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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 23, 2014 6:00pm-8:01pm EST

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in fact, this i can pay, spencer disaster management center opened in vietnam is traveling in the country, which is indicative of the rings we are doing together. finally, before i take your questions come at night to make remarks to the navy service warrior convention that i spoke at last week. as you may or may not know, i am the service warrior as well. i have many years of it. and i must every location around the globe. so it is important me that forms such as not that i addressed the navy's future service warrior leaders coming here them and what there can turn sour as well
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as induce very that supports them because they will ultimately have dubai, man, train and equip not only the current force we have, but the course of the future. they have to be ready to address the growing challenges will likely face across the entire indo asian pacific in the world. the comments i made were not about american rebounds to the act because that is track. we're making progress and opaque on commanders is. we are doing the things we have committed and said we would do to the rebalance. my comments were about the current sophistication and capabilities of today's weapons systems and relative dominance with the systems. the warfare capabilities we must
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also ensure we invest in the proper mix of the offensive capabilities that manan equipped ships. and capabilities they have a bleep on domino required and they must continue to strive for that. i will stop and take your questions. >> the last point you make, do not think the u.s. is losing ground and dominance in the pacific and weapon systems. what is developing mark quickly in the united states at this point? >> well, china is only one weapons developer in the world. i said over time that indo asian pacific is the most militarized region in the world where there are because of growth of
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economies, because of the requirements the militarization or dying by pins. they are not the family dealt with 30 years ago. when you talk about u.s. relative dominance, maybe the right way to look at this would be after world war ii, throughout most of the world, we built a u.s. military that was an equal in technology. and over time, we can shoot we did our own defense capabilities at its sole purpose is and we have that those technologies to partners and allies. they are relative dominance in
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mystic ologies and weapon systems will have diminished over time. that's not something to be afraid of, just pragmatic. as we look forward to a world that will continue to have defense challenges and we continue to buy, build and procure systems, we have to think carefully about the types of systems and where we make the most investments so they maintain that type of edge that military leadership have in this country have enjoyed for the last few decades. so it's not just that any one particular country. >> i wonder a few could take us back to the incident between the chinese ship a few weeks ago. tell us what would happen there. how dangerous and we likely to see more situations like that in the china sea
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>> well, the incident was widely reported. i was commented in the pentagon as well as by me. there was a san those are not fairly routine globally to communicate to someone but then really concerned that has happened. so in these days, there was an interaction in international waters in international airspace that we routinely operate in and the chinese were conduct in what they claim to be properly notified. the notification procedures for a question.
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i don't think the people were not aware of any notification of that. at any point in time, was the situation dangerous? i can't tell you how the seal felt about it. i would probably characterize it as more unnecessary and probably more unprofessional. but we have to understand as we look at this part of the world and the growing navies operating in the growing number of security concerns in this region , we have to operate around each other. in this case, we have to expect that the u.s. and chinese navies will interact with each other. this just highlights to both of us, the pla and the u.s. military that we have to do better being able to communicate with each other in a way that
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allows us to not lead to miscalculation that won't be protect the security environment. so we'll continue to talk about this. in fact, with that defense officials in beijing the last two days. i am sure they have talked about this. we have a mechanism in place with the chinese routinely talk about maritime incidences can interact with each other. really see more of these in the future we will interact in a professional assembly assembly exhibit towards each other. >> unprofessional as part of the chinese skipper or just a general sense of unprofessional mess on the part of the chinese navy? >> i don't know if it's unprofessional or whether it was lack of experience.
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one thing i told my leadership in the sea captains as we are operating in this area. first, we talk to each other on bridge to bridge telephone -- radio telephones to work this out. we speak in english. other countries don't. they speak in english, but they're not speaking in their native language. so there is an extra calculation you have to figure into what someone is trying to tell you when they're speaking a second or third language they speak. we have to take this into consideration with all aspects. in the end, and the pacific alr will operate freely in international waters, international airspace. that the bottom line. we will operate professionally and we will operate peacefully for the purpose of peace. that is the message to all militaries in that region.
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>> thank you. [inaudible] one they hear from not willing to share one of the latest technologies that could have been switching for defending this country, defending its borders. do you have anything on it? where do you see india -- [inaudible] >> well, if you go back to the defense guidance or the strategy that was signed up by president obama, one of the things i am directed to do as the u.s. government is on the military side is to develop a long-term strategic relationship with india. we are moving in that direction. one of the cornerstones of the long-term key relationship is learn how we go forward or figure out how we go forward in
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many of our procurement areas, where we share similar interests and happily partnered together in those? the systems are different. the indian government and military recognize their procurement system is different than our procurement system and we are working through how to streamline those differences are to make those differences not so apparent so we could move lower with some of the key technologies and key capabilities we want to develop. so i think the road ahead is a good road. we have a plan, but it will take time. >> in what old tuc -- [inaudible] >> well, in the long run, certainly the indian ocean and india's role in security in the peaceful indian ocean is
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critical and we welcome that role. and so, to the degree that india chooses to take on that role and participate with us and other partners and global security with a central focus on the indian ocean is a good thing. >> i have a question with regard to those who participated in the disaster relief operation off the coast of japan three years ago. the congress directed dod to conduct a research about possible radiation. do you have any idea how to conduct the leadership? >> i'm going to have to refer you to the department of navy for that come even though i'm sitting here as an admiral than these forces when the command of pay, at the time as they look at this issue. i would refer you to the department of navy. they had an ongoing
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investigation to look at the things that need to be looked at this timeline of how you get the resolution. my guess is they'll give you an answer that tells you they have a plan in that they are in execution to look at it. [inaudible] >> going back to china, about a year ago testing the new aircraft to your company said you didn't thought the chinese navy for expanding that to fit into the global security environment. with all that's happening in china this past year, i wonder if you can give us an update on how you feel at the behavior and whether they're on path to sit on top of that. >> well, certainly as i look globally at china, i think there's some positive aspects of how they're using their military forces in a way. they participated in operation down yonge and the philippines,
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where they provided disaster relief. their operating more frequently and multilateral exercises being done throughout the region. as we talked about, they're planning impacts, so that is still on track. if you go into the gulf of aden operating further away from home and participating in the security in this particular reasons. in that context, by the way, our bilateral relationship has been i would give it a passing grade for the last year. i would say that because we have been able to continue our bill to build dialogue, milton miller relationships, milton l. exercises together, even though there has been turned in the region, particularly the local region that is close to china. now, in regard to their activities in the south china
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sea and the east china sea, i think it is yet to be determined about how that will play out. ultimately, china needs to be a regional theater. it needs to coexist in that part of the world with our allies and with paramilitaries and we need to work together for the mutual security. but i think they're going to have to work hard to get through some of the issues, the disputes they're having with their neighbors. we don't take sides, but we do expect to be done peacefully and i think we have to think carefully about the introduction of things like they did in the past and how they go forward with that in the future. to be open and have a dialogue with people before they do it. >> thank you very much.
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i have two questions. next month, the united states and south korea take her career for exercises. north korea has been asking for the united states -- [inaudible] >> well, we don't plan to stop the different exercises. how we train and maintain the alliance. so as long as the people in the government of south korea and the people in government of the united states of america want this alliance and there is a thread that appears to continue and north korea, then this exercise will go on. it shouldn't be alarming. it's not a change. we do these every year and we're going to continue to do them as long as the risk on the korean peninsula exists.
