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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 2, 2015 6:00am-8:01am EDT

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graduation, jobs, wages. then you went on to put a value. i think your $50000 in terms of income. and i guess what i found myself thinking is that we are talking
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about educating and an educated citizenry. must we put an income a wage value on it? understand, of course that the are many occupations and roles and services that are states and our federal government needs, that that's just not a really big value income placed on. you weren't saying that there's not success if you fail to make after attending college and graduating x number of dollars, were you? >> i don't think it was me who said that. i don't think i was the one who set a. i was saying there should be no measures because i don't want accountability, which i was just kidding. it does bring up an important point. the love we talk about are the outcomes and we are not there doesn't seem to be agreement about what the outcome should
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be. should be graduation rates should it be what you earn. one of the things that concerns me in the state of florida a year or two ago the governor said should we really be spending money to produce anthropologists? >> that argument has been made by some of our leaders in the state of north carolina, as if a liberal arts education isn't worth anything. >> that concerns me because i don't think a lot of education is something you necessarily monetize, but i am very sympathetic to the huge concern that we spend, a gigantic amount of money on higher education. we don't seem to be getting anything like commensurate outcomes. but this is why i think and becomes counterintuitive, a lot of the problem is with a lot of money that comes from somebody other than the student when they, so they may decide i'll study anthropology for four years because it doesn't seem to be posting anything and maybe i just want to do for yourself college. so there's a balance that i don't want to go to a system
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where you essentially have a bureaucracy say if you don't earn $50,000 within three years of graduating been there was something wrong with your education. >> can i just add a quick point? i'm all for institution and students having skin in the game but what could make the opposite argument that i income students don't have any skin in the game when the parents fund their college education out of anybody would object to having parents fund their kids college education. so i think we need to be careful that we are not putting additional barriers for low income folks that really shouldn't have to put anything in. because if your family is barely surviving on $16,000 a year why should you have to put anything into your college education?
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>> okay. that concludes this panel. thank you everyone. we appreciate it. we will now take a few minutes break until 245 imac and come back on the record with the final panel today. thank you. >> the senate returns today at 9:30 a.m. to continue work on the u.s.a. freedom act which would restore expired nsa provisions that make changes to the agency acquires undue. a procedural vote is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. with 16 votes -- 60 votes. and a vote on final passage could occur as early as wednesday. as always you can watch the senate lied here on c-span2. >> this summer booktv will cover book festivals from around the country and top nonfiction authors and books.
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>> republicans are are james lankford was one of two commencement speakers this year at oklahoma state university. senator lankford was elected to the u.s. senate in november. he previously served as a u.s. representative for oklahoma's fifth congressional district. it is 15 minutes.
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>> well good morning to you. it's my honor to get a chance to be here and yes for cindy and i this is our anniversary. this is number 23. isn't this romantic? i took her to a commencement for our anniversary. a little later tonight we'll be able to have a nice romantic dinner cuddle around the tv and watch weather like everyone else so welcome to oklahoma on that. graduates congratulations to you. it's a very big day for you and your family. so i hope you enjoy and you just take this in and the moments and your able to remember well what happens here. there are a couple moments in your life that you will get free advice from random strangers. this is one of them. if anyone finds out you're graduating, immediately a total stranger will go, great! i have something to tell you. this will happen again when you get married. it'll happen again when you get pregnant. okay, so at that point you just smile, nod. you want to say, do i know you? but you don't.
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just take it, filter out what's helpful and junk what's not because in all likelihood twenty years from now you will do it to some graduate. someone you'll meet in the grocery store you'll find out they're about to graduate, and you'll just randomly in the produce isle start telling them advice about life. enjoy it. it's the nice thing about being neighbors together. i'm going to throw a couple things to you today as well that is just some free advice that you can filter it as you choose to, but i want to be able to just put a few things together to say a few things i think are significant for you to be able to consider and not lose track of. number one is this get out of debt. now, i know the irony of someone currently serving in the united states senate talking about us getting out of debt. i get that. [applause] but i'm going to tell you, this is one of those things that you'll want to get off your back as quickly as you can. if you have any debt, do whatever you can to start knocking that out as fast as you can.
