tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN June 27, 2016 12:58pm-2:59pm EDT
how we can bend the curve on entitlement spending and of course more and more people are talking about the enormous looming amount of student debt that we have, and if you are a parent, you are more and more familiar with the travails that your kids are going through. one issue that we need to hear more about, and i think this conference is a good step toward is the retirement savings gap. retirement security is absolutely critical for the overall physical health of our economy and the overall well-being of our constituents across their lives and it's just as important systemically as student debt, as the soundness of our entitlement programs in our deficit comments of any other issues that deserve much more attention because there is a lot of mismatch in problems
with how we do it today. study after study shows very simply that workers are not saving enough money for their retirement. even when there is enough saved, many retirees outlive their savings which i hope continues as lifespans continue to increase but it's one that we should prepare for. the retirement saving shortfall is in excess of $14 trillion. one in five americans approaching retirement age have nothing in their private retirement savings. they rely completely on social security. when you look at overall statistics it becomes worse in regard to women and minorities so we have a real looming crisis with regard to retirement savings. :
of course without the pension protect act, this crisis we're talking about today, the state of affairs today, would likely be far worse. and that is a good thing to reflect on ten years on. automatic enrollment. this has an enormous positive impact on the retirement landscape, same with automatic escalation, expanding the use of target date funds has helped move the transition for millions of mid-career workers moving into their preretirement years, and these aspects of the pension protect act were common sense solutions to real world problems. as we meet today on the 10th 10th anniversary of the legislation, every one of us who is here knows we need to be here because it's time to take action
again. we have seen labor department graphs, cbo statistics for the next generation of private sector workers, deferred benefit plans are no longer going to be an option. at the same time there isn't enough entitlement reform in the world to adequately fund our entire retirement system through the federal government, which social security was never designed to do. it's clear we have to find innovative solutions. we have to find bipartisan solutions, practical solutions, and that's your job today. the group here today really has great responsibility in the institutional knowledge to help find the slugses. i'll offer a few ideas but employers, plan sponsors and others across the country want to do the right thing and provide the tools that workers need for retirement. in some cases, current laws are holding back companies and workers from doing what they
need to do to save for retirement. 'll for instance, congress can expand the auto ebb rolement safe harbor. math is no secret. overall savings, including employer contributions, need to be in the 10 to 15% range but today they're far explore there's some bipartisan agreement that action should be taken to increase contributions. congress could, and should, take action to expand the ability of late career workers to catch up in their contributions. we know that savings for retirement is a career-long exercise but for many working nationallies, something called life gets in the way, whether it's having kids at home or trying to support them through college. as workers approach transition from mid-career to late career there should be additional opportunities to invest in their future. all know those early investments are so much more important, so
much more leveragable because of the magic of compound interest, but we shouldn't discourage through policy mid another late career contributions when they might be necessary to help close some of that retirement gap. congress could and should pass legislation to expand the use of multiemployer plans. overwhelming majority of small businesses want the ability to provide a comfortable retirement to their employees. but are we giving them the tool to do so? allowing small businesses to come together and participate is a bipartisan solution that should become law. there's a majority in the house, majority in the senate, and i think the president would sign a bill along those lines when it gets to his desk in the shared economy we're also dealing with issues of employment. we also see it in the world of franchise, dedefinition of employment, with some issues before the national lasher relations board.
it's important because one of those suite of services that some in the shared economy or perhaps franchise world might want to offer employees would specifically be retirement planning, plans and others, but currently because those are tied to the definition of employment, they are for many types of companies that want to avoid any of the gray area near employment, they're actively prevented from offering those kinds of added value retirement information to their contract employees. those are just a few of the things we should do with regard to access, but there's also steps we need to take with information, simply empower people to make better decision from school age to retirement, workers and savers need access to sold, useful, financial information to make responsible
decisions. that starts with k-12 financial literacy. do a better job with regards to preparing children to be life-long savers. there are school stricts coming up and have implemented innovative ideas on the front. as we know, education is very decentralized and there continue to be many kid with very little or superficial exposure to financial literacy in k-12 years. the federal government should use federal funds for encouraging financial literacy because this is a major federal financial issue and of course, while administered by school districts we have an important stake in raising financial literacy of americans close to board. the next step when it comes to college and student debt, and when you talk to younger americans, there's no single issue more than student debt on their minds. so many of my constituents every day ask, how do i pay my debt
and save for retirement at the same time? and especially if people have student debt into their 30s and 40s. it becomes awfully late to start asking that question about when can you start a saving for retirement when you're still dealing with your student debt. the student debt cries won't be easy and there's no silver bullet but well tame a combination of solutions that help lower the cost of college as well as looking at our student loan programs to see how we can save borrowers money. with regard to reducing costs, programs like dual enrollment where high school students attain college credits while in high school at no or little cost can reduce the initial cost of college. moving on the trajectory towards three-year degrees rather than four-year degrees while making sure we have the same quality standards and outcomes in place.
and options like open source textbooks which are free, openly lend resources, stave students literally thousands of dollars. the average textbook costs over $2,000 a year in textbook costs. that's after room and board and everything else. and we can save students thousands of dollars on books through open source textbooks. the solution starts as early as high school but don't end there. once a student graduates they need affordable options for paying off their debt. so hopefully by taking action to reduce the cost of higher education, we can reduce that debt load and we also need to make sure there's affordable options for paying off the debt. one idea is one that it introduced with bipartisan bill with richard hannah last year, which would set up a universal income base repayment system for student loans. an option currently.
this would effectively ensure that students pay off an affordable percentage of their income until their lon is paid off and would eliminate red tape and requirements for different forms forms of forebearance with a income based approach. the obama administration has made income based repayment a priority and has seen positive increases in repayment rates as a result by participants. my bill would make income-based repayment more access illinois for borrowers, help people save to buy a car or home or, yes, for retirement, because people want to make sure they have the confidence they can pay off their debt in a way that is manageable for them, in a way that is predictable, and that they know, according to a formula. and when the next generation matriculates through college, or at least through high school and become workers, information,
like financial literacy and the need for it doesn't stop. hope we can pass another piece of legislation that i'm honored to sponsor, the retire act, that allows for planned sponsors to electronically deliver information. if you look at how younger americans save, bank, et cetera, it's all online. that's the native environment for many american workers. the paper documents sent today also include only a basic outline of account substances and legal notices and i'm confident the innovate temperatures in this room and across the country and can will and do provide more substantial information electronically in form mats for today's savers. i should also note there are efforts ongoing that would effectively undermine our efforts to update laws that require online disclosure. as an example of that is this very week there was an amendment offered by a representative that
would have halted the fc cs move to electronically deliver shareholder information. amendments like that are a step in wrong direction. i've been working closely with my colleague, darryl issa, to encourage across government the adoption of electronic standards for information. i also believe we should act and pass the lifetime income disclosure act. for so many saver their retirement account is first or second largest asset they have to their name, their home and their retirement account. knowing what they number means tapping blue -- this is mentioned in the introduction -- in terms of lifetime income is a very important piece of information that has a positive impact on savings and not a piece of information that is necessarily intatootive -- intuitive to americans without training. that's something that can be provided that will help
americans make bitter and more informed decisions about their retirement. having that information, and empowering people, leads me to the next critical piece of solving the retirement gap, which is income. now, there's many different types of investment vehicles that savers may choose but what is clear is that quality options are important. one of those options should be a better way to choose lifetime income products; as savers live longer we're going to see more and more americans outliving their lump sums and it's a reasonable decision to move into those kinds of products, but it's far from the only type of product that and can will work for retirees about we want to make sure those options are available for savers. these legislative ideas are just a small portion of the ideas i hope you have and discuss and that others have that will help solve the retirement gap. some of these solution is think are low-hanging fruit. they're bipartisan, practical,
they don't have intense opposition, and i hope that we can move on to those in short order. what i'm excited to hear about are the bigger, bolder solutions that i know are out there. might take a little more work to -- to build a consensus around to pass into law, but are more important now than ever before. i know my colleague, representative joe crowley, will be speaking with you later and he published an excellent report with many ideas how to take steps to make sure more americans can enjoy a safe, secure, and comfortable retirement. statement with indian private sector participants on today's panel who have done extensive work in this area. lastly, know that many participants here with the as spend institute have the sorts of innovative solutions that are going to be critical to solving the long-term challenges we as an entire nation face when it comes to retirement security and
certainly look forward to you sharing your thoughts and your ideas on what we do to move forward to address this retirement gap as we observe the tenth anniversary. i want to thank you for having me here today, for opening remarks and excited you are convenes around this topic and look forward to looking over the result oses your deliberations. thank you. [applause] thank you so much, congressman. so, we have now have another opportunity to hear from another congressman who has dedicated a lot of business time and office and even prior to coming to office, to looking at ways to build strong financial futurers, both for kids and adults in the u.s., and most of you know who i'm talking about. representative congressman joe crowley. representing the 14th district
congressional strict district in new york. so i'll take a minute to introduce you before you come up, congressman. he is the vice chair of the democratic caucus, and he also sits on the ways and means committee, which as most of you know has jurisdiction over, among other things, the tax code and social security. like as spend's financial security program, congressman crowley has been a long-time supporter of helping americans save, especially around childrens are savings accounts and has recently offered some comprehensive blueprint ideas in a report entitled: building better savings, building better futures. it's on the front page of his web site. specifically on the retirement issues we'll hear about today, just this year congressman crowellry has done things i wanted to note in february he introduced the myira act.
