tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 5, 2016 7:00pm-12:01am EST
main focus of our conversation would be on sanctions. and he also had additional responsibilities as the secretary's special adviser from november 2011. served previously as assistant secretary of state for european and eurasian affairs and before that u.s. ambassador to poland and a number of other postings in the foreign service. so, it's wonderful to welcome you to the school of international service. thanks for being here. >> thanks for the opportunity. appreciate it. >> so, one of the interesting things about u.s. foreign policy in recent years is as people have gotten -- grown disillusioned with the effectiveness of military force as an instrument of coercion in american foreign policy, a lot of attention has focused on sanctions as a way to try to get others to do what we want and not have to -- not have to use military force but use this
financial instrument to try to get others to do what we want. first thing i want to do is just ask you as, you know, since you've been involved in so many different policy positions over the recent decades, how much of a change do you feel there is in thinking about the effectiveness of these different instruments? and if sanctions are becoming more prominent as a tool for u.s. foreign policy, does that change who -- the nature of the -- of the policy conversation since those who implement sanctions are different than those who implement the use of military force? >> well, clearly sanctions are a kind of foreign policy tool of the month right now, and i don't mean that, you know, sarcastically. it's what i do. there is -- they have been seen
as relatively successful in a number of cases, and they are a -- they are a tool of choice in situations like you -- like the one you mentioned. where do you go from diplomatic pressure short of military force? and sanctions have been developed by the u.s. policy community and have grown much smarter than they were 20 years ago. now, i don't work at the treasury department, but i'm going to start with a plug for a u.s. government agency, a bureaucracy that is first rate and works really well. and that's ofac, treasury's office of foreign asset control. as a taxpayer, it's nice to see an efficient group of people that know what they're doing. and the sophistication in the u.s. government about the use of sanctions has grown enormously. there are dumb sanctions. okay?
without -- i guess now it's -- it's possible to admit that our sanctions against cuba were dumb sanctions because they were unilateral, supported by basically nobody else and, therefore, far less effective. we've learned lots of lessons about the smart use of sanctions. among those lessons are don't go it alone. the gold standard is if you have u.n. backing through a security council resolution. that's the gold standard and that's great. but if russia or china have an opportunity to veto, you're not going to get your uncr as the acronym goes. the silver standard is to be multilateral, and on the russia sanctions program that i've been working on from the beginning, we did, indeed, go multilateral. we made it a conscious decision from the outset to work with the g-7 in general and with the
european union in particular in designing sanctions. we'd never done this before to quite this extent. this was a sanctions program designed with europe and not designed in america and forced down europe or pressed on europe. it was actually designed in advance with the europeans and has been much more effective because it was multilateral. g-7 supports it, canada, plus australia, other countries. so, that's a lesson of sanctions. don't go it alone. another don't is, don't be in a hurry. sanctions can work but not on the timeline of the news cycle. it takes a while and sometimes you don't know they're working until they work in spectacular fashion. the government you're sanctioning will probably deny that sanctions have any effect,
and they'll fold their arms and posture and then all of a sudden admit that sanctions have worked. don't be greedy. sanctions can help -- the purpose of sanctions is, in fact, to change behavior, not punish. and the behavior you want to change, it has to be achievable. you can't ask sanctions to deliver the other guy's surrendering, running up the white flag. sanctions are no better than the policy they're attempting to support, and they must be coupled with diplomacy. which means also that if you're going to sanction, you have to know when to take the sanctions off. and in the case of iran, sanctions brought us to the point where we could have successful negotiations and
implementation day as it's called is fast approaching. in the case of the russia sanctions, there is the possibility of a diplomatic solution to end russia's aggression against ukraine, or at least get them out of the dambas in eastern ukraine. and sanctions, therefore, serve diplomacy. they don't substitute for it. so the dos and don'ts of sanctions are don't be in a hurry, don't go it alone, don't be greedy. and the final don't is, don't look for too much purity, by which i mean, sanctions hurt, and they're designed -- if you've designed them right, they'll hurt the person you're trying to hurt. they'll hurt the government you're trying to hurt. but there will be pain on some of your companies, and there will be complications. and if you can't face that, you
shouldn't start sanctioning in the first place. look. you and i -- i've been in government for a long time. you've been in government, too. you know, we're always looking for that option that is all gain, no pain and no risk. it doesn't exist. so on that, so let's talk about the russian sanctions for a little bit and a couple of different dimensions. and one is on this -- on the multilateral approach. and on this issue of the pain one causes to one's own companies. there were a lot of expectations early on that the german government would not go along with stiff sanctions because of the deep ties between german business and russian business. i think a lot of people were really surprised at how -- the strong stance that chancellor merkel took on the -- imposing the sanctions on russia. there's been concern, however,
in more recent months that others in europe are wishing that we could move in a different direction and perhaps relax or lift some of these sanctions because of the pain that it's causing in europe. can you describe -- >> oh, sure. >> -- the challenges of doing this in this multilateral context, and also, the role that chancellor merkel has played in ensuring that sanctions were placed on the russians? >> well, of course you're right that there was a lot of speculation that europe in general would never go along with tough sanctions against russia and that germany or italy or other countries would balk or that some country would balk at it. and, in fact, that's not happened. europe, all 28 countries, has repeatedly voted to extend the sanctions, and they voted some very tough sanctions, which was
not what many expected in washington and not what many expected in brussels, in europe. and i suspect was un -- came as a surprise to many in moscow. i mean, if you think about the diplomatic history, president putin and the russians probably remember the break-up of western unity over the iraq war and the huge fight. you know, bush and blair on one side. you know, the germans and french on the other, right? and it may be that they expected a similar break. but they didn't get it. they got unity, and europe deserves enormous credit. right? aren't we supposed to be wringing our hands about all the problems in europe right now? but the european union showed more strategic determination and purpose than many people expected and not at the lowest common denominator.
it was pretty strong stuff. now, of course, you're right that there are differences of views among european governments. germany under chancellor merkel has been strong, and her party has, you know, business interests, the social democrats have traditionally wanted to -- in germany have wanted to reach out to russia. all of this is true. but the germans have been a leader in forging a european consensus. other european governments were forward leaning in sanctions, others were more skeptical, but they coalesced around a strong position and that's to be applauded. what the united states did was actually as i said, actually negotiate with the europeans and not simply come up with a made in washington formula and tried to push it through. we figured -- our assumption, my assumption was that if you actually consult with the europeans and do it -- do it right, take it seriously, you
have a much better chance of getting to the end of the process arm in arm, and that's what we did, and it worked. >> so, it worked in the sense that we were able to impose sanctions, and i am mindful of your point that sanctions can take a long time to have an effect, and so, trying to judge them in what's been less than two years is challenging. and you also pointed out, of course, that your goal is to try to change the behavior of another state. we have had different goals with respect to russia in ukraine, some of it directly related to russia and ukraine, others elsewhere in the region. we wanted to make sure that russia didn't do anything to our allies. we did not recognize the russian annexation of crimea, but there's -- i don't think anyone expects there to be a change there. the russians are, of course,
still supporting the separatists in eastern ukraine. we wanted to keep the russians from going further than that, and so that has -- you know, we've been able to do that. but on the specific challenge of the russian support for separatists in eastern ukraine, on the challenge of trying to get the russians to truly support some kind of solution that would allow ukraine to move forward, when we're looking at the role of our sanctions policy -- and there are -- and the other challenge is, of course, trying to figure out with respect to russian calculations, you know, how much of their calculations, as their economy struggles, is due to the sanctions and how much is due to the drop in oil prices. >> sure. >> which, you know, is helpful, so who's going to complain about that here? but, you know, how do we try -- how do we try to understand the impact of the sanctions on these different elements?
and where's the focus right now in terms of what specifically we would want the russians to do? and are there things that if they did them, we would, then, look to lift some of the sanctions? >> sure. well, i mean, i can answer that specifically. the good news is there's a diplomatic process under way called the minsk process where it was negotiated, which, if carried out, will give us the end of the russian aggression against ukraine in the east. it involves elections in the dunbas in these occupied territories, a new electoral law to provide for the special conditions over there, osce monitors, a lot of other things, and then ending with the restoration of the eastern ukrainian international border. now, once minsk is fulfilled,
okay, once this -- these elections have taken place and the russian forces are out and there's no more fighting and the eastern border is restored, yeah, the sanctions will come off. now, you notice that i didn't mention crimea. it is possible that there'll be a satisfactory solution in the east, but crimea will still be under russian occupation. in that case, we would lift the overall sanctions against russia but maintain the sanctions on crimea. and the united states and europe have imposed separate and separable sanctions on crimea with this possibility in mind. it's no secret. we've said that this is our intention. sanctions serve an achievable or what we hope is an achievable diplomatic purpose. now, the french and the germans have the lead in the minsk diplomacy with the ukrainians and the russians.
we're in touch with the russians ourselves, obviously. and there are some signs that the russians are starting to take this process more seriously. we hope they are. and as the sanctions person, it would be my hope that we can start taking off the sanctions in the wake of a successful settlement. we're not sanctioning for its own sake. the first part of your question was, well, we've got lots of objectives toward the russians. how do sanctions figure? we imposed our sanctions because of what russia was doing in ukraine. if we had not imposed sanctions, i don't know what the situation would be like on the ground, but i'm pretty confident it would be a whole lot worse. remember that russian claim to about a third of ukraine and
their extravagant ideas that were being floated? well, they've sort of vanished. russia seems more oriented toward a diplomatic solution. we'd welcome it. and we hope we can get there this year. >> and i should mention that we will have plenty of time for questions from you, so if you want to follow-up further on the russia issue, i'll welcome that. i wanted to turn to a very different kind of country and that's north korea. >> yeah. >> which has been in the news recently. you know, with respect to russia, you had identifiable targets to sanction, you know, individuals close to the president, important companies. it would seem like it's much more challenging to come up with sanctions for a country that's governed like north korea. and so, how do we -- how do we think about the sanctions policy in what is a very different context? >> it is different, as you say,
and it is harder for the reasons you cited. north korean economy is much more isolated, much more china dependent. right now the action on additional sanctions is up at the u.n. we have -- we are working with the security council on a draft resolution, and i think we've said this publicly. we're working on this. there are i think additional steps we could take to strengthen the u.n. regime of sanctions. in this case, the sanctions against north korea generally are u.n. backed, but there are -- there are also some national sanctions we could take in support of the u.n., and we'll see where we end up in new york.
we knew -- we hoped for a long time that we wouldn't be in this position, but we knew it was a possibility, so it won't shock you that we were actually prepared and that our people in new york and our mission working for ambassador power, who understands sanctions very well, were ready. so, we were in consultation with the key players up there, and we will be pushing this. it's true that north korea is not as vulnerable to sanctions as either russia or iran. but it's also true that they're not invulnerable. there are things we can do, and we're looking at that. it's obviously frustrating, but we're committed to giving this a strong push. i think we will.
>> and on iran i think, you know, a lot of people look at iran -- step back for a second. you know, there's always been a long discussion about how effective sanctions are and i think partly for the reason you cite. people don't have a very long time horizon, and so they get very frustrated when sanctions don't work right away. and there is this sort of general notion that there's so many different ways to evade sanctions. it's very hard to get them to work, to get -- to do the kind of things you're talking about in terms of changing behavior. iran is now seen as a major success story, that there is a nuclear agreement with iran, and the countries that were part of the process, including the russians, really stuck with the sanctions. and, in fact, even certainly during the first part of the obama administration, during the reset with russia, the russians had supported additional sanctions on iran. and this, you know, the state of the iranian economy was seen as a major part of their incentives
to move toward a deal. there's been a lot of concern among people here who support the deal that there's still a challenge from the u.s. side because of the opposition to the deal in parts of the united states congress. and how does the continued debate over iran here in the united states play out in the timeframe with respect to the lifting of the sanctions and any differences with respect to what the united states does versus how other countries will be engaging with iran? >> happily, the united states is prepared to do everything we need to do under the jcpoa, the joint comprehensive plan of action. we'll do everything we need to do, and we'll do it when we need to do it.
we were very careful to make commitments we could keep and to work within the law and our authorities. now, the iran sanctions regime is the most complicated sanctions system i've ever seen because it goes through multiple security council resolutions, laws, and implementing executive orders. and they all refer to each other and build on each other, so it is immensely complicated. but sanctions experts, my deputy, was involved in the negotiations because we had to make sure we weren't going to take on a responsibility we couldn't meet. so we can do it. we've come a long way. and, of course, the timing illustrates the point we were discussing earlier. the iranians under ahmadinejad said sanctions have no effect. they have no effect. repeated that for years, and it turned out they did.
we work well with the russians, and we work well with the russians despite the fact that we were also beginning to sanction them at the same time. europe deserves, however, a lot of credit because when europe joined us in the energy -- the energy sanctions, that was -- that was a game changer. and it was not clear that they would be willing to do it, you know, in the early days. this started under the -- this whole process started under the bush administration. but under the obama administration, it took off. let's hope that we can succeed, but we've come a long way. >> so, moving from sanctions to a totally different issue. given your role and the effort to close guantanamo, i wanted to ask you a few thoughts on that. the president has made clear from the moment he took the oath
of office that closing that facility is a major priority for him, and we're now in his final year in office, and so, he's got a little less -- a little more than a year, almost a year exactly, to try to carry this out. and, of course, there's a lot of discussion about the role that that facility plays in our reputation overseas. can you just talk a little bit about why this does remain so important for the president to do this and what -- when you were working on this issue, the obstacles that you faced in terms of trying to move forward on this presidential priority?
>> well, let me go back to the bush administration. it's sometimes forgotten in the debate that the bush administration and president bush also wanted to close guantanamo. and it seems completely forgotten in the debate in washington that the bush administration moved over 500 detainees out of guantanamo, far more -- far more -- than this administration. so, when i started with the obama administration on the gitmo closure office, we had something to build on from the bush administration. i'm foreign service. i'm not a partisan person, and there was a lot of good that the bush administration had done to -- if i can put it this way -- dig it -- climb out of the hole it dug for itself earlier. and we built on that. so, this is, although politically it doesn't seem so, it is, in fact, bipartisan.
though, it's hard to get anybody to admit to that. i'll hold to that position, and i ought to know. i was in the -- i remember in the bush administration when people fairly senior used to say the damage the existence of guantanamo was doing far outweighed the damage that could be done by detainees returning to the fight, which is a fascinating observation by people in the bush administration who then in the -- especially in the second term wanted to close it. there are many things wrong with guantanamo. it is not wrong in my view to hold people as prisoners of war when you pick them up on the battlefield. that's recognized. that has legitimacy. but guantanamo is not set up that way.
it was set up outside our -- the regular norms. and in our system, which really is a rule of law system, when you try to take something set up outside and integrate it with the regular system, it just doesn't work. now, this administration's, the white house's instructions to me starting out in 2009 when i was approaching governments to take detainees was, make sure we get security assurances and so you know what's going to happen to these people when you've transferred them to third countries. don't cut corners. even though we want to close it, i was under no pressure to rack up the numbers. so we worked hard.
there is a risk with every transfer. that risk is greater than zero. but overall, the risk of transferring detainees so you can close the facility is smaller than the risk of maintaining it forever. and this was also the view of the bush administration. and a lot of the people i work with were the same people doing it in the second term bush. very skilled people, intelligence professionals, people who were not motivated by left wing ideological commitment or any of the other stuff you hear out of some of the network talk shows. these were professionals. so i think the obama administration is right. i think the bush administration's second term was
right, as well. i -- you know, i no longer do guantanamo, haven't done it in several years, but the person doing it now is doing a good job. and the obama administration was right. i hope they succeed. >> thanks. let's open it up. if you have a question or a comment, please come to the mike and please introduce yourself briefly so we know who you are. >> hi, my name is will. i'm second year here at sis studying eurasian. i was wondering if you could comment on the recent political developments in poland and whether you polish democracy is under threat and in turn on sanctions, should the e.u. consider economic sanctions on poland if the trends continue against the policy. thank you. >> well, i spent many years in poland and many years working on
polish issues, and it is of concern that we find ourselves in such a situation where you can even ask that question. polish society has pretty deep democratic roots. and poland's success since 1989 is a reflection of those deep democratic roots. governments in poland have been right, center, left, liberal, christian, democrat. just about every possible configuration you can imagine, and it's all worked out just fine. so far.
and i hope that the current tensions will result in a greater consensus in the country moving forward. polish democracy has been the driving force behind our support for poland. it hasn't just been sentiment or geopolitics or realism. it was solidarity starting in 1980 that changed the world and changed our policy. and it was the advent of polish democracy in 1989 that made possible everything else we have done with poland. so we're obviously following that very closely. i don't think it's very useful to say more than that.
but i think you get the drift. >> jordan tamma, i've a professor here, thanks so much for your comments. you talked about the iran negotiations and mention that the administration was careful not to make any commitment in those negotiations that the administration couldn't carry out which i interpreted as an illusion to the fact that there are sanctions mandated by law that the administration wouldn't have the authority to remove through its own authority. could you speak a bit about the extent to which congress and particularly the sanctions laws that are on the books did constrain the administration's diplomacy with iran? how much was that a factor in shaping or changing the negotiations and potentially changing the outcome of the negotiations, the specifics of the agreement that was reached
and i'd also be curious to hear you answer the same question regarding cuba where there are sanctions on the books and the administration had a negotiation, to what extent did the administration's diplomacy with cuba -- was it constrained or complicated by the fact that there are sanctions on the books that the administration can't lift through its own authority? >> well, of course, in both cases what we did, everything we did was, let's say, informed by the fact that there were laws on the books which we had to respect. so, obviously, the details reflected the constraints of the law. but the laws on iran in particular gave us sufficient flexibility that we were able to successfully negotiate the deal and the multilateral setting and we are -- and we will be able to fulfill our part of it. no question about it.
we took the laws and take the laws seriously. we're working within them. on iran, congress pressed forward in a number of areas. sometimes administrations think laws are going to turn out to be impossible to work with and it turns out they are more possible to work with. if this works out -- and i think it will -- there will be enough credit to go around. though, obviously, any deal like this has risks. >> good afternoon. thank you very much for coming to speak to us this afternoon. i'm a second year u.s. foreign policy student. i'm originally from ukraine so
both of my questions will be related to this region. so you said that the purpose of sanctions is not to punish but to change the other government's behavior. so in case of crimea, i'm talking about sanctions in crimea and sevastopol, how do you expect limitations such as denial of google services, disabling visa, master cards, cutting crimea out of the international financial system to change the russian government behavior? like, how do you expect these particular restrictions that were put on crimean citizens to change kremlin's behavior? this is my first question. my second question is, given the fact that the majority of crimeans -- i'm not just saying that because i come from the region, but there are multiple poll that is confirm that, given the fact that crimean people are not willing to go back to ukraine, in what kind of context do you see these sanctions lifted? thank you.