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i know you want to get a real car you want to get real furniture, okay? all those things in the days ahead as you start to land a job and a mortgage, and those wonderful responsibilities. knock out the debt as fast as you can. you will be grateful to be able to have that off of your back and be able to focus on other things in life. second thing is this reconnect with your faith. i'm amazed at the number of students that i interact with that had a practicing faith that up until they got midway through college and then just somehow drifted. now i understand this is the united states of america. not everyone has to have a faith but for those that choose to have faith i encourage them to actually live the faith that they have, and be able to walk in that. it will always be meaningful to you in your life. if you've grown cold and distant in your faith, reengage in your faith. there are a lot of terrifying moments that are both terrifying and exciting in your life including today because for some of you as you graduate
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today, you suddenly realize, oh there's adulthood coming monday. for some of you you have successfully postponed that by getting a master's degree soon, but that terrifying moment of realizing, i'm about to take the next step and i do not know what's there. you should have that moment also be a moment where you walk in your faith. how many of you have been to the united state capitol before? let me see your hands. that's great. when you get to the united states capitol, there's a series of painting that are down in the rotunda, under the big cast iron dome that is our united states capitol, which looks like it currently has an iron maiden around it for construction that's happening on the dome. the dome itself is our second dome. the first dome that was there was wood and copper. that rotunda and the paintings that are in that rotunda actually predate the dome that are above it. the dome was built during the civil war but the paintings that are underneath it were built -- the last of those were
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put in about the 1840's. my favorite of those is called the embarkation of the pilgrims. the paintings that are there are to depict the beginnings of america. one of them done by robert weir in 1843 depicts the moment america began and it's a painting of a group of individuals on the deck of a ship huddled around an open bible, praying, as their ship is leaving from europe. and that moment that was captured is both this terrifying moment for them of not knowing where they are going, but this reassuring reconnection to there is something very important to us. we don't know where we are going, but we know god will be with us when we get there. i would encourage you to reconnect with your faith. [applause] third, i would encourage you to heal family hurts. you're going to love this. they get more personal as they
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go don't you notice? heal family hurts. in the days ahead your relationship with your family will be more important to you than what your diploma is to you today and that diploma is extremely important. but i have met many students that as they went through high school, and went through college got more and more disconnected with their family. there was a broken relationship there and they thought, you know what i'm leaving. i'm heading out. it doesn't matter anyways because i'm moving out. so i'll just leave that broken relationship behind. what does it matter now? it's too much work to fix that family hurt. i will tell you for the rest of your life every birthday, every thanksgiving every christmas, every mother's day, every father's day you will regret that decision. my mom was a librarian. now, i don't know how smart your parents were, but my mom was a librarian, okay? a librarian knows everything, and what she doesn't know, she knows where to find it. so i grew up with my mom being
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the smartest woman on the planet, but somewhere around ninth grade, she bumped into a wall, or took a fall or something happened, because she just started deteriorating, and it just got worse and worse and worse as i went through high school. but about my sophomore year of college she started gaining from my academic wisdom and about my sophomore year of college on she started getting smarter again. she's back to genius level. now i say that to you to say, there is this path of independence that all of us go through. that's good. we have god's creation to say we're not always living in your parent's basement. amen? okay? probably a bigger amen from up here, okay? when there's a broken relationship i don't care where it came from and how it started, but it ends when you actually reconnect.
