mr. durbin: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to speak in morning business. the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call. mr. mr durbin: i ask to dispense with the quorum. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i rise to speak about gun violence in our communities in america. every day we have a staggering amount of gun violence. on average, 279 people are shot in america each day. 89 of them die. on a typical day, there are 31 murders and 55 suicides by gun as well as several accidental murders and 55 suicides by gun 45 are accidentally shot but survive. we have had over 350 mass shootings in america just this year, meaning incidents where at least four people are shot. and we have had over 50
incidents this year where guns have been fired at a school. 50. at a school. these statistics are sobering and a call to action. most shootings in america have become so routine they don't even make the news. sadly, many americans believe that this staggering level of violence is just normal day in america. but in recent weeks, horrific mass shootings at a planned parenthood office in colorado springs, colorado, and a holiday party in san bernardino have brought the issue of gun violence back into the forefront. after high-profile mass shootings, we often hear the gun lobby and their political allies say, any effort to pass a new gun law is just politicizing a tragedy. they say, we don't need any new gun laws. what we really should do is enforce the laws on the books. we saw this dynamic play out just last week. the day after the san bernardino
shooting, the vast majority of senate democrats voted for an amendment by senator feinstein to close the loophole that lets suspected terrorists buy firearms in america. the vast majority of senate republicans voted "no." senate democrats also voted overwhelmingly for a bipartisan amendment offered by senators manchin and toomey. this amendment would close the loopholes that allow guns to be sold without background checks either on the internet or at gun shows. again, the senate republicans overwhelmingly voted against a background check to keep firearms out of the hands of convicted felons and mentally unstable people. make no mistake, the whole world saw what happened last week in san bernardino. and the whole world now knows that people who want to commit acts of mass violence or terror in the united states sadly have easy access to an arsenal of
guns. there are major loopholes in the laws on the books. this is a serious vulnerability and americans know we need to address it. the risk of terrorist inspired mass shootings like paris has never been higher. one of the most effective ways to guard against this vulnerability, well, i thought those two amendments we considered last week were a good start. won't we agree, even those who own guns, value them, use them for sport, hunting or self-defense, won't we agree that keeping guns out of the hands of convicted felons and mentally unstable people is the starting point? i think we should. you know, they did a review of the crime guns that were seized at the highest crime areas in the city of chicago. and, madam president, they found out that 40% of the guns used in the commission of crime in some of the deadliest precincts of
chicago, came from northwest indiana gun shows.why? well, because you don't go through a background check if you buy from certain people at a gun show. so the thugs, the drug gangs, the drive-by shooters, all they have to do is just take the skyway over the border into indiana, go to one of these gun shows, fill up their trunks with guns and firearms and ammunition and drive back for a killing spree in chicago. no background checks. no background checks. does that make sense? and when they say, well, you know, it's a shame they have so much gun violence in chicago because you know they have some of the strictest laws on the books. well, those strict laws don't apply when you cross the state line to indiana. and sadly, those strict laws don't apply as they should across the united states. so we called an amendment on the floor, bipartisan amendment. patrick toomey of pennsylvania,
joe manchin of west virginia. neither one of them liberal by self-definition. they have come forward and said, as joe manchin said, i learned a long time ago, if you want to own a gun in west virginia in my family, you didn't sell it to a stranger, you didn't sell it to a criminal and you certainly didn't sell it to someone who was mentally unstable. he says, that's just common sense. well, it's common sense that escaped the support and attention of the senate republicans. they voted against that provision overwhelmingly, against background checks to keep firearms out of the hands of convicted felons and those who respect mentally unstable. how would you explain that? well, it might be easier to explain that than to explain the other amendment they voted against. listen to this one. if our government comes up with a name by their investigation that they believe is involved, a person, involved in terrorism -- terrorism -- and they put him on a no-fly slois they can't get o-
no-fly slois they can't goat an -- list so they can't get on an airplane. guess what? they can still go to a licensed gun dealer in america and buy a firearm. these mad people in -- out in san bernardino had ar-15's, semiautomatic and automatic weapons. they weren't on a terrorist watch list, as i know, or a no-fly list, but if their names had been on the list, it wouldn't have slowed them down one bit in making a purchase. so senator feinstein of california offered this amendment, an amendment which had previously been offered by the late senator lautenberg of new jersey repeatedly. senator feinstein took up his cause and brought this amendment to the floor for a vote last week here in washington. i went back and looked at the "congressional record" to see what the objections were from the people who said they had to vote against the amendment which would say if you're on a terrorist fly list, you cannot
purchase firearms or explosives in the united states. i read some of the statements that were made from the senior senator from texas. here was his argument against this. listen. "if you believe the federal government should be able to deprive an american citizen of one of their core constitutional rights without notice and an opportunity to be heard, then you should vote for this amendment. this is not the way," the senator from texas said, "this is not the way we're supposed to do things in this country. if you think the federal government never makes a mistake and that presumptively the decisions the federal government makes about putting you on a list because of some suspicions, then you should vote for this amendment." so as far as he's concerned -- and i suppose those who joined nymph voting against this amendment -- if your name is on a terrorist watch list in america as somebody we suspect
to be involved in terrorism, you start off by presuming the government must be wrong and the government's got to prove it. you start off, in their position, by saying, first thing we should do is let that presumed terrorist buy a gun and then let's have a due process hearing. what? what is he thinking? if you thought there was a dangerous person in your city or your community who might engage in terrorism, would you want them to buy an automatic weapon? would you want them to buy explosives? i wouldn't. let us err on the side of safety and security here and say, no, if you're on that list, count purchase a weapon -- you cannot purchase a weapon or an explosive. if you protest being on the list and don't think you belong there, so be it. that's your right. you're entitled to it. and if you prove the government's wrong, then proceed with your basic second amendment rights. but the presumption on the other side is you're always entitled
to buy a gun. you're always entitled to buy explosives. and if the government says otherwise, they've got to prove it. doesn't sound like a recipe for safety in america. but that's what happened on the floor of the senate. and so we called this measure and there were 45 who voted "yes," 54 who voted "no." 45-54 on whether or not someone on the terrorist watch list should be able to be prohibited from buying firearms and explosives. there's been a lot of tough talk lately about terrorism. this dozen, 13, 14 -- i forget the number -- running for propose the republican side, they're trying to outtrump one another, get tougher with terrorists. and yet when the moment came on the floor of the united states senate and the republicans in the senate, including three or four running for president, had a chance to vote to keep
firearms and explosives out of the hands of suspected terrorists, they voted "no." how does that make us any safer? oh, they're tough as can be in their speeches, but when it comes down to their votes, they're nowhere to be found. there's also a question about what we can do to keep our safe in terms of people coming into our country. we admit each year about 70,000 refugees from all over the wor world. the number-one country providing refugees to the united states? burma. most people wouldn't have guessed that. burma. about a fourth of our refugees come from burma. how did they get into the united states as refugees? well, they're first identified by the united nations council on refugees and then they start a process, a background check and process. this goes on for 18 to 24 mont
months. it involves repetitive fingerprinting and checking, interviews, examinations, questions. and then finally after 24 mont months, they may be allowed to come to the united states as a refugee. about 70,000 a year come into our country. i've met a lot of them. they're from all over the world. africa, asia , all over the world. and now we have a focus on them, a laser-like focus on them. and some who are arguing that the way to keep america safe is to stop refugees from coming in from syria. well, we know syria has been engaged in a civil war for more than four years. we know some four million people have been displaced. i've been in greece a few weeks back and saw the numbers coming across the g.n.c. from turkey into greece. these syrian and some iraqi refugees are desperate people. you literally see a family
walking, mother and father, carrying babies, walking toddlers with all that they own on their back. that's it. we stopped to talk to some, and they told the story and what it was like to live in syria in the midst of a civil war. what it was like to have barrel bombs going off in your town, the damage that it did, the killing that it did, and many of them had lost members of their family. they were running away from that violence, not only from assad, the head of syria, but from isil as well. some of them decide to ask to become refugees in the united states. they know that if they ask, they're in for a long, long haul. 18 to 24 months. some have made it, fewer than 2,000 during the last four years. some have made it, and not a single syrian refugee coming to the united states since this war began has ever been charged with terrorism. it just hasn't happened.