>> well, let me answer the second question. i'm not so sure. and i'm surprised that you are so sure. i wouldn't trust the results of a russian-organized plebiscite or even a public opinion poll in crimea. now, there are a lot of crimeans, especially those from russian military families, of which there are a lot, who may well want to be in russia. but, first of all, polling in, let us say, where coercion is the norm, is not terribly reliable. and secondly, public opinion polls are not the indicators of sovereignty. there are rules about this sort of thing. russia wouldn't accept someone arguing that chechnya in 1996 should be independent because a majority of chechens might have opted for it. nor is that the position of the
united states government, nor was it ever. so it's not clear to me that i -- i'm not sure i accept the premise of the second part of your question. the first part of your question, i don't think we've cut out -- i don't think internet communications or cellphone services are part of the sanctions. they're generally not. we tend not to go after that -- after communication because we don't want to see populations and societies cut off. it is true that we want to make clear that our opposition to russia's occupation of crimea is not merely lip service. that it is supported by strong sanctions.
and the americans and the europeans and others believe it important not to accept invasion and occupation as the new norm in europe. that's a pretty important principle. we thought that those sorts of land grabs had gone away after, say, 1945. russia agreed to respect ukraine's territorial integrity in 1994 in the budapest declaration. the helsinki final act signed by the soviet union recognized the borders in europe and no territorial changes by force. all of which russia has violated. so we are determined to keep the
pressure on russia. and in policymaking -- and this is something jim knows very well -- we often if not usually overestimate what we can achieve in the short run. we usually underestimate what we can achieve in the long run. i remember year after year being laughed at by various governments and some university professors because the united states adhered to a non-recognition of the soviet occupation in the baltics. oh, get over it, be realistic we were told. year after year. sometimes the higher realism is to hold to your principles. okay? that's the higher realism. not the realism that recognizes
power as its own anointment. >> thank you for coming out, mr. fried. happy new year. i'm a freshman at the school of public affairs, and i have a question in regard to the u.n. c.l.o.s. and the recent events with china creating islands in oceans and manipulating the seas around them. so how could we use sanctions to deter their effects, and if it is appropriate to use sanctions to begin with, and how could we change their behavior? because, clearly, china is not the only one who's defying the unclos. there was another report two weeks ago about canada manipulating the unclos's rules by, you know, taking land near the beijing -- not the beijing,
sorry, the bering straits and because they had archaeological evidence of, like, a french explorer's boat being dug up there. >> i hadn't heard about that one. >> that's a good one. >> i said earlier that sanctions are a useful tool and that in some ways they become a tool of choice because they seem to a couple of cases or be working so they become a default. there's a danger in that. you want to apply sanctions where you have a reasonable prospect of them working and when they are the best tool available. the issues of the south china sea are beyond the area of responsibility of my office so i won't go too far into this here but to say that the united
states has been active and vocal in expressing our concerns about this. and we will continue to be and there and probably other ways to address this issue. as regards canada, probably not sanctions. you know, the canadians -- i should say the canadians have been wonderful as partners on russia sanctions and others. they're part of the g-7 so we consult very closely with them. they're doing a great job. >> thank you. >> sure. >> hello. thank you for talking with us today. i am a current freshman in the school of international service and i recently attended a talk by former ambassador pickering here a couple months ago on the iran deal. and in his summary of the iran deal, he described a trigger
mechanism in which any of the participating states can reimplement sanctions at any point that they feel iran has not complied with its agreement. how possible do you think it is that the u.s. could utilize this sort of trigger mechanism under an administration that is -- that finds this agreement less favorable? and former ambassador pickering also described this use of the trigger mechanism as crazy considering how far we've come in these negotiations. is it a reality that the u.s. could re-implement sanctions following implementation day? >> well -- >> and by the way, if you're a former ambassador you can use words like crazy. >> especially if you're not in
government. >> that's what i mean. if you're retired from the foreign service. >> the -- i think during the lengthy testimony, my secretary -- secretary kerry made it very clear that we will see to it that the -- that iran's part of the jcpoa is carried out, and if not, we'll avail ourselves of all of our options. and i think it's credible. i think that's what we'll do. but i don't want to get into hypotheticals. i think implementation day is very close. we've come a long way. it's real. it's not simply on paper. iran has done concrete things that are pretty important. pretty impressive and were regarded as unlikely or
impossible by many of the skeptics. this is a pretty good deal. no deal is perfect. that's reality. this is a good deal. and we will do what we have to do. i think any deal has to have something in it for both sides. and the structure of the agreement, including the snapback provisions for the u.n. sanctions, rather unusual, mean that we have -- what i've said we can do. let's hope we don't to. >> thank you. >> sure. you coming up to ask a question? all right. >> mr. ambassador, i think you covered so many exciting topics and areas. my question is very simple, actually.
as a businessperson, when you start deciding on sanction, i assume you identify whether it's going to be political, military, economic and what have you. do you have a metrics by which you will decide which one of these or all you are going to implement? number one. number two, how do you assess the effectiveness of these measures? number three, which i really like to talk about that we have to be patient and what have you because i think in my age category we experience so many sanctions and failures and have what have you. but really and truly, at what stage do you decide based on the metrics that this bad boy should be punished because we fail to change his behavior? thank you.
>> the basic piece of legislation that is the foundation of our sanctions is the international economic emergency powers act, so called iepa. that's administered by the treasury department. it allows the president to issue an executive order declaring a national emergency with respect to, let us say, a country or situation within a country and an outlying series of sanctions which we can carry out. you can set up sanctions criteria to go after people that are threatening the peace security of that country or you can set up -- you can have a broader sanction allowing you to sanction whole industrial areas as we did with russia. or all members of the government.
that doesn't mean you have to. it means you give yourself the authority to do it and then the treasury department, ofac, office of foreign asset control, works with us to identify targets. you choose the targets based on what will give the right balance -- if i can put it this way -- the right balance of pain. that is, they feel the pain. you feel less. you also make sure you've set it up so that your partners in sanctions, in the case of russia and the europeans, but also, the japanese, are comfortable with it or at least not uncomfortable. that's how we think our way through it. there are other tools. you can simply -- you can start with simply visa sanctions but then it helps if they actually -- if the people you're targeting actually want to visit the united states.
it helps in visa sanctions if you have the places they want to go or maybe where they have their money joining you in visa sanctions. and look. i'll interpret your last question as meaning, you know, what if it doesn't work? right? how do you decide when it's failing? that's a hard question. my own experience, our policy of supporting democracy and democracy activists in central europe was regarded as a failure every single year until it was suddenly a spectacular success. now, you're an idiot or genius depending on the timeframe. okay? you've got to -- you have to take that. it's to the credit of the obama
administration that we were able to acknowledge something everybody knew but couldn't say which is the cuba sanctions program had failed. it's also to the credit of this administration that it set out with russia sanctions to do it with europe in a way to a degree that was unprecedented. to the credit of the bush administration that it started the diplomatic process which ended up in the -- with the jcpoa, that this administration could bring across the finish line. and if you sense that i'm arguing for continuity and bipartisanship in foreign policy, you're right. i've served -- i served in the clinton white house. i served in the white house of george w. bush. i worked in lots of different administrations and there is such thing as american national interest that transcends parties
and there is such a thing as a common set of american values and although it's not fashionable to say so in this political season, all of my friends from the bush administration and the foreign policy team, you know, i'm still in touch with them. we all know each other. and there's more community of interest than one would think if you read the newspapers, the op-eds and especially to listen much of the tv. >> please. >> thank you very much for speaking with us today. i'm originally from georgia. now i'm at voa as a graduate. i have a couple of questions. in 2008, russian invaded georgia and a similar thing happened to what we're seeing in the ukraine. russia did not annex georgia,
but recognized two breakaway regions as independent states. we did not see any sanctions at that time. >> right. >> what are the differences and similarities if you would talk about that, why -- and you weren't in the administration at that time. >> i was. >> so maybe you can draw the parallels of how the process is -- did not take it to the sanctions at that time and what happened differently in ukraine? >> that's a really good question. and i actually can answer it. if that's what you want. >> that's great. thank you. >> yeah, i was, i was assistant secretary for europe at the time of the ruso-georgian war and i remember what you're talking about and it was similar. with the exception there wasn't a formal annexation. they merely recognized -- the russians recognized the independent countries. okay, so why didn't we try sanctions and the honest answer
is we thought about it briefly. but we didn't it for two reasons. one, we weren't nearly as smart about sanctions as we are now. we didn't have the experience. we weren't as sophisticated. we didn't know how to design them in the way that would have worked the way we think the sanctions against russia because of ukraine have worked. not a great answer, but a truthful one. there we were. secondly, there were divisions within europe and between the u.s. and europe over the tactics. now, there was universal condemnation of the russian invasion, don't get me wrong, but there were differences. germany was skeptical about shalikashvili and his policies. it's not clear that germany would have gone along with strong sanctions and without that sanctions would have been a gesture. and not a successful one. that's the second reason. the third reason was the bush
administration was out of time. okay? like that's not a great answer. but it was out of time. but some of us who were part of that process remembered it. and when the -- when russia repeated aggression against one of its neighbors, or its desire to move toward the west, with georgia it was nato, with ukraine it was the e.u. but that's not -- the relevant factor it was a choice by the countries to find their way to europe. when that happened, some of us who remembered the georgia situation wanted to find a way to be effective. okay? so the georgia experience didn't go for naught.
now we did help georgia after the war. we helped stabilize the economy. that -- the bush administration and then vice presidential candidate joe biden combined to support the georgian economy. you remember when senator -- then senator biden said we ought to provide $1 billion for georgia? well, in the bush administration we grabbed that and said one, he's right. and two, he's just depoliticized it. so we embraced it and we ran with it. so even in the middle of a heated political campaign, a republican administration was capable of seeing a good idea from the democratic president -- vice presidential challenger and making it real. i wanted to give the vice president credit for that for some time. so i appreciate you giving me the opportunity. but we knew what he was doing. he knew it too. he was taking it out of partisanship and doing the right
thing. there was no political profit. he was doing it because it was right and we knew it. and we said, bang, go for it. so i'm not saying the bush administration walked away from georgia after the war. we helped stabilize the economy. i'm proud of that. but the obama administration went further in pushing back on the russians and not accepting it. which means that the -- let us say formulaic diplomatic process in geneva about resolving the georgian war may not repeat itself for ukraine. maybe this will result in a real solution. we hope so. >> we have time for one more question. one last question. thanks. >> hello, mr. ambassador. i'd like to thank you again for speaking to us. i'm zach moody, i'm a freshman here at sis. in countries like russia where the power structure is centered
around one person, in this instance putin, how does the sanctions policy differ from a country where the national interest can be sanctioned more? i guess what i'm trying to say, how does sanction policy change when you're trying to target individuals, in those cases closest to putin, versus when you're trying to sanction the entire country and hurt the national interest and hoping that that will change policy? what is the deciding factor there and what are the actual differences in the sanctions in those instances? thank you. >> when i was in graduate school, i looked at theory. just as you have done with that question. in government you go after the targets you can. kind of all of the above. what's going to work, what can we do? the major elements of our sanctions regime against russia and our meaning u.s., europe, has been financial. that is we've blocked the operation of some russian banks
but we have done more to restrict the operation of basically the biggest state banks. second is energy. where we have gone after exotic oil production. that is equipment and technology for deep sea, arctic, off shore, and shale. all right. so it's not current production, it's future production. third, we have gone after defense technology. now, a fourth element of that is to go after the so-called cronies. a crony is an oligarch who is particularly close to putin. not all oligarchs are cronies but all cronies are oligarch. they're super rich and they have made president putin a wealthy man. this is not a secret. we have said publicly that we are going after them and we have sanctioned them. you know, by name.
the rottenberg brothers, and we have gone after some of their down the stream holdings. again, public knowledge. go look it up on the ofac's website. the point of sanctions is to show russia that going further or even continuing its aggression against the ukraine has increasing costs and because we update our sanctions we maintain them, those costs deepen and strengthen over time. yeah, it helps that oil prices have tanked. right? but the combination of our sanctions and the oil prices changes the strategic context in which the russian government has to make decisions. and if that induces the russian government to help to negotiate a diplomatic solution we're for it. i look forward to the day when
we can start taking off the sanctions. that means they have served their purpose. the purpose of sanctions is not to be about themselves. the purpose of sanctions is to create conditions under which you can take them off. all right? >> thank you. >> it's a good sentence to end on. thank you guys so much for all the questions. and thank you. it was great to have -- it was great to have ambassador fried here today. we look forward to seeing you again in the future. >> my pleasure, thank you.
this weekend, the c-span cities tour hosted by our cox communications cable partners explores the history and literary culture of santa barbara, located approximately 90 miles northwest of los angeles on the california coast. the city is nicknamed the american rivera due to its ed e mediterranean climate and spanish influence and mission architecture. on book tv, we will learn about the history of endangered species in california. next, find out about rising sea levels and the threat they pose to coastal cities. >> 3 1/2 million people in
california live within 3 1/2 foot of modern sea level. many of them in the bay area. and that's a lot of people to move. >> then we will visit the old mission santa barbara to tour their archives and see items which tell the story of the mission and the surrounding area. on american history tv, we will travel back to the silent movie era and learn about the central role santa barbara played in the industry as we explore the story of the american film manufacturing company. also known as the flying a studios, which produced silent films here from 1912 to 1921. next we will visit the old mission santa barbara outdoor museum and discover how the spanish introduced plants to the native indians who cultivated many and changed the land scape of california. finally, we will hear about one of santa barbara's earliest and most long landing industries, due to its mild climate, the city and the surrounding area was promoted as a health resort
and destination for travellers in other parts of the u.s. as early as 1870. tourism remains a big part of the city's economy to this day. >> the south facing coast gave them all day sunshine. the fresh ocean air and that was recommended in various visitors brochures, doctors would say, come to santa bearbara, fresh ocean air, fresh mountain air. so that was seen as the cure for so many people when we really boomed not as a tourist city but as a health resort. >> watch c-span cities tour, saturday at noon eastern on c-span2's book tv and sunday afternoon on c-span3. working with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. a road to the white house coverage continues this weekend. first we will take you to new hampshire where republican
presidential candidate carly fiorina holds a town hall with voters. that's live at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. then to new hampshire where hillary clinton holds a campaign rally. that's live at 7:15 p.m. eastern also on c-span. ahead of the new hampshire primary on tuesday, presidential candidates from both parties are in the granite state. on sunday, we will take you to a town hall with senator marco rubio. then donald trump talks to supporters at a campaign rally. live at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. now, oral argument in a case to determine how schools across the country deal with transgender students and what bathrooms they are allowed to use. the case was heard in the fourth
circuit court of appeals last month. this is just under 45 minutes. thank you, your honors. may it please the court, my snam is joshua block and i represent the plaintiff. over the past 15 years, the vast majority of courts have recognized that discriminating against someone because they are transgender is a form of discrimination on the basis of sex. under title 9, that means it's perfectly fine for schools to have separate rest rooms for boys and girls but they have to let transgender boys and girls use rest rooms, too. the only way they that can happen if they can use rest rooms consistent with their gender identity like every other student. the school has said g can use the girls room, but it's impossible to take that seriously. it makes no sense whatsoever for the board to say it's going to protect student privacy by taking a transgender boy who is
on tes toss ttosterone and placn the girl's rest room. before g transitioned, girls objected to his presence in the rest room because they accurately per served him to be a boy. no one seriously thinks that having -- >> do the boys object? the girls objected apparently. you are pointing out that that's significant. parentally the boys objected when he went to the boys rest room. is that allowed to be taken into account? >> i'm saying the school board's arguments are inconsistent. if the rational is privacy -- >> you have made -- you made in your brief is that he can't go into the women's rest room because he doesn't feel welcome there. the women ostracize him and don't want him there. they basically -- some said that they didn't want him in the rest room.