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when you look at each other in the eye and to say, can we start over again? heal the broken wounds. some of those can start today. you'll have time in the storm shelter later to be able to visit on these things, but you can start some of that conversations today. heal those broken wounds. many people that i talk to about a lot of things and about what's going on in d.c. i spend a lot of time talking about what i call the three d's, debt, defense and federal directives. those are big issues that we deal with on a common basis in washington d.c., but broken families cannot be fixed by washington d.c. the biggest issues we face as a nation are families that are struggling to stay connected to each other, and committed to each other. that is the decision that you will make in the days ahead, and i would encourage us to turn the nation around by turning our families around. [applause]
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number four, and i only have fourteen of these so we're almost there. no, i'm kidding. i have two more and they're quick. number four is serve. there will be a lot of things that you will do to make a lot of money. this president wants you to be able to get out of here land a great job represent the university well, make a lot of money and be a good donor back to the university, okay? but you know as well as i do at the end of life the joy you have will not be how much you made, it will be who you served. keep that in perspective. you will do well. it's the nature of a free market economy. as you take care of your family you also take care of a nation, and your neighbors. go take care of your family. go provide for them well, but remember to continue to serve. and last is this don't forget your oklahoma roots and how great this nation really is. now not everyone who is here is from oklahoma. i get that. oklahoma state has folks from all over the country but we
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welcome you to continue to carry the name of oklahoma with you because this phenomenal state and this great university -- the heritage and the tradition spreads around the country. take it with you. understand that we are americans. we do things a little bit different in america. we're passionate about things like invention. more inventions come out of the united states than any other place in the world. we invent. we find broken things and we fix them. we work until things get done. we do not quit. we are americans. that's what we do. we get out and work, and quite frankly, i get tired of the people that come to me and complain about where we are as a nation. i typically smile at them and say, why don't you get up off the couch, and go get to work, because this nation will get turned around, not when we complain about it more, but when we engage. [applause] i am fully aware we have a bunch of stuff to work on as a nation
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but that happens with each of us and each of you engaging, and understanding we're americans. we fix things, so we get to work. a couple years ago i had the privilege to visit with julia gillard. she was the prime minster at that time of australia. you'd like her. she's a red head. very sharp lady. she came and gave a speech to joint session of congress, and at the end of that speech she ended by saying i have to tell you about it. when i was a little girl, in australia everyone got out of school the day the americans landed on the moon. now we don't think about that as americans. we know americans and many that are in the generations sitting around remember well when the americans landed on the moon, but all of australia got out of school that day as well. she said not many people had televisions at that point in australia and we all found someone who had a television, all piled in their living room and all sat there and watched the americans land on the moon. and she said i distinctly
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remember thinking, americans can do anything and then she hesitated and said i still believe that's true. [applause] it was a reminder again of who we are and how the rest of the world sees us. i was in central america last september working on some the immigrations issues. you might have heard there are a few immigration conversations going around now as a nation. while i was in central america and i was meeting with some of their leaders and they were talking about some of the factors and these children that are coming to the united states and at one point one of the leaders stopped me and said, you don't understand. you're the united states of america. everyone wants to be you. that's who you are. don't lose track of that. you have been prepared and well equipped by this university. the nation needs a new generation of leaders. you're now it.
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welcome to real life. welcome to leadership. congratulations on being a graduate of one of the greatest universities in the world oklahoma state university. god bless ya'll. [applause] >> the graduates of local mr. university also her commencement remarks from u.s. ambassador to saudi arabia joseph westphal who talked about the challenges facing future generations. ambassador westphal previously served as the undersecretary of the u.s. army from 2009-2014. his speech is 20 minutes. >> gowell, good afternoon,
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everybody. good afternoon graduates of the college of business and agriculture. it is great to be with you and mr. president, thank you for the honor that you bestowed on me this morning and for the honor of allowing me to address this class. students i think we think a lot of people and i think with this one of the most important elements in your lives and they are all sitting all around the arena. i think you should give your folks, your family and your friends that they can't for what they've done to get you here. [applause] now in 1970 which was 45 years ago, graduated from college and attended my commencement. in 2060, which is 45 years from now some of you will be attending or giving a commencement speech somewhere. so how will the next 45 years shape and influence your
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message? howl of a society that you've been a part of influence to graduates sitting before you? you will be the first generation to look back reflectively on most of the 21st century rather than looking towards it. if there's one certainty in your life it is that your next four decades will be different than the first two decades that have brought you here. we can speculate today that population growth will be a factor as well as environmental impacts technological changes, and if today is any indication, climate. you will talk of many problems in these next four decades that are likely to include war, crime, terrorism, poverty disease and intolerance to name a few. and of these problems will be
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related to a variety of factors associated with the developments in such areas as science and medicine, education, politics, civil society law religion. i could go on. so let me go back and rewind rewind the clock a little bit to an earlier generation that made it possible for me to graduate from college in 1970 and be with you here today. in his book the greatest generation, tom brokaw, journalist author, former nbc news anchor wrote about the generation that lived through the great depression of the 1930s. men and women who fought tyranny and evil in world war ii, and then came home to rebuild the nation. some of you here today may have benefited from the post-9/11 g.i. bill, but it was of the original g.i. bill enacted in 1944 decades agree to boost to
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the post-world war ii generation. as tom brokaw stated in his book, quote they gave the world new science literature, art industry and economic strength unparalleled in the long curve of history. these men and women gave birth to my generation, the baby boomers. and we boomers have come to know how much we benefited from the country we inherited that became the envy of the world. now my generation also experienced war. we fought the cold war and the vietnam war and witnessed and participated in the civil rights movement. conflicts of events that sometimes created a divide between our generations. the values that my parents generation were framed around personal responsibility around duty to country, honor, faith.
