tv Washington Journal CSPAN March 24, 2015 7:00am-10:01am EDT
then representative gwen moore will talk about the democrats' fix. then we will talk about oil and gas. then we will have time for your comments and tweet. ♪ host: good morning. as tuesday, march 24, 2015. the house and senate are in session. congress continues to work through a busy legislative week. the white house, president obama is set whole beatings and ea joint press conference. the 2016 presidential field, a day after senator ted cruz officially threw his hat into that race. as many as four freshmen senators being talked about but
we are asking if you think u.s. senate has become a stepping stone to the white house. would you prefer senators to stay in congress longer before running for a higher office? does congress provided the right kind of experience? democrats can call 202-748-80010. republicans can call 202-748-8001. independents, 202-748-8002. you can check us out on social media or e-mail us. a very good tuesday morning to you. we are talking about the institution of congress, the united states senate and how it is being impacted by those members of that institution who are being talked about as possible presidential contenders. here is how it was put in u.s.
institution -- it brings up the topic we want to talk about this morning. discussed in a piece posted last night to politico. from backbencher to white house contender, ted cruz is the latest presidential hopeful to test the theory that spearing says -- that experience is overrated. heading to liberty university in virginia to make his presidential announcement. senator cruz: god's blessing has been on america since the beginning of this nation and i believe god is not done with america yet. [applause] i believe in you, i believe in
the power of millions of courageous conservatives rising up to reignite the promise of america. that is why today i am announcing that i'm running for president of the united states. [applause] host: the subsequent headlines in today's papers about that announcement. here is the richmond times dispatch -- a picture of senator cruz from that event. on to some texas papers as well, talking about the announcement yesterday. eyes on the prize from the dallas morning news. one more headline from the houston chronicle this morning
-- a picture of ted cruz with his wife and two daughters. we are talking about the institution of the united states congress, the senate. do you think it has become a stepping stone for the presidency? here are the numbers on the 25 presidents that have previously served in congress. 19 previously served in the house. 16 previously served in the united states senate. there were 10 presidents that served in both the house and senate. the four members being talked about in 2016, ted cruz elected in 2012, rand paul in 2010 marco rubio in 2010 and elizabeth warren in 2012.
the political article has this stat. since 1960, there has never been a time when three senators with less than a single term under their belt competed for the presidential nomination at the same time. when john kennedy won in 1960 he had been serving for seven years. when president obama won in 2008, he had been a senator since 2005. what we want to talk about with you this morning and what has been the impact on the united states senate. jim is up first in ohio on our line for republican spirit good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call.
i'm a lifelong republican. i'm seriously considering switching parties. i don't like what these new republicans are doing. people like ted cruz, the 47 senators who signed the letter to iran. other senators who threatened to shut down the government to get what they want. what is going on with the republican party? they look down their noses at average americans and think they know what is right for everyone. it is really upsetting. host: do you think they would be different if they stayed in the senate longer? ted cruz decided to put in a few more terms before seeking the presidency? caller: i do. i think he is way too inexperienced.
these new republicans -- i've been a lifelong republican and i don't like their attitude. ted cruz comes out with god and country and constitution and playing the music in the background. it looks so phony to me that i almost want to throw up. it's like they are playing the american people. i've been a lifelong republican and i love the republican party. i'm just so disillusioned with what they are doing. i will have to switch or change parties or something. host: in that article, rand paul was quoted in a discussion about whether members should put in more time before running for higher office and he said "a lot of americans would like a fresh face and not a retread from the past." what do you think about that aspect? caller: that is true in some
respects. to go back to when president obama was running, the first thing republican said, he should not be in there, he is too inexperienced, he doesn't have enough time on the job and now they are doing the same thing with ted cruz and these other people. host: ronald is up next in battle creek, michigan on the line for democrats. caller: why is it senator all the time? why not general or admiral? why not go to the grassroots and consider the political aspects or the monetary aspects? let's pull somebody that is a no-name. somebody from the streets.
somebody who knows the practicality of how to connect and speak to the people. host: and even more fresh face? caller: does it have to be congress? that's where all the money is being collected like a swarm of flies on a carcass. host: a poll of iowa republican caucus participants, asking about what kind of experience they would like an presidential contenders. participants prefer a presidential candidate with experience at governor or administrator then experience as a senator or member of congress. scott walker leads the pack with 25%. 13% with rand paul.
mike huckabee at 10%. some stats from that and of february poll. tennessee. line for independents. caller: i don't see anything wrong with using the senate providing you do it according to law. you could be a man of principle like ted cruz or a low life like the kennedys and the clintons. people are already disparaging ted cruz. he earned a payroll when he was young.
obama was a city organizer, a mob leader. there is little difference. he wants mobs to change the country that was based on individualism. there's nothing wrong as he do it honorably and honestly. host: the editorial board of the wall street journal today compared to ted cruz and president obama's backgrounds. can a smart articulate fortysomething first-term senator who disdains his colleagues and lacks executive experience make the least of the white house -- ted cruz will try to show that a republican can do it after announcing his campaign for the white house on monday.
your thoughts on those comparisons. caller: look at the basic philosophy. ted cruz is pushing for going back to the concept of individual rights. rights from god. obama is a socialist who believes the nation should be mob rule. take a look at the way he handles the race issue. he feeds on that stuff. the income redistribution -- this country suffers from t wo diseases. economic dope addiction. cruz wants us to get off the habit. host: nick in fairview this morning.
des moines, iowa come alive for democrats. p, good morning to you. -- des moines, iowa, line for democrats. pete, good morning to you. caller: any background would be good for the president if they can win the trust of the people. i still don't understand the republican background most of the candidates running on this idea that they will "take back america." from who? they make it sound like the country has been run by russia or communists or even muslims. host: we mentioned rand paul. here is a story from the daily caller with some news about his
upcoming presidential campaign announcement. rand paul chose the aircraft carrier to service the backdrop during his april presidential campaign announcement. he will make the announcement april 7 and had to new hampshire , south carolina, iowa nevada to complete a five-day announcement tour. some tweets on this topic. -- we want to hear from you this morning. facebook, twitter, or give us a call. is the u.s. senate becoming a stepping stone for the
presidency? what is it doing to the united states senate, the institution of congress? lancaster, south carolina, line for independence. -- independents. caller: could i say something about president obama before i mentioned something about the senate? i'm a lifelong listener to c-span and i'm appalled that for the past two years, it has been three or four blacks who have called in against obama. the only thing he talks about is immigration reform. the same as mr. clinton or mr. bush. if they have the integrity to run, that's all right with me.
i don't know why everybody is so keen on mrs. clinton. when she was the secretary of state, she just blew around the world. -- flew around the world. i don't know why everyone is saying she is next for the democratic party. thank you. host: some stories about hillary clinton in today's paper including some polling numbers on her potentially running for president. 72% of americans think hillary will run in 2016. 49% say she is -- has the qualifications to be president. 81% of democrats.
another story from the times, 30 secret meeting -- third secret meeting. -- that was a statement released by josh earnest. portland, maine. line for republicans. kenny, good morning. good morning -- caller: good morning. thank you for having me on. i am a republican. i have been very disturbed in the past fears come up -- in the past few years, from what i have
seen. i'm excited for this announcement by ted cruz. this is only the beginning. there are many others. it's about time that the republican party could stage some kind of come back and not throw candidates out there that don't stand a chance. people who are talking especially in the republican area -- constitution and supporting that kind of idea. host: new england. line for republicans. your thoughts on elizabeth warren. caller: like i said, there is
going to be a huge field -- i even understand that donald trump is in the mix here. we need to find somebody that is going to have enough strength to turn this liberal kind of situation around. we need to find somebody -- excuse me, when i first heard about ronald reagan, i was thinking -- that is a long time ago. he turned out to do an awful lot of good for this country. host: we are asking about the united states senate, the four presidential candidates being talked about. what do you think it does to the
institution of the senate? speaking of elizabeth warren, here's a column in the boston globe. the executive director of m oveon.com. some democrats say the great argument for her to stay put and not run for president -- i would argue they are wrong. worn should run. -- warren should run. that column in the boston globe. harold up next in lansing, michigan. line for democrats. what do you think this has done to the institution of the senate? caller: i have a couple of comments.
i agree with the first caller. what he said, he was right on point with that. myself, i'm thinking these guys always say they know what the american people want. whoever is going to end for president needs to know that should run for president needs to know what the american people want. they don't have a clue what we want. it's all about their pockets about shunning us. they looked down on us like we don't matter but when it's time to run for office it's all about what we want. the other caller said obama is this and that -- what about when ted cruz's father was preaching? host: how does a candidate for
president find out what the american people really want? she's a member of congress can't do it. why -- you say it member of congress can do it. why? caller: come out and talk to the american people. and meetings like they used to do. remember when they came to schools, walked around? they don't do that anymore. it's about staying in washington and getting nothing done and then when they run for president, they bash each other. host: a little more from that politico piece posted late let us -- posted late last night. no longer do candidates need to rely on extensive experience.
mark from philadelphia, pennsylvania on outline for democrats. your reaction to that. caller: good morning. i would like to say, one of our greatest presidents, jfk came out of the senate. i don't see anything wrong with it. they had the speech that ted cruz made at liberty university. i watched most of it. i was amazed.
