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tv   US Senate  CSPAN  November 30, 2015 3:00pm-8:01pm EST

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administrator of usaid. a confirmation vote is scheduled for 530 p. mitch mcconnell may also announce plans to consider the house passed syrian refugee bill. the highway funding bill and a bill to fund the federal government past december 11. you are watching live coverage of the senate 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 father, we acknowledge that spite in spite of the turbe in our world, you are still god. thank you for your goodness, for your mercies and for your
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steadfast love that endures forever. bless our lawmakers. may they bring their fragmentary lives into the wholeness of your presence. calm their restless spirits with the soothing strength of your every lasting purposes. make them victors and not victims on life's great battlefield. may they find in you grace, peace, power, and adequacy to be more than conquerors. we pray in your mighty name. amen.
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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.
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the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that the secretary of the senate be authorized to request a return of the papers with respect to p.n. 742.
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further that when the senate receives the papers the senate's action with respect to the nomination on november 19, 2015, be vitiated. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i understand there is a bill at the desk due a second reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the title of the bill for the second time. the clerk: s. 2329, a bill to prevent the entry of extremists into the united states under the refugee program, and for other purposes. mr. mcconnell: in order to place the bill on the calendar and under the provisions of rule 14 i would object to further proceedings. the presiding officer: objection being heard, the bill will be placed on the calendar. mr. mcconnell: now, madam president, when president obama tried to push a regressive anti-middle class energy tax through a democratic-controlled congress, his own party said no. said no. undeterred, the president simply
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went around congress to impose similarly regressive and likely illegal power plant energy regulations anyway. he's currently trying to sell that power plant to world leaders in paris as proof of the american government's commitment to his energy priorities. but with all due respect to the president as our commander in chief, governments currently engaged in this round of climate talks will want to know that there is more than just an executive branch in our system of government. more than half of the states have filed suit against the president's power plan. a bipartisan majority in both chambers of congress has approved legislation that rejects the president's plan. the courts appear likely to strike it down, and the next president could simply tear it up. this is the easily foreseeable
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result of intentionally sidestepping congress to impose this anti-middle class power plan. if left in place, the power plan threatens to punish the poor and could result in the elimination of as many as a quarter of a million u.s. jobs. for what? for what? the power plan won't even meaningfully affect global carbon emissions and could actually increase emissions by offshoring american manufacturing to countries that lack our environmental standards. paying for the middle class, a climate rounding error for negotiators in paris, that's not a good policy for our country. it certainly wouldn't be responsible to attempt to negotiate commitments based upon a likely illegal power plan, one that may not even survive much
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longer in any event. now, madam president, on another matter, last election the american people chose a new direction with a new republican majority in congress. we've been working hard ever since to get congress back on their side and back to work. over the past year americans have seen committees up and running again. america has seen bills pass again. americans have seen meaningful bipartisan bills being signed into law again. americans have also seen members of opposing parties working together to make progress on important issues, from trade to medicare, to cybersecurity, we've seen examples of it this year on some of washington's stickiest issues. we saw the senate pass a bipartisan multiyear highway bill this summer 65-34. the republican chairman and
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democratic ranking members worked closely to bring this about. we also saw the senate pass a bipartisan replacement for the broken no child left behind law last summer, 81-17. i'd like to thank senator alexander and senator murray for working closely across the aisle on that achievement. these represent significant accomplishments for the new congress and the significant wins for the american people. after all, some pundits said washington could never take these issues on at all, but we did, and we now expect to finish congress' work on all of those matters in the coming days. the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. reid: i appreciate the
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republican leader cheering for all the great things that have happened here in this senate, but the facts are that look at any political science, anyone that watches what goes on here in washington. add up the number of bills passed, the nominations confirmed in this congress, congress is well, well below anything in recent history. in addition to that we've had more revotes, that is voting on the same thing over and over again with the same result than in the history of this congress. this -- not this congress, but congress ever. so i appreciate his trying to make things look good. i hope they get better the next couple of weeks because we have a lot to do. we have a lot to do. i'll talk about that in a minute. we have so much to do, and we can accomplish a great deal if we finish the highway bill, elementary and secondary education. we did the tax extenders. we did the omnibus spending
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bill. that would be terrific if we could get those done. but we only have a few days to get them done. madam president, our nation is stunned following last week's wanton murders at planned parenthood clinic in colorado springs, colorado. that heinous attack left three dead: a police officer, a mother of two children, and an iraq war veteran. nine others were wounded. sickening that these innocent victims were gunned down in cold blood in a medical clinic during the holiday season. more casualties were averted due to the quick and heroic action taken by responding law enforcement as well as a courageous bystander named ke'arre stewart. an iraq war veteran i just mentioned. hoar robingically -- heroically
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exited the building to seek help and while he was doing that, he was killed, murdered. i can only imagine the heartbreaking anguish the victims and their families are experiencing. i know it's of little comfort that the senate mourns with them. our thoughts are with them, their families, the first responders who ran into this brutal attack. but we in the senate should not fail to see the context in which this vile assault took place. last summer a right wing group began releasing videos with unsubstantiated allegations. since that time the republican congress have made it their mission to push these unsubstantiated allegations every chance they get. they're actually baseless and they also have made it their mission to defund planned parenthood which would damage
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health care providers future. republicans have had votes to strip planned parenthood of funding on two different occasions. neither were successful. republicans want to stop medicaid reimbursement and planned parenthood, among other things. republicans also lead investigations of planned parenthood. the republican chairman of the house oversight committee, congressman jason chaffetz admitted he has uncould have had no wrongdoing in his investigation of planned parenthood to this point. but always willing to play a bad hand, that hasn't stopped house republicans from allocating $300,000 of taxpayer money to fund a new politically motivated special subcommittee dedicated to investigating planned parenthood. republicans shouldn't waste their time. i would hope that they give up before they match the millions of dollars, last count more than $5 million, they've wasted on
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the so-called benghazi "let's get secretary clinton committee" another politically motivated and fruitless attack. we should never forget one in five american women will get care from a planned parenthood clinic at some point during their life. cutting off access to important health care services like breast and cervical cancer creengz -- screenings is bad for women and bad for the country. in the wake of this act much domestic terrorism, i commend planned parenthood for refusing to allow threats and violence to stand in the way of its work to ensure women have access to care. i hope everybody understands that i stand with planned parenthood. we as leaders must be mindful of our words and our actions. we bring people into a frenzy of hate and anger while providing them with easy access to firearms has proven disastrous to our country. we have a responsibility as leaders to think very hard about
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what we say and do in this context and what are the consequences. we have a responsibility to find ways to stop this violence. democrats are working on reasonable gun safety proposals to help ensure firearms are kept out of the hands of people intent on committing violence. it's appalling how many times i've had to make this plea. this terrible event that took place in colorado just a few days ago is already off the news. why? because it happens so often in america. it's appalling how many times i've had to make this plea. i say to my republican colleagues yet again join with us in passing sensible gun safety reforms. help us keep guns away from people intent on using them to slaughter innocent people. first, we must do something to close the loopholes that allow f.b.i. terrorist suspects and other individuals to buy ak-47's
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and other weapons. right now a terrorist suspect, someone that is listed on the watch list, can walk into a gun store or a gun show and purchase sophisticated assault weapons. to leave that loophole unaddressed is sheer recklessness by congressional republicans. someone on the terrorist watch list can walk in and buy a gun, any gun they want? that's not good. we must also strengthen our nation's background check system. we're failing to flag and prevent people who are mentally ill or who have violent motives from legally purchasing weapons and background checks are essential to keeping guns out of the wrong hands. what we're saying is someone is a felon, a criminal, or crazy, they shouldn't be able to purchase a gun without a background check. they should never be able to purchase a gun, period. finally, we have to close loopholes that allow people to illegally traffic in firearms. what does this mean? right now we have no laws in place to adequately prevent
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individuals from purchasing weapons, huge numbers of weapons. then what do they do with them? sell them at great profit. transfer them to criminals. example: a person with a clean background can purchase an unlimited number of guns and sell them to a cartel, gang or terrorist operation with no threat of prosecution. fortunately as in the past, republicans are nowhere to be found when it comes to implementing these commonsense changes to our gun laws. for example, the colorado springs murders. did we hear a single republican running for president of the united states stand and say we have too many guns, can't we stop this? i haven't heard a single republican senator come to the floor and say something about this terrible event that took place. instead, they are busy fearmongering against syrian
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refugees, those fleeing assad and isis. we have a rigorous screening process for when we accept refugees. the refugees we are accepting are women and children, older men with families. less than 2% of men are of military age that come as refugees from syria or iraq, and the department of homeland security has verified that not one of the 1,800 syrian refugees already admitted to the united states has a single confirmed tie to terrorism. in spite of all the facts, republicans would focus attention on refugees and ignore, ignore the problem we have with gun violence in america. the republicans would have americans believe that syrian refugees are the preeminent threat to our national security. meanwhile, the republican congress is doing nothing to curb our nation's gun violence. truly a sad commentary on republicans that they are more concerned about keeping syrian refugees out of america than they are keeping guns out of the hands of terrorists, those that
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are mentally ill and are criminals. as we speak in far away paris, france, 194 countries are gathering in paris to negotiate an international agreement to address climate change. fortunately for the world, president obama's committed to doing something about that climate change, and i send all my appreciation, my accolades to the french people for going ahead with this extremely important conference and not let those terrible acts that occurred stop them from doing so. because of obama's leadership, the united states is taking on a more prominent role, rolling back dangerous carbon emissions, not only from our country but from china, india, brazil and other major sources of climate changing pollution. before the conference in paris even started, more than 170 countries representing over 90% of global carbon emissions made concrete pledges to reduce carbon pollution. climate change is among the most serious problems we face today.
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what does the pentagon say? what do all the security agencies say the most serious problem facing america today is? climate change. we're beginning to endure the devastating consequence of rising sea levels, extreme weather, drought across america and all over the world. no country acting alone can halt climate change, but through american leadership and international cooperation, we can protect our air and climate for our children and their children. i commend president obama for his work domestically and internationally to address this issue. this year is quickly drawing to a close, as i mentioned earlier. that means the senate has precious few days left to finish vitally important legislative matters, and it's not a small list. before we leave this year, we need to address funding to prevent a government shutdown, a surface transportation bill, elementary and secondary education conference report, important tax provisions
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including those for the middle class, not just for the big corporations. a growing backlog on nominations, particularly those involving national security. each of these matters i just mentioned are essential. you've got to get them done and we don't have a lot of time to do it. there is certainly no time for demagoguery and political distractions like repealing obamacare or planned parenthood that have been the hallmarks of the republican congress. instead i hope my republican colleagues will work with the democrats to accomplish all of the senate's work in a timely fashion. senator mcconnell and i have finished our remarks. what now is the business of the day, madam president? the presiding officer: under the leadership order, the leadership time is reserved. the senate will be in a period of morning business until 5:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. mr. hatch: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: madam president, i rise to speak on puerto rico's
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financial and economic challenges. the government of puerto rico tells us that the territory has more than $73 billion in debt. that is, to use their words -- quote -- not payable, unquote. on top of that, puerto rico has tens of billions of dollars in unfunded pension liabilities and very few real assets to back up its pension promises. the economy in puerto rico has persistently registered double-digit unemployment rates, staggering low labor force participation rates and a bloated public sector. and there are growing strains on puerto rico's health care system, some of which reflected the way the so-called affordable care act was written to treat puerto rico and other territories, and some of which reflects differing treatment between puerto rico where residents do not pay federal personal nooks and states where residents are included in the federal personal income tax
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system. in short, madam president, there is very little good economic news coming from puerto rico these days. as a result, we're seeing an ongoing debate about what the federal government can or should do in order to help the american citizens residing in puerto rico, and for me this debate boils down to four relatively simple questions. madam president, i ask unanimous consent that i be permitted to finish these remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: the debate boils down to four relatively simple questions. question number one -- should the federal government allow puerto rico access to chapter nine of the bankruptcy code or to even broader debt resolution tools? question number two -- will provide fresh tax incentives to puerto rico help boost the island's economy by creating jobs and stimulating growth? question number three -- should congress increase federal resources to help ease puerto
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rico's strained health care system? and question number four -- should we take steps to exempt puerto rico from burdensome federal regulations including labor, transportation and energy regulations that may be contributing to the territory's ongoing economic struggles? today we have seen a number of proposals that attempt to address these and other questions, although in my opinion many of them do so in some pretty awkward ways. i want to take time today to address each of these four major questions in turn and hopefully shed some light on what we have to consider as we try to address the growing crisis in puerto rico. so far, the majority of the discussion among policymakers with regard to puerto rico has focused on question number one, allowing access to chapter nine bankruptcy release. as we all know, chapter nine applies specifically to financially distressed
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municipalities who are seeking protection from creditors as they develop and negotiate plans to adjust their debts. puerto rico is not currently eligible for chapter nine bankruptcy, meaning that granting them access to this type of relief will require legislative change to the bankruptcy code which may come with its own set of problems. some proponents of the bankruptcy solution for puerto rico have argued that the clear language preventing the island from accessing chapter nine reflects some sort of drafting error. they argue further that once puerto rico is eligible for chapter nine protections, it should apply to debts already incurred. now, whether or not the exclusion for puerto rico from chapter nine was intentional or not -- and i don't believe it was -- we should keep in mind that there are potential rule of law issues at stake when we talk about legislative action to retroactively alter the terms of
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debt contracts. puerto rico's creditors entered into their contracts with the various existing risks priced into the agreements in the form of interest rates and other terms. if the island had been eligible for chapter nine bankruptcy prierg to entering into those agreements, creditors would have formed different expectations, likely leading to different terms, including different interest rates that could have reshaped the demand for puerto rico bonds. this is not rocket science, madam president. this is finance 101. we should be cautious about any legislative action that would alter the term of existing contracts. at the very least, we should consider what impact extending chapter nine to existing puerto rico obligations would have on credit transactions moving forward, given the parties set
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credit agreements based op the laws they expect to apply. if parties believe there is a real possibility the congress might retroactively change those laws in the future, they are likely to seek different terms or ee evaluate a contract's potential worth. even so, it's not at all clear that amending chapter nine to allow access for puerto rico will solve puerto rico's debt problems. officials from the obama administration have argued that chapter nine would only cover about 30% of puerto rico's outstanding obligations, and as a result even broader debt restructuring authority is necessary. therefore, those in congress with proposed solutions that center only on chapter nine bankruptcy are apparently not awear of the administration's position. however, the other nonbankruptcy proposals we've seen which would allow puerto rico to handle its debt on its own are also
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lacking. for example, we have seen proposals to allow the federal reserve to purchase debt issued by puerto rico and to authorize the treasury to guaranteed bonds issued by the government of puerto rico or any of its instrumentalities. of course this approach would run the risk of setting very bad precedents for future insolvent entities, and it's fraught with moral hazard. ultimately, those pushing to restructure puerto rico's debt is the sole solution -- as the sole solution tend to simply want to blame the problems on creditors, using loose terms like -- quote -- hedge funds -- unquote -- or -- quote -- vulture funds, unquote. for these people, punishing the creditors is their desired focus, not because it is a visible -- or viable solution, but because at the end of the day, an opportunity for populist rhetoric is itself a valuable commodity heading into a contentious election cycle.
