tv U.S. Senate CSPAN July 13, 2015 2:00pm-8:01pm EDT
lost due to the inefficiencies in public investment processes. you can think of all sorts of things but the bottom line is 30% of it is lost. were a country and the lowest efficiency quartile able to increase its efficiency to the level of the highest quartile, it would double the economic bang that it gets for the investment buck. so mobilizing revenues efficiency is key. the third article priority, in our view, is the development of the financial sector and a way
that supports growth and tackle poverty. not any financial sector, a financial sector that is targeted to those two imperatives. imf staff estimated the annual growth rate of developing economies with more efficient banking sectors exceeds that of economies with less open and develop banking sectors by about one percentage point. we also know that the persons the people living on less than one or $2 a day can fall more rapidly with higher levels of financial development. and cover template and integral role -- government can play an integral role by setting the rules of the game at an early stage, applying supervision, protecting the rights come and strengthening financial infrastructure. we've done some research on that basis because it was alleged for a bit of time depending too much
of that would actually impair the development of those financial services in the developing world. not too. they can very well work in parallel and one can actually perceive the of the. having a strong financial sector that is well supervised, well managed is conducive to foreign direct investment and more basis than if i'd that is eventually going to be conducive to growth as well. now, that takes me to the next very important point. what kind of growth are we talking about? talk about sustainable growth, yes. we are also talking about inclusive growth because for growth to be sustainable, it is essential that the fruits of growth be actually shared by promoting economic inclusion and environmental sustainability. that includes provide access to finance, strengthening social protection, and empowering women and girls, including by giving
them full access unrestricted opportunities for both education and professional life. that's another study that we have concluded. it is estimated that if women participated in the labor force in the same proportion as men per capita income would rise by 27% in the middle east and north africa, 23% in south asia 17% in latin america, 15% in east asia, 14% in europe and central asia and 12% in sub-saharan africa. so in short, empowering women and giving them the same access without restrictions and there are restrictions everywhere, is an economic game changer. i am saying that our restrictions everywhere because we've also done a study on that and we have borrowed from
excellent data provided by the world bank on which we done some additional research, and there's a clear evidence that this discrimination are not just a fact of the developing world that they are just about everywhere. most generally imf research shows that an increase in income share of the bottom 20% is associate with higher gdp growth. we've also found that one gini point, isn't associated -- it is associated with a 6% higher risk that a growth that will come to an end in the coming year. interesting. so growth that is more inclusive is also higher and lower durable. to put it another way as i said that empowering women is good economics at a game changer, fairness is also good economics. the bottom line?
by implementing policies conducive to sustainable growth developing countries can go a long way to support their own development. they can do that alone but as another african proverb says if you travel -- somebody's going to help me here -- if you travel by yourself to go fast but if you travel with others, you go for. something along those lines. i know it better in french. [laughter] so they can do that by themselves but if it's a collective effort and 50 international community participates come it's going to go a lot further and for a lot longer. so we have to, together, do it. that's my third and final point. we share a common responsibility in our common fate. so how can international partners help create an environment that is more conducive to sustainable and inclusive development?
in other words how can we make sure that the small boats are lifted to? the challenge is multidimensional. it ranges from cooperation to combat tax evasion, which is not going to be done at the domestic love in one developing country. it's going to require the cooperation of everyone. it includes constructing an even stronger multilateral treating system that benefits all. it includes raising aid levels in rich countries and reducing the cost of transferring remittances in poor countries. and it requires committed and long lasting partnership. and let me emphasize something. i don't think that those partnerships are just about government. they also include civil society at large. a civil society organizations bring to the table a wealth of experience, sometimes money and
to their unique perspective. along with other networks of influence, civil society plays an essential part in what is otherwise called this new mobile that lets him. -- multilateralism. and i make sure that we do the voice of civil society representatives and i encourage the staff of the imf to pay special attention to the voices and what they have to say. which takes me to the imf. what can we do? because to follow up and to pick up on something you said kemal we are not promising, we are delivering. that's when i passed the teams. do not promising anything, deliver. that's one want to be able to say to the membership at large we are not promising we are delivering.
so we have the global membership and the mandate to promote economic growth and stability which makes us a committed partner for development. it doesn't mean we can finance infrastructure projects, this is not our task. the world bank and other multilateral development banks and other institutions are in that domain. we are not equipped for that but we can still do things and we can deliver. so we thought that areas where we can actually participate in the process. first and foremost, we give policy advice and offer capacity building, so we are committed to strengthening that. so we will and i commit here before you, we will help more countries mobilize domestic revenues and then repurpose these resources to tackle poverty and drive sustainable growth. we plan to reallocate additional resources to this area which
already account for one-fifth of imf capacity building. for example you know that there is this whole debate about beps base erosion and profit shift. you know that there is this project of automatic exchange of information. that project is great and i think the oecd is doing a fantastic job at that but there are voices that are not particularly well represented and sometimes not hurt at all. that's an area where the imf and the bank have experience. so what we want to do is to carry those voices and to make sure that in whatever new scheme of things, whatever new treaties whatever new oecd model, the interest the concern come and the voices of the
developing countries, and the most fragile ones and the most vulnerable ones amongst am i heard as well come and interest taken into account. we will also expand our support to increase the efficiency of public spending, such as by eliminating i'm targeted subsidies -- i'm targeted -- because of those benefit everybody without differentiation. we will continue to do that work in order to target those who need it most. eliminate where it's not needed. second, we will support countries seeking to invest in infrastructure and, therefore, develop their economies. in particular, we will use a
range of tools to assess public investment management capacity, identifying areas for technical assistance to strengthen domestic institutions is needed. that's to avoid a 30% loss that i refer to earlier. but we will not stop there. we will also summarize these assessments, and that may have to do with poor management noncompliance with procurement rules, phony payments going here and there, special-purpose vehicles that are not really particularly satisfactory. we will summarize those assessments and we will put them in our article for. the article iv of the imf are the sort of bill of health each and every country that we conduct on an annual basis and which are public, totally public. on the website. it's helpful to actually share knowledge in a most transparent fashion.
third, we will deepen our engagement with countries on issues of rising concern equity inclusion, and climate change. this will include expanding our analytical work on inequality gender jobs and financial inclusion. some might argue it's not directly related to the court mandate of the imf and i contend that it is because it is macro critical and because we've now demonstrate that if there is less inequality, if there is better access for all, girls included, for instance, there is better growth, more sustainable growth. now, we are fully alert to the challenges faced by fragile and conflict affected states were develop and lags and in many
cases terrorism breeds. we know that achieving results in fragile states requires engaging in the long haul the hard slog of rebuilding key economic institutions and the inevitable setbacks on the way. but we are in it for the long haul and we will stay the course. after addis we will travel to monrovia in liberia where we have done exactly that over the course of the last few years. beyond that policy by then capacity building that i just referred to, i'm also pleased to announce several changes in our financing facilities for developing countries. they have been approved iv executive board of the imf just a few days ago. first, to better protect countries from external shock we will expand access to all concessional facilities by a full 50%.
second, we will target our concessional resources more on the poorest and the more vulnerable entries. and third, we will maintain our interest rate on our rapid credit facility loans, our loans to fragile states and countries hit by natural disasters, for instance. we will maintain the interest rate at zero over the longer-term. so 50% more access, focus on the poor and those vulnerable, and zero interest rates for the longer-term. we believe that the imf constitutes an important safety net for countries confronting external payment imbalances. the expanded safety net will provide an additional level of support to countries pursuing ambitious development. in these concrete ways the imf intends to create a more supportive environment for developing countries to prosper in the period ahead. so we will play our part with it means we have, with the mandate we've been given.
and i would like to finish with that african saying, which i mentioned already. if we want to go fast, we go alone. and that is going to be true in many instances. if you want to go far we'll go together. i've mentioned it before, i think it became. there are many areas where countries can just go on their own, but think about those issues. tax evasion for instance, you can do anything you want on your own. if a site collective drive, it's not going to work. climate change issues which affect mostly the poor a most volatile countries, they can do a lot on their own. removing subsidies can have a great impact but it's not going to have a massive impact that nobody else around does anything. so it is that collective approach that we certainly want to support and encourage. as i said it's a once in a
>> thank you very much christine. i think is very comprehensive and also with some real news substance in it new things such as the 50% increase access for the poorest countries a 0% interest rate for the most vulnerable over the medium term, and i thank you for that. i think that's what addis needs, some real actions instead of just general talk. for the sake of time and work-related, i'm going to turn right to the palace without
introductions. managing director actually help me by introducing you at the very beginning and they are well known anyway. but i'll start with michael elliott, the leader of the one campaign. one thing that christian emphasized come and i think you're embodying in every successful leadership in civil society, is this partnership between the business sector, civil society, and government. would you like to maybe ask, say a few words on that and also ask the imf how it sees the partnership speak was absolutely. thank you kemal and thank you brookings, for having a soldier. i just want to say following from president the cards extraordinary speech, just five points to reiterate buy things that were mentioned. the importance of fragile states, the importance of concentrate on fragile states the importance of concentrate on inequality, the importance of concentrate on girls and women and christine is overused the one campaign slogan, poverty is
sexist coming from the bloodhound -- 100,000 people at least is a. the importance of finding a place at the table for cso's would to come to in a second, and then, of course, looking forward to paris as well. addis gives us an opportunity as you say. those five points really established for me sort of a comprehensive and coherent position that the imf is taking on key issues for which i'm really, really grateful. i really can't kind of stress my gratitude enough. addis justice and opportunity kimmel, as you imply for a variety of actors to come together to a kind of set a roadmap for financing for development for the next 15 years. it's not just governments and it's certainly not just northern conference. the picture up financing for development has changed
radically since moderate. it's now not just -- moderate. is not just a donor led business. domestic resources mobilization is absolutely critical. so governments from both sides, from both north north and south needed skin in the game and need to produce something for addis today success. we and many others have put proposals there. governments need to do one other thing with the private sector, and kristine lilly alluded to that. donor governments need to have skin in the game. developing countries need to the skin in the game, particularly maybe pick up trenches idea of the social impact -- homi's idea. registries about wrapping whatever you do in a package that tackles corruption that
tackles alyssa financial flows, tackles international tax cooperation, every make sure automatic cooperation works for those who need it most. that can't just be done by governments or by awkward civil society organizations like ours. it also requires a true commitment from the private sector and the corporate sector not just to get investment that's great, but to look into themselves and recognize there are real issues of alyssa financial flows and corruption that they need to help us tackle. >> one thing you emphasize was a tax avoidance business but you put in the context of the article for consultations. following michael's points, they want to elaborate just one or two minutes on how you see the change in the article for? if i was in a powerful tool and the leadership is coming from above often, but mes the weight of the past and, of course, the constraints of time
and all that make it that the actual product is more traditional than maybe some of these ideas that you are putting forward. >> that's a lovely way to put it, kimmel. you're right. i think we have consensus and where you will see our changes is in the area of project management, project financing assessment because that we are fully equipped. we have the tools to identify where there is lost along the way. that's where we will be able to actually publish in article iv a summary of our findings. there are other areas where we have tools where they can do some work but it's not yet sorted mainstream business, for instance, and i think we worked on the basis of pilot cases voluntary participation of some member states. in the area of equality for
girls and better opportunity and their contributions to the economy, there are countries that have volunteered to include that in the scope of what we are studying for the. a country like japan, india have indicated clear they want to put that on the map and a welcome it. but on the tax front i totally, totally support your view because it has to be as you say it's not just international partnership of all member states participating because there will be some member states that will take more time that will have some reservation. it took some 25 years to come to the first oecd initial tax model. it's going to take a lot of time to get there. if there is enough social conscience on the part of some of the corporate world to actually optimize their tax
position with full respect of what and where they should leave taxation, i think it would be a major, major step. >> thanks a lot. nancy, you've been an impressive leader of development issues in washington, around the world. how do you feel this addis event and what christine said, what would you like to add to it or also if possible ask the question to christine? >> okay. i wanted to do come to is a wonderful speech. thank you, kemal, for giving us the opportunity to hear madam lagarde on this issue. it was really wonderful michael repeated some of the big themes in a way that david energy. what i wanted to do as a that of a riff kind of on the issue of domestic resources mobilization and who is responsible and accountable for what and to make some request of the imf.
on what the developing countries should do and how the imf can help, to go back to this issue of inequality and inclusive growth i think in the medium term it has to be about more than raising the rate the value-added tax. it has to be beginning with help from the imf for developing countries to the investing in progressive tax systems more progressive tax systems property taxes which will require time to work out because of cadastral surveys. income taxes. so that's a big issue that you didn't specifically mention. you didn't go into. it's a little bit weedy in a way but i think it's of fundamental. in the donor system does all this excitement about more domestic resource mobilization.
and then addis ababa is important to keep in mind it can't amount to more consumption taxes, particularly on the poor and the incipient, struggling, not yet middle-class group which is together they are by far the largest group in terms of the distribution of income. that's the bottom for quintiles in the developing world. and one of the taxes again on domestic resource mobilization that you didn't mention but has to do with energy subsidies, which are of course negative taxes, where there is an opportunity for more domestic resource mobilization and particularly in developing countries on tobacco. it's a sin tax. it's sin tax. it's a tax on a bad thing. in the medium-term we know now from very good research that would not be regressive.
a concealed regressive in the beginning of because poor people die sooner, et cetera, because of cigarettes, you're getting people with syntax to the extent they smoke less, it's going to be a good thing especially for the poor weather so much asymmetry as you said in so many areas. the other syntax of course is an intricate and young ones do something about it's not only a collective action issue but take the example of the u.s. i didn't look at the latest article for the u.s. but as an american citizen and as a taxpayer, we have this embarrassment. for first we had the embarrassment that the quota reform hasn't been passed in congress. >> thank you nancy. >> we all want to keep working to find a way to make it happen. the other embarrassment is that since 1993 a gasoline tax year per gallon has been 18 cents.
under your leadership the imf has had a string of incredible studies about energy subsidies and climate and the fiscal implications and the health implications, and it's really an oppressive set of work. i hope that in addis there will be some discussion of domestic resource mobilization in the rich world in the big markets were even if just the u.s. did it this one example of we go fast alone if one of the largest markets in the world took on an appropriate price of energy. the first step, you know as politically out there would be a gasoline tax. so now i'm going to look up the article for.
and the next one, too, because some of these things we are talking about more than once. >> christine any comments? >> who wants to pay more taxes? >> that's right. >> nancy knows it's an area where we have done an enormous amount of work. we've published recently and heavily. there's one point you make which is completely right and it's one of the few areas where even if nobody else does it to do for your own country is actually going to serve you well. the latest that if that was done by our fiscal affairs department shows that there is north of $5 trillion on energy subsidies either directly or indirectly, collaterally consequentially however you want to describe it. well, surprise surprise, the largest countries are the largest contributors to the very
sizable amount, china leading the charge but u.s. not far behind. you're completely right, it is this negative text if you will always subsidies that is spent on energy and generally not the best energy either. >> right. >> we have repeatedly recommended, i do know that we're done it in the last article for those just approved because there was a huge emphasis on the financial markets and financial regulations and have a dodd-frank act should be pursued and completed and delivered upon and what risks they were but certainly we did recommend it and the year before but i'd have to check in the latest one but we'll just go back at it. >> if i can add to the compliments, i didn't say i think it's really been a breakthrough including former self christine, unblinking -- on linking reduction in subsidies to cash transfers.
and finding ways i remember you gave the iran's example at one point, finding ways to make it possible to raise prices without hurting the poor more and reducing the inequality associated with subsidies since the rich use so much more energy. >> thank you very much, nancy. homi come to the executive secretary of the group working to advise general secretary ban ki-moon on a post 2015 agenda. i had the great privilege working together with you. we managed the program together. we did right on this together. there seems to be actually quite a bit of savings and profits in the world, and interest rates at almost secular lows in real terms and in nominal terms. so why isn't it easier to finance these huge needs for
infrastructure in the developing countries and in some of the advanced countries even? the difficulty in getting the funds that actually exists to do their work. and anything else you want to say. >> thank you kemal and thank you, madam lagarde, for a very inspirational talk. i do think as one of when the music changes, you have a different games. i hope one of the different dances that come out of addis is this dance around infrastructure spending in developing countries. the funds research has shown that we had a long period of time where the public capital
stock, essential infrastructure has come down as a percent of gdp. and low income countries it's come down by something like 40 percentage points over a 20, 25 year period. is not a short run phenomenon that infrastructure and investment has been low. i think it's been a long-term phenomenon. we've tried to rely for a long time on the private sector, on private this is to deliver a lot of the infrastructure. i think now what we are realizing and what's really important to have this as an agenda item for addis is that infrastructure in developing countries have to have both affordability and low carbon sustainability built into it right now.
those are two things that pure private sector infrastructure investment won't necessarily do. so there has to be a blending and determination if we want to get infrastructure really moving. there are all kinds of reasons people talked about about why it's so difficult. different types of capital are not exactly the same. you can't just say there's lots of savings that table and are these investment needs and so let's put them together because you need a different type of capital for project perforation gun a different type of capital for the construction risk a different type of capital for the operations. all of those have to be planted i think in a much more innovative way than what we've done so far. in a way to be honest, which is we don't have the fund models in rich countries about how to do that well. and rich countries are finding it difficult to keep their infrastructure up to standard.