the man made a long speech without a teleprompter, without notes. he must have been one heck of a trial attorney. if i were jeb bush and scott walker and rand paul -- ted cruz would be the guy i would be looking to stop. even though i'm a liberal democrat, he is a man to be watched. host: we want to get your thoughts. tricia up next in indiana. line for independents. caller: good morning. my thoughts would be come a couple of the other callers have talked on what i want to say -- i don't agree with these new senators and congresspeople jumping ahead to running for president. i don't think they have enough experience. they had been -- i don't think
they have been in long enough to gain the knowledge about what's going on in the world and how things really are. people who come in, i'm afraid they may have their own political aspirations. they have agreed for the presidency. -- greed for the presidency. you aren't willing to say you are smart enough to know that you don't know everything. you have things to learn and you don't have all the answers you need. you need to take opinions into consideration. host: with a low opinion that americans have of the nicest congress, do you think it hurts these folks if they stick around
and then decide to run for president? caller: i do agree with term limits. any political job should not be a career. they need to come and serve and start with local politics and work their way up to the united states office. and then stepped out of office. the other thing i don't agree with, you are getting paid to be a congressman at the same time you are running for president. how can you do your job well and faithfully if you are out running around campaigning? i have a problem with that. if they wanted to forgo their paycheck, that would be wonderful. i have a problem with
campaigning while you are getting a government check. host: what about campaigning while you can also push through legislation and vote on different bills in congress? do you think running for president changes the way these members will legislate? host: at that time, they have their focus on track to be president and not paying attention to what they are doing in congress as they showed. -- as they should. host: tricia in warsaw, indiana. richmond, virginia. line for republicans. good morning to you. caller: first of all this answers the question -- the senate is a stepping stone to the president. i have to say this, when obama was elected -- i'm not here to
raise a rally flagged for anybody. like people say we want a black president, help us out. you see what has happened. here we have cruz, a conservative and people are rallying, he is going to do this and that. you can talk to cruz now because he is running for office. once he gets himself into position, he will be just like obama. you cannot talk to him. people better learn that there is a hustle out there. we don't have real experienced people, people who have been around like the roosevelts and the reagans.
we don't have those types of people anymore. we have people who carry the flag. then, the sellouts. that's it. you better get used to it, american people, because you don't know who you will put in the white house next. host: the history of the 25 presidents who previously served in the house or senate. 19 previously served in just the house. 10 serving in the senate as well. three sitting senators elected president. when sitting -- one sitting house member. we are talking about how members running for the united states senate -- running for the unites presidency impacts the senate and congress as a whole. a high-profile hearing on capitol hill today on those secret service issues.
the alleged drunk driving incident on capitol hill that has garnered so much attention and was the focus of the house and senate hearing last week. another house hearing today the heads of a powerful congressional panel are very disappointed that the secret service plans to testify alone about agency cut ability -- accountability. the chairman and wrecking member -- ranking member asked four members to appear at the hearing. you can watch that hearing on c-span. go to our website as well. it comes on at 10:00 this morning. another story to note this morning -- afghanistan president
in washington, d.c. today for a meeting at the white house. here is a picture from yesterday. with john kerry after their meetings at camp david. the pace of u.s. troop withdrawals will headline the visit. his first to washington since taking office last fall. jimmy up next in texas. line for independents. caller: cruz says he is an individual right person. he voted for the keystone pipeline and that will be built mostly eminent domain.
it takes out individual rights. this bunch have been debating allowing human trafficking for a week and a half, two weeks. what do we need that law for? we have plenty of loss. don't they have anything better to do? host: what kind of experience do you want in a presidential candidate? what kind of jobs should they happy for the takeover the white house -- should they half before they take over the white house? caller: common sense. host: where does one get common sense? caller: usually, living life. learning from your mistakes. these people that have been elected have not made a lot of
mistakes that have been caught. host: bj up next in annapolis, maryland. line for republicans. caller: good morning. i want to follow-up up on your statement about only three u.s. senators have elected directly. harding, jfk and obama. none of them impressive. harding at least had the courtesy to died two years into up this of a heart attack. you had jfk who was assassinated. the closest we ever came to nuclear war on the jfk. -- under jfk. host: your thoughts on president garfield from the house?
caller: no, because i will follow up. you need an administrative position. you need a ceo. you need a governor out of a state. they are used to dealing with both sides of the aisle. they have a record of what they have done. and they lowered the unemployment rate? -- have they lowered the unemployment rate? nobody wants anybody out of washington. the biggest complaint is there is too much washington. why would you go to the cult of personality and get somebody out of the senate? you need a governor. host: how do you feel about scott walker? caller: any governor. it depends on what they have to say. i'm listening to what they all have to say.
that's what people want, experience. if there are governors running and interested, they can do a better job. host: speaking of wisconsin governor scott walker, one of the laws he signed into effect was brought up before the supreme court. the supreme court decided not to test the voter id law. they rejected an appeal to overturn the law, upsetting civil rights and liberal groups that say the law discourages minorities from casting their ballot. they said that they would not hear an appeal at overturning the law that was signed into law in 2011 by governor walker.
the american civil liberties union filed a motion for stay -- the supreme court now rejecting that appeal. catherine up next in austin texas. for republicans. -- line for republicans. caller: the agenda is republican party pushing a christian agenda. it was beyond believe that he took a christian university to announce his presidency saying i will push a christian agenda and represent christians only. his idea of individual rights and speaking for americans, he is only speaking for the christian agenda. putting prayer back in schools removing evolution and science from textbooks, changing out the
united states constitution -- the founders removed all religious laws. this christian republican party is trying to turn this country into a christian police state. host: you are calling in on the republican line. who would you back for presidency? caller: about the only one i know that has experience that is truly a ceo like the previous caller said was scott walker. i like perry from texas but he also has a christian agenda. at least in texas they don't discriminate against you if you are an atheist or muslim or whatever. cruz is radical beyond words and i'm about to change parties. host: john is up next in
columbus, ohio. line for democrats. caller: good morning america. i come from the great state of ohio. i'm a democrat. governor kasich has been doing a good job. he has been doing a good job in our state, getting jobs, trying to make this state better. i feel comfortable with him as a democrat if you ran. -- if he ran. cruz scares me. he reminds me of the guy from older guest -- poltergeist. i did not like how he went on the senate floor and was speaking about green x and him and all that -- green eggs and ham and all that. he went to the university to say i will push these christian views.
i love all people, christians, jews muslims. but the man scares me. host: is it a background that makes you go more comfortable with casey grunting -- governor kasich? caller: yes. he made me feel comfortable. he is out here actually trying to get things done in our state. it is hard with people not -- we still have a lot of high unemployment. he is out here fighting. let's try to get these jobs let's try to do this and that. he comes out and talks to the people. cruz, i cannot see that man coming in my great state
talking like the guy from poltergeist to try to be president. host: a couple of other stories to make you aware of in the papers today. the headline from usa today. the army is working with the defense department to determine the validity of any threats. one other story we have noted on this program before, the high-profile rape story in rolling stone magazine. police in charlottesville were unable to verify that the
alleged sexual assault ever took place. a couple of minutes left in this segment of "washington journal." texas, line for independents. caller: good morning sir. i want a president to go in there and do what he says he's going to do. all these presidents go and make these promises and back down every time something comes up. how about the ones -- let's do
something about it. let's put a president who will do something about it. when you threaten america, you threaten the people in america. host: grace in ohio. line for democrats. good morning to you. caller: ted cruz scares me to death. all of the senators scare me to death. the republican party has gone so fractured come i don't know how they can rule anything in the united states. i have been known as a democrat to be a swing voter. i voted for a couple of republican presidents. as long as i have lived, i have never seen anything like this fractured party. i don't know how they can rule.
they scare me to death. they don't have a lot of money when they come in and then they are millionaires. aren't they supposed to work 138 days this year? host: one of our previous callers said he could see himself voting for governor kasich. caller: like i said, i am a democrat. occasionally, i crossed the line. i like governor kasich. he is trying. he seems like a humble person. i don't know if you would want to be, but i like him. -- i don't know if he would want to be, but i like him. i know why they treat obama like that. we all know what it is.
i'm ashamed of the south now. host: our last caller in this segment -- of next, we will be talking with michael burgess. she joins us during a week -- later, gwen moore joins us to talk about the looming 2016 budget battle on capitol hill. but first, justice kennedy on tuesday was testifying on capitol hill about the supreme court budget and was asked his thoughts on having cameras in the court. [video clip] >> you can make a lot of good arguments for cameras in the courtroom. it teaches. we teach what the constitution is and what rights are. why don't we go on television? it would be good for lawyers who
want to see what the dynamic is. it is open and the public could see it and we spend a lot of time on cases and so forth. we have a technical commitment. they could see that we hope for an argument that is rational and respectful. we are in disagreement, our institutional tradition is not to make our colleagues look bad but make the institutional good. part of that is the way we conduct oral arguments. we are concerned that the presence of a tv camera, the knowledge we will be on tv would affect the way we behave. it's an insidious dynamic for me
to think one of my colleagues is asked the question so that he or she could look good on tv and i don't want that dynamic. we would prefer the dynamic where we would have a discussion in which we are listening to each other and we think the television would detract from that. you could make good arguments either way. i think i can speak for most of my colleagues come i do not think television should be in the courtroom. we have audio available. and the transcripts are available. the press does a good job of covering us. the press has the advantage -- they know six months in advance. they can prepare the background and have pictures of the litigants and so forth.
we have good press coverage as well. i think the cameras in the courtroom are not a good idea. host: you can watch the entire testimony by going to our website, www.c-span.org. you can view what other justices had to say about cameras in the court. we turn now to michael burgess joining us again at our table. congress is considering taking up a bill to permanently fix the so-called "annual medicare doc fix." guest: thank you for having me on to i appreciate being able to come on and talk to people about one of the biggest problems you have never heard about. medicare payment formulas which turn out to be in excess problem for american seniors patience.
i hear this and my town halls. people say how come when you turn 65 you have to change your doctor? or someone moves to because there -- moves to be closer to their grandkids and find out there is no practice accepting medicare patients. since 1988, there has been this annual episode that occurs where payments to positions are ratcheted down. it is called the sustainable growth rate. one of the most important things we will vote on this week, it will repeal this formula once and for all. the reason the formula has been so pernicious is part of the formula goes back every year -- congress comes in and says we did not really mean that. we will hold you level.