last month, he sent a letter signed by more than 60 of your colleagues in the house, calling on president obama to require that all federal contractor automatically enroll their employees in retirement plans, and if they don't have them, into myira. and i know there's plans underway to introduce a pretty comprehensive idea, a bold idea, around a more inclusive retirement savings concept which is going to be entitled "the same up act." so that's a little bit of background, congressman issue want to call you up now thank you for all you're doing to help us make it easier for americans to save. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. very much appreciate being here this morning.
my voice is a little bit raspy. we had vary interesting week this week and i was engaged in a proportion of that so if you forgive me. one issue of security, personal, the issue of retirement security, so thank you once again and thank you to the as spend institute for having me here to participate in this discussion of the state of retirement security here in the u.s. i'm pleased to join you here for a much-needed conversation on what we are and where we are and where we need to go as a country in terms of working towards ensuring a more secure retirement for every american. particularly the ten years since the enactment of the pension protection act. the act was the most sweeping piece of legislation since arisa and deserves creditor making it easier for employees to participate and contribute into
their own retirement. for example, we have seen drastic increases in both auto enrollment and auto escalation. these victories are overshadowed by the growing number of americans who do not enjoy the promise of the secure retirement. the fact is our nation is facing an urgent saving and retirement security crisis, one that we must address now. but too many americans not saving enough for their futures, fewer private sector workers being offered pensions, and a host of other challenges facing potential retirees, the dream of a secure retirement is slipping away for millions of americans. as an example to highlight this problem, half of all people going to work today in america are not offered a retirement plan from their employer. even for those who are saving, the picture doesn't get any
rosier. so many families have no savings, the median, 50th 50th percentile, family has just $5,000 in savings today. the problem starts even in the years before retirement. we're seeing a new generation of americans growing up with little or no savings to help them climb the economic ladder or simply weather a difficult period in their lives. this is a crisis we must address now before it gets really too late. but there is a small bright side. many americans know the value of savings. they want to save. they just need the right tools to help them save. a multipronged approach to address these problems to create a culture of savings in astage of a person's life.
that's why i propose an action plan to help americans build better savings, to build brighter futures. we have to put the ability to save back in the hands of america's families. the first part of my plan deals with addressing the lack of savings and financial insecurity at the earliest days of a person's life. right now in america, most working families lack savings and face financial insecurity as a result of that lack of savings. 44% of families owe what is known as liquid asset poor. meaning they lack accessible savings to survive for three months at just the federal poverty level. families with children may face additional barriers to building savings, but saving is even more important for these families.
facts show even a small amount of family assets can have a significant impact on college success, a key driver of economic mobility. low and moderate income children with even $500 or less saved for college are three times more likely to enroll in college and four times more likely to graduate than children with no savings at all. working with be as spend institute is introduced legislation to make universal child savings accounts to give every child and their parents the right start for a lifetime of savings and begin real asset creation. my bill launches individual accounts for every child and provides federal seed money as a down payment into their accounts and also extends the child tax
credit for tamlies who save on their own or their children, giving them an incentive to put even more money into these accounts. that may seem like a small idea, but the data proves if you give the tools and resources, parents at even the lowest economic levels will save. in the year 2011, the city of san francisco began offering child savings accounts, expanding them to all children enrolled in public kindergarten, starting in 2013. data from the kindergarten to college account demonstrated that families, even those of lower income are contributing their own funds towards their child's education at a rate four times higher, four times higher, than americans of all income levels are towards -- given the
opportunity to save through 529 college savings plans. in the five years that san francisco program has been in existence, families have deposited $1 million in new savings. helping to build assets for participating families, proving their parents want to and will save and invest in a child's future if they're given the opportunity to do so. under my bill, when the child becomes an adult, they can use that money to pay for college, or the funds can be rolled over into a roth ira account. helping young adults with other important expenses or to just simply start a long-term savings for life. putting them on the right foot path. so these young adults with grow up with not only the real assets of savings but also the
experience and routine of saving to help them to continue to save throughout their lives. the second prong of my action plan addresses the need of working americans with no savings at all who need to start building for their retirements. or at least have a cushion for emergency needs. according to the federal reserve board, almost half of all americans would not be able to cover a $400 emergency without borrowing money or selling off some possession. we have millions of americans who not only have no savings for retirement, but are on the verge of poverty itself if their car or the water heater breaks down. that needs to change.
needs to change fast. that is why i have introduced legislation that codifies the president's myira accounts into codify and put them into law and not simply executive order. myira helps build a culture of savings by breaking down the traditional barriers to savings itself. such as high minimum contributions or concerns about the fluctuation of our markets, as i know many of you are concerned today. you will now open an account with as little as $25. and give them the able to make automatic payments every pay period. there are also no maintain chargeses or fees associated with these accounts. meaning every dollar, every dollar, that is invested will be returned, plus interest, to the
account holder. eye're helps dress a big savings deterrence by allowing access to these funds for emergency purposes. employers benefit as well. by allowing them to provide a hassle-free, no-cost, fringe bent fit to their workers. this program is recently launched. now it's our job to spread the word. we need to spread the word and make it permanent. the third prong of my plan deals with addressing retirement security crisis in america. the data is startling. a recent gallop poll shows that half of all current workers think they will not have enough money to retire. with the declean in employer
provided pensions retirement security has become an even greater question mark for many americans. while many employers are already offer retirement plans to employees, too many workers find themselves falling through the gaps. the department of labor estimates one in four americans working in full-time private sector jobs are not taking advantage of their employer-provided retirement plans. there are steps we can easily take to improve participation in these plans such as increasing the use of auto enrollment, which has been shown to increase this participation rate above 90%. that is why i led a letter signed by 65 of my house colleagues asking the president to take executive action to
require federal contractors to auto enroll all employees into retirement plans. that simply is the low-hanging fruit. we need to help those worker who are not even offered a retirement plan through their employer. as i state earlier, one out of every two people going to work this morning, one of them does not have a retirement plan through his or her job. and for some, believe it or not, in the picture gets even worse. for example, only 38% of working-age latinos are employed in a business where the employer sponsors retirement plan. that is why when the house returns in july, i will slow introduce legislation to shake up the status quo and address this problem head on. my bill will create universal
pension account for authorize workers employed in a business with ten or mother employees that do not already offer workplace retirement plans. known as saveup accounts these pension accounts will partially -- will be partially funded by the employer and partially funded by the employee. an employer will directly contribute 50-cent ford every hour worked into the individual saveup pension accounts for each of their workers. this 50-cent allocation would increase annually to keep up with the cost of living. aside from the employer contributions, once enrolled employees will automatically begin contributing three percent of their pretax income. which increases gradually over time. while the employee cannot opt
out, the employer will continue to contribute to give their employees a solid retirement option. to help with the kansas of contributing to these plans, small employers can receive a tax credit worth the value of contributions to ten employee accounts. for a small business with fewer than ten employees, while they're not required to contribute, this tax credit will make it financially possible for them to do so and offer this fringe benefit voluntarily. ...
