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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 20, 2015 4:00pm-6:01pm EST

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have to make decisions on our investments. on people and technology. our people are our most valuable assets. we will get reports of military compensation and military realignment modernization commitment. we need a comprehensive look at the benefit structure, rather than trying to nickel and dime our service members to death year after the administration proposes. i will be looking not only at the financial impacts of that study, but about how it affects our ability to recruit and retain the best our country has to offer. that is the key to our future. we have to improve our acquisition system to get more value out of the money that we spend on goods and services. in 1952, the navy issued a requirement for a lightweight fighter. two years later the first a4 skyhawk flew.
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four years later the squadron was operational and we built nearly 3,000 of them. compare that to the f22. in 1981 the air force established a requirement for 750 advanced tactical fighters. it wasn't until 2005, 24 years later, that the f22 was first introduced and instead of 750 of them, we bought 195. if boeing can field a new commercial airliner in five years, and ford can take a car from design to production in 24 months, then there's absolutely no reason the pentagon should take two decades to put a new fighter into service. things have to change. we have the unfortunate tendency to fix organizational problems with more organization. i've seen estimates that show 1/3 of the acquisition budget goes to overhead costs. this system is so gummed up it
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is a wonder things come out the other end. to have a military that is strong and agile means that we cannot tolerate the delays and cost overruns that have plagued our procurement system. every delay means that technology doesn't get to the troops in a timely way, and that jeopardizes their mission and increases the risk to their lives. i'm pretty optimist take working with undersecretary kendall we can find a way to thin out regulations, simplify procurement, while increasing accountability for program performance. but it won't be easy and it shower won't be quick. agility requires organizational structures that can adapt to meet new challenges. an organizational culture that promotes learning and thinking. in his autobiography, edward teller writes that the substance with the greatest inertia know
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to man is the human brain. the only substance more inert is the collection of human brains found in a large organization. such as military service or the faculty of a university. maybe he can say that, but with the speed of change that we confront, we cannot afford inertia or failing to learn and adapt. we cannot tolerate organizations that stifle learning and adaptation. colonel john boyd understood the pentagon and its flaws and warned that complexity causes commanders to be captured by their own internal dynamics, and prevents them from adapting to changing circumstances. it goes without saying that there are many good people in the department of defense doing good work with good result but too many of them will ap -- are captured or have their work captured by the accumulation of regulations and bureaucratic
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processes imposed by congress and administrations over the years. this issue has to be a focus of our congressional oversight. the oversight will be fair aggressive, and thorough. as the people's and taxpayers' voice on national security. that's exactly as the frarmers intended. part of our job is to update the oversight for the threats that we face and what we need to protect the country. we made a good start with an oversight of cyber operations and sensitive military operations that go on around the world, but we have more work to do. we have to make sure the oversight is not only focused on the capillaries, but the big trends that defined our world and security. that is not a new problem. president lincoln asked for a report on a newly developed rifle. when the report arrived, lincoln took one look at the thick binder and said, if i send a man
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to buy a horse for me, i expect to hear about the horse's points, not how many hairs it has nits tail. -- has in its tail. sometimes congress contributes to this problem of too much effort with too little result, so we're going to be looking at ourselves and what we require too. history and common sense tells us that congress has the indispensable role in reforming the pentagon. without us it will not happen. as long as i'm privileged to hold this job, defense reform will be a priority. not just for its own sake, but for the sake of ensuring our military is as prepared as possible for the wide array of threats we face, and the unknown security threats that we will face tomorrow. we will focus on reforms taking us closer to an efficient, effective, accountable department of defense with military capability that is strong and agile.
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great powers, and great military powers, that fail to adapt to shifting realities are relegated to history. that has been true from the greeks, to the romans, to the soviets. updating and strengthening congress plays in national defense, updating the royal that congress was always meant to play in national defense, will rejuvenate america's role in the world. at one time it was said that the sun never set on the british empire. today the sun never sets on the security challenges facing the united states of america. in meeting those challenges, the american soldier never goes to bed. our challenge in congress is to fulfill the roles and responsibilities the constitution places on our shoulders with courage dedication, intelligence
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commitment to service. just as our military personnel carry out their jobs every day. tim towery is one of the most amazing men i've ever met. later winning a pulitzer prize, he was a prisoner of war by the japanese in world war ii. in one of his columns, he wrote as we have said many time not all men are called upon to respond to battlefield conditions, but all men and women will face many, many situations where courage, and duty, and responsibility are required and where the true measure of their worth is how well they respond to those challenges. in all of the noise and clatter of our day, in this age of social media and endless news cycles it's easy to get distracted from what's important.
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we cannot afford to be distracted. the world is too dangerous. providing for the common defense is the fundamental obligation of government and the most important job we have. i will work every day to make sure that congress fulfills that role with the courage, duty, and sense of responsibility for the -- that is faithful to the founders, faithful to the amazing men and women who serve in our country -- who serve our country in the military and also faith frl to the generations gentleman to come. thank you. [applause] >> well, thank you. we will chat for a few minutes. we will chat for a few minutes then we'll go to your
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questions. i will attempt to be brief and give you plenty of time to answer. you discussed, in your remarks the role of congress in, as the constitution says, raising and supporting the armies of the united states and providing and maintaining the navies. of course they did not mention the air force in 1787, for understandable reasons. and you know from your experience, and i know from mine, that members and senators who serve on the committees are pretty thorry -- thoroughly familiar with these issues. you mentioned there are 535 members. the other ones deal with health care, education, and those issues all the time. do you think they are as familiar as they need to be with military issues? what can be done -- i'm not
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blaming them but what can be done institutionally to raise greater awareness of these issues among the other members and senators do you think? >> there's no question that other members are not as familiar as they should the with these issues. that is part of what we face. with such a wide array of complex threats, it is not as simple as it used to be to understand all of the different sorts of challenges we have. but i think it is absolutely true that we have to put a greater emphasis in our overall gatherings on national security. it was terrific to have tony blair talk largely about the u.s. role in the world and how important that was. members looked to members of the armed services committee for the details of readiness level personnel, and so forth. we have to do a better job. and not just spouting statistics, but in helping other
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members of congress understand not only what is happening, but why it matters. that's on our shoulders. >> to them and their constituents? >> and to our country. >> you remember what a challenge it was when you were new, and what a challenge it was to absorb the lexicon of the pentagon. a lot of members probably find that very difficult. you also noted that carl vinson really on his nichetive made certain that we laid the hulls for the aircraft carriers. which turned out to be vitally necessary. if he hadn't done that, we would not have had them. so is there a capability that you in particular are concerned we need to have and may not have in the future if we don't take some different -- is there a particular thing? i know there's a lot of
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priorities. is there anything that you are particularly concerned about? >> several things come to mind. back to his point, the sheer number of ships you have is a big deal. that is u.s. presence around the world. the administration has proposed retiring a number in recent years arguing that modern ships are more capable than old ones. that may be true, but they can still only be in one place at one time. there is an importance to the quantity of things, ships and other things. i worry about the capabilities for new domains of warfare outer space, we have tremendous capability in cyberspace, we don't have the laws and policies to make use of that capability. the last one that i will mention is that i am concerned about biological threats. and it's not that we don't have some capability in the country, but we are really on different tracks. d.o.d. and h.h.s. are not
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working well together. yet a biological threat could really be devastating. i'm afraid we're not doing what we need to in that area. >> i'm glad you're conscious of that i co-chaired a committee with bob graham of florida on w.m.d. terrorism and we focused on biothreat. it was a real concern that we had. and on the number of ships, i wonder if you recall hearing ike skeleton discussing the quality vs. quntity issue they said we don't need as many ships because of the quality and capability of those we have. he said, why don't we just have a navy of one ship that can do everything? i think ike made a good point there. i would love to know your thinking on this. you talked about institutional issues in the congress. let's talk about another institutional issue.