what happens about other visitors to the united states? well, we welcome visitors. certainly we do. and many of us look forward to visiting their countries too. about 70 million -- 70 million -- foreign travelers come to the united states each year. 20 million come from visa waiver countries, 38 countries where we have a special relationship and say you don't need a specific permission, a visa, to come to our country because we have this agreement between us. you may freely travel to the united states on what we call visa waiver. that's about 20 million of the 70 million. we can do better when it comes to these visitors on both sides, americans traveling overseas, foreigners coming into this country. we need to make sure before a person gets on a plane that we check their fingerprints, for example. that is a pretty easy thing to do these days. you just put your hand down, it reads them and goes and
crosschecks against the data bank of is suspected people, suspected criminals and suspected terrorists. obviously the overwhelming number of people have no problem whatsoever but it's a way like taking off your shoes to make sure we're safer. a little inconvenient but worth it. what we said on the democratic side is if you want to make america safe -- and we all do -- it is better to focus on foreign travelers and visa waiver and make sure that we're doing the proper checks before the person gets on the airplane. i believe we should do that. and i'm prepared, when i travel to their countries, to face the same fingerprint check. it's not too much to ask in the 21st century with the terrorism and violence that we face. all these things will make us safer. but focusing on 70,000 syrian refugees -- 70,000 refugees, among whom a few hundred are syrian, instead of looking at the larger group of 70 million foreign travelers, did you know
that most of the terrorists in paris, france, were carrying european passports which would have allowed them to get on a plane and come to the united states without a visa? so if we want to make our country safer -- and i do -- let's do things that are practical and thoughtful. incidentally, those who come to the united states on visa waivers from 38 countries around the world can currently legally buy firearms and explosives. no background check. what is that all about? if we ask americans to go through a background check to make sure they're not disqualified, how do we qualify those under the visa waiver program who come as visitors to buy a firearm? i think we can do better there as well. so let's tighten up the visa waiver program and make sure we do the proper checks so that dangerous people don't ever get on the plane to come to want united states. let's make sure as well that if you have a visa waiver and you
come to the u.s. as a visitor, that you're not going to be purchasing firearms without a background check. and finally, if you're on a suspected terror list, no-fly list, you should be disqualified from buying a gun or an explosive. period. those are three practical steps. now i think we ought to move forward and do that on a bipartisan basis. it would be something to keep in mind and to make america much safer. i might just add in closing that some of the suggestions being made as these republican presidential candidates try to outtrump one another are really sad. they reflect an ignorance of history and a willingness to ignore the values of this country. when i hear some of the awful things being said about people of the islamic faith, i think about a dinner that i went to saturday night. it was in chicago. it was by the children's heart research foundation. they were saluting a number of
doctors in the chicago land area who were extraordinary in saving the lives of children. one of them is a current surgeon. he started at children's memorial hospital and is now with the advocate hospital system. he's considered to be the best in chicago. if your baby and one out of 100 are, if your baby is born with a congenital heart defect, this is the doctor you want to see your child, the surgeon you want to save your child's life. this doctor is a muslim. he's american. he's an important part of america. and those who are making negative statements about all people in the islamic faith and calling for registration or exclusion or whatever it may be, their statements or views is not consistent with who we are as americans. the president said as much last night, and i agree with him. madam president, i yield the floor.
mr. mcconnell: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: 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. 2359, a bill to
restore second amendment rights in the district of columbia. mr. mcconnell: in order to place the bill on the calendar under the provisions of rule 14, i would object to further proceeding. the presiding officer: objection having been heard, the bill will be placed on the calendar. mr. mcconnell: madam president, last evening president obama addressed the nation concerning the threat isil poses to our people. unfortunately, the american people did not hear of a strategy or a plan to defeat and destroy this terrorist army. instead they heard a restatement of a military campaign crafted to contain -- contain -- isil within iraq and syria. following the attacks in paris and california and the downing of the russian airliner, about 60% of the american people disprove of -- disapprove of the president's handling of terrorism. nearly two-thirds disapprove of
his handling of isil. the american people understand intuitively that isil and the terrorist threat has not been contained but rather it has evolved into something increasingly more serious and more challenging. americans also know that the operational concept ordered by the president is insufficient to defeat isil. it's not just the american people saying this. it's not just republicans saying it either. president obama's last defense secretary recently criticized his approach. so have several other former obama administration officials. here's a sampling of what they've said over just the last week or two. one called on the obama administration to wake up to the threat. another said that the obama administration seems to be really flailing and tone deaf to this latest challenge.
a third called on the president to change his strategy because by any measure, our strategy in iraq and syria is not succeeding. and then there's president obama's former secretary of state, secretary clinton, who put it plainly, we're not winning. hillary clinton said we're not winning. so the president had a real opportunity last night to show the american people that defeating isil is his priority. he had an opportunity to demonstrate his willingness to adapt to the threat. he had an opportunity to explain how he can better prepare our nation for a fight that will inevitably be passed on to his successor. but he didn't do that. he didn't do it last night. the american people were looking for a serious strategy and a real vision last night, not a recap of an approach that
clearly hasn't worked. last night was only the president's third over oval office address, and by any measure a missed opportunity. look, madam president. throughout his time as commander in chief, president obama has shown an inflexible adherence to policies he advocated as a candidate for office in 2008. most specifically, to end our nation's war on terror. in his first days in office, he issued a series of executive orders to weaken the ability of our war fighter and intelligence community to gathering targeted information to capturing terrorists and interrogate and detain them to advance our understanding of terrorist networks and plans as well as to protect the american people. although the president conceded that the complete withdrawal of our forces from afghanistan would be harmful to our national
security interests and slowed our withdrawal in the face of al qaeda and taliban resistance, he has inflectionably clung to a fixed date for our drawdown of forces in iraq. and as the president inflectionably pursued an end to the war on terror, the terror threat dapted as al qaeda advanced in presence and capability and al qaeda in iraq grew into the terrorist army we now know as isil. isil has used social media and encrypted communications burgeoned at the very moment that the president and his allies were working to take critical electronic surveillance tools away from our intelligence community. so here's what we need from the president now. what we need from the president is for him to clearly outline, clearly outline what it is he aims to achieve, how he aims to
achieve it and what authorities he thistle need to make that happen. he needs to match strategic objectives to the means to reach the goals. the president needs to tell us what authorities he needs to defeat encrypted online communications. the president needs to tell us what is needed to establish our capture, interrogation and surveillance capabilities. the president needs to tell us how the coalition or nato will forge a ground force capable of not just trying to contain isil but actually driving it from iraq. the president needs to tell us the force structure and the funding our commanders will need to rebuild our conventional capabilities so that we can continue and expand this fight while facing other global
threats. the president should also explain why he won't use the secure facility of guantanamo bay to safely hold and interrogate newly captured terrorists in order to help prevent the next plot against americans. these are the kinds of things the american people are looking for, and by leading on them, president obama can demonstrate his commitment to protecting our nation and leaving it better prepared for his successor. now, madam president, on another matter. last november, the american people elected a new congress to get washington working again. nearly every day seems to bring more signs that we are. over the weekend, president obama signed the fast act, a multiyear highway bill into law. it represents a significant departure from years of short-term extensions and congressional inaction. in fact, the fast act is the
longest term highway bill to pass congress in almost two decades, providing five full years of highway funding. here's what kentuckians for better transportation, a top transportation advocacy organization in my state, had to say about it. after many, many years of short-term continuing resolutions, we finally have a long-term authorization that will give our states the opportunity to plan for and implement major road projects. we can now plan for the future, they said. that's because in a new and more open senate, senator inhofe, a republican, and senator boxer, a democrat, were able to work together for its passage. senator boxer herself called it a major accomplishment. now, madam president, here's another major accomplishment. the every student succeeds act.
it's a bipartisan reformist replacement for no child left behind. pundits in washington never agree on how to replace no child left behind. the issue went unresolved for many years, but in a new and more open senate, senator alexander, a republican, and senator murray, a democrat, worked hard and found success in the bill before us. the house already passed it 359-64. the senate previously passed a very similar version of the bill 81-17. tomorrow, we should work together to pass it for a second and final time and send it to the president for his signature. it will be the latest important achievement for the american people from a new congress that's back to work and back on their side.