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>> north korea, south korea and the united states -- [inaudible] >> i didn't understand the question. >> the sudden change? as you know, when the officials in south korea will tell you the same is that we do as an alliance have done for years detailed planning for many different types of scenarios of what might unfold on the korean peninsula. one of those to be a rapidly changing situation that would require a stabilization of the peninsula. so that planning is ongoing. we'll continue to be refined this year and next year and as long as the possibility for provocation or possibility for war in the peninsula exists.
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>> sir, on the rebalanced ishaq, ishaq, do you first see any new deployments that would underwrite that strategy? what we see really is the replacement of the rotation of assets at the same capability pacifier. anything new in mind? >> yes, if you kind of start from the top of the northeast asia, first this year the japanese and the u.s. will look at the defense review, which hasn't been done since the 90s. we will look at what that means for the alliance of the future and what the leg down the forces should be. so that's one thing. the second thing is that we have -- appears to be moving in a positive direction and fatima replacement facility in okinawa,
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with a landfill would find that very much appreciate the support of the japanese government moving forward. once that happens in that facility is built, that will allow us in the realignment of the marine forces throughout the asia-pacific in accordance with what you refer to as the dpr plan that has been briefed to you while and relocate to hawaii. the nice initiative of the marines and air force that we are pursuing with our australian partners as well. that is kind of land domain. we are also looking at the infrastructure that we have together with our allies in each of our alliance countries to ensure the infrastructure or the infrastructure they have to would partner with them to use with the 21st century.
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so on top of that, we have the additional deployment of lcs. the first one we sent out an early timeline has finished and that deployment has been overall successful. that will follow in the number of men's once they are in place to deployment of up to three or four out of singapore at any particular time. these are kind of on the periphery. we also ask each of the services to go look at each of my service components, to look at how do you maximize the force that we have today as it rebalances to the asia-pacific? we have initiatives in the marine corps, initiatives and a navy which means lcs and additional submarines and long term we would be looking at the possibility employ asset throughout the theater. the army, which is new to the
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asia-pacific the last couple of decades is looking at opportunities of how you take an army that is coming out of afghanistan and has been a coin operations for the last basically two decades and put them in the asia-pacific in a meaningful way that allows them to partner with our allies and with our partners and growing strategic partners in a meaningful way and have them available for crises if necessary. there's crises like the pathways being talked about. this concept at this point in time, but i'm supportive of these initiatives. we have a lot going on. we also looked around the edges of things that we do that maybe don't get quite so much flash, but we looked every alliance of resources to the asia-pacific center, which is a great venue for us to bring in our partners,
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allies, military and civilian leadership to talk about shared security interests. that is kind of a nutshell of a few things we are doing. the plan is encores. >> to friends. and the korean peninsula, what was behind the decision -- [inaudible] i have a question about the east china sea. >> well, the decision to do the rotational army unit there was not prompted to any particular change in a tactical or strategic environment on the peninsula. it was looked at from an army component is how do you best maintain the capability on the peninsula in this century we are then with the resources we have
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in a way that would be most effective support for general scott bradley and his csc team there. so it got played out like it was a big strategic move. in reality, it was just part of the preplanned decision we made in the alliance to make sure we had the most capable forces on the peninsula in the way we rotate come increasingly rotate using forces in the century. >> how does the u.s. have -- [inaudible] >> well, i am concerned. i would say that i think anytime you have two large powers, two large economic powers, two large military powers that have a disagreement that they're not talking to each other about, that has no clear diplomatic in
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state inside that the risk calculation can grow because you will have come in this case you primarily maritime security forces that are in and around this contested islands. but those are coming in now come in many cases as a young naval officer officers making those decisions. we have to continue to encourage restraint. we have to continue to encourage professionalism and we have to continue to hope that there will be diplomatic dialogue and the solution to this because it is not productive for the region and it needs to be ultimately resolved. [inaudible] >> have you talked to your chinese counterpart --
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[inaudible] thank you. >> the question of halfway talked to the chinese, the answer to that is yes. the question is did we know about it before they established it were not directly notified. you know, we certainly were not -- the fact they established is less concern to me than the way that it was done. it would have been better if it had been announced and discussed with the neighbors and partners in the region and it had some caveats inside the way they establish it that we fundamentally don't agree with and will not acknowledge. our operations have not changed and we will continue to operate in international airspace into our operations, just as we do everywhere else in the world, not just this part of the world.
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>> clark, breaking defense. did the chinese test a hypersonic vehicle and how would you assess the strategic impact? >> well, i see the poll they tested and you'll reported a pretty widely, so i believe there's credibility in your reporting. the chinese as other nations are pursuing hypersonic technologies so the fact that they are testing i think this is just one of many as they talked about earlier in my remarks, this is just one of many highly technical militarized systems but whether the chinese are developing, we are developing or europeans are developing that will continue to complicate the security environment with high-tech knowledge of systems
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and we will have to figure them into the calculation of how we are going to maintain a peaceful security environment in the future. >> we have time for one more question. [inaudible] two-part question. first, are you convinced the chinese come in the event of an incident, whether between japan and china for example are between us in the future that ends up more sporty, they actually answer the phone and how the crisis response mechanisms in place because one of your predecessors going back 12 years ago that no one was answering the telephone when something really bad happened. one follow-up question on that. >> you have to ask the chinese in prc if they're going to answer the phone or not. >> i would say both in the region and our relationship that we need to move forward to allow
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that type of direct dialogue in crisis situations, we've said this on many occasions. i know that chairman dempsey, secretary haeckel and that that level that there are an attempt at opportunities have dialogue at that level. would that work at a time of crisis, we would hope it would work. but internal to the pay, alr, i don't have the ability to pick up the phone and talk to berkeley to a pla navy admiral or general at the time of the crisis. we need to work on that. so we've talked about it, but things take time. >> the other question it seems as though we've repeatedly surprised when things happen. rb on our part and with our allies doing enough to imagine what next is coming out of
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beijing to figure where we need to be collectively so we join in the response because there's criticism. are we doing enough to think ahead as to what, frankly if you look out there, beijing is fairly logically and consistently trying to achieve long-term. >> i guess were probably not doing enough, but were working at it. i don't think we were necessarily surprised. i think that's a mischaracterization. we anticipated that there is some signals at least it's an open press that there might have been an opportunity to be established. i think were a little bit surprised by the way it was announced and the manner -- how fast it was for a on the region and the fact that it's kind of directed at one central issue,
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not just a defensive someone's territorial heirs face. >> sir, i think we reached our time. >> i'll take one more since i was late. i [inaudible] -- north korea. how do you evaluate the capability and young leader? >> well, i think that a young leader, for me, it's very difficult to determine. in fact, unpredictable and leave the leave is the way i would say it. i think that his behavior, at least the way it is reported in the way we see it incenses, would make me wonder whether or not he is always in a rational
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decision making mode or not. .. now it's in the best interest of everybody in the world, so the way ahead with the new leader there is not clear to me but i think that it is a potentially very dangerous place. thank you very much.