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the chiefs. it's a difficult line for them to walk. they are in a chain of command, it is their responsibility to acquiesce and salute and attempt to execute administration decisions. they have a competing, concurrent and sometimes competing responsibility to give congress their best and most honest professional judgment about the issues that they confront. i think we all sympathize that that's difficult for them sometimes. is there a message that you, at the beginning of your teen injure might want to send to the chiefs in that regard? >> we expect you to shoot straight with us. it is not fair to expect them to become advocates for our positions -- especially if they contradict the president's. but we have to have the
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information. it is, as you point out, their obligation is not just to the president, but it's to the country, and that includes congress and its coal in providing for the military. -- its key role in providing for the military. that is part of the reason we have gotten out of kilter when we talk about congress and national security. one reason i believe it's important to start out by reminding everybody how central congress is in carrying out those duties. if the chiefs are reminded, so much the better. >> i appreciate your references to the constitution. i know you are aware of another constitutional provision that bears on this. the powers granted in article one of the constitution to congress are permissive. you do not have to have a bankruptcy code, right? but article 4 says the united
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states shall protect the nation from invasion, the one mandatory function. >> which takes on all sorts of implications given what texas faced, for example, last summer, it may have been an invasion of minors but still thousands of people streaming across the -- across our border presented all sorts of challenges. it is the federal government's responsibility to deal with that, absolutely. >> definitely a dreblingt national security component to that issue. all right, i want too just, then i'm going to open this up for questions, i want to get into acquisition reform and your words couldn't have been more important or true on that. i especially appreciated the sentence, i wrote you don't fix organizational problems with more organization. hurrah for you in saying that. do you want to share with us, and i know you're going to hold
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hearings and don't want to prejudge the outcome, what things you may be thinking of as the right path to acquisition reform and i'll give you as a jumping point off if you want to take it, the national defense panel's recommendations over the years that we really discipline ourselves to try to design and develop platforms we can design and develop in at most five to seven years and then spiraly evolve them over time. you mentioned an a4 and f22 and things like that. >> chairman mckeon asked me to start coordinating this effort last year. we have gotten a tremendous amount of very valuable input from people in the system, from industry from a variety of folks that have looked at this over the years. i've not found anyone who said
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it is fine, don't worry, it's not a problem. what i have found are people like you who say ok, this has been tried before and it usually gets worse. so why are you going to make it bet her there's that sort of skepticism. so i think what we'll -- in the spring, i will probably put some proposals out there ask for people's feedback. then, the idea would be that they would be incorporated into this year's ndaa but the point is to me there's not going to be a 2,000-page bill solving acquisition. it does not exist. nobody is that smart. what we will do is first, try to do no harm. second, we'll try to make things a little better. next year try to make some more things better, and then the next year make more things better and keep after it as long as i have this job. your point raises another
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point. this is not just about legislation, or regulations. it's also about how we conduct oversight of these programs. congress can help make sure that there is not the kinds of requirements creep that has delayed and resulted in cost overruns over the years. so part of it is how we do our job in budgeting and in oversight, not just in putting out a new regulation or repealing some regulations. again, in the best of circumstances you will not fix acquisition. but it's just -- the world is moving too fast for us to be satisfied with the pace of acquisition. the pace of fielding technology today -- i'm sorry, i get carried away. that is why you get folks overseas that are deployed taking their cell phones with them. what you can buy at the verizon store is better than what you
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will get issued. we have a lot of work to do. it is really important. >> i appreciate your emphasis on accountability. the former secretary of the navy, john lehman, who you know well was as responsible as anybody for building up the number of ships in the navy in the 1980's, he constantly emphasized accountability within a tight chain of command within the department. >> that is what you have to have. if you want to hold someone accountable for a program that goes off the rails, who do you hold accountable? there are so many people that are part of the decision-making that can slow things down or change it, it is hard to know who to hold accountable. we have to do better than that. >> with accountability goes
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responsibility. the program managers and service secretaries would be pleased to know that your oversight will be exacting but supportive for those who make those decisions. i don't want to hog the chairman so let's open it up to questions. wait for the microphone and then give us your name. >> sydney freeburg, breaking defense. you mentioned a couple of times reports, appeals quite a few people that the first thing to do on acquisition reform is to repeal some of the layers of organization that have been added, to go back and cut away things. you mentioned that as one arrow in a quiver how but how big a piece of what you're considering is that? how high ton the agenda -- high
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on the agenda is that? >> secretary kendall has been working with us to identify overlapping regulations that he can thin out or we can thin out working together. that process is pretty far along. taking additional steps requires us to change or repeal laws. i don't know how far we can go until we see what the market can bear. that is part of the reason we will not throw out an acquisition package and try to get it through the committee in a short time. i want to hear feedback. that back-and-forth discussion hopefully, not just this year, but in years to come, will help is get back to that accountability that jim and i were talking about. it's not about bureaucracy.
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it's not about just organizations, it is about who has the authority and then, can you hold them accountable for the exercise of that authority 1234that is the goal we have to move toward. >> yes, sir. >> thank you mr. chairman. you emphasized funding. the military needs more funding and sequestration is a problem. are you proposing some kind of repeal of sequestration? and do you plan to do it only on defense? you have seen the democrats response? saying that you'll never get an increase in defense spending unless you do something on the domestic side. what's the solution to sequestration? >> my primary point is that it has to be fixed. now that fix has to pass the
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house of representatives, it's got to pass the senate, and it's got to be signed into law by the president. so what that means is the armed service committees alone cannot fix it. you have to have 218 and 60, and one to get it done. so i don't know that anybody has a magic formula to do that or else it would be done by now. but yet, i think it's really important for us, as jim and i were talking about, to help all our members understand the damage that's been done and how it is more expensive in some respects to operate in sequestration, the inability to plan, etc. so what it costs us. i really believe that most republicans and most democrats in the house and senate agree that sequestration for defense needs to be fixed. what there is not agreement upon is exactly thousand fix it. and again, whatever can pass the
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house and pass the senate and get signed into law by the president, i think i'm for. >> that is very relevant. the greater the sense of urgency, the greater the understanding of the problem the average member and senator has, the greater sense of urgency to fix it and the greater possibility of coming to the agreement you are talking about. >> our chang -- >> we'll leave this briefly to take you to the house floor as members are returning to file a rule for legislation. to provide for the licenses permits with respect to sighting construction, expansion or operation of any natural gas pipeline projects and providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 36 to amend title 18, united states code, to
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protect pain-capable unborn children and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the chair declares the house in recess until approximately 8:35 p.m. >> our coverage late they are evening, we'll take you back live now to the discussion for the american enterprise institute, macthornberry. >> i really don't think there has been a time i've seen where there's been closer collaboration between the armed services committee and the defense appropriations subcommittee. and i think that's only going to get stronger.
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there have been some folks who say, ok, we need a separate authority or separate way to procure i.t. and then you start looking, ok, exactly what is i.t.? >> so i think there are some authorities we're looking at and some hopefully some things we can, some brush we can clear away to improve it, again there's not a magic answer here, what we can do is hopefully make it better than it is now and keep working to make it better, better and i.t. is a key focus of what we try to gauge that, of how we try to gauge that.
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>> thank you. mr. chairman, i wanted to ask you about the budget priorities that the pentagon is wrong about. funding, ships, retiring airplanes that you don't believe should be retired. the pentagon says that by funding these things takes money away from readiness, they choods readiness. what kind of budget maneuvering will have to take place to be able to fund what congress believes is important but also what the readiness that the pentagon believes they need. thanks. >> this gets back to the discussion we were having a few moments ago. so under sequestration with those reductions and again 21% in real terms in the base budget, that's how much has been cut since 2010. and that has to have an impact.
