tv Morning Express With Robin Meade HLN October 21, 2009 6:00am-10:00am EDT
as iraq makes this transition, laws and policies will be passed and implemented that will ease in doing business and in other cases may hinder doing business. the policies will help attract foreign investment. it to help iraq create a better level of prosperity for all its people. for the department of commerce, they are ready to help companies invest would trade in do business. the slogan of this conference is a "building economic
bridges." it is this context that will guide our ongoing relationship with iraq on our commercial basis. this conference represents an unprecedented matchmaking opportunity for u.s. and iraq the companies. this is all about the business to business meetings, the formulation of partnerships, and working with the people who can create long-term commercial relationships. the connections made at this conference will spend well into the future and will unite our countries in a shared prosperity. we look forward to a most successful conference and we thank you again for your participation. enjoy the next two days. [applause]
>> thank you very much. our last speaker before our break is mr. paul brinkley, of the deputy secretary of defense. it was our privilege to host mr. brinkley in the summer of 2006 to help him launch this initiative. he is passionate about one issue. that is to help create jobs in iraq. he has done that magnificently to the tune of thousands of jobs. it has been my great privilege to work with paul at the u.s. chamber of commerce. he tries to spend at least half of every month in iraq.
he holds several patents, a bachelor's degrees. he personifies what we are trying to do to establish this critical partnership with our iraqi friends. in washington, d.c., there is nothing like your name being known for an institution by the name of the brinkley task force. you are no stranger for your -- to this audience. we look forward to your speech. ladies and gentlemen, mr. paul brinkley. >> my friends, brothers and sisters, it is a distinct honor to be here today. i want to thank you for that kind introduction.
on the have a secretary gates -- on behalf of the sicker gates -- on behalf of secretary gates, i want to welcome me to what i hope will be a celebration. we have here today hundreds of iraqi businessmen. many of them are visiting the united states for the first time. it is heartwarming to look out at this audience and see hundreds who are also extending a hand of partnership to their iraqi colleagues. it is a very special event. i want to, my colleagues, the department of treasury, the department of treasury, welcome you all and thank you for taking the time to come here today. it is an important time in the
transition of iraq. when we began our work in iraq of may of 2006, the difficulties faced by people to partner with their iraqi colleagues to establish stability, it is important to step outside and recognize and acknowledge the progress that has taken place. what has been most inspiring working with our iraqi colleagues has been to see them persevere through such hardship. i want to take a moment and offer a round of applause to the iraqi business community that is recognized today. i do not know any community who have managed to persevere and survive through such hardship nt need to employ their people and
maintain leadership -- and maintain to employ their people and maintain leadership. [applause] one of the most powerful things that can come from this event, you have heard from this distinguished panel of speakers about the opportunities. it represents one of the best ground opportunities in the world. when you think about countries embracing the global community in trade come asia, south east asia, iraq is a tremendous basic human capital, a skilled workforce, ready to take his place in a community of nations.
i do not know that there are too many more of these opportunities when you get the sweep of economic modernization. what is important is a chance to hear from your iraqi counterparts, to engage them in the dialogue, and also to hear from bellwether corporations that have already come into the rock -- into iraq and established businesse businesse. they are growing businesses in iraq. they represent the best of america's industrial capacities to engage in their iraqi counterparts. we can hear the challenges that remain, the opportunities that exist, and why they have taken
those steps to establish their businesses there. to hear from them is the most credible testimony to what iraq represents as a business opportunity. i. thank -- i will thank the doctor. on behalf of the multinational force of iraq represented here today, let us never forget the sacrifices that have been made by over 4000 of our precious sons and daughters and over 30,000 wounded to make possible all access of iraq in the global community. thank you so much for having me. thank you for this opportunity. [applause] >> thank you very much. before we take a short break, i
wanted to personally thank the prime minister as he departs from the stage for his patience with the business community. my personal involvement with him extended last february when we visited baghdad. he took an extraordinary amount of time with each business leader to talk about the investment climate and to answer our questions about the future of investing in iraq. we deeply appreciate your time then and certainly today, mr. prime minister. we all wish you the very best in the years ahead. thank you so much, mr. prime minister. [applause]
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> this morning we will get an update on the health care legislative process with the national public radio. we will also talk to bob gramm and jim talent who serve on the terrace and commission. later, roland burris and gives his take on the health care debate. "washington journal" begins each morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> in just two weeks, voters in virginia will elect a new governor. last night, creigh deeds and bob mcdonnell held their fourth and final debate in a southwestern virginia. the station experienced some audio problems at the beginning of the program.
it is 45 minutes. >> let's hit the restart. . i want sh -- i want to make sure everyone at home heard this bit . >> i guess we should thank roanoke college for hosting this fine and. i want to sell my prayers and thoughts to the family to the virginia tech. transportation is the biggest impediment we have right now to economic growth. most people think of transportation in the context of northern roads because that is where the problem is felt. we have 4000 rows that are deficient in virginia. -- roads that are
deficient in virginia. we are going to have to bring people together. we brought people together and left everything on the table. everything is on the table for me except taking money out of the fun. we are going to get it done next year. >> i apologize for the audio issues. >> thank you it to give us the chance to speak treacly to the citizens in this final debate. -- directly to the citizens in the final debate. i grew up in fairfax county. i understand the challenges in infrastructure if we are going to keep this a strong state. in 2007, i helped bring together people of both houses to pass the transportation bill for the first time in 21 years.
i have outlined a detailed plan for transportation and public and private partnerships. i will not propose raising taxes like my opponent. it is going to take leadership and strength to get this done. i have been able to help do that in 2007. i realize this is a first-year priority. i will bring the house together. >> let's have a conversation about this. >> it will require leadership. the 2000 plan was built on main plant that users rejected. it is built on bonding that did not have an adequate debt service. it had never been used. we have to have a frank discussion about transportation. he takes $5.4 billion out of the
general fund. that is education, public health, and public safety. >> he said this on the campaign trail. do you take it out of the general fund? >> that is wrong. that is not the case. he voted for the bill in 2007 that had three general funds. the campaign uses money for other purposes. we are 14 days before the election. he has no transportation plan. everybody knows that. he has not proposed one dime. he wants a committee to have them raise taxes. >> in endorsing you, and they said this, it is not useful as a
blueprint. this is a group that endorsed you. we are hearing criticism from your plan as well. >> anything that will get done in transportation will take leadership. every proposal has tax increases [unintelligible] we have had failures recently by governors that have not been able to get things done. it is going to take a bipartisan solution. 90% got done with broad bipartisan support. every major business in the state has made an endorsement -- that has made an endorsement has endorsed me. they have endorsed me in part because of my specific transportation plans. >> part of the question about your plan is how do you pay for
it. how -- would you be open to raising taxes? >> it does not involve invading the general fund. i have been in the legislature for 20 years. i have a record of being successful. i don the quickest way to compromise is to bring as many people to the table as possible. we have to get transportation down. nothing can more quickly create jobs and economic opportunities. >> but the criticism he raised was a blank sheet of paper. do not virginians have the right to know exactly what they will be paying more for? right no know exactly what they will be paying for in taxes before they vote for you or mr. mcdonnell. >> what i'm saying can the daily press is the only honest approach, anything that has a nexus to transportation is on
the table. people are sick and tired of politicians who talk politically about this issue. we have to talk honly and solve the problem. >> what taxes will we see increased are in creigh deeds? >> iening answer that. >> no, you can't answer that. >> we'll give you a chance here. >> what i said, jay, anything that has a nexus to transportation -- >> what does that mean? >> a nexus to transportation? >> sales tax on cigarettes -- >> anything that involves participation by all the people who use the transportation system, those people in state and out. >> this is an important topic. i think it's important to get to this. the criticism of your plan, mr. member -- mcdonnell, these aren proven. we don't note if the panama canal will be widened by 2012. so what's plan b?
if those things don't work and the economy doesn't improve, which is a component of your plan. what is plan b to make sure the roads get fixed? >> i spent 20 years in the army, attorney general, and then in at the legislature. it's going to take leadership. you only outlined a couple. bonds, 4 billion in bonds, using general fund minute, it's right to move some of the money to transportation. we did it in '07. public-private partnership, underutilize it. i realize offshore drilling will take a while but if we don't claim that money, it will be gone. the problem right now is there's too many delays, too many excuses about why we can't build transportation infrastructure, and that's why 12 different ideas on how to get it done. >> let's go now to our next topic. this is the budget we want to trace now. >> over the last three years, we have cut $5 billion from the
budget, and we can expect more massive cuts to balance the budget in 2010, 2011, when one of you will be the next governor. both of you promised extensive programs in education, public safety, you name it. these are very, very costly programs, and they're hundreds of millions of dollars. so, during these tough economic times, how can we realistically afford what either one of you are proposing? >> mr. mcdonnell, you go first. >> i believe that virginiaans are hurt right now. they're concerned about jobs and the $6 billion in budget cuts we made. i cut 14 about -- 14 .1% out of the office of the attorney general. we redid contracts, state cars turned in. that's why these changes -- it takes leadership. it's about setting priorities. we need to have government run
more like business, more innovation, more consolidation. citizens all over saying we need more accountability, transparency, we need government to work more sensibly. so that's why i proposed looking at state audits of the major agencies, might have grown from 13 to 20%, and find out how to work more efficiently. people are having to do it with their small business and budget, and we owe that out of government. not going raise attentions, more eeffectiveness in government. >> we can't take $5.4 billion out of the general fund for transportation. this is a tough time. people are hurting, and businesses and people are tightening their belt, government ought to do the same. i think, frankly, we can institute performance reviews for every agency in state government, save another half billion dollars.
the bottom line is, we have to create economic growth. we have to put people back to work, and that's why my plan begins with a tax credit for every single job that is created. i was proud to read "the new york times" this week that that's the most cost efficient way to raise jobs. economists agree. we have to create jobs in every part of the state, every sector of the economy. 70% of the job growth is small businesses. 90% of the employers have fewer than 50 employees. we have to create economy. economic growth. that's the best thing we can do for our budget. >> but what if to both of you. let's debate this. what if the economy doesn't grow? you have extensive spending proposals and we will have to be cutting bills more. are you overpromising? >> no. the difference between creigh and i, he has no way to pay for it let's take education.
i believe we need increased teacher salary, more money to the classroom and less into administration. that's why i propose going from 61 to 65% of the budget to go to classroom expenditures. for instruction. that's $480 million a year that will go into the classrooms to teachers don't buy supplies every august, and to buy laptops for the students. i found a way to pay for these things. mr. deeds has number of proposals with no way to pay for it. we have to have government work more efficient, performance odd its. >> how about that? >> and i think bob is almost stole my line because the difference between my plan and his plan is my initiatives are paid for in the general fund through efficiency i create. his 65% clan amounts to an unfunded mandate on local schools. i haven't represented local schools and localities for years, and i heard nothing but bad things about unfunded
mandates. there's a way to save money in schools, and we need to take a page out of mark warner's plan. he got 33 school divisions to initiate efficiency reviews that produced $25 million in savings. we have been analyzed on the remaining systems, and we think we can produce another $300 million in savings. we want to raise teacher pay, like investing in early childhood initiatives. >> let's talk about this for a second. i'm curious. you talk about efficiencies in government. we have been cut to the bone over the last two administrations. governor warner did it and governor cainey did it. can you name one program that tonight i will eliminate if i'm elected governor? >> it's about examining what the core functions of government are. we have $72 billion we spend every two years.
the audit commission said that. the budget has grown as of 2008, 30% fast e than rate of growth and population and inflation. i know the viewerrers out here, their personal budgets have of haven't grown that way. looking at the department of medical assistance services. it's grown from 13 to 20% of the total budget. we need to bring in a state-wide audit for. i support president obama's race to the top program to bring charter schools and merit pay. i want virginia's share of that 3.5 million. >> two things. one program you would cut. >> i support the president's initiatives, race to the top, as well. bob is just wrong about that. there are couple of things. the first thing -- one of the first things is initiate an office of efficiency headed by someone from the private sector.
i think there are efficiencies we can create from the attorney general's office -- bob may have cut the budget but it's grown by over 22% over the last four years. from every office of spate -- state government. we entered into the largest contract that has been overseen by the attorney general. i'm convinced we can cut spending there. we can save $300 million in the public school systems. i know a guy in the food service business who says we can save hundreds of millions of dollars more in public education by privatizing food services and jap toral services. we need to reinvent the process of government. ...
frankly, i'd think you have the ability to analyze and know who is spending what. bob and his allies are spending more money on negative ads than i am spending on positive plus- for the they probably spend more money complaining -- plus ads. they probably spend more money complaining about them. >> they are running a campaign that ar has as that are dishonet and ludicrous. i think the people of virginia will decide who is being candid with them. i think what has happened is he does not have a transportation implant. he has no comprehensive energy plan. he has been tied in on
government programs like cap and trade, a major new deficit spending. i think he made a conscious choice that he is to go over and attack me. i know that what people tell me is that they are concerned about jobs. they want a positive message. they want to know every one will have access to the american dream. >> this has been one of the largest issues, securely in advertising. what do you say? >> on the night i was nominated for government, i tell people i'm running for government to create prosperity and hope. he can talk about the lack of plans, but i have made a comprehensive plans -- i have
made eight comprehensive plans. i talked about the economy. i talked about ways to create jobs. how to cut red tape and make it easier to do business. i am focused on the big issues. this has been relevant because it put his record in context. bob mcdonnell was never focused on jobs. canada bob mcdonnell has a lot to talk about. it is important for bob and i to tell people what we are going to do as governor. more relevant is to take a look at our record. >> you do say your record is a lot about jobs and public safety. your record is that. you do have bills of focus on
abortion. we have heard your explanations. does that mean as governor that you will focus not on the social issues exclusively or when you have a focus in part on some of those social issues? can you tell us what the issues will be? on the some of the social issues and can you tell us with the social issues would be? >> you know, jay, adding that values matter and character counts and it's important for government to create the bedrock institution of society. everybody from john kennedy to barack obama has said that publicly. looking back at politics with a criminal justice system i wanted to stand up for victims and make sure that criminals are punished and that is what drew me into the light. we do have differences. i believe it's important to ban partial birth abortion and have parents involved in the decisions of the young people.
these are policies overwhelmingly supported by the general assembly democrats and republicans. my opponent has been against this and is a doubt in the mainstream. >> when should abortion be legal? >> the point i was going to make is the first debate my opponent said he was not going to focus on social issues and yet that's all he's talked about since when i've been talking about jobs and the economy and so here is what i think we ought to do the way for what i tried to get people to work together on this issue whether pro-choice or pro-life on this issue. here's what we need to do going forward. we need to promote adoption. we need to adopt some of the things the president has said about the fatherhood initiative. keep father's involved with the lives of their children. but that's one issue that's important but the overwhelming thing that i am going to spend my time on our jobs, the economy, economic development, transportation. >> is there one instance where abortion should be legal in your view? >> i am going to follow the law. the law is clear and that is the
case law and the united states and that is what the statutes of virginia reflect. >> what do you think on that? >> well i was raised in the middle class family. my parents taught me about respecting innocent life and protecting the family and those are my personal views and people of good will can work together and find the common ground like i've done and general assembly. >> mr. deeds, you have mentioned his abortion bills 35 times, 35 bills use cities produced and so forth. really it's only eight introduced multiple times decisions -- >> there were 35 -- >> hold on. the measures are like partial birth abortion, parental notification. and va supports those. >> there were 35 bills and i voted for parental notification and i voted for late term abortions and that i felt could be done constitutionally. but here is the point.
virginia needs a governor in these troubled times who will focus on the big issues and focus on the economy and focus on education, who focus on solving our transportation dilemma. bob mcdonnell spent his career as a legislator focused on social issues. >> we need to move on now to what is the second portion of the debate and this will be q&a. hopefully we will be able to goes with -- by the way, thank you for engaging each other. i was well done. we have a wide array of topics to cover in the last portion of the debate. h. each of you will get 90 seconds to respond to these questions. the first one we want to start is with the economy. according to the government the economic stimulus plan has only created or saved 654 jobs here in the commonwealth while unemployment of course remains at record levels on double digits with people still hurting and hurting tremendously. also, virginia is last in terms of spending stimulus on and on highway projects. so why ask you both in retrospect, does the plan work
and why are we last when it comes to transportation money from the plan? and we will begin with mr. mcdonnell. >> i think we could really use a full-time governor. maybe that's one of the reasons. laughter committee that is one of the reasons we were last to apply, spend, why rest stops were closed, why private partnerships are not getting done, why the 93, 95 deal has been cancelled. i fink we need laser focus with a governor that understands transportation and energy and job creation, economic development, tourism are exactly the things we need to be able to pursue. the stimulus bill i think the jury is out on how well that's working. it's certainly done some things that have helped us with balancing the last year budget. but i know would virginians want more than anything is a good job and i made that the heart and soul of this campaign while my opponent is looking backward at other things. that's why i laid out these detailed, comprehensive proposals, jay, on job creation. it starts with small business.