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they were shaped in large part by the trials and tribulations that they endured and had to overcome. my generation lived through the fall of the berlin wall in the vietnam war they'd come at all these things made us to challenge the unquestioned patriotism of our parents generation. civil rights and the war on poverty opens our commitment to ending segregation and reducing income inequality. and one year before i graduated from college in 1970 the u.s. landed a man on the moon. an event that unleashed the innovative and competitive spirit of the american people the impact of which is still being felt today. the civil rights movement i talked about earlier offered an opportunity to redefine race and gender relations in america. today our country is far stronger because of the courage
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and the sacrifice of those who fueled it if it wasn't these issues and events that tested my generation. and like all college graduates entering into life's stage your generation will now be tested by the endless possibilities for you. as i sat to my commencement address back in 1970 at a delphi university, listening to senator margaret chase smith republican senator from maine i wondered if i would be sent to fight in vietnam a war i opposed with most of the class sitting around me that day. i ended up not being drafted, and instead said on an academic and government career. and little did i know that 20 years later i would begin nearly a decade of leadership in the army, fighting wars in iraq and afghanistan, and working to put into effect the most sweeping policy changes since the truman
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administration desegregation of the force. and in our case it was the end of the policy of don't ask don't tell with respect to the gays in the military and the policy to allow women to serve in combat roles. when i graduate from college i could not have imagined a vicious act of terrorism the bombing of the murrah federal building in oklahoma city 20 years ago this year and the subsequent attack on 9/11. i would not have predicted that in 2008 we would endure the worst global financial crisis since the great depression of the 1930s. and i certainly would not have predicted 45 years of higher education in government service nor the president of the united states asking me to be the united states ambassador to saudi arabia. responsible for our relations with a country that is of great strategic and economic importance, an episode of one of
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the most complex and embattled regions in the world. i also would not have predicted that i would set out from new york to work on a masters master's degree at oklahoma state university. back in those days most of us in new york thought the rocky mountains were in pennsylvania. so we did not much with respect here. but guess who it was my commencement speaker in 1974 when i finished that masters degree? richard nixon, president richard nixon. we held a ceremony here at osu and lewis field. it was a warm day. the president did a good job and he really talked about the generational change i was about to happen. his long address that day was well received and of course there's all of you know that was may of 1974. in august of 1974 president nixon had to resign resigned
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from the presidency because of the watergate scandal. he concluded his speech that day by noting that in 26 years, the graduating class of 1974 would usher in the 21st century. will thought that was a huge deal. he closed his speech with some interesting words to our post-boomer generation. quote on that new year you will look back on this day and then you will judge your generation. let me tell you what i think he will be able to say. yours was a generation that was apparent that the strength and the stamina to see that america played a responsible role so that we did have peace in the world for a generation. yours was a the generation that helped america become self-sufficient in energy, that helped america to develop the food resources for ourselves and other nations so that the level as far as people's ability for
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nutrition our concern was raised not only for ourselves but for all people. yours was the generation during which great strides were made forward in terms of fighting those gorgeous of the disease or if it existed throughout the world. and most -- storage -- most of all choice was a generation that has questions, a generation not afraid of controversy but a generation that when the chips were down with strong in the mind strong and the right, believe in what we are doing. i say to you when the year 2000 comes, i'm confident that the members of the class of 1974 oklahoma state university will look back and say yes we met the task, ours was the great american generation, and of course. you know, i think he was right about that. all of the things he said then in 1974 have evidence in today's society. so let me conclude by suggesting some of the issues that you may want to consider for your commencement address in 2060. if you're asked today what worries you the most, meaning
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the answer the threat of terrorism in fear of violent extremism. today the middle east is one of is at the core of that battle between the majority that wants peace and security and prosperity and a minority that wants tyranny and domination. great challenges basis in the middle east. bring in a comprehensive and enduring peace to israel, the palestinians and their neighbors, conclude an agreement with iran to end their pursuit of nuclear weapons, negotiating a political solution to the complexconflicts in yemen and dealing with the threat of nonstate actors like isil and al-qaeda and iraq and syria. how we address these challenges today will greatly affect your generation tomorrow. the agreements we signed, the solutions we put in place you will inherit. you will own them. how will that affect the way the world sees america?