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[inaudible conversations] >> what united both of these teams and what united everybody who wrote for this report and who have been working what i call on the frontlines of humanity is the belief that these women, given the chance
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cannot only lift themselves up at left of their entire families by putting women at the center of the economy it's not just good for women, it's good for men, it's good for boys and girls and most importantly it's good for the country and that's really the mission of this report was to change a lot of old stereotypes, put a new face to this issue and talk about it in ways that people can understand and see themselves. what we have seen and what we have heard with all the coverage on television and with thanks and appreciation to beyoncé who has pushed this report out to places i didn't even know existed and so many other people is what we have heard and all of the responses to the embassy that this is my story. my story is not about the glass ceiling. it's about the foundation and how do i shore it up? it's a story not against men but including men.
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it's a story about what is good for boys and a story about what is good for girls and what is good for women in particular and the incredible struggles that they face to be the breadwinnbreadwinn ers, the caretakers and to be caregivers. to be good daughters, mothers, sisters, citizens and workers. >> i see myself as a profit who has a message for my world but i do mice see myself as a person trying to understand and situate myself. i think the idea for the book came to me when i was giving some lectures at the u.s. air force academy in colorado springs. one very nice, very well-educated liberal young air
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force officer who was to look after me had chats with me which i found very interesting and he told me that, he told me he was a liberal. he wanted to correct my mind and of course the usf academy is very right-wing and full of strange radical biblical fundamentalists. he told me that he was afraid of immigration but he said when people come to this country they should learn the native language. now i didn't think he was speaking about -- so as i quite agree everybody should learn spanish.
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>> the privacy and civil liberties oversight lord which is an independent agency within the executive branch released a report on nsa surveillance programs with calls for the government to stop collecting and storing data deeming the practice illegal. the report comes nearly a week after president obama announced proposed changes to the programs
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one of which included the idea of a private party having control of data information. the report was one of the topics addressed by white house press secretary jay carney at today's briefing with reporters. >> good afternoon. thanks for being here. before i take your questions i wanted to note that later this evening the president will speak at a meeting here at the white house with more than 250 bipartisan mayors who are here for their annual conference in washington this week. the vice president will also attend. mayors are key partners with the white house. a large number of cabinet secretaries and senior officials from across art administration have also participated in the conference to discuss how together we can continue to grow
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our economy strengthen our communities, expand access to educational opportunity help consumers access quality and affordable health insurance and more. as many of you recall some of these mayors were also here just a few weeks ago when we announced the first five promise on designees, great example of the partnerships the president has been focusing on is part of our year of action. in december the president had the opportunity to meet with more than a dozen newly-elected mayors from across the country so we look forward to hosting the u.s. conference of mayors at the white house today and continuing this dialogue on how we can take action together on so many important issues. >> any bipartisan matters? >> that is a great point. they are mayors from all parties. all parties and i assume there are independents and unaffiliated. julie. >> the president has a speech
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coming up. if you could give us an idea of where he stands and how you use the speech in his sixth year of office as opposed to previous year's? the feeling is that the speech is coming along and the president is continuincontinuin g to refine it over the coming days. the state of the union address no matter which year you give it is a unique opportunity for any president to speak to the nation from congress and layout as has been the tradition his or her vision for the coming year. an assessment both of where the country is and where it can and should go. the president will cover a range of issues and i'm not going to preview the speech today but i think you can expect he will as
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he consistently does focus on the essential need to expand economic opportunity throughout our country, to award hard work and responsibility, to move forward with our economic recovery said that our economy grows faster and it creates more and better jobs and that we continue to invest in a way that solidifies an economic foundation for future economic growth in the 21st century. >> typically he travels to -- the state of the union. is that next week as well? >> i don't have the scheduled announcement to make and certainly as big a closer to "the state of the union address" i will let you know what a lens are. i think it stands to reason that we will be continuing to talk about elements of "the state of the union address" in the days, weeks and months that follow. >> on a separate topic the situation in the ukraine seems
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to have deteriorated over the past four days and i'm wondering what the u.s. thinks is dynamic now between the government. >> you are correct in your assessment and we condemn the violence taking place in kiev and continue to urge all sides to immediately de-escalate the situation and refrain from violence. we welcome the news that president jan mac is meeting trekked the with opposition leaders. political dialogue to address the legitimate concerns of the ukrainian people is the necessary first step towards resolving this crisis. the concrete steps taken by government. this increasing tension and ukraine is a direct consequence of the government failing to it knowledge its people. instead it has moved to weaken the foundations of the trans-democracy by criminalizing peaceful protests and stripping civil society and political opponents of key democratic protections of the law. we urge the government of
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ukraine to take steps that represent a better way forward including repeal of the anti-democratic legislation signed into law in recent days, withdrawing the right police from downtown kea and beginning a dialogue with the political opposition. from its first days the movement has been defined by its spirit of nonviolence and we support calls by opposition political leaders to reestablish that principle. we will, we the united states will consider continue to consider additional steps including sanctions in response to the use of violence. >> what are victims -- one of the demands of protesters as the government immediately be resolved in new elections be held. >> we supported an end to the violence. we supported dialogue between the government and the opposition movement and we will obviously as the situation evolves consider other steps. >> at what point would you move
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to impose additional sanctions on the ukraine? >> i wouldn't predict. i would simply say that we will consider those steps in response to the use of violence. i can tell you that the state department has already provoked several people responsibresponsib le for the violence and will continue to consider additional steps in response to any violence by any actors. so for those kinds of moves i would refer you to the state department but will consider other actions. >> what is your understanding of when the debt ceiling would he breached? >> i would refer you to the letter that secretary lew wrote and make clear our view that this is something that is, congress's responsibility and ought to be acted on upon without drama and without delay. it is simply an action that congress takes in order to pay the bill that congress has incurred and therefore should be
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done in a manner that in no way endangers or disrupts economic growth or job creation. >> speaker boehner's office says there is no way a house would approve it clean debt ceiling increase. does that worry you at all? >> well i would point back to the disruption caused by the shutdown in october, the harm done to our economy by the threats that the house republicans made to our economy through threatening to default back in 2011 and suggest pursuing that path is always a bad idea and it is harmful particularly to the middle class of the united states. we would expect that kind of action to be taken. >> lastly, we got into this a little bit yesterday. are you satisfied with the level of -- level of cooperation for
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security at the sochi olympics? >> week continue to engage our full support in any assistance to the russian government in security preparations for the sochi games. russian authorities as you know will be responsible for overall security at the games and the state department's bureau of diplomatic security has security for the united states. we will send diplomatic security and if ei agents to liaise with the host country, security and law enforcement officials and we have always -- obviously been in discussion with the russian government about that. as i noted yesterday we have seen an uptick in threat reporting prior to the olympics and that is a concern even though it is to be expected when you have an international event like this. so we have offered the assistance to the russians and continue to discuss with them
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security measures and issues related to the games. >> may i follow up jay? has there have been any discussions along the same lines with u.s. nato allies in terms of the security? >> i don't know the answer to that. obviously as would be expected in conversations with the host nation and making the necessary preparations that we would do in an event like this given the fact that there will be american athletes and american spectators and corporate sponsors and the like so i would refer you to the other countries as far as what part cautions they are taking -- precautions they're taking in the conversations they may be having with the russians. again i can't account for every phonecall was made to the state