this is an area which i think really does need to be developed. it'll take some time. there's lots of exciting new ideas that are out there. one of the things i think we must recognize on infrastructure is that even though the private sector will contribute, it's still the case that most infrastructure projects are debt-financed. so inevitably if you want to go in a major way into infrastructure investment there will be a buildup of debt and people are scared of debt. so i was actually very heartened to hear that now there are new tools that are being developed to actually think from a micro perspective about what are the real benefits of public investment, to be able to weed out the inefficient infrastructures. we know that there've been plenty of those that just simply
add to death but don't do anything to the bottom line on growth, entity much more fine-grained about understanding where we can have growth inducing inclusive sustainable infrastructure and where it's just going to be more to. >> excellent point. christine, he emphasized efficiency thing. is also an issue of balance sheet and income statement. if you're spending and thereby strengthen your balance sheet, it should be okay. >> it should be okay except i'm not sure that state of balance sheets and income statements are designed and recorded in the same fashion as in the private sector. i think it does was the same accounting principles as in the private sector it would be easier and the weight of debt would not be accounted for in the same way. but i'm digressing. i'm not getting and imf view here. this is my own view.
efficiency, aside from the accounting principles are applied, i think efficiency also i think tom's come if i may add to your two points, affordability sustainability i think efficiency has to be a part of it as well. there have been many countries many projects that we've studied weather is a very large margin of inefficiency. >> very rapidly, mike was wanting, and then nancy. we have to be very quick. >> i endorse everything that addis says on infrastructure. it's not about eight anymore. it's about drm, about private sector remittances, innovative financing. all those things by the homi reminds us, simply because you see an enormous amount of private investment in the charts it does not mean that every dollar of private investment is the same as every dollar of aid or anything else.
and it is worth remembering as we go to addis that for the poorest countries that christine started talking about and for social services like health education, sanitation, generosity on the part of northern donors remains absolutely vital. >> your point about the imf looking more closely at investment management, i have two quick questions. is it an implicit critique of the failure of the world bank to do that or the other mdb's? >> no, no spirit that was quick. >> is a link in way to whatever whatever view you might have on the imf because of the issue that homi outlined on better, new recapitalizations, not just a new asia infrastructure bank but recapitalizations in the future of let's call them the
old mdb's? >> well first of all maybe that's an aside in a direct response to question. maybe reflects the fact that i'm not sure i understand the question. >> they need more capital. >> my first answer was no, my second answer is yes, so that simple. spent it's on the record spent we should take two or three, i know we're almost out of time completely but we still want to take to or three audience questions. so i will first the lady there who -- but please asked the question and click. no longer statement. >> -- no longer statement. >> merci beaucoup, christine.
been released on the democratic republic of congo you like and as a retired engineer how you can participate in the programs and be an active member. you've prepared a special file. all i can say is please give me the file. i have a team here in the front row. if you can't participate from south society in programs and the work we do we would be very happy to reach out to you. thank you. >> okay, great. >> thank you very much. >> i think there was this gentleman there. yes. spent briefly identify and then the question. >> yes. former imf ed. managing director, thank you very much for sharing your agenda and vision for an improved sustainable growth with inclusion prospects. in this regard, this current context of low growth, i get and financial market volatility
make policy confrontation challenging. to say the least, even with the imf's new vision. you touched upon the article for assessments. in this regard i see that basically the process of global adjustment of payments and balances has remained quite disorderly. this is certainly not helping the process of structural reform and adjustment and even ample financing in these conditions is likely to be insufficient. are you satisfied with the efficacy of the funds surveillance effort? and is not what can be done to improve it quick and hear only one example the european context we have major countries that continue to exhibit high
current account surpluses, and access of eight and 10% of gdp. is this something that worries you? can something be done? is similar to a camaro? thank you. >> okay. we have to be all of it quicker and what i suggest if we take two or three would take two or three and then you say a few last words. yes, that gentlemen of the class is. >> is from johns hopkins. i had to quick question. to extend they think of it of a great program to talk about the arrears greece is with them. to what extent has undermined the credibility in developing country. potentially finding alternatives to support themselves. and to what extent do the funds report responsible for the in the election on sunday? according to many a publication of the report on debt sustainability supported the no campaign because it was politicized by the government
for the no result. thank you. >> we should really stick to the topic, although general credibility is an issue. i should add that the fund has always argued that the debt should be reorganized. please stick to the topic. christine lagarde was gracious enough to give her feet on greece we could stay here another two hours and i would be very excited about it, but not today. >> i think some people in the audience might advocate for that, sputnik international news. just a quick question on ukraine. some have accused the imf of giving preferential treatment to ukrainian debt. is it the case that the country is viewed by the fun as essentially to geopolitically big to fail? >> thank you. and maybe one last and then we will and. yes. you did it with such enthusiasm that there was no way i could not figure.
>> thank you so much. i'm with the world bank's energy division. madam lagarde, you mentioned macros to build as one of the important foundations. my question is regarding fiscal spending in developing countries that is oftentimes very cyclical. how do you envision the imf helping or maybe working together with world bank and strengthening institutions of our inherited political to make sure that spending is less procyclical and more strategic and more focused on the long-term? thank you. >> i think that's it for today in terms of questions. christine, you try to speed as i'm going to focus on the last question which is good appointed to our topic because i very strongly believe, as i don't want to represent president kim's view he's big enough to do that myself but i think he shares my view. we have to cooperate and we do cooperate on the ground and we will have some announcement to make on friday actually in that respect, in order to countries
in the developing world with a special focus on the fragile, post-conflict, and most vulnerable wants to auction block fiscal policies that would be conducive to growth. we can do that in two different ways. i do we have a program with a country and in that case we can open design and work together or there is no program because the country doesn't need it the least we can give a policy advice that makes recommendations in that direction. we can work in very close cooperation with the bank on those countries. i look forward to continue to do that and amplifying that cooperation. i think in addis we will be able to demonstrate that as well. on the other topics that are clearly not related to the particular data that is of interest to the audience biologist at one point because i think it is a misunderstanding that i would like to clarify. the recently published our debt sustainability analysis on thursday is that a debt
sustainability analysis of two pages was put on the public web site which the greek citizens console did in order to determine their position. given that this was produced by the european institutions, and for those of you who belong to the imf are no the imf wonder bread a debt sustainability analysis, it has nothing to do with the typical work that we do in such circumstances. so we thought it would be honest and transparent to also publish hours so that everybody could have access to it. as to its role, i can assure you that it has been used by one side and by the other side with equal talent and success. we are very proud to see a debt sustainability analysis which is not the funniest propaganda document in the world being so exploited on both sides. >> it does wonders for economics. but anyway, thank you very much. we have so many things of course we could continue to discuss but i do really salute the fact that
the imf and you personally are behind the addis conference. development remains a huge priority for the world community. i think they're going -- always teaches me they're going to be something like 4 billion africans by the middle of this century. they are huge needs. the fact that an organization like the imf has extended its analysis and its ambition from the stability and growth in a stable framework to inclusive growth, the institution development, to the issue of gender and women i think is something we should really be very, very happy about, very grateful. i do hope, i have to add that, and when the imf mission of it actually goes to the countries all this remains a priority and doesn't somehow disappear and goods into the concluding footnote. all right. thank you very much and please be seated while madame lingard
exits. and then thank you all for coming. i have the feeling, although there's no way to say that the rain has stopped. [applause] >> congress is back in session today. the house is in recess until 4 p.m. eastern, and the bills members will debate, disaster loans for those affected by superstore and sandy back in 20 oh. you can see the house when they return at 4 p.m. eastern. the vote is at 630 live on c-span. the u.s. senate will be back at 3 p.m. eastern today, a couple moments from the. lawmakers expected to continue negotiations on changes to the no child left behind i. votes set for 5:30 p.m. eastern today and then later he could see centers pick up highway
fronting. you can see the senate live here at 3 p.m. eastern on c-span2 get while we wait for the senate to taliban, a conversation on the upcoming presidential election and some factors impacting the candidates in the race itself. house of representatives joining us i is katrina it was editor and publisher of the "nation" magazine. thank you for joining us. >> guest: good morning. >> host: big story bernie sanders q&a with the presidential candidate john nichols. they call it is most revealing interview. a socialist presidential candidate says about his vision pictures look at the piece but i want to ask you a right in the beginning there were plenty of doubters. too much into the campaign everything about this fantasy, the center's candidacy, the crowds the poll numbers, the buzz is bigger than expected us says something about standards but also says something about
the prospect for progressive policy. what does it say? >> guest: this is an economic populist moment i would argue into economic poppe swing of the's wing of the democratic party, the so-called democratic wing of the democratic party is the center. so what was going to fill that space in 2016 and this coming campaign and bernie sanders is for goingfor the winter. him i didn't elizabeth warren but bernie sanders has staked out his ground. is somewhere in the nation has been covering since he entered congress in 1990. what strikes me is millions on meeting him for the first time. he announced only about two months ago but the crowds introduction suggests wilco and part of it i think is the mainstream corporate media in this country has for a long time sort of police the parameters of the possible i would argue. that is the views bernie sanders holds about a mortar country and
how to get there. tax increases on the very wealthy. but believe that this country belongs to its citizen, not to billionaires, debt free free higher education. safe and secure type expanded social security, all these indie interview we pushed him on what does it mean to be a socialist? essentially it is being a social democrat. he would be centerleft in many european countries. it's a modernize 21st century media. i think bernie sanders and his issues are very much in sync according to many polls with majority of american but for too long mainstream media has kind of said his views are fringed. i spent one example is bernie sanders was against on "meet the press" last year for the first time in his 24 years in congress were as john mccain is the
most frequent guest on "meet the press" fix them and their it doesn't make sense. there should be a full airing of the full breadth of views in this good country. at the end of the day the nation is not endorsing anyone right now that we are saying what in this campaign is a robust debate and dignity could politics or system and eric of new ideas, new ideas that lived up in a moment when many people pay attention to a political system and other times they don't get in 2016 a lot more people will be paying attention and they may get a few months ago. >> host: let me follow up briefly. political has to peace, sanders senate colleagues are stunned by his assent. is it the message or the messenger that is catching on our that of both? >> guest: very good question. i don't think all of these college. you have a cohort in the senate by the way people like elizabeth warren sherrod brown jeff merkley white house can tammy
baldwin from wisconsin. these are people who shared bernie sanders views but if you think the media in this country too often does the horse race to the detriment of giving people the issues. bernie sanders is one a serious campaign with serious ideas and solutions for the problems he sees in this country bigger issue is time. a crisis moment. i think he's caught the way. he's caught the wave. is he more surprised about how it's all catching on? perhaps, but he himself has been a very sharp critic of a a needy which hasn't permitted the full range of views. he says he goes on in talks with reporters, does interviews and many times at the end of the envious people say so what do you think of hillary clinton? instead of pushing on his issues. he's not in it to criticize hillary clinton is not in it to raise billions of dollars. he wants to a series of debate. is our country ready for such a
campaign i think witnessing elements of such readiness, but we haven't seen it. the other measure of excitement, a day after he announced he raised $1.5 billion. i like to measure viability, a campaign that candidates by the fund-raising? hell, no but they raise 1.5 million in 24 hours. than beating donation was about $43. he's raised more than rand paul or ted cruz in that same period. i think there's an element of running as a small donor, kind of insurgent with real ideas campaign that people may be ready for that many people have understood aspect phone numbers on the bottom of the screen for katrina vanden heuvel of the nation. she is editor and publisher. and nation celebrate its 150th anniversary. what does it mean to be 150? wants a new in store for
readers? >> guest: i find it astonishing. i said, i find it astonishing to survive. think of the longevity, 150 years. we were there for the launch of the telegraph. we just launched a quite extraordinary new site a nation.com. please check it out. we understand we are here largely i think because the we cover politics and political parties, and believe in movements which make fundamental transformational change, i think we are here because we believe in the power of telling truth to people challenging the conventional wisdom, of pushing the consensus and raising issues which at one time might seem heretical but at another time seem commonsense. common sense. we were at the forefront of opposition to the iraq war in 2003. many liberals were not. we were accused of being anti-american which is always
what happens when you oppose government. i think 10 years later the opposition to the iraq war, the view that it was a catastrophe see what it unleashed in the middle east became common sense. we've had extraordinary writers our special issue, a nation.com is a table. martin luther king, jr. was our civil rights correspondent force issues. james baldwin wrote a report to report from occupied territory. toni morrison has extraordinary essay in a special issue on the role of writers in times of fear. we launched chris hayes who was hired at age 28 to the rdc editor. he is now, has his own show on msnbc. melissa perry naomi klein it was just at the vatican speaking about the pope's encyclical on climate change in market fundamentalism.
we have a slew of writers people try to do investigative reporting that makes change. we believe in journalism that rights wrongs and we're here for the long haul. new york magazine today in his matrix said the nation 150 years old don't think many other places mentioned tpm will make it that long so we plan to survive. >> host: here's the front cover of the current edition. we'll talk more about hillary clinton and lots of other things coming up. let's get some calls -- >> you can see the rest of this conversation and the c-span video library at c-span.org. we believe it now as the ascent is about to gavel in. and then the votes are set for 5:30 p.m. eastern today and rejoin his college today will be angus king returning from cancer surgery over the july 4 break. he is tweeting glad to be back at work in the senate today. feeling good and looking forward to tackling the important issues
facing our country. and now to the floor of the u.s. senate live you on c-span2. -- live here on c-span2. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal spirit, may our lawmakers delight today in your guidance, finding joy in their daily fellowship with you. strengthened by this fellowship,
enable them to be as productive as trees planted by streams of water. lord give our senators the wisdom to live for your glory in each of life's seasons. protect our nation from the forces that seek to destroy it both foreign and domestic. lord don't permit the weapons formed against america to prosper, for you remain our refuge and fortress. continue to be the strength of our lives, as we refuse to forget the many times you have
protected and preserved us in the past. we pray in your holy name. amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
the presiding officer: under the previous order the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order the senate will be in a period of morning business for one hour with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. mr. reid: madam president? the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. reid: poet george kinnell sicking conveyed my feelings in the poem "nevada's subtle beauty." this picture here has appeared all over the country. it appeared, for example, in "the washington post" a week or so ago and in other pictures it showed this at more of a distance. that man there is so small
compared to the vastness of the terrain. here's what george said in this poem: have you gone outdoors one morning after summer rain with the gentle breeze blowing across a black sage valley and smelled the earthy sagey freshness none like it on this earth. it makes life worth living. you know when god was living he didn't shortchange nevada. have you ever in the afternoon watched the mountains changing colors? from the shadows as they grow from brown and black to tan and violet. or sometimes the deepest blue ever changing, ever different they seem to smile and frown waiting for sky colors to be added as the sun goes down. if these things i mentioned you have seen and felt and known beware for nevada has a hold on you and will claim you for her own.
madam president, this is not iowa terrain. it's very typical nevada terrain . the deserts of nevada. it is perfect it's peaceful. it's nevada desert. it feels right. to me, it feels like home. last friday president obama permanently protected over 700,000 acres of land in eastern nevada as the basin and range national monument which photographer tyler romer captured beautifully in these pictures. the land that president obama designated is a monument two basins and one ranch a perfect example of the stark beauty of the nevada desert. this monument is the area where the mohave desert means the great basin and cactus gives way to sagebrush. this monument is the area that
is home to desert bighorn sheep mule deer, elk and pronghorn antelope. this area provided food and shelter for native americans and where one can see the history today, incredible rock panels, we call petro glifs indian writing. this monument is the area that reflects the pioneering western history from early explorers to the ranching that still exists. four or five years ago i visited this area. i had been in the area but not here. i went there are for a number of reasons, but i had been informed of a five-decade old art project in the middle of this vastness of this desert. we're going see this work of art and i also saw the unique beauty of the nevada desert. and that is unique. after i completed my trip, i
really became passionate after giving this a lot of thought and contemplation. i became passionate about doing something to protect and preserve this incredible work of art, the stark beauty of the desert both of which are priceless. madam president, this picture is part of the city. this work of art has taken 48 years to construct, is the size of the mall here. it's a couple miles long, very wide almost a mile wide. it's something that is in the center of the basin range national monument. it's called the city. it's a grand modern art
sculpture the size, i repeat, of the national mall, part of which can seen in this photo by a group called triple augut foundation. that is triple a-u-g-t foundation. the crater is the internationally renowned artist michael heiser known all over the world, has been working this project as i indicated since 1972. "the new york times" called the city -- quote -- "the most ambitious sculpture anyone has built, one of those audacious and probable american dreams at the scale of the west, conceived for all the ages." close quote. this canvas, which makes up his background of his art, is the untouched desert land and basin range which makes it all the mormon niewmental. -- all the more monumental.
hundreds and hundreds of people worked on this under the guidance of michael heiser. he's done remarkable stuff all over the world. the latest thing he did is in los angeles. in the middle of the city of los angeles, at the louisiana -- at the l.a. county museum, that's a big project but it pales in comparison to this. what he did there he moved a rock weighing 400 tons, 102 miles through the cities of california. and it's called levitated mass. madam president, the thing he has in l.a., this 400-ton boulder looks like it's suspended in space but it's not. but people walk under it.