my question is if that is a meaningful fact, is is it also a meaningful fact that the boys say the same thing in their rest room? >> your honor, it's a meaningful fact and that privacy issue can be taken into account. but the right way do that and there are wrong way dozen that. schools can and should have privacy protection for everyone urinal stall. what schools can't do is banish transgender students from the rest rooms entirely because students object to their presence. >> if we don't recognize our -- i think that's the way you say it. you can prevail on your title 9 claim in. >> absolutely, your honor. >> how? the plain text of title 9 is extremely broad. it covers all facilities entirely.
it would prohibit separate rest rooms, separate dorm toitorydor. that's why they had that in the text. >> you know, the thing concerns me a little bit is the argument between ambiguity and not being ambiguous. >> your honor, i think that's a great question for the department of education. >> we would like to hear your answer. if it's ambiguous, the decision goes one way. if it's not ambiguous, it goes the other way. >> it would depend on what gender identity they live their lives in accordance with. it's a very accurate point that there are -- there's an article about the uterus transplants for women born without uteruses.
their gender identity is female. they live as women. it's not like the categories of male and female always correspond to everyone's internal reproductive organs. >> which rest room with a person who has undergone a sex change use? >> well, your honor, i think they would use rest room consistent with their gender identity. which is whatever gender they live in in accordance with all aspects of their lives. your honor, i think it's important to remember that the structure of title 9 is that congress wanted the agency to make these distinctions. there's no bfoq exception in title 9 like in title 7. that's because the sponsor said that would be too big a loophole. when people asked what about rest rooms, senator bide didn't say, don't worry, rest rooms aren't covered. he said, the agency can address those questions in its
discretion. so the entire statute is structured so the agency draws the distensions about what sports teams can women try out for, what conditions do you need to have separate sex segregated rest rooms. the courts don't weigh on their own is the volleyball different than the football team? these are agency policy making questions. the agency is the democratically accountable branch and congress can overrule the agency and has done so in the past. even if it applies, the judge's decision is extremely important here. he interpreted the plain text of a different exception that allowed schools to block women from trying out for all-male contact sports. the school argued that means the that contact sports are exempt. the judge said no, you have to interpret that narrowly. it says it allows women to be prohibited from trying out. once you are on the team, the
school can't diskrcriminateaqq] against you then. the baseline here is all forms treatment are prohibited unless there's permission for it. what the regulation that doe passed is it said you can have separate rest rooms. you can have rest rooms for one sex if they are equivalent for the other sex. two things it doesn't address. it doesn't say you can have sex segregated rest rooms but not let transgender people use them. they have to use one of the rest rooms. it didn't say where transgender persons should go if their gender identity conflicts with their sex assigned at birth. >> let me ask you to relate this to a locker room situation. i know the locker room is not at issue in this case. but it's in the policy and it's in the regulation. the regulation says that you can have separate locker rooms based on sex.
where would the intersex person go when a school has a men's locker room and a women's -- >> which one? >> either one. >> they would go to the locker room consistent with their gender identity. the department of education has -- >> they are anatomically male and they oidentify as a female, they would go to the female locker room, even though they have the genitalia of a male? is that your answer? >> yes, it is, your honor. but that's also because it's important to understand there's a lot of privacy protections in locker rooms, too. it's important that -- >> well, i don't know -- i've been in locker rooms my whole life. you have open showers and open spaces. it's a more exposed environment. >> not at this high school.
you have separate shower and changing areas for all the schools. that's actually part of the virginia department of schools guidelines for how locker rooms should be set up. it is important that we're talking about these policy making questions that locker rooms are different than when i went to school. different from when my parents went to school. these issues can and are addressed on the ground in different ways. it's hard -- >> let me ask this question. it's sort of -- these are logically difficult questions. sticking with the locker room hypothetical, which raises the point more clearly, you said that if the person had male genitalia but identified as a female, that person should be allowed in the female locker room.
that's because an aspect of sex is the psychological. there's the physical and psychological. they both make up a person's sex or gender. in most people, the person identifies with his anatomical arrangement. but in some people that's not so. so we have a disparity. you picked in order to give your answer, you picked the psychological identification of the person going into the women's locker room. could the school instead of picking the psychological pick the anatomical criteria as the reason for separating locker rooms and saying, well, since he is anatomically male, he should go the to male locker room? legally under the regulation. >> well, if the department of education hadn't given its own interpretation -- >> i want you to read the regulation. >> your honor, on its face the
regulation doesn't answer that. i think -- >> for us selecting the psychological criteria and opposed to the physical criteria for determining which locker room the student goes to. >> with respect, i think under our deference, the question isn't what the court would select. >> still, we need to know. don't we? if the district court got it totally wrong, we can't make that assessment unless we have some idea to which way we're supposed to go. >> you know, your honor, i think the reality is that across the country transgender students use rest rooms consistent with their -- locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. no one knows they are tra transgender in many instances. they often view the male anatomy as deeply shameful. they are not going to be -- it's
not something that transki kids- they have a sense of privacy, too. you did draw this dichotomy between psychological and physical. >> they are linked. there's a divergence in a transgender child who finds himself or herself with one gender or one sex physical apparatus reproductive organs and identifies with the other. that divergence creates a problem. your answers say the school should be focusing on the psychological, what the person identifies with, as opposed to what a person's physical anatomy is. i'm just wondering what gives you the basis to make that interpretation under the statute as opposed to the school's interpretation to use the anatomical difference? >> to address this dichotomy though, as a result of hormones,
there are physiological differences between g and non-transgender women. >> you are not taking care of my clear question, which is somebody who is physically one sex and identifies with the other. >> yes, i understand. >> the definition as the psychological definition of this. >> yeah. you know, all i'm saying is what someone's physical body is also very much affected by their hormones. there are -- that is a real live physical component. but on this -- what gives me the right to say they should use gender identity instead of sex assigned at birth, you know, what basis do i have for saying that, you know, that's what the department of education says based on its expert agency status. it's the one that's a policy making entity. it's the democratically accountable branch. if anyone disagrees with -- if the school disagrees, they can file a rule making petition. congress can overrule them. >> i don't read that in the
rule. i have the rule before me. it says the recipient may provide separate toilet, locker room and shower facilities on the basis of sex. such facilities provided for students of one sex shall be comparable to such facilities provided for the other sex. that's the regulation. the regulation says the school can make a decision based on sex. and have separate facilities. now, your argument i gather is that here we have a sex as a complex word and includes both the physical and the psychological. when you have it different, then the question is, what does the statute say. i don't think the statute addresses that. >> the statute doesn't address it. as you said, at best there are
two alternatives. >> if you abate -- you can make a distinction based on sex. so now if you take both the psychological and the physical, we have a third category where that's diververgencdivergence. you could provide a separate facility for that third category like a unisex bathroom. i'm not sure that's what you are arguing. >> your honor, if the regulation doesn't actually address it, then the default is it's prohibited. that's the inertia is in favor of the person enforcing title 9. you need an affirmative exception. the fact that a regulation is silent cuts against the school board. it doesn't cut against our side. >> you didn't argue for transgender status to be a
suspect classification. why not? >> i see my time has expired. >> i will let you answer that question. >> we didn't because transgender status also is discrimination on the basis of sex. there's a big body of precedence saying it gets scrutiny. we don't disagree it's a suspect class. but i don't think you need to find an independent suspect class status. >> thank you, mr. block. you have some time on rebuttal. mr. corrigan? >> may it please the court, i'm david corrigan. along with my partner, jeremy capps, who is the author of the brief we represent for the school board. we are here to argue for affirming the dismissal of the
title 9 claim ordering the dismissal of equal protection claim and firming the decision to deny the preliminary injunction. our position is that there was no discrimination -- >> on that -- as a practical point, the district court explicitly said it wanted to hear more on the equal protection claim. and preserved that for trial. you are asking us to make a ruling before the district court analyzes that, i guess, based n on -- i'm not thinking about jurisdiction. i'm wondering of the wisdom of us doing this. you are arguing we can do it as well as the district court? >> yes, sir. because it's intertwined. >> that's another issue, whether it is. think your title 9 case is with the ininjunction.
>> the injunction is based on -- it seems to me that the trial judge based it on both the fact that the title 9 was dismissed and he got into the balancing of the hardships in deciding there was -- the plaintiff had not carried their burden in establishing the hardship. it's another reason i read the court as eliminating -- >> i didn't mean to interrupt you. >> yes, sir. >> on the question of the balance, i'm a little puzzled by the district court's decision, because things were proceedi proceeding -- the status quo anti was changed by the policy, correct? >> it's a prohibiting injunction. we agreed that's what it was. >> so i'm not clear why the
balance of hardships favors your client rather than the plaintiff. >> even under either scenario with the preliminary injunction, you are looking at a discretion -- abuse of discretion standard, clear error with respect to the facts. so we have -- if we talk first our argument primarily at the low he ha lower level is we should win on both. in getting into the balance of hardship, what i understood the court to say -- this is what's on the record -- is that this plaintiff is a female who has a gender dysphoria condition and identifies male and had significant distress well before anything having do with rest rooms came up and continued to have that distress. and that there was an
insufficient -- the facts in support of the plaintiff's side of that amounted to three paragraphs in the psychologist's report and the self-serving declaration of the plaintiff about the concerns that he had. on the other hand -- on the other side -- >> but the denial of the preliminary injunction changed the status quo, did it not? >> i don't know that it changed the status quo. i think that the -- >> surely, you must know. >> the young man -- g, the plaintiff, had been using the rest room. >> that's the status quo. >> after they passed the resolution, he was no longer allowed to use the rest room. >> so the denial of the preliminary injunction changed the status quo. >> it did. >> okay. >> i don't quite understand that. i thought -- this is just on the facts.
i thought that the school adopted a policy which is at challenge here. >> yes. >> and built three rest rooms, unisex rest rooms. >> correct. >> and that the policy is the status quo. they changed earlier. they had him using the men's rest room. and then because of complaints, they conducted a meeting and adopted the policy which is at issue here. the policy says that the person using the common rest rooms will follow their biological makeup and anybody can use the unisex rest rooms. >> correct. >> that's a challenge. that's -- judge davis is right that the ante before the policy was he was using the bathroom. but the policy was not prompted by the lawsuit, was it? that was changed before the lawsuit? >> the policy existed before the
lawsuit. the policy what occurred with the policy is this. the policy is a statement of existing situation, sch we have two sets of rest rooms. we have female rest rooms to be used by people of the female sex. we have male rest rooms to be used by male individuals of the male sex. then we have a third aelternatie available for all students. that's one of the important facts in the case. the policy doesn't say that. but the plaintiff has pled as -- >> the question is that gg be allowed to use the boys rest room. that's the full scope of the injunction requested. >> and the -- >> which is what the state of affairs was before the policy and before the lawsuit. correct? >> gg was using the boys rest room until the policy was passed. gg is now not using the boys rest room. >> what harm occurred during the
seven weeks that he used the boys rest room? >> on this record, the concerns that were raised -- we go to -- precedent in this court in terms of body privacy, that's the concern. the question is, did the policy in any way discriminate. the answer is it did not. it did not because it put people in the same situation they had always been in, the male going to the male rest room, female going to the female rest room and a third alternative for anyone including gg. >> what was the harm? >> the harm was express -- there was concern expressed by parents of students about the -- the privacy interest of their students. that was the privacy interest was the primary concern of the school board in enforcing the existing policy of boys in the
boys room, girls in the girls room and the availability of the third option. >> the children of any complaining access have access to. >> they do. as does g. >> so i come back to the denial of the preliminary injunction changed the status quo in a way that actually ignores your client's effort to address the challenge by creating these unisex, private rest rooms. >> i don't think it -- i don't see how it ignored the effort -- >> well, if your argument is that there were parents of certain students who were concerned, the board addressed that concern by creating these private rest rooms. and so any of those students whose parents came to the board
seeking redress now have access to the privacy that they claim they need and want. >> the first aspect -- i understand the court's point. the first aspect of a preliminary injunction is whether the plaintiff will win on the merits. >> let's move to that. how do you assess the district court's wanting to hear more about equal protection and yet denying the preliminary injunction? i'm not suggesting definitively that that's inconsistent or contradictory. but the judge wants to hear more of this case. and yet, by denying the preliminary injunction, the judge changed the status quo. >> the standard for -- >> there's -- at least there's a hint of an inconsistency there. >> i understand what your honor is suggesting. and i understand the inconsistency that you are concerned about.
the question is whether or not the plaintiff is likely to succeed. let's use equal protection claim since he ruled on the title 9 claim. our position was and is that all students are treated the same. there are two choices, rest rooms associated with their sex and single stall rest rooms. transgender is not a suspect class. none of the case law that plaintiffs rely on from the price waterhouse area deals with a situation similar to this. none -- all that case law deals with is non-conforming behavior and then some type of employment action primarily undertaken against a male who wasn't acting in a male manner and was punished. the likelihood on equal protection clause is not strong. the question is whether the school board policy providing separate rest rooms plus single stall rest rooms for all students serves the interest in protecting the safety and privacy of the students.
if we get past our initial point there never was any discrimination. there never was discrimination because the same policy was in existence from the beginning, which is boys in the boys room, girls in the girls room and here is a third option. it would be discrimination to say to g, you can't go in the girls room. that would be consistent with the price waterhouse set of facts. you can't go in the girls room. that would have been something that we couldn't do. the notion on other side of the case that you have remained -- you have kept that alive, i don't think the school board had a choice. you have to allow this individual to use the girls room if he so chooses. >> your argument is rooted in this notion that some wise person said biology is destiny. but in fact, it's neurobiology, isn't it, that's destiny. >> i done have an opinion on that. our belief is that sex equals male and female.
>> of course that's your position. but this is 2016. this is 2016. >> yes, sir. >> so the question is, what is the meaning of sex in year 2016? >> our position is that the meaning of sex is the -- based on the person's genitalia, based on their -- what they were born with. could it change? >> do you have expert evidence in the record? >> no expert evidence in the record. sg >> the judge didn't require you to come forward with anything? >> well, you have seen the record. the record is pretty sparse on these points. >> are you going to be able to find a reputable psychologist or neuroscientist or psychiatrist to support your position that in 2016 all sex is is biology? >> i don't --
>> without regard -- >> i haven't looked into that, because we are nowhere near that in this case. i don't think it matters. i think the reason it doesn't matter is the question is whether or not this policy as implemented violates title 9 or violates equal protection clause. it doesn't. >> if we decide that the department's regulation is entitled to our deference, does that change the calculus on the likelihood of success on the merits? >> first of all, we would argue that it's not entitled to deferen deference. the word sex is ambiguous. >> the assumption is we might do that. >> i think we still have a chance to win the case under that even if you give it deference on the basis that the way that the ocr has interpreted this is to replace the word sex with the word gender identity. and that's not a fair reading. and i think -- >> price waterhouse has largely already done that. >> i don't think --
>> and the pricewith waterhousei thought we were past that it means no more and no less than biology. >> again -- >> i thought we were concerned about the stigmatizing affects of stereotypical approaches to gender roles. if you talk about gender roles, it's impossible to talk about -- not talk about gender identity, isn't it? >> yes. the point is though that those cases -- price waterhouse and the cases that follow it, what you are dealing with is a situation where it's a too masculine female, too feminine male and you are dealing with you cannot discriminate on that basis. that's the law. there's no question about that. that's not this situation. our situation here is it's a school board with children from k through 12, age 6 to age 18. they have a policy of allowing girls in the girls room and boys
in the boys room. in their wisdom provide a third option for anyone who is uncomfortable going to either spot. the question is, does that violate the equal protection clause or does that violate title 9. it does not. that's our -- they are our most significant argument is very simply that point. i don't think if you start getting into this complicated where are we today in 2016, i think that's some other case. that's somewhere down the road. the question is today on these facts with this scenario with the concerns -- price waterhouse, those are adults in the workplace. that's different. this is children in a school system. the right of privacy of children in the school system is much more significant than it would be for the bathroom in this courtroom, for instance. that matters. so this school system, the question is whether or not what they decided to do violated either title 9 or equal protection. our argue is that it did not.