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department by other countries and allies but this is something we are very attended to and i can tell you the president's homeland security counterterrorism adviser and deputy security adviser is leading an interagency coordination body to ensure that the full resources of the u.s. government are aligned in support of our athletes delegation americans attending the olympics. as with any large international sporting event which the united states or dissipates this includes the diplomatic security and f. ei agents on the ground and we are engaged with the russians in answer to your question other close partners and allies and give out regular outreach through the state department's travel web site and as we talked about yesterday the state department has issued a travel alert and americans planning to go to sochi to the game should avail themselves of that information and take precautions recommended in that
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alert. >> jay, i'm sure you noticed the iranians seem to be calling into question the way the white house is characterizing our interim nuclear deal and an interview with cnn the foreign minister said quote the white house tries to portray this in dismantling iran's nuclear program. that is the word they used time and again referring to its handling. we have gone through the records and the white house's use that word a couple of times but i'm just curious what is your response to that? are they trying to play to a domestic audience or what you think is going on? >> he said before that we expected the iranian government to spend the commitments under the joint plan of action. we saw that in november and earlier this month and clearly we are seeing it again. when it comes to commitments iran has made as part of the joint plan of action and the implementation of it we have always said the first apple hault progress on iran's nuclear
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program. stopping the advance of the program for the first time in nearly a decade in introducing unprecedented transparency to iran's nuclear activity while we negotiate a long-term comprehensive solution. now, we have also made clear as part of that conference of agreement should it be reached ivan will be required to agree to strict limits and restraints on all aspects of its nuclear program to include the dismantlement of significant portions of its nuclear infrastructure in order to prevent iran from developing a nuclear weapon in the future. so i think the dismantling aspect of this has to do with a comprehensive solution. agreements that iran made as part of the joint plan of action in the initial agreement with the p5+1 have been clearly spelled out and how iranian officials want to characterize that i think has to be viewed through the prism of their
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audience that they are speaking to. what matters to us and to our partners in the p5 swan and i think to the broader international community is what iran actually does and whether or not it adheres to the commitments that it makes. there is a level of transparency and verifiability in this agreement that will allow the p5+5 and the iaea to make assessments about compliance and as you know the modest changes to sanctions that have been made as part of this agreement work like a spigot. they don't all come at once. any violation or failure to comply by iran could be met by a reversal of those changes. so, this is all about what they do and not what they say. and it is absolutely the right
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thing to test whether or not iran is serious about coming into compliance with its international obligations, providing a verifiable transparent way, prove that they are not pursuing a nuclear weapon because that is in the world's benefit and iran's benefit. >> just to go further with that the foreign minister does an interview we are not dismantling any centrifuges. we are not dismantling any equipment. president rouhani said in a separate interview we are not going to destroy any centrifuges are they going rogue on the steel? >> jim, i know it's a cnn interview and i know that's part of this but again what they say about -- i'm just saying i think we have answered it repeatedly that how iranian officials characterize this for a domestic audience matters far less to us
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than what they are actually doing and the fact is the iaea verified in a written report and subsequent briefings for p5+1 technical experts that iran has a mother of other things 20% enriched uranium and disable the configuration of the centrifuge and cascades and have begun -- enriched uranium. that is all in compliance with the clearly spelled out requirements of the agreement so we take with the iaea says and assesses and verifies as our guide to whether or not iran is doing what it said it would do. >> are there any further considerations to the idea that perhaps the white house should release the text of the deal so people can see it and read it? >> i think again as i explained last week we have provided that
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texts to members of congress and provided a summary of that text to the public. this is a document that the iaea is guidance for the iaea for the implementation of a joint plan of action. >> any responses civil liberties board report following the question of legality of the collection program at the nsa? >> as you note on friday the president announced the results of the administration's review of our intelligence programs over the last six months lead i the white house with other departments and agencies across the government. in addition to our own intensive work the review process drew on input from key stakeholders including congress civil society foreign partners to review group and the privacy and civil liberties oversight board. now, i will say a couple of things. as you know the president met with the privacy and civil liberties board on a number of
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occasions including near the end of his own administration's review and was able to them if it from the conclusions of that ward and draft what they discussed. i can tell you that in the speech that he made on friday and the reactions the president described on friday, he is taking steps that word directly derived from some of the recommendations. on the issue of 215 we simply disagree with the board's analysis on the legality of the program. consistent with the recent holdings of the united states district court in the southern district of new york and california as well as the finding of 15 judges of the foreign intelligence surveillance court on 36 set revocations over the past seven years the administration believes the program is lawful. as the president has said however he believes we can and should make changes in the program that will give the american people greater confidence.
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essentially the president announced he will be ending the program as it currently exists and he is instructing congress and others to evaluate in the coming weeks ways to handle the data so the federal government does not retain control of that data. but on the specific question that you raise on the legality of it we agree with the courts that have ruled on this and the judges of the fisa court. >> if i could follow up on that, the privacy and civil liberties privacy board also said the data collection program only had animal effect on counterterrorism efforts so i'm just trying to square this. the president said last june that the nsa's data collection programs were saving lives and prevented at least 50 terrorist attacks. now you have the civil liberties ward saying the opposite saying
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it's only at a minimum impact so who is right here? is the privacy and civil liberties board riders the president? >> what the president said on friday john is that this program combined with the other programs and efforts that are undertaken as part of our intelligence collection have had the effective making americans more safe, disrupting potential terrorist plots against the united states and the american people as well as our allies and it is a useful tool in the effort to combat terrorists who have designs on the united states and the american people and our allies. it is one of a number of tools and i think you saw the president's belief that we can take steps to change that program to end that program too ended as it currently exists and adopt another p5 recommendation
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which is to query the metadata with the court order in order to provide more safeguards and more reassurance to the american people that the program itself is not being abused. so it's a useful tool john and combined, these programs protect the american people, protect our men and women in uniform overseas and protect our allies and as the president said, the very important and often thankless work performed by the men and women at the nsa and elsewhere in our intelligence community. >> can you point to a single plot this program has prevented? >> i would refer you to odni for those analyses. as the resident said there is no question in his mind that this is a useful tool, one of a number of tools that we are able to floyd to protect united the united states against a
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terrorist attack and having said that he is making and wants congress to work with him to ensure that the program is not subject to -- and while it is still around to help us combat terrorism and the threats against us. >> a question on the status of forces agreement with karzai, if the united states is unable to strike a deal with karzai. >> there will be no u.s. or nato troops beyond 2014. >> there has been some discussion of maybe nato could strike a deal or maybe a deal could be struck with the defense minister instead but karzai has got to do this before we resolve this. >> if there is not a bsa sign we would have no choice but to
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initiate planning for a post-2014 future in which there would be no u.s. or nato troops on the ground in afghanistan. we simply can't have that absent a signed bilateral security agreement. >> what about karzai? >> signed by the government and we have had an issue on the -- the issue of governance. there is not time to wait for a future potential government. the fact is we are beginning to make, we broadly speaking here, but the administration and nato are beginning to make assessments and plans for 2014 and those decisions have to be made amply and they have to be made with or without a signed bilateral security agreement. it can't wait well into 2014 so every day that passes the further we get into this year the harder it is to plan and any
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other way except with the expectation that bilateral security agreement would not be signed. we do not or for that outcome. we did not think that is the best policy but we simply can't plan for or have u.s. troops in afghanistan beyond 2014 without that agreement signed. >> to follow up on that it sounds like you are making a distinction there between karzai signing an agreement and whomever succeeds karzai. >> no, i'm not. it has to be signed by the afghan government and there is not time -- i mean i don't know who physically has to sign it. the issue is and future government. the issue is it has been agreed to. it has been negotiated and endorse by the loya jirga and has to be signed and we cannot act upon, we can't plan for 2014 presents for a new mission on