75% of every new java and va is the entrepreneur, risktaker, capitalist, free-market person that wants to grow jobs in the economy. i have gone to folks in charlottesville, jewelers and talked to them and talked to eliot at bill's barbecue and said what do we need to do to help you do things better and he told me is about keeping taxes and regulation and litigation to a minimum. they are not getting a bailout or stimulus bill from the government so we need to promote that on top of worship in virginia if we are going to turn this economy around and grow the judges of the beacon to some of these things and pay for some of these things i've suggested. >> mr. deeds? >> the stimulus funding was designed to stimulate the economy to create jobs and we were dead last getting the money to the transportation. we don't have a yet in large part because our transportation construction project program is deficient. we didn't have the shelf already project other states had.
i am disappointed like anyone else but the governor has done the best he could to analyze where the money can go as quickly as possible so we can put people to work. people all over virginia are hurting. northern virginia hampton roads have so much government spending they have a buffer from the recession, but the rest of virginia there are multiple jurisdictions with double-digit unemployment and that's what we have to focus on economic activity in every part of virginia. we have to focus on creating jobs and award a tax credit for every job created. you don't have to wait until the 51st job created. 94% of employers have fewer than 50 employees. we have to be about stimulating growth in virginia but it's also important to look beyond just the tax credit program. the reason why we have to invest in transportation is because we have to invest in the infrastructure of the economy. let's face it, the two pillars of infrastructure that we have to invest in our transportation, making sure we have the smartest work force in the world. that's one reason we can't afford to take 5.4 billion out
of education to pay for transportation. we can't rob peter to pay paul. we have to continue to invest in both education and transportation to attract this artist jobs in the world in virginia. >> you're next question? >> you both proposed increasing the number of students graduating from virginia colleges and universities buy anywhere from 70,000 to 100,000 of the next ten to 15 years. to do that of course you have to build new dorm rooms, classrooms, staff and faculty. at a time when higher education has been asked to eliminate millions from its budget, 68 million alone the last three years from virginia tech, when the world can you make such promises, and when the world are you going to pay for it? mr. deeds? >> it's a matter of priority. higher education is the key to an individual to achieving his or her own financial economic potential. i remember the day i still on my porch at home. my mother gave me for 20-dollar bills and that is what i went to college with. the last four years pam and i have spent our children to the
higher institutions in virginia. virginia has a funny relationship and it's dangerous to some extent. north carolina spins $2 general fund money per student at chapel hill for every dollar we spend per student. we have to address both affordability and accessibility to higher education because if we are going to attract the smartest jobs in virginia we have to invest in higher education. i focused a five park plan that begins with virginia scholarship that says to have a b average you commit to the the average in high school and commit to the two years of public service we will pay 50% of tuition and state college but it's got several other links that will make college more affordable and creates 70,000 additional degrees over ten years. how do we afford to pay for it? we create efficiencies in government i think the performance reviews of every agency of state government through zero based budgeting and we created efficiency and move dollars into higher education by doing a better job of collecting
, handling surplus property which the state holds. we can shift more money over to higher education. from my perspective this is an area we can't afford to fail. this is an area we have to move forward. >> mr. mcdonnell? >> this is a vital area of concern to virginians. i remember my dad telling me when i was growing up, son, to get a good job you need a good education. that was never lost on me and i was fortunate to get a couple of degrees. all of my kids have gone to public schools in virginia. i've been writing tuition checks about ten years. i have two sons with a master's degree, a daughter and to twins ready to go. what i do know is we cannot afford the doubling of college tuition every ten years yet that is what has happened under these last couple of administration's. we have to make college more affordable and accessible. we have so much opportunity for people to people to live the american dream but to do that they have to be either college ready or job ready when they graduate from school and that is why i suggested a plan to create
100,000 degrees the next 15 years, a long-term plan, 1,000 degrees every year it will cost about 40 million for me it is a matter of priorities. i think that we have done a good job and we probably agree on creating infrastructure for the universities, a couple billion dollars in bonds over the next few years that's going to be little to help but i think we can be much more creative. we can use innovation. we can use privatization. we have a program right now, the grade nuclear energy company that has gone with the university of virginia to allow nuclear engineers to be trained while they're still working and that's the kind of innovation that we need. the new plan that broke ground yesterday will have a program with the usda to create degrees. this is innovation we need to be a lot of forward. >> thank you. let's talk health care now. a version of health care reform just passed the senate finance committee last week that leaves out some would say the controversy public auction. however, there's a major push by
some democrats to the public option back in the measure. but some having the idea states would be able to opt out of the public measure of a wanted to so basically that would leave it to the individual states. mr. mcdonnell to you first. what you want virginia to opt out of any public option that could pass congress? >> yes. i believe there are legitimate concerns about access to health care and the cost of health care that is stimulating this national and statewide discussion. i know from raising five kids, jay, that having access to good quality health care was very important to my wife and i. i had a couple of years i was in law school we didn't have insurance and had to make tough choices for savings. and so i understand we need to do a better job with that. but i tell you we have the best doctors, hospitals, research and development for pharmaceuticals than all of the world. and the last thing we want to do is turn that over to federal government. i think there will be more cost, maybe a trillion dollars or more with this plan that's been
proposed, longer waiting lines, less choices. that's not what we need. i think what we need is more access to low-cost insurance to groups that can provide to their employees. i think we need more focus on individual medical savings accounts to let people make their own choices to save as they might want. i think we need to have more focus on prevention because some of the costs in the medicaid program are driven by chronic diseases many of which could be prevented with checkups. what we don't need is something my opponent supported and that is to triple the medical malpractice. i am for making sure we keep that low so that and have a doctor's practice our defensive medicine but i believe these kind of private sector market-based solutions with good leadership of the state level can make a difference. >> mr. deeds, would you go against some of your fellow democrats in the public land? >> i'm not afraid of going against my fellow democrats when i think they are wrong.
bob voted same way i did on the malpractice bill and continues to wave the flag. it was jerry kilgore's bill, bob. you know that as well as i do. public option doesn't -- isn't required in my view. i think we have to do two things with health care: reduce costs so more can afford insurance and increased coverage. i share those broad goals. i don't think the public option is necessary in any plan and i think virginia -- i would certainly consider opting out of that were available to virginia. i think we have to find ways to increase competition in order to reduce cost. in virginia there are two areas where this i know business people fellow like to provide insurance, but they cannot afford to do it. we have to find a way to reduce cost. we to the small businesses to pull their assets. it will reduce costs. the second problem we have to
address is the 300,000 virginians that are unemployed. we have to provide them with security for the insurance we have. i have a plan to provide them low-interest loans to keep their insurance until they becamome reemployed. quite you say you encourage the cap and trade employment. he supported a measure calling for higher emission standards than the bill that is currently in congress. are you trying to have it both ways? >> i am not try to have it both ways. the climate change commission was not looking at any specific legislation. i do not support the cap and trade bill. i think rick did the best he could. that bill will raise costs at a time of recession. it to put american and
burgeoning businesses at a competitive disadvantage. -- it will put american and a burgeoning businesses at a competitive disadvantages. i do not support that legislation. he unleashed another round of advertisements attacking me for cap and trade. they were false and misleading. i do not support that legislation. climate change is it real. bob mcdonnell has refused to the knowledge that sign. -- to acknowledge that sign. steps to make sure our environment is going to last, and as governor i am going to reduce the amount of electricity we consume and produce renewable energy.
i think virginia can be a leader may be the national leader in the renewable energies. we can build on technologies being developed at virginia tech and on you va and old dominion. we can create a virtual research based triangle. >> mr. mcdonnell? >> it's important to listen to his answer. you have asked exactly the right question. he was a member of the governor kaine's climate commission that in recommendation number two specifically called for cap-and-trade energy tax at the federal level that i think is going to add about $1,700 a year to family electricity bill according to some of the initial treasury estimates. and more importantly when he filled out his questionnaire as a candidate for governor during the primary he wrote to the sierra club he supported the many recommendations of the governor's climate change commission. now i take cree of his work.
i would is unpopular to support this massive new energy tax out of washington. he is having another look at it. but here's the bottom line: one of the largest employers in his district has looked at our respective plans and positions on this and they are strongly in support of me. 1500 jobs in the county and creigh's district are in favor of this tax. that is why i have taken such a strong stand against it. i believe that the governor needs to stand up in washington. i don't care if they are republican or democrat. if they do things bad for virginia before going to kill jobs or raise taxes or hurt small business i will be a governor that will stand up and say that's not good for virginia. my opponent and as washington laogai allies that want to raise taxes and have more cap-and-trade and card check bills will do that. >> with the to the next question. as a delegate mr. mcdonnell to vote against the government opportunity fund on numerous occasions yet now oppose adding $10 million to the fund as some of the pillars of your development plan.
so why have you changed your mind on this issue? >> well, the rest of the story of course is creigh voted for three budgets in a row the last three years where he voted for reductions in the governor's opportunity fund. some of these folks, jay, were in the context of overall billion dollar budget. but those votes were and 02 and in 04i believe. and that was a different time. i think we were and maybe more of a favorable, competitive position. but i think things have changed dramatically. i looked into those of five at what virginia as compared to north carolina to attract business, and we are way behind. they had three times the amount of incentive that we did back in 2005. tennessee is ahead of us. the pacific rim countries are doing a very innovative job to recruit western capital and graduating more engineers. and so, i am very concerned that my opponent just want to rely on a more favorable ratings. yes, we are a good business estate and i think there is bipartisan product should go
around but we cannot say we are a great state, come here. we have to do the great job to get the new hilton or rolls rice that broke ground yesterday or the new headquarters and we have to move with more incentive. i do believe now that it's vitally important to double the governors opportunity fund to create more authority for the governor to be more flexible to increase the amount of major job facility tax credit and have more flexibility for the governor. and i've got the experience to look at corporate executives across the table. i've worked for fortune 500 company. tell them the virginia story and say come here and create jobs. >> mr. deeds. >> i want to go back to cap-and-trade for emineth because bob spent millions of dollars attacking me for this. attacking me for supporting a bill that i don't support. the sierra club endorsed me and when they endorsed me they wrote a conferencing and we are endorsing it even though he doesn't support cap and trade. they endorsed me because i rode the land conservation program in the country. i have stood to protect our land
and waters the vital support cap-and-trade. the governor's opportunity fund is a bill that i wrote. i wrote it while i was chairman of the blue ridge economic commission while we were meeting of the hotel roanoke in '95. it's legislation -- it's part of the reason i got in the general assembly in the first place. i got into all six to create economic opportunity and rural western virginia. now bob talks a lot about jobs, but the reality is we are the best state in the country. we are the best step for business in the country and in large part because of decisions we made back in 2004 when our aaa bond rating was in jeopardy, mark warner brought democrats and republicans together and passed historic budget reform that produced the bond rating that made investments in public safety and education. i stood with mark warner and moderate democrats and republicans. bob wouldn't even agree with moderate republicans of his own party to support of legislation. there's only one person on this stage in this campaign who's fought to make virginia baptist state for business in the
country and that's me. >> we are running out of time and the hour is floating by and i would ask you may be to give 20 seconds to the last question and if you could set the timer for 20 seconds. the last question. >> certainly we can get a sense of your leadership style and approach to the office. of the recent governors which do you admire most for their leadership and style that perhaps you might emulate as you approach office? >> 20 seconds, mr. deeds or mr. mcdonnell i'm sorry. mr. deeds, it doesn't matter. who would like to go first? mr. deeds? >> i will go first. there are things in just about every governor's approach i would take. i have learned from their leadership style of wilder and the leadership style of mark warner and tim kaine. i hearken back to jerry blouse because i think that he made the best use of the precious for your period of time, brought people together to get things done. >> how about mr. mcdonnell now? >> george allen redican been based on ideas. that's when trying to do. not rhetoric or partisanship and he quickly implemented those as
governor. that's the style i would emulate. i think governor wilder also did a great job in the middle of recession. 2 billion-dollar budget deficit, no tax increases but managed the state better. those are the kind of governors i would like to emulate as governor pete >> gentlemen, thank you for your answers. we appreciate it very much. we now have closing statements to conclude that the date. we did this by the flip the coin as well. we will begin tonight with mr. deeds. >> when i was a little boy growing up in bath county, my great uncle frank had a summer camps, and because i was in the family i got to freeload. the first day of camp he would always look at the campers and say boys, you're going to get out of this can't exactly what you put into it and i've got to admit when i was 7-years-old i had no idea what that old man meant. but the older i got in the more i realized that is the lesson of life. you are either all in or not in at all and people that know me will tell you that is the way i live my life. and if i have the extraordinary opportunity to become the governor of virginia i will be all income everyday working to
create opportunity and prosperity and hope in every corner of the commonwealth. now the difference is between me and bob in stifel in terms of our record in terms of our vision for virginia are different. i'm not the most eloquent of speakers but like harry truman i will tell the truth and i always work hard to get things i will create jobs and award a tax credit for every job created. i will make college affordable by awarding a scholarship to every high school with at least a b average and i will finally bring together all virginians and create a transportation plan that allows us to fix the roads and expand transit. bob is a smooth talker and has undergone a massive political makeover in the election season that he can't escape his record. cutting educational funding, economic specifics of west virginia economic development projects. bob never wrote a bill to create jobs or expand educational opportunity. these are tough times and require leadership. you have to have a street talking, honest governor. i will work in an honest way.
i will work in a straightforward bipartisan way and in marquardt and tim kaine i will bring people together to get things done. i will make virginia the best state for business, education and the best state for you. i would ask for your support on november 3rd. thank you. >> mr. deeds, thank you. now we have a closing statement from mcdonnell. >> i want to thank wsls and roanoke college. am i beyond cade my dad told me a lot about his service in world war ii, and i was inspired by what he and so many of the great generations did. he told me a lot about president kennedy's we should ask not what our country should do for us but what we can do for our country. that's something i remember all my life. when i went into the army i remember going to germany as a young lieutenant looking across the iron curtain into east germany and being inspired by the greatness of american sacrifices so many people make. my daughter followed in my
footsteps and i encouraged her to do that. she was a platoon leader in iraq when i ran for general and i was grateful for her service. it's those experiences that have inspired me to stay in public service and run and ask you for your help to be the next governor. i've outlined a positive vision for the future of virginia, creating jobs and opportunity for all of our citizens, promoting small business will be the top priority. i've outlined a detailed plan for improving the educational system, more money to the classroom and 100,000 new degrees for more access to universities. i think we need a comprehensive energy plan. i want virginia to be the energy capital of the east coast. creigh deeds is a good man. but our ideas for the future of virginia are different. i think we need to keep taxes low. my opponent is a long supporter of higher taxes and putting a billion dollars during this campaign. i think spending needs to be controlled. yet his proposed billions in spending over the last couple of years. i believe we need to stand up to washington when they are wrong with bills like card check and
cap-and-trade, unfunded mandates, a major new deficit spending. that's not the right policy. but my opponent is tied in with all the washington allies. during my time as attorney general at a great time serving, it's been an honor and privilege to do that. 90% of my proposals to the assembly passed during that time and that is the kind of bipartisan leadership i will bring to the office of governor and i ask for your vote november 3rd. >> ai thank you both. and now the audience, let's give them a great round of applause. [applause] [cheering] thank you. thank you. [laughter] [cheering] all right, let me say thank -- [cheering] hold on, hold on. thank you -- audience, you were both very well behaved and we are very appreciative. i want to thank each of you, senator deeds and also attorney
general mcdonnell, for what has at times a feisty debate but one that was very informative. each are to be commended for dedicating your career to public service and agreeing to go one-on-one in this type of agenda and format. it's ultimately to the federal to leave government. i thank you for that. let me also think the team, you are a dedicated group. this would not have been possible without roanoke college. we are appreciative of that. they deserve their round of applause. thank you at home. thank you for watching. thank you for being here tonight and abiding by the rules. we say good night. we want to remind you, go out and vote on november 3. good night.