mr. cornyn: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: madam president, i'd ask consent that the quark be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: madam president, last night the president addressed the nation, one of the few times during his presidency that he addressed the nation from the oval office, signifying that this was going to be an important address by the commander in chief. but, unfortunately, what the president communicated was that little, if any, change will be made in the current
administration's approach to terrorism following the attack in san bernardino last week. the president's approach to eradicating the terror threat has only resulted in a tactical stalemate that has kept the morale of isis high and their recruitment efforts robust. -- as we have seen. in the wake of the shootings last week, an event the president himself called an act of terrorism, the american people deserve a credible and aggressive strategy to combat this terror threat that clearly poses a danger not just over there but over here. now, a good start would be for the president to listen to his own military leadership, as well as members of the intelligence community. but if reports are true -- and they certainly haven't been denied -- the president has turned a deaf ear to his own military leadership and leaders of the intelligence community in how to fight and defeat the isis threat.
despite the president's rhetoric on his so-called strategy against isis, one thing is clear: it's not working. arand so our country clearly nes to change course, and that should start with a real plan and real candor from the commander in chief on how he intends to defend our interests abroad and at home and to keep our people safe. so while i was eager to hear what the president might say about the bad results from his current strategy, unfortunately, we didn't hear it last night. what we did hear, though, madam president, is this recent theme from some of our colleagues across the aisle as we voted on the repeal obamacare set of votes last week from the president himself during his weekly address, from the democratic leader and from some other members of the senate.
basically what they're trying to do is change the subject. and you recall one way they tried to do that is by offering an amendment that said that people on watchlists would be denied their core constitutional rights under the bill of rights. and in this case, it happened to be the second amendment. that you were presumed to be guilty without the necessity of having to go to court an actually prove what you are claim something true. so i was struck by the fact that "the new york times" back in 2014 noted in an elder entitled "terror watchlist run amok" that a 2007 audit found that more than half of the 71,000 names on the no-fly list at that time were wrongly included. this is "the new york times" making the case that basically i and others argued for is that there cannot be any presumption of guilt just because the
government includes your name on a list, tuckl particularly whent comes to denying your core constitutional rights. because, of course, if the second amendment isn't strong enough to withstand this so-called presumption, well, neither is the freedom to worship according to the dictates of your conscience, the first amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of association---- and you get my drift. so rather than address the real problem, which was -- which flowed from another speech that the president gave a few years ago out of the oval office where he announced ourprecipitous withdrawal -- our precipitous withdrawal of troops from iraq, which created the vacuum which is now being filled by isis and al qaeda, rather than talk about the lessons learned and how are a new and different -- and how a new an different strategy was going to be deployed after consultation with our military leadership and members of the intelligence community, the president and his supporters decided to try to change the
subject and really produce a red herring, which has nothing to do with the fight to degrade and defeat isis because, of course, the threat is not only abroad, it is not only about people traveling from abroad here, it is about americans and other people on visas, perhaps from visa waiver countries, traveling from the middle east to the united states. but perhaps the most dangerous of all is the radicalization of people already here in the united states. and if the preliminary indications prove to be true, that seems to be the thread that connects so many of these attacks, whether it is in san bernardino, whether it is in garland, texas, a short time back, or whether it was major nidal hasan at fort hood back in 2009. so what we need and what the american people deserve from their commander in chief is
candor and the willingness to show a little humility and say, you know what? the way things -- the way we've been handling them really haven't been woggin working wel. instead the president tries to play partisan politics and he tries to distract the american people by suggesting that the problem is really we're too generous, our constitution is too generous when it comes to the right to keep and bear arms. for the sake of all americans, i hope that the president reconsiders his flawed strategy and produces a more effective one to eradicate isis soon because the safety of the american people is clearly at stake. madam president, we are on the down-ward trajectory of this year's congress, the 114th congress, and i thought it would be appropriate to take a few minutes to talk about what this chamber hasn't been able to accomplish since we convened in
january. and i know there is a lot of cynicism and indeed outright fear about the way that the federal government has been operating, and unfortunately, i think a lot of that is attributable to the fact that this president has shown a complete unwillingness to work with congress in many areas, like immigration reform, for example and so people when they see the president acting unilaterally, thank goodness the courts have stopped it, but it causes them to lose confidence in the federal government's ability to address the problems that they live with day in and day out and which they have a right to see us do our very best to address. so i can't help but think about this time last year and how with great anticipation and high expectations, the american people decided to give our side of the aisle, the republican side, the opportunity to serve in the majority. our task was a daunting one. the senate had basically been
ground to a halt, and i think members on both sides of the aisle came back in january ready to change the way we do things around here. i think some of owrd friends across the -- i think some of our friends across the aisle found that the do-nothing strategy didn't work for them either, even though they were in the majority, because a number of senate incumbents, having to face the voters without anything to show, ended up being defeated in last november's election. so it didn't work for the american people, it didn't work for those senators and the american people, as i said, deserve people. and we tried to do better, and i think we've made some progress. we've been getting a few things done, delivering on promises made to the american people and working to find real solutions to the problems faced by those who we are honored to represent. one of the areas that has been particularly important to me is doing something about an issue that plagues every state in our
country, and that's human trafficking. at the beginning of last year i was honored to lead a bipartisan effort to pass legislation designed to help victims of human trafficking get a helping hand and hopefully find a path to healing. the justice of victims of trafficking act, which is now the l.a. law of the land -- which is now the law of the land, will help those victims, too often children, be treated like the victims they are instead of common criminals. that bill ultimately ended up passing after about a month on the floor of the senate 99-0 and was signed by law by the president. the and it does point out that the -- and it does point out that the congress can work with the president on a bipartisan basis to fight some of the most tragic and troubling issues that face our nation. and there are other examples. in the fall we passed a major cybersecurity bill that will help protect the american people from cyber attacks. the cybersecurity information sharing act fosters
information-sharing to help address the growing cyber threats we face. and, of course, we've read about them in the news, if we haven't experienced them in person ourselves. the need for this legislation couldn't have been more pressing because over the summer the administration confirmed that hackers had accessed sensitive background information of more than 21 million people on the computer systems of the office personnel management. 21 million americans. that followed a similar breach at the internal revenue service in which the personal data of more than 100,000 taxpayers was stolen. so passage of the cybersecurity information sharing act was the right thing to do on a bipartisan basis, and now we are engaged in a conference discussion with the house to try to reconcile the differences between those bills before it goes to the president. but that's the way we ought to be doing business around here, trying to find solutions that make america stronger and make
our cyber infrastructure more resilient. and then another example: last week we passed a multiyear highway bill, the first time in more -- in a decade. my state is blessed to be a fast-growing state, and, of course, that's encouraged a lot of people to move there, voting with their feet, as i like to say, coming from place where --g from places where jobs aren't being produced because the economy is not growing. this bill will help texas grow for those growing infrastructure needs that come with this increased growth. just as significantly, it's going to help the rest of the country as well by creating jobs to build and maintain that infrastructure as well as the commerce that travels on that infrastructure, as well as the environment which will be served by avoiding unnecessary
congestion. but this bill also specifically grants states like texas the flexibility to invest in infrastructure projects, in our case along the border. we have a 1,200-mile common border with mexico. it is a unique part of our country. i like to kid my constituents back home ... i said, what most of my colleagues in washington know about the border they read in novels or they saw in a movie somewhere. it is a unique and really a wonderful part of our state, but it's also one that deserves our undivided attention because of the security threats and the drug trafficking and other illegal activity. but it's no small thing for the nation's top exporting state, one that shares almost 1,200 miles with mexico, to be able to have -- direct some of these funds to help build and maintain that infrastructure. by the way, that -- i know people frequently talk about mexico and our relationship with mexico in a negative way.