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counterterrorism and the training in support of afghan troops absent a signed bsa. >> can i just ask you did you just say it was the p5 that. >> no i'm saying it was one of the recommendations and one that the president got. >> what is the situation in ukraine? is the president think that he has lost his mandate to lead? >> a would simply say we are deeply concerned by the violence this situation arose because of the reversal -- refusal of their ukrainian government to listen to and take seriously the grievances of the ukrainian people. the opposition movement here was a nonviolent movement and adopted those principles and we call on the government to refrain from violence and we support a dialogue to in the
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government and the opposition. we have taken some steps the state department has in response to the violence with regards to visas for those viewed as responsible for some of the violence and we are looking at other actions that we can take if necessary. >> should he resign? >> again it's not for the united states to make that determination. what we are calling for is an end to the violence and we have made clear our view that it is incumbent upon the ukrainian government to in a nonviolent way respond to the legitimate aspirations and grievances of the ukrainian people. >> jay edward snowden is holding a live on line chat later today. do you -- [inaudible] >> no. >> can you respond to what he told "the new yorker." he said this is absurd referring to some statements over the weekend that he may have been working in conjunction with
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russia. >> i canceled this question simply by saying this is obviously a matter of, handled by the department of justice. charges have been brought against mr. snowden for leaking or releasing classified information. these are felony charges. he ought to be returned to the united states and face those charges and here in united states he would be accorded the full protection of the defendant in this country and it is our view that he should come back to the united states and face those charges. >> heuer asked that yesterday but just to try to get to this point. is the administration ruling out the possibility? >> these are matters that are under investigation. he has been charged with felonies. i'm not going to wade into those conversations. i'm simply not commenting. speech is quickly south sudan's government the rebels are apparently preparing to sign a
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cease-fire shortly. can we get an update -- can you update us on that? >> we welcomed today's signing of the cessation of hostilities between the government of south sudan and the opposition forces. this is the first, this is the first critical step in ending the violence that began on december 15 in building a sustainable peace in south sudan. we expect both parties to fully and swiftly implement the agreement and to demonstrate a firm commitment to the letter and the spirit of the coming weeks and months. the united states urges both sides to build on this momentum by moving swiftly to an inclusive political dialogue to resolve the underlying causes of the current conflict. the u.s. will remain a steady partner to those who choose the path of peace and continue to work for more peaceful democratic unified south sudan. yes? >> former u.n. official janet --
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was quoted as saying some of the atrocities in south sudan were as bad as those in syria so i'm wondering does the u.s. support, fully support efforts and accountability for the killing of -- >> those who have committed atrocities must be held accountable. that is our position. >> back to iran. i know president rouhani said in davos that he believes because of the constructive engagement with the u.s. he invited american businesses to come in and i know previously of has said iran is still closed for business. can american businesses start in iran? >> the sanctions regime that exists has not changed in violation of the sanctions that remain in place will be no more acceptable or tolerated than it has in the past. i think we are ,-com,-com ma have been clear that the modest
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sanctions relief that comes as part of the joint plan of action is limited to the very specific aspects that have been detailed in the agreement. so i think that is all there is and the point that we made again and again is that the sanctions structure and the regime remains in place. we continue to enforce all aspects of it and have demonstrated that i think in recent weeks. if iran reaches a comprehensive solution with the p5 was one obviously part of that would be consideration of further measures to end iran's isolation and improve their economy but we are a long way from that. this is going to be a difficult process and we are simply committed with their p5+1 partners to test whether or not
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iran is serious about resolving this conflict with the international community. >> you continue to stay on their nuke your comments that they are just making these comments for domestic political consumption. cnn has broadcast outside of iran. >> i've seen it here. [laughter] >> are they also sending a message to you and the president to the u.s.? it's not just domestic global consumption if they are talking to a broader audience. >> i can tell you that we are looking at what the iranians are actually doing. are they complying with the specifics comments they made in the joint plan of action and as i mentioned earlier to jim, representing both cnn and cnn international here, the fact is that on monday that iaea verified in a written report and subsequent briefing for p5+1 technical experts that iran has among other things stop reducing 20% enriched uranium and
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disabled the configuration of these interviews cascades, as begin to adding its stock piled up 20% enriched uranium and is not installed additional centrifuges. those are the specific actions they are committed to and found an agreement to take in the iaea is verifying that they are moving forward on that. how the leaders characterize the agreement matters far less to us than whether or not they made their commitments. >> i think you would agree is an independent expert on all of this but think-tank said specifically that iran has to destroy 15,000 centrifuges as part of the final deal to make sure they don't get breakout technology and nuclear weapons. my question is based on president rouhani is saying we are not going to destroy the centrifuges. >> i don't speak farsi but and
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again it matters less to us what they say than what they do but we are not is different than we will not. there is no disagreement that when it comes to -- >> destroys centrifuges not under any circumstances. >> iran will be required and a comprehensive solution to agree to strict limits and constraints on all aspects of its nuclear program to include the dismantlement of significant portions of its nuclear infrastructure. now we are just at the beginning of this process. if iran fails to comply with the agreements it has made or if iran fails to reach an agreement with the p5+1 on the conference solution we will be in a situation where we have to consider ultimate steps to fulfill the presence commitment that iran will not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon. appointed the negotiations is to see whether or not iran is serious about coming into compliance in meeting its
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obligations with its international commitments. >> they would have to accept the deal that would involve the destruction of some centrifuges, correct? >> the dismantlement of significant portions of iran's nuclear infrastructure. i'm not going to parse -- >> centrifuges. >> on centrifuges. iran does not need the centrifuge capacity that it has today as part of the joint plan of action iran committed to leave inoperable roughly half of the install centrifuges-3/4 of installed centrifuges so they cannot be used to enrich uranium. as part of the conference of solution we will require that iran dismantle a significant amount of its nuke leer infrastructure related to uranium enrichment. again we are at the beginning of a six-month process. where we are at the end of that process and whether not a conference of solution can be reached is unknown but it is absolutely the right thing to dt
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land of action and the commitments iran has made to to hault in broback broback aspects of its nuke program to test whether or not i ran a series about reaching a comprehensive solution. because ultimately the surest way to make sure iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon is to have iran's verifiable transparent commitment not to do that. so that is why the united states and the p5+5 is pursuing this potential diplomatic resolution in this conflict. bill. >> the former deputy director of the cia said yesterday that there was reason to believe that snowden's material or some of it was compromised when he landed in hong kong in other words much earlier than might have previously been thought. is this something which the white house is aware? >> in matters like this i can
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only tell you that there is a legal process in place. mr. snowden has been charged and i would refer you to whether its comments by lawmakers about this issue or others to the department of justice. >> this is someone who probably was in a position to know and we hadn't heard this specifically before. >> there is a legal case against mr. snowden that is being handle at the department of justice so for questions like that i would have to refer you to the department of justice. >> on. promotion authority what does the president think of these calls from the business groups joined by mr. boehner that he needs to mention the state of the union and get members of his own party on board? >> i haven't previewed any of the state of the union dress today but i can tell you it's a
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key part of the conference of strategy. the president has to increase exports and support more american jobs with higher wages including a stronger manufacturing sector. we have welcomed the introduction of a bipartisan congressional. prior to his act of 2014 as an important step for congress updating its important role in. negotiations and we are actively working with the democrats and republicans in congress throughout the legislative process to pass tpa legislation with his rod bipartisan support as possible. that includes republicans and democrats. >> is a critical that it passed this year or can it be put off? >> is the prior to the presidents in a conference a strategy to increase exports and support american jobs. i'm not going to put a timeframe on it but it's a priority and we are working towards its passage. yeah, scott. >> is still languishing.