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now part of the rest of the story is, as those of us in congress, i think, look at the world, we're saying we don't know that we want to give up the a10 or the ability to have tanks or the 25 years left on the george washington. is there a cost to preserving that option this year? sure. but it just adds, i think, a sense of urgency that we've got to get this overall budget on a more reasonable footing and then are there going to be difficult choices, systems that have to be retired, of course. but with the volatility we have seen in defense budgets and so forth and with the volatility in the world situation most of us want to be pretty careful about giving things away because it's going to be really hard to get them back. my key thing in my mind is when
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it comes to b.r.a.c., i mentioned 10 years and g.a.o. says we have not yet broken even from the last brack. -- brack. so it's going to cost money. if we give up a base, give up a training range it's gone forever. are we sure, have we thought enough about our role in the world, the kind of military capability it needs to fulfill that role and what sort of basing is needed for that military capability, have we worked our way through the steps so someday we don't come and say, i wish we had that training range back. that's part of the same sort of caution about giving things up that someday you may regret in such a volatile world. >> national defense panel was very supportive of that analysis because as you know, we recommended that the department really come up with a real long-term plan and until you have a sound long-term plan about what force structure you're going to need, you don't
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want to give up a bunch of bases and rebuild them. >> and we're not going to have a place to rebuild some of them. particularly ranges and so forth are very valuable in this country. it would be hard to reconstitute them if we give them up. >> in the context of not giving things away, do you want -- just a brief comment about industrial base issues and -- because you mentioned, obviously you're focused on acquisition reform one of the keys to that is being able to complete these programs, you have to have a robust industrial base. >> those are some of the hardest issues we face and will face. i mean i mentioned the tank example, what if we desited it was not worthy money to put into that plant because we didn't really need it today and it closed? we lose the capability got to pay a lot more to reconstitute it or else go buy from foreign sources. unfortunately, we're facing that sort of situation in a lot of different areas where we've got
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to decide whether to put money into something that we may not need right now just to preserb the capability of having it domestically. i think those are going to present some of the most difficult challenges or decisions for us for the country going forward. >> thank you for joining us and honoring us with a thoughtful speech. that sets me up for an opportunity to put you in a headline that will destroy all of your hard work. i would like to ask a the que about the politics about the defense budget in the new republican congress. there's a larger majority, the largest majority in a long time in the house. the first hurdle for this year is the budget resolution. if you're trying to undo sequestration.
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last year's projection, the number for 2016, the budget included a substantial increase in the defense top line. since then, the world has gotten scarier. and american interests more at risk. let me ask you a question if i may. would you accept anything less than the figure specified in last year's budget resolution, which i believe was $541 billion? do you think that's enough? and c, how do you think your colleagues in the republican caucus will respond to this proposition? >> before you answer mr. chairman, everybody here has been good about not making long statements before their question, exempt one of our a.e.i. scholars who could not resist the temptation to do system of nevertheless, you want
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to graciously answer it -- >> who at one time work thoined house armed services committee. he has a couple of connections. i think that you should be careful about drawing red lines. if you draw a red line and you don't live up to it, your credibility goes down. if you think about what is happening around the world as far as the united states and our credibility, the stories that we have seen this weekend about well, maybe assad can stay after all -- it says something about our credibility, our ability to have influence in the world. i take that lesson and say, i'm not going to say not one dime less, because one dime less would still be a whole lot better than a lot less. i don't know that doctor is a magic number it has to be. but clearly there has to be some relief from what is a real cut.
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if you take inflation into account, defense spending, base defense spending, will go from $521 billion to $515 billion under the sequestration caps for 2016. that's a real cut. and as you mentioned, the world is get manager dangerous. the other thing to keep in mind, when you asked voters just before last november's election what's motion important to you, what's going to determine your vote? number one was jobs and the economy, number two was national security. as all of these things, as i said, the red whirlwind swirling around the world of terrorism and the other things this is very high on voters' minds, on their concern, and that translates through i think, to their elected representatives. we just have to be able to talk together enough to find the path forward, and i want to emphasize
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that has to include the president of the united states. it is not enough to sit up there and throw tomatoes. he has to engage in a reasonable conversation about how to get from here to there. that can pass the house, pass the senate and get his signature. >> the budget has been increasingly criticized as a slush fund for the executive branch, do you plan to try to get the executive branch to transition some of those funds to the base budget in the future? >> we've been working on that to not make up for base budget deficiencies in oco but to move those programs over to the base budget so that oco can be used for its intended design, that is, the funding of current operations that are happening around the world. what you hair some people say is
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it doesn't matter about the low sequestration caps that you are talking about, we'll make up for it in oco. that's not a good way to run a railroad. it's not a way that enables managers to plan. it cost no, sir do things that way. and it does not reassure the world about our commitment to our allies and to our our country's interests. so it's not a good way to go. and so i hope we can move things into the base budget understanding that you still need oko for operations you don't expect or theavepb you do expect. and the pace of those operations is accelerating, obviously. >> megan epstein with defense
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daily. on acquisition reform you and secretary kendall seem to be very much in line with your priorities on how to go about your reform. i was wondering if you had spoken to senator mccain about his perspective he, has serious concerns about acquisition and what to the what extent will you be partners as opposed to taking different approachs? >> we have spoken about it several times. i think acquisition reform will be high on his list of priorities just as it is high on any list of priorities. i am very optimistic that with senator mccain's emphasis and our emphasis in the house with presumably secretary carter and then undersecretary kendall, we're going to have a group of folks who really want to get things done. folks in both parties on capitol hill. that is part of the reason i am optimistic. just don't expect everything to be solved in a single bound. it doesn't work that way. and it's dangerous to try.
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we just need to take it step by step. >> we have time for two more. i'll go here and then back there. this gentleman here. >> dana bayh lohr elwood group thanks very much for your leadership. what can industry -- this is a practical question, what can industry do to support your goal and build trust with the department of defense? we need to reverse the adversarial environment that exists today. what could we in industry do to support you? >> well, industry has already done a lot and i will continue to rely on industry a lot as we work our way through some of these reform proposals because that is an issue that comes up a fair amount. i've had people in industry tell me, look we could give them a much better deal but they won't talk to us. there are ethical guidelines
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that make sense, but we have all seen the swinging pendulum that goes too far. and ind up doing at least as much harm as they do benefit. so that's part of the reason i emphasize so much greater flexibility, simplification with accountability on the part of government, and i think if you have that -- that empowers them to not be so cautious about having these exchanges with industry. the united states is unique in the world in the government and industry that provides for our capability. and the extent to which there is tension in that relationship or those ties are frayed, it makes it harder for taos defend the country. again, we don't want sweetheart deals and revolving whatever
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those terms are that you get into there, but we ought to do what makes sense and what makes sense is having, allow encouraging really, in an ethical construct that exchange between government and industry. >> all right, one final question here. >> hi. thanks. the ndaa puts restrictions on reimbursement funds to pakistan. pakistan must meet certain counterterrorism goals to obtain those funds. in f.y. 2013 and f.y. 2014, they waived that certification. what are your thoughts on pakistan not living up to these requirements and giving them a pass and would you seek tweaks in the upcoming requirements? >> did you get that?