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while that approach may help some around here appeal to their political base, it does precious little to help the people of puerto rico and ignores the fact that a number of the creditors are middle-class investors and retirees from virtually every u.s. state and territory from texas to utah and ultimately puerto rico itself. ultimately whatever the case may be for restructuring puerto rico's debt, there may not be an urgent need for that authority to be granted right away. there is evidenced by the fact that despite -- this is evidenced by the fact that despite several months of debate surrounding these issues, puerto rico has only recently begun negotiating with some of its creditors. i would hope that if the need for relief is in fact dire, the government of puerto rico will waste no time negotiating and working forward -- working
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toward private solutions. if there is no urgency on that front, it will be hard to argue that there is an urgent need for congress to consider proposals relating to chapter nine bankruptcy or broader restructuring authority. so that's question number one, madam president. let's talk about question number two. which deals with tax incentives to boost poish's economy. -- boost puerto rico's economy. on the tax front, we've seen proposals in congress to allow residents of puerto rico to claim the earned income tax credit and the refundable portion of the child tax credit on the same basis as other u.s. taxpayers. likewise, the obama administration has indicated support for a similar approach, although they have not provided any real details as to what their proposal would look like. proposals like these are problematic for a number of reasons. as i mentioned, the residents of puerto rico are exempt from the
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federal personal income tax system, meaning that they do not pay any personal federal income tax. therefore, offering these refundable tax credits would not reduce their tax burden because you can't reduce a tax burden that is already zero. in other words, these tax credits would ultimately be cash payments offered directly to lower income residents of puerto rico. on top of that, the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit are already rife with fraud and overpayments when they are offered to taxpayers who are required to file a return and can at least theoretically incur a tax burden at some future date if their income goes up. extending these same credits to puerto rico could very well introduce a number of threats to the integrity and administration of our tax system. those who issue these types of proposals rarely have a solution to these inherent concerns.
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moreover, we haven't seen any public information from congressional scorekeepers as to how much these proposals would cost. i also haven't heard many proceed poabents offer so much as a hint about how they would offset the cost or offer any offset at all. long story short, mr. president, tax proposals to the puerto rico situation leave much to be desired. that's not to say we should not do anything in this area. there are quite likely tax incentives we could offer to better incentivize growth and labor force participation and perhaps investment in the puerto rican economy. ii think it would be safe to say that republicans would be open to such a discussion. but to date, i haven't seen anything that resembles a serious solution that focuses on the tax code.
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this brings us to question number three dealing with health care policy. which has been the primary focus of a number of our colleagues when it comes to these issues. here in congress we have seen some poorly constructed proposals that, when boiled down to their essence, would allocate more than $30 billion from the general fund directly to puerto rico. of course, that's not how the proponents describe their ideas. typically these proposals are couched as changes to the way puerto rico's share of federal health dollars is determined under existing programs. however, while the issues are admittedly complex, the result is fairly simple -- fiscal irresponsibility would be rewarded to the tune of tens of billions of dollars. now, don't get me wrong, we will very likely have to consider these ideas to alter the means by which we allocate federal health funds to puerto rico.
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however, if we decide to go that route, it is essential that we move forward in a fiscally appropriate and responsible manner. to date i have yet to hear any concrete thoughts from poe ponients -- proponents in congress or from our federal health agencies about how this can be done. i've heard, however, that the so-called affordable care act is the source of some of the health care related problems faced by puerto rico. i'll leave it to those who wrote that law and forced it through congress on a partisan basis to explain why that is the case. we now come to question number four, the possibility of providing puerto rico with relief from various federal regulations. we've heard a number of ideas in this area, including reforms or exemptions from regulations governing labor markets, shipping, energy costs and others. and while i am inherent the sympathetic to proposals to
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scale back -- inherently sympathetic to proposals to scale back federal regulations, the issues here are very complex and would become very political in a hurry. for example, while i haven't taken any straw polls, i think it is safe to say that many of my friends on the other side of the aisle would reflexively oppose any attempt to mitigate the application of federal minimum wage regulations to puerto rico. this would be puzzling given that congress has offered similar relief to other ailing u.s. territories in the relatively recent past. on top of the krueger report, which was commissioned by the government of puerto rico, along with a host of economic analysts across the political spectrum, that report argued that allowing puerto rico the flexibility to set minimum wages that differ from the federal levels would have a positive economic impact and that the current minimum wage levels do not fit productivity conditions on the island.
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still, even in the face of all this evidence and precedent, my guess is that many of my colleagues would take issue with this idea. i'd expect that they'd similarly reject out of hand any proposals to scale back environmental regulations or rules governing transportation even if it could be shown that their regulations were having a negative impact and contributing directly to puerto rico's fiscal and economic predicament. unfortunately, madam president, for a number of our colleagues here in congress, commitment to ideology too often does not allow room to admit when your policies are not working. and while the situation in puerto rico isn't the first time we've seen that come up, i expect we'll see that happening a lot if we get a chance to consider regulatory relief as a potential solution. those are the four main questions we face with regard to puerto rico, madam president. and while each come with their
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own set -- sets of difficulties, those are the basic categories of solutions we've seen come to light so far. of those four categories, two of them, the tax and the health care categories, are interrelated in so much as members of congress and administration officials have made them the focus of various ideas to help puerto rico improve its fiscal situation and perhaps its economy. while those putting the tax and health proposals forward have largely been silent about what our official score keepers, the c.b.o. and joint committee on taxation will, say about the costs of their ideas, i have done some of my colleagues' homework for them. adding up the refundable tax credits, including the eitc and the c.t.c., and health-related resource flows, including changes to medicaid allocations, the overall cost looks to be well north of $30 billion. and likely around $40 billion over the next 10 years.
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those are hardly insignificant figures, madam president. questions of funding and resource allocation are always difficult and they implicate a number of issues. it isn't as simple as just deciding to give more health funds to puerto rico or access to refundable tax credits, because doing so would necessarily mean reduced funding for other federal priorities or increased taxes or, yet, more federal debt. true enough, puerto rico's problems are multidimensional and complex. and i don't know anyone in congress who is indifferent to the plight of these american citizens. sadly, these facts don't make any -- our unpleasant budget arithmetic any easier. if anything, they make it all the more complicated. in short, there are no easy answers. that said, regardless of how we move forward, we need to have a
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clear picture of what's going on in puerto rico. we need to have the fiscal facts regard the island's indebtedness, funding levels and needs. yet to date we have not seen any recent audited financial statements from puerto rico, although we've asked for them. instead, we are being asked to rely on attempts -- statements and cash flow analysis commissioned by the government of puerto rico. as of right now, finances in puerto rico remain extremely opaque and difficult to monitor. congress should demand independent verification of the territory's finances before moving forward on any kind of relief package. moreover, we are hearing the horror stories of inadequate cash flow and a liquidity freeze in puerto rico. it's difficult to ascribe such urgency to the situation when we are still seeing and reading about relatively large outlays for questionable expenses. indeed, it is hard to believe an
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entity is in danger of running out of cash when it is paying for broad public relations and lobbying -- and a lobbying campaign and when officials are talking about protecting hundreds of millions of dollars in year-end bonuses for government employees. this brings us to yet another difficult question. i suppose you could call this question number five. what can we do to ensure that puerto rico changes its clearly unsustainable fiscal course? no matter what we do with regard to debt restructuring, tax policy, health care policy or regulatory relief, the solution will ultimately be meaningless if we don't take steps to ensure that puerto rico doesn't simply continue on the fiscally irresponsible path that brought them to this mess in the first place. even if every creditor gets a massive haircut o and all the
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requested resources are channeled directly to the island, steps need to be taken to avoid getting into this situation again in the future. puerto rico for some time has spent more than it takes in from revenues and receipts and has covered the difference with de debt. the debt that has been issued has tapped out virtually every possible expected future seat of the -- receipt of the government and basic budget arithmetic has caught up with this unsustainable fiscal recipe. and has effectively shut puerto rico out of funding markets. in short, puerto rico must move to policies that are fiscally sustainable. madam president, that is not me trying to impose on puerto rico's sovereignty. that is not an agenda of "austerity" at work. it is just a simple budget arithmetic of the situation. and before we undertake any effort to provide relief or assistance to puerto rico, we need to give this simple math its proper consideration and demand a workable plan for the future.i would lik.
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i would like to see puerto rico submit such plan for its part. and that plan is going to have to result how they take care of the overwhelming burden of debt down there. for its part, the obama administration has chosen to remain regular actively vague on this issue. in october, we saw a joint statement from treasury, the department odepartment of healtn services, and the national economic council outlining a general plan which they called r congressional action." this road map contained many of the same general proposals i've discussed today with regard to bankruptcy relief, tax credits and health spending. coconspicuously absent were any proposals for regulatory relief for puerto rico. also absent were any real cost estimates or proposed offsets. just some lip service to the need to undertake these changes
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in a -- quote -- "fiscally responsible" way. i've made inquire troiz various agencies -- inquiries to various agencies, including treasury and h.h.s., with little in the way of detrade response to many of these issues at stake here. it remains puzzling to me that in the midst of what some in the administration are calling a -- quote -- "humanitarian crisis," we're seeing very little engagement from our health agencies, particularly when so many have been arguing that the crisis stems in large part from a lack of health care funding in puerto rico. it also seems that provisions of taxpayer-funded technical assistance, which i would think would be considered in any package aimed at puerto rico, may be rendered moot given that, as i understand it, treasury officials are working to wedge such assistance on the sidelines into appropriations vehicles. needless to say, before congress can even begin to consider a significant legislative package
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to address the situation in puerto rico, we need more information from the administration about what it is now doing, what it plans to do in the near future. put simply, it would not be productive for congress to move forward on a legislative vehicle costing billions of dollars, if not tens of billions of dollars, without knowing beforehand if that legislation contradicts or conforms to the plans of federal agencies. long story short, madam president, this will likely be a significant undertaking. there are a lot of ideas floating around. some may work. others clearly will not. as the chairman of the senate committee with jurisdiction over our tax code and most of the relevant health programs, i am more than willing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find a bipartisan path forward. to accomplish that goal, we need everyone involved to be upfront and willing to work together.
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that goes for members of congress, the administration and the government of puerto rico. everyone needs to come clean about the current state of affairs, the specific needs and amounts requested, and the actual costs of any legislative or administrative proposal. and whether they want to offset costs or simply incur more federal debt. right now too many people are willing to throw out demands and vague proposals with a price tag as high as $30 billion to $40 billion accompanied by a lot of political rhetoric. that's precisely what we do not need. it will be very easy to play politics with this issue, madam president. my hope is that enough of us will be willing to set that aside to allow congress to do right by our fellow citizens in puerto rico. there are some who believe that crass politics may be playing a role here.
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and that some would throw puerto rico to the dogs so that more and more people will emigrate to florida. for political purposes. i hope that's not true. i can't believe that it's true. but it's been stated. and it's a matter of worry. i just hope that we can come together as democrats and republicans and solve this problem, but puerto rico's going to have to help us. they're going to have to help us to know what to do. i suspect that the predators will have to help us too or we're going to have to help them as well. i stand ready, willing and able as chairmt of the finance -- chairman of the finance committee to solve these problems but so far we haven't received the right financial statements from puerto rico, and we can't move ahead without having clear-cut information that shows us what's really going on, what really are the
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problems, what we have to do, and how to do it. i want to do whatever it takes to help puerto rico resolve these problems. and i'd like to see puerto rico itself resolve them. it may take some help from us. it may take help from creditors. i'd like to see them sit down with creditors before we come up with some colossal program that will basically hurt everybody. but i'm hope, -- i'm open and i want to get this problem solved. i like the people of puerto rico. i think they deserve better treatment than this. but they also have gotten themselves in this problem by requiring too much of the central government and spending more and more all the time with more and more central government employees that they really don't need. and that's a large part of this problem. with that, madam president, i yield the floor.