that's our best argument. that's our main point coming here before the court today. >> i guess my concern is, you may be right. but again, i'm sort of stuck on the notion that the denial of the preliminary injunction -- in effect, the denial of the preliminary injunction here was a grant of an affirmative injunction to the board. i mean, it's kind of flipped. normally, a party coming in to district court seeking a preliminary injunction is seeking to change the status quo. >> by the time the plaintiff came to court -- >> or maintain the status quo. but by here, district court's action actually changed the status quo. again, with regard -- i understand the policy was the
animating legal action in play here. but down here on the ground, the way people were living with theeach other and the way the school was being operated without any complaints for a good while at least -- i'm not sure there were any complaints by the students to the school officials. this came from the parents. sg >> the record is that at the school there were no incidents. >> no incidents. no disruption. things were proceeding at pace. and then everything changed. for gg certainly. >> for gg, for everyone else everything remained the same there was a boys room and girls room and you had those two options. gg and everyone else then received the third option that's available. i think the court's argument would be stronger if the school had not given the third option, because i think that you would be then saying you have to go
back -- you have to go to the girls room. they're not saying you have to. they are saying you can go to the girls room but you have this other option. for that reason, it remained -- what remained in place was not really a substantial change from the original situation. >> but there's no stigmatizing impact on anyone but gg. in using what you refer to as the third option. >> i disagree. if someone went in there, there could be potentially stigmatizing interest on anyone who went to use that rest room. who knows whether they would feel stigmatized in some way, shape or form for being -- >> what would be the source? >> suppose people were pro transgender use of the boys room and that was the policy and then people who started using that, there might be a stigmatizing interest, you are against transgender, you are somebody uncomfortable with that. to me that he would be a
potentially sta ma adverti potentially stigmatizing record. our major point is the question is whether or not what was done is a violation of title 9 or equal protection. and it is not. >> if gg had a sex change operation, which allould you al to use the boys ref room? >> my understanding of what the position would be -- i'm going to read the policy. >> uses the word biological. >> shall be limited to corresponding biological genders. is what it says. i would say if you change your biological sex, then would you be all be allowed to use rest room of your new biological sex. that's what it seems to suggest
to me. >> my understanding is that that surgery really -- i'm no expert. but that surgery involves a series of surgeries. it's not a surgery. it's a series of surgeries. when does one become a biologic biological whatever. >> i don't know the answer to that question. >> how would this policy apply to someone who was in the course of that surgical therapy? >> i don't know. >> you don't know? >> i don't know how that would -- i would be speculating on what the school board -- how they would interpret their policy. >> they didn't discuss that? >> not to my knowledge. >> did they get expert input -- >> there's nothing in the record about expert input. i don't know if it's in the record. a case in pennsylvania was informative to the school board certainly in terms of the decision. it felt like it was legally in a
solid position. >> thank you, mr. corrigan. mr. block? >> thank you, your honor. two important points i want to clear up. one is the notion that boys were objecting to g's presence. we have no idea what the complaints were. they have never been shown to us, described to us or to the court. from looking at the school board meetings, the vast majority of complaints were about people worried that in the hypothetical future some boy could pretend to be a girl and go into the locker rooms. the notion that these complaints were coming from boys who were uncomfortable with g is not -- it's not in evidence on the motion for one thing. a second point i wanted to make is -- this goes to the issue of what the school board knew and some of the harder line drawing questions. this was something being handled by administrators on the ground who didn't see a problem.
what the school board did is they imposed a categorical rule saying, regardless of the specific facts, regardless of the situation on the ground, school administrators never have the power to do anything but what the school board policy says. so this wasn't like a step by step incremental approach. g didn't come to the school board saying, i want you to pass a new policy saying all transgender kids should use the rest rooms consistent with their gender identity, no exceptions. the school -- >> which is fascinating. because today the best learning tells us that the principal is the ceo. and everything you read these days is what we need in public education are strong principals. this principal was doing it. this principal had the situation under control. had the school operating from all that appears in the record
in a really great way. and then some kind of top-down imposition comes along and disrupts what the principal was managing in a very, very humane and ordinarily way. it's ironic, isn't it? >> i agree, your honor. the principal sponsor of the policy was clear. she said, this isn't about disruption. these students are mature enough to handle it. it's not a disruption issue. it's solely a privacy issue. there wasn't actually some crisis on the ground. there wasn't a mass walk-out from the boys rest rooms. stuff was working. until the school board became involved. your honor talked about the school providing these extra privacy options. they announced that six days before the second school board meeting. obviously, i haven't been able to depose anyone. but my understanding is that they were hoping that would head off the problem. but then six days later, after
parent after parent or random community person after random community person threatened to vote the board out of office, what had previously been three votes suddenly turned into a 5-1 vote. no one gave these alternative arrangements a chance. they jumped from alternative arrangements to a ban without the -- in six days before the rest rooms were installed. if you look at the board meetings, it was never about g. it was always about this will open the door to some future sexual predator could come in and -- they are hypothetical concerns that we know from school districts across the country from l.a. to kentucky never actually materialize. no one is saying that -- there's plenty of room for policies that ask for some sort of confirmation that this is
someone's sincerely held gender identity. g had a carrier letter from his doctor confirming this. no one is suggesting a top-down solution the other way. but in the department of education can obviously issue guidance, too. what the district court ruled is that the regulations -- the regulations mean that g automatically loses. we're not saying the regulations means he automatically wins. we're saying, title 9 means he can't be treated differently on basis of sex. there's not an exception in the regulations that authorizes it. certainly, there's room for additional guidance and plenty of model policies for school boards to look at as well. very briefly, this issue of adults versus schools. title 9 is broader than title 7. schools have a special -- it's important for transgender students, too. we know that a denial of an
equal education is worse than denial of a job. the importance of education cuts in our benefit, not theirs. if your honors don't have any further questions, that's all i have for today. >> thank you. on the next washington journal, arnie arneson talks about tuesday's new hampshire primary. the candidates and what's important to new hampshire voters. jack heath host of new hampshire today on wgir am radio gives his preview of the primary. we will take your calls and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. washington journal, live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. every weekend on american history tv on c-span3, we feature programs that tell the american story. some of the highlights for this weekend include saturday night at 8:00 eastern, historian
matthew andrews of the university of north carolina at chapel hill talks about how racial tensions were reflected in sports. >> rocky is a heavy underdog in the first film. he loses in the first film. he loses in a split decision. no one thinks he will do well. does he remarkably well, but he does not win. in knocks out apollo in the most implausible scene. it's impossible. but rocky wins. these were both very popular movies in 1976 and 1979. these are much more than just sports movies. these are movies about race. these are movies about american history. >> at 10:45, professor christopher beacham talks about his book, arguing that alexander graham bell is remembered as the inventor of the telephone despite the contributions of others.
sunday morning, with the upcoming first in the nation new hampshire primary, we look back at the 1992 presidential campaign and arkansas governor democrat bill clinton's second place finish in new hampshire and his positioning as the co comeback kid. >> the evening is young. we don't know yet what the final tally will be. i think we know enough to say with some certainty that new hampshire tonight has made bill clinton the comeback kid. >> we will feature both democratic and republican ads that aired in the granite state, including those of bill clinton and government h.w. bush. at 8:00 p.m. on the presidency, university of washington history professor margaret omara argues the 20th century was shaped by four elections. starting with the election of 1912. for the complete american history tv weekend schedule, go
to c-span.org. on news makers this week, dr. thomas frieden, director of the centers for sdredisease con and prevention discusses the zika virus. watch news makers sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. this week a donor summit to benefit of syrian refugee crisis raised $10 billion. david cameron and other leaders from across the world spoke to reporters at the end of the summit. from london, this is 45 minutes. >> thank you very much. good afternoon. today's conference has seen the largest amount of money ever raised in one day in response to a humanitarian crisis with well over $10 billion pledged. [ applause ]
today has been and is a day of hope, a day about saving lives, a day about building futures, a day about giving people the chance of a future, the chance of a life. and i want to thank everyone that has come and been so generous with their time and with their resources to help this desperate situation. we have combined a renewed effort to address the shortfall in humanitarian funding with a new approach to provide the education and jobs that will bolster stability in the region. all of this is vital work. vital for those suffering inside syria. vital for the refugees. vital for the countries in the region that are doing so much. and taken together what we are delivering today can play a crucial role in preventing
refugees from feeling they need to risk their lives on the treacherous journey to europe. so first on funding, we have secured approaching $6 billion for 2016 alone. for 2016 alone, and a further $5 billion over the longer term to 2020. and it means millions of people will now receive life-saving food, medical care and shelter in syria and beyond. i'm pleased that britain has played its part, doubling what we committed last year with an additional $510 million pounds for 2016 and taking our total funding to the crisis to over 2.3 billion pounds. second, the leaders of jordan, lebanon and turkey have pledged to ensure all refugee and vulnerable children in their countries will have access to education. and the international community is backing them with the resources which will allow them to ensure there is no lost generation.
as a result, one million children currently not in school will have access to education by the end of the next school year. this is not just morally right. it is vital for long term stability. we cannot have a generation of refugees left out of school unable to get work, vulnerable to extremism and radicalization. third, the countries in the region have also made a courageous commitment to open up their economies to create new jobs. again today, the international community is supporting them with the resources to turn this commitment into reality. along with funding for the u.n. appeals, this includes around $40 billion of loans from international financial institutions and the opening up of european markets to encourage growth and investment in the region. as a result, there will be over one million new jobs in the region for refugees and residents alike. now, of course, today's
achievements are not a solution to the crisis. we still need to see a political transition to a new government in syria that meets the needs of all its people. brave aid workers still need access to the hundreds of thousands of innocent syrians stuck in besieged towns. we must urgently redouble our efforts to prevent the intolerable levels of violence against civilians, ensuring all parties in the conflict bring an immediate end to the ongoing violations of international humanitarian law. and we look to russia to use its influence with the regime to end indiscriminate attacks, especially barrel bombing. russia should support steps towards a cease-fire as envisaged by the process and mandated by the un security council. the difficult negotiations of recent days only show how challenging the road ahead will be. but with today's commitments, combined with the un's agreement to drive forward planning for recovery, our message to the
people of syria and the region is clear. we will stand with you and we will support you for as long as it takes to secure peace in syria, to restore stability to the region, and to give syrian refugees a chance to go back and rebuild their homes and their country. but the crucial point about today is the money raised will save lives, will give hope, will give people the chance of a future. and that i think is a good and vital day's work. secretary general? >> thank you, prime minister david cameron. good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. never has the international community raised so much money on a single day for a single crisis. the supporting syria and the region conference has been a great success and i would like to thank and highly commend the leadership of prime minister
david cameron and host sponsors, chancellor angela merkel of germany and prime minister of norway and his highness, emir of kuwait for their strong leadership, engagement and generous contributions. and many other countries, very generous contributions. as of this moment, there is just said by the prime minister more than $10 billion has been pledged. more than half to meet immediate needs in 2016. i thank again all the participants for their generosity and solidarity in supporting syrians who are enduring prolonged horrendous suffering. today's pledges will enable humanitarian workers to continue reaching millions of people with life-saving aid. the promises of long-term
funding and the loan mean that humanitarian and development partners will be able to work together to get children back into school, design employment programs and begin rebuilding infrastructure. the commitment of countries hosting large numbers of refugees to open up their labor markets is a breakthrough. i thank the governments of jordan, lebanon and turkey for choosing solidarity over fear. i'm also encouraged b ed by the commitments to get 1.7 billion children in turkey, lebanon and jordan in school and to increase access to learning opportunities for children inside syria. perhaps most important, i welcome the shared commitment of today's attendees to use their influence to end sieges and
other grave human rights abuses. what will most help the people of syria is not just the food for today, but hope for tomorrow. yet the parties to the conflict remain deeply divided, even on improving the humanitarian situation. i agree with the special envoy that we should not have talks only for the sake of talks. the coming days should be used to get back to the table not to secure more gains on the battlefield. the international community should strive to achieve tangible progress on the ground by the time the talks resume. i thank the british government for hosting us today and thank the co-host again and all participants for their commitment and leadership to the people of syria and for the peace and stability of the region.
i thank you very much. >> thank you very much, secretary general. we are now going to hear from two of our other co-chairs. chancellor merkel of germany and the prime minister of norway who will come to the podium. thank you. >> translator: ladies and gentlemen, dear david cameron, secretary general, i think this has been an important day with an important message for the people in syria, the people who are suffering so desperately, all those displaced refugees within the country but also the refugees that have fled to the neighboring countries of syria but have found a new home or at least an opportunity to survive and to live. it is an important signal, a
signal that over the next years, $11 billion will be made available and it is also very important that we have $6 billion for this year. obviously this means that the work has to start straight away, but before i talk about that, i would like to say thanks, thank you to turkey, to lebanon and to jordan. with their own population, they are now prepared to share with the refugees from syria. this is incredible and for all of those that we are receiving refugees, we know what it means when you have so many new people that are trying to seek refuge in your country. it is an enormous effort. it is an enormous achievement and what we can do by providing some funds for you, that is one
element, but what you do is much more important and we want to help people, not to have to embark on these very dangerous journeys that would take them to europe. we were talking about many things today. we tried to find answers, answers to the humanitarian crisis. we want to secure the programs of the united nations and of unicef. germany has made a contribution for 2016, 1.2 billion euros, and we have very much focused on supporting the nutrition program so that food rations will not be reduced again and obviously, we are also talking about the education. the education of the school children. david cameron has already
mentioned, what we achieved today is very important. we are talking about education for children and work for the adults. education and training for young people and jobs for adults, that is very important people work very hard and i'm very grateful to turkey and lebanon and jordan so that they are now giving work permits because obviously, there is also competition between those that have always been living in those countries and those that have newly come into those countries. european union will do everything possible in order to improve the exporter conditions to give certain trade preferences so that the products can then be sold, because nothing is better for people than having an opportunity to be able to work. all in all, germany will make 2.3 billion available. we will start with that this year. i think that your message of today is very important. first of all, 2016, we will have
the money for the important things, but the projects can be continued. we do have a prospect for the future. that obviously does not replace the political process which needs to be reinforced for the future and we call upon all people involved, we call upon the assad regime and the others to come to a point that we don't create more misery, that we don't cause more people to flee the country, but that we have a political process under way and i think the willingness of the international community to make their contribution is something that should be encouraging for all of those that are participating in the political process in order to make progress on behalf of the people. >> today, all have agreed that we will have no lost generation due to the syria crisis. we have made access to learning and protx of education a top
priority in our response. ambitious tasks -- targets were set for this conference. i have been asked if i really think it's possible to deliver education for all syrian refugees and children by 2016-17. and whether we can ensure safe learning inside syria when and where the humanitarian access. i think we all know that this is not going to be easy. but today's conference has taken us steps in the right direction. a significant amount has been made available by donor countries and private sector to invest in schools, to expand double shifts, to employ teachers, to support non-formal education and much more. and now it's time to start to closing the education gaps, building on the great work already undertaken by the neighboring countries in partnership with the un and civil society.
there's a lot of things that should be done for refugees in the neighboring countries and to help the emergency situation inside syria. but education is an investment in syria's future and in the future stability of the region. hence, it's an investment in all of our common interests. i would like to use this opportunity to thank prime minister cameron and british government for their hospitality and the hard work that they have put into this conference. i would also like to thank the other co-hosts, chancellor merkel and the un secretary general. but not the least, we should all thank the governments of lebanon, jordan and turkey for the big responsibility they take by hosting refugees who have sought protection. today, we have shown that you can count on our increased support and the rest of the
international community in your work, and i think we have made a great step ahead. we all are hoping and pressuring for also a solution politically in syria so that when we are investing in education, the u youth of syria will have the possibility to go back and rebuild their country in not so far the future.4x thank you. >> thank you. thank you very much indeed. for those contributions and your co-chairmanship. we are now going to hear from his excellency, the first prime minister of kuwait and the prime minister davutoglu of turkey.
>> translator: in the game of god most compassionate, it was a great source of pleasure for my country to participate in this very important conference to be alongside the co-hosts of this conference, and in this conference, we heard a confirmation and reiteration of a commitment to put an end to the suffering of the syrian people and to speed up the implementation of the un resolution, resolution number 2254. we have agreed on the working mechanism to follow up the results of this conference and
to seek, to find out what has been already achieved via the work of the un agencies. activities that will be run in the future, amongst which is the first humanitarian summit conference which will be held in istanbul at the end of may next and here, i would like to extend my sincere thanks for all the pledges, the generous pledges that will participate in alleviating the suffering of the syrian people. and i want to point out that there has been a lot of consensus and we must take more consensus in order to bring back security and stability to syria. thank you very much indeed. >> thank you very much.
ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues, prime minister cameron and our co-hosts, first of all, i would like to thank, to our co-hosts, all of them, and of course secretary general of the united nations for this very timely, very meaningful conference. it was meaningful because it was a message to all victims of this crisis, syrians, children, men and woman, everybody in the world. it was timely because it was right at the same time parliament -- so syrians were hoping to receive two messages from london and geneva. one is humanitarian message. the other one is political message. humanitarian message today was a message of hope. we are grateful to all those who contributed to this conference and to the pledges, because this is a message to all syrians that
they are not alone. we, the world leaders, are together united to help them. but message from geneva was not promising at all, because the talks did not continue due to the situation on the ground. but we have to know, all of us we have to know if there is no good message from geneva next time, we will be having many more donors conference in the future without any solution, and we will have to spend more. spending is not so significant. more important is the lives of the syrian people. as turkey, until now, we received 2.5 million, exactly two million, 541, 897 syrians in turkey today as of this time but tomorrow, another 10,000 may be
added because of the situation. so every day the number is increasing. we have 700,000 school age children, 300,000 of them have access to educational services. we hope next year we will be providing education for the rest 400,000. around 7,000 babies were born in camps and 300,000 in other cities of turkey. 250,000 of syrians are in camps. 250,000 or ten times more in the cities of turkey everywhere. they have full access to all hospitals in turkey without any need to show any documents. they have full access to any service in education as i mentioned and we will be providing all, and two weeks ago, i declared that they will have right to access to labor market so they can work in turkey.
because we see them as human beings, as our brothers and sisters. the children that are born in turkey, maybe they are syrian children but they are our children, our grandchildren. we will take care of them. we spent over $10 billion only for those who are in the camps. almost same amount of the pledges today, for the rest of the refugees you can imagine what is the total cost could reach. these are not important as today, i mentioned, what will be the cost in turkish dollar, we will be open to all syrians because every week i am visiting hospitals, sometimes every month we are visiting camps, we are seeing the victims of these people, syria, which is the most tragic one after second world war. we will continue open door policy. we will continue to have -- to
help these people, because as i said this morning, our heart is much bigger than our budget. but the message from geneva was negative, was not promising at all, if not negative. i don't want to give a negative impression. we hope next time that will be better, but the most worrying message came from aleppo. ladies and gentlemen, in last three days, russian war planes bombarded aleppo and regime forces on the ground with foreign fighters, usually when we say foreign fighters, reference is to daesh, but foreign fighters on the side of regime, they attacked aleppo and the humanitarian corridor from turkey to aleppo has been cut off. all the needs, foods, everything, to aleppo where
300,000 people are living, were going from turkey. now i am very sorry to say but at the same time from my heart, i am crying that these humanitarian corridor is now under the invasion of these foreign fighters and regime forces by the support of russian war planes. what they want to do in aleppo today is exactly what they did in my other before, the siege of starvation. when we are talking humanitarian assistance today, middle century traditional starvation siege method is on the ground in syria. before coming here from the morning until now, from the opening session until now, 10,000 new refugees are on our border, 30,000 new refugees escape from camps where 70,000 are living and they are rushing to turkish border in order to
have a safe haven free of the air strikes of russian planes which did not do any strike against daesh in last three days, but they did 351 air strikes against civilians and moderate position in aleppo. if this continues, if there is no core dridor from turkey to aleppo, the un security council will be responsible for the humanitarian disaster in aleppo and nobody will be able to convince people, opposition of syria, to come to geneva table again. in last two weeks we had hard time to convince syrian opposition to come to geneva to support un effort, despite the siege starvation and humanitarian crimes being committed there, but this time, it will be much more difficult our job. i call and i urge all world leaders to work together to help
humanitarian-wise to people in syria like what we did today, but at the same time, to fight against root causes of this crisis, the barbaric regime, barbaric terrorist organization like daesh and those who are supporting them. again, i am grateful to all co-hosts and i hope in istanb istanbul -- secretary general, his initiative, the first ever world humanitarian summit where we will be consulting on syria and all other humanitarian issues around the world. again, thank you very much, mr. prime minister. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. finally we will hear from prime minister salam of lebanon and the deputy prime minister of jordan.
>> ladies and gentlemen, i start by thanking the uk, prime minister cameron, in person for the successful organization of this conference and also the co-hosts for their support to realize what we all expect, the success of this conference. i would also like to refer to our partners in this refugee situation, jordan and turkey, and i would like to say yes, today was a dynamic day, was a
very educated day with all the speeches, all the interventions and all the positions taken to highlight the difficult situation our countries and the refugees are undergoing. we are all satisfied that the result was $10 billion or $11 billion. yes, this seems to be the first time an international pledge of this size is taking place. but i have to emphasize the importance of delivering this pledge.
the necessary mechanism to allow for the payment and the sending of all the funds to the needed countries and to the work that is being done, in education, in economic opportunities, in jobs, in every aspect of this crisis. i have to say we on our part are delivering. we are delivering because we are all engaged in this plight and giving all the hospitality, all the aid, taking all the measures needed to keep the refugees not only warm in their homes, under shelter, receiving education,
receiving food, but also preserving their dignity, preserving their human feelings in a time when unfortunately, atrocities are being committed right and left in the region, in syria in particular, and damage to the people of that region is an ongoing affair. therefore, we would stress the importance of a political solution. for the syrian crisis and for many other situations in the region and worldwide, yes, a collective international genuine effort has to be deployed. we appeal and request to all, especially the big powers,
especially those who have the means and influence and in particular, europe to take care of that situation and find some serious solutions. we will not give up. we will go on handling the situation and look forward for more conferences, more meetings and more sharing the difficulties. thank you, all of you, for all you have been doing and we will keep our promises on our part, keep our responsibilities. thank you. >> thank you very much, prime minister. huge thanks to the government and people of the united kingdom for your hospitality and for the efficient organization of this conference which i believe has produced an historic outcome and it is truly nothing short of historic. and if there's any conference
that translates words into action, we witnessed it today. and thank you, also, to all the co-chairs, secretary general, chancellor merkel, prime minister solberg and of course, kuwait and turkey and lebanon, our partners. let me just say that today was extremely important in terms of the pledges that we saw and felt, but this was a political conference so this was a conference that was designed in my opinion to invest in the security and stability of the region and consequently, the security and stability of many countries, not least of all the security of europe and the rest of the world. it is truly a global issue that we are dealing with. so having said that, and having
mentioned to many in previous discussions that there has to be a holistic approach to the crisis in syria and everything that is related to the crisis in syria, we have seen this week and this week only this hugely important conference, a discussion also on our continued effort regarding extremism and terrorism and how to fight them and combat them effectively but also we saw the launch of negotiations in geneva. yes, suspended for now, but a collective effort and determination to have them resume as soon as possible. ladies and gentlemen, there is no humanitarian solution to the crisis in syria. there's a political solution that will end humanitarian suffering. there's a political solution that will help us all fight extremism and terrorism which is again, a global threat. so i believe that we are all in this together.
this humanitarian crisis, unpress didnun pre precedented humanitarian crisis has spun over to the neighboring countries but the overflow of the spillover has been witnessed by many, not least of all in europe. after six years i think you know the facts and figures, after almost six years of this crisis. jordan today has a population 20% of whom happen to be syrian. this is something that no country regardless of political or economic might, can cope with. our aim is to ensure that jordan will be able to continue carrying the burden of syrian refugees as we have reached our limits because our infrastructure has been stretched way beyond its abilities. let me quote from his majesty king abdullah ii's remarks when he said by partnering with jordan and supporting our refugee response, you will not
only be addressing the urgent needs of millions, you will be helping my country continue to do the right thing, fulfilling a critical role in our region and staying strong for the world, end quote. this is exactly what jordan is all about, ladies and gentlemen. we are there an island of civility in an otherwise volatile region providing an example of stability and security, challenged immensely by this added responsibility of the syrian refugees and as we keep reminding the rest of the world that we are operating as one international community, then i believe that what jordan is doing on behalf of the international community has to be supported by the rest of the members of the international community. let us not, i agree with prime minister davutoglu, let us not forget the humanitarian situation elsewhere in syria. starvation and needless death from disease in different towns and villages in syria, really must keep us up at night in
order to find solutions. let us not also forget palestinian refugees and their plight and the plight of refugees everywhere around the world. let's hope that this is an example of how we can deal effectively with these issues. help us to help the syrians, help us to help you so we can help each other address the syrian situation effectively. just a couple of words, if i may, prime minister and dear colleagues. >> translator: i hope -- i want to reiterate my gratefulness to david cameron and to the government of the united kingdom as well as to the co-hosts, secretary general of the united nations, her excellency, angela merkel, the prime minister of norway, kuwait, turkey, the prime minister of lebanon.
yes, we are facing those challenges as an international community. we are bearing this additional burden as a result of the syrian refugees. as a territory, as a region and as an international community and therefore, we always want to remind that this conference is a political conference, a political conference in a distinguished way and as his majesty the king said this morning, that of course, as far as the priorities are concerned, for him, is the jordanian person so we need solutions in order to enable jordanians to bear this burden, which has no precedent and of course -- were positive, we appreciate them. we have come to a crossroad. the world should respond so we
can find a solution to the syrian crisis. jordan has been a wonderful example, respecting security and peace, having this generosity of heart and hand. everybody who fears for his life has come to us. everybody who wants to find a home has found a home in jordan. so therefore, we give all our thanks to great britain and we have to continue. we have to continue in achieving this political solution because there is no other solution for this basic problem, for this syrian problem. must be a political solution. we have to exert the effort in order to achieve that political solution by coordinating our efforts and our actions. once again, thank you very much, mr. cameron and thank you for the co-hosts. thank you. >> thank you. thank you very much indeed, gentlemen. thank you.
thank you. we have some questions now. i think we will start with the british media. bridget kendall from the bbc. >> prime minister, secretary general, distinguished guests, there have been previous donor conferences for syria and every time it just seems as though the refugee crisis gets bigger and the fighting gets worse. isn't there a danger the same thing is happening this time round and all your impressive pledges will ring rather hollow? if i might just add a very specific question to you, mr. cameron, after your meetings here today, how confident are you in getting the backing of eu leaders for your planned reform? >> all i would say about the conference today is that it will make a difference. it will make a difference in terms of saving lives, in terms of providing medicine, in terms of providing shelter and food and these are important because
we are fulfilling our moral responsibility as countries to those people who are caught up in this terrible conflict. so today will make a difference. but yes, you are absolutely right that what's required is every speaker has said is a political solution. that needs to start with cease-fires and then it moves to a transitional government and in the end what we need in syria is what we need everywhere in the world, a government that can represent the interests of all the people of syria. but before that happens, even after that happens, there are going to be millions of syrians in the region in syria itself who are going to need our help. and what we have done today is raise the money, raise the pledges, now we need to see the money, raise the pledges to make sure those people can at least have the chance of a future because they are able to stay alive and because of the way this conference has been organized, they are able to provide for themselves and their families in the countries neighboring syria. a real breakthrough not just in terms of money but in terms of how we handle these refugee
crises. as for the second issue raised, i have had the opportunity of lots of very positive meetings here but today isn't about britain and europe. today is about syria. it's about syrian refugees and how we help them. i think we have gone a long way to raising the money that's going to be needed this year in advance of what we hope is a political solution. i think the second question we have got from the german media. >> translator: miss merkel, whatever was decided today, is this going to help germany and the germans and is this a kind of liberating coup, where today we saw in a very impressive way how people in syria suffer and how difficult it is for the refugees to leave their home
country and how they find refuge in the neighboring countries and therefore, that's the top priority for me, but nobody leaves the country without thinking about it. there are 6.54 million people at least who have been displaced within syria, who have to move. there are more than five million outside of sere why wyria who h displaced and we do everything possible to make sure they don't need to be away from their home country and the conference here made a significant contribution to this. nevertheless, it does not replace the humanitarian responsibility of europe if we see here what the neighboring countries are making available that are very small in terms of inhabitants who accommodate a lot of refugees, it is important that europe makes a contribution. something we were able to demonstrate today is that we contribute to the fact that it's
not people smugglers and illegality that do business to the detriment of the poor people, but it is about a legal way to fight against the reasons for fleeing and for exodus to offer jobs, to offer prospects for the future and we will also keep working towards making sure that europe can meet its other obligations. >> finally, we have a question from kuwaiti tv. >> translator: is there a difference on the philosophy and the steps that are going to be taken in order to help the syrian people. what do you believe -- what are your thoughts about what kuwaitis have done in previous years in order to alleviate the suffering of the syrian people? thank you. >> translator: first of all, at
the very outset, i would like to thank all those countries which have applauded what kuwait has done and of course, the other co-hosts, especially in the full conference here. now, the position of kuwait as far as its commitment towards its brethren, syrian brothers and sisters, in order to alleviate their suffering of those people, the philosophy of this conference of course, the basic concept is to have opportunity for education, to have jobs which will be created, as far as humanitarian matters are concerned, there is responsibility which falls on us all together, the united kingdom, germany, norway, to offer those programs. yes, we were capable of
submitting those ideas to the conference and he has told you what has been achieved through the pledges, but i want to say that the three conferences held in kuwait, yes, kuwait wanted to go even further. kuwait wanted to go further -- taken by those conferences. the second and third conferences, there was a question of special treatment for the neighboring countries which are bearing a tremendous weight of receiving syrian refugees, and therefore, we earmarked a very large part and a very large percentage from the contribution so that we can help our brothers in jordan and in lebanon and in turkey. but we went even further. we went to egypt and what we concentrated on was opening
opportunities for health and education in order to help those host countries, in order to expand education, for what they are doing to receive these huge numbers. so i believe that this full conference today has taken into consideration the actual needs of the syrian people as far as education and humanitarian aid is concerned and the opportunities of work, and we hope that we are going to find the political solution so it can put an end to the suffering of our brothers in syria. thank you. >> the government and people of kuwait have played an absolutely superb role in bringing together the world for the last three years to raise money for this vital refugee appeal. i absolutely applaud the work they have done. i think it's important this year to build on that work and that's why i was so honored to co-chair this conference with angela merkel, with his excellency, the deputy prime minister and
previously the emir of kuwait because this does not just affect the region. this affects us all. it affects us all as human beings but it also affects us right here in europe. i think it's important to bring the world together and to ask everybody to do what they can to raise the money because that's essential, but also to support the neighboring countries and indeed, to look at new ways of helping with refugee crises such as this by allowing families to sustain themselves in the region because of course, people's first choice is to go back to syria. they can't do that, to go back to the country they love and the homes they built. their second choice is probably to stay in the region and to work if they can and sustain themselves. so i think it's right that this crisis affects us all, that european countries have played such an important role here today. but i applaud the role kuwait has played and continues to play. with that, can i thank everyone who has come so far for this conference today. can i thank everyone for their generosity in the pledges that have been made.
can i thank all those who helped to organize what i think has been a very successful conference raising this record sum of money. i declare this conference closed. thank you. [ applause ] ♪ if you're interested in the process, it all has to begin in iowa and then in new hampshire. we don't set the rules in terms of which state is first or second. we certainly have to cover the candidates where they are. there are a lot of people interested in this election. every four years, the american people make a decision to say who should be the leader of the free world, who should be our president, and so for those who
want to follow the process and do it in a way that is completely unfiltered, we are the only place that does that. the other thing to keep in mind, though, is that as you look at this campaign and you look at these candidates you are able to see how they are able to try to close the deal and during the final days of any campaign there's a lot of attention on every nuance, every news story, every speech, every ad, how is one candidate trying to rebut the other, how are you trying to respond to those in a day and age of social media and twitter, the news cycle is constant. so we are the one place that can allow you to take a step back and watch it. you can get the analysis on other networks, you can certainly hear viewer calls and weigh in on the programming but we are the one place that just allows you to see it as it happens and make up your own decision. >> road to the white house coverage continues this weekend.
first we will take you to new hampshire, where republican presidential candidate carly fiorina holds a town hall with voters. that's live at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. then to portsmouth, new hampshire where hillary clinton holds a campaign rally. that's live at 7:15 p.m. eastern also on c-span. one of the things that i saw throughout this entire timeline is that most of the founding fathers and the early presidents knew in their minds that slavery was wrong. they knew it. but they weren't willing to inconvenience their own lives to make that come true. >> sunday night on q & a, associated press reporter jesse holland discusses his book "the invisibles, the untold story of african-american slaves in the white house." >> the majority of the first presidents, majority of the founding fathers who became presidents, they were all slave
owners. so they would bring in slaves from their plantations. george washington did this as well. he brought in slaves to new york city and philadelphia from mt. vernon and they served as the first domestic staff to the united states president. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on q & a. president obama spoke at the 64th annual national prayer breakfast in washington, d.c. he was joined by house speaker paul ryan, minority leader nancy pelosi and 2015 heisman trophy winner derek henry. the keynote address was delivered by husband and wife producers mark brunette and roma downy who talked about the challenges of mixing christian themed movies and hollywood.