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a little echo here. >> i think i got the gist of it. obviously we have goals we want pakistan to achieve. and it is just as clear that pakistan plays an important role in helping provide for our troops in afghanistan, in fighting the al qaeda corps and other terrorist groups in the afghan-pakistan region. needless to say, it's a balance how much carrot, how much stick, best achieves the desired results? i'm going to say, i appreciate the military operations they have undertaken in the fattah. it has put pressure on an area where there hasn't been a lot of military pressure before. and i think all of us are -- our hearts just break with the sort of school shooting terrorism that they endured. we imagine something like that potentially happening elsewhere
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so they're a partner. it's been an up and down rillingsship. but we want to use the right combination of carrots and sticks to get to the best place. that has to be evaluated step by step as we go. >> very well. thank you again, mr. chairman. for your great service. and your remarks and willingness to answer questions. thanks to all of you for being here today. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014]
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>> in ability four hours, president obama delivered his state of the union address to a joint session of congress. we'll have a previe program starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern president's speech will start at 9:00. after that the republican response by freshman iowa senator joanierness. plus we'll open up the phone lines and take your phone comments and -- facebook comments and tweets. and earlier today on the house floor, texas congressman ted poe previewed tonight's address, here's a look. gentleman is recognized. mr. poe: mr. speaker, the president addresses the union tonight. promising more government, more spending, and more taxes. obviously the president did not read the november memo from america, the majority of the union rejected the president's policies in the election of persistent big government.
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king george iii and the british imposed the stamp act 250 years ago this year. the colonists decried the new tax. higher taxes and more confiscation of property and wealth is not a sound solution. after all taxes are already too high. after all, revenue into the federal coffers are at a record level. after all americans are already hammered by obamacare taxes, and after all raising taxes is not a proven economic theory to grow the economy. we need less tax we should consider the fair tax that does not discriminate in taxation. the president should remember history and not follow the old failed policy of king george iii of more taxes. but should pivot the union to less taxation, less government, and more freedom for our >> texas republican ted poe, looking at tonight's state of the union address. just a reminder that tonight's preview show on crrks span starts live at 8:00 p.m. eastern
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with the president's address at 9:00. tomorrow on "washington journal" a review of the state of the union address with three members of congress. we'll start the show with georgia congressman and budget chair tom price, who will also discuss the house republican agenda. then new york remitive joseph crowley on the house democrats' legislative priorities. finally, mississippi senator roger wicker who serves as the national republican senatorall committee chair who will look at the senate g.o.p. priorities for 2015. plus your phone calls, facebook comments and tweets. "washington journal" is live wednesday and every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> this saturday, live coverage of the iowa freedom summit from des moines begins at 10:00 a.m. eastern. speakers include potential 2016 presidential candidates governors rick perry, scott
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walker and chris isaak tee. businessman donald trumple and dr. ben carson as well as 2008 vice-presidential nominee sarah palin. this saturday on c-span, c-span radio and >> next the washington center holds a conversation on the 2016 presidential election. we'll hear from panelists who looked at the debate schedule, the g.o.p. primary process and whether we could see another bush vs. clinton race. this is an hour. >> thank you so much. it's a pleasure to be here this morning to talk about a topic that is the topic we all talk about, everyone wants to know what's up with the race for president, what's up with the race for the white house?
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it's a national obsession. we have a panel here today that is expert on the subject, one of the panel itselfs is running a little late, when amy gets here we can introduce hir appropriately. sitting to my immediate left is steven political editor at the washington timentse and here in the center, i call you legendary but i'm also calling you old so i feel like we've got to find a different -- >> if he's old, i'm legendary. >> the legendry bill press. if you're not familiar with the show it's nationally syndicated constantly at the front lines -- i do see amy here. she can join us. how long have you hied in washington? amy, my former colleague at crks national editor of "the cook political report."
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we'll plow through some 2014 stuff and do a lot with 2016. let's start with the big question of 2016. what are the chances that this is bush v. clinton? >> what are the chances? well, i'm on record as saying i don't think clinton will run. >> you're sticking with that? >> i'm sticking with that. even though the evidence mounts the other way, i'm still sticking with that. even though we've seen, you know, potential other rivals such as martin o'malley, the outgoing governor of maryland suffer a big blow, not transfering the governorship to a democrat there. i don't think clinton runs, i think room nee runs. i think it's more likely to be a romney clinton than a bush clinton, i don't see -- i see it being a tough primary for jeb bush. the tea party movement was a
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reaction not only to president obama but also to president bush, very much so to president bush. there's a lot of bush fatigue in that party. the republican primary field is very disjointed. it's huge. it's going -- with mitt romney's announcement it's starting to get bigger than we thought it might be more disjointed. i don't think anybody is making a prediction about that right now is crazy but i think it's more likely to be romney-clinton than bush-clinton. >> ryan, what do you think? bill, sorry. >> good to see you all this morning. i hope you recognize how fortunate you have to have brian lamb here today he usually charges a lot of money, the fact that he came here for free today, you should consider yourself lucky. i do think it's going to be end
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up being jeb bush and hillary clinton. it's going to be another bush-clinton. i am already bored to death. i think this is the worst thing that could happen to either party, to the nation, to tell the truth. on the republican side i mean, at least the way i see it, we all know jeb is the brightest of the bunch, he should have been president first, he would have been if he hadn't lost for governor of florida first time around. he was the pick of the litter. we ended up with the dimmer bulb. you know. whatever. metaphors all over the place. but george got it. he did it, jeb too bad. you lost your chance. i don't think the nation is ready for a third bush. to go back that far for the republican party to someone who hasn't flun a competitive race for 20 years is making a big mistake. but i say the same on the kemic side. what does it say about the gene pool of this nation that we have to go back to 1992 to get a
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democratic candidate for president? i love hillary but again, i think she had a chance and blew it. i think the democratic party particularly, needs any blood, now gnu ideas new leadership and it would be a better -- it would be better for both parties and the nation if we had any other choices. >> amy? >> i'm going to go with definitely you'll see hillary clinton. is your mike on? you have to turn it on. >> there we go. i think we will see hillary clinton, i agree with bill that there is a yearning for change, there's just nobody within the democratic establishment, which isn't surprising. there's been a rallying of democrats around one person for the last eight years this happens a lot for the party in power. everybody focuses on the person in the white house, hard to get a bench, you know, the farm team built up. it also hurts when you lose the massive number of seats in the
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house, state legislature and senate every mid-term election which has happened under president obama. on the republican side, i think jeb has a very uphill challenge. there's a greater yearning for change among republicans than among democratic voters. if i were bitting for the republican side i'd pick a republican governor whether it's going to be mike pence of indiana or john casic from ohio or scot walker from wisconsin, those guys have two things, they have the experience and they have the fresh face. and they're not from washington. they will have trouble raising money but we've seen before that all you need is one really friendly billionaire and suddenly your money problems are over. >> it's interesting you talk about the need for a fresh face. you hear that constantly in politics. particularly i think in today's media environment, the something new, something fresh something different.
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bush clinton romney, he's already run twirkse his dad -- he was a legacy candidate on his own. santorum, huckabee a large number of folks who have run again that are out there again. what is it with dynasties in american politics? it's not a new phenomena but we may never see a cycle where it's quite this pronounced, where the names are all this familiar? >> republicans, with the exception of george w. bush, you have to go back to nixon, i think in 1960 find a nominee who wasn't a second or in bob dole's case a third go-around. the republicans have a penchant for liking people who have tried to run before system of that part of -- that's part of it. democrats probably have -- may have an easier primary if clinton does run and i'm proved wrong. it's -- i have to say that.