>> "washington journal" starts now. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] host: president obama continues his fund-raising efforts for the democratic party today with a trip to new jersey. meanwhile, vice president joe bodman is in warsaw today -- joe biden is in warsaw today. negotiations continued behind closed doors on health-care legislation. majority leader harry reid said he would like to have legislation ready by friday. we will begin today with the headlines across many of the front pages this morning, afghan
president karzai agreed to a runoff election on november 7. we want to get your thoughts on whether or not the election should delay president obama's decision on whether to send more troops. here are the phone numbers -- joining us on the phone this morning from kabul is robert reid, afghanistan bureau chief for the associated press. let us begin with how this round of elections on november 7 must work. guest: of the afghans will attend to do basically repeat of what they did before, at least recently speaking. they've got several thousand polling stations set up across the country. they are attempting to staff these with people who are not tainted by the fraudulent election in august, and they are
hoping they can pull this off this time in a much cleaner and smoother fashion than the august 20 ballot. host: how is the afghan government, along with the united states and others, going to prevent fraud from happening again? guest: the united nations is optimistic they can reduce fraud, if not entirely eliminate it. there were 200 polling centers in areas that were just too dangerous and did not open. those were polling stations where a lot of the votes were forged. they identified these. they will close most of them. some will be reopened but they will be guarding the much heavily -- more heavily. second, they are trying to prevent the practice where all the males of the family will show up with a large number of
votes claiming they are from female members who simply cannot or will not go to the polling station. i think this time there is enormous pressure on the afghan election commission not to tolerate the extensive abuse that happened the last time. host: what role will the united states play? guest: american military forces will provide what they call overwatch, which is, they will stand in the background, help the afghans organize the security. they also will be working through the united nations, encouraging them to tighten up the procedures that they had in place of the last time. and also putting political pressure, diplomatic pressure, on president karzai and the camp of x 4 minister abdallah to make sure that it is done and a
credible way -- ex-foreign minister abdullah. host: what is the problem pulling off the run of november 7? guest: this simply cannot have the same officials that helped perpetrate a fraud last time. it is hard to do in a country where you have 70% in literacy. it took a long time to hire and train staff the first time, and now they only have a couple of weeks to find replacements for people. secondly, they've got to worry about the weather. the weather could turn bad by november 7. traditionally the first snow starts falling in the higher elevations sometimes around the middle of the month. but they could get an early winter and it could close out a
lot of the roads, make it difficult for people to move, very difficult to move materials back and forth. finally, they've got to provide at least an of security that people in the major cities and population -- enough security that people in the major cities and population, that it is worthwhile the jig that -- that they might run into the taliban or the polling stations are attacked. host: what are they expecting from afghani voters? guest: officially the turnout in the last election was around 39% but many independent observers thought that was inflated to begin with. it is highly likely turnout this time will be lower. for one thing, last time people were also voting for provincial council members and there is always more interest in local elections than national
elections so many people went out primarily to vote for local friends. a lot of people were disillusioned by this whole process, and it breaks down into two parts. some people are disillusioned because of fraud and some because foreigners played a big role. they feel their man president karzai was cheated. so the disillusionment factor is likely to hold down turnout. finally, the weather. even though they may not get heavy snow, it is quite cold already in some of the higher elevations. this time of year people prefer to stay in their heated homes rather than to go out on foot or donkey for perhaps several miles to a polling station. host: let me show our viewers the front page of "the boston globe." it has senator john kerry talking to afghan president karzai.
what role did he play getting mr. karzai to agree to this run off? guest: what we understand is senator kerry played a significant role. he happened to be here on a trip planned in advance but it was fortuitous for the administration he was here. there was indication that although secretary of state clinton and others had set the date before president karzai accepted the findings of of fraud provisions, there was strong indication that the next day president karzai was balking. and it took a series of intensive all day meetings with senator kerry, plus phone calls from secretary clayton an envoy richard holbrooke to convince karzai to back down -- calls from secretary clinton. there was other international
pressure. the french foreign minister showed up here over the weekend and was urging president karzai to accept the u.n. findings. the italians cent of their special envoy yesterday and the british prime minister was working the phones, too, all delivering a message that the international community simply could not tolerate an election where the fraud had been that extensive, that obvious, and the state being used to perpetrated. host: "the new york times" this morning, reports there is it possible deal in the works to avoid a runoff. can you speak to this? guest: this idea has been floated for some time. publicly anyway both president
karzai and abdullah have in various times expressed an interest in it and at various times rejected it. the problem with the coalition government here is there is no provision in the afghan constitution for a government like this. we are not talking about necessarily a government of national unity. the coalition government is a government with the different parties have legal rights and responsibilities clearly delineated in universal power sharing agreements. this will take a long time to negotiate. for example, what if they began the negotiations and sometime in december they broke down? then where are we? we have no election and no government. secondly, who is going to head this? these are serious matters and ones that are a lot more complicated than simply getting these two sides to sign an
agreement saying, yes, we are ready. my own personal feeling is this may well happen but it is going to have to happen after the next election. host: we are asking our viewers whether or not this runoff on november 7 should delay war strategy from the obama administration and whether or not to send more troops. what are you hearing on the ground concerning this run off election and its ties to a decision on war strategy? guest: from what we are hearing, you can talk about the american military soldiers -- and the ranks have a lot of things on their minds and things to do, and many of these people are in areas of the country that are pretty well cut off. i don't think very mell young -- very many young enlisted men and sergeants said around wearing about this. but if you get up the ranks there is a bit of frustration. we are in the middle of a very
public and open debate about a strategy that we put in place ourselves last spring, that it is time to move. also it seems pretty clear that at least some american forces will be added to the force mixed here, and this is something that can't be done by picking up the phone and calling fort hood. these steps have to be initiated well in advance. if orders go out now two major units, sending them to afghanistan, it will be some time well into next year before they can actually arrives. host: the bureau chief for afghanistan for the associated press, thank you. let us turn to our viewers and let us get your thoughts and opinions whether and not as afghan run off election on november 7 should delay the war strategy. steve on the republican line.
caller: no, i think they should go ahead and get the troops over there and continue what they have been doing. but to me, one of the larger questions has been in that region, what is going to happen after -- let's say we go forward in history three or five years and we pull our troops out for the most part, is that region just going to go right back into the chaos and into how it has been for years? host: washington, d.c., william on independent line. caller: i definitely think the election should lead the war strategy. i think it is interesting all the money which it should delay the war strategy. it is interesting -- it should delay the war strategy. i think it is interesting all the money we gave them, why didn't they get electronic voting machines?
it seems like the government wants karzai to win so it gives the illusion of some kind stability. but generally i think the whole afghan experience at this point is that nothing good is going to come out of it. i would like to direct c-span viewers to an article written by a harvard university foreign policy professor called the "safe haven miff" which bonds the idea that if we were to leave afghanistan -- which debunks the idea that if we were to leave afghanistan, the taliban will take over. it is not going to happen. taliban and al qaeda are two different things. at this point, we are doing exactly what they want by going broke, spending money on these ridiculous operations. ron paul said it best in the house foreign relations hearing yesterday, and i think it is time to leave afghanistan for
good. host: let us hear from a democrat. john from jackson, mississippi. caller: good morning. absolutely, i think we should be committed to the afghanistan project. the nation taking one step closer to a credible and legitimate government and reverse taliban gains. u.s. troops -- total number killed in october, 30. host: ron in burbank, california. caller: i think obama is right on on this one. you have to let the situation in afghanistan work out without karzai running around and saying, look what i got from america.
back in 2001, the president put together a group of analysts from all the department and congressional staff, and i had an opportunity as a volunteer consultant to talk to them about policies. what we don't look at is within three months, without any of the kind of presence we have now on the ground, with less than 450 troops, within three months working with the afghans trying to taste -- chase the taliban into the mountains and out of populated areas. subsequently it was disbanded and a set up a central command in florida and then we refocused on iraq and the cia basically took over afghan policy, and they are probably talking about buying support from the tribes,
and these tribes, the mountain warfare tribes, honor is absolutely essential. at first it was not giving a bribe for military stuff, but offering a bribe to these tribes is an insult you will not able to live down. abdullah is not really strong in terms of how he sees the future. he is pretty negative and most of the study comes out with. so it will be a real run off election. but the way the elections can stay honest is, one, tell the tribes that if they want to invite him as a guest, iraqi police officers -- the officer will come in and as a guest the tribes of the fans wherever they bring in as a guest, have the
balance open late counted at the polling place where voluntary observers can shine -- can sign in and make sure the ballot box was empty. host: this headline, afghan run off puts u.s. in a bind. it says here because karzai is likely to win the second round, there is now a chance the karzai government will emerge as a credible partner around which to build a new strategy, said an observer and august elections and a fellow at the center for american progress, a think tank with close ties to the obama administration. however, i don't think you can really say about what impact it has on strategy until we have a leader that emerges. a key issue will be how the process is perceived by afghan voters and whether karzai commits to tackling corruption and drug trafficking. it goes on to note that obama advisers are divided on whether the new elections in as their
plans -- delay their plans. on tuesday defense secretary robert gates said the administration needs to decide soon on an afghan war strategy. we are not just going to sit on our hands waiting for the outcome for the election and the emergence of a government in kabul. your thoughts this morning on whether or not this runoff election should delay president obama's decision on whether or not to send more troops. janice on the democrats' line. help me with the name of your town. are you there? caller: hi. i don't think we should be involved in their election process at all. i don't think we should be there in the first place. we need to get out of the war. we are just fighting shadows and wearing targets on our backs.
host: how does the united states lead at this point? caller: make a 180 and go to kuwait and fly out all of our equipment and men. host: arkansas, you are next. dennis on the republican line. caller: thank you for taking my call. mcchrystal, when he requested truce -- when he requested troops, did not wait until there was a run off, it sounded rather urgent. i think the troops need to be sent now regardless of whether a run off -- what the runoff determines. it appears that while the republicans under the bush administration won the war in iraq, the democrats are determined to lose the war in afghanistan. it is the very war that president obama was determined to win, thought that is where we
should have our activity. i feel like that if president obama was half as hard on al qaeda and the taliban in afghanistan as he is against freedom and liberty in the u.s., then the taliban will have something to fear. thank you. host: district heights, md., on the democrats' line. caller: about three weeks ago, i don't know what the gentleman was, he was on there, somebody from the government and the caller asked him a question that he never addressed -- who is supplying a al qaeda and the taliban that they can continue to fight as long as they have been fighting? no one seems to want to tell the american people because once you
cut their supply lines, they are finished. no one seems to answer the question. number two, when we talk about sending troops, we are talking about young men and women and we got to a place where we talk about them as if they are non human beings. we are talking about people's sons and daughters and fathers and we have got into the place where we are so commonplace and want to send somebody else's child to get blown to pieces and shot to death and calling for freedom. the last german was talk about how the afghan people feel about -- the last gentleman was talking about how afghan people feel about intervention. we look at our country and how the american revolution, they did -- didn't want any foreign country other than one of the invited. we are an occupying force in afghanistan. the same thing in iraq.
until everybody in iraq detained by americans is assassinated or voted out they will not have a stable government because they don't want nobody involved. host: a few more headlines. "the washington post" frontpage says u.s. deeply split on troop increase for afghan war, the latest poll in the newspaper showing americans are split on the strategy. and there is less support for president obama on this issue. also in the newspapers, "the new york times" lead editorial says, mr. karzai, relent. there is talk of a possible deal between mr. karzai and mr. abdulla that might of the eight the new election -- if it is unavoidable and must be done constitutionally and must produce a function of government. we have watched as american officials the the military strategy for afghanistan.
they need to devote at least as much attention for an effective political strategy. the legend -- lesson from a stolen election is clear, nothing in afghanistan can be taken for granted. williamsburg, ky. robert on the republican line. go ahead, sir. caller: i would like to say that i'm a former marine and i do believe there is a war on terror and we need to stay alert on that. but as far as afghanistan, the president is to make the decision either to bring all the troops home or give the soldiers what they need on the battlefield to be victorious. while we are waiting for the new decision to be made with the president, while -- are we putting a hold on all the violence going on? it is still going on every day. and the men and women don't have all the resources and boots on
the ground to be victorious. i just want to say that and i also would like to say god bless america. host: editorial in "the wall street journal" says progress is being made and they point to an agreement on a runoff election as progress. and they conclude the editorial this morning by saying this -- all of this progress is being made despite president obama's all to public second thoughts over the u.s. commitment to afghanistan. his advisers and generals deserve credit for helping turn of events around and the theater but our allies are still waiting to find out what kind of statement -- statesmen the u.s. president will be paired -- states meant the u.s. presence will be. what are your thoughts? caller: pull out all of our troops and the english. burned out of the poppy fields with the remote devices from
miles away. -- you can burn out the poppy fields with remote devices. every time we had trouble we put in a puppet government. puppets, puppets, we are tired of puppets. if they want to be democrat, let them be. let them find their own weight. the russians could not be afghanistan. pull them out. host: "the baltimore sun" this morning says the u.s. -- u.n.- backed complaints commission threw out more than a million votes and the presidential election, setting the stage for the november 7 runoff. as we go to the next phone call we can show you the valid votes verses the invalidated boats. -- invalidated votes.
missouri, melvin on the democrats' line. caller: i believe if the generals want more troops, we should send them right away. host: not wait for the election? caller: that's got nothing to do with the fighting. host: oklahoma city. spot on the republican line. caller: the lovely greta, i appreciate your show. i wanted to put my 2 cents in. somebody called earlier and mention good things ron paul did. he is one of the only people that has done anything good about the middle east situation because he insisted we must declare war or bring up letters of reprisal against those who performed the terrorist acts on september 11, and that was refused by congress. and we shouldn't be involved in any way in that neck of the
woods. article one, section 8, forbids congress from acting in the shameful way it has been acting without declaring war. we should have never been there in the first place, and that is not from liberal or aclu, but that is from a constitutionalist republican. host: "the financial times" this morning like many newspapers have a picture of senator john kerry, chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, talking with president karzai, getting him to agree to this runoff vote. there is a story in "the washington times" this morning with a headline u.n. envoy steers clear of afghan vote crisis -- u.s. convoys steers clear of afghan vote crisis. president obama called richard holbrooke one of the most talented diplomats of a generation but 10 months later mr. holbrook was anchored in washington and far from the front lines of diplomacy that led to tuesday's afghan election
year. the article goes on to say that there is tension between mr. karzai and mr. holbrooke and that mr. karzai is not fond of mr. holbrook. if you are interested in reading that article, ""washington times." richmond, va., the democrats' line. caller: the gentleman who was speaking about declaration of war sounds a lot of what we need to do. not only that, reinstitute the draft to give the troops more relief rather than let troops from one front to another. -- flipping troops from one fund to another. host: "the los angeles times" frontpage, pace of foreclosure follows -- slows and california. "the detroit free press" has this article this morning. this is about the back story of
the obama administration's efforts to save the auto companies. the former car guard tells all. gm and chrysler will on the brink of death -- the former carter czar -- car czar tells all. next caller. caller: i think we should take the troops out of afghanistan and used drones to bomb the poppy fields. and i hope obama bling scott ritter back to the inner circle because they seem more knowledgeable. host: as we mentioned at the top of the program this morning, negotiations continue on the health-care debate. joining us next is julie rovner from npr who will give us the latest on those negotiations.