then the amount that should have been saved with that pay cut is actually added on to the tally at the end of the run whenever that occurs. there is this large vacuum related debt -- large accumulated debt. that's what people are talking about. it is not real money. there is not money sitting in the treasury earning interest and now will be suddenly siphoned off. it is a bookkeeping entry that needs to be made. we have already paid this money to the doctors. there is no actual money in the treasury. we need to do a bookkeeping acknowledgment that that money has been spent. host: this formula goes into effect at the end of this month if congress does not do something. you are talking about this
legislation hr 1470. a headline about it in the wall street journal. you are talking about repealing the sustainable growth rate formula. what do you replace it with? guest: there is actually a straightforward way to deal with this. you repeal the sustainable growth rate and pay people for their work activities. there is a large school of thought that we pay for value instead of volume. there are some changes that will occur in medicare that move in that direction. it was important to me that in the formula or whatever emerges in the follow-up is that there has to be a place for senior service medicine. take a position my age and that
is what they know. if you walked into a room full of 60-year-old positions -- physicians and say we will pay by an entirely different way going forward, you will get members in that room saying i don't want to do that and they will leave the program. one of the things that affects access to seniors if you have doctors dropping out. i thought it was important to preserve a fee-for-service option but there are alternative payment methods. you will allow the docs to participate in what type of practice do you have come a what kind of practice to you want to continue? there are these performance metrics that have been put in place by various congresses over
the years. we consolidate that. there will be reporting measures . is a consolidation of three prior reporting methods. host: there has been some efforts by democrats and republican leadership to move this legislation. some of the provisions not necessarily dealing with the sustainable growth rate. if you could talk about what those are. guest: what has happened over time since the doc fix, every time that comes up, no one wants to vote against it because there is -- it makes people angry. you get the wrong kind of attention. since it is a fast-moving train there are things that have been attached to it. they are referred to as the
extenders. there is a package of extenders that every year gets renewed in the postponing of the sustainable growth rate formula. as part of this legislation, the extenders are extended for two years. it gives them a reprieve congress needs to deal with those individually. that would be the correct approach. the extenders will be continued but for two years time. host: the state children's health insurance program, one of those extended for two years. guest: it is not included in the extenders. it is in a different category. that is something enacted in 1996. one of the compass minerals of the congress that your.
-- one of the accomplishments of the congress that year. reauthorized until 2019 but only funded until the end of the fiscal year of 2015. as part of the arrangement for bringing the bill to the floor the extension of state children's health insurance is included. host: we are talking about the doc fix. if you have questions about this , what could happen if this legislation does not pass this week and what happens april 1. the formula goes into effect -- what happens april 1 if this formula goes into effect. democrats, 202-748-8000. republicans, 202-748-8001.
independents, 202-748-8002. how much is it going to cost to implement hr 1470? guest: again, let me stress, the cost is money that is already spent that is now being accounted for on the books. that number had grown to an almost unbelievable number in 2012 over $380 billion. recalculated in early 2013. the number came down substantially. since that time, it has crept back up again. that number is about $140 billion over a ten-year budget cycle. what is the cost of not doing it?
every physicians practice starting on april 1 will have to absorb a 21% reduction in reimbursement for medicare. medicare is a special system. medicare sets their rates. they don't negotiate with doctors. medicare sets the rate. they set the rates and the formula will reduce those rates by about 1/5. that will result in significant continuation of doctors sing patience and access to positions -- physicians. the extension adds additional money to. in total, the package will be around $200 billion over 10 years. host: some conservative groups
concerned because the doc fix has found ways to cut the budget in the past because it has required some upsets in -- offsets in other areas. here is the editorial from a recent national review piece. congress has shown no willingness to reduce the position -- physicians' medicare payments. if presented with that option, conservatives should put their foot down. your response? guest: obviously, i disagree with their characterization. their vision of the future is
that there will be no budget discussion after this occurs. my understanding of the base as there are going to be $70 billion in offsets. these are structural changes occurring in medicare, agreed to by republicans and democrats. this is the first time this has happened. a couple of years ago, we had the big blowup over the extension of the debt limit. the supercommittee was posted get together and decide on how to work these problems out. the supercommittee cannot solve this problem. this is a problem on the brink of being solved that people have oneself for a long time. people argue, why shouldn't you just wait? have a republican president in 2016 and then we can get everything we want. maybe true, but how about we
start with the fact that we have $70 billion in fundamental entitlement reform already done and then begin from that point not begin from the point that we missed the chance and now we have to start from further in the i think this is a positive step for the budget. is it perfect, the way i would have done things? of course not. it is a good product. has honestly been in the works for over three and a half years time. republicans the democrats, we heard from the payers, from physicians from beneficiaries. we listen to all of those groups. host: again, it is each r 70, if you want to track it this week on capitol hill. conrad is at first from
ridgeway, virginia. good morning. caller: good morning. representative burgess, last congress, you were, i believe the sponsor in the house for hr 428. i know you try to get into the committees for some hearings but for the past 10 years or so, similar to those have not made it out of committee like this past one didn't. i'm. if you are going to re-introduce something, the same bill again in the new congress. as with the doc fix, this would save medicare money and help transplantations. i am one of those. if the question is do you think you will response or a new version of the bill, and if so, do you think it would have better chances to get out of committee this time? host: what does this bill do? guest: i think the color is
talking about a bill that would deal with drugs for tissue transplants. once a person receives a transplant, they are moved off in state programs because they have in been cured by their transplant, but they need to continue to take drugs. those antirejection drugs will only be covered for three years. it is an impossible problem if the patient is not able to pay for those drugs, they could lose their graph. this is one of the things that really makes you wonder about how the congressional budget office works and what our priorities are. the congressional budget office is only allowed to look at costs. they cannot assume savings. the cost of the immunosuppressant drugs is one
thing. the cost of someone losing their kidney and goes back on dialysis, it is truly a tragedy as it plays out. host: benefit discussion, something often comes up in the energy and commerce committee, whether with this congress or another. guest: i will just point out, i appreciate the caller bringing it out. we did get a hearing and committee, the first time that happened. it will not be part of the medicaid legislation today. host: you are dr., what kind? guest: obj and -- ob/gyn host:. eric is up next in georgia. good morning. caller: good morning.
i wanted to make a couple of points to the audience and a question for the congressman. obamacare change the way medicare paid the doctors. it went to a set payment per outcome. it appears to me that this legislation and this congressman, a republican, of course, is try to go back. obamacare has been very successful in reducing the amount of increase of payments. medicare is like the second-biggest expense on the government's budget. obamacare has slowed down the growth of medicare, which has made the budget deficit shrink really fast. in some cases, some would say it is shrinking too fast. it appears to me that this is a way for the congressman, the gop
congressman, to reverse all of that good work that obamacare did. host: i will let you respond to that as i show viewers this headline, obamacare as divisive as it was five years ago. guest: i wish i lived in the world where the deficit was reducing too fast for comfort. that's not the reality that i see today. the point he is making is -- this is an important distinction. first off, bear in mind that this medicare payment problem that is being fixed in the sgr bill really has nothing to do with the a affordable care act. this was going on long before the affordable care act came on the scene. in the affordable care act there are ways that a practice can be paid, such as the aco
models, or patient center medical homes. those are available under the affordable care act, but the affordable care act is not paying for the service. that continues as before. if there are special arrangements that people want to make they can make them. i shall he, what this sgr deal does is that that world now exists in medicare as well. if there is an aco model, it has to demonstrate that it can deliver the care. if there are cost savings, all the better. it doesn't presuppose that all the smart people are at the department of health and human services. it suggests that there are smart people practicing met us sin -- smart people practicing medicine.
if they deny they have to tell group why it was denied. then, perhaps they can go back and recalculate. i would say, this will open up a new day. rather than having smart people over in cubicles at hhs deciding how to do payment reform, actually engage those who are delivering the care. host: we saw a headline on people reaching across the aisles on this doc fix. do you think you have the vote to move this this week? guest: yes is the short answer to the question. look, here is why. this is a chance to do something that ever since i got here 12 years ago, congress has been tried to do -- postpone problems related to the sgr.