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i predicted eight months ago that romney would get in and clinton wouldn't i'm half right so i'll consider it a victory and leave it there. the thing about the republican primary is it's not just a legacy primary. you have a number of fresh faces there. at least the republicans will have a discussion if romney or jeb emerges from it, they'll emerge after a very bruising and sometimes bitter conversation and, you know, the republicans will know that that is, that person who emerges -- emerges is the person that maybe they didn't all want, as we saw with several previous nominees but at least they were ok with rallies behind for the election. the democrats have a tougher challenge, they do coronate hillary clinton, they don't have that conversation. it may be better for them for the purposes of power, for winning an election, but it's not necessarily better for the health of the party and developing those ideas if there isn't much of a bench out there there's not -- it's not clear there are a lot of ideas to put out there. but i think the party should
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help that jim webb and elizabeth warren or somebody from the warren wing of the party are serious about running and do run just to have that conversation. >> bill you mentioned the need for democratic fresh bloosmed as a general rule, is it -- isn't that something new, something fresh something that barack obama benefited from? he was a totally new face and new voice and peaked at exactly the right moment. is there something invigorating about that in either party? >> i think in both parties there is, absolutely. just a quick note on the dynasty question. it seems to me there's -- there is a difference between being the nominee and running for the nomination. we sort of are more forgive to people who run for the nomination and maybe then they finally get it. john mccain, 2000 and 2008 finally got it right. so i don't think there's the same feeling about mike huckabee
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or rick santorum taking another shot at the nomination as there is mitt romney who was the nominee, carried the banner of the party, lost for the party giving him another shot. this gets back to the adlay stephenson factor, he was -- to the adlai stevenson factor, he was stronger the first time around than the second but the party gave him another shot. it's problematic or even dangerous for either party to do that. but to your question on the democratic side, i have been, and i say this as a fan of hillary clinton far long time but the democratic party's biggest mistake would be if she gets in, to just sit back and let her have the nomination and think she'll be a stronger canned can dat without having a primary battle. that's a huge mistake. primaries are important. they shame the ageneral dark they shape the candidates. and this to me, this is -- this is elizabeth warren's moment.
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this is her barack obama moment. absolutely right. if she doesn't go, she'll never been president and never have another shot. i think that elizabeth warren could run, could win, the primary, could be the nominee and could be president of the united states. if she went for it. if she doesn't, bernie sandsers is going to go for sure, from vermont, he'll become the democrat and he'll run and somebody's going -- somebody's going to get out there and challenge hillary clinton and raise issues she will never talk about. >> do you think hillary clinton should maybe secretly or not so secretly want elizabeth warren in the race, give it a fight make her a better candidate over the course of several months? >> look -- >> is that be careful what you wish for? >> it is be careful what you wish for. politics is a lot like sports. you want to go to spring training before you start your season. want to get the rust out, work out some kings. this feels a lot to me like the
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2000 situation -- siri wants to weigh in. >> i need to turn my phone off. all i get is this. >> siri, will hillary clinton be president? we should do that. you know, al gore, remember, when there was that challenge too to al gore. he's part of the establishment, need somebody new, bill bradley came new york he got a little bit of a fight at the end of the day, it wasn't as competitive as people hoped it would be. that's what it feels like we're looking at for 2016. here's a difference to me between a jeb and a hillary. everybody knows their last names. but nobody knows jeb bush. if i went into a crowd and said, where is jeb bush from most people would say, texas. he's -- right? he was governor of texas, right? well actually, florida. what dinlse about him? they know nothing. unlike hillary clinton who everybody know, he has a chance
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to redefine himself in way she doesn't. she'll try to redefine herself. she'll be the populist messenger, the voice of the working people, whatever it is that we're hearing out there now from the focus group, but people know who rill hillary clinton is jeb bush actually has a better chance to do that than she does. he's old but actually at the end of the day he can be newer, simply because he's an unknown. >> it strikes me as really difficult to run for president when your own mother has told you not to. barbara bush has said it is time for somebody new in the country. i don't know that's not the first argument. your own mother thinks you should stop running. let it ig. >> maybe you could be related how many people had a mother -- like, i can't believe you are
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marrying that guy. thank god i didn't listen to my mom. >> this is not someone from the outside. first lady and mother of a president. >> she has come around on it. >> who knows. i assume that will not determine the republican nominee wabash ra bush says. as a voter, i would leave that out there in my brain. even the head of this dynasty thinks we have had enough of the dynasty. >> what happened a couple of months ago with the midterm elections. wasn't that long ago and horrific night for democrats. no way for them to spin it. it was a war selection.
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two questions that i want to pose to the group, first, what happened and does it matter or what impact does it have on 2016? what do you think what happened to the democrats? >> the republicans got more votes. >> you are absolutely right. you can't sugar coat. the democrats got wiped out at every level. lost the senate. lost seats in the house. lost governorships, which should never have lost and lost 500 in that range -- 800 state legislators. and more and more today particularly against washington, gridlock and not getting anything done. the action is happening at the state level. >> the fact that the majority of
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state legislators and governors control the republicans and they are determining a lot of policies medicaid expansion. redrawing of districts, transportation policy, you name it. access to the internet. so it was a total wipeout, i think the democrats were total caught off message and weren't talking to the issues that resonated with the american people and the republicans were. and also, there was one other failing, the democrats have been turning out the vote. this time, the republicans had a ground game and it was a better
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ground game than the democrats. >> the question is -- and we have seen for a while, different electric tore eighths show up at -- electorates show up at midterms. >> democrats stay home for midterm elections. >> you have been researching about democratic turnouts that i saw. >> it was interesting. bill is exactly right, the turnout was a big problem. it's always a problem in midterm elections for democrats. the voters are younger, more diverse, less economically sound. they are lower-income voters and tend to vote in presidential elections only and republicans vote the opposite of that, whiter older more financially secure voters turn out for the
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mid terms. the map stunk for democrats. let's face it. democrats winning in the deep south and it was a matter of time before it caught up to democrats. and this was the year. they lost in deep red states. there was no surprise there. i think what is surprising for democrats is the fact that they didn't have a message that resonated at all with their voters. pew came out with a study about the economic agenda. what do democrats stand for and what is their message and they said we don't have a message that talks to those voters, female more diverse less economically secure younger voters. all we're saying is mumbo-jumbo message. republicans had a message, obama
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stinks. will they find that economic message to go to those voters who came out for barack obama, but they just don't traditionally in midterm elections. will they come out for hillary clinton. she can attract those voters. my colleague has a great -- i guess it's an analogy between the two kinds of voters. there are the cracker barrel voters and looked at every county in the united states and who they voted for in president overweighed all the cracker barrels. not surprisingly, if you live in a county that has a whole foods in it, 77% of those voted for barack obama. if you are in a cracker barrel county 26% of those voted for
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barack obama. it is ex-usual and/or rural hopefully more usual and and this was a cracker barrel election and next year will look like whole foods elections. the question is can republicans win in a whole foods. democrats didn't do too well in the cracker barrel election. >> i kind of like them both. >> we are seeing democrats trying to get this message. chris van hollen has echos of what elizabeth warren was talking about. i was intrigued she went to these places that barack obama barack obama never went. we saw her campaigning in west virginia and kentucky. the warren message could work in those places and didn't. but there was a sense that
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that's how you bring back the blue collar, working-class democrats. >> i don't know -- i don't know i would read too much into message out of 2014 as amy summed it up that republicans said that obama isn't getting it done and resonated with a lot of republican and independent voters. it didn't need to get further beyond that. we will have the conversation about these big ideas that warren is talking about -- we may have that conversation about who gets nominated and what they want to pursue. there is a chance for those conversations. i would say there are two interesting people. rand paul, i hesitate to say a warren-like figure in the republican party, but that isn't a comparison, but he goes to
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places and talks to audiences that republicans -- they have left out or ignored or don't particularly go after. romney said there are 47% that aren't going to vote for us. rand paul doesn't believe that 47%. he is going to make a case to them. elizabeth warren, the van hollen proposal talks about tax increases on the wealthy and wealth transfer from wealthy to lower and middle-income folks through tax credits for income and working what not. it will be interesting these sorts of proposals that never get anywhere in congress but serve as a good economic rallying cry. i would like to see that as an issue that democrats decide to run that firmly on in the next
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election because there are very important points to raise about who's doing well and not doing well and republicans will have to defend why the tax code does have carveouts and why it has -- and why the rates they look like they do for the wealthy and the top 1% of the top 1% of the 1% have done very well. >> republicans have the keys to the capitol. i think everyone on this stage would agree, please stop me if you don't agree, they are on probation. this was not a watershed election that reoriented for a generation. we have seen the back and "forecast earth" that suggests that any majority is temporary. the american people are not sold with either party, so what do they need to do to satisfy the probation officers, the american people, to say that they were
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right in the judgments that they made in 2014 and wrong in the judgments they made in 2006 and 2008? >> i don't expect to get a call from preef is or boehner or mitch mcconnell asking my advice, but i would be glad to offer some. if they were to call. i think -- and i think mitch mcconnell has said this in effect, ok we won, now we have to deliver. now we have to prove we can get this congress moving, we can get some things done. we can govern and i get a lot of hot water for a column i wrote as a democrat saying i was optimism not a huge amount, some level of optimism about the
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things to get things done in the next two years. mcconnell and boehner recognize that they have to show some accomplishments and certainly barack obama has to do in terms of his legacy. the ingredients are there for total chaos and the ingredients are there to come to some issues like trade. so what i think the republicans have to deliver which is why i'm a little puzzled by the way they started out having control of the congress and the first moves were to repeal the dream act. only get 27% of the latino vote in the last presidential election, i don't think you want to go in this one by starting out with a declaration of war against the latino community. mitch mcconnell, in the last day, up in pennsylvania basically told the house republicans, we aren't going to do that in the senate.