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does he go back to the same. [inaudible] >> i won't preview the state of the union address but i can tell you if you look at the things the president discussed in last year's state of the union comprehensive immigration reform is a good example. a bill that meets the principles the president laid out and they did so in a bipartisan way and we certainly hope that the house will follow suit. that is not completed at progress has been made and we hope congress will act so that the president can sign the bill that reforms are immigration system in a way that strengthens our borders, gives assistance to economic growth and provides all the other benefits that we have discussed. when it comes to other things that we can be doing to help the economy grow there are
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opportunities the president has discussed that we can move forward on that include congressional action. there are things that he and the administration can do without congressional action to help advance that agenda and the president has been talking about that quite a bit in recent days. and you can expect it in the coming weeks of months of this year as part of what we are calling a year of action. you will hear the president discuss other things that he can and will do and that the administration can and will do using the power of his office both depend on the phone to help advance an agenda that expand economic opportunity that rewards hard work and responsibility and lifts up the middle class and makes it more secure. beyond that we will have to wait and see what is in his speech. >> will he go back to minimum-wage? >> the absolute in paired up to raise the minimum wage certainly hasn't gone away. in the interim you have seen state after state passed
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increases in the minimum wage and you have seen other states consider raising the minimum wage absent federal action so this goes to the heart of awarding hard work. as a basic passable here in united states there is broad agreement regardless of political affiliation that if you work full time, you work hard because you want to take responsibility for yourself and your family, you should be paid a living wage. you should not be paid a wage that leaves you in poverty so as the asic rentable raising the minimum wage remains as compelling an idea today as it was last year. the president certainly encouraged by actions taken by the state that is that's not enough conger should move forward and we support legislation to do that. >> there has been some talk about if -- with the
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administration take a definitive stance that there will be no taxpayer bailout of insurance companies if worse comes to worse on that? >> i think what you have seen in data that has been released is that there has been steady and significant increases in enrollment especially in december and that includes an even quicker increase in the enrollment of young people under 35 and we expect that will continue. in fact the data released by cms tracks very closely with the way that the massachusetts health insurance reform program unrolled implementation and includes as it relates to the percentage of young people who are enrolled. we are encouraged by the data we have seen but we obviously created a lot of obstacles for ourselves and the amp mentation of the aca in the marketplaces
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with the faulty rollout of the healthcare.gov web site. significant improvements have been made. i think proof of that is that there is so little of reporting on those improvements. we are going to continue at it. the deadline is march 31 and we look forward to continuing to see increases in enrollments including among young americans. >> there are concerns about -- quoted over the weekend when asked about these issues that it's so vital to russia's development that anything that gets in the way of that would -- [inaudible] >> i didn't see that rep board on this issue and the legislation that has been passed in russia has been clearly expressed so i can't comment on that except that we obviously believe it is very much in the interest of russia to conduct an
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olympics that welcomes everyone and you know our views on the matters of lgbt rights and equality are very clear. >> a 2012 law that freezes the assets of russian citizens barring rights to those behind the anti-lgbt -- and someone behind that is senator ben cardin. >> i don't have a position on the needs he asked that you can be sure our views about universal rights and specifically lgbt rights are clearly expressed with regards to whether it is russia or elsewhere actions taken by countries that are in conflict with those principles.
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[inaudible] 's e. i don't have that beyond what we provided. jared. >> jay not that long ago at the rnc winter meeting here in washington mike huckabee said that the democrats message to women is that they are reading from the report, helpless without uncle sugar coming in and providing a prescription for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government. is that the president's message? >> i haven't seen that report but whoever said it, it sounds offensive to me and to women. >> on immigration much has been made of the issue of deportation and how they have risen over the course of the obama administration. the president took unilateral action on the dreamers by not reinforcing immigration of young old coming to this country without any conscious decision
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on their own. in response to the heckler -- you can't do that for the rest of the illegal population i'm wondering what is the legal distinction between the dreamers and the rest of the population? >> for legal analysis i would refer you to the department of justice or homeland security. what the president has made clear is he obviously has to and the federal government has to enforce the law and this is an issue that goes right to the heart of why it is necessary to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation that addresses all of the aspects encompassed by immigration reform including the need for border security and including the need for improved legal immigration so that we can take advantage of all the brilliant young people from around the world who study at our universities and would like to start businesses here but currently face obstacles to doing that.
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that provide a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people in this country that makes us a good enough friend -- significant number of apartments in order to travel that path including going to the back of the line. this is not something that can be resolved by a single action of the president. that's why we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform. >> in mccarthy is the number three republican in the house and he came out for an interview in bakersfield i think in favor of a path to legality and not citizenship for those here illegally. what is your reaction to that? >> we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform and when it comes to creating two classes of people in this country we have always thought that was the wrong approach. we are not alone. one of the notable hallmarks of
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the push for comprehensive immigration reform is that it is supported by democrats and republicans by labor and business, by law enforcement and faith communities. the support for this is broad days. it's bipartisan and nonpartisan. it has enormous economic and if it's to our country and that is why we have to pass it. tanks. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> millions of egyptians came down to the streets in nationwide protest. >> this uprising defies any definitions. >> 20 minutes after landing, driving towards tahrir square the military has come down to the street so i'm stocked up on the check points and they searched the car. and it was my previous film
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which is not a good title to find is the country's exploding. they said, thus. we just want to talk with you for a while. i went to a place and i still don't know where the location was and i was taken by people in plain clothing. at the time you don't know who is interrogating you but i realize that a certain point this is this dvd that i have in the car and a need to get rid of it so i made my way to the car and at one point excused myself to the bathroom to try to destroy the dvd by breaking apart. i don't know if you have ever tried to break apart a dvd but they are quite hard. and so i shoved it down the drain, went back into the interrogation room feeling confident that i had gotten rid of evidence that could possibly keep me there for a lot longer than i wanted to be. and about five minutes later the guy cleaning the bathroom comes in with a piece of the dvd in his hand.
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now vice president joe biden speaking today at the opening
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session of the families usa health action conference where he talked about the role of health care advocacy groups and hoping to pass the health care law. his remarks are half an hour. [applause] [applause] [applause] [applause] >> i told you that this was a tough crowd. mr. vice president, dear friendo
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health action 2014. [applause] the theme for our conference and indeed the theme for our work ahead is making that promise real. starting this month, for the first time in our nations history, the law of the land is that health care is a right, not just a privilege. [applause] for people who are sick or have a chronic condition or a disability, health coverage is now available as it is for everyone who is healthy. for families with modest incomes who can't afford health care, help is on the way.