the fact that this will be once and for all removed, that's extremely important. a lot of bad policy has been attached to a fast-moving doc fix bill on the floor. i hope people are cognizant of that as well. as far as cosponsors, i do know we have the ranking members of several committees. there a significant support obviously both the speaker and house minority leader are both working on putting the finishing touches on what this will look like as it comes to the floor. it's extremely important that they listen to the people on their side who have concerns about this. at the end of the day, i want a big vote, by want this sgr repeal. i want us to be able to talk about other things, about a curious and getting people well. the vaccination rate. not every year pulling our hair
out over the sustainable growth rate formula. if you are dr. in practice maybe a 2, 3, 4 percent practice. every year, you try to look across the horizon to the future, and you don't know what your payment rate will be. or will this be the year that the 20% pay cut comes through? it is hard to go to your banker and say, i would like to expand my practice, at another doctor, but i need to disclose to you that i could get a 20% pay cut this year. that does not slide. nowhere else in business would someone be asked to behave like that. host: let's head to just outside minneapolis, nancy is waiting on the line for republicans. caller: good morning. i just want to find out why you got sidelined. you are going to explain what extenuate us -- or extensions
versus the as chair. i am waiting for a response to that. also, when you say extenuation i think attention would be justified word to use too. please explain these extensions. guest: extenders, there are a variety of them. transitional medical assistant is an example. there is a smoothie mechanism for someone who may go on and off of a medicaid arrangement because of changes in salary that could happen over the course of a year. i believe there are also some extenders applied to the cost of durable medical equipment. there are a variety of extenders that are packaged and along for the ride. not that they're bad policy, but each one ought to be looked at and judged on its own merit, and not simply be along for the ride
. host: not exactly an extender, but another provision included in this package to move $7.2 billion for community health measures. why don't you explain some of the concerns from members of congress on language that could be included in there to restrict abortion rights. there has been talk including an abortion policy rider. guest: let's remember, this bill is all about access. the provision that allows for funding for can unity health centers, again, one of t the things you find in the affordable care act. the reality is the language,
which he is talking about there, prohibiting federal funds to pay for abortion, that is already in the funding for any community health center that is fundied through the process. this is business as usual. fundamentally, every aspect about this bill is about active. at this for seniors. axis for kids. at this for people into me health centers. it is an axis bill. host: delano is next. caller: thank you so much for c-span. i have two questions. i can buy a breathing apparatus for one third of what -- host: hang on a second. guest: you can do that. i do that myself. not way to disclose too much sensitive information. for a person who has a health
savings account, you can actually draw the money out, a much more since will to go about that. i'm in your corner on that one. if i could expand health savings accounts, and i do have a bill to do that, that would be one of the things -- it's not part of the sustainable growth rate deal, but it's something i would like to do. you can pay it up front. it's a lot cheaper than renting it or getting your insurance to pay for it. caller: i go to skin doctor every year for a pre-cancer maintenance thing. i got the bill back and it was 500 $57, and the doctor only got $57. where in the world did all the other money go? guest: not knowing more about the explanation of benefits that you receive back, this is when i reference that medicare sets prices, they will set the price for that physician-patient
interaction, whatever code that is, and the allowable charge in medicare is $50. it doesn't matter what the doctor rights. the amount that medicare will reimburse is what it will reimburse, and under current law, a doctor that is participating in medicare, is not allowed to bill a difference. that is a problem. i hear from dr. the law in particular about that. this is one of the problems that you encounter when you allow the federal government to set the prices. guest:host: cantors up and grant texas. my for republicans. caller: mike i have trouble believing your sincerity. i wish you would straight talk people more.
you just now talked about what a chart master will pay. the most valuable person in the doctor's act as if that person who does the coding for them. i was amazed last year -- by the way, in april, will we get the 2013 medicaid payments? one of our fellows got a little over $300,000 from medicare. by the way, you say they don't love medicare. they love the medicare patients because of the money they can get out of the government. i did the arithmetic on this and it was 53 iron shots per day. i find that hard to believe that the physician did 53 iron shots per day. i think the sustainable growth doesn't that indicate growth? tell us what you are really talking about. you say the ray is not high enough and that doctors think they need more money than what they are being paid. guest: the point that the
gentler brings up is the sustainable growth rate formula has tended to drive utilization. that is if you have fixed office cost that you have to meet. the other thing he is touching on, and i don't think he quite said it, is what about transactions that are not legitimate. that is one of the big problems in medicare, and medicaid for that matter. what about expenditures that really should not have been submitted. host: an example. guest: he gave an example of someone who would have given more iron shots than a human body can possibly absorb in a finite amount of time. you know this type of practice occurs. if you had predictive modeling -- you know, visa and mastercard are pretty good about
identifying fraudulent transactions. you can get a call from your visa or mastercard provider about unusual activity on your card. it is the on me why there is not a predictive modeling regiment within the center for medicare and medicaid services that will identified these types of outliers. and essentially stop them before they start. medicare now, it pays all the bills they come across the counter, and later on, you could see something that if it's not legitimate, tried to track down that money. everyone also world has gone to predictive modeling. host: a comment from wild and wonderful on twitter. many doctors have staff working in billing rather than care delivery. too bad congress won't ask why. guest: i think congress has asked why.
that is what has led to try to get out of this particular problem. you won't from all the problems, but this gets is on the way. host: lee is waiting. for independents. caller: my problem with what is going on in congress is that medicare is the result of for staving's -- for savings. there is one way to get rid of the budget problem. we have people in congress and in the senate. if they can spend millions of dollars to get elected, they can put their hand in their pocket and pay for their own insurance. the only people who should be paying -- who we should be paying insurance for its people who work for the state, state and federal jobs, who do not make $100,000 per year.
i made a whole lot less than that and i had to pay $300 per month for myself. these people in congress and senate can afford to pay their own insurance. they see the hardships. get them off the federal money. they can do better. host: she wants to put you on cobra and your colleagues on cobra. guest: and fats, congress doesn't pay for my insurance. the special deal that was available for members of congress about a year and a half ago, i said that's not right. i don't think any other citizen would have the ability to receive a subsea subsidy and walk into the system. i exempted myself. i went to healthcare.gov and the most miserable extremes of my life, trying to get a
policy on the federal marketplace. the consequence now, i've been paying $700 per month. not us that -- offset or subsidized. then, i have $6,000 deductible per year. my life was certainly not made better by the affordable care act. i appreciate that the president said he wanted to fix things for people. i believe there are a lot of people in the very same situation that i men who find life is harder under the afford with care act. host: washington times looking at these days that took up the medicaid expansion. the percent of americans without health insurance during the five years under the afford with care act. that noting that there are 9.7 million fewer americans uninsured. also look at tax credits.
the cost of the marketplace coverage as well. let's go to carol and salisbury north carolina. run my for republicans. caller: i'm not sure that the people out there realize exactly what's going on, or if they do realize why they are letting this go this way. i became disabled in 2001 from e. coli. at that point my husband and i were both uninsurance. doctors and hospitals were willing to take care of you. when i became totally disabled in 2001, i wound up with medicare and my insurance
company fighting words and forwards on which one was supposed be paying the bill. being so say, after a while, i got so tired of arguing and having to be on the phone, here i was sick and i was having a fight with insurance people over who was to pay the bill. well, at that point, i said, we will drop this expensive insurance where my husband worked. i already john mica insurance where i worked. i wound up on nothing but medicare. at that point, no doctors or hospitals want to deal with you at all because they do not get paid for their services. you wind up -- there is no winning game out here for -- i am now 71. i've basically with humana. i have absolutely -- they don't
want to pay your prescriptions. they don't want to pay your doctors. you virtually are just sitting out here with doctors and hospitals that don't want to deal with you. they know exactly what you've got wrong and what you need to have done, but they know that they will get so little money for it that they just throw u.s. side because it has so many other patients out here that have insurance that will pay them something. host: thank you for sharing your story. come to, your thoughts? guest: what she is describing is the conundrum of the problem that is created with the fixed pricing in medicare. it is a problem that has been coun compounded. if they can fill the schedule, patients who are not on medicare, it will likely do
better from a financial aspect. this will not fix all of those problems. at least it puts a backstop into what has been perman a corrosive aspect of medicine what which is will congress cut my paycheck? host: what day are you thinking this debate to happen? guest: i'm excited to happen in the rules committee on wednesday at -- beginning at 3:00 eastern. host: of which you are a member? guest: of which i am a member so you may hear from you again. the rule debate will begin on the floor -- all the signs are tentative, it will begin on the floor at 9:00 a.m. eastern on thursday. with passage of the rule about one hour later. the debate will occur on the floor itself and that will likely occur sometime between 11:00 and 1:00 eastern time on
thursday. host: let's try to get in one or two more calls. a caller is waiting from washington. line for independents. caller: i am a physician. i'm a psychiatric -- psychiatrist. at this time, we have enough medications for different psychiatric problems like depression anxiety. we treat patients more properly rather than going to different medicines and try each one of them. when i prescribed medication to patients, after two or three hours of evaluation, it gets immediately rejected from the management company, and they
suggest a medicine that could kill a depressive or suicidal patient, or make them so agitated that they could get a gun and shoot at people. what is my function in the middle of all this for evaluating patients and prescribing medicines? it totally stops my treatment and offers medication that in the 50's and 60's and after that, so may people have attempted suicide. it also gets him so agitated that lots of these angry shootings and killings and colleges, churches, and schools is the result of people being put on the wrong medication that makes them so agitated. the condition is called -- which
makes people want to jump out of their skin. host: i will give you a chance to respond. guest: he's not talking about the medicare system. nothing that is pending in an sgr repeal will likely repeal that. what he is talking about, and this has been a difficulty for years, physicians right at prescription, -- right at prescription, and even if you put nose of the two shins no -- no substitutions, no generic substitutions. you are likely going to see more of the activity as an unfortunate consequence of the afford with care act. ucd's so-called specialty tear medicine has been greatly expanded. you will read articles about the
so-called 32% of every dollar spent on that specialty medicine. that is a looming crisis out there, not part of what we are about fixing on the floor of the house is weak. more in general. as a physician, it is my job to be the advocate for might patients. that means spending time on an 800 number. i don't want to do it, i have other patients waiting for me, but when it is important, you have to do it. note that a patient can't take a certain medicine, and explain the reason why. under current law, there is right to an appeal. if it is an individual policy that is governed by a state board of insurance, there are avenues to pursue. does it take time? yes.