but we also understand there are enormous benefits to our proximity to mexico and our shared border. there are about 6 million jobs in america that depend on binational strayed with mexico. while -- binational trade with mexico. while mechanics ha mexico has i, we're working with them on their security problems. it will take all of our efforts to address them. by better promoting di -- texasn build on our strong trade reco record, which supports hundreds and thousands of jobs, 6 million nationwide. this multiyear highway bill will also give texas and other states across the country more certainty. before this, we had been looking at temporary patches which make it impossible to plan and make the expenditure of those dollars
enormously inefficient. and so by giving greater certainty to make sure that our states can deliver projects to facilitate greater volumes of trade and travel along interstates and other critical transportation corridors. and on an area where we have not yet achieved success but where i think there's great promise, there's other areas like criminal justice reform where i believe we can in the months ahead register another success, again for the benefit of the people we represent. last week i joined at the president's unvitatiopresident'e to the white house to bring about substantive criminal reform. for too long in my state we learned that we treated prisons like warehouses, warehousing
people and ignoring the fact -- or perhaps just not recognizing the significance of the fact -- that sooner or later most of them were going to get out of prison. and so what we decided to do in texas in 2007 was to get smart on crime, not just tough on crime. nobody doubted how tough we were on crime. but what we've realized is that some of the money that we spent on corrections could be plowed back into educational programs that would help willing inmates actually learn job skills, deal with their drug and alcohol problems, if they had those, and in short better prepare for life on the outside so they didn't end up a frequent flyer or in that turnstyle getting from prison to and then back again. so we have b -- so we've been working on this issue for some time based on the success we've had in texas and other states. and the product is call the sentencing reform and corrections act, which passed
out of the senate judiciary committee 15-5. and i know chairman goodlatte in the house of representatives is working on a bipartisan bill in that chamber as well. so i do think this is one of those pivotal moments where folks across the political spectrum seat advantage of working together in favor of bring real progress that will benefit the american people by making our criminal justice system more effective and our communities safer. and, by the way, we can save money at the same time. this week, on another matter, where we've seen significant progress, we'll be voting on the conference report that accompanies the every child achieves act. this is the bill that actually fixes no child left behind. this legislation was passed here in the senate by wide margins over the summer. and chairman alexander and the conference committee and ranking
member murray, they were able to achieve an amazing thing in this divided, polarized political environment we're in, i believe it was a 39-1 vote in the conference committee for the bill that combines both the house and the senate product. this is really landmark education -- education legislation which will help parents and local communities take control of their children's education instead of ceding that authority to the federal government. certainly this bill is another win for the american people. and where i come from, people like the fact that we have essentially repealed the common corpsman date, we've eliminated the federal government as a national school board, and we've sent the power back where it belongs which is with parents and teachers and local school districts. and cede more of that authority from here in washington, d.c., back to them. well, i could continue with this
list of legislative accomplishments by noting that this chamber has also passed legislation that replaced the flawed medicare payment system for physicians. this is the notorious doc fix. this is another example where for years and years we passed temporary patches that never solved the underlying problem. but congress did and i think that is another thing we can be proud of. along with the first budget passed since 2009 and there's more i could add to the list. but my point is, there is a difference in the new 114th congress and elections do make a difference. when we work on a bipartisan basis to solve problems for the american people during this first year of the 114th congress. a lot of this is due to the steady leadership of the majority leader, the senator from kentucky, and all the hard
work our colleagues have put in to make this such a productive year. so we're on track to continue with this momentum into the new year and with just another week or so of work to do before we break for the holidays, i think we can take some pride in these accomplishments but yet know that there's a lot more that we have to do. not only for the remainder of this year but into next year as well. madam president, with that, i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: madam president, i rise today in support of the confirmation -- the senate is in a quorum call. mr. corker: thank you, madam president. i ask unanimous consent that we vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. corker: thank you so much. madam president, i rise today in support of the confirmation of a fellow chattanoogan, travis
randall mcdonough, nominated to serve as united states district judge for the eastern district of tennessee. i have known travis personally for many years and i have full confidence he will serve the people of tennessee honorably if confirmed to the federal bench. travis is well known in trat into ga as -- chattanooga as a civic leader. he served as chief of staff and counsel lore to the mayor, having previously served as a partner in the law firm of miller and martin where he specialized in criminal and white collar litigation. a truman scholar, he received his undergraduate degree from swanny and law degree from vanderbilt university. we had a number of conversations during his nomination process and he assured me that he will be a fair and independent judge. i wholeheartedly support his nomination and encourage my colleagues to support his confirmation. thank you.
disposition of the nomination to the senate proceed to the consideration, the following nominations: calendar number 373, 374, that the senate vote on the nominations en bloc without intervening action or debate, that the following disposition of nominations, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. that no further motions be in order to the nominations, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. corker: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 10:00 a.m. tuesday, december 8. following the prayer and pledge, the morning business be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later
in the day. further, that following leader remarks -- further, following leader remarks, the senate resume consideration of the conference report to accompany s. 1177. finally, that notwithstanding rule 22, the cloture vote with respect to conference report to accompany s. 1177 occur at 11:3. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. corker: if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned after the resumption of legislative session following the disposition of the nomination. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. corker: mr. president, i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
under the previous order, the senate will proceed to executive session to consider the following fume dmaition, which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, the judiciary. travis randall mcdonough of tennessee to be united states district judge for the eastern district of tennessee. the presiding officer: under the previous order, there will be 30 minutes of debate.
mr. merkley: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: mr. president, earlier today donald trump called for the united states to ban all muslims from entering our nation. this is the single-worst idea that i have heard from any presidential candidate ever. it is inconsistent with our american values. it is inconsistent with our
national history. the nation has looked back on events in our past -- segment, the chinese -- for example, the kleins exclusion act or the internment of japanese-american citizens -- and realized it was a huge mistake to make one significant group our enemy. it is inconsistent with the vision of our constitution in which all came to the united states seeking to escape persecution and be able to practice whichever religion they chose. the founders of the united states did not seek to make our nation one in which only a single religion could be practiced. they did not seek to establish one religion as a preeminent religion. they instead wanted a place, a
safe haven where people could worship as they pleased, which is the heart of our first amendment. this idea is wrong and wrongheaded. it is wrong in the context that we are not at war with islam. in fact, we are working in partnership with islamic nations to take on a terrorist group known as isis. it is wrong in that all patriotic americans of every religion are working together to take on this terrorist group known as isis. in addition to being wrong, it's wrongheaded in that making islam the enemy is playing straight out of isis' playbook, which wants to create a war between america and islam. and in that sense, this type of irresponsible statement endangers our national security rather than strengthening it. so let others stand up and
embrace our citizens of every religion and recognize the partnership that we are in together to take on terrorist forces, that we're working with partnership with a variety of nations that have a whole variety of religions, including islam, to take on the terrorist force known as isis. thank you, mr. president. mr. alexander: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: mr. president, if in a few minutes we'll be voting on the nomination -- the president's nominee nag of travis mcdonough to fill the vacancy on the eastern district of tennessee. mr. mcdonough is well-known to me, especially well-known to senator corker, my colleague. he received his undergraduate degree in suwanee before going on to law school at vanderbilt. he was the member of a prominent chattanooga law firm, chief of staff to chattanooga's mayor. we're fortunate he is willing to serve and we're forenational the president has nominated him.
and i urge my colleagues to vote for him. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. president, i yield back all time. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. question occurs on the mcdonough nomination. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
the presiding officer: have all senators voted? does any senator wish to change their vote? on this nomination, the ayes are 89, the nays are zero. the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to the consideration of the following nominations which the clerk will report. the clerk: nominations, department of state, kenneth damian ward of virginia for the rank of ambassador. united states agency for international development. linda i. etim of wisconsin to be an assistant administrator. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the question occurs on the confirmation of the nominations en bloc. all those in favor say aye.
all those opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nominations are confirmed en bloc. under the previous order, the motions to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table. the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action, and the senate will resume legislative session. under the previous order, the senate stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow.
>> these 11 tennessee voters live in five of the largest cities of tennessee. blair the intended and actual victims of a statutory scheme that the values, reduces their right to vote of 120f - - 20th of the right to vote. >> by the early 20th century the population shift like tennessee have majority of voters the yet those districts with a smaller population hold voting power equal to the larger districts served for voters challenged the disparity to take their case all the way to the supreme court.