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mr. nelson: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: madam president, this senator from florida doesn't think that that's true that puerto rico is having such economic chaos that the net result is that puerto ricans who are american citizens move to florida. the fact is that some are moving to florida, i would say to the distinguished senator from utah, because of the economic deprivation of the island. it would seem to me as someone who has looked at this issue and been to the island and spoken to the leaders, that there's an essential element of fairness here. if the bankruptcy laws are
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allowed to apply to all of the states and municipalities, why would not those bankruptcy laws apply to puerto rico and its need to reorganize its finances as well? and with regard to -- mr. hatch: if the senator would yield on that point? mr. nelson: i will. let me just make this statement. and there's another part of unfairness, and that is the unfairness that puerto ricans are not being treated the same way under the medicare and medicaid laws as well. and that just does not seem to be, to this senator from florida, who is close to the puerto rican people, it does not seem to be the fair thing regardless of what the issue is
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with regard to how did they get into economic troubles. the fact is they're in the economic troubles, and the question is how are we going to get them out of the economic troubles? of course i yield for purpose of a question to the distinguished senator. my chairman of the finance committee. mr. hatch: i appreciate my friend and colleague from florida. and i do understand that he understands a lot about this. look, bankruptcy laws do not apply. that doesn't mean that we can't change that. i'm not sure that's the way to do it. we're going to have to have some real information before we can move in that direction which may be dangerous. i do think that it's incumbent upon the puerto rico leadership to provide us with audited financial statements so we really know what the problems are so we can then approach this in an intelligent, reasonable, healthy, loving way.
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i'm for getting this problem solved but i'm not for just throwing money at it when we know that their central government is completely bloated and that's what's causing some, if not most of the problems. at least that's what we've been told. i'm happy to look at financials and happy to look at whatever suggestions are made, not that i'm that important but we can move if we know what we're talking about. but i'm not about to move on the backs of the rest of american taxpayers until they clean up the mess that's there and they sit down with their creditors and see what they can work out there. we ought to be encouraging that. i think the creditors want us to encourage that because they think it can be worked out, at least the ones that i've chatted with. so i commit to the distinguished senator, and he knows that i don't make commitments unless i mean them.
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i'm going to try and solve this problem. when i say "i" our committee and our congress are going to try to solve this problem. let's do it in an intelligent way. let's get all the facts and let's get some cooperation from puerto rico and let's get the right financials. if we can get all that, hopefully we can find right solutions here that will bring these folks into balance and give them a shot for the future. last but not at least, i agree with the distinguished senator they have not been treated fairly, and it's time for us to start treating them fairly. i disagree with him that there are not people in congress who would love to see more and more come to florida as democrats. and i'm pretty sure that's the case. but that shouldn't be the case. we should be working on these problems and solving them. and i commit to the distinguished senator from florida who is a great member of our committee. i'll work with him, and we'll see what we can do to resolve
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these problems. but let's get some financials that we can rely on before we go off on some deep end and miss the boat here. mr. nelson: the senator is certainly entitled to the information in order to make a reasoned judgment. this senator is advocating fairness in the system. there was a time that puerto rico was in fact included under the blupt is -- bankruptcy laws. and for whatever reason a couple of decades ago the law was changed that they were treated differently. the same with medicare and medicaid payments. and i think under any, regardless of what their financials show, the congress is going to have to take action. and so when the senator gets the information that he wants, then i hope we can act forthwith
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because this is a problem that is with us at the moment. they are about to the point that they cannot make the payments on their debt obligations. and so the day of reckoning is basically here. madam president, i came to the floor for a different reason. i want to speak about the national security agency and the bulk telephone metadata collection program that basically the new law took over that there was a reform of it. let me explain what the old law was and what the new law that just took effect yesterday is. the old law that had been in effect for i don't know the
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exact number of years, but something in excess of five and less than eight, the old law said that by going to the approved court that handles classified information called the florida intelligence surveillance act court, the fisa , known by its acronym, that the government could ask for these records to come into the possession of the government by showing good cause as to why those records would be held. so it was pursuant to a court order. but what were the records to be held?
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these are business records of the telephone company. this is not content of the telephone call. this is the business record that says on such and such a day at such a time that telephone numbers such and such called telephone such and such. that's called metadata. that's it. no content. and for the last almost a decade, ever since we had 9/11 attacks and we passed the patriot act to try to make it much more efficient for our national security agencies to protect us, those records, if the telephone company complied with the order, would be in the
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database, but it's not the content. it's only the business record stating what i just said. call number such and such called such and such. why was that important? because when we suddenly got an indication that we had a terrorist that was going to strike either here or abroad, and if that the terrorist had a link to a number, we could see what calls that potential terrorist had made to what number and what numbers that that number then called, and you could go down several different
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calls, and it was through that that we were able to track down and prevent a number of terrorist acts, including in this country. so earlier this year along comes the reform of this. now the choice that this senator which supports the old law was given was either the old law is going to expire and there's not going to be any law that governs the collection of these business records -- nothing -- or go with the reform. and the so-called reform was you had to go into the fisa court to get an order as to a specific
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number and a specific reason why that number was something that you wanted. now that sounds harmless enough except when you're dealing in some cases seconds, minutes, a few hours chao might be looking -- few hours that you might be looking for this person that we suddenly got a tip maybe from a human source that they're about to try to do us damage. so how long is it going to take to go into court? is it going to take months? is it going to take weeks? days? all the time the potential terrorist is well ahead of us. i know our intelligence agencies are trying to be prepared so that they can do it in the
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shortest possible time, but a judge has to be there, has to hear what our, the facts, the probable cause in order to then render an order to allow the intelligence agencies -- in the case domestically it would be the f.b.i. -- to go get those business records. if you get the business record and you see that it goes one hop to another number, but maybe that goes another hop to another number, and that goes another hop to several other numbers under the so-called reform of the u.s.a. freedom act, there's a limitation on the number of hops. this senator feels that we shouldn't limit those hops if we're trying to find out who the bad guy is and who it is, what
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he's about to do. once we have that determined, then you go in to the court again if it is an american citizen or a person that is legally in the united states, you have to obtain another court order in order to be able to get the content of either listening to those calls or in the case of e-mail records, what is the content of the call. we always said that there ought to be this continuous tension between our right to privacy and protecting our country and ourselves. we want that tension to be there because our right to privacy is what makes us different in this
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country. and therefore, that's why we had the protections of having to go into court in order to get, in order to get the contents of the communications. well, all you have to do is look to paris and you can see that these guys are out to really do some mayhem. if in any way we are slowed down, then i think it is a considerable hindrance on us. now, i bring this to the attention of the senate simply because the new act superseded the old act this past weekend. naturally, when these records were spread about publicly by
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edward snowden intentionally, recklessly and i might say illegally, when he leaked these records existence more than two years ago, naturally there's a fear. it made it seem like that big brother was gathering up all of our information. that's why on the initial patriot act, we were so careful to keep this right of privacy protected by court order for the business records and then of course for con tent, a court order. i believe that that program was lawful, i believe it was court approved, and i believe that it has helped protect us from terrorist attack in the past. and i think the confusion about
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in the land is so much because what was the bulk record, it wasn't content. it was business record. the dates, times, length, the numbers dialed, but not their content. so we have this new law, it's in place. the national intelligence director jim clapper and n.s.a. director admiral mike rogers assured us that the new law preserved a critical counterterrorism capability, but these paris attacks remind us just how brutal isis really is and that the terrorist threat persists. now, madam president, something that we ought to look at is as
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you look at who were the terrorists in paris, there were four of them that we knew of and that we had on our no-fly list andere citizens of european countries. what does that mean? that means that they didn't have to go into the embassy to get a visa so their background could be checked. they are one of the visa waiver countries, but there was another one of their citizens who was one of those terrorists that in fact was not on our no-fly list. i think the fact that the administration has already started clamping down doing the extra checks, we certainly want to keep the visa waiver program
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going, but it is a considerable potential threat if we're not checking and rechecking, and i think from what we learned out of paris that in fact if european countries will be more forthcoming to share their intelligence information with us about the potential terrorists so that that will build our no-fly list for their citizens, that will be very helpful. madam president, we ought to permanently extend section 702 of the fisa amendments act, which is going to expire in another two years. this crucial tool provides access to electronic communications of suspected terrorists and other foreign
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persons located outside of the u.s., and so as we redouble our counterterrorism efforts, we must maintain what works and make the necessary changes as the threat evolves. and that means remaining vigilant and using all the tools in our toolbox, including intelligence collection, homeland security protections and the fight against isis on the battlefield. madam president, i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mr. cotton: in september, we learned shocking news that the u.s. secret service, armed agents of the executive, violated the law to intimidate a congressman from doing his constitutional duty. 45 secret service employees
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accessed the personal records of congressman jason chaffetz in violation of the privacy act. they shared with hundreds of personnel the fact that congressman chaffetz had unsuccessfully applied to join the service, leading to a leak of information to the news media. this activity was not limited to low-level employees. the service's assistant director and head of training ed lowery encouraged the sharing of information, writing in an email -- quote -- "some information that he might find embarrassing needs to get out, just to be fair." end quote. and the director of the service, joe clancy, failed to act to rein in behavior when information was raised to him. he had no reaction when he heard what he deemed to be a speculative rumor about the information, and he apparently forgot that he had been informed of congressman chaffetz' personal records, incorrectly telling the homeland security department's inspector general that he didn't learn of the matter until it was about to be published in in "the washington
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post." the white house's action to this criminal violation was equally muted. the white house implied that an apology to congressman chaffetz would suffice in the absence of former discipline and criminal investigation. this was unacceptable. to ensure that proper remedial action took place, i placed a hold on three ambassadorial nominees to send a clear message to the white house. i intended to lift these holds once two actions took place. first, i asked the department of homeland security to take appropriate disciplinary action against all secret service personnel involved, including secret service leadership. second, i requested that a criminal investigation be initiated by the department of justice into violations of the privacy act. since i placed the holds, the white house reached out to my office and made clear that the president understood the gravity of the violations that occurred, and in the past month the obama administration has finally begun to take action. the department of homeland
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security issued disciplinary proposals for the suspension of 42 lower level personnel involved in the misconduct. for senior level personnel, including assistant director lowery, discipline proposals are being prepared with the maximum penalty ranging up to the removal from their positions. this discipline may or may not be proper in each case, but my intent isn't to be an h.r. officer for the department of homeland security. instead, when i instituted the holds on the three ambassadorial nominees, i made it clear that my aim was to keep these -- was not to keep these nominees in limbo indefinitely. my sole aim was to force action from the obama administration, which too often ignores the separation of powers and proper enforcement of our laws. because the obama administration has taken partial steps to hold those who violated the law into account, i will in turn honor my word and lift two of three holds i have on ambassadorial nominations. mr. samuel heinz who was nominated to be the u.s.
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ambassador to norway and miss azita raji who is nominated to be the u.s. ambassador to sweden. i believe both are qualified to represent our nation abroad and we have significant interests in scandinavia. my hope is that both nominees receive a vote and are confirmed here in the senate n sooner rather than later. i will retain, however the hold on president obama's whatever to the bahamas. this is because the department of justice has yet to initiate an investigation into the unauthorized access and dissemination of congressman chaffetz' personal records. the d.h.s. inspector general has testified to congress that he believes that criminal violations under the privacy act occurred. secret service director clancy in his own testimony to congress agreed with the inspector general acknowledging that the violations constituted in his words a criminal offense. with such agreement between the department of homeland security ij ij and the secret service director, i retain the hope and fully expect that a criminal
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investigation of these offenses by the department of justice will be forthcoming. that investigation and the discipline currently being meted out by the department of homeland security are important to send the message that politically motivated crimes will not be tolerated. consequences are needed to make clear the separation of powers will be respected and that members of congress acting on behalf of the people will not be intimidated. of course, i also reserve the right to place new holds on future administration nominees. what we cannot have is impunity for criminal offenses. if the discipline for the secret service leadership is too weak or if a criminal investigation is not initiated, i may place additional holds in order to again remind the white house of the seriousness of this matter, but in the meantime i look forward to continuing to work with the administration to ensure that discipline is appropriate and a criminal investigation of this matter is initiated. madam president, i yield the floor and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk
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will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. durbin: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: madam president, having just finished the thanksgiving holiday season, many of us had a chance to be with our families and give thanks for all the great goodness that we have had showered on us, as individuals and as those lucky enough to live in this great nation, but for many families, this was a painful holiday weekend. it is sobering to realize how many american families have their lives impacted by gun violence in america every single day, and sadly the past holiday weekend was no exception. in my home state of illinois, in the city of chicago, gun violence has taken a devastate ing toll. there have been 436 homicides in chicago this year, most of them by gunfire. in chicago, the news this morning was that eight people were killed and at least 20 others wounded in shootings over the holiday weekend. today the university of chicago
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has closed its campus in hyde park because of a shooting threat that was made against the campus community. classes and activities are canceled. extra security has been provided. a high school in barrington, illinois, in the suburbs of chicago that students saw a lockdown after a student came to school with a gun and was arrested. madam president, the fact of the matter is there is too much gun violence in america. all across the country, we've seen such terrible stories. on friday, in biloxi, mississippi, a patron at a waffle house restaurant shot and killed julia brightwell, a waitress, after she asked him not to smoke in the restaurant. in atlanta on saturday, 6-year-old jamecca smith found a loaded handgun in the cushions of a sofa and fatally shot herself, 6 years old. in rome, new york, a 7 month old
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infant was shot and killed on saturday when a nearby 18-year-old was cleaning and loading a shotgun that was discharged. and in colorado springs, colorado, a gunman burst into a planned parenthood building, killing three people, including a police officer, garrett swazey, and wounding nine others. the governor of colorado called this domestic terrorism, and i agree. an average of 297 americans are shot every day. 89 of them fatally. they are being shot in homicides, assaults, suicides, accidental shootings, mass shootings, and even domestic terrorism attacks like that one we just witnessed at the planned parenthood clinic in colorado springs. by one count, there have been at least 351 mass shootings in america so far this year. that's more than one every single day. there have been more than 50 shootings in american schools so far this year.