is unfortunate? yes. again, that is a problem that will not go away, in fact, it may have been made worse under the afford with care act. host: the current. fix is hr -- sponsored by congressman michael burgess. up next, gwen moore joins us to discuss the looming 2016 budget battle. we will be right back. ♪
find a complete television schedule at c-span.org. let us know what you think about the programs you are watching. call us at 202-626-3400. send us an e-mail or tweet. join the c-span conversation -- like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. >> "washington journal" continues. host: congressional republicans release the budget last week and are planning to move it through the chambers this week. in response, to those budget blueprints, we turn to wisconsin congress will -- congresswoman when more. how would you describe the plans release last week? guest: i can tell you that i think their priorities really
are to shift the largest of the country to the top 1%. i'm not saying that in any kind of anecdotal way. when you look at their budget priorities, literally, they are -- there are over $5 trillion in cuts. a large percentage of the cuts to the most portable people in our society. the other cuts are aimed at cutting infrastructure, investment in research and development, health care, and all of the benefits toward the top 1% with tax cuts. and spending through the tax code. it is really -- a really egregious budget. in addition, there are a couple of versions of the budget which
really increase military spending above and beyond. host: if those are the priorities that you saw in the republican budget last week, what are the priorities of the democratic budget blueprints? guest: the priority is the congressional b -- priority in the budgets are to end the sequester, make investments in students and education in transportation and infrastructure, and to really and some of the really more onerous and egregious corporate welfare benefits through the tax code. host: here's one of the headlines from the republican budget release last week -- house gop plans to deficits. house republicans unveiled a
budget that would eliminate federal deficits within 10 years, largely by overhauling medicare, medicaid and other safety net programs. is a balanced budget of party for a priority for democrats? guest: everyone would love of balance budget. their balance budget relies on gimmicks and tricks and $32 billion to a fund that oversees an account so that they can move around budgetary control to provide even more money to the military. of course, they say they save medicare and provide more flexibility to the state by reducing benefits for medicare, and by block granting moneys for medicaid. that really amounts to a first-come first-served program
so that even if you are eligible for medicaid, if you are in a nursing home, once the state money runs out, you are out of luck. host: you mention a few democratic budget alternatives. here is the comparison on spending. the line on spending compared to house were public and -- house republicans spending, showing a drop in trillions of dollars of spending over the next 10 years or so. do any of the budgets you are talking about first see a balanced budget down the road? guest: we have had deficit spending in this country from the beginning of time. it's not diminish our ability to have the world's strongest currency, or our ability to pay our debt.
again, a balance budget is a trick. a balance budget doesn't allow the country the flexibility for the country to respond to emergencies, to respond to the needs that states might have. republicans don't have a balance budget either. i wouldn't say the alternative budget has deficit spending, but neither does the republican budget. it's a matter of priorities. art budget -- don't balance a budget on the backs of children babies, and critical infrastructure improvements, and economic development. whereas, they do not have a balanced budget either and they have prioritized military spending and providing tax cuts to people who earn over $200,000 per year. i am on the financial services committee in addition to the budget committee, and have had a lot of conversations with our
fed chair, janet yellen. she has warned of inequality that persists in our budgeting strategy is very dangerous for our economy to have this kind of inequality. the republican budget continues that track. host: we are talking to congresswoman gwen moore from wisconsin. with your questions and comments for her, you can call in democrats, (202) 748-8000. republicans, (202) 748-8001. independents, (202) 745-8002. we will talk with our first caller on the line for democrats. caller: first of all, i would like to commend you for all the you are trying to do for the
middle-class, the poor, and senior citizens. i have watched the committee hearings, or meeting whatever was last week on c-span, and i was appalled at how the republican members showed such this day and for the amendment that you and your democratic colleagues were trying to present to help the middle class, the poor, and the elderly. i had to stop watching it. i burst into tears. it is just appalling. they do not care about the american people. i just wanted to commend you your colleagues, and the president of the united states for what you are trying to do for us. keep up the good work here keep up the faith. i really appreciate you and thank you. wisconsin -- they just don't know -- they have an excellent representative. thank you again. host: let's go to out. cambridge, ohio. line for independents. caller: hi, john, i have a
question for c-span first -- just a statement or something to ponder. then, a question for the congressperson. on c-span, i'm looking at your front page, and not on the right-hand side, you have users recently posted videos from users. i looked up some of those users and a lot of them appeared to be -- my question for the congressperson is how are we ever going to be able to get this military budget down to an acceptable level that doesn't threaten other people in the world with our military might. how are we going to be able to manage our country when we
impoverish our lowest citizens with these onerous taxes? i will take my comments off the air. if i look at the history of our taxes, we started out taxing people that were making about what the equivalent was of about $400,000. now we pushed it down. these people at the bottom are not see any benefits. thank you. host: out, i will take your first question and let the congresswoman answer. i use our website all the time. an interactive feature is making clips of interesting moments on the house floor. you can sign up and log in. it's very easy to use our interactive website. feel free to use it yourself. become an a user of c-span. guest: thank you for calling al.
i hope i understand your question. really, we do have attack system that is very regressive. as a democrat, i think that the republican budget proposal makes it even more progressive. as i mentioned earlier you know economists, people like our federal reserve chairwoman, janet yellen, are very concerned about inequality. you hear so much rhetoric about the so-called job creators. job creators really are the middle class. they are people who go out and spend, buy new cars, buy toys for the kids at christmas time they take vacations, by boats clothing, pay for tuition. when you really squeeze the middle class, so hard, tax them, burden them, we've rejected that
it would cost the average -- someone making $50,000 per year -- additional taxes to provide tax breaks to the 25%. it would cost the average family 2000 $2000 per year. that decreases our ability for the economy to work. i agree with you that we need a more's their tax system. one that really spreads the wealth. when we look at our current tax -- our so-called recovery, most of that benefit has gone to people at the top. indeed our -- we spend $1 trillion per year through the tax code to benefit people who
are very wealthy. while we are talking about cutting trillions of dollars of benefits from poor people, sick people elderly children, cutting pell grants for kids trying to become educated, we are still spending a trillion dollars per year on literally corporate welfare get giveaways through the tax code. host: a question on twitter for you. outside of typical congress person rhetoric, what is your biggest challenge in making an effective budget? guest: i think the biggest talents to creating an efficient and effective budget is to really put everything on the table and have no figure cows. to really say, we are not going to come to the table with the notion that we cannot take one dime away from the wealthiest people.
if you come to the table with that narrowmindedness, it is hard to put a budget together. on the other end, if you don't look for waste from some of the programs that we have, and if you don't bring that to the table, i think that, again, you are in a no-win situation. it's really important to come to the table and look, have no sacred cows. host: this brings up the question, why are budgets important? this is not the actual appropriations process. budget projections change every year. why are they important? guest: they are an expression of your values. we see very clearly from the kinds of budgets being proposed from various factions in the republican party or factions of the democratic party, what people's priorities are. we have the chairperson of our budget committee bringing to budgets to the table.
one is sponsored by the deficit hawks, people who say, we don't care who has to suffer, we just want something that looks like a balanced budget. and we want increased more spending. another one says, we want yet even more more spending. that is a priority. when you say we want more war spending, and it doesn't matter if you have to cut sick people off, kids off, it's a statement of your values. the democratic alternative, the congressional black caucus alternative, the progressive caucus say, we need to grow the economy. we need to make sure there are good family supporting jobs. if we have to take a mix from the wealthiest people, it's worth it.
in order to make sure we lower the cost of tuition for students , it is worth it to say to someone, who makes 250 thousand dollars, 400,000 dollars per year, that we want you to contribute more. we are willing as democrats, to say, we will ratchet down and overbloated military to make sure we have retirement security for americans. those are statements of priorities. there is no legal enforcement of the budget. it is a statement of priorities. host: let's go to virginia. roger is waiting period line for independents. caller: boy you said so much about this process. my question is with the national debt increasing as much as it has, is in that limiting the flexibility of a budget?
the first item on the budget is the interest that we have to pay. guest: you make a very excellent point. debt is not a good thing. you know, you don't balance the budget on the backs of poorest people. as i mentioned earlier, 70 70% of our economy is consumer driven. when you find stores like one of my favorite stores, that sells electronic products and so on, last christmas, didn't make their bottom line. that's because people don't have the money to spend. when you take something like snap or food stamps, which people relied upon during the recession, if you have a republican budget that looks at cutting $125 billion through
t food stands, you are taking money out of the economy y. for every dollar of foodstuffs it provides $.75 of benefits to the economy. they are merchants that benefit from it, farmers the benefit. what people really need to understand is a need to shift their thinking. i'm not fond of comparing our national budget to a family budget. the republicans do it all the time. let me do it. in a family budget, people carry debt. they have a mortgage on their house. they just don't go out and spend $200,000 on a house. people don't go out and spend $20,000 on a car. they had debt. they don't say, i will take all of the resources for family and
buy house, and in the meantime we won't feed the kids. that is not how budgets work. debt is a feature of our economy , and it needs to be managed better, but there is a breakeven point in terms of the benefit of distributing all economic activity. you do not balance the budget on the backs of the pores but you also don't balance the budget and forgo investment in transportation and research and development, and building up our crumbling infrastructure. host: let's head to michigan where david has been waiting. david, you are on with congresswoman more. caller: good morning, congresswoman. i could save multiple things, i
will break it down really simple. the last 40 dear years, it seems that republicans have vilified the federal government and tried to get money back to the states. i think that you have 50 different institutions versus one that manages things and keeps cronyism and nepotism down. states spend money as inefficiently. i'm from a state that is smart. the governor is republican. i work in health care. there were no solutions before the affordable care act to stop indigent care, and channel it to proper places like tertiary care. i wanted to know your opinion should the states -- apparently
the last 40 years have changed hands, i think states are more corrupts. what's your opinion? host: i will share that chart again on what states have taken up the medicaid expansion that the caller was referring to. the dark states, including michigan, where the caller was calling from, is one of the states that decided to expand medicaid. the states in white deciding to not expand, wisconsin being that. -- being one of those. guest: for the state of wisconsin to not have taken up the medicaid expansion. i was on the finance committee when i was on the state legislator. our medicaid program, the federal government provided $.50
needing nursing homecare, if the state has run out of money, too bad. it no longer has entitlements. what we found is that giving more flexibility to the states really is proxy -- a proxy code language for making deep cuts in the federal commitment to the poor. host: you bring up the race issue in that answer. i want to ask you about a different topic. where this has come up in the delay for the confirmation of loretta lynch. some republicans expressing concern, including john mccain that raises being injected into this discussion about the delay of for confirmation, saying that republicans concern stems from her position on the president's executive action on in the gratian has nothing to do with race. what are your thoughts?