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we aren't going to go there because we don't think that's a smart move for the party. they have have to deliver on issues that are important to the american people. get off anything what obama is for and get off the chamber of commerce is wrong and everything for the 1% is good. immigration reform, maybe climate change, tax reform, trade issues. not far left issues, but things they could come together. >> we have seen this dynamic play out play inside republican circles since the rise of the tea party. they have been trying to hold back the forces. they are pushing him and pushing him and shut down the government. so can republicans deliver enough of a debate that they don't have a fight in their own ranks and reach out to the
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middle of the country? >> can they do it and does it matter in 2016 or whoever the republican nominee will be the one will have to answer those questions which is why important for the republican nominee doesn't come from within washington. i know washington is such a mess and we figured it out in my state or deficits. to understand why the house and senate works differently, you guys all understand the difference between the house and senate which puts you in a unique category. but even more than ever, the house is just incredibly polarized. it is almost impossible to expect that republicans are going to vote for something that is more to the center or center left or democrats something to
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the center or center right. there are only now five democrats left in the house of representatives that sit in a district that barack obama did not carry. so whenever there is going to be a compromise, those are the only people that republicans have to go to, five people. there are 20 republicans sit in an obama district. 87% of the republicans in congress are white and they're male. the average republican district in this district is 75% white. the average democratic district is 51% white. when you understand what their districts look like, you can understand how difficult it is to get some of these pieces legislation through. they don't have to worry about a general election or losing in
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november. they have to worry about losing in a primary. they're not wrong. they have districts and all talking about the same thing. this is what makes john boehner's challenge that much more difficult. mitch mcconnell's challenge, he has some of those folks that are polarizing on the republican side and has to wear about the handful of republicans in 2016 who represent blue states, pennsylvania, illinois, florida, ohio race next year, wisconsin. mcconnell's challenge is how i protect those people that we still have in blue states while also representing the ted cruz and other conservative republican agenda. and that's just not ever going to get fixed. >> one thing to throw into the
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mix is national security, foreign policy. we saw it late in 2014 with the rise of iceis and abowla and we have seen some politicians being part of this as part of the broader anxiety and people feel insecurity. as good as the economy has been, there is economic security and safe against terror and you see what happened in paris and belgium and you realize we are on the precipice of very serious. how does that play out? is this going to be a national security election? we say it's about the economy. is 2016 -- >> national security is having an effect. part of the reason why republicans are not going to
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insist on these provisions that would stop the dream act and stop the president's november executive action in immigration and and apparently the bottom plot to bottom the u.s. capitol that was on republicans' minds as as they are meeting in pennsylvania. they said we are not going to -- the two provisions that would stop the dreamer action and the president's november action on immigration were attached as amendments to the homeland security security bill. republicans realized if they insist on keeping those democrats filibuster and president obama will veto them. republicans said we are going to pass the homeland security bill. they lose their leverage to stop the immigration action. that's a clear indication that
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they realize national security is going to be more important, is more important and will have an effect on what happens in congress. another immediate effect that came out of conference asked about the plots to bottom the capital and bartender at a country club in ohio to poison him. the guy has some issues of mental issues. so the f.b.i. did charge him with plotting to murder a federal official. boehner was asked about those and he said that the plot to bomb the capitol, part of the way that law enforcement came across that plot was because of the section 215 in the foreign intelligence surveilance act, which allows for the government to collect business records and has been very controversial and section that allows for the bulk
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collection of data by the n.s.a. boehner wouldn't say what the f.b.i. used, which provisions it used to learn about this plot but he said his colleagues will have to keep that in mind. that section expires in june of this year. and if it's not renewed section 215 power will disappear. boehner made the case, those powers are important. we have to keep that in mind. there is a big movement to end big collection of data. another example of where national security is already playing a role. >> that splits republicans. >> you actually had a couple of months ago in the senate, you had a bill to end bulk collection. a bill passed the house. a bill passed the house. it was filibustered that bill in order to block it saying we need
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to protect these powers. democrats were rushing to get it done before they lost control of the senate because they figured the republicans would be more reluctant to change those now. we are going to see that play out. splits democrats and republicans far more. and be interesting to see if they don't do anything, it all goes away. rand paul wants to see the end of bulk collection of data, he voted against that senate bill, figuring if we don't do nothing all of the powers go away in june. a lot of strategy going on there. >> is this going to be a national security election? >> listening to steven this all ties together in the sense of i think the challenge for the republican party is, is it going to be a national party or regional party.
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they know how to win congressional elections but they have to reach beyond that and the interplay we are seeing again play out is on some of these issues where the tea party has been to be able to rule the day for the last couple of years, some sent right -- centrists are saying we have to calm that craziness down a little bit and show some some leadership and come towards the center on some issues. now on the national security absolutely. we haven't mentioned -- isis, boko haram some core could al qaeda left. very, very much so and now the real threat are not the big attacks but these smaller
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attacks like we saw in paris, two of them in one week and how do you possibly protect against two guys. >> we are vulnerable after sony, target home depot and centcom and the white house system a month or something ago was hacked into. everybody is vulnerable to this. i think both parties say we have to do something about it. i haven't heard anyone come up with an idea. but those issues are going to be front and foremost still in 2016.
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>> a lot of guys in their basement in their underwear that we could recruit to do that playing video games. >> we ought to bring edward snowden back and make him head of the n.s.a. >> war against isis is being fought under the authorization to go after the taliban and al qaeda and 2002 authorization which allows us to go after saddam hussein. the president has been reluctant to send up language. he said approve if what i'm doing, great. send up his own language, boehner says, it is the president's job. what you are doing -- we need to have a new authorization. they spent the last four months hag willing who is going to take
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the step to write the rules that are going to determine how we fight this war. looked like we finally got past that. the administration is going to send up language, which is a big step and then we'll have another war debate here. you talk about national security yeah. and both parties as well. folks think we should have the power to have ground troops in iraq wherever they are needed to combat isis, and other folks want a no declaration of ground troops others want no time limit and just pass authorizations in iraq and afghanistan and folks who want tight control. all of those are going to be debated. judging by the past few debates i would be surprised if anything gets done. six months from now, we will be fighting these wars under the old authorization. >> there is a general security security concern.