i talked to very recently the l.a. county museum director, and he indicated that people -- it needs no advertising. people come to see this. and that's the same way this will be. this is a wonderful piece of art . one of the art -- the art critic for "the washington post" said it's the most -- and i'm paraphrasing -- significant art in the last 50 years in america. when i first brought this up to president obama he said tell me what it is. explain it to me. i said i can't. how, madam president you're seated presiding over this body how would you describe this? it's really hard to describe. and we're only seeing a tiny bit of this. it's two miles long, a mile wide approximately. he's done amazing things. he's developed his own dirt. we have plenty of dirt in the
desert but he was afraid it would be washed away. so this will never wash away. same up here. as i've indicated he has art projects all over the world and he's from nevada, spent a lot of his time in nevada the last 48 years in addition to his other projects. so i'm very happy that this has happened in nevada. by using his authority under the antiquities act, president obama helped preserve the life, history and culture of nevada, the land i love. look at this. this has been preserved for my children my grandchildren and their children and their grandchildren. this is exquisite. nevada is growing really
rapidly. in the southern part of the state, has -- las vegas and the metropolitan area there is about three million people. people are traveling all over nevada and we don't have much unspoiled land even though it is a very large state. but this is something that has not been spoiled. there are no roads through it, no railroads no power lines. this is beautiful and i'm so glad the president did this. as renowned journalist steve sebelius wrote in his sunday column -- and i quote -- "preserving the land from development was the right thing to do. history will bear that out. long after the wails of the disaffected have ceased to echo through the desert canyons of nevada's newest monument. i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
mr. durbin: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i ask consent the quorum call be suspended. and consent to speak in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: madam president the number-one preventable cause of death in america today tobacco. people who use tobacco smoking and chewing develop a myriad of health problems and many die prematurely. tobacco companies are a big business in america. they have been for a long time. and they have really tried their best to recruit new customers when they go into junior high and high schools. now they're in the e-cigarette business too but i want to stick with tobacco for a moment. the notion, of course, is that if you can addict a child to nicotine they'll continue to smoke and eventually become a lifelong user of tobacco
products. it's been a long time since i engaged this industry in political contest. it was a little over 25 years ago when i was a member of the house of representatives that i ordered an airplane in phoenix arizona, at the last minute, a united airplane, and went to the ticket counter and said to the woman at the counter can i get on this plane? she said if you hurry you can get on there. here's your seating where you're going to be seated, and i said wait a minute, this is in the smoking section in the airplane, and you've got me in a center seat in the smoking section. isn't there something you could do. we looked at my ticket and she said no, common, there is something you can do. so i got on that plane and flew from phoenix to chicago in the smoking section of the airplane, there used to be such things, and thought to myself this is madness. here i sit a nonsmoker breathing in all this secondhand
smoke, and there is an elderly person in the so-called nonsmoking section two rows away and there is a lady with a baby, and why in the world do we have to be subjected to this? so i came back to washington, introduced a bill to ban smoking on airplanes in the house of representatives. after a lot of work and a lot of good luck, i found out that the largest frequent flier club in america, the house of representatives, didn't much like smoking on airplanes either and i won. surprised a lot of people. beat the tobacco lobby. called my friend, frank lautenberg the senator from new jersey asked him if he would take up the cause in the senate. he did it masterfully. the two of us passed the law and changed the way america looked at smoking on airplanes. neither senator lautenberg nor i knew that this was a tipping point in history. i didn't know it. but people started thinking if secondhand smoke is dangerous on an airplane, why isn't it dangerous on a train, in a bus
in an office building, in a hospital, in a restaurant? and today 25-plus years later if you walked into someone's office on capitol hill and they had an ashtray in the middle of a table you would think what are they thinking? people don't do that anymore. it used to be standard. and no one thought twice about lighting up. that was just your personal preference. things have changed in america and the number of people using tobacco products has declined because they have come to understand it's dangerous. it can kill you. but we aren't the only country on earth that has figured this out. many other countries are ahead of us, in terms of regulating tobacco. if you travel overseas, take a look at cigarette packages. ours still look pretty fancy. they have got a little label on them. but in other countries the cigarette packages are very stark and very limited in what they can say about the product most of what they contain are
health care warnings. tobacco can kill you. tobacco can harm a fetus in a pregnant woman. and these stark reminders are to discourage people from using tobacco products because countries overseas just like the united states understands how dangerous that they are. so it was in that context that i was amazed to read a few weeks ago "the new york times" published a devastating series of articles on how the united states chamber of commerce has been playing a global strategy to fight against effective tobacco control laws in other countries. the united states chamber of commerce fighting tobacco control laws in other countries. why would the united states chamber of commerce, once considered a pillar of the american business community be a champion promoting the sale and consumption of a deadly
tobacco products in another country? it doesn't compute. one reason -- the power the money and the influence of big tobacco is still very strong. the stories and letters published by "the new york times" made it clear that the u.s. chamber of commerce has effectively rented out its letterhead to the tobacco industry jeopardizing not only the reputation of the chamber but all the member companies that belong to it. i stand here today to salute one company that has fought back at this revelation of this activity by the u.s. chamber of commerce. c.v.s. health, do you know them from the drugstores and pharmacies? c.v.s. health announced it was going to quit the u.s. chamber of commerce because the chamber's efforts to promote tobacco conflict with the c.v.s. corporate policy that decided over a year ago to stop selling tobacco products in their drugstores. i want to congratulate c.v.s.
health. it's pretty bold when they decide they're going to walk out on the u.s. chamber of commerce because of these rotten policies they have in discouraging tobacco control overseas. maybe this decision by c.v.s. will give the chamber of commerce a reason to think twice about a policy that's going to result in deadlyily addictions and terrible disease. it should. the chamber should end this insidious campaign as quickly as possible. without question, c.v.s. health has shown again as they did last year, that protecting the public health is good business, and it's essential to good, responsible corporate citizenship. the world health organization estimates that tobacco kills more than six million people worldwide every year. in the first 21st century one billion people, one billion were expected to die as a result of
tobacco, and many of these deaths are in the poorest nations on earth. with eight out of ten of today's smokers living in low-income and middle-income countries. it is unconscionable that the u.s. chamber of commerce is going after the laws to protect the people in these poor countries. more than a decade ago the world health organization adopted an international treaty focused on reducing tobacco consumption. this treaty supported by 180 countries obligates nations to employ practices to reduce tobacco use. we've made a lot of progress in the last ten years. 49 countries have passed comprehensive smoke-free laws, protecting over a billion people. 42 countries have strong graphic warning labels covering almost 20% of the population that buy these products. these policies save lives prevent cancer, heart disease and lung cancer. it's hard to imagine how the u.s. chamber of commerce can
rationalize policies that literally promote the death of innocent people from the use of tobacco. hats off to the c.v.s. health company corporation for stepping up and showing responsible corporate citizenship in resigning from the u.s. chamber. maybe if the u.s. chamber comes to its senses, c.v.s. might consider rejoining it. madam president, i ask the statement i am about to make be placed in a separate part in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: over the fourth of july recess, i joined with senator bill nelson. we went to haiti. it's not a popular spot for members of congress to go on a weekend, but we made a point of going. it was a return trip for both of us. our visit the first time came five years ago after the devastating earthquake that left the capital city of port-au-prince in ruins and claimed 200,000 lives and more
than a million people displaced from their homes. i recall visiting the island that many years ago two years after the earthquake, and witnessing the ongoing devastation, people still living in tents. so it was with some satisfaction to see that haiti has come a long way. buildings are being rebuilt and the overwhelming majority of those displaced have found housing and the economy is starting to recover. the united states has been a major contributor to haiti's recovery, and i want to praise the dedicated american government officials who work in challenging environment notably under the incredibly tireless and amazing leadership of our u.s. ambassador in haiti pam white, a career employee of usaid and now the ambassador, our nation's ambassador to noted the senate recently confirmed a couple of president obama's nominees to become ambassadors. there were now dozens still
waiting. can you imagine the united states of america and our embassies overseas with no ambassador month after month after month? when worthy people have been nominated and the u.s. senate refuses to even consider an obama administration for ambassador? many of these are not political they're career. they spent their career working in the state department. now at the end of their career, they are named ambassador and the foreign relations committee and the senate under republican leadership refuse to call president obama's nominees for these ambassadorial posts. in many countries the foreign minister in those countries counts the days and weeks that the united states has not had an ambassador. it's an embarrassment. and i hope that the majority party now will at least give the president and our nation the opportunity to put good representatives of our countries overseas. let me say a word about the
current president of haiti whose term ends this year. his name is michael joseph martell. he is known as sweet mickey which used to be his stage name when he was a rock 'n' roll singer. he has now been the president four and a half years and he's done some very good things. he wisely guided his nation through the post-earthquake process and a lot of political change. the end of his term marks an important moment for haiti and its future. given that the haitian parliament resolved in january the success and timeliness of these elections cannot be understated -- cannot be overstated. i urge the many party candidates to announce the use of electoral violence and participate constructively in the upcoming election. and i hope that the neighboring country of the dominican republic will join with haiti in resolving some very vexing immigration problems between the two countries. these are problems that involve some of the poorest people on the island of hispaniola.
we need a way to treem them in a decent -- treat them in a decent humane fashion so they can maintain their dignity and their work. the last point i would like to make -- madam president i asked that this be placed in a separate part of the record, without objection. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: on the floor now when we return for debate is the elementary and secondary education act which has been named the every child achieves act. before the senate this week, we may finish it. the issue is our opportunity on a periodic basis to debate the future of education k-12 in america. so millions of americans follow this debate. it affects their local schools and school districts. it was under president george w. bush that there was an amazing bill passed called the no child left behind act. what was amazing politically was that president bush a republican and a conservative called for a larger role by the federal government in evaluating
school districts and teachers and deciding whether or not they were succeeding. it was controversial from the start and the ultimately we have moved away from it. this new bill takes a much different approach. instead of testing testing testing, grading school districts, we are basically shifting the responsibility back to the states to do this. it remains to be seen whether this is an improvement or will be an improvement. we learned a lot under no child left behind when we took a close look at test scores to say what the test score average -- average test score in a school meant very little or nothing when you broke out the students in the school and found out that some were doing exceedingly well and some not so well at all. we could find groups of students some minority groups, for example that were not doing very well in school but the other kids might have brought the scores up. so now by disaggregating scores, we can kind of target our efforts and make sure that some students have a fighting chance. it remains to be seen under this
every child achieves act whether we've gone far enough or too far in shifting the responsibility back to the states. i'll mention very briefly because i see my friend and colleague from rhode island on the floor that there's one amendment here that i've offered with senator capito. this bipartisan amendment would require states to include information on their state report cards about post-secondary enrollment rates at public and state institutions. it will allow states to go further and include information on private public and out-of-state enrollment as well. it would encourage students to produce -- states, rather, to produce and publish data on remediation rates on students so that we can better understand which high schools are truly preparing their students for post-secondary education. much of the data is already collected by the states so the additional burden will be minimal. ensuring that students coming out of high school are college and career ready is an important part of the bill. our commonsense bipartisan amendment would help track
whether that goal is being amendment. the amendment is supported by the business roundtable, leadership conference on civil rights education trust national center on learning disabilities national council of la raza, u.s. chamber of commerce and america forward. there's one other amendment i have and i'll close with this. when it relates to high school athletics, many of us are concerned about the incidence of concussions that are occurring in sporting events. i filed an amendment based on my protecting student athletes from concussions act supported by the american academy of neurology, illinois high school association, the ncaa, major league baseball, the national basketball association the national football league, the national hockey league and many others. it directs states to develop concussion safety plans for public schools to protect student athletes from this dangerous injury. most importantly it would require the adoption of a when in doubt sit it out policy promoted by the medical
community. this means that a student athlete suspected a concussion would be removed from play and prohibited from returning to play that same day no matter what. doesn't make any difference how much he pleads or what the score of the game is or who's sitting in the stands. if you think you've got evidence of a concussion be safe. don't put that student athlete back on the field. it would take -- it would make the decision on when to put an injured athlete back in the game out of the hands of the coach the athlete and the parents. while i don't believe that we'll be able to get the adoption of the full amendment, i'm pleased that a substitute includes a clear statement that allows funds to be used to develop these policies. i thank chairman alexander and senator murray for working with us to include that. madam president, i yield the floor. mr. leahy: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: madam president my dear friend, the senior senator from kansas, is going to speak next but he has graciously allowed me to have a very few minutes and i'd ask consent that
he then be recognized as soon as i complete my statement. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: madam president last week more than 25 million americans watched the united states women's soccer team win for the third time soccer's most coveted title the federational international football association, fifa, world cup. this thrilling vic toars was the most widely viewed women's soccer game in our nation's history and americans are proud of this impressive victory. we applaud these world-class athletes for their contribution to our nation's legacy. anybody walking by the road by our farmhouse the night of that event, we had our windows open, they would have heard marcel and i just screaming with joy at the victory. but as the celebrations fade, we should be all troubled by the way fifa discriminates against some of the teams that compete in the world cup.
the united states women's team will receive $2 million for winning the women's world cup. the 2014 men's world cup winner was awarded $35 million. in fact, men's teams that lost in the first round of the 2014 men's world cup were awarded $ $ million, four -- $8 million, four times more than the champion u.s. women's team. and the reason for the extreme disparity -- gender. so i'm introducing a senate resolution that calls fifa to immediately eliminate its victim to psychiatric -- psychiatric to her prize award structure. opponents of equal prizes in sports point to revenue as the recent behind this disparity. but revenue should not be and cannot be used for discrimination. in fact, they ought to ask how many people watched that women's soccer people. most people would give anything
to have that viewership. the 2014 women that took part in the tournament are role models, not just to girls but to men and boys across the world. they should be awarded for think grit, their performance and teamwork rather than devalued for their gender. nelson mandela a person i met and admired so once said, sports has the power to change the world. sports brings us together in our communities and on the global stage. they remind us what we have in common. they inspire us to dream and push beyond many boundaries. this weekend many people walked serena williams win her sixth wimbledon championship. the next day novak jokavic won the men's final on the very same court. both of these athletes competed against the very best players in the world and they were awarded
the exact same amount of prize money for their impressive victories because wimbledon chose to be on the right side of history in 2007 by ensuring pay equity for female and male athletes. you know, years -- for years tennis champions like billy jean king and venus williams fought for equal treatment for the future champions of their sport. so i hope that the story of the american women's world cup champions not receiving fair treatment will inspire more people to join the fight for equal prize awards. and with the resolution i'll introduce today let the senate be on record in support of fair treatment for all world cup champions. and we urge fifa to change its policy, just as the all england club did years ago. the fight for gender equality continues. madam president, it's a fight worth winning. in 2009, i proudly voted for passage of the lilly ledbetter
fair pay act supporting senator murkowski's paycheck fairness act -- senator mikulski's paycheck fairness act. the battle for true equality has persisted for too long. let's join together, let's send a powerful message of equality to those who aspire to one day become a champion. equal pay for equal work should no no longer be the ideal but instead a reality for all. with that, madam president, i ask that my full statement be made part of the record. i yield to the distinguished senior senator from kansas and i thank him for his usual courtesy. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. roberts: madam president thanks to my colleague. i hope he gets better from his cold. and his sports presentation as of this morning maybe you could do the sports news for us every morning. mr. leahy: if the snarled would yield, it's not a cold, it's -- if the senator would yield it's
not a coal, it's -- there's a few more polleners in the air than us in vermont are used to and they're hitting me badly today. mr. roberts: madam president i rise to talk about the bill that we have before us today. we in the senate have a unique opportunity long overdue and responsibility to reauthorize the elementary and secondary education act the acronym for that is esea. this -- this legislation is really long overdue. it's vital for our children and their future that we get it right when addressing education policy. the consequences will be seen for years to come. i would like to acknowledge and commend especially commend the work of chairman lamar alexander and ranking member patty murray who worked so hard to get us together to get to this point. and this is something rather
unique in the senate. we are coming together. we are percolating with regards to important bills. this is a tremendously important bill. due to their bipartisan leadership the every child achieves act was approved back in april by the help committee of which i am a proud member, 22-0. i was very proud to vote "yes." let me repeat that. it passed 22-0. and because of that hard work led by senators alexander and murray, we are currently debating esea in the senate for the first time since 2001. that's 14 years. 14 years that we have not had a reauthorization bill come to the senate floor with a lot of hope that it will pass. this is a prime example of what is possible when the senate functions as it should and committees are actually able to
legislate. recently 10 national education groups representing educators principals, school boards, superintendents, chief state school officers parents and p.t.a.'s and school business officials called on the senate to consider the every child achieves act to reauthorize the esea. daniel dominich, the executive director of the school superintendent's association wrote in a letter -- and i'm quoting from it -- "the nation's 6 -- k-6 graders have spent every day of their experience under an outdated and broken esea. our students want and they certainly deserve more." his remarks perfectly summarize the issues at hand. now, i want to turn to a critical issue for states and school districts. over the last few years madam president the administration has doubled down
on federal mandates and has used the waiver process to create law by fiat thereby circumventing congress and allowing those who have a federal agenda in washington to make too many decisions that are best left to the states and the school districts. it is evident that waivers have been granted only to those states that agree to implement the administration's preferred educations policies. that's just not right. in fact, "the new york times" has referred to the waiver process as the most sweeping use of executive authority to rewrite federal education law since washington expanded its involvement in education in the 1960's. under section 9401 of the current law the secretary -- i'm quoting here -- "may waive any statutory or regulatory requirement of this act for a
state education agency, local education agency indian tribe or school if that entity receives funds and requests a waiver language included in the every child achieves act amends section 401 to clarify that the waiver process is intended to be led by state and local request not washington mandates. this will help ensure the process is state-driven and will allow greater flexibility and innovation. in july, 2011, the congressional research service issued a report providing an overview of the secretary's waiver authority under esea and warned warned of potential legal limits and challenges to the secretary's flexibility proposal. and the report states if the secretary did as a condition of granting a waiver require a
grantee to take another action not required under the esea, the likelihood of a successful legal challenge will increase. mr. president -- madam president, i have worked long and hard for language in the bill on the floor today years and years, language on the floor today in this bill that will prohibit the secretary from opposing any additional requirements to waiver requests not authorized by the congress. i am fully committed to fighting this one-size-fits-all federal education agenda because i firmly believe that local control is best when it comes to education. the every child achieves act in its current form puts an end to washington mandates and allows kansans to make their own decisions about the best way to improve education. while this legislation heads in the right direction in reducing
the federal footprint, i want to remind my colleagues that it is important that we avoid adding back in federal mandates and prescriptive requirements as we move forward i will continue to push to return k-12 education decisionmaking to state and local control. where we can establish the best policies to ensure that every child receives the highest quality education. now i'd like to briefly discuss something called common core. and the federal overreach in education. common core started out as a state-led effort to create high standards that states would voluntarily adopt but the administration had different ideas. in homes across america parents are raising questions about what their children are
being taught. madam president, in many cases parents are hearing that local curriculum decisions have been driven by the common core education standards that most states adopted in a hurry under federal pressure with little or no public input. decisions about what children are taught best made on the local level as close to parents as possible. the federal government should not have to -- have overriding influence over state and local education decisions. simply put the department of education has incentivized and coerced states do implementing common core education standards. some within our education community in kansas have even called this practice a bribe. the administration made it a
criteria for states to adopt common core standards to have a reasonable chance to receive federal funding under the multibillion-dollar race to the top program and used federal funds to develop common core core-aligned tests. they have also threatened to withhold waivers from the onerous provision of the no child left behind act if states do not adopt common core or similarly assign standards and assessments. this is wrong. for that reason, earlier this year i reintroduced the local level act s. 182, to explicit ly prohibit the federal government's role in involvement -- and involvement in common core. my legislation would strictly forbid the federal government from intervening in a state's education standards its curricula, assessments through the use of he incentives mandates, grants or any other form of manipulation.