>> welcome to the national press club ion with the bloomberg ranking is that -- news desk in president of the press club our speaker today is as royal highness the same with a candidate and president of fifa and we welcome here today. first the head table includes club members and guests of the speaker. u.s. navy retired captain in by three board member of the american sportscasters association.
assistant editor for the "washington post" and a member for middle east political science at george washington university the starting goalie for the winning u.s. national team in 1991 and a member of the gold medal winning 1996 u.s. olympic team. the desk editor for the associated press. embassador jordan to the united states. breaking news editor for "usa today" a former president of the national press club and vice chair of the speaker's committee. skipping over speaker president of stinting communications and the
>> i will welcome the audience today in our ballroom and those watching on c-span and listening on public radio. you can follow the action on twitter use the ##npclive. professional sports are no stranger to scandal. after dealing with the deflates gate the national football daily - - nfl is in the middle of a controversy over officiating. mlb endured a widespread doping problem and who can forget lance armstrong? and its effects on professional cycling.
to are as dramatic or far reaching as fifa her earlier this year several officials of the international soccer federation were arrested in zurich and charged with bribery, money laundering, and racketeering 47 counts charging 14 officials of corruption dating back a quarter-century. three of fifa leading officials including the president have received a provisional bin from the organization soccer or reveals calls the football is beginning to recover from the blow to the reputation. the speaker was to have a hand to renew the world's faith in fifa.
prince ali bin al-hussein challenged the sitting president in an astonishing collection before a second round took place so our guest is again running for the presidential seat with an election coming from this february 2016. bombing to enact significant changes if he is the victor he was to reveal any previously undisclosed financial documents including payments made to the top fifa officials it is rock bottom but not broken.
the son of the late king hussein prince ali bin al-hussein was educated in jordan, the united kingdom and united states and served in the jordanian special forces and the royal guard. he currently directs the jordan national crisis management center and chairs the real film commission. please join me to give a warm national press club welcome to prince ali bin al-hussein of jordan. [applause]will. >> good afternoon. is a pleasure to be back in
united states ended is an honor to be here at the national press club. of light to start with my deepest condolences to friends and families of the victims from san bernadine error -- and pretty no. in a civilized world such of lost in violence. this country and its people have had a big influence by experiences help to shape my character and my values. it also has special significance as my late father, my brother and a stepfather have also been
with those who don't know much for it or care for it is just a game it is technically accurate but a very special game. generates so much passion around the world it's a powerful force for good multiple levels. several people are here today with us to simplify those positive aspects including the head table from the u.s. national team in the women's world cup as well as the gold medal in the 1996 olympics. [applause] she is an inspiring role model and a trailblazer her legacy lives on with a remarkable performance from the 2015 women's world cup.
it does not derive from the fifa headquarters in zurich. football belongs to the players, the coachers and all those billions around the world. to a patch of dirt it belongs to young girls that limited their mothers options in life. with that self discipline it is far more rewarding with the drug on the streets. i believe the ball deserves a governing body. i'm running because the one to run for the candidates at
the national press club luncheon isabel support, not controversy. the latest announcement by u.s. justice. should remove any doubts for the need for reform. the clock on corruption has run out and it is time for a change. i reject the notion that it is a crisis of leadership but the change will not be meaningful with the incredible leadership with the accountability of good governance. sustainable change can only come from within comes from a consensus. with the work of the 209
members to make sure they take ownership of the changes of the culture. windows 21 to be affiliated with the organization there is a desire for change. and then for that to do so. for those to pursue their own goals. and in the grass roots on the right values while delivering benefits and all levels. they transform football to a game of life style.
together we can learn from each other. with the tremendous support especially at the high school and university levels. to give countless talented young men and women opportunities as part of their education. u.s. system is a key factor of the u.s. women's national team for the highlights of 2015. with a strong support for pope an essential america to
the caribbean meeting with the association leaders dead do not have the essential to play this part with equipment. island nations struggle with the ability to complete because the way games almost always by sea or air. it has an obligation to support development worldwide without playing politics or show favoritism about development money is distributed. and to be return for loyalty for leadership and occasionally as punishment
by instituting a clear process and criteria for development is essential to change the culture at fifa. fifa needs to do better of bubbles and i was elected to represent my a region on the committee. it was a frustrating experience leading to two conclusions. unless they change the way it conducted its business and second year recognize the only way to change fifa was to change of leadership. because they love the sport i chose the option not to quit.
i chose for the option of fighting. that is why with the fifa presidency this year and others would not then why i am running again now. to finish what was started. with the culture of rewards with fifa make it extremely difficult. 73 members and associations are brave enough to take that risk. as the committees do their job correctly the vote according to their convictions without outside pressure i am certain you will see a very different outcome in february. but with the elections to
the importance of professional leagues around the world as the backbone of our sport. fifa is the umbrella for football worldwide, the rules of the game, world cups, and most importantly the development and continued growth of the sport. the 209 national associations are the real owners of fifa. they lead football, and they are the fifa congress. they decide the future of fifa, and fifa can only move forward as an organization with their support and full participation. we cannot participation. we cannot let problems at fifa make a cynical about the game. football can literally change lives. it teaches self discipline and the value of hard work, encouraging teamwork,
empowering youth, both boys and girls, bring people together. i have experienced the positive power of football many times and in many places.places. nearly five years ago i established the haitian football development project , nonprofit ngo to support the development of football throughout asia. for example, working with other ngos, victims of human trafficking and cambodia to syrian refugees in my home country or jordan and children in their most remote areas. i would take this concept working with ngos and governments to real football social responsibility globally through fifa. has the most popular sport in the world football is sometimes a target. it was no coincidence that the terrorists in paris attack france along with cafés and the music club in
targeting locations internal difference life. in january of this year isil gunned down teenagers for watching televised football match between iraq and jordan. the football association in afghanistan, libya, and somalia have been under attack, yet they continue to provide opportunities for their fellow citizens to enjoy football. the government of nigeria is another great example of using football to de- radicalized former members. football is more than just a game. football is a culture. it is a language understood worldwide. football bridges race, culture, religion, ethnicity and is an incredible catalyst for unity instead of division.
it deserves a governing body is worthy of respect. that is what mode -- motivates me to seek the presidency, my mission in the mission of all the football associations, players, officials, coaches, and fans who want to see fifa for what it should be, real credible and trustworthy service organization. >> thank you so much. several questions about the level of scandal. and let me just give you aa couple. the latest indictments of fifa officials for alleged corruption show that fifa in the confederations are beyond saving, and what has
to be done to rebuild fifa and restore confidence of fans and donors can fifa recover the confidence of fans? >> it is a change of culture, and that will permeate down throughout the structure. we half to turn fifa in your real service organization. we have to put the priorities of players, fans, and the sport at the top of the pyramid. at the end of the day you have your 209 national associations that will not change. it is okay to ask for help. i will do that.
a real change of culture, we can get things done.done. if the mandate comes from the congress it will happen. >> how about getting down, some levels down into the national soccer federation? how would you rate fifa in working with the federations to limit the amount of corruption occurring within countries around the world, and do you believe that fifa is -- because the corruption go down into the continental and national federations as well? >> well, in order to tackle corruption you have to deal with the national associations on the ground. each country has a different system, a different way of doing things. particularly right now they
have a system where they give support and aid, but we have to do a real programa real program where you going to a country and deal with their needs and help them along the way and judge them by how they act. i think that it really has to be much more of a hands-on approach and the follow-up and working with people and local areas as well as engaging with governments and other stakeholders. and primarily not to turn a blind eye, which is exactly one of the problems that has been the case when convenient up until now. >> just yesterday people are not wondering if the cleaning up is done but rather who is next, this questioner says. as presidential elections approach there are rules in place to prevent outsiders from running.
and outside candidate could bring real change to an organization that badly needs it, why should the fans believe that they are serious about cleaning up the corruption not just within the game but within its own rules? one question basically saying if you can't have outside candidates can you really guarantee that the corruption is going to be cleaned up? >> we have had outside help. somebody who came in to work on proposals for reform and now even a reform committee within fifa itself. but itself. but all along the problem was that those recommendations were never implemented, and that is the
crisis we have. we have all these recommendations out there, but you need to guarantee you have someone that can implement them. if you do, things will go well from there. >> your proposals for change are far-reaching and fundamental according to this person, but how when you get a supportive board that will allow you to make these changes? >> if you have the money you can work. that is the way that things are, that is the reality. quite frankly, these are not far-reaching ideas. these areideas. these are the basics and norms of good governance for any organization in the world. we have to adopt it. i do believe that this election is time is crucial. one of the reasons why it is
so important obviously is because it is the umbrella for football all over the world, and it would be a real shame to be dragged down by these people. andand that is why this is the most important opportunity to get it right. if we don't then we are in serious trouble. >> give us a quick lay of the land on your election. as i understand there are five candidates total. how confident are you? how tough is the field. give us a state of play. >> i ami am not playing the politics. i am going out and talking to national associations. i have a different method of doing it. taking what is important and putting it as part of the manifesto which will be coming out soon.
at the end of the day i believe that if things are done correctly and each national association has the right without pressure to make their own decisions that ii think that i will be the candidate who wins this election. >> you are on a campaign in the united states. what are you doing to help your cause, and what if someone wanted to help you get elected? what can people do to play a role in this race? >> unfortunately it is not a public vote. i think things would have been a little bit different earlier this year if it was. but i think definitely that around the world and i do know the national associations are realizing that france and the stakeholders and football are not happy with the situation and they are feeling a lot of pressure because of that.