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these legislative changes are enormous. they are truly historic and we are deeply grateful mr. vice president for the effective leadership of the obama lied and administration that made this possible. [applause] all of us in this room and so many of our colleagues who are not here today are proud that we were foot soldiers in this historic effort. like any major legislative accomplishments however, there remains much to do. our job is to take this historic legislation and make it a living reality for all americans.
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in the words of a kindred movement that was celebrated earlier this week, we must keep on keeping on. so to help remind us about why this work is so important, please welcome kathy stokes who will tell her own story about why the affordable care at is so meaningful for her life and will introduce the vice president. [applause] >> hi everyone. my name is kathy stokes and when i started my adult life 25 years ago i could not have imagined that one day i would own my own business, that i would be a mom let the gone -- let alone a single mom to twins
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and i could never have imagined i would standing before you today as a breast cancer survivor. .. well, fast forward to 2012. i found a lump on my breast in late august. and the several days and many tests later, i was dumbfounded to hear my diagnosis. i had breast cancer, and it was aggressive.
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what followed was a whirlwind, a double mastectomy at the end of 2012, five months of chemotherapy, and a year's worth of antibody infusions starting in january 2013. i lost my appetite, my hair, and at times my will to keep going. but any time i faltered, my twins were there to give me that puts the guy needed to get to that next day, to get through that next phase of treatment. in july i had a breast reconstruction surgery, and a few months later i learned that the antibody infusion i had been getting cause heart damage. now, the good news is that the damage is irreversible, but it requires regular visits to a cardiologists and an echocardiogram and two different heart medications for now. this was not a good time for me to lose my cobra coverage, but i
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did on dec. 31st 2013. but because of obamacare i am happy to see my new coverage began the very next day of january 1st 2014. [applause] [applause] now, with obamacare in shores could have denied me because of my breast cancer or the temporary heart condition that i have. my premium is affordable because i was able to get some tax credits. and that $8,000 antibody infusion i got on january 2nd was covered in full by my health insurance. [applause] now, i am absolutely thrilled to report that my last infusion is tomorrow.
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[applause] thank you. and the poor that i were to get the intrusion of fuel being removed next week. so my cancer odyssey is nearly over. but without obamacare, 2014 would have been a disaster. no insurance company would have taken neon, but with obamacare i started this new year with great hope. i am an obamacare success story. i am my own success story, too. thank you. [applause] and now, ladies and gentlemen, the vice-president of the united states. [applause]
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>> they key very much. what an inspiring story, cathy. even with the affordable care act, obamacare, is a rough road. , even with totally adequate health care coverage, it's a rough road. and your courage is amazing. you are an inspiration. you really are. i hope women who are now all covered, but with breast cancer get a chance to hear your story because of going to repeat this again. one of the things wrong then i
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believe and we have been doing this a long, long time, he has been doing it much more than i have, is that it is not just about physical coverage of peace of mind. it's about being able to a turn to your twins and say, honey, it's going to be. when ron spoke, i was reminded of something have not thought about enclosed a four years. ron has been in this fight for as long as i can repeat. and for us to be able to say in a hotel auditorium in washington d.c. with any fear of being contradicted that health care is our right, not a privilege is amazing for you and the.
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because that used to be the flight, just the love. people have a right, not only a right to public education but the right to be safe in the streets. somehow or opposition of some of this health care thing to let this is not the basic human right. and the brunt -- no one has carry this fight like you personally have. in sight in this organization, outside the organization. obviously founders carry the fight, but you have been up in the trenches making this fight. as reminded, i get elected to the senate when i was 29 years old. and i come from the state that has a lot of major corporations, a lot of responsible major corporations. and i kim from the estate that
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everyone calls bluebell. it is fairly reticent -- at the time. and i remember what i would do every year, i would go to all of the major constituencies, sit down, and meet with the chamber of commerce, me with the afl-cio, me with united auto workers, me with the naacp, at the beginning of the year. and i met with two of the largest companies, the ceos in the state of delaware, and there were at that time ten companies. and i would listen to what their concerns were for the coming year across the board. business, labour, activist groups. and i was in the board room of a lot of the major corporations. everyone was being very nice except the ceo. he was really upset with me. i have forgotten this. i was sitting to his right.
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i finally said, because he was being close to rude, mr. chairman, what is your problem. another dozens of like me. anyway, i said to doe was your problem. but not mistaken you invited me here. i did not ask to come here. what's the problem? and in a burst of honesty he said, all your going to do is go down there to washington and work with chairman kennedy did try to get health care done, a socialist program. i thought of that. i had not thought of that enclosed a four years. a mother arguing about whether it is a right anymore. even republicans don't use it in
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their rhetoric that it is not a right. they said they won it. so i just want to personally thank you. you were there. he had just been there. and so folks, you of this guy round of applause. [applause] [applause] folks, i came for three reasons. one, i wanted to. two, the president wanted me to. seriously. and three, three, on behalf of the president and need just to say thank you, just thank you. they cue, thank you, thank you. you have been the ones who demanded a fair shake for
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millions of families who, like kathy, paid harder and dollars in health insurance only to find that their premiums are going up 15% a year and benefits are disappearing at the exact moment they wanted because of the annual caps. you were the voices that said it's not okay for someone like that the work their whole life, starting the business, pay their premiums on time, raised a family to be left without insurance at the love she needed it most, literally life-and-death. you have been working for decades, this organization, some of you are very young and have not been around for decades, to improve health care for tens of millions of americans. you fought for the patient's bill of rights to make sure that health decisions were made by doctors, not by insurance companies to men because of your lead it was included in the affordable care act.
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you fought for programs to help lower copays in premiums for medicare beneficiaries, low incomes. we were talking on the way in which newt gingrich wanted medicare to wither on the vine and medicaid to be block granted , you were there. because you knew it would result in kicking millions of pregnant women and children, millions of seniors, middle-class seniors in nursing homes because they have no one else, they were alone. picking them off of coverage you stood with teddy, built a national chip. you welcome them senator obama here in 2007 where he pledged his commitment to make health reform are reality, and he did. he did. [applause]
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i get credit. he deserves all the credit. i was with him every minute through this bitter fight. at least a half a dozen times when he could have compromised. what he would say every time, joe, if we let this go since it will be another generation before 24 million young people mostly of color would poor will ever get the kind of coverage that they need. i think everyone of you around this room whether you work at some time in your life fully insured or under insured right note insurance and all sides in the you have a story of wrote them. and share your stories of family
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members, close associates to my school, college friends, your neighbors, those of you who were fully covered by remember what it felt like if you knew someone or you yourself had a catastrophic illness before this. i was hospitalized for seven months, to cranial aneurysms, not given a good shot of living, not quite an even shot. a less than even shot. as the 60 days and i see you because of a major embolism from aneurysms. and i can tell you what i remember, like a lot of you, like kathy did, the one solace i had even though my bill has exceeded well over half a million dollars, an assurance. what what happened to my family and animated and not had insurance speaking for me, a big
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chunk of why i so strongly believed it was a right that we have covered no, peace of mind, peace of mind. mark my words, spend a lot of time with our scientists and the board and all of these nobel laureates about the future in medical breakthroughs that are coming says. you're going to find this is why a lawyer, not a doctor. but i bet you will find by the time you are my age that it has covered stress plays an incredibly, incredibly dominant role in your health care, in yourself and your immune system. it is not to underestimate the peace of mind piece of this. you know, the fact is that in addition to worrying so if you
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had a catastrophic event whether or not you did not have insurance would have happened to your family, you also find that how many times you have thought to yourself when you're moving along that, you know, all the people you have met who don't have insurance, how many people the no or know of, and i'm personally not, who literally went bankrupt because of the medical bills. they crept, which means they lost their homes in many cases ice's, all of their savings, if they had any. how many of you thought in the last year's there but for the grace of god, there but for the grace of god.