they are portable, they are tied to the worker, not to the employer and also allowing employees to change jobs without fear of putting their retirement in future at risk. these accounts will make a big difference to employees. after 45 years of work, someone who has only been employed in a low-wage job would have over $380,000 saved up. with these funds paid up through a monthly annuity, providing retirees a form of guaranteed income that they can rely on. i'm only talking about a single worker. if you match that up, it doubles when you add that to social security benefits, these workers
will see a much more stable retirement picture. that's not just good for them, it's good for everyone. that means, continuing to fight to keep the strength and defending social security as well. with a large and growing surplus of over $2.8 trillion, social security will be able to pay out full benefits for years to come. in fact the most recent report of a social security trustees projects that social security can continue to pay full benefits until at least 2034. with some modest tweaks to the program and a strong defense against drastic changes we can ensure the program will remain strong and be there for everyone for decades to come.
in particular we need to address the cap on workers earning better tax to pay for social security. congress must also oppose changes to the cost-of-living allowance for social security known as change cpi. or as i call it chainsaw ppi. it cuts benefits for retirement retirees and for veterans. my plan is just the start of what we need to do on all these important issues. as you know, the policy set to focus on commonsense solutions from experts from all five of the political spectrum. they can be good ideas everywhere i certainly don't have a monopoly on good ideas. i look for guidance for my
colleagues on both side of the aisle. some of whom i knew are participating in today's conversation. members in good friends who we just heard from. i'm glad we have this focus on retirement security and savings in the discussion and the brainstorming have been tremendously important. we also need to see some action. i look forward to working with you to champion the best possible ideas to ensure that we can create a country where everyone is able to build better savings and brighter futures for themselves and for their families and once again i just want to thank you all at the institute for your wonderful work. thank you all. enjoy a great weekend.
>> we are waiting for the daily white house briefing with press secretary eric schultz. while we wait for this to get underway, we show you remarks from jake sullivan and foreign policy advisor to democratic hillary clinton. he criticized the lack of donald trump's foreign-policy expertise and they outlined the challenges they face in the global arena and talk about the need for creating strategies to advance american values. >> host: good afternoon, we have a great, great speaker tonight. thank you jean. would you just settle down. i know it's been a spectacular
day. we talk about a lot of critical issues. we are about to have the agenda set by her neck speaker. truman community, we are in the battle that we have been preparing for four years. i'm a truman democrat in the private sector. i spent six years in the army reserve as an officer in an office at two world trade. i lost friends and as truman democrats, we understand the stakes of the political battle that we are in. we believe that a great america is ground in our values, weaved into military and diplomatic strength and uses the best of hard and soft power. in a hostile world it is even more important for us to fight for our values and for a vision of america in global strength that is optimistic and strong. the question this year, the question right now is our we
going to build on american values, on truman values or are we going to abandon and run away from what has made us great? we have a republican candidate who infuriatingly and accidentally reminds us of what we stand for because of what he's against and what we are against because of what he stands for. he favors a nuclear arms race and abandoning our allies. he ignores the bill of rights and denies climate change. he supports torture and the random killing of families of those who oppose us. he was for the iraq war before he was against it. he is a strange crush on dictator in russia and china who wish us harm. he presents us with a choice of a leader who was unfit, unstable and unqualified as opposed to hillary clinton. she has been the experience and intelligence to leave.
it is critically important that we engage to our american citizens and too many feel left behind. they are drawn to anger, hostility and fear. it is our responsibility, and we have the tools to paint an optimistic vision, a vision of american greatness that is based on strength but grounded on values and sustained by our hopes as opposed to our fears. no one is better to paint that should than our own brother, jake sullivan. the first author of a piece, the architect of the rendered nuclear deal and incredibly over all five public servant who has dedicated his life to public service. the rendered nuclear deal, a classic application of hard and soft power, a factor and hope over fear. my only advice to you is that you take the campaign advice and
remember, as harry truman said, carry the battle to them. don't let them bring it to you. put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. jake sullivan. [applause] >> thank you for that incredibly kind introduction into the trimming community, it's just remarkable to stand here in 2016 at the truman conference and see how this organization has grown. i remember when they were just first thinking of it back in the early 2000's and to see how it has evolved over time, spread across the entire country, covering every sector of our national service community, making a difference in the national conversation and
individually so many of you contributing in ways big and small for national security. it really is just an incredible honor to be able to be here tonight to. >> guest: you. i have been part of the truman family, the truman community basically since the start. i helped in little ways when others were getting it off the ground and really, i keep using this term truman family or trimming community because it is a community of people who while we may not see eye to eye on every specific issue, we all share a few fundamental things, a passion for the idea that the united states of america has two lead in the world and have to lead with strength and purpose, a view that we need strong and smart national security policy to be able to keep our country safe and to advance our interests and values around the world and, perhaps most importantly a shared
intellectual commitment to finding the best, most durable ideas to the very hard national security questions that we confront every day. they are hard. if you look around the world right now there are difficult problems and there are wicked problems. the thing that i have always found so compelling about this organization and about the people who make it up is that nobody turns their faith face away from it. nobody takes the easy way out. they are willing to grapple with and struggle with the difficulty of operating in a challenging international environment that we find in faith in 2016. especially to the people outside of the corridor, once upon a time i lived in a faraway place called minnesota, and i had spent the last several years up and down the east coast. to all of you who are carrying a message and the ideas and vision of this community across the country, to your hometowns and
community, that is one of the most important and most ingenious parts of this organization. i just want to say thank you and bless you for expanding the scope in the circle and the perspective of the organization. one more broad reflection before i make some comments about the challenges that we face ahead of us is that truman, the truman organization started during the bush administration as a vehicle for setting out a strong and smart progressive form policy alternative. that basic mission is and enduring vision. it's an evergreen mission but at this point, actually where we stand today in the national political debate about foreign policy, it's an incomplete mission. donald trump is challenging some of the most basic precepts of american foreign policy. on allies, on nuclear weapons, on american values, on what makes our country great in the
first place. so whereas in 2002 it was a debate that sort of accepted certain level of parameters for what the conversation would look like, today i would just urge all of us to think about going back to basics. we have to be able to effectively articulate and aggressively defend first principles. the very idea of american leadership, the simple proposition that to be strong at home we also have to be strong abroad and vice versa. that is now our charge. now, i believe deeply that americans, the american people are not isolationist. we have to acknowledge, all of us that they are looking around the world right now and asking, what should we make of all of this. we need to take their questions and concerns seriously and we need credible answers. now i will come onto donald trump in a moment. i do want to take a little while
to reflect upon the moment that we are in international security everyone who works in foreign policy at any time, in government likes to pick the moment they are in to say it's the most complicated, the most challenging, the most difficult national security moment we've ever seen. in our case is actually really true. [laughter] there have been periods in our history where we have seen geopolitical competition. there have been periods where we have had the strategic threat of terrorism but today we are facing both of these, political competition from china and russia and the threat from isis and al qaeda and at the same time we are also dealing with technology creating both new opportunities and new threats, cyber and pandemics and the like
so, the global turbulence that we are facing now, along with domestic challenges here at home, these are all contributing to this pervasive sense that i have talked about with the american people sitting out there saying what is going on. can someone please explain to me what is happening in the world. if you think about what they have seen over the past ten or 15 years, you can understand a certain level of puzzlement. two costly wars with unsatisfying outcomes, a painful financial crisis, the rise of ambitious new powers like china and the return of old and aggrieved power like vladimir putin's russia. the persistence, the malignancy of collapsing state structures and stifled hope. then of course, a healthy dose of domestic political dysfunction in washington. so, we have to be fair and say
these have dented, for some people a sense of strong confidence in our capacity to shape the world, but they shouldn't dampen our confidence. we should believe we are capable of stepping up and doing our part to make our people strong and to lead the world toward a future of greater peace and prosperity. for all of our flaws, for all of our self-inflicted wounds, the united states is still the only country that can step up and get the job done. now sec. clinton gave a speech in san diego a couple weeks ago that i'm sure many of you saw. it was a satisfying opportunity to really lay out the choice in this election. in that speech she consciously use the term american exceptionalism. she believes that we are exceptional and we do have exceptional capacities to go out >> we leave this program that you can see any time on
c-span.org. we now take you to today's white house briefing with deputy press secretary eric schultz. >> i actually don't have any announcement, if you want to start with your questions kevin. >> so with all the economic turmoil following the brexit decision, is it important for great britain to transition quickly out of the eu? >> what we have said is that this will be a process for the eu to work out with the uk. i understand the uk will need to file its article 50 for that process to commence, but what we expect is for there to be an orderly process and i understand the uk will need to trigger that article 50 as the first starting point for that process to commence. >> at this stage it looks like it may not happen until the fall with all that's going on in the market, is not too late? >> what we have said is that
will have to be a process and the decision timeline for the uk to work out with the eu. we will remain engage and watch her closely but those are decisions that will be principally made by those two governments and again, our expectation and our priority is making sure it's an orderly process that's organized and transparent and that the leadership of both the eu and the uk workout that process. our expectation is that they share those goals as well. >> with the supreme court today with the virginia governor, does the court make it easier for officials to have access to their office? >> kevin, it is going to be difficult for me to weigh in on that case because even though it's part of the supreme court, it's an ongoing criminal matter. i have to reserve comment on that particular case and refer you to the department of justice. >> thank you.