i no thati know that a lot of the people and football are ashamed. they want to improve the image. therethere are a lot of people from younger generations who want to be involved in decision-making. if we get things right i think that the future is bright. >> us soccer supported you and your 1st campaign for the presidency but has not taken a position in this campaign. do you expect to get us support again? >> that is a question. but i definitely look forward and hope to get the support and have the chance to speak obviously with the board as well as support from the region. i am obviously the final. i am looking forward maybe to at least unofficially
having a chance to have a conversation with stakeholders. and i have a lot of friends. >> defend the one country one-vote rule for the fifa presidency and should votes be made public? >> i think that obviously one vote per country is a must and everyone has the right to have about. as for being made public, i would certainly supported. unfortunately that is not going to be the case this time around, but maybe for the future. >> your former colleague has recently protocol for the inclusion of women in the
governance of the sport. what iswhat is your.of view on the role of women and gender inequality? >> well, i will support my colleague. i think that it is an important step, some of the reforms that they propose to have a woman's representative from each confederation willing to represent. but it is a small step and there is more that can be done. we want to reach a day when they should not be a quota for anyone. this is a good start, i believe. and women's football is one of the biggest growth areas within the game and we have to do everything we can to football. and it is the 1st time
that it takes place in our region. together i think we can do so much more. >> in 2014 the german mentor, or 25 million what are your thoughts on this gender pay inequality and do you have any plans to close this gap? >> that's a very big issue right now. it was not reflective of the amount of support for the world cup itself and we have to look at changing those dynamics. i have been in discussions with colleagues. at the same time, one of the things that we do see and
within national associations is a worry that if you invest more somehow it takes away from the men's game or investment in the men's game which is totally incorrect. therefore we have to have a lot more emphasis and really give the women side of the game more independence because that will just help to get them moving in the way that they want. >> their seems to be aa contradiction between the interest in supporting women's development and soccer internationally and allowing countries that discriminate against women to participate and approval. as president would you allow these nations to continue participating? what steps would you take to ensure this discrimination ends? >> we have to work against discrimination and always, shapes, and forms everywhere in the world. but also includes racial
discrimination which is still a good part around the world. again, you have to lead by example. >> world cup to brazil, russia and the name of football development and in a negative way. so what do you mean by development and what would be your approach? >> well, development means giving the opportunities to all our players around the world.
again, you have to work on a case-by-case basis. i would like to see a dedicated national stadium to football in every country in the world and also in development you have to get out the basics, pictures, kits that everyone needs but there is a human aspect. players career spanned is not that long. around the world there is a big need for approaches and so on to train in different areas,areas, but they might not be able to afford the salaries. so fifa can set up a scholarship program and let them participate and give there experiences to other parts of the world. at the same time taking coaches from developing countries in footballing giving them experience alongside closer teams outside. i put this to a meeting of the leagues the other day in paris. that is where you can get that human dimension going on as well.
physically being there and learning from the sport. and the rest you leave up to the players. >> you have said you agree with holding the world cups, cups, but what immediate steps we take to address the doping scandal and the human rights violations which are very much ongoing and would you consider taking away the 2022 world cup? >> there are investigations obviously underway. obviously what i said is i believe in the right of every country to host the world cup, and the decision was made. but we have to make sure that in the future mistakes are not made in this idea of having a double dip was a big mistake.
when you send out teams comeau we base the decision on the recommendation as to what country has the best potential to host the world cup. most importantly as we have seen, they have made the promises to deal with the issue of workers rights and obviously if i am president i would be there to guarantee that they are implemented. and we have to have standards for any nation which includes human rights and workers rights. >> what specific financial internal controls would you implement to make sure that fifa and its subordinate comply with anti- bribery and anticorruption laws? >> well, we have within fifa
obviously an ethics committee. we have to make it really robust. the rules are there. the problem is with the implementation. they have to take what is happening now and make sure it applies across the board. >> you said at the top your speech would not be on the issues of war and piece. if football can have a role in creating more world piece >> i think that it does already. we have seen how football being the most popular sport in the world and being really the common language of the world wherever you go is a force for good. therefore, i think that if we get things right and get things going in the right
direction there is so much more that can be done. it can reach the day where no one knows what the president is whether we are going in the right direction, then again we will have confidence restored from sponsors and others. >> this questioner says in soccer or football it belongs to the world them what are the specific steps you can take to include the voices and opinions of dedicated fans. >> a been listening to them quite a bit as of late. we half to listen to them and help out as much as possible with the fans
across the world heis there are problems when it comes to stadiums, the issue of ticket prices and i would like to have obviously and make sure that fifa should be as it should, an open body for anyone who is concerned to come and share their problems. >> how do you intend on bringing the game of football to big cities in north america and memo we see a jordanian game come? >> definitely football is picking up all over the world. football in the us is
different to what it was when i was studying here. i have seen hagrid the progress is command i think it is a matter of time for it is embraced in the major cities command there are other aspects which has a lot of appeal and can be relevant. as for jordan, we would love to come and play. the national teams play the united states. and even possibly club teams as well. and hopefully maybe our woman's international team, but i would like to thank mary for taking care of our under 17 women's team who came out earlier in the year there is a lot of cooperation and coordination there command we look forward to also hosting the
us and jordan at some point in the future. >> you mentioned that soccer football is catching on in the united states. certainly much more than when we were young and the united states,states, but this questioner points out that football, basketball, and baseball still rule the sporting world and the united states. why do you think professional or national soccer has not caught on more than it has? >> it takes time for the tradition of soccer to catch on. i think all sports complement each other and should never be viewed as a competition. but certainly it is picking up and i think results are crucial.
both sure we will have some great results. a big difference. it is a matter of time. >> another question about changing the culture within fifa. how do you rally support from fifa members were used to corruption? >> if we do implement i do know that there is a recommendation from the reform committee to have a three term limit that only starts in the next three
years, whatever the next elections are. i am not sure if that is the right approach. but if you have term limits you give the opportunity for others obviously. there is a big desire worldwide to really have aa generation. what might have been acceptable 20 or 30 years ago is definitely not now command that realization is sinking in. but if you have that leadership on top that does not turn a blind eye to things and that protects the rights of national associations as well then it will change i believe very quickly. >> should more individual players try to take a role to dissuade corruption, or should the players just stick to football?
>> well, it is our job to protect the players. it is not the players who should be having to deal with these issues. it is a sad situation that it comes to that.that. so at the end of the day we have to serve them, and that is our job. >> we spent a lot of time asking questions about corruption abcafive, even some questions about fifa, whether fifa can be saved. but setting that aside for a moment are there some things that you see that they are doing right and that are good signs and that you think fifa has been successful in growing the world and the recent decades? >> sure. obviously fifa has done a lot of things especially in terms of staff and administration and it is
unfortunate for them. they get lumped a lot of things and i have been development projects. i think that we can do more instead of having a system where national associations have to keep continuously coming back and support. if you have good, strong football associations who are self sustainable and you will have a stronger organization and you're going to take people away from corruption are doing practices that are not correct. that is my belief. i think that there are positive. what is working, there is so much more that we can do.
>> this questioner asks about your role as a member of the royal family, very storied, well-known royal family and wonders if leading fifa would have even greater political interest in your predecessor as being part of a royal family? not sure exactly what they mean by that phrasing, but as being a member of the royal family, does that set up any particular advantages or roadblocks for you as you go about your campaign? ..