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the sense that like, one woman summed it up really well and quite sadly when she said the bad things are starting to become familiar. every day you turn on the tv and whether it's a school shooting, the -- whatever is happening in paris, seems like every day you turn on, whether it's domestic or international it's just bad, bad stuff at every moment and no one has any control over it. no one is able to stand up and say, here's how we can deal with and here eye how a leader is going to make you feel safe. it is security feeling safe at home and feeling safe in financial security, retirement, what is going to happen to your kids. talking to your kids.
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and that's a very really depressing place for a country to be. >> we have time for questions in the last 20 minutes. >> footnote, authorization for the military force. the fact is it's stunning to me, we have been at this war against isis for eight months and it's an undeclared war and congress hasn't even wanted to take up a new authorization for the use of force. they were going to do so some pell wanted to do so. before the november break, oh, no, we can't do it now. went off for six weeks or longer and came back and were going to do it before christmas, oh, no,
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don't make us work hard. beginning of the year, and still nothing. in the senate, the two strongest voices to say we cannot continue this war without having a declaration without use of military force. and rand paul and bob nenen dezz -- menendez. >> in the house you have barbara lee and some of the tea party members saying the president is acting without congress authorizing it. you would think they want to take something up and do their jobs. >> i would actually take what you said there with the stale mate over the authorization and use of force. take that more broadly, that describes the entire last four, six years of government. think about this. president obama last big accomplishment that he had
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through the legislature other than some spending bills, debt ceiling and taxes, last big accomplishment was the dodd frank wall street reform. he has been unable to find a way to work with congress since he lost giant majorities. you have republicans who said they made it a point, not a single one of them voted for the affordable care act and three of them voted for the stimulus, one immediately switched parties and one left the senate. one party voted for the stimulus all of the members of the senate and the house who are still there from the can party. voters, if you give us a majority, we will be able to stop the president and we will do our agenda. got control of the house and weren't able to get their agenda through and you said give us control.
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they have been given control and nothing has changed. the president has said you all have to work with me and show me some good faith and willing to work on my issues. republicans say we won the last election, you have to come to us. you have both sides saying, you have to make the first move. no, you got to make the first move. like boys and girls at middle school dances standing against the wall waiting to come to the middle. it is stunning.
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>> do you think she could end up if she was president with the same issues. >> working with john boehner and mitch mcconnell? >> that's a long and complicated question. first of all, president obama said don't run. he doesn't have enough experience he did run and he won. and his successor -- success or lack of success, i would not
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attribute to the fact that he had only been in the senate for two years. there are a lot of other reasons. i don't think -- i'm writing a book about it. but i don't think he could have had the powers of the presidency the way he could have and should have. elizabeth warren is a barack obama moment. two years in the senate. everyone is saying she doesn't have enough experience. but the train doesn't stop at the station very often. i think maybe one stop and either gets on or doesn't. the reason i think her candidacy is appealing is because she is talking about the economic populous issues, income equality and minimum wage and one out of
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five children in this country lives in poverty today. she is saying 1% is doing fine. we should help the middle class and rebuild the middle class. democrats ought to be out there with the message. so can bernie sanders. hillary clinton is not going to talk about those issues i don't think. >> i'm going to disagree with bill. i think president obama's lack of legislative experience has had a major effect on the way he has cuggetted his presidency and lack of accomplishments. one of the issues i cover closely is immigration and i have looked at his history as a state senator in illinois on this issue all the time as a u.s. senator and on. there are two things that come out of it. first, as a state senator, he was reluctant to take hard
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positions on a number of these issues. there is a driver's license bill that came up in the state senate in illinois and he did not want to be out there seen as being on that because he told the sponsor, hey this is too politically tough for me. if you need me in the end, i will be with you on the vote but i don't want to vote on this if i don't have to. they earneded up one vote shy and obama never had to take a position on that in the state senate. there are a number of different issues where he has done this. but immigration has always been a political issue for him and difficult one where he struggled to figure out how to approach the legislative process. i think one of the reasons -- and i actually -- i think he has used his presidential powers to a full degree, i would say his
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executive actions are being challenged in four separate courts right now. obamacare is being challenged in a number of courts, including by the house of representatives. folks feel because he has been unwilling to work with them on legislation and they have gone to the court to rein him. the president said hey, we aren't going to repeal it but if you bring me suggestions how to tweak it, that's a great way to do it. and there is bipartisan support not overwhelming bipartisan support, but there is bipartisan support for changing the medical device tax which is a tax to raise revenue for part of obamacare and 30 hour/40-hour workweek definition which obamacare defines it as 30 hours of work full-time. there are democrats that support changing that. there is a movement in congress to do that. and the president said no
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because that is a step two repeal. he has shown an inability to find areas where he can cooperate with a republican congress. >> you touched upon what i was going to ask but realistically i find it increasingly difficult for the republican party to win a national election considering the demographic changes and how the electoral college is structured. what do you think they could change their perception as to the old white man's party in the next two years? >> i would suggest that the head of the republican national committee read the moratorium that the republican party that he presented to the american public, which came to the conclusion that the republican party has to do a better job of
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reaching out to its -- beyond its older white male base and reach out to women latinos. lindsey graham after the 2012 election said will never win the white house, i'm paraphrasing -- unless we show we are the party of inclusion and diversity. that's what the report said and previs made it and i think they have gone in the opposite direction. >> jeb bush is florida and married to a mexican woman he speaks spanish flew eptly and from a state that is incredibly diverse. if you take florida off the floor for democrats they could still win the white house.
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it allows you to go into colorado and nevada. 2014 was very much about republicans running in their home turf and in that sense it was a very regional election. but the fact that republicans are able to win in colorado -- cory gardner who was the republican who won he has given a road map how you win in a state where it would look impossible for republicans. republicans don't need to win 50% of hispanics 50% of women, 50% of younger voters in the same way that democrats don't need to win 50% of white voters. they need to do better than 27%. it's about this increment. and that is not as hard -- need to go out from 27%-55% that's hard. from 27% to 40%, 42% 43% ok.
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and the other question, too is, will the slide on the white voters who did not vote with barack obama and the democratic party, that slide has been going on for quite some time. it is true the demographics favor the candidate who can reach out to a diverse group of voters, but you can't get 27% of the white vote and win just as you can't get 27% of the hispanic vote to win. >> the comparison was made between the american people not knowing jeb bush and us knowing hillary clinton. as a voter i believe there is a misconception in the media that we do hillary. while we know her policy, do we
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know her what can she do to rewrite her narrative to the people to the american people and not her core base, but independent voters and excite the youth as obama did in the last two presidential elections? >> the lasting critique of hillary clinton is we never saw her. we didn't see her as a mother, a wife. >> i don't know if you can do that 25 years later. she's been in the public eye for so long that the perceptions of her are pretty hardened. i don't know what she could do to go out there and put it out there about my life and my personal story, if that would be enough. i would agree with you changing the focus from one that was very much in 2008 about policy,
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policy, policy no personal policy policy, policy which would be helpful. i don't know if that's going to change anybody's perception of her for better or for worse. >> i think it's locked in. hillary is who she is and the american people know her and like her or not, going to be hard to change the public image that she has. maybe running around with charlotte, her new granddaughter . if that shows the softer side of her whether that's enough, i don't know. >> chairman previs spoke about the condensing the republican
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primary schedule basically getting it to a shorter time period so the nominee would be able to access the general election money in a an earlier time frame and chuck todd said that is the stupest thing that he could have done. >> whenever you try to go and -- nobody knows what this process is going to look like. fewer debates because the debates were terrible. we worked on those debates last time. >> i thought they were great. >> they were. the candidates' performance in the debates not the number of debates. when we have people saying not smart things in debates, that tends to be a problem. if they had said smart things in the debates that wouldn't be a problem.