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i assume that is what motivated all of you in this room. there's a lot of public interest questions out there, people getting days did because the intellectual excitement about it says ended matters, but i find that people get involved in it emotionally as well as intellectually. i suspect that is what made you determined to see the system change. the horror stories you have heard and witnessed would not continue. and what you all did, like most groups, you went out in the field and knocked on doors, change people's minds. you argued unabashedly. every american has a right, our god-given right, to have adequate health care coverage. in the process, you helped pass the most consequential of gilbert and american history, something presidents from teddy roosevelt and franklin roosevelt
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, john kennedy to richard nixon tried to do. but i guess it is because they did not have you it did not get done. there is an old expression, the greatest gift god gave mankind was the ability to forget. but ride out it is important to remember. it is important to remember what it was like immediately before the affordable of correct. you're already sort of dismissed it, like, you know, it's done. a lot of americans were in pretty good shape, particularly those who work for large companies will still provide decent health care plans as part of their compensation. they are by and large in good shape dough but even there there are hidden costs and vulnerabilities. even these families are paying higher premiums in part because hospitals or necessarily passing on $40 billion a year in losses that they incurred every year
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for having to treat uninsured people were under insured people just to put this in perspective, the average cost of one visit, one visit to an emergency room which is the only recourse for poor moms and dads was kids that have something wrong with them, even if it's something minor. they have no doctor the call, no doctor to call. what did they do? the go to the emergency room. the public defender, a lawyer, civil-rights. the average cost for outpatient is $1,200 per visit, trough hundred dollars. that adds up. tens of billions of dollars. there is an article where there recently said canadian people now covered by medicaid are still going to the emergency
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room. as if that is something weird. the truth is, many of these people never knew dr. other than the emergency room. they don't know how to manage the system which covers them. emergency people are rooms for trauma and where people go when they don't have insurance, when their children is sick, even some of those so-called big plans faced annual limits in health insurance policies. so when you're really need extended also a restaurant or is that this book about the extended niece she need for treatment for breast cancer with surgery, they were covered. but those who were self-employed or in small businesses did not fare nearly as well. it did not have the clout to
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negotiate a good deal with the insurance companies. they did not have a negotiating power. bin so what happens? when you're in and represent a company that employs three and a dozen people you can say to the drug company, and not going to pay, making a number. amelie and to pay three-quarters of a penny. but you go wind, a small-business, go in as an individual, ten, 20, 30 employees. i'm not going to pay a penny. no, you will pay a penny in half. no bargaining power. it is still a market place. so instead of walking in, as i said, represent 250,000 people, there is now negotiating power. it was negotiating power says. the same plan covering your employer's is considerably more important than the small business.
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70 percent of the those lacking insurance with pre-existing condition problems fun when they tried to buy coverage that was either difficult or virtually impossible to find in it in a formal plan. many recovered by their companies' health care plan or covered before in another plant being before. and what did you see in the manifestation of this great recession? the companies downsized, went bankrupt, as the employment dropped off like a rock of a cliff, what happened. all a sudden these people that were covered before the coup in the meantime had acquired a pre-existing condition are out on their own individual market.
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i will take the time because you know as well, i can give you at least 15 stories of people i know personally or have come to know who are devastated, even people with real income that being able to afford a plan. because the causes british. by the way, until we get along pregnancy and domestic abuse were listed by insurance carriers as pre-existing conditions. but you help this change all that. insurance companies got do that anymore. women can be discriminated against. in the past they could be charged is because of their gender and being of child-bearing age as much as 150 percent more than the men would be covered the same committing the same coverage in the same plan. the gimmick, prior to the dca 20% of those who are able to purchase individual health insurance are not able to purchase a plan to cover
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prescription drugs. many plans also don't cover maternity care, mental health service. i have been doing this for a long time. i can tell you, and i am sure the -- you have experience the same thing i have. how many people, including some of my closest friends from high school and college of the past 30 years have climbed into bed at night, turned and looked the other spouse and then stared at the ceiling, literally scared the ceiling thinking, my god, what happens if my wife gets breast cancer. what happens if i am a heart attack. what happens if my son or daughter gets great deal. will we be able to sleep in this bad? in this room? in this house? a month from know, two months after that, three.
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that is that a scare tactic. that is so real people had to take about it. part of our objective, as i said is valid to make sure that adequate health care would to give people peace of mind. among more debt to build the turnaround and say with confidence the millikan third child side, is going to be okay if they said for certain the it's going to be a carry. so many parents, so many families up until now have not been able to turn and say, it is going to be a carry. these people, our people, the people we grew up with some of these people needed voice. each still large.
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because of your voice is these people are in much better shape because of the affordable care act. they made the case generally and organized set, got people out, organize rallies, helped republican governors in places like arizona, iowa, michigan, ohio, and others to take advantage of the medicaid program expansion three years
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ago the man spoke of this conference. his name was senator brock obama. he said, change does not come from the top down. it comes from the bottom up. you guys activated the country. he did activate the country, and you got it passed. you have to stay at it. we still have a long way to go. we still have a long way to go. got off to a rocky start, but enrollment is up. 2 million americans have selected private plans.
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much higher than that. more than 6 million americans were determined eligible for medicaid in the past three months. to be fair, totally honest and not all of these folks are new to the medicaid program because some already qualified for the passage of the act. 6 million people, i asked them to disaggregate to remedy would not have been covered. we don't have the ability to do that at this point. they all have peace of mind that comes with a quality health insurance. and as you well know, some states have not taken that opportunity to expand medicaid and the the dca. as i said before, and the states had not acted would just like to know, 5 million more have access to affordable coverage. as surprising as it may seem, they voted to repeal the law 40
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times, they still have not given up on the message. after disastrous effort of shutting down the federal government they did not get the message. i am confident they're not going to get the message of to deliver to them. here's the message, we will not go back. we will not go back. america has turned a page. we will not go back to the days before the avoidable care act. pre-existing conditions or a barrier to coverage. we will not go back to that day when women could face a much as 150 percent more room the same coverage. you will not get 3 million young adults of the paris policies. like a back to the day when patients live in a hospital bed fighting for their lives are told that sorry your coverage is
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over. we cannot cover you anymore. we will not go back. america will not go back. let me close, let me close by saying once again, thank you for what you have done, thank you. we will continue to need you to read as my grandfather used to say keep the faith. spread it. spread the faith. got love you all. may god bless our troops. thank you. [applause] [applause] [applause]
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>> thank you, mr. vice president. a brief intermission and then we will carry on with the program. thank you. ..

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