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how will that affect your relationship with the global community? if you believe like i believe that the united states is stronger as an engaged constructive partner how you strengthen connections with people around the world and break down barriers to improve the world around you will determine what you will really say in the year 2060. think about it this way. when you stand at the podium in 2060 45 years of today the world will be a very different place and your advice to graduates will likely be unpredictable by what is true today. the world you are inheriting today is smaller, more populated, more integrated and far more impatient for instant gratification and the world my generation inherited. when you deliver the commencement address in 2060 what will you say about the ethics of genetics and robotics? how we address the significant
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challenges posed by religion, cultural differences, population growth that the threats to global health quacks will you have visited mars by ben? how will you make yourself relevant when technology makes your job obsolete? you will live longer than me because of greater access to advanced medical treatment. so what will you do with an extra 20-30 years of productive life? how will changes in climate affect the availability of food and water? even be living those years alongside more than 9 billion people who will populate the world by the time you get that commencement address. it is also predicted that by 2043 not ethnic group will constitute a majority of the population making the united states they truly plural nation. will these population demographic create stress and tension in society? orwell and more diverse
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population foster greater innovation and productivity? will the internet continue? certainly will continue as it is today and what will be the impact to society as a result of? what will the university look like in 2060? will professor still stand in front of the classroom and deliver lectures or learning be all virtual? more than any other generation before you you will need to address the inevitable consequences of globalization protectionism, nationalism aggression and other actions that divide and collide. in the next four decades of this century you will share all of these issues with all the people of the world. and thus i urge you to think about the words of president obama's in his speech in cairo in 2009. this is what he said, quote, recognizing our common humanity is only the beginning of our task. words alone cannot meet the needs of our people. these needs will be met only if
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we act boldly in the years ahead. and if we understand that the challenges we face are shared our pillar ii need them will hurt us all. for we have learned from recent experience that many financial system weekends in one country prosperity is heard everywhere. with a new flu infects one human being all are at risk. when one nation pursues a nuclear weapon, the risk of nuclear attack rises for all nations. when violent extremists operate in one stretch of mountain, people are endangered across an ocean. went innocents in bosnia and darfur are slaughtered, that is a stain on our collective conscience. that is what is meant to share this world in the 21st century. that is the responsibility of to one another as human beings come
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end of quote. so let me say to you, graduates of a list view. i have great confidence that you about boldly. du jour more capable than any other generation before you delete us into the future and should the world in the 21st century. you, your children and your grandchildren will understand better than all of us they came before you the challenges that you will share with the rest of the world. i tell my six grandchildren ages seven to 11, that the witness and participate in a new era of invention, entrepreneurship and innovation that will change the course of history. and as you ponder these questions i posed earlier, think about the tools you will need to sustain our america with its greatness. and don't be afraid to use them to engage and challenge complacency commented not be afraid to change. it is essential for survival.