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there are so people who think that the founding fathers when they envisioned the future of america, envisioned an armed america with guns. i don't believe it. and i don't believe it for a minute. that they had any vision of this level of wanton violence which is taking place. several weeks ago i joined with my senate democratic colleagues. we went to the steps of the capitol and we called on the republican majority in the senate to do something. we urged republicans to consider calling on the floor of the senate, in light of all this gun violence, commonsense reforms that would keep guns out o of te hands of dangerous people. madam president, whether you own a gun or don't, whether you hunt or don't, whatever your views on the constitution, can't we all basically agree that people who've been convicted of a felony and those who are mentally unstable should not be
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allowed to buy a gun? that to me is just common sense. when i think of my own family, there are many in the family who are sportsmen and hunters and enjoy the firearms that they bought as kids and went hunting with their dads and really appreciate it. it's part of the midwestern culture. i have yet to meet a single person who owns a gun and uses it responsibly who doesn't agree the statement that we should keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons and also out of the hands of those who are mentally unstable. it's also hard to imagine why there's opposition to saying if rur the terrorist watch list -- saying if you are on the terrorist watch list, if you are on a list of people that our government suspects that you may be a terrorism, did you know you could buy a gun legally in america even though you're on the terrorist watch list? i'm not talking about gun show loopholes where there are no questions asked. i'm talking about the law in
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america which allows terrorists, suspected terrorists to buy firearms. in light of what just happened in paris, france, does it make any sense that someone on the terrorist watch list would be able to go buy a an ak-47? god only knows where they would take it and what they would do with it and ultimately how many innocent people would be killed. but we can't even have a conversation about that on the floor of the united states senate. no way. national rifle association would not approve. gun lobby does not want us discussing these things. we are talking about a second amendment absolute inviolate right in their eyes, and i think we're talking about something that's impossible to explain and defend from my point of view. i'll stand up for second amendment rights, the rights of people to own guns and use them responsibly and store them safely away from children. i'll stand up for their rights. but we also have to come together and acknowledge that those who would misuse firearms
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because they have criminal intent with a criminal record or they're mentally unstable or they're on a suspected terrorist watch list, for goodness sakes, in the united states of america, we ought to be able to draw that line. madam president, it was just a few weeks ago when the -- i guess 10 days ago actually when the republican presidential candidates went to your state to meet with religious leaders, christian leaders, and they were seeking their support. of course they all want the support of everyone living in iowa because the iowa caucuses are coming up pretty soon. i thought about it as they went to meet with these christian leaders in iowa just across the river from my home state of illinois. i thought how they had just left their conversations here in washington talking about syrian refugees. syrian refugees. the most humbling humanitarian
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crisis in the world today is dmuroccurring in syria. some wore which has gone on for years. millions of people have been displaced. thousands have been killed. i met some of them just a few months ago when i went to greece and saw these refugees streaming away from the camps in syria trying to find a safe place. you can't imagine what it must be like for a husband to turn to his wife and say, we have to move. pick up the kids. whatever you can carry is all that we're taking. we're going to try to find a safe place to live. and i saw them, hundreds and thousands of them, families streaming out of this war-torn area. very few of them have ever made it to the united states. fewer than 2,000. part of the reason is we have an elaborate, lengthy background check before anyone can be admitted as a refugee. in fact, it takes anywhere from 18 to 24 months. 18 to 24 months waiting to see
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if you might become a refugee legally in the united states of america. well, these republican presidential candidates and 25 governors have said we don't want any syrian refugees. we are not going to allow them to come to the united states during a period of pause, as some say. others have gone to more extreme positions. it's hard to imagine. if our goal is to keep america safe, why are these republican candidates focusing on syrian refugees? you see, since we've allowed about 2,000 in the united states over the last four years, not one single syrian refugee has been arrested and accused of terrorist activity. not one. after that lengthy background check, we believe we've done everything humanly possible to keep those away who would be any danger to our country. those who do make it here, i've met some in the city of chicago. syrian refugees.
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if you think that they are terrorist threats to the united states, for goodness sakes, take a few minutes and sit down and talk to them, hear their stories of how families went through extreme hardship, some of them with children who were being killed in syria during the war. and as they fled with the clothes on their back, appealed to the united states to come here as refugees and then waited up to two years to go through everyone of the possible background checks before they finally made it. what happens when they get hear? well, initially they need some help. many of them don't speak english very well. some of them are not financially ready to take care of themselves. but you know what happens in a few months? they find a place and they go to work and they join a long parade of those who've come to the united states as refugees and called it home. that includes 750,000 vietnamese refugees who came to the united states who are now a great part of our country.
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it includes 500,000 cuban refugees who came to the united states escaping castro. included in those 500,000 refugees were the fathers of two republican united states senators, one of whom is running for president of the united states. and they came to the united states and made an important contribution to the senate, to our nation. refugees. oh, i've heard one of them say, well, it was different then. we're dealing with terrorism today. really? what were we dealing with when we accepted cuban refugees? we were dealing with a communist regime in cuba friendly with the soviet union which had nuclear weapons pointed at the united states and we were accepting refugees from that country. i'm glad we did. but we were living in a very dangerous time when they were accepted and we found enbalance history has proven they've
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become an important part of the united states, those refugees from cuba. we accepted over 200,000 soviet jews who were being persecuted in that country and wanted to come to the united states so that they could practice their religion freely. in my hometown of springfield, illinois, the synagogues opened their doors and said, we'll sponsor these families as they come to our midwestern communi community. refugees from the soviet union, we brought them in. they became part of the united states. the story is told over and over again. and yet if you heard the republican presidential nominees and governors describe refugees, they're just tear roises the rue run. they aren't carefully screened and they're allowed in the united states. that's the way they describe it. it's not true. we know it's not true. and when i consider those republican presidential nominees going to iowa to pose for holy pictures with religious leaders after they have said we would exclude these poor people who
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are simply trying to find a safe place for their families, it was hard to imagine. this morning's "new york times" tells a totally different story. it's one i wanted to put in the record. and i ask consent that this article from "the new york times" be placed in the record in its entirety. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: thank you, madam president.it's a story of a man -- thank you, madam president. it's aa story o astory of a mann wankel. his family owned a hardware store on the upper east side of manhattan since the 19th century. for decades, the wankel family has been hiring people who came to the united states to escape violence and persecution, asylees and refugees. the owner of the store, shawn wankel, said people coming from really bad situations just trying to make a better life in america. the wankels, of course, takes these refugees in to work in
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their store. they refer to him by catholic charities, the international rescue committee. they stay for a few months or years as they get their bearings in the new world. he has a wall map up in the hardware store with colored pens marking three dozen countries from which these workers have come. they go on in this story to tell the story of felix royce who came to the united states a few months ago from persecution by terrorists in nigeria. got a job in this hardware store. it's interesting that this man and his family for decades have brought in these refugees and asylees and made them part of their business and part of their life intentionally so. while nearby the governor of new jersey is quake not guilt quakis at the thought of a refugee coming into the state of new jersey. what a contrast. what a contrast. it's not clear, it said here by
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this gentleman at the hardware store, if the republican governor of new jersey even understands who these people a are. let me quote this man again, mr. royce from nigeria. some people are saying, let them be, let them stay there. i wouldn't subscribe to that. there are innocents out there. this would mean there's no hope for them. if you screen, there are good ones among the bad. everyone from syria is not from isis. if you leave everybody, isis will take advantage of them. madam president, it's hard for me to imagine some of the things that have been said recently by some of the presidential candidates on the other side. it isn't just a matter of turning away syrian refugees even with the clearance practices that we have. but some have gone to even more extreme statements, saying that we should never allow people of the muslim religion come to the united states or that they should somehow be identified in this country. if you are a student of history,
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you'll know that that kind of paranoia and that kind of prejudice has exhibited itself many times in our history. we look back on it now not with pride but with sadness to think that we had reached the point where we treated people that w way. in may of 1939 when a shipload of jews were trying to escape the nazis in germany, 900 of them on the s.s. st. louis, came to miami and were turned away. they went back to europe. 200 of those jews perished in the holocaust because they were turned away from the united states of america. and this congress, when senator robert wagner of new york suggested that we allow 10,000 jewish children to come to the united states to escape the nazis, that was defeated in this congress. the japanese internment camps, things just like those. sad, fearful things that were done that we look back now and say, we can't repeat those
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mistakes. but the language that's coming out of many today is an echo of those past decisions, decisions that we look back on now and say, never again. sadly, they're being suggested even today.madam president, our first obligation is to keep america safe. and if we're going to do that, let's look to things that truly do keep us safe. let's say if you're on the terrorist watch list in the united states of america, you cannot legally purchase guns or explosives. that's not a radical idea. that's something we need to do to change the law. let's say instead of focusing on 70,000 refugees who go through two years of background checks before they come here, let's focus on the 20 million who visit the united states on visas, without vias each year from europe and 37, 38 countries around the world.let's mak.let'e that they've been carefully checked before they come to the united states. there are things we can do to keep america safe. but denying access to refugees who are suffering now with their
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children in the hopes of finding a safe place is not american. it's not who we are. it's not who we should be. i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mrs. shaheen: mr. president, i ask that the work be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection.
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let me address that. morning business is closed. and under the previous order, the senate will now proceed to executive session to consider the following nomination, which the clerk will report. nomination, united states agency for international development, gayle smith of ohio to be administrator. the presiding officer: under the previous order, there will now be 30 minutes of debate equally divided in the usual form. the senator from new hampshire. mrs. shaheen: mr. president, two months ago i came to the senate floor to urge the majority leader to schedule a vote on the nomination of gayle smith to serve as administrator of the united states agency for international development. also known as us-aid. here we are seven months after the president nominated her to fill this position and the senate will have a chance in a few minutes to vote on gayle smith's nomination to head
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us-aid. i fully expect that today's vote will lead to her confirmation and we are witnessing a humanitarian crisis in syria and across the middle east that grows worse by the day, posing a risk to european stability and cohesion. so having someone at the head of us-aid is absolutely critical. the united states, with our unparalleled capacity to mobilize international support for humanitarian relief, should continue to play a leading role in assisting both syrian refugees and the neighboring countries that are hosting them. and having an effective leader like gayle smith at us-aid is a critical part of that effort. last month i had the opportunity to lead a delegation of three other senators to greece and germany. senator durbin, senator warren,
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senator klobuchar and i all went to see firsthand the plight of refugees from the war in syria and the incredible burden that both greece and germany are under as a result of these unprecedented refugee flows. although many of us -- and we heard this when we were in greece -- many believe the rate of refugee arrivals would slow with the coming of cold weather, but in fact the exact opposite has happened and the humanitarian situation has gotten worse. of course us-aid's work is not just limited to the situation in syria. it extends to the 60 countries and regional us-aid missions around the world, including in afghanistan, where us-aid development work is critical to the long-term success and security of that country. now, i'm relieved that we're finally going to get to vote on
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gayle smith and that the majority has overcome the objections of the one member who for the last seven months has been holding up her nomination. that member was willing to put at risk the massive investment of resources that the united states has made in afghanistan and other parts of the world just to score political points on an issue that was completely outside of gayle smith's portfolio at us-aid. now i'm hoping as things have moved on gayle smith that this type of obstruction is going to end and we will soon vote not only on ms. smith's nomination, but also to confirm other critical national security nominees, especially the pending foreign service nominations that have been approved by the foreign relations committee and that could be voted on by the full senate today. for example, in may the
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president nominated tom malia to be assistant administrator of us-aid for europe and eurasia. this is a critical position not just because of the development work but these are two regions that are under extreme pressure from vladimir putin, and they both -- these regions would both benefit from us-aid programs that would bolster their ability to act independently of russian influence. tom melia's nomination is still unconfirmed despite the fact that the foreign relations committee proved his nomination in july. in addition, the nominees to serve as -- the nominee to serve as u.s. ambassador to sweden has been pending for over a year, and sweden has become a much more critical ally in terms of the refugee issue that europe is facing. the nominee to serve as u.s. ambassador to norway has been pending since may.
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again, another critical ally. the nominee to serve as u.s. ambassador to mexico, a critical post for the u.s., one of our neighbors, one of our main allies in the, in this hemisphere, these have all been pending since june. at a time when the world is facing national security challenges on a number of fronts and nations are looking to the united states for leadership, we can't afford to sideline ourselves by failing to confirm nominees for these diplomatic posts. i want to recognize senator corker, the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, as well as his democratic counterparts, senator cardin, who have worked very hard to secure the confirmation vote for gayle smith to serve as administrator for us-aid. i know we're working hard to get these other nominees to the
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floor. but at a time when our leadership is so important, when there are so many challenges facing us around the world, to fail to have those key spokespeople for the united states in our positions in so many critical appointments is just unacceptable. we need to move these nominees. we need to continue the work of united states foreign policy. so with that, mr. president, i yield the floor and i'm sure that we will have a very broad bipartisan vote in support of gayle smith. what's unfortunate is that we couldn't have done it seven months ago when she passed through the committee. thank you. i yield the floor.