>> 19 soccer nonfootball question here. you are a member of the jordanian government. this questionnaire has a question about what is jordan doing to diversify its economy during such a volatile time for the region and now the questioner could mean many things by volatile volatile time but let me drill down on one specific area. as i understand jordan is taking in an extremely large number of syrian refugees having an effect on the country. how are you handling the influx of the refugees and how is that
affecting the jordanian economy and life in jordan going forward? >> first of all i'm not a member of the jordanian government. but i think jordan is going through a very difficult time with the crisis in our region as are others of our neighbors including lebanon and so on. it's a difficult neighborhood to dan. regarding the refugees, we have as our tradition obtusely do as we can for our neighbors and help them out as much as possible but it is a very difficult time for jordan, for its economy but at the end of the day jordan is a country without any natural resources and is invested itself into its people. that's where we have our greatest strength, their education and their real hard-working community and
that's the direction we have always gone. we will get through this just fine. we will do all we can to help our neighbors and the syrian refugees. on that note we have used football is a great tool to helping them out because as refugees when they first came into jordan we realize that okay you give them the basic services that you have all these kids and they are the majority on boys and girls who have nothing to do with that time so we teamed up with different governments as well as with ngos to introduce football for boys and girls as well as teaching them skills like awareness and so on and they think the u.n. cr will tell you it's one of the most successful programs that has happened to refugees for anyone
in the world and it's something unfortunately if the situation arises will be emulated elsewhere. >> we are almost out of time but before it asked the last question i have some housekeeping. the national press club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists and we fight for a free press worldwide. to learn more about the club, go to our web site press.org and to donate to our nonprofit journalism institute, visit press.org/institute. i would like to remind you about other events that are happening at the national press club. today in fact just down the hallway in the bloomberg room the national press club is publicly reading articles by "washington post" jason resigned for 24 consecutive hours. repeat down at 7:00 a.m. and we are continuing until 7:00 a.m.
tomorrow. the club is doing this to draw attention to the 501 days jason resigned has unjustly been held in an iranian prison and reading the articles as a reminder to the world that jason is a reporter. he is a journalist and he is not anything else and he should not be in jail. on tuesday, and please stop in the room on your way out, it's very interesting to sit and listen to a couple of articles. on tuesday december, david scored in the new secretary of the smithsonian institution will address the national press club luncheon. i would now like to present the national press club's world cup to our speaker. [applause] >> thank you very much.
that is very valuable and it travels very well as you go around the world and talk about your candidacy for the presidency. so the final question i understand that you are a dedicated arsenal fan. that's the team the u.k. league, as i write in britain? go arsenal. of course you are now running for president of fefa so you need to pledge and if so are you going to make a pledge today that you are going to set aside preferences for arsenal no more ruling for arsenal because as the president of fefa you need to root for everybody so is it going to be bye bye to the arsenal? >> luck. [laughter] to run for a fee for will promise to dedicate my whole self to the organization and
football around the world but over my dead body will i give up my -- [applause] >> how about another round of applause for our speaker. [applause] and i want to thank you for coming your royal highness and thank you for answering so many direct questions and we hope that you will come back soon to the national press club. you are allowed a new mug every time you come so a lot of people like the collection over time and we want to incur due to do that as well. i would also like to thank the national press club staff including its journalism institute and broadcast center
for organizing today's event. if you would like a copy of today's program or to learn more about the national press club, go to our web site, that's press.org and again to learn more about our nonprofit, the national press club journalism institute, the web site is press.org/institute. thank you very much. we are adjourned. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> all persons having business before the honorable supreme court of united states will admonish to give their attention.
senator barbara mikulski to the ceremony from the white house east room is 50 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen the recipients of the presidential medal of freedom. larry barra accepting for yogi berra. [applause] emelia, gloria estefan. the honorable lee hamilton, howard mays junior the honorable senator barbara mikulski, izhtak perlman the honorable william
[applause] >> hello everybody. thank you, thank you. everybody please have a seat. everybody have a seat. well welcome to the white house everybody. a bunch of people were saying i was pretty busy today, which is true. but this is a fun kind of busy right here. today, we celebrate some extraordinary people, innovators, artists, and leaders who contribute to america's strength as a nation and we offer them our highest civilian honor, the presidential medal of freedom. [applause]
let me tell you just a little bit about them, although i suspect the people here are ready now their stories. growing up in west virginia, catherine johnson counted everything. she counted steps, she counted dishes. she counted the distance to the church. by 10 years old she was in high school. by 18 she had graduated from college with degrees in math and french. as an african-american woman, job options were limited but she was eventually hired as one of of several female mathematicians for the agency that would become nasa. catherine calculated the flight path for america's first mission in space, the path that put neil
armstrong on the moon. she was even asked to doublecheck the computers map on john glenn's orbit around the earth. [laughter] so if you think your job is pressure packed, hers meant that forgetting to carry the one might send somebody floating off into the solar system. [laughter] in her 33 years at nasa and was a pioneer who broke the barriers of race and gender and showing generations of young people that everyone can excel in math and science and reach for the stars. in the early 1960s, a lawyer named bill ruckelshaus road through indiana in a truck taking samples from streams choked with dead fish. he called it a very good time.
i think we have better definitions of a very good time but it was locked away of protecting americans from big polluters. in the 1970s when richard nixon created the environmental protection agency he made bill, fellow republican, its first director. under bill's leadership the epa developed new clean air standards, banned the harmful pesticide ddt. most importantly bill set a powerful president in particular environment is something we must come together and do as a country. he became known as mr. clean and lived up to that nick and when he resigned from the nixon administration rather than derail the watergate investigation. he has never truly retired. his recent years he's led the fight to protect puget puget sound's andy's urged his fellow epublicans to join them in combating climate change. so you spend his life putting
country before party or politics he reminds us how noble public service can be and our air and water is cleaner and our lives are brighter because of him. back in 1966 plans were laid for a highway straight through some of baltimore's most diverse neighborhoods. the new road seemed like a go. it was about to happen, that is until i ran into a young social worker and let's just say you don't want to be on the wrong side of barbara mikulski. [laughter] she stopped that highway and jumpstarted one of the finest public service careers we have ever seen. for decades barbara has been a lion, a lioness, on capitol hill fighting for working families, fighting for high-tech, high-paying jobs fighting for
the prospects of america's women and girls. i couldn't have been prouder to have her by my side as i signed into law the lilly ledbetter fair pay act, the first law that i signed. and barbara's legacy -- [applause] barbara's legacy reflects her roots, and mom who offered grocery store credit to steelworkers on strike, a dad he who greeted every customer friendly, can i help you? we are all lucky that the question barbara has been asking and answering longer than any female lawmaker in our history. [applause] there are people in our countries history who don't look left or right, they just look straight ahead. shirley chisholm was one of those people, driven by profound
commitment to justice. she became the first african-american congresswoman, the first african-american woman from a major political party to run for president. when she was assigned to the house agricultural committee despite the fact that her district was from new york city, she said apparently all they know here in washington about work when is that a tree grew there. [laughter] but she made the most of her new role hoping to create -- helping to create the supplemental nutrition program that feeds poor mothers and their children. shirley chisholm transcends her life in when asked how she would like to member she said i would like to say this, surely has -- and i'm proud to say shirley chisholm had guts. at its best lee hamilton once said representative of democracy gives us a system or all of us
have a voice in the process and a stake in the product. in his 34 years in congress lee hamilton was a faithful servant to that ideal, representing his district, his beloved indiana and his country with integrity and honor. as head of the house foreign affairs and intelligence committees, he helped guide us through the cold war and into a new era of american leadership, a man widely admired on both sides of the aisle for his honesty, his wisdom and consistent commitment to bipartisanship. from serving as vice chair of the 9/11 commission to making congress more effective, leave remains a tireless public servant and a trusted adviser and friend to many and i'm proud to count myself among them. we also celebrate those who have stirred our souls have lifted our spirits as icons of the stage, screen and song.
born in brooklyn to a middle-class jewish family, i didn't know you were jewish barbara. [laughter] barbara streisand attended her first broadway show at age 14 and remember thinking i could go up on that stage and play any role without any trouble at all. that's what is called chutzpah. and it helps when you have got amazing talent all of which made her a global sensation, one whose voice has been described as liquid diamonds and fans of considered rum stinger used coffee cups. she has sold more albums than america than any woman in history.
she has collected just about every honor and award that there is. i couldn't believe it, she hadn't gotten this one. [laughter] off the stage he has been a passionate advocate for issues like heart disease and women's equality. i'm getting all for clamps just thinking about it. [laughter] in an interview, violinists izhtak perlman was once asked what sound he loves in his eyes lit up and he replied, the sound of onions sizzling in a pan. [laughter] this is a man of large appetites who knows how to live. he also happens to be a pretty good musician and persevered
through childhood polio to become not only a virtuoso but also a powerful advocate for people with disabilities. he has played with every major orchestra in the world conducted many of them, and has won grammys and emmys. he has performed with all the greats leonard bernstein, yo-yo ma, tally from sesame street. [laughter] but what truly sets them apart in what makes him perhaps the most beloved violinist of our time is that he approaches music the way he approaches everything in life, with passion and with joy. he lays bear the sole of a piece making us feel each note and giving us a glimpse of something bigger than ourselves. and by doing so he makes the world a little more beautiful. i'm proud to call the next honore a friend as well. the truth is, a lot of people say that about james taylor.