>> c-span's document. "the supreme court" takes you inside one of the most cunning buildings in washington and into places only accessible to the justices and their staff. hear about the court's history and traditions from the justices themselves. all your own copy of "the supreme court: home to america's highest court." order at c-span.org/store.
>> the 2010 student cam contest is here. prizes for middle and high school students. top prize is $5,000. discreet a five minutes to 8 minute video on one of our country's greatest strengths or challenges the country is facing. it must incorporate c-span video and show different points of view. grab a camera and get started. >> "washington journal" continues. host: julie rovner is national public radio's health policy correspondent. you have been following the debate and negotiations. what is the latest? guest: both houses are trying to put their committee bill into one bill they can take to the floor. the date for floor debate keeps getting pushed back. one report said the house hope to have a bill before the thanksgiving recess.
first of was the end of this month, then first week of november, now thinks giving. -- first it was the end of this month, then first week of november, then thanksgiving. interestingly enough, there were polls that show public support for a public option. this would be one option within this exchange. this would be a place where only people and small businesses and individual market can go to choose from a menu of insurance options. the debate here is whether one of those options would be a plan run by the government. that is what this public option debate is about. in the house there was always thought to the public option. there is a public option and all three house committee bills, the question is how strong. in the senate there is a public option in one bill and not one in the other. the question is whether there will be one in the bill brought to the floor.
host: let us focus fergus' on the house. a headline in the huffington post -- pelosi to dems -- time to take a stand on public option. she said we are close to 218 votes. you need to let us know by wednesday whether are not you will support a public option on the floor. guest: in the house that are talking about what kind. basically there are two with several variations. there are two main that they are wrestling with. the public option based on medicare rates. the public option -- it is a little tricky. it would make the cost of down. what they got last night was a preliminary report from the congressional budget office that says the bill, what they call the robust public option, based on medicare rates, would cost about $871 billion, well below the $900 billion threshold set
by president obama that is now there drop dead number. that is the number that would basically limit payments for providers, doctors and hospitals, and that is why it would cost less. that is kind of on popular in parts of the country where medicare rates are low. they varied depending on where you are in the country and what the prevailing payments are for doctors and hospitals. the blue dogs, conservatives and democrats, generally fiscal conservatives do not like public option based on medicare rates because they are in parts of the country where medicare rates are low. kind of a strange back and forth. you have the public option based on medicare rates, it saves more money. then there is the last robust public option. that is what is debated in the
house -- the stronger public option this saves more money or slightly weaker that saves less money. that is what speaker pelosi is trying to push more right now. in the senate is more, are they going to have a public option or not? host: let's talk about the senate. who is in the room, where are they negotiating and why aren't there more people in -- involved? guest: they are in the majority leader's office. mostly senator harry reid, bacchus -- senator chris dodd, it is interesting, this was senator kennedy posset committee with a markup was going on, and senator kennedy as well all know was suffering from brain cancer at the time and he was participating mostly by phone from his house. senator chris dodd, then the second ranking member, was basically running the marked up. after senator kennedy passed away, senator chris dodd could have stepped in to take the committee but he decided to stay as chairman of banking committee
so senator harkin, next online, volunteered to take the committee. he is now chairman of the committee but since senator chris dodd basically ran the marked up he is doing the negotiating. so senator chris dodd is in the room for the health committee, senator baucus for the finance committee, and the health czar at the white house is in the room for merely for the white house. peter orszag, budget director, all so very steep and health policy -- steeped in health policy has been up and down in these negotiations. but a fairly small group doing the negotiating. host: what are you hearing about whether or not it public option is in or out? guest: now we are getting some of the moderates that originally said no public option, they are getting a lot of pressure from a lot more liberal democrats saying we don't want a bill that doesn't have one and they see the polls that say the public option is very popular.
originally it was thought the bill would go to the floor without a public option, that the liberals would get a chance to put one in and now it is thought it will go to the floor with a public option and the more moderate could vote to take it out. but we hear more inkling about some sort of compromise, maybe the kind of public option that would have some kind of a trigger or an opt out for certain states or some kind of a way -- or some kind of compromise. there are all kinds of variations being talked about now. i think the public option, if you will -- people kept saying earlier, reports of its deaf are premature. -- death are premature. host: julie rovner has been following this issue for many years and is author of a book on health care politics and policy. shawn on the republican line. good morning.
caller: first off, i would like to bring up the cbs/washington post poll, manufactured, right before it comes out and conferencing people support it. if you go to any of the representative town hall meetings, you you would know people did not support the public option. those are important fax. -- facts. i also wanted to know if the woman is a journalist or does she have an opinion on this, just based on being at npr, a correspondent. i would hope she would give the straight facts. host: and let me add to the comments and show the view is the new poll and "usa today" that americans are skittish over any changes in health care system.
guest: have been covering this for a long time, long before npr. i tried to keep my opinions to myself and straight facts. but certainly if you look at the polls all year long, the public option has remained fairly popular. what interestingly has not been very popular in this entire debate has been the individual mandate, which is the piece that really makes this entire restructuring that everyone is talking about work. it is the requirement that everybody has insurance. it was originally proposed by republicans actually back in 1993 during the last round of health overhaul when president clinton was trying to do that, it was the st. -- late senator john chafee and congressman bill thomas later became chairman of ways and means committee who originally said individuals should be required to have health insurance rather than having employers required to give it to them. that is the piece that is an all of these bills is the one that i think people are kind of choking over, that is not that popular.
but if you go back and look at virtually every poll, i think there is a lot of concern and opposition having the government take over the health care system, the so-called single payer, but the idea of a government-run plan as one option, particularly one option for a small number of people who will be allowed to buy insurance in these exchanges -- remember, these will only be open to small businesses and individuals, not for everybody. that has maintained popularity. it has ebbed and flowed, but it maintain majority and more pretty much through the debate, even in august when there was so much tension as president obama's ratings on handling the issue have gone down recently. but the support for the public option has stayed pretty much above 50% or close to. host: a tweet says this --
guest: yes, virtually all of these public options would have to be what they call self sustaining, that the premiums that would be paid in is what would be required -- it would have to be enough to support the public option. the whole "run by the government" thing would be like medicare. it still depends how they would be put together. but i'd -- that idea is the public option will look something like medicare. medicare, to some extent, the administration is farmed out to private companies so action in medicare is mostly administered -- administered under contract to private companies but the decision on what is covered and how much is paid is made by the government. there would be some government entity that would make a lot of the decisions but some of the things they are talking about what this public plan would be -- one of the compromises, a lot of state public plants open to
state employees. so what would not necessarily be the federal government. host: another option is to allow states to opt out of the federal option. guest: remember, a lot of these exchanges, these marketplaces, if you will, would be created on a state-by-state basis. the governor or the governor or and legislature could decide we don't want a government plan. there is some resistance by some lawmakers say it is not fair because then it just depends on where you live, and maybe that would not be reasonable way to do it. it could be an opt out, opt in. they are playing with how to structure of this so that it seems to be fair and treats everybody equally. host: edward on the democrats' line. caller: isn't a moment ago senator chris dodd is negotiating on behalf -- you said a moment ago senator chris dodd is negotiating on behalf of
the health committee. i am happy about that. but senator chris dodd is from connecticut as well as senator lieberman, and i hear about lieberman that really cares primarily about the insurance industry, which is powerful in his state. i'm wondering how the senators, coming from the same state, arguing this issue in a different way? one last quick question, senator roland burris from illinois seems to be acting as a loose cannon on this. the approach and their influence on this debate, i would like your opinion. host: you and your other viewers may be interested in continuing to watch "washington journal" because senator roland burris will join us at 9:00 a.m. eastern time will at -- we will ask him about his recent statement that he will not vote for a bill unless it contained a public option.
guest: we heard a lot of members saying they will not vote for a bill that does or does not have a public option. senator lieberman i think said he will not vote for a bill that does have a public option. i think he has been adamant. senator chris dodd, facing a very difficult reelection race next year -- he is not one of those line in the sand, but he has been in favor of a public option. from the same states, very different positions. not that uncommon. they just have different positions on the same issue host: -- on this issue. host: how much of this is being put on senator oliver statement? guest: he has been a wild card in the debate because they don't have as much control over senator will and barris over -- senator burris, he is not a
member of the congress and -- caucus being he would not be there in the long term. but they really need him to be part of this ongoing negotiations. it is a worry. host: has the white house reached out to him? guest: that i don't know. if they have not yet, there will be. host: has indicated he would go one step further and filibuster? guest: you should ask him. host: we will when he joins us. deborah, good morning. sorry about that -- we are going to move on. i think i did not press the right button. hopefully you can call back in. still ahead, south carolina. joe on the republican line. caller: i love how npr is really
neutral. what bothers me about the disingenuousness of the democrats with his public option, is they really want to use it to get universal health care. if you poll people and ask them if they went to the public option, if you lost your job and changed jobs and you have to go under many of these proposals, you have to go to the public system, that is a catch all, it is a way of trapping people into this. i bet most people would not answer in favor of the public option under that circumstance. the way they are designing these and the poll questions, if you ask the people correctly and if the democrats are honest in what they want to achieve, the vast majority of the people would not be for this. if you do a public option, that's great, but make sure you always allow people to be in their own plan if they choose. remember hillary clinton in 1993 would make it illegal for us to purchase insurance outside of the universal health care system, and i know that is what the democrats won.
they believe it is unfair to have their own personal plan if you want to pay more for more service. why don't we have the freedom to do this? i would guess anything your guest is against that, against me saying i want to pay more money out of pocket to have better service than medicare would provide, which shortages because doctors would work for those base rates. guest: remember the public plan would only one option. there would be private plans, too. but again, this is only one option in the exchange. no one has to go into the exchange. it is only mandatory that you have insurance. you could still go out and buy whatever insurance you want. but the idea is there would be a public plan within this menu of private plans. it is only one option. there are in fact democrats who would say they would hope the public option would over time grow into a single payer, which i think what you thought of, and
that is what the caller was were about and are some democrats to said they hope over time this is what this would become. but this is not what it is intended to be or is at this point. it would take a very long time for this to grow into that. this would no more grow into that than the current medicare program that has been around for 40 years, would grow into that. it is no more likely to grow into it than medicare as it exists now is likely to grow into it. it could if it were to become very popular, but so could medicare. host: democrats line. princeton, new jersey. caller: can i ask a favor, when you cut me off you could warn me? host: ok. i would cut off if you keep it quick. caller: i don't know if i can. let me just say briefly that i think the public option is a bad idea because it leaves on the table $400 billion a year of
private insurance waste due to high overhead and compliance costs. what i want to talk about is coverage in the last four or five years of health care. ezra klein from "the post" said he has been at the meetings and the best dressed people were always the single payer people and they've received no coverage at all from the media. i can understand how the powerful private insurance interests, spending a million and a half dollars a day, can by politicians but what i can't understand is i read "the washington post" and "the new york times" and how they bought them. what i said about the high cost and waste of private insurance, compliance costs and overhead, you will never see the article that mentioned the $400 billion figure or any figure. the whole argument has been pushed away. single payer was never considered.
the comparisons with other countries which are enormous. other countries get better health care at half the price that we pay. you didn't hear about that until it was way too late. just recently we began seen articles about that. before single pair was off the table we got some -- saw no articles. my take away is this is a failure of democracy. this is the triumph of special interest and the media has to bear a large burden of the blame. thank you. host: thank you. guest: in npr's defense, last year long before a single payer was off the table, we sent our whole team to western europe, it is on our website. switzerland, france, germany, england, and spent a couple of weeks and did a big, long a major series looking at how western europe covers all of their people basically for less
money than we do. was not specifically looking at single payer. we have done a number of single payer stores. but we have not spent an inordinate amount of time covering that because lawmakers will say, there is just not the political support for single payer, it is not likely to happen and they did not pursue it. and max baucus, chairman of finance committee, after a number of advocates got arrested for disrupting his hearing was saying he was kind of sorry he did not give them more of a hearing, but he said right off it was not something he was going to pursue because he simply could not see the votes for it. host: georgia, independent line. caller: my question is, we have been paying taxes -- $5 foot- long -- why because everyone agrees nobody should go to a hospital and be turned down, how close are we becoming toward
canada where a health care is absolutely free? guest: health care is not absolutely free. you pay for your health care for your taxes. they actually pay a lot of money, they just don't pay for the way we do it, on a piecemeal basis. they have a universal health care system. there are complaints about long lines and waiting times in canada. there are then counter complaints that those complaints are blown out of proportion, and in some cases there are and in some cases they do have limits on what they can get and how long it takes for you to get things. i think a lot of people look at other countries systems have thought canada is probably not the one we would be most likely to emulate, if we were to emulate another system. that there probably should be a role for private insurance market here, that maybe we would be more likely to go to a system like the netherlands or system or france, someplace that has more of a hybrid public-private
system. again, it is a matter of coming up with a system that is uniquely american that we are going to have to figure out for ourselves what is going to work to cover everyone and to try to hold down costs and to try to figure out what the majority of the population politically is going to accept. host: when could the senate bring legislation? they are guest: hope with the first week of -- guest: they are hoping the first week of december. host: could they expect a vote? guest: i expect three or four weeks. the republicans, and all kinds of threats, with the energy on the floor, no child left behind was on the floor for five weeks. i this is going -- i hate to say christmas, but it would not be totally shocking. host: lyle on the republican line.