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so congratulations to all of you, the class of 2015. and when you get home, think of grandparents and your great grandparents. that great generation that made it possible for me to be here, for you to be here, and it was made it possible for your future generations to be here as well. thank them for what they did for us. and god bless all of you. congratulations. god bless the united states of america. [applause] >> the new congressional directory is a handy guide to the 114th congress with color photos of every senator and house member plus bio and contact information and were handled. also district maps a foldout map of capitol hill and to look at congressional the president's cabinet federal agencies and state governors. order your copy today. it's working dollars 95 plus shipping and handling to the c-span online store at
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c-span.org. spirit on monday the white house hosted participants of the southeast asian leaders initiative. the fellowship gives young leaders between ages of 18-35 a35 the chance to travel from southeast asia to the u.s. in order to develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills. president obama spoke and took questions from the group for a little more than one hour. >> ladies and gentlemen -- >> hello everyone. [inaudible] i don't come from a privileged background, and yet today i am here with you at home of the
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president of the united states of america. my parents -- and i grew up in education system where we were taught to do only what you were told. contrary to my wishes i studied pharmacy, because the government pressured the to study pharmacy a future for which i had no passion. but when i left the gates of my university me and mark had become a different place. it was not a sense of hope my passion become part of this movement that me to become a journalist. i attended president obama's town hall meeting in november. he launched and six the young southeast asian leaders initiative. he spoke of youth leadership in
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the future. he inspired me to join the young students community. today to the present and all of you, i am wiser. because of yseali icon to the top of the mountain in montana and conceived a vision for the future. because of yseali from each one of us has built our extraordinary leadership capability and created relationships which will allow us to make changes in our society. thank you for extending your hands the united states and president obama. because of yseali, you are always in our heart. [inaudible]
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as president obama said in burmese when he launched yseali them we will dive into we reach the same. we will climb until we reach the top. we will keep persevering. now i'm honored to introduce to you the president of united states barack obama. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. everybody please have a seat. well, thank you so much, zin mar myint, for your introduction and for your example and your commitment to build a free and open press in myanmar come and
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all the hope that you represent. please give her a big round of applause. she did an outstanding job. [applause] to all of you, welcome to washington. welcome to the white house. and while i know that you've been here a few weeks, let me just say i can have for the american people welcome to the united states of america. we are thrilled to have you are unlikely to get a long speech because what it would want to do is have a conversation with you, like the one i had when i was in myanmar. so this is a town hall meeting. the less i speak, the more questions you get to ask. i do want to take a few minutes to explain why i believe so strongly in the work that brings us together today, and why your presence here is so important. i think all of you know i have a special attachment to southeast asia. as a boy i lived in jakarta. my mother spent years working in
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villages to a women improve their lives. to southeast asia helped shape who i am and how i see the world. and as president i've made it a pillar of my foreign policy make sure that the united states is more deeply engaged in the asia-pacific region including southeast asia. and i want to welcome the ambassadors from across asean. thank you for being here and for your partnership. give them a big round of applause. [applause] i deepened america dies with us the stage because your region is critical to our shared future. there are more than 600 million people who live in the asean countries, and you reflect an incredible diversity of faith and ethnic groups and backgrounds and cultures. and that diversity has to be celebrate and it has to be protected. we have incredible economic engines like singapore. with growing economies like the
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philippines and vietnam and asia. and we can see growth that is lifting people out of poverty and creating more jobs and trade and opportunity for all of our countries. we have seen a historic democratic transition in indonesia. we've got elections coming later this year in myanmar. communities in laos are working for development that are sustainable and protecting the environment. and we are seeing new commitments to the education of young women and girls as is true in cambodia. the people of thailand played a critical role in the global response to the earthquake in nepal, and we are mindful the king of thailand health issues lately come and we wish them the best under hopes and prayers are with him. so southeast asia is stepping up to its on the move their candidate america's russian ship with the region is stronger than
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ever i'm proud to be the first american president can meet regularly with alton asean leaders. i will continue to do so until i am no longer president. we have strengthened our alliances including with the philippines but we forge new partnerships with indonesia and malaysia and vietnam. our trade with asean has been growing. we're pursuing a trans-pacific partnership. we're working with asean to find the region were closer together and confront shared challenges and uphold international rules and norms, including freedom of navigation and to ensure that disputes are resolved peacefully. at the moment several other nations are working to rescue a desperate migrants who were at sea in which reflects our commitment to the secured and dignity of human rights of every human being. but despite all the work i've been doing and ambassadors have been doing, building these stronger ties is not just the work of government.
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to have the root and partnerships between our people and especially young people like you. all across southeast asia almost two-thirds of the population is under 35 years old. this is a young part of the world. technology is giving you more power to communicate and organize like never before. in vietnam tens of millions of people are connected on facebook. across the region you are civil society leaders working for democracy and human rights and religious tolerance. you are entrepreneurs or turn your ideas into new businesses, activists fighting for the vibrant and against climate change. and that's the part of young people have, that spirit of optimism and idealism that you represent the so you're inspiring to me and i've made it clear that america wants to be your partner.