simply put, my legislation will preserve state education autonomy. a state will now be free from federal interference in how to decide whether or not to use common core or any other type of academic standard. i am pleased that the bill before us includes the language from my local level act and will once and for all end the administration's use of waivers to force or incentivize states to adopt common core standards. and it will end the obama administration's -- and for that matter any future administration's -- ability to use any tool of coercion to force states to adopt common core or any set of standards at all. whether it's common core by another name or some new set of standards, period. i again want to thank chairman alexander for including my language because i firmly believe it will prohibit the
administration from finding additional ways to promote state adoption of common core. now, madam president, i want to emphasize setting high standards for schools or teachers and our children obviously is the right thing to do. but we will decide those standards in kansas. and those decisions will be made in other states as well. we need to get the federal government out of the classroom and return our community decisions back to where they belong in the community. if the every child achieves act becomes law, we can finally say goodbye to federal interference and what we each -- in what we teach our kids in school. chairman alexander has stated that with this bill we have the first opportunity in 25 years to restore decisionmaking back to states to local school
districts, to superintendents and principals and teachers and local school boards and parents, and especially the students. he is right. i yield the floor. mrs. capito: madam president? madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mrs. capito: thank you madam president. i rise to express my strong support for every child achieves act that is now before pending before the senate. i want to commend chairman alexander and ranking member murray for working together in such a great bipartisan fashion that has brought this bill to the floor that will improve the quality of education for children across our country. the every child achieves act puts state and local officials back in control of our local schools. as we heard from the senator from kansas, senator roberts his hard work on this bill also stops the department of education from conditioning federal funding on the adoption
of national standards like common core. importantly, this bill also makes sure that parents and taxpayers continue to have access to important information about how the schools in their communities are performing. the every child achieves act deserves the senate's support this week. last week the senate unanimously adopted an amendment that will allow community school programs the flexibility to use federal funds to pay for a site resource coordinator. this is important to the state of west virginia. we have community schools. community schools programs provide important health, nutrition, and other key services for many of our west virginia students who are unfortunately, living in poverty. the amendment passed last week will allow those programs to better coordinate with community partners for resources for children in need. and i was happy to work with senators brown and my fellow senator from west virginia,
senator match to -- manchin to see that amendment passed. i want to talk about an the amendment i introduced with senator durbin, he spoke about it on the floor that creates transparency for students and families. it does so by allowing students to know -- and parents to know the quality of the progress of their schools as relates to college readiness. that amendment will require statements and educational agencies to post data on the the report cards. it requires data on postsecondary remediation. it is supported by the business roundtable and the u.s. chamber of commerce because this amendment seeks to improve the education outcomes of our students. parents and students alike deserve to know that they are being adequately prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. including these simple, easy to understand measures on state and
local report cards will provide them with the information they need to make informed choices about education. darrylly additionally, it win help states and school districts target limited resources in the schools that need it most. this amendment was carefully crafted to avoid putting onerous and additional burdens on our schools and states. nearly all the states already have made the investment necessary to collect, link and report this data. in fact, the majority of states are already reporting it. currently 40 states produce high school feedback reports that include postsecondary enrollment data. more than 30 states already include some measure of postsecondary success as -- such as remediation rates. adding postsecondary enrollment and remediation rates to existing report card measures included in every child achieves act will ensure students, education and policymakers have access to critical information about how well our high schools
are preparing students to enter and succeed in secondary education. the end result will be successfully r those who know best the students and their parents. i urge everyone supporting these amendments but also supporting the bill. with that i yield back. the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. mr. franken: madam president i rise today to speak about the urgency of passing the student nondiscrimination act which takes the same protections that children have against discrimination on the basis of race and national origin and gender and disability and extends those protections to lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender children. lgbt children. that's it. it's a simple bill. it stands for the principle that lgbt kids have a right not to be bullied just because of who they
are. now, there are people who will say what can you do to stop bullying? kids will be kids, boys will be boys. i don't think that's right. because what we're seeing in our schools today is not just teasing, it's not playground behavior. what we are seeing is more than just bullying. we're seeing discrimination. let me explain what i mean. if a black child was referred to by a racial slur at school, would we say kids will be kids? if a jewish student got beat up because he wore a yarmulke to school would we wave it off and say boys will be boys? if a shop teacher told a female
teacher she didn't belong in his class, would we be fine if the school just looked the other way? no we wouldn't. in fact, there are federal civil rights laws that are specifically designed to stop this kind of conduct. but if a gay child is relentlessly harassed by his classmates if a principal tells a girl she can't go to her senior prom because she wants to bring another girl as her date, or if a school just stands by as teachers students and other administrators refer to a transgender child not as he or she but as "it" there is no law that was written to protect those children. our laws fail those children,
and that is just wrong. but we can change that. the bullying of lgbt children in our schools has reached epidemic proportions. more than 30% of lgbt kids report missing a day of school in the previous month because they felt unsafe. nearly 75% of lgbt students say they've been verbally harassed at school, and more than 35% of lgbt students report being physically attacked. you cannot learn if you dread going to school. it has been estimated that on average lgbt kids comprise 40% of all homeless youth and to be sure family rejection is a leading factor, but lgbt kids'
inability to escape verbal harassment and physical attacks makes them drop out which makes them much more likely to be homeless. that is just -- that's just unacceptable and our children shah notshould not have to experience that kind of hate at school. and as we've seen all too often some of them simply can't endure it. a few years ago i met a wonderful woman named wendy walsh, the mother of seth walsh whose photo is next to me here. seth had endured years of antigay harassment at school in tahachopee, california. when he was in the fifth grade
other students started calling him gay and as he got older the harassment became more frequent and more abusive. by seventh grade taunts and verbal abuse were a constant part of sethth h's day. students called him "faggot" and "queer." he was afraid to use the restroom or to be in the boys' locker room before gym class. he had always been a good student receiving a's and b's. but as the harassment escalated he started to get failing grades. friends reported that he became depressed and withdrawn. wendy desperately tried to get school district officials to do something, but her pleas were plushed aside -- brushed aside and in september of 2010, seth
hanged himself from a tree in his family's backyard. he was 13. seth left a note expressing his love for families and friends but also his anger at his school. justin aaberg was a rising sophomore at a high school in minnesota, my home state. justin played the cello. in fact, he composed music for the cello. his mother tammy told people that he was a -- quote -- "sweet boy who seemed to always have a smile on his face" -- unquote. justin came out to his mom when he was 13. in july of 2010, justin hanged himself in his bedroom.
his mother later learned from justin's friends and from messages he left before his death that he had been the victim of incessant bullying at school. justin was 15 when he died. carl walker hoover was a boy scout and a football player for his school in springfield massachusetts. starting in the sixth grade the kids at carl's school started bullying and harassing him for -- quote -- "acting gay" or -- quote -- "acting like a girl." and even though he didn't identify as lgbt, when his mother zargina walker learned about the harassment, she spoke to his principal to his teacher and to his guidance counselor
repeatedly asking the school to intervene. but in april of 2009, zargina found her son hanging but an extension cord on the second floor of her home. in the letter carl left behind, he said he sumly couldn't take it -- he simply couldn't take it anymore. carl was 11 years old. justin'sjustin's sethth, and carl's stories are not anomalies. they are just a few of the many tragic cases in an epidemic of school bullying against lbgt kids or kids who are perceived to be lgbt. the bill that we are debating this week is an education bill
a bill about taking steps necessary to secure better and brighter futures for our children. it is our responsibility, not just as senators but as adults, as adults to protect children and help them flourish. and children who are afraid to go to school can't get a good education. think about the children in your life your son or your daughter, your grandchild or your niece or nephew and think what it must be like for a child to get up in the morning and to face the schoolday ahead not with anticipation and excitement but with aing diet and -- with
anxiety and fear, with dread and with shame. this shouldn't happen in america america. in america we have passed laws that guard against harassment in our schools on the basis of race national origin, sex and disability. but lgbt students face bull will youing and -- bullying and intimidation without recourse. this amendment would simply provide lgbt kids with the same legal remedies available to other kids under our federal civil rights laws. it says that schools would have to listen when a parent calls and says, my child isn't safe and that the school has to do something about it. it would ensure that lgbt kids have the same protections and
not -- they have the same protection not some of the same protections as other kids. this is not a revolutionary idea madam president. in fact, more than a dozen states have already passed laws that protect students from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and it is working. in states that have protections for sexual orientation and gender identity in schools lgbt students report nearly one-third fewer instances of physical harassment and nearly half as many instances of physical assault as in states lacking these protections. we have come incredibly far in our understanding of lgbt people in a very short period of time,
not just as a country but as a body. in 2013, by a vote of 64-32 the senate passed enda, the employment nondiscrimination act, which would prohibit job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. it would prohibit firing someone or harassing them at work for being gay or transgender. it would protect adults adults. now it's time to protect kids to put in place policies to ensure that a child of 11 or 13 or 15 is allowed to live their
life and discover who they are discover maybe that they're a great cellist or a first-round nfl draft pick, without facing taunts and intimidation and physical violence in school. it is our responsibility as a country and as a body to protect our children. i strongly urge my colleagues to do just that by supporting the student nondiscrimination act and voting for it as an amendment to this bill. thank you, madam president. a senator: madam president?
the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. markey: thank you, madam president. madam president we do not have to look any further than the recent data breaches at the government office of personnel and management and the company target the company home depot sewnsony neiman marcus to though that there are pitfalls to storing our personal information online. and there is no information more personal more sensitive than that of school-aged children. the business of sifting through and storing the records of grade school and high school students is growing as fast as students are. by collecting personal information about students' test results and learning abilities teachers may find better ways to educate their students.
we can help improve their test scores improving academic achievement, and prepare students for the future. the increased use of data analysis of student performance holds promise for increasing student achievement but at the same time there are perils from a privacy perspective. putting the sensitive information of students in the hands of third parties of private-sector companies raises a umin of very serious -- a number of very serious questions about the privacy rights of parents. -- and their children. the information being collected is about students as young as five years old. as a nation, we have already decided that children require extra protection. that's why in the house of representatives i was the principal author of the children's online privacy
protection act or copra, for protecting children when they are online. and i believe very deeply that parents, not private companies should have the right to control information about their children even when a child's data is in the hands of a private company. we know that pre- pre-k through 12 digital content is currently worth more than $8 billion. hear that again. an $8 billion industry has now been built up around pre-k through 12 educational software and nearly all of america's school districts rely on cloud services for a diverse range of functions that include data
collection and analysis related to student performance. as data analytics companies increasingly play a role in the education area, congress must act to ensure that safeguards are in place for student data that is shared with third parties. show-and-tell should be a classroom exercise with students not with students' personal sensitive information. and a child's educational record should not be sold as a product on the open market, and that's why earlier this year i introduced the protecting student privacy act with senators hatch and kirk, and that's why today my colleague senator hatch and i are offering a bipartisan amendment that the senators will be asked to vote on that will establish a
commission to report to congress an how we protect student privacy and parental rights in the digital age. these recommendations that the senators will be voting on here today will include a number of things. number one how to prevent marketers from using educational records to target students with advertisements. the goal here is to help young scholars make the grade not have private-sector companies make a sale. they should not be using the information which they have in order to target young kids with products. that should be something that we have a national policy on. second when should student information be deleted? permanent records of children shouldn't be held permanently by private-sector companies only by students and their parents.