caller: i would like to point out that medicare when it was first passed first paid for itself. congress as years went by got their grubby hands on it and a decreased -- and they decreased what the suppliers are supposed to get, the doctors and hospitals, so now it is somewhere between 50% to 80% of actual cost. if you do this public option, the same thing is going to happen. eventually congress is going to pay it -- play with it, and when that happens the regular insurance companies will not be able to compete with the public option and we will be forced to go into a public option. that is basically the case now with medicare. almost all seniors are medicare primary, and then somebody else on the secondary.
guest: the reason all seniors are on medicare is because there was no private insurance for seniors. no private insurers wanted to cover seniors because they were considered a bad risk. originally on the part b premium, the optional part, it was supposed to cover half of the cost and now it covers 25%. it was considered that it got too expensive. when you look at 1965 when medicare was passed and what is now, you can see how medicare has got much more expensive. there simply weren't as many things there were on the medical care scene. we did not have word in transplants or joint replacements. medicare is really a reflection on what has happened in the rest of the system. it is not that medicare itself has got much more expensive, but health care has gotten more expensive. i don't know if you could just lay in medicare as much as looking at the system at large.
host: this headline -- fight over medicare cut splays into a larger debate. what is happening in capitol hill? guest: this has to do with a court in medicare. in 1989 medicare redid -- has to do with a cork and medicare. in 1989 medicare redid have a paid doctor. they wanted to base it more logically on how much work and effort it took to do each individual service. in order to control the volume, they also didn't want doctors to increase the number of services they provide it but control the volume, they put in a volume targets -- they provided, but also control the volume. at first they gave doctors begin increases -- starting in 2001, the first-ever calling for cuts.
these are real cuts. sometimes a medicare they say we will cut your inflation increase. this was a cut in pay. in 2002 they started cancelling the cuts because doctors say you cannot cut and then make a street medicare patients. this is when the republicans were in charge. did they did not pay for it which makes the cut -- makes a bigger each year. now they want to get rid of this entirely and wiping the slate clean. that costs $245 billion. the house put it into their health overhaul bill and the blue dogs said they would let it happen but they wanted and exchange law that said this would never happen again, we will have paygo forever, whenever you add to spending you had an offsetting cut or tax increase. the senate was going to put this separately. they were going to have a
separate bill that said we would make the cuts not just yet -- not just next year's 20% for doctors but make the cuts go away and swallow the $245 million -- too large and a $45 billion. not only the republicans, but the democrats were saying no, you are not -- swallow the tool runs and $45 billion. you have seniors what -- $245 billion. texting is will be affected because doctors will not treat medicare beneficiaries. now you have a big grab more in the senate with this bill that is up. host: raleigh, north carolina. steve. caller: i have three things. number one, the current problems of the system that would lead and right now, it is a demonic system -- the system that we are in right now, it is a demonic system and the silence in churches is deafening.
i just can't believe what is going on. number two, i'm 45 years old. why am i discriminated against receiving health care through medicare? why is it just set aside for senior citizens? i get sick just like everybody else. i should be covered just like everybody else. i would be glad to pay into medicare. i would be glad to double my payments into medicare to receive basic health care. number three, if americans listen and go to the internet to keith olbermann's comments on the health care system in this country, they would have tears in their eyes. thank you very much. guest: certainly the faith community has been active in this issue, talking about health care for all, saying it is a moral issue and not just an economic issue.
but i think it has been sort of drowned out by the rest of the debate. and there have been suggestions that people under age 65 be allowed to buy into medicare. right now you become eligible automatically -- you pay medicare taxes when you work and when you become 65 you become eligible for medicare. but there has long been talk about having young people being able to buy their way into medicare. 45 i think is younger than many suggest, more like 55. because as you get older it is harder to buy private insurance, there is age rating, which means as you get older it is not only harder to get health insurance but it is more expensive. i am not sure it is in any of the bills at the moment. but under these bills it would be easier to buy private insurance -- you would still have to pay more. there is age rating still, but the issue is how much more you would have to pay if you are older, but at least he would be
able to get insurance more easily. . ♪ caller: how come there's no tarp reform? was there nothing in the system to make illegals pay their own health-care, or have their country of origin responsible? all these things continuously get pushed off on to the american consumer with no protections for us. host: in the case of medicaid is
the states to set the rates and they tend to be set low. --guest: in a lot of states and their doctors will not cease such patients because the rates are set so low. in some states the federal government pays as much as 80%. but it is the state that decides how much to pay. state budgets are strapped. the federal government sets minimum eligibility, but the state can decide how high to extend it. indeed what happens in the case of doctors, sometimes the doctor or hospital takes up the difference, or it gets passed on to people who have private insurance. it is one reason why the whole issue was on the table. we have a very dysfunctional system now. medicaid is a big problem in terms of offering in most cases
very low pay. to some extent that is the problem with medicare. although in some parts of the country medicare pays more than some private insurance. there are parts of the country where some providers would be happy to have medicare because they're underpaid by private health insurers. host: marie joins us from california. caller: you need to get some perspective, julie. these countries you mentioned -- switzerland and france, but they are somewhat smaller. switzerland is about the size of one of our very small states. you people on the left just don't have any perspective on anything. they can do these things. our country is 60 times as big as some of these little tiny countries. also, i have an aunt in canada who is winning six months for hip replacement. do not tell me they do not have
to wait. also, lots of the canadian doctors left here. guest: actually, i went to switzerland because a number of health economists on the right were recommending a. but yes, switzerland has fewer people and it is easier. but there are other countries to have figured out how to do this. we will be able to fix the healthcare system without looking at ways other places have done it. it is difficult. we are big, heterogeneous country. we will have to find a way that everyone can agree with. there is no shortage of suggestions. it is finding those we can apply in a place with 50 very different states and a lot of different opinions. it is not an easy thing to solve. but pretty much everyone agrees
on both the left and right that the healthcare system does not work well as it is right now, not for anybody. host: the paper reports that the healthcare debate is a stimulus for lobbyists. they go through some of the different companies that have upped their expenditures for lobbying in recent months. it corresponds with the healthcare debate. what do you see on capitol hill? guest: that is certainly true. there are many lobbyists at the capitol, lots of ads. good for the media in that sense, advertising. for all the efforts by the white house to try to keep the big players from going down strongly against these bills there has been a lot of quiet and sometimes not so subtle lobbying
of certain elements. we have seen in the senate finance committee certain fees there would have on the different industries. there are lots of people in there. there would be limits on how much you can put into your flexible spending account. lots of lobbyists working against that. pieces of the bill each have their interests and an array of lobbyists working for or against. host: as time goes on as they continue to negotiate, does it benefit the lobbyists? guest: sure, there is no end of work for lobbyists in healthcare industry. host: riverside, calif. caller: good morning, greetings to everyone in the world. here as long as congress can get paid off by these other
interests against welfare, the welfare of the people, we really do not have a democracy. no matter what the issue is. money toward the war, this or that. there is a shadow group behind. canada's highest this seemed public figure is a man who engineered health care for all. no matter what anyone says people are happy with it. cuba -- i held 911 rescue workers who could not their real work there. to give them pills at 20 cents per bottle. here they are like $120. it is such a shame that people are getting let down so bad but this so-called democracy here. i don't know what the answer is to this shadow government, but jesus said this would happen. i hope that people are ready.
thank you, and god bless america, and the world. host: any thoughts about that callers' comments? guest: i think congress is really trying to find some way to deal with this. the federal government has been working on healthcare, tried to do something since teddy roosevelt's administration. and has never really succeeded. i do not think it is as simple as people being bought off. it is a very hard issue. we see the wide variation in opinion. congress deals with that too. it affects everyone intimately. so, it is very, very hard to find something that can get a majority of votes. people feel very strongly about it. host: virginia, bob, good morning. caller: i really wish that the
technology we have with that everyone be able to vote just like we did for the president on big issues like this. because it needs to be gotten right. then the main thing, all this problem as a result of deregulation. when you deregulate the companies, insurance companies where they can charge whatever they want, and you see with the banking business has done, it is the same thing. as long as these people are now regulated this is what will come of it. we need to go back and tell them they can make a fair profit but cannot just rip people off anytime they want. guest: there were never regulated in the first place. the states regulate the insurance company.
there is talk on capitol hill about certain regulations -- about some. about stripping the insurance industry of their antitrust exemption. it is something i intend to look into because there has never been serious talk about it before. this goes back to a 1945 law that leaves it to the states. i'm sure that the insurance industry is not happy about it. it is something they have coveted, had an coveted since 1945. host: good morning, on the republican line. caller: are received a disability benefit. my costs have gone up. a couple of years ago was $48 per quarter. to the aspen $87 per month. according to a malar i received recently from the administration my costs will go up to almost $120 per month. will anything be done to bring
in those costs? -- according to a mailer i recently received. host: can you clarify that? are these health care costs? caller: yes, cost for the supplemental insurance the goes on top of the medicare. hostguest: so this is your supplemental policy. i don't know whether you will be immediately affected by some of the cost controls anticipated. it is the hope that this congressional bill could start to at least slow the rise in healthcare costs. everyone is seeing increases, particularly for next year. in 1993 and 1994 when the bill did not happen in the clinton administration, at least one thing that did happen is that the insurance and drug
industries in particular really slow the increase. whether that was confidence with the timing of the cyclone markets, or the rise of managed care -- we saw almost zero health inflation for a couple of years in the mid-1990s. we do not see that now. we see pretty hefty increases for next year. host: cottontail, alabama, on the line for democrats. jerry? caller: first, i support a public option. what i have not heard anyone say much about is the business form of health insurance. in the early 1970's, they started to come out with a
business form -- i cannot remember the exact term. that allowed the medicare, whatever they could bear, that is what it would charge. for the last 40 years we have seen healthcare outstrip in every area. to the point where i think something like 16% of the gdp [unintelligible] why can't we go back to a medical form? and not a business form? guest: the callers probably talking about the rise of for- profit insurance. for a long time it was not for
profit, the blue cross blue shield plans. many of them have gone for profit. that has been a big issue. many companies cannot more for- profit then not. that is a big cause for debate. should there be a profit made off of health insurance? or should return to the not-for- profit model? host: the last call for julie is from atlanta. caller: good morning. i have a question about lobbyists. i was watching max baucus during the hearings. every once in a while if you look to the tv, to the right of max baucus, sitting in the back chair there is a young lady who is handing him notes all the time. i could not figure out -- i
thought to myself that she must work on his staff and is sending notes concerning the health care problems. but then i turn on and listen to bill moyers one afternoon and he had the same shot i was watching a couple of days ago with this young lady handing mr. max baucus these notes, sitting right behind him. come to find out that she was one of the heads of wellpoint which is the largest insurance company in the u.s. and she is ahead of his staff for writing the bill. and then her previous, the girl who was previously in her position went from the position she holds now to wellpoint. how if people stand for this?
why isn't something done? guest: just to clarify, that was liz who work for max baucus of for several years. she went to wellpoint and then return to max baucus to work on this bill. she is a long time senate staffer who had a brief sojourn in the private sector and then returned. she took a rather large pay cut to work on this bill. she was certainly not representing wellpoint. she was working night and day on the spot. but yes, she did leave briefly to work for wellpoint. host: julie rovner with npr, thank you for joining us. coming next, we'll speak with two former senators who are now heading the weapons of mass destruction committee.
the commission warned that a biological or nuclear attack was possible some were in the world in the next five years, that was in 2008. in their back with an interim report. that is next. ♪ >> this morning the senate home when security it's an update on the response to the h1n1 bair step. we'll hear from kathleen sibelius, janet now be and the education secretary duncan. live coverage beginning at 9:30 a.m. eastern. you can also followed online at c-span.org and on c-span radio.
this saturday on america and the courts, oral de meant and the appeal of moussaoui. that is saturday. >> sunday, very black, the retired navy admiral is the first african-american to hold the chaplain office of the u.s. senate. c-span is documentary, the supreme court, home to america's highest court. it takes you inside one of the most cunning buildings in washington and into places only accessible to the justices and their staff. hear about the history and traditions from the justices themselves.
own your 0 in the dvd copy -- on your own copy. -- own your own copy. >> the 2010 student cam contest is here. the top prize is $5,000. create a 5-8 minute video. it must incorporate c-span programming and show varying points of view. the deadline is january 20. grab the camera and get started. go to the website for contest rules and information. "washington journal" continues. host: joining us this morning are two former bob graham senators and his vice-chair, a former senator jim talent. they are out with an interim
report. pulte to show viewers to cover. "the clock is ticking" -- a progress report. -- i want to show viewers to cover. the headline is bio-terror neglect criticized on report. the white house is now addressing a threat. -- not addressing the threat. what did you find out? guest: our report issued december of last year said the most serious threat the u.s. and the world faces is a biological, not nuclear threat. we think sometime between now and the end of 2013 we're likely with a 50/50 chance that some weapon of mass destruction will be used on the planet. the clock is ticking. over 300 days have passed since we issued the report. while we think there has been
significant work done on the nuclear side, we think the biological side which is more likely has not gotten the attention. host: senator jim talent, what needs to be done by the obama administration? guest: our assessment was affirmed two weeks later. they have to set a structurally to recognize this star. i do not have the staff, a person with extensive bio experience. both the clinton and bush did have such a person may know there are a couple of programs designed to create and stockpiled the medical countermeasures needed if we were attacked. funding that is basic. that is anti-bio-terror 101. they have about one-tenth of what we need.
it is not ill will but a lack of sense of urgency. host: you have been backed up in your assessment by colin powell who has of the one that scares me to death, even more so than tactical nuclear weapons, and when we have least capability against is biological weapons. senator bob graham, what does he mean? guest: there is a tendency to think that this and we do with nuclear can just be applied only to biological. the new clear approach is locked down -- the nuclear approach is lockdown when you know where they are. but biological weapons are ubiquitous. there is limited scientific technology to what the nice
those -- to weaponize. we think of the strategy is to be so well-prepared that you can mitigate consequences. so it may be a weapon of destruction, but it will not be mass destruction. you are able to reduce ablekill -- to reduce the kill rate. you have to know you are under attack, communicate that, have the therapeutic agents to respond. you have to have means of distributing those to the affected population each link in the chain is critical to our ability to make a biological attack something less than mass destruction. guest: we have had a number of briefings by the department of, and secured.