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we want to help you succeed. so two years ago we launched the young southeast asian leaders initiative yseali, to open empower young people like you to give you more of the skills and resources and networks you need to turn your ideas into action. and since then we've offered workshops, online networking, exchanges, professional development, hands-on training and today yseali network includes nearly 35,000 young people like you. last year in myanmar at a town hall meeting that zin mar mentioned i announced our fellowship program to bring young leaders from across the region to the united states to help develop their skills. and for the first class of 75 more than 1000 people applied. the competition was intense. today i'm proud to welcome you as the first class of yseali fellows. we are very proud of you and i've had a chance to read about
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some of you come and the amazing things that you've been doing. and i suspect that -- from the philippines, there she is right there. she spoke for all of you. she said and i dreaming or is this really happening next so it's really happening. you come from all 10 asean nations from the capital cities and rural towns. they represent the different faiths and backgrounds and different beliefs. obviously, the our men and women who. in fact, the majority are women. because one of the best measures of a countries success is whether it empowers women and girls are you are all bound together by a common belief that you have the talent and the drive and the power to improve the lives of your fellow human beings. for the last five weeks given all across america to give experienced state legislatures and city councils. you have seen how our day-to-day democracy works. you have worked at nonprofits learning how to organize and advocate for change.
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you've entered in some american companies seen how to build a managed a business. and want to thank all of our leaders and partners who are here. we get universities and academic institutions, businesses, all who have been very generous in your support of this overall process. you have been experiencing america. some of you were very lucky enough chance to go to my home state of hawaii. i heard that somebody tried the mullah dance. some of you into my hometown of chicago and you saw american ingenuity at its best including i hear you saw atms that give cupcakes. [laughter] and also know that americans have learned from you as well. you shared your culture and traditions and foods. you discovered american foods like jell-o. i hear somebody had jell-o, was very excited about that. and the friendships and the
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understanding that you have forged will help to bring our countries together for a long time. soon you will return home. beachy just about a project, an action plan come at you will take what you've learned here and put into practice. and we will be with you during this process as you build your ventures expansion networks, and mentoring young people that are coming behind you. we are going to welcome 500 fellows like you every single year so this may be the end of your visit to america but you have really begun this process nothing partnerships that will last a lifetime. and we want you to make sure that you're realizing your dreams. i saw to take a couple of examples. we've got -- were is seth? in cambodia stuff works with parliament so and also the witness city come and work on the legislative process in tulsa, oklahoma. said, we are proud to be apart
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as you strive to ensure that government deliver for all of the cambodian people. we have mohammed. where is mohamed equipped there he is producing advocate for the vibrant in indonesia. and at the east-west center pashtun the are not two of you, arthur? [laughter] so at the east-west center in hawaii he'd learned new ways to empower citizens to affect change. so we are proud to be your partner. together we can promote sustainable development and help the next generation meet their urgent challenges of climate change. we've got -- is a doctor and myanmar where she offers free surgeries to children for cleft
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palates and lips and gives them a new smile and new confidence. so we are very proud. at the oakland school of community medicine she focus on ways to expand outreach and free clinics, we are so proud to be a partner with you for the health and dignity of children across myanmar for although i have to say that you are the youngest doctor i've ever seen. [laughter] she looks like she's a 14. [laughter] that's very impressive. so thank you. and where is pern plum from thailand. you saw to me take the company's approach to social service. so we are proud to be your partner standing up for the rights of women and children. we have to end the outrage of human trafficking and we so appreciate the work you are doing. so this just gives you an
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example of the incredible talent and commitment that these young people represent the and to want to close with a quick a story that captures the spirit of our work together. [inaudible] is here from laos. please stand. she is here from laos. in atlanta to visit the memorial center honoring the reverend dr. martin luther king jr. which was struck by one of dr. king's close. what are you doing for us? and that prompted her to think about the true meaning of leadership and she wrote something very beautiful and want everybody to get the leadership is inside, she said that everyone can be a leader because everybody can serve. you don't have to have a college degree to lead. you don't need to know more than the others. all you need is a heart full of grace additional generated by love. that's pretty good.
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[applause] so that's what i see in all of you. that's i believe so strongly that you're going to keep answering a question dr. king, what are you doing for others? this one for others? does one cope at all to be excellent all to be ex ord or later there already are doing great work in your communities with hearts full of grace and souls generated by love. and you will continue to talk a friend and partner in the united states of america. so we are very, very proud of you come in with that i want to hear from you. both question for you can tell me a story about the exciting food that you have had -- [laughter] -- all across the country. we had some microphones in the audience, right? what i will do i will just call on people come and i'm going to go boy girl, boy, girl so it's a very fair. are right? so we will start with this young lady. please introduce yourself and tell us where you're from. >> hi mr. president.