third, how parents should be able to access and correct private information about their children. just as there could be an erroneous charge on a credit card -- and that shouldn't prevent someone from getting a loan -- well, a false bit of information on a report card shouldn't prevent a young person from et going into the college of their -- from getting into the chej college of their choice and parents should have the ability to say that they want that changed. and fourth, how do we ensure that outside vendors outside companies that handle and store this sensitive information put in place the strongest possible data security standards? this is a business. these companies are making money, say we'll store this
information so you don't have to build more physical storehouses. we'll put this information up into the cloud. that will be a real cost savings for the school system. well, how much security is that private-sector company now going to build around the cloud with all that information? are they going to have the highest level of cyber security protections which are built in? or are they just going to buy something that's dirt cheap and say they have security protections. but like target, like sony, like the office of personnel management, they will not have actually put in place the security protections which will ensure that children's most sensitive information is not exroifd -- compromised as it is being stored up in the cloud. the reality is that our data is being increasingly compromise
and companies of all shapes and sizes must devote the resources necessary to protect that information as it is stored in the cloud and it is being subjected to malicious attacks there must be a security system that be repel those attacks. the amendment which senator hatch and i bring to the floor here this afternoon at 5:30 brings together privacy experts -- parents school leaders, public advocates and the technology industry -- in order to tackle how to best balance protecting students' personal information while promoting greater academic achievement. i urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan amendment. there's a keynesian quality to this dig tall world. -- digital world. it is the best of technology and the worst of technology
simultaneously. it can be used to enable and ennoble. it can be used to degrade and debase. how it's used will only be determined by human beings and by those that represent them in the united states senate. we have to ensure that we put in place policies that ensure that we have the best use of these digital technologies while not having children and their parents be robbed of the private information which is so sensitive to the long-term well-being of a child as they're developing. that's what this amendment is all about here today. i urge an "aye" vote and madam president i yield back the balance of my time. the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: before i speak i have a unanimous consent request that we consent -- that
morning business be extended until 4:30. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: madam president just 12 days ago kate steinle was walking along pier 14 in san francisco with her late father when she was shot by an individual in this country illegally. at the age of 32, a very young age, her life was taken. friends and families mourned her death and laid her to rest late last week. kate steinle should be with us today. her death is the result of weak immigration policies and unsecure border and a lack of will to enforce the law. her alleged killer was deported five times and has a rap sheet
that dates back to 1991. despite his criminal background san francisco's sanctuary policy allowed this man to walk the streets. today we're learning that there are thousands of detainers placed each year on undocumented immigrants by federal officials but these detainers largely go ignored. detainers are requests to another law enforcement entity that it wants to take custody of a person. the federal government will ask for instance, a state and local jurisdiction to hold an individual for 48 hours until the federal government can assume custody. according to government documents provided by the center for immigration studies between
january and september of 2014 there were 8,811 declined detainers in 76 counties, in 43 states and the district of columbia. of the 8,811 declined detainers 62% of them were associated with over 5,000 individuals who were previously charged or convicted of crime or presented some other public safety concern. and nearly 1,900 of the released offenders were arrested for another crime once they were released by the sanctuary jurisdiction. this is very disturbing not only to me, but to most americans. there is no good rationale for
noncooperation between the federal officials and state and local law enforcement. public safety is put at risk when state and local officials provide sanctuary to law-abiding immigrants just to make some political point. but san francisco isn't the only one to shoulder blame here. the present administration, the obama administration has turned a blind eye to law enforcement in this area, even releasing thousands of criminal aliens on its own many of whom have gone on to commit serious crimes, even murder. they have also turned a blind eye to sanctuary cities all the while challenging states to take a more aggressive approach to immigration -- enforcing those
immigration laws. that's why i wrote to attorney general lynch and homeland security secretary johnson just last week. i urged them to take control of the situation so that detainers are not ignored and undocumented individuals are safely transferred to federal custody and put into deportation proceedings. i implored them to take a more direct role in this matter. this administration needs to stop turning a blind eye to state and local jurisdictions who thumb their nose at the law and harbor criminals who are evading immigration authorities. but this isn't just a new issue for this administration. i wrote to then-secretary napolitano in 2011 and asked her
to intervene in cook county, illinois another sanctuary jurisdiction. i wrote to her again along with then-attorney general holder about sanctuary cities in january of 2012. they failed to do anything at the time. in fact, since then administration officials have made it clear that detainers did not have to be honored. the man charged with the murder of kate steinle told officials that he sought refuge and moved to san francisco precisely because of its sanctuary policies. this is the tipping point however. there are many other victims that we need to remember. that is why as chairman of the judiciary committee i plan to hold a hearing on the
president's immigration policies and the tragic effects they're having on americans. i invited the head of the u.s. immigration customs enforcement welz the director -- as well as the director of the u.s. citizenship and immigration services to testify. before they testify i plan to have relatives of victims present to tell congress how their loved ones and how their lives have been forever changed because of criminal aliens. this hearing will take place next tuesday. this is far too important of an issue to go unresolved. the heartbreaking death of kate steinle at the hands of a criminal alien in the country illegally underscores the need for swift and decisive action to prevent further tragedies of
senate will resume consideration of s. 1177, which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 63, s. 1177, a bill to reauthorize the elementary and secondary education act of 1965, to ensure that every child achieves. mrs. murray: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: thank you madam president. madam president, i believe that providing all of our students with a quality education is one of our most important national priorities. the work force in the years to come will depend on today's students being able to create and take on the jobs of tomorrow and providing students with the chance to learn and grow and thrive will help our country continue to compete and lead in the 21st century global economy. today we are continuing our work here on the senate floor to make sure all of our students have access to a quality education by working to fix the badly broken no child left behind law. i want to thank chairman alexander, the senior senator
from tennessee for working with me on this bipartisan bill. he has been a great partner throughout this process. the bipartisan bill, the every child achieves act, is a good step in the right direction. it gives our states more flexibility while also including federal guardrails to make sure all students have access to a quality public education but i want to work, of course, to continue to improve and strengthen this bill throughout the process here on the senate floor. i want to make sure that struggling schools get the resources they need and i want to make sure that all of our kids especially our most vulnerable students, are able to succeed in the classroom. so finishing this process and getting a bill signed into law isn't going to be easy. nothing in congress ever is. but, you know, students and parents and teachers and communities across our country including in my home state of washington are looking to congress to fix this broken law. we cannot let them down. we need to work across the aisle to provide a quality education for all students regardless of
where they live or how they learn or how much money their parents make. so i look forward to continuing to work with chairman alexander as we move this through the senate floor and to conference, and i think he agrees with me, hopefully to the president to get it signed into law. so thank you madam president. i see the chairman's here. i yield the floor. mr. alexander: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: i do agree with her. our goal -- we had a good week last week. we had a large number of amendments that were agreed to. a l number were adopted in addition to ones we have in committee. we need to finish this week. we need for h members to do what members of the committee did which is to pursue a result exercising some restraint. if we all insist on everything that we have a right to insist on nothing would ever happen. as senator murray said,
teachers governors school boards parents are expecting us to get this job done. we can do it. the house did its part last week. we can finish our work this week put it together, and she's correct. we want a result, not just a political speech, which means we need to have the president's signature in the end. we have a bipartisan process. we're seven years overdue. this is a bill that everybody in the country wants who cares about education wants us to act on. and we've had a remarkable consensus on what we need to do. basically what we're saying is that we want to keep the important measurements of student achievement so that parents and teachers and communities can know how children are doing how schools are doing whether anyone's being left behind. but we want to restore to states and local school boards and communities and classroom teachers the responsibility for deciding what to do about the results of those tests and make sure they're appropriate and make sure there are not too many
tests. we believe that's the real way to improve teaching, to improve schools and to have real accountability. so we've taken lots of different opinions and we put them together in a bill. i was thinking over the weekend having a bill on elementary and secondary education is like going to a football game with the university of tennessee. there are 100,000 people in the stands and they all are experts on football, whether it's iowa or washington or tennessee. we're all experts and so are most of our citizens experts on education, but we need to have an consensus here. we're close to one and i thank senator murray and the majority leader and the democratic leader for creating an environment in which we so far have been able to succeed. i yield the floor. madam president, i ask unanimous consent that devon brenner in senator cochran's office be granted floor privileges through
a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from montana. a senator: as we speak negotiations are ongoing between iran -- the presiding officer: senator, we're in a quorum call. mr. daines: i ask unanimous consent to vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. daines: madam president
as we speak negotiations are ongoing between the iran and the p-5 plus 1 countries regarding one of the greatest threats to global security today and that is a potentially nuclear-capable iran. if both sides reach a final negotiated agreement this body will have to consider whether the agreement truly prevents iran from becoming a nuclear state or whether it paves the way for the leading state sponsor of terror to obtain a nuclear weapon. agreeing to a bad deal would pose a serious threat to the national security of the united states to israel and our other allies. we cannot take this decision lightly, and we shouldn't base our votes on the legacy of the president. we'll be dealing with the consequences of this potential agreement long after president obama leaves office.
there are specific terms of any final agreement that are vital to preventing iran's nuclear weapons capability. one hundred percent certainty is impossible in matters of intelligence particularly with a regime like iran's that has a history of being less than forthright about its nuclear program. in fact, on june 21, the iranian parliament voted to bar inspectors from military sites and as they were passing this resolution to bar inspectors from military sites, they remember chanting "death to america." and let us not forget that iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world. it is critical that the international atomic energy agency be able to conduct extensive inspections at all
military facilities, including unannounced inspections to ensure that iran is upholding its commitments. a final deal must ensure that we have verifiable evidence that iran is complying with the terms of the agreement before lifting sanctions. a final deal must permit international inspections to occur any time, anywhere. and a final deal must require iran to disclose and dismantle its nuclear infrastructure, its uranium stockpile and all other aspects of is nuclear weapon as specified in six -- let me repeat -- six u.n. security council resolutions. a final deal must ensure iranians never get a nuclear weapon. and if iran does violate those terms, the deal must guarantee that strong sanctions go back into place immediately. it took years to get in place
the sanctions we have today and it was largely because of these sanctions that iran was forced to the negotiating table. the sanctions are working. i'd also like to address the notion that we either come to a deal or we resort to military action. this is a false choice. in fact, accepting a bad deal now will make military action more likely down the road. a bad deal will provide iran with an influx of cash to continue sponsoring terrorism around the world while failing to prevent them from ultimately obtaining a nuclear weapon when this deal expires. like so many montanans i've heard from, i truly hope negotiations are successful. however, i'm concerned that based on the framework agreement that we've seen so far the final agreement will ultimately fail to safeguard our national security and prevent a nuclear
armed iran. no deal is better than a bad deal. and if the final agreement the president presents falls short of the requirements i've talked about today i won't support it. over the past month we've now blown through four deadlines. mr. president, it's starting to look like groundhog day in vienna. thank you. on a separate note, this past week the senate began debating legislation about our nation's educational system. in the same week we learned more about a major data breach at the office of personnel management which put more than 21 million americans' personal information at risk. these events and the policy debates bring to light an issue that doesn't often gather a lot of attention and that's protecting our students' personal information and data in
the digital age. as a father of four, this issue is particularly personal to me. today countless schools across the united states utilize electronic records to update student information and transfer data from one school to another. but as the data is collected it's important that students' privacy is maintained and that the data is being stored safely and securely. in 2014 a working group was formed to address the issue of student data privacy. this group produced the student data privacy pledge which intended to set self-imposed principles to ensure information collected from students is kept both secure as well as private. this week i'll be introducing legislation called the safe kids act that builds on these ideas by empowering the federal trade commission to oversee and enforce the collection, storage
and usage of information. this bill will put important reforms in place to protect students' privacy to establish greater security and transparency measures and to encourage innovation among education technology providers and better issue accountability in keeping our students' information safe. as someone who spent more than 12 years in the technology sector i'm excited to see technology being used in innovative ways in our schools. and as the father of four, i also want to assure that there are proper safeguards in place to protect our kids' personal data in an increasingly data-driven world. i also want to thank senator blumenthal for joining me this week to introduce this important legislation to protect students' personal information and for his
continued work on this issue. and with that in mind, i'll yield the floor so that we can hear more from senator blumenthal on this most important issue. million blumenthal: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. blumenthal: i want to thank my colleague senator daines, for his extraordinarily valuable work on this bipartisan bill which will help protect students help safeguard the privacy of young people, which would be considered separately from the measure now before pus, the every child achieves act, which will strengthen the federal government's commitment to ensuring every child has access to high-quality education. the bill that senator daines and i are offering assures that every child is protected during their education from the kind of
invasive and intrusive sharing and selling of highly private information about their educational progress, potentially about their medical well-being and treatment all kinds of sensitive personal data that are accumulated and collected by school authorities and the companies that contract with them in the course of that child's education. when a parent signs a take-home form permitting their children to use a learning application in math class, for example, they have no assurance right now none regarding what information the app company will collect or how the app company will protect that information. that kind of very personal identifiable confidential
information is essentially unprotected, or at least inadequately protected in many school systems around the country. if that app company fails to protect the personal information of the student and their family it could be stolen by hackers, it could be breached. we have seen how federal files have been breached on a scale that none of us ever could have imagined supposeedly protected information, and we're talking about school authorities leaving vulnerable children's information, potentially on the same scale. millions of children at risk of their data being breached and stolen by hackers. but we're also talking about that information being bought and sold. exchanged by companies. no protection against that
commercial exploitation right now. children and their parents and families deserve better protection of their privacy. it's a big business. it is a huge and burgeoning business for those companies. they may serve a very worthwhile purpose for many of those children and for many school authorities that need someone to organize and apply software to the raw information that's collected in test scores or other kinds of educational data. but it's not data that belongs to the companies. it belongs to the student. and the school authorities. and it ought to be protected. not only because of who owns it but who really it belongs to it belongs to students as a
matter of morality, not just legality. we're introducing student digital privacy legislation the safe kids act. senator daines and i this week will introduce it to establish strong and vital protections that will give parents the peace of mind they need and deserve. our bill would prohibit companies from reselling student data something that corporations should never profit by doing unless parents for whatever reason think it's a good idea for their individual data to be a subject of marketing, for example,. the safe kids act would also prohibit companies from using student data for any targeted advertising, by creating a personal profile of a student. this kind of marketing goes on in our society, our legislation
also requires companies who hold student data to enact robust protections such as proper encryption of that data which will prevent the theft of personal information and parents are empowered under our bill to access their children's information, request correction of any erroneous information and request deletion of certain student data that may be incorrect. our bill charges the f.t.c. with the responsibility to implement and enforce the safe kids act and it enables states to enact stronger more demanding protections if they choose to do so it establishes a floor not a ceiling. it does not preempt stronger measures if states choose to move forward on them.
this measure is in no way incompatible with the provision and amendment on which we will vote tonight that deals with another aspect of this issue in establishing a commission. i support this that legislation. it has recommendations on advertising, limiting data retention and providing parents with complete information. those issues are complex, they need those kinds of study and research that the commission would provide and the results of that commission would help to inform the f.t.c. regulations that would be issued under the safe kids act that senator daines and i are introducing today. i look forward to supporting the hatch-markey amendment, voting for it, urging my colleagues to support it and the safe kids act
because they enable a comprehensive approach to student privacy. make no mistake this data is in danger and so is the privacy of our students. in a world that has become so enormously invasive and intrusive and where personal information is so much at risk, our students and children and their families deserve this protection. and so i urge my colleagues to support it. mr. president, on a separate topic that i ask with unanimous consent to be printed separately if there is no objection. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blumenthal: i'd like to talk for just a moment about the disclosure last week that dill an roof, the alleged killer of
nine innocent people in south carolina was able to buy a gun without first passing a background check. the reason was the default proceed to in the law which allows but does not require retailers to proceed with a gun sale after three days if an applicant's background check is still pending. undoubtedly more facts will come to light, certain facts are unknown now as we speak but the f.b.i. acknowledges that a completeed background check would have uncovered dollar roof's prior -- dylann roof's prior rest. it would have barred him from punching 2.45 caliber handgun that he used to take -- from punching the .45 caliber handgun that he used to take nine lives.
it is not an anomaly. in the last five years the default to proceed loophole has allowed retailers to proceed with 15,729 gun sales to prohibited persons people who were deemed ineligible to purchase a firearm once their background checks were completed. in effect those 15,729 people were able to circumvent the law because of that loophole that enabled them to do so on a default to proceed after three days. the pro of alcohol tobacco and firearms then has the difficult, dangerous and often impossible job to retrieve the firearms that are sold. in fact, often impossible to even expect that they can once
those firearms are sold without without, often proper record keeping or any record keeping. we make that job hard are every day by hamstringing the work of the bills that create an impossible task for them. the f.b.i. in concert with the department of justice has recommended that the three-day time period be extended to minimize the number of gun sales that proceed by default. that recommendation is worthy of support, and i support it. but gun retailers can act today. the law allows retailers to decide whether or not to permit gun sales to proceed after that three-day default period has elapsed. they have a duty to ensure that their products do not get into the hands of dangerous
individuals. they have that moral duty. they have that social responsibility. in 2008, wal-mart, which is the nation's largest gun store agreed not to transfer firearms without background checks even if the three days had passed without it. the short-term inconvenience to retailers is minimal. in the vast majority of cases a background check is completed within minutes and the retailer knows whether they may proceed with the sale. after the horror visited on emanuel a.m.e. church in charleston no responsible gun retailer should give the benefit of the doubt and hand over a gun without a definitive completion of that background check. over the weekend my colleague senator murphy, and i urged the
senate judiciary committee to immediately review this failure in our background check system and potential remedies lest this legislative body's silence on the matter be taken as a consent on the repeated failures we've witnessed in the long run this system must be made as effective and errorproof as possible. and it should be extended to sales not covered now by the law. as senator murphy and i and many of our colleagues here have urged, consistently and repeatedly the failure to adopt a comprehensive universal background check system is inexcusable. but we also have to make sure that loopholes in the current law are eliminated, as the f.b.i. and the department of justice have recommended by extending that three-day time period and otherwise increasing
the efficiency and effectiveness of the background check system. and senator murphy and i will be taking additional steps to try to make it more effective. gun retailers can step up in the meantime to stop dangerous people from getting their hands on dangerous weapons. and taking lives innocent lives, as happened in charleston. they can very simply stop selling guns to people who not have passed that background check, even if the three days has expired. even if that default period has come and gone. they can do that on their own. and i look forward to working with my colleagues, including continuing the great work that senator murphy and i have sought
to do together in making america safer and better and improving our background check system and making sure that commonsense sensible gun violence measures become the law of the land. thank you mr. president and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: thank you very much mr. president. first of all, i want to compliment the senator from connecticut on his initial statement related to student privacy. i think it's an essential element to clarifying privacy is meant to protect but not inadverted opponently inhibit our ability to give help that those that so desperately need pit. i want to associate myself with his remarks on really doing something about the background check, the timely response. i think the massacre in emanuel
a.m.e. deeply troubled the nation. the very least thing that can come out of this is not only the flag coming down and all that it meant but other barriers to safety should come down as well. and i want the gentleman from connecticut to know that he has my admiration and my support. mr. president, while we're waiting for the vote in approximately 15 minutes i know that senator kaine will be coming to the floor to talk about an important post secondary educational remediation reform. but i wanted to comment on the 21 million federal employees whose personnel records have been hacked by, it looks like, a foreign government. i'm not going to go into the who's and the attributing of who did the hacking but i do want to say that i represent, first
of all those federal employees need to feel they have a government on their side to now protect them. we should have protected them in the first place with security of .gov and certainly our personnel records. mr. president, in addition to a bill that i've introduced -- or cosponsored with my colleague from maryland, senator cardin we have put in additional credit protection credit monitoring, and liability protection. but i've also sent the letter to the president -- sent a letter to the president today. you know, the president of the united states is not only the commander in chief but he is the chief executive officer of something called the united states government.gov. and, therefore it o.p.m. is his h.r. operation. with all due respect to our president, i've called upon him
in behalf of the 300,000 federal employees and federal retirees that i have in my state that they take additional and immediate action to provide lifetime credit monitoring lifetime credit protection, and unlimited liability. and also we got a new contractor who not only -- i know we want to get a new contractor who does security checks, but i want a new contractor who's supposed to be answering the phone, i want a new contract answering the phone and responding to my federal employees. and i've conveyed that to the new acting director of o.p.m., beth colbert. and i think she has a lot of skill, a lot of knowledge. i know she comes to the white house from the private sector,
mackenzie. but i conveyed to her, it is outrageous what is happening to federal employees where they've tried to call to get help to find out what has happened to them and they're on the phone for an hour or two hours. when they finally make contact they get disconnected. i said, there's now -- our federal employees who we count on many of whom to protect the nation many of whom to protect the nation, and our cyber shield is down to protect them, and we are not also protecting them in terms of our response to you are a cyber shield being down. who are these federal employees in maryland? well, first of all there are people like, work at the national institutes of health trying to find cures from dreaded diseases and all the laboratory staff and so on that support them. or they're over at f.d.a., or they're over at goddard space
agency helping manage the hubbard telescope. in addition to that, we have security people involved in also direct hands-on national security. maryland is the home to many foreign service officers. they not only have the information that -- about their own social security numbers and their own health information but that of their spouse, their minor children. we're also the home to the national security agency. most of the national security agency are made up of civilian d.o.d. personnel with the highest of security clearances. l so my feeling is we've got to get in there really quick to protect them. we have to also do something about this contractor that he ups his game or we tell him "up and out." and the third is, the president really needs to convey --
convene an all hands on deck as to how we are going to protect spue.gov in this country. therethere will, there will be nor say in this bill, but i note senator kaine is on the floor to discuss his postsecondary remediation amendment. i yield the floor. mr. kaine: mr. president i thank my colleague from maryland and second the comments comments that she has made about the status of our colleagues who have been jeopardized. i do rise on behalf of an amendment that will be voted on within the next hour, kaine amendment 1218, a bipartisan amendment to the every child achieves act. it is an amendment to promote career-readiness indicators and make sure that our students, when they finish high school, are not just ready for college but they're ready for careers.