guest: i don't want to speculate about race in this case. i do think that republicans are very against the immigration issue. i know there are certain abortion language inserted into legislation before they confirmed loretta lynch. i do think that since the election of president obama, we have seen a very unfortunate resurgence of insecurity around race. that would include immigrants. i think it is unfortunate because the country has, along way with its history on race relations. i wouldn't say that loretta lynch's nomination is totally hinged on race. she is extremely qualified. i don't think anyone is making a debate about that.
i do think that republicans are trying to leverage other things by holding her nomination of. host: larry is in carolina. for independents. larry, good morning. caller: good morning. i would like to ask ms. moore is when congress goes into session, if she could possibly put up an amendment that states that anything purchase with the taxpayer dollars, whether it be state, local, or federal government, be manufactured here in the united states. whether it be a company that is now overseas, coming over here to set up shop and have our items manufactured here in the united states. guest: that is a very, kid issue. there are many regulations that
say that a percentage of a product must be composed of american products. probably something that is not possible. you look at iphones that we carry. the components come from all over the place -- germany, and components from china, japan. other places in the world. and apple, you know, started here in the united states. i do understand the frustration that the caller brings. it is very difficult to promote our economy. we have trade imbalances, which is why there is so much discussion and wringing of hands about the trade agreement -- the
tpp and other trade agreements that are being proposed now. i think that everybody realizes that trade is an essential part of a country's activity. after all, 95% of the world's population lives outside of the united states. we've got to have some trading partners. i think people want to focus on what is fair trade. host: we should note that on the financial services communi ttee, you are ranking member. cindy is on the line from republicans. caller: hi. i've to questions. -- i have two questions. number one, what is obamacare costing the government for the next three years? the second one is what will happen when the percentage rate
the percentage on interest goes up and we have to deal with that we can't pay? guest: ok, cindy. i assume when you say the percentage goes up, the interest rate. janet yellen, the head of the fed, has indicated that by the end of the year, we will see interest rates move up a little bit. one of the things that that will do it immediately is provide incentive for people who work, companies, people who i things, to do it before the interest rate goes out. in the short term, that will create the much-needed investments in the united states. people who have had money sitting on the sidelines waiting for things to have been will provide -- things to
happen, will provide investments. i do think the federal reserve will look carefully at his before they raise the interest rate too much. the cost what we have seen is the cost of health care overall declining because of the impact of obamacare. the big fear and the big unknown comes in with regard to what the supreme court will do. with regard to deciding whether or not those states that did not elect to have their own health care exchange, the federal government can provide a subsidy. host: we have got to to take our viewers live to the floor of the united states house of representatives. thanks for your time this morning.
some callers still waiting to talk to you as well. christine is in kingston illinois, line for republicans. caller: i am thinking about becoming a former republican. i wondered your opinion about scott walker. i think it is disgusting that he is trying to fight the unions. it makes me so sad. i am originally from wisconsin. my whole family is proud of the unions. when i heard scott walker was going to have a baseball bat in the corner of his office and is threatening to beat up people, i cannot imagine having him run as president. the whole republican view nowadays, i turned on my religious show and a had a picture -- they had a picture
that looked like barack obama. i am so sick of the republicans. thank you. guest: i know scott walker very well. he ran against me when i was in the assembly in 1990. i was able to prevail then. the thing that concerns me the most about scott walker's politics is that i think it is easy to disagree with people. mr. walker is so ambitious that it concerns me that many of his policies are to appease people who can contribute to his rise in politics. it is really hard to have a negotiation in earnest with someone who is only -- who is concerned more about their career.
host: we have about 10 minutes left with congresswoman more. we're talking about the budget debate that is happening on capitol hill this week. you brought up the overseas contingency operation funding your concerns with the $90 billion that republicans are looking to put into that funding to use for military spending. you have expressed concern. are you concerned about the $51 billion that president obama has proposed for that same overseas contingency operation budget? guest: there is nothing wrong with having a contingency fund. it is important to have that for the rainy day fund for emergencies. things that may come up. we live in a dangerous world. natural disasters. what has occurred is that we have had the budget control act. we have had the sequester.
we have put spending caps on everything. this is a work around those budget caps. that is where the problem comes in. there is no budgetary rationale for having these additional funds. it is a slush fund, above and beyond what the generals projected they will need. host: phone lines are open. democrats, republicans and independents. robert is waiting in marion north carolina, line for independents. good morning. caller: good morning. before they cut anything off the budget, why don't they cut the subsidizing nation?
most businesses make it without subsidizing. in my time, if you do not make it without a subsidy, you went out of business. host: is there a subsidy that most concerns you? caller: basically -- why are they cutting all these other things when they can cut subsidizing nation? guest: i understand your question. there is much criticism for people who need food stamps. there are babies that need the wic program. there is no criticism for the trillion dollars a year that we spend on corporate entitlements. these are entitlement programs that annually, gas companies, very wealthy corporations get through the tax code. we spend a trillion dollars in year.
$1 trillion. host: these are tax breaks. guest: revenues that we do not receive. the budgets that the republicans are proposing this year do not take one thin dime away from these expended -- tax expenditures. in addition to that, it proposes to reduce taxes even further. we have seen past budgets which have proposed 25% corporate tax rates. with the loss of this revenue, that puts even greater burden on poor people and the middle class . so much so that we predict a taxpayer will see a $2000 increase. those people who do not pay taxes because they are so poor,
they will lose benefits like food stamps and headstart. it is a statement of priorities. robert is right. my major criticism of the republican budget is they do not take one thin dime away from the wealthiest americans. i do not this right -- i do not dislike rich people. there are plenty of wealthy people who say they're willing to do more for their country. i'm not willing to see us divest inroads in research and not be the greatest country in the world so that i can have an extra tax break. host: richard in gaithersburg maryland. line for democrats. caller: i have two quick comments and then a question
based on those comments. if you look back from the bill clinton budget up through everything that president obama has done, the republicans have been 100% wrong in all of the economic predictions and all of their economic analysis of the nation's economy. i never hear democrats stand up on the floor of the house or senate and point that out. i do not understand what democrats don't fight back. my next point is, ted cruz is now running for president and is being accepted by the birther movement. the birther movement was endorsed by every elected republican official in the country both state and federal. they said president obama was not born in this country and could not be president. a vilified demand for six years. ted cruz's candidacy is living
proof that that was all based on racism. democrats are silent. they always stand back and let republicans only them, treat them like dogs. -- only them, treat them like dogs. guest: i think that a lot of us are frustrated about our so-called messaging. it is really difficult to fight against -- i think republicans have a 24 hour seven day a week opportunity to talk to folks through fox news and through programs like rush limbaugh. they are very well-funded venues. host: the democrats not have those same efforts? guest: i can go out of the country and the only channel i can get is maybe cnn.
i can go anywhere in the world and get fox. they are very well-funded venues. a lot of people rely on them for their major source of news. i think we try to message it. i think republicans have given credit. they have really mastered messaging negative messages. barack obama tells the story of when he was first elected to the u.s. senate and a baggage handler walked up to him and said, you know senator, i want you to do something about that death tax. which is the estate tax. barack obama said to him, i don't think you have to worry about that. here is a baggage handler worrying about the estate tax which does not have any impact on him at all. that is something that only multimillionaires would be concerned. the phraseology something that
they have mastered since their southern strategy has been quite masterful. host: tony is on the line for independents. caller: good morning. on the remarks that the representative has said. i think she forgets democrats have a chance. democrats have msnbc. she says she can go anywhere in your thoughts. -- and here fox. nbc is spouting democrats lies. they both have networks that they rely on. talking about democratic proposal for the budget. $6 trillion on the national debt in the next 10 years.
the president you have now has added a trillion dollars in debt . when are you people going to come up with the idea of stop spending so much money? we keep spending and spending. you say we need this and that. when are you going to get together and say, stop spending? guest: of course you could stop spending. i don't want to be sarcastic with you but -- the idea of stopping spending is a nonstarter. the republicans do not stop spending either.
you mention that we are going to add $6 trillion over this budget window to the debt. republicans at too. they use many tricks to hide the fact that their budget does not balance. the biggest flaw i think with the republican's budget, it is not a balanced approach. all of their cuts come from the poorest most vulnerable, from babies, from children, from our elderly and not one dime comes from those in the best positions to pay for it. any quality is very dangerous to our economy. the last time we had such inequality was in 1928 and 1929. after that, we went into the great depression.
in 2008, when any quality was that great, we again had a financial meltdown. inequality as far back as aristotle and plato's days is a great problem. when people do not have money when you just have the very wealthy and the very poor and no middle-class, it is dangerous to our economy. host: contras woman gwen moore is a member of the budget committee and financial services committee. thank you for your time. guest: thank you for joining me. host: next we are joined by jeff mower. we will be right back. ♪ >> here are some of our featured
programs for this weekend on the c-span networks. on c-span 2 possible tv, author peter wallace and says that government housing policies caused the 2008 financial crisis and that it could happen again. sunday afternoon at 5:00, director of the earth university , jeffrey sachs on a development plan to combat global issues. saturday morning at 10:30 eastern on american history tv on c-span three, a discussion on the last major speeches of abraham lincoln and martin luther king jr.. sunday afternoon at 4:00, the 1955 meet the press interview with martin luther king jr.. find our complete schedule at c-span.org. let us know about the programs you're watching. e-mail us at comments at c-span.org or send us a tweet at
c-span #comments. like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. >> washington journal continues. host: jeff mower has been studying and reporting on oil prices since the 1990's. he is currently platz co -- platts american news director. mr. mower, why are crude prices at or near six-year lows at this time? guest: good morning. a look at the big picture, it is a large increase in supply. all of this is driven by price. with a to empathize at platts how these supply/demand events are price driven. if you go back years ago, you
probably remember crude prices ran up to $147. they crept their way back to $100 level. when prices rise like that, you get more investment. you get producers who want to start producing more oil. that is when you start seeing the investment in the shale oil in the united states. the reserves in the united states climb from something like 25 billion barrels five years ago to 36 billion barrels now. largely due to these areas in north dakota like the bok and region and the shale region. in texan, the permian -- in texas, the permian basin. you've seen an increase in production in those areas. you see u.s. production climbed to levels you have not seen in decades. production is now like 9.4
million barrels a day. largely driven by these regions. at the same time, the u.s. is an importer of crude. the u.s. is still importing especially canadian crude. u.s. imports of canadian crude are at a record high. i believe it is around 3.3 billion barrels a day. while refiners have been backing out from imports -- as you get more crude from canada and locally, you will start backing out. non-canadian imports. you still have more supply on the market. when you look at total supply it is a lot higher than it used to be. host: here is a graph from the wall street journal talking about crude oil prices.