>> good morning. could everyone take your seat so we can start the program? we want to get started this morning. we have a great lineup here this morning at our head table and we are excited that again, that everyone is here and i just, as i mentioned before, i represent robert adderholt from the state of alabama. i'm privileged to be here with my co-chair for this event. my new best friend, warren vargas from the state of california. just so you know, over the past 13 months, we have been praying and we have been working and we have been praying some more about what happens over the next 75 minutes. we have prayed this head table
together. we have prayed for you that are here in this ballroom. for those that are in the auxiliary overflow room which are probably enjoying an even better breakfast than we are having. some out there are watching it on a computer screen monitor. some are watching by television. we are praying for everyone that's listening or that's in our presence, because we believe that jesus and his reconciling power of prayer is so desperately needed these days. so thank you for showing up and for your prayers. here's the most obvious thing that you will hear and that's we all need all the help we can get. i would like to introduce my co-chair, congressman vargas. he served in the jungles of el salvador as a jesuit missionary and now he serves in the jungles of the house of representatives. he grew up on a chicken ranch and quite honestly that's a high
qualification for government service in my district. he brings great joy and passion to his new responsibilities in the house of representatives. i wish all of you could just spend a couple of hours with him. what's so maddening about the place we work is that there is so much division and it prevents us from appreciating each other and from understanding the wonderful strengths that 435 unique individuals have that we all work with. and if you are not from around here, you might not know that juan here, we call him paco. if i refer to him as paco you'll know that's who i'm referring to, he is a progressive democrat. i'm a conservative republican. and our voting records are probably about as similar to our hairstyles. but i love him. i know he loves me because we share a common friend, jesus. >> i appreciate it, brother.
thank you. that is so true. i do love robert and i appreciate it. compared to robert, i just got here. he served 20 years in the house which seems like 90 dog years, i think. quite some time. prior to coming here, he was a judge and i bet he was a great one. he's good at seeing things from all sides and all angles. it's really a rare gift. i represent southern california and he represents northern alabama. these places are very different, according to most demographics, but they are alike in that both are full of folks with really a very deep faith. one of the landmarks of robert's district is the beautiful 60-foot high sandstone bridge called natural bridge and like that bridge, robert is able to connect people. he brings people together to get work done for america. robert and i have the responsibility of facilitating the weekly prayer group of members of the house, the house has had such a group for over 50
years now. this group includes republicans, democrats, older members, younger members, women and men and folks from different faith traditions. we have much yet to accomplish but we are making progress by coming together in unity again around jesus. this morning's event is simply a big public version of what we do intimately and privately every week of the house is in session. we hope we all make progress here today as well. one idea we would like to plant in your minds this morning is despite our very busy schedules and all our differences, we make time to come together every week and pray. could you do that in your city? your workplace? your mission in life? if a lefty chicano from california and a conservative judge from alabama can do it, why can't you? [ applause ] >> now i would like to introduce
to you who will be leading this morning and if you could please hold your applause until i introduce the entire head table. way down to my right is a hero of alabama, heisman trophy winner derrick henry of the university of alabama, the national champion university of alabama. roll, tide. he's got some big shoulders so we asked kevin to carry us all the way through the program this morning so he will finish with our closing prayer. you already met major general vance. thank you for being here. next, we have our counterparts from that other chamber that are here with us on the capitol center. tim kaine of virginia and senator dozeman from arkansas. they will be sharing greetings from the senate group shortly. you should know that in about an hour, they will start working on the 2017 breakfast so gentlemen, thank you for your leadership
and as we hand the torch over to you in a few minutes. >> thank you. most important to me, i would like to introduce my beautiful wife of 25 years, adrian vargas. honey, you are truly a gift, you truly are a gift from god to me. i love you very much. next is a distinguished member of the president's cabinet. secretary of housing and urban development which he has dubbed the department of opportunity. prior to federal service, he was a mayor of san antonio, texas. secretary hul julian castro will be offering a prayer for the needs of the poor. next of course is the first lady, michelle obama. and it is impossible to hold your applause for her. it really is. we love her. first lady michelle obama is a lawyer, a writer and the wife of the 44th and current president, president barack obama.
she is the first african-american first lady of the united states and has become a role model and advocate for poverty awareness, higher education and healthy living. >> continuing down the table is our brand new speaker of the house, paul ryan of wisconsin. we haven't even cut the tags off of him yet, he's so new. and he is a great colleague with a lot of energy. he has a lot of knowledge and has a lot of faith. and we are honored to have him with us while he's still fresh. sitting next to him is democrat leader and former speaker of the house of representatives, nancy pelosi of california. she has been a strong and gracious force on so many issues during her time serving in congress and she will offer a roading from the scripture. next to her is my dear wife and best friend, caroline. we are blessed -- thank you.
we have been blessed by trying to put god in the center of our relationship each day and so i appreciate her being here and her support through all this. by the way, adrian, juan's wife and caroline have informed juan and myself that this does not count as a date. >> we tried. next our keynote speakers who will be introduced in a bit. next is the honorable judge robert r. rigstein of the district of columbia superior court. he served our nation in so many ways including service in the united states army for 34 years. his service makes him the first district judge ever deployed to a theater of war. robert and i are blessed to have the judge as a member of the weekly prayer group. he will offer a prayer for national leaders. next, the discontinuitinguished
jack emporat, who is a great hero of ours because he has done about as much as anyone alive to try to bring people together of all the world's great religious traditions to find common ground. he will offer a reading from the scriptures. >> quite a group, isn't it? they will each approach the podium when it's their turn and so thank you all for being here and for leading us this morning. [ applause ] >> i finally would like to introduce a returning favorite artist to the prayer breakfast. andrea bocelli. andrea bocelli's voice and spirit has lifted hearts and souls all around the world. we are pleased to share his gifts with you this morning as he sings "heavenly bread."
he will be singing in italian, of course. but listen to his words in english. they go as this, like this. heavenly bread that becomes the bread of all bread from the angelic host that rjz is the end of all images. all miraculous thing, this body of god will nourish even the poorest, the most humble of servants, even the poorest, the most humble of servants. amen. to share a few, remarks and a song, please welcome andrea bocceli. [ applause ] ♪
arkansas, and i can prom you next year, when tim and i are running a show, we won't be following that. simply remarkable. how does anybody do that? it really is a pleasure to be with you all and to be with my colleagues. i greatly appreciate his friendship and have had the pleasure of working with him this last year. as co-chair of the senate prayer breakfast. as the fellows are going to put this event on next year, together we realize we're part of a very, very long great tradition. >> it's humbling to think the prayer breakfast we're part of has been meeting longer than either of us have been alive, and in my case that's been a while. it's exciting also that it's going to go on. we meet, we have personal prayer
reques requests, who would believe that an hour of fellowship per week centered on the teachings of jesus could make such a difference? you should go back to your communities, as you go back to the different countries represented. the example that we have today, the example that we have every week in the house, that's how you change hearts. >> well, good morning. >> good morning. >> what a wonderful occasion. it is truly good to be here with my friend john bozeman. when i was young, i spent part of 1980 and '81 living with jesuits in a small community in honduras and learned from that
experience the power of a small group inned advancing your spiritual life. and it's been my blesseding to have opportunities since in my parish in richmond with a group of legislators when i was lieutenant governor and governor and now in the senate working with john bozeman in the senate prayer breakfast tradition. we're here in a very, very large room. and there's greatness in a large room, but i think a lot of us are here because there's greatness in small rooms and small groups. now a word of introduction. within nine months, the government of the united states shut down. >> when the government reopened, we had a hard task on our shoulders was that congress was charged with finding a budget
deal by the end of the kallcale year. senator patty murray. a person who knows that the american people send us here not to express our opinions are louder than the next person, but to be principled but also respect and work with the principle of others. and we found the deal that enabled us to move forward. in due season, we will reap if we do not give up. ladies and gentlemen, the speaker of the house, paul ryan.
>> thank you very much. first of all, i want to express my gratitude to my friends, robert and juan for hosting us here today. thank you. thank you for what you've dope opinion -- done. and i want to applaud their work to raise awareness of the plight of the persecuted christians around the world. you could not have come here for a better reason. prayer is a part. it goes all the way back to the declaration of independence. it's only natural.
i've noticed you see it in the papers or you see it on twitter, when people say we're praying for someone or something, the attitude in some quarters these days is don't just pray, do something about it. the thing is, when you are praying, you are doing something about it. [ applause ] >> whenever people are in grief, or even when they're about to start some great undertaking, they feel the worst pain of all. they feel alone. how am i going to get through this. why is this happening to me? my god, my god, why have you
fore saken me? that is why there is nothing more comforting or more humbling, really, than to hear someone say i'm praying for you. because when you hear that, you realize you're not alone. god is there. and hundreds, if not thousands, if not millions of people are all speaking to him on your behalf. . >> what it says is dignity of the person.
as christians, we especially can appreciate this truth. we belief in jesus christ. we believe god came down from heaven and became a man with a name and a body so that we could know him. we could begin to understand. he walked among the poor and the lowly of this world so that he could raise us to new heights in the next. pray without seizing and in all circumstances give thanks. thank you and welcome.
. >> 50 this spirit of love, joy, affection, a sense that an environment is produced these days that elicits the very best in us. and there's a constant struggle in everyone to find a way in which our best selves emerges. we manifest the love of god and one's fellow human being. and it calls us to something higher, to a calling that gives us the nobility of what it means to be a child of god.
in this spirit, i would like to read from the book of isiah, chapter 58. it's a reading that is done every young kipper, every day of atonement, in every synagogue throughout the world. it's a day, incidentally, where jews fast. and yet on this very day when jews fast, they read this. it's such the fast that i choose a day for a man to humble himself. would you call this a fast a day acceptable to the lord, is not this the fast that i choose? to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the thongs of the yolk, to let the
oppressed go three and to braet every yankee. so it not to share your bread with the hungry and to bring the homeless poor into your house. when you see the naked, to cover him and not to hide yourself from your own flesh. then shall your light break forth like the dawn and your healing shol spring up speedily. your righteousness shall go before you, the glory of the lord shall be your god. then you shall call and the lord will answer. you shall cry, and he will say, here i am. if you take away from the midst of you the yolk, pointing of the finger and the speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noon day and the lord
will guide you continually and satisfy your desire with good things, make your bones strong, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters fail not. and your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt. you shall raise up the foundations of many generations. you shall be called the repairers of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in. [ applause plauz [ . >> good morning, president and mrs. obama.
let us pray. dear lord, we gather here as one, connected by the strength of our faith, by our pride in this great nation and by our common bond as children of god. let us remember that each of us is beloved equally in the guys of our lord. and let us serve as in .instruments who spread your mercy to our brothers and our sisters. jesus told the disciples in the book of matthew that what we do unto the least among us, we do unto him. so just as the grace of god provides nourishment to our souls and sanctuary for our spirits, we must fro provide food to the hungry, care for the ailing, shelter to the poor.
the bible inb instrustructs us unity in our faith and compassion for all men and women through the example of christ. and i pray that we will find inspiration for the second chapter of phillipians which reads, so if there is any encouragement in christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind, do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. having this in mind among yourselves, which is yours in
christ jesus, who though he was in the form of god, did not count equality with god a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking the form of a servant and being born in the likeness of man. amen. temperature and god bless. >> good morning. mr. president and mrs. obama, all of the distinguished guests gathered here in prayer, i know we all want to thank dongman juan vargas and congressman robert adderhall for their leadership in making this morning's breakfast such a success. and i thank them for giving me the opportunity to read the following reading from the gospel of john.
as we hear these words from john 13:15, we know that this message and command. from the torah, it says love your neighbor as yourself. none of you has faith until he lues for his brother or his neighbor what he loves for himself. and now from the gospel of john. when jesus knew his hour had come to depart out of this world to the father, jesus knowing the father had given all things into his hands and that he had come from god and was going to god,
rose from the meal, took off his outer clothing and wrapped a towel around his waist. after that he began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with a tower. when he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and rn returned to his place. do you understand now that i your lord and teacher have washed your feet, you should also watch one another's feet. i have sent you an example as you should do like i have done for you. i tell you no servant is greater than his moster, nor is any messenger greater than the one who sent him. a little while later, as the
they may guide to bring us to complete unity. that is the gospel of the lord. we're united by our service to god and to one another. amen. thank you. >> good morning. good morning! >> good morning. >> mr. president, our first lady, this is truly the day the lord has made. let us rejoice and be glad in it. let us pray. thank you, father, for allowing us to live in a country where we
can come together in your precious name in peace, fellowship and communion, offering you praise, glory and honor. we ask that you watch over our president barack obama as he literally carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. continue to lead and guide him and bless him with the courage of david and the wisdom of solomon. bless all our leaders from all branches of government. father, bless the leaders from around the world who are chajed with a great response nlt to calm in the midst of chaos and midst of wore. our lies begin and end the day before we become silent about things that truly matter.
we pray our leaders are led by faith. we've been granted this awesome responsibility to lead. father, your word provide us guidance. we must first cast out the beam out of thine own eye and then shall thalt shee clearly to cast the mote out of our brother's eye. i trey that our leaders will understand to earn hur position of leadership, we must constantly sit in judgment of ourselves. this is not an easy or comfortable task, but it is one that is essential, whether it's
at a prayer meeting or during times of self-reflection. we must examine our actions in the crucible of our faith. ph this nation has invested so much in me. afghanistan and iraq a as united states army officer, my unwaivering faith sustained me while i served in a combat zone away from my wife and my son. my faith sustained me when i was paralyzed shortly after returning from afghanistan. we relied oour faith to sustain us and keep us. without faith, i know i would not be standing here today. i literally would not be standing here today.
phat e, remind our leaders that you told us to have faith in all we do, not some of what we do, but all we do. let our leaders know it's through prayer and faith that our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines that work to secure our homeland will return home where war will be no more. faith will keep them or guide them. for i know firsthand that it is because of my faith in the power of prayer that i stand before you today. a beacon of justice and peace around the world.
>> thank you god for answering our prayers. we offer all these prayers up to the father. mark burnett and roma downey are two of television's most successful producers. they made over 3,000 hours of american tv that airs in over 70 countries and received eight emmy awards. they have some of television's most iconic shows including "the voice" "shark tank" "survivor" and their major motion picture "son of god." mark burnett is the president of mgm television and digital and his wife roma is chief content officer of light works media.
to give you an idea of some of their work, we're going to look at a brief flip from their hit television series "the bible." >> lady, i believe your son is the promised king of his people. what is his name? >> jesus. his name is jesus. >> some think he's the prophet. some even call him the messiah. >> i'm just a voice in the wilderness preparing the way for the lord. what are we going to do?
and have seen for many years and love this prayer breakfast. we're especially grateful this year to be speaking at president obama's last prayer breakfast. it's such an honor. we're also really, really glad to be here to share with you a little bit of our story about our immigrant grant blue collar roots of coming to america. >> it's an honor to be here as a married couple and do this together. as we hear, we're the first husband and wife team ever to speak at the national prayer breakfast. mark and i have been working together side by side for years. most couples can't even do yard work together without argue, and yet we have been together every day producing "the bible" and "a.d." and the soon to be released epic feature film "ben
hur." and i just have to acknowledge mr. morgan freeman who is here today who is one of the stars of "ben hur." spending so much time together as a husband and wife is a blessing and a challenge. and perhaps the real miracle is that we're still speaking to each other. as business parts, we have different styles and approaches. i might tap gently on a door and my husband might kick the door down. there is an art, of course, to public speaking. it should feel like a graceful dance. and speaking today, we will try not to step on each other's toes.
fred astaire and ginger rogers moved so well together. and remember that ginger did everything fred did but she did it backwards and in high heels. for the girls. of course, as you may be able to tell from our accents, i am irish, my husband is english, but we don't hold that against him. >> okay, i admit it. i was born in england, but i'm very lucky now to be an american citizen. so we can officially celebrate fourth of july. i'm also lucky, i'm the only person in the room that is married to an actual angel. i know what you're thinking,
yes, i have been touched by an angel. well, we are married. >> i was born and raised in dairy city northern ireland near the bog side section and darey is the second city of the north and as you know, it was home to a great deal of violence and unrest, particularly in the 1970s and '80s. and our city was divided by a river, which flowed through the middle, segregating the communities and catholics lived on one side, protestants lived on the other and never the twain did meet. and he hardly ever crossed the river to the other side. and those were scary and often dangerous times. when i was just ten 10 years of age, my mother died. and i remember going to her grave when a fierce gun battle
broke out at the cemetery and i narrowly missed being shot. the bullet hole singed the coat i was wearing and missed my head by inches. surely i must have had an angel watching over me that day. and through my teenage year, i can remember sitting in my little bedroom looking out at the rain and listening to one of the only cassettes i ever owned. it was simon and garfunkle's greatest hits and i loved the lyrics, for they created a poetic world where you could hear the sounds of silence. and it seemed possible that you could really build a bridge over troubled waters. and the lyrics painted picture for me, a picture of america and a seed was planted. the american dream represented freedom and opportunity and there was a young irish
teenager, an american dream was born in my heart. this great country provided us with the opportunities to make our dreams reality. >> we both came seeking that same american dream. 30 years ago, i left the british army parachute regiment and i moved to los angeles with zero skills. but i did need a job and a place to live, and i had a friend from home who lived in beverly hill and worked as a chauffeur for a rich family. he suggested a chauffeur might be a good job. at least i could drive a car. but there were no chauffeur jobs available. but there was a job advertised. it sounded great. it was a live-in position in beverly hills. got paid a week, and the job did come with a room, a car and even cable tv.
the trouble was there were two words right at the front of the job description which made no sense for a guy from the parachute regiment. those two words were child care. my friend nick told me it was a waste of time even going to the interview, but i remember him saying, mark, come on, how are you going to go from being a commando yesterday to mary poppins tomorrow. really. but i knew i was desperate. so i showed up that night at 624 north beverly drive beverly hills for a job interview. it was crazy. keep in mind i was 22 years of age, and i had just come out of the army. irving, the husband, began by asking what on earth i thought i was doing there. here he had a 3-year-old from this marriage, a 17-year-old and a 19-year-old from the previous marriage, and what did he
possibly need another 22-year-old kid from? kid for? what he said he needed was a nanny anticipate a housekeeper. just then his wife patty cut him off and said, well, you have an accent. where are you from? i said ma'am, i'm from london. she said oh, we love london. the husband did not crack a style. he started drilling me to get rid of me. he said in job isn't just about chasing a 3-year-old around a beverly hills estate. you need to do some cleaning, can you clean mark? i said sir, i just left four years in the british army. they came around with a white glove to inspect our lockers every day. no one ever found a speck of dust on my locker. pat pi smiled and erv got even more annoyed. then he asked me, okay, can you do laundry? i said sir, laundry, we have to
do all our own washing and ironing, i could iron a shirt with a crease so sharp you could shave with it. patty was loving this. but then erving finally got me. he said mark, can you cook? i said sir, i'm british, my mum can't even cook. anyway, i thought i wasn't getting the job. a few hours later, patty called the number i left with my friend nicholas and said it was a very tough sell, but you got the job, can you start tomorrow? and then i began the next day in america as a domestic help nanny housekeeper at 624 north beverly drive, beverly hills. here's what's really amazing. last year, roma and i, as a lot
of you know, merged our company into mgm, which made me the president of the mgm television. i was given a top floor office of mgm. and i looked at this incredible view over l.a., the hollywood sign, beverly hills. and then it dawned on me. the address of this building is 245 north beverly drive. i looked out the window and i could actually see the house where i was a nanny at 624 north beverly drive. you have to know 24 can only happen in america. it's the american dream. >> there are certain things that could only happen in america. back when i immigrated from ireland, i lived in new york city, and the very first job i had there was checking coats in
a very fancy upper west side restaurant. and the meals were lovely, but so expensive, and i never could have afforded to eat there myself. one night i checked the coach of regis philbin. he was the very first celebrity i ever met. an he gave me a $20 tip and i thought i had died and went to heaven. and just a few years later, i was in los angeles starring on a tv show called "touched by an angel" enit had millions of viewers each week. and soon i was invited to fly back to new york and be a guest on "the regis philbin show."