and this is part of a series of amendments that i've worked on in a bipartisan basis some of which have been included in the underlying bill, one of which was passed by floor amendment last week. i thank the bill managers, senators alex an deared and murray for working together to support this bipartisan amendment. we need to work to make sure that we help all of ow students graduate from high school ready for postsecondary education in the workforce. over the past 40 years the percentages of jobs that require some form of postsecondary education has doubled from 29% now to nearly 60%. but the education system hasn't kept pace with the demand for a more highly educated and skilled workforce. and importantly we need to define what that is, highly educated and skilled to incorporate career and technical training which for a variety of reasons was sort of an undervalued part of the spectrum of american education. within a very few years by 2020 when our pages are now
going to be out in the workforce, two-thirds of jobs will require at least some form of postsecondary education but projections demonstrate that, as a nation, we will fall short by nearly 5 million workers. and we're already seeing these shortages in having to deal with them through, for instance, specialty visas. wouldn't it be better if we could train those who nuclear school right now to be trained in the areas be with the skills are needed? the amendment addresses this problem by encouraging -- not requiring, encouraging states to include in their accountability systems the types of indicators that demonstrate students students are ready for postsecondary education and the workforce. these indicators would include state-designed measures to integrate rigorous academics work-based learning in career and technical training or technical skill attainment and placement, and that will be the core of this bill. by doing this, we send a strong message to schools businesses,
parents, and students that it's critical to be prepared for the workforce of the 21st century regardless of postsecondary education plans. and as i've talked to educators and counselors and parents they've often commented upon the degree to which degree and technical training sort of downgraded. students aren't encouraged in that area even though there are great professions to achieve in this area. under the amendment schools and districts would have an incentive to partner with businesses and industries to provide career pathways for students and it's important for state accountability systems. i say this as a virginian very proud of the virginia accountability system. it's currently kindly managed by my wife, who is the secretary of education in virginia. but it is important for these important. mr. president, just in the example, if you are a virginia student and you take the virginia standards of learning test and you pass, that doesn't necessarily mean anything.
in north carolina much less oregon. but if you are a virginia high school student and you pass a cisco students administrator exam, you can take that ce deption, move to oregon and get a job tomorrow. these industry credentials are in many ways more known more valued and more portable than high school ce engs dids state by state. schools across the country are providing this kind of important learning opportunity. just two examples, then i'll conclude. in alexandria, just across the potomac, the academy of finance at t.c. williams high school instructs students in financial planning and business development. students complete a three-year sequence program start working at an on-site training program. in southwest virginia, near the city of roanoke after struggling during the 1990's, the school sought input from nearby businesses and implemented programs in
communications and business and marketing to match local job needs. these partnerships are helpful in helping students find jobs and they've also engendered student interest in curriculum. the school has a 90% graduation rate. i want to thank senators portman and baldwin. i think senator portman was planning on speaking and may still. i thank them for working with me together on this particular amendment and on the senate c.t.e. caucus. i urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan initiative. i thank the bill managers for working with us together on it. with that, mr. president i'd be glad to yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
quorum call: mr. hatch: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: madam president, i ask for two minutes to be able to make my presentation. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. hatch: i ask unanimous consent that i be afforded those two minutes and i appreciate you granting that time. i rise today in support of an amendment i have offered along with my friend the junior senator from massachusetts. this amendment advances an important priority, protecting student privacy in an era of vast data collection and tenuous security protections. advances in education technology are revolutionizing the way students learn in today's classroom. going forward, it is important to balance the need for
innovation to allow students to take advantage of the new learning tools with the need to make sure children's private information is protected. we must also ensure to continue improving education through research while not necessarily allowing researchers and their employers access to sensitive data. to this end our amendment sets up a commission to come back with recommendations for how to update our outdated federal education privacy law. the commission's membership consists of experts parents teachers technology profession as researchers and state officials and an array of leaders capable of providing diverse perspectives. within 270 days the commission is required to report to congress on the current mechanisms for transparency, parental involvement research usage and third party vendor issues as well as how to provide recommendations on how to improve the law to protect students better. as we seek to find the best
names, this commission will outline some commonsense and effective options for reform we ought to consider. the amendment has received support from a wide variety of organizations from microsoft to national p.t.a. to the u.s. chamber of commerce demonstrating how this is a commonsense bipartisan idea we can support. i urge my colleagues to support this important innovation. with that, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the question occurs now on amendment 2080 offered by the senator from tennessee, mr. alexander for mr. hatch. is there a sufficient second? there is. there appears to be a sufficient second. the clerk will now call the roll. vote:
the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or change their vote? if not the yeas on this are 89 the nays are zero. the amendment is agreed to. under the previous order the question occurs on amendment number 2018 offered by the senator from washington, mrs. murray, for mr. kaine. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. a senator: mr. president? mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: mr. president there has been some conversation on the floor working on the order of proceeding here and i ask unanimous consent that senator wicker and senator shaheen firsting recognized for a colloquy followed by remarks by senator brown followed by
remarks by myself followed by remarks by senator baldwin. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. alexander: reserving the right to object, i'd like to ask the senator from washington if she's -- we're -- are we in morning business? the presiding officer: no, we're still on the bill. mr. alexander: no objection. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from mississippi is recognized. mr. wicker: thank you mr. president. i ask unanimous consent that senator shaheen and i be allowed to join into a colloquy concerning the 20th anniversary of the srebrenica massacre. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wicker: i am pleased to join my colleague from new hampshire today to speak about a moving and important commemoration that she and i attended over the weekend.
we were part of the u.s. delegation led by former president bill clinton that traveled to bosnia and hercegovina to remember the victims of the srebrenica master 20 years ago. we were honored to join in this delegation by representative peter king of new york and also i think it's significant that former secretary of state madeleine albright was part of this delegation. on july 11 1995, more than 8 million bos any action muslim men and boys were brutalized and murdered by serbian forces who overran a united nations safe haven during the bosnian war. it was the worst massacre on european soil since the horrors of world war ii. today, senator shaheen and i
wear green and white flowers on our lapels. these flowers were crocheted by mothers and widows of srebrenica in remembrance of the lives lost 20 years ago. the white is said to symbolize innocence and the green represents hope and it is said to be significant that the center is green because hope remains central to the country's future and to the region's future. mr. president, two decades provide us with helpful benchmark for reflecting on the progress that has been made and on the progress that needs to be made. the decades have certainly not erased the deep scars left by the atrocities at srebrenica. but the hurt continues to heal.
international courts have recognized the massacre as a genocide and a number of the perpetrators have been imprisoned. peace is now present in the western balkans and we need to do what we can to help maintain this peace. the bosnia and hercegovina leadership is applying for membership in the european union, we wish them progress on the necessary to attain this status. tough decisions need to be made by the leadership, by the tri presidency of bosnia and hercegovina with regard to governance corruption, and combating extremism. there is still way too much rhetoric that centers on ethnicity and continues to divide bosnians rather than unit them -- unite them but we can celebrate the fact that this
region is no longer home to the suffering and violence that predated the dayton accords and we can celebrate the contribution and achievement of the americans in reaching the dayton accords and in getting us to where we are now with two decades of peace. and i know these views are shared by my colleague from new hampshire and at this point perhaps she would like to join in this colloquy. mrs. shaheen: mr. president, i would like to join senator wicker from mississippi in talking about what we saw and heard when we were in bosnia. you know, unfortunately the story that came out about that inspiring commemoration was about the attack by some of the bosniacs on the prime minister, who had attended the ceremony.
but the larger story was one of reconciliation and the bosniac mayor of srebrenica condemned the attackers and he was joined by the tripartite presidents in condemning the attackers and the serbian prime minister after the attack said that it should not distract attention from the innocent victims of srebrenica. he said that his arms of reconciliation remain stretched toward the bosniacs and fortunately we had the same thing from the mayor of srebrenica who actually had invited the prime minister. i'm very proud of mayor doracovic. he's an american whose family fled in 1985 and settled in new hampshire. he went to high school there and got a degree from southern new
hampshire university. he returned to srebrenica in 2005 and was elected mayor in 2012. and aside from that isolated unfortunate incident with the prime minister, the ceremony was a solemn tribute and remembrance to the victims of srebrenica. and there was a spirit of unity and harmony. the theme again and again was of reconciliation. and as my colleague points out it's particularly important for us to continue to support this reconciliation for us to continue to support bosnia, hercegovina, and their efforts to continue to look west to join the e.u., because across many centuries the balkans have been a flash point for conflicts that have spread to the rest of europe and the entire world. in fact, 101 years ago next
month, world war i began with the interception of arch duke ferdinand right in sarajevo. we walked by the block where he was assassinated. as we've seen most recently in greece as we are seeing in the balkans and in other countries in europe, the russians are quick to exploit trouble in europe in order to spread their influence and destabilize the west. wouldn't my colleague agree that it's important for us in the united states to join the e.u. in supporting the bosniacs, the serbs, the croatians the roman catholics the muslims so they can come together and show the world that we can create a multiethnic, multisectarian state that can serve as a model for the middle east and countries around the world? mr. wicker: mr. president i would agree and i would contrast
the magnanimous statements of the tripresidency and the gesture of the serbian president in attending by contrast that with the disappointing actions of the russian leadership under the leadership of president putin in actually vetoing a security council resolution simply to commemorate the 20th anniversary as a genocide. russia refused to accept a well-established fact confirmed by international courts like the international court of justice like the international criminal tribunal for the former yugoslavia and they vetoed -- they were the only vote against it but it acted as a veto, thus keeping the united nations officially from going on record as saying this was a genocide
and that these acts should be condemned. such defiance is a disservice not only to the victims at srebrenica and to their memory but also to relations in the area going forward. and i would just contrast that with the very brave step on the part of the serbian president of coming to srebrenica, being part of the commemorative ceremony and i will tell my colleagues that former president clinton spoke on behalf of this republican and spoke on behalf of democrats alike in i think making a very instructive and constructive address at the occasion and specifically commending the serbian president. i would say with regard to the rock throwing incident where the
president of serbia was hit and his glasses were broken and he and members of his delegation were brought to their knees, i would say that if the 50 or so people that threw those rocks had heard the remarks inside of the ceremony perhaps they would not have felt so bitter as to throw those rocks. i know there are wounds that need to be healed but i think the conciliatory words inside if they had been broadcast to the entire crowd would have perhaps caused that incident, which got all the publicity, not to happen. this was about 50 people causing a disturbance in a crowd, i would say of around 5,000 people gathered outside for a very important ceremony, actually a funeral you might say. and so i -- i would have to say that the russian leadership really should be ashamed of
standing in the way of international recognition of this genocide. they thought they were doing their serbian neighbors a favor i suppose. but, on the other hand, the serbian president stepped forward in a very brave way to create unity in the region, and i think my colleague will agree with that. mrs. shaheen: absolutely. and i know senator wicker shares my gratitude as we caulk walked through the streets of sarajevo and as we met people in srebrenica for our actions in hoping to end this awful war in bosnia and our actions in supporting bosnia as they try and look west wshesd as they try and -- westward, as they tray and keep their country moving forward, address the corruption, the democracy issues that they
face. but it's -- i think it's in our interest as americans to support those efforts to help them as they continue to move their country forward in every way that we can. mr. wicker: the senator from new hampshire is exactly right. it is in the united states' interest that we care about the balkans that we care about bosnia and herzegovina. we owe it to the troops, the u.s. troops that were deployed there in 1995 and later that kept the peace and made it work. there's no country on the face of the earth that could have done that except the united states of america. we owe it to the memory of the leadership not only of president clinton who basically hosted the dayton accords in the united states of america but also republicans like speaker gingrich. it was gingrich and clinton who joined together and convinced this government to support the
dayton agreement and to support the necessary deployment to make sure this worked. and then, as the senator pointed out, we owe it to history going forward to remember that world war i broke out in sarajevo that the events leading to world war ii largely occurred in the balkans, and to do what we can in the interest of the united states citizens to say that this will not again be a flash point for conflict in europe and for conflict internationally. mrs. shaheen: and i know you share my belief that we also owe it to the victims of srebrenica and i look forward to continuing to work with you to do everything we can to support the efforts in bosnia herzegovina. mr. wicker: and i too look forward to working working on a
bipartisan basis to make sure that this peace holds to make sure that progress is made on the ethnic issues, that we give the bosnian and herzegovinaians every reason to continue wanting to embrace europe and to embrace the west and to embrace transparency and anticorruption and all of the things it's going to take there. and so i appreciate the delegation. i appreciate secretary albright. i appreciate president clinton leading the delegation. and i appreciate the indulgence of our fellow senators in hearing us with this colloquy. and with that, we yield the floor. mr. brown: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: too many americans are still struggling in today's economy. in spite of comments by some candidates for president
americans work hard but still have trouble getting by. we know that americans on the average are working longer hours than workers in almost every other rich country in the world significantly longer hours. simply they are not getting the pay that they've earn and the compensation and the lifestyle to which they aspire and have worked so hards towards. for many workers it shows the longer they work, the less they have to show for it. since the 1970's middle-class waimtion have been stagnant while the nulls on the job have gone up. americans are working more for less. the middle complas has shrunk in every state in this country. a pew research study shows that the share of adults in middle-income households has fallen from 61% in 19 70 to 51%. in ohio the families of middle
class is now below 50%. we need to build on-ramps for hardworking americans instead of asking workers to do more and more for less money. it is not uncommon today for salaried workers salaried workers, not millionaire salaried workers but middle-income, lower-middle income salaried workers to worker 50, 60 hours a work without getting a cent of overtime. it should be reflected in their paychecks. a number of employers are gaming the system to avoid paying overtime. american workers are losing wages as a result. it's past tomb for overtime -- it's past time for overtime hours to mean overtime pay again. that's why my colleagues sent a letter to the president earlier this year urging the administration to restore the strength of overtime pay rules. 40 years ago we as a nation decided that most workers
whether they're paid hourly or are salaried should receive overtime pay when working more than 40 hours a week but the teeth in that law -- the teeth have been eroded rkt the strength of that law the power of that law the effect of that law has eroded over the past 40 years. in 1975 65% of all salaried workers were covered by overtime pay raise -- pay rules. currently, just 8% of salaried workers are covered. that's -- that can be a night manager in a fast-food restaurant making $30,000 a year classified as "management," classified because that person is salaried, asked to work more than 40 hours and still only making $30,000 a year. so as i said, 40 years ago 65% of salaried workers would have been paid time and a half, those extra hours beyond 40 for that night manager.