you could take isolated anthrax which is in nature. you can isolate it, put it into a slurry and drive around the city such as new yorker washington with a cold fogger. you could expose -- amid-level scenario is to expose hundreds of thousands at and killed several thousands. we're not saying to downgrade the nuclear threat. but we have to address both. we need a sense of urgency. in all fairness we have not seen that. i think the president -- we're not saying that, but we don't think he is being served as well as he should be, particularly by those in the national security council. host: does the issue need to be
kicked up higher in the chain of command? guest: this also relates to nuclear. there have been a number of policy issues going back 20 years or more were one side of the table as actions that would reduce the likelihood of proliferation, and on the other is either an economic or geo- political interests. in nearly every instance the non-proliferation is lost. we become slightly more vulnerable. we think part of the reason is there has been no one of gravitas, someone with real weight and so the white house responsibility -- inside the white house with the responsibility to address this. last summer' jim and i sent a letter suggesting that the vice-
president in his office would be an ideal place to put this responsibility. host: where has that recommendation gone? guest: they are considering it. it does not have to be joe biden, but there has to be someone so senior -- that the cabinet officers and others deal with him or her as a nickel. there is much good work being done. it is just that we're concerned that the don't seem to be reacting to the bio threat to with the urgency in torrance. host: the commission has a dual put out a report card in january 2010. so that viewers understand what you are trying to say, give the obama administration and congress agreed now. guest: purposely did not in this
report and am noi'm afraid not n this program will give an alphabetical or numerical grade. this report was to put people on notice that we will issue a report in about 90 days which will have some concrete, in numerical or alphabetical indications of performance. we want to give people this three month's notice. host: it is not a good grade right now? guest: we're monitoring progress and saying there are certain areas where you are in trouble. it is safe to say the grade would give congress on congressional reform -- we recommend a change the way they oversee particularly the department of common security.
there are 75 or 80 different committees overseeing it. with the third bipartisan commission congress has recommended there has been zero sign of progress. i say that they get an f so far. guest: i agree, but on the other side, senator lieberman and senator collins have come out with an impressive piece of legislation which basically adopt the recommendation in our report as relates to biological terrorism. it makes many of the steps we think necessary to increase our security. guest: the leadership of that committee has responded very appropriately. host: they want to take something away from other committees. guest: when the department of common security was created it
was the product of taking a number of agencies -- for example, the coast guard which have been under the commerce committee, and others have been other committees -- that is referred to as legacy jurisdiction. now all that has been shifted to this one committee. we think congress should recognize that reality and remove the legacy jurisdictions. let one committee -- the common security -- have the responsibility to oversee this. guest: the bill had a number of titles, laboratory security, tighten security in bio labs which is very important. as soon as we testified before the committee both senators recognized immediately that we needed to act urgently and have acted appropriately. host: before do to phone calls what does congress need to do to change that great?
guest: a couple of things. in the next 90 days take significant steps on legislation such as the lieberman-collins legislation. at least voted out of committee in the senate and get it introduced in the house. second, there should be some indication from leadership of the house and senate that they are moving towards focusing all responsibility for jurisdiction over to the department of common security by removing the legacy jurisdictions. guest: i would agree. you know that if done properly oversight can be hugely profitable. remind them of the urgency and stay on top of them. if done improperly it can be very unhelpful. it forces executive branch
officials to testify before dozens of committees and waste time. we are saying to start helping and stop making it worse. we will see. host: john joins us from massachusetts. caller: good morning. i have listened concerning wmd's. we provided biological weapons will we fought iran. with about preventing. the destruction we have done over the history of our country to our own people and to others -- so, [inaudible] we have destroyed more people in the world than many others put together. so, a practice what you preach. guest: the fundamental
responsibility of our government is the production of its people. right now we are under threat. we think it is a serious and urgent threat that some foreign power or non-governmental group like al qaeda will gain access to either a nuclear or biological weapon and use it some place on earth with the u.s. prole been the first target. on the nuclear side we think we're doing generally an adequate job. we have lots of work to do to protect against biological weapons. guest: we know that muhammed who was the man who flew the planes into the world trade center try to buy a crop duster just before 9/11. we found bio labs in afghanistan
in 2001. we know from other intelligence that they are trying to do this. the threat exists. host: let me read a message from twitter. why scare the people with this information since we have no power to do anything about it other than stay out of our major cities? guest: that is not correct. there are a series of steps we can take. we have taken many of them with nuclear. with biological materials are too available. anthrax is a byproduct of the cave animals. you can pick it up in the field. that has been a cause of the animals death. it is easy to manipulate.
they're much less detectable. it can be transported in a a vial. it is a very real threat. the most important thing we can do is to take those steps to prepare us for such an act so we can reduce that from been a mass attack. let me just make one other point -- but we are proposing to do for biological attack by terrorists is what you would want to do for a biological attack by nature itself. these are not wasted funds. if we're fortunate enough not to be attacked by terrorists, because as we're learning to do with swine flu, we need to prepare for a variety of potential biological incidents
brought on by nature, not by evil men. host: what is the role of the citizen? guest: we think it is critical. i have spent quite a bit of time in the united kingdom which has had a long history of involving citizens in their national security. they say they have never broken a terrorist plot and in great britain without the active involvement of citizens. we need to spend more time informing citizens. not been fearful that that will result in other non-constructive activities, but will result in unable citizenry that will play a critical role mitigating the effects of an attack. guest: when you do the final report we will issue more extensive recommendations for what individuals can do.
this is a commission -- the short answer, this is what the congress told us to do. they want us to do the additional report. i give a lot of credit to the leaders of congress. they said to tell us what we need to do. that is what we're doing. host: what is your budget? guest: we had an initial budget of approximately $2.5 million. we have something over $1 million left at the end of our first year. congress asked us not to disband, but to stay together, utilizing the balance of funding to do things like developing a set of specific recommendations for citizens. and issuing these report cards.
guest: we have only spent about half of what we are budgeted to spend sends senator bob graham's leadership. host: you have spent a lot of energy looking at this over the years. and you put out a report saying that the threat was real and there could be an attack somewhere in the next five years. today you said that the clock is ticking. is washington listening to you? how'd you get them to listen going forward? -- how do you get them to listen? guest: congress has been listening. this legislation has been introduced in the senate. the next few weeks we hope to see some significant steps toward enactment. i think that the administration has been listening. we give it a very positive reports on what the administration has done on the nuclear side.
the president has assumed to world leadership of three things such as his speech in prague and initiatives that have come from that speech. but in this one area of bio- terrorism which we believe is more serious of the two, that we have a lot of work to do. guest: on issues like this generally a fund with washington there is no one who says this is an important -- unimportant, but you have to set the government up. the important things get done without the top-level people having to say in every case of a gulf fund this particular program." we see this. this vaccine program should have been easy to do, should have gotten funded through the stimulus package. host: the h1n1 vaccine?
guest: yes, but there are also other programs designed to divide the vaccines problem. it told us they have not structured what they operate well enough. so that someone was saying we're spending this money and we on stimulus, let's put the $3 billion we need in here. host: george joins us from pennsylvania on the line for democrats. caller: i've been waiting a long time while these two guys make their pitch. here we go again, weapons of mass destruction. haven't we prevent it is a big hoax? especially bacterial weapons. bacteria like to grow in its own environment. once it is taken out of its natural environment these things they're talking about -- it is all b.s. anthrax is natural in nature.
it is all around us. by the way, what happened to the big anthrax attack? what was the final solution to that? i think that what a hoax from the beginning. -- i think that that was a hoax. and what about your banking stuff? you were rejected by your friends in florida and congress give you this cushy job this so- called host: commission ok, we will let senator bob graham respond. guest: george, i don't really know which charged to answer first. i'm honored to have this position and to work closely with my good friend jim talent. i think we're doing some good work. we do not think this is a hoax. we believe our adversaries have been seriously planning to gain access to both nuclear and
biological weapons. we believe the clock is ticking asked to the time there will be successful in their effort. we need to take every step we can to lock down and a clear and develop an effective response so that the biological attack cannot be a mass attack. i know it is difficult to even conceptualize something as destructive, catastrophic as a weapon of mass destruction. one of the criticisms of 9/11 was a lack of imagination. we do not think would be possible for anyone to drive commercial airliners into icons of american economics and secured. it can happen. -- of american economic and security. we can sit passively on the sidelines, or actively do things to reduce the likelihood.
host: new york city, independent line. caller: good morning. congratulations, c-span. i love watching it. what party do you both belong to? is a republican? guest: the commission is bipartisan. guest: i'm a democrat. guest: i'm a republican. guest: the commission was evenly divided. but people had their party affiliations, that did not carry over into the work. caller: we went down this road before. here we go again. to me, all europe lately since the new president, all they are going to do is undermine and attack them. let's work together.
if we have such an attack out there, what should we do? it could be true. it was so scary for everyone and then come to find out it was a lie. you have to be careful stating this. now you say this president acts like he does not know this is happening. you try to warn him. i have a hard time believing this president does not care about american people. host: why don't you take that one? guest: we issued our report at the end of the bush administration in 2008. it was a unanimous report. i'm the vice-chairmen of the former republican commission, and we were all unanimous, along with democrats. we're trying to make recommendations. this time instead of responding
to a successful attack after it occurs as with 9/11, we're hopeful to prevent it from happening. the threat exists. recommendations we have made it followed will reduce the other. some are being followed, some not. i have to say, in response to the woman who said that senator bob graham a cushy job -- this is an unpaid job. he is doing a great job and i have been privileged to work with him. this is an example of how washington ought to work. host: how often do you mean? guest: we were meeting monthly when we develop the report. generally, we meet once per month. we have had one meeting of the full commission. in 2001 we will have others as
we get ready for the report card. host: is there a staff who works on a daily basis? guest: we have a small, expert staff who have expertise in the critical areas. guest: we have been saying ever since the report issued and we were reconstituted, making his points, but this administration and congress, that these were areas of concern -- making these points. you need to fund these various medical counter measure progress. we are issuing this in the hopes they will respond before we issue the final report. host: detroit, good morning. caller: did morning mr. jim talent, mr. bob graham.
-- good morning. there were white masters who had these weapons and i suggest we convert the entire u.s. economy to make duct tape to secure ourselves for the 6 billion more majority of civilized humanity who will destroy us and destroy our white colonial selves. guest: we think the most likely attack will be from a non-state entity such as the one who attacked us on 9/11. we know they have repeatedly expressed the desire to gain a weapon of mass destruction. in the case of al qaeda they have had a policy that every attack will be more lethal than the one before, particularly with the target as the u.s. or
u.s.-interest. and to go beyond its will almost require a weapon be on the convention. we think this is a real threat. we have a good idea as to who our adversaries are and what motivates them. and what their plan of operation is likely to be. therefore, we are trying to institute counter measures which will frustrate their achievement of that objective. host: new orleans. caller: yes, senator bob graham, during your one for president you alluded to the fact that the 9/11 commission was a cover-up. you also alluded to the fact that bush was covering up saudi arabian involvement in 9/11. i would like to draw attention to the fact that two remarks
made from the former prime minister of denmark and the former president of italy, both, the prime minister recently came on national tv and said he was warned of the building's collapse 15 minutes before him. the italian president referred to the fact that there was absolute proof that cia operatives and other agents were involved in 9/11. host: we would get a response. guest: i was the co-chair of the congressional inquiry into 9/11 and we did not find this kind of charges of complicity by agents of the u.s. government or by governments other than those identified. we are trying to develop this report based on the most
credible, factual basis, not conspiracy theories or rumors. as jim said, shortly after we issued a report that then- director of national intelligence made almost precisely the same assessment. this is not just a group of nine citizens wandering off with their own speculation. this is a matter we think has significant, credible support. guest: can i make a comment on that? this relates to the last caller. one of the reasons the intel committee has concluded this is a triple guilty is that it fits with both the strategy and tactics of these terrorist groups. if you had an ax to grind against concluded that this is such a possibility -- concluded
that this is such a possibility. if you had an ax to grind you would use other, a semester weapons. the ultimate one is biological. it is perfectly logical given goals and their strategic sort of methods of operation that they would be doing this and be intel tells us they are trying to do it. we think the probability that they will accomplish it is growing. within another four and half years we will reach the level of probability. host: on the republican line, will in tennessee. caller: you look lovely this morninglookgreta. thanks for su spending of this is a wonderful window to the american government. i'm so pleased that c-span is doing this for the citizens. -- you look lovely this morning,
great. i want to ask the gentleman. the presidents and government themselves after world war ii made it a policy to bring not alarm systems on nuclear war with fallout shelters. there is no way the american people are going to be warned if there is a government to not really take this job seriously. the other thing is, if the government -- we're watched every day. if there is a weakness, the enemy will find it. we can take care of our borders. the enemy always has an open opportunity. america is the most humanitarian mission in the world. we believe our enemies are our friends too.
we invite them in and give them visas and other privileges. after that they unload their little package on us. also, when it comes to the nuclear bomb i'm afraid that many people don't realize it, but israel will be the first one to take the full blast first. the state of israel, some want to wipe it off the map. it will be a domino effect after that. guest: that is one of the reasons we think the issue theiran can now access to nuclear weapon is so serious. it is not just that it will arm iran, but it will also be the catalyst for nuclear break out in the middle east. you cannot believe that believeiran is armed, egypt, turkey, saudi arabia, and possibly others will want to do
likewise, making that already extremely volatile part of the globe even more so. guest: here is an example for you can do. the government mentioned that rigid the gentleman mentioned that the government can give people this. we can set up systems where we can quickly detect an attack. if we can get that down to six hours, stockpile, and get it out to people, then we can neutralize it. we're talking about working on these kinds of things. you can remove anthrax from the list if you have effective enough countermeasures. it is well within the capabilities of local governments working with local health authorities to do. host: next caller, on the line for democrats.
caller: i understand, and thank you for explaining those plans. but on my end i'm going to fight this battle on mondays -- of my knees. host: thank you. we want to remind you and other viewers to turn down your television when you call in. the me ask your reaction to kyl's peace in the paper. he argues that our deterrent relies on the reliability of our arsenal. guest: he was heavily involved in a portion of the report. guest: i agree with senator kyl that the credibility of our nuclear weapons is a key part of our ability to deter. right now we are relying on non-
testing methods, computer modeling, and other esoteric forms of physics. i visited the center in new mexico which is responsible for the maintenance of our nuclear stockpile. it was their assessment that they are confident that our weapons are reliable and did not advocate testing. the concern about testing is that if we test, then what is our moral high ground to tell other countries such as china, india, pakistan that they should not test? it would be virtually obliterated. that would be a much prettier threat in my opinion to world security than the threat that our weapons cannot be maintained in good order without having to actually blow them up. host: oceanside, calif., mark.
caller: i'm concerned about the origin of some diseases appearing now. i'm curious about what is being presented -- it seems to be a giveaway to biological firms. is there some way to police them? they are the origin of many diseases. they are the problem, not the solution. the aids virus, for instance. one of the two discoveries -- discovers, the french researcher we heard about 20 years ago, believes the disease was created, brought to africa from the u.s. by homosexuals. that it really did not have its origin in africa. so, the profit motive in these biological research firms to greet them, spread them, and then have this pay for
countermeasures i think is an incentive that needs to be counted. i would like to know whether these two would like to create a commission similar to the saa where the plane crash, the wealthy people want to know what caused it and they always get to the bottom of it -- we should get to the cause, a specific cause with a disease such as aids. host: sorry ,mark. i think we lost you. guest: one of our main recommendations is greater security at our laboratories. for the last 10 years there has been an explosion of laboratories with the capability of developing these pathogens in the u.s. and around the web. we think we need to set higher standards for our own laboratories so that we can then put moral pressure on other
countries to do likewise. but we do not believe that suspicions of things that may have happened in the past ought to stand in the way of taking reasonable steps to protect ourselves today. we think reasonable steps in a clear and the bio-terraced potential attacks are within our capability, and that we have a responsibility to the people of america and the world to utilize those capabilities -- we think is the most ups in a clear and upsbio-terrorist attacks are within our capability. guest: the enemy is not our government, this or the last administration, all bio firms. it is a group of people fortunately who are small in terms of the rest of the world. we have most of the people of the world as partners. we do have an active enemy tried
to give us with these weapons. we can prepare. there are things the government has been doing effectively, and has not been doing affectively. they're good things that can happen, but unless you keep the pressure on, well, you know how this town operates. host: thank you for your time. joining us up on capitol hill this morning is senator roland burris, a democrat from illinois. you have garnered attention for your recent comments that unless a healthcare bill includes a public option it will not go for it. yesterday in the liberalblogs does lots of chattering about whether you will be taken seriously on this issue, and some think he will not be taken seriously unless you go one step further to say will not vote to end debate on this.
