. can't do that in their businesses. and consequently we believe it's incredibly important to be much more responsible with their hard-earned taxpayer dollars. america's greatest nation in the history of the world, there's no doubt about it. if we're honest with ourselves and we look at the finances and the fiscal state of our country. any honest individual has to look at the numbers, and say that there are some red flags on the horizon. if $19 trillion in debt. you may believe that $19 trillion in debt is okay. more than 100% of the gross domestic product in total debt b. 75% of debt-to-gdp ratio held
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by the public. these are stark numbers when compared to history. and they might be okay. if we were moving in the right direction. if we were decreasing our debt. if we were decreasing the amount of money that the american people owe. because every time that that number goes up. what happens is that the interest costs on that debt goes up. we now have the congressional budget office telling us within the ten-year period of time we're approaching a point where we'll be spending nearly as government, that's hard-earned taxpayer dollars, we'll be spending nearly $1 trillion a year on interest. on that debt. you know, that's a 1 with a lot of zeros. it affects real people, these aren't just numbers. and that $1 trillion is money that can't be used to send a kid to school. can't be used to buy a house, pay the rent. can't be used to start a business.
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can't be used to cover health care costs. all the things that the american people desire to do are harmed by the physical path and trajectory that we're on. so it would just make sense to be responsible and to look at the challenges that we have and preferably work in a bipartisan way to solve those challenges and get to that point where we're actually balancing the budget which our budget proposes in a visionary manner to do. get to the point where we're beginning to pay off that debt so that our kids and grandkids aren't going to be saddled with that kind of incredible, incredible burden that will make it so they have fewer opportunities in their lives. part of that is as some of my colleagues have mentioned, is the whole issue of federalism. the whole issue of having states do, that they can do much better than the federal government. in the area of medicaid, my state of georgia has about 1.8 million recipients on the medicaid program.
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two-thirds of those are healthy moms and kids and the federal government hangs around the neck of the state and those individuals a system that makes it much less likely that they're able to access quality care. much less likely that they're able to see a physician. why wouldn't we? why wouldn't we embrace a system that allows the states much more flexibility and latitude to be able to fashion a program that is much more responsive to those folks. i don't know what it is in all states, the action across this country is that for one out of every three physicians in this country, no longer sees medicaid patients. one out of every three who sell jibl by virtue of the kind of practice that they have, sees medicaid patients. that's not because they've forgotten how to practice medicine, it's because the rules and regulations and the reimbursement rates that the federal government sets make it impossible to see medicaid patients. this is a system that is not working for the very individuals
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we say we want to help. why wouldn't we look at an opportunity to be able to solve that problem. in terms of medicare, medicare is moving in the direction of medicaid in terms of accessibility. the number of physicians now that are able to see medicare patients is at an all-time low. we've got in districts across this country. if you're a new medicare patient who moves into the medicare program and you're currently seeing a physician that isn't a medicare-seeing physician, it is virtually impossible for you to find a new physician who is seeing new medicare patients, that's not because those doctors forgot how to take care of patients, it's because of the program itself. we think it's incumbent upon each and every one of us to work to solve the challenges that we have. you would also think if i listened to our friends on the other side that we're simply not
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collecting enough money. that the federal government doesn't take in the money that it needs to. we got to raise taxes on these folks, got to raise taxes on these businesses is the line that we got to spend more, spend more. the fact of the matter is that the revenue coming into the federal government in the last fiscal year was the most revenue in the history, in the history of the government. coming into the federal government. so what's the way forward? well, you can raise taxes as our friends on the other side of the aisle believe we ought to do. that as everybody knows decreases opportunity, decreases the job creation. decreases the ability for the economy to grow, because you're punishing the very people that are trying to expand and grow the economy and create those jobs. you can decrease spending and that's where we've talked about the need for mandatory spending reform, automatic spending reform. on the discretionary side congress has done a good job over the last five years or so. we've kept discretionary spending relatively flat at
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about $1 trillion a year. a lot of money, but relatively flat, so what's the best way? best way we believe is growth. to grow the economy and if you look at that trend line. we would urge our colleagues to do so. if you look at that trend line, it's not moving in the right direction, either. over the past five years, the congressional budget office has told us that the growth over the next ten years was going to be an average of 3% growth annually. 2.9% growth annually. 2.5% growth annually. now 2.1%, that's a 30% reduction in the projected growth in our economy under this administration. what does it mean? there are fewer jobs out there. less opportunity for folks autumn across the economic sector. it also means less revenue into the federal government. every .1% increase in growth, .1%, would result in a $300 billion decrease in the
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federal deficit. .1%. if we were just growing at our average, then what we would see is over $3 trillion decrease in deficit over a 10-year period of time. these are big, big numbers, but what we need to do is get the economy to grow. we believe the way to do that is to identify the way that you save and strengthen and secure medicare and medicaid, make certain that you get social security on a sustainable path. make sure that you have tax reform, pro growth tax reform that frees up the kind of resources and frees up american people to be able to realize their dreams. to create the greatest amount of opportunity and the greatest amount of success for folks to realize their american dreams in a fair and compassionate system. that's what we believe. that's what we believe this budget would do. if the policies incorporated therein were enacted. we're enthusiastic about the opportunity that we have to be able to identify positive solutions for the american
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people. and look forward to a vigorous debate today. this debate will continue as we move on from the committee and i look forward to the opportunity to share with our colleagues the vision that we have and look forward to working with them as we try to do what's right for the american people and provide that greater amount of opportunity, greater amount of growth, greater amount of success and greater amount number of dreams realized. with that i'm pleased to now yield the remaining time for the minority, to mr. van hollen and he will control the remainder of the 45 minutes on the minority side. >> thank you mr. chairman. we've heard repeatedly if our republican colleagues, that they want to reduce the deficits and the debt. as i said at the beginning, this budget does not result in a balanced budget. but what's interesting is despite that stated priority, they're not willing to close a single special interest tax break in order to do it. not o


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