but today they don't get paid overtime. they may work 50 hours they may work 60 hours. they simply aren't compensated pour it. the is a lory threshold has remained static for four dpgds because it -- for four decades because it isn't indexed to inflation. today someone making $23,000 a year isn't paid overtime. now they're not drn if they're making $30,000 they're making 40*dz,000. we see what's happened. the salary threshold was phut in place to exempt highly paid executives. they didn't build an inflation number into it, a cost-of-living adjustment. instead of hitting only lawyers and c.e.o.'s, who of course shouldn't get paid overtime for hours in excess of 40, workers earning as little as $450 a week
go without overtime just because they are called management. it allows somebody to put somebody on salary, work them many more hours then fail to compensate them. the current threshold is below the poverty line for a family of four. a salaried worker making a few dollars below the poverty line and working 50 or 60 hours doesn't get paid over-tomb? that's actually what's happened. the american public is starting to understand this and that's why the president -- so many people called on the president to do this. overtime pay should be available to everyone who puts in the extra time, not just those earning a poverty-level page. that's why i applaud the department of labor's proposed rule that would strengthen overtime standards and pretty much just take them back not quite even as good but we're pretty satisfied with this, just take them back to the 1975 levels. the new rule will more than double the salary threshold for earning overtime pay from $23,000 an thrill $50,000. it will mean that 40% of
salaried workers are now eligible for overtime. in my state, as a result of this rule 160,000 ohioans will get a raise. 5 million americans in states like oklahoma and rhode island and wisconsin and all over this country. it proposes -- this means more money in the pockets of american workers. the rule proposes linking the threshold to the 40th percentile of income for full-time, salaried workers instead of set being a raw number. this means that the strength of the rule is less likely to erode over time. not only will this rule help makes make ends meet, it also boosts consumer spending. just like raising the minimum wage when you put more money into the pocket of somebody making $8 an hour, $9 an hour, you put more money in the pocket of a midlevel manager making $30,000 at a fast-food restaurant a year, you put more money in their pocket. they're fog spend that money. they're not going to invest in a
swiss bank account. they're going to spend that money in the community they're going to go into the hardware store, fix up their house create -- generate economic activity and create jobs for our economy. there's -- but there's still more -- this is an important step toward re- rebuilding the middle class. there is still more we need to do. we need to give hourly workers a raise by raising the minimum wage. the legislation a number of us on this floor have worked on, raise the wage act would increase the wage to $12 an hour by 2020, giving a raise to 1 million ohioans 28 million people across the country 1 million ohioans. minimum wage and tip workers shouldn't have to struggle to get by. they deserve to earn a living wage to help put food on the table. lots of people are unaware -- people here should be way more aware of it -- but people here tend not to know people that work in diners, people that work in diners as waitresses and waiters and diernts can be paid
as little as 2*sdz.13 and hour. the minimum wage are for the people that push the wheelchairs in the airports or in some case many other kinds of jobs that are tip jobs, their minimum wage is only $2.13 an hour. it is not the $7.245 that's.25 that's the minimum wage for everyone elts. that's why we need to move on raising the minimum wage, on bringing it up at least 70% of the minimum wage. workers will be happier them a be more productive when they're healthy, making a decent -- a little bit better wages. americans also deserve a day off when they get sick. 43 million americans 2 million workers in my state have no paid sick leave at all. they're faced with impossible choices. do they stair home to care for a sick child or go to work to put food on the table? twoarks are happier when they're guaranteed paid sick leave. it would give employers safe and stable workplaces.
it will give families peace of mind. it will mean that workers are not going to work when they're sick infecting other workers and affecting productivity and profits at that business. that's why we should pass the healthy family act. over-2350eu78 is important. minimum wage is important. the healthy family act for sick leave days is important. all steps that we need to support hardworking american families. we know what's happened in the economy in the last 10 years. we know the wealthiest 5% are doing better and better and better. profits are up for companies. executives are making big -- bigger and bigger bonuses. but working class lower and middle-class workers are simply not getting ahead or even able to tread water and stay even for that matter. minimum wage will help paying overtime will help, the healthy families act will help. it was put well last week. america's widening income gap isn't an inheescapable outcome.
it is a political choice. it is this is a political choice. we have seen this body and the body on the other side of the capital continue to want to give more tax cuts for the wealthiest americans. we won't invest in infrastructure we won't invest in working families. we won't help raise wainls. we won't help with overtime. we won't help with workers that just need a few sick days off. people in bodies like this typically have. i urge the department of labor to finalize their strong overtime proposal as quickly as possible. it will make a huge difference in the lives of millions of americans. without a doubt. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: i ask unanimous consent that andrew bronstein, an education fellow in my office, and ethan aaron aaronson a detailee from the department ofdepartment of just justice be grantinged through privileges for the remainder of this congress. the presiding officer: without
objection. mr. whitehouse: i am here today to recognize an historic milestone, the 20th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the united states and vietnam. this occasion has some personal significance for me and my family. my father served as democraty ambassador to vietnam, in effect the chief operating officer of that conflict. i lived with him in that country for several months during the war. if he were alive today, he would be proud of the work both countries have done to reconcile our past. it took immense courage on both sides to look beyond the scars of that war and envision a future in which our two countries could become partners freandz. no one embodies this courage more than our friend john mccain who played a major role in establishing diplomatic relations between our two countries and secretary of state john kerry the other senator who was his democratic partner. given senator mccain's
experiences as a prisoner in vietnam, his subsequent efforts to strengthen the peace and forgiveness between our two nations are an enduring inspiration o'the power of which i was privileged to see firsthand when i traveled with senator mccain to hanoi in 2012 and 2014. senator mccain said 20 years ago i believe it is my duty to encourage this country to build from the losses and the hopes of our tragic war in vietnam a better peace for both the american and the vietnamese people. today the american and the vietnamese people could be proud of the progress made to forge a lasting peace and friendship. two years ago, president obama and vietnamese president launched the u.s.-vietnam comprehensive partnership opening a new phase of bilateral relations between our nations based on mutual respect and common interests. i met recently with win fu
trong, the general secretary of the communist party of vietnam to discuss our shared interests and opportunities for closer collaboration on a range of issues including regional stability, economic cooperation and the lingering human and environmental consequences of that war. i had the honor of meeting with general secretary trong while traveling to vietnam with senator mccain last summer, and i'm pleased that he has made this historic visit to the united states. i am hopeful that vietnam will bring our interests and values into closer alignment particularly on human rights, the rights of civil society transparency and good governance issues. to that end i look forward to working together to achieve closer ties. as the u.s. and vietnam continue to deepen our relationship, we should continue to address the legacies of that war particularly the health effects and environmental contamination associated with agent orange and other herbicides. here at home, we take our
commitment to caring for our veterans very seriously. although the war has ended many american veterans and their families still battle a range of health problems and serious diseases associated with their service in vietnam. we must ensure that veterans get the care they need to combat the long-term health problems related to exposure to agent orange. those contamination and health problems are also serious in vietnam. i'm grateful for senator leahy's leadership on the appropriation committee, which has enabled the united states to pursue remediation projects to clean up contamination at denang international airport and other hot spots and to support related health and disability programs, and i urge all of us that we continue to support these initiatives which strengthen our bilateral relationship. considerable work remains. according to initial assessments
of the air base, the contamination there is more severe and cleanup is expected to be more complex and costly than at denang. in addition, health spobility problems persist in areas sprayed by agent orange or otherwise contaminated by dioxin. in 2008, actor/advocate and long-time friend dick hughes brought this issue closely to my attention and he has shared with me compelling stories about vietnamese families who have been affected by diseases and disabilities related to agent orange exposure. some of the suffering as scribed to -- ascribed to agent orange has been harrowing and heart breaking. dick has years of experience working on humanitarian issues in vietnam and is a compelling witness to that suffering. when we first met -- i'm sorry. we first met when i was a teenager in saigon and dick had established a program called the
shoeshine boys project to care for homeless children who had been orphaned or left alone during the war and he brought them together and sent them on the streets with shoeshine boxes as a way of making a living and finding something that they could do and provided them care and a home when they came home at nightfall. over eight years that project helped thousands of children in cities all across vietnam. dick attributes the success of that project to close partnership forged with local communities and the project's management by vietnamese citizens. when dick returned to the united states he continued to advocate for post-war humanitarian causes and he started a foundation to raise awareness about the effects of agent orange on the vietnamese population. dick remains a trusted friend and tireless advocate to the vietnamese people. as our two countries work together on a new and more engaged future, we should expand
our efforts to improve the health and well-being of the vietnamese people. we can learn from dick's experience about the power of partnerships and the value of local leadership, and together we can continue to repair the damage physical, psychological and political of the past that we share. i yield the floor. ms. baldwin: mr. president? the presiding officer: thank you, -- the senator from wisconsin. ms. baldwin: i rise to speak on the student nondiscrimination act which would help protect our students from bullying, harassment and discrimination, and i am a proud cosponsor of
this amendment and hopeful that the senate will agree to this amendment this week. as we consider the every child achieves act as we did in committee back in april and as we have discussed it on the floor over the last week, i have been guided by a core principle that this law should ensure that every child regardless of his or her background, regardless of his or her family's income, has access to the opportunities provided by a great education a high-quality education. a part of providing that opportunity is ensuring that every student is able to come to school and succeed in an
environment that is safe, supportive and free from discrimination. while the every child achieves act helps advance opportunity for students in numerous ways, it falls short in addressing a significant problem limiting the achievement of some of our most vulnerable students. unfortunately, there are still far too many stories of harassment of bullying and of discrimination against lesbian gay, bisexual and transgender students at the hands of their peers, but also sadly sometimes at the hands of their teachers or administrators as well. there remains no federal law that explicitly protects these students and provides them and their families with recourse when they face bullying and harassment that limits their
educational opportunities. now, no student can achieve if he cannot feel safe at school. no student will excel if she spends each day in fear of just being herself. i hear from so many students in my state about the need for us to stand up against bullying. for example a young woman in madison wrote to me, and i quote from her letter -- "as a student myself i hear the words gay faggot queer and others yet tossed around on a daily basis and i do what i can to deter these words from being used in negative ways by others, but one voice can't make much of a difference. i'm asking you to help raise awareness in schools any way you
can, and i would tell this young woman in madison that her voice speaking out on this matter can make a difference. another young woman from kimberly wisconsin contacting me about her friend who committed suicide after suffering bullying. she wrote he made everyone else come alive and be the better people that they were inside, but he killed himself because he thought he had no way out of the pain no way to make those kids stop other than to make sure he was not living any more. across the country lesbian gay, bisexual or transgender or lgbt youth experiencing bullying harassment at school more frequently than their non-lgbt peers. according to a national survey
by the gay lesbian and straight education network, in the past year nearly three quarters of students were verbally harassed and more than 16% were physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation. more than 60% of students who reported an incident of harassment said that school staff did nothing in response. it is unsurprising then that nearly a third of students reported missing school at least once in the last month because they did not feel safe. i believe we must fix this immediately. that is why i support including senator franken's student nondiscrimination act as an amendment to the every child achieves act currently being debated before the united states
senate. senator franken's amendment would provide real and strong inspections for lgbt students in public elementary and secondary schools, and it would also provide recourse through the department of education and if necessary in the courts to help students vindicate their rights. this amendment is closely modeled on existing federal education protections which have helped ensure that students have remedies when they face unfair treatment based on race, ethnicity, sex and disability. lgbt students are just as deserving of the opportunity to succeed in a school environment that's supportive and nurturing rather than discriminatory and unwelcoming. if we are truly to ensure through this legislation that
every child achieves, we must act to address the bullying, harassment and discrimination that limits educational opportunities of too many students. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment. and i yield back. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i send a cloture motion to the desk for the alexander substitute amendment number 2089. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: cloture motion: we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the alexander amendment number 2089 to s. 1177, an original bill to authorize the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 to ensure that every child achieves signed by 17 senators
as follows -- mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the names -- reading of the names be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i send a cloture motion to the desk for the underlying bill, s. 1177. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: cloture motion: we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close the debate on s. 1177, an original bill to reauthorize the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 to ensure that every child achieves signed by 17 senators as follows -- mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the reading of the names be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: mr. president i ask unanimous consent the mandatory quorum calls under rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate with respect to the cloture motions be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 10:00 a.m. tuesday, july 14. following the prayer and pledge,
the morning business be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. following leader remarks the senate resume consideration of of -- s. 1177. finally, that the senate recess from 12:30 until 2:15 to allow for the weekly conference meetings and that the filing deadline for first-degree amendments be at 2:30 p.m. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: if there's no further business to come before the senate, i ask it stand adjourned under the previous order following the remarks of senator reed. mr. alexander: mr. president? the presiding officer: i see that the majority leader has filed cloture on the bill, which i understand. we've had a chance to have a good discussion and a good debate. we're getting toward the end of the consideration of our bill to fix no child left behind. we've got a couple of issues that we need to resolve but
there are only a couple. and for a bill this complicated that's pretty good. so it would be my hope that we could continue right on through the process and the majority leader might even get to the point later in the week where he'd be able to vitiate the cloture and we could finish without a cloture vote. so far so good. we considered 58 amendments in committee and adopted 29. we've considered 29 on the floor, adopted eight by roll call and 11 by voice and we have dozens more that have been -- that have been agreed to by senator murray and me and that we would recommend to the senate that we complete. so it's my hope that senators will allow us to have a consensus about this bill. as has been said by "newsweek" magazine last week, this is the education bill that everybody wants fixed and we're the ones who are supposed to fix it. so while there's some issues toward the end that are a little more difficult to resolve than others i hope senators will agree that people have had a
chance to have their say on education issues and that we can go on to the other important issues facing the country at another time. so i thank the republican leader for giving us the opportunity to put this on the floor. i thank the democratic leader for allowing us to move to the floor without delay and i hope we can continue over the next couple of days and finish the bill this week and get on to other important issues. i yield the floor. mr. alexander: mr. president, i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
the presiding officer: the senator from nevada. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, it's obvious the republican leader has certainly changed his view of filing cloture. there was a time on several occasions when the republican
leader bemoaned what he called a quick trigger on the cloture motions. that's a quote. there was a time that was in 2012 2013 the republican leader called filing cloture heavy-handed behavior. now, mr. president keep in mind the backdrop of all this. for four years the republicans simply wouldn't let us move to anything. we couldn't offer amendments. they refused to allow bills to come up. we never even got on the bills. we would file a motion to get on a bill. they would object to that. we have a different world now in the seven months that we've been here under the direction of the republican leader the? are senator from -- the republican leader, the senior senator from kentucky. we've been working in good faith to try to get things to move
along. specifically this bill the elementary and secondary education bill. no sign of a filibuster that i'm aware of at least on our side. there's still a number of major amendments that need to be addressed. senators murphy, booker, warner and others have an amendment on counting -- i'm sorry on account act -- accountability for the lowest performing schools. they have worked hard on this. they have senator franken who is really passionate about an amendment to protect lgbt students from discrimination. senator markey has an amendment to would provide grants to allow schools to teach climate science. senator casey has an amendment to expand and improve early education, particularly that for three- and four-year-olds. these are important amendments dealing with education. there are others but these are a few that i mention. so to have the republican leader come to the floor and file cloture when we just had a few amendments. he with come out and talk about all the votes we've had but
they've been on nothing accepted. they could have been accepted. they didn't even need votes on them. we've had virtually no serious amendments and now all of a sudden the republican leader has changed totally i guess his philosophy on how we legislate by filing cloture really early. i am very disappointed in this and i -- but it speaks volumes about how this senate is being run by this republican majority. it's appropriate to file cloture when the shoe's on the other foot i guess. except the difference is, we never had a chance to get on the legislation. this is a perfect example of this. we didn't need to have a vote on a motion to get on a bill of the we just said okay, go ahead and move to it. so this is -- i'm really -- i'm surprised, quite frankly but that's what's happened. but this is the first time i've been surprised about how things
that action will remain in place the reason for that it is the interim agreement in place over a year and a half to go live back in some key areas. now obviously if we reach a final agreement that would proceed the interim agreement but if the talks continue, the the thing that i can tell you is they have made progress with those conversations and even over the last week, there is important progress made. there has been key issues and that is a good side. that centcom there continues to be sticking points that are unresolved and as i have been saying for a couple weeks, led to remain engaged
as long as they remain useful give the success that they have that the talks are useful but the president has also been clear there is a bottom-line to make sure the final agreement lives up to the parameters and there will not be a final agreement agreed to by the united states and tell the final agreement reflects that. >> so they will lead us negotiators stay to be productive? >> if the conversations remain useful then they will be made in vienna. >> a question people have is
it is happening behind closed doors it is it difficult to know what it is agreed upon and what is not. why does the president feel that another three days that will close these issues over months? >> the chief obstacle to us provide a greater insight about what is occurring behind closed doors is the key tenet of our talks that we are repeating nothing is agreed to would tell everything is agreed to. >> not even specifics but is it the questions? what do they need from the air radians to make them think they are closer to keep it going? >> i think as a negotiation and has gone on over the last couple of weeks what started off with a lot list
the dash a long list of differences has steadily narrowed. that is the indication we're making progress to an agreement. but what is also true that two of the more difficult issues are kicked to the end and that is why the president abhor:dash will resist any effort. there seemed to be significant issues that will remain but this is the attitude taken by the muslim partners they will not sign onto the agreement and tell all concerns have been addressed and as long as they continue to make progress doing that. >> are their conversations with secretary kerry? >> he has been in touch with
the national security advisers and she is the one that principally has been updating him a couple times a day about the status of the talks. closed briefings with that negotiating team in vienna nothing in the secure video teleconferences that we announced last week but the president is very well aware >> there is no firm deadline in place of these talks. day you have an idea of the interim agreement? >> the issue is it has been extended two or three days as time two or three times
now. a short-term extension by the end of the day to day if the talks are not completed today the interim agreement will be extended and again. as a result of the unanimous view this has been helpful it is true of republicans in congress is also the view of our partners and i ran to make sure that agreement remains in place but the whole idea is only and tell a final agreement can be reached so we would division and a final agreement to replace the interim agreement. >> wouldn't be walking away?