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mr. cardin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we are not. mr. cardin: mr. president, first, i want to thank senator shaheen for her leadership on the senate foreign relations committee and for her leadership in regards to the nomination of gayle smith to be the administrator of us-aid. this is the united states agency for international development,
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and i mention that because we are talking about a national security position. our national security depends on having a strong military, but it also depends upon having a strong position in international development assistance in dealing with our diplomacy. and the director of the us-aid is a critical member of our national security team. we couldn't have a stronger person for that position than gayle smith. i wholeheartedly support her confirmation, and i want to thank senator corker, the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, for the manner in which this nomination has been brought forward. he's been a strong proponent of gayle smith, and i thank him very much for his help in getting this nomination to the floor. mr. president, i said that i couldn't find a stronger person to fill this position. she is currently the special assistant to the president and senior director at the national security council where she is
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responsible for global development democracy and humanitarian assistance issues. she was previously a senior fellow at the center for american progress, cochair of the enough project, the cofounder of the modernizing foreign assistance network. during the clinton administration, gayle smith served as the special assistant to the president and senior director for african affairs at the n.s.c. so she has a broad experience forever a long career in foreign service and in serving in regards to development assistance issues. for over 37 years, professional career, she has served in egypt, sudan, ethiopia, eritrea. she worked as a consultant, she worked as senior advisor to the administration and chief of staff to the us-aid east africa. she has served twice on the national security council as special assistant to the president. she has been hailed as a strong
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and effective advocate on global development issues. she was voted out of the senate foreign relations committee, which i serve as ranking member by a unanimous vote. so i am very pleased that we are now able to vote tonight for her confirmation to be the administrator of the us-aid. i've already pointed out that this is a position critically important to our national security. but let me also point out that the world is facing a host of humanitarian crises, including food and security and displacement in syria, the europe migration crisis, rowh rowhinga refugee crisis in southeast asia, which require american leadership and assistance. growing needs are outstripping available resources. the administrator of us-aid is the key leadership post in the
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united states effort to shape the world's reaction to crisis and instability. mr. president, i would go into a bit of detail on just one of the crises that the administrator of us-aid faces so that everyone can get to really understand the scale which we are talking about here. as a result of the war in south sudan, 1.5 million people are internally displaced. more than 730,000 have crossed borders into sudan, ethiopia, uganda as refugees. the number of people facing severe food insecurity has almost doubled since the start of the year from 2.5 million to an estimated 4.6 million people, including approximately 874,000 children under the age of 5. this is just one example, and i could give you many more examples of why it's critically important that we have a confirmed administrator for us-aid. gayle smith is the right person
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for the right time to serve our country, and i just encourage my colleagues to support her nomination. this is a person who will serve our country, continue to serve our country well and i'm proud to support her. with that, mr. president, i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. inhofe: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call in progress be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. inhofe: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to executive session for the consideration of calendar number 387, 388, 390, 391 and all nominations on the secretary's desk in the air force, army and navy, that the nominations be confirmed en bloc, the motions to consider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate, that no further motions be in order and that any statements related to the nominations be printed in the record, the president be immediately
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notified of the senate's action. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. so ordered. mr. inhofe: as if in legislative session, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of the calendar number 139, s. 1698. the presiding officer: is there objection? the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 139, s. 1698, a bill to exclude payments from state eugenics compensations programs from consideration in determining eligibility for or the amount of federal public benefits. mr. inhofe: i ask unanimous consent that the bill be read a third time -- the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: i ask unanimous consent that the bill be read a third time and passed and that the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. inhofe: as if in legislative session, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to immediate
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consideration of s. resolution 322 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 322, recognizing the 60th anniversary of the refusal of rosa louise parks to give up her seat on a bus on december 1, 1955. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. inhofe: i ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action. the presiding officer: without objection. politburo inhofe: finally, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 10:00 a.m. tuesday, december 1. following the prayer and the pledge, the morning business be deemed expired and the journal of proceedings be approved to date and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. following leader remarks, the
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senate be in a period of morning business until 12:30 p.m., with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. further, that the senate recess from 12:30 until 2:15 to allow for the weekly conference meetings. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. inhofe: if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned immediately following the resumption of legislative session upon disposition of the smith nomination. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. inhofe: i yield back. the presiding officer: all time is yielded back. the question occurs on the smith nomination.
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is there a sufficient second? there appears to be a sufficient second. the clerk will now call the roll. vote:
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vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: have all senators voted? any senator wish to change their vote? on this nomination the vote is, the ayes are 79, nays 7. this nomination is confirmed. under the previous order the motion to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table. the president lb immediately -- will be notified by the senate's action. and the senate will resume legislative session. example of
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boston, the election went off.f >> "washington journal" continues. host: alberto fernandez way to encounter
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the islamic state's social media campaign. forre the court nader counterterrorism communications. explain what the office doesn't how tries to achieve its goals. guest: that was a small -- looking atting al qaeda propaganda before the great rise of isis. reallyop shop issue a treated with less significant than advocates. since i've retired from the government, i do not know what they are done in the past year. it was always a small operation.
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tiny. i testified in front of the house in 2012 and the chairman said, you are the head of the smallest organization to ever testify over this organization. people, some of them detail ease from other parts of the government. a handful of people focusing on social media, operators in the languages, arab village -- arabic. then we added a tiny english program at the end. that is what it was. host: you left in february why? guest: i retired. host: what is your thought about the state of that department, especially with isis and what has become such a potent campaign? the center was started at a time when a lot of people in washington in and outside of the
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administration -- there was that victory moment of president bush on the aircraft carrier that we all talk about this administration's victory moment in the last three years, between -- i noticed there was strong support at the beginning when secretary clinton was there. after she left, i think there was less support. it became very politicized. perfect for me that i was retiring anyway. the center for counterterrorism committee kaisha spirit you can check it out online and check out their webpage. you can also check out their social media pages on twitter. we will show you a few. if our viewers want to call in and they have questions about this battlefield that the united states is fighting isis, alberto fernandez is our guest for the
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next 40 minutes or so. democrats -- republicans -- -- pendents if you are outside the u.s. -- speaking of this battlefield, how did each side wind? what is the strategy on the different sort of battlefield? guest: first of all, it needs to isisid over and over, propaganda is unprecedented. it is powerful and they use it in very interesting ways. they are the most successful terrorist group in history on the use of media or without exaggerating. that sounds very daunting. need to remember when we talk about propaganda and messaging, it is connected to the real world. isis's propaganda goes through the roof one mobile falls.
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there is a connection between messaging and the real world. the rise of the islamic state is what gives the propaganda power power andility, that that strength. not the other way around. were -- we confuse the medium with the message being put out. how: you can get a sense of the cbc is trying to counter what isis is putting online. spoke to an islamic state inspector in turkey, face hidden and voice disguised. >> i joined them out of fear, he says. who joined really believed killing and whipping was the way to spread islam. when they discovered that was all wrong, they cannot leave. ♪
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the defector said he watched the commander gives a knife to his eight euros son. he made him cut off a prisoner's head, he told me. he said the sun should learn early -- the son of amir should learn early. ♪ host: this is part of the state department's think again, turn away campaign. messagingive is this guest: we are ridiculously
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outnumbered by isis and social media and we need to recognize that. the challenge is, how do you measure--how do you something that does not happen? it is inherently difficult. but this is good. i think it is a good effort. it has been shown empirically to be powerful. it is not bad. couple of problems with it. you do not know who the person is because they are afraid for their life. you do not know the name or their face. isis propaganda is about me talking to you and openly declaring my views and loyalty. defectors, people who are the terrorist organization, will be leery about going on television.
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learning much of a curve has there been to get something that you say is good at this point? have there been failures? guest: lots of failures. but it was created because of failure, because of the recognition that after 10 years after 9/11, the u.s. government had not donee west such a good job countering terrorist propaganda. is good. work of cscc i think working level people being freed from political stance in white house are doing good work but it always has been the islamication state has a network of propaganda. right now, strangely enough, we are outgunned and outmanned. i am not talking about the u.s.
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government or cscc. you take everyone in the world messaging in that anti-isis phase, and they are still outnumbered in what isis brings to the battle. up first in virginia, the line for independents. you.r: thank i think we give some legitimacy to the islamic state when we call them the islamic state. why can't we come up with another term? the organization is what some people call them in the middle east. it is a battle of words. when we use the islamic terror, there is a huge risk in our domestic politics. i would imagine people like being called islamic terrorists. i will take your answer off the air. in arabic there either
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called -- the islamic state organization. that is what al jazeera calls daesh.r they are called be careful about language but also have to be careful not to be afraid of your shadow. if the islamic state makes a -- you need to .hallenge them somebody needs to challenge them on that. sometimes see propaganda in the middle east and they will say things like, we don't understand why the islamic state did this. why did they bought these temples? well actually, there are ideas taken from islam which are the
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reason for them being blown up to we need to be careful not about stigmatizing people or but we in this battle, also need to take the ideological fight to them in that space. the u.s. government is probably not the best to do this. who could it be? there are nongovernment actors getting involved. anonymous said they will take on the islamic state. it takes a network to fight a network or do you need more of everything to you need .he direct approach you need the voices of young people, or people sarcastic or annoying or trolling or all of that. it is not one thing because that is what isis does. it is a network producing a variety of different materials for different audiences.
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host: ali is waiting, essex, maryland, line for democrats. caller: i'm a muslim and an american. theroblem i am having with the rhetorice, now coming from the republican branch is really not helping. we should also stop calling these people islamic state just. they are not a state or they are a bunch of crazy people. we're just giving them credit. just wish the saudi government that america is reporting is pretty more of this problem. cowards, anytime there is a problem, they will come to the western world for help to why can't they go to this fight?
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i think those are some good points. the question of, who are they and what do they represent, the islamicdoubt state in quotation marks, what it tries to do is appeal to a specific islamist worldview and that worldview is bigger than the islamic state. for decades, governments in the region have moved the needle in acertain direction, toward specific type of self as him solecism. state's's image and appeal to muslims is part of a larger battle occurring about authority, credibility, worldship in the muslim and especially in the sunni arab muslim world.
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michigan, david is waiting on our independent line. isis andhe leader of present. a trusted this guy so much, they put him in charge of the prisoners so that they would not riot. the biggest problem was when they disbanded the iraqi army, they put the officers in with this leader. the united states wonders why they hire having so much trouble and they had the chance to beat this guy. when baghdad he was briefly in campbell, for a few months, he was not a leader. he was a radical, a radical , aric, a university student person who was not a good guy, but he was not a leader and not the leader of the islamic state.
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we need to be precise about the details about that. host: bringing it back to the conversation about propaganda and online. you talk about tactics here. you mentioned trolling individual engagement, one-on-one, not really effective or a good use of u.s. resources? why not try to engage the individual accounts one-on-one? not a bad idea. the problem is you just don't have the numbers. just talking twitter alone, an average of 40 to 50,000 pro isis accounts. at cdc -- at cscc, there were three. it had six twitter handles. isis and ice's supporters had 40 or 50,000. of which, maybe 3000 -- i'm not should have engaged, but there is something very important and that is how they radicalized.
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occurs ondicalization a one-to-one basis. me talking to you, that is something that may be explored and maybe government cannot do, but government can do with a private sector. you need someone who will basically have those long conversations with people who are on the fence about whether or not to become terrorists or not. more akin to the work that social workers or people who work with gangs or with other pathological tendencies people tend to have. it is something that needs to be done. cscc never had that mandate. host: one of the arabic twitter handles, following 400 people, aret 5000 followers, what these islamic state groups get in terms of followers? just a few followers per thousand? the way it works on social media especially twitter, it has a central node that puts
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out the propaganda. from those places by the fan boys, by a network of then expand and amplified, retweet, shouted out, etc.. you're talking about yes, tens of thousands of people doing that. host: our guest for about the next 30 minutes or so, alberto fernandez, former court nader for the center for -- coordinator for the cscc. thank you for taking my call and thank you for c-span. i do not envy you. you don't know where you could reach these kids who might be thinking about going to the other side or finding the appeal of ice is overwhelming. my understanding is they are cast this as a clash of civilizations with the west against islam. last week, i read that they
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cannot induce their own population into joining the they actuallythat rented the elements of the colombian army and that will be there expeditionary force. if these folks cannot be induced to defend themselves and have to kind of capability that the people do not want any i do not see how we could get past that. it would seem to help them in the idea that it is us against them. that is the real problem here because it is not. my understanding from all of these numbers is that they would probably take care of isis inside about three months. my understanding also is that isis was born in the jails of egypt and the jails of jordan and those jails are still bulging. these people could be replaced in state. where does this end? guest: the first point he makes
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is the radicalization process is very personal and individualized. it varies from person to person. think about it in your own life. one person is a republican and the other person is a democrat. one person follows this religious tradition and the other follows another one. it is not unusual, some people have different lifestyles. the radicalization process is very personal and very intimate. that is a problem if you try a one-size-fits-all or strategy. it is important to be clear about these things. us -- supposedly, allegedly is getting these colombian troops not to fight isis but to fight these long, drawnout wars in yemen, where basically the gulf states are fighting in yemen and they do not have enough soldiers. it actually has nothing to do with the isis fight or with the clash of civilization. let's go to hot springs
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national park, arkansas, a line for republicans. go ahead. our caller is not there. haven,aiting in winter florida, line for democrats. good morning. go ahead. you are on with mr. fernandez. mine is more statement paradigm i think it is more radical and radical you have got to fight fire with fire. isis and justht kind of mess around. you have got to go in there and take care of business. militaryuilds a strong , and show them what we can do. and just take care of the problem. on theheard a few people way, that is too bad because otherwise, they're not going to fight. the iraqis are going to fight.