>> are we suggesting away and with their counterpart in the uk on whether the article 50 should be invoked right away in order to have. [inaudible] >> our view is that will be the decision made by the government of the united kingdom. they obviously have to work through this process. they should do so closely coordinated with their counterparts in the eu, but that will be a procedure that put in place by the two governments. i understand that prime minister cameron has suggested that they will invoke article 50 in the fall and again our expectation is that when this process happens, it will be done in an orderly way, organized and transparent. >> so the political chaos that we are seeing in the united kingdom right now, the
opposition seems to be having difficulty. >> it's going to be hard for me to comment about american domestic politics let alone british domestic politics. i would tell you that it's my understanding that is not clear if there will have to be elections to secede prime minister cameron. that might happen at a conference or at a caucus session. i understand that the experts there are working through that process and that will take some time to figure out. i can tell you broadly speaking that the president had said that our relationship with the united kingdom is not only special and unique, it's enduring so we expect that the close ties between not only the government of the united kingdom and the united states but the people of the united states and the united kingdom will continue. we believe the links and ties between our countries transcend any politician so we expect that close ties between our two countries to endure.
>> the president and two beds counterpart right after the exit vote but i'm wondering if he's spoken with additional leaders, if you can tell us - i don't have any additional presidential calls to read out to you at this time. i can tell you that all appropriate facets of our administration have been engaged on this and i know secretary carry spoke friday with his counterpart in the eu. yesterday secretary carry met with his italian counterpart and today the secretary carry is in brussels working with the eu president, the eu high representative and the nato secretary-general. secretary carry is either on his way or is in london right now where he will be meeting with
prime minister cameron and his counterpart, the uk foreign secretary. i know the secretary has been in contact with his contacts in the g-7. he has spoken several times with his counterparts in addition to chancellor merkel, the united kingdom chancellor and chinese vice premier. he's also spoken with a number of financial market participants this is on top of a conference call that he participated in with all of his g-7 finance ministers and is also on top of engagement secretary carter that he had with his counterpart with the united kingdom. i will also tell you that our deputy national security adviser for international economics has been attending the g20 meeting in china so i'm confident in telling you that this has been a
part of his conversation. he is part of the administration outreach that's going on. >> you been talking about this being orderly but they have a meeting, i just want to know what evidence you have that this is happening in an orderly fashion. >> there's no doubt there is volatility in the markets but as we move forward it's important to stress that the united kingdom and policymakers have the tools necessary to not just support financial debility but also print promote economic growth. we are confident that the united kingdom policymakers have the tools necessary to promote economic financial stability they've actually taken a look recently and believe that these banks and financial systems are in better shape compared to recent years. i think that's why you are seeing our experts speak confidently about the orderly
process moving forward. >> given that this is going to be a lengthy process, what you think is the earliest or what are you looking at as the timeframe for when the u.s. is going to have to negotiate a trade deal with britain. are we talking two years or is there a chance in your view that that will happen sooner? >> the economic rationale for that agreement remains strong and we intend to continue working with the eu on negotiations. i know that our representative has set the goal for the end of the year, i know that work continues in earnest and quite frankly the united states representative team is evaluating what the impact of the uk's decision is on q-tip.
obviously we will be engaging the european union on this. i will also say here are negotiation have been with the governing structure for the european union. if we have to start again with the uk, that is going to be at a different starting point. that's a matter of sequence and factual underpinnings of negotiations. i don't have any timeframe to work with you right now but i can say that concluding these negotiations remains a priority for this president. it's a process that's been underway for years. we are obviously, we have made a lot of progress and we are quite far along in the process with the eu and if we have to start that with the uk, it's just going to be from a different starting point. >> okay, given the the volatility and the shakeup that this has caused, maybe you can separate us out for the ttc p as
well. this slows everything in terms of big trade deals that we are already facing. >> let's take each of those in turn. the president's commitment to getting an agreement has not waned in light of the decision by the british people over the weekend. that work will continue. that work is headed out of our united states trade representative office. they are in constant negotiations with the european so that work is going to continue. in terms of how the brexit decision affects those negotiations, they are working through that right now. again, if we have to start initiating separately with the united kingdom, that will start from a different vantage point because we have had years of progress and work depleted with the european commission. in terms of ttp this was a deal that was negotiated because of the president's determination to make sure the united states of america sets the rules of the
road when it comes to trade with our partners in the asia-pacific region. that deal was consummated earlier this year and now heads to the united states congress. i don't have an updated timeline. as you point out this is an issue that secures with it clinical complications and the president is actually aware of that. he understands this has been a difficult issue in the past. he also understands previous trade agreements have not lived up to the hype. that's why he insisted on the toughest human rights and labor standards ever to exist in the trade agreement and that's why he's confident this will pass congressional approval. >> what we heard last week after the vote, they both talked about the nationalistic sense that led up to leaving and i think they use the word nationalism, isolation and others. seeing that will turn out the
way it did, did this raise the possibility that those same sentiments will win out in the u.s. in november? >> michelle, i think it a fair question and a lot of people have been speculating about this. it's hard for me to see whether a referendum in the united kingdom can project a lot about a domestic political race in the united states five months from now. i'm going to leave it to pundits and my colleagues on television to offer their views on. i will say, as you point out the president and the vice president have remarked recently, and even before this decision that every country has had to cope with globalization and with international trends. this isn't something new that we are dealing with this past weekend. generally speaking, i think it's it's important to note that the
president has remarked repeatedly that moments of uncertainty, there are some who have impulses to hold back into power and react out of fear. we have seen some of these moments in our history, their episodes that are generally dark then we generally regret. the president has a different approach. the president believes we succeed when we are as inclusive as possible and embrace not only our strengths but america's role in the world. let me tell you why. we live in a smaller world than ever before. our national security is more closely linked than at any other time in history and the interconnectedness of our economy is evident nearly every day, sometimes even hourly. given these facts it just doesn't make much sense to retreat or build barricades with other countries. it's also not in our interest. let's look at what we've been able to accomplish with america leading the world. as you know, just under 200
countries signed the first ever agreement to combat climate change and nearly 200 countries are taking concrete steps to make sure our planet is preserved for generations to come. six of the world's most prominent powers who don't often see eye to eye came together to impose the most strict heaviest sanctions on iran which leverage them to come to the negotiating table and ultimately found a solution to cut off their path to a nuclear weapon. as you pointed out we were able to secure a trade agreement with 12 other countries which advance america's interest so that america is writing rules of the road on trade and not china. we assembled a coalition of 68 partners to combat the threat against iso. the arab world is heavily represented in that coalition. that just didn't appear overnight. that didn't appear by itself but because of the president's determination determination to lead the international community
against this threat and that coalition was formed and continues to have success to the state. two more examples, the president's leadership on the international stage has isolated russia more than ever before in recent history. they violated international norms, they violated another country's sovereignty and the sanctions imposed on that country have led it to shrink its economy by 16. the agenda that wasn't just bilateral sanction. they have the effect they did because of the united states working with our partners around the world. lastly cuba, obviously reopening relationships there have not only changed the way we interact with the cuban people and offers that country a much brighter future, it's also in our economic is interest in our security interest but it's also rewriting all of the relationships in the western