the changes in crude oil prices since 2004. the line toward the end at $43 -- less than $44 per barrel as of march 19. as these prices are falling would we not expect opec to cut production to try to boost these prices? why hasn't that happened? guest: you have had a fall in rates. you have had a drop in drilling, especially in the shale regions. you have not really seen a big drop in production yet. i suppose what is going on, the producers are focusing on areas that produce more oil. a lot of these producers are smaller. they are in a lot of debt. they have gone into a lot of debt to start up these projects.
they need to keep producing this oil. they're going to keep doing that as long as they can. host: they are making less money on a barrel than they did in the past? guest: exactly. over time, you would expect that would decrease production growth. that is what i think we will see this year. i think that is what the energy information administration is forecasting. a drop in production growth. bp came out the other day and said they do not expect this whole thing to shake out for several years. they are looking at low prices for a while. maybe it will all shake out by 2020. host: we are talking about falling crude prices with jeff mower of platts. our phone lines are open. the kratz, (202) 748-8000.
-- democrats (202) 748-8000. republicans, (202) 748-8001. independents, (202) 748-8002. can you talk about what this means for the average viewer? are they expecting to see lower gas prices at the other end? guest: i am not sure for a long time to come. we do not like to make predictions about where gasoline prices will go, largely because the gasoline prices are going to be dictated by what refiners are doing. refiners in the u.s. have a lot of low placed -- low-priced crude coming into the refineries . they should be able to produce a lot of gasoline. they should be able to keep the price low for a while assuming
there are no refinery mishaps. right now, a lot of refineries are down for maintenance. host: can you explain the reason why with crude prices falling as fast as they have, why the gasoline price at the corner pump has not matched penny for penny on that? guest: gasoline is traded internationally. it will tend to follow brent crude prices overseas. it does not particularly file -- follow the nymex crude price. it is priced in oklahoma. there is a disconnect in the pricing there. you may have refineries going down. right now, refineries are down for maintenance. they should be coming back. they will start coming back into summer as they start producing more. there is a good instance a while
back, a month or so ago -- a good example. a refinery went down in california. it caused gasoline prices to rocket higher. that has nothing to do with the price of crude in california. that has to do with the amount of refiners that are operating at the time. one refinery taking more supply all the market. host: jeff mower is our expert on this issue. currently america's oil news director at platts. a manager of platts new york oil markets and a reporter on platts oil markets. happy to talk about any of these issues. line for republicans. russ, good morning. caller: my question is, what is
the effect of the president shutting down federal lands and sealing off the alaska pipeline? guest: i'm sorry? host: he was asking about the effect of the president's policies of drilling on federal land and the alaska pipeline. it can work in the keystone xl pipeline as well. guest: obviously it would reduce some supply coming out of alaska. production has been declining for some time now. there is really not much of a growth prospect. it limits the amount of supply that can come out of alaska. a lot of that alaskan crude heads down to the west coast
market. as far as keystone xl, that is more than issue of, how much more canadian crude can you get down into the u.s. gulf coast. most of the canadian crude we are bringing into the u.s. now is coming to the midwest because of the way the pipeline is set up. the idea behind keystone was let's expand that an increase that capacity to those refiners in the gulf coast. out of the 3.3 million barrels a day we are bringing in of canadian crude, only around 250 thousands a day as of december was heading down to the u.s. gulf coast. the thing about keystone is without keystone being approved -- the canadian producers want to get that crude to the u.s. and into an international markets. the canadian crude prices are at a steep discount to crude on the gulf coast.
they can make more money by getting it down there. there is always an incentive to get crude down there. even if you don't have keystone, it would be easier to get it down with keystone xl. they will find a way. you've seen an increase in rail movements with crude. there are other pipelines expansions in the word -- in the works. it would be expanded from 400,000 barrels a day to 1.2 million barrels a day. on that front -- despite the hold up with keystone, we have seen more canadian crude come in and will likely see more. host: let's go to greer, south carolina. johnny is waiting. you're on with jeff mower.
caller: thank you for taking my call. i have a comment about the keystone pipeline. one thing i want to know how is that benefiting america? are we getting any of the gas or anything like that? gas prices tumbled into the for and then started going back up to what it is now. i heard something about saudi arabians had lower gas prices to try to hurt venezuela and russia. they said they were really doing it to try to hurt china. i wondered what you thought about that. host: i will let you take that as a show that chart again from 2004.
you can see the gas prices rise from 2004 through 2005. this is 2010 here. this was march 19 earlier this month. guest: i will address the keystone question. who it really benefits. it is going to benefit the sellers of the crude, the pipeline company and any refiners who want that crude. that could work its way out to the consumer if refiners are getting access to cheaper crude. the can put more crude on the market and stay in business. that would be the argument for how keystone would benefit drivers. or consumers. what some critics have said is, maybe they want to bring the crude down to the gulf coast so they can export it. that is a possibility.
the pipeline company has argued we want to bring it to the gulf coast to serve that market. there is no law against canada exporting their own crude to other markets. as far as the gasoline price issue, gasoline prices -- i believe your question had something to do with saudi arabia. host: the international picture. to see which side is going to click first on pricing. guest: saudi arabia is not going to -- they've cannot really export gasoline to the u.s.. the export crude so that were not really have -- any gasoline prices in saudi arabia would not have an effect on prices in the u.s.. they have lowered their price of crude to the u.s. and asia.
saudi arabia comes out every month and they say, here is the price for our crude to customers in asia and customers to the u.s. and europe. what they have done lately is lower that price. because they have to compete with lower prices from elsewhere. largely this is due in part to the crude the united states has been backing out. as the u.s. has been producing more crude and bring more in from canada, it has backed out a lot of these imports. it is backed out with nigerian crude. what that does is it pushes that crude back out onto international markets and lowers the price of that crude. what saudi arabia has to do -- had to do we need to compete
with that price. if we have customers in asia that are able to get a lower price of nigerian crude, we need to compete with that. it has had a bearish impact on prices overseas. host: saudi arabia, a member of opec. mike is in fulton ohio. line for democrats. caller: good morning. a general comment about all of this. i'm sure that there is some area i am missing. we were told the united states is consuming too much gasoline and drivers have to cut back your driving too much, and so on.
people cut back and the cut back on use. instead of the price going down and people being rewarded for their conservation, the jack the price up because they were not selling enough. the idea now that we are producing out of our own country and having to live here in ohio where we have the fracking going on, i understand. it just seems to me that this whole thing is driven by greed. i watch the prices go from $1.98 to $2.38 in two hours. that is across the state. what kind of money are they waking -- are they making in that window of time? how much do you really need?
when prices were down, the economy was picking up and doing well. why screw around with that? guest: that is a tough one. the gasoline price gets a lot of attention because no one really likes buying gasoline. people like buying food and all sorts of other things but you never really pull up to a pump and go, this is great, i love paying two dollars or three dollars for gasoline. the gasoline price is going to be dictated by the market. there is no one person or group of people specifically pushing it one way or the other. a lot of that price is going to be driven by what is going on in the future. you may see the price rise because of something that happened in the international market. something going on with
refineries. a strike for instance. there was a usw strike recently. it did not affect operations across the united states, but it did threaten operations. when things like that happen that can drive the price higher. it is a threat to supply. if the price on the new york mercantile exchange goes higher, that can drive up prices across the united states. the u.s. has also been exporting more gasoline, not to the extent that the u.s. exports diesel but they have been exporting more gasoline to places like mexico and canada. that can help reduce supply. host: some stats on mining jobs as we are talking about the drilling sector in the united states. this from the bureau of labor statistics. all mining jobs in the united states since february 2015
845,000. some of the support activities for mining, 440,000 jobs across this country. coal mining, 71,000 jobs. we are with jeff mower for about the next 20 minutes or so on the washington journal. we are talking about falling crude prices and its impact on the united states. sheila is in portsmouth, virginia. line for democrats. good morning. caller: good morning. i wanted to question how it is affecting small business like truck drivers relying on gas when they shoot up the prices. some of them are going out of business are you i know quite a
few people going out of business as a result of these things. how that affects us when they start shooting backup. right now, prices are down. host: some of the impact on small businesses. guest: it can have a negative impact. these prices tend to go through cycles. they were hire several years ago. they were much higher last year. they are down, even though they have risen recently, they are down from where they were less than a year ago. any price increase is going to have an impact on anyone that needs to use that fuel for transport, whether it is trucks that use diesel fuel or ships that use bunker fuel that carry goods across the ocean. or trains. cap drivers in new york. host: jack is up next.