checking goats one moment, starring on television the next. only in america. i remember i told regis that story and he laughed and he laughed and he was just so glad that he hadn't stiffed me. for almost ten years, i had the privilege of playing the angel monica on television opposite the great dela reese. and we were undercover angels who showed up at a cross roads in people's lives. often when they had hit the bottom and when they were breaking this, they reached out to god for help. i got to deliver a message of
bible on prime time tv. they know the story and they can get that in church. well, as the americans in this room know, the bible became the most talked about television show in america. that he showed the first game from the national hockey league, but head to head the bible beat hockey. >> the bible was also against a show "the walking dead" and we won. my favorite headline ran on cnn,
"god beats zombies." faith was and is alive and well in america. the series ignited a much larger conversation about god and faith in this country. kwerp also humbled that people were inspired to see us, daring to speak out about our love of jesus, daring to talk about our faith in god and our sincere belief in the power of prayer. i can honestly say that i have
never made a decision in my life big or small that i didn't pray about first. the most dangerous brayer you can pray is lord use me. you have to be ready that he might just do so. >> yeah, it was a tv show, but we're also still telling the story of the most sacred book of all time, the bible. it's a really important huge responsibility on our shoulders. we signed up 40 scholars and advisers. by the way, many of you are in this room right now. you know who you are and you backed us from the very
beginning and stood shoulder to shoulder with you with us and we thank you so much all of you in this room who backed us. i think it's fair to say we have become hollywood's noisiest christians. at least 90 million americans attend church each sunday in this country. the christian community is a mainstream community. they watch nfl, they go to
beyoce concerts. it's the community that loves jes jesus, loves their country. it's a very cool community, made up of millions of young believers, many of whom have tattoos, earrings. they ride skateboards, they surf, they tweet, they're entrepreneurs and a vibrant part of the new american economy. owe. >> i remember sitting under the shade of a rock and scripting with actors or praying with them as they prepared for a scene. when we were getting ready to shoot the crucifixion scene, i sent out an e-mail requesting
that prayers would be sent ahead of us to clear the way. the wind was high, the sun was scorching and we prayed for safety and that god would use the series to open hearts to him. and we had a man on the set whose job it was to wrangle snakes and scorpions from each of the locations. and normally he found about one or two snakes a day, but on the morning of the crucifixion, he removed 48 snakes from around the hillside of galgatha. and we believe that was the power of prayer at work and the symbolism of the snake wasn't lost on any of us.
we still hadn't cast the most important role of jesus. so i sent out an e-mail all my contacts with the header, looking for jesus. due to of a severe remarkable coincidences, we came across a portuguese actor. and as he walked up our garden path to meet us for the first time, i turned to mark and i said there he is, there's our jesus. and he was an answer to a prayer, and his touching and affecting performance as jesus helped to inspire millions of people around the world.
>> the actor beautifully portrayed, as you saw on the screen jesus in the bible series. everyone in the whole country was talking about this hispanic actor. it reminds us of a great story. there are a couple of old men who were christians. they lived next door to each other. one was an old black man. one was an old white man. they loved each other and did everything together. in fact, they only had one disagreement. the old black man was sure jesus was black and the other white man was just as sure that jesus was a white man. neither could ever convince the other. one day these great friends died together in a car accident. on their way up to heaven the old black man said, buddy, you're about to find out i was right all along. jesus is a black man. and the old white man said i'm sorry, you're going to have to find out this way because when we meet him, you're going to see
that jesus is, in fact, a white man. they got there in great anticipation and jesus walked out to meet them and he mile smil -- smiled at them and said buenos dias. . >> i suppose when you think about it, jesus could have been irish. he lived at home until he was 30. he never got married, and his mother thought he was god.
we also know being in media comes with responsibility to those whom much is given, much is expected. and we are so pleased that ur step of faith has reinvigorated faith and family programming in this country and is hopefully and a whole new generations of artists inspires and unifies. we have always believed that it is far more effective to light a candle than to curse the darkness. let me say that again. let me say that again. we believe it's far more effective to light a candle than to curse the darkness. that's what we try to do.
to light as many candles as we can in in hostile and hurting world. it's very easy to divide people and very difficult to bring people together. did you know what we learned back in the bible, just among christians alone, there are over 30,000 denominations. think about that. it's crazy, right? and many have argued about their views of jesus for thousands of years. so for us, working across the pros assistant and catholic community, working very detailed way with the jewish community, it was very, very challenging to make everybody happy as we told the story of the bible. we worked very, very hard. many people here advised us so closely. and we lerched to become bridge builders. and bridge building became our
mission. >> building bridges has become so much or our mission. and i know the power of a bridge from my own life's journey growing up in war-torn northern ireland. but today, if you go to dairey, you'll find something new there. peace has been restored there and there's now a walking bridge built across the river foil. and it's aptly called the peace bridge. and it stands in defiance of all that once divided us, our very own bridge over troubled water. protestant and catholic children now play together. but more than that, the old hurts are healing. the leaders in northern ireland finally sat down and talked to each other and listened to each other. we are at a time in the world's
history whether there's so much pain and fear and decision. race and religion and in politics. the bridges to peace are harder to build. may we all find our dividing lines and work until we've built our own bridges of peace across them. on this day of the national prayer breakfast. we pray that with god's help, we can heal some of the wounds that hurt us. but it ge begins with us. perhaps a good place to start is to see the image of god in the eyes of everyone you meet.
jesus said by this you will know that you follow me, that you love one another. for in this spirit is the power of true faith, that we learn to love each other. that film than powerful ways of bringing inspirational and hope and emotional stories that open your heart. people will have forget what you said. people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
[ applause ] >> wow. thank you so much. muchos gracias. [ laughter ] >> i have to say thank you again. thank you so much. our purpose in this breakfast every year is to lift up jesus as the solution to the problems of the world. we came together to love and pray for the president of the united states and his family.
we do this with all our hearts and we appreciate the message today that you brought to us. it was the uplifting. mr. president, when we were in law school together, i spoke to one of our classmates. he may have even become a supreme court justice someday. so there's still time, mr. president. there's still time. you're a young man. but all kidding aside, mr. president, we honor you for your dignity. we honor you for your integrity. we honor you for your faith the way you honor god with your life and your service to all of us. ladies and gentlemen, for one last time at our national prayer
breakfast it is my honor to introduce the president of the united states. [ applause ] >> thank you so much. thank you. thank you very much. thank you so much. thank you. very kind. thank you very much. good morning. >> good morning, mr. president. >> giving all praise and honor to god for bringing us together here this morning. i want to thank everyone who helped organize this breakfast, especially our co-chairs robert and juan, who embodied the tradition of friendship, fellowship, and prayer. i will begin with a confession.
i have always felt a tinge of guilt motorcading up here at the heart of d.c.'s rush hour. i suspect not all the commuters were blessing me as they waited to get to work, but it's for a good cause. a national prayer brunch doesn't have the same ring to it, and michelle and i are extremely honored as always to be with so many friends, with members of congress, with faith leaders from across the country and around the world, to be with a speaker, a leader. i want to thank mark and roma for their friendship and their extraordinary story in sharing those inspiring words.
andre for sharing his remarkable gifts. on this occasion, i always enjoy reflecting on a piece of scripture that's been meaningful to me or otherwise sustained me throughout the year and lately i've been thinking and praying on a verse from second timothy. for god has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. for god has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. we live in extraordinary times, times of extraordinary change. we're surrounded by tectonic
shifts in technology and our economy, by destructive conflict, disruptions to our environment and it all reshapes the way we work and the way we live. it's all amplified by a media that's unceasing and that feeds 24/7 our ever shrinking attention spans. and as a student of history, i often remind people that the challenges we face are not unique. that in fact the threats of previous eras whether civil war, world war, cold war, depressions or famines, those challenges put our own in perspective. moreover i believe our unique
strengths as a nation make us better equipped than others to harness this change to work for us rather than against us and yet the sheer repeatity of change and uncertainty is real. the hardship of a family trying to make ends meet, refugees fleeing from a war torn home, those things are real, terrorism eroding shorelines, those things are real. even the very progress that humanity has made, the affluence, the stability that so many of us enjoy, far greater prosperity than any previous generation that humanity has
experienced shines a brighter light on those who still struggle, revealed the gap in prospects that exist for the children of the world. and that gap between want and plenty gives us vertigo. it can make us afraid not only of the possibility that progress will stall, but maybe we have more to lose and fear does funny things. fear can lead us to lash out against those who are different who lead us to try to get some sinister other under control.
alternatively fear can lead us to succumb to despair, paralysis or cynicism. fear can feed our most selfish impulses and erode the bonds of community. it is a primal emotion, fear, one that we all experience and it can be contagious spreading through societies and through nations. and if we let it consume us, the consequences of that fear can be worse than any outward threat. for me and i know for so many of
you, faith is the great cure for fe fear. jesus is a good cure for fear. god gives believers the power, the love, the sound mind required to conquer any fear, and what more important moment for that faith than right now. what better time than these changi changing times to have jesus standing beside us steadying our minds, cleansing our minds, pointing us towards what
matters. [ applause ] >> his love gives us the power to resist fear's temptations. he gives us the courage to reach out to others across that divide rather than push people away. he gives us the courage to go against the conventional wisdom and stand up for what's right even when it's not popular. to stand up not to just our enemies but sometimes to stand up to our friends. he gives us the fortitude to sacrifice ourselves for a larger cause or to make tough decisions knowing that we can only do our
be best. less of me, more of god. and then to have the courage to admit our failings and our sins while pledging to learn from our mistakes and to try to do better. certainly during the course of this enormous privilege to have served as the president of the united states, that's what faith has done for me. it helps me deal with the common everyday fears that we all sh e share. the main one i'm feeling right now is our children grow up too fast. they're leaving. that's a tough deal.
[ laughter ] >> and so as a parent you're worrying about will some harm befall them, how are they going to manage without you, did you miss some central moment in their lives, will they call or text. [ laughter ] >> each day we're fearful that god's purpose becomes elusive and cloudy. we try to figure out how we fit into his broader plan. those are universal fears that we have, and my faith helps me to manage those. and then my faith helps me to deal with some of the unique elements of my job.
as of one of the great departed heros of our age nelson mandela said, the brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. certainly there are times where i've had to repeat that to myself while holding this office. when you hear from a parade of experts just days after you're elected that another great depression is a very real possibility, that will get your attenti attention. when you tell a room full of young cadets that you've made a decision to send them into harm's way, knowing that some of them might not return safely, that's sobering. when you hold in your arms the
mothers and fathers of innocent children gunned down in their classroom, that reminds you there's evil in the world. and so you come to understand what president lincoln meant when he said he'd been driven to his knees by the overwhelming conviction that he had no place else to go. like every president, like every leader, like every person i've known fear, but my faith tells me that i need not fear death, that the acceptance of christ promises everlasting life and the washing away of sins. [ applause ] >> if scripture instructs me to put on the full armor of god so
that when trouble comes i'm able to stand, then surely i can face down these temporal setbacks. surely i can battle back. certainly i can rouse myself to action. and should that faith waiver, should i lose my way, i have drawn strength not only from a remarkable wife, not only from incredible colleagues and friends, but i've drawn strength from witnessing all across this country and all around this world good people of all faiths who do the lord's work each and every day, who wield that power
and love and sound mind to feed the hungry and heal the sick, to teach our children. think about the extraordinary work of the congregations and the faith communities represented here today. whether fighting poverty or to end the scourge of human trafficking, you're the leaders of what pope francis calls this march of living hope. when the earth cleaves in haiti, christians, siekhs, and other faith groups sent people to rebuild homes for the homeless. when ebola ravaged west africa, jewish, christian, muslim groups
responded to the outbreak to save lives. and as the news fanned the flames of fear, churches and mosques responded with a powerful rebuke welcoming survivors into their pews. when nine worshippers were murdered in a charleston church basement, there were people of all faiths that came together to wrap a shattered community in love and understanding. when syrian refugees seek the sanctuary of our shores, it's the faithful from synagogues, mosques, temples, and churches are the first to offer food and open their homes. even now people of different faiths and beliefs are coming together to help people suffering in flint.
and then there's the less spectacular, more quiet efforts of congregations all across this country just helping people, seeing god in others. we're driven to do this because we're driven by value that so many of our faiths teach us. i am my brother's keeper. i am my sister's keeper. as christians, we do this compelled by the gospel of jesus, the command to love god and one another. yes, like every person, there are times when i'm fearful, but my faith and more importantly the faith that i've seen in so many of you, the god i see in
you, that makes me inevitably hopeful about our future. i've seen so many who know god has not given us a spirit of fear. he has given us power and love and a sound mind. we see that spirit in people like the pastor in prison for no crime other than holding god in his heart. last year we prayed he might be freed and this year we give thanks that he is home safe. [ applause ] >> we pray for god's protection for all around the world who are not free to practice their faith, including christians who are persecuted or who have been driven from their ancient homelands by unspeakable violence. just as we call on other
countries to respect the rights of religious minorities, we, too, respect the right of every single american to practice their faith freely. >> amen. [ applause ] >> for this is why each of us is called on to do, to seek our common humanity in each other, to make sure our politics and our public discourse reflect that same spirit of love and sound mind, to assume the best in each other, not just the worst and not just at the national prayer breakfast. to begin each of our works from the shared belief that all of us want what's good and right for our country and our future.
we can draw such strength from the quiet moments of heroism around us every single day. so let me close with two such stories i've come to know just over the past week. a week ago, i spoke at a ceremony held at the israeli embassy for the first time honoring the courage of people who saved jews during the holocaust. and one of the recipients was the grandson -- the son of an american soldier who had been captured by the nazis. a group of american soldiers are
captured, and their captor es ordered jewish p.o.w.s to identify themselves. and one sergeant, a christian, named roddy edmonds from tennessee ordered all american troops to report alongside him. they lined up in formation, approximately 200 of them, and the nazi colonel said i asked only for the jewish p.o.w.s and said these can't all be jewish. master sergeant edmonds stood there and said we are all jews.
and the colonel took out his pistol and held it to the master sergeant's head and said tell me who the jews are and he repeated we are all jews. faced with the choice of shooting all those soldiers, the nazis relented. and so through his moral clarity through an act of faith, seth edmonds saved the lives of his jewish brothers in arms. [ applause ] >> second story. just yesterday, some of you may be aware i visited a mosque in
baltimore. to let our muslim american brothers and sisters know that they, too, are americans and welcome here. [ applause ] >> and there i met a muslim american who runs a nonprofit working for social change in chicago. he forms coalitions with churches and latino groups and african-americans in a poor neighborhood in chicago. he told me about how the day after the tragedy in san bernardino happened he took his three young children to a playground in the market park neighborhood. and while they were out, the time came for one of the five daily prayers that are essential
to the muslim tradition. and on any other day he told me he would immediately have put his rug right out on the grass there and prayed, but that day he paused. he feared any unwelcome attention he might attract to himself and his children. and his 7-year-old daughter asked him, what are you doing, dad? isn't it time to pray? and he thought of all the times he had told her the story of the day that dr. martin luther king jr. and rabbi robert marx and 700 other people marched to that very same park and during hatred and bigotry, dodging rocks and
bottles and hateful words in order to challenge chicago housing segregation and to ask america to live up to our highest ideals. and so at that moment drawing from the courage of men of different religions of a different time, he refused to teach his children to be afraid. instead he taught them to be part of that legacy of faith and good conscious. i want them to understand that sometimes faith will be tested, he told me, and that we will be asked to show immense courage like others have before us to make our city, our country, and our world a better reflection of all our ideals. he put down his rug and he prayed. [ applause ]
>> now, those two stories, they give me courage and they give me hope and they instruct me in my own christian faith. i can't imagine a moment in which that young american sergeant expressed his christianity more profoundly than when confronted by his own death. he said we are all jews. [ applause ] >> i can't imagine a clearer expression of jesus' teachings. i can't imagine a better expression of the peaceful spirit of islam than when a muslim father, filled with fear, drew from the example of a baptist preacher and a jewish rabbi to teach his children what
god demands. [ applause ] >> for god has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. i pray that by his grace we all find the courage to set such examples in our own lives not just during this wonderful ga gathering and fellowship, not just in the public piety that we profess, but in those smaller moments when it's difficult, when we're challenged, when we're angry, when we're confronted with someone who doesn't agree with us, when no one is watching.