hemisphere. leaving the united states international community and it's not going to stop for the next six months. >> i want to go back to a question about the uk. i think what i want to get a little bit is whether the uk can do a better job of how the election process or lack of election process is going to work. if you can comment on that and if you don't want to wait, you're basically saying you're not worried that political turmoil could continue engine continued to affect world markets that can affect the u.s. economy. >> you're right, i'm not going to weigh in on the domestic political situation in britain. all all i will say is the president spoke to the prime
minister over the weekend. they had a good conversation and obviously he's a good friend of the president. they worked together on a host of issues from the fight of ebola and the fight against isis. they remain a member of nato and they are committed to making 2% of their gdp defense related but they have lived up to that commitment. the president deeply values his relationship with the prime minister. he also knows that the bonds between the united kingdom and the united states are going to endure so i don't have any political provocation to do on the british domestic. >> not so much that as do you think the uk should say this is the timeframe, this is the timeline. >> i think that will happen. i think the british people in the british government will layout a timeframe for that to happen. i'm not going to second-guess
that from here. >> many were caught by surprise by brexit. >> national security advisor spoke over the weekend and she made her that we had contingency plans for both outcomes. obviously we had hoped for a different outcome but it would've been irresponsible to not plan for both outcomes. >> can you describe what you see as her role in addressing brexit ? yes, secretary lou spoke with chancellor merkel and the last day or so and the president spoke with chancellor merkel over the weekend, early friday i guess and in that conversation the president and the chancellor expressed regret for the
decision but they also expressed respect for the decision and acknowledgment that the british people have spoken and in light of that there needs to be an orderly process for which the uk can depart the european union. again, there is is some sequencing that still needs to be worked out, but i think obviously the president has deep respect for chancellor merkel and their leadership not only in germany but one of our nato allies so i expect the president to continue to be in close tech touch with chancellor merkel but i expect members of the administration white house staff to be in close to you touch with their counterpart and the german government. >> hopefully the tens of billions of dollars for cia weapons were intended for the rebels in syria. i want to talk about that
situation but also whether it's your plan of where these weapons are going to and what the effect on the relationship of jordan's. >> in terms of the relationship of jordan, obviously we remain committed to their security and stability. we are proud to stand side-by-side with them in the global coalition to counter iso. they have been a valuable partner in that effort and we appreciate all of their contributions. for questions regarding this particular episode, i would say couple things. one, there's an ongoing investigation into that particular shooting so i would have to refer you to the fbi on the latest on that. in terms of the international police training center, that is a center that has been stood up to promote training for the jordanians in international security forces. that's a center that is supported by your state department so you have your
questions about that center, the state department would be the point for you on that. >> you just said that our financial security of advisor. [inaudible] what were some of the things that had to be planned for? >> i think that we have made our fears clear on this that our belief was that a strong european union include the united kingdom. obviously that's a view that the president had but we also believe that was a decision for the british people. given the vote, we had wanted this to be out in the other direction but in the weeks and months ahead of that, there are meetings and contingent plans built. those are principally interagency process that mostly our department of the treasury
and department of state are coordinated by the white house. >> how much of a national security can concern to america is this? we talk a lot about the trade deals but how much of this, how does this affect america's national security that britain is no longer part of the eu? >> the good news is, in bass addressed this yesterday as well and she may clear that the uk will remain a key leader with the nato alliance and we look forward to the uk's participation in the july 8 nato summit in warsaw. i was the president will be there and obviously this will be an item on the agenda. we will continue to work bilaterally and through nato to sure the cooperation. secretary kerry, secretary carter had spoken to affirm the special relationship between the united states and the united
kingdom were remain a bedrock of u.s. security and defense policy. as we've mentioned before, the u.s. and the uk have close ties. a lot of those ties are in the security arena so you look at intelligence sharing, you look at our efforts to combat iso and you look at defense spending. those our are ties that will not change in light of the uk's decision. >> as that special relationship changes,. >> in our view of the special relationship endures. like i mentioned to michelle and roberta, the actual negotiations need to be looked at but in terms of our ties to britain they remain strong and vibrant as they have ever been. if you look at our commercial ties and are trading cultural exchanges those remain strong and robust and i don't anticipate that to wayne in light of the decision by the british people.
the president famously said, we have to take him for his word. >> that's what i meant when i said that the negotiations have been going on for years. we are so far along that her united states trade representative has said he wants to put them out by the end of the year. if we have to start from the beginning with the british people, it's just, as a matter of fact be at a different queue. >> but it will be as important as the relationship between the united states and a smaller britain. [inaudible] one condition that you're now negotiating because that happened. >> the departure hasn't happened i guess i dispute the suggestion that our relationship with britain is going to be altered
from the closeness that we have now. if you take a look at the areas like the isil campaign and the cooperation with nato, britain is one of the few countries to live up to its commitment to assign 2% of gdp for the defense spending. that's bilateral trade existing and again that's also cultural exchanges. all of these dealings will continue. even in the wake of what the british people decided on thursday. >> scotland and northern ireland, is is the president going to weigh in on that? it seems that friends should tell friends. [inaudible] >> the point is does he have a position on whether scotland and northern ireland should remain
part of the uk. >> when this came up for referendum in the fall of 2014, the president did weigh in. at the time he said that this was a decision for the scottish people to make the also make clear that he believed the united kingdom is a strong united kingdom and so i don't have any new positions to read out right now. >> is there any word on the hillary clinton, it was delayed. >> yes, as you know the president and sec. clinton were scheduled to campaign together in green bay a few weeks ago. in light of the terrorist attack in orlando that about was pulled down. i don't yet have an update for the schedule. i can affirm that the president is eager to get out there on the campaign trail. i think you got a taste about over the weekend. there there were a few political events where he articulated the case that he will be making but
we don't yet have not nailed down on the schedule yet. my why is he so eager, there's an eagerness to secure or help assure the funds that are still out there weighing your options? is it because he's back on the trail for one last time even if it's not for himself. >> it's neither. there's a lot of steak, there's a lot at stake in this election. if you look at a range of national security and domestic issues the views of the two candidates could not be further apart. >> obviously the president has made his views known about who he wants to see succeed him in office. i think that is based not only on a personal relationship with secretary clinton but also the president's experience working in the oval office and sitting behind that desk, leading this country and facing down the
challenges that he has based on a daily basis. if you just take a couple of examples, one is the economic triggers that we have a choice in this country whether to continue the progress we have made over the past seven years and that paragraph includes the longest stretch of private-sector job growth our country has ever seen. that's probably a statistic that a lot of for people in this room would of laughed at me. i work here in 2009 but if the person who was here made that argument you would've been rightfully suspicious of that. as you know, unemployment rate has been cut by half and now stands at 4.7%, again reaching that level far sooner than expected. manufacturing has added 832 jobs this is the fastest streak of manufactured jobs in the 1990s. rising home prices have brought millions of home owners above water.