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you know, saudi arabia's are not going to fight. so if we have to put an end to isis, put an end to it and do not play with it. if you have to go over and take them out of jordan prisons, get rid of them. it is time that america put its foot down. there is something to what he said in his colorful fashion. there's something in their message, we are winners by permission of god. god has west our victory. a narrative based so intimately on victory is fragile in the be seenat it needs to as winning. if you can show them as losing, show them as losing territory, toies they had falling someone else, that is punching a
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big hole in the narrative. they talk about conquering the world. it is a way of weakening their narrative. host: on twitter -- guest: perhaps. i think there was a tendency after the cold war to think the american model, the western model, the liberal and democratic free market model, because it is inherently right, that we were just going to, you know, rain worldwide. we have seen the rise of new authoritarians. and some old authoritarians from isis, andrussia and iran, etc. the idea that we could sit on and hollywood, madison
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avenue, etc., would take care of it, has been proven to be wrong. let's go to pennsylvania where ruben has been waiting on our independent line. good morning and thank you for taking our call. in your opening remarks, you mentioned when you last -- you that it had become politicized. i wonder if you could tell us more about that. always aere is tendency to have a political interference in anything that becomes important. basically, if what you're doing is not important, there is less interference. became more important, it was more interfered with, especially by the white house. .t is not a problem with cscc i am not saying anything that is a secret. in the administration, the power of the national security council, interfering into the daily work of other government
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agencies, including the state department, is probably at a historic high, looking back in history. is there an example of how that could be seen? guest: that is probably a better question for them. was a lot of micromanaging in the last few months, including flaky things like, maybe we should have another name or another labor -- another label or some be like that, as if that was the issue. there is the challenge of micromanaging that is a problem that the state department today in other parts of the of the u.s. government, not just one operation. to who we, go maryland, on our line for republicans. caller: you seem extremely knowledgeable about the subject. can hear you have a role of the tongue with some of the
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dialect so you actually understand what is going on in the middle east. that we will out propaganda folks in the middle east is probably not going to work because, in order to radicalize somebody, you have to be personal. one-on-one relationships in one-on-one conversations that we are not able to get into. i think what we should frankly read by is try to example. to the extent we do have certain ideals and ideas we need to bring forward, we stand firm on those ideas. ask you a question about some of the interference. did you see some of the interference as productive or mostly nonproductive? i guess he means political interference. it was a maid -- a waste of time, most of it. political interference is a fact
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of life in washington and actually not a very big deal. not come withes additional resources. that is a problem where you are byically getting whipsawed people in different directions, and it does not have to do with getting more money or more support. with you are embarrassed because john oliver made fun of what you did and that embarrasses the white house. it has nothing to do with isis. so yes, this is a problem. agree we need to be bold and stand for our ideals. the isis project is about a very specific thing. countered with a real vision of something. you cannot fight something with nothing. it does not mean the u.s.'s view alone needs to be put out there. this is an ideological struggle and also it is a
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struggle in another way, a military struggle. there is the problem of basically producing a counter narrative which actually holds water. that is a problem. can you talk a bit about twitter and facebook and the private companies and what role you see them playing in the effort against isis, if any? we have done quite a bit of research on that in my current position. social media companies need to do more. they have begun to do more. some have done a better job or facebook has done a better job for example in cleaning up radical content online, than say twitter. other entities, we did a big report on this, russian, german app called telegram, heavily used by isis. they will always look to see
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what is the most ungoverned space out there and social media. i am not one for censorship. i believe in free speech. but social media companies need to, at the very least, hold participants to their own terms of reference in their own rules. sometimes, that is not happening. host: where can viewers go to see that report? emory.org and you can find all kinds of materials about radicalization and radical islamic people talking in their own words. host: 15 minutes left in this segment. waiting in columbus, ohio, a line for independents. diane i amd morning skeptical about all the news that comes out about isil. the press has made up stories come alive, put out propaganda as usual. not verified. they talked about mass graves, 700,000 people were buried alive, or what have you.
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then they could not verify the mass grave they had reported. they talked about crucifixions, people being buried alive. the beheading of children. no evidence. nothing given. they had an article put out by the united press in the paper if oneat showed that looks closely at the picture, a , dismembered, near a car in front of a building that said suicide bomber killed so many people. it shows this manikin. not a a manikin and person. i called the newspaper and i said, what kind of news are you putting out on here, where you have manikin's when you look closely, it is really a manikin and not a person? host: i am sure you have looked into what has been put out by them. kind of ais
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ridiculous comment he made it i rely on ice is propaganda and not news reports. we go straight to the source to what are they actually saying and what are they actually doing. it is just ludicrous. there is footage by isis of mass murder. you don't try to hide it. they boast about it. they glory in it. one video i saw, i actually wrote a report for it, for live beheading of nine members of the sunni arab in augusted -- tried of 2014 in syria. not fantasize like when they kill americans. the arab muslims were beheaded live in the video. host: who is that directed to? who do they want to see that? that was basically to tell a very important constituent of isis, the sunni arab muslim tribes of syria and
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you get out of line, we will crush you, we will mike the example at the time of the prophet mohammed, where the entire tribe was taken and all the men were beheaded and the women and children were sold into slavery. trevor is waiting on our line for democrats. caller: i wondered if i was thinking about this in the wrong way. focusing on the outrageous and appalling tactics of the leadership. there must be a mass of people willing to support them. not necessarily driven by ideology so much as hopelessness and humiliation. are there points where we could actually negotiate with these elements? could we address legitimate grievances? i could not imagine isis would be so compelling if we, for example, took a harder line on israel and their criminal activities. i say this as a jew.
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would it be different? do we have to think about this only as a militaristic or social media way? does not talk much about israel. isis talks about subjugating the world. talks basically for the west presenting two options. islam oru convert to submit yourself to humiliating -- of that, changing u.s. foreign-policy or being tough on israel, that somehow will earn us brownie points, with the audience that could be radicalized by isis, that is frankly ludicrous. waiting in new york, line for republicans. go ahead. caller: good morning. i look at this at several levels. the first is i think the muslims themselves have to discredit isis.
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the silent majority, you do not see them demonstrating or marching in the street or making orir own propaganda films telling fellow muslims that there are parts of the koran that are against mass killings. not understand the math psychopathy, that there are so many psychopaths that are willing to just kill people. it reminds me of nazi germany with all of their propaganda. was boots ony, it the ground that destroyed the nazis. that is the same thing that has to happen here. unfortunately, when you blame global warming and lack of jobs for the rise of isis, this craziness and the jv team, how is that going to defeat isis? you know, it is
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interesting. of course, the notorious jv team comment came as isis took the city of pollution. it was played down as kind of a local thing and not actually as a very important thing. a struggle going on in the muslim world, especially in the sunni arab muslim world. it is a crisis of authority and about who rules under what kind of rule, under what kind of world feel. that is actually much larger than isis. entitiesne of many fighting that battle. so yes, the ultimate victory is why the muslims, among the muslims. we have to remember when we are talking about isis, and they have been extraordinarily successful propaganda, without a doubt. only been ablee to radicalize a tiny minority of the muslim world. we are talking about very small numbers. talking about over one billion people, even small number's should be a concern.
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isis sees itself as a revolutionary vanguard. it would like to have every muslim with them, but for them, a committedto have and violent focused minority that can impose its will on everyone, similar to 1917 russia. team, you talked how was it taken by isis and the propaganda afterwards that you saw? did they care or pay attention to that comment? guest: not at all. what they did was they carefully and quietly use the victory in -- to producee the most successful video they ever made. a clanging of the swords number four. this 50 minute video about fallujah is the one that set the stage for the seemingly miraculous, amazing fall.
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it was probably one of the most successful efforts of psychological operation in the history of warfare, something that will be studied in the future. host: directed at recruits? defendersected at the of the population there. demoralizing it from within. it was very successful. host: time for a couple more calls. larry it -- margaret is waiting on our line for independents. would: getting current, i like to know why and particular, that the paris attacks, the continual bombing of isis enemies is not doing any good. i am talking about the united states. a lot of bombing, france, a lot of bombing. russia, a lot of bombing. what is happening with all the bombing that it is not having
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any effect? thank you. guest: it has had an effect bearded prevented isis from expanding further than it would have. been a direct contributor to the fall of the whole range of important sites in town from isis. from the dam taken last year with heavy air support by the to carita, to beijing, the problem is this. this is nothing new. bombing stuff from the air is not enough. you need to have people on the ground to take territory. we need those allies and all of the names i mentioned of laces that is been taken away from isis, were taken away from isis in collaboration with somebody on the ground here and whether it is kurdish forces or the iraqi army or somebody. host: how does isis explain the fall?
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how is it viewed? not explain it at all. they never talk about that. they present an image of victory. they're like a puffer fish. it blows itself up to make itself look to your and meaner and better than they are. video they released west week in english to threaten the united states, they talked about the success of the islamic state. how can you talk about success when they are actually losing ground in syria and iraq? they talked about the franchises, the branches of islamic state popping up all over the place. not all of them are real, but some of them, nigeria, boko haram, part of isis. libya, sinai, those are real and very dangerous branches of the islamic state. so they use the growth of these ranches to show success. to show growth.
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the other thing they use are the spectacular terrorist attacks. isis prefers to conquer territory on the ground. to be seen as taking cities, to be seen as having its territory expanding. like anysence of that, good, news generating entity, like a politician does, or kim kardashian does, they will look for whatever gets them attention. the soggy potato ship idea. military victory is the best thing. if you do not have that, how about cutting someone's head off in a bizarre way that will get everyone worked up? church orblowing up a a mosque or an ancient temple? how about a terrorist attack in the city of light in paris. all of those things are substitutes or kind of a power projection for what they would like to do, which is grow the state. if they cannot grow the state, they will find all the ways to get in your face and get on the news. in ohio, line for
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democrats. thank you for waiting. i have a question. if isis is using propaganda and ideology, why don't the united states and all of these 65 plus countries come to help with our counter propaganda and ideology to fight isis? obviously, conventional weapons does not win against isis. why don't somebody come up with a strategy that is different? that is my question. it brings us back to where we started. guest: thank you for that. they are the physical state in the middle east, slowly being drunk. it is slowly under a lot of pressure. that is the good news. but that ms. is the virtual state, the image, the propaganda image, it is still
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extraordinarily powerful. it found ways to fudge the difference between losing on the ground and winning in cyberspace. so yes, we need to do a lot more in social media, and there are commonsense things you can do. you need to have more numbers, a one to one approach. multifaceted types of materials and stuff. you need to make their stuff more difficult to be online. you need to do all of those things. the biggest solution to the problem is military victories. it is openly and clearly crushing them, and that everyone sees they are being crushed. they do tend basically on the idea that if they are winning, it is because god has blessed them to win. host: alberto fernandez, our guest. if you want to follow him on
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they always have me introducer because we have so much in common. from hawaii, i'm from north dakota. she is buddhist and i'm catholic. she is japanese-american, but i tell you, she is a little to to the left of me, you might know. but i will tell you this, she is my family, my friend, and a great senator from the great state of hawaii. [applause]
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>> thank you. hello half. thank you, my sister, heidi. yes, weyes, we did campaign together, and she usually ended up introducing me. we are all here because we are ready for hillary. there is only one person who could have brought this awesome crowd together and got all of my colleagues, so many of my colleagues together tonight command that is hillary clinton. you know, aside from the fact that she is, as far as we are concerned, the smartest, most experienced, most committed person, i am supporting hillary because of who she is an issue draws inspiration from.
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that is her mother, dorothy. some of you no would not be standing here were not for my courageous mother who fled an abusive marriage in japan. i was almost eight years old it was tough. she persevered. and that is what hillary's mother, dorothy, dead. she was abandoned at a young age and went to live with her grandparents. she began working for other people and other homes at age 14. ..
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and of course when hillary becomes our president there will be a first in the end degree, so now i have the privilege of introducing one of my other sisters. we all came together in 2012 and that is my sister tammy baldwin of wisconsin. [applause] tammy is the first openly person to be elected to the united states senate.
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and when she was asked about this historic tour of tammy said i'm not running to make history. i'm running to make a difference. so my friends, tammy baldwin. give it up for her. [applause] >> wow what a great crowd. everyone here ready for hillary. i wanted to just share for a couple of seconds are reasons why i am so proud to support hillary clinton. most of them are substantive from her work and her earliest days as an attorney with the children's defense fund, fighting to make sure that children of disabilities have equal access to education, to her days as first lady and secretary of state putting both women's rights and lgbtq writes
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on the global stage. [applause] to laying the foundation for the passage of the child health insurance program that we know schip, on and on and on. but i want to say something and that is that we focus a lot on the substance that this symbolism is important also and i want every young woman every young girl to be able to look at the president of the united states and see someone who looks a little bit like herself. [applause] we have an extraordinary opportunity in front of us to elect hillary clinton as our next president. and i want to introduce to to a colleague who invade political
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world has coined a phrase for women, because politics is not a spectator sport. please welcome to the stage, my friend and colleague, kirsten gillibrand. [applause] >> thank you. thank you senator baldwin for your amazing leadership and friendship. it's an honor to be here with all of if senate female colleagues and it's an honor to be with all of you. thank you for supporting hillary all of us are here because women in our state support us. women do so much for our campaign from knocking on doors to stuffing envelopes to raising money to voting. it's important that women speak out and use their voices to vote for candidates that represent their values but also important for us to elect more women in this country from governors to congress to the senate and of course to the white house.