i pray that our differences ultimately are bridged, that the god that is in each of us comes together and we don't divide. i pray that our leaders will always act with humility and generosity. i pray that my failings are forgiven. i pray that we will uphold our obligation to be good stewards of god's creation, this beautiful planet. i pray that we will see each and every child as our own, each worthy of our love and compassion, and i pray we answer scripture's call to lift up the vulnerable and to stand up for
>> thank you so much, mr. president. thank you for your encouraging and also your challenging wording this morning. as you know, this breakfast began with one of your predecessors, dwight eisenhower. we appreciate you being with us all eight years. now let's get ready for a world that awaits us outside the walls of this hotel. let's hear from andree ba bocel singing "amazing grace."
ladies and gentlemen and mr. president, there is a dark shadow on the world in this period. many children, elderly, die under the bomb. the war is the worst incident of our intelligence. there is a very small word, an audible word, that is to the base of our tragedy. this word in old greek is ebrice. it means pride, but there is also on the other side a big reason of happiness, a big
reason to be optimist. this reason is the will to be all together and pray together, to be all together also for a moment to put aside our opinions, our ideas, our different goals and to be really very close and to pray. thank you very this invitation. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> wow. what a great morning. better than what we ever
imagined. thank you, jesus. let's take away the right kind of pride in what we've experienced today, the right kind. as my mother often said, never be ashamed of your faith in jesus because you never want him to be ashamed of you. as democratic leader pelosi reminded us in her reading, jesus prayed for us to be one and brought to complete unity. we also heard that today with mr. bocelli. so here's my question to you. does jesus get what he prays for? let's work for unity. jesus asks god to send us all together to be one. >> in closing, let me challenge you with this. we've heard a lot about unity this morning. that's what juan and i wanted, just what we were hoping would be the case.
division a great problem, so unity is our greatest need. and we believe that we need to pray our way to that unity. we can't achieve unity on our own. humanity has tried and humanity has failed for centuries. we've tried and we've failed in this city, washington, d.c. unity is a gift from god, and jesus says seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened to you. bring us the unity we need, lord jesus. and now to offer our closing prayer, derrick henry. [ applause ] >> good morning. i'm so glad and honored to be here to do this closing prayer. let's bow our heads. lord jesus, i thank you for this
today to hear from these great leaders and great people, to hear god's word about unity and us being united as one and how important it is. jesus lord, i pray for people who weren't able to eat breakfast today who don't have clothes on their back or shoes on their feet, but i pray that you make them find a way and have faith in you that they will see better days. god, i pray for the people who have cancer who suffer every day with pain and heartache and that you one day will heal them from all the suffering and all the pain. lord, i want to pray for my generation that every day we wake up we seek you, lord, for guidance and wisdom and that one day we can stand up here and be great leaders, great people, men and women, to speak on unity united as one and how important
it is to this country and to this world. father god, i pray that us, as great people in here, that we continue to use our platform to help others and to inspire others. last, i would like to pray on the food that we are eating today. i pray for the hands that blessed this food and let it nourish and strengthen our bodies. amen. [ applause ] >> well, thank you again. paco and i are very happy that you have joined us here this morning for this breakfast. i think it was very successful.
let's give everyone at the head table who had a part a great hand. [ applause ] >> that concludes our breakfast. the president and the first lady will be leaving shortly. if you could stay in your seats for the next few minutes, but we do appreciate them as they're leavie ining the building and te support for the national prayer breakfast. may god bless the united states of america and every country around the world. thank you and god bless. [ applause ]
[inaudible conversations] the citizens of the granite state are not easily won. the country meeting places are hotbeds of political discussion. in village, town, and city voters brave bitter snow and sleet to cast their votes. >> thanks to the people of new hampshire. >> it's good to be back here in new hampshire. >> first in the nation primary. >> new hampshire. >> new hampshire. >> new hampshire. >> new hampshire. >> hey, he's from new hampshire. >> it's great to be back in new
hampshire. >> one reporter has called new hampshire's primary the most cherished of american political trib tribal rites. >> governor, thank you so much for coming to new hampshire. >> this is a place where you can observe a candidate in the heat of a dialogue, in the heat of getting tough questions about their positions on the issues. it's not just a place where there's a scripted speech. >> new hampshire takes its first in the nation primary status really seriously. >> this is one of a whole series of town hall meetings that we're going to be having. >> this is my 20th town hall meeting. >> welcome to our 115th town hall meeting here in new hampshire.
ahead of the new hampshire primary on tuesday, presidential candidates from both parties are in the granite state. on sunday, we'll take you to a town hall in bedford with senator marco rubio. that's live at 11:30 a.m. eastern. donald trump talks to supporter at a campaign rally in holerness. we'll take you live there at 10:00 a.m. on c-span. congressional budget office director keith hall projected an increase in the deficit today at the house budget committee hearing. he predicts that the deficit will reach $544 billion and the debt will be 86% of gdp by 2026. this is about 2 1/2 hours. >> the hearing will come to order. i want to welcome all to the committee on the budget hearing on the congressional budget
offices budget and economic outlook. before we begin, i'd like to welcome two new members to the committee. frank ginta of new hampshire who is a returning member of the committee. and bill johnson of ohio. we want to welcome them to the committee since they will not be official members of the committee until later today. i ask that they participate in today's hearing. without objection, so ordered. the house is scheduled to have votes later today. i ask unanimous consent, the chairman be authorized to declare a recess at any time. without objection, so ordered. once again, i want to welcome dr. hall. dr. hall, i want to welcome you to our hearing on your cbo budget and economic outlook going forward. when you talk about budgets, oftentimes people's eyes glaze
over, but these numbers matter. the consequences for the american people are real. and i think that will become much more clear in holding this hearing. in its report cbo projects if no changes are made to current policies, deficits over the next decade will total $9.4 trillion. this is up from $7.6 trillion from the estimate of last year. national debt will rise to over $29 trillion from 19196 to its current all too high of $19 trillion. an average economic growth over the next two years will be a full 1/3 lower than the historical average. skyrocketing debt will mean less opportunity, fewer jobs and smaller paychecks. and a nation increasingly vulnerable to national security
threats both at home and abroad. this isn't an optimistic outlook for america. it's not a sustainable outlook for any nation. the longer we take to address these challenges, the harder it will be and the fewer options there will be to actually sold them. if you look at just the interest payments on the debt, the interest payments on the debt, we'll talk about spending nearly is $12 a year. that's more than we spend on defense, medicaid, education. pick a priority. money that's spent on paying this interest will crowd out all the important priorities that the american people have. buying a car, paying a rent, buying a house, starting or expanding a business, sending a kid to college. all of the things that are made
more difficult that the american people want to spend their money are are made more difficult because of the level of debt that we continue to accumulate in our government. in 2026 interest on our debt will be the third largest line item in our federal budget. so how can we solve these challenges? many of our friends on the other side of the aisle and particularly the president think we ought to take more money out of the hard working american taxpayer, but federal revenues, money coming into the government, are going to go up by $127 billion in fiscal year 2016 alone. a nearly 4% incomes over the last fiscal year. revenue levels for 2016 are slat slated -- which is well above historical average. the federal government is taking more money from the american
people now than it has ever in the history of our country. uncle sam doesn't need a raise. washington needs to get our act together. according to cbo, spending will reach 21.2% of gross domestic product in 2016 and climb to 23.1% in 2026. this will far exceed historical averages. that means more money again taken from the pocketbooks of the americans and spent on things that crowd out or decrease the likelihood of being able to spend on things they want to. instead of taking more money from the american people to spend more in washington, we ought to focus on real solutions, reforms that will make government more efficient and accountable. we focus on these two goals. we'll not only balance the
budget, but we'll also create an environment in this country where many americans will achieve success, provide for themselves and their families, and a nation that's more secure and stronger than ever before. sadly under the policies of president obama, americans have experienced the worst recovery in modern times. the cbo has continued to downgrade its growth predictions year after year. in january, we learned the u.s. economy grew at an anemic 0.7%. dismal economic legacy this president continues to champion. so we have a choice in this nation. we can continue down this road, stick with the status quo and turn cbo's projections into reality. or turn the page and put in place a budget that balances, that saves and strengthens and secures medicare and social security that supports our brave men and women in uniform. right now our committee is hard at work putting together that plan. i want to thank you for being here today. and thank you for your work and that of your colleagues at the congressional budget office.
i look forward to your testimony and to a healthy discussion about how we solve the challenges before us and i'm pleased to yield to the ranking member from maryland for his opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i do want to join the chairman and my colleagues in welcoming you, dr. hall, and thank you to your cbo team. what struck me in looking at this budget outlook was that it was really not that different from last year's budget outlook. it showed that deficits as a percent of the economy have fallen dramatically since twine and will remain relatively stable for a couple years. then you begin to see increasing deficits driven primarily by an ageing population at health care costs. in fact, the biggest single component of the increase in the ten-year deficit projection were
the unpaid for tax cuts that congress voted on just last fall. $817 billion. round up. you get to a trillion dollars was added to the deficit just last november and december when our republican colleagues put that forward and refused to pay for a single penny. some of those proposals were mer meritorious, but we should be paying for those long-range tax cuts and that includes the interest rate because when you bring in less revenue and your deficit goes up, so do those interest costs. congress just added significantly to those interest costs by refusing to pay for those tax increases. the good news is this forecast predicts stronger economic growth this year. 2.7%. that's good news because although the economy has
generated new jobs for 70 consecutive months, 14 million jobs, we need to add more jobs and most importantly we should get to work on strategies for boosting wages, which is why it is so disappointing that in this new congress instead of getting to work on the business of the american people and focusing on the economy, the very first thing we did in 2016 with the new speaker was vote for the 62nd time in a row to dismantle the affordable care act and just a little earlier this week the 63rd time in an attempt to override the president's veto, which wasn't going to happen. by the way, that vote also included the 11th amendment to rollback programs that protect women's reproductive health, including a plan to defund
planned participaplan ed parenthood despite the fact that grand jury indicted their accusers. instead of just repeating over and over again these efforts to dismantle the affordable care act, we should be focusing on growing the economy and increasing wages, and i'd like to put up a chart. we should address those issues by investing more in our economy, which is why, mr. chairman, i'm a little troubled to here some members on your side may be talking about revisiting the caps that we agreed to last year, which made room for some more investments in things like education and transportation. but as we look to the long-term deficit we should also remember the largest category contributing to the deficit are the so-called tax expenditures. these include a lot of tax
breaks in the tax code that benefit the very wealthiest americans. they include tax breaks like the carried interest loophole for hedge fund managers, which means folks who are managing a hedge fund pay a lower tax rate than people driving a bus or teachers. we need to end the loophole on these inversions. by the way, means everybody else in the country pays more while these companies that continue to benefit from what america has to offer are paying less. so as you can see from this chart, if you add up the cost of tax expenditures on an annual basis, they're higher than the total cost of medicare and medicaid and higher than the total cost of social security, which is why it was so
disappointing that rather than address those issues, our republican colleagues voted last year for the largest increase in the deficit in recent times adding over $800 billion to that te ten-year deficit. so if we're going to get serious about this, mr. chairman, we're going to have to look at the tax expenditure column and end the tax breaks. last chart, which disproportionately flow to the top 1%. 17% of the benefit of those tax expenditures go to the top 1% of the income scale. that is a rigged task system, rigged in favor of the very wealthy. we need to change it. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. we want to welcome again dr. hall. your complete testimony will be made part of the record. we look forward to your opening statement, and you have five minutes. >> thank you. chairman price, ranking member,
and members of the committee, i appreciate the invitation to testify today about the budget and economic outlook. first i'll summarize cbo's economic forecast for the next decade. consumer spending is going to provide the largest contribution to that growth. however the anticipated pick up in growth above last year's 1.8% rate stems largely from investment in business capital and in housing. because of the projected growth, we expect slack in the economy to diminish over the next few years. lowering the unemployment rate to just under 4.5%, pushing up compensation and encouraging greater labor force participation. that reduction in slack will also push up inflation and interest rates. over the years following 2017 we
project output to grow at a more modest pace constrained by slow growth. nevertheless that pace of growth is expected to be greater than it has been in the past decade. now, to describe some of our key findings about the budget outlook, in the fiscal year 2016 the deficit will increase for the first time since 2009. if current laws generally remain unchanged, the deficit will continue to grow and debt held by the public would rise to $24 trillion or 86% of gdp by 2016 up from 74% of gdp at the end of 2015. moreover, it would be an upward trajectory. 30 years from now debt would reach 155% of gdp, a higher percentage than previously recorded in the united states. such high-rising debt could have serious negative consequences for the nation, including an
increased risk for a fiscal crisis. growth and revenues is outpaced by growth in spending. in the coming decades revenue would remain relatively stable in relation to the size of the economy reflecting changes that roughly offset each other. increases in individual income taxes and decreases in corporate income taxes and remittances from the federal reserve. we project outlays to go under current law from 21% of gdp this year to 23% in 2016. this is for social security and medicare. in large part because of the number of people who are at least 65 years old is estimated to increase by more than 1/3 over that period. also because of rising interest rates and growing federal debt held by the public, the government's interest payments on that debt are expected to rise sharply over the next ten
years, more than doubling its share of gdp. by 2016, spending subject to annual appropriations is projected to drop to its lowest share of gdp in the past 50 years. most discretionary funding is capped through 2021. that's the big picture. now a few details. i'm often asked about specifically about our projections for medicaid and for health insurance purchased through exchanges. medicaid spending is expected to increase by about 9% in 2016 after having grown about 15% a year in the previous two years. we expect that slowdown because the optional expansion of coverage authorized by the affordable care act will have been in place for two years and the rapid growth and enrollment that occurred during the initial stage will begin to moderate. as for exchanges, we in the staff of the joint committee on
taxation estimate about 11 million people per month will receive them on average during the calendar year 2016 up from an average of about 8 million per month last year. that number is smaller than the average of 15 million resip yepts per month that we estimated for 2016 a year ago. overall, including people -- our projections of exchange enrollment for the years after 2016 have not yet been updated. we will publish that update in our march release to accompany our next baseline. let me explain how our projections have changed. the 2016 deficit we project is higher than we last estimated largely because the consolidated appropriations act of 2016
extended a number of tax provisions. for the 2016, 2025 period we project a deficit that is larger than just six months ago. that stems from the laws enacted since august, especially the extension of tax provisions. about 30% of the increase is caused by changes in the economic forecast. chiefly slower growth and economic output over the ten-year period which lowers revenues in our projections more than it lowers spending. the remainder of the increase is primarily in our estimates of outlays. over the next decade spending for medicaid and veterans benefits is higher. in these remarks i provided you with an overview of our projections which are the work of many people at that cbo. i'm happy to discuss any
questions that you may have. thank you. >> thank you, dr. hall. in reading your report, it doesn't paint a rosy picture. in fact, some of the remarks that you make in your report are ominous. the likelihood of a fiscal crisis increasing, lawmakers having less flexibility in policies to address issues, increase rates increasing, federal interest rates would rise, federal budget deficit will increase for the first time since 2009. deficit would grow over the next ten years and by 2026 it would be considerably larger than it has for the past 50 years, 50 years. that's not a pretty picture. i want to touch on growth and spending and taxes, the major aspects of our budget. if you can put up the slide on growth projections, please. there are three ways basically
to solve the more money going out than coming in. you can raise taxes. you could lower spending or you can have a growing economy. and our friends on the other side of the aisle tend to believe raising the taxes is the way to do that, by taking more hard earned money out of the pockets of american taxpayers. we believe holding the line on spending and decreasing are appropriate and then growing the economy is the best way to get to balance and to get to an economy that can actually thrive and create jobs for folks. the slide that was up there and hopefully will return shows that over the last four years the projections from your office, the cbo, on growth have decreased from 3% to 2.9% to 2.5% to 2.3% and now 2.1%. a downward trend on growth in the economy. and growth in the economy means
that folks are able to get a job and be able to provide for their family. why does the growth continue to go down in your estimation? >> well, in our projections like most other projections of the economy we have been disappointed over and over again primarily about productivity growth and the growth of output, the actual data coming in. the most recent reduction from august was over concerns over productivity. two things happened. this summer the economic data changed. the bureau of economic analysis revised down economic growth over the last few years, even though it was already fairly slow. that changed our view again about productivity. productivity was down. then now we've had this sort of persistent slow productivity growth. it looks like it may not go away
for a while and that's at the heart of our most recent downgrade in economic growth. that's probably been at the heart of our most of our downgrades. >> the projections have been worse -- if you can put up table one, which is figure 4 -- i'm sorry, table 1. a lot of numbers that will pop up here -- but the bottom line is there 15 areas there, 15 years that cbo projected a certain rate. only three of them was cbo accurate. it's likely that the 2.1% isn't even accurate. the challenge that we've got is that if we could just grow the economy a little bit, not back to our 3% average over the last 40 or 50 years, but just a little bit, say 0.1%, we could see increasing opportunity out there. if we grew the economy by 0.1%
more than what's projected, what's the result on the deficit. >> the deficit would be reduced by somewhere over $300 billion. >> over 300 billion. so 0.1% increase results in a $300 billion decrease in the deficit. if we could just grow the economy at the average rate of the last 40 or 50 years, we'd see a decrease in the deficit of over $3 trillion. remarkable ought to be our goal, ought to be our goal.