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i can be selected representative for malaysia to my question is what is your view on the democracy militia with the recent building -- opposition leader? thank you. >> well you know, malaysia has a history of democracy has to be preserved. i have a very good relationship with the prime minister and we are close partners cooperating on a whole those issues. i think that malaysia, like all our countries come not just asean countries but countries in the united states, have to recognize that democracy is not just elections. but it's how open and transparent and accountable government is between elections. and it's important that free
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speech, freedom of the press an independent judiciary, the right to assemble peacefully, that all those rights are unobserved to make democracy work. so i as a general rule, i don't comment on even individual cases in this country, much less from another country because i think it's important for the legal system to work. but i do know that it is important if an opposition leader who is well-known has been charged with a crime, that that process of how that is adjudicated and how open it is and how clear the evidence is that that is all subject to scrutiny. because what you don't want is a situation in which the
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legitimacy of the process is questioned. that has an adverse impact on democracy as a whole. and i think we all have to guard against making sure that there's not a chilling effect on potential opposition in government. so as always point out, democracy is hard. i mean i think that many of the things that are said about me are terribly unfair. but the reason american democracy has survived for so long is because people, even if they are wrong, have a right to say what they think. george washington, our first president he complained terribly about some of the foolishness that was said about him, but part of the reason he
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is considered one of our greatest presidents is because he set an example of recognizing that if democracy was to work, then you had to respect the rights of even those people who disagreed most with. because otherwise there's no way that democracy could flourish over the long term. so these are things that i said publicly when i was in myanmar when i was in malaysia, rather. i had an opportunity to meet with some you know community activists and civil society leaders of there. and this is something that i say everywhere we go. and it's important for america to recognize that we are not perfect either, so we have to make sure that we are constantly seeing how do we improve our democracy. the amounts of money for
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example, that are involved in our elections these days is a disturbing because it makes it seem as if a few people have more influence in the democracy than the many. and so i will continue to speak out about these issues even with friends. maybe sometimes we are even more willing to say something with its friends because we know that they can do better. thank you. yes, sir. >> hello mr. president. i'm from indonesia. i am working in finance. my question is them what is your expectation about economic relationship between the united states and asean countries in the future? thank you. >> well we already have a very strong economic relationship. as i pointed out this is a
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region that is growing fast. it has a big population. you have very hard-working people entrepreneurial people. i expect it will continue to grow. you know the united states wants to be a partner in all sorts of ways. trade is the most obvious and important relationship. economically. and so one of the reasons why i think the trans-pacific partnership is so important is because it sets up a set of principles to ensure fair trade between countries. it calls for a higher labor standards for all countries, higher environmental standards are all countries. it makes sure that countries are being treated, companies are being treated fairly when
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they're operating in a foreign market. and you know, there's the potential i think if we get this right and completed in the next few months to be able to ensure that the united states and asean countries that already have a massive amount of trade that that's able to increase and that there's more opportunity for everybody it's at a high standard rather than a low standard. part of the goal for asean countries most of them are not entered into a stage of development where they don't want to just be sending raw materials to someplace else to have them developed. they want to be creating value, starting their own businesses you know making sure that they are part of the 21st century economy. and that requires upgrading skills education for their
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populations. we think we can be helpful in those areas. and we want to encourage high educational levels and asean countries because then it's less likely that workers are exploited. and that means then that you're competing with us because you the best ideas and the best products as opposed to just you have the cheapest labor. and all that asean countries are offering is cheap labor, then what happens is u.s. workers get hurt and you don't necessarily see an improvement in standards of living for those asean countries. if everybody is operating at a higher level, then we are all competing on an even playing field. and overtime that will result in more growth and more development and asean countries. but i think skills, training are the most important thing. i think that the power of the
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internet to access markets and ideas will be particularly important for asean countries. infrastructure is something that still needs to get done. i think they're still underinvestment of infrastructure in that region. i know there was some controversy a while back because china wanted to start and asia infrastructure bank. we haven't yet signed on to participate. ..

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