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it's human nature, this didn't work this time, so let's engineer based on what we know from the past. we don't know what 2016 is going to look like. to chuck's point, i don't disagree in what it can do is shortening the time frame, that the candidates well enough and you have an unprepared candidate come into the general election. the fact that these guys are starting off today and we will be vetting them for two years, i don't think the shortened time frame is a problem. i don't know that tweaking here and there the primary or the debate schedule or the convention has any impact on whether this person's elected president. >> you think it matters at all? >> i agree with it completely. >> the d.n.c., what they have left is the issue. on the candidates, on the money even on the infrastructure.
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they don't need the parties for their voter base. they have outside vendors you have super pacs and trying to insert their influence, which i appreciate, but i don't know that it matters. >> the convention is going to be in july. >> july? >> do you think august would have been better? >> no. >> phoenix. >> it's 120 degrees. >> i'm a fan of that. >> it seems that every time we start to have a conversation about the 2016 election it did he involves into speculative politics and i'm seeing this from people who are in the media. media could educate and inform
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the public. do you think maybe with this upcoming election, the media could move towards hard-hitting investigative journalism that we haven't seen in so long to help the public make informed decisions? >> as a member of the media the media is not monolistic. there is going to be tremendous work and stories done -- i believe of the opinion that people getting people involved in the process and accessing their interests and getting them to come in at any level is what is important. and definitely a core of people in this country i would not argue with the majority or
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anyone close to it that wants to know the policies or investigations or backgrounds. there is a segment that they won't pay attention until they see the hats they are wearing or outbursts in iowa. some people will vote on the policy decisions or vote on someone because they like somebody or not like somebody. we don't get the power to say this is what people are interested in and therefore it's the news. it doesn't work like that. we are all going to strive and i speak for everyone here to do fulfilling and nourishing coverage of elections. we aren't going to give up on the other stuff either. >> there are enough of what you are talking about out there. there are plenty of substantive stories out there. what has changed over the last few years that with the number of people who are covering a
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campaign and i work out of the senate press gallery and the capitol and the number of reporters who are now covering that institution has probably grown three or fourfold on a daily basis than when i started 15 years ago and there is substance and policy out there. and the stories are being written. it's the other stories. voters engage this stuff on different levels. if you want to find serious policy substance and find out where every single person stands on an issue, that is out there. what pro liferts is the fluff and candidates feed into that because so many voters vote at that level as well. this is true for congress true for the white house and true for all of these things. whatever level you want to engage as a voter wants to engage in politics it's out for
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them to find and it's a matter of going and finding it. >> listening to scott walker's background information. "milwaukee sentin ell journal" has great discussion about what he has done. you can spend all day. i watched his state of the state union. i watched all of the state of the states, because thanks to c-span they show that. it's all there for you. and i think we have to stop looking just at the big media and blaming them and saying instead to voters themselves, to say, it's not hard to google. it's all out there but i would trust a major newspaper or news organization before i would
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trust something that your uncle sent you in an email saying, look at this. >> my beef is we're not all proud of the political coverage that we see. but one of my big beefs is that we are always talking horse races. 2016 is great. 2016 in january 2013, not great. we aren't going to talk about 20 15 until 2015. and focus on the issues and the same thing, by the way you cover the senate and the house they never take any time-out by campaigning to cover. they are always in the campaign mode. sometimes we get into that.
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the other side of it is, we report what the campaign is all about and the candidates are talking serious issues and either attacks on their opponents or their lifestyle -- i would like to see them more focused on substantive issues and differences between themselves and their opponent and why they would take the state or country in a different direction. >> we have to leave it there. thank you all. sorry. we're out of time. thank you so much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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>> welcome back. i would like to introduce our moderator for the panel for white house, view from the inside. ann cromp ton has covered 10
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presidential campaigns and served a one year term as president of the white house correspondents association. she has traveled to 50 states and six nents with presidents vice-presidents and first ladies and been a panelists on two presidential campaign debates. she has won an emmy as the only broadcast reporter on air force one on september 11, and she has been inducted in six halls of fame and recipient of honorary degrees and lifetime achievement awards. her husband found one morning that she was number 12 down in the sunday "new york times" cross word puzzle. please welcome ann compton.
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>> thank you very much. >> thank very much. i'm afrequent to these washington programs and this is the icing on the cake for your very instructtive week here. you have heard from some of the most influential voices in washington. for dessert, you are going to get a chance to hear from two people who were inside the west wing, kind of eyewitness account of what it is like where the policy is being made and the communication message is being shaped. and i'm pleased to have you welcome this morning, anita dunn. she was with the owe baum ave campaign and organizing for america and she was communications director inside the white house starting in 2009
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when president obama took office. tony covered the white house just before anita's term. he was deputy white house press secretary, the last years of the george w. bush administration. and both of them are still very influential strategic thirst working on the outside of issues and policy and they are still engaged of what is going on here in washington. and i want you to start, not only telling us what your job was in the administration, but what in your background made you suteable for that? >> thank you for being here, i was an intern in the carter white house and i was bitten by the bug and never looked back.
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i'm a huge believer in programs that bring people to washington and give them the opportunity to hear people and talk to people and i look forward to our discussion. because you all have challenging questions. so what is my background qualified me to be white house communications director? i was the communications research and policy director for the obama 2008 campaign. from 1993 until 2009 been a partner at a washington media consulting firm. we did political campaigns and had taken leaves of absences to be the communications director for bill bradley's presidential campaign and for the obama campaign as well. i worked with numerous advocacy campaigns and elected officials throughout my career. i worked on capitol hill for
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senator tom daschle when he was the minority leader and majority leader and when ann was on air force one on september 11, i was on the second floor of the capitol when the secret service told us it was a good idea to get out. so i had served in a number of capacities. always press from the time i started working in politics. i loved dealing with reporters, because they were so smart and so interested and so engaged. and anyone who has done field on a presidential campaigns. it is much more fun to deal with people who know something. i love communicating with the public and i feel like i spent my entire career working myself to get white house communications director and so appreciative to have that opportunity. >> when you came in the new president, you were with the
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campaign and when obama was elected and got some of those first briefings how bad the economy was what was that like for the staff? >> starting in september of 2008 , september 15 our nightly campaign communication call changed from being -- i ran the calls and i did the agenda for them. starting in september, they began with an economic briefing. it was not the usual thing. normally you start with a description of the news today. here's the agenda for tomorrow. here's what we think the other campaign is doing. it's a very focused call. so suddenly we are doing economic briefings and briefings of what is going to happen on
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capitol hill around the tarp legislation and what we were hearing, it was such a scary time that every day after president obama was elected, he started having a morning economic briefing right after his national security briefing. all presidents have this morning top secret briefing and has their top secret national security briefing of what's going on in the world. i will tell you that the economic briefing was very scary, especially for the first half of 2009. and i can't imagine what tony went through. >> tony was the deputy press secretary during this same period and tony, the years i have covered you you have always been the financial guy economy, finance anything having to do with that side of the agenda. you were the go-to guy.
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talk -- maybe just pick up on this and talk about what it was like inside the white house at that point and did your job as deputy press secretary camera and briefed us open, the economy kind of swallowed up everything at that point, didn't it? >> yes definitely. last time i did do a briefing and 100% certain i took an ann compton question that i didn't think i would be questioned by you. it's a real honor. always an honor and fun for me to be getting questioned by ann again. you brought up a lot of memories of those days and anita. we were trying to do our best.
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one of the things we were really proud of in a chaotic and difficult period was the very sincere and thorough effort to make sure that the transition was going to go well with whoever was going to win the election and then when senator obama won the election to be as tightly knit as possible while protecting the candidate. we didn't want to put him in a position where hi had to play his hand on consequential decisions that we were making because we did not want to hamstring him. we wanted to make sure we were doing everything so they could be informed. so that on january 20, you were will prepared to take the reins on that difficult series.


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