our line for republicans. good morning. caller: good morning. here in ohio, across the country, years back when oil was high, they want to consumers to cut back -- they wanted consumers to cut back. they lower the speed limit -- they lowered the speed limit. now, they are starting to raise the speed limit. we have gone from 65 to 70. now we are going to go to 75. consumers have backed off because they do not have the money to travel. our governor has raised the speed limit to 75. when you do that, you are using more gas. right now, you do not have a place to store the gasoline. host: has it affected your travel habits? caller: we have an abundance of
gas right now so we are going to speed up on the highways so we will consume more gas. is this right or wrong? guest: i do not know if it is right or wrong. as far as the speed limit. sammy hagar did not like it because he cannot drive 55. sorry. as far as the impact i have on any kind of gasoline use, i do not really familiar with the studies or how much of an impact it has on actual gasoline consumption, raising the speed limit from 55 miles per hour to 75. i know that actual gasoline consumption in the u.s. has dropped as cars have gotten more fuel-efficient over the years. we are actually using less gasoline than we were 10 years
ago. host: question from victor on twitter, talking about the potential he stone xl pipeline. how many train takers with the pipeline eliminate if it goes through? how many accidents can be avoided? guest: that is a good question. i am not sure how many accidents could be avoided or how many trains could take that place. that is a really interesting issue. this whole growth in moving crude by trains has been driven by the price. your price spread between a crude you are buying and accrued you used to buy -- a crude you used to buy in pennsylvania or new jersey which was a brent related crude, that spread between that price and the price
of bach and crude really dictated that movement. it drove that movement. a lot of refiners going to shut down on the atlantic coast a few years ago. they figured out, we can just rail that crude over. it is cheaper than buying nigerian crude. because of all of these extra trains running around, we have had these horrible accidents. just recently, a fireball explosion in west virginia. you had an accident in quebec. illinois, there was another accident. now, what they are trying to do what the government is proposing to do is to at least increase the safety of those cars. that is in the works now. the government wants to increase the thickness of the tanks that are used to move that oil.
that whole thing has not been cited yet. i think there is a proposal that is supposed to come out this may. the idea is to increase that thickness to 9/16 of an inch from 7/16 of an inch. host: these are regulations working their way to the transportation department. guest: it shows that even though pipelines can leak, even though there have been accidents with pipelines you are moving oil on wheels. host: jesse, line for democrats. good morning. caller: good morning. i overheard a comment made by another viewer for he saw gas increase in a couple of hours.
i saw the same thing. i confronted some dealers about this. what the oil companies are doing is they are creating a new ceiling in which it would enable them to make more money per gallon. it always $90 a barrel. it should have fell to a dollar $.80 a gallon. now it is $2.25. how do we justify that? host: the prices and how they are set. guest: it does not seem to make sense. you would think they would frack each other one by one.
if crude falls a dollar you would think gasoline. and that would be it. the issue is that the gasoline price is dictated by what is going on with refineries. refineries are buying the crude and turning it into fuel. a lot of times at prices dictated by market fundamentals. there could be a problem with gasoline supply in a certain region. there could be a decrease in aviation demand which could drive the price down. it could be something that happens in europe because the united states imports gas. let's say something happens in europe that limits the gasoline that flows into the atlantic harbor. back to boost the price of gasoline as well.
there are more things at work with the product places -- product prices that can move those around. you cannot really export crude in the united states like you do other refined products like diesel. there are limits and restrictions on how much crude you can export. that is another issue. host: bill is up next. line for republicans. you're on with jeff mower of platts. caller: i have a question. i think it is more than the refineries. i just drove across the state of tennessee this weekend. there was a $.40 difference in the price of gas depending where you were. it was not just metro area. another question regarding the spread of the gas. it used to be about $.10 between each grade.
between the lowest and highest it is somewhere between $.50 and $.60 between the lowest and highest grades. guest: on a regional level, i usually see a decrease when i visit family in virginia. when i go down there from new york i definitely see a lower price. i think it is the great of gasoline that has something to do with it. it is hard for me to answer specific regional spikes in places. we are not covering that on that sort of level. host: what about the difference in regular gasoline and premiums? guest: that can be driven by the blended components that are used to create that premium gasoline. if you need to blend up to a higher specification gasoline, you may need some blending
component that may be in shorter supply that will drive the price up. host: christie in albany, louisiana. caller: i wanted to comment. i called earlier. i answered but they cut me off. i noticed you had seven to eight calls with democrats or independents and no republicans at all. host: we try to mix it up as much as we can. sorry about that. you are on now. caller: i wanted to ask, what about us being energy independent? what happens if saudi arabia and all of that oil is cut off? is there some way we could be completely independent in the united states and not have to
rely at all on south american oil or mideast oil? guest: we are more independent now than we used to be as far as oil supply. with all of this production that is come on stream in this production from canada. if you consider north america being independent. our intake of non-north american crude has fallen to 24% of our total supply. from around 55% 10 years ago. we are more independent now that we have been in some time. that could grow. i'm not sure how much further. it would depend on how much more canadian crude comes down into the u.s. come how much more production in the u.s. comes on stream.
we are always going to import some oil just because we need specific grades. refineries need specific grades to match their needs. they may just get a good competitive price for something like saudi arabia and crude and they want to keep running it. i think -- i do not foresee a day were we are not importing any crude. if anything, maybe one day we'll export more crude and there will be more of a flow back and forth of the types of crudes that people need for the type of crudes that are most advantageous to buyers. host: you mentioned several different types of crude in this discussion. is there one kind of crude that is considered the best or most desirable? guest: it depends on what you're trying to produce. what is interesting is, a lot of the refineries in the gulf coast
are geared up to run for a heavier crude. a lot of the crude coming on stream is very light. it gets into a condensate level. it is so light that even though it is considered a crude by the eia, it is not quite the same thing. they are not really geared up to run that sort of crude. at is the stuff that is building up. -- that is the stuff that is billing up. there have been companies that have started exporting it in small quantities. host: dave is up next. line for independents. good morning. caller: good morning. i wanted to make a comment and asked a question. it seems to me people do not want that pipeline because they
say it will make the prices go up. also, i wanted to ask, when companies like bp come in and ruin everything and they go to get the oil, that oil is our oil and we cannot get a break. why doesn't congress say, you are going to drill here, why don't we get a break and say a lot of that oil has to stay here instead of exports? it seems like we export and then we import. it seems to me, that is our oil. it is not bp's oil. we should get a break. guest: you are talking about the oil we are currently producing in the united states. we do not export it. we export small quantities. we export some of the lighter condensates. host: what is the history of that or the reason why we do not export? guest: it goes back to 1973.
the oil embargo. for 40 years there have been restrictions on how much oil we can export. we export around 400,000 barrels a day. some of it goes into canada. companies can export to canada. they can export a bit of alaskan crude. they need to get special permission to export anything more than that. there is a push by producers especially to open up these restrictions and export more of the crude. the concern is, we have a lot of this crude building up in the united states that we -- it does not seem to be optimal for the refineries we have, so why not send it? just like any other commodity. if there are some other commodity that we have too much of, it seems to make sense they would argue, that we export to
someone else that can better use it. the price dictates that as well. if the price of crude in the gulf coast or the midwest is $10 less than the price you could achieve in europe, that gives sellers an incentive to say, i would rather make more money selling it outside. host: one more chart. crude oil stockpiles in cushing oklahoma that storage point. as of march 13, 54.4 million barrels. you can see it steadily climbing through 2012 or 2013. climbing again with stockpiles in cushing. line for independents, tim good
morning. caller: i would like to know what percentage of barrel oil is turned into petrochemicals. that is where the real money is. guest: i am not very good on that sort of level of detail. what sort of percentage is turned into petrochemicals. that is one of the reasons why producers of light condensates would want to export to asia. asia is such a big petrochemical producer. the buyers there use this sort of condensate on a regular basis
. the idea would be, let's export it over there. we can compete with the supplies that the asian pet chem industry are buying so much of. host: jeff mower, america's oil news director with platts. you can check out more of his work at plateau.com. at -- at platts.com. caller: i worked construction for years and a lot of work i did is in the refineries. they had one unit and when everything else was made, all your gas diesel, it went to that unit. everybody you talked to in that plant told you, that coker paid everything in that plant. the electric bill, wages. everything else was profit.
we are still paying over two dollars a gallon for gas. that is just my comment. host: what is a coker? guest: what i mentioned before about the gulf coast refiners, they have a lot of coping capacity. coker's can take heavier crude and process it into lighter materials and products that people really want, diesels and so forth. a more profitable product out of it. as far as the impact on gasoline prices, those prices are driven by all sorts of other things regarding refineries.
whether or not refinery workers on strike. whether there is a threat to supply in the united states or overseas. all sorts of things that can impact price. host: randy waiting in johnson city, tennessee. line for republicans. caller: good morning. i think people seem to be looking for a proportional decrease in the price of gasoline as they look at the price of crude oil falling. isn't there a floor under the price of gasoline due to the taxes on the product? i'm not sure that is been mentioned. i think that would have an impact. guest: definitely. the taxes are going -- at the retail level you are going to see a higher price for your retail gasoline then you would for gasoline futures.
that can change. a lot of the higher prices in new york not only come from the quality of the gasoline but also the taxes on it. taxes on gasoline in urban areas can be higher than the are in smaller areas of the country. host: highland, new york where caller is what -- were carl is waiting on the line for independents. caller: thank you for taking my call. this continues on the thrust of the previous caller from tennessee. 19 six the five -- 1955, a gallon of gasoline was nominally $.30. a barrel of crude, nominally was three dollars in 19 six the five
-- 1965. that converted to the gallon of gasoline being 10% of the price of a barrel of crude. if we were on that same proportion today, with crude being $45 a barrel, if a gallon of gasoline were still 10% of the price of a barrel of crude, a gallon of regular will be $4.50. it is half of that or slightly more. as you pointed out, new york taxes on top of federal taxes new york taxes take the total tax bill to $.69. if by some strange miracle we go to three dollars a barrel crude
again, we would not see $.30 a gallon gasoline. host: i want to give you a chance to respond in our last minute or so. guest: i would have to look at that data. i want to make sure i get your comment right. there are 43 gallons per barrel. host: the house is back in session this morning. we appreciate your time. that is our show for today. it will take you live to the floor of the house. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] , but in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. jones, for five minutes. mr. jones: mr. speaker last week in the house armed services committee, we had a hearing on the budget for