in other words, we go one step further to filibuster this legislation? guest: my position is dealing with the outcome of the legislation, and i'm now getting into the process now or telegraphing moves on the procedural matters. i have stated unequivocably that if the final package does not carry with it the strong public options that allow individuals to have competition and to acquire health insurance, then i will not vote for that the decision. i do not know what the other explanations were from other people, but that is my position. that is where my constituents are. the people who have contacted me from across illinois, and those who have contacted me from across the country have said would never you do, keep your position on the public option.
guest: i will not be some type of obstructionist. i just want to put forth my ideas and views like my colleagues are doing and hope i will be persuasive in the end. host: senator burris, could you compromise on alternative proposals that are out there when it comes to the public option -- possibly allowing states to have a public option or allowing states to opt out of the public option? guest: all of those carry with it some weakening positions. i'm concerned about the weakening positions that would allow insurance companies to get around all of these nuances for the watered-down public option procedures. that is the reason why i say at this point my position would be for a strong and some people use the terminology robust public
option, which means it could not be maneuvered around, and persons who could not get insurance would then be able to competitively acquire some insurance. host: in these talks with senate majority leader harry reid and colleagues, is there something else that you also see the state of illinois in meeting in any health-care bill that comes to the floor? guest: what we need in the state of illinois and across the country is the opportunity for those persons who cannot get health insurance from their employer, who cannot afford the insurance on their own, to up an opportunity to be in short. we owe every possible american to be able to have health insurance. that is what is driving a lot of the cost to our economy. a lot of it has to do with the automobile industry going into bankruptcy, because the health insurance costs more than even the other parts for the
automobile. we are paying more for health insurance for workers because of the exorbitant rate increases that the employer was getting from the entrance. the only industry that does not have any regulation is the insurance industry. we must bring a competition for them, and thereby allow costs accountability and transparency to be there on behalf of the people of america. host: our viewers are lining up to talk to you. ron on the democrats' line. caller: good morning. i agree with the senator as far as i believe i would like to see a public option as well. i have pre-existing conditions, and i just got a notice in the mail from my insurance carrier that my son, and will be 21 at the end of this month -- if i don't show proof that he is a full-time student, they are going to cancel him. he also has a pre-existing conditions. i would like to see that bill passed awa-- passed that way, i
hope we get some changes against the insurance companies with the pre-existing conditions. guest: the caller is absolutely correct, and that is absolutely what we have to get insurance reform read these insurance companies can put caps on you, they cannot ensure you or they can cut you off. that is not acceptable in terms of this health-care in the united states of america. what we should certainly seek to do is to have a complete package. that young man is going to be 21, and another program, it will go until he is 26. based on that, he would not have to be bothered on whether he would be covered in school or if he has a pre-existing condition. the caller is absolutely
correct. host: los angeles on the republican line. good morning, mike. caller: not only is the insurance companies one of the major problems. the other problem i find would be doctors' salaries have not been addressed. there is a conflict of interest in the operation of any doctor who wants to see that anybody wants to get well. although they take theocratic oath, -- the head bookrack oath -- hippocratic oath, there are too many problems with the rich -- host: mike, hold on one second. if you hang on the line for one second, we have technical difficulties with senator burris' your piece, and he is having trouble hearing you. if you could back up a little bit and get your point again, and then we will have the
senator respond to it go ahead. caller: the problem with health care is you do not have a national policy where everybody can taking care of is that it is the rich, the money rules. that means that doctors need a salary. how do the doctors get a salary? the insurance companies, the money lobby, money, money, money. until they have a solution for this, it is going to be constantly the poor. until the poor as a national health-care policy, perhaps put a ceiling on doctors' salaries so that they can no longer say, "i want to be a doctor to become rich." you now have to be a doctor only to. -- only to help. host: senator burris, were you
able to hear that? guest: i heard portions of it in terms of the money portion. the insurance companies are the biggest culprit of the money industry. i do not know if we can go to socialized medicine at this point, limiting doctors' salaries. we still the best medical providers in the world, and they are skilled and trained and i do not want to see that interfered with. but i want to see if the doctors can treat their patients without the insurance companies limiting the doctors. there is a little concerned about the doctors that may have investments in other laboratory facilities where they return patients. that has to be looked at. but i don't think at this point we are so much after the medical providers as we are after the medical insurers. the big problem right now is getting insurance. if we could have insurance required for automobiles, we should not have a 47 million americans in this country without health insurance.
when they get sick and and in the emergency room, driving up the total costs of the overall medical system. based on that, we are reaching out to make some changes, after almost 100 years, with 10 president's working on this major issue. we are moving to a conclusion. we have the united states congress further than we've ever been in the history of this matter. we are going to bring a conclusion, as president obama said, and he will be the last president of the work on this particular issue. host: critics of the so-called public option said it is a way for liberal democrats to get closer to a single payer system. is that your goal here with a saying that you will not vote for a bill unless it includes a public option? guest: i would prefer a single payer system. but whether or not i am using that as leverage, no.
i'm going for the next best choice, a public option that would rein in the insurance providers. we would have an opportunity to cut costs and get quality care. at this point, i have studied this issue and have come to the illusion that -- to the conclusion that the public option would service the public and create competition for an industry that, outside of baseball, the only industry that does not have antitrust regulations, the insurance industry, and you see what is happening with them. host: jacksonville, florida. good point. caller: how are you this morning? host: go ahead. we are doing well, sir. caller: i wanted to ask senator burris bybee keep pushing the public option, -- why we keep pushing the public option, because we have new hampshire,
maine, tennessee, massachusetts, all have a public option, or you were supposed to have it issued to everybody. there are only two insurance companies that write insurance in maine, the massachusetts the system is going broke, care and the tendency has been stopped, new hampshire repealed their public option, and then again, if you require the states to write insurance, aren't you infringing on the 10th amendment? each state individually licenses the insurance companies their rights in their states. guest: he said a great deal in there, but rest assured we are talking about a national policy, a national program, that would be operated by the department of health and human services. it would be a national program where there would be competitiveness and you have
enough participants in short in the program to make it large enough to compete. there would be a one time infusion into this program of capital, but it would be on its own. the person would then have to pay his or her premiums based on the ability to pay. but it would be a major nationwide program that would be able to compete. other states are going into a large enough pool to become competitive with these insurance companies that are operating almost as monopolies in their state. some 314 different health providers, 94% of those are really under the jurisdiction of one or two insurance companies di. in my own state, a 55% of insurance is done by two companies, which almost gives
them a monopoly. they have enormous profits. what we're looking at in terms of the 10th amendment issue is that there is always a concern about states' rights, but most insurance regulations are done with medicare and medicaid. and there is the other federal insurance programs that exist. that is all a part of the system. this federal option program, which would be in competition with the private insurers. we are not putting the private insurers out of business. what we're saying is that a person cannot be insured, that they cannot afford that type of coverage, they would not be limited to the dictate of a particular one-state insurer. host: our next phone call is from the democrats' line in staten island, new york. caller: good morning.
how you doing, senator burris? guest: i am fine, thank you. caller: i have been watching about the result of the derivatives in the stock market. she was pushed aside from her beliefs based on the professional knowledge of the market. my question to you is to use the comparison in the warning signs that she put forth -- use the comparison in the warning signs that she put forth with what is happening in the health market? these people are unregulated. once an industry goes unregulated, they go wild. they do whatever they wanted to use it health insurance giant's -- do you see the health insurance giant's putting our economy at risk? if people cannot even be in shorter cannot even afford it, doesn't the economy run a risk of collapsing? i believe that we the people are
the economy. guest: if we keep up with this pace of the insurance at this point, the next five years, a family of four will not be able to afford the insurance. they will have about 14 percent of the income come up to 25 or 26% of their income to pay for health insurance premiums. we must put a stop to that and not allow insurance companies to continue to be the driver, and which we say may create economic calamity and cause the economy to collapse. you look at the automobile industry and insurance premiums played a part. general motors and chrysler going into bankruptcy because of the cost of health insurance. host: lewis on the republican line in oklahoma. caller: good morning, senator.
guest: good morning, how are you? caller: from oklahoma we have such a large percentage of people who are uninsured, and therefore they go to the emergency room. the doctor in the hospital are the ones that take that on the nose. a lot of times we have -- we have a son, a surgeon, and a lot of times he goes at 2:00 in the morning to care for some and he never gets paid. and the hospital does not get paid. i would like to see a public option, and i'm saying this not only to you, all the legislators on both sides of the aisle, that we need a public option that would keep the insurance companies in line. one of the problems he runs into is that the insurance companies tell him what he can to procedures -- and he can do procedures and how long we will wait until he does procedures.
that is not medical practice, that is sick. guest: sir, i cannot agree with you anymore. you are absolutely positively correct. the reason i ohave taken the position i've taken -- you should call your distinguished senators from oklahoma, senator coburn and jim -- call your senators from oklahoma. this has become a partisan issue. they have tried to stall as for moving forward with health insurance reform. let them know that the emergency room is where we should have an emergency cases, and your son should be getting paid. the public option would solve
most of the problem. host: as president obama done enough to garner more support for the public option? guest: as you know, you have to balance this -- a couple of presidents have been overboard with this and they kind of chide him my friend president clinton and the distinguished first lady were trying to do health insurance and said he was going overboard. i think president obama has learned a lesson from that and said that legislators and policy makers should make the decisions protége as input into it. -- should make the decisions. he has input into it. he will not come at this point in the situation, inject himself too intimately. but i am looking forward to him to step up let his views been
around i am pleased to hear his staff said that he is looking for the public option in the package. host: road island, you are the last phone call. caller: good morning, senator. all i did in the emergency rooms -- the things that these companies deny these claims for for these patients is absurd. the only thing we can do is give a public option to these people that have no insurance. the hospitals are constantly trying to -- we have a free care program for people with no insurance. hospitals are pushing and pushing and pushing it. the free care they are giving out, the more grants they get from the government. that is the only with hospitals and doctors and everybody else is getting paid, trying to push
the free care program just to get the money to keep hospitals up and running. what these insurance companies -- need to be held accountable. the thing they deny these claims for is absurd. i lost my father in march and i'm still dealing with insurance companies not wanting to pay possible. -- pay the hospital. guest: that is why i am taking positions i have taken. you are a poster person for that situation to call your senators and your media and let them know that the problems in the emergency room and people coming in and being denied coverage by the insurance providers. the insurance industry is driving our health care. if they were to act as if they really had the sympathy and were not profit-driven, it would be more sympathetic to the people who need the coverage, and we would not be in this position. the government has to step in
and do for the people that which they cannot do for themselves, and that competition so that the insurance companies cannot take advantage of those who do have insurance. some people, most of the bankruptcies, people losing their homes, they had health insurance coverage. they had caps, pre-existing conditions cannot pay the exorbitant health-care bills, and are now going into bankruptcy. that is totally unacceptable in america, and the main reason why i am adamant in my position to say that we have to have competition with those insurance providers, and i am supporting a public option. host: senator roland burris, thank you for your time this morning. we hope you come back again. guest: i look forward to it, thank you so much, thank you for your listeners. host: we will open up the phone lines for 10 minutes before our next guest joins us. we will speak with dick armey of freedom works. but we will continue taking your
phone calls until then. you can talk was about health care or afghanistan are any other public policy issue that is on the table. let me start with the "daily news" about president obama's to new york yesterday to fund raise. it's as "ka-ching, the prez will take manhattan." "the campaigner-in-chief at three fund-raisers in manhattan. obamas gobbled up checks of $30,000 per couple maximum for the democratic national committee at a hotel and joked that donors got off easy, saying that his daughters are more expensive and that he comes cheap. the democrats have raised roughly $55 billion this year, with the $59 million pocketed by
the gop -- $55 million this year through the end last month, behind the $59 million pocketed by the gop. obama continues politicking today with the jon corzine of new jersey, and he will be at a fund raisers for massachusetts gov. deval patrick and connecticut senator chris dodd on friday." chicago, on the independent line. good morning, patrick. you just missed your senator. did you have a question for him? caller: i would basically like to tell him that i am a proud of the stand he is taken. it is unjust for one american to die because of the lack of insurance. i am surprised that we're getting so much resistance from the other side. they always preach morals, family values. when you look at health care, it is all about family values.
if you cannot afford health care, basically you are going to die. host: the senator said he did not want to forecast how he may -- what he may do next if the legislation does not include a public option but would you like to see your senator block any bill from coming to the floor that does not include the public option? caller: no, i believe he should go ahead and vote for it, and hopefully they will somehow get it in. hopefully they put it in the bill where they have to vote it out. i would rather than do that than to bring it to the floor without a public option. host: woodbridge, virginia, the democrats' line. caller: i am calling in reference to bob graham and the republican -- host: jim talent. caller: about bioterrorism. this is the era of hope now.
we had eight years of frightening with anthrax and this and that. and now the same subjects are coming up. they want to grade the president on what he is doing? i graded them a p for poor trying to scare the american people again. we have hope now. christians are not supposed to be wanting to destroy one another. host: florida, richard on the republican line. are you with us? caller: yes. host: go ahead. caller: i wanted to refer to an earlier caller with respect to the providers, the physicians. i'm a person who became a cancer patient, and i lost my kidneys through cancer. i had pre-existing conditions, diabetes, earlier and was not
able to obtain insurance. i feel that if we had a public option that provided for insurance, for persons with pre- existing conditions, by disease would have been caught earlier and i would not have lost my kidneys. i'm really an advocate for the public option. but i really feel that the big issue is that the doctors are overcharging. it is unbelievable. when you don't have insurance and you want to go to a specialist, the will to cash -- they will take cash in the neighborhood of $200 for -- host: moving onto adjacent on the independent line, alabama. -- jason the independent line, alabama. caller: hello. how are you? host: doing well, sir. turn the television down.
caller: i am calling about health care. i think that the hold up in the house of representatives or whatever it is -- is there no way to put that to an american folk? host -- a referendum? that is what you want to see on the debate? caller: yes, ma'am. host: next caller. caller: good morning. the automatic link to call for social security increases was put in place under president nixon in 1972. the republican president put that and made that point of increases or decreases on social security. now the reason for -- now, the reason for the cutbacks on medicare -- you can go to
cbo.gov and go to the economic or budget issue brief from june 28, 2007, where they put the 2003 republicans drug bill as the recent that medicare is going broke. they played private insurance companies -- a private entrance, is $1.30 for every dollar spent. -- they paid private insurance companies $1.30 for every dollar spent. host: here is "the washington times." "congress passed the 2010 homeland security spending bill that gives president obama the authority to transfer terrorism- suspected detainees to the united states the only after he gives a plan to congress. they must be brought only if the administration is ready to prosecute them."
that is "the washington times" if you are interested in that story. also on guantanamo bay is a story in "the baltimore sun." "high court takes the gitmo case. the supreme court set the stage for another clash with the president over prisoners held in the war on terrorism and whether a judge can order the immediate release of a detainee who was wrongly held as an enemy combatant. the justices voted tuesday to hear an appeal from a group of detainees who say that they are stuck in limbo." illinois, tom on the republican line. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call wi. i hope i have enough battery left here. i was trying to call senator burris and he is our senator, one of our senators. i always admired his past as
where he was in the area of politics but i felt sorry for him, what transpired in moved in to get into the senate right now. but he is a recognized lawyer. i was hoping to ask him if he would consider doing tort reform, which is a must, i think, for health care reform. at the same time, i was hoping that he would answer the question about social security being attacked as far as being reduced to pay for health care as it is right now. my wife and i have been retired for some time now and we're interested in that. host: thank you for the phone call. we will try to get senator burris back on the program as soon as possible dick armey, chairman of freedomworks, is up next.