budget deficit has been cut by nearly 3/4, the president have made a lot of progress over the past seven years and that's not to mention what we've done on climate change. that doesn't mention what we've done on housing under reducing the deficit and a whole host of other areas, but there's a lot of work to be done. i think that's why he is so focused on this upcoming race. >> so with all of the success, we are about a month out from the democratic convention. has the president begun to work on the key components of his speech and is it something that you are able to tell so easily what he has accomplished, the acceptance to what. >> i don't have an update on her speech writing process for convention. i can tell you that generally
the responsibility that he takes seriously. he's not on president of the united states but he is the leader of the party. he wants to make sure this convention is as successful as possible. i do think those of you who accompany the president on his past trip got a preview of the argument that.be making. i don't know how similar remarks will be to what we gave you earlier this week to what he will. >> guest: in philadelphia but i think the president have a strong record. it's one proud of and one he wants to continue. i would also note that i saw the leader mcconnell was on the tv this weekend and cannot articulate anything with his party's nominee. he he cannot state that his party's nominee was qualified to be president of the united states. yet leader mcconnell is the senate architect of their strategy to hold open on the
high court of the landlord you will have to ask them how they were those two positions that we often talk about cynicism in washington and i can't think of anything more ; what they're are trying to do their. >> when i was trying to say is that the argument that the president will make on the campaign trail, some of the arguments he very heard. >> i understand. some of the arguments he very heard, the convention speech is obviously a cut above in terms of importance and prominence, mostly because of the attention will be paid to that speech. i don't have an update on where we are in the speech writing process, obviously when speeches are this important, the
president spends a lot of time on them so i wouldn't be surprised if he's already engaged in the process. i don't have an update in terms of where the draft start. >> do you have any reaction to the supreme court decision on the gun right case today and is that figure out all into the debate that's going on? >> i saw that decision and obviously were pleased with it. it is consistent with the general's arguments in that case i don't know of any discernible impact it would have on the debate in congress. again unfortunately i thought leader mcconnell's appearance on john's network this weekend where he said, when asked about this issue that it is time to move on. it's time to move on from doing something on gun safety. i don't think the families of the 49 killed in orlando think it's time to move on. i don't think the families of the children in newtown think
it's time to move on. i'm not sure why leader mcconnell said that but it seems to me that when you can't even take commonsense steps to prevent gun violence like making sure those who homeland security officials deemed too dangerous to board a fight flight can't buy a firearm, if you can't tackle an issue that is so sensible as that, then i don't know why you're here. i don't know why you were sent to washington. this is an issue that needs bipartisan support and it's an issue that makes common sense. it's also supported by our national security experts in our homeland security experts. i know leader mcconnell said he wants to move on but i hope we revisit that decision. >> sorry if this has already
been asked but you have any reaction to suing over the keystone pipeline? >> i did see that, we don't comment on pending litigation or arbitration but i do know secretary carry, the state department spoke to this over the weekend and basically what they reiterated is that last november senator kerry determined that the pipeline did not serve the national interest and we are confident that this determination is entirely consistent with our domestic and international obligations including the obligations under nafta and we are confident we have upheld. [inaudible] >> nadia, i can't get into
intelligence matters but we have called on all of those to stop doing so. we know iran supports terrorism and we know that iran supports hezbollah and that is why we have issued the most serious and most severe sanctions on iran for doing so. it's important for them to recognize their own behavior in enabling this and we've had a conversation recently about iran's concerns about access to international markets. those financial actors are looking at iran's behavior. if iran is going to continue to fund terrorism and continue to supply resources to hezbollah, that will have impact. those financial actors don't want to do business with a country that's doing that. we call on iran do not only stop doing this because it's not good
for national security and their supporting terrorism that we call on them to stop doing it because it's not in their interest either. >> the money that they get are actually going for this. in this case [inaudible] >> i'm not sure that's true. we are going to continue to use all the tools at our disposal including sanctions to target this group that we have designated as a foreign terrorist organization. we believe our designation of the past year designating has blocked procurement networks and commercial front companies and other entities have been highly effective. these sanctions were passed earlier this year and we further build on that and have created a climate throughout the world where financial institutions are rejecting hezbollah from their institution. your point is well taken that if
iran is going to continue to support hezbollah, hezbollah is going to continue to have a funding stream and resources. that's why it's all the more important that if iran wants access to international markets they will have to curb their own behavior. >> thank you. >> i'm wondering if you could discuss the significance. [inaudible] >> as the president said he was pleased that the supreme court issued something protecting women's rights and their ability to make decisions on their health. this is an opinion that was consistent with not only what the general argued but it's also consistent with the president's view in a position position that he has been articulating since day one. our bottom line is that a decision on women's health should be made by that particular woman. this is a private matter.
>> i would say that obviously the president believes that a woman's right to choose in a woman's right to make this decision, free from interference of the government is an important principal for this president but also one that's been upheld in the past. we are pleased by today's decision and we think it is an important one in that it underscores the reproductive freedom of women across the country. we believe government should not chewed on these private family matters and that women should be able to make their own choices about their own body and health care. >> alexis. >> i have a question about the rescheduling of the president. is it possible for the president's travel schedule that the president might not actually reschedule the event with
hillary clinton and what appear at the convention with her? >> i haven't heard that contemplated. i think they will be hitting the campaign trail together, i'm just unable to offer you a new date for the when that will happen. as i said the president is eager to get out there. he wants to campaign for sec. clinton. he thinks he has a case to make. >> as you might know today former senator brown was suggesting that they could clear up questions about her india heritage. do you have any reaction to that suggestion. >> i do not. >> i know the senate will try to defeat that bill, the white house has said the president will veto it.
how do we get to a bill that the president can find quickly? what is your best case scenario for moving forward? >> that the good? question. i think the house republicans have to stop playing games. they have termed a public health emergency into a political goal. that's unfortunate. we talk a lot about the cynicism in washington and to walk away from the negotiating table so the democrats can't even sign off on the bill is a weakness. again, like we talked about, it doesn't even look like the senate to pass the bill. if presented with the bill, the president would veto it. i'm happy to outline why but it's not even clear this could pass in the united states senate. again our concern about the bill common for baskets. one is it's inadequate. the president's request was request was for $1.9 billion but it's even misleading to call the president's request. this was was a document of cancellations put together by our health officials who determined that this would be
the adequate funding needed to take on the situation. secondly, it steals money from other critical important areas including the it federal care act. we have personnel from the cdc on the ground right now in west africa working on prevention, working on making sure another our break doesn't occur. i it would be grossly irresponsible to take them off the job. i don't know they can figure that out but maybe they should spend some time thinking about it. third the bill includes a writer blocking access to contraception for women in the united states, including women in puerto rico even though this is a sexually transmitted disease. that again makes zero sense. especially since we are already seeing transmission in puerto rico. lastly, this is a bill that contained in ideological writer to get the positions in clean water regulations. again it makes no sense. we call on republicans to get
serious about this and we hope they get to work soon. >> if you're willing to wait then, i guess. >> we absolutely don't want to wait. let me be clear we submitted a proposal in february that was put together and drafted by our public health professionals that outlined in detail what resources the federal government needed. nobody in the white house is waiting. in fact we have deployed as many resources as possible that we can do on our own. we have reprogrammed some of the money allocated for ebola in order to combat the threat but the president has been clear we can't do this alone. this will require congressional action. that's why we requested the spend and congress should get to work and passing it. a few things that are not being funded right now because of
republican, if you just look at the state of florida, money is needed right now in the state of florida because mosquito control, which is a central element of the efforts to combat the virus is spotty and underfunded. the battle to squash the virus but they are seeking to stop the threat. state of florida needs to hire more inspectors and buy more insecticide and lay more mosquito traps and have a more effective education campaign but they're unable to do so because they don't have the funding. i don't know how the house delegation in florida, how hard they are working on this but it seems to me that if the junior senator has stepped up to the plate to say that florida and the united states need this funding, it seems to me those house republicans maybe should've acquiesced to the speaker who passed a bill that
does almost nothing. >> thank you. >> there are some u.s. firms in the uk hoping to gain and keep access to markets. they are understandably concerned. do you plan help them or do they assume a certain amount of risk. >> my understanding, and i don't know if you're talking about specific contracts :
>> will weaken the consensus on sanctions against russia. how concerned are you about that, and overall do you think the brexit vote was a victory for vladimir putin? >> i, i understand there's been some public speculation on this, but our view is we don't expect the u.k.'s referendum to have any impact on the rollover of sanctions against russia. as you know, this was talked about recently at the g7 in japan where some of you accompanied the president to. since the start of the crisis in ukraine, the united states, the e.u. and the g7 have worked in close cooperation to develop a set of sanctions that have had a deep impact on the russian economy. so our understanding is those will roll over. but, obviously, the u.s. officials will be working on that in the coming weeks and months. but again, all of the g7 partners in japan issued a
commitment that the sanctions will stay in place unless russia decides to start to abide by the minsk agreements. if they start to abide by those agreements, those sanctions can start to be rolled back. so president putin has a choice to make. he can either continue down this path which has been harmful for the russian economy. we, as i mentioned, the russian economy has contracted about one-sixth. it's smaller than the spanish economy right now. that's a direct result of a number of factors, but it's hard to ignore the impact of these sanctions. again, these weren't just bilateral sanctions put in place with the united states, they were sanctions that do, that thanks to the american leadership around the world we had a whole host of international partners do so as well. that's why the sanctions have had such impact. great. chris. >> on friday --
[inaudible] after agreement on the issue. was the white house involved in any agreement to go forward, and do you have any reaction to it? >> chris, i saw those reports. i don't have official reaction from the white house on that. obviously, that's a decision made by our defense department officials. so i don't have any updates for you on that process. >> like, aren't you pleased that there's greater inclusion in the -- [inaudible] >> well, the president has actually spoken to this. he was at, he spoke recently at the air force commencement, and he was deeply moved by not only the caliber of the ca debts, but -- cadets, but also the diversity of the class. he saw openly gay students, he saw muslim-americans, hispanic-americans, he saw women graduate who would soon serve in combat. so he's spoken quite frequently about the inclusivity of our military and how that is a strength and helps to make our military the greatest in the world. >> [inaudible] >> again, you're asking about a
specific policy decision made by the defense department officials, so i don't want to get aode-them. >> and one more thing. secretary clinton marched yesterday in new york city's pride despite having complications with the secret service detail. did the president miss an opportunity -- [inaudible] especially to making it at the same time to coincide with these, designating a national monument of the stonewall riots? >> well, chris, i'm glad you brought up the national monument that was announced over the weekend. i think the president's record on this issue is well nobody. as you know -- is well known. as you know, under his administration the don't ask, don't tell policy was revealed, insurance companies now can't discriminate based on who you love, and gay marriage is the law of the land. so i think the president's record on this is strong, it's one he's enormously proud of. obviously, the history at stonewall is well known.