>> i would not want to rouge speculate if one party or another but we know that it has been useful while the talks are ongoing to roll that back. >> is this for another few days? >> with the nba to extend the interim agreement that is to be made by our partners in vienna. what i am trying to project here is the final agreement is reached by the end of the day to day then all parties will agree to the extension to allow the extension. >> shouldn't criminal-justice lay out the idea is for the reform? and they said many of those have come up in congress
even when democrats had control of the senate why might that be different now? >> to be blunt republicans are indicating the openness to do that. with a strong advocates of criminal justice reform to make the system more fair. clearly there are some inequities that should be rectified that will require a legislation obviously there is a republican majority in the house and in the senate with any proposal to pass both houses will require bipartisan in support and since they have been supporters with important reforms we welcome indications from some republicans they also believe reforms are necessary. that is the basis for the
bipartisan conversation that has already occurred i would not rule out additional bipartisan conversation that is the way that we can hopefully canid vance this priority -- can advances priority. that is not as strong record but there are areas it is successful and we are hopeful that we're some could act to do a bipartisan fashion for the good of the country. >> has he spoken with them lately about this? >> i don't think so. but we don't know of in a recent conversation.
>> but somebody who has demonstrated a willingness to be a good partner. >> if you look at the numbers the president is behind his predecessors although it appears he is cashing out. >> is in terms of the raw numbers i think as of today it is the largest number issued by a president on a single day from the johnson administration and. 89 is the number of people who have received a commendation from the president of united states that is actually more than issued by the four previous presidents combined so he has taken bold action with
the of connotations but the point you are raising is a different story. but those point is entirely legitimate. there are significant reforms to be implemented in the criminal-justice system. the president is hopeful he can work with democrats and republicans on capitol hill with the solution in to address those inequities he doesn't want to rely on his abilities of the united states but is hopeful we can develop and implement a and legislative solution to have a broader more far reaching impact to the criminal justice system. >> how will that work? i assume you're pretty confident?
>> we do have confidence they will be saved. there will be unique steps that we will take to ensure the safety of the president and others who will be participating in that event. but it is the opportunity to speak to you about it while he is there. >> any response from this in whitehouse from mexico? >> we have colorful news reports. i can tell you that the attorney general will read l. lynch telephone her counterpart yesterday to the mexican government as day undertake a operations and to recapture him. of is the united states wants to make sure it is
brought to justice. not just id mexico but with crimes in the united states as well. the united states will support the efforts of the mexican government to bring him to justice. >> if you don't reach an agreement can that be extended for weeks or months? is said legally binding or just a political framework? >> i cannot speak to though legally binding you would have to go to the state department who has an attorney to discuss the legal consequences. and it has been effective that is right united states
and its partners have found it useful to extend the agreement while the talks continue from lunker than we believed would be necessary. >> at this point the agreement is in place. for the context there was concern with the united states with some of. >> guest: plus i partners entered into negotiations they would merely use to advance that their program that many people were concerned about that is why this approach was taken to lift that agreement to ensure that cannot happen.
is an essence that interim agreement has bedded place to facilitate conversation and that is what we are trying to complete obviously if we can complete the negotiations there is no date for the interim agreement but you raise another question with the agreement emplace even if they are no longer are going? that is frequently contemplated at this point but but we have indicated if conversations were to break down to have all options on the table before him and but how would we prepare for that scenario? we hope that they will reach a final agreement then go into effect.
>> with the area of long-term operations what stage nor how confident? >> there is some speculation of the central government in iraq have not been effective as necessary to resupply those troops in raimondi -- ramadi so the iraqi government has had a chance to organize efforts to make sure they reflect the diverse the population and of the iraq so the coalition partners will be supportive of those forces for the
government and to make clear they should take extra care even as they carry out the security operations to protect the basic human rights of the population. and with the iraqi government. but those forces under command-and-control to expect the support of the coalition partners but what i am understand our coalition has significantly stepped up the pace of military air strikes if iraq. the majority coming from anbar. that is the indication between the iraqi military and our coalition partners.
>> but with those countries to have the air base. is this with in that? >> there are details i cannot get into from here. let me start by saying throughout north africa and europe that the street minister to emanate from libya. we are starting to see an effort to capitalize on the chaos in that country to establish a focal to root carryout extreme acts of violence and to see this
we have seen extremist elements. the best way for us to eliminate the ability of those extremist groups operate is to support an effective central government and libya they can provide for the security situation of the entire continent. continent. they're have been ongoing un facilitated efforts to try
to bring about this solution. there wassolution. they're was an agreement and morocco among the parties that participated. the united states has been strongly supportive to try to bring about the applicable resolution. >> later this week will the president meet with any inmates? >> the president we will have the opportunity to meet with inmates. i don't have details about who we will participate. we we will have more information. on the iran deal and they say the united states should not ease restrictions does he speak for the administration? >> the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. we should not look for the deal to ease programs. >> again you can rely on the chairman to provide not just certainly his own.of
view the one that reflects. >> lifting the bombs embargo on iran on the table. >> welcome all we no is that they're are a number of un security council resolutions related to iran's nuclear program that are under discussion as part of essentially an exchange the essence of the negotiation. iran will take every step to shut down the pathway to a nuclear weapon in response to relief they can get from sanctions applied which is the negotiations that have been going on for year and a half those sanctions that have compelled to participate in a
negotiation. >> arms embargo which i understand is separate from the sanctions imposed by the nuclear program. >> if the administration is willing to see the lifting of the arms embargo on iran under any circumstances. >> john, i can't get into the details of the ongoing. >> lifting the arms embargo. >> we have been clear the sanctions relief to which iran could be entitled would be those sanctions that have been applied to the uranian nuclear program. they're are a number of sanctions that have applied because of the nuclear program and the possible weaponization of the nuclear program. that again is the essence of the entire negotiation
applying the sanctions were compelled them to the negotiating table which is what has isolated them from the international community and ultimately what we have thought is to get her on to agree to demonstrate clearly beyond a shadow of a doubt that the nuclear program exists solely for peaceful purposes and that an exchange for that they would receive sanctions relief. >> am asking specifically about the arms embargo. iran has been on the official state-sponsored terrorism list says the 90s since earlier long, long time. they're is no plan to take them off, is they're? >> well, the -- we have been clear that -- we have been very clear about the fact that the significant concerns we have with uranian behavior will persist even after an
agreement is reached, if one can be reached. >> take them off the spate -- state-sponsored terrorist list. >> we have been clear about exactly the essence of these ongoing negotiations with the sanctions that have been applied in exchange for them shutting down every pathway they have which obviously is very different than a consideration about the inclusion of a state-sponsored terrorist list. >> the arms embargo how could you consider lifting a ban on the sale of military equipment to and from iran if you still consider them a state-sponsored terror? >> i'm not going to get in to the negotiations. we tried to be as clear as we possibly can about this. it is a kind of sanctions relief the sanctions that are five. >> one last thing another hearing before the secret court.
is they're any indication that any of the americans are known to be held prisoner by iran? is they're any indication to any of them? >> i don't have an update on the status of our efforts to secure the relief of those americans being unjustly detained by iran. three of them. that's right. we are concerned about the fact that they are being unjustly detained. we have serious questions about the whereabouts of robert levinson command these are concerns about the treatment of these american citizens by iran that we have raised on the sidelines of these nuclear talks but we have -- and that is something we continue to press, but i do not have an update at this time.
>> if in fact a deal is not reached and we walk with the table how concerned is this a ministration that saudi arabia will enter endocrinologist? >> well, one of the reasons that we have sought to pursue a diplomatic opportunity to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is the risk that exists that if iran does obtain nuclear weapons that it could set off a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region of the world. that would be destabilizing to an already volatile region of the world and would have a negative impact of a national security interest of the united states that would not be good for our closest ally in the region, israel. that is one of the reasons that we have sought to capitalize on the best opportunity we have to
prevent iran from attorney nuclear weapon pursuing is to fanatical. >> major. >> the issues, they're have been some key issues that have been closed. can you give us an idea what they are? >> unfortunately, i cannot. nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to. it means that we believe that we have those key issues in a good place essentially the negotiations around them have closed, but they are contingent upon resolving the concerns expressed. >> they're are issues related to sanctions and underlying technical details sections applications of the joint plan of action. broadly speaking would you say the issues of enclosed or the technical limitations side? >> i cannot get into greater detail about this issue that i have been other than to confirm few lists of them have been. >> okay. there wasokay. they're was a sense this
weekend at this was getting closer and closer. the. the president has said recently as last week was the 50 percent. i'm not asking you to give us a declaration of 90 but do you feel over the last 72 to 96 hours you are closer and this is likely to happen more likely than it was therefore is ago? would you say you are in exactly the same place? >> i would acknowledge that important progress is been made over the last 345 or six days. that is true. i said, they're continue to be pretty tough obstacles to a final agreement that remain in place which is what our negotiators are working through. ultimately in order to complete this agreement it is going to require iran to make tough decisions and to sign off on some significant commitments that shut down every pathway they have to aa nuclear
weapon and verify they're cooperation with an terms of satisfaction. since ultimately it we will be there responsibility to decide if they can live up to the commitments it is hard to put a numerical probability on a the is ultimately this we will be a decision that they we will have to make in the end. very clear about bottom lines. and a rather opaque process. so that is why it is hard to put a specific probability. i do think it is fair to say that of the last four, $5.6 days that additional progress has been made. >> your conversations. let me try this way. the administration does not believe that the arms embargo applies to iran and reaction to the nuclear program and therefore is not the table. >> well, i think at this
time this is exactly the kind of conversation that if we are able to reach an agreement we will be easier for us to have. i'm not saying that. i am saying that once we have been able to lay out exactly what is included in the agreement and what is not we we will have a much more clear conversation about what exactly has been agreed to. i went knowledge they're are a variety of aspects of us that are okay when i just on there side. the good news is that if an agreement is reached there we will be extensive details made public that you honey americanand the american public we will have an opportunity to review which is what they are looking for people to do, evaluate the strength of this argument or agreement and the way that it protectsprotects american national security interest based on the details that have been agreed on. >> what would you say to the pres.'s explanationpresence explanation for those who were observed that he had a long time to deal with this issue and this is late in the game? >> ii would observe the number of politicians that
have been created by this president a see the number of commutations that have been issued by the four previous presidents combined >> that presupposes the same problems were on those presidents as were on this pres., andpresident, and i believe if i understand the president correctly that is not the case. he hashe has noted and is working for them have noted a disparity and that they cram percent of faction. compare numbers to suggest they have the exact same problem. they don't. those presidents did not have this issue to deal with. this president has by his own words. >> and the numbers illustrate that the president has taken an historic step today. yeah. well again i think that they're are a couple of reasons. the 1st is that these applications for clemency are carefully considered. they go through rigorous process. they're is an effort by the
department of justice to make sure that the individuals who are then considered by the president for accommodation fit the criteria of the president has laid out. the criteria that the president discussed and nonviolent offenders essentially low-level offenders who in many cases if they were sentenced today we get a substantially shorter sentence and actually have if sentence under rules in place today would have already server time and been released. so that is an indication of the kind of disparity the present is trying to rectify commend the pres. believes it is possible to take the steps without substantially negatively affecting public safety which obviously is a principal consideration as well. we have also been pretty upfront about the fact that this kind of executive
action is not a substitute for the kind of legislative action that we believe is necessary to address the widespread disparities persist in our criminal justice system. >> on coverage thursday it was suggested constantly being reviewed, so i ask you to review them on behalf of everyone in the association specifically traveling with the pres. that they be given maximum access to the pres. not just for his remarks in some prison yard, but in the heart of the facility that he we will go himself, this being an historic event for this president the white house press pool should have as much access as possible. i urge you to air on the side of maximum coverage and access. >> we will see what we can do. i want to repeat the
question. how we will the president like for these individuals to be viewed? in other words is they're something about the cases more than a number? showcase the.is try to make. >> ii think the case that the president is trying to make is that they're are -- again, these are individuals or nonviolent low-level offenders individuals vast majority of whom would receive a substantially shorter sentence if they had been convicted under the rules that are currently in place and in many cases these individuals would have served there time and been released hadhaving been convicted under the rules and conditions in place today. the president does believe that illustrates some inequities and does
illustrate that they're probably is a better way that we can spend taxpayer dollars. some of these individuals who have been committed today, medicines is commuted are individuals who were sentenced to life in prison even though they did not have a violent record and interview the president there probably are better things we can spend taxpayer dollars on and they're are certainly some things we can do to make our criminal justice system warfare. each of these cases is considered individually. is the pres.'s responsibility to use the power judiciously but they're is something important that congress can do command help that they will. >> on top of these the president now hopes to continue to do this on some sort of recurring -- in other words the efforts he has made to review these
petitions and go through the >> i don't have the schedule to lay out. i would expect that the president would consider the use of this kind of executive authority in the future. >> one detail these what is this something that is subject? >> they're is. i encourage you to talk to the department of justice. they have a system for helping these inmates some of whom have been imprisoned for extended amount of time transition back in the public life. and so that -- it is 120 days for a transition, but look at thisfor you. essentially is over the course of 120 days.
>> if by chance they're is a deal in the president's traveling we respond while traveling or just a schedule? >> it is hard to say. he we will keep all of you apprised. >> thanks. given that they're is a lot going on the level of exhaustion, do you will live this. going into yet another day that they could stop and start again? pelagius power through and other have a deal or not? >> the expectation right now is that the talks we will continue. i am not aware of any plans
to take a break. they surely deserve it. >> just a few things. does this in any way.to the duplication? >> obviously when mr. guzmán was originally taken into custody year and a half ago the unit -- the united states communicate clearly our view that he should face charges that have been imposed against him in the united states. the charges are serious. obviously they are sovereign government's and have there own responsibilities for ensuring the mexican citizens charged with serious crimes under the mexican criminal justice system face justice in that country as well but we made quite clear our interest in
ensuring he faces justice. that is why we we will continue to be supportive of the efforts already underway >> this program organization has named his mind public enemy number one. that was the 1st designations and talk about. until he was recaptured last time. concerned about this signaling of a resurgence of the civil war cartel which obviously has been a major supplier of both heroin and cocaine. the level of concern about the possible reemergence. >> it is my understanding that obviously we are concerned about making sure
mr. guzmán is brought to justice and does have a long rap sheet and is preside over an organization that has committed a significant number of crimes. and that is why we believe he should face justice and faced a verya very serious charges that have been put in place against him. that is why the united states we will be supportive of the ongoing efforts to recapture him. >> can you give us any details about what kind of assistance the us might offer? >> there obviously is a strong security cooperation ever particularly in the case of mr. guzmán. document the interest of both our countries. obviously mexico is a sovereign government and the sovereign country command they we will have the
principal responsibility of making sure he has been recaptured. the mexican government can count on the support of the united states. >> and now you talked about that. at this time something like 35,000. can you talk at all about what is slowing the process down? other specific steps being taken and realistically you talked about our criminal justice reform is needed to make a major change. >> well, this is a rigorous process. i refer you to the department of justice in terms of how the process works and how much bandwidth they're is an ensure that each of them sees the careful individual consideration. i can speak in a number of
capacity but the numbers that you are citing highlight how important it is for congress to take action and congressional action to be much broader in terms of the kind of justice and reform the president believes is long overdue. >> thanks. obviously going to play major role. does the white house see him as a partner? >> i am not familiar with the senators positions were comments but we obviously welcome support for genuinely bipartisan effort from anyone willing to after it particularly someone like senator grassley them we will have an opportunity
to have a substantial impact on the outcome. >> is and it usually a bar to attending a presidential event, criminal record. >> no pun intended. >> now. it's a serious question. if someone has a criminal record they don't get to attend a presidential event. >> i don't think that is a hard and fast rule. >> inmates. >> more details on logistics later this week. >> on clemency although it is made a big jump in commutations is so far by most of his predecessors. is he aware of that? ..
friday previously on his support for allowing those individuals who have their time to have their voting rights restored. as the president alludes to in the letter he sent to the 46 individuals who are seeing their sentence be commuted, the united states of america is a country that believes in second chances. it is the best interest of our country to ensure that those individuals have served those time, have a debt to pay to society and have a chance to reenter as a participating member of the country. there may be some that disagree with that, but i think the president is on pretty firm bipartisan ground when he said that would make our country and our criminal justice
system work better. >> what can the president do to shrink our prison population that dwarfs similar size countries question on. >> obviously some of the questions that are related to this _ >> you have a long way to go when you talk about this. >> that is one step you can take but i will acknowledge that the numbers bury this out, when were talking about the number of people who would in effect from reform and deserve reform in the criminal justice system we we are talking about a substantial number of people. that is why he is urging congress to consider and act on reform that would make our system warfare. it's also to make sure we are being good stewards of the dollar. >> it can be a tough sell congressionally speaking even if
it deal is reached. how concerned is is the president taking the argument to president hill and what do you say to those that would argue if sanctions have applied enough pressure to bring iran to the table. why not double down on that behavior? >> the first way to look at this is to take that last statement first. the kind of pressure that has been up plied to iran is significant because it has given iran the space to make some serious commitments, at least preliminary to shut down every pathway to a nuclear weapon. that was the aim of the sanction in the first place. the sanctions were not put in place to punish iran.
there would be ample reason to do that and whether that's because of they have unjustly detained american citizens or because they support terrorism or they are engaged in all sorts of destabilizing activities across the globe, there are a whole lot of reasons to be very concerned about iran's behavior and the impact they have on national security. but the fact is, there are a set of sanctions that have been put in place against iran specifically because their nuclear program. the goal of that was to try to prevent iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. the goal was that there's destabilizing activity is a whole lot more dangerous if they have a nuclear weapon. preventing preventing them from obtaining that is an important step in trying to preve