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[applause] let's think about it. if we had more women in government we'd have more women leading on issues that we care about whether it's paid leave, whether it's equal pay for equal work, whether it's affordable daycare. if women made up half of congress i promise you we would never debate whether we should have equal pay for equal work or whether we have access to contraception. now just imagine what we would have if we had a woman president of the united states. i think we all know how amazing it will be when hillary is the next president of the united states. and it's not just the women who are going to benefit. you know that more women are empowered the more women make decisions you will have stronger businesses come a growing economy and better committees. when women are better off, our country is better off. the only way we will get there is if every person in this room
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does their part to work stay and night to make sure we have the resources to win this election and to make sure we get every single vote out because when women vote, women win and hillary will be our next president of the united states. [applause] is my pleasure to introduce amazing leaders. senator jeanne shaheen is the only woman who is a sitting senator and governor in our nations history. she is expert on foreign policy. she's an expert on clean energy and she's an amazing friend. jeanne shaheen. [applause] >> think he kirsten. what an amazing crowd. [applause] i bring you frontline greetings from the frontline of the presidential campaign. the new hampshire primary. [applause]
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where last night we had our jefferson-jackson dinner. we had 1200 people which is a lot for new hampshire. and we had all of the presidential, democratic presidential candidates there so we had ernie, we had martin o'malley and we have hillary. and i'm here to tell you that hillary rocked the house last night. [applause] everybody had their -- and my favorite line was when hillary said i'm not running to make a point. i'm running to make a difference. and that is what her campaign is about, making a difference for america. i can tell you that hillary is going to win the new hampshire primary. [applause] i know that because even though the polls say it's close, the people who are running her campaign are the people who
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helped me beat scott brown. [applause] we sent him packing and i can tell you we are going to send the other candidates for president packing in new hampshire and hillary is going to win the first primary state. now, she needs a little help so from all of you who want to be out on the trail making a difference. we have nice winter travel packages available in new hampshire so come out and knock on doors, help hillary become the madam president, the next president of the united states. [applause] i am excited that i not only get to hear -- get to be a talk about hillary but i also get to introduce one of my best friends in the senate, you think al franken is the funniest member of the senate but is the senior senator from minnesota amy
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klobuchar who is the funniest member of the senate. but she is also the hardest working family for -- a person for families who has been working so hard to improve the economy of her state in this country and she's been traveling all over the country working for hillary. let me tell you when amy go someplace the democrat winds. she was in louisiana for their j.j. dinner and the governor won. so hillary is going to win. amy klobuchar. [applause] >> thank you so much. you may be from the great granite state of new hampshire but i'm just across the border from iowa. in fact i can see iowa from mike ford's. [applause] and i can tell you this, hillary clinton is going to win iowa. [applause]
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and let me tell you why. first of all this is the first reason rate i'm so excited about hillary's campaign and that is because for me it is personal. when i first got to the senate i remember reading all of her agriculture papers, because there weren't many women that were in states that had major areas. she had one and i memorize those papers. now she's putting those those into action with her work in iowa. the other reason is personal for me is that my mom is no longer with us but she was when hillary started running for president and she had one goal and that was that hillary clinton was going to be president. i have a picture of my mom and hillary up in my office. we are going to make that come true. [applause] the second reason is a reason of substance. hillary clinton has put out plans for this country not for the short term but for the long-term. thank you for enduring for the
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long-term. one of the favorite things she is done as she's willing to take on the issue of substance abuse, of drug addiction, of something that affects 56% of americans who know someone in her family or a friend who has a severe addiction problem. she is taking the son and if anyone has questions of substance you read that speech he gave to the council on foreign relations last week about what to do about isis, but what to do about -- and if you need talking points for the holidays with your brother-in-law, you read that. the third in the last reason is her incredible true grit. hillary clinton has been so resilient. you look at what she did in the benghazi hearing, right? anyone watch that? [applause] that is the definition of churck grid writ. you look at her appearances lately where with stephen
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colbert or jimmy fallon and getting to know hillary clinton like so many of us know her and we have seen an amazing shift in the way people understand where she's coming from. coming from a state that is the state of paul wellstone who understands campaigning. coming from the state of walter mondale and we won't forget the moment when he put gerald being referred -- geraldine ferrero on the ticket and coming from the state of hubert humphrey who once said if we don't write our own history, someone else will write it for us. well my friends we are not going to let those guys on the other side of the aisle right are history forests. our history is hillary clinton and she will be our next president. [applause] so speaking of churck writ, i had the great privilege to
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introduce a woman who knows a little bit about churck writ and that is my great friend, clare mccaskill of missouri. [applause] now i think you all know clare is one tough cookie and she had two tough races. if you don't believe me that she is tough you just talked to a guy named todd akin. but clare has also fought for military families. she has taken on government accountability issues. she is taken on what it is to the state of missouri and for our country and could i add the title of her book to end this, she is plenty ladylike. my friend clare mccaskill. [applause] >> with that was the senator next door. one pitch deserves another. it is great fun to be here with all of my colleagues. you know, every morning i get up
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and i have a cup of coffee early , and then look at the day's news. and it seems like almost every morning i read about the leading candidate for president in the republican party and i say out loud, he said what? he said what? are you kidding me? and then compare and contrast. our leading candidate. stable, strong, smart, substantive. there is no irresponsible right. but there is a lot of hard work and we have so much hard work in
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front of us. this is a woman who understands she has got to earn the trust of the american people. and so when you think you haven't done enough for hillary clinton, when you think you have called enough friends or you have made enough phonecalls, by then it will be on netflix or itunes. if you haven't seen the movie yet, go see it. the sacrifices the women had made to come to this moment. now, she is going to work to earn this and we are going to be proud of her while she does, but tonight i think we should treat ourselves and just try something out and say it out loud. so i want you to say on the count of three what we are going to call hillary clinton in
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january of 2016. one, two, three. madam president! all right. [applause] speaking of substance, speaking of smart, there is a woman in the senate who never lbos anyway anyway -- anyone on the way for the camera who never wants the attention but is always doing the hard work. that's why we'll respect her so much. that's why i am so proud to be her friend. please welcome the very special maria cantwell from washington. [applause] >> i hear there are over 1000 people here who support hillary clinton for president. thank you all very much. and as clare said there are some
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senators in washington that fix their hair and makeup and then there are the women. [applause] we are here to support one of our own and you know why? do you know why? as president, hillary clinton knows that we need to retrain laid-off workers and returning veterans so they can have a job in the economy the 21st century. she knows that we need to grow the economy from the middle out and that is why we need to increase the minimum wage, and she knows as president of the united states she will sign the first bill that will say equal pay for equal work. [applause] that is what we will get with hillary clinton and that's what we have to work hard. last time when hillary ran my mom literally the day before the caucus had her appendix taken out but showed up at the caucus.
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to support hillary. i just want us to all know, whatever the circumstances, appendix or not, we are going to be there for hillary. we are going to get the vote out and we are going to make sure that equal pay does become the law of the land. now if i can just say a great word about my tremendous colleague from michigan. you know, hillary has fought for health care her entire life and when senator stabenow was on the health care committee at the gazette at all. republicans i should say. the republicans tried to take out basically the provision for women's health care for preventive care. even one of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle said why do you need repetitive care? we don't even need to take care of this and debbie started in and said no but your mom did and
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that's why we are keeping preventive care in the bill. please welcome senator debbie stabenow. [applause] >> hello hillary land. we are ready to rock 'n roll. you know it's a wonderful being here with all of my colleagues. i think about january 2017, when the door opens you know and they walked down the stairs and hillary clinton walks down and put her hand up and takes the oath. that's when our children and grandchildren, the girls in our lives, will now they can really be anything they want to be. anything they want to be. [applause] you know i have had the great pleasure and honor the wing
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hillary clinton for almost 30 years. we were both five when we started. we met on a panel at a national convention in detroit on protecting children. i heard this wonderful woman who was there representing the children's defense fund, also first lady at the time, speak about how critical it was to protect their children from child abuse and neglect. i said who is that woman? this is a pretty smart women. i'm pretty impressed with this woman and i have been impressed ever since. we have had the opportunity to campaign together for her other halves. we did pretty well too as i recall. and i have had the great honor of being in beijing in 1995 when our hillary clinton, despite
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great controversy, in a huge room, much bigger than those, people whispering was she really going to get up and say what they thought she was going to say? we have seen women from tibet who were out marching in protests and suddenly would disappear. we saw all kinds of things happening around beijing at the time. when hillary clinton represented the president of the united states in representing all of us stood up and said women's rights are human rights it changed. [applause] it changed the world and she has been doing that ever since. and then, it was an honor to common with her in 2002 the united states senate. we had the opportunity to come and once again as a colleague i saw somebody willing to work across the aisle when it made
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sense and went to kick them in the rare when it made sense, fighting for working families, for choice, for health care including mental health and substance abuse services. i'm so proud of her efforts on that. for equal pay. all of that, we know what she did. and i want each of the women here to take a moment and think about something that we all can identify with on this day and that is all that in your life you have been told they were to this, you are to that. your heirs to this, your makeup is to that. you don't smile enough. anybody have back? we have all had that. we have all been told way, it's not your time. wade, there will be another time. well today we are here to say today is our time.
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[applause] and president hillary clinton is just right. [applause] i now want to in today's another woman who was just right. she was told when she started by state politicians she could make a difference as a parent advocate concerned about saving her local preschool program. she organized 13,000 parents and save the program and then she put her tennis shoes on and she went to work to become a tremendous leader and advocate from washington. she has made a huge difference, the first female senator from washington, the first female on the senate veterans committee where she fights everyday for veterans, the first female chair of the senate budget committee where she got a major bipartisan
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budget initiative done a couple of years ago. she thought for education and transportation for health care and women's issues and veterans issues. the senior senator from washington state, patty murray. [applause] >> we thank you so much for that introduction. so great to be here with all of you executives, professionals, teachers, moms, daughters, sisters, the bedrock of this campaign. that's who you are. for years her friend hillary clinton has inspired women and girls everywhere to punch through glass ceilings. she has made a career out of standing up for our families and kids. she demonstrated america's leadership from one side of the globe to the other and just like all of us, she still puts her pantsuits on one leg at a time.
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[applause] you know i'm working with many of the women here behind me on ways to help make our country work for all of our families and not just the wealthiest few. i recently heard from a woman named sandy from seattle. she has put herself through college. sandy got a job in retail. her paycheck was next to nothing and the benefits actually were nothing. but she did what all women do, she just worked harder. she earned her degree, she got a job but after a couple of months she was chatting with a male colleague and found out he was offered 20% more for doing the exact same job. sandy was mad but she kept working harder. she went back to school and then she got back into the workforce again and now today she needs to make sure she has flexible hours to take care of her kids and she
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keeps working harder and harder to keep up and keep her family's head above water. sandy and millions of women just like her in this country are looking for a president who is going to work just as hard for them as they do for themselves and their families. a president who listens to their stories and shares their priorities, who understands their challenges are real and that we can work together to tackle them. i have seen hillary in the senate. i've known her for years and they know she is the woman for this job. [applause] i know how much she cares and i know how hard she fights. i know she's going to be a great president but i also know we have got to keep working hard to help her get there. we know the republicans are
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going to fight hard if they can to attack hillary to win this race but you know what we have seen the energy of millions of supporters across the country. i know we are going to fight back and i know we are going to win. [applause] so now i'm so pleased to introduce a woman who's been a champion for women's health, a strong middle-class in the environment, so much more than all of you care about. she is the senator who will be so missed next year here in the senate but whose work will absolutely continue. please join me in welcoming my great friend forever, senator barbara boxer. [applause] [applause]
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>> this is so exciting. now it takes something extraordinary to overcome all the logistical hurdles involved in getting 13 of us here at the same time and that's something extraordinary. hillary clinton, that's why we are here. it's a little late getting here tonight because i've been negotiating the final provision of the major five-year transportation bill. yeah. [applause] and everybody here has been working with me on it for which i'm very grateful. and i look forward to seeing it but i want to say we have 60,000 bridges that are structurally deficient and 50% of our roads are not in good condition and i
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was so happy to hear hillary say that one of her priorities is rebuilding america. but in america forward, fixing those bridges and highways. and while she is building america, she is in fact rebuilding our experience right now, isn't she? and don't we say hillary thank you for running because sometimes we forget. all of us up here know what it takes. we know running for the united states senate let alone running for the highest office in the land. so we say thank you. when hillary announced she was going to run i was over the moon i was ecstatic as barbara streisand once said i was eclipsed because of it. why? because i knew we had the chance to elect a woman who is
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brilliant, compassionate, yes, progressive, yes, pragmatic, and someone with a great depth of knowledge. she has gravitas and she has maturity in the country -- in the world. no one else but hillary can do that but you know now the stakes are so much higher. i believe this presidential election is about saving our country and i don't say that lightly. ..
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and when we hear donald trump -- >> boo! >> you are paying attention to me. i'm so -- when we hear donald trump say he wouldn't rule out a special i.d. card for muslims, and ben carson compare syrian refugees to rabid dogs it is time to elect hillary clinton. [cheering] >> we need someone who knows
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what makes our country great. our diversity, someone who actually understands foreign policy. she has lived it. she understands hard power and soft power. she stand up for wimp's right, gay rights, civil rights, for our environment, for our children, and we know that is hillary clinton, and i'll finish with this before i turn to my incredible senior senator. i'm so old and i have a senior senator. i guess it's good at my age to be called junior. but imagine, i want you to imagine what it would be like in the year 2020, that's just four years away, as our country celebrates the 100th 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote. who will be presiding over those celebrations? president hillary clinton! [cheering]
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>> there used to be -- to tell you how far i go back, i remember bumper stickers that said, imagine peace. that's when we were in the war in vietnam. imagine peace. some of you remember that. we need to imagine. we need to imagine hillary presiding over that occasion. now, many of us have made history in our own states. when dianne and i ran for the senate in '92 there were only two women senators, and look at this beautiful stage tonight. and -- [cheering] >> and there's two more great ones coming. when we ran, people would say to dianne and me, are you kidding? how could two will be elected to the senate? from the same state? and then they'd add, and you're both jewish to boot. yes. it was really annoying, and i would respond, well, did you ever ask how it is that two
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white male pros stands could get elected to the senate from the same state? that would usually cause a bit of reflection on their part. then i would add, and besides which, the senate needs a good dose of chicken soup. so that race joined dianne and i together forever in history, and more than 20 years later, we are still very strong partners. throughout all these years, i cannot imagine a better partner than senator dianne feinstein. so it is such a pleasure to introduce to you a woman who is one of the great national leaders on intelligence, she is a great national leader on protecting our rights from her perch on the judiciary committee, and she is territorially not afraid to stand up to ted cruz on sensible gun laws. ladies and gentlemen, the great
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senator dianne feinstein. [cheering] >> am i lucky to have barbara as a partner? i think so. and i want to thank everybody for coming. i want to thank you for really looking deeply into this race. it isn't just that hillary is a woman. if that were just the case you could make a negative argument, too. but in this case, hillary rodham clinton is clearly the most qualified candidate. for the president of the united states. [cheers and applause] >> what i spend a lot of my time doing is in the intelligence world right now. and what i see increasingly is how dangerous a place this world
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is. how knowledgeable and sensitive and qualified you really have to be to deal with people who lead different countries when you want them to do something that you want them to do. can anyone imagine donald trump in that position? and i think that if you look at someone that has had eight years as first lady, who has traveled this land on her own, and with her husband, then the president, if you look at somebody who has been a united states senator from the great state of new york for eight full years. and if you look at someone who has been a most distinguished secretary of state, with literally millions of miles under her belt. you come to the conclusion that this is really the only
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candidate out there that has an opportunity because of the knowledge that is in her brain, to solve some of the problems that we face at the most indispensable nation on earth and the need to use that power it gives news a proper way. this race, ladies and gentlemen, is so important. matter of fact i think, as i watch the republican debate, and i see what is coming town the pathway, it's really important that we get out there and that we work for hillary. sure, it's nice that she understands walt we go through as a woman. she -- it's wonderful that she knows how the world is for women. but most importantly for all of us, it's the specific talent that she brings. it's her mind, her knowledge of world leaders.