in 1969 a few bar patrons resisted arrest. that resistance led to protest, that protest led to a movement, and that movement led to enormous progress towards equality. but like you're suggesting, the fight isn't over, and the president's acutely aware of that. that's why he's worked hard on this, and that's why it's going to be an issue that's always important to him. >> [inaudible] concerning the president's record, why did he make an appearance -- [inaudible] to announce the designation of the national monument? >> i think the president was enormously proud to announce that designation earlier this week. obviously, we were coming back from seattle on saturday morning, so i don't have any second guessing to do on the president's schedule but, again, i think the president's record speaks for itself. and he was enormously proud to designate this monument over the weekend. great. kevin. >> thank you. i want to follow up on brexit for just a second. we're sort of awash in my knew
shah of what's been happening -- minutiae of what's been happening, but for the average american should they be concerned? if so, why. and if not, why not? >> i think what's important for the average american to realize is this was a decision for the british people, and the british people have spoken, and it's a decision that in the united states that we respect. it's also important for average people to understand that the special relationship between the united states and the united kingdom remains, and it's going to be a bedrock of u.s. security and foreign policy. likewise, the european union remains an indispensable partner of the united states in stimulating economic growth and addressing regional and global challenges. as the u.k. and the e.u. begin the process of negotiating the u.k.'s departure, we're going to continue our robust work both in london and in brussels and in other e.u. capitals to insure continued stability, security and prosperity both in europe and all over the world. >> so based on that, the average american has nothing to be concerned about or to fear based
on the u.k.'s independent decision to leave the event u.? >> sure. as secretary lew said earlier today and as other financial experts have attested, there are now safeguards in place in a lot of these systems, in inrnational systems and european banks that buttress their resilience to be able to deal with market fluctuations or headwinds. but if you're worried about what comes next, i think you are absolutely right to raise the question because we are going to continue to work closely with london and with brussels and our international partners. so i'm not going to get ahead of this process between the u.k. and e.u. to figure out, but we're going to remain engaged, we're going to make sure that this is an orderly process. that's our expectation. but it also seems to be a goal that's shared by both the u.k. and the e.u. >> and the reason i ask the
question is because you have secretaries kerry and lew out there and adviser rice out there. you have a cadre of heavy hitters out there responding to this, and so i think people wonder if that's the viewpoint, if that's the way the white house is handling, should we all be a little bit more concerned about it as opposed to, oh, that's just a vote over there. to you understand -- do you understand my meaning? i do. i have a feeling if our administration officials weren't out there responding, you can imagine the questions we'd be getting for why aren't we responding to this. i think that secretary kerry's travel and comments on this, secretary lew's to comments on this, our national security adviser, susan rice, were making important comments. and i do think it's important to communicate with the american people what our view, what we think the conventions -- consequences are of this decision. so we're going to continue to do that. >> i want to ask you about what seems to be a bit of a standoff between the white house and the
house select committee on benghazi over whether the president should answer questions, a series of questions about the 2012 terrorist attack that heft four americans dead -- that left four americans dead. we understand that -- [inaudible] neeg eggleston feels like the questions were inappropriate. i'm just wondering as an american why wouldn't the president want to explain not just what was happening that night, where he was, what was happening directly as it relates to his evening, but also why not answer more specific questions about it in the interest of transparency? >> sure, kevin. today we looked this p, it is the 781st day of this committee. this is a committee that has gone on longer than the 9/11 commission, than the committee designated to look at pearl harbor, the assassination of president kennedy, the iran contra affair and watergate. >> but not longer than the studying of the pipeline through canada. >> kevin. [laughter]
>> i'm just saying. [laughter] >> look, the problem is this is not the first committee to look into this, right? this has gone on for a couple years now. but the investigation into this attack started moments after the attack. this is actually not the second or third committee to look into this, this is the eighth. republicans have been investigating this exhaust ily, and with -- exhaustively. and with each turn of the crank, they're unable to prove some of the wild conspiracy theories they've been proffering for years. so it's not surprising to me that republicans want to look at every possible crevice for a new conspiracy. unfortunately, when they do so, they come up with nothing. so if you're wondering where the president was that night, there's an easy place to find out. on the white house flicker feed, we actually released a photo image of what the president was doing. he was getting briefed by his white house team on the attack.
so i know republicans don't want to believe that photo, maybe they think it was photoshopped, maybe they think it was fake, but it's 100% authentic, and it's a question we answered years ago. if you're asking about our cooperation with this committee, it is far ranging. we at the white house, the white house produced nearly 1500 pages of documents, the state department produced 100,000 pages. state department officials sat down for 53 transcribed interviews. the defense department sat down for 24 transcribed interviews, sent over a thousand pages of documents. the department of justice sent over 84 intelligence products. the cia produced 10,000 pages of documents. the director of national intelligence has produced 429 documents. in none of that includes the previous seven committees. so i don't know why republicans are obsessed with this, but given the other priorities that we've been talking about -- zika
funding, we haven't even mentioned puerto rico, cybersecurity, criminal justice reform, given all of the other priorities pending right now before congress, common sense measures to combat gun violence, maybe they should get to work on something they can have actual impact on. >> last question. the president in comments to a dcc fund raiser on friday didn't really mention the sit-in over at the house. that was a bit of a surprise, to be honest, because democrats seem to be making a big deal. is it because the white house sort of wants to distance itself from that sort of protest, or does just the white house simply feel like it's not something that should be used in political ads and that sort of thing? >> i see. the answer is, not at all, kevin. everyone at the white house, including the president, was hugely supportive of congressman lewis' leadership on this. the president sent out a tweet
as a small gesture of support, but the president's record on this and views on this are well known. my colleague, josh earnest, spoke of the senate vote as a shameful display of cowardice. house republicans have found an even new low. they wouldn't even call for a vote. it was a humiliating moment for republican house leadership. if the speaker believes that, again, someone who is too dangerous to board a plane ought to be able to purchase firearms, he should go ahead and make a floor speech and call the yeas and nays. he should have the vote. he should make case. if he believes that not everyone should be subject to background checks before purchasing a firearm, make the case, have a speech, call the vote. i looked up that 85% of the people of wisconsin believe in universal background checks. he should have to answer for that. his caucus should be accountable for what they believe. thanks. john.
>> one more question about brexit. you -- >> i doubt it. [laughter] >> the treasury secretary was confident that the u.k. has the tools to promote stability there. looking at the global market, it looks like about $2 trillion has been wiped out just since the vote. i guess i'm wondering if there's any concern by the administration that this action in the u.k. could either undo some of the progress that the administration feels its made since the 2008 financial crisis or what they think the long-term impact will be. >> sure. well, you're right, we have seen volatility in the markets, there's no question. i don't mean to dismiss that. what i'm talking about is secretary lew and his team determining that the u.k. and other policymakers around europe are well prepared and have the tools necessary to support economic and financial stability over the long term. the european financial system's
resilience has significantly improved in recent years. we are in close contact with our g7 and other international counterparts, and we're going to continue to consult and cooperate as appropriate. i think you saw a statement, a joint statement from the g7 released in the wake of the vote. i'd refer you to that statement which also expresses confidence in the resilience of the systems in place. and i do think that we've seen progress, and we've seen more safeguards built into the system since that crisis. is so i think that speaks to why secretary lew made those comments. >> you also talked about the fact that the president and the administration -- the respect that the president and the administration be has for the british people's referendum. some people have been calling for a second round of voting. does the administration view that would be a mistake to do that? >> john, like you said, we respect the vote that happened on thursday. the british people have spoken.
i know that the british ambassador to the u.s. was on tv over the weekend, and he talked about this being irrevocable. so clearly, that's their position. and chancellor merkel earlier today said she deals with facts, and the facts are this is what the british people voted for, so i'm going to stick in that camp too. >> just one final question following up on kevin's line on benghazi. some of the questions that have kind of been, i guess, signaled that if the committee has a questionnaire, a written questionnaire, it seems pretty straightforward. i know that i see what the counsel's -- [inaudible] just as far as the question the administration said that the president got briefed around 5 p.m., the attacking started at 3:42. was that briefing, was that the first that he had learned about the attack? somebody must have said, hey, this attack happened, we're going to do a briefing in 20 minutes or whatever, right? how did he first learn of the attack?