that's what happens when you spend for decades telling people just call out my name and i'll come running. [laughter] but that's the thing about james , you always feel like he's saying it only to you. as a fan of his once said that james can turn an arena into a living room. that's why he became one of the driving forces of the singer-songwriter movement and his honesty and candor about overcoming substance abuse is inspired not only his music but people all around the world. so come fire or rain, come california, mexico or a country road, james taylor is there to comfort us, to help us look within and to urge us all to shower the people we love with love. on a miami night in 1975 a young
woman named gloria walked into a wedding reception and saw a handsome young man named emilio leading his band. he was playing to the hustle on an accordion. i am quoting here now. she said she found this embrace. [laughter] i mean the brave part i understand. [laughter] but it turns out he had a few other things up his sleeve. he brought her up to sing a few songs that night, invited her to join his band. a few months later emilio asked gloria for a birthday kiss. it wasn't his birthday but it got the kids anyway and emilio asked gloria -- gloria estefan have been partners ever since. some worried they were to latin
for americans into -- turns out everybody swansea dance and do the conga. together they fusion sound has sold more than 100 million records and is proud cuban-americans they promoted their cultural heritage and inspired fans all over the world. an awful lot of people have gone to musicals to forget their troubles just like they were dancing to estefan's music. steven sondheim i think is somebody who is not adjusted in it. a composer and a lyricist on the genre and to himself he challenges his audiences. his greatest hits are not tunes that you can home. there are reflections on the roads we didn't take and wishes gone wrong, relationships so frayed and fractured there's
nothing left to do but send in the clowns. yet stevens music is so beautiful his lyrics so precise, that even as he exposes the imperfections of everyday life, he transcends them. we then send them. put simply steven reinvented the american musical. he's limp large over more than six decades in the theater. and with revivals from broadway to the big screen he is still here, police -- pulling us up short in giving us support for being alive. here's how steven spielberg once explained his creative process. once a month the sky falls on my head. i come to it i see another movie i want to make. [laughter] this sounds painful for steven, but it has worked out pretty well for the rest of us. in his career steven has introduced us to
extraterrestrials, rogue archaeologist, killer sharks. he's taken us to neverland, jurassic park but also the beaches of normandy and nazi camp -- nazi concentration camps. despite redefining the world -- the word prolific a spielberg movie is still a spielberg movie. somebody is calling to see if they can book him for a deal right now. they want to make a pitch. [laughter] so there's is really good looking president. [laughter] a spielberg movie marked by imagination the worlds rendered in extraordinary detail, characters who struggle to see destiny of that reminds us powerfully of our lives.
all of his statistics, 6600 runs, a lifetime batting average the list goes on i will describe that miracle ground -- that grab the will say we have never seen five to a player in we have not seen one since. of course, he with so fast he could barely keep a hat on his head and he served our country to help carry the banner of civil-rights. of years ago he wrote with been of error force one. because the giants late kim someone like me could think about running for president prince ali bin.
[applause] finally we celebrate those who challenge us to live up to our values. i was a policy that was getting arrested. more than 50 times in his fight to save the salmon the fed is barely for generations. to be cast as the al lot because he knew he was right in the federal judge agreed with a century before. he went on to get a national voice i don't believe in magic but the sun and the
stars in the water with their rivers running. they telescope the liard because we are the same. >> and killed the seven other soldiers as a brigadier general she begin to heal by helping others. the tragedy assistance program for survivors creating to support bolland service members. each year holds workshops across the country. to bring together children of the fallen and then to have fun as well.
i know someone is by my side. on a saturday night march march 1942 he went to walk around portland with the disciplinary military platform he took his case to the supreme court and lost a decision he fought for the rest of his life. the suspicion and most of the men never stopped believing in the promised of the country nevertop fighting for equality and justice for all. we believe in the great ideals of this country that
[applause] we are not done. they have to get somewhere. -- some hardware. >> presidential medal of freedom citation. received a on behalf of lawrence, one of the nation's most beloved sports hero joe b. there was a world-class baseball player he left home to join the navy fought on the day end table with a purple heart he won 10 world series championships as a manager
of the new york yankees the guided his team that wins the national consciousness and died is that we can observe their watching. [laughter] [applause] [cheers and applause] >> sablotny carol. after her husband died in this plane crash she channeled her grief as the founder of the tragedy assistance program for survivors devoting her life
to support families that made the old men separate price for freedom she has confronted the hearts of thousands of families across the country her strength and jerry austin -- generosity our spirit -- a testament to her spirit. [applause] receiving on behalf of the honorable shirley chisholm. [applause] as the first
african-american congressman and the first woman to seek a major party nomination for president, shirley chisholm carried the torch of politics to committee rooms in congress she gave voice to marginalize community the coalition to expand social justice to denounce sexism and racism by refusing to stand on the sidelines sidelines, never letting others define her 11th, a shirley chisholm embody the american spirit. [applause] emilio as the fog -- as defined, jr. [applause]
4014. gloria estefan rising to become a musician and businessman. bringing his latin sound to the pop music audience he proved the power of music transcends economic boundaries the using song to celebrate emilio budget cultures with a new wholly american sound. [applause] with their infectious rhythms and iconic bulbuls gloria is a musical powerhouse the vessel
millions of records across the globe transforming the spirit of the vienna to miami and the bond -- jim beyond to establish that american music in the mainstream. as a leader gloria estefan embodies the story of america as a pioneer who will forever symbolize the potential of those who want to build a dream. [cheers and applause] billy frank, jr.. devoted his life to protect and the rights of native americans for go for
oversteers tirelessly and fearlessly fought for the preservation of traditional ways of life. widely renowned as an advocate for the physical and cultural survival and the legacy reminds us the pursuit of equality and justice is the work of every generation. [applause] >> the honorable hamilton. [applause] a leading voice of foreign policy and national-security with developing solutions and the most complex challenges of our time.
[cheers and applause] born in segregated alabama europe to be one of the greatest baseball players of all time. with an unmatched power and agility stepping into the history books as a two-time mvp with home runs in 24 all-star appearances in along the way captured hearts across america reminds us of the power of hard work and determination in the legacy that continues to inspire generations of americans. [cheers and applause]
>> the honorable barbara mikulski. [applause] [laughter] for decades barbara mikulski has served the nation with conviction and are in the spirit of selflessness as a show slow worker committee organized city council member and the longest serving women in congress a tireless advocate for family, women, children and seniors. in the senate barbara mikulski has fought for equality and fairness from the most vulnerable members of society. she helped to pave the way for other women in elective office and her legacy will
into were to climb the ladder of opportunity she fought to build. [cheers and applause] >> itzhak perlman. [laughter] [applause] a teacher, conductor with the greatest violinist of our time, bringing joy to millions from countless new artists and adoration from global audiences. boarded israel a devoted
drill sergeant serving our nation with dedication and integrity the first administrator of the epa meeting the government's effort struggling with commitment -- contaminated rivers years later he would return to the home to care for environmental stewardship with conviction and courage continuing to place principle over politics with lifetime advocacy on behalf of our nation and planet. [applause]
with the astonishing body of work the most frequently stage musicals people round the world know that song. he has fervor left his mark on the american stage. [applause] >> stephen spielberg. [applause] from "jurassic park" to saving private ryan in "schindler's list" he has established his place as one of the most influential film
makers leaning entire universe to life to escher iconic american characters into being. our world shaped by his stories enter his foundation helping thousands of survivors of genocide. representing the best of american culture and humanitarianism we honor his contribution to our american life. [cheers and applause] >> barbara streisand. [applause]
for six decades she has used her story roistering life to humor to human experience. the talent and authenticity have left a mark on theater and music. inspiring generations of finance and performers as an advocate for women's heart health she encourages others to make a difference her legacy women to work in the american narrative. [cheers and applause]
>> minoru yasui. [applause] from the fruit farms to levels of the supreme court minoru yasui fought for basic human rights and fair and equal treatment of every american challenging american curfew place of japanese-americans he brought critical attention to the issue to pave the way for all americans to stand as equal citizens example
endures as a reminder of the power of one voice that echoes for justice. [applause] >> give them a big round of applause. [cheers and applause] presidential multiple -- medal of freedom winners. [applause] this is an extraordinary group even by the standards of recipients it is a class act. we are reminded when we see
these individuals of the stage what an incredible tapestry this country is. individuals as diverse and while different backgrounds can help to shape our dreams and how we live together to find justice and freedom and love. they represent what is best in us. my understanding is there is pretty good food in the white house. congratulations. [applause]