>> this morning, the senate homeland security committee gets an update on the government response to the h1n1 virus spread they will hear from the health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius, homeland security secretary janet napolitano, and education secretary arne duncan. you can follow it online at c- span.org or on c-span radio. this saturday on "america and the courts," oral arguments in the case of u.s. the moussaoui,
as the court decides whether to overturn the conviction of the zacarias moussaoui. on a "q&a," senate, every black, the retired navy admiral, -- barry black is the first african-american chaplain for the senate. >> "washington journal" continues. host: dick armey rights in "the washington times" this morning -- "the republicans have a tremendous opportunity at hand. i have long said that when we act like us, we win, and when we act like them, we lose. what is needed right now is shot policy distinctions shah -- policy distinctions -- sharp policy distinctions." what is the opportunity?
guest: president obama was elected and the world had great expectations for him. he promised change you could believe in. across the country today, they are finding daily broadbased constituencies of republicans, democrats, independents, that what they are getting this change that is frightening to them. just as in 1993, president clinton and mrs. clinton with hillary's health care plan build a stage of disaffection and concerned on which the republicans could show that they were different. this president is building a bigger stage faster. the republican party needs to understand that we need now to demonstrate clearly the difference between the big government control impulses of the current administration and the current majority in congress and our small
government respect for the individual liberties position that this historic of the republican party. the republican party has had three big a shining moments in my adult lifetime. one was barry goldwater in 1964. the other was ronald reagan in 1980. and in those great moments where we had broadbased appeal, we were seen as a party that is for restraint of big government, reduction of the size of government, tax reduction, and individual liberty with the government staying out of our lives. the republican party has got to get off this policy take that they have been on for the last two years of acting like the democrats. they disappointed their own voters and have lost the independence did they have a chance to bring them back. host: there was a story recently
in "the wall street journal" about tea party activists, groups that freedomworks has helped to organize, complicating republican comeback strategy today complicate the future of the republican party? guest: one of the things you have to understand about the tea party activists, and i've gotten to know them well and they are marvelous people -- you have many public policy entrepreneurs out there. they don't care about politics but they care about public policy. they expect to have somebody in office and understanding of the constitution as a precious act of genius that should be honored and respected, that the government needs to be restrained, then you can add -- cannot back up a nation over the -- bankrupt a nation over the faddish ideas of
administration, and they have given a party that is the moral is that basically sat out an election or two -- basically demoralized that basically sat at an election or two, a source of energy, real people that are focused on public policy initiatives that put politics aside and want to see real change and reform in government and the weight is carried out. my frustration with the republican party is that you have hundreds of thousands of people all over this country in district after district, state after state, that said if you will be the party responsible for a string of big government and lower taxes and less government meddling in our lives, we are here to help you. the republican party keeps trying to turn their back on the only people who really share their foundationa systeml of
police. it is amazing to me. host: republican leaders have said that if you want to be a majority party, you have to get a bigger tent, and you out of flexibility for ideology within the republican party -- to have flexibility of ideology within the republican party could they pointed these special elections in new york where you have it republican candidate endorsed by a democrat and a third-party candidate endorsed by you. why did you endorse? guest: i go back to one of ronald reagan's principles, that good policy makes good policy. what you see played out here is people trying to win the last election. the democratic party is discouraged and disoriented and is pretty much been mobilized because of their own disappointments with what they got when they got president obama. the biggest is a buyer's remorse
in politics that i've seen -- biggest case of buyers' remorse and in politics that i've seen, even bigger than the clintons in 1993. the republican party has an enormous identity crisis. the independent said i'm for principals of small government and conservatism, more taxes, less government control and regulation of their, -- the word taxes, less government control and regulation -- lower taxes and less government control and regulation of the economy. he stands resulting different than what they are seeing in washington -- stands for something different than what they're seeing in washington today. it is my prediction -- host: you are talking about the kauffman. -- doug hoffman. guest: he will demonstrate ronald reagan's position that
good policy makes good politics. they are betting on a losing horse. she does not have the policy positions that make her attractive to the voting constituency. hoffman dies. by the frustration with politicians -- hoffman does. my big frustration with politicians is that it seems that the first rule should be to know our constituents to whom we would like to make ourselves appear attractive. i don't think that the republican party today understands the mood of america, and i think that this special election ought to demonstrate it. host: do you see this race as telling as the future of the republican party? guest: they have to understand the future of the republican party is promising and available to them if they will return to policy first, politics second.
but the way, there is no larger big tent than what you will find in the tea party movement. i was at the march. i marched with grandparents, college students, republicans and democrats, independents, libertarians, evangelicals. they were all together in a common cause to resist this frightening growth of the power of the state and the cost that they expect us to bear as taxpayers, the burden on our children and our children's future, the control and regulation of our life. if the republican party could get a tent that was as big an inclusive as what you saw in the streets of d.c., they could win. but they will not get there if they put politics ahead of policy. host: this race in new york, the
23rd congressional district, is getting attention not only from the media, but president obama as well. his fundraising up there. you are going to go up there this evening and help out your candidate. what are you going to be doing for him? is freedomworks going to be providing money or other resources for this race? guest: well, this is an interesting situation. president obama can go in there on behalf of the democratic candidate and raise money and she will have more money than any candidate in the race. but hoffman will be the only candidate with energetic, enthusiastic activists -- host: the president is raising money for bill owens. guest: i understand that. but that is all the president can do. they are looking at hoffman
having the energy in the field. freedomworks is not endorsing him. i, dick armey, and endorsing him. i will give him my time, to a candidate that understands that the constitution -- that understands freedomworks is working to stand up for liberty. i am coming to this race, but we come at the insistence of our c- -- by the way, at the insistence of our freedomworks activists in new york state. i'm coming at the request of our freedomworks activists and i expect to speak to the activists in the conservative movement who are principally freedomworks and
tea party patriots who say that if we turned out, we can teach important lessons to the politicians. one, that real energy and the real voters in your district is more important than money from outsiders. two, if you put policy ahead of politics, you can win an election. host: first phone call for dick armey, on the gop and conservative movement republican line in florida. caller: good morning to everyone. i would like to suggest the midterms -- we should wait, with all these convoluted schemes in issues and proposals about health care and other things, until the midterms. that would give the people of this country a great chance at a natural form of referendum. as it stands now, i am a little bit perplexed by the fact that
the democrats are trying to push these issues so fast. and having watched c-span every day, hours and hours, after complicated proposals and suggestions and methods, it is so confusing now that i think this president has backed himself into a corner. to conclude, the midterms would be a non-partisan way of us all getting together and voting on these issues. there is a web site devoted to the discussion of c-span, and it is www.c-spann.com. host: we will leave it there. guest: obviously, we would love to see the midterms,. if you are a small government conservative, as i am today, you would like to see that midterms if the republican party can get
third sells ready for it and get committed to the -- get themselves ready for it and get committed to the policy positions by which they can in deer themselves to the voters. the democrats understand that if they don't get this big massive takeover of health care done before the midterms, they probably will not get it done. they will push hard. but the special election in new york is made necessary now, and you must work this out. our position is that whenever there is an opportunity to elect somebody who shares our beliefs in small government conservatism, we need to be there and present and help them do that. you have a special in new york because the republican congressman from new york joined the obama administration, and the republican party in new york has nominated a person who seems to have much more in common with the democrats by way of policy positions that she has taken
than republicans, and the independent party candidate says, look, somebody in this race must represent the true middle, center, core values of the american people, and i will take this on. we have a cpa that comes along and says that i believe you should have the serious, responsible restraint, a professional decision making, trade-off decisions, lower taxes, less regulation, less administration, that governments can be run in a serious, adult fashion, and i intend to make myself available for that opportunity to serve in that capacity. he is winning the race. host: philadelphia, ron and joins us on the democrats' line. caller: good morning, c-span. how are you guys doing today? i am a disabled veteran b. freedomworks and tea parties and
this other stuff -- rachel mad dow totally exposed this organization, not just on her show, but on "meet the press." right now president obama is along with the democratic- controlled congress just trying to clean up the mess from the bush years. remember the two wars? prescription the program that was not paid for? -- prescription d program that was not paid for? you are trying to make it look like republicans have new ideas that americans want it is just the same story. that is why the gop does not have once does the person out there that they can look at to counter all of the -- what specific person out there that they can look to counter the other side. guest: first of all, i appreciate his partisan point of view and so forth, but what we're talking about right now is
the core values of the american voting constituency that are not being fully recognized by the republicans and only seen enough to be frighteneing to them by te democrats, that we are for restraint of big government. we cannot afford the mass of big government spending programs that been going on since bush. obama said that i will give you change you can believe in and he give us more of the same. this expansion in the deficit, this expansion of government control and regulation in every aspect of the economy. the american middle ground in politics is saying that we reject these things, we find them frightening. right now there is one special election where you see a chance to work out an expression of the different points of view on the the subject, and the only person who is standing up and saying that i am opposed to this massive expansion of the power of the state is the independent conservative candidate, who is not a party that is the mass of
the democrat party or republican party, but stance with the american people and middle ground on policy first and politics second. it is a fascinating opportunity for the country to start out -- sort out these differing points of views in this one isolated event you. at the previous caller said, in the midterm elections, we will see it nationwide. but we will see it right now in the laboratories of upstate new york. host: joe on the republican line in new york. caller: keep up the good work. you are doing a great job. i am in central new york. it is beautiful fall foliage. i would like to urge everybody listening to cast their vote in the new york 23rd district, republican, democrat, independent, conservative, for doug hoffman.
he reflects the core principles of the republican party, which the new york republican party has forgotten over the years, and that is why they are in such trouble in new york state. we have to replace some of these democratic congressman with republicans, and doug hoffman is the man to do it. host: what role will freedomworks play in the 2010 elections? guest: it has existed since 1984, mostly under another name. we changed it to freedomworks recently. we have always been small government conservatives. we are for individual liberty. we have read the constitution and we just adore it. it is the greatest act of political genius and entrepreneurship in the world and we still respect the brave men who broke this wonderful instrument -- who wrote to this
wonderful instrument the biggest burden that the labor is the american economy today is that our government is too big, too wasteful and inefficient a burden for this beautiful racehorse called the american economy to carry it. you have to trim down government and make it understand it's a legitimate responsibilities and do them well. the nation must have a government that does its legitimate responsibilities well and then get out of things that are not your business where you do not improve things but make the morris. it is a simple matter of responsibility, silver spring -- responsible self restraint and discipline. the problem is that government wants to get into everybody's business. host: what role will the group play?
guest: we will be there in active support of any candidate who understands individual liberty and big government, who wants to see government live within its means and keep taxes low on the american people and restrain itself from trying to regulate the affairs of other people. host: was active support me? -- what does active support me? guest: our activists aren't showing up now and walking streets and knocking on -- are showing up now and walking streets and knocking on doors and they invited me and i would be happy to show up on behalf of anybody who believes in freedom as we do, and our activists will do that. again, we believe in the business of campaigning. real, hard work by real activists in the congressional districts in the state will be outside money of the time.
host: las vegas, independent line. caller: i would really like you -- you say you want less government and less eligible tos -- less laws and less involvement in other people's business, and yet the privacy and protecting of women to choose is not in your plan. i would also like to comment on the eight years of trickle-down economy we had during bush. how did that pay off for us? you mentioned ronald reagan. i'm from california and i know ronald reagan but he did not do us any favors at any time. starting with the gun problems across the country. i also want to ask you, i might not have heard you correctly, but did you say that you give to your lord? please answer those three questions. guest: i appreciate that. how i give to my lord my
business. the fact of the matter is that i believe -- i happen to believe that is not a position of the organization freedomworks, but my belief is that life is sacred and a gift from god almighty and it is the government ' to protect lives, and it does not allow the government to enfranchise or pay for the taking of innocent human life. ronald reagan was the greatest president of my lifetime. his brand of economic restraint on the government worked. it launched two decades of great prosperity and freed eastern europe. george w. bush was a disappointment when he got into things like tarp and big government spending programs and so forth. he strayed from the discipline of small government conservatism and became extremely unpopular and it affected the bad results
electorally for republicans. republicans need to come back to where they have been in the past. with cold water, with ronald reagan, -- with barry goldwater, with ronald reagan, with the contract years, they stood for respect for the individual's rights and were shining for the american voters. those are empirical observations. you can take it or leave it, but the results showed up in the polls. i am just saying to get back to what the american people like, what is at the center of american political values, and the republican party can win elections again. but if they say to vote for us because we are like them, just not so much, they are going to lose elections. host: a tweet from one of our viewers -- guest: the first thing you have
to do in politics is get beyond the past. george w. bush is history. the fact of the matter is to look to the voters that are out there. what are they looking for? what is their frustration, what is their anxiety? they are scared to death by the enormous growth that they have seen any big government in the last year, or maybe longer. the irresponsible way in which people in office have used their money with things like earmarks to effect election results. get past that and say that we are here to present a disciplined, efficient, cost- effective, responsible administration of those things which are in fact necessary. and to restrain government from involving themselves in things that are not their business, or
ineffective, and where they most often mess things up, as they did in housing. that great housing bubble that ended up being so painful in the lives of so many people was a product of irresponsible government first. host: democrats lined in florida. caller: how can you get back to what you use to be when you were a fiscal conservative? host: when you were a fiscal conservative -- how can you get back to what you were when you were not fiscal conservative? guest: i understand the car republicans in office -- and republicans in office had a problem when they were in the majority they did not demonstrate a pattern of fiscal conservatism. there is a young republican house member from michigan who
lifted my heart the other day when he said "i am a new republican." but this is a problem for them. in 1994, when we took the majority, all we had to do is stand up and say to america, "give us a chance to be the majority because we are not the democrats'." what john boehner and others have to say today is that "give us a chance because we aren't free-spending like the democrats and we are not like what we were." they have to demonstrate a real commitment to change on public policy issues. the fact is that the average american citizen cares deeply about what are the policies that will regulate the lives of my children and grandchildren, and if you are not talking policy, you are not talking to the broad
base of the american public. host: dick armey, chairman of freedomworks group, thank you very much for being with us this morning. appreciate it but we will take the remaining minutes to a denies the passing of a long time -- to recognize the passing of a longtime friend of the c- span. he covered at the watergate scandal for "the los angeles times" and was there bureau chief for many years. he died of cancer. he was 80. he spent more than 35 years with "the los angeles times closed but stepping down as its chief washington correspondent in -- "the los angeles times" stepping down as its chief washington correspondent in 2001. he covered presidential administrations from richard nixon to bill clinton. du