>> john, i don't have a tick tock of the president's schedule from september 11th, 2012. all i can tell you is that republicans continue to try and muster and fabricate and manufacture conspiracies about this. but the president's views on this were not only articulated in the wake of the attack, but the president -- we released details, we released photo imagery of the president from that evening. and we've also seen republicans investigate this exhaustively. it was former house speakerrer in waiting who -- speaker in waiting who admitted this was all a political exercise. he said what everyone knew in private, he said in public. which is the benghazi select committee was a committee designated to bring down hillary clinton's poll numbers. so let's not pretend this is on the level.
you've got republicans who previously investigated this who found based on their own investigations, this isn't democrats, this is house chairman mike rogers, renowned and respected republican who no longer is serves in the house but was renowned and respected when he was there. he said after reviewing hundreds of pages of raw intelligence as well as open source information, it was clear that between the time when the attacks occurred and when the administration through ambassador susan rice appeared on the sunday talk shows, intelligence analysts and policymakers received a stream of piecemeal intelligence regarding the identities and affiliations and motivations of the attackers as well as the level of planning and coordination. much of the intelligence was conflicting, and two years later intelligence gaps remain. in the aftermath of its own intensive investigation, the senate select committee on intelligence majority reported that the interagency coordination on the talking points followed the normal but rushed coordination procedure
and that there were no efforts by the white house or executive branch entities to cover up facts or make alterations for political purposes. so this is a republican conspiracy theory in search of a conspiracy. sure. juliet. >> the cdc is reporting that president obama is -- [inaudible] north american leaders summit -- [inaudible] the u.s. would obtain half of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2025 which would be an extremely ambitious pledge. it would be more ambitious than who we're on track to do, but even what hillary clinton has fought to do. can you comment on whether that's accurate and what the president's plan -- [inaudible] >> sure. i can't preview any announcements that will be made in ottawa on wednesday. i can say that we do ambitious well here at the white house. i know my colleagues will be having a call later this afternoon to talk about the
contours of the summit and what the president hope toss achieve there, but in terms of any announcement, i'm going to let the leaders announce those up there. obviously, on the agenda is a host of issues. that includes trade. obviously, between the three nations 500 million people and billions of dollars -- sorry, 500 million people are the consumer base between the three countries. and billions of dollars exchange hands every day because of trade between our three countries. so the north american region is and will continue to be an economic powerhouse. as we'll expect the president and his counterparts to discuss border crossings, border security. i think you can expect the conversation to include -- to extend beyond economic interests, but also cooperating on efforts to tackle transnational organized crime, battling infectious diseases
outbreaks like ebola and zika, eliminate poverty and inequality, expand refugee e protection and assistance and combat the effects of climate change. so i'm going to stop there and let my colleagues handle the rest. thanks. mark? >> eric, the turks and the israelis announced they were normalizing relations today. i just had a small question, i was curious why when the prime minister of israel called, he spoke with vice president biden instead of the president who has obviously been involved in encouraging this rapprochement also. >> i don't have any new calls from the president to read out to you, but if that changes, we'll let you know. i am happy to, you know, respond to the news and say that the president is pleased that israel and turkey have agreed to retore diplomatic relations. the united states welcomes this important step in improving relations between two key partners in the region, and we believe this will open up new opportunities for cooperation in
the eastern med train grab. -- mediterranean. obvious, the governments of israel and turkey will have more to say considering this was an agreement reached between the two of them. but, yes, i know that prime minister netanyahu spoke with the vice president, and president netanyahu also met with secretary kerry on this, and we believe it's an important milestone. we believe there's important security and economic benefits for both countries and the world. >> the president particularly involved? i mean, i know he's spoken to the prime minister about this too. is that something he's taken on -- [inaudible] >> sure. you should check in with the vice president's office. if there's specific engagement they're able to read out to you, but, obviously, this is something the president, the vice president and the spire administration welcome. -- the entire administration welcome. thank you. sure. lauren. >> back to the supreme court decision on abortion. the pro-life folks say that the reason that the law was put, the restrictions were put into play
was to force clinics to meet hospital-like standards, saying that the ruling would open the door to more kermit gosnell who is the jailed pennsylvania abortion provider who killed and injured women. what does the white house say to that argument? finish. >> yeah. so i guess for the specific legal arguments i would refer you to our solicitor general's brief and oral arguments. generally speaking in this case though, we believe that a woman's right to make decisions about her own reproductive health is sacrosanct. and those decisions should not be subject to government intrusion and that any obstacle in the path of a woman's reproductive freedom is unconstitutional. we remain strongly connected to the protection of a woman's health, including safe and affordable health care and her right to term her own future. determine her own future. i do think it's important to note that broadly speaking if
you'll just look at data, it's a good thing that teen pregnancies and abortions are nearing all-time lows in this country. this administration has, in fact, worked to insure that every woman has access to the health care she needs. this includes signing the affordable care act into law and insuring that women can't be charged more just because they are women for health insurance. the affordable care act has also led to 20 million more people getting covered, putting the up insured rate in single king can psychiatries for the -- digits for the first time on record. obviously, the protections in place for women and women's health in the affordable care act were important to this president, and that's why he's spoken out so up on this. >> on zika, why not compromise? everybody talks about ronald reagan and tip o'neill and the old era where people got things done, and here you have the president saying $1 billion is just not enough. >> because a compromise between tip o'neill and ronald reagan suggests that this is a partisan issue.
this is a public health emergency. and so i don't know -- it shouldn't be a democratic cause to help protect women and up born children from -- unborn children from birth defects. this should be something that actually enjoys bipartisan support in congress. this one shouldn't be complicated. this one shouldn't be partisan. this one shouldn't be ideological. that's why we're so profoundly disappointed that house republicans walked away from the negotiating table and now are on vacation. john. >> yeah. thank you, eric. turning back to europe and the aftermath of brexit, you've seen a lot of movements spawned in the wake of the brexit vote. there are all of these countries -- >> you say that five times fast? [laughter] >> you really don't want to hear me try. does the president have an opinion on this mounting movement of exits from the
european union, from countries other than britain? and i might add recent polls show, for example, in france more than 60% of voters want an exit x in greece it's over 70%. >> yeah. john, i haven't heard the president offer comment about these other countries contemplating that. i think i would refer you to those nations if they have views or how they're working through that or even to the e.u. like i said earlier, every nation is working through globalization trends, and every nation needs to tackle that because, again, our world is smaller than ever before. we are a more interconnected, global economy. our security is more linked than ever before. and that's why it's important to not ignore these trends, but actually work through them. i think the president's record -- some of the data i spoke of before is really strong on this. we brought back the u.s. manufacturing industry.
we brought back the u.s. auto manufacturing industry. we, we have put in place policies that have enabled a steep decline in the unemployment rate. that's something we feel proud of. wages are starting to grow up. not at the pace that we'd like. we want to do more on that. but these are all issues that every country has to work out u.s.. we also believe -- itself. we also believe, as i mentioned, there are going to be impulses to retreat and to cower. the president believes that's not only in our interest, it's a betrayal of our values. that we are a pro -- we are a nation founded on basic freedoms. we are a nation of immigrants. our diversity doesn't make us weaker, it makes us stronger. it's fundamental to the fabric of who we are. it's a defining characteristic of the united states, and i
spoke earlier of the, how deeply moved the president was of class at the united states air force academy. that's not just a snapshot of the u.s. military, it's a picture of the united states of america. and, again, it doesn't make us weaker, it actually makes us a strongest nation on earth. >> one other thing though. it would seem from what you say then that he would not look kindly on movements like this that would break up the union that is the european union. can i assume that from your remarksesome. >> you can assume that in the wake, in the months leading up to the vet vote that occurred last thursday, the president had the opportunity to weigh in on that decision. obviously, he also made clear in every instance he spoke of that this was a decision by the british people.
ultimately, he wanted it to go the other way, but the british people have spoken. i have not heard him articulate views about other countries. >> all right. and then the other thing was there were polls showing out that many britons than not said they would vote leave because of president's remarks than remain, that there was a backlash to it. have you seen any of the polls? >> i have not. and it's my understanding that prime minister cameron at the time expressed great gratitude for the president making his views known. prime minister cameron and his team expressed those comments privately to us, but also i think they said so many -- in public. the other thing i'll add is that the president decided to weigh in not only because he thought this was in the best interests of the united kingdom, but it was in the united states' best interests. there's a number of reasons why