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it's her knowledge of possible solutions to big problems. and into we have that opportunity now. i think in this race, to make a real change within the united states of america, not only a more comp passionate nation, a nation that cares more about people who need a step up in life, not only a nation that wants to treasure education, but a nation that has to lead in the world if some of the problems that are out there, that you see in paris, that we see in the middle east, it's often said that we have a big problem with terrorist groups and that isis is being contained. well, it's now in 12 other countries. it's establishing provinces in other countries. hillary rodham clinton knows these things. she is educated in them. she has the ability to know
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where to go and who to talk to. this doesn't sound like much when you listen to it up here but it really is important, and as you can see, on this stage, are 13 women who are knock down, drag-out supporter are for this woman not only to become the first woman president of the united states but to bring the kind of expertise and energy and staying power. you saw her. you saw donald trump. well, the next debate shouldn't be three hours. maybe just an hour. three hours is too long. anyone's bin in one of those hearing rooms knows what sitting there for 11 hours and going through a grilling is like. [cheering] >> so, we know that she has the compassion. we know she has the staying power, we know she has the drive. we know that she has the
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motivation, sometimes i don't understand how she can do it, but she does it, day after day and year after year. we have one great candidate. we should be so proud and we should work as hard as we can because i deeply believe she will be a great american president. [applause] >> and now, i get to introduce a great american united states senator. i first talked to barbara mikulski when i was running for office and the phone rang and i said hello, and i said, who is this? she said, oh, this is barb milk cull city, how are you doing, dianne? i didn't know her. i said, fine, thank you very much. and went on, and then i had the opportunity to actually meet
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her. she is 5'2" and just incredible. you should see her run. many of us here serve on the appropriations committee of the senate. barbara has been the chair of the appropriations committee until the senate changed this past year. and she runs it with a strong hand and she gets it done. so, the women up here really value this united states nor, and i think you do, too. she is not only been great for maryland but she has been great for our country, and the president just recognized this by giving her the presidential freedom award, and it's a huge -- [cheering] -- it's a huge -- the biggest civilian honor that can be bestowed on an american. so it is with great pride and great love that all of us up
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here today introduce you to the one and only senator barbara mikulski. [cheering] [cheers and applause] >> hi, everybody. hi. how are you? are you ready for hillary? >> yes! >> let's hear it again. we are ready for hillary. when? right now. i'm so glad to see all of you here, and we want to thank you for coming to support the hillary for president campaign. we want to thank you from the bottom of our heart, and the bottom of your pocketbook.
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we had many wonderful people here this evening, but i want to recognize dorothy mccull live, the first lady of virginia and let's give a shoutout for people who are not on the stage but are on the front lines. the women in the house of representatives, those democratic women who stand up to those right-wing republicans, let's have a shoutout for them. [cheering] now, tonight here we're for hillary and i know you're here for hillary, and we are ready for hillary. we need to be there for her every day and every way. she is out there campaigning, and we're out there campaigning for her. now you might have heard i'm going to leave the senate at the end of this term. >> boo! >> oh, but though i'm ready to turn a new page, i'm not ready
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to write the final chapter. my next 12 months i will be working with my colleagues for a democratic agenda and i will be working my earrings off to elect hillary. how about you? and why do we want to do that? because we know she has the right stuff and it's her time to be president. 95 years ago, women got the right to vote. don't you think after 95 years, we should have a woman president? [cheering] >> and when hillary gets elected the presidency, and she will, she will make history and she will change history. she will be fantastic. but we have to work for her. we love hillary, and why do we love hillary? first of all, we know that
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she -- we know her. but most of all she knows us. she knows our hopes, our dreams, the needs of the people. she has been crisscrossing the country, having meetings, roundtables, listening, listening, listening. she knows all great leaders have to listen and learn from the people they're going to represent. the knows the best ideas will come from the people, and when she goes into that oval office, she will take our hopes and our dreams with her. hillary will be quite a fighter. she is already quite a fighter. we know her as a champion. we know her as a champion for the underdog. we know her as champion for the little guy, and the little gal. we know that she has the whole thought about what we need to be able to do as nation. for hillary, yes, she will be our first woman president.
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but for hillary it's not only about gender. it's about an agenda. aning a that will get us back on the right track, started by president barack obama. we want to continue the momentum of president obama. we know that hillary will continue to fight for jobs, keep the ones we've got and try to create new ones. we know she'll stan up for our family. affordable and accessible child care to make sure public schools that we can count on, and the quality of an education for a child should never depend on the zip code they live in. and she believes that higher education should be part of the american dream, not a financial nightmare, and will make college affordable for the majority of our young people. that's the kind of president we need. and she wants to close that income equality gap. yes, she believes we've got to
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raise that minimum wage. in the united states of america, a full-time job should not mean full-time poverty. and, yet, let's finish the job we started with milly ledbetter. let's have the paycheck fairness bill and we find by hillary rodham clinton, no woman should he hassled or harassed because she asks, what does the guy next to her earn? no woman should ever be fired because of asking about the pay she thinks she deserves. she shouldn't be fired. we should be fired up and pass the paycheck fairness act. [applause] >> and she'll also look out for our seniors and veterans to make sure that social security continues to be an undeniable and reliable benefit. we don't want to privatize social security. we don't want to outsource social security. we want to keep social security,
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we want to keep medicare, we want to keep our values that made america great. we want hillary rodham clinton in the white house leading the fight for us. [cheers and applause] >> so friends, we have to be fired up. we have to be ready for hillary. i think america is ready for hillary. i want you now to turn your attention to a video to see about all these wonderful young people who feel as well -- feel exactly the same way we do. >> dear mrs. clinton, dear secretary clinton. >> -- america clinton mitchell name is -- i'm nine years old. i'm so excited you have the chance to become the first woman president. >> because from george washington to barack obama, it is ridiculous there has never been a female president before.
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it will be hard work to be a grandma and president. i know you can do it. >> i hope you can treat people -- fight for world peace. i would like too see an end to killing by guns. >> you inspire me so that i can do what i want. >> to be president, and i can be president. [cheers and applause] >> if you would like help with your campaign, i'm there and i would work for candy. >> so, everybody, are we ready?
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>> yes! >> let's suit up, let's put our lipstick on and let's be ready for hillary, and here she comes! ♪ i got the eye of the tiger snowfall note the tiger. ♪ the eye of the tiger. ♪ and you're going to hear me roar. ♪ ♪ note you're going to hear me roar. ♪ ♪ oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. ♪ you're gonna hear me roar. ♪ ♪ ♪
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[cheers and applause] >> well, if you're ready for me, i'm ready for you. i am so excited to be here and to have this chance to stand on the same stage with my friends and former colleagues. aren't they an amazing group? [cheers and applause] >> i was excited when barbara mikulski got the presidential medal, that freedom -- the medal of freedom, well-deserved. i'm so grateful to her for her leadership. she is the senator who made it possible for somebody like me to wear pants on the senate floor, and among her many, many
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accomplishments, she said she is retiring, but there has never been a word that applies to barbara mikulski. another person to whom the word retiring doesn't fit is barbara boxer who also announced she is retiring. these two are an amazing example of fortitude and leadership on so many important issues. the senate's going to miss them, but i'm sure, as i heard senator mikulski say, they're going to turn pages and have new chapters they'll write. i think he should show our appreciation to them for their years of service on behalf of our country. [cheers and applause] >> i literally could keep you
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here for many hours talking about these amazing women. i won't do that but i want to thank each one of them. want to tank tammy and maria, diane, kirstin, hidy, maizey, amy, claire, patty, jeanie, and debbie. and also somewhere out there is my former colleague, mary lan -- landrieu and dorothy mcauliffe so all in all this is an amazingly distinguished group. literally they have so much courage and smarts. a combination of grit and grace that applies to each and every one of them. i it was really the honor and privilege of my life to serve with them and to learn so much from them. now, the senate will be in good hands when, unfortunately, the two barbaras leave, because we have these extraordinary
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senators still serving, and i for one will really be counting on them because we're going to do everything we can to put our country on the right track, and i am hoping that because of the election next year, this time we'll be able to celebrate more democratic senators and maybe even have taken the majority of the senate back. [cheering] >> now, i'm so excited to see all of you here because i need your support. i need your generosity, but more than that i need your hours of volunteering and canvassing and reaching out to everybody you can possibly touch. because this election is so consequential. i think about it and there could
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not be two more different views, visions, and set of values, between what we hear from the republican candidates and what i'm trying to lay out as the agenda for the future. the kind of future that will get our economy working for everybody, enable more people to fulfill their potential, continue america's leadership in the world. we hear a lot of negativity and ideology coming from the candidates on the other side. but i think it's important to try to pierce that with some good old-fashioned facts. like, for example -- i know my republican friends really hate it when i say this -- our economy does better when we have a democrat in the white house. [cheering]
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>> the evidence is pretty overwhelming. unemployment is lower, incomes are higher, and you are four time mows likely to have a recession when we have a republican in the white house. you don't have to go all the way back in our history to prove that. just go back the last 35 years. we have had five presidents. three republicans and two democrats. i happen to know both of the democrats. and each of them inherited economic problems from their republican predecessors. in my husband's case it was recession. and the fact that our national debt had been quadrupled in the prior 12 years. i remember him saying to me shortly after the election, it is so much worse than they told us. and then he was asked by somebody, what is it you're ringing to washington he thought for a minute and said, well, probably arithematic.
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so he got to work and after eight years, we had 23 million new jobs, incomes went up for everybody, not just at the top. in the middle. working people, poor people. more people lifted out of poverty than at any time in recent history, and we ended up with a balanced budget and a surplus. now, you would think the evidence was pretty clear that was an economic policy that actually worked for everybody, but back came the republicans with their ideology, trickle down economics, and they began to just dismantle it, brick-by-brick, cut taxes on the wealthy, then they took their eyes off of corporations and the financial market, the mortgage market, and you know what happened. now, shortly after the '08 election, president-elect obama called me, asked me to see him in chicago. i didn't know why. turned out he wanted me to be secretary of state but i didn't
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know that at the time. so it's just he and i were sitting there, and he says, it is so much worse than they told us. i said, you know, president-elect, i've heard that before. but it was terrible. i mean, we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. before it was over, nine million americans lost their jobs. five million lost their homes. $13 trillion in family wealth was wiped out. now, i don't think president obama gets the credit he deserves for digging us out of the big ditch he inherited from the bush administration. it could have been a great depression. and the american people worked so hard. you know the sacrifice that a lot of folks made.
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so, we are standing again, we recovered 13 million jobs, but we're not yet running the way america should. we need to make sure the economy is producing more good-paying jobs, and we need to make sure that incomes are rising again. the american people haven't really had a raise in a long time. now, folks at the top are doing just fine. but most people, they're still struggling. the cost of child care or college or prescription drugs, they're going opificer than wages. -- faster than wages. so we have to get the economy back working for everybody to create broad-based prosperity again, and i've been laying out plans. i'm determined, i'm just going to keep telling people what i will do as president, and so i have been laying another plans
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how to create more good-paying jobs itch rolled out my plan for building and maintaining our infrastructure. you know, our roads, our bridges, our tunnels, our ports, our airports, our rail system, and don't forget our virtual infrastructure, by 2020, everybody in america should have access to high quality, affordable broadband that connects them to the rest of the world no matter where you live. [applause] >> i also think we can create millions of new job i was we get serious about combating climate change, and i give the president great credit for being over in paris, leading on this issue. but you know what the republicans say when they're asked about climate change. they say, well, i'm not a scientist. my response is, go talk to one.
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there are lots of them around. we know some, don't we. we could introduce you. it's maddening, this denial of science, and it's not only terrible for the environment and our children and our grandchildren, it's bad for the economy. i want to set some big goals. by the end of my first term i want us to have installed a half a billion more solar panels and by the end of my second, another clean energy to power every home in america. [cheering] >> i'm also really focused on doing more for small business. i want to be the small business president because 60% of our new jobs will come from small business, and right now, we're not seeing the growth that we need. did you know it's now easier to start